If you are reading this then you've probably recently discovered our home play gyms but probably overwhelmed by choice.
Yes, we only have 3 models in a few colors but we know you have more than one question about them. So how do you make your choice?
Here is what you should consider based on our experience and feedback from our customers.
Factor #1: How much Space do you have?
Some models take more space than others, that is why if you have a smaller playroom, it is a good idea to opt-in for the Model W2 which is attached to the wall. It is only 9 inches away from the wall, yet it still has kids' favorite - monkey bars and the net.
Model T1 is a tension-mounted gym and it requires a flat ceiling between 7'5" and 9'1". It looks like it needs a lot of space, however, you can also place it right against the wall and open up the second pull-up bar in a butterfly style.
The beauty of this model is that you can place many add-ons on it and you can also adjust how high would you like the pull-up bars to be based on your kid's height and your preferences. You can even have one of the pull-up bars hanging lower than the other.
So how much Model T1 takes? If you lift every add-on up, then the only space it takes is literally the ladder that you can't go through, that's all. That's why you can literally put it in the middle of the room and barely feel that it take space. It is like a tree in the middle of your playground, you can go around it easily.
Spider Model does take more space but it also provides the greatest variety of play. It can be placed with one side to the wall or right in the middle of your playroom.
Remember, all models would need a bit of a safety zone around them. Take a look at some of our Instagram posts to see if there are any images that resemble your own space.
Factor #2: Your Ceiling.
Model T1 and Spider are tension-mounted, which means they require a flat ceiling to be mounted.
If you don't have that flat ceiling between 7'5" and 9'1" then your choice is Model W2.
Sometimes you may not trust your ceiling or it could be one of those flimsy office-like ones. If in doubt, either give us a call or simply opt-in for the wall-mounted play gym.
To spread the load on your ceiling, we strongly suggest using a sheet of plywood or 2x4. Drywall will hold it, actually, however, the tension mount mechanism is quite strong and if you apply too much pressure you can damage your ceiling and we don't want that.
Please make smart decisions and again, if in doubt, give us a call during the installation process.
Factor #3: How many kids do you have?
All of our gyms provide ample opportunities for a group play, however, there are certain limitations and considerations.
The most dangerous piece of equipment is a swing! Anything that swings...will swing...and hopefully will not hurt anyone on its way.
Obviously, the more kids you have, there is a greater need for them to have separate areas for play. While one climbs the ladder, the other one can climb the net, for example.
When you have 2 kids, any model would be sufficient, but when it comes to 3 and more, then it is obvious that larger gyms will have a better application.
This brings us to the next factor.
Factor #4: Ability to Expand
We haven't seen a case when home play gyms are standing unused. Be prepared to see your kids on them all day long. We know that. We also know that a good portion of you will ask if there is a chance to enlarge the play area.
The answer is Yes, with some limitations.
If you started with the Model T1, you can later order Monkey Bars unit and this will create your Spider V2 play gym.
If you started with Spider V1 or V2 play gym, you can also get another Monkey Bars unit and create a whole party place for kids.
More pull-up bars, more monkey bars - more ability to add another hanging add-on: swing, aerial yoga hammock, some sensory equipment that we don't sell but you may find elsewhere and so much more... Personally, I'm into climbing and there are so many things that I can use to build the grip strength for myself.
Factor #5: Price
While we strive to keep our prices low and think that we are providing a very good value for the money, we also know that it is not a $50 trampoline and that price is an important factor.
We've introduced flexible payment solutions to help you spread the payments over time and it helped a lot of our customers, however, the total amount still doesn't change.
You will end up using this gym for many years. It holds up to 220lb weight but it was tested with 440lb for us to be able to make that claim. So that's the reason that even adults can use it. I'm a 163lb 34-year old kid and still using my play gym to work out.
So if you spread the cost over 1 year only, you will get a play gym and a workout station for less than $2 a day.
Plus, we always introduce new add-ons and exercise options for kids and parents, so you will certainly make a good use of your own gym at home.
Our pricing model is very simple - it is based on the amount of the material used. All of our gyms provide a great value and opportunity for the play.
All of them have great quality, certified, have design and quality awards but they just cost us differently. There is no magic to it, we simply charge you for the material plus our modest profit margin so we could stay alive and keep doing what we are doing.
We are still a very small business and don't have the luxury to help all of you but did help a great number of families in need. Feel free to contact us and describe your situation. We do sometimes sell our products below cost but we do it from the bottom of our heart, please don't abuse our kindness and let us help those that have a great need for a piece of sensory equipment but really can not afford it. For some kids, our play gyms become a daily necessity and we've seen the progress and benefits of exercises at home. Feel free to ask and we will try to accommodate, no promises but we will do our best. Hope you understand our limitations as well.
