One of the best ways to amp up the fun in the backyard swimming pool is by adding an inground pool slide. Inground pool slides come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from rigid plastic slides that mount to the pool deck to smaller inflatable models that sit poolside. Ahead, we’ll examine what factors one should consider when turning their backyard inground pool into a mini water park by adding a pool slide while looking at some of the top models on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: S.R. Smith Cyclone Pool Slide
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Intex Kool Splash Inflatable Play Center
- BEST UPGRADE: S.R. Smith TurboTwister Pool Slide
- BEST INFLATABLE: WOW World of Watersports Slide N Smile Waterslide
- BEST RIGID: S.R. Smith Typhoon Pool Slide
- BEST REMOVABLE: S.R. Smith SlideAway Removable Pool Slide
- BEST CORKSCREW: S.R. Smith Helix2 Pool Slide
What to Consider When Choosing an Inground Pool Slide
When searching for the best pool slides for an inground pool, there are several crucial factors to consider, including type, size, safety, and material. Ahead, learn more about these important attributes of the best inground pool slides.
Types of Inground Pool Slides
There are two types of slides for inground pools to choose from—rigid and inflatable. Rigid pool slides consist of durable plastic resin. These slides have a ladder that allows swimmers to climb to a height of 7 feet or more before sliding back down into the pool and are therefore usually safer for older kids and adults.
Inflatable slides sit much lower to the ground and must be inflated with air to use. The best inflatable pool slides are soft and typically only rise a few feet from the ground, making them ideal for younger swimmers.
Pool slides range in size based on type. Rigid slides typically rise between 3 and 8 feet off the ground and are about 12 to 14 feet long. Lower slides are safer for younger children but aren’t high enough or long enough to allow the rider to build up the same amount of speed as an 8-foot-tall slide.
Smaller inflatable slides typically reach a maximum height of 3 or 4 feet and measure around 6 or 7 feet long. Their small size and soft feel make them suitable for younger kids.
It’s also crucial to consider the slide’s footprint. Curvier slides or models that are long and low can take up a significant amount of real estate. Be sure to check the specifications of the slide to determine the minimum length and width of the concrete surface required for installation.
The best rigid pool slides consist of durable, rotationally molded polyethylene plastic that can hold its shape under heavier weights while also resisting damage from water, pool chemicals, and the sun’s UV rays. This type of plastic is also friction-free, allowing swimmers to slide more easily across its surface. The best inflatable pool slides consist of durable vinyl or thick PVC that resists punctures or tears.
Water Supply and Features
Rigid slides use a water supply that runs water down the slide, keeping it slippery. The water supply is powered by a standard garden hose or via a pump that moves water from the pool to the top of the slide. Rigid slides also feature molded ladders with handles that allow swimmers to climb to the top of the pool safely.
Safety and Location
Water slides have several safety features, including extended handrails on the sides or steps, nonslip treads, and high sides on the slide flume that prevent swimmers from falling off the side. Water slides also extend several feet over the edge of the pool to prevent swimmers from hitting the pool’s surrounding deck.
Location is also crucial when shopping for the best pool slide. Most pool slide manufacturers recommend a depth of at least 3 feet at the slide’s exit to ensure swimmers don’t impact the pool floor. Taller and steeper slides may require even deeper water.
Ease of Installation
Slides for inground pools can usually be installed without the additional cost of a professional. Installation of rigid slides involves drilling anchors into the concrete deck and attaching them with epoxy, then bolting the slide to those anchors. Slides that use water pumped from the pool to the top of the slide to create a water supply may require professional installation.
Our Top Picks
The list below includes some of the top rigid and inflatable inground pool slides one can install on a pool deck. It includes tall slides for older kids and adults as well as smaller models for younger children. All the slides below are constructed with durable materials.
This durably built pool slide blends a space-saving design with safety features that make it safe for younger riders, making it one of the most attractive options for adding a slide to the backyard swimming hole. Its twisting design minimizes the depth requirement for the pool deck to just 5 feet 6 inches.
With a flume length of nearly 7 feet, it delivers an entertaining ride despite rising just 4 feet off the ground. This low height, coupled with an enclosed molded ladder and high sides, makes it safe for kids and adults alike. A standard garden hose connects to a hole at the top of the slide to provide a water supply. The Cyclone comes in three colors, including gray granite, taupe, and sandstone.
