A few years ago, my brother gave me the trampoline that had been in his backyard for the past 5 years or so. For the one year that we had that hand-me-down trampoline, we used it on a weekly basis, at least. There wasn’t a day that went by when someone didn’t jump on it. Even during the fall and winter, we would get our warmest coats on and jump with the dried leaves and the fresh snow under our feet. But one huge wind storm in February eventually blew our beloved trampoline away, crunching its frame between a light pole and our roof.
After the countless hours spent on our trampoline for the one year that we had it, we were hooked. I knew it was time to research which was the best backyard trampoline for our family.
Best Backyard Trampoline: Skybound Stratos Trampoline with Full Enclosure Net System
After reviewing the trampolines on the market, I’ve decided that the best backyard trampoline is the . This trampoline has the right combination of good quality of materials, safety considerations, and a long warranty for my piece of mind.
The Skybound Stratos Trampoline is a round trampoline that comes in three sizes: 12’, 14’, or 15’. The weight limit for this trampoline is 330 pounds. This is an important specification to consider. Even though my children currently only weigh about 100 pounds combined, they will only keep growing. Hopefully, this trampoline will be in our backyard even when they are teenagers weighing much more than they do now. I want to make sure I’m buying a trampoline now that will be able to accommodate my children and their friends as they grow.
Quite frankly, the trampoline is a lot of fun (and great exercise) for adults too. Any trampoline I purchase needs to have a good weight limit on it so adults and children alike can enjoy it.
The Skybound Stratos Trampoline comes with 108 8.5” premium springs, for the 15’ size. The 12’ trampoline has 84 springs and the 14’ trampoline has 96 springs. These springs are larger and stronger than the 6.5” springs that some other trampoline brands use. According to Skybound, their springs are 50% more durable and bouncier than standard springs. I like that these stronger springs are less likely to get damaged quickly, won’t rust, and create a bouncier surface.
Unique assembly system
The assembly for the Skybound Stratos Trampoline is unique. Skybound uses an enclosure system for its parts with push pins to connect the pieces. There are no bolts or screws to tighten into place, or to rust or get degraded over time. A frequent complaint about most trampolines on the market is about how difficult assembly is, and how easy it is to over-tighten and strip the flimsy screws that the manufacturer provides. The reviews on this trampoline were overwhelmingly positive about how easy the assembly was. However, many reviewers did mention the time-consuming nature of attaching the net to the trampoline.
Because the twelve poles that support the Skybound Trampoline are curved outward and the net has a concave curve inward, it is impossible for someone to hit the pole when they are jumping on the mat. The twelve poles (and six legs) make the trampoline nice and stable, even for the mightiest jumpers. Since most trampolines generally have six or eight poles, the fact that this trampoline has twelve poles adds to its stability.
Skybound also offers one of the best warranties I’ve seen. The warranty covers ten years for the metal frame, two years for the jumping mat, and one year for the net and springs. Trampolines take a beating from its users and from the weather, so having a good warranty is a key factor when looking for a quality trampoline.
This trampoline does not come with a ladder to get in. You can buy a separate ladder, or just use a step stool. Not having a ladder was not a deal breaker for me. Upon reviewing the trampolines that did have ladders, I found many complaints from reviewers that the ladder hurt their feet or was slippery when wet. When we had our old hand-me-down trampoline in our yard, we just put a sturdy lawn chair next to the entrance, and it worked out just fine.
Runner-Up Best Backyard Trampoline:
Skywalker is the most popular trampoline brand on the market. They have a wide variety of shapes and sizes of trampolines, and parts are easily accessible if you need a replacement. Of the Skywalker trampolines, I was most impressed with the rectangular option. This 15-foot trampoline has a weight limit of 400 pounds, as opposed to the Skywalker’s 15-foot round trampoline which only has a weight limit of 200 pounds.
Trampolines come in round, octagon, oval, square, and rectangular shapes. The round is by far the most traditional for the best backyard trampoline. All of the top brands carry a round trampoline. A round trampoline tends to guide the jumper to the center of the jumping mat by evenly distributing force equally to all the springs. Oval and octagonal trampolines work the same way.
