How much weight can a trampoline hold?
Trampoline weight capacity is a large factor for people looking to buy a trampoline.
In this article, we go into why the consumer may see wide variances in advertised weight capacities (up to 100kg in some cases) on trampolines between different brands and suppliers that have the same size models, have similar specifications, and may even look to be the same product.
The variances come about primarily from the application of industry standards. Currently, there are no “mandatory” domestic trampoline standards for suppliers to comply to in Australia and therefore there is no transparent benchmark for Australian consumers to compare all the products on offer.
For many years many suppliers either didn’t bother with standards or used what was already available in other countries like Europe and America (TUV, ASTM, etc. certificates). Typically, these countries have low UV requirements so it’s questionable how the material tests would be relevant to Australia’s harsher climate. We have witnessed this with some materials used in the northern hemisphere not lasting at all in the southern hemisphere. Different standards had different requirements around maximum weight capacities as well, for many reasons it was time for Australia to develop standards more suited to Australian use and conditions.
Australian Standards for Domestic Trampolines - Brief history of maximum weight capacity.
2003, 2006 and 2010 Amendment
- The weight rating was simply based on the “manufacturers recommendation”.
- There was no guideline, suggested test method or published considerations to follow.
Australian Trampoline Standards AS 4989:2015 (current version at the time of writing this in 2019)
- The weight rating is to no longer be based on the “manufacturers recommendation”
- A maximum single-user weight rating test method was introduced, there is now an exact test procedure to follow to determine this. Static test weight is to be progressively loaded onto the center of the mat to deflect the mat 80% down, ensure there is no damage to components then multiply the total weight by 0.2. E.g. let’s say that by the time the mat reaches within 20% of the ground the deadweight on the mat is 750kg, multiply this x 0.2 (or 750kg/5) = 150kg. Having a fixed test is great however it would be more relevant to consumers if all suppliers used this voluntary test.
- Before this test was introduced, one test laboratory we spoke to said they had been using a similar test but divided the weight by 3, so previously the same test would have recommended a maximum user weight (750kg/3) = 250kg.
The problem comes about because suppliers can still use both tests (or other tests) legitimately.
- Certification takes time and is a relatively expensive exercise for every supplier to carry out and because it's “voluntary” to comply.
- Within Australia, it means that some suppliers have it and others don’t, at a glance the consumer may not notice this.
- Unfortunately, this means what is advertised to the consumer is not a figure that’s directly comparable to another supplier.
Here is why weight limits vary on trampolines in Australia
- if one supplier says their trampoline holds 120kg and the next supplier with a similar looking trampoline says theirs is rated to 180kg; it may very well be that both have used different standards or testing methods.
- It is also plausible that both of these trampolines could actually hold the same weight maximum if the same test was used on both.
- Supplier 3 may not have even done a test, this supplier may have simply said: "okay I think this size trampoline will handle about 150kg and that's the rating I give it".
Trampoline marketing choices made by suppliers
- From a sellers marketing perspective there is an incentive to publish an impressively high number as consumers would logically think the higher the weight rating the better the trampoline must be.
- There have been some outlandish figures given by some suppliers, I guess to out-compete each other to say “This Trampoline has a weight capacity over 200 kilos, or we have the biggest weight capacity in Australia” etc. It sounds impressive to have a high number, but it needs to be for the right reason and backed up by proper testing.
Why the highest and biggest weight capacity isn't always ideal
- We could build a trampoline to Australian Standards to achieve a certified higher weight rating like 200, 300, 400 plus kilo. however, there's no point in doing that in isolation to other factors.
- For example, if you've got a child who is light, they may really struggle to enjoy the bounce experience on a mat that is set up so stiff.
- Ideally what you want is the balance of a strong frame that can handle decent loads with long life characteristics as well as having the optimum bounce experience, simply purchasing based on a high weight rating does not guarantee you this.
- On top of different test methods, not every supplier who gets a test done does it for every trampoline size in their range, to reduce costs they may have applied the one test result across all their models.
- So, as you can see this all ends up too wide advertised variances in the marketplace.
So, in summary, there is a bit more science to it than just looking at a trampoline and going okay this one has a high weight rating it must be good. It's also about the bounce experience and the life of that trampoline as well. Unfortunately, in Australia, because the standards are voluntary, we have a whole plethora of suppliers and manufacturer still using different systems to rate their trampolines. It's something to be careful of if you're really inquiring about a weight rating of a trampoline as a means to compare trampoline brand against another.
There are 3 questions to ask suppliers about trampoline weight capacity
What test method and standard has been used to establish the advertised trampoline maximum load rating,
Were all sizes in the suppliers range individually tested?
As a summary
A trampoline purchase shouldn’t be based on weight capacity in isolation but used as a guide with these factors considered as well.
- Which weight test was used – 2006, 2015 or CE TUV?
- 2006 Deadweight and divided by 3 / 2015 Deadweight divided by 5 / or a "sounds about right figure"
- What is the bounce experience for the user; then establish if the resulting bounce experience is what you desire?
- Frame specifications – of tube / and frame warranty and height - the frame heights of trampolines need to increase to be able to take the same weight as the previous size, the thicker and stronger the frame the more stable and better the bounce.
TUV Certificate - The TÜV Rheinland* Product Certificate in Certipedia. A certificate which confirms that a product complies with specified criteria is called a product certificate. Every year TÜV Rheinland tests a variety of products for safety and quality. After successful testing, the product receives a certificate.
Rheinland - The Rhineland is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly its middle section. Wikipedia
CE Certificate - CE marking is a certification mark that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area. The CE marking is also found on products sold outside the EEA that are manufactured in, or designed to be sold in, the EEA. Wikipedia
SGS Test Certificate Photo - The certificate is 9 pages long of all the requirements to test and the test pass result. Separate testing and certification is required for every size in the range that is sold. This is the summary header page example. Separate test certificates for the mat, net and pad material by the manufacturer supplied.
If you have any further questions please feel free to email us or call 03 52921100 or use the chat at the bottom RHS side of this page. There are some more articles of interest if you scroll on down regarding trampoline standards.
All GeeTramp® branded trampoline models and sizes sold by Web and Warehouse are all certified to meet or exceed Australian Standards AS4989: 2015. When done we were the only company in all of Australia to have genuinely had all sizes individually tested.