We're reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Best Intex Above Ground Pools 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated: May 10, 2021

Best-Intex-Above-Grown-PoolIntex is synonymous with easy to set-up pools. They have several models available, and some can look quite different from the others. There are also many questions you need to answer concerning depth, whether you need reinforced walls and more.

We have chosen five different models to review for you. We’ll tell you what situation each pool will work best in, as well as go over the pros and cons of each model. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide, where we take a close look at how these pools work and what you should look for when making a purchase.

Continue reading while we discuss depth, size, pump strength, and more to help you make an educated purchase.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Editor’s Choice
Winner
Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set
  • Steel locking frame
  • One hour set-up
  • 45-inches deep
  • Best for the Money
    Second place
    Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump
  • Pump and filter
  • Laminated PVC walls
  • 639 Gallon capacity
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Intex 15ft X 42in Prism Frame Pool Set Intex 15ft X 42in Prism Frame Pool Set
  • Steel frame pool
  • Dual-outlet suction fittings
  • 42-inches deep
  • Intex 86″ x 59″ x 23″ Rectangular Frame Above-Ground Pool Intex 86″ x 59″ x 23″ Rectangular Frame Above-Ground Pool
  • Easy to set up
  • Convenient drain plug
  • Perfect for children
  • Intex 20ft X 12ft X 48in Oval Frame Pool Set Intex 20ft X 12ft X 48in Oval Frame Pool Set
  • Powder-coated steel supported sides
  • Incudes Krystal Clear cartridge filter pump
  • Holds 4393 gallons
  • The 5 Intex Above Ground Pools – Reviews 2021

    These are the five Intex above ground pools that we have decided to review for you.

    1. Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set – Editor’s Choice

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

    The Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set is our editor’s choice for best overall above ground pool. It features a steel locking frame, and you can assemble it in as little as one hour. The frame is coated on the inside and out with a thick powder coating that will help create a protective barrier to prevent rust. Included with purchase are the pump, sand filter, and the ladder. It also comes with a ground cloth to help add an extra layer of protection between the pool and the ground. When filled, the water is 45 inches deep.

    We enjoyed this pool quite a bit, and it’s large enough for the entire family. The only problem we experienced was the directions are a bit hard to follow, which will add to set-up time.

    Pros
    • Steel locking frame
    • Inner and outer powder coating for improved rust resistance
    • Includes the sand filter
    • One hour set-up
    • Includes ladder and cover
    • Ground cloth for added protection
    • 45-inches deep
    Cons
    • Directions are hard to follow

    2. Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump – Best for the Money

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

    The Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump is our pick for the best Intex above ground pool for the money. It comes with a pump and filter, and you can have it set up in a matter of 10 minutes. The walls are laminated PVC, and it can hold up to 639 gallons of water. As long as the ground is perfectly level and you have access to water, you can set these pools up almost anywhere.

    The only bad thing about this pool is that they are too shallow for teens and adults.

    Pros
    • Pump and filter
    • Ready for water in ten minutes
    • Laminated PVC walls
    • 639 Gallon capacity
    Cons
    • Not very deep

    3. Intex 15ft X 42in Prism Frame Pool Set – Premium Choice

    Intex-15ft-X-42in-Prism-Frame-Pool-Set

    The Intex 15ft X 42in Prism Frame Pool Set is our premium choice Intex above ground pool. This model features a steel frame with three-ply puncture-resistant material. It is easy to set up, and you can complete it in under 30 minutes. The frame has a powder coating to reduce rust, and we were able to get several years out of the liner. This model comes with everything you need, including a ladder, debris cover, and ground cloth. The pump filter also comes with this pool, and the liner has dual outlet suction fittings to help improve water circulation and filtration. When the pool is full, the water is 42-inches deep.

    The only thing we can complain about concerning this pool is the tarp they include with the pool is flimsy, and we purchased another for more protection.

    Pros
    • Easy to assemble in 30 minutes
    • Steel frame pool
    • Puncture-resistant three-ply material
    • Includes ladder
    • Filter pump
    • Dual-outlet suction fittings
    • 42-inches deep
    Cons
    • Flimsy ground cloth

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

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

    The Intex 86″ x 59″ x 23″ Rectangular Frame Above-Ground Pool is a large pool that’s perfect for small children and uniquely well suited to birthday parties and other events. It’s only about two feet deep, so it’s excellent for getting children used to the water, and it’s large enough to hold lots of their friends. It features a convenient drain valve that connects to a standard garden hose so the water can be transported away from the pool and into a drain. It also comes with a convenient instructional DVD that will walk you through the set-up process as well as provide plenty of helpful pointers.