Rectangular and square trampolines are traditionally used by gymnasts. You will get the highest bounce from one of these trampolines. They have a firmer and stronger bounce, and an even bounce no matter if you are jumping in the center or edge of the jumping mat. This is a great shaped trampoline if you are planning on doing backflips and other gymnastic tricks. Note that these are generally a bit more expensive than their round counterparts.
The frame of the Skywalker Rectangular Trampoline is made up of eight poles with padding. They are angled at the top, which keeps the net away from the poles. This decreases the likelihood of wear and tear on the net from scratching against the poles.Some reviewers did mention that the foam on the poles is flimsy and can rip easily.
The net, poles, and spring pad are all UV protected to help prevent degradation from sun exposure. The springs and poles are rust resistant. There are 76 7.64” springs, again bigger and stronger than the 6.5” springs commonly used on other trampolines (including the Skywalker round trampoline).
Most of the negative comments from reviewers of this trampoline were regarding the difficulty in assembling this trampoline. Most people recommend laying out all the pieces (including the screws) according to the instruction manual before starting the assembly process. Reading through the entire process before starting seems to be a crucial step to avoid making a mistake that may cause having to take everything apart to start all over.
In order to secure the pole caps, many reviewers mentioned they had to drill an extra hole in the top of the poles. Other common complaints were missing pieces, stripping the screws from over-tightening, and boxes that fell apart during delivery. Be aware that this trampoline gets delivered in three boxes, so they may not arrive all on the same day.
Honorable Mention Best Backyard Trampoline:
The Magic Circle Trampoline is another option with a high weight limit: 450 pounds. With a weight limit this high, you can confidently have a few adults, a number of children, or a combination of both adults and kids jumping at the same time. For safety reasons, it is always advisable to have the fewest people jumping at the same time. However, in practice, most families end up allowing multiple people to jump simultaneously.
The mesh net on the Magic Circle Trampoline is sewn directly into the jumping mat. This is designed so there are no gaps for a jumper’s limbs to get stuck. The net is made from the same fibers as the mat and has a tight mesh so fingers don’t get caught. I like the strength and safety of this net, compared to other trampolines that have nets that seem to rip more easily or have gaps where jumpers can fall through. Safety is definitely an important consideration when deciding which trampoline to purchase.
Size and Shape
Magic Circle trampolines come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including octagon, round, hexagon, and rectagon. It is important to measure the area available in your backyard to determine the best size for your family. Make sure to measure not only the size of the trampoline itself but include a few feet surrounding the perimeter of the trampoline in your calculations. Also, keep in mind the height of the trampoline and the area where you will place it. Jumpers may jump higher than the net enclosure, so make sure there are no low hanging branches covering the area where you will place your trampoline.
Other considerations are how much direct sun exposure there is, which can possibly cause fading to the mat or foam, and how much debris from trees will fall on the trampoline. If you live somewhere with a lot of falling leaves in autumn, you may end up spending some time sweeping leaves out of your trampoline.
The opening for this particular trampoline is unique in that it does not include a zipper. Instead, the fabric overlaps about two feet, creating a gap for the jumper to squeeze through. This is a nice feature, as it doesn’t require jumpers to zip (or forget to zip) the enclosure each time they enter the trampoline. But, it does make for a more difficult cleanup job when sweeping leaves and other debris from the jumping surface.
One of the things I especially like about the Magic Circle Trampoline is the great warranty. The warranty covers ten years for the frame and four years for the fabric components. No matter what brand of trampoline you buy, it is important to occasionally inspect all aspects of your trampoline, including the net, jumping pad, springs, and frame.
Is there any rust? Are there holes in the jumping pad? Is the net-ripping? Are any springs falling out? With the amount of wear and tear a trampoline gets, it is important to know that the company stands behind its product and that you can get replacement parts easily.
The springs on the Magic Circle Trampoline are 8.5” long. I like trampolines with these bigger springs, as opposed to trampolines that come with 6.5” springs. I want to make sure the springs on any trampoline I buy are going to be as strong as possible, and provide the best bounce. We did have to replace a number of the springs on the old trampoline that we briefly owned, and that taught me the importance of buying a trampoline with the best springs possible. Magic Circle is also made in the USA, so you can feel good about buying a product manufactured here at home.
