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The Complete Trampoline Buyer’s Guide

Trampoline Buyers Guide Cover
Posted October 24, 2017 / by: Vince Quest

Buying a trampoline for your family is a major decision. While your child’s eyes are guaranteed to light up just like yours did when you got your first car or house no matter what kind you buy, but there are a lot of factors to consider before making a final decision.

For instance, what shape would work best for your yard? What safety features will you need to take into consideration? How large will it need to be and who will use it the most?

This article is here to help you narrow down your search and pick out the best model for you and your kids. After this walkthrough, you’ll be an expert on trampolines and well on your way to becoming the coolest parent ever. Don’t worry; we’ll keep things simple and straightforward.

What Is the Main Purpose of Your Trampoline?

The main divide in your search for the ultimate trampoline is the purpose it will serve. It narrows down to three fields: Pure fun (indoors or outside), training for a sport or exercise, and fun in the water. While you can undoubtedly find multiple uses for any model, finding the main purpose will help you pick a design that you and your family will get the most use out of.

Maybe you have a child who plays a sport that requires them to stay limber, like soccer, or a child who is all about their gymnastics routine. Perhaps your house is the “cool spot” where your children’s friends come over to play. As for water trampolines, maybe you happen to have a lake on your property or head up to a cabin near a lake during the summer and want to add an extra level of fun to your family outing.

The primary purpose is the perfect starting point in your search for the ultimate trampoline. So, what will yours be used for the most?

Who Is Going to Be Jumping on It?

Now, this step can narrow or widen your search depending on the answer. For instance, a gymnast would benefit the most from a rectangle shaped model, but a square or oval is safer for younger children. We’ll get into the sizes in a moment, but knowing who will make the most use of your new purchase will help you buy the right model.

Girl Jumping on a Trampoline

Will your children be playing on it the most? What about your teenagers and their friends? The answer could be a single person or a wide variety of people. While the latter makes it a little more difficult to choose, there are enough options out there to satisfy everyone.

Another aspect to consider is whether or not the person, or people, using it will be able to grow into it. There are such things as mini-trampolines for small children, but a 6 or 7-year-old can easily grow into a full-sized model in just a few years.

On the other hand, you might be looking into a trampoline for the health benefits that come with a good workout. Any model offers the ability to exercise, making them great ways to stay in shape.

To make things a little simpler, see if you can pick from one of these options.

  • Small Children
  • Adolescents or Young Adults
  • An Aspiring Athlete
  • You

The Different Sizes and Shapes Available

This is where the buying process finally becomes fun! Who doesn’t like to look around at what models are available and what cool features they have, right? There are plenty of sizes to choose from, most of which revolve around the shape of the trampoline itself.

Traditional Round

Round Trampoline with Net

The round trampoline is by far the most common model, and that isn’t merely a coincidence. The round shape offers an even level of spring distribution, which means a softer bounce that rectangles or ovals. Have you ever tried to do a trick on one and fudged the landing? The more elastic bounce is wonderfully forgiving and makes a world of difference when coming back down from midair.

Couple the softer nature with a shape that redirects jumpers towards the center and you have the safest of all the models available. That’s the real reason why most family homes feature the round trampoline. If the main purpose of the trampoline is for your family to have fun, then sticking with the traditional shape offers everything you’re looking for in a compact and safe design.

The last benefit a round model has to offer is its pricing. Since these are the most popular option, that means they have the highest demand on the market. Competition between companies to put their round trampoline in your yard means lower prices, sales, and more money in your bank account at the end of the day.

Round models can come in sizes as low as seven feet in diameter for tiny tots all the way up to 16 feet, generally speaking. Having an extensive range of sizes is one more factor to consider.

Oval

Springfree Oval Trampoline

If your answer to “Who Is Going to Use It?” was an older demographic than children or multiple people, then the size of the oval might be more appealing to you. The larger surface allows for more room to pull off neat tricks like front flips and back handstands. It’s also easier for teens and adults alike to just bounce around without worrying about bumping into the netting on the side.

Now, the spring distribution might not be even on an oval model, but it will still redirect jumpers back to the center. Just like the round model, that means a safer experience overall. The landings might be a little tougher, but it isn’t something teens or adults will notice.

Ovals are measured in length times width. Every company’s model varies, but you can expect something around 8 x 11 feet for the diameter of the mat.

