“ Brand: Asda / Type: Swing „
Why we purchased
My husband had wanted a swing seat for quite a while but having moved house and renovating money had been quite tight. We had nipped shopping in Asda last summer and saw a pile of these swing seats in boxes near the entrance on sale, it didn't state the original price, just the sale price which was £50. As we stood debating they were quite literally flying off the pile and as we got to 2 left, we decided to go for it and purchased 1.
Getting it home
It was quite a large box, fortunately we have quite a large car, although as this wasn't a planned purchase, so our three children had to duck all the way home, as we had to wedge the box across the boot and the rear seats. The box wasn't especially heavy and could be lifted by one easily.
Putting it together
We are used to putting things together and I would consider my husband as quite "handy" but it still took us about 45 minutes to assemble as the instructions could have been better. Holding things up also meant it was definitely a 2 man job.
The swing seat looks nice chrome look although I would say its not a high quality look and therefore I fear it will rust so we put it into the garage over the winter and we think this will be necessary in order to keep rust free. It does still look as good as new when it came out again a couple of weeks ago.
It is very comfortable. There are three seats and you can comfortably sit with 2 others and gently swing. It has a clip on it so if you don't want to swing you can tether it. It also has a sun shade which can be adjusted as required.
I saw a table and 4 chairs in Asda for £75 that would match it perfectly and so there would be an option to build upon this as a garden set. I have looked online and can not see the one we have, the ones currently for sale look similar but with a seat cover, a 2 seater costing £50 and a 3 seater for a £129
I'm going to score a 4 as I think we bought this item for a very good price but I'm not sure I would have paid more.
Our children are getting older and in the Autumn of last year we sold the trampoline and reclaimed that area of our garden for civilised adult use. I have since dropped numerous hefty hints about how nice it would be to have a swing seat to put on the decking that my husband had built. Fortunately my husband picked up on these and on the day before my birthday he informed me that he had something he needed to do out in the garden. Heavy rain was forecast all day on my birthday so he'd decided that I should have my present a day early so that I could try out my new swing seat.
It quickly became apparent that although my husband is a very practical person, and used to constructing all sorts of things single handed, that he was not going to manage the assembly alone as there were just too many parts to hold up and screw together at one time. I was therefore roped in to assist and we actually spent a fairly happy couple of hours together trying to decipher the instructions and put together the finished article - what more could you want to do on Easter Sunday afternoon.
The swing seat had been purchased from Asda for £100 - I'd seen them on display outside of our local store and thought that they looked attractive and the price was a lot less than others that I'd seen, so had mentioned this one or two times, so it was no surprise that it was this one that he decided to buy. It comes flat packed in a very large box measuring 175cm x 64cm x 14cm and was incredibly heavy. We could probably have just fitted it into our large family car with the seats folded flat but fortunately we also have a van into which it fitted with ease. Delivery would also be possible if you ordered through Asda direct.
The box has a picture of the swing seat which was useful as we needed to refer to it several times when we were struggling to make out what was meant by some of the line drawings in the instruction manual. The only information on the box are the dimensions of the assembled swing seat - 173cm x 176cm x 101cm and the information that this is the 3 seat version of the bondi swing seat; they also do a 2 seater, but as we had plenty of space we chose the option of being able to seat more people and being able to lye out on it if we chose. We're also told that it has a contoured seat and backrest for comfort, an adjustable canopy and weather resistant exterior use fabric - just what we needed. I'd toyed with the idea of having one with big comfy cushions, but could not think where we would store these when they couldn't be on the seat. I also wanted the freedom to just pop out and sit on the seat if I had 5 minutes to spare without having to go to the trouble of getting cushions out.
**Putting it together**
Now this was not an easy thing to do and I would suggest that this is only attempted when you have plenty of time available. It took us 2 hours and we're both usually fairly competent in the world of flat pack assembly. I would also not attempt it if you are feeling in anyway stressed already or if you've got small children running around your feet. Full concentration is needed if you're going to solve this mystery and not make silly mistakes. I rose to the challenge and took on the project with relish as I would a nice new jigsaw puzzle and decided that as it was my present I would take the lead role of trying to make sense of the instruction booklet and we soon got stuck in, never anticipating that 2 hours later we'd still be at it.
In the box are a number of steal component parts, each with a numbered sticker on them which corresponds to the parts list and the instruction diagrams in the instruction booklet. These are wrapped in polythene to give some protection and all appeared to be in pristine condition with no scratches. There are also the assembled seat and back frameworks with mesh covering and a material role which forms the canopy when stretched over a metal framework when built - more of this later - it was a nightmare. A cardboard sheet contains all of the nuts, bolts and screws that are required, except one of course. Why, oh why is there always one missing? This resulted in us turning the garage upside down trying to find an elusive nut to fit. Fortunately we did find one, but I now have one rusty silver screw amongst all the nice shiny black ones and it was very frustrating. Theses screws etc were vacuum packed into place on the cardboard with clear labels of what part numbers they were, again corresponding to the manual, so it was easy to identify if we had the correct length of screw etc. Two allen keys and tiny spanners were also included.
