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After pouring through hundreds of real customer user reviews and devoting many hours researching on best above ground pools. I think the following are the best option for most people.
(First, here’s a quick summary of our top picks-:)
- Best for Unlevel Ground: Intex Metal Frame Pool (Amazon)
- Budget Pick: Intex Easy Set Pool (Amazon)
- Best for swimming laps: Intex Oval Prism Frame (Amazon)
Read on to find detailed reviews of some of the fantastic above ground pools.
After checking out the detailed review, you can read our comprehensive buying guide for Above Ground Pools.
IN THIS POST
- 1 Intex Metal Frame Pool Review- Best for unlevel ground
- 2 Intex Easy Set Pool Review – Value for money
- 3 Steel Pro Frame Pool Set Review- Best for unlevel ground
- 4 Intex 16.5ft X 9ft X 48in Oval Prism Frame – Best for Swimming Laps
- 5 Summer Waves Elite Wicker- Best Permanent above ground pool
- 6 iPool D Set (iPool I with Deluxe Filter Pump and Heater Combination)
- 7 Buying guide
- 7.1 How do I choose an above ground pool?
- 7.2 How much should I pay for an above ground pool?
- 7.3 How long does the above ground pool last?
- 7.4 How deep is the water in an above ground pool?
- 7.5 Benefits of Above Ground Pool
- 7.6 How to Increase Pool Safety
- 7.7 What is better above ground or inground pool?
Intex Metal Frame Pool Review- Best for unlevel ground
Before looking at the in-depth details of Intex Metal Frame above ground pool, you should know that it’s one of the most popular on the market today.
From a functionality standpoint, it’s for all intent and purpose a great Above Ground pool. Its user-friendly installation process is second to none. In addition to that, this above ground pool is so easy to move around your residence backyard because it’s a light pool.
Even if you outdoors is not that flat, the sturdy metal frame will ensure that it does not collapse. The outer walls are made with a super-tough laminated PVC which safeguards against wear and tear.
Features and Benefits
- A safeguard against tears and leaks, So you’ll not have to worry about unlevel ground unless your backyard is on a stiff slope.
- Guarantee your above ground pool swimming pool maintenance high hygienic levels. You’ll always have refreshing clean water because of the Krystal clear cartridge filter pump.
- A safeguard to shut off the pump when an electrical pump comes into contact with the pump.
- A one year guarantee to repair or replace the Krystal clear cartridge filter pump in case it malfunctions.
- An easy way for water to run out of the swimming pool by using an outdoor hose or even a garden watering pipe
- This above ground pool does not take up lots of space, so it’s perfect even if you’ve got a small backyard.
The tough side walls also provide an additional safeguard against unlevel pool collapse.
Unlike most above ground pool, it comes installed with a pool heater. You don’t have to wait until the summer for the family to enjoy the swimming pool. To improve on the hygiene, Intex Metal Frame above ground pool comes with an Intex Krystal clear filter pump for maintaining the water freshness. Let now jump in and look at the pros and cons of Intex above ground pool.
- Strong sidewalls
- Metal flame reinforced
- A circuit breaker to prevent electric shocks
- The pump is installed with a filter cartridge.
- Easy to drain
- Some complain that the pump is weak
Intex Easy Set Pool Review – Value for money
If you’re looking for a cheap and simple above ground pool, you should, without doubt, checkout Intex 8ft X 30in Easy set above ground pool. Bear in mind that it’s really simple to set up. The setting up process involves two simple steps. You will just need to pump air into the inflatable top ring. Next step is filling it with water and you’re ready to enjoy a summer afternoon with your family on the swimming pool.
Another great thing about Intex 8ft X 30in Easy set above ground pool is it’s tough PVC sidewalls which will provide protection against the hot summer sun. It doesn’t wear and tears easily. In addition to that, it’s one of the most affordable above ground pools on the market.
The filter pump will ensure that your water remains clean and fresh by removing contaminants as the water is pumped. This above ground pool is great if your backyard is not very big because it does not take up lots of space. When I was researching for this pool review, I noticed that many people felt that they got good value for their money because it’s not expensive and it gives great service.
