With so many different kinds of swings available, it might be hard to know which kind best meets your needs. So which one do you need? I get asked this all the time, and it's a great question! So I've come up with a little guide to help you during your buying research. Two important qualities that you need to keep in mind when looking for swing seats are age range and durability.
Polymer Strap Seats
Polymer strap seats are the classic style of seat that usually comes to mind when you think of swings. These come standard on all of our swing set packages. They're perfect for general residential swing applications. I also highly recommend these swing seats if the swing set will primarily be used by younger children.
The main downside to this seat is the expected longevity. Over time the material starts to loose its flexibility and crack. As soon as you notice any cracking on these seats, it's definitely time to replace them. The expected life span of these seats is approximately 7-10 years.
As long as you keep an eye on the aging of these seats and replace them as needed, they are a great go-to choice!
Steel Belted Seats
Steel belted seats are a step up from the polymer strap seats. They are mainly characterized by a thin band of steel on the inside of the seat. This serves two purposes: the first being added durability and longevity, and the second being resistance to vandalism (the seat being cut in half). For these reasons we use these on all our commercial swing sets at schools, parks, etc. The seat is also slightly wider than the polymer strap seat, which I've learned that some people find more comfortable, and some do not. It mainly comes down to personal preference.
A major plus to this seat is that even though the polymer can crack over time, you won't have to worry about it splitting while someone is swinging on it, thanks to the steel belt inside of it. That extra peace of mind is a great advantage to this seat. I would still recommend replacing them once it starts cracking, which is approximately 7-10 years.
The steel belted seats are a great choice if you like the polymer strap seats, but just want something a little more sturdy!
Flat seats are our "luxury" seats. They have a lot of great things to offer! The first and foremost is it's durability. We've been selling these for probably about 6 or 7 years, and we haven't heard of any issues about them at all. I can easily see these lasting 10+ years. Since it's a hard flat seat, it doesn't hug your hips, making it perfect for teenagers and adults. I've had a lot of adults tell me that these are much more comfortable than the polymer strap seats and steel belted seats.
The one downside to these is actually one of its strengths: it doesn't hug your hips. While this is great for teenagers and adults, it's not so great for small children. As they are swinging, they can slide around on the flat seats, making them not the safest option for the little ones. Because of this I only recommend these seats for adults/teenagers.
Flat seats are the best option for adults and teenagers, and are definitely the longest-lasting seat that we offer!
Full Bucket Seats
I also wanted to include our buckets seats here for those looking for something that'll work for toddlers/infants.
Our full bucket seats are made of the same material as our polymer strap seats. As such, the expected life span is about 7-10 years. The full bucket seat is gear more towards the infant age: from the time that they can comfortably hold themselves up to about 2 years of age.
Half Bucket Seats
Half bucket seats are just the same as our full bucket seats, but are designed for kids in the toddler range: about 2-4 years old. Like the full bucket seats, they too have an expected life of about 7-10 years.
And If You Still Can't Decide??
If you're still stuck between a couple of different styles of seats, mix it up! Call us to order over the phone, and we can mix and match any seats that you would like.
Another option is to order a couple of extra seats! The seats are attached to the chain with spring clips, so you can swap seats out in a matter of seconds. Add a full bucket seat to your order for the baby, and if the older kids want to play on the swings, simply switch it out for a polymer strap seat as needed!
Hopefully this helps you during your decision making, but just know that you can't go wrong with any of these seats. They're all great!