We’ve got a second-hand climbing frame in the yard that we got on eBay, but it’s time to upgrade it for our little girl. We’re looking at Gorilla Playsets, but are they a good US brand?
Gorilla Playsets are made in the US and China, with components sorted and packaged at their factory in Canton, Georgia. Founded in 1992, they are a brand of Backyard Products, a high-volume shed and playset manufacturer. Real reviewers give Gorilla Playsets 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Let’s dive down into the subject of Gorilla Playsets in more detail, and discover everything there is to know about this popular backyard brand…
Where are Gorilla Playsets Made?
Like many products these days, Gorilla Playsets are “global”. On their website, they say that playset components are made in China and the US. Then, the components are sorted and packaged at their factory in Canton, Georgia.
Who Makes Gorilla Playsets?
Gorilla Playsets have been around since 1992. They are a brand of Backyard Products, a high-volume shed and backyard playset manufacturer.
Along with Gorilla Playsets, Backyard Products brands include Gorilla Shed, Tortuga Outdoors, Yardistry, Heartland, StudioShed, Lawn Master, Kid’s Creation, Yardline, Shed Liquidators, Big Timber, Backyard Buildings & More, Shedmaster, Swing N Slide, and Handy Home Products.
Gorilla Products are proud of their reputation. They claim to build playsets that are beyond industry standards – stronger, more stable and safer than the competition. Gorilla Playsets all meet ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) standards for all their playsets.
Are Gorilla Playsets Made of Cedar?
Most Gorilla Playsets are made from choice grade, hand-selected cedar. Cedar is a great choice for the backyard – it is naturally resistant to insects and decay.
Gorilla Playsets buy their cedar from Certified forests. These forests are approved for harvesting and are replanted to make them as sustainable as possible. The cedar used in the playsets is all pre-cut, pre-sanded, pre-drilled, and pre-stained.
Playsets come with a choice of two cedar stains, either Amber or Redwood.
How Long Do Gorilla Playsets Last?
Gorilla Playsets pride themselves on their quality construction. They claim their playsets are gorilla strong – stronger slides, stronger swing chains, and stronger lumber.
On their website, Gorilla Playsets say that their playsets will last from 15 to 20 years. Other review websites are down to 10 to 20 years.
What Products Are in The Gorilla Playsets Range?
Gorilla Playsets come in many models with lots of features. We counted over 20 base units. Models are rated for small kids (3 to 5 years old) or big kids (5 to 12 years old).
Gorilla Playsets come in two deck heights: 4-foot and 5-foot. There are 6 base units for the 4-foot deck height models and five base units that come in 5-foot deck heights. In addition, there are 8 base unit models that come with multiple decks.
Swing sets come with a ton of features: lower level clubhouses, multiple slides in yellow, blue, or green, towers, monkey bars, multiple play decks, sky lofts, tire swings, bucket swings, trapeze rings, multi-person swings, belt swings, bar swings, tube slides, gliders, disc swing, entry ladders, and grab handles.
They also come with flag kits, classic canopy roof, Malibu tongue and groove roof, dormer windows, chimneys, window shutters, rock wall with climbing rope, sandbox with corner seats, punching ball, picnic table, climbing walls, steering wheels, periscopes and telescopes with compasses.
Accessories for the Gorilla Playsets include a picnic table umbrella, sandbox cover, sandbox tool kit, chalkboard, personalized name board, basketball hoop, arch climbers, fireman’s pole, wooden toy chest, see-saw, clatter bridges, adult swings, safety bumper pads, monkey bars, sky loft, deluxe climbing ramp, connecting towers, spring riders, dinner bells and a Malibu playhouse.
Here’s a link to the 2022 Gorilla Playsets catalog.
Do Gorilla Playsets Come With a Warranty?
Gorilla Playsets come with a 10-year warranty on all above-ground wooden components and 1 year on all non-wood ones (plastics, hardware, swings, tarps, ropes).
How Are Gorilla Playsets Delivered?
Small accessories are delivered via UPS. However, if you’ve ordered an entire playset, it will be delivered by a local freight company.
Be aware that these playsets are very heavy – from hundreds up to a thousand pounds – and the cost to ship them is substantial. For example, if your address is slightly wrong and the playset delivery is misdirected, you can be liable for the shipping costs.
