5 Best Portable Inflatable Kiddie Pools for Swimming (2020)

Best Kiddie Pools (Guide)

Research shows that kids don’t get outside enough. Spending time in the great outdoors with your kids is a great way to have fun in the summer. But the heat can make your little one uncomfortable. Plus, corralling your child at the park, a backyard barbecue, or the beach can be challenging.

If you have a crawling infant, you have to worry about your child putting sand, grass, and other objects in their mouth. A toddler might want to wander around if they don’t have something to keep them occupied.

That’s why a portable inflatable kiddie pool can come in handy. It acts like a small playpen, but it’s much more fun. Fill it with some water and let your little one splash around. Make sure that you have some pool toys for your kiddo to play with, and you’ll practically guarantee several hours of fun for your child and some relaxation time for you.

There are a few different portable pools for kiddies on the market. Some come with a fun water sprayer! We researched them for you so that you can choose the best one to beat the heat.

Here’s what we found.

Quick Picks: Compare The Best Portable Inflatable Kiddie Pools

Our #1 Choice
Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center, 117" X 76" X 53", for Ages 2+
Our #2 Choice
XFlated Shade Baby Pool, Sprinkle and Splash Play Pool, Outdoor Duck...
Our #3 Choice
Intex Inflatable Sun Shaded Baby Pool
Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center, 117" X 76" X 53", for Ages 2+
XFlated Shade Baby Pool, Sprinkle and Splash Play Pool, Outdoor Duck...
Intex Inflatable Sun Shaded Baby Pool
Our #1 Choice
Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center, 117" X 76" X 53", for Ages 2+
Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center, 117" X 76" X 53", for Ages 2+
Our #2 Choice
XFlated Shade Baby Pool, Sprinkle and Splash Play Pool, Outdoor Duck...
XFlated Shade Baby Pool, Sprinkle and Splash Play Pool, Outdoor Duck...
Our #3 Choice
Intex Inflatable Sun Shaded Baby Pool
Intex Inflatable Sun Shaded Baby Pool

Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Inflatable Kiddie Pool

Although you may think that all of the best kids pools are created equally, they’re not. Here are some factors to consider before you make your purchase.

Durability

What kind of plastic is the pool made of? Almost all manufacturers create inflatable pools using PVC. A kiddie pool may be listed as vinyl in the product description. The thickness of the PVC can vary, though.

You might want to read reviews to learn how durable the pool is.

You must also remember that the way that you use the pool can affect its durability. If you leave it out in the hot sun every day, the plastic can rapidly deteriorate. You should also make sure that you set your kiddie pool on a soft surface. Some people set down a tarp underneath the pool to prevent it from getting punctured from rocks, sticks, and sharp grass.

Shade

Some pools come with canopies that protect kids from the sun. If the canopy is inflatable, it will provide excellent sun protection. Sometimes, the canopies aren’t made of the same PVC as the pool, though. Look for a sun protection rating if the shade is made from fabric or canvas. Those materials are porous and may let some UV rays through.

Pump

The easiest and fastest way to inflate a kiddie pool is with a pump. Most inexpensive pools don’t come with a pump. Check the product description to learn whether you’ll need to buy a separate pump to inflate your pool.

Also, look at the type of valve that the pool has. Some require a pump that has a nozzle that inserts into the valve. Others have an open hole that requires a different type of valve. Some people find that they can inflate a pool rapidly using a leaf blower or similar lawn equipment.

Just make sure that you don’t over-inflate the pool. Although you might be tempted to make the kiddie pool as firm as possible, putting too much air in it can weaken the seams.

Using Children’s Pools Safely

Safety is a vital concern when you’re buying and using a kiddie pool. Here are some ways to make sure that you buy a safe pool and protect your child while they’re using it.

Depth

Shallow pools are ideal for smaller kids, while you can purchase a deeper pool for a taller or older child. If you plan to use the pool with children of varying ages, you can look for a pool with multiple areas that have different depths.

No matter how shallow your pool is, though, never leave a child unattended. Little ones can drown in as little as one inch of water. Keep an eye on your little ones even if they’re just splashing around. They can topple over, and if they have trouble righting themselves, they might be at risk of drowning.

Padding

Inflatable pools can be a little flimsy. If your child sits on the edge, they can topple into the water. There is not much that you can do about this other than be vigilant while your child is playing.

