EDITOR’S NOTE: Over the years, Aldi has sold this under several names, including the Crane Rectangular Family Pool and the Bestway Deluxe Blue Rectangular Pool. As far as we can tell, they’re all identical.
When summer season rolls around, Aldi dishes out products good for the water, including goggles, swimwear, and flotation devices. Aldi also sells a few small swimming pools.
Going into this review, it was my original intention to review a Crane pool, as Crane is one of Aldi’s house brands. However, when I checked out the Crane pools I discovered that they were significantly smaller than what I needed for my purposes, the largest of the two holding only about 100 gallons. So we decided to pick up this model, which has about three times that capacity:
The H2O GO! Deluxe Blue Rectangular Family Pool is an inflatable pool made by Bestway, a company specializing in things that either fill with water or that go in the water. (They also make air pumps, and one of them found their way into the Adventuridge Queen Airbed with Pump. Bestway products are not exclusive to Aldi, as they can be found in many other stores, including Walmart and Target. At the time of this post this identical pool can be found at Menards for $30. Given that the Aldi version was $20, it would seem like, all things being equal, that Aldi is not a bad place to get this pool.
The pool comes with the pool itself, instructions, a patch, and — in what appears to be inspired by the company’s legal department — two “water watcher” tags that offer detailed instructions on how adults should supervise this pool. (The warnings don’t end there, as the instructions offer painstaking advice on setting up a 48″ barrier around the pool to prevent unauthorized entry.)
One thing the pool does not come with, at least as far as we can tell, is a warranty. That’s probably not a surprise for an inflatable device that, by design, will be set on the ground outside, but don’t expect any sympathy from the company. Unless you want to try and take up Aldi on their return policy, you’re on your own.
The pool measures 10 feet long, 6 feet wide, and not quite 2 feet deep (120″ x 72″ x 22″). It is supported by three inflatable rings and, when fully set up, has a capacity of 307 gallons. Setup involves laying the pool out, then inflating each of the rings starting from the bottom one. The size of this pool all but guarantees that you’ll need an air pump, as we can’t see how a single human (or even a group of them) could ever hope to fill this pool up by lungs alone. If you do have an air pump, the air ports in the rings use a standard size that is pretty easy to make use of.
Once inflated, you add water up to a designated fill line on the side. When you need to drain the pool, there is a plug on the floor to help let the water flow out.
Our first attempt to use the pool was, to put it politely, a bust. At first everything looked okay, but as time went on the pool began to bow out on one side. Our assumption was that it was not filled with enough air, so to prevent permanent damage we let the air out, emptied the pool, reoriented it, and tried again.
The second time around we made sure that each of the three rings was as inflated as we could make it without popping the thing, and our outcome was a lot better: as in, a working pool.
Our grade-school-aged kids frolicked around in it and had enough fun, although the fact that it’s not as long as it is wide means that they bumped shoulders more than they might have in a circular pool. It’s reasonably big but not massive, so while a couple of preschool or lower elementary kids might get some mileage out of it, we probably wouldn’t plan on using it for any middle school parties.
We did find that it’s a bit of a finicky pool: if the ground is not completely flat, it can bow out, even if you think you’ve filled the air completely. Like this:
The bowing seems to push air out of the top ring, too (or perhaps a bit of air loss in the top ring causes the bowing — we’re not sure) so getting level ground with this pool is crucial.
The H2O GO! Deluxe Blue Rectangular Family Pool isn’t really family sized (unless you think of it as a really oversized bathtub), but it is large enough to offer fun for younger kids. Just make sure it’s fully inflated before you add water, set it on flat ground, and don’t forget to pick up an air pump to help you with the inflating. While you could do worse for $20, it’s more finicky of a pool than we’d like, and we would have been happier if it came with a warranty.
UPDATE (7/10/17): A month later and this is happening.
The middle ring is leaking air, and possibly the top one, too. When it leaks it bows out, and eventually water flows out. (The pool in the picture above was full of water the night before; now it’s not.) The end result is that the pool has to be reinflated frequently to keep the water from spilling out. And with no warranty, that means there isn’t much to do about it.