The 5 Best Above-Ground Pools of 2021
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Our Top PicksBest Overall: This 18-foot round pool comes with a ladder, a ground cloth, a cover, and a sand filter pump with a 1,200-per-hour flow rate.”Best Rectangular: This rectangular pool set comes in three sizes and includes a pump, ladder, debris cover, and ground cloth.”Best Inflatable: Designed for rapid installation, this 600-gallon inflatable pool is ready to go in minutes.”Best Saltwater: The included saltwater system helps you reach the ideal salinity ratio for your above-ground pool.”Best with Steel Frame: A corrosion-resistant steel frame provides reinforcement and holds this sturdy pool together.”Best for Kids: With inflatable dolphins that can spray water out of their mouths, this pool will keep kiddos entertained for hours.”
If you live in a warm climate or anywhere that gets remotely hot during the summer, having somewhere to swim can make the weather more bearable—and enjoyable. As you’re probably aware, in-ground swimming pools are expensive to install and maintain. Above-ground pools, however, are an affordable alternative. They’re also much easier to set up and can be just as fun as their in-ground counterparts.
Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly cool-down solution or want to try out a pool before committing to digging a permanent hole in your yard, we’ve got you covered. We rounded up the best above-ground pools currently on the market, including saltwater-ready, rectangular, round, oval, steel-supported, and inflatable picks. Let’s dive in.
Here, the best above ground pools on the market.
1,Best Overall: Intex Ultra XTR Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump
What We Like
- Comes with helpful accessories
- Sturdy and durable
What We Don’t Like
- Long setup time
Dimensions: 18 feet x 52 inches | Shape: Round | Water Capacity: 6,981 gallons | Frame: Galvanized steel | Set-Up Time: 45 minutes
For an above-ground option that shines above the rest, we recommend the Intex Ultra XTR Pool Set. Aside from the actual pool, it comes with a sand filter pump, a ladder with slip-resistant steps, a ground cloth, and a cover with a convenient rope tie. The efficient filter pump has a flow rate of 2,100 gallons per hour, plus a built-in timer with preset cycles.
The reliable frame is made of galvanized steel and connects with a precision-engineered locking system, adding to the overall stability and durability of the product. Thanks to a protective powder coating on the interior and exterior walls, this pool also resists rust. The round Intex Ultra XTR is 52 inches tall and 18 feet in diameter. It holds over 6,900 gallons of water and is ready to fill within 45 minutes.
2,Best Rectangular: Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set
Dimensions: 24 feet x 12 feet x 52 inches | Shape: Rectangular | Water Capacity: 8,403 gallons | Frame: Powder-coated steel | Set-Up Time: 45 minutes
The Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool is 52 inches deep and comes in various sizes. You can get 216 x 108 inches (18 x 9 feet), 288 x 144 inches (24 x 12 feet), or 384 x 192 inches (32 x 16 feet). The set includes a filter pump, a slip-resistant ladder, a ground cloth, and a debris cover.
Like all Intex above-ground pools, you can count on high-quality engineering, durability, and weather resistance. A puncture-resistant, triple-ply liner ensures water stays in, and powder-coated steel frames reinforce the walls. Thanks to dual-suction outlets, this pool efficiently circulates water while keeping it clean and clear for as long as possible.
3,Best Inflatable: Summer Waves Quick Set Inflatable Above Ground Pool with Filter Pump
What We Like
- Quick installation
- Comes with a filter pump
- Holds over 600 gallons of water
- Great for kids
What We Don’t Like
- Shallow for adults
Dimensions: 8 feet x 30 inches | Shape: Round | Water Capacity: 600 gallons | Frame: Inflatable | Set-Up Time: 5-10 minutes
If you’re interested in a blow-up option that’s a bit larger and more sturdy than your typical kiddie pool, we recommend the Summer Waves Quick Set. This circular pool measures 96 inches (8 feet) in diameter. It’s 30 inches deep and can hold over 600 gallons of water. Designed specifically for super-fast installation, you can set it up in minutes. And unlike most inflatable pools, it comes with a filter pump.
4,Best Saltwater: Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System
Dimensions: 32 feet x 16 feet x 52 inches | Shape: Rectangular | Water Capacity: 14,364 gallons | Frame: Powder-coated steel | Set-Up Time: 90 minutes
Saltwater pools are having a moment, and they aren’t reserved only for in-ground models. The best above-ground option is this Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Set with Saltwater System. You’ll need to buy your own salt, which you’ll add to the saltwater system to achieve an ideal level of salinity.
This sizable pool is 52 inches deep and measures 384 inches (32 feet) x 192 inches (16 feet). It’s perfect for swimming laps, splashing, floating, or playing games. Aside from the saltwater system, you’ll get a sand filter pump, ladder, ground cloth, and a pool cover. Intex also backs this pool with a two-year warranty.
5,Best with Steel Frame: Coleman Power Steel Swim Vista Series II Swimming Pool
Dimensions: 18 feet x 48 inches | Shape: Round | Water Capacity: 6,100 gallons | Frame: Corrosion-resistant steel | Set-Up Time: Easy set-up, no tools required
The best above-ground pool with a steel frame is the Coleman Power Steel Vista Series II. It’s 216 inches (18 feet) in diameter and 48 inches deep with an impressive 6,100-gallon capacity. This pool is very easy to set up and take down—no tools are needed. The exterior has a rattan print, and the interior walls have a tile design, making it an attractive addition to your yard.
As for the frame, reinforced portholes are built into the walls, and corrosion-resistant steel secures the whole thing together. Made of puncture-resistant Tritech, the outer liner is notably tough too.