Best Intex Above Ground Pool 2020 – Top Picks & Reviews

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an intex above ground pool

Though Intex is well-known for a slew of wonderful above ground pools, we were recently tasked with narrowing its impressive product line down to five impressive pools. The options that wound up on our list found their spots by being durable, enjoyable, and easy to assemble and maintain.

We have found great pools for both buyers on a tight budget and people who are willing to spend a lot to get the best product they can find. Let our Intex above ground pool reviews connect you with the backyard oasis that you deserve.

Comparison of our Favorites:

TOP PICK
Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool...
BEST VALUE
Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter...
Name
Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR
Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set
Editor Rating
4.8/5
4.5/5
Weight
244 lbs
17 lbs
TOP PICK
Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool...
Name
Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR
Editor Rating
4.8/5
Weight
244 lbs
BEST VALUE
Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter...
Name
Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set
Editor Rating
4.5/5
Weight
17 lbs

The 5 Best Intex Above Ground Pools 2020:

1. Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set – Top Pick

Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set

Durability is the name of the game with Intex’s Ultra XTR. It features a tough steel frame and PVC walls that are designed specifically to stand up to tough use and difficult weather conditions.

The pool set also comes with a high-quality pump to keep your water looking pristine, and a nice contemporary design concept that should please most buyers’ sensibilities. The tough build and the sand filter combine to make a pool that should last you for many seasons to come.

These features do seem to drive up the cost somewhat. The price actually represents a pretty good value offering when the quality level is taken into consideration. Still, the sticker shock factor may very well keep some buyers away.

Pros
  • Excellent pump keeps water looking nice
  • Durable steel frame
  • Sturdy walls
  • Attractive contemporary design
Cons
  • Price may be too much for some buyers

2. Intex 15ft X 42in Prism Frame Pool SetIntex 15ft X 42in Prism Frame Pool Set

The Prism is a little simpler, but ultimately considerably more affordable than our top choice. The reasonable price tag and the simple setup make this low-maintenance pool an attractive option for buyers looking for easy backyard summer fun.

We were particularly impressed with the pool filter. It includes a unique “hydro aeration” component that makes the water extra clear and pristine. As a result, it feels like you’re swimming in a very high-end, well-maintained pool (and in a sense, you are!).

Keep in mind that the wall and siding material is not nearly as durable as that of our top choice. The three-ply polymer coating will tear eventually, at which point you will need to invest in a new pool.

Pros
  • Easy setup
  • Affordable
  • Great filter
Cons
  • Not very durable

3. Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump – Best Value

Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump

If you liked the value offering of our last pick, you will really appreciate this next pool. The Easy Set Pool Set earns its name with a rapid inflation setup. With a simple air pump, you can have the pool ready for action in a matter of minutes.

It’s not your average inflatable pool, though. This unit has a high-quality water filter, so the water stays clean and well-treated. The experience is very much like that of a higher-end full-sized pool.

It’s also just as easy to disassemble as it is to get going. You can drain the pool with a handy hose port that allows you to filter the outgoing water in the direction of your choice. After that, all you need to do is let the air out.

Unfortunately, the pool isn’t made to last very long. The destiny of all inflatable pools is to pop or tear after a season or so of use. Fortunately, the low cost takes the sting out of the loss.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to drain
  • Pump
Cons
  • Will not last very long

4. Intex 86″ x 59″ x 23″ Rectangular Frame Above-Ground Pool

 

Intex 86" x 59" x 23" Rectangular Frame Above Ground (28270E)

Intex’s 86″ x 59″ x 23″ pool is very simple and affordable. Though the dimensions are so small that you can’t get any serious swimming or pool games going with this unit, it can be a fun spot to float around in on a raft.

The setup is very easy. We found that, following the instructions, it can be completed in thirty minutes or less with basic tools that most people have in their homes.

There are, however, some limitations that go beyond its modest size. For one thing, the pool tends to leak water, so you’ll need to refill it on a near-constant basis to fully enjoy it. It’s also not very durable. The polyester siding is prone to tears, which can make the pool completely unusable.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Easy to assemble
Cons
  • Very small
  • Leaks
  • Not very durable

5. Intex 20ft X 12ft X 48in Oval Frame Pool Set

Intex 20ft X 12ft X 48in Oval Frame Pool Set

The Intex Oval Frame Pool is a moderately priced inflatable unit. Though it’s not the largest pool on our list, it’s big enough for laps, or even a game of pool volleyball, making it a good choice for medium-sized families.

As an inflatable pool, it is also easy to assemble. It can be set up with an air pump and a few other basic tools in thirty minutes or less.

There are, however, some reasons it finds itself at the bottom of our list. For one thing, the pump and filter that come with the pool do not adequately clean the water. You can upgrade, but this will, of course, increase the expense of the pool.

It’s also prone to leaks and tears, which raises serious longevity concerns.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Easy to assemble
Cons
  • Poor pump
  • Tears easily
  • Leaks

Buyer’s Guide

And now, we dive into a few buying considerations that will help you in your hunt for the perfect pool.

Materials

Even when you’re looking at a bunch of pools from the same manufacturer, you’re still likely to find variation in the materials. For example, you may find that the pool is made of reinforced steel or some plastic polymer that is less expensive, but less durable.

Naturally, better materials also tend to cost more, but it usually winds up being well worth it because they also tend to last longer. Think about it this way: it’s almost always going to cost less to buy one pool that lasts ten years than it would be to buy two pools that each last five.

Pump

All pools need pumps. Without this crucial accessory, you’re basically buying a petri dish (which you don’t want).

It’s not a question of if your pool needs a pump. What you should look for is if it comes with one. Included accessories are great because they save you money, but they also save you the headache of figuring out what aftermarket products are compatible with your pool.

It’s always super nice when your pool comes with everything you need to start swimming right away.

User Intent

This is where you need to start thinking about your own personal objectives for your pool. Are you in it for the long haul, or do you just want something simple that will keep the kids happy for a summer or two?

There are options out there for both mindsets. If you want something that can last for a long time, it will cost you, but the experience of having a pool for many years may justify the expense.

On the other hand, some pools are effectively disposable. You buy them for $100 or less, and use them for one to two summers at most before they break down and you get another one.

The nice thing about disposable pools is that you don’t have to deal with the costly maintenance and upkeep of more permanent options. The downside, of course, is that you and the family might one day step outside to swim only to find that your pool has deflated overnight.

Size

Naturally, size is also key. You can find pools that are twenty feet long, or even bigger. Most of the time, large pools are pricier, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

Choosing the right size for your needs is mostly just a matter of figuring out how many people you think will be swimming at any given time. If you have a large family, it stands to reason that you will need a bigger pool. The same is true if you like to have people over. Swimmers who like to take laps also tend to favor longer pools.

Ultimately, you’ll have to decide based on your anticipated needs, as well as the space restrictions in your yard.

Price

If you’re new to the world of above ground pools, you will probably be surprised to learn that they actually don’t have to be very expensive. Many of the options on our list are at least relatively affordable.

You can indeed spend many thousands of dollars on this purchase. However, it is equally true that you can find quality options for several hundred dollars or less. If you’re a budget buyer, stay positive! There is definitely something out there for you.

Conclusion

Hopefully, our Intex above ground pool reviews have given you a pretty good idea of what option you would like to pursue. However, if you’re still feeling a little lost, it makes sense. No one said it would be easy choosing between five great pools!

We do have a couple of recommendations that might make things a little easier. If you would like to get your hands on the best pool on our list, we recommend the Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set.

If you need to keep budget in mind, you may also consider our best for the money pick, the Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump. But of course, when it comes to Intex, there really is no going wrong.