Best Backyard Trampoline with Accessories:
The thing that sets the Zupapa trampolines apart from the other brands is the accessories that come with the purchase. Zupapa includes a ladder, rain cover, and stakes with each trampoline. This is the first of the trampolines reviewed here that includes a ladder with the trampoline, and the only trampoline reviewed here that includes either stakes or a rain cover. If these are accessories that you may consider buying separately, this may be a good option for you since you won’t have to shop for these items beyond your trampoline purchase.
The weight limit for the 15’ Zupapa Trampoline is 375 pounds and 330 pounds for the 12’ and 14’ versions. The frame, as with all trampolines reviewed here, is made of rust resistant galvanized steel. The 15’ trampoline comes with 108 7” springs. There are padded pole sleeves to protect against scratching or jumping against the steel poles. Jumpers gain entrance to the trampoline through a zippered entryway.
As mentioned above, the warranty offered on a trampoline is an important feature. Zupapa’s warranty includes six months on the pad and net, one year on the jumping mat and springs, and three years on the frame. It is certainly worth marking these dates on your calendar and inspecting each of these parts as the warranties expire, to ensure that no replacement parts are needed before you lose the warranty.
This trampoline gets generally good reviews for its quality and for the excellent customer service from Zupapa. Installation is generally highly reviewed as easy, getting completed in a few hours with two people working on it together. The most common complaints about the assembly are regarding the poles.
The foam is difficult to get on the poles, and then it is difficult to push the poles through the netting sleeves. Many users found it necessary to use materials like baby powder to help slide the foam onto the pole. Others found it useful to use a sticky material like hairspray to help keep the foam in place, so it wouldn’t slide off the poles when pushing them through the netting.
Although some users may find it useful that this trampoline comes with a rain cover, there are downsides to this accessory. The rain cover seems to work best if you purchase a trampoline without a safety enclosure. Using the rain cover on the jumping mat by itself is useful in keeping the jumping mat dry and free of falling leaves.
However, there are problems with the rain cover when using it on a trampoline with the enclosure netting. If a lot of rain falls while the rain cover is secured to the poles, it accumulates and may get so heavy that the poles will bend. It is also difficult to remove the rain cover while there is standing water in it without dumping the water back into the trampoline.
Best Backyard Trampoline With Gaming Abilities:
The design of Springfree Trampolines is completely different than traditional trampolines that utilize coil springs. These Springfree Trampolines are unique in that they don’t use springs at all. Instead, Springfree uses a system of extremely strong rods underneath and around the mat. This forms a flexible soft edge surrounding the trampoline. These rods are made out of the same material that Boening uses for its newest airplanes.
Because there are no springs, the jumping mat is bouncy and soft for the entire surface inside the net, even right up against the net. This decreases the risk of injury from the hitting the hard outer edge that other more traditional trampolines have. It also creates a larger jumping surface inside the trampoline. An 11’ Springfree Trampoline has the equivalent jumping surface as a 14’ trampoline with coil springs.
Additionally, there are no rigid outside poles to hit. The poles surrounding the trampoline’s netting are flexible and expand when a jumper bounces against them. The netting is UV resistant, flexible, and strong enough to be resistant to ripping. Springfree designed their trampolines to be the safest trampolines in the industry. Because of the unique design of these trampolines, they are highly rated for safety. This unique design and high safety rating does come with a significantly higher price tag than traditional trampolines.
Size and Shape
Springfree trampolines are available in square, oval, and round shapes. Each of these trampolines also has between one and two different sizes available. Remember when looking at these trampolines that you can purchase a smaller sized trampoline but actually be getting a larger jumping area than a traditional trampoline with coil springs.
This trampoline comes with a basketball hoop for additional fun while jumping. As with many trampolines that come with a basketball hoop, reviewers found that the hoop comes apart from the net easily. A ladder is also included with the purchase of the Springfree Trampoline.
Another unique aspect of this trampoline is the optional gaming system accessory that can be purchased separately. The jumping mat has sensors on it that correspond to the optional Tgoma gaming system. This system gets attached to the net and includes over ten different games and apps. This is an interesting additional feature, although from my experience with some of the best backyard trampolines that it is not necessary or worth the additional cost.
I am intrigued by the unique design of the Springfree Trampoline and its high safety rating. The design is not only safe, but it provides additional benefits like the larger jumping surface and a quieter trampoline experience. Without springs, there is less squeaking noise as jumpers play on the trampoline.
