Getting a new trampoline is never easy, especially if you have never used one before. There are literally thousands of options out there, and all of them look good to someone with little to no experience. But once you have been through trampolines as much as I, you will be able to pick out the good from the bad.
One of the first things that determine the overall quality of the trampoline is its materials. And naturally, a new buyer will have no idea what trampolines are usually made out of, right? Well, after going through this, you will know better.
What are Trampolines Made of?
I have owned a trampoline in practically every stage of my life. When I was eight years old, my dad got a 10 feet trampoline with an enclosure for our backyard. And thus began my enthusiastic journey into the world of trampolines. Now that I have a family of my own, I made sure that my kids could enjoy a trampoline in their backyard.
Needless to say, having spent so much time with different trampolines over the years, I have a decent bit of knowledge about it. And because of that, many of my friends and neighbors come to me when they are planning to get a trampoline for the first time. Frankly, I also enjoy sharing my thoughts with them.
One of the very first questions that people ask me is whether their trampoline will be durable. And I get where they are coming from. A trampoline is not exactly cheap, and when someone is buying one, they want to make sure that it will last them a good couple of years.
The thing that dictates the durability of the trampoline is its material. Trampolines can be made from a wide range of materials, and different manufacturers opt to take different approaches. And understanding the materials and their impact goes a long way in making sure you end up with a long-lasting trampoline.
That is exactly what brings me here today. Here, I will talk about the different materials that trampolines can be made from and help you understand which material affects the trampoline in what way.
What Type of Material is Trampoline Made of?
A trampoline is a pretty simple and straightforward yard toy. It has four distinct components when you break it down, the frame, the springs, the jumping mat, and the safety net. Other than that, most trampolines also come with safety pads.
To give you a complete picture of how a trampoline is made, let me talk about the construction materials of each component separately.
Trampoline frames are usually made of some form of metal. The most common metal used to make a trampoline frame is galvanized steel to help it withstand extreme weather outdoors, such as rainfall or snow. So, if you keep your trampoline out during the rain, it should not be damaged in any way.
You can also find some trampolines with aluminum frames, but I would advise against those. Aluminum is a lightweight metal which is not really a great choice for something like a trampoline.
Similar to the frames, the springs are also made of galvanized steel. However, if you go with an indoor trampoline that you can put in your basement, you will most likely see bungee ropes in place of steel springs in it. Steel springs offer a better bounce and last longer compared to bungee ropes. But for indoor trampolines, bungee ropes are the safer option.
The Brand Springfree uses composite rods instead of springs which is a great alternative if you do not want to go with steel or bungee rope springs. Their trampolines offer great bounce, have impressive weight capacity, and are also quite durable.
Trampoline mats, also called, jumping mats, are made from either synthetic polypropylene or nylon. The main purpose of the jumping mat is to accommodate the weight of the jumper and create an elastic area to jump on. The mat is attached to the frame using springs.
Some trampoline mats, especially inflatable models designed for toddlers, may feature latex or rubber materials. While they may be fine for younger children, for an outdoor trampoline, these materials are not the best. Polypropylene or nylon is always the superior material for trampoline mats.
The safety net is a crucial component in any trampoline. However, not all manufacturers include one when you buy one of their trampolines. If you do not get one included with your purchase, I would suggest buying an aftermarket enclosure net to prevent any injuries while jumping.
Different manufacturers use different materials to make their trampoline safety nets. The three most common materials are polypropylene, polyethylene, and polyester. However, among the three, the most popular one is polyethylene, as it has greater tensile strength and can withstand the force of you bumping into the net while jumping on a trampoline.
Trampoline Safety Pads
Similar to the safety net, the main role of safety pads is to prevent injuries and accidents when you are using the trampoline. Typically, these pads are made with high-density foam wrapped inside vinyl covers.
The density of the foam dictates the overall quality of the pads. If you are not happy with the foam thickness, you can always pick up thicker safety pads which will give you better protection against awkward falls inside the trampoline.
More Questions on Trampoline Materials
I often get asked a lot of questions about trampoline materials, especially by new buyers. While I am always happy to answer any queries, I think it would be easier for everyone to list the questions here and address them one by one.
To that end, here are the answers to some of the common questions related to trampolines and their construction materials.
Are trampoline frames galvanized?
Typically, yes, at least if you go with any high-end trampoline. Without a galvanized frame, the trampoline will not be able to withstand moisture damage and will get rusty if it gets wet. That is why most manufacturers use galvanized steel to create their trampoline frames.
Are trampolines made of aluminum?
Yes, some manufacturers do tend to go with aluminum as their material of choice when making their trampoline frames. However, I am not a fan of aluminum frames as they can get rusty if exposed to water pretty easily. In addition, aluminum frames are not as durable or as stable as galvanized steel frames.
Are trampolines made of latex?
Latex is not that common in trampolines, but some manufacturers do go with it, especially when making their jumping mats. Personally, I prefer polypropylene mats as latex can cause allergic reactions or irritation in the skin. Polypropylene or even nylon mats offer a much better experience while jumping on the trampoline.
Are trampolines made of rubber?
Well, latex is a type of rubber, so if latex can be used, so can rubber to make a trampoline. But as I said, most manufacturers don’t use latex or rubber, and it also does not feel as good as synthetic material like polypropylene.
Are trampolines made of Kevlar?
Kevlar is a strong, heat-resistant synthetic material that is most popularly used to make bulletproof vests. It is an extremely versatile material that can be used to manufacture a wide variety of things. However, making a trampoline is not one of the things where Kevlar would be used.
Are trampolines made of carbon fiber?
Trampolines are typically not made of carbon fiber. However, some manufacturers design the posts for safety enclosures using this material instead of steel to cut costs. As for its performance, you would not notice any major issues if your trampoline has carbon fiber posts, so it is best not to worry about it too much.
The Bottom Line
A lot of the durability and performance of a trampoline depend on the materials used in its construction. So, I get it. If you want a new trampoline for your backyard, it is natural to ask these questions.
The perfect trampoline, if you ask me, is one that features a galvanized steel frame and springs and also comes with a polypropylene jumping mat and a polyethylene enclosure net. You should also look at the thickness of the safety pads just in case, as some of them are quite thin. If you look at these elements carefully when you are looking for a new trampoline, then you should be able to pick one up that lasts you for years. I hope my in-depth look at what trampolines are made of could help you pick out a better trampoline for your home. Good luck!