Is Anything Really “Safe”?
Well, let’s face it, living is not completely safe. We take risks each and every day just by getting out of bed in the morning. There are risks associated with any type of activity that we are engaged in.
When I was young, there was only one place that I knew of that had a trampoline; and an inground trampoline at that! It was about 3 blocks away from my house and I would pass by it as I rode on my bicycle (talk about an unsafe thing for a kid to do!!) I remember that it was a residence that also had a motorcycle repair shop on the property. It was a trampoline without an enclosure, of course (they were a long way from being invented!) and motorcyles–I guess they were a family who took risky entertainments in stride!! That trampoline drew a lot of friends of the teenagers who lived there to come and play on this rare piece of equipment. Yes, it was the “good old days”!
Today, while we can’t say that any trampoline is completely “safe”, there are certain brands of trampoline that has features that try to eliminate some of the risks of injury of common trampoline use. Two of the biggest are 1) Falling off the trampoline and 2) Falling on the steel frame and/or springs area. It is almost impossible to find a trampoline that doesn’t come with an enclosure net and spring cover mat. We’ve come a long way!
By far, if you are looking for the absolute SAFEST trampoline, there is nothing safer (as safe as a trampoline can be) than a springless trampoline.
What is a Springless Trampoline?
There is a trampoline out there on the market today that has been deemed the safest by far. This brand has eliminated the need for springs. Since the trampoline’s invention in the 1930’s, there really hasn’t been that much of a design change in the basic construction of the backyard toy. This one-of-a-kind company has completely engineered that hazard out of their brand. It is called the Springfree Trampoline.
The Springfree Trampoline is a very unique looking. Instead of using standard springs that hook into a steel frame, they use composite, flexible rods that attach to a very heavy duty frame (that is 18 inches below the trampoline jump mat) and the jump mat itself. There is no frame or metal springs for your jumper to come in contact with. There really is nothing else like it!
The enclosure netting, called Flexinet, is amazing too. There are no vertical metal poles that hold the netting up. It comes with these strong, thinner support rods that bend with the net in order to avoid injury from the jumper banging their head against a pole. They have literally designed out all of the most common reasons for injury.
Why makes a Springfree Trampolines better?
Springfree trampolines have great reviews! They are long-lasting and durable even in harsh weather. They come with a fantastic warranty too! You can see the warranty (here). And they double the warranty if you register your trampoline.
Their solid frame is also heavy enough that it this trampoline does not require tie-downs or anchor stakes. It remains stationary even in high winds. It isn’t going to go anywhere. This might be something to think about if you are wanting to move it from one end of the lawn to another. Reviewers said they it could be moved, but it was quite heavy. It would take a few strong arms.
So, what do we think about Springfree Trampolines?
This is not a complete review of the brand Springfree, because there are a few other brands that we feel are quite safe. Springfree just stands out in a class all it’s own, so we wanted to give it a prominent place under the category of safety.
It is a great trampoline, but it does have a few drawbacks. As with everything, unfortunately, one has to take the good with the bad.
Reviewers noted (just about all of them) that the assembly was not very easy to do. But many still gave it the highest review because they thought the fatigue and sweat of putting it together were totally worth it! It can more easily be done with 2 or 3 helpers, but bending those composite rods takes a lot of strength and they said they had to be careful that the rods didn’t slip because they were under tension and could rebound back and cause injury.
The company suggests that you be careful to keep your head out of the way when doing the rod assembly. So, it is the safest trampoline on the market for those jumping on it, but less safe for those assembling it, evidently. Recommendation: purchase a package that includes someone coming out to assemble it for you. It was also recommended to read the instructions a few times through and watch the assembly videos.
Also, safety comes at a cost. You are paying much more for this trampoline. It is more than double the price of a comparable trampoline in a similar size and shape. Parts of each trampoline is manufactured all over the world. As with all things that are cutting edge, they tend to be higher priced. But reviews we read gave the impression that many seemed to think that it is worth the piece of mind.
