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The Best Water Slides

FamVeld/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated August 2022

Are you and your family looking to make a splash in your backyard but don't have a swimming pool? Consider cooling off with a water slide. Here are some recommendations for the best water slides that your family will love.

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  Best Floating Slide Premium Choice Best Inflatable Pick Best Mini Playpen Best Poolside Slide
 
  WOW Sports
Pool Party Slide
Little Tikes
Rocky Mountain River Race Inflatable Slide
Intex
Kool Splash Durable Inflatable Play Center
Hesung
Inflatable Play Center
PLATPORTS
8-Foot Freestanding Backyard Wavy Water Slide
 
Our SummaryTwo people can slide side-by-side with this double water slide.Get two slides, a splash pool, and a climbing wall with this inflatable slide bouncer.This poolside water slide has a soft landing pad to bounce off before hitting the water.This inflatable play center is a great choice for toddlers and young kids.This is a durable, noninflated option for poolside fun.
ProsTwo-lane water slide, can be used dockside, poolside, or freestanding with optional walkway, features bright graphics , has inflatable side rails.Multifunctional poolside bouncer, comes from well-known brand, includes two slides, a rock climbing wall, two sprayers, a cushioned base, accommodates four children, has a 350-pound weight limit.Poolside option, compatible with most pools, easy climbing, has built-in sprayers, has soft landing pad to extend into the pool.Features two splash pools, a ball roller, built-in sprinkler, a ring-toss activity, a small slide, a fountain arch, holds up to three to four kids, transforms into a ball pit when used without water.Sturdy steel supports, comes with plastic stairs and chute, has UV-protected, fade-resistant colorful coating, includes safety rail and stability-supporting bar, can be placed in larger indoor play area.
ConsMay need to be reinflated frequently.Must be carefully cleaned and stored to prevent mold buildup and wear.May develop slow leaks that require patching.Several components to inflate.Can be challenging to assemble.
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The Best Water Slides

Young girl on a water slide outside in a pool.
FamVeld/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Water Slides

Young girl splashing water in a water slide.
FamVeld/Shutterstock.com

Why buy water slides?

Children can get several benefits that support their basic growth and development by getting outside and experiencing water play. Aside from physical activity’s health benefits, water slides also offer kids a positive sensory experience. Their strength, coordination, and gross motor abilities are all enhanced by climbing and wading. Water slides also provide a fantastic chance for children to gain social skills with siblings and friends they may enjoy the day with. With a backyard water slide, parents can feel comfortable obtaining these benefits and more in the comfort, safety, and convenience of their own home.

What should you look for in water slides?

  • Material: You may find water slides made of PVC, synthetic rubber, or nylon materials. Look for double layers and quality stitching in inflatable options.
  • Frequency of Use:  Consider whether your family will use the water slide frequently. If it is used only occasionally, you may opt for a more simply designed slide that can be disassembled and stored easily. Some slides come with convenient carrying cases for storage and transportation.
  • Size: When choosing a water slide, consider the size of the slide versus the space you have available for it. Also, please take note of the slide’s disassembled measurements so you’ll know how it can be stored when not in use.
  • Age and Weight Limits: Check the specifications for the weight, age, and a maximum number of people the slide may accommodate at once. Following these instructions is critical to operate the slide safely and avoid damage to the components.

How can you help to ensure water slide safety?

It’s important to observe safety guidelines with a water slide just as you would with a backyard swimming pool or other play equipment. Ensure you carefully follow the manufacturer’s setup instructions, place it on a level area, and securely anchor it to the ground. Always adhere to the slide’s weight and occupancy restrictions. Closely supervise children while they play on the slide, and be sure they’re not engaging in rough play or handling sharp items that might result in damage or injury.

Our Picks for the Best Water Slides

Best Floating Slide

WOW Sports Pool Party Slide

Two people can slide side-by-side with this double water slide.

Pros: Have double-the-water fun with the Slide and Smile two-lane water slide. It’s 9-feet long, 6-feet wide, and 4-feet tall, and can be tied down dockside by using the attached grommets. The slide can also be used freestanding in the water with an optional zip-on walkway to step on. Additionally, the slide has bright graphics and inflatable side rails for increased visibility and safety.