    Unfortunately, this pool does not come with the pump or filter, so you will need to purchase them separately. No pump can be looked at positively, however, because in many cases, the included pumps are not strong enough for the pool, and you need to buy another one anyway. Another thing we noticed with this model pool was that the pipes developed quite a few rust spots.

    Pros
    • Perfect for children
    • Easy to set up
    • Convenient drain plug
    • Instructional DVD
    Cons
    • Does not include pump filter
    • Pipes can rust

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

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

    The Intex 20ft X 12ft X 48in Oval Frame Pool Set is the last model on our list, but it is still a good pool worth looking over. This pool holds 4,393 gallons of water and is large enough to fit the entire family. It features a powder-coated steel frame supported sides that are resistant to rust, and help the oval pool keep its shape. This pool is not hard to set up, and if you follow the included DVD, you can usually have it filling with water within 30 minutes of opening the package. It also has a built drain plug that will allow you to connect a standard garden hose to divert the water to a nearby drain.

    While we were trying out this brand, we had a challenging time trying to keep the inflatable upper ring full of air. This problem got worse as we continued to use it, most likely from sunlight and chlorine in the water. If the ring loses too much air, the water can begin to pour over the side. Although the Krystal Clear cartridge filter pump is a fantastic system, we felt that it wasn’t powerful enough for the amount of water in the pool.

    Pros
    • Powder-coated steel supported sides
    • Incudes Krystal Clear cartridge filter pump
    • 30-minute set-up
    • Instructional DVD
    • Holds 4393 gallons
    • Convenient drain plug
    Cons
    • Air ring loses air and gets hard I sunlight
    • The pump is not strong enough

    Buyer’s Guide

    These are the most important things to look for when purchasing an Intex above ground pools.

    Size

    If you have a large family or children with a lot of friends, you are going to need a larger pool than a family of two or three. The pools on this list can be as small as 12 feet or as large as 25 feet across. We recommend getting the smallest size that you will feel comfortable using because these pools often have weak pumps, so you will have an easier time maintaining a smaller pool.

    Depth

    Intex pools come in many different depths for different situations. If you have small children you want to teach how to swim, you can get a pool as shallow as two feet. If you want a pool for adults, Intex also has pools with depths of 40-inches or more. Deeper pools will require a stronger pump and filter system to keep the water clean. You will more likely need to purchase a ladder as well with the deeper pool.

    Filter Pump

    One common side effect of these pools is they often come equipped with an underpowered filter pump. There are a few models that supply a good pump, and we try to point them out in our reviews, but you will usually get better water clarity by using a pump you purchase separately. Unless you are only using the pool for a few days, proper filtering will lessen the chances that bacteria and algae will grow.

    Durability

    Intex brand pools are well known for their incredibly durable liners. They do an excellent job of resisting the harsh effects of the sun and chlorine in most cases and can stand several years of regular foot traffic before they begin to wear out and require replacement. The liners are susceptible to poking or stabbing, however. It’s easy to ruin a pool making simple adjustments with a screwdriver, and the family dog nails are equally as dangerous.

    Intex-Above-Grown-Pool

    Conclusion

    We highly recommend Intex pools for anyone who never had a pool before and would like to try out the experience before purchasing a much more expensive hard-walled pool. The filters tend to be on the flimsy side, so you may want to invest in a sturdier model if you intend to get daily use out of your pool. Smaller pools are easier to maintain, and they require fewer chemicals, so we recommend getting the smallest one you will be comfortable using. The Intex pools with the steel frames are more stable than the soft walled pools, but the soft walled pools mostly install themselves.

    We hope you have found out reviews helpful and informative, and they have brought you closer to choosing a specific model of the Intex pool.  We recommend our editor’s choice. The Intex 18ft X 9ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set is small enough to fit in most yards and deep enough for adults to use. It comes with one of the best filtration systems on this list and features a steel locking frame. The Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump is our best value and is a perfect choice if you have a small child and just require a little water to splash around and cool off.

    If you have enjoyed reading, please share these Intex above ground pool reviews on Facebook and Twitter.


    Featured Image Credit By: Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set, amazon