Bottom line: If the price is not as much of an issue for you and you can afford a Springfree Trampoline, BUY IT! We doubt very much that you would be disappointed given all the glowing reports that we read about it.
Some other Safer Brands
When we were doing our research on safety, we were looking at trampolines that had the strong safety net enclosure that was UV protected and solid vertical poles with foam protection all around. We wanted to see generously padded spring mats and jump mats with the same weather protection and made of strong material. We wanted to see good warranties and easily obtained replacement parts. This is what we found:
The Zupapa trampoline is getting very good reviews all around for their TUV certified combo kit. What is TUV certified? I’m glad you asked; it was a question we also were asking. TUV stands for Technischer Uberwachungs-Verein (Technical Inspection Association), a German-based independent safety company which verifies products for the safety of the environment and humans. Zupapa has stood the test and TUV proudly stands by each Zupapa trampoline.
What we like about this trampoline (besides the rave reviews it consistently gets on Amazon) is the safety considerations that it gives their product.
We really liked that the weight limit on this trampoline was higher than some of the other competitor brands. The 15′ round Zupapa trampoline has a weight limit of 375 lbs. Almost twice that of the competition! A higher weight limit = a safer trampoline in our estimation. If they have an independent safety company backing their product and we don’t have to worry so much about whether our trampoline will hold the weight that we are putting on it, then all the better.
The vertical poles for the enclosure netting are a bit higher than most others-72 inches high. Each trampoline comes with a ladder, a net enclosure, the safety spring pad, a ladder, the quality UV protected jump mat, a shoe bag, and even a trampoline cover. All this for a comparable price to other companies that you have to buy a ladder and trampoline cover separately.
Why would you consider a ladder and a trampoline cover as safety additions? We consider a ladder a safety measure because a ladder can be removed when you don’t want anyone jumping on the equipment (which is a good thing), but it can also be the right piece of equipment to have rather than something to step on that is makeshift and possibly flimsy or can easily tip over (ie. an overturned bucket). The trampoline cover is a wonderful addition so that the jump mat can be protected from UV rays, which can damage material over time, when not in use.
Both of these items enhance the safety of the trampoline experience and usually cost extra. Ladders can run anywhere from $20-$30 and weather protection covers vary depending on size. Expect to pay between $30-$100 for those.
Zupapa trampolines come in three sizes ranging between 12′-15′:
We like the Jumpking brand for it’s cool “top rail” feature that it has on all it’s enclosure systems. It doesn’t just have vertical poles that you attach the netting to, but instead, it has a casing at the top of the netting that you thread their “G3 shock corded horizontal rod” through. This flexible cord then gets clipped into grooves on the top of the poles that gives your net much more stability if it needs to catch falls. And, we think, it gives the Jumpking a more professional look as well.
We also like these trampolines for their dual-protection locking system that it has on the entrance opening. Not only do you have a zipper to close, but it has clips as well that gives it added substantiality.
Here are a few of the models that were our favorites:
Another great pick for a more traditional trampoline is the Skywalker brand, due to their special patented no-gap lockdown system that ties down the netting at each spring. Skywalker, by far, has the most reviews on Amazon, so clearly it is a very good seller. This company has a lot of satisfied customers who feel this is a safe trampoline choice for their family.
Here are a few of our choices for this brand:
When it comes to safety, the construction of your trampoline is going to be very important indeed. It is something that should be considered very carefully and compared with what you are able to afford.
However, nothing is going to be more important than teaching your kids to apply basic safety procedures when playing and having good parental supervision. Every household should have the rule that no one is allowed on the trampline until there can be parental supervision. This should be an ironclad rule that should not ever be violated. If it is, the kids can make the yard sale signs!
It is going to be important to remember, that the safest trampoline will be the one in which you have gathered sufficient information about and developed good safety rules around.