Our new playset is arriving on Friday! Yay! (And a thumbs up for Triumph Play Systems on the set!)

Here is the problem. We can't decide on the surface below the set.

It is a fairly large set, to be used by an 11 year old and 2 1/2 year old twins. All boys, so it has to be a safe surface underneath. They will do dumb things.

However, I also want to minimize mess. And maintenance.

Originally, we thought pea gravel because it was fairly cost effective and it wouldn't be a problem if it got out into the yard. We also have deer, so I want to minimize surfaces that will harbor ticks.

But our contractor talked to a friend who works with public playgrounds, and they took all the gravel out a couple of years ago and put in Kids Karpet because the gravel held too much bacteria.

So, now I have no idea what to do.

Any experience with Kids Karpet? Any thoughts on pea gravel? We aren't a public playground, but I want a safe option.

We didn't want rubber because of the hazards of fire, the mess, and the heat. I think mats are probably too expensive.