- Height: 4 feet 1 inch
- Length: 6 feet 10 inches
- Weight capacity: 175 pounds
- Works with shallower pool decks than other slides
- Low height is safe for children
- Enclosed ladder adds safety
- Shorter ride than other slides
Get the S.R. Smith Cyclone Pool Slide on Amazon or at Pool Warehouse.
Intex uses its expertise at making durable budget-priced above-ground pools with this inground pool inflatable slide. The slide consists of heavy 20-gauge vinyl construction that’s tough enough to endure punctures and up to 176 pounds of rider weight. This is also one of the safer slides on the market thanks to numerous handles and integrated steps that make climbing to the slide’s top easier.
A wider profile makes it easier to slide down, and Intex uses inflatable aprons at the end of the slide and the base of the ladder to prevent falls and scrapes on the hard concrete. An inflatable bumper keeps the slide in place at the edge of the pool by preventing it from shifting backward. Two integrated sprayers that work with a standard garden hose keep the slide surface slick.
- Height: 3 feet 10 inches
- Length: 10 feet 11 inches
- Weight capacity: 176 pounds
- Numerous inflatable bumpers and aprons make it safe for kids
- Integrated sprayers keep slide surface slick
- Durable 20-gauge vinyl construction
- Affordably priced
- Five separate air chambers create a longer setup time
Get the Intex Kool Splash Inflatable Play Center on Amazon, at Target, or at The Home Depot.
At more than 8 feet tall and with a sliding length of more than 13 feet, this large slide from pool slide specialist S.R. Smith is a great option for those with a larger pool and a bigger budget. The pool is designed as either a right-turn or left-turn slide, allowing it to fit in a relatively compact space despite its long length.
A recessed ladder and large handles molded into the sides allow swimmers to get a tight grip as they climb the ladder. The ladder assembles in less than an hour but does require plumbing for its water supply. With its high weight capacity of 275 pounds, it’s suitable for kids and adults.
- Height: 8 feet 7 inches
- Length: 13 feet 1 inch
- Weight capacity: 275 pounds
- Longer and faster ride than other slides
- High weight capacity
- Curved design helps save deck space
Get the S.R. Smith TurboTwister Pool Slide at Pool Supply Unlimited, at Doheny’s, or on Amazon.
This inflatable water slide doubles the sliding fun with a wide design—it measures 7 feet wide and 9 feet long—allowing two people to use it at the same time. WOW’s line of inflatable products are well regarded for their durability, and this model is no exception thanks to its use of heavy-gauge PVC construction, which resists tears and punctures. It also has the highest weight capacity of any slides on this list at 550 pounds.
This slide is versatile; it’s capable of sitting on the pool’s deck or functioning as a floating slide on the pool’s surface. Handles located around the slide make it easy to climb and maneuver, while inflatable side rails prevent occupants from slipping off the slide’s sides. This slide is also expandable with zipper connections that allow it to connect to WOW’s inflatable mats and water walkways.
- Height: 4 feet 2 inches
- Length: 9 feet
- Weight capacity: 550 pounds
- Durable PVC construction
- Double-wide size allows two to slide simultaneously
- Can float in pool or sit poolside
- High weight capacity
- Shorter ride than other slides
Get the WOW World of Watersports Slide N Smile Waterslide on Amazon or at Walmart.
This larger version of S.R. Smith’s line of rigid curved slides features an aggressive height and slope, making it ideal for older kids and adults. With a height of 7 feet and flume length of just under 10 feet, the Typhoon has a steep pitch that allows riders to gather a healthy amount of splash-inducing speed.
Like S.R. Smith’s other slides, the Typhoon consists of durable rotomolded plastic and is capable of supporting up to 275 pounds, making it suitable for adults. A recessed ladder with extended sides, large molded handles, and slip-resistant steps facilitate a safe climb to the top. Despite its long run, this slide requires a deck depth of just 4 feet, which is less than other rigid slides that are shorter. That said, it does take up a fair amount of poolside space, requiring nearly 12 feet of deck length.
- Height: 7 feet 4 inches
- Length: 9 feet 10 inches
- Weight capacity: 275 pounds
- Height and length create a fast ride
- Requires just 4 feet of deck depth
- Large handles and recessed stairs add safety
- Takes up nearly 12 feet of poolside deck space
- Not suitable for young children
Get the S.R. Smith Typhoon Pool Slide at Pool Supply Unlimited, on Amazon, or at Doheny’s.
This removable rigid inground pool slide is a great option for those who may not have enough space for a permanent slide. The slide folds in half at the joint between the ladder and the slide. Once folded, a dolly, which is included, attaches to the ladder, allowing the user to wheel the slide away for storage.
