Outdoor trampolines can be a large purchase. When making a purchase such as this, you want to make sure that it will last a long time. There are many factors to consider when searching for a new (or your first) trampoline. The shape of the trampoline (i.e. rectangle vs round trampolines) and size are just a couple of factors that many consider that don’t really have an impact on how long a trampoline will last. The durability and longevity of a trampoline are largely impacted by two primary factors, namely maintenance and the quality of the parts used during construction.
Trampoline Components Durability
The frame is the most important and longest-lasting component that makes up a trampoline. Depending on the shape of the trampoline, the frame is a round bar (often galvanized steel), with attached legs, that supports the mat and provides the trampoline structure. If the frame of the trampoline is of good quality, then it will be safer for jumpers due to providing a solid base that won’t shift or bend during use. Also, the frame is the toughest part of the trampoline and can withstand all but the most severe abuse, such as natural disasters (tornados, hurricanes) lifting it into the air. The most likely reason you will need to replace a frame would be due to rust. Ensure the trampoline is at least rust-resistant to ensure the frame does not rust easily.
If you’re interested, take a look at our article about the best outdoor trampoline for kids to see which popular trampoline works best in a variety of situations.
The warranties from the companies that create these trampolines range from months to years. The warranty is often directly related to the price of the trampoline. Higher priced trampolines often have warranties on the frame that lasts for 10 years (or more). When looking at the warranty, be aware that most will only replace parts if there was a defect in production. These warranties exclude replacing parts due to normal wear and tear. If possible, try to find a warranty that will cover the trampoline’s normal wear. But those warranties are rare and difficult to find. Outside of natural disasters, the frame should last a very long time.
The Jumping Mat
The jumping mat takes more abuse than any other component of a trampoline. The constant jumping up and down is the point at which users apply most of the force of impact (distributed to the springs). The mat can be made of a few different materials, but it is often a polypropylene jumping mat. Depending on the quality of the jumping mat, you can expect one to last for 2 – 5 years before needing replacement or repairs (see How to Fix a Hole in a Trampoline). Just like the frame of the trampoline, the warranties for the mat can last from months to years, but rarely will you find a warranty for the mat that exceeds five years. As mats wear out much faster than a frame, preventative measures, such as not allowing shoes while jumping, can be helpful in prolonging the life of the jumping surface.
The final component of the trampoline is the springs. The springs are often made of coiled galvanized steel wire (rust-resistant). Even though they are made of galvanized steel, like the frame, they are prone to wear out much faster. This is due to constant stretching forced upon them as you jump. Over time, they will slowly lose their elasticity, which will affect the bounce, and could impact the jumping mat as well. To help prolong the life of the springs, there are a few preventative measures you can take. First, during the cold weather months, if you plan on taking the trampoline down for storage, ensure you store the springs away after thoroughly oiling the springs. If you plan on leaving the trampoline out year-round, safety spring padding accessories are available to protect the springs and provide an additional safety measure for jumpers.
Changing out the springs is a simple task. Additionally, springs are one of the cheaper components of trampolines and are easily replaced. Just make sure you are getting the same size springs when ordering replacements. Additionally, performance springs are available that can greatly improve the bounce but expect to pay more (see our comparison of some cheap but good budget trampolines). The warranty for the spring is often similar to what comes with the jumping mat. The warranty rarely matches the frame’s length although it is a metal component.
Trampoline Maintenance to Improve Longevity
Many leave their trampoline outdoors year-round without resorting to the hassle of assembling/disassembling for the winter seasons. However, while the frame of the trampoline will be fine, the other components can incur damage if proper maintenance steps are not followed. Furthermore, even when properly maintaining your outdoor trampoline, the general wear and tear of being exposed to the elements continually will reduce the lifespan of your trampoline.
Keeping the mat clear of debris is paramount to prolonging the lifespan of the jumping surface. For example, damp branches from trees can damage the jumping mat simply by laying on it for a few days. If you want to keep the entire trampoline outside during the fall and winter seasons and don’t want to have to go through the trouble of cleaning the mat every day, protective trampoline covers are available. The protective cover is an excellent investment to protect the mat from water, debris, and even the effects of sunlight. Finally, protect your trampoline from the elements by ensuring it will not blow away during high winds. Wind stakes and anchor kits are essential to keep your trampoline from blowing away.
The Final Word
Overall, you can expect an outdoor trampoline to last between 3 – 8 years, on average, with higher quality models potentially exceeding this. The lifespan of your trampoline largely depends on the level of care and maintenance that is applied over time and the quality of the materials. Another factor that impacts longevity is how often the trampoline is used. If it’s played on every day, then the trampoline will incur more wear and tear than if it is used only occasionally. If older children, teenagers, or adults jump on the trampoline then the trampoline mat will be worn out at a faster rate as well. The older the jumpers and the higher weights affect the rate at which the springs and mat deteriorate. There are trampolines that are more durable or handle higher weight limits better. These trampolines are often used for teenagers or multiple jumpers. Over time, it is sometimes cost-saving to purchase a higher quality trampoline (at a higher cost) that will last longer than a budget model. Premium trampolines often come with performance springs and support higher weight limits.
Performing proper maintenance on your trampoline is integral in extending the life of your investment. The frame is the strongest part of your trampoline and will most likely never need to be replaced. The other parts of the trampoline, the jumping mat, and springs are fairly easy and cheap to replace. Expect springs to be the most common part that needs replacement due to wear. Trampolines are mostly durable devices that can last a very long time. Just remember that, like with most things, the more care and attention that is paid to it, the more likely it is that it will reach the maximum lifespan possible.