8 best trampolines to keep kids entertained in the garden while self-isolating
What’s the quality of the jump like? How robust is the frame? How safe is it? We enlisted a team of trusty junior jumpers to put the equipment through its paces
Looking to buy a new trampoline? Brace yourself – there’s a lot to consider.
But the good news is we’ve bounced our way through trampoline after trampoline (or got our younger testers to do it for us) to find the best of them, based on the quality of the jump, the safety aspects, the ease of assembly and longevity of the product.
Before you part with your cash, make sure you’ve allowed a generous area of grass around the sides so it’s a softer landing if your child does fall out.
Consider additional safety features, such as spring-free, a net and/or crawl tunnel instead of zipped entry. Think about whether you want an in-ground trampoline (less of an eyesore) or overground (cheaper).
As for shape, round is the most common, oval is great for narrower gardens and you get more jumping area, while rectangular is the top gymnast choice.
Some trampolines are aimed at one user, others can take a few – the general rule is that a trampoline with an 8ft diameter is ideal for one to two people; 12ft diameter for one to three people; and 15ft diameter for two to three people.
Finally, does it have a good warranty? And are spare parts, such as springs or pad, available to buy separately if you need them in years to come?
You can trust our independent reviews, we may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Spring Free oval: From £1,195, Spring Free
The clue is in the name for the USP on this one. Following growing research revealing that springs are one of the main causes of trampoline-based accidents, Spring Free introduced its first spring-free offering back in 2003 and its trampolines are still the only ones to be endorsed by RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). Instead, there’s a rod-based system which, by the way, doesn’t rust, corrode or make that irritating squeaking nose. There are plenty of shapes and sizes available, but we like the oval ones best as you get more bounce for your buck, with children not automatically being sent back to the middle as is the case with round ones. For instance, with the 8ft x 11ft, it provides a jumping surface equivalent to a 12ft spring-based trampoline. It’s also available in 8ft x 13ft, and there’s even a “smart” version which you connect to your tablet via Bluetooth to monitor bouncing skills and incorporate bouncing games.
Chad Valley 6ft trampoline: £85, Argos
Great for little ones aged around three and above, this has a lower height frame than most, as well as an extra-durable bounce-mat to withstand some serious bouncing. The galvanised steel frame and safety enclosure are sturdier than others in this price range and it’s simple to put together, thanks to the unusual “quad lok” frame with easy-to-link joints. The green and black colouring will appeal to kids and will blend into your garden more easily than some of its brighter counterparts. It’s only designed for one child to bounce at a time, though.
Plum springsafe WEB trampoline: £479.95, AllRoundFun
If you like the idea of no springs, but the Spring Free brand is too pricey, then feast your eyes on this. It’s Plum’s first foray into the spring free market and we are impressed with the patented design whose bungee alternative doesn’t feel like you’re compromising on the quality of the bounce or materials. It only comes in one size – we guess they’re seeing how this one goes down with safety-conscious parents before committing to others – but 10ft is a good size for medium and large gardens anyway. We tested ours on kids aged six and above – as per Plum’s recommendations – and they told us it gives a nice gentle push upwards, has room for more than one person and feels safe and well-made. The yellow and black finish looks smart too.
TP genius round trampoline: From £379.99, TP Toys
This is TP’s most premium branded trampoline but it comes with a bargain price-tag – good news for those on a budget. The blue and black combo won us over aesthetically and there are plenty of great features to shout about including a neat taut net, the patented Igloo, crawl-through door (safer than zips that inevitably get left open) and a rust-free frame with padding to stop users banging against them. Available in sizes of 10ft, 12ft and 14ft, there’s an option for every sized garden and you get all the usual gubbins included, such as ladder, cover and even a shoe tidy. But it’s not the easiest to put together and it doesn’t feel quite as robust as some of the pricier models included here.
Berg grand champion oval: From £1,049, Wicken Toys
If you’ve got a teenager who wouldn’t be seen dead on a traditional garden trampoline – or you don’t have a garden or the room for one anyway – then cast your eyes on this this bungee-sprung fitness trampoline. A great way for them (and you) to get fit either indoors or outdoors, it comes with fitness aids – including stability bar, resistance bands and weights – as well as a useful DVD to show you how to make the most of them. It can take up to 15 stone in weight and comes with a carry bag that means you can fold it away or cart round to a friend’s house.
Capital in ground trampoline: From £685, Capital
In-ground trampolines – those with bounce-mats that are level with the ground – are great for those who hate the idea of tall trampolines ruining their view. With this one, you get vented safety padding for extra air flow, which means no annoying slapping sounds, and full, half or corner safety net options. Add-ons include lighting for bouncing after dark and in-ground basketball hoops. The round one comes in four sizes (8ft, 10ft, 12ft, 14ft) and the rectangular in three (10ft x 6ft, 11ft x 8ft, 14ft x10ft). Safety padding is available in either green or grey.
Jumpking rectangular trampoline: From £200, Active Toy Company
Ask any competing gymnast what shaped trampoline they favour and without question they’ll tell you it’s rectangular, helping to explain why this is a long-term bestseller for more serious trampolinists. It comes in a whopping five sizes – something for everyone and every garden – and the bounce is of a professional standard thanks the spring configuration. As with oval trampolines, the jumper isn’t pulled back into the middle every time they leap into the air – unlike with round ones, not all the springs are used when you jump. This, said our testers, makes it a joy for more daring jumps and tricks and when you’ve got more than one person on at once. It’s got all the whizzy features you’d expect to keep things safe and long-lasting, and it comes from one of the best brands on the market.
Upper Bounce 40 mini foldable rebounder fitness trampoline: £74.99, Wayfair
Who says trampolines are only for kids? Adults have long used small trampolines for low impact aerobic workouts, which are proven to help reduce stress and tone muscles. This one from Upper Bounce has an adjustable height removable handrail for added stability and has a good quality bounce thanks to how the 40 springs connect. It’s easy to assemble and folds away, making it simple to store, and we found it easy to transport too. You can use it inside or outside and it feels very robust. There’s a bigger one available too. And if the kids do want a go, that’s fine as it’s suitable for them too.
The verdict: Trampolines
The Spring Free oval ticks the most boxes of all the trampolines we reviewed – oval is a great shape both when it comes to fitting in narrower gardens and for a better bounce, while the lack of springs means it’s extra safe. For a traditional round trampoline at a wallet-friendly price, we recommend the TP genius round trampoline.
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