21 November, 2019

10 Best above ground pools

Will you agree that having a kiddie pool in the backyard is the dream-come-true for your little ones? In the same way, the best above ground pools can provide grown-ups with a lot of enjoyable moments as well.

Even though these relatively small swimming pools will not allow you to train for the Olympics, you will still have more than enough space to relax and unwind. As a matter of fact, our collection of above ground pool reviews can tell you more about the capabilities of those pools.

Therefore, let’s examine the 10 best above ground pools in more detail.

BEST CHOICE

Intex 16ft X 48in Ultra XTR Pool Set

This pool is not only stable and reliable but also has a unique modification and innovative design.

WHY WE CHOSE IT:
  • Hydro aeration technology
  • Water capacity 5.061 gallons
  • Accessories included (pool ladder, ground cloth, pool cover)

Best above ground pools in 2020

PreviewProduct nameTypeDimensionsShapeWarrantyMore information
Intex 16ft X 48in Ultra XTR Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool CoverIntex Ultra XTR Pool SetFrame192x192x48''Round2 year
Bestway 13429 Power Steel Swimming PoolBestway 13429Frame192x192x48''Round2 year
 Summer Waves Elite Rectangular Metal Frame Swimming Pool PackageSummer Waves EliteFrame216x108x52''RectangularNA
Intex 24ft X 12ft X 52in Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool CoverIntex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool SetFrame288x144x52''Rectangular2 year
Intex 8.5' x 5.3' x 2.13' Rectangular Frame Above Ground Backyard Swimming PoolIntex Rectangular Frame Swimming PoolFrame102x63x26''Rectangular2 year
Bestway 118 x 79 x 26 Inches 871 Gallon Deluxe Splash Frame Kids Swimming PoolBestway Deluxe Splash Frame Swimming PoolFrame118x79x26''Rectangular2 year
Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter PumpIntex Easy Set Pool SetInflatable8ftx30''Round2 year
 Bestway H2OGO! Two-In-One Wide Inflatable Family Outdoor PoolBestway H2OGO!Kids147x74x27''Rectangular2 year
Step2 Play and Shade PoolStep2 Play and Shade PoolKids127x40''Round-
 Intex Dinoland Inflatable Play CenterIntex Dinoland Inflatable Play CenterKids131x90x44''Mixed2 year

Above ground pool reviews

Bestway 13429

Bestway Swimming Pool

KEY FEATURES:
  • Water capacity 4.231 gallons
  • The chemical dispenser on the wall
  • Corrosion-resistant steel frame

We are kicking off the reviews with a budget-friendly option that can provide the best bang for your buck. Here is why the Bestway 13429 could be the ideal backyard pool for your needs.

Highly durable steel frame

The sturdy construction is a must in today’s world of above ground pools. Since Bestway is a renowned company with years of experience in the business, they are well aware of this fact. As a result, they equipped their 13429 model with a durable steel frame.

Rigid but lightweight, the frame can easily withstand water pressure. Of course, your kids will not be able to bend the frame by climbing on the wall. But, for their safety – instruct them to exit or enter the pool in a secure way. Unfortunately, the Bestway 13429 does not come with a ladder.

Filtration system

Bestway 13429 uses an innovative method when it comes to filtration. To clarify, the so-called Chemconnect Chemical Dispenser filters the water. Thus, a handy little gadget ensures clarity and hygiene. This also prevents you from changing the pool water every so often. But, in case you need to empty the pool – a convenient drain valve is available as well.

Other important characteristics

Even though it can provide space for 7-8 people, Bestway 13429 boasts with easy assembly. The dimensions of the pool are 192x192x48”. Thanks to its shape, this affordable above ground pool can hold 4.231 gallons of water when filled up to 90% capacity.

