The Best Slip and Slide (Top 7 Picks) – 2019 Reviews
Slip and slides are a standard feature of summer fun in the backyard. It’s easy to think that slip and slides all look alike, however. Most look as though they are slippery pieces of plastic which are resistant to being degraded by soap.
Slip and slides vary widely in quality, however. The best slip and slides provide for a wonderful fun time in the summer heat whereas the worst slip and slides might leave children with the equivalent of rug burns.
In this article, we’ll check out a handful of slip and slides so that you know exactly what to look for. By the time you’re done, you’ll know which slip and slides are perfect for your youngest children and which are better to leave on the shelf.
Slip and Slide Reviews
Our #1 Choice – Wham-o Slip N Slide Wave Rider
The only thing better than one slip and slide is a double slip and slide — and that’s exactly what this kit contains.
- Long slide
- Comfortable-sized splashing pool
- Nice water jets
- Slow warmup period
- Patch kits can’t be used while wet
The double lanes on this slip and slide make it one of the standbys of the market. Children can do slip and slide races or hang out underneath the jets of water that can go as high as three feet.
The slide area on this slip mat is nearly 15 feet long, which is a very long distance in slip and slide terms.
The durability of this slip and slide is about as good as you can expect from a unit of this size.
The setup of the slip and slide is as easy as connecting the hose and ensuring that the entire surface area of the slide is wet. If the water jets don’t start immediately, don’t worry.
The water pillows must fill before there is enough pressure for the jets. This means that you may need to wait half an hour between laying out the slip and slide mat and the first slider of the day.
The head of the mat has a splashing pool, which is a nice touch. Your children will probably be more interested in running down the sliding lanes than hanging out in the pool, however.
Importantly, this slip and slide mat has two patch kits which are included standard. You will probably need to use one of these kits at some point in time. The kits themselves are for use when the slide mat is dry, however.
Our #2 Choice – Super Slide l
The Super Slide l is a wide and long slip and slide mat which is perfect for young teenagers to have fun with during the hotter days of the summer.
- Built for teens
- Strong water jets
- Full hydration
- Too long to slide effectively without an incline
- Can create mud
Most slip and slide units are intended for young children to use. This slip and slide mat, however, is long enough and wide enough that older children won’t feel constrained. There is only one lane on the mat, but the inflated side bumpers guarantee that everyone gets a great slide.
The water jets are very strong on this slip and slide, and they can sometimes overshoot the mat itself, leading to pooling on the sides. On the other hand, the slide route is perpetually as wet as it needs to be to guarantee a great trip.
The length of the slide is very difficult for most people to use on horizontal slides. Instead, you may want to put this slide on a mild incline such that the entire length of the slide can be used to deposit the slider at the bottom of the incline.
Especially vigorous sliding will also do the trick when it comes to getting the entire length of the slide in one attempt. The side bumpers aren’t as durable as the main mat when it comes to handling impact force, however, so be aware of where your sliders land on each attempt.
Our #3 Choice – Banzai Splash Sprint Water Slide
The no-nonsense slip and slide can be as good as more involved models, and this Banzai Splash slip and slide unit proves the point.
- Accommodates multiple children sliding
- Compact footprint
- Minimal spillover
- Requires extra hydration on later portions of the mat
- Not durable
As far as slip and slides go, this slip and slide is relatively short and also relatively thin. There aren’t any side jets, nor is there a pool at the end of the run.
Nonetheless, it has all of the features that you need to have fun with a slip and slide. You’ll need a little bit of extra hydration to help out with the slipperiness of the latter portions of the mat, but if you’re diligent your experience will be as good as with other products.
The main appeal of this slip and slide mat is that it’s compact. You don’t need a large yard to take advantage of everything that this mat has to offer. Likewise, you don’t need to worry about creating a mess out of the ground because the slide doesn’t allow much water to spill over.
If you’re looking for a slip and slide mat that can comfortably have a couple of small children flying down the lanes at one time, this mat will do the trick.
Our #4 Choice – TEAM MAGNUS Slip And Slide
For people seeking an extra-long slip and slide that delivers a comfortable crash at the end, the Team Magnus Slip and Slide is hard to beat.
- Excellent crash pad
- Built for experienced sliders
- Large size
- Not ideal for beginners
- Difficult to hydrate properly
This slip and slide unit is intended for teenagers who want the most extreme slip and slide experience. The frills that might be associated with a children’s slip and slide mat are entirely absent in favor of a streamlined and long mat that is ready for long slides.
At the end of the run, the crash pad is ready to arrest any remaining momentum comfortably. In fact, this feature is what differentiates the slip and slide mat from others.
You’ll need to spend time keeping the proximal ends of the slip and slide hydrated, however. The water splashes comfortably into the latter areas, but the parts closest to the start of the run don’t have as much direct access.
This means that if you aren’t attentive you could potentially get a failure to slide as a result of too much friction, which can be very uncomfortable to say the least.
You should probably only purchase this slip and slide mat for people who have already been down a few slides in the past. Young children will probably be a bit overwhelmed by the scope of this slide as well as the attentiveness which it requires.
Our #5 Choice – Banzai Triple Racer
With three lanes of fury, the Banzai Triple Racer is ready for a backyard party.
- Multiple simultaneous sliders
- Great for children’s parties
- Minimal flooding
- Easy to hydrate
- Weak crash pads
- Takes up a lot of space
- Hard to gain speed
Built with three lanes, the Banzai Triple Racer has 82 inches of width and 16 feet of length. For three children of elementary school or middle school age, this means that the Banzai Triple is the best slip and slide for party time.
