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When it comes to buying a trampoline the experience can be anything but fun.
There are numerous trampolines on the market; the ranges are vast and often confusing as are the price differences. If you’re thinking all trampolines are the same, there are some things that you should take into consideration before you make your choice.
And don’t forget about after care, with the nice weather of spring and summer you’ll find that suddenly you’re surrounded by trampolines in shops where you don’t see them for the other 8 or 9 months of the year. While their prices are appealing what happens when the sun goes in and the Christmas decorations start appearing on the shelves come September?
So how do you choose a trampoline, well here are our tips for helping you narrow down your choices:
Size and Position – Decide where you want the trampoline to be positioned in your garden before you purchase it, maybe even consider marking out the area so you can get an idea of whether it will fit and the impact it will have on your garden. The last thing you want is to buy a trampoline and half way through building find it simply won’t fit or over powers your outside space.
Budget – Just because you have the space for a large trampoline it doesn’t always mean that it will be the right choice for your family and budget, there are many ranges available and sometimes a slightly smaller trampoline of better quality can be bought for the same price and provide years more enjoyment.
Age of the children – Trampolines are usually recommended for children over the age of 6, though many manufacturers have a range of junior trampolines especially for younger children that are designed to compensate for their developing muscles and co-ordination skills.
Weight limit – Trampolines are designed for one child to use at a time but as we all know, what children should do and what they get up to when you’re not looking tend to be two different things. You want a quality product that’s going to stand up to excited children; a higher weight limit is a good indicator of the grade of materials used in manufacturing.
Thickness of Steel – The thicker the steel the better if you want a trampoline to be durable and last, most steel is galvanised to make it weather resistant, though more and more trampolines are coming onto the market with powder coated steel. These trampolines have had the steel galvanised first then powder coated adding an extra layer of protection.
Springs – It’s important to make sure you’re getting the best for your money not just the most. Not just a case of more springs more bounce, the length of the spring is also an important factor; longer springs allow the jump mat a larger range of movement so improve the bounce experience.
Thickness of padding – The protective padding on the outside of the trampoline covers the steel at the side and the springs. Padding is measured in mm so the thicker the better, something else that needs to be considered is what the padding is made of; PVC is more durable and hard wearing than other alternatives.
Safety enclosure – These are now required by law for above ground trampolines classed as medium or large, though unless you are looking at an in ground trampoline a safety enclosure is a must. A lot of newer designs are curved outwards to maximise the bounce area.
Retailer – Always buy from a retailer with experience in trampoline sales, they’ll be able to advise you and you will experience a higher quality of after sales care. They will not only have the experience but should stock any parts or accessories that you may require in the future
Personal recommendations – Ask around, see if any friends or family have bought a trampoline lately and get the pros and cons from them, the advertisements in shops and on websites have a lot to say but no one will give you a straighter answer than someone you know.
Getting value for money isn’t always as cheap as you may like but in the long run it will be worth the effort for not only your wallet but for your piece of mind as well.