The Good:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Steel frame
  • Chemical dispenser

The Bad:

  • No ladder
  • The pump is not included

Intex Ultra XTR Pool SetBest above ground pool for family (Our pick)

 Intex Pool Set

KEY FEATURES:
  • Hydro aeration technology
  • Water capacity 5.061 gallons
  • Accessories included (pool ladder, ground cloth, pool cover)

The second entry on our top 10 list belongs to the exclusive group of the best rated above ground pools in the market. Without further ado, let’s see what makes the Intex Ultra XTR Pool Set so special.

Premium materials

If you want to have a long-lasting pool, you have to buy the one that was built from high-quality materials. Well, Intex is a well-known manufacturer and its products are renowned for their premium quality. For example, the Intex Ultra XTR Pool Set uses galvanized steel bars for support. The frame is put in place with the help of an intuitive locking system.

On top of that, this particular model relies on a 3-ply material to hold the water in a seal-proof tank. The material includes two layers of PVC on the outside and a layer of polyester mesh in the middle.

Hydro aeration technology

The capacity of this above ground pool is impressive. If you fill it up to 90% of its capacity, you’ll be able to pour in as much as 5.061 gallons of water! But, all that water needs regular ‘maintenance’. That is why Intex Ultra XTR Pool Set comes with Hydro Aeration Technology. In addition to that, a 120-V sand filter pump will help with the hygiene of the water.

Additional features

Intex Ultra XTR Pool Set is one of the best above ground pools because it comes with a range of accessories. For example, a removable pool ladder is included in the package. The same goes for the ground cloth, as well as a pool cover that will prevent debris from falling into the water.

The Good:

  • Sand filter pump
  • Pool ladder and cover
  • Galvanized steel frame

The Bad:

  • Pricey
  • Heavy

Summer Waves Elite – An above ground pool with unique design

Summer Waves Swimming Pool

KEY FEATURES:
  • Sturdy metal frame
  • Built-in chlorinator
  • Easy drainage

The next entry on our list is certainly not something you could call a small swimming pool. But, many people choose Summer Waves Elite as their backyard pool. Here is why.

Design

Summer Waves Elite is a large pool and it contains a lot of water. But, at the same time, this pool set is easy to assemble. The reason for this comes from the unusual design of this model. To clarify, Summer Waves Elite features A-shaped bars that hold the water area. The bars provide this pool with a futuristic appearance as well.

Heavy-duty materials

The size of this above ground pool is 216x108x52 inches. In other words, 8-10 people can easily fit into the cool waters during the hot summer months. Consequently, Summer Waves Elite incorporates high-quality materials. For instance, there is a heavy gauge PVC created with polyester mesh. We already mentioned that the frame is super-solid. Also, the so-called QuickConnect system further improves the assembly process.

Straightforward cleaning and maintenace

Summer Waves Elite relies on a couple of ‘systems’ to preserve the water quality. For example, this model comes equipped with a telescopic pole and a filter that collects all the debris. The skimmer can help you clean your pool surface in a hassle-free manner. In addition, Summer Waves Elite also has a patented cartridge on the wall, with a built-in chlorinator.

The Good:

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Quick connect system
  • Comes with a skimmer and a filtration system

The Bad:

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set

 Intex Rectangular Swimming Pool Set

KEY FEATURES:
  • Large water capacity (over 8.000 gallons!)
  • Durable steel frame
  • Sand filter pump

Earlier in this guide, we said that you can hardly swim laps in any of the best above ground pools. Well, we might have to take that back. Here is why Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set forced us to change our minds.

Strength and durability

The size of this model is indeed impressive. To be precise, the dimensions of the pool are 288x144x52 inches. As a result, this makes the Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set the biggest model in our above ground pool reviews. Even so, this pool is reliable, firm, and well-designed. In short, the steel frame allows the Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set to host 10+ adults with ease. This means that you can throw a summer pool party in your backyard as well.

Water capacity and hygiene

As we all know, rectangular above ground pools require extra attention when it comes to the hygiene of the water. The reason for this is simple – the corners tend to hold the water for long, slowing down the flow and circulation. That is why Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set comes equipped with Hydro Aeration Technology. This system ensures top-notch water clarity. With 8.403 gallons of water in your backyard, you’ll need all the help you can get.

