Trampolines are great fun for kids and adults of all ages. Today, you can find models of all sizes and shapes, which means even those with small yards can still have plenty of bouncing fun. At first glance, all trampoline models look exactly the same. If you’re looking for the best trampoline, you need to consider durability and safety. Without the right knowledge and solid trampoline reviews, it may not be easy to spot a poor quality model.
Our buying guide and trampoline reviews below will help you understand what to look for when buying a trampoline. We’ve also listed 5 of the best trampolines on the market and provide you with important safety tips so that you can get the most out of your purchase. Before we go any further, let’s talk about what features you should look for when comparing different models.
Choosing the Best Trampoline
It is important to do your research well when buying a trampoline. There a few important things to keep in mind. Below are the things that you should consider when buying your first trampoline.
Wide Range of Sizes.
A wide range of sizes are available. Recreational models can be anywhere between 6 foot and 17 foot diameter. The size that you choose will largely depend on the size of your yard. These models are designed for backyard use, but you need to make sure you have enough outdoor space to use it safely. A minimum of 25 feet clearance is needed overhead and 2 feet horizontally. Keep in mind any trees, power lines, fences and other hazards that may be in the way.
Different Type of Shapes.
Trampolines typically come in one of four shapes.
- Rectangular. This shape provides more jumping space and higher jumps. They are primarily used for gymnastics.
- Round. This is the most common shape used for backyard models.
- Square. Square models are similar to rectangular models, but they don’t produce quite as high of a bounce.
- Octagonal. These models are also great for backyard use. They provide a larger jumping area and a bit of a higher bounce than the round models. Their straight edges also make it easier to jump.
Know the Weight Limit.
If the model can’t support the weight of the jumpers, this becomes a major safety hazard. Maximum weight limits are displayed either on the product description, on the box or in the user’s manual. Consider how many people will be using it at one time and the individual weight of each person.
The Frame Construction.
Pay close attention to the model’s frame. Galvanized steel will protect the frame against rust and provide durability. Also, check the welds to make sure they are smooth. Welds with a rough surface won’t be as strong as their smooth counterparts.
Spring Count and Length.
Larger models will naturally have more springs. Some smaller models will also have a large number of springs. The more springs a model has, the higher the jump will be. For the average user, 80 springs will provide a great bounce. The length of the springs is also important. The longer the spring is, the higher the bounce will be.
Quality of the Padding.
The quality of the padding is also important. The bounce mat must be durable and smooth. A rough surface can cause discomfort or irritate the jumper’s skin when they land. Look for bounce mats made from Permatron Polypropylene. It’s UV resistant and can withstand years of use. As for spring padding, polyester is a better choice as it won’t crack from sun exposure.
Consider Buying the Safety Accessories.
In addition to the trampoline itself, you should also consider purchasing safety accessories. Some models will come with a few of these accessories, but most will have to be purchased separately. We recommend the following:
- A safety enclosure. Safety enclosures offer added protection against falls and injuries.
- A ladder. Ladders make it easier for younger and older jumpers to access the trampoline. It also gives you the opportunity to make them inaccessible to young children when you’re not in the backyard to supervise.
- An anchor kit. Anchors will keep the apparatus secured to the ground. If you plan on using your trampoline year round, this is a must-have accessory.
Best Rated Trampolines
Max Weight Capacity
|Model||Brand Name||Max Weight Capacity||Dimensions (Feet)||Rating|
|Skywalker 15 Feet Round Trampoline||200 lbs||15 X 15 X 9||4.6 out of 5|
|ExacMe 15 Feet Trampoline||375 lbs||15 X 15 X 9||4.6 out of 5|
|Skywalker 12 Feet Round Trampoline||200 lbs||12 X 12 X 9||4.6 out of 5|
|Ultega 12 Foot Jumper Trampoline||440 lbs||12 - 14 Feet||4.2 out of 5|
|Pure Fun 14 Foot Trampoline||250 lbs||14 X 14 X 3||4.2 out of 5|
Top 5 Trampoline Reviews
Now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at the top 5 models on the market today.
Skywalker 15 Feet Round Trampoline
There’s a reason why this is the best-selling model on Amazon. It provides an amazing bounce and comes equipped with its own safety net.
- A 16-guage galvanized frame makes it resistant to rust, wear and tear.
- Durable frame reinforced with welded T-sockets.
- Comes equipped with 96 springs that are 6.5 inches long for a higher bounce.
- A UV resistant spring pad that’s 1 inch thick for extra comfort and superior durability.
- Comes with a safety net that interlocks with the bounce mat for improved safety.
- Available in red, green and blue colors.
This model hits all of the important features we listed above. It features a 15 ft. surface, a sturdy frame, a spring pad that’s resistant to the sun’s damaging rays and even comes with a safety enclosure. The large number of springs provides a great bounce for jumpers of all sizes. As an added bonus, the model is surprisingly easy to assemble and only takes a few hours to put together. No doubt that this is the best trampoline for the money.
ExacMe 15 Feet Trampoline
This ExacMe was designed with safety in mind. It’s built with U-shaped legs, which improves durability and stability. It also comes with a few essential safety accessories.
- Galvanized steel frame that can support up to 375 lbs.
- Built with 6 U-shaped legs. Altogether, the model features 12 contact points to prevent the apparatus from tipping over or wobbling.
- Comes with a safety enclosure. A zippered net door allow easy access to the jumping surface.
