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Last updated: May 23, 2022
My kids love jumping in the bounce house that we set up during the summer months in our backyard, and we often invite kids from the neighborhood over for a fun-filled afternoon jumping.
The truth is, as an adult, I love it too. And I do sometimes go in the bounce house and have a bit of fun, either by myself or together with my kids. But jumping in a bounce house as an adult does come with challenges, limitations, and safety concerns.
In this article, I am going to discuss whether adults can use bounce houses or jumping castles, and things to keep in mind when planning to do so.
Adults and Bounce Houses
Can adults go in bounce houses?
The short answer is, yes, adults can use bounce houses. Adults can use medium to large-sized bounce houses that are strongly built, have generous weight and occupancy limits, and have thick and robust jumping areas.
The longer answer to this question is perhaps a bit more complicated, so let’s dive into that in more detail.
The key factor when deciding as an adult whether you’re going to jump in the bounce house is the weight limits.
There are three types of weight limits to pay attention to:
- Total weight limit
- Individual weight limit
- Occupancy limit
A bounce house manufacturer will, or should, always include weight limits on their products, but there are different ways to interpret those weight limits.
Manufacturers will typically set the weight limit much lower than what a bounce house can actually withstand, just to be on the safe side. I’m certainly not suggesting taking that weight limit with a grain of salt, but it’s good to keep that in mind.
Then there is also the difference between total weight limit and individual weight limit. For example, if a weight limit is determined at 1,000 pounds, you can easily have 8-10 kids or 5-6 adults jumping at once. However, if the individual weight limit (per jumper) is set at 100 pounds, then you can’t have any adults going in the bounce house.
The individual weight limit is important because the force of a heavy person jumping may be too much for the bounce house to handle. It may not be thick enough, or the stitching may not hold up.
Also note that most bounce houses come with an occupancy limit, which is often dependent on the size of the jumping area. For example, the safety standards may dictate that only 4 children can be in the bounce house at once, even if they don’t exceed the total weight limit.
Another important consideration is the general durability of the bounce house you’re planning to purchase. Some bounce houses are made to be only suitable for kids, not for adults, and that is fine.
It’s usually not difficult to tell the difference between a high-quality, durable, well-sized bounce house that can withstand one or more adults jumping in it, and a more basic bounce house that can only be used by children.
As with so many things in life, you get what you pay for. So if you’re planning to use the backyard bounce house as an adult, pay attention to the quality standards, the materials used, the stitching, the price, the warranty, etc.
Don’t go cheap, and just spend a little bit more money on a good-quality and robust bounce house that can be enjoyed by kids and adults for many years without issues.
For safety reasons, most bounce houses you buy today will have some sort of way to hold them firmly onto the ground when inflated, either with stakes, anchors, or ropes.
When adults, who are obviously heavier than children, use a bounce house, there is a greater risk of the structure moving around or de-attach itself.
It’s important to make sure the bounce house is indeed firmly attached to the ground. Ensure that the ground is not too soft or sandy. Stakes should be thirty to forty inches long and hammered into the ground as deep as possible at a forty-five-degree angle.
You may even want to purchase an extra set of stakes or ropes, just to add that extra bit of protection.
Always make sure the bounce house is well inflated, especially when larger kids or adults are going to be using it.
Heavier people will obviously put more strain on the bounce house, and making sure there is enough air to support those heavier people is crucial, not only for their safety but also to ensure the longevity of the product.
If you ever come across a leak, be sure to fix that as soon as possible. Have a look at my guide explaining how to patch a bounce house for more details on this.
Adults and Children Jumping
Most adults are going to be in the bounce house just to be with their children, not to actually go jumping like there’s no tomorrow.
So if you’re planning to use the bounce house as an adult to simply have a bit of fun with your children and to keep a close eye on them, then of course you can do so. Just don’t go jumping too intensely and always use common sense.
It’s a different story though if you want to go jumping by yourself or with other adults, without any kids around. In that case, the total and individual weight limits should be paid attention to.
Keen to get a bounce house for in the backyard? Check out my reviews of some of the best outdoor inflatable bounce houses you can buy today.
Although there are some risks involved in adults playing on bounce houses, there is also a lot of fun to be had.
Exercising caution can make bounce houses safer for adults:
- Choose the right size bounce house
- Make sure the bounce house is well-secured
- Ensure the inflation levels are optimal
- Limit the number of people on the bounce house
- Respect the total and individual weight limits
- Regularly inspect for tears and other damage
Adults can use and enjoy bounce houses. Paying attention to a few critical factors lessens the chances of injuries and will allow everyone to enjoy themselves safely while jumping.