Whether you're looking for a large backyard trampoline for the entire family or a small indoor option for a young child, there are a number of things to assess before making a purchase. While size and shape are important, there's one often overlooked factor to consider: the trampoline weight limit.

Trampolines are only designed to hold so much weight. The fundamental design and operation of modern trampolines rely on the impact of weight. However, too much can create safety concerns and deteriorate the overall quality of the unit.

Before making the investment, it's a good idea to consider how the trampoline will be used and by who. It's also important to think about the future of the trampoline, keeping in mind the growth of the family over time.


HOW TRAMPOLINE WEIGHT LIMIT IS CONTROLLED

Trampolines are made up of a variety of durable parts. However, they're not indestructible. These parts are all affected by the stress of weight. Manufacturers will use these parts to determine and manipulate a trampoline's limit.

The springs of the trampoline are directly affected by the weight load. These components hold the jumping surface taught and flex with every impact. They store potential energy to rebound and send jumpers flying. Generally, the tighter the springs, the higher the trampoline maximum weight. These springs require more weight to pull and stretch. You're more likely to see these springs on adult trampolines. 

On the other hand, more flexible springs have a lighter limit due to their flexibility. Springless trampolines work on the same basic principle. More pliable rods provide more bounce, yet have more weight restriction than rigid varieties.

Jumping mats can be made from a variety of materials, with one of the most common being woven polypropylene. The way in which the jumping mat is woven can play a big part in determining the weight limit. While many believe that the jumping mats are elastic in nature, they are not. If they were, any extra weight would be easily accommodated. 

A heavy weight trampoline may use multiple stitching rows to increase the mat's thickness and strength. When paired with heavy-duty springs, a thick mat can support much more weight than its thin counterpart.

The frame's material and construction are designed with weight restrictions in mind. Traditional backyard trampolines use a basic leg pattern made from hollow steel tubes. However, changes in design can support more weight.This includes thick gauge steel and secure brackets. 

For example, a 14 ft trampoline weight limit of 400 or more has solid steel legs that are assembled via robust sockets with maximum stability. They'll support large amounts of weight without having to worry about buckling or warping.


TRAMPOLINE WEIGHT LIMIT AND SAFETY

One of the biggest reasons manufacturers have a trampoline weight limit on their products is for safety. While they look fun and carefree, trampolines can be very dangerous when not used correctly. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is ignoring weight limit warnings.

It's important to consider the limit every time a trampoline is used to avoid premature degradation in quality. For example, a child's trampoline with a relatively low limit should never be used by an adult, even for a moment. While it may not break immediately, the adult's weight will put strain on the springs, frame, and mat. This could lead to failure in the future.

The same goes for an option labeled with "trampoline weight limit 400." Multiple kids can safely enjoy it at one time. However, multiple adults might cause lasting problems that won't be apparent until much later.


WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE LIMIT IS IGNORED?

Ignoring the weight limit can lead to lasting damage to the trampoline and potential injuries. The tricky thing with trampolines is that the components might not break immediately, making it appear safe to use. This is especially risky on children's trampolines.

The first thing that will be affected is the springs. If a large surplus of weight is put on them, the springs could snap. This would send the jumping mat down to the ground. If they don't break immediately, they're likely to experience permanent stretching. This will make the springs less effective and droopy. They could also change the trampoline's reaction to impact if some springs are affected differently to others.

Another common problem is frame issues. On lighter frames, an abundance of weight will cause it to warp and crack. If the trampoline doesn't have durable brackets designed for heavy weight, the entire frame could easily fall apart on the force of impact.

When it comes to the mat, excess weight leads to rips and tears. Due to the rigidity of the material, the jumping mat can't handle extra stress that goes beyond the limitations of the springs. This may lead to rips big and small. Large rips present an immediate safety hazard while smaller ones can open up slowly over time.


PROFESSIONAL Vs. RECREATIONAL

Generally, professional trampolines have a higher weight capacity than the standard backyard option. This is because of how they are used. Professional models are used by athletes on a regular basis. This alone requires the trampoline's elements to be more resilient. Some are even used by groups at one time, which requires the use of thick and rigid springs.

That being said, there are exceptions. Some professional Olympic trampolines used to train gymnasts have a much lower capacity than one would expect. This is because gymnasts are trying to get as much bounce as possible. They also tend to use these trampolines alone for safety.


THE HIGHER THE TRAMPOLINE WEIGHT LIMIT, THE BETTER

When you're browsing for trampolines, take a look at weight limits. They provide a lot of useful information about the unit at a glance. By knowing the limit and understanding how it affects the design, you can have a clear idea about the quality and safety of a particular model.

If you're looking for a solid family choice, it's a good idea to go with a higher trampoline weight limit. A limit of 400 pounds or more is great for multiple kids or a couple of adults to enjoy. While a smaller limit of 200 pounds may seem adequate for now, kids will quickly outgrow it.

It's important to think about the trampoline's long term performance. By going with a high limit, you can rest assured that children can continue to use it for many years to come.