Beat the heat and beat the crowds with our favorite inflatable kiddie pools for your backyard.
Backyard pools provide an awesome escape from the warm days of summer.
Additionally, unlike your local neighborhood beach or swimming pool, your backyard pool is always open, there are no crowds to deal with, and you can sit comfortably poolside while the kids splash around.
There are plenty of options for kiddie pools.
For older children, a larger above-ground swimming pool is a great option, while smaller children (and smaller backyards) can get all of their splashings in using a smaller inflatable pool.
For a detailed breakdown of our favorite above-ground swimming pools for the whole family, check out this comprehensive guide.
No matter what your budget or how much space you have in the backyard, here is the hand-picked selection of our favorite inflatable kiddie pools.
Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Kiddie Pool
Intex is a popular maker of backyard pools and pool gear, including pool vacuums, pool liners, pool floaties, and just about everything else you can think of.
So it is no surprise that their Rainbow Ring Kiddie Pool ranks as one of our absolute favorites.
With a water capacity of just over 75-gallons, this kid’s pool packs a ton of fun in a small amount of space, making it ideal for smaller yards.
Easy to inflate, a water sprayer attaches to a standard garden hose. A mini slide, wading pool, ring toss game, and a ball roller game will keep the children entertained and cool during those hot summer days.
SplashEZ 3-in-1 Splash Pad and Wading Pool
The SplashEZ Splash Pad isn’t just a way to cool off your little one, it’s also an educational tool. The mat has the alphabet and pictures of cute animals, while the fountain sprinklers spout cold water through a connection to your garden hose.
The SplashEZ Splash Pad is a great way to introduce water to your baby. The pool is inflated with water, not air, and the pad is cushioned to protect against unexpected sit-downs.
For toddlers and babies who maybe aren’t ready for the pool this is a great way to get them comfortable with the water and keep them cool on those hot sunny days.
Intex Kiddie Pool
This is a no-frills kiddie pool that looks good, is super durable, and houses a decent amount of water. If you are looking for something that is more budget-friendly and simple, the Intext Kiddie Pool is the perfect no-frills option.
The tri-colored walls of the pool are a foot high and made of heavy-duty vinyl that will withstand children climbing in and out. The pool, filled up, can store just over 200 gallons of water.
- We recently put together a guide on the best swim floaties for toddlers and infants. Review our hand-picked selections here.
Intex Sunset Baby Inflatable Pool
Another entry by the team at Intex is a baby-sized model of their kiddie pool, the Sunset Baby Inflatable Pool. It is about a quarter of the size, holding just over 20 gallons of water.
Made with the same durable and long-lasting nylon, it has a soft inflatable floor, comes with a repair patch, and is exceptionally well-reviewed, with nearly 1,000 five-star reviews.
Numerous users found that the Sunset Baby Inflatable Pool also doubled as a small playpen or even a little bed when dry.
Intex Rainbow Inflatable Baby Pool
Another excellent choice for the youngest of swimmers is the Intex Rainbow Cloud Inflatable Baby Pool. The rainbow sunshade protects your baby from the sun while they splash about in up to 22-gallons of water.
Unlike the Intext Sunset Inflatable Baby Pool, the bottom of this pool does not inflate. Users found a variety of alternative uses for the kiddie pool during cooler months, including as a ball pit/playpen.
Kahuna Mega Blast Inflatable Backyard Kids Pool
Okay, this isn’t really so much a kiddie pool as it is an inflatable water park.
With an extra-wide slide, three water canyons for water-blasting fun, a splash pool at the bottom of the slide, and even a climbing wall, there is an endless amount of fun to be had for kids.
The Kahuna Mega Blast Inflatable is basically a backyard water entertainment complex, and as you would expect, is not super cheap. It is, however, made of highly durable PVC and comes packed with a blower that inflates the whole thing in under five minutes.
Costzon Kiddie Pool with Slide and Climbing Walls
Another kiddie pool that could probably be best classified as a backyard water park is the more budget-friendly Costzon Inflatable Kiddie Pool and Slide.