Like S.R. Smith’s other inground pool slides, the SlideAway consists of durable rotomolded plastic and a recessed ladder with molded handles and integrated stair treads. At 5 feet high with a run of nearly 7 feet and a max weight capacity of 125 pounds, this slide is suitable for kids.
- Height: 5 feet
- Length: 6 feet 10 inches
- Weight capacity: 125 pounds
- Folds up and rolls away for storage
- Made of durable rotomolded plastic
- Reaches 5 feet high with a long run of nearly 7 feet
- Lower weight capacity than other slides
Get the S.R. Smith SlideAway Removable Pool Slide on Amazon, at Pool Supply Unlimited, or at Leslie’s.
This variation on the standard straight or curved rigid pool slide uses a corkscrew shape reminiscent of playground slides. This design makes it one of the longer pool slides on the market with a run of nearly 13 feet. Like S.R. Smith’s other slides, this model features a recessed ladder with molded handles that climb to its 7-foot height.
High sides and a shape that helps control the rider’s speed make this slide suitable for younger kids, while its 250-pound weight capacity makes it tough enough to carry adults. A water supply that shoots out the top of the slide’s center support adds to the slide’s aesthetics while keeping the surface slick.
- Height: 7 feet
- Length: 13 feet
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
- Corkscrew shape creates a long run
- High sides prevent riders from falling out
- Three color options
- Fountain water supply
- Requires a minimum deck depth of 9 feet
Get the S.R. Smith Helix2 Pool Slide on Amazon, at Pool Warehouse, or at American Best Pool Supply.
A flume length of nearly 7 feet coupled with a low height and shallow depth makes the S.R. Smith Cyclone Pool Slide a worthy choice for most inground pools. Those looking for a more challenging slide should consider the S.R. Smith Typhoon Pool Slide with its 7-foot drop and 10-foot length.
How We Chose the Best Inground Pool Slides
We used several criteria while reviewing more than 25 slides to narrow the field to the best pool slides. Slide construction ranked high since it’s critical to the durability and safety of the slide. With that in mind, we only chose rigid slides with rotomolded plastic, which is strong enough to support high weight capacities, those that can endure the elements and those that are smooth enough to promote sliding. For the best inflatable pool slides, we stuck with those made from thick vinyl that won’t easily puncture. We also stuck with models with ample handrails and nonslip treads to prevent falls. Of course, slides are also supposed to be fun, so we went with models steep enough to ensure a zippy ride while still being safe.
If you’re wondering how deep your pool needs to be to add a slide or whether you can convert that old playground slide into a pool slide, then read on for answers to these and other commonly asked questions about slides for inground pools.
Q. How deep should an inground pool be for slides?
The depth of the water into which sliders plummet should start at a minimum of 36 inches and gradually slope to a depth of between 42 and 56 inches as you move away from the slide’s exit. Do not install a pool slide over shallower depths, which could cause riders to strike the bottom of the pool.
Q. What is the weight limit for a pool slide?
Most residential deck pool slides have a weight limit of up to 275 pounds; however, some smaller slides designed for kids may have a significantly lower limit of less than 125 pounds. The inflatable WOW World of Watersports Slide N Smile Waterslide, designed to accommodate two simultaneous sliders, has a weight capacity of 550 pounds.
Q. Can I use a playground slide for an inground pool slide?
You can use a playground slide for an inground pool slide as long as you follow certain safety guidelines when installing it. Make sure the slide extends a foot over the edge to ensure riders won’t strike the edge of the deck. The slide’s steps should also have nonslip treads and handles to prevent wet swimmers from sliding off the steps.
Q. Can you put an inground pool slide on an above-ground pool?
If your inground pool is surrounded by a rigid deck, you can mount an inground slide to the deck for use with the pool. As with any installation, make sure there is adequate water depth of at least 3 feet and that the pool is wide enough to prevent sliders from hitting the opposite wall of the above-ground pool.
Q. What is the best way to make a water slide slippery?
While it’s possible to make a pool slide more slippery with soap, this will throw off the pool’s pH. Instead, purchase a slide with a water supply that allows you to keep the slide’s surface wet while in use.
Q. How much do slides for inground pools cost?
Pool slides vary significantly in cost depending on the type. Inflatable slides range from $100 for the cheapest models to as much as $300 for higher-end slides made with durable PVC. Rigid slides are more expensive, ranging from around $2,000 for smaller slides to more than $4,000 for large rotomolded plastic models.