What ARE trampolines made of? This is a very good question as you are trusting different construction materials with your family’s safety. There are numerous aspects of trampolines that should be paid attention to while shopping. One of the most important aspects is to ensure the weight capacity is high enough to accommodate the jumpers. No one wants to find out what happens when the weight limit of a trampoline is exceeded. You need to make sure the trampoline you buy will hold up, be safe to use, offer the required specifications, and last a long time. The way to do that is to make sure your model is made from the best materials. Read below to find out what materials make up trampolines.
Common Materials Used for a Trampoline
It is not the mat that provides the bounce you get every time you jump. That action is reserved for the springs. But you still need a sturdy and safe landing spot which is where the mat comes in (see How to Fix a Hole in a Trampoline). The mat’s material is a strong tight weave of polypropylene or nylon fibers. These fibers are synthetic and are made to be very strong, smooth, flexible, UV-resistant, and mildew-resistant. Additionally, nylon and polypropylene can handle the outdoor weather that comes to your neighborhood very well. You can get mats made in other materials but these are the most common due to their beneficial properties.
If you’re interested, read our review of the Giantex 16′ trampoline to see how it measures up to the competition.
These are the most important part of the trampoline. Not only because they give you a great bounce when you want it, but they also hold the mat in place so you have a safe place to land. If the springs break, the mat is not going to be of any use to you. The springs are a primary reason that it is important that your trampoline is the best size for your needs.
There are two materials used to make springs. The first is elastic. These give you the bounce and may be safer than the other construction material used to make springs but they are not as strong or as durable. You can often find elastic bands on mini-trampolines that are commonly used for exercise.
The other construction material is galvanized steel. This metal does not rust very quickly when made right and can hold a lot of weight. These types of springs may be harder to land on than elastic but they last longer and hold more weight, making them safer in the long run.
Along with a strong mat and springs, you need a solid frame. The best material used in constructing a trampoline frame is galvanized steel. Like the springs, they hold a lot of weight, withstand the weather, and do not rust that quickly. On rare occasions, you may find trampoline frames that are made from aluminum or some other material, but they may not be as strong. On the other hand, aluminum does not rust and is lighter than steel. Galvanized steel springs are recommended due to their improved bounce and durability compared to other types of material. Furthermore, a strong frame can be useful later on if you ever decide to repurpose your trampoline.
Common Materials Used for the Accessories
To protect everyone who uses your trampoline, you need top-quality safety pads covering both the frame and the springs. Landing on these items can cause injury or cuts and it is best to avoid those issues. That means you need to get the best construction material for your safety pads and that is usually plush foam covered in vinyl. This is soft but firm material that should prevent most injuries and cuts.
There are two materials that are used to create safety nets. The first is Polyethylene which is a thermoplastic designed to be strong and very safe. The other is usually polyester and both materials are made from petroleum products.
The key to having these nets remain around your trampoline for a long time is to make sure they are well made and have top-notch UV protective coating. If not, you will be replacing the safety enclosure more often than you may like.
What About Rebounders/Exercise Trampolines?
Rebounders are those small trampolines you keep in the house and use to stay fit (see the Ancheer 40″ folding rebounder review). Essentially they are the same concept as the larger trampoline except you do not get the same high bounce and they are much smaller.
Unfortunately, they are not always made from the same materials as their larger counterparts. The mat can be made from canvas, plastic, or nylon but the best material is polypropylene.
The springs and legs are commonly made from steel which gives you strength and confidence they are not going to break right away. However, the springs on some models will be replaced by elastic bungee cords. That latter material may be as strong as steel but the bounce may not be as good.
The frame is also made from steel but different manufacturers use different gauges. The thicker the gauge the stronger the metal. Thin metal frames may lack the sturdiness of the thicker metal ones and make it more difficult to do your exercises on.
Safety is key and the better the construction materials in your large or small trampoline, the safer you and your family will be. You may pay a little more for the better trampolines but your safety is worth the extra expense.