Best trampolines 2017 – Top trampolines reviews & comparisons
Trampolines are commonly seen as something that is only for kids to use. But that is not the case, they are something that can be used by the whole family for a wide range of different reasons.
Now it is true that children can have countless hours of exciting and active fun jumping up and down on a trampoline. I am sure you remember a time when you were a child playing happily on a trampoline, jumping up higher and higher feeling like you are touching the sky.
But don’t think trampolines are just for kids, adults can use them just as much (or even more than kids) in different ways. Trampolining is an excellent and enjoyable way to get high intensity exciting exercise into your daily routine from the comfort of your own home.
Regardless of who will be using your trampoline, there are a variety of different things that need to be taken into account when shopping around.
What type of trampoline do you want? What shape? What size? How safe?
Let’s take a look at all of the common variations you will come across to ensure you can purchase the best trampoline for you, your family, and your home.
Types of Trampoline (They Come in All Shapes and Sizes!)
When we adults look back on the days of trampolining in our youth we always see the same kind of trampoline in our memories. But in reality, there are a wide range of different types of trampoline – all of which have their own pros and cons.
Traditional Trampolines – Old Faithful
These are probably the kind of trampoline you used when you were a child. They come in various shapes and sizes (usually round and rectangular) and are the cheapest kind of trampoline.
Kids Trampolines – Safe Fun at All Ages
Kids trampolines are designed for younger children who have a lower weight. They are much smaller than traditional trampolines and the elasticity of the mat is specifically designed for use by younger children. They can usually be used indoors or outdoors and a child cannot really bounce too high on them (but it will still feel fun!). The inherent issue with kids trampolines is that they will be outgrown reasonably quickly.
Olympic / Gym Trampolines – High Jumps With High Risk
You will probably not come across these trampolines, they are usually only sold to specialists and are expensive. But with the nature of the internet you never know who is going to be reading this article, so we wanted to mention them for safety’s sake. Gym / Olympic trampolines are designed for professional gymnasts and are extremely bouncy. They are not designed for use in your backyard, outside of professional environments, and should certainly not be given to children as a toy.
Rebounder Trampolines – Energetic Exercise
These trampolines are designed for health and fitness instead of playtime. They are made to provide rapid low height jumping. Rebounders are not very fun for children who wish to play, but are great if mom or dad wants a little exercise!
Springfree Trampolines – A Modern Twist on an Old Classic
Springfree trampolines represent the cutting edge of trampoline technology. The majority of injuries that occur when using a trampoline are caused by the springs that connect the elastic material to the frame. These trampolines (as you might have guessed from the name) have no springs, instead, they are supported by long, super strong pivoting rods that are made from composite materials.
The lack of springs means that the frame no longer needs to be above the jumping material, so in most spring free trampolines the frame is placed below for maximum safety. While these trampolines are some of the safest money can buy, they are also a premium product – and as such, they are reasonably expensive when compared to traditional trampolines.
Shape – Different Shapes for Different Fun!
Once you have decided what kind of trampoline you want to purchase, the next thing to consider is what shape you would like it to be. Different shaped trampolines have very different properties in terms of the frequency of bouncing and the height of jumping.
Round – The Childhood Memory Maker
Round trampolines are the classic shape for a trampoline. They are undoubtedly the most popular and commonly purchased shape for home use. The circular design limits the maximum bounce potential of any single jump (compared to rectangular trampolines), but are still capable of providing sufficient jump height for lots of exciting fun.
Round trampolines are some of the safest trampolines due to the layout of the springs that attach the material to the frame. The springs are evenly distributed throughout the entire circle and naturally encourage any individual jump into the center of the trampoline. This reduces the chance of mis-jumping significantly.
Rectangle – More Bounce, More Fun, More Money
Rectangular trampolines are the shape that is used by Olympic gymnasts. They use this rectangular trampolines because they naturally give the highest possible bounce per square foot. A rectangular trampoline will allow someone to jump significantly higher than a circular trampoline of the same size.
They are usually a more expensive than a round trampoline but are worth the extra expenditure if you are looking for something super exciting or want your kids to live in the most popular house on the block.
Square – The Middle Ground
Square trampolines are a middle ground between rectangular trampolines and circular trampolines. They provide a little more height than a circular trampoline, but not as much as a rectangular one. However square trampolines are not very common and are more expensive than circular trampolines. The additional bounce you get from the square shape is negligible, and they are usually not worth the additional cost.
Octagonal – A Gimmick ?
Quite honestly its feels like octagonal trampolines are nothing more than a gimmick. They do not provide much more jump height than a circular trampoline and are no safer. The only real difference is that you will pay twice as much for an octagonal trampoline than a circular one.
Trampoline Safety First!
Ok, now the fun stuff is out of the way it’s time to talk about safety. This is the most important thing to consider when buying a trampoline and should be put at the forefront of any purchasing decision. Here are some safety considerations to take into account.
