“ Brand: Argos / Type: Water Toys „
a couple of years ago my little boy got this argos paddling pool for his birthday, i bought it thinking it was great as my little man was in to cars ect.I also liked it as it was small and had something on the top to shade the little ones! when we got it home we got to putting it up, what i didn't realise was the roof comes seperate and they expect you to hold it on by four bits of small string. my little boy was two at the time and likes a bit of ruff and tummble like others of his age but it just couldnt take it!! it lost air easily and we found we were inflating it a couple of times a day! due to this the roof didnt sit properly on the top and drooped down aswell as the stiring wheel! The boys were getting so fed up in the end we took the roof off but if you pay nearly £20 you expect it to withhold! i think they should have thought it through a bit more and got kids of this age to try it out!! they also advertise it as a ball pool too, if this is the case i expect them to have an offer of somekind on the balls to go with it such as 3 for 2 or buy 1 set of balls get another free!! after you have spent the £20 for the pool and £4.99 each for the balls a cheap day in has risen to nearlly £30. i would not buy this again!
When we had a really hot spell at the end of July for a few weeks, the kids and I were starting to wilt, and with a broken paddling pool from last year and a hose-pipe ban in force, meaning no water fights, it was a case of definitely needing a new pool to try and cool off.
I looked on the Argos website because this was the only place in the town where I live that would sell them and I did not want to have to travel further out on the spur of the moment. Argos had practically sold out of every pool they had, however they did have this one left. At £19.99 it was more expensive than I wanted and with the inclusion of a pack of balls for £6.99 and a foot pump for £4.99 the total price of a spontaneous decision to help me and the kids cool down soon ended up setting me back just under £32.00.
There was a choice of three designs for this pool, the car, a boat or a flowery girly one. I chose the car as it seemed to be suitable for a boy or a girl from age 3 up and as I have both, felt that would be best. It always surprises me how they manage to squeeze the whole pool into a relatively small box, but squeeze they do, to the point I thought I would have to break the box open to get it out. I managed in the end though and have saved the box for when it needs to be packed up for the winter but I am in serious doubt about whether I will be able to fit it back in again.
The first thing I had to do on getting it out was pump it up obviously, and this is where I found the first thing that I was impressed with. Each side of the car is separate to the others meaning that they need to be pumped up separately. Each has its own nozzle and this is ideal as it means if there is a puncture in that section of the pool it will only deflate in that section too, allowing the other sides to temporarily support the water while you fix it with the puncture repair kit provided in the box.
Once the four sides are blown up you have your main car pool. I was pretty impressed with the practical sides of things here actually as the sides were low enough for my two-year-old to climb in herself but high enough to allow a good level of water for them to sit in. The dimensions if you have a small garden like me are (W)110cm, (D)99cm, (L)160cm and it will hold 558 litres of water if you fill it 60% full. Thats a lot of buckets when you have a hosepipe ban so I only had it about 30% full, which was enough for the kids to have fun in and saved my poor legs!
As well as the main car part there was also a roof, which you could attach to the pool. It was all in one piece and needed pumping too. Once blown up it attaches to little plastic rings on the sides of the cars. They supply four lengths of cord (similar to curtain tie cords) which you slip through these rings and through the rings on the four posts coming from the detachable roof, then tie up. This was easier said than done though as the very texture of the fabric used to make the cords meant that it was quite slippery and every time you tied a knot in it, it wasnt long before one of them had slipped undone. Also the roof posts did not seem to be strong enough to support the roof, although it was only made from inflatable plastic. I found the strong sunshine made the roof deflate faster and therefore the posts did too, meaning it all fell sideways or down onto whoever was in the pool at the time. I had to keep getting the foot pump out to lift it all back up again and in the end I just took it off and left the pool as a normal pool. I think the idea of the roof was good as it did provide a little bit of shade for any children in the pool but the design just didnt live up to my expectations. It was also a little short for my son to stand up in the pool with the roof on, meaning this pool did not really fit the bill for a child aged above 3 / 4 years old as long as you keep the roof on. Another reason for its demise in my estimations.
We found the strength of the build on the car itself seemed to be pretty good. When I first blew it up I looked at the top corners of the pool and saw that in the join they had glued a circle of thick strong plastic over the corner part, to reinforce the join in the corners. This was a good idea but I was still sceptical that they would stay together and not rip as the sides were lent on. We used it for about two weeks straight, pretty much every day until the sun disappeared on us, and it has stayed strong with no sign of any rips or tears beginning to happen. I was really pleased with this as £20 is quite high for an inflatable pool which has so much potential to puncture etc.
It also has a steering wheel attached to the front of the car, inside the pool, which the kids can turn pretending to drive, obviously. However I am particularly sceptical about this too as the kids are not delicate and gentle with it, pretending to be racing an F1 car round Silverstone, rather than the Mini its meant to be and I can see the join being torn very easily. The wheel is attached to the main wall of the front of the pool so if it does rip a simple puncture repair kit will not suffice and the pool will have to be thrown away. Only time will tell on this one.
Overall for a spur of the minute purchase I am relatively happy, although I do think it will not last us longer than 2 summers and that if it comes out of this year intact then next summer will be its last, simply due to the way it is designed, being rectangle instead of round. The very fact of having corners on a pool means that it is open to rips and tears a lot more than it would be from a simple circle design, however there are not many round cars out there, so in order to get the fun factor out of the pool being a car it is something I will have to live with it and shell out again next year for a round pool. The roof was a good idea but a rubbish design and could have benefited from some forward thinking and testing from the design team who made this.
Still, the suns gone and once it has dried out completely I will attempt to get it back in that box until next year.
I do recommend this pool, however there are restrictions on it and at £19.99 I think there are better options out there. It gets three stars from me for being average and as it was the only thing available when we really needed cooling down.
Inflated pool height 99cm/39in. Removable sunshade. 2 inflatable front lamps included. Size (W)110, (D)99, (L)160cm. Water capacity 558 (60%) litres. For ages 3 years and over. Put summer into gear and splash out on the kids with this car-shaped 39 inch play pool. Perfect entertainment for those long holiday afternoons. Includes removable sunshade and two inflatable front lamps. Suitable for dippers.