We have had the same Intex 14 foot above ground pool for the past 8 years or so. It was a great pool. It held up year after year. Until last summer when it finally, and sadly, split open. The tear was too big for us to successfully patch, so we had to let it go. Since the heat of summer is quickly approaching again, the time has come to get a new pool up and running. After shopping around I found that Intex does not appear to be this years’ leading brand as it has been for so long. I am not sure if a patent ran out or something, but there seems to be two new prevalent brands to pick from: Bestway and Summer Waves. So, today I will be doing an above ground pool review on our new Bestway pool, and also a comparison to our previous Intex pool.
I can’t believe Summer weather is here again! It is supposed to be 90 degrees here later today…I am not ready for that level of heat. But I have been enjoying our short Spring and trying to get as many outside projects done as possible before the work stifling heat overtakes us. Definitely time to get the pool set up and filled with nice, cool water!
The Bestway above ground pool that we bought is 15′ in diameter and 48″ high. This is a foot bigger and 6 inches deeper than our previous pool. I am very excited to have those 6 extra inches of water! We started putting the pool together last night, while BBQing some beef spare ribs…yum! We will probably finish the assembly tomorrow, since we have other stuff going on today. We could have gotten it all finished yesterday, but we got a late start and once it got dark it was too hard to see what we were doing.
Setting up your Above Ground Pool
First thing you will want to do is find a nice level spot for your pool. Here is quick video showing the basics on how to accomplish this.
The new pool comes with a ground cover to place the pool on. You can also use heavy duty tarps if you would like.
The instructions recommend leaving the pool laid out in the sun for an hour or so prior to assembly for more flexibility in the material. As we worked with it last night, it seemed as though this recommendation would be helpful to have followed. It was still workable, but a bit stiff.
Following the steps in the included directions, we got the top ring of piping weaved through the slots first. Then we connected all of the pipes with the T-shaped pipe pieces. Pretty basic stuff. The assembly is exactly like the Intex pool we had. The one noticeable difference is that the pipes are an oval shape instead of round. I am excited to see if this adds stability, or maybe helps the pool not sink into the ground so easily.
One part of the directions that we apparently overlooked was putting the little rubber pieces on the pegs. It wasn’t very clear. So, make sure you put them on first, so you don’t hve to remove the pegs and start over like we did.
Ladder for an Above Ground Pool
The Bestway pool and our old Intex pool both came with ladders. I am very excited to have a new ladder. Our old pool ladder had seen better days. It was getting quite rusty and a bit wobbly. If our pool hadn’t busted last year, I definitely would have had to spring for a new ladder this year. It was getting a little scary. If you are having this issue, I put a link to a good inexpensive ladder on amazon (Just click on the picture of the ladder below for current info). I kept holding out, hoping to find one at a yard sale or something. I don’t know why. Safety is way more important than 50 or 60 bucks. I’m just such a cheapskate sometimes. Don’t be like me. Last year we had to prop up our ladder with pallets for support. Lame. Click the image below for link and current pricing information.
The Pool Pump
I am anxious to see how this new Bestway pool pump holds up. Our Intex pumps lasted one or two seasons. The past 3-5 years I am pretty sure we ended up getting a new one every summer at some point. They typically run about $35-$50, which is totally worth it. Those little pumps do a lot of work and are crucial to keeping the pool swim worthy.
I suspect this new pump will perform pretty much the same as the Intex pump. When it does end up dying on us, I actually think we will end up replacing it with an Intex brand pump. I am not even sure Bestway makes their own. I will check it out and add a link to the appropriate and best priced pump here, in case you are needing one.
Bestway Above Ground Pool Final Review
The whole assembly went pretty smooth. The hardest thing was lining up the holes to get the plastic pins in. Personally, I think it would be easier to do if the legs were put on first. Then you wold have to do the most difficult part while crouching down to the ground. But the pool is 48 inches high, so if you are on the shorter side, it may be difficult to have a downward view on the top ring, which would be needed to line up the holes. So whatever works for you works just fine.
Once it was all put together, I got in and flattened out the wrinkles as best as possible. I recommend doing this without any water, and then again after one or two inches are in the pool. Seeing the pool all set up, I immediately loved it. The extra 6 inches in height is very noticeable and awesome. We can’t wait for the next hot day, which is right around the corner.
With our old 42 inch Intex pool we would have to be on our knees to really feel like we were covered in water, but that will not be the issue with this pool at all. I am about 5’2″, and there is no way I could be on my knees in this pool. Now that we have the extra foot in diameter and extra height, I can’t believe we had that, now seemingly, tiny pool for so long. This one is so much better. Not to talk smack about our previous pool. It was really great to us, and saved our lives on so many scorching hot days over the years. Not to mention all the fun we had playing around in it.
I cannot even imagine life without the summer joys our above ground pool has brought us. I highly recommend either of these pools for your family. I just went to find a link on amazon.com to post here so you all can see the options. In my search I found an Intex 15 foot 48 inch pool, just like ours for $50 less than what we spent…ugh. That is a bummer. I can’t believe that! Well, at least it’s not too late for you to get this deal! Lucky you…
Bestway vs Intex- Which to Buy…
My final recommendation is to buy the 15′ 48″ Intex pool listed below. It is a great price, and I would have bought this instead of the Bestway in a heart beat. I know, from years of use, that Intex is a great pool and should work for you for years. Just make sure not set it on anything sharp and take it down in the off season, and you will have years of cooling summer memories with this pool. I can only personally recommend the metal framed pool, as that is what we had. It is super sturdy and really quite simple to put up.
I have never had the blow up pool, but it might work great for you. I would be worried about my dog jumping on i and puncturing the inflatable ring. But if that is not a problem for you, you might like the ease of just filling with air and water. In case that is the situation, I included it here for comparison.
No matter which style you choose, I hope you have a great summer, and have tons of fun in your new pool! I would love to hear from you with any stories, comments, questions, or suggestions. Please feel free to leave a comment, and I will get back to you asap!
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