Frame Quality – Rust Resistance Required
Ensuring that the frame of your trampoline is made from a solid material is of paramount importance. If you have a weak frame, then the whole trampoline is dangerous. You need to ensure it is highly rust resistant, as your trampoline will be exposed to the elements. Galvanized steel is probably the best material for both strength and durability.
Padding – Falling Over Is Part of the Fun!
Anyone who has used a trampoline before already knows that jumping on your feet is only part of the experience. Landing on your knees or your back is all part of the fun of enjoying a new bouncy world. However when this inevitably happens it is all too easy to misjudge the unfamiliar landing technique and hit the side of the trampoline.
Luckily trampoline manufacturers are well aware of this activity, and this is why they usually provide incredibly absorbent padding to protect the jumper. Look for thick, durable safety padding around both the springs and the frame edges to enjoy safe and exciting fun.
Weight Limits – Fun for All the Family
We have already discussed this in the size section, but it is worth reiterating. Trampolines are totally safe when used within the manufacturer’s recommendations. Take a long look at the weight limit of any trampoline and account for potential little experiments that your kids might get up to by using it with more than one person at a time.
Spring Quality – Put a Spring in Your Step!
Aside from the frame, the springs of a trampoline are the second most important thing that needs to be considered from a safety point of view. Springs can rust easily and become weakened so they should be made of high quality rustproof material – preferably galvanized steel.
Enclosures – Keep Falling Over Fun
Back in the day trampoline enclosures were hardly ever seen, however, these days it’s difficult to find a product without one. These are netted enclosures that extend above the trampoline around its perimeter. They are designed to be a last resort safety feature to stop someone accidentally jumping off of the edge and injuring themselves. They are a must have feature.
Ensure any enclosure you have is made from high-quality materials (preferably the same metal as the frame) with strong netting. It needs to be able to withstand the force of someone intentionally jumping into it.
Anchoring – An Inexpensive Essential
Anchoring your trampoline to the ground is something that many people seem to overlook, but it should really be one of the first things you do. Because a trampoline is heavy, it is easy to see why this is not seen as a priority – but trampolines can (and do) fall over. Anchoring kits are not expensive and can prevent serious injuries.
Maintenance – Mother Nature vs Trampolines
To ensure continued, long lasting fun over the years it is important to give your trampoline a little protection from the elements. The only practical way to do this is with a trampoline cover. Many trampolines do not come with covers included with them, so you may need to prepare to buy this yourself separately. They are well worth the small investment and will keep your trampoline functioning properly, and safely for years on end.
When it comes to trampolines, size matters. Usually, bigger is always better, but it does depend on your specific situation. Let’s take a look at the various sizes to see which one is right for you.
Mini Trampolines – Good Things Come in Small Packages
Mini trampolines are the smallest trampolines you can buy. They are generally less than 9 ft in size and are designed for use by small children.
Some larger trampolines require a certain amount of weight before you can introduce enough elastic energy into the mat of the trampoline for it to be usable. The lower elasticity of mini trampolines ensures your kids will not be jumping high enough to injure themselves but it does provide an enjoyable jump for children of any size.
However, they cannot support the weight of a larger child approaching teenage years and they are often outgrown reasonably quickly.
12 ft Trampolines – Medium Size, Maximum Fun
These are widely considered to be a small to medium sized trampoline.
Because of their smaller size, they are often limited by weight restrictions. Regardless of how disciplined and well-behaved your children are, kids will be kids. If you have two children or more, we highly recommend you consider getting a larger trampoline. Because we can almost guarantee that at some point your kids will experiment with them both jumping on it at the same time – trampolines are just too fun to resist!
This being said, when used properly 12 ft trampolines are safe and a great option for those who are limited with space.
14 ft + Trampoline – Bigger Is Better!
These are the supercars of the trampoline world. They are the safest, most fun trampolines that are available for domestic and recreational usage.
14 ft + trampolines are almost always rated and approved for use by two or more large children at any one time and are great for parties.
However, it is important to bear in mind that a 14 ft trampoline is a large piece of equipment. Ensure you have enough space available (and prepare to be the most popular house on the block as all your kids’ friends are going to come over and jump on it with them).
Our picks for the best Trampoline on the Market
Below is a selection of trampolines in a variety of shapes and sizes (and price ranges) that have passed our stringent review procedures and are highly recommended.
The Zupapa is a 15 ft circular trampoline that has been made with German efficiency. It is a highly engineered masterpiece of fun that is TUV certified safe. It has an excellent sturdy safety enclosure that rises 6 ft above the jumping mat. The poles that support the enclosure netting attach to the frame of the trampoline in two separate places ensuring they are incredibly sturdy.
The mat of the trampoline itself is attached to the galvanized steel frame with 108 galvanized steel springs (compared to the average of 95 springs for other models). This provides a sturdy jumping experience that reduces the chance of being propelled in the wrong direction but also increases the maximum jump height (which is probably why the enclosure netting is larger and stronger than normal). Plus the Zupapa can boast supporting an impressive 375 lbs weight capacity (!)
