The best above-ground swimming pools for a backyard oasis

Summer is finally here and as temperatures start to rise across the country everyone seems to be looking for safe ways to escape the house and cool off a much-needed quarantine. Campsites and public swimming pools are still closed in many parts of the country, and even those that are open are inundated with residents who yearn for some kind of outdoor immersion. Safety is our number one priority, and the best above-ground swimming pools provide bachelors and families with a calming and fun swimming lesson at home.

Owning a pool makes the summer season more enjoyable for everyone. Unfortunately, in-ground pools are an expensive and permanent obligation. While above-ground swimming pools have lost popularity over the years, they’re still a viable option for turning your yard into a non-permanent oasis to cool off on those triple-digit days. Aside from less maintenance, they still have their own responsibilities.

The best above-ground swimming pools come in a variety of sizes and materials to suit different needs. Not only are they offered in large rectangular sizes that mimic your everyday pools in the ground, but you can also find some more adaptable circular or oval pools that may better suit your space needs. Ultimately, your choice should depend heavily on the size of the pool that fits your garden while also complying with the regulations for above-ground pools.

We swam laps of the above-ground swimming pool market to find the best selection for every type of buyer, to showcase our favorite rectangular, oval and round pools, as well as an inflatable hot tub.

Circular above-ground swimming pools

Intex metal frame pool with filter pump

This sturdy metal frame pool from Intex is widely recognized as one of the best above ground pools on the market because it is affordable, durable and easy to set up and take down. It’s not the largest pool, but Intex offers this style in four different sizes for those who have more space to work.

The pool walls are reinforced with a three-layer, puncture-proof PVC siding to prevent accidents. They have a Krystal filter pump to improve water circulation and keep the water clean, and come with a handy drain plug. Time to pack things away for next year.

Material: PVC side walls with metal frame

Size: 12 feet by 30 inches

Summer Waves Elite above ground swimming pool

Summer Waves Elite above ground swimming pool

Summer Waves offers a uniquely designed pool that enhances the look of any back yard. We love the sophisticated look of the dark gray plaid wicker pattern on the pool siding – it screams for a refreshing session on a floating beanbag with a Ramos Gin Fizz cocktail in hand. In addition, the pool is incredibly spacious, has a three-layer, thick PVC and polyester mesh siding, and is equipped with a versatile filter system that also scans and cleans the bottom of the pool.

Material: Robust, layered PVC with a galvanized steel frame (rustproof)

Height: 16 feet by 48 inches

Rectangular above-ground swimming pools

Intex Ultra XTR rectangular pool set

Intex Ultra XTR rectangular pool set

Intex also offers a much larger rectangular pool for those who want to do their laps in the comfort of their own garden. Like all Intex pools, the Ultra XTR is robustly built with a high quality stainless steel frame and a durable lining that resists abrasion to ensure stability. The larger stature and bulkier frame come at a higher price, but it’s a great option for those who have the space as the filtration system, base cloth, and pool cover are easy to maintain throughout the season and are set up and ready to fill Off for about an hour.

Material: 3-layer PVC side walls with a stainless steel frame

Size: 18 feet by 9 feet by 52 inches

Bestway Steel Pro Rectangular above ground swimming pool

Bestway Steel Pro Rectangular above ground swimming pool

Most people looking for an above-ground swimming pool do so to provide their children with some refreshing summer fun in the garden. Bestway offers a robust, affordable option that is tailored solely to the needs of young people. It’s small enough to fit in most decent sized backyards, has a strong three-layer sidewall and an optimal corrosion-resistant metal frame. The only downside to this option is that a filter pump is not included. However, this is one of the cheaper options on the list filter should be enough without breaking the bank.

Material: Tritech pool walls with steel frame

Size: 7.25 feet by 5 feet by 17 inches

Oval above-ground swimming pools

The pool factory’s saltwater LX oval pool

The pool factory's saltwater LX oval pool

Not only does Pool Factory make some of the best looking above ground pools on the market, but all of their creations are hard built to stand the test of time and erosion. While the siding looks darn good, the resin-injected shapes are designed for function rather than appearance. The saltwater LX pool resists erosion and corrosion everywhere from its ledges to its anti-corrosive paint, which ensures lasting durability and longevity. Other features include compatibility with chlorine, fresh water or salt water systems. All problems are covered by a 60-year guarantee, should problems arise.

Material: stainless steel service plate and resin injection molds

Size: 12 feet by 18 feet by 54 inches

Inflatable hot tubs

Coleman Saluspa Havana AirJet inflatable hot tub

Coleman Saluspa Havana AirJet inflatable hot tub

Your romantic summer date nights and nighttime relaxation sessions are a little more steamy now. This inflatable hot tub from Coleman brings the luxury of a hot tub right into your own garden, allowing ultimate temperature control at the touch of a finger and particularly soothing, massaging air jet bubbles. The purchase includes an inflatable tub, a pump with two filter cartridges, a ChemConnect dispenser to maintain perfect pH levels, and a repair kit in case any leaks occur.

Material: Tritech layer material for additional puncture protection

Size: 71 inches x 26 inches

As a reminder of the inflatable hot tub and the other above-ground pools, it should be noted that while they are built with puncture-proof Tritech material to prevent damage and leakage, you should avoid any dirt and tree roots, etc. when laying your foundation. Tarps, towels, and other ground covers are your friends on this front.

We also recommend that you pick one up Maintenance kit to make sure you have the tools necessary to keep your pool crystal clear.

And don’t forget to show off your best look by the pool. Make sure to check out our best men’s swim trunks to wear this summer.

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