The first step is to build the A frames which is doable with just one person, but to join these together with a top section would have been next to impossible with just one person. We actually had to redo this part later as we had the brackets the wrong way round for the canopy, but nowhere on the instructions is there a warning that front and back are different, but it was a quick fix once we eventually worked out where we had gone wrong. The hardest part of the process was assembling the canopy. This involved passing the metal framework through the slots in the material cover and then trying to pull the corners of the fabric taught over the framework. It was incredibly tight and after my husband bent his thumb nail back trying to stretch one corner over we resorted to using the handle of our pliers to lever the fabric. I really felt that it placed too much strain on the material and there is one area of seam that ripped and some tiny holes where the stitching is stretched too much. Fortunately it is not obvious now that it is finished and it does look good because it is tight, but a few more millimetres of material could have made all the difference to the time taken. We did almost consider putting it back in the box and returning it the shop at this stage.
The rest of the assembly passed without incident. I did have to study the drawings quite hard to ensure that I was using the right parts and putting them in from the right direction, but on the whole I think it was relatively clear. A few additional written comments may have been helpful.
**How does it look**
I'm so pleased with how this swing seat looks sitting on my decking. Considering it is about as cheap as you can get for this type of garden furniture I think it looks very attractive and appears to be of reasonable quality. All of the metal work is black except the silver coils where the seat hangs from the A frame. The canopy is black fabric and the seating a dense black mesh. It looks modern and fits very well with our garden table and chairs. I think that it looks far more contempory than the models with plush cushions although these are probably going to be more comfortable.
**What is it like to use**
If only a nice warm sun would shine and the April showers would go away I'd be able to give greater feedback on its use in real life. We have given it a good few testing sessions though as it does dry out very quickly after being rained on. The compromise that we made around appearance and not having cushions does mean that it could be more comfortable. The seat is divided into three by a metal framework so it is not comfortable to lie on your back on this, although at 5'2" I do fit, as one of the metal supports presses into the small of my back. Lying on my side I can fit this support into the natural curvature of my spine and it is actually surprisingly comfortable and I can see myself using it in this position when I'm lying reading a book. I've decided that if a time ever occurs when I have hours to laze around I will probably spread my thick sleeping bag over it for padding and lie on my back. Regular sitting is fine and three of us have comfortably sat next to each other. It feels robust and I had no concerns about its strength to take the weight of three of us, although none of us is greatly overweight. The weight limit is 300kg. It is a good distance from the ground that I've been able to rest my feet down and propel the swing action. I can see us using it a lot like this if we pop out for short times or take lunch out or have friends to sit and chat with. My most comfortable position has been to sit in a corner with one of our sofa cushions against the tubular armrest with my feet curled up beneath me - heaven - give me sunshine!
I suffer from motion sickness and in my grand plans to furnish my decking I hadn't considered that even a garden seat could cause the problem, but sadly it does and the first time I sat on it I had to stop my husband from swinging it as I felt so queasy. This is such a disappointment but fortunately only occurs if someone else is swinging it; under my own control it is fine but I may have to resort to using my travel calm pills if I sit with someone else. A safety strap is provided to stop it from swinging too far when not in use. I now think that a tighter one would be useful so that you could maintain it in a static position if preferred.
It is recommended that soap and water is used to clean it and no bleach and that applying a car polish will help to protect the steal and prevent rust form forming. It is not guaranteed against corrosion and it is recommended to occasionally empty water from the frame to prevent rust stains on patios and decking. We have brought a voluminous green cover for ours and tried it out, but to be honest it looks pretty ugly when trussed up in this and it's not an easy process putting it on and off, so I think that we will only use it again when we decide to put the seat to bed for winter. My main concern in keeping it clean is the canopy as it is material, all be it one suitable for outdoor use. There are some trees that overhang our decking so I'm sure debris will fall onto it and birds will surely want to leave their deposits on it. I think that I will have to remove it from the A frame and scrub down occasionally, but I wouldn't risk taking it off of its framework again to machine wash it as we'd probably never get it back on again or it would fall apart.
I debated whether I should write this review now when the swing seat is so new to us or whether to leave it until I could provide more comments on our personal use of it. As it is now on display outside Asda stores and the Spring is the time that many people will be looking to buy garden furniture to maximise their use throughout the hopefully long hot summer to come, I hope that it is useful to have my initial thoughts around this particular seat and particularly around the issues that we had with its assembly. I will amend and update the review in due course when I have further opinions on its comfort and when we see how well it withstands the English weather conditions.
I hope that you have found this review useful and that I will have many sun filled hours enjoying my new swing seat. So far it is earning 4 out of 5 stars with one being lost for the difficulties we experienced in construction it. As yet I have no regrets that my husband chose this particular model for our garden.