December 9


Above Ground Pool Reviews 2020 – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

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After a long hard day in the summers, coming back and soaking in that cold water in your pool can be refreshing.

But as it turns out, not every one of us can afford a swimming pool, the traditional in-ground kind.

In comes the solution, above-ground swimming pools! But as always, what to select for purchase, why to select that, and what other options are available, these questions can quickly become a nuisance.

And to prevent that, all you need is to read on. We have reviewed above ground pools from a variety of manufacturers. It is only after rigorous research and analysis, that we have shortlisted these eight best above ground pools. 

Let’s start then.

1.  Intex 16 ft round Ultra Frame Pool Set

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If you are into big round pools, we recommend the Intex Ultra 16 ft monster.

The largest pool from this list has the potential to pack around 5000 gallons of water. And to hold that water in, a steel frame is provided with a rust coating. The frame has been reinforced with a laminate PVC band all around the circumference of the pool.

We think that the sand filter pump does a really good job of keeping the debris out and providing a clean and hygienic experience.

Armed with a 1200 gallons per hour motor, the pool sets up in no time. It is fairly easy to install and uninstall the pool.

The Krystal clear cartridge does an excellent job of keeping the water clear and sand-free.

Along with the pool, you get ground cloth, debris cover, and a setup and maintenance DVD.


  • Setup and maintenance disc included
  • Light frame but well built


  • Higher capacity pool could have used a higher capacity pump

2. Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set

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If you are looking for a different shape other than circular or oval, this pool is definitely worth considering.

Standing at 18 feet by 9 feet, the capacity of this pool is the highest from the lot. A handsome 4500 gallons!

The structure is made of steel which ensures exceedingly good built. And the frame has been coated with rust-free paint for that extra layer of security against elements of nature.

The pool comes with a dual suction outlet, like many others on the list, and when connected with a garden hose, ensures easy emptying and operation. We had no problem in that area whatsoever.

Also provided with the pool is a pump with 1200 gallons per hour capacity and 1.3 kW of power consumption, quite reasonable in our opinion.


  • Set up DVD included
  • Size is ideal for parties and water games
  • Powerful pump motor


  • Packaging not so sturdy
  • Inbuilt cartridge might need replacement with a better one

3. Intex Metal Frame Pool Set 12 feet

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If the 15 feet model from Intex was a metal frame pool, this one comes with a PVC construction.

This has two advantages. It makes the pool really light to move around, and provides flexibility to that tense frame.

The capacity of the frame is a generous 1700 gallons as the pool measures around 12 feet in diameter and 30 inches in depth.

A Krystal clear cartridge has also been provided to ensure clear water for usage. We liked the fact that a ground fault circuit disruption has been provided to avoid any shocks.

The pool comes with a standard 530 gallons per hour motor rated at 1 kW. Also included in its construction are the twin outlets for suction to improve water circulation.

In our opinion, don’t place the pool on mud or sand, or any other loose surfaces like gravel. Ensuring this would increase the life of your pool.


  • Light in weight and flexible
  • Maintains good hygiene


  • Small volume compared to competitors
  • Cover quality could have been better

4. Intex Metal Frame Pool Set 15 feet

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We really like this product from Intex. The build quality just shows when you set it up.

Supporting its frame are super durable laminated sidewalls that have been reinforced with a circumferential band. Although it makes it a tad too heavy, the metal frame is very strong.

We found that the pool was up and ready in about 45-60 minutes on average. How awesome is that?

Our favorite thing about this pool is the dual suction water outlet. It enables the pool to maintain clarity in water and proper hygiene.

The water capacity is pretty good at around 4000 gallons and the pump is rated at 1.5 kW with a suction capacity of 1000 gallons per hour.

Also available with the pool is the setup guide in a DVD, a Krystal clear cartridge and a drainage plug that can be easily connected to a garden hose for emptying.


  • Large capacity
  • High durability


  • Heavy to move around
  • No heater provided out of the box

5. Intex Oval Frame Pool Set

Another good product from Intex is the Oval Frame Pool Set. It measures a hearty 18 feet by 10 feet by 42 inches. This enables it to possess a cubic capacity north of 2500 gallons.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that even though the pool is made of a PVC frame construction, it’s still rock-solid in its stance when it comes to day to day operations.

Provided with the pool is a filter pump with approx 2000 gallons per hour of pumping capacity, a well-made ladder, a ground cloth, and two pool cover packs.

We found that the oval shape of the pool works in its favor by enabling it to fit in the most impractical of spaces. You don’t need a large circular space for this one. A long alley between your house and backyard can easily accommodate the oval pool.


  • Doesn’t require a lot of space
  • Light in weight thus easier to maneuver


  • The oval shape makes it a little congested inside
  • Quality of the liner not up to the mark

6. iPool D Set

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Another of one of the best rated above ground pool is the iPool D set.

Most of the above-ground pools available in the market offer you decent pumps and filters. Sometimes, you may need to buy aftermarket accessories to enhance the quality or function.

But that’s not the case with this one.

It comes with a 2500 Gallons per hour motor pump and a 5.5 kW heater. Yes, you read that right! A built-in heater.

When it comes to its build, it doesn’t disappoint. You will find a steel frame that has been galvanized with zinc coating. Combine that with a five-layer vinyl coated polyester and that makes iPool one of the sturdiest ones that we’ve come across.

And as for the dimensions, it is 7 feet by 10 feet by 45 inches, near about 1500-2000 gallons of storage.


  • Strongly build
  • Inbuilt heater for a warm bath
  • Powerful motor


  • A little bit overpriced for the capacity

7.  Easy Set Pool Set by Intex

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Intex has a reputation for easy yet durable designs. And this pool set by them doesn’t disappoint.