Benefits and Features
- A two-step process for setting the pool up. Just spread it on the outdoor, inflate the top ring, and fill it with water.
- A way add oxygen into water resulting in freshwater which will provide a refreshing swimming experience for your family.
- Stratified PVC sidewalls to safeguard against tears and wear.
- A way to drain water away from the house backyard using an easy to plug hose.
- Oval shaped ensures that it does not take up lots of shape in the backyard.
- Affordable and convenient for most families.
My only issue with Intex 8′ x 30″ Easy Set Inflatable Swimming Pool is the risk of collapse in case of a sloped backyard because it does not have metal frame support. Other than that it’s a great pool. With that out of the way, let’s look at the pros and cons.
- Easy to set up
- Hydro Aeration Technology for mixing air with water.
- Space convenient because of oval-shaped
- Installed filter pump
- In case of a sloped backyard unlevel pool might collapse
Steel Pro Frame Pool Set Review- Best for unlevel ground
If you’re looking for an above ground pool with a little more space to swim in, without a doubt, take a look at Steel Pro Frame pool. Because of its steel frame, it’s stable on unlevel ground. And due to its wide diameter, five adults can easily swim in it.
The sidewalls of this pool are made with durable PVC which safeguards against wear and tear and reinforcement against unlevel ground collapse.
The Steep pro frame is for those looking to have the best above ground pool. Although the price is not as cheap as the previous option, in all fairness it’s not that pricey. It does offer a lot for the price.
When I was researching the reviews of Steel Pro Frame above ground pool, I did notice that many people said that the Pool is wide enough for the whole family to swim in. In addition to that, it does come with an installation DVD.
- Super easy to assemble you don’t need an expert to assemble it for you. It comes with an easy to follow DVD instruction
- 12 feet diameter is perfect for a family swimming pool. 30 inches deep is good enough for adults as well as kids.
- The pool is made with a tough durable sidewall PVC.
- A way to avoid unlevel pool collapsing because of the steel frame reinforcement.
- Great design where all the parts fit together perfectly.
- Comes with a 330 gallons pump which is installed with a filter cartridge.
My only issue with Steel Pro above ground pool is a few complaints about its filters. With that out of the way, let’s dive in and check out the pros and cons.
- Great installation instructions
- Very strong because of steel metal frame
- Come with a heavy-duty repair patch
- Wide enough for the whole family to swim.
- Some complaints about the filters
- Setting up might pose some challenges if you are not technically experienced.
Intex 16.5ft X 9ft X 48in Oval Prism Frame – Best for Swimming Laps
Are looking for an above ground pool that is more permanent and is great for swimming laps, Intex Oval Prism Frame Above Ground Pool is a great option for you because of its oval/rectangular shaped. because of its size and shape, it’s also great for the whole family.
Due to its elegant design, the Intex Oval Prism Above Ground Pool will be a great addition to your landscaping. While it may not be the cheapest above ground pool on the market, it’s one of the most high-quality pools around.
When researching on its reviews a come across customers who likened it to a permanent pool because of the high-quality material used to make it. It is made with durable 3-ply material.
Features and Benefits
- Great for swimming laps because of its oval-shaped above ground swimming pool
- Highly stable because of steel frames reinforcements.
- Super easy to set up. According to the installation manual, it will be ready in just 60 minutes.
- Because of the size and shape, you can build your own wooden deck to go with it.
- Long-lasting because it’s made with durable 3-ply materials
- Item Dimensions 198 x 108 x 48 in
If you look around for images of this pool on social media places like Pinterest, you will see some people who have to assemble wooden deck to make it fancier. Other than the price which is a bit higher the only other issue is the process of assembling it which might not be as straight forward.
- Quality powder-coated steel frame
- Great size
- Double hose filters
- Great customer care
- Great for swimming laps
- Easy set up and maintain
- Good for building your own deck
- A bit expensive compared to others
Summer Waves Elite Wicker- Best Permanent above ground pool
Due to its galvanized steel, Polyester mesh cover and Heavy gauge PVC, the Summer Waves Elite is one of the most durable above ground pool on the market. Only a few other models have the kind of stability you get from this above ground pool.
