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Well they first time there is a tiny bit of sunshine in this country, we all go a bit crazy and I am no exception! Strolling around our local discount store where I find all manner of rubbish to fill my cupboards, I came upon a very large box containing the Bestway splash and play pool. There was a delightful picture of a relaxed mother and her children on the front and I felt a dream bubble coming out of the top of my head, that showed me and my grandchildren relaxing in my garden. I was at least three stones lighter than I actually am, sipping a cool glass of wine whilst my darlings giggled happily around me. I snatched up the box and 'like a rat out an aqueduct' I sprinted to the check out to pay the £29.99 for the pool. The box said that the pool was 106" x 69" x 20". I've never been good with figures so I was quite surprised when we rolled it out on the lawn to find that it was 8 and a half feet long! We had to move the geranium pots to fit it onto the lawn, Whilst doing do, I dropped one on my foot and broke my toe. Still, we persevered. Once it was fully laid out, we had to inflate it. There are four air entry points. Foolishly, I started to do it by blowing into it and after five minutes, I had a very bad headache and had to lie down on the lawn. At that point my husband got involved and came of the shed with an electric pump. It took about five minutes to fully inflate the pool and it looked wonderful. The grandchildren were eager to get in but we made them wait until it was filled up. Hubby got the hosepipe and turned the water on. For almost two hours, I had to entertain three very exited grandchildren until the water level was half way up the top 'ring' of the pool. Now, I'm still nursing my broken toe but I'm determined to get into that pool. I toddled off to put my swim suit on whilst hubby supervised the children. I could hear squeals coming from the garden an was surprised to find the children not in the pool as I had expected. I gingerly walked over to the side of the pool and placed my bad foot into the water. It was at that point that things get a little hazy. The water was absolutely freezing! It sent my poor toe into spasm and my foot skidded forward on the slippy plastic base and I effectively did the splits into the pool. I remember the roars of laughter as I went down, bouncing off the sides of the pool and into the water. You would not believe how deep 20inches of water feels as you fall into it, in agony with a broken toe an suffering frostbite from the icey liquid. The pool was abandoned for that day but the following day my hubby went out and bought a 'pool heater'. This is a sort of pump that draws water out of the pool, heats it up and then pushes in back in. This made the pool like a cool bath and just wonderful. The other thing that the heating ump does is to filter the water, so that leaves that have fallen in overnight are removed. Now, we enjoy our pool and it's had a lot of use this summer with the weather being so good. It's also been a great asset for bathing the dog!
With the beautiful weather we've been having and the fact that it has simply been so hot that we need to find a way to cool down, we decided to invest in a family sized paddling pool. As luck would have it we live in what may be the only part of the South East that does not have a hosepipe ban in force so our only real restrictions were price and the amount of space available (don't worry, I'm not completely ecologically unsound, the water is reused in the garden, I have lots of water hungry vegetables growing). When looking for a suitable paddling pool, I discovered that there weren't that many available and the only option available to me was the Chad Valley Family Swim Centre from Argos, which was only £19.99 reduced from £29.99. I immediately reserved one and made my way to Argos to pick it up, only to discover that I had actually been given the BestWay Splash And Play Family Pool. The pool itself is supplied in a reasonably sized cardboard box that features a handle for easier carrying. A word of warning, the pool is slightly too heavy for Argos' carrier bags, so don't rely on using one to carry it. The pool is formed of fairly thick vinyl with two separate air chambers each of which has it's own intake nozzle. What particularly impresses me about these nozzles is that they are each formed of three interconnecting nozzles of differing sizes, this means that no mater which pump you have there will be a hole that corresponds. The only problem with the intake is that the design makes blowing the pool up by lung power alone nigh on impossible. While it would probably have been a much speedier task to pump the pool up with an electric pump, I used a dual action foot pump and it took me about half an hour to fully inflate it. Once inflated the pool is an impressive size, from outer wall to outer wall it is 269cm by 175cm , with the wall standing 51cm high. The base sheet is formed of white vinyl, while the walls are blue with a white top. Looks-wise it looks pretty good, not especially fancy, but not cheap either and what I particularly like is that the maximum fill level is clearly marked. Filling the pool takes a lot of water, I really wouldn't attempt to fill it using a bucket, using a hose pipe, it took well over half an hour to fill it just below the maximum fill line. When it comes to emptying the pool out there is no outlet or plug hole, so it needs to be tipped out, generally I simply use a watering can to empty most of it out putting the water to good use and then tip the final dregs away. Even when deflated using a pump that will remove all the