Square

Square Trampoline

A square model is ideal for the active jumper, the daredevil, and hotshot who loves to try new tricks. The shape offers more jumping area than a round model of the same size, thanks to added space in the corners while helping a jumper bounce higher at the same time. If you are hunting for a trampoline that screams fun, this is the size you are looking for.

This model is better suited for older children who will grow into it and love staying active. It is also perfect for teens and adults who just want to have fun but certainly made for anyone crazy about jumping on a trampoline.

The last benefit a square unit has to offer is the ability to make the most of your yard space. They can easily be fit into a corner, and make arranging other lawn décor around them a little simpler.

Sizes are going to vary with this option, too. However, they will all be measured the same way the oval models were.

Rectangular

Rectangular Trampoline

Ah, the top choice of the athlete! The rectangular trampoline is utilized by sports players and gymnasts all around the world. Their immense size allows for the freedom needed to pull off tough tricks while the shape offers the most even bounce, so you know that your training is working and it isn’t simply the trampoline helping you reach your goals.

Once again, this shape will help you utilize yard space, but it’s the construction that sets these apart from the rest. A rectangular trampoline is made to take a beating with strong, durable construction from the legs all the way up to the tips of the frame. If you have an athlete in your home, then this option is a no-brainer.

Rectangles come in a variety of widths and lengths, which helps you to choose the size best suited for your yard as well as who will be using it. Some are even up to 17 feet long!

Fitness Models

Fitness Trampoline Rebounder

There are all sorts of ways to stay in shape these days, and a fitness trampoline is one of them. Considered indoor models, these versatile units offer a variety of workouts from leg training jumps to step exercises and crunches.

A fitness trampoline is made durable to handle intense workouts, and can easily be adjusted for height. Some models have adjustable legs for slanting the mat, while others feature handlebars to help you with a more intense workout. You’ll have plenty of features to choose from with this option.

Fitness units come in smaller, round sizes so you can use them in the comfort of your home. Picking the right size is as simple as selecting the room you will use it in. It just needs to fit while allowing you enough space to work out comfortably.

So, which size would work best for the primary purpose as well as who will use it the most?

  • Round
  • Oval
  • Square
  • Rectangle
  • Fitness

Where Is the Trampoline Going to Go?

While the idea of bigger is better might seem like it would make a trampoline more fun, certain limitations are going to apply. The size of your yard can undoubtedly impact how large of a unit you purchase, but so can where you decide to put it. There are two other types of trampolines to consider, based on where your family might want to use theirs the most.

Indoor

While most homes can’t compare to the massive complexes that offer floors and walls made entirely from trampolines, there are plenty of models that can fit inside of your home. These can range from a toddler-sized unit to a mini indoor trampoline or even a low-rise rectangle depending on the size of the room you want to put it in.

Ideally, most families will benefit from a model that can fold up and be tucked away to make room for other activities. If you have plenty of space to work with, however, don’t be afraid to go wild. This is also an area where a fitness trampoline would work perfectly.

Before making any final decisions, always make sure to measure the room as well as the distance between the mat and the ceiling. Remember, safety first!

On the Water

Islant Hopper Bounce N Splash 17'

Remember when we asked if you wanted to use yours in the water? Well, sticking a regular trampoline in a pool or lake doesn’t quite work out. If you’re looking to have fun on the water, then you need to get a water trampoline.

A water trampoline is mostly a giant raft with a bouncy mat in the center, making it perfect for anyone looking to pull off the ideal cannonball or just have a little extra fun. Typically, these models are too large for a swimming pool, which means they’ll need to be placed in a lake.

If you happen to have one on your property or enjoy family trips to a cabin on a nearby lake, then this might be the most fun option out there. Plus, several come with inflatable add-ons like slides or bouncers to add an extra level of fun into the mix.

Sticking with the Yard

If you plan to go the traditional route and purchase a model made to go outside in the lawn, then all you’ll need to do is write down the size of the trampoline and measure the available space in your yard to make sure it will fit. Using a tape measure, you can figure out how large of a unit you can buy in no time.

If you happen to run into the issue of having to rearrange lawn furniture, use tape or spray-paint to mark off the area where you would like to put the trampoline. All you have to do then is find out where you would want everything else to go. It’s a little bit of work, but it will pay off in the end.

A Few Key Features to Consider

Every company offers a few different features, some specific and others optional, that you’ll want to consider. For instance, your children might benefit from a ladder for their new outdoor trampoline. While things like safety nets are a must for any outdoor model, these are some of the features to take into consideration that aren’t always as obvious.

