Swimming pools offer the promise of hours of relaxation in your own oasis, but for many families, installing an in-ground pool just isn’t an option. Don’t think you have to give up on your backyard getaway dreams, though: Above-ground pools can be installed in under an hour, on your own, at a fraction of the price. Options range from small set-ups perfect for kids to splash in, to deeper pools that an entire family can cool off in without crowding each other.
While a private pool seems luxe, the basic above-ground pool set-up is simple: A laminate, PVC pool is supported by a weighted frame. Some models come with pumps and even a hose hook-up to keep water flowing. Once installed, it’s possible to keep these pools up year-round as long as you keep the water treated and cover it during colder months. Which one you choose is partially preference, but also has a lot to do with your yard set-up. The larger, more permanent pools will do better on concrete and need to be completely level. Smaller options are fine on grass, though you may want to also purchase a tarp to go under it to prevent damage to your lawn. By adding things like ladders, treating the water, and even building a deck, it’s possible to make these Amazon above-ground pools look closer to their in-ground cousins. But even if you just want the occasional backyard pool experience, there are options for you.
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1. Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool
This pool from Intex will set you up for some serious splashing fun: at 32 feet long and over a meter deep, it’s about as close to an in-ground pool as you can get. It also comes with a ladder, filtration pump and pool cover. While it works best on a concrete or stone surface, it can also be set up on a lawn. (Pro tip: you’ll want to make sure it’s completely level first.) Intex’s Ultra Frame pools are also built to be permanent enough fixtures that, if desired, you could build a deck around them. So while this model definitely is not for the occasional pool party, it’s a fantastic option for people who want in-ground pool fun without, you know, actually having to build an in-ground pool.
2. Bestway Steel Pro Frame Pool
Bestway’s 15-foot by 48-inch Steel Pro Frame Pool is built for fun: It’s big enough for adults and kids alike to swim and splash in, while also providing stability, thanks to it’s lightweight-yet-durable PVC frame design. The pool from boasts a rust- and corrosion-resistant coating that helps protect against UV and abrasion damage, and a 3-ply PVC support band provides additional stability. It’s also fade-resistant and tear-resistant, so it’ll stand up to more than one summer of fun.
3. Intex Easy Set Swimming Pool With Filter Pump
Most inflatable pools are deep enough for a toddler to splash in — and that’s about it. Not so with Intex’s Easy Set inflatable model, which, at eight feet wide and 30-inches deep, is bigger than most kiddie pools and can comfortably accommodate 2-4 people. This model has tough laminated PVC sidewalls to help it withstand serious splashing, and comes with a 110-120 volt filter pump. With a 639-gallon capacity, you certainly won’t want to empty this pool out after every use, but it’s a great option if you’re looking for a less-permanent pool and only plan to use it during the summer months — it is easy to empty (thanks to a convenient drain plug), deflate and store.
4. Jasonwell Foldable Pool
If you primarily want a backyard pool for wading — or for pets — consider this innovative folding model from Jasonwell. The foldable design makes it not only portable, but easy to set up (there’s no need to inflate!) as well as drain and store. It’s made of extra-tough PVC with a thick, slip-resistant bottom, and it’s available in 5 sizes — from 32-inches to 63-inches.