air, it is never possible to fold it down small enough to fit back in the box. Even if not filled all the way up to the maximum fill line, there water is more than deep enough for an adult to sit in and cool down, it comes up to my tall two year old's waist and when I sit in the pool it comes up to my chest. Of course there is a downside to this amount of water, and that is that it takes a long time to warm up in the sun. I filled the pool in the morning and the water was still pretty chilly at 2pm, only really warming up by about 4pm. The pool certainly lives up to it's family title, yesterday Mummy, Daddy and the little one all managed to get in together, with Mummy and Daddy both being able to sit and stretch their legs out, while there was still over half the pool left for the little one to play in. The sides of the pool are tall and strong enough to lean against while sitting next to them, but too tall for our two year old to climb over unaided. The base of the pool is a little on the slippery side, the little one does occasionally lose his footing and end up on his bottom, when the water ends up almost up to his neck. Although only the three of us use the pool, there is plenty of room for another couple of people, which means it'll be perfect when the little one's adult brothers and sisters come to visit. While I wouldn't say that the water is deep enough for older children to actually swim in, it's the perfect depth and size for the little one to practise floating on his back and front. It's deep enough for him to be able to float and yet not so deep that he can't touch the bottom with his feet and therefore great for building his confidence. In fact it's large and deep enough for me as an adult to float on my back, I just wouldn't be able to go anywhere. While our pool hasn't had to survive being jumped on by boisterous, older children, it has so far coped well with the use we've put it to. So far the seams have all held well, the base has remained rip free and there are no punctures (one small puncture repair patch is included). The pool manages to hold the air well too, remaining fully inflated over a period of days and the vinyl has held it's colour in the sun well. Overall this pool has proved an excellent investment, prior to purchasing it our two year old was using a toddler pool, which he was finding restrictive and obviously as adults we couldn't get in with him. This pool proved a great hit with the little man, he loves spending time in it splashing and paddling around and it has proved just as much a hit with Mummy and Daddy, who love being able to cool down and share the fun. Although the minimum recommended age is six years, I am quite happy for my two year old to play in here as he is very closely supervised whenever he is in the garden and there is usually an adult in the pool with him. I actually love that while the pool is large enough for us all to get in, it's not so wide that I cannot reach my son from the outside edge should he fall. Personally I would supervise any child under the age of about ten or so in this pool anyway and don't feel it's any less safe than a toddler pool that can give a false sense of security (a child can drown in just a couple of inches of water). If asked if I would recommend this pool I would have to answer yes, but with a couple of provisos. Firstly you would need to ensure that you have enough room for it, in our garden it fits perfectly, but it may be too large for a smaller garden. Then you have to consider the amount of water it takes to fill it (982l to 75% full), this is a lot of water in a time of drought and will take a lot of buckets if you have a hosepipe ban (near enough 100 10 litre buckets). I would feel very guilty at using this amount of water if it wasn't for the fact that I re-use the water on the garden. So I'm giving the Bestway Splash And Play Rectangular Family Pool four stars out five, with it losing that one star simply because it does use a lot of water at a time when we are being asked to frugal with water and many areas have a hosepipe ban.
I love summer and try and make the most of it. One of my favourite things to do is get out the BBQ, have a few friends round and for added entertainment get the pool out. The one I have is the Bestway Splash and Play Rectangular Family Pool which I got at a cut throat price of £14.99 from Wilkinsons (I have seen it on various website ranging from £15-£30). When you receive the pool in comes in a box with a small plastic carry handle. Keep the box as it is good for storage and taking to other people's houses. The pool itself is made of different shades of blue around the base and inside. I love the blue colour as it gives the impression of exotic oceans. There is a white trim around the top. This white trim has been well designed as I remains cool under hot temperatures. The pool is a very good size at 269cm long x 175cm wide x 51cm high. This easily fits 4 adults chilling in each corner. We once had eight of us in but that's another story. Although the fact the pool did not brake proves how sturdy and robust it is. At the base of the pool there is a plug the is easy to remove and instantly allows the water to gush out. Annoyingly the pool did not come with a pump and took me over an hour to inflate by mouth. There are too ring walls that need inflating and they need an awful lot of lung work. After that first time I used it I bought a foot pump and it now takes me around 5 minutes to inflate. For £15 this is an absolute bargain for what I consider a summer necessity. It has proven strong and tough throughout numerous traumatic parties yet remains it complete working condition. Roll on this summer!
