One universal fact is that parents spend at least half their time trying to get kids away from the television and other electronics. For the most part, parents feel that their child spends too much time on these things and not enough time outdoors being “kids”. One very popular option is to buy a trampoline, but it does come with a lot of concern for some parents. The good news is, if you choose carefully, you can find a trampoline that your kids will love, and you will feel good about letting them use. To help you out, here is our trampoline buying tips for parents, grandparents, and anyone else with a kid in their life.
Our trampoline buying tips for you and your family
The trampoline size matters
When looking at trampolines, you will likely notice that there are many shapes and sizes available. It may seem as though bigger is better. This is not always the case. So what size trampoline is best? Bigger trampolines may work best if you have several kids that may be using it at one time, but if you do not have space for it, it could be a problem.
Your trampoline should be placed on a level area of ground. Never put it on concrete. You do not want a child to fall and get injured because they land on something harder than grass and dirt.
If you have several kids or older children, you should choose a trampoline that will accommodate them, without sacrificing your entire lawn. It may seem complicated, but it only takes a few measurements to know what size you may need.
However, if you have more than one child, you must also make sure that it has an adequate weight limit. Some trampolines are designed to only hold one person at a time. Others may be able to hold multiple children at one time without exceeding the maximum weight limit. You will need to check every trampoline that you consider because each manufacturer is different.
As a general idea:
* An 8-ft round trampoline is best for 1-2 people max or up to around 75-100kg.
* A 12-ft round trampoline is best for up to 1-3 people or up to around 100-120kg.
* A 15-ft round trampoline is best for 2-3 people or up to around 120kg.
Rectangular and oval trampolines will hold similar weight ranges, however do check as this may depend on the manufacturer.
Trampoline safety concerns
Every parent has concerns when it comes to buying a trampoline for their child to use. Luckily, there are many safety features available on today’s most popular trampolines. This includes:
- Safety Enclosures – is it external to the springs or does it sit inside them?
- Padded Spring Covers – super important
- Stable Ladders
- Durable Frames – check for galvanised steel which is recommended
- Rust Resistance
You should also carefully read the reviews on any trampoline and manufacturer before you buy to make sure that there are no major issues from other owners. This includes having one with a weak mat or faulty springs. You also need to make sure that other owners have not noticed it wobbling or buckling with bouncers that are under the recommended weight limits.
Which shape of trampoline is best?
The most common shape for a trampoline is round, but it is not the only shape available. Many people prefer the rectangle shaped trampoline. You also have oval or square trampolines to choose from.
The major difference between them is going to be based mostly on your personal preference. It may also be based on the area of space that you have for the trampoline. Some yards may not be able to hold a round trampoline that is larger, but a rectangle one will fit well. If you are curious about other differences, here are a few.
Round: The round trampoline is the most affordable. It is easier for manufacturers to create a sturdy frame using less steel. Weight is distributed to the entire frame, which absorbs it every time a person bounces.
Rectangle: The rectangle trampoline is best for anyone who wants to bounce high or perform tricks. Due to its shape, each spring works independently. They also allow the person to jump and land smoothly, regardless of where the person is at on the mat.
Oval: Oval trampolines mostly have a larger mat or jumping surface than round trampolines. However, it takes more effort from the bouncer to get a good bounce. Assembly can also be a little tricky since the frame may come in a variety of sized pieces.
Square: The main benefit to a square trampoline is the extensive jump space on it. From corner to corner, you have more mat than on any other trampoline shape. For some families, this is a bonus. It is also one of the easiest to fit into any sized garden but you’ll find this is a much less common shape in the UK.
Is it age appropriate?
When choosing a trampoline, one of the best tips you will learn is that you need to consider your child’s age above all other things. Some people suggest that your child never be allowed to use one until they are six. However, there are trampolines that can be used by children as young as three. It requires a different trampoline.
Some of the best trampolines for young children have handlebars. This will provide your child with something that they can hang on to. They are designed for indoor use only, and they are small. Most are only around 3ft in diameter.
Children that are 4-10 can use a larger, outdoor style trampoline. Ideally, it would be an 8-12-ft round trampoline. They will fit well within the weight limits, even if they want to jump with a couple of friends. It is important that you always keep the safety nets on the trampoline.
As kids reach toward their teen years, you can worry less about the size of a trampoline, although keeping within the weight limit will be a concern if their friends join them on it. It is still important that you keep up the safety net since they may be more adventurous with their tricks and games, especially if they are jumping with friends.
A warranty for a trampoline is something you definitely need to consider. If the mat, springs, or other parts of it become damaged, you could be looking at a fair amount of money to fix or replace. You need to know that you are protected from defects in the workmanship and other things.
On this, you will have to do your research. Every manufacturer will have their own warranty. They may also cover certain things for longer or shorter amounts of time. Be sure you read the fine lines before you buy any of the trampolines you may feel are viable options.
While we’re on the subject of checking the credentials of a manufacturer do check that the trampoline conforms to safety standards – buying from Amazon or similar should mean that you’re covered here but it’s good to check.
As a final thought, you need to think about how much you are willing to spend on a trampoline. More cost may or may not mean higher quality, but you do want to make sure that you are making a wise investment in your family’s fun.
This is where you may also get into accessories for your trampoline. If you want a basketball hoop, then you need to price check them as well. Even if you do not buy from the same company, you need to know how much it will cost to find one that can work with the trampoline that you choose. Also, some trampolines come with ladders and covers as standard where others you’ll need to buy them seperately, adding to the cost.
Buying a trampoline is not always an easy choice. You have a lot of different things to consider as with any large play equipment for your garden. With a little research though and our tips and advice in mind, you should be able to find the perfect one for your family. Trust us – when you find the perfect one, your entire family will be more willing to get outside where the fun is.