Over the years we’ve seen a huge trend with trampolines as conventional thinking suggests they’re no longer just for kids. We’ve seen the health benefits magnified making them much more then just entertainment leading adults to jumping on the bandwagon. Introduced in all different sizes to be used both indoor and outdoor makes them perfect for everyone in the family.
When looking at trampolines and what they offer, it all starts with what we’re trying to get. If you’re reading this and you’re considering an outdoor trampoline for your kids, this leads to more decisions like size and additional features like a safety net, ladder and more. On the other hand, if you’re looking to get in shape, there are numerous health benefits of trampolines including cardio, strength training and conditioning.
In the following buyer’s guide, we breakdown everything there is to know about trampolines, also called rebounders while detailing the pros, cons, safety, maintenance, and a whole lot more.
What is Trampoline?
Simply stated, a trampoline offers a rebound effect which propels you into the air. They offer both entertainment and fitness and are constructed to accommodate both children and adults alike. The physical makeup consists of a long fabric sheet which is held to a frame by springs and resembles that of a springboard.
Types of Trampolines
There are numerous types of trampolines with each having their own pros and cons. Below, we break down the many different types as well as explain how, and who they’re recommended for.
Fitness models are the newest trend in trampolines and are expected to continue to increase in popularity in the coming years. It’s been proven the benefits with both cardio and physical are too good to pass up and for those looking for a great home workout these are highly recommended.
Fitness trampolines are made for both kids and adults with some models constructed to be used both indoor and outdoors. The versatility, price, onboard safety and simple setup makes a must-have for those looking to tackle leg training, crunches and step exercises from the comfort of your own home.
Predominantly, this model is better suited for adults then children, but there are a few brands out there that are working on teaching children fitness at a younger age.
- Very durable, meant to handle rigorous workouts
- Some feature adjustable height and springs
- Can be found for indoor and outdoor use
- Small, compact
- None noted
Oval trampolines offer a large surface area and are best suited to accommodate multiple jumpers at the same time. The larger area also makes it easier for people to pull off cool tricks and jumps without colliding into another without the worry of corners with square trampolines. This model provides a similar bounce of round models which naturally propels jumpers towards the center, but has a harder landing which is something younger children will note.
- Large surface area
- Naturally propels jumpers towards the middle
- Size and shape make it perfect for families and multiple jumpers at the same time
- Hard landing
Rectangular models are by far the trampoline of choice for athletes and acrobats. The lateral size makes them great for pulling off stunts and other tricks without having to constantly interact with the net and provides an even bounce no matter where you jump from.
- Makes great use of yard space
- Large surface area for athletes and gymnasts
- Best bounce, comparatively speaking
- Very durable, made to withstand rigorous use
- Hard landing
Round trampolines are what were all familiar with as they’re easily the most common type. Traditional models range between 10 and 14-feet and is the best choice for children. The round design helps evenly distribute the springboard effect while also, naturally redirecting your child back to the middle. The distribution also provides a softer bounce, especially compared to square and oval trampolines.
- Naturally propels jumpers towards the middle
- Safest option
- Softer bounce
- Numerous sizes and diameters available
- Gymnasts and fitness enthusiasts will find its too basic
Square trampolines are more appealing to true jumpers and those looking for a bit more entertainment. The larger surface area and corners provide more real estate while providing a higher bounce, especially in the corners. This type of trampoline is not recommended for younger kids, but suitable for older teenagers and adults.
- More bounce and larger surface area
- Shape fits naturally in most backyards
- Great for tricks and stunts
- Not the safest model
- More bounce provides harder landings
- Corners can become tricky for inexperienced users
Trampoline Features and Accessories
If you thought that buying a trampoline only consisted of the trampoline, then you were dead wrong. There are numerous features and accessories to consider which either provide more entertainment, or more importantly, make them safer. Below are some of the most common:
- Ladder – makes it safer to get on and off
- Safety bar – seen in fitness and mini trampolines which gives you a place to hold on while jumping, jogging or running. Also makes it easier to perform more rigorous fitness exercises while giving you better balance. The bar itself usually has a recommended weight limit, so be sure to consult the manufacturer’s recommendation before using.
- Safety net – self-explanatory; provides a barrier of safety between the mat and everything outside of the frame. Most modern trampolines include a net and if it doesn’t, you may want to reconsider your purchase. This is especially the case with children.
- Springs – provides the bounce and rebound effect
Difference Between Springless and Spring Trampolines
Springless trampolines are one of the newer types, and while both provide the same entertainment, springless trampolines tend to be safer. One of the common forms of injuries comes when a jumper lands on the outer edge where the springs are falls hard on the metal springs.
You won’t have this problem with springless models differ from traditional trampolines as they have a lower platform underneath the mat and uses flexible rods instead of metal springs. Even if you landed on the edge of a springless trampoline, you won’t collide with the rod which sits about 12-inches below the mat.
Versatility for Both Indoor and Outdoor Use
The versatility of trampolines has created both indoor and outdoor models and some that can be used in both. Smaller models like fitness trampolines above are best-suited for outdoor use while larger models should only be used outdoors.
This goes without saying as most 10 – 14-foot models won’t fit in the average living room, but there are smaller children’s trampolines that will, but are still recommended for outdoor use. Always consult the manufacturer’s specifications before using.
If using an indoor trampoline, make sure you measure the room area and pay special attention to the height of the room itself. Remember the rebound effect and don’t only take into consideration the height of the user and trampoline, but leave plenty of room between the mat and the ceiling.
Before reading this, you may not have considered water trampolines, but they do exist. These large, durable and extremely fun bouncers offer an amazing time on the water that resembles a large raft with a bounce pad in the middle. This not only makes it fun to jump on, but more fun when jumping off and into the water.
It’s not exactly conducive to pack up your 14-foot trampoline from the backyard and take it with you, so you’ll have to find an activity center on the water if you want to get the ultimate bounce.
We’ve all heard of children and adults being injured while jumping on a trampoline, and still today it still happens. Most injuries occur with awkward landings, falling to the ground, or landing on the springs, and most, if not can be avoided.
Below are some simple tips and precautions to keep you and your loved one safer when using a trampoline.
- Always make sure there is at least 24-feet of overhead and 6-feet of horizontal clearance in all directions
- Only use on level ground
- If using a spring trampoline, make sure the bumper is properly secured
- Always comply with manufacturer specifications including max jumpers at a time, weight limit and usage recommendations
- It’s not recommended to use any aftermarket accessories, only options specific to the product
- Children 6 and under should not use trampolines over 1 ½-feet tall
- Never place anything under the trampoline
- Don’t jump with shoes on which can damage the mat
- It’s always recommended to use a safety net
- Ladders should always be used when getting on and off the trampoline, even adults
- Never use in the rain or when wet as the moisture causes a decrease in traction and may cause jumpers to land awkwardly or slip
Best Trampoline Reviews
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