Factor #6: Add-ons
The only add-on that is not available for the Model W2 is the Calisthenics Dips Station. The ladder is 19" wide on the Model T1/Spider V2 and only 16" on Model W2. We only have the dips station for the 19" wide models, sorry. Perhaps we will have that option for the W2 model, however, it will be too narrow for the older kids, that's why we only offer it in 19" variation.
Factor #7: Mobility
This is typically not the first consideration our customers have but this question certainly comes up.
Model W2 is a wall-mounted and as you can imagine, it will take time to move this play gym to another place.
Model T1/Spider V2 are tension-mounted and if you decided to move it to another corner of the playroom, you can do so in virtually minutes. It is not designed to be moved on a daily basis, however, and we do ask you to do it carefully so it wouldn't fall and hit your kids in the process. Have someone else help you. Two people are typically what's required for a safe and easy process.
Factor #8: Installation Times
Regardless of the model you choose, you will have to install it. This is the time when some husbands start hating us for challenging their handyman skills.
This is also one area that is the hardest for us to improve on but we are constantly trying. This is where you can see some installation videos so you could have a better idea of what the process is, take a look a the Assembly page of our site.
Here is a rough time spent and some quick notes and how to save it.
Based on what we hear from our customers, total installation times are:
- Model T1: 1-7 hours
- Model W2: 3 hours to 3 separate days with a few hours each
- Spider: 3 hours to 7-9 hours.
Why is that? Ok, honestly, reason number one is that there are lots of parts, lots of bolts that look alike and, quite frankly not the best manual in the world. We are on version 5 now and it is still far from being perfect. You do have an option to give us a call and we will even do a facetime with you if necessary.
The second reason for such disparity is that when you have your kids around you will definitely double or even triple that assembly time. The challenge is that it is too exciting for them and they are trying to help...while helping you to misplace a few bolts in the process - almost always happens, unfortunately.
Many people will end up moving pull-up bars higher or lower, same with the monkey bars - this alone will easily eat up 30 minutes to an hour.
So yes, in all honesty, you may hate the assembly process, you will end up Loving the results and you will feel very proud of your accomplishments but...we have a full transparency unwritten policy in our company, so here is our full disclaimer.
Factor #9: Safety.
Although it comes at the bottom of the list, this is commonly the first concern most of the parents will have.
You might not worry about your kids playing at outdoor playgrounds but you may have a concern about the home play gyms simply because you have probably never seen ours in use and you don't even know what could possibly go wrong.
First of all, based on how old your kids are, we highly recommend you getting some crash pads, mats or even something like Nugget from Nuggetcomfort.com. By the way, we do not have any relationships with them, we just love their company and a product.
Secondly, you may not even realize how high are the chances for your kids to get injured when they play at the outdoor playgrounds. What are the chances for them to slip or fall and how often do they play to even raise their own awareness of what could possibly be dangerous.
On the other hand, you can give your kids the ability to practice daily! You will be amazed by how quickly they become agile and strong, their dexterity skills develop so quickly when they climb daily that it is simply impressive.
You will see your kids getting confident by the hour, so yes, please pay attention to what they do and teach them safety rules early. They will try to impress you, just like they would at the outdoor playgrounds, just make sure you educate them. Establish your rules early. Be cautious but also trust your kids, you'll be proud of how quickly they develop.
Other Frequently Asked Questions:
- Will it work with a popcorn ceiling? Yes!
- Unfinished basement? You will have to attach a sheet of plywood that would cover 2-3 joists, then install the gym. The width of the ladder in the Model T1 and Spider models is 19" while typical joists will be 16" apart.
- Concrete wall for W2? Yes, you can. Visit your local Home Depot and ask them for a set of special anchor bolts. Give us a call/email/text and we can help with that as well.
- Returns? We manufacture very high-quality gyms but it is still not a space rocket, there could be something missing or, rarely but possibly broken. We will certainly replace, fix or do everything possible to fix it.
We also ask you to measure your space properly and make sure that you can indeed fit the gym in there, this is because we can not afford to accept returns simply because it didn't fit.
We also do not account for possible returns in our pricing. Thankfully no one abused our policies and it is still that case. You do not have to overpay for someone else's mistakes so be kind to others and make sure you like your choice.
You can also read some of our reviews to see that we are taking pride in the customer service we provide, so if there is indeed something wrong with the product we will make every possible attempt to make you happy. You've got enough on your plate, we don't want to cause any additional stress to you.
- If we have any questions, how can we contact you? Phone, email, text, facetime, Zoom, Skype or even visit us if you are local to Bellevue, WA.