Affordable and fun, an above ground pool for the summer is a brilliant thing to buy. From paddling pools through to full on swimming pools, every shape, size and build quality is out there on offer. There’s such a wide range on the market it can be a little bewildering sorting through all the options.

But really comes down to three things: How big?,  How much?, For what?.

When choosing an above ground pool manufacturer things become a little simpler. There are really only two companies worth considering buying from, Intex or Bestway.  They dominate the above pool market place for two good reasons. Price and quality. It’s pretty simple, if you produce a great product at a great price then people are going to buy. That’s what Intex and Bestway have done.

This is not a promotional article or advertisement for the two companies, it is just a statement of our opinion from research and experience.

Here we are going to look at small above ground plunge and dip pools. But if you are looking for a full sized grown up swimming pool, go to our separate review page on them.

Let’s look at what is on offer, and why buy.

above ground pool cost


Reasonably sized plunge pool cost just a few hundred dollars, and paddling pools coming in at less than $100.00.  This has got to be one of the best investments ever in summer fun, and relaxation. Test small pool ownership before committing to buying a real swimming pool at almost unbelievable budget prices.

snorkle above ground pool

Family Fun

Anything to do with water in the summer has the kids hooked. They’ll not only cool off while having fun in the slash pools, they might even take their first swim strokes in a larger plunge pool. While a pool is not an entertainment hub, it certainly turns into a focal point for the family on hot summer days, and nights.

maitenance above ground pool

Easy Maintenance

Different pool sizes require different maintenance commitments. In general though all the pools reviewed here are really easy to take care of. Most of the larger model actually come with filtration systems, so keeping the pool sparkling is easy. Buying a cover can be a good idea. If you get chance to put it on, the pool is normally busy!!.





4-1 BESTWAY Steel Pro Frame Pool


5.1 Intex Oval Frame Pool


6.2 Bestway Splash Frame Pool

Five Of the Best Pools Reviewed

Bestway Steel Pro Frame Above Ground Pool

4-2 BESTWAY Steel Pro Frame above ground pool

The Bestway Steel Pro range has several size options from 10 through to 15 feet. The pool set up is a breeze, just clip the frame together with the T connectors, installing the lining as you go. It needs no special tools or knowledge. The steel frame is rust resistant, and the liner made with heavy duty 3 ply PVC. It is durable and tear resistant. 

Bestway is one of the giants in the inflatable goods and above ground pool industry. Their manufacturing knowledge insures many summers of enjoyment from this pool.

These models do not come with a filtration system, it has to be bought separately. That’s reflected in the price of course. Depending on the size of the pool a separate pump purchase should run between $50 and $130.00.

Size Options:   10.00 FT x 30 INCHESxxxxxx14.00 FT x 48 INCHESxxxxxx15.00 FT x 48 INCHES

Intex Metal Frame Above Ground Pool

1.2 Intex Metal Frame Pool
This best selling range of above ground pools by Intex offers the full above ground pool package.

The steel pool frame carcass has been powder coated, so should see many summer seasons of use. Included in the purchase price is a quality krystal filter pump matched to the pool capacity.  For setting up, even the larger pools should not take more than an hour.  It’s simple, intuitive and requires no special tools. And for those who still have a DVD player, a DVD is included in the box to guide pool you through if you have any doubts.

To comply with safety regulations a ground fault circuit interrupter is fitted to the pump. This is a great pool choice from the top manufacturer.

Size Options:   12.00 FT x 30 INCHESxxxxxx15.00 FT x 48 INCHES

Intex Easy Set Above Ground Pool

1.2 Intex Easy Set above ground Pool

This is a pump up pool, no real assembly required here, just a little muscle power to inflate the upper ring. Once the ring is inflated and the filter pump is connected it’s ready for water. Although it is made with heavy duty PVC fabric care should be taken to clear and level the ground before filling the pool.

Many extras can be purchased to ease pool maintenance. We particularly liked the skimmer that Intex sells to clear floating debris from the water. Another additional buy should be a pool cover, that should reduce evaporation in the summer heat and help to keep the pool clean. The smaller sizes are great for the children to have fun in, but the range goes up to a family size for everybody to enjoy.

Size Options:   12.00 FT x 30 INCHESxxxxxx15.00 FT x 48 INCHESxxxxxx18.00 FT x 48 INCHES

Intex Oval Frame Above Ground Pool

Intex Oval Frame Above Ground Pool

A combination the Easy Setup pool and the metal framed one. This pool has been designed to fit into smaller spaces than the equivalent capacity round pools. We like the shape a lot, we think it looks pretty grown up, and it does allow users to actually swim a few strokes in it.

Designed with the same inflatable ring around the top perimeter as its cousin the Easy Set Up, but also incorporates a steel frame support system at the sides.  The same build quality goes into this pool as all the Intex range. We think the price for either of the pool sizes to be incredibly cheap, given the quantity and quality of materials, and the included filter pump.

This is a real bargain in our opinion.

Size Options:   18.00 FT x 42 INCHESxxxxxx20.00 FT x 48 INCHES

Bestway Splash Frame Pool

6.3 Bestway Splash Frame above ground Pool

Basically a range of paddling and splash pools for children to enjoy. Once they are in it’s difficult to get them out. Loads of fun in the summer for them. Light weight but durable the pool just takes a few minutes to set up.

The same quality of materials are used on the “Splash” range as on the grown up pools. Pool maintenance is done with a chemical floater which is not included in the purchase price. A cover can be bought separately and we think it is well worth the investment at under $30.00.

Size Options:   86" x 59" x 23"xxxxxx94" x 59" x 23"xxxxxx118" x 79" x 26"

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