“ Type: Hot Tub Accessories „
We optimistically purchased this last spring, when the lovely weather and promises of a barbeque summer were all around, and we thought it would be a great way to entertain the kids over the long summer holidays. Needless to say in the washout of a summer (2010) that followed, it didn't get an awful lot of use, but in the recent spate of good weather it has been resurrected from storage and put out on the decking again!
We were first attracted to this pool as we thought it would be big enough for all our girls (12, 8 and 6) to use together, alongside a couple of friends. On this point it definitely holds up, being plenty big enough to fit around 5 kids in comfortably. I dare say I could fit into it myself with them too, so the size is definitely not an issue for us. The 8ft option was ideal as it fits (just about) onto our decking in our little garden, whereas I think if we had gone for the 10ft option, it would have been a bit of a squish job to fit it where we wanted it to go!
The pool is described as "quick set", and to be fair whilst blowing up the inflatable ring which holds the top of the pool up and plonking it onto the decking probably takes less than ten minutes, it takes an awful lot longer than that to fill up. I would estimate it takes a good hour or so to fill it properly, and costs about £3 to do so on a water meter, and one problem with this pool is that you can't really use it when it isn't filled to capacity, as the design means if you try to do this the sides flop down and within a couple of minutes they arrange themselves so that what water you have in there flows out! This wasn't something we had really thought about before buying the pool, but it can be a nuisance if you have 3 eager kids waiting to get in the pool and nagging about how long it is taking to fill! We have got around this problem by leaving the pool up for a good couple of weeks once filled, so that it is ready to use whenever weather permits, but we did feel the need to purchase a cover for it seperately to enable us to do this, just to stop any birds leaving gifts in it, or kids squealing about drowned insects etc!
However, leaving the pool up even with a cover doesn't solve all the problems with it. For one thing in a small garden it takes up a large amount of space. 8ft "in the round" doesn't really sound very big until you see it up and full of water, when it quickly dominates the space available in our garden at least! This means that on cloudier days the temptation is there to take it down, but then if you do so you are faced with the cost and inconvenience of filling it back up again!
Another problem is that if you leave it up, even if you had filled it with warm water, this obviously cools down. The kids have found that because of the depth of this pool, it really does have to be a scorcher of a day to make the water temperature bearable in the pool if it has been standing with the water in for any period of time, even as little as a couple of hours. This brings all the joys of plastering the kids with sunblock on a very regular basis as if the pool is in shade the water is too cold to be fun!
The design of the pool also means it is useless on anything but almost totally level ground, as if the ground is sloping, the sides of the pool obviously are not at the same height, meaning you can't fill it to capacity, and the sides flop down leading to the aforementioned water leakage situation! You also have to keep reminding kids not to lean too heavily on the sides of the pool, as this causes the same problem and once the water has started flowing you have to be very quick on your feet to grab the side and hoik it up before a good percentage of the water has escaped, taking you back to the joys of filling once again!
On the positive side, the pool is easy to drain as it has a valve which you can connect to the garden hose to direct the water, although in all honesty we used a piece of old guttering to direct it into the drain instead as it seemed easier!
Whilst this pool is a good size, it has so many little niggling problems that, had I known what I know now about it when I purchased it, I probably wouldn't have chosen this particular pool. I just think there are better options available for around the same price, and the many irritating problems it has mean that whilst it may be fun for the kids, it is a terrible nuisance to the adults!
Type: Outdoor Pool