The water jets keep the entire slide well-hydrated, but if you have weaker water pressure you may find that the inflatable crash pads at the end of the run are a bit weak.
Nonetheless, this slip and slide is not meant for lounging. You can run multiple slip and slide races at the same time without fear of a long line.
The crash pads are a bit lacking in terms of their ability to arrest momentum, but most people will have a hard time accumulating enough speed for it to matter, thankfully.
The main drawback of this slip and slide is that it takes up a lot of floor space. You’ll need a full back yard to make the most out of the Banzai Triple. Given that you’d also need this much space to throw a party with enough people to require three lanes, this isn’t much of a drawback.
Our #6 Choice – Intex Surf ’N Slide
Most slip and slides look boring, unlike the Intex Surf N’ Slide’s baleen whale aesthetic.
- Beautiful whale graphics
- Built-in inflatable incline
- Comes with two wave boards
- Great for small children
- Too small for teenagers
- Vulnerable to punctures
The best part of this slip and slide is the way that it combines water play and inflatable air play at the same time. The cushioning of the unit is mostly from air, whereas the water provides the slipperiness.
This means that you won’t need a hill to provide a full downhill slide experience for your children. Likewise, you won’t need to invest any extra effort in keeping the slip and slide hydrated after you provide a bit of water at the start.
The rims of the baleen whale’s mouth keep all of the water exactly where it needs to be to provide a pleasurable slide.
This slip and slide also comes with two inflatable wave boards which your children will love to use while they are on their way down the slide.
Our #7 Choice – Icebreaker Water Slide
If you’re looking for a unique slip and slide that adds a shower to the slide experience, look no further than the Icebreaker.
- Fun water shower before sliding
- No friction sliding
- Cheerful aesthetic
- Great for playing in the backyard
- No crash pad
- Always generates mud
- Wastes water
Thanks to the arch in the middle of this slip and slide, your children will get a nice shower each time they go through the slide. The arch shower also serves another purpose, however.
This slip and slide never needs any additional water insertion. The shower’s constant spray keeps the relatively narrow rim fill to the brim with water. Your children can go through the slide over and over without worrying about hitting pockets of friction.
The main drawback of this slip and slide are that it lacks a crash pad. Most children will find it very difficult to get enough speed to find a problem, however. The arch in the middle serves to prevent too much momentum from being accumulated.
The other drawback is that the slip and slide tends to leave the ground soaking wet. The very small brim of the pool flows over constantly, and it is very frequently being refreshed by the water from the shower.
The result is that the ground becomes muddy and soaked in a large area very quickly.
Nonetheless, if you aren’t bothered by the mud, this slip and slide is a great pickup which is fun with the help of innovative design.
How Should I Make Slip And Slides The Most Fun?
By default, most slip and slides use only water and the material of the mat itself to minimize friction. While sufficient for many purposes, the main issue is that water tends to spill out. It isn’t always clear when a patch of the mat has lost its hydration, leaving sliders to experience painful spots.
Rather than supplying your slip and slide with water alone, add a little bit of skin-friendly soap to every region of the slide. This will ensure a better slide, generate some cool bubbles, and prevent any ambient grime from accumulating in the slide.
Adding soap thus prevents grossness, adds to the comfort and speed of the slide, and also adds a nice aesthetic element. You might even consider that people who go down the slip and slide are more clean at the end than they were at the start.
Remember to keep some water on hand to wash any extra soap out of people’s eyes.
How Safe Are Slip And Slides?
Slip and slides are very safe for children of most ages. You will need to watch the very youngest of children to ensure that they do not drown, but once a child is old enough to sit up on their own they will be fine at the slip and slide.
The more aggressive children want to be with their sliding technique, the more they will need to use good sliding form to prevent injury.
Likewise, the slides which provide for the fastest speeds usually need the most attention to prevent injury. Injury via the slides themselves is typically limited to minor scrapes and irritation from friction.
More pressing is the injury which can result from improper high-speed sliding technique. If children try to gain speed while running on the slide at the start of their run, they can very easily slip unexpectedly and fall onto their back.
Good slip and slide technique needs to emphasize the transition from running to sliding. Merely belly flopping will cause injury, and feet-first sliding will also be problematic. Aim to get children to buckle their knees while extending their arms downward to catch their weight in the process.
Finally, don’t use slip and slides for more than the rated number of people at once. Multi-lane slip and slides have clear markers for the amount of space that each person should take.
Overcrowding on a slip and slide increases the chances of people accidentally entering other lanes and crashing.
Which Slip And Slides Are Best For Young Children?
Very short slip and slides that emphasize crash pads, side bumpers, and spraying extra water are usually the best for young children.
These slip and slides are usually not the best for going fast or for sliding for long periods. Instead, they emphasize comfortable sliding with a pleasant finish. Slides intended for young children are also more fun to hang out in or around than more serious slides.
This means that you could get more than one function out of your slip and slide for your young children if you purchase one that is intended for them rather than for a broader demographic.
You can identify the slip and slides intended for young children very easily by examining the color schemes. The younger the intended audience, the more gaudy the colors will be.
Likewise, most slip and slides intended for young children have fewer lanes and emphasize water jets more than others. The presence of a pool in the crash area is one of the biggest signifiers that the slip and slide is great for young children.