“ Manufacturer: Tesco / Type: Hammock / Swing „
It's coming up to that time of year again, you know, the time when the sun is supposed to come out from behind the rain clouds and begins to crack the flags we walk upon.
So, with the hope of that sunshine we all love, there is nothing better than to relax in you back garden, once you've tendered to the grass and flowers, on the most comfortable thing you can rest your derrière on.
There are many forms of seats that are designed for a garden, from flimsy wooden benches to solid log effect chairs, and there's also the good old fashioned, yet remarkably comfortable, plastic table and chair sets, which most people have owned somewhere along there garden paths.
But what I find the most comfortable form of seating that can make any garden feel welcoming is in the form of a swing seat, one of which I have owned for quite some time now and love to relax on it at every opportunity that I can.
The particular swing seat I am talking about is called a Kansas 2 seat Swing seat bench, which, as the name suggests, is a 2 seat bench that swings.
When I bought this it came in a large 'flat-ish' box, which instantly told me that it had to be self assembled, which looked a little daunting but after a quick read of the instructions I soon realised that it was going to be quite a simple process.
** Here's a quick run down of how it is constructed...
Two of the leg sections are bolted together at the top, with a cross beam bolted two thirds of the way down, this cross beam keeps the leg sections from moving anywhere.
Then the top parts of the legs are bolted onto a top cross beam, securing them at the right distance. There is another cross beam which then bolts onto the leg sections almost near the bottom, steadying the entire back end of the swing seat.
That's the main frame of it put together, now for the seat itself.
This slots together and is secured by a few small screws, making sure that you slide the metal bars through the seat material before screwing the seat frame together.
Then, once the seat is constructed, it hangs onto the top of the main frame via two 'huge' looking springs, which are very strong indeed.
Finally, although this is not essential, is the canopy which sits above the entire swing seat. This again needs assembling and again is a matter of sliding the poles through the material and then slotting the end pieces into position.
Then, to attach the canopy onto the frame, is a matter of using the large plastic 'screwing' nuts on either side of the main frame itself.
These large plastic 'screwing' nuts allow the canopy to be adjusted and locked into your personal position.
** WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE..?
It's a rather good sized swing seat, the size of the frame itself being 1050mm deep by 1400mm wide by 1530mm high, with the entire thing weighs in at a sturdy 12kg so it is light enough to move around the garden whilst being heavy enough to stand its ground.
The frame is made of steel hollow tubing and is a silver colour, powder coated for more protection and a longer life.
The two seat swinging section hangs from the top beam using two 'springs' which simply hook into place.
Then there's the canopy itself which is approximately 1450mm wide by 1200mm deep and sits happily above the frame, blocking any unwanted sun from you as you relax in you seat.
** MY OPINION...
I have spent many a happy hour sitting on this swing seat and have to say that it is so relaxing and comfortable that it would be so easy to fall asleep on, although it would also be so easy to fall off as you slept. Once I sat on it and lifted my feet from the ground the swinging motion was so relaxing I just wanted to sit on it all day long, letting my troubles simply float away.
It's a well designed and is both practical and nice looking, for a swing seat that is.
The hollow steel frame is lightweight and very strong indeed, and with it's 'dull' silver colouring it certainly looks the part standing in the garden.
The black seat, which is pretty comfortable indeed as it sinks slightly under you as you sit down, hangs from two firm springs, allowing the seat to swing freely without touching the sides, as long as it is on a level surface of course.
The seat material itself is weather proof, being more robust, so this can be happily left out during those summer showers.
The canopy material is made of a polyester type material and does deflect some rain water, although I would recommend taking the entire canopy frame down in the winter months. This may give you many more years of enjoyment out of the entire thing plus, and this is my main reason for taking the canopy frame down, in strong winds the canopy acts like a parachute and you may find your swing seat in next doors garden before too long.
The canopy can be set at various positions depending on where the sun is in the sky, or, if you chose, you can take the entire canopy off and enjoy the rays of the sun as you swing away in your garden.
Out of all the garden seats I have scattered around my garden this has to be the most relaxing one to sit on, mainly because it swings away allowing you to feel almost weightless as you sip away from your glass of Pimms.
It does have a downside, which is only a downside if you are not too careful that is. This downside is that if you swing too vigorously on it it can tip up, but as long as you don' treat it as a playground swing then it should stay upright without a problem.
As for the price, well, it sells for around £100.00, which sounds a little on the pricey side, but as it will last a fair few years, even longer if you cover it up during the Great British winters, it should be money well spent.
The covers for this swing seat can be bought for around £20.00, although I do think that Tesco should give the cover free with the seat.
This not-particularly-timely review for the Kansas two seater swing bench comes at a time of year when ours is lying on its back, having been overturned by the recent October gales, and is covered with dead leaves, bird droppings and fruit stains as it's somewhat unfortunately placed directly under a big damson tree.
So even before the wind picked (it) up, admittedly it was a pretty flimsy piece of garden furniture to begin with. It's basically a metal-framed garden swing upholstered with a thin woven plastic / synthetic mesh (coloured mottled beige) on the seat base and back. The swing seat part connects to the main frame via two fixed metal poles that slot directly onto a big metal spring that hangs down from the overhead part. On top of this frame it has a black fabric sunshade / canopy (made out of the same synthetic material as they make cheap rucksacks out of) which can be tilted back and forth by means of a large side screw.
I paid around £45 for the swing bench from Tesco direct, who delivered it to my door for a fiver - it was marked down early in the summer from the original selling price of £80-odd. At the sale price it's OK but given its extreme flimsiness, it's nowhere near worth paying the full price for. My five year old sprog, for example, just by swinging back and forward on it for a bit, made the whole apparatus pick up from the ground so it's not highly stable by any means. It is marked 'not a garden toy' or some such - so it's not intended as a play-on swing, but I thought this unstability was pretty poor, really.
The swing was supplied flat-packed in a surprisingly small box, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was fairly straightforward to put together (although this did require two people because of the size of the finished structure). It's quite compact when set up - it's not even six feet tall at the highest point - but the seat part is easily big enough for two people to sit on. As the frame part isn't padded, it's not massively comfortable to sit on but it's OK for short spells and quite pleasant overall.
I think, had we had a better summer / had I put a garden furniture cover over the swing, it would've lasted better than it currently has done. The main problem I would say is the swing's stability however. Ours is in a fairly sheltered part of the garden, yet still overturns if it's windy at the drop of a hat. If you had it wedged into a corner on a flat (patio type) surface in a really sheltered part of your garden, it might not overturn quite so readily but as the thing weighs very little, and with its fabric canopy tends to catch any passing breezes like a sail, I still wouldn't be too confident about that.