Pros and Cons
- Very high safety net
- TUV certified
- Sturdy and springy mat
- Superior weight capacity
- Only available in one color
What We Like About This Trampoline
Germany is known for producing some of the best products in the world, and this trampoline does not let the German name down. It combines one of the most exciting and springy trampoline mats with exceptional safety features to make it one of the best 15 ft circular trampolines in the world.
The Skybound Stratus is a circular trampoline that is available in 12 ft, 14 ft, and 15 ft versions, and as you will probably be already able to see from the picture – it looks like no other trampoline on the market.
The assembly of the Stratus is one of its biggest selling points for us. Trampolines are traditionally reasonably fiddly things to put together. They are usually not difficult to set up but do contain several nuts and bolts.
The Stratus does away with all this hassle and the whole thing is assembled by using locking mechanisms that are built into the frame. It literally just slots together and secures itself. Setup time is incredibly quick.
This space age looking trampoline is also built from space-age materials. Traditionally we say galvanized steel is the best commonly used material to look out for. But when it comes to springs we occasionally come across other materials that are even better. No expense has been spared with the Stratus and they have used premium gold zinc springs to attach the mat to the frame. This results in incredible durability, rust resistance, and increases the bounciness of the mat considerably.
Pros and Cons
- Awesome design
- Quick assembly with no nuts or bolts
- Very springy mat
- It could be a little cheaper
What We Like About This Trampoline
We love the way kids react when they first see the Stratus. Their overactive little imaginations go wild thinking it looks like a spaceship. It makes their playtime more exciting as they pretend to be jumping on the moon or on an alien world.
Ultega Jumper – One of the Safest Trampoline
The Ultega Jumper is a circular trampoline available in a range of sizes, but we love the 14 ft version.
We particularly like the positioning of the safety enclosure on the Jumper. 8 padded poles reach high above the jumping mat and securely fasten to the frame. The net itself actually tapers in towards the bottom and attaches to the trampoline in between the mat and the springs. This greatly reduces the risk of fingers getting caught and causing potentially quite nasty accidents.
The spring pad that is used to cover the perimeter of the trampoline is much thicker than usual and is made from space age shock absorbing foam to protect against accidental jumps that are too strong to be stopped by the netting.
Pros and Cons
- Netting prevents spring injuries
- Beautiful blue color
- Thick padding
- Reasonably priced
- Assembly can take a little longer than other trampolines (around 2 hours)
What We Like About This Trampoline
We love the peace of mind this trampoline can bring. All children should be supervised when using a trampoline, but we know that kids will be kids and will probably be unable to resist jumping when mom and dad are not looking. When this inevitably happens – you can rest assured that they are in one of the safest trampolines money can buy.
The Skywalker 12 is a 12 ft circular trampoline made by one of the most well known, longest established, and highly respected trampoline manufacturers in the world.
Everything about this Skywalker trampoline screams quality. Your trampoline will last for years with the quality UV resistant materials.
The thick galvanized steel frame is secured to the ground with 6 W-shaped legs. The unique shape of these legs increases the surface area between the trampoline and the ground and results in a highly stable trampoline.
The frame itself connects via super strong welded “T-Sockets” that further increase the stability of the trampoline and eliminates structural twisting that can be an issue for some products.
The net safety enclosure is high enough to protect your family regardless of how high they try and jump and is attached between the mat and the springs to protect fingers and thumbs. The enclosure itself is concaved at the top which creates a totally sealed jumping environment and is assembled without and tricky ropes or strings.
Pros and Cons
- Skywalker brand
- Very rigid frame
- Stable W legs
- High safety enclosure
- Very bouncy
- Ladders not included
What We Like About This Model
There is nothing to not like about this trampoline. It is very sturdy, very safe, and comes in a wide range of colors to suit your children’s individual tastes. Skywalker has been making trampolines for many years now, and it is very rare that anyone regrets buying one.
Skywalker 15 – Top of the top
Ok, ok we know we might be cheating by choosing a larger version of the last trampoline we reviewed to be our editors pick. But the 15 ft Skywalker is a totally different beast to the 12 ft – despite it actually being the same model.
The additional jumping surface of the 15 ft Skywalker trampoline results in being able to jump considerably higher than the smaller 12 ft version. This is due to a combination of larger trampolines inherently being jumpier, but also because of the increased number of springs Skywalker has included on their 15 foot version.
The reason we have chosen this as the best trampoline instead of the 12 foot is that it is not a whole lot more expensive than the 12 ft Skywalker – but is considerably more fun. In our opinion, the relatively small price increase is worth every penny
Pros And Cons
- Skywalker brand
- Very rigid frame
- Stable W legs
- High safety enclosure
- Even bouncier than the (already bouncy) 12 ft Skywalker
- Ladders are still not included
What We like About This Trampoline
It has all the benefits of the 12 ft Skywalker, but includes much more jumping area and provides more jump height. It’s not that much more expensive than the 12 ft and as such – we highly recommend you consider this additional investment in your family’s fun!
Ultimately, the best trampoline for you is one which you want to use again and again. Finding the right trampoline does not have to be a chore. Have a look at our trampoline reviews to help you find the best model for your needs and budget.