The best dome climber
Climbing is fun, but it's also an incredible exercise that helps develop a child's spatial awareness, motor skills, memory, sense of balance, and physical health. But for safety reasons, it needs to be done in the right environment with the right equipment.
A dome climber can provide all of that and more for your child. We love the Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Jungle Gym as it is exactly what you need: a durable, well-built dome climber that can support an impressive amount of weight. For more information on this and what to look for in other quality dome climbers, keep reading.
Considerations when choosing dome climbers
When shopping for a dome climber, there are three key factors to keep in mind: size, weight capacity, and where it will be used.
You not only have to choose a dome climber that is the right size for your child -- not taller than twice his or her height -- but one that fits in the space you have available.
Some dome climbers are only designed for the smallest kids and may not support much more than 150 pounds. Other models, however, may support as much as 1,000 pounds. Remember, capacity is the total weight, so two 75-pound kids puts you at the max for a 150-pound model.
Some dome climbers are designed to be used only outdoors. Others are small enough to fit in a sizable playroom. Shop for the type of dome climber that meets your usage requirements.
Besides size and weight capacity, there are a few other features you will want to consider if you'd like to enjoy the best user experience from your dome climber.
Smaller dome climbers are manufactured using plastic, which makes them lighter duty as well as lighter in weight. If you want a more rugged model for larger kids, you'll need to consider powder-coated or galvanized-steel models.
Shape and color
Not all dome climbers are in the shape of a dome. Some are constructed more like pyramids. Look for a model that features a shape and color that your child likes.
Some dome climbers include a faux rock wall, a slide, or even a secret clubhouse. If any of these sound desirable, look for a model that includes the extra features that your child will enjoy most.
Plastic, indoor/outdoor dome climbers for pre-K children are available for under $150. If you are looking for a steel dome climber that can support a few children at once, you'll need to spend between $200 and $400. If you'd like specialty equipment such as cargo nets and faux rock walls, you can find dome climbers that feature them, but they will likely cost over $400.
Q. Can I construct my dome climber on the grass?
A. As long as it is level, yes. However, uncovered grass isn't the best choice because different times of the year the ground may turn hard or muddy. Rubber chips or mats are best as wood chips are more easily blown away and they may entice cats to use the area as a giant litter box.
Q. Are there safety issues to be aware of when my children are using a dome climber?
A. There are several: No horseplay; always maintain three points of contact for maximum safety; don't climb on a wet dome climber; no loose or potentially dangerous articles of clothing such as a scarf; long pants and shirts can help protect against skinned elbows and knees.
Dome climbers we recommend
Best of the best: Lifetime's Geometric Dome Climber Jungle Gym
Our take: A heavy-duty, powder-coated-steel climbing dome that is rugged enough to support an adult user, but it is designed for children.
What we like: This weather-resistant dome climber is manufactured using no lead-based material and when assembled it is 5 feet high and 10 feet in diameter. Although this model is best for children between the ages of three and 10, it is capable of supporting up to 600 pounds.
What we dislike: The initial assembly can take a bit of time to complete, so plan accordingly.
Best bang for your buck: Eezy Peezy's Monkey Bars Climbing Tower
Our take: An affordable, indoor/outdoor plastic climber that is designed for children ages 3 to 8.
What we like: This durable, lightweight climber weighs only 27 pounds, but it can support a maximum of 150 pounds. It has UV protection to help keep the unit from fading, and it is weather-resistant.
What we dislike: Because of the locking spring assembly method, which requires a bit of effort, this unit can be exhausting for some individuals to build.
Our take: A fun, adjustable climbing set that is able to grow along with your child.
What we like: This durable galvanized-steel dome climber features a platform with a tent at the top so kids can have a secret play space. It is adjustable, so it can be raised or lowered, and it is capable of supporting up to 220 pounds.
What we dislike: As with other dome climbers, this unit can be difficult to assemble for those with limited building experience.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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