Trampoline frame thickness: This is typically stated using the imperial British SWG (Standard Wire Gauge) measurement. The lower the gauge number the thicker the metal so 14 gauge (2.03 mm) is thicker and heavier than 16 gauge ( 1.63 mm) – most people incorrectly assume 16 gauge is preferable to 14 gauge because it’s a larger number! Since all good trampolines comply with all relevant safety standards the thickness of the frame is not a key factor.
Trampoline anti-rust treatment: There are two popular anti rust treatments. Galvanized steel is better than ‘Zinc Powder Coated’ steel.
Trampoline assembly: Most trampolines (certainly all good trampolines) slot together without needing any tools. The larger the trampoline the longer it will take to assemble.
Most trampolines stand approximately 3ft above the ground. Any trampoline which stands lower than than this may well indicate that trampoline is not as bouncy.
Be warned, there’s a LOT of mis-infomation around!
The bounciness of any trampoline, whether it is a round or rectangular trampoline is determined by its springs. Spring performance is dependent on many factors (the material the spring is made from, the diameter of the wire used, the diameter of the spring coil and the overall length of the spring) so without getting into the science and bearing in mind all quality trampolines conform to all relevant standards you can rest assured all quality trampolines are bouncy enough to provide fun without launching anyone into outer space or creating impact craters on your lawn.
Virtually all jump beds are now woven polypropolene mesh with a UV resistant coating which ensures the trampoline beds can withstand direct sunglight for extended periods. Because trmapolines beds are made with a fine mesh water seeps through and falls onto the ground below.
Two sorts of foam are used in pads and there are two popular shapes.
Cheap budget trampolines tend to use wedge shaped trampoline pads which taper from around 20mm on the outside edge down to 5mm on the inside edge. Trampoline pads are often the first trampoline component to wear out so buying a cheap trampoline and having to purchase replacement pads a year later could be false economy. Better quality trampolines use flat pads throughout and vary slightly in thickness from 25mm upwards.
Closed cell foam (sometimes called impact foam) 25mm or thicker provides sufficient protection for children. Closed cell foam is designed to absorb impact so a trampoline with 25mm closed cell foam pads and is likely to perform better than a trampoline with thicker pads using traditional upholstery foam. It is not recommended buying a trampoline which doesn’t use closed cell foam pads.
Trampoline pads are usually covered in vinyl which can vary in thickness and quality. Popular trampoline models feature 20oz vinyl compared to budget trampolines which use lighter weight vinyl or only partially cover the pad with vinyl leaving the underside covered with mesh. As trampolines have become ever more popular the marketplace has become more competitive and the specifications have improved so what was once acceptable is now considered below standard.