However, the downsides to this trampoline are weight limit and price. The weight limit for the Springfree Trampoline is only 220 pounds. This means a heavier adult must jump alone, and it decreases the number of children who can bounce together. As important as safety is when considering a trampoline, I’m not sure the significant increase in price for this trampoline is worth the additional investment.
Best Backyard Trampoline Without Springs:
No Coil Springs
The Vuly Thunder Trampoline is another trampoline that uses a unique system to create bounciness. Forgoing traditional coil springs, Vuly Thunder Trampolines utilize leaf springs instead. These types of springs are traditionally used in heavy truck suspension systems. Vuly’s leaf springs create a higher bounce because the leaf springs lose less energy than coil springs when they stretch and bend.
They work in a similar way to the Springfree rods in that they create a soft bouncy edge around the mat. The net is sewn directly onto the mat, so there is no gap for jumpers or limbs to fall through. The Vuly Trampoline has a higher weight limit than the Springfree, at 330 pounds.
Another unique feature of the Vuly Thunder is the safety skirt. This feature goes around the entire bottom of the trampoline, preventing anything from getting underneath. With other trampolines, some owners are able to fit their lawnmowers under the mat of the trampoline. Other people opt to move their trampoline around the yard when they mow. With this trampoline, you would either need to let the grass underneath die, or you would have to move it around in order to mow the lawn.
The Vuly Thunder Trampoline has a clever assembly system. The trampoline consists of only six components that click together easily. There are no nuts or screws to tighten. Another interesting feature is what they call the “HexVex game mat.” There are multiple designs on the jumping mat, which can be used to invent creative jumping games like Twister and Follow the Leader. The Vuly Thunder Trampoline comes only in a round shape, but has options for 12’, 14’, or 16’.
I included the Vuly Thunder Trampoline in this review because of the unique nature of the leaf spring technology and the safety skirt that protects the underside of the trampoline. However, the user reviews for the Vuly Thunder are very disappointing. Poor customer service was a frequent complaint. Many reviewers said that the leaf springs broke, the net ripped, the entrance became frayed very quickly, and the parts rusted. There is a short warranty window of only one year on this trampoline. Complaints about parts wearing down coupled with poor customer service make me wary of this trampoline as a good investment.
Recap of the Best Backyard Trampoline For You
A trampoline can be a fun addition to a family’s backyard. Because of the high incidence of injuries on trampolines though, it is important to look at safety features and reliability carefully before deciding on the best backyard trampoline for your family.
The trampoline I have identified as the best on the market now is the Skybound Stratos Trampoline with Full Enclosure Net System. I like the safety features, the nice long warranty, and the quality of the materials used in its design.
Q: Are there any accessories I should buy to go with my new trampoline?
There are a few items you may want to consider. Depending on the trampoline you purchase, it may or may not come with a ladder. This may be something you want to purchase separately if you opt for the Skybound, Skywalker, or Magic Circle trampolines reviewed here. The Zupapa, Springfree, and Vuly Thunder, however, all come with a ladder.
Stakes are also a good idea to add to your purchase. As I experienced with my old trampoline, a strong windstorm may sweep your trampoline away. Even with the sturdiest and heaviest of trampolines, this is always a possibility. A set of good quality stakes can save your investment from this fate. The Zupapa Trampoline comes with a set of stakes, although some reviewers opted to buy heavier stakes from their local hardware store.
Some trampolines, like the Springfree, come with a basketball hoop attached to the net. This can be a fun accessory to purchase separately if your trampoline does not come with one. There are also volleyball nets and bean bag toss games available. Some owners like to simply turn on a sprinkler underneath the trampoline for some refreshing summertime fun.
Q: What safety considerations should I take into account?
When looking at the best backyard trampoline to purchase, look for high-quality materials in the design. Look for safety nets that are sewn directly onto the mat to avoid injury created by gaps between the net and the mat. Some trampolines can even be purchased without a safety net, which certainly decreases its safety as jumpers can easily fall off the side. Most injuries are caused by falling off the trampoline, hitting a pole, or getting caught in gaps.
Look for trampolines with designs that work on minimizing these types of injuries. It is always best to set up rules about the number of jumpers allowed on a trampoline at a time, to decrease the possibility of jumpers running into or falling on top of each other. And of course, always read through the instruction manuals thoroughly and follow all weight limitations.