The installation process is not very complicated, and according to the manual, it will take you less than 45 minutes for it to be ready for use. In addition to the durability, it’s dark herringbone wicker patterns will prove to be a great addition to your backyard.
The wide diameter provides enough space for a big family. When it comes to the pump, it comes with a 12″ sand filter pump that will help get rid of sand and salt.
Features and Benefits
- Built to Last for a long time because of the rust-resistant galvanized steel frame.
- Merges the functionality of a filter pump and that of a skimmer.
- Heavy-gauge PVC and polyester mesh is a way to ensure that it can withstand strong sun during the summer without wear and tear.
- Dark Herringbone wicker pattern is beautiful to look at. So, If you are into landscaping your backyard, it will provide a great addition.
- 12″ sand filter pump helps to get rid of all the sand. Even if you’ve saltwater, the filter greatly improves the quality of the water.
As I was researching the reviews, I come across some few complaints of a failed pump. Other than that, the only other issue is the price which is on the high end. Having said that, this is not a deal-breaker because this is one of the highest quality above ground pool on the market. Check out the pros and cons below.
- Durable and stable design
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Fancy design that will enhance your house landscape
- Big enough for a family of 5
- 12’ for sand and saltwater filter
- Some complaint of a failed pump
iPool D Set (iPool I with Deluxe Filter Pump and Heater Combination)
If you’re looking for a small simple solution, you should, without doubt, check out iPool D Set. This pool is small and square in shape.
Although it’s meant to be installed outdoors, you can use iPool D above ground pool in the indoors because it’s small enough to fit into the basement of the garage. It’s made with zinc-coated galvanized steel frame.
The outer walls are made of a five-layer vinyl polyester material. Bear in mind that it’s a lightweight pool, and therefore, you can move it around without dismantling it. The pool comes with a dual functionality pump that is installed with a filter cartridge. You can upgrade the pump to a heater.
- iPool takes a small rectangular space. In fact, this pool can fit in a house basement or a garage.
- Stable because of the zinc-coated galvanized steel frame.
- Strong five layer vinyl polyester weave line
- Easy installation and can be assembled and disassembled by two people.
- Because it’s very lightweight you can be able to move the pool around your backyard without disassembling it.
- The iPool above ground pool comes with a dual functionality pump, filter, and upgraded heater.
The only issue I have with iPool is that it’s only available in one size. Check out the pros and cons of this above ground pool.
- Lightweight can be moved around the backyard
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Stable zinc galvanized steel frame
- Strong vinyl layer polyester
- Comes with repair kit
- Can use saltwater
- Available in one size
- Small size which is not adequate for a big family
How do I choose an above ground pool?
Spending a hot summer afternoon swimming with your family. Buying above ground pool is cheaper and more convenient than building an inground pool. Inground pools entail making a huge financial investment, the cost of maintaining them is quite high. Above Ground Pool is a cheaper option for most families. When choosing the above ground pool here are some of the things you should take into consideration.
Take a look at the space where you want to install the pool. If you have a small backyard, you should go for a small pool. You should leave enough space around the pool for fencing the above ground pool. You will also need space for installing the pump and filter. If you want something fancier, you can always install a deck which will require you to install a deck.
A pool type
Determine the type of residential pool that best suits your family. If you’re looking for something permanent, you should go for a good quality above ground pool. Good quality pools come with steel frames and have tough sidewalls made from durable PVC materials. White steel frames are stronger, aluminum is the best material because it tends to be corrosion resistant and can withstand extreme weather conditions.
Above ground, pools come in many sizes. Depending on what you need, you can choose a height starting from 40 inches all the way to 54 inches. If you have young children, you should not go for a very deep pool.
Size and shape
You should make a decision on the shape and size of the pool you want. You can choose around, oval, or rectangular shaped pool.
How much should I pay for an above ground pool?