We bought this pool last year as a last minute thing really, we were in a local discount store and i saw that they had either these pools, little dity paddeling pools or a huge 18ft thing. I thought it would be better to go for this pool. I paid around £12 - £14. We got home and unpacked the pool in the passage ready to take it straight out, after unfolding it and finding the holes to blow it up we realised tthat there was a plug missing!! Arghhhh! This was a rubber stopper that kept the air in the bottom 'ring' of the pool. TYPICAL!!! We pumped it up anyway and I wedged a bit of plastic in the hole and hoped for the best. It lasted for about 3 hours before it was noticably deflated but by then the boys were bored anyway. The pool is a great size and a fab colour, but I did feel a bit let down by the missing plug. I would definatly buy this pool again as it was really roomy and comfortable to sit back and relax in. The depth of the water was just right too, not to shallow nor to deep. If I had bought it in a shop a bit closer to home then I would have taken it back to change it or get a plug but the store is around 15 miles away so I didn't really think it was worth it. Dimensions 106" x 69" x 20" (I think they are correct)
I read a review on this pool by xjemloux back last month and it was just what I'd been looking for so off I went to get one. As she had suggested they were available in Wilkinsons stores at a bargain price of £14.99. At the time they were £29.99 in Argos. Currently on their offer they are £19.99. When I got to the local Wilkinsons store the shelf was empty but they said they could order one in from another store as they had been discontinued. They had 4 in the surrounding area and by the time they got connected to a store there was only 2 left and they ordered it to the store for me saying it will be 1 week. The next day less then 24 hours later I had a phone call saying it was ready for collection. Jolly good service. Anyway I've had it nearly 3 weeks today and have finally got it out and made use of it. First time weather been decent since I brought it. On taking it out of the box which is a small box with plastic carry handle There were 2 white plug bits but no sign of the repair patch that should have been in there. The pool is blue with a white top on the wall. The sizes are 269cm x 175 x 51cm high (106"x69"x20"). The base has a plug to release water after use. It took me no longer then 5 minutes to inflate the pool which is 2 ringed walls. I was using a little electric pump so would take quite a bit longer if by foot pump or by mouth. It is big as it looks. It then took about 40 minutes to fill it so it covered my feet lol. I don't have a hosepipe so myself and son were back and forth from kitchen filling it. There is plenty of room in the pool for myself to lay down (for about 3 minutes as was cold lol) and my son to play. The picture above shows 1 adult and 3 kids in it at one time and this isn't camera trickery. You can lean against the walls and they are quite sturdy. My son was sitting on the sides without falling too. I'm really pleased with this pool and hope the summer allows a few more nice days to enjoy the pool. I'll put some more water into it each time we use it so eventually it will be half full so my son can practice swimming... As I previously mentioned this is currently on offer in Argos at £19.99 so well worth buying to put away for next year...
We had a few hot days of sun the other week? Remember? Well that was our summer and I wanted a pool for my 2 year old twins to play in, and possibly for me to cool off in so needed a bit more than a baby paddling pool but I didn't want to spend a fortune either. I searched in Asda, Argos, The Range etc and their shelves were empty from people going swimming pool mad in the sun. I soon found exactly what I was looking for in Wilkinsons though. Wilkinsons offered the Bestway Splash and Play Rectangular Family Pool for £14.99. You can either buy it in store or order it online, however if ordering online and having it delivered to your home you do have to pay the delivery charge on top, you can however purchase it online and have it delivered to store for free. The pool on their website is described as a Rectangular family pool with extra wide side walls and durable vinyl walls. Includes heavy duty repair patch. It does warn about choking hazards and small parts and it also advises that the pool is Not suitable for children under 3 years. The pool is a very generous size and depth for the price, it's actual size dimensions are w106in x d69in x h20in. Thanks to it's hefty size it is not really possible to blow it up by mouth. The air valves are a larger size than what you'd find on a small paddling pool and it would take you forever to blow air into this whole pool. There are two air valves one on the bottom ring and one on the top ring although each valve blows up the both 'rings' of the pool, if you do them seperately it ensures that each ring is fully inflated or deflated. I would reccomend purchasing an electric pump though, I actually bought one from amazon which I will do a review on in the future as it is a fantastic little thing which blows this pool up in just a few minutes which is brilliant! Once blown up fully, it's 'strong' for a pool and puts up with the twins bouncing on it's sides. It's a white colour along the top and the rest is a transparent sea blue, it definitely has a lovely look to it. Although the pool is not reccomended for children under 3 and my twins are just 2, I'd say so long as supervised at all times there shouldn't be any problems with this pool, as well as providing it's not filled up to far. You can fill the pool considerably well, allowing younger children to actually float and have a mini swim in the water, but this depends on how much water you fill it with. I would say it is much easier to fill the pool with a hose, as it would take you all day to fill it with a bucket of water back and for the kitchen - although that's brilliant excercise lol! I'm a larger lady, yet I can sit in the pool comfortably, still allowing room for my boys to play and enjoy jumping, splashing and pretending to swim about. Obviously being a blown up pool it could pop if sharp parts pop it etc, however if it's just kids playing in it, it can take alot of bouncing and roughness, I know I've watched my twins lol! There is a plastic cap inside the base of the pool which you do need to open when you want to get rid of the water to be able to deflate it. If you are looking for a decent sized pool that's not too expensive this is definitely worth a try. It fills up to an adequate sized 'swimming' pool if you want it to. It's strong and so long as you have a pump it inflates and deflates very quickly, which also means it's easier to store to.