We have been meaning to hang a tire swing for over a year, but somehow never seemed to get around to it. Well I finally put it on the “Must Get Done This Spring” list. Of course, my requirements were very specific (it always seems that the easy solution is not the one I pick). So the research began!
Tire Swing Requirements:
1. Design has to have a connection that won’t damage our old beloved pine tree. That immediately ruled out chain and thinner rope.
2. Tire swing that would hang horizontally to allow for holding 2-3 kids.
3. Reuse one of our old tires. Recycling at its best!
4. Ideally the design would not have unprotected chains adjacent to the tire (to prevent little pinched fingers).
5. Ideally it would come as a kit, so I wouldn’t have to source all the parts separately.
6. Be reasonably priced (I was hoping to spend about $40)
What I quickly learned is that most kits are designed to fit on a swing set and have a bolt connection. I also found several DIY instructions, but none of them dealt with how to attach it to the tree without using rope or chain. I also saw that a lot of them seemed overpriced to me. I also went over to Home Depot and found almost nothing that would work.I also discovered that covered chain is quite expensive.
Here are a few links to the options I found:
I found these instructions useful but quickly realized that by the time I source all of the parts it was going to be difficult and expensive and I was concerned that I would end up with a weak link somewhere and it wouldn’t hold up.
So after studying my options I went with #3. It looked durable, included everything but the swivel and met all of my requirements. I came out to a little more than $40 due to shipping, but it was a breeze to install (about a half hour). The only prep work required was drilling holes in the bottom of the tire so that water wouldn’t sit in there.
I really liked the mechanism for attaching it to the tree. It was simple webbing (good for the tree) and had a self-tightening cleat. I also liked the super durable triangular link that attached to the chain below.
The tire itself is attached with webbing that is sewn into a loop, so you just pass the webbing around the tire and through the loop. Then the same piece has a sewn loop at the top to attach into the quick link that also attaches to the chain.
Sam is a big fan, although he mostly swings back and forth rather than around. I might still pick up the swivel separately, but for now he seems perfectly happy with it. I guess I need to get moving on the slide now!