Idaho Outdoor Solutions

Choosing a Trampoline

Posted by Mathew Heath Van Horn on Nov 7, 2015 9:32:04 PM

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Trampolines all perform a similar function, but not all trampolines are alike.  You will need to consider the price, size, durability, and safety features required to meet your trampoline needs.  We've put together a quick guide on each of these points to assist you making the best decision possible.


Size Matters

Trampoline sizes vary widely from very small personal trampolines to very large professional styles.  Take a minute to evaluate how you are going to use your trampoline.  Ask yourself some questions:

Inside or Outside use?  Smaller, indoor-type trampolines permit use in all weather, but large outdoor trampolines allow for the most flexible range of activities.  Here in Idaho, we have over 200 days of year of sunshine, so bad weather does not necessarily impact the use of an outdoor trampoline.  If this bothers you, some trampolines have tents!

Frequency of use? A small trampoline may be perfect for pre-workout warm-ups or an occational option to daily exercise rutines, but a larger trampoline may be suited for extensive daily workouts.

Space?  Mini trampolines (also known as rebounders) can be used in tight spaces and stored easily, but larger trampolines take more space and increased setup efforts.


The addage "the less you spend, the less you get" aptly applies to trampolines as well.  Highly durable rebounders can cost up to $1,000 and large, mass-produced, backyard trampolines can be had for less than $300.  It is best to weigh your present and future durability needs.  

Many box-store trampolines cannot be repaired easily; if at all.  This means you will have to completely replace this type of  trampoline when it shows signs of damage.  Also consider the time it takes to transport, setup, takedown, and trash the trampoline.  Your time has value!  You may be better off spending more on one trampoline where you can replace individual components, rather than buying two or three less durable trampolines as they wear out.  


Safety comes with a price.  In the case of most big box store trampolines, they adhere to the bare minimum federal safety guidelines in order to keep their prices low.  Furthermore, their safety features are made from the least expensive (and usually least durable) materials possible.  The following are some statements from the owners' manual of a large, outdoor, department store trampoline costing less than $300.

  • "The frame pad is not made or intended to support the weight of the trampoline user.  Do not step or jump directly onto the frame pad.  Climb carefully onto and off of the trampoline.  Do not step onto the springs or the frame pad.  Do not grasp the frame pad to pull yourself onto the trampoline." Apparently, the manufacture has no trust in the performance of the safety pad material and has no confidence the material will do anything to prevent the user's leg or arm from getting trapped in the trampoline frame or springs.  Trapped limbs are the second leading cause of trampoline injuries.
  • "A trampoline enclosure is a recreational product. DO NOT attempt to crawl under, jump over, intentionally bounce off of, hang from, climb on, kick, or cut the barrier netting."  The manufacturer very clearly states (to all who bother to read the instruction manual); the netting is for appearance only.  The netting provides no benefit to the user's safety.
  • "During the winter months, the trampoline soft materials will need to be removed and stored in a dry place.  Continued exposure over a long period of time to the sun, especially to ultraviolet rays, will shorten the life of the enclosure fabric.  For longer fabric life, store the enclosure when it is not being used."  One of the main selling points of this trampoline is the bounce mat is UV protected.  However, the manufacturer makes no claims as to the UV protection of the supposed safety materials.  A common injury for children when using the trampoline is when the netting unexpectedly tears open dropping them several feet to the ground.  This usually occurs when the netting fibers have become brittle due to UV exposure.  

Remember:  Less expensive trampolines do their best to appear as having extensive safety features.  However, the manufacturer's manual clearly states these features are for appearance only and serve no function in increasing user safety levels.  When choosing a trampoline, make sure the safety features are what you want.  The American Academy of Pediatrics notes the rise of trampoline injuries is partially due to the wide-spread purchase of poor-quality trampoline products.



The purchase price of any trampoline is highly dependent upon size, durability and safety.  Generally speaking, any cost savings when purchasing a trampoline comes with reduced size, limited durability, fewer safety features, or a combination of all three.  Refering back to the trampoline from our safety example, we see it appears to be just like any other trampoline, but at only a fraction of the cost.  However, we've shown you how the manual clearly states that there are no safety features on the trampoline.  It only has the appaerance of being one of the safer trampolines on the market.  Furthermore, some of the replacement parts only cost slightly less than buying an entirely new trampoline.


A trampolines can be used by anyone, at any fitness level, in a safe and enjoyable manner.  It is a good idea to evaluate how you want to use your trampoline and then evaluate for yourself the features of several trampolines before you purchase.  Keep in mind that trampolines, like many products, spending less usually means a sacrifice in quality, durability, size or a combination of all three.  With careful consideration, you can select the best trampoline for you and your family to enjoy.



Topics: Idaho Outdoor Solutions, Idaho, vuly, trampoline