12 Best Ropes for Tree Swings in 2017

If you are very lucky, you may have vivid memories from your childhood of spending your summer vacations outside with your friends, gleefully swinging from the most popular neighborhood tree swing. For a lot of us, it is a staple of childhood. If you find yourself yearning for those days and wanting to bring this memory back, you’re not alone!

Now that you’re an adult you don’t have to track down a friend with a tree swing. You only need to build one! Today we are going to focus on the most crucial component of the tree swing: the rope.

The best rope for tree swing construction is one that is safe and reliable. It also needs to be able to be secured by knots and other hardware without breaking down over time.

Luckily for you, you don’t have to go out and buy a rope for your tree swing without some guidance. Here is our comprehensive list of top ropes for tree swings as well as a buying guide to help you make the best decision!

Top 12 Ropes for Tree Swing Comparison Chart

DesignNameMaterialDiameterRating (1-5)
  1. TOUGH-GRID 750lb Paracord / Parachute Cord Nylon 3/16 inch 4.9
  2. SeaSense Double Braid Nylon Dockline Nylon 3/8 inch 4.7
  3. FMS Derby Rope Polypropylene ¼ – ¾ inch 4.7
  4. 850 Black Paracord 100 Feet Nylon 3/16 inch 4.6
  5. FMS Super Soft Triple-Strand Cotton ½ – 1 inch 4.5
6. SGT KNOTS 1/4″, 3/8″, 5/8″ Utility Rope Made in USA Nylon w/ Poly Sheathing ¼ – 5/8 inch 4.4
7. Rope King TP-34200Y Twisted Poly Rope Polypropylene ¾ inch 4.4
8. YM CR101 Twisted Polypropylene Rope Polypropylene ½ inch 4.3
  9. Koch 5011635 Twisted Polypropylene Rope Polypropylene ½ inch 4.2
  10. T.W . Evans Cordage 30-097-50 1-1/2-Inch by 50-Feet Pure Number-1 Manila Rope Manila ½ inch 4.0
  11. 1/2″ By 100 Feet 12-strand Polyester Blue Ox Arborist Climbing Rope Polyester ½ inch 3.9
  12. 1/2″ By 100 Feet 12-strand Polyester Blue Ox Arborist Climbing Rope Polypropylene 5/8 inch 3.8

How to Pick the Best Rope for Your New Tree Swing

We’ve shown you some of the best rope for tree swing building online so you should have a pretty good idea of what to look for; however, a handy table is no replacement for knowledge! Let’s go over the most important things to consider when choosing the rope for your tree swing.

What Makes A Good Tree Swing Rope?

A great tree swing rope should be resistant to ultraviolet light. The UV rays from the sun beating down on your swing’s ropes all day will cause brittleness and breakage over time. UV resistance may come from the material of the rope, or it might be added as an extra coating.

Many types of rope, as you will see in the next section, are also coated with rot-resistant materials; this is helpful for reducing the amount of rot build-up on your swing, which is usually caused by excess moisture.

A great tree swing rope is also very resistant to stretching. We will go over what types of rope are best, but always remember that the more a rope “gives,” the more often it will need to be replaced.

Generally speaking, the ideal tree swing rope would be at least ½ inch in diameter, although all ropes’ strengths are different, so it is a possible for a smaller diameter rope to be just as strong.

Types of Rope

The following rope types can all be used for tree swings, each having its own strengths and weaknesses:

  • Polyester  This is perhaps the best rope for tree swing use due to the strength and durability. It the top choice for most tree swing builders.
  • Nylon – This type of rope is also referred to as “paracord.” Nylon tends to be stronger than polyester but at a cost. It stretches more easily with regular use and can be slippery, which would be a problem for small children.
  • Natural Fibers – For a rustic look, try a natural fiber rope. More than likely it will be made of cotton or manila. These ropes may look the coolest, but they will need to be replaced more often than synthetic ropes.
  • Polypropylene – Usually these ropes will be thicker and very strong. However, just like natural fiber ropes, be prepared to replace them regularly as they deteriorate from sun exposure and the elements relatively quickly.

Improving the Quality of Your Tree Swing

Simply tying your rope to a branch is not a very effective method of attachment; this will cause the rope to cut into the tree while you swing, damaging the rope and the tree.

To alleviate this, try picking up some anchoring straps to attach to the branch, which will distribute the force of the rope. If you want to skip the straps, get a rope sleeve or equivalent rubber tubing to reduce rubbing!