There is a lot going on with this kiddie pool, including a bounce castle, climbing walls, slide, and a large wading pool.
Mesh walls surround the top of the castle for safety, a garden hose easily connects to keep the slide slippery, and the Costzon Inflatable Kiddie Pool comes either with or without a motorized blower for quick set-up and take-down.
Inflatable Kiddie Pools – FAQ
Here are answers to some of the most common questions we field when it comes to blow-up kiddie pools.
What’s the best way to keep a kiddie pool clean?
New pool owners are often surprised by how dirty pool water can get. Makes sense—kids walk across a yard, carrying dirt, grass, and bugs with them into the water.
Kiddie pools, because of their inflatable nature and quick set-up, don’t have the fancy-pants pump and filtration systems that you find with most above-ground pools. As a result, kiddie pools can quickly become profoundly yucky with bacteria and germs.
So how do you keep your kiddie pool clean and ready for action tomorrow?
First, up-end the pool and drain the water at the end of the day as you shut down the backyard. Rinse out any remaining debris—the obvious stuff like leaves and the not-so-obvious stuff like dead skin—with some freshwater, and to maximize cleanliness and zap bacteria, give it a quick wash with a few dabs of dish soap.
Second, avoid classic pool cleaning chemicals like chlorine to keep the pool clean. There are a few reasons for this, as the CDC notes, including the fact that it’s hard to keep track of how much water is in the pool due to splashing (and thus impossible to figure out how much pool chemical to put in the water).
Also, because backyard kiddie pools don’t have a filtration system to sort and remove leaves, dirt, and other debris that soak up all the disinfectants. For this reason, it’s not safe (or effective, for that matter) to drop chlorine tablets into an inflatable pool.
How long can you leave water in an inflatable kiddie pool?
It’s not recommended to leave water in your inflatable kiddie pool for more than 24 hours. If that, even.
There are a few different factors to consider when it comes to purging pool water, including pool positioning in your backyard (which can impact how much debris lands in your pool) and how many children and households are using the kiddie pool.
Because inflatable kiddie pool water is generally standing, it is very susceptible to quick outbursts of bacteria and germs, which gets kids sick and straight-up ruins everyone’s day.
As a rule of thumb, empty and clean the kiddie pool daily, including removing all dirt and debris and rinsing it out.
What’s better, an inflatable kiddie pool or a hard plastic pool?
Even though this guide was specifically about inflatable backyard kiddie pools, there is another option—the hard plastic pool for kids and toddlers.
Hard plastic kiddie pools tend to last longer simply because PVC vinyl rip and tear over time. Inflatable swim pools tend to make it to the landfill quickly, but with proper maintenance, you can extend the life of these pools for another summer, or at least until your kiddos out-grow them.
Hard plastic pools offer less flexibility both in construction and use (there’s none with slides, for example), but what they lack in aesthetics and function they make up for in rigidity and lifespan.
What’s the best way to store a kiddie pool?
As awesome as it would be, the summer swim season is just that—seasonal. During the fall and winter (and also when you won’t be home for extended periods of time during the summer) you will want to store the kiddie pool so that the elements don’t warp or degrade the pool.
For indoor, climate-control storage areas, the inflatable vinyl pool can be easily folded up and tucked away. Protected from the weather, the nylon won’t corrode.
Places that are going to get hit by the elements (against the side of the house, for example) or don’t have climate-control (a shed), a hard plastic kiddie pool is more likely to retain its shape and not crack and break when faced with big dips in temperature.
What should I put under the kiddie pool?
Inflatable kiddie pools will benefit from having a pad or tarp underneath. The bottom of inflatable pools is not very thick and can puncture and be uncomfortable for your kiddo to sit on roots, rocks, and other random debris on the ground.
Whether you have a larger above-ground inflatable pool or a small inflatable kiddie pool, a protective pad or tarp underneath will both make it more comfortable to stand and sit in the pool and also protect the lining along the bottom, giving it a little boost in shelf life.
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