Coming in at around 15 feet by 48 inches, it has the volume to hold close to 4000 gallons.

In our review, we found that the Easy Set pool was, as evident by its name, easiest to set up and use. It was up and running in no time.

Easy Set pool comes with a PVC construction which ensures lightweight. And if you are worried about durability, don’t; it’s well built to absorb any roughhousing.

It also has a built-in ground fault interrupter which provides safety against electrical currents running through the body of the pool.

And of course, it comes with a ladder, ground cloth, water pump, and pool cover. These accessories are available to start with, and you can always buy more if you think there is any need.


  • Perhaps the easiest set up amongst all
  • Extremely easy to pack up
  • Fills faster and has a large volume


  • Little less durable than metallic pools
  • The pool cover is a little brittle

8. Summer Wave Elite Wicker Print

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Measuring at 16 feet by 48 inches, and capable of handling close to 1500 gallons, this above ground pool from the company Summer Wave, is an excellent choice to buy.

Summer Wave has a reputation for building ingenious products that are durable and genuinely good designs. This pool sports a metal frame, and this will ensure that your investment is protected from the anger of mother nature and the liveliest of children.

Another thing that we really liked about this pool was its filter pump system.

It’s a great feature because it ensures that you don’t have to take all the water out to clean your pool. As you start filling it in, the filter works its magic and keeps the unwanted debris out. The pump tops off the entire pool in as little as 45 minutes! That’s fast.


  • Great sturdy metallic design
  • Filter pump provided
  • Fill fast and easy


  • Set up may take time
  • Heavy because of metallic design

What’s included while purchasing your above ground pool?

  • Almost all above ground pools come with a definite set of types of equipment that are not required to be purchased later.
  • These include a pump with a filtration system to keep your water debris free.
  • A ground cover to provide a membrane between your pool and ground to act as an added layer of security.
  • A debris cover to be placed at night to prevent leaves from falling in.
  • And of course, a ladder to get in and out of pool efficiently. In most cases, it is foldable.


How to choose the right above ground pool?

  1. Know your budget

Pools can come across a wide price range. From as little as $300 to as high as $5000. This is still less than the amount of money you may spend on an in ground pool, close to a few thousand dollars.

  1. Pick a suitable location

Knowing the space available before you buy the pool is always wise. If you have a narrow space, go for an oval or rectangular pool. If you have plenty of space to spare, try out a big circular pool.

  1. Pick an appropriate size, shape, and type

Again, if you know what suits your backyard, you will almost never go wrong in choosing one. We recommend that you measure the area where you want your pool.

Also, if your kids are small, don’t buy a very deep pool. A depth of around 3-5 ft should be enough.

Next, consider the material of the pool. If you don’t want to move your pool often, go for a steel frame. And if you think you may move it around a bit more, try a lighter build like PVC.

Above ground pool accessories

Pool solar cover

If the provided solar cover isn’t good enough, try another solar cover so as to prevent evaporation and maximize cleanliness. Check out some excellent options by clicking here.

Ladders and Staircases

Sometimes the ladders provided can be a wee bit wobbly. Don’t worry, you can always purchase another at a minimal cost. Find the best ones here.

Pool Lights

Do you fancy a night swim or bath? Try considering these lights for your pool to add to the mood.

Pool heaters and pumps

Some pools don’t provide a heater, or the pump that comes out of the box could be underpowered for the task. If that is the case, we recommend that you consider aftermarket heaters and pumps. Check some excellent choices here.

If you want to know more about these accessories, CLICK HERE. We have a whole page dedicated to their functioning, pros, and cons.

Above ground pool vs. In-ground pool

The biggest difference between them is the price. While a typical above ground pool can set you off by about $3000 dollars maximum, an in-ground pool can incur costs as much as ten times of that.

The next thing to consider is the lifespan. The in-ground pools are solid for 10-20 years. On the other hand, above ground pools, depending on the type, may last about 7-12 years only.

We also think that while an in-ground pool adds to the appeal of your backyard, an above ground pool costs much less and offers qualities like portability, and choices in shape and size.

Above ground pool FAQs

Q. What is the best time to get an above ground pool?

A. It’s right after the summer. Probably around September or October. This ensures cheap prices in the offseason.

Q. What’s the best way to fill the pool?

A. You can use any garden hose to fill the pool. However, do keep an eye so that it doesn’t overflow or bulge and creak.

Q. What is pool circulation?

A. Still water is a breeding ground for bacteria and mosquito larvae. A good pool circulation keeps the water flowing inside.

Q. What maintenance is required for a pool?

A. Usually not much. A properly working filter will always do its job leaving none to little for you. Occasionally, clean the walls of the pool from the inside.

Q. How to level out the ground for the pool?

A. You could build a platform, or dig a flat ground. Either way, make sure it’s strong enough to support those gallons.

Q. How deep are above ground pools?

A. Anywhere between 42 inches to 60 inches. Best to buy what suits your needs.

Q. How could I drain my pool?

A. Every pool comes with a valve inbuilt. Just opening it will let the water out.

Q. Do I need a fence around the pool?

A. It’s not necessary. It may keep the animals away, but if your backyard has a fence, then building one around your pool isn’t required.

And to conclude

So what is the best above ground pool to buy? Honestly, any of the above mentioned eight should be an excellent choice. Sure, they might not be perfect, but they would suit your needs just fine.

So go ahead and enjoy your time in the summer. You deserve all the fun!

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Above Ground Pool, Pool

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