People who have never had a swimming pool tend to be worried as to how much they will pay for an above ground swimming pool. Doing research online can be frustrating because there are so many brands and models available. The prices differ widely. The average above ground pool will cost between $ 100 and $ 600 depending on the quality of the pool.
If you’re not technically very experienced, you might have to incur additional costs by having a professional install it for you. However, you should know that there is a pretty expensive solution in the market. Some that whose is as high as $ 1,500. This super-expensive tends to be permanent while the inexpensive ones will last about three to four years. Which is not that bad.
How long does the above ground pool last?
As you probably know Above ground pools don’t last forever. Unlike the in-ground pools which tend to last for decades, Above Ground Pools last for between 3- 7 years maximum. This is because the sidewalls are made of liners that are susceptible to wear and tear. Depending on the quality of the swimming pool, you will need to replace it after a couple of summers.
The older the pool, the higher the risk of it starting to leak or even collapsing. Most of the above ground pool comes with a repair kit, which goes a long way in helping to extend the life of the pool. However, sometimes you definitely have to replace the pool because it will look saggy and easily crack.
Nothing lasts forever. Although a high quality above ground pool can last for a long time, expecting them to last for more than 8 years is stretching it. The most surprising thing is those older models tend to last longer. what determines how long a pool will last is the material used for the side walls.
The thicker the sidewall, the longer lasting it is. In addition to the quality, the other factor that determines who long a pool will last is the level of maintenance. One thing to look for so as to prolong the life of the pool is rust. Rust is the biggest contributor to damaging an above ground pool. When you notice rust, you should get rid of if through spraying and sanding.
How deep is the water in an above ground pool?
Most above ground swimming pools have a depth of either 42″, 48,” 52″ and 54″. Bear in mind that these are the heights of the sidewalls, but not really the depth of the pool because the standard above ground pool is not filled with water up to the very top of the pool. The water level should always be about 6″ below the top of the pool. In general, most above ground pools don’t have a deep end, so if you’re looking for something with a deep end, you should consider looking at inground pools.
Benefits of Above Ground Pool
The salient advantage of above-ground pools over inground pools are:
- Cheaper- Although a swimming pool was always considered to be for the very rich, a standard above ground is cheaper than an inground pool. This gives people who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg a chance to own a swimming pool. So if you are on a tight budget, you should consider this option.
- Easy installation- The outstanding feature of the above ground pool is the ease of installation. The process of installing it is simple and ease. In most cases, you don’t need the help of a professional to do it.
- Cheap maintenance- Unlike inground pools whose cost of maintenance is quite high, Above ground pools have a low cost of maintenance. You don’t need to buy expensive pumps because most solutions come with their own pump.
- Variety of different Models- When it comes to a variety of models and designs, you will be spoilt for choice because there are so many options that are available. You can choose the size that suits you best. You have the option of going small ones which can even fit into your garage and some which can be extra-large. Some as large as a 20-foot container.
- Secure and Safe- Above-ground pools are safe because the entry-level is high; therefore, someone can’t easily fall inside. There also tend not to be very deep compared to inground pools which have deep ends.
How to Increase Pool Safety
As everybody knows, it’s pretty important to keep the pool environment safe. Prevention of drowning should be given the first consideration. Some of the measures you can take to increase the safety around the pool include.
- Secure the pool by Fence
- Taking swimming lessons
- Learn first aid technique of drowning
- Have a first aid kit
- Learn Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
What is better above ground or inground pool?
When looking at in-ground pool vs Above ground pool, your preference will mostly be determined by the amount of money you want to invest and the climate where you live. If you live in a place where the climate is warm in most months of the year, you should go for an in-ground pool because the investment will be worth it.
On the other hand, if you live in a place where the climate is cold in most months of the year, you should go for the above. The other thing to consider is your budget. If your budget is limited, you should consider going for an above ground pool, as they are cheaper, and the cost of maintenance is not that high.
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ABOUT LEON SMITH
Leon is a Thirty-something-year-old blogger from Mauritius who is currently studying for a Master’s degree in chemical and processing Engineering at the University of Eldoret in Kenya.