With Summer just around the corner and school about to let out, people young and old are gearing up to spend plenty of time outdoors. Of course, Summer also means that it is liable to get pretty warm which is why many people choose to spend their Summer days outdoors by some body of water. If you do not want to go to a lake, river, or ocean, then there is always the option of going to a pool or building one at your own home.
Best Pool Slides of 2018
While having a personal pool is nice enough on its own, there are a number of different products out there which can make it even more enjoyable. Diving boards and inflatable toys are common instances of this, but there are few products used in conjunction with a pool that are more fun than a pool slide. There are actually a fair number of differences between the different pool slides available on the market. That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best pool slides, highlighting what each one does best.
|Inter-Fab Wild Ride|
|6’5”||11”||250 pounds||Acrylic and Steel|
|S.R. Smith Typhoon||7’4”||9’10”||275 pounds||Polyethylene|
|S.R. Smith Cyclone||4’10”||6’10”||175 pounds||Polyethylene|
|Inter-Fab Zoomerang||3’||9’5”||200 pounds||Acrylic and Fiberglass|
|Intex Kool Splash||4’10”||10’11”||175 pounds||20 ga Vinyl|
1. Inter-Fab Wild Ride – Editor’s Choice Best Pool Slide
It is actually a bit surprising, but the pool slide which is rated as our Editor’s Choice best pool slide also comes from the youngest company on our list. That said, it is worth keeping in mind that the youngest company we reviewed is still 25 years old, so it is not as if they do not have enough experience to know what it takes to make a great pool slide.
That said, the Inter-Fab Wild Ride is able to impress along a number of different metrics and though it is not the best in all categories, it is at least the best or second best in the most relevant ones.
Great All-Around Size
Top Quality Materials
While the size of the Inter-Fab Wild Ride is great, the fact of the matter is that a pool slide large enough to be used by adults will also need to be much stabler than the other pool slides. In this instance, the stability of the pool slide will have a little to do with its manufacturing and installation process, but it will have far more to do with the materials used in the pool slide’s construction. For the Inter-Fab Wild Ride, this is a huge benefit as this the only pool slide that we reviewed which features an acrylic body and a steel frame. While the steel frame is incredibly durable, the acrylic body is the strongest type of plastic commonly used for pool slides.
2. S.R. Smith Typhoon – Tallest Pool Slide
On top of that, S.R. Smith is also a brand that specializes exclusively in pool accessories, though they do not specialize specifically in pool slides. While the brand may have started with a focus on diving boards, they have expanded to provide virtually any pool accessory you can think of regardless the setting.
Excellent Manufacturing Process
A Substantial Slide
By far one of the nicest things about the S.R. Smith Typhoon is that it can be used for a wide variety of sliders and can even support many adults. One of the biggest reasons for this is the S.R. Smith Typhoon’s maximum weight capacity which is the best on our list at 275 pounds likely due to the rotomolded manufacturing process. On top of that, the S.R. Smith Typhoon is also the tallest pool slide that we reviewed which will provide adults a more comfortable perch, as well as help, generate faster sliding speeds. Finally, the S.R. Smith Typhoon features a fairly long flume at 9’10”, though it is not even second best in this respect.
3. S.R. Smith Cyclone – Best Pool Slide for Kids
For as long as they have been around, S.R. Smith should know how to produce a great pool slide that carefully balances features that you want with a price that you can bear. This can be a bit difficult depending on the market, but for pool slides, S.R. Smith has this down to a near-science and is able to put forth our best all-around value pool slide. That said, it should be understood that this pool slide like many other more moderately priced pool slides is meant for younger users and is actually our best pool slide for kids.
Best for Kids
Provides a Great Value
Whenever you look for a reasonably priced product, you expect there to be some downsides, but you just need to make sure they are not dealbreakers. That said, the S.R. Smith Cyclone is arguably one of the few budget products that we saw which does not have any true flaws beyond the potential difficulty in assembling it. However, beyond the difficulty with assembly, the only other potential issue could be size though that is only an issue if you try to use it outside of the manufacturer’s intention. That said, this pool slide will actually provide value for children of all ages as the polyethylene body sports a maximum weight capacity of 175 pounds.
4. Inter-Fab Zoomerang – Best Price Budget Pool Slide
Considering it already captured the top spot on our list as the best, it only makes sense that Inter-Fab, a company which specializes in manufacturing pool accessories would also make it a point to capture other niche markets within the pool slide category. To that end, while the Editor’s Choice best pool slide needs to be usable by most people, niche products do not. To that end, Inter-Fab has made it a point to cater to a group most likely to use their products in the first place: children. Thankfully, this also means that Inter-Fab must price this pool slide accordingly and as such also makes the best price budget pool slide that we reviewed too.
Provides an Excellent Value
On top of that, this pool slide features a surprisingly lung flume of 9’5” considering that it is actually the shortest pool slide we reviewed at only 3’. Finally, this pool slide uses the same attention to design that other Inter-Fab pool slides do an come with a curved and banked body that is extra deep to provide even better contact when sliding.
