“ Manufacturer: Smyths / Type: Outdoor Play Equipment „
A couple of years ago we were in need of a new slide. My son had wanted this one, having seen it in Smyths, and I did know it was well a made slide as a neighbour had one for many years in her garden, with plenty of children using it. They were out of stock though, and I made the mistake of talking my sons into taking the Toys R Us version instead as I had always placed high faith in Toys R Us items. It turned out it was mistake, less than 2 years after purchase, the couplings on the slide broke twice, then the plastic split, cutting my son. Toys R Us said this was are fault as we had kept the slide outdoors!
After our experience with Toys R Us, there was no way I was buying another slide ( or anything else) from this store, so we ended up looking at this slide again. Argos seems to have a very similar model, and the same price range, but we hoped to save delivery charges by picking the slide up directly in store. We do have a medium sized car, a Ford Fusion, and with no one but my husband in the car though we could get this in, but the packaging is simply too large so we had to have it delivered anyway. I am not certain the exact charge but I believe it was right about £10. I do think this will be an issue with most cars, so unless you have a van or exceptionally large vehicle, I would count on paying for delivery. The girl in the shop didn't know anything about delivery dates, but the security guard assured my husband it would be reasonable and in fact the item was delivered 2 days later. Smyth's did assure me that this slide was intended for outdoor use as well, and the fellow who sold them said that in all the years he had been selling these he had never had one come back damaged.
The assembly should have been pretty easy. The only problem is that the instructions are rubbish. It did look as if two of the bars were missing, so my husband nipped back over to the shop to pick up a new set. The fellow in the shop opened one box after another and it appeared the bars were missing from every one. A quick call to the company left everyone red faced. The bars were there, they were just slid up inside the other bars - so do look carefully before panicking with this slide. A few other mix ups, items left behind at the shop and my husband driving back and forth like a yo yo and he was finally able to begin. As mentioned, the instructions were poor, but it was easy enough to figure out just by looking at it, and total assembly time was about 45 minutes with two young children helping. I expect you could do it in half the time without help.
Once up, the boys were both delighted by this slide. It sits slightly higher than their old one, and they definitely fly down it a bit quicker. In all honesty, I don't see the point of the bumps, but the children think they are grand. They do insist this slide is much more fun than the old one, and the other neighbourhood children also seem to love this. The steps are wide and textured so that they do not get slippery even when soaking wet. There is a 10" gap between each step, which is reasonable for the recommended age range of 3+, but I believe it would be possible for a very small child to slip through the gap, and would recommend close supervision if this is used by a child under age 2. There is of course the danger of falling from the top as well, but this minimised by high hand rails, and a good depth to the plastic part of the slide, making slipping off once actually on the slide very unlikely. I have allowed my children to use slides like this well below the recommended age - but supervision is the key in my opinion.
The length on this slide is obviously 9ft. The manufacturer lists the height at 169 centimeters. or roughly 5 1/2'. This measurement is to the top of the safety rail though. The actual height of the slide is only about 4' 4" by my measurements. It does look much bigger to me.
This slide is predominantly blue plastic, as you can see from the picture, but another plus when deciding to buy this is the fact that the green metal support rods are a few feet off the ground. Some of the slides we looked at had the support bar running along at ground level. I do feel a bar laying in contact with dirt will rust sooner, but the biggest issue was that we like to put the end of the slide in a pool. We run a hose from the top and the children splash into the pool below, making this a great water slide for the few sunny days we have had. A double rail fives the steps additional support as well - and this does not have any plastic coupling joints to snap apart like the old slide did.
The biggest downside to this slide so far is that the bottom does seem to dig into the grass a bit. I feel it gouges into the lawn more than the other slides we have had, and coupled with the fact that the children go down faster, and everyone seems to want to go on this, the area at the bottom of the slide is getting quite bare. We will be buying mats for this soon.
I have only had this slide for two months now, so I can not comment on how long it will last. However, it was easy to assemble once we figured out where the bars were, appears sturdy and well made, and is one of the largest garden slides available. I paid £99 for this, having just missed a sale at £79 thanks to delays from Toys R Us. As luck would have it, it went back on sale at £79.99 recently so I just missed it. That said, although I hate paying full price on an item to see it cheaper afterwards, I am still happy enough with this slide. Even at £99, it is a good bargain in my opinion and my children's opinion has earned this the full 5 stars. Both of my sons in agreement about this slide, saying: