A question that we get asked a lot is ‘what’s the difference?’. When doing your research, you’ll come across an array of wooden climbing frames that, whilst they may look the same, vary hugely in cost. This comes down to three key answers:
1. Quality of Wood: Whilst most systems are made of pine, the quality & origin of that pine will vary significantly. Pine from one forest in Eastern Europe will be very different to, for example, Southern Yellow Pine from California (which we use). The quality of the wood will depend on growth rate and density. The denser the wood and the longer the growth rate, the better the quality of wood - and, ultimately, the longer a climbing frame will last (and is much less likely to splinter and crack over time)
2. Treatment: Again, treatment will vary depending on the cost of the system; less expensive systems are painted (or tanilised) which is as much for aesthetics as for (limited) protection against rot. More expensive systems are pressure treated. This is wood that has been infused with preservatives to protect the wood from rot and insects.
3. Finish: The more you invest, the better the components you’ll benefit from (commercial grade swing hangers, zinc coated bolts etc). Combined with the increased quality of the wood, this will ensure that you have a frame that provides brilliant, robust, splinter free play for a generation of children.