Top 5 Best Rope for Tree Swing Reviews

1. TOUGH-GRID Nylon 750lbs Paracord

TOUGH-GRID boasts that their 7501bs paracord can handle any task, and that includes tree swings. All the things that make this rope military-grade also make it the perfect rope for building a tree swing!

  • 100% Nylon – The TOUGH-GRID paracord is made up of eleven inner triple-strands of nylon, with a sheathing that is also made of nylon. This construction gives the paracord a tensile strength of 750 lbs!
  • Resistant to the Elements – Because nylon is a synthetic material, it is resistant to abrasion and wear and tear from UV rays; this means you can hang your swing, check back in a year, and it will be good as new!
  • Available in Multiple Lengths – Buying rope can be frustrating because it only comes in certain lengths, often too much or too little. This paracord by TOUGH-GRID comes in 50, 100, and 150-foot bags so you there’s no limit to where you can hang your tree swing.

Because of its tensile strength and overall durability, we recommend this as our number one choice for tree swing rope!

2. SeaSense Double-Braided Nylon Dock line

When building your new tree swing, you will probably have to think outside the box. That’s how we came up with this dock line from SeaSense as our number two pick for the best ropes for tree swings. The water resistance and strength of a dock line also make it perfect for tree swings!

  • Marine-Grade Nylon – Marine-grade nylon takes an already strong material and kicks it up a notch. This rope is made to withstand years of saltwater abuse, so you know it can stand up to the occasional rain storm: this is one of the most durable ropes on our list.
  • High Tensile Strength – With a safe working load of 410 pounds and a breaking strength of 3,900 pounds, you can be sure that this rope can hold up to two average-sized people.
  • Pre-fabricated loop – An added bonus, this dock line comes with a loop meant to keep boats secure! That’s one less knot to tie as well as peace of mind that the connection will hold.

Although some may see this as an unorthodox choice for a tree swing rope, the SeaSense Double-Braided Nylon Dock line has all the qualities you should look for in a swing line.

3. FMS Polypropylene Derby Rope

Yet another unorthodox choice for a tree swing rope, we recommend this derby rope by FMS. Usually reserved for jobs around the farm, like leading a horse or for general fastening, this polypropylene rope has all the right qualities to make it a perfect tree swing rope.

  • High Tensile Strength – Depending on the diameter you choose, the tensile strength of this rope ranges from 700 pounds at ¼ inch diameter to 4,300 pounds at ¾ inch diameter; this means that no matter what size you choose you’ll be covered, so you can choose the diameter that best fits your needs!
  • Low Stretch – The stretch resistant nature of polypropylene is ideal for tree swings. Regular use of your swing won’t lengthen and weaken your rope like in natural fiber ropes.
  • Soft to Touch – This rope is especially kid-friendly. It is soft, so you don’t have to worry about rope burn or other abrasions on skin or the contact points of the tree.

Another great multipurpose rope, we think the FMS Polypropylene Derby Rope is ideal for tree swing applications.

4. LifeSaverTools 850 Black Paracord

A cheaper alternative to other paracord brands, the 850 paracord by LifeSaverTools can certainly make a great tree swing rope. Here are some of the strengths that set this paracord apart.

  • Nylon Construction – Like other nylon ropes, the 850 paracord by LifeSaverTools is abrasion and UV resistant. Don’t waste your time replacing your tree swing rope year after year and buy the right rope the first time!
  • High Break Weight – LifeSaverTools claims this paracord has a break weight of 850 pounds, which definitely puts it as a top choice for tree swing use.

If you are looking for a high-quality paracord rope for your tree swing but don’t want to break the bank, then check out the LifeSaverTools 850 Black Paracord.

5. FMS Super Soft Triple-Strand Twisted Cotton Rope

We didn’t want to complete our top five list without a natural fiber rope because although they are not as durable as synthetic ropes, they do offer a comfort and customization that not all ropes can!

  • Kid-Friendly – You can get this rope in many different bright colors, which kids love, and it is also ultra-soft to the touch; this helps prevent cases of rope burn and ensures that your children love playing on their new swing!
  • UV resistant – Although cotton isn’t resistant to rot like synthetic ropes, it still provides UV resistance keeping your colors bright.

For a fun and unique take on your tree swing, we recommend the colorful FMS Super Soft Triple-Strand Twisted Cotton Rope, even though it’s not quite as durable as its nylon or polyester counterparts.

Time to Buy Your Very Own Tree Swing Rope!

We’ve given you all the information you need to buy the perfect tree swing rope. Just remember to read the safety specifications for the specific rope you choose to make sure that it is strong enough and will last a very long time!