When looking to buy a quality trampoline, the most important considerations are the sturdiness of the frame and the size of the trampoline. So ALWAYS ASK your supplier what is the gauge thickness of their steel frame if you don’t see it on their specs. If it doesn’t show, you have to assume it is an inferior steel quality. The higher the gauge count, the weaker the steel, vice versa. The lower the gauge count, the sturdier the steel. So a steel frame of 10 gauge is stronger than a 16 gauge (see chart below for mm specs on gauge). Continuous bouncing on a trampoline can increase the wear and tear of the frame if the steel gauge is too high. Always consider a low steel gauged frame, because the lower the steel gauge, the thicker the steel. Therefore, the lower the steel gauge, the sturdier and longer lasting that frame will be. The frame is the hardest and most expensive part on the trampoline to replace. As for the size, always consider who’re jumping and the size of your yard. Don’t get a trampoline too small where the children will outgrow the trampoline. A 14’ trampoline has 45% more jumping area than a 12’ trampoline. Also, as the jumper becomes more experienced on the trampoline, he/she might want to perform more aggressive routines, so a larger trampoline will be able to facilitate more advanced routines.
What does Gauge mean?
The Gauge represents the thickness of the metal in question. The smaller the gauge, the thicker the metal.
A few examples are:
10 Gauge = 2.5mm
12 Gauge = 2.0mm
13 Gauge = 1.8mm
14 Gauge = 1.6mm
15 Gauge = 1.4mm
16 Gauge = 1.2mm
The thicker the steel, the more durable the trampoline frame will be. In general, you want a trampoline with the lowest gauge possible, but note that as the gauge gets smaller, the price of the trampoline will go up.
Weight limits given by trampoline companies on any given model are a guide only. The skill of a user can also be a factor, since the higher the bouncer jumps, the greater the loading on the springs. Our weight capacity is 300 to 400 lbs (depending on model), one of the sturdiest trampolines in the market!
Bearing this in mind, a jumper could be under the maximum recommended weight for a particular trampoline, but due to his adeptness could still manage to overload the springs. If in doubt, buy bigger (space permitting) or a more robust model.
The most important part is a good quality trampoline frame. The thickness of the metal, the size of the pipe and the quality of the welds will cause the trampoline frame to last longer. Always ask for the heavier gauge. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the steel. Most competitors offer trampolines from 17 gauge or 16 gauge. Note: The gauge gets thicker as the number goes down.
The frame is the most important part of the trampoline, because it endures all the weight. Trampoline frames should be fully galvanized, inside and out to protect against weather, such as rust and corrosion. Frames should also be easy to assemble, incase you want to take down or move the trampolines. The thickness of a quality steel frame should be between 1.8mm to 2.5mm (10 – 13 gauge). Inferior steel usually comes with a 1.2 to 1.5mm steel frame (14 – 16 gauge), thus, providing shorter warranties.
The weakest point of the trampoline frame is the welded leg sockets on the toprail. However, on the heavy frames, 2mm thickness and 48mm diameter, this shouldn't be a concern. On lighter and narrower frames, a 3-way t-junction leg socket creates for a stronger and safer frame. The box joint construction gives rigidity, along with extra welded steel plates.
Make sure it’s thick enough so you don’t feel the trampoline frame underneath. You want to have good quality vinyl and polyethylene foam. We recommend that your trampoline pad be at least a 1/2" to 1" thick. Thick pads are well worth the extra cost. Don't settle for LESS!! Accidents and injuries can and do occur from hitting the springs or frame. Our trampoline pads are built to last. They are made of long-lasting PVC-vinyl material on the top and closed-cell foam inside. Our pads will not absorb water, mildew or lose shape.
The trampoline pad is the section of the trampoline that sits over the frame and springs, protecting the jumper. Trampoline pads should be extra wide, so it covers the entire springs, preventing jumpers from getting caught in the trampoline springs.
Trampoline pads should fit snugly against the frame, with a skirt hanging down. Quality trampoline pads should be closed cell polyethylene foam, which is waterproof. At the top end of the trampoline pad should be encased all around by UV resistant, reinforced PVC as this improves the durability of the pad.
30mm of impact resistant foam offers excellent protection from the frame and springs. 20mm trampoline pads should be adequate for budget trampolines.
It's not just the length and it’s not just the trampoline spring count that gives you the best bounce. It's the resiliency (the recoil) of the spring. All of our trampoline springs have a resiliency that is designed for a fantastic bounce!
Springs should be made of high quality steel wire, which is fully galvanized to protect against corrosion and rust. The springs are what provide the bounce in your trampoline. Trampoline springs should be helical coil type, in the form of a cork screw.
There are also trampolines that have elasticity bands sewn onto the trampoline bed. These types of trampolines have a harder bounce than spring trampolines. Another disadvantage to having the elastic trampolines is when these elastics perish; the entire trampoline bed needs to be replaced, because the bands cannot be replaced individually.
Grade A Permatron (polymesh) mats are the most ideal and have been around the longest. Make sure the threading used is UV treated and heavy duty. Make sure the attachment used is v-rings. All of our trampolines are excellent quality with 6 rows of stitching that holds the v-rings securely in place. Our mats have an extra lining to hold the v-rings together. Below is the picture of Happy Trampoline’s mat compared to other mats. Compare the stitching that holds the v-rings together.
Happy Trampoline’s Mat
Polymesh is the most common material used on trampoline jumping beds. Polymesh should be manufactured from Grade A, non-abrasive, permatron polypropylene (ppp). The tight weave of this material provides a smooth surface for children, which will not graze their skin.
The trampoline jumping bed is attached to springs, which are attached to galvanized frames. The perimeter of the trampoline jumping bed should be stitched in multiple rows of UV stable thread for extra strength.
Trampoline ladders are not always essential for adults and older children. However, for younger children, trampoline ladders can be helpful, for easier and safer access onto the trampoline. Without the trampoline ladder, climbing onto the trampoline may be difficult without adult supervision.
Quality trampolines may be left out year round. However, a trampoline cover can protect the trampoline from bird droppings, leaves, insects and other debris. The trampoline cover also provides UV protection for the trampoline frame pads when the trampoline isn't in use. Having the cover on will also let unsupervised children know that the trampoline is off limits, if left on.
The quality of covers varies enormously, from heavy PVC coated type which can be expensive, to ones which are inadequately lightweight and rip easily in strong winds. We recommend a nylon version similar to tent material. It is strong, light and permeable, negating the need to cut holes in the cover to allow water to drain away
Safety enclosure net surrounds the entire trampoline. Safety enclosures are designed to provide a safe and enjoyable jumping environment for inexperienced trampoline users. These safety enclosure nets should be at least 6 feet high, to prevent high bouncers from jumping over the top. The support poles should be highly padded to prevent accidents.
Safety enclosure nets are recommended for all children under the age of 6 and all inexperience trampoline users. In conjunction to the safety enclosure net, a ladder should always be used for easier access into the trampoline. If the trampoline isn't situated at least 4 feet away from grass or play bark, a safety enclosure net is absolutely recommended.
Professional sports gyms always use rectangular trampolines. The springs work at different rates, giving the jumper a quicker response, resulting in a more powerful lift. Due to these characteristics, rectangular trampolines should only be used by 1 jumper at a time.
As for round trampolines, all the springs work at the same rate. This gives an even, softer and more stable bounce, suitable for inexperience and children of any age and ability. In recent years, round trampolines have the seen the largest growth in popularity among all types of trampolines, combining excellent work-out, health benefits and fun for children and families of all ages.