Is Well Constructed
Beyond the actual manufacturing process, the Inter-Fab Zoomerang also features just an all-around well-constructed build. For instance, the Inter-Fab Zoomerang features a body that is made out of acrylic and a ladder with handrails made of steel. While the steel materials may be a bit prone to rusting, there is no getting around the fact that it is also the most durable materials that we saw used. On the other hand, the acrylic body features the strongest plastic used for pool slides and is reinforced by a steel frame which allows the Inter-Fab Zoomerang to support a maximum weight capacity of up to 200 pounds.
5. Intex Kool Splash – Best Inflatable Pool Slide
Intex is an interesting company on our list for a couple of reasons, but by far the most noteworthy is the fact that Intex does not specialize in pool slides or even products associated with pools more broadly. Instead, this company focuses on inflatable products which can include pool slides but also includes a wide variety of other products like inflatable seating, toys, and even sporting gear. That said, this is actually a surprisingly experienced company, considering its market, and was founded over 75 years ago which means that the company at least understands inflatable products if not necessarily pool slides.
Is an Inflatable Pool Slide
A Mixed Bag
As alluded to prior, the Intex Kool Splash does come with some distinct drawbacks, and the worst flaw of this pool slide by far has to be its durability. First, the Intex Kool Splash is made of 20 gauge vinyl which, while a decent thickness of vinyl, is the least durable material on our list. In fact, virtually every complaint or bad review about the Intex Kool Splash focused on the fact that the seams of this pool slide have a tendency to come undone which essentially ruins the pool slide. On top of that, Intex is notoriously difficult to deal with when their products fail even if it is still within a warranty period making your chances for redress just as bad as the durability.
Best Pool Slides – Buyer’s Guide
Most Common Materials
Vinyl – This is by far the least durable material on our list and is generally not used for permanent pool slides due to the fact that it cannot without the stress of the environment for too terribly long.
Vinyl does present some nice advantages like being easily cleaned after use and inherently resistant to stains or other types of ingrained contamination. On top of that, vinyl is reasonably light and is incredibly flexible when used for pool slides making it easy to fold up and put away when not in use.
Polyethylene – Polyethylene is not exactly a weak material, but it is definitely one of the weaker ones used for the manufacturing of pool slides. You should worry too much about this material’s durability unless the slide is intended to be used by adults and this material composition extends to the pool slide’s ladder as well. As a material, polyethylene is one of the many plastics used and confers most of the general benefits of plastic while also being exceptionally resistant to chemicals.
Acrylic – This is generally seen as one of the best materials to use for a pool slide precisely because of how durable it is. While it is technically a thermoplastic like many of the other materials pool slides are made of, acrylic plastic is distinctly more durable than the other plastics though it is also often much heavier than many of the other types of plastic too. One thing to consider is that acrylic is also more prone to sun bleaching and other UV radiation damage than polyethylene is though acrylic is still better than vinyl in this regard.
Steel – Though it makes a great deal of sense when you simply stop to think about it, but steel is alternatively, asimultaneously one of the best and one of the materials to use for a pool slide as well as one of the worst materials to use. It is interesting to note that this marks a sharp departure from the material considerations when compared to many other products where you would commonly find the use of steel. The reasons for not using steel are still few, though they can quite easily be large enough reasons to avoid it.
Maximum Weight Capacity
This quality will definitely matter more or less depending on who intends to use the pool slide as virtually every pool slide that we reviewed ostensibly has a maximum weight capacity high enough to support the weight of many adults with some of the pool slides on our list providing a maximum weight capacity that is enough to support not just an adult but a fairly large adult at that. That said, it is important to note that the maximum weight capacity refers to the maximum amount of weight the pool slide can support when someone is actually sliding down it.
As such, an adult may very well be able to slide down a given pool slide, but it is quite possible that they may be too heavy to use the stairs without eventually breaking them which would present a serious risk for the adult in question at the moment and for anyone using the pool slide thereafter.
Water System for Pool Slides
While this may seem like a bit of an extra feature, this is actually one of the more meaningful features. This is because most pool slides are made of some kind of plastic which does not generally have a fairly smooth texture and is noted for catching wet fabric and skin. As such, one of the easiest and most common solutions to this problem is to include some form of water system with their pool slide to act as a lubricant.
Not all water systems are made equally, and a great deal of the water system’s effectiveness will ultimately be determined by how much water the water system can push too little and it will not work as desired, often leaving dry spots to catch downward sliders.
As we can see, with so many different setting and potential sliders, there is a good chance that a single pool slide will simply not be able to satisfy all people equally. Instead, it is a better idea to figure out what qualities are the most important to you and identify a pool slide that provides the best version of those features while also minimizing its flaws or simply having flaws you can live with.
If you are looking for the best pool slide that we reviewed, then we recommend our Editor’s Choice pool slide: the Inter-Fab Wild Ride. While this is not the tallest one on our list, it is nearly so and has the longest flume. On top of that, the Inter-Fab Wild Ride is also made of acrylic and steel which are the most durable materials used on our list and has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds.
Of course, you may not necessarily have a need for one of the biggest and most durable pool slides available especially if you only expect children to use the slide and can save a pretty penny bargain hunting while still finding a great product. To that end, we recommend the S.R. Smith Cyclone. While it is significantly smaller than many of the other pool slides on our list, is still well made and provides additional safety measures to protect the sliders.