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Best Above Ground Pools

Expert Reviews & Buying Guide

quadcopter reviewsBest Above Ground Pools

Our Recommendations

In a hurry? Here are the best products at a glance.

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How to Choose the Best Above Ground Pool

If you can’t spare the thought of spending another hot summer without the best above ground pool, we don’t blame you. You might be wondering, who makes the best above ground pool? Or maybe you’ve started looking and are wondering, what is the best above ground pool? Never fear! We did all the research to answer these questions and more. First, let’s take a look at the main features you should know about before you buy.

Best Above Ground Pools

Depth: Depth ranges a bit so make sure you get a pool that can accommodate what you want to do. Some inflatable pools only hold about 2 feet of water while framed pools hold a little more, some up to 4 feet.

Best Above Ground Pools

Shape: These pools are either round, oval, or rectangular. Most framed pools are either round or oval shaped but there is more variety with inflatable pools. Make sure you get a shape that fits into the space you have.

How to Choose the Best Above Ground Pool

Type: As we’ve been mentioning, there are 2 types of pools: inflatable and framed. Inflatable pools are the easiest to take down and put back up again. That said, some framed pools are designed to stay up all year round!

Best Above Ground Pools

Pump: Having a pump with your pool is pretty important. You need a pump and a filter to make sure the water stays clean and healthy. This is especially true for frame pools that will stay up for years at a time.

Best Above Ground Pools

Water Capacity: This is where you’ll really be able to see the differences in size between these pools. The smallest has a 328 gallon capacity while the largest had 15,500. That’s a huge difference, right?

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Size: When you look at size, keep in mind that it’s relative to the shape. Also, make sure you get a pool that fits comfortably into your yard. You don’t want it to take up too much space.

Top 10 Products

Now that we’ve read above our above ground pool buying guide, let’s take a look at the top ten products that we reviewed. If you’re in a hurry, listen up. Start with our top and budget picks. They’re the top 2 items on our list and really show you the range of what’s available. All of these pools are great, though, so stick around until the end if you can. Alright, are you ready? Let’s jump right into our reviews.

Intex Ultra Frame Pool

Top Pick
The Intex Ultra Frame Pool Set is a best rated above ground pool that we really liked so we had to put it as our top pick. This pool has steel frames that have been powder coated so they’ll stand up to being out in the summer sun for days on end without getting damaged. That means you’ll have this pool for a long time. The walls are made of laminated PVC and are really durable. One of the cool things about this pool is when it’s time to take it down at the end of the season, they made it really easy to drain out the water. Simply attach a garden hose to the drain plug and direct the water where you want it to empty.
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Intex Metal Frame Pool

Budget Pick
The best above ground swimming pool on a budget is our next pick. The Intex Metal Frame Pool Set has tough laminated PVC walls that hang on a durable powder coated steel frame. This pool is built strong and will be able to hand summer after summer of sun exposure and swimming. The Krystal clear cartridge filter pump keeps the water looking great. We really love the ground fault circuit interrupter, an awesome feature that shuts off the pump if the circuit is exposed to water. You can connect a garden hose for easy and controlled draining, too. Don’t worry about set up. It comes with a DVD that walks you through everything you need to do. It won’t take long, either. This pool is water ready in about 30 minutes.
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Jilong Inflatable Pool

We can’t tell you what the best type of above ground pool is. Maybe you like the steel frame designs best. Or, maybe you’ve been waiting for an awesome inflatable pool to show up on our list. Well, good news! The Jilong Inflatable Pool is what you’ve been waiting for. For starters, there are 3 air chambers. Each has its own valve which makes inflating it a little easier. This is the best small above ground pool we found. It’s a really compact size and it’s not too deep. The sides are only about 20 inches which is the perfect height for floating around in a raft and basking in the sun all day. You kids will love it, too. It’s the perfect size kiddie pool that adults will love, too.
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Intex Easy Set Pool