Extra features

Similar to all large-sized pools, the Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set features a ladder. Also, this pool comes with a pool cover and convenient ground cloth. Unfortunately, this model cannot be considered as being a cheap above ground pool. But, if you want a big pool to practice your strokes during the summer – look no further than the Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set.

The Good:

  • Large surface, good for swimming
  • Water capacity
  • Durable and sturdy

The Bad:

  • Pricey
  • Takes a long time to fill up/empty

Intex Rectangular Frame Swimming Pool – The best portable pool out there

 Intex Above Ground Pool Review

KEY FEATURES:
  • Super-fast assembly
  • Rust-resistant frame
  • Flow control valve for easy draining

As you could notice by now, the Intex family of above ground pools features a wide array of options. The next entry on our list is also an important member of the Intex selection of high-quality pools.

Portability and convenience

The Intex Rectangular Frame Swimming Pool is a lightweight model. As a result, you can easily transport the pool to another location in your backyard, depending on your needs and preferences. Having a portable pool allows you to bask in the open sun if you feel like it. But, it also lets you stay in the cool shade if that’s what you prefer. The total weight of this model is 37,9 lbs.

Premium materials

Even though it does not come with all the bells and whistles, the Intex Rectangular Frame Swimming Pool provides a good size for the price. Yet, the main power of this model comes from its premium materials. For instance, the rust-resistant frame guarantees longevity. Similarly, the PVC side walls of the Intex Rectangular Frame Swimming Pool are durable and puncture-resistant.

Other features and characteristics

The Intex Rectangular Frame Swimming Pool is very close to being the best kids pool on the market as well. In short, this model features all the things your children may need. That is why the Intex Rectangular Frame Swimming Pool can allow you to spend some time with your family, splashing and having fun in this convenient little pool.

The Good:

  • Mobile and lightweight
  • Built from durable materials
  • Affordable

The Bad:

  • Pump not included

Bestway Deluxe Splash – Best above ground pool for kids

 Bestway Kids Pool

KEY FEATURES:
  • Corrosion resistant steel frame
  • Tritech material
  • Easy installation

Speaking of splashing and playing around in a pool, the next entry on our list is one of the best options. Here is what makes the Bestway Deluxe Splash Frame Swimming Pool so great.

Sturdy but lightweight

Bestway Deluxe Splash Frame Swimming Pool is a portable swimming pool. The size of this pool allows it to easily fit in any backyard. But, the quality of the materials is what makes this model one of the best rated above ground pools in the market. In short, the Bestway Deluxe comes with a highly durable steel frame. On top of that, the frame is kept together by a set of reinforced rope wraps. All of these elements keep the structure firmly in place.

Hassle-free installation

Another important reason why Bestway Deluxe is well-liked comes from the simplicity of this model. In other words, you will need up to 15 minutes to assemble the Bestway Deluxe Splash Frame Swimming Pool in your backyard. By using the T-connectors and C-clips, the process will be over in a flash. Consequently, the storage of this model will not cause you a lot of headaches either.

Additional characteristics

The dimensions of the Bestway Deluxe Splash Frame Swimming Pool are 118x79x26 inches. Within this area, 871 gallons of water can fit in comfortably. By being low in height, this backyard pool provides a shallow enough area for your kids to play in. Once the fun is over, the flow control drain valve will allow you to empty the pool in a fast and straightforward manner.

The Good:

  • Hassle-free installation
  • Portable pool
  • Easy storage

The Bad:

  • No filtration system

Intex Easy Set Pool Set – The best inflatable pool out there

 Intex Easy Pool Set

KEY FEATURES:
  • Super-tough PVC laminated walls
  • Easy installation
  • The dual suction filtration system

So far in our reviews, we focused mostly on above ground pools that use frame construction for support. But, it’s time to see what the best inflatable pools can do for you. Intex Easy Set Pool Set is definitely one of those.

