Trampoline Buying Guide – Australia
A new trampoline season is right around the corner! With the advent of hotter and brighter days, it’s time to whip out older trampolines or upgrade to newer, safer and better models. However, unlike a choice between a summer cocktail or a cold beer (you cannot go wrong), choosing the right trampoline is sadly not such a straightforward affair.
You might have noticed this if you have already tried doing some research on your own. The enormous selection of models, sizes and shapes is enough to deter even the most determined of shoppers. Luckily for you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the research for you – to save you both time and money. Below you’ll find a list of the best trampolines for the 2019 season. Whether you’re after a best-buy unit or want top of the line gear, we’ve got you covered.
But first, it’s time to give you the quick rundown on the basic parts of the trampoline and things to watch out for. Even though we stand behind our reviews, we encourage everyone to understand the inner workings of trampolines in order to reach an informed decision. Trampolines can be scary and even a bit dangerous, but only if you buy the wrong ones or don’t follow the manufacturer advice.
To help you out, we’ll start with the basics
Trampolines 101 – the weakest link
When looking at trampolines, bear in mind that the trampoline is as good as its weakest link. A killer mat is no good if the springs are unresponsive and prone to rust. A tall enclosure is a letdown when the poles holding it are all flimsy. Believe us – it happens, and there are unscrupulous manufacturers banking on this lack of information, as most casual shoppers aren’t really aware of what to look out for.
We always point out these issues in our reviews, as this may not be apparent at first. Some trampolines look simply fantastic but are a real disappointment under the hood with shoddy welding and horrible quality control – and we want to help you avoid it.
What to look out for?
Regardless of the shape and intended use of your trampoline, you should first check if the rated weight is enough to support you (or whoever will use the trampoline). Add at least 10 to 20% additional safety margin just to be sure.
Then, check if the frame is galvanized. Galvanization is a good way of preventing rust (and failure) of metal parts. This is particularly essential if you don’t want to use covers or plan on leaving your trampoline outside all year long.
After that, look at the accessories. Do you have smaller kids that would have trouble getting on the trampoline? Then you need a ladder. Perhaps they’d like to play some trampoline games? Consider buying trampolines with a hoop or something similar.
Bounce is often subjective, but generally when it comes to springs – the more the merrier. This rough rule of thumb will rarely let you down, but pay attention to the length as well. Lengthier springs make for a more comfortable but also higher bounce.
Oh, and don’t forget the enclosure. It should be tall enough that you shouldn’t be able to bounce over it. If it is, you either need another trampoline or you’re a pro who knows what they’re doing.
Trampoline size & type
Trampolines come in a variety of sizes. Some are super tiny (think up to 4 feet), while some range up to 16 feet in diameter. Obviously then, there’s a huge variety of trampolines and use cases for a variety of sizes.
Despite a large array of sizes, trampolines can roughly be categorized into indoor (smallest) and outdoor (larger) trampolines. Kids’ trampolines occupy the middle ground at about 6-8 feet or so and can be used both indoor and outdoors. Anything bigger than this would fit right inside “outdoor trampolines” category.
Smaller trampolines are usually suitable and rated only for indoor use. They aren’t indented for use by children (even there are some specific models for children and toddlers); instead, mini trampolines – or rebounders, as they are called – are used as proper exercise equipment. Rebounders are usually small and foldable to facilitate easy transport to and from your gym or storage when not in use. Rebounding is a set of exercises with plenty of benefits and burns calories very efficiently (this has been proven by NASA research, in fact!).
Basic rebounders can be found quite cheaply (two-figure amounts) and are thus a fantastic way of finding out what rebounding is all about. Once you’ve decided whether you’re up for it, you’re free to upgrade. Even then, the more advanced rebounders aren’t too expensive and there are good trampolines at medium price points that will last you for years. Most cost as little as a few months’ gym membership, so they make for a very cost-efficient purchase.
When purchasing mini trampolines, pay attention to the extras that come with it – these are handle bars, resistance bands, workout programs, carrying bags etc. The handle bar is essential for most exercises as you can jump faster when you hold on to the bar and burn more calories. Workout programs have become largely obsolete when you can easily watch them via YouTube, but they could still be more convenient for some.
Cheaper models come with rubber band springs that tend to sag if the jumper is heavy. Look for coil-based springs if you are overweight as they will last longer.
And when the time comes to have some more fun on the trampoline as well, take a look at the outdoor trampolines which the whole family can enjoy.
These trampolines mostly come in 10 to 16 feet sizes, with 12 and 14 being the most common options. The number of choices here is extraordinary, from bottom of the barrel, unsafe units to decked-out pro equipment. And the price range? Well, it might shock you – but you can spend literally as much as you want. Yes, there are pro units that cost as much as a new car – upwards of $10k! (but honestly, you don’t really need them in your back yard).
But before you get the case of sticker shock – we must reassure you that you shouldn’t worry. Good, safe recreational trampolines can be bought for as little as $400 if you aren’t too fussy about the looks or don’t have any particular demands.