A Safety Bar

These helpful devices are made explicitly for mini and fitness models. They attach to the legs of a trampoline and allow you to hold on as you jog or jump in place. Sometimes, they can even help you make more use out of a fitness trampoline by enabling you to perform a broader range of exercises.

They can come in a single bar shape, a double one better suited for physical therapy uses, and t-shapes. Almost all of them feature a foam grip for added comfort, and all of them are made to support varying weight ranges. Make sure to look at how much weight a bar can hold before buying one to keep things safe.

Springs vs. Springless: Which is Better?

Springfree Trampoline System

You might have seen a few springless models while browsing around the internet and asked yourself which would be the better option, or how a trampoline can even work without springs.

Regarding experience, both offer the same kind of jump. So, you don’t have to worry about sacrificing the level of fun or missing out on the athletic benefits by choosing either option. However, springless models add an extra level of safety into the mix.

The most common injuries on a trampoline occur from a bad jump that causes someone to land awkwardly on the metal rim and spring area. If you’ve ever read about a horror story where someone ended up with a broken bone or head injury while playing on a trampoline, that was more than likely the cause. While most models feature a cover, they can get pulled off over time and leave the spring area exposed.

A springless model takes care of that by removing the metal in the jumping area and replacing it with flexible rods and moving the frame well below the mat. Redesigning the entire area where the jumper would move around also includes a seamless mat-to-net design and bars that face outwards. All of these features work to reduce injury by improving safety.

So, which is the better option? That’s entirely up to you! Some prefer the added safety features of the springless trampoline while others are more than happy with a traditional model.

Round vs. Rectangular: Which is Better?

Earlier, we touched on the fact that a rectangular trampoline is the preferred choice of athletes while a round one is the most popular family option for having fun. However, there are other factors to consider when choosing between these two shapes.

The first is weight limitation. The larger the round trampoline, the more weight it can accommodate. A rectangle, on the other hand, will always be able to handle more weight with its sturdier construction made for athletic performance.

The second aspect to look at is safety. Round models are favorited by families for their ability to keep the jumper centered and for offering a softer bounce that won’t send children flying sky high. Jumpers on a rectangular trampoline have to control where they will land and make sure to avoid the metal frame as well as the springs.

Lastly, how are you going to use it? If this is just for family fun, then you can’t go wrong with a round unit. Your family will have hours upon hours of fun, and your kids will think you’re the coolest parent out there.

If you need one for an athlete in the family, then help them perform their best with a rectangular model. There’s nothing quite like watching a child’s eyes light up when you give them the tools they need to pursue their passion.

The Best Trampoline Brands on the Market

Now that you are a trampoline guru you should have a pretty good idea of what it is you want to get. To help get your search kickstarted, consider some of these top models.

SpringFree

Springfree Trampoline ExampleSpringFree offers, you guessed it, the springless trampoline. If safety is your number one concern, then this company has you covered. The creator of this fun device spent years of research and design to fix the flaws of the traditional trampoline.

Some owners do say that you can’t jump quite as high and the price tag is steep on this one. However, the extra peace of mind these units offer is well worth it to several parents. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Skywalker

Skywalker Netted TrampolineIf you’re looking for a traditional trampoline that still offers plenty of safety, then Skywalker is a company you should consider. They’re a high-quality brand that makes reasonably priced trampolines with some added safety features that other companies do not, like the shape of their bars and spring pad.

The number one complaint, as with nearly any traditional trampoline, is a series of tedious setup instructions. However, they do offer every shape available (aside from fitness models) in plenty of sizes.

Giantex

Giantex Octagon TrampolineAnother traditional option, Giantex is a company known for making top-rated trampolines. They look exactly like what you would expect and feature some added safety precautions to make the tried and true spring models more family friendly.

Rave Sports

Rave sports Water bouncer ExampleAs you might have guessed, this company makes an excellent inflatable trampoline that blows the competition out of the water. Corniness aside, Rave is well known for producing high quality water sports gear. You can’t go wrong with these guys whether you’re buying a trampoline or a paddle board.

Stamina and JumpSport

Jumpsport Fitness Trampoline ExampleIf the fitness trampoline section caught your eye, Stamina and JumpSport make plenty of home-friendly models. High-quality and top rated, you can rest assured you’ll get the workout you’re looking for as well as enjoy a durable and safe model. There are plenty of varieties from each company, giving you all sorts of unique options for your home fitness needs.

We hope this guide was helpful in choosing your next trampoline. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below!

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