Hassle-free installation

To be honest, we all want to have a pool that we can install in a flash. Well, Intex has designed one such model. All you need to do with Intex Easy Set is to lay the pool on the ground and inflate the top ring. Remember, this is an inflatable pool, so no steel bars or connectors will get in your way. After that, just fill it up with water and get the party started!

Filtration system

Intex Easy Set Pool Set is an oval above ground pool. This allows the water to circulate more easily since the water pressure is equally dispersed on all sides. Even so, Intex has equipped this model with hi-tech filtration systems. For instance, there is the Hydro Aeration Technology, which keeps the water crystal clear at all times. On top of that, this model comes with a 120V pump. The pump uses a dual suction system, and it can process 330 gallons of water per hour.

Large water capacity

Thanks to its super-strong PVC walls, this pool can hold up around 640 gallons of water at 80% capacity. In essence, 2-4 grown-up people can relax and unwind in this comfortable pool. The water height is around 24”. In addition to that, a convenient drain plug is also one of the reasons why this model is probably the best inflatable pool in the market.

The Good:

  • Filter pump
  • Easy to install – ready in 10 minutes
  • Affordable

The Bad:

  • No pool cover
  • No ground cloth
  • No ladder

Bestway H2OGO!

 Bestway Inflatable Family Pool

KEY FEATURES:
  • Two-in-one combo: pool + slide
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Comes with accessories such as cup holders, padded seat, etc.

Kiddie pools come in all shapes and sizes. And yet, Bestway H2OGO is a unique model. Here is a brief overview of this exciting pool for your young ones.

Innovative design

As we said, Bestway H2OGO features an awesome design. In other words, this model combines two different areas. One part contains a slide and a water area, while the other portion of the pool serves as a relaxing lounge for the parents. So, this inflatable pool allows the parents to monitor the kids while the young ones are jumping around and sliding into the water. A perfect family fun!

Durable materials

Because of all the commotion, Bestway H2OGO needs to be as sturdy as possible to withstand wear and tear. As a result, Bestway equipped this model with extra wide walls. Also, the walls are made out if tough laminated PVC. The toughness of the pool allows for relatively large water capacity. Even though the pool is shallow, the two areas can hold 101 gallons and 237 gallons respectively.

Accessories

Since the Bestway H2OGO aspires to become the best kids pool on the market, client satisfaction is the top priority. Well, we are confident that all parents will feel great while sitting on a padded seat in the back area of the pool. On top of that, two cup holders allow you to keep the favorite cold beverage within reach.

The Good:

  • Perfect for family fun
  • Dual pool + slide combo
  • Comfortable and spacious

The Bad:

  • Could get punctured

Step2 Play And Shade Pool

 Step2 Play and Shade Pool

KEY FEATURES:
  • Molded-in seats
  • Range of accessories (umbrella, cups, spinning wheel, etc.)
  • Water capacity: 45 lit

Another kiddie pool in our above ground pool reviews comes from Step2. According to reliable sources, this model is an ideal option for your toddlers. Let’s examine if that is indeed the case.

High-quality plastic

Even though our little munchkins are vulnerable and cute, they can get rough with their toys. With that in mind, Step2 created a durable pool for toddlers. In other words, Step2 Play And Shade Pool is a model that relies on sturdy plastic to survive ‘vicious’ attacks from our little ones. In addition, the plastic features two molded-in seats, as well as ocean creature designs on the bottom and the sides.

A wide selection of toys

Even though Step2 Play And Shade Pool can hold up to 45 liters of water, toddlers will pay more attention to the range of toys at their disposal. For example, this model comes equipped with a 40” umbrella. Not only that it protects the babies from the sun, but it also holds other accessories. For instance, three colorful cups are attached to the umbrella. In total, Step2 Play And Shade Pool could be the best kids pool because it features 7 different accessories and toys.

