Sometimes friends ask me if my only hobby is really chess. They want to know if that is all I do. Don’t I ever go into the great outdoors? Get some fresh air? And then I tell them that of course I do. That is why I got my giant outdoor chess set after all. To get outside and spend more time in the fresh air.
Contrary to what my friends, and possibly most of my readers, believe, I do a few things besides playing chess. But it sure is fun to spend a warm afternoon in the backyard playing chess with an outdoor chess set. It gives children and adults alike the stimulation of playing a game that is great for the mind and it gives the added bonus of being active and in fresh air. And with giant chess it doesn’t just have to be a one to one game. Everyone can get involved.
I love my outdoor chess set and I am sure you will too. Today we are going to check out some of the sets that are available and see how they measure up against each other. First a few things to consider before shopping for an outdoor chess set.
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The first thing to consider when deciding on which set you want is the size of the set. Outdoor sets are generally larger than normal but there is a wide range of sizes available. It all depends on the space you have to play and where you will set it up. Giant sets are a lot of fun but they do take up plenty of space.
Another question to ask is where you will store the pieces. Some prefer leaving their set up in the yard, ready to play at any time. Others want to have the option of packing it up when the game is over. Meaning it will need to fit into your storage area.
And lastly you need to decide on the weight of your pieces. If you do need to keep it set up then they need to be heavy enough to withstand the elements, like the blowing wind. Many do have pieces that you can weigh down with sand but then you also don’t want pieces that are too heavy for you to move around.
Another thing to consider when looking at outdoor chess sets is the material that it will be made from. Some are sturdier and will allow for outdoor storage. Others are just prettier, but more fragile to handle. It all depends on what you want to use it for.
This can be a very big one. The price tag for outdoor chess sets can vary from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. It all depends on the size, the material and the quality of pieces. Decide on your budget and stick to it. There will be a set for your budget.
MegaChess 25-inch Perfect Giant Chess Set
- What I love: Incredible quality with stunning details
- What I dislike: Doesn’t come with a chess board.
- Price: More expensive than the previous set
This outdoor chess set has to be included on the list since it is the best-selling chess set in the world. The pieces are made with incredible detail and that makes this set really beautiful when it is doing double duty as a garden ornament too.
The pieces are really heavy and it is made from polyethylene resin. This product is seriously strong and also waterproof. So you won’t have to replace pieces any time soon. They even have UV-4 protection ensuring that they don’t easily fade in the sunlight. It also comes with a warranty.
The Perfect Giant Chess Set does come in bigger sizes too but as they become bigger they also become more expensive. The only negative is that this set doesn’t come with a chess board included. You can add one extra but that will obviously cost more. But admittedly many outdoor sets, and in particular giant sets, don’t normally come with a board or mat to play on.
MegaChess Fiberglass Chess Set
- What I love: They are really stunning and you can find unique pieces.
- What I dislike: A little bit more fragile.
- Price: There are options available that could be affordable but they can become pricey.
I just love a fiberglass chess set. This material looks stunning and there are so many incredibly unique versions available, you can really find something that completely fits into your own style. There is no need to stick with a black and white traditional look if you don’t want to.
It is still pretty strong and won’t fade in the weather but dropping it could make it shatter. On the other hand they are lightweight enough to move across the board easily. And they have no maintenance or upkeep. Spraying them off with some water is enough to keep them clean.
They come with a massive variation in price, you can find sets for $2000 and it can go all the way up to $17 000. Getting something in your price range could be possible.
Rolly Toys Giant Chess Set 25-inches
- What I love: Traditional pieces that are really tough and weather resistant.
- What I dislike: Not as beautiful as some sets that are available.
- Price: One of the most affordable on the list.
This set doesn’t come with a play mat but it is great for resorts or parks where families enjoy playing lawn games. At home it can be a great addition to any family play area. You could use a board or create your own by painting squares or laying tiles.
The pieces are really easy to move and it is made from tough plastic polyurethane that makes these pieces completely weather resistant. You don’t need to worry about taking them out of the elements.
The cost is pretty affordable as far as giant sets go but it isn’t the prettiest set on the list.
Have fun outside
Getting an outdoor chess set could be an investment, but it can lead to hours of fun for the entire family.
Veronica is a Green Bay-based freelance writer and editor with extensive experience with board games. When not busy scribbling her thoughts, you might find her in her garden, hiking out in the woods, or exploring new food joints.
Veronica is a die-hard board game and chess hobbyist by night. She likes to try out new games and is always on the lookout to recruit new players for her game night (so beware!). When not playing board games or throwing darts, she is usually busy painting miniatures (or doing other nerdy stuff).
She is the CEO & Content Writer of Indoor Games Zone. She shares her expertise from years of playing chess, board games, and darts.