Thought that any old rope would do for the new tree swing you want to hang? Think again!
There are a few important things to think about when it comes to choosing the right rope or strap, which we’ll tell you about in our handy guide below.
Before you head to the hardware store and choose the sturdiest looking one, read the info below to make sure you’re choosing the best rope for a tree swing rather than something that wears out in a season.
Types of Rope
There are plenty of options available, some better than others.
Here are the main choices:
- Polyester. This is the best rope for tree swing purposes thanks to its strength and durability.
- Nylon. Nylon is slightly stronger than polyester, with a few cons. It might stretch slightly with regular use and it is a bit slippery, which can make it hard for kids to grasp.
- Natural Fibers. Most ropes you’ll find for a tree swing are made of cotton or manila. It may feel good on the hands as one swings, but it is more prone to rot and isn’t as strong as a polyester or nylon rope. You’ll need to replace it more frequently (after one or two seasons of use).
- Polypropylene. Usually you’ll find thicker ropes made out of polypropylene, however it just can’t compare with nylon or polyester in terms of longevity.
It tends to wear down more quickly from sun exposure and from being out in the elements, so you may need to replace it every season or two just like the natural fiber ropes.
Top 6 Ropes for Tree Swing Table
Don’t Forget the Straps
If you plan to tie the rope directly around the tree limb, stop right there!
All of that swinging back and forth will eventually cut into the tree, so in order to disperse the weight more evenly along the limb, get some swing hanger straps.
Since ropes are narrow, they wear into the tree in a more concentrated area and this can cause deep gauges in the bark.
If you don’t want to use a strap, then put a rope sleeve or a piece of flexible rubber tubing around the rope on the part that touches the tree. This will reduce the friction.
Characteristics of Good Tree Swing Rope
Here are a few qualities that the rope or strap should have:
- Resistant to Rot (think of all of the harsh weather conditions it must endure)
- Little to No Stretch (you don’t want it getting closer to the ground with each use)
Top 3 Best Rope for Tree Swings Reviews
If this rope is good enough for an arborist, then it’s certainly good enough for a tree swing.
It’s a 12-strand polyester rope with a ½” diameter and near 8,000 pounds tensile strength. It has very little stretch and it will hold knots well, just what you need it a good tree swing! You get 100 feet of it (which is why the cost is higher), so you’ll have plenty left over for any other outdoor projects that may come up. You can also make a few replacement swing straps for when these wear out.
The strong polyester material and the thickness of this rope make it an excellent choice for anyone who wants the swing to last.
If color matters and you want a nice, thick rope that is soft on the hands, then you might pick up a spool of this FMS triple strand rope.
This is made of soft cotton, making it less abrasive on little hands, and it won’t be damaged by UV sunlight like nylon and polyester will. Remember, however, that cotton is more susceptible to rot and you’ll have to change it out more frequently.
This comes in different sizes so we recommend at least the ½-inch size for safety. Tons of colors to choose from!
Polypropylene, even though it’s not the strongest choice, is probably one of the most popular when it comes to tree swings.
This rope is thick (5/8-inch) and the solid braided construction is designed to hold its round shape under pressure. The rope is soft on the hands, easy to knot and you can melt the ends without making a mess in order to prevent it from fraying.
Makes an excellent rope swing. Just remember to check it at the end of every season to make sure it has no worn spots!