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When it comes to adding a fun activity for your backyard, purchasing a trampoline can provide hours of entertainment and an easy way for your kids and family to stay active.
There are many trampolines available on the market, so picking the right one for your family isn’t as easy as pointing and choosing. Factors such as size, safety features, type, and more, need to be considered when selecting a kids trampoline.
Here are some of the things to consider and research if you’re thinking about buying a trampoline.
Picking the Right Trampoline for Your Space
Most trampolines range from eight to 13 feet in diameter, so it’s first necessary to make sure your backyard has the right type of space to accommodate one.
Placing a trampoline in a safe spot means finding a flat area that is clear of branches, fences, and slopes. A flat surface is essential to create a safe environment for your kids to jump.
The trampoline should also have several feet between its edges and any fencing, and the selected area should be clear of any debris. If there are any trees or overhanging branches in the spot you’re considering, make sure there is at least 20 feet of clear space from the ground.
Who Will Be Jumping?
Trampoline models come with varying weight limits, so this is very important to consider when purchasing one. If you have younger children doing the jumping, a lower weight limit could do the trick.
But if your kids are older or say the parents would like a turn bouncing, a higher weight limit is recommended.
The maximum weight limit for recreational trampolines is typically around 200-250 pounds, depending on the brand and quality of the material. Some models go higher than that, so depending on your needs, there are options available to fit almost all consumers.
Even if you spring for one that can hold a decent amount of weight, it’s essential to supervise your children when they are bouncing to make sure that they never exceeded the limit with too many jumpers.
Is a Safety Enclosure Necessary?
Many trampoline models include safety netting around the outside, though they’re not standard or required across the industry. So do you need one?
If you have smaller children, the answer is almost certainly yes, but even if you don’t, adding a safety enclosure is an easy way to add a layer of security for anyone stepping up to jump.
The attached netting on the trampoline can help prevent children from falling over the edge while jumping. Many newer models also include an overlapping doorway, so your kids don’t have to worry about zipping up the entry to maintain 360 degrees of protection.
Along with keeping jumpers safer, enclosed netting can help younger kids train to use a trampoline properly. Given all the natural risks that come with jumping on a trampoline, adding netting is an easy way to get some extra peace of mind.
Protect your Trampoline with a Weather Cover
Once you set up your trampoline, it’s outside for good. While that means endless entertainment and exercise for your family, the trampoline will be exposed to the elements every day.
A trampoline is a significant purchase, so you’ll want to do everything possible to preserve it and keep it safe from rain, snow, and other elements.
Tarps are one option to cover trampolines. You can also purchase weather covers to keep it safe. Some models include a weather cover, so that’s one thing to consider when making your purchase.
What’s the Ideal Number of Legs for a Trampoline?
Most trampolines feature either four or six legs, and as your intuition is likely telling you, trampolines with six legs are typically sturdier to the ground.
More legs help with weight distribution while people are jumping, and it could help maintain the product’s durability for the long run.
There’s nothing wrong with purchasing a trampoline with four legs, particularly if you’re looking for a short-term investment. But this is another thing to consider when making your decision.
Types of Trampolines
Today's market offers two different styles of trampolines: traditional spring-based trampolines and newer springless trampolines.
Here are some of the key features, benefits, and drawbacks of both.
If you’ve ever encountered a trampoline, it was likely a spring-based model where the springs are attached to the jumping surface to create tension and bounce. The springs lay even with the rubber and are attached to the frame, extending and contracting with each jump.
All spring-based trampolines come with padding covering the springs, so coming into contact with them while jumping isn’t likely, though they are still in the vicinity of jumpers.
Pros of spring-based trampolines:
- Lower cost
- Easier to install and maintain
Cons of spring-based trampolines:
- Less durable
- More likely exposure of springs to people while jumping
Springless trampolines replace the traditional bouncing mechanism with flexible composite rods. While springs are typically attached to a trampoline side, these rods are located under the jumping surface, so the likelihood of accidentally coming into contact with them while jumping is much lower.
Consumers have said the bounce between the two types of trampolines is comparable. Because of the material used to make spring-free trampolines, they are typically more durable, but they can cost three times as much as their spring-based counterparts.
Pros of springless trampolines:
- No direct exposure to springs for jumpers
- Higher quality of materials in rods
Cons of springless trampolines:
- Higher cost
- Can be more difficult to install accessories
There are many different factors to consider when researching what type of trampoline is best for you and your family. If your yard has the adequate and proper space to accommodate a trampoline, adding one can provide endless entertainment and an easy option for a low-impact workout.
Whether you decide to purchase a spring-based or springless trampoline, it’s important to remember the safety features and limits of each model to pick the right one for your family.