The Good:

  • Can withstand wear and tear
  • No leaks
  • 7 pieces set for playing in the water

The Bad:

  • Short umbrella
  • No drain plug

Intex Dinoland Inflatable Play Center

 Intex Inflatable Play Center

KEY FEATURES:
  • 4-games-in-1 combo
  • Cute animals and an interesting theme
  • Portable and easy to install

Last but not least, an inflatable pool that delivers a dinosaur party right in your backyard. Intex Dinoland Inflatable Play Center is one of the best rated above ground pools, and here is why.

A diverse selection of toys

As the name suggests, Intex Dinoland resembles a Jurassic Park. Several inflatable dinosaurs are positioned around the water area, providing your kids with a lot of entertainment. More importantly, this kiddie pool comes packed with toys and features. As a matter of fact, 4 games are incorporated into this set: slide, ball toss, ball roller, and a ring toss.

DinoArch water spray

Intex Dinoland Inflatable Play Center is a one-stop-shop for your young ones. It provides them with various forms of play. On top of that, this pool features a DinoArch Water Spray. What we refer to is an arch above the water area. You only need to attach the spray to a hose and your kids will stay cool and soaked all day long.

Other important characteristics

Even though it may look crowded and congested, Dinoland can contain a lot of water. In total, around 75 gallons. Since this is a pool for kids, the depth is around 14 inches. Also, a durable landing mat is located below the slide, to prevent hard falls or injuries. In addition to all that, Intex has equipped this model with a convenient drain plug.

The Good:

  • DinoArch water spray
  • Combination of toys and games
  • 2-years guarantee

The Bad:

  • Could take a while to inflate all the dinosaurs

How to choose the best above ground pool

The process of buying an affordable above ground pool starts with reading the reviews and comparing the models. Only by performing your due diligence can you expect to make an informed decision. Therefore, take a look at the following checklist. It will help you focus on the important elements while looking for a new above ground pool.

Size

The size of your backyard and the size of the pool are in direct correlation. In other words, you need to make sure that the backyard pool you want to buy can actually fit into the backyard. To avoid embarrassing scenes, it is best to measure the area where you plan to place the new pool. Also, sometimes you may have to clean the surface to make extra room. While you are at it, make sure to level the ground where the pool will be. You don’t want one side of the pool to be one foot lower than the other.

Shape

Modern-day above ground pools can come in any shape you want. Yet, the predominant forms are a rectangular and oval shape. Each of these has its pros and cons, so make sure you know what you want. An oval above ground pool is a better option in most cases. The advantages of these models include equal pressure on the walls and bigger water capacity. On the other hand, a rectangular above ground pool can provide you with a larger area for actual swimming.

Materials

If you are interested in buying one of the best above ground pools out there, then you have to pay attention to the quality of the product. To be precise, to the quality of the materials used to build the pool. For example, examine the frame of the pool and make sure that the manufacturer used corrosion-resistant steel pipes. The same goes for the walls of the pool. In most cases, the 3-ply PVC walls are sturdy and durable enough.

Filtration

Clean water is a must when it comes to having a safe and hygienic above ground pool. That is why top-notch manufacturers produce models with exceptional filtration systems. The so-called aeration technologies also help with the clarity of the water. On top of that, sand filter pumps can process large quantities of water and trap all the debris that could be contaminating your water.

Accessories

Even though they are not the main elements, various accessories can make your life easier while dealing with an above ground pool. Firstly, a ground cloth that comes with some models protects your pool and ensures longevity. In a similar way, pool covers can shield the water from all the unwanted debris. Of course, ladders are a handy accessory, and you should check if your new pool includes them in the package.

The bottom line

As you could see, above ground pools can be a source of great fun. By having one of these pools in your backyard, you are sure to experience a lot of enjoyable moments.

Yet, it is important to choose the best above ground pool for your needs. Don’t improvise on this one. Carefully go over our comprehensive reviews and pick the model that best fits your budget, your family, and your available space.

Michael

Michael is our staff writer. He has a diploma in journalism and also works in an IT company. His hobbies are gadgets, devices, and new technologies, which in turn are his favorite topics for research and writing articles.

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