However, you can look for pools with some safety features, such as padding underneath the slide. That type of padding will prevent little ones from bumping their bottoms when they land. Some pools have inflatable bases, which also protects your child’s knees, ankles, and bum from bumps.

If you purchase a frame kiddie pool, look for a padded beam around the edge that helps kids avoid falls.

Price

If you are trying to stick within a certain budget, you might wonder if it’s worth it to buy an inexpensive pool. After all, don’t you get what you pay for? That’s not always the case.

Some pools are especially inexpensive because they’re small. They’re not necessarily of lower quality than more costly products.

Remember that kids can be rough on products like inflatable pools. Therefore, the kiddie pool that you buy might only last one season. Plus, kids grow quickly, and what works one year may not be ideal for them the next. Therefore, buy a pool that you can afford and leave extra funds in your budget to purchase a new one next year.

Benefits of a Portable Inflatable Kiddie Pool

Kiddie pools help introduce small children to the water safely and comfortably. A shallow pool allows kids to sit in the bottom and explore new sensations and textures without feeling unbalanced or off-kilter.

When you introduce children to the water in a secure environment, they may be more likely to learn how to swim without fear later in life. Although most pools aren’t deep enough to use for swimming, they can help children learn that they won’t get hurt if water splashes in their faces. You might even be able to teach a little one how to blow bubbles in the water, which is a precursor to swimming. Always check to see how many gallons of water a model you are considering holds.

Portable inflatable pools are easy to transport with you. Many people bring them to the beach to keep their kids off of the sand and prevent them from getting swept away in the waves. Just bring a bucket so that you can fill up the pool with water from the lake or ocean.

Circle number 1 Top Pick

Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center

This Intex pool packs a lot of play into a small footprint, with a variety of games that keep kids busy in the water.

Why We Like This Pool

  • Two separate pools have different depths
  • Accommodates several children playing at once
  • Pool comes with lots of extra activities to keep kids occupied
  • Inflates easy with a leaf blower
  • Safe for small kids to play in
  • Holds up to 77 gallons of water
  • Weighs only 15 pounds
  • Our best kiddie pool

You might be surprised at how much fun you can have with a kiddie pool. This one isn’t just a place for kids to keep cool. It has multiple features to challenge children’s coordination and help them stay occupied all summer long.

The kiddie pool features two circular areas. One has taller sides and can be filled up with up to 8 inches of water for kids to wade in. That one is covered with a rainbow arch that has inflatable pegs protruding parallel to the ground. Four inflatable rings and a water sprayer are included. Kids can test their skills by tossing the rings onto the pegs.

That’s not the only fun that kids can have with this pool, though. The set comes with six plastic balls that kids can toss through some inflatable hoops that stick up from the wading pool.

The other side of the play center is a shallow area for splashing. This side has a maximum depth of 5.5 inches.

A small slide connects the wading pool to the shallow area. After kids glide down it, they land on a padded mat that protects them from bumps and bruises.

The edges of the shallow pool have ramps. Kids can roll the balls down these for a unique game of catch.

You can also attach a garden hose to a sprayer that extends from the rainbow and shoots out a consistent mist to cool kids off when the mercury rises.

The playset comes with the inflatable pool setup, six plastic balls, four inflatable rings, a convenient drain plug, and a repair patch.

Circle number2

XFlated Shade Baby Pool

This tiny pool is one of the best for small infants and toddlers because it’s easy to transport and keeps them protected from the sun.

Why We Like This Pool

  • Adorable design appeals to kids
  • Sunshade protects children from the sun
  • Doesn’t take much air to inflate the kiddie pool
  • Holds up to 14 gallons of water (easy to fill)
  • Our 2nd best kiddie pool
  • Pool comes with a fun spray feature that kids love

You don’t always need a huge inflatable pool, especially if you’ll be carting it around with you to the beach or park. Because this one is so small, it doesn’t take long to set up. You don’t even need a garden hose to fill it up. Bring along a few jugs of water, and add them to the interior as necessary.

In fact, you don’t even have to fill it with water. Some people choose to put plastic balls inside to keep kids busy without getting wet.

However, if you do have access to a garden hose, you can connect it to the water valve, and it will send up a small spray of water that will delight little ones.