- A ladder is included with your purchase.
- Features a 15ft jumping surface.
- 108 galvanized springs provide a superior bounce.
The great thing about this model is that it doesn’t require any extra tools or drilling to assemble. It meets GS, ASTM and TUV safety requirements, so there’s no need to worry about the safety of your children when using it. All materials are UV protected and can withstand years of outdoor use. Ropes and straps are used to secure the safety net to the jumping surface. We love this model because it includes all of the most important features that any high quality model should have and also includes a few extra safety accessories.
Skywalker 12 Feet Round Trampoline
If you’re outdoor space is limited, this model is your best bet. It’s similar to the Skywalker 15 foot trampoline mentioned above, but comes in a smaller size. The diameter of the jumping surface is approximately 12 feet when assembled. This model is recommended for children aged 6 and up. Its maximum weight limit is just 200lbs. Let’s take a look at some of its most notable features.
- Built with a heavy-gauge galvanized steel frame.
- Reinforced T-sockets add stability and prevent twisting.
- Features 6 W-shaped legs for extra support and stability.
- Comes with a safety enclosure net that interlocks to the bounce mat.
- Available in red, green and blue colors.
Although it may take some time to assemble, it’s definitely built to last. The frame itself provides maximum stability and durability thanks to the galvanized steel it was constructed with. We also love that this models come with a safety enclosure even though it’s a smaller size than other models on the market. This alone makes this pick a great buy for any family with young children – or clumsy adults!
Ultega Jumper Trampoline
The Ultega Jumper features a 12 foot jumping surface and can withstand up to 440 pounds. Although it’s smaller in size, it’s built with durability and stability in mind. Its high weight capacity makes it a great choice jumpers of all ages and sizes. Here’s what we like about this model:
- Features 72 springs for high jumps. Protective spring covering ensures that jumpers can bounce safely.
- Meets GS and TUV safety standards.
- Comes with a tall safety net that stands 5’9”. The net is kept in place by 8 padded rods for extra safety.
- The bounce mat is created with UV resistant material to prevent wear.
- Comes with a 2-year warranty.
Because of the tall enclosure net, you may need 2 people to put this model together. The safety and stability of this model makes it well worth the effort to assemble. What we really like about this Ultega model is that every member of the family can use it. Mom, dad and the little ones can all use it together.
Pure Fun 14 Foot Trampoline
“Pure fun” is exactly what this model provides. It features a generous 14 foot jumping surface and comes at a price that anyone can afford. Let’s take a closer look at this model’s features.
- Features a heavy-duty frame made with galvanized iron steel.
- Its patented T-Section construction adds extra stability.
- The jumping surface is supported by W-shaped legs with 8 balanced contact points. This prevents the model from tipping over or swaying.
- Meets all ATSM safety requirements.
- Features a maximum weight limit of 250lbs.
- Comes with a two-year warranty.
The Pure Fun model features 88 steel springs, which makes jumps higher and more exciting. The bounce mat is made with Polypro to prevent wear and tear over time. If you’re concerned about safety, you’ll be happy to know that the frame features a no-weld design. Over time, welded joints wear away and wind up becoming a safety risk. The model’s patented T-section construction prevents this from happening and allows you to enjoy your trampoline for many years to come.
Trampoline Safety Tips
Never allow children to bounce unsupervised.
Children can easily become injured if they are left unattended. Accidents can and do happen. Children can suffer from broken arms or legs if they fall off, or if their limbs get caught between the spring pad and jumping surface.
Make sure that spring padding is always in place.
Over time, spring padding can crack and wear away. This usually happens because the padding was created with poor quality materials. Some cheaper models are also built with poor quality padding right out of the box. Always make sure that spring padding is in place. If your child lands on an exposed spring and gets their arm caught, it can cause serious injury.
Invest in a safety enclosure.
While quite a few models come with a netted enclosure, there are still many that don’t. If you do purchase a model that doesn’t come with an enclosure, make sure that you purchase one separately. These nets prevent falls and injuries. They’re an absolute must for families with young children. Nets also keep small children and pets off of the bounce mat when you’re not supervising them.
Look for enclosures with padded poles. These keep the net in place and provide extra support. If you’re purchasing the net separately, make sure that it will fit your model properly. The bottom ring of the netting should fit inside the spring cover. This will provide the best support. Also, make sure that the netting is secured to the apparatus to prevent it from collapsing.
Keep the weight limit in mind.
Instituting a one-at-a-time rule may be the best bet for larger families or if you plan on using one at a party. Going over the maximum weight limit will put all jumpers at risk for injury.
Don’t allow somersaults.
While you want your kids to have fun, it’s best not to allow somersaults when bouncing. If the child lands on their head or neck, they can suffer from serious injury. A broken arm or leg can also occur if the jumper lands the wrong way.
On a Final Note
Trampolines are a great investment for any family. They provide hours of entertainment not only for the kids, but for parents too. By using our buying guide and referring to our trampoline reviews, you can find a high quality model that’s both safe and fun to use. The top 5 models listed above have been tested by customers and given the highest ratings. They’re well designed and built to last.
While you can find incredibly cheap models in some stores, they often wind up costing more in the long run. Some are downright unsafe, while others fall apart after just a few uses. When you consider how important safety is, it’s always smart to invest in the best trampoline that is built with safety in mind.
Image Credit: Pawel Loj on Flickr.