Best Trampoline Reviews Buying Guide 2014
As we all know, trampoline is one of the few pieces of fun equipment that is suitable for the whole family. It is also good for physical exercises for everyone, young and old, athletes or not. Trampolines come in different types, shapes, and sizes, along with various accessories. To help you buy the best trampoline, below is our comprehensive trampoline buying guide, along with some safety tips.
Why Buy a Trampoline
Obviously, jumping on a trampoline is fun. It’s simply exciting to watch adults and kids alike with happy faces as they go up and down. By strictly following proper safety measures and providing guidance to children, you and your family (and even pets included) can enjoy hours of authentic entertainment. In addition, trampoline users are also likely to enjoy a lot of health benefits.
Backyard trampolines serve as a venue for your kid’s growing athletic ability, muscle development, eye-coordination, and prevention of obesity. This also helps them improve their skills for ballet, diving, and gymnastics as well. For adults, bouncing on a trampoline is an excellent cardio workout. It also helps increases mental alertness, balance improvement, and promotes faster reaction times.
But what is not so obvious is that a family playing together on a trampoline is a very good bonding time at home. This will help your children avoid the addictive computer games. You can also invite your friends and neighbors to join you. As compared to outdoor camping, you don’t have to prepare a lot of accessories. You also don’t have to worry about leaving your home without someone to watch over.
Trampoline Safety Tips
Just like any equipment, trampolines can pose risk if not used properly or if users are not aware of the potential danger. And just like any toy, children can be hurt if not being guided accordingly. But then, even adults can hurt themselves if they don’t know how to use trampolines safely. Therefore, the key here is to understand the trampoline safety guidelines before you buy one. Here they are:
Trampolines should be placed in a perfectly flat area so that it will not move or wiggle when in use. If you place your trampoline on a slope, the user is likely to drop to the lower edge of your trampoline and can be very dangerous. If there are uneven areas, do some digging on the soil to make it even. Just make sure you check it carefully before you allow someone to bounce on it.
Avoid placing your trampoline on concrete, tarmac, asphalt or other hard surface. If you have no other choice, place a safety net or a soft crash mat around the trampoline. Make sure that the safety net has no hole or has a potential to have one. Never put your trampoline near a fence, trees, or any other obstruction. Instead, allow at least 8 feet of clear and safe area around the outside of the trampoline.
- Check trampoline before and after setup
Make sure the trampoline and its accessories have no damage at all. Check the quality of materials especially the shock-absorbing safety pads. Follow the assembly instructions carefully and read the safety guidelines included in the manual. If possible, search for trampoline installation tutorial videos online. Test or try your trampoline by yourself before you allow kids to jump.
Trampoline Kids Safety Tips
Although adults should also be careful when bouncing on a trampoline, it is the kids who are more prone to danger. And because they are not so aware about safety, parents or adults are the ones responsible to provide safety measures to children. Here are some of them:
- Do not allow children below 6 years old to use trampoline.
- Do not let children use the trampoline without any supervision from a trained adult.
- Allow only one child at a time. Two or more children at the same time may hurt each other.
- Do not allow children to do rough play or dangerous jumps such as flips and somersaults.
- Make sure your children are always in the middle of the trampoline during bouncing.
- Your children should wear appropriate clothes – loose enough and no dangling fabric
- If there is a ladder on your trampoline, remove it. Your child might use it to get into the trampoline without your knowledge.
- Make sure no one or nothing is under the trampoline while in use.
- Always remind your children about the consequence if they will not follow the safety rules.
Different Types of Trampolines
It is true that you buy trampolines only those that fit the size of your backyard. However, thinking about safety is the most aspect when choosing the best trampoline. While all trampolines have the same principle – to allow users to bounce, their main difference is the amount of bounce. Understanding the different types of trampolines is a very useful to know which trampoline is best for you. Here are some of them:
Also called the rebounder, a mini-trampoline is usually for indoor fitness exercises. These compact trampolines are designed to be used by one person at a time only. The user can jog on the trampoline to improve his or her heart rate. They are small enough that they can be folded and place inside a cabinet or under the bed, and therefore ideal for people who live in a small house or apartment.
Olympic (or Professional) Trampolines
As the name implies, Olympic trampolines (or professional trampolines) are designed for athletes particularly those in the field of gymnastics. The main purpose of these huge trampolines is to provide increased performance and power to athletes. Therefore, only trained individuals should use them. And because they are used in Olympic Games, you can expect them to be very expensive.
Inflatable water trampolines are usually used in lakes and rivers especially during summer. Smaller versions are applicable to swimming pools, although extra caution should be observed. To make sure that they are stationary while in use, a cable or strong rope is being fastened to them. In some cases, there are attachments such as slides. Some manufacturers decide to produce frameless designs.
Also known as bounce houses, kids’ trampolines are inflatable “buildings” or “castles” that have colorful designs to attract young children. They are considered safer than traditional trampolines because they are enclosed with puncture-resistant walls, making them ideal to smaller kids. Bigger ones are often featured in fairs and playgrounds, while smaller ones can be used inside your home.
Rectangular vs Square vs Round Trampolines
Besides their difference in shape, rectangular and square trampolines also differ in design. Rectangular trampolines have more flexible springs, offering a higher jump and more landing force, which is why they are used by gymnasts. On the other hand, square trampolines offer harder and lower bounces because their springs have a crisscross pattern, making them safer for beginners and children.
But these days, round trampolines are getting more popular especially to kids. With the round type, users are always directed to the center of trampoline when they bounce. This is why there are most applicable to beginners who just want to have fun and families who have young children. They are also easiest one to setup and the cheapest, too. This is because circular frames require less support.
How to Buy the Best Trampoline for your Family
All trampolines are designed to withstand the bouncing pressure. However, some trampoline manufacturers may not be keen enough to provide the right safety measures. As the end user, you should be able to know how to check a trampoline if it is safe or not. So, besides understanding which type can fit your needs, below are some useful tips to help you decide before buying a trampoline:
- The frame should be made of sturdy metal and welded properly. A poorly welded metal has air bubbles and therefore could wear out easily. There should also be rusty spots or small pieces of metal filings in the frame. If the edges are rough or have burrs, your fingers are likely to have cuts as you assemble the trampoline. Frame joints should be fitted tightly, or better yet, should have screws and bolts.
- Note that springs create the bounce, not the bounce mat. Therefore, they should be smooth and fitted enough to the holes. Some trampolines may be using elastic bands instead of springs. However, they can lose some of their original elasticity over time especially when your trampoline is left loaded with thick snow. Elastic bands also need to be replaced more frequent than springs.
- In addition, spring covers should be properly fastened to the springs and frame. To make sure that the jumping mat is strong enough, watch how it performs when someone is bouncing on the trampoline. And lastly, trampolines with enclosure are safer than those without. But then, make sure that the enclosure poles and net are fully secured to the trampoline, and can withstand the weight of the user.
But then, avoid unbelievably cheap trampoline as you cannot expect high quality from them. Choose a trampoline manufacturer that has already established a reputable name in the industry. Check also the warranty, availability of spare parts, and how they provide customer support.