When it’s inflated, this is one of the best kiddie pools. This kiddie pool is 39 inches in diameter and 31 inches high. One of the best things about it is that it includes an inflatable canopy that covers half of the pool. This will keep your child protected from harmful UV rays and help them stay more comfortable under the hot sun.

It’s easy to inflate using a pump or your own breath. Just fill the separate areas using the three different valves. The base of this pool is not padded. Therefore, make sure that you set it on a soft surface.

The package comes with the inflatable pool, a user’s manual, a polybag for transporting, a repair patch, and a color box.

Circle number3

Intex Count With Me Inflatable Kiddie Pool

This pool has activities, a sunshade, and a small footprint, making it perfect for all of your summer activities.

Why We Like This Pool

  • Detachable sunshade
  • Activity area with ring toss game keeps kids entertained
  • Retains air for weeks
  • Holds up to 321 gallons of water (easy to fill)
  • Perfect size for up to 3 years old
  • Our 3rd best kiddie pool

This is one of the pools we reviewed. It has a shade canopy but is a little bigger than the previous one that we reviewed. It’s 40 inches in diameter and 34 inches high. The base of the pool is padded to make it more comfortable for your little one.

The sunshade covers the entire area above the pool. Therefore, it works well when the sun is overhead. You might not have as much luck keeping your little one protected when the sun is low in the sky. However, at that time, the UV rays aren’t as likely to cause skin damage.

This pool keeps your child entertained with inflatable rings and squeaky knobs that line the posts that hold up the canopy. You don’t even need to put water in it to give your little one a protected area in which to play.

Circle number4

Hiwena Inflatable Kiddie Pool

This two-ring kiddie pool reminds kids of a bathtub and might make them more comfortable in the water.

Why We Like This Pool

  • Sturdy, high sides
  • Soft, inflatable bottom
  • Fast inflating valves
  • Holds more than 100 gallons of water
  • Ring toss game
  • Drain plug removes water quickly

This rectangular inflatable pool has two wide and sturdy rings that make it soft, comfortable, and resilient. Kids can rest against the sides without worrying about flipping over. They will also stay at ease on the soft padding at the bottom of the pool. Don’t worry, it’s easy to set up.

At 45 inches long, 33 inches wide, and 14 inches high, this pool accommodates babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Because you can fill it up to a greater depth than most pools, you might be able to help your child learn to float in it.

One of the best things about the pool is that it inflates and deflates quickly. The pool also contains a drain plug, which allows you to remove the water easily without having to upend the heavy pool while it’s filled.

It also folds up into a small rectangle that you can tuck in a beach bag or backpack.

Circle number5

Intex Easy Set Swim Pool

This kiddie pool sets up easily and can hold the entire family.

Why We Like This Pool

  • Recommended for ages six and up
  • Large enough to accommodate adults and kids
  • Heavy-duty vinyl liner
  • Safe for small kids to play in
  • Holds over 1,000 gallons of water
  • Can keep it set up all summer long

It’s nice to give your child a pool to cool off in, but if you’re stuck sitting next to the pool, you might get hot. This Intex pool is 8 feet in diameter and 30 inches deep. It’s great for older kids and parents to cool off. It’s easy to fill but it takes a while with a common hose.

You won’t be able to swim laps, but you can float in this deep pool. The depth reaches an adult’s waist and gives kids a chance to dunk their heads under water and practice holding their breath. You can even throw some pool floats in it for extra entertainment.

You might not want to take this pool down, but you certainly can. After you drain it, you can fold it up and bring it on vacation with you or to a friend’s house for hours of fun.

Choosing a Winner

We really love all of these pools for kids. Some are better for multiple children and parties, while others are ideal for infants and individual kids. Always check about how many gallons of water they hold before buying.

If we had to choose only one that would work for every family and age range, we would select the Intex Rainbow Ring Play Center. This one is fun for kids of many ages. Infants can splash in the shallow area or play with the ball ramps, while older kids can use the slide and wade in the deeper pool.

Although this is not the smallest, it is one of the best kiddie pools, it’s still easy to handle and portable because it’s inflatable. You can fold it up and pack it in a bag to bring extra enjoyment to any warm-weather event.

Brett Gordon
 

The brains behind The Toy Report. Having clocked tons of time in toys research and online resource development, today, Brett is dedicated to making The Toy Report a trusted space in the world of toy reviews and recommendations.