Cons: This slide may need to be reinflated frequently, especially when used by larger-sized teens or adults. Although it reportedly has a 550-pound weight limit, it may last longer when used only by smaller kids.

Bottom Line: This two-lane water slide can make spending time by the pool or lake more fun. Kids will love spending hours climbing and sliding with their friends or siblings. If you choose to use this with teens or adults, remember that it may need reinflating more often.

 

Premium Choice

Little Tikes Rocky Mountain River Race Inflatable Slide

Get two slides, a splash pool, and a climbing wall with this inflatable slide bouncer.

Pros: The kids may never get bored with this multifunctional poolside bouncer from the well-respected Little Tikes company. They will get plenty of exercise climbing up and sliding down, thanks to the innovative design that places their rock climbing wall in the middle of the two slides. There are two sprayers on each slide to keep the surface slippery, and the cushion at the base helps to offer a gentle landing. This premium water slide bouncer can accommodate four young climbers and has a weight limit of 350 pounds.

Cons: This water slide may require more upkeep and maintenance than some other options. It must be cleaned and stored carefully according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent mold and untimely material wear.

Bottom Line: You can transform your backyard into a water park with this substantial 161 x 169 x 103-inch slide bouncer. The kids will be thrilled with every opportunity they get to go on a mountain climbing venture, and parents will appreciate that Little Tikes is a brand that has been trusted for decades.

 

Best Inflatable Pick

Intex 58849EP Kool Splash Durable Inflatable Play Center

This poolside water slide has a soft landing pad to bounce off before hitting the water.

Pros: The Intex Kool Splash Kids Inflatable Slide is a poolside option compatible with most pools for convenient seasonal fun. The inflatable steps and mat make climbing easy, and built-in sprayers with hose attachments keep the sliding surface wet for a smooth trip into the water. A soft landing pad extends into the pool for added safety and bounce.

Cons: Slow leaks may develop with this slide after a short period of use. The package comes with a patch kit for repairs.

Bottom Line: This Intex inflatable water slide offers a fun experience at a great value. The appearance of slow leaks may be frustrating, but the included patch kit or other patching options can help.

 

Best Mini Playpen

Hesung Inflatable Play Center

This inflatable play center is a great choice for toddlers and young kids.

Pros: This inflatable play center is a wonderful choice for smaller children with two splash pools, a ball roller, a built-in sprinkler, a ring-toss activity, and a small slide. At 115 x 70 x 44 inches, this activity center can hold up to three to four kids who love choosing between sliding under the donut fountain arch or playing with the ball roller or ring toss. You can transform it into a ball pit when not used for water play to continue the fun.

Cons: Inflating this water activity set may be a bit more challenging than other options due to its many components.

Bottom Line: This inflatable play center may be a great choice for your family if you want a multiactivity water set for younger children. The several colorful components will be delightful for the kids but could be a bit extra work to inflate.

 

Best Poolside Slide

PLATPORTS 8-Foot Freestanding Backyard Wavy Water Slide

This is a durable, noninflated option for poolside fun.

Pros: Say goodbye to air inflation or puncture risks with this pool slide from PLATPORTS. Sturdy steel supports the plastic stairs and chute, which have been given a UV-protected, fade-resistant, colorful coating. It also features smooth metal handrails for safety, a stability-supporting bar, deep sides, and broad, easy-to-climb stairs. At 101 x 55 x 65 inches, this slide can also be placed in larger indoor play areas when pool season is over.

Cons: This slide can be challenging to assemble for some.

Bottom Line: This water slide may be a good option for those who want something more durable than an inflatable slide. It’s sturdy and reported to exceed ASTM safety standards for child safety. 

Final Thoughts

Give the kids’ video games and internet sites a bit of competition by investing in a water slide. With these fun picks, the kiddos will be glad to put down the devices to get some exercise, social interaction, and fresh air in their backyard.

Desiree Bradshaw
Desiree Bradshaw is a freelance content writer from Memphis, TN with experience writing about e-commerce, RVing, and mental health. She received her BA in English with a concentration in professional writing from The University of Memphis. When she's not writing, she enjoys adventures as a full-time RVer with her husband Randy and spoiled lab mix Buddy. Read Full Bio »
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