If your kids have graduated from tiny plastic baby pools, but you're not quite ready to commit to a permanent aboveground pool, Intex has plenty of choices to keep your family cool during that in-between stage. Some of the larger Intex pools are so roomy and sturdy, you may never need to install anything more. Our buying guide shows you what you can expect from an Intex pool. There are models that satisfy all ages, from toddlers to adults, including our favorite, the Intex 24' x 12' x 52" Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set, which offers plenty of room to splash around in.
Considerations when choosing Intex pools
Type of pool
Intex offers various models, including children-sized pools, starter inflatable vinyl models, vinyl with durable metal frames, and premium vinyl and metal-framed models in sizes that rival hard-sided aboveground pools.
Although you may want the largest pool to fit the most people, it's your yard that will ultimately determine the size of pool you select. Consider both issues when choosing an Intex pool. Pools that are eight feet in diameter will comfortably fit as many as four people at a time. A pool that's 18 feet in diameter fits eight or more people. If you opt for the largest Intex pool, which is 32 feet x 16 feet x 52 inches deep, you'll need a huge swath of level yard for the rectangular model -- but you'll also be able to easily fit a dozen people at a time.
Intex offers round, oval, and rectangular pools. Rectangular pools are thought to be roomier than round or oval models. You may be able to swim some laps in a rectangular Intex pool as well.
Sand vs. cartridge pump and filter
Smaller Intex pools come with cartridge pumps and filters. Cartridges work well to eliminate the smallest particles. Pricey cartridges can be quickly cleaned manually by rinsing. Sand filters are highly effective and less expensive to maintain (you have to replace the sand every five years or so). Intex's sand filters perform several functions, such as filtering, backwashing, and rinsing.
It's common for users to replace the ladders that come with Intex pools. Ladders that come with the pools are serviceable and are listed as holding as much as 300 pounds. Larger Intex pools come with ladders that have a small platform at the top.
It helps to have a pool cover that fits your Intex pool like a glove. The Easy Set covers fit over the pool like a shower cap to keep out debris and animals. Not all Intex pools come with a cover, so check the specifications before you make a selection.
Intex pool prices
Intex pool models are reasonably priced. Intex's pools for kids range from $26 to $65. Small inflatable Intex pools that are as much as 13 feet in diameter cost between $72 to $159. Larger metal-frame Intex pools in oval, rectangular, and round models of 18 feet in diameter or larger jump slightly to $339 to $1,600.
Q. How do I keep wildlife from puncturing my Intex Easy Set ring?
A. The sidewalls of Intex pools are constructed with a tough laminated three-ply puncture-resistant PVC material. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a type of reinforced flexible plastic material. Even so, pets and wildlife should keep clear from the Intex Easy Set pool or any other type of inflatable pool. One of the best ways to keep wildlife away from an inflatable pool is to cover it overnight when not in use. It may keep cats from perching on the rim and squirrels from scampering around it. A small bird landing on the rim rarely does any harm to the ring.
Q. Can I set up an Intex pool on a concrete patio?
A. If your concrete patio is 100% level, it should be fine. You'll definitely need a ground cloth under the pool to prevent any sharp cement nubs from affecting the pool. Never move or drag the ground cloth or the pool itself across cement, or the abrasions will damage the material.
Q. Can I vacuum an Intex pool?
A. Yes, depending on your model. If you have a small Easy Set pool, it's best to simply use a skimmer to keep the pool clean. Your cartridge filter will do the rest of the job. For larger Intex pools with more powerful motors and sand filter pumps, the company has designed hassle-free vacuums for its pools that fit its specific hose fittings.
Intex pools we recommend
Best of the best: Intex 24' x 12' x 52" Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set
Our take: A breeze to set up, which means you'll be swimming in a large sturdy pool in a day or two.
What we like: The rectangular pool offers more room than circular models, with a durable powder-coated steel frame. Did we mention it's roomy?
What we dislike: Users report product arriving with liner holes, and customer service could be more responsive.
Best bang for your buck: Intex Easy Set
Our take: A perfect and affordable point-of-entry aboveground pool, and easy to maintain.
What we like: Extremely durable vinyl pool. It's easy to assemble, easy to clean, and lasts for several seasons when properly maintained. Perfect for any age.
What we dislike: The filter is sold separately, and the top ring often needs reinflating.
Choice 3: Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center
Our take: A perfect inflatable pool keeps toddlers busy, and it does double-duty as a ball pit off season.
What we like: It's larger than it looks in photos. It's a double pool that comes with durable balls, and the water slide and rainbow water sprayer add to the fun.
What we dislike: Rainbow tends to flop a bit, and some parts of the multiple air chambers can be difficult to inflate.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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