For a great pool that’s made for adults, there’s the Intex Easy Set Pool Set. Set up with this one is almost ridiculously easy. Get this. All you have to do is spread it out in a level area, inflate the ring, and fill it with water. The walls are made of laminated PVC that will be able to withstand being out in the sun all season. You also get a filter pump that connects to a dual suction outlet which keeps the water cleaner and clearer. And, we have to mention the ground fault interrupter, an important safety feature that turns off the circuit if it ever comes in contact with water. That’s not all. This pool also comes with some nice extras, including a ladder, ground cloth, and debris cover.
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Bestway Frame Pool

Bestway is one of the best above ground pool brands so it’s not a surprise that they showed up on our top ten list. This is a simple above ground pool that’s made of rust-resistant steel frames. They easily lock together using simple T connectors and C clips. Everything has been designed to seamlessly fit together so putting this one together is pretty easy. Once the frame is constructed, the wall slides into place. It’s actually 3 layers thick so it’s made to last. The other layers are PVC and the inner layer is made of polyester mesh. This material is super tough and won’t tear. While this pool doesn’t include a pump, the manufacturer recommends using one if you want to get the most out of this awesome pool.
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Wilbar Meadows Pool

Up next is a metal frame pool set from Wilbar. The Meadows Above-Ground Pool has a steel wall that’s designed to be really strong. In fact, it’s even been galvanized to protect it from rust. The frame is color-coordinated and has a resin coating that makes it more durable, too. Basically, this pool was made to last a really long time. Unlike some of the other pools we reviewed, this one was actually meant to be put up and left up all year round. That’s right, you don’t have to take it down at the end of every summer. The frame is designed to handle the cold, hard weather that winter can bring. You will need to do some winterizing but opening it up every summer is pretty easy.
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Heritage Above Ground Pool

The Heritage Complete Above Ground Pool is the largest option in our above ground pool reviews. It holds an impressive 15,100 gallons of water. This one comes with everything you need to get your summer started right. The upright supports and top ledges are all made of hot-dipped galvanized steel that has been enamel painted. The supports hold up the galvanized steel wall that’s also been painted with a stylish pattern. Also included is a durable blue vinyl liner with a printed bottom. This pool is meant to be left up all year round and will need some winterizing and a cover at the end of the summer season. That said, we were very happy to see that the steel pool structure itself comes with a 25 year warranty.
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Summer Waves Pool

There’s a lot to love about the Summer Waves Above Ground Pool. For one thing, the wicker print exterior blends with your patio furniture and makes this pool look a little more stylish. As far as the frame, it’s made with steel and will withstand a lot of time in the hot summer sun. The liner and walls are made of a triple layer material that won’t tear. One thing that really impressed us is that this pool also includes a sand filter. Filters are necessary to make sure the water stays looking fresh and clean throughout the whole summer season. That’s not all. There are a lot of other extras included, too, like a pool cover, ladder, ground cloth, and even maintenance kit so you can keep the fun going all summer long.
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Intex Oval Frame Pool

Another great pool from Intex, this Oval Frame Pool set is the next awesome product on our list. This is a semi-inflatable pool with a strong, powder coated steel frame that resists rust. What do we mean by “semi-inflatable”? The top ring inflates. When you fill it with water, the steel frame helps hold up the sides and keep the whole thing nice and sturdy. The walls are made of laminated PVC and are super strong and durable. It includes a Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump that keeps the water circulating and clean so you can fully enjoy your summer. You get a few other essential items, too, like a ladder, ground cloth, and debris cover. Don’t be too worried about set-up, the included DVD walks you through it step by step.
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Cornelius Pools Phoenix Pool

The Phoenix Ground Pool from Cornelius is a great pool that’s meant to be left up all year round. Obviously, you’ll have to winterize it and get the appropriate cover in the winter. But, getting it ready in the summer is a piece of cake. One thing that we really liked about this pool is that it comes with a filter. A filter really is so important if you want to keep the water healthy and clean. The frame and supports are made of strong, touch steel so they can withstand the summertime heat and the cold winter off seasons. As far as the walls, they’re also made of rust-resistant galvanized steel to be just as tough. One more thing: this kit also includes a skimmer and a ladder.
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