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5 affordable above-ground pools for every backyard

Intex offers pools for every size and type of outdoor space

Family of three enjoying fun pool time together with inflatable tube. Credit: Getty Images / Jacob Lund

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There are few feelings as wonderful as jumping into a swimming pool on a hot summer day. If you’re looking for a way to bring the fun of a swimming pool to your backyard without a huge expense, an above-ground pool is a great option. Intex offers swimming pools in a multitude of options to meet your needs, and all can easily be set up right in your very own backyard. Don’t want to wait to pick your perfect pool because last summer they sold out lightning fast.

1. Easy Set Pools to make your life simple

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Credit: Intex

One of the best features of this pool is that set up is convenient and hassle free.

By far the most popular line of Intex pools are its Easy Set Pools. True to their name, the Easy Set Pool line is incredibly easy to set up; just pull it out of the box, spread it out on the ground, fill the top inner tube with air, and then fill up the pool with water. Made of super tough high-molecular PVC that is resistant to puncture, impact, and sunlight, many consumers claim they last for multiple years with the right care.

Available in a variety of sizes ranging from a small-footprint circular 6 feet x 20 inches deep all the way up to a massive circular 18 feet x 48 inches deep, there’s an additional 11 different sizes in between, giving you plenty of options to accommodate a few kids or even an entire pool party.

Designed to function the same as any installed above-ground pool with a filtration system, all the Intex Easy Set Pools can be purchased as a set with an Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump that is equipped with a safety shutoff, which you’ll want to buy in order to avoid emptying these pools on a daily basis. However, if you don’t plan to keep the pool up all summer long or prefer to change the water, the entire Easy Set Line comes standard with removable filtration tubing should you change your mind later.

In just a matter of minutes you can have your own above-ground pool, but you do need to make sure the pool is set up on completely level ground, or it risks rolling over—as I learned the hard way last summer.

2. Metal-framed pools for creating waves

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Credit: Intex

The whole family can fit in for some fun water play with the Intex Metal Frame Pool.

One step up from the Easy Set are pools with a metal frame. Although that may lead you to envision a large metal wash basin in your backyard, the Intex Metal Frame pools are actually pools made of the same heavy duty vinyl that is framed and supported by a circular string of metal legs.

Available in sizes ranging from a circular 8 feet x 20 inches deep up to a rectangular 20 feet x 10 feet x 48 inches, with multiple sizes of circular, oval, and rectangular options in between, these pools offer the surface area of a large pool, with depths that offer options to families looking to stay within city codes or provide a measure of safety.

Also easy to set up, these pools require you to spread out the pool and assemble the frame; a process that can be accomplished in under 60 minutes (though it does require more than one person to do).

Like the Easy Set, the metal frame pools can be purchased with or without the filter, although you’re definitely going to want a filter of some kind because these pools are not intended to be emptied and refilled often due to their size. Many consumers actually choose to winterize the Metal Frame pools in between seasons rather than take them down, although taking the Metal Frame pools down is still a really easy process at the end of the season.

Standing out for their stability and durability, these pools mimic true above-ground swimming pools by remaining firmly fixed into place when filled. Available in the color blue or an upgraded “Prism” model that sports two different colors as well as a see-through option, guests will be fooled into thinking that you had a true above-ground pool installed.

Get an Intex Metal Frame pool on Amazon starting at $338.99

3. A full-sized above-ground pool without the installation cost

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Credit: Intex

Bigger is definitely better.

If you’re looking for a “go big, or go home” option, then the Intex Ultra XTR is the pool you need. First off, these pools are big—really big. The smallest model is a circular 16 feet x 48 inches deep, and the largest is a rectangular 32 feet x 16 feet x 52 inches—with seven sizes in between. Made by combining high strength polyester mesh and extra thick PVC layers, the pool liner itself is 50 percent stronger than both the Easy Set and Metal Frame pools, and the frame is made of rust-resistant galvanized steel.

All of the Ultra XTR pools come with a full sand filtration system and two of the models even offer a saltwater system, a huge bonus for individuals sensitive to chlorine. Also included with all models is a pool ladder, a ground cover, a debris cover, and a two-year warranty that assures you will get your money’s worth. And surprisingly, even for as large as these pools are, they can all be set up and ready for water in just sixty minutes due to the easy snap together frame. However, be aware that these pools are heavy and you may need help moving it during the setup process.

It’s important to also know that the price tag on these pools comes at a steep increase from both the Easy Set and the Metal Frames, but remember that this is a full sized swimming pool at the fraction of what most above-ground pools cost.

Get the Intex Ultra XTR on Amazon starting at $1,549.99

4. Big fun in a smaller pool

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Credit: Intex

This pool is perfect for hot, sunny afternoons with the family.

Not everyone is looking for a pool that stays up the entire summer season, which is why the popular Swim Center Family Pool is a great option. At 103 inches x 69 inches x 22 inches, this inflatable rectangular pool is the perfect size for splashing the day away and then emptying to store away at night.

Easily able to fit several children or even an adult on a small float, the pool offers two air chambers that can accommodate your own air pump to inflate, a drain plug for quick emptying, and even a repair patch just in case you need it.

If you’re looking for a pool with the same ease of use but maybe in a little bit of a different style, Intex offers over 20 different inflatable options ranging from toddler pools, to a sports pool with an attached basketball hoop, and even a few with sun shades for the little ones.

Get the Intex Swim Center Family Pool on Amazon for $49.99

5. A spa for fun in the water without any of the swimming

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Credit: Intex

Kick your feet up, and stay a while.

If swimming isn’t really your thing but you still like to relax in the water, then you’re definitely going to want to check out the Intex PureSpa Plus four-person hot tub. This inflatable hot tub warms water up to a relaxing 104˚ F and features 140 high powered jets, a tilt-adjustable control panel, two headrests, and a very cool-color changing LED light that makes the PureSpa Plus look absolutely incredible at night.

Constructed with extra durable puncture-resistant fiber-tech PVC, this spa has a built-in hard water treatment system and is ready for use in just 20 minutes. Plus, since it is sold as a full spa package, the PureSpa Plus includes a thermal ground cloth, debris cover, two filter cartridges, floating chlorine dispenser, test strip, and even a carrying bag if you plan to take it on a weekend getaway or over to a friend’s house.

Get the Intex PureSpa Plus on Amazon for $674.37

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