Freight companies will call you with options for a delivery time beforehand. They won’t just show up. But, you may incur additional charges if they do show up and you aren’t there.
When the truck arrives, be advised that freight is delivered curbside only. That means that they will offload your playset on your driveway or curb – they won’t haul it into your backyard. You are responsible for getting the pieces into your backyard, but you can do it piece by piece.
When the freight company arrives, be sure to check out your shipment carefully before they leave. They should have a manifest or bill of lading for you to sign. Check that all the boxes are there and that they are in good shape.
If they are damaged, don’t sign the manifest without speaking to a freight company manager. Or, if you can’t speak to a freight company manager, be sure to write notes on the manifest of the damages you see. Make note of which box looks damaged and write that on the manifest before you sign off.
Take plenty of photos of the damage. Then, ask the freight company driver to initial the damage you’ve reported on the manifest. If they don’t give you a duplicate copy of your notes, take a photo of the manifest or bill of lading showing the driver’s initials.
Later, open the damaged boxes before hauling them into the backyard. If anything is too damaged to use, you’ll be better off with the parts still on the driveway.
How Long Does it Take To Assemble a Gorilla Playset?
We checked on the Gorilla Playsets website and watched several YouTube videos of real people doing real assemblies.
On the Gorilla Playsets website, they say that an average Gorilla Playset will take two people approximately 6 to 8 hours to construct.
There are several Gorilla Playsets models with assembly videos. One model, the Gorilla Great Sky, took 20 hours of assembly for two people. Another Gorilla High Point II playset took two people 15 to 18 total hours.
Here’s a video of a Gorilla Outing III assembly.
What Do Real Reviews Say About Gorilla Playsets?
We looked at reviews on Home Depot and Wayfair. We looked at reviews from playsets, not accessories. Our reviews came from verified buyers, not professional reviewers.
We found just over 5,000 reviews on Home Depot and Wayfair. They gave Gorilla Playsets 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Positive reviewers thought Gorilla playsets really were gorilla tough. They loved the quality of the playsets and their durability. One reviewer was an engineer and they loved the quality and construction. Many reviewers said their playset was solid.
They loved the quality of the wood and the play accessory details. For the ones who put their playsets together themselves, they thought they praised the level of detail and clarity of the instructions and the labeling of the parts. Most thought they were easy to assemble, but some said it took much longer than they thought.
Negative reviews were about the tediousness of the assembly and how long it took. One reviewer said that, when they received it, they decided to call a Gorilla assembler but couldn’t find one. They gave the product one star.
One reviewer said that the holes in the wood were off by 1/16th of an inch – enough to make it difficult to get the bolts through.
How Much Do Gorilla Playsets Cost?
The lowest price model is the Outing II Swing Set. It retails for $1,300. The most expensive playset is the Empire Extreme Swing Set at $6,999.
Are Gorilla Playsets Easy To Maintain?
Stuff that lives outside needs routine maintenance. Stuff that your precious children climb on should be routinely safety checked, and Gorilla Playsets are no exception.
In the winter, take down the tarp or canopy and store it in a warm and dry space. If you live in a harsh winter climate, take down the swing belts and any other pliable features and store them with the canopy.
At least once a year, perform a safety check. Gorilla recommends that you check whether all nuts are tightly screwed down. Yank on the playset to see if it has any wobbles. Clear out any fallen branches or big rocks from around the playset.
Gorilla Playsets come from the factory with a stain/sealant on all cedar parts. They recommend that you reapply a sealant within 90 days of purchase. Find good sealant and stain choices on Gorilla Playsets website (see the website address below).
Summary: Where Can I Buy a Gorilla Playset?
You can buy Gorilla playsets from Gorilla directly (here), or you can buy them from Amazon, Home Depot, Costco (sometimes), Walmart, Wayfair, Lowe’s, Outdoor Play Store, Sam’s Club (sometimes), or Overstock.
Plus, there are several authorized Gorilla Playset dealers. You can find a location near you on Gorilla’s website.
These definitely look the business, so I think our little one will be having fun on a new Gorilla Playset sometime very soon. 🙂
Homeowner and property investor Larry James founded Take a Yard in 2020 to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >