Summer Waves vs. Intex Pools: Pros and Cons of Each

Above-ground pools are an affordable and reversible solution when you don’t have an inground pool. But since these pools are easier to make, low-quality products can enter the market. Picking the right brand is crucial, and the top two brands currently are summer waves and Intex pools.

Summer Waves pools are better for small families and those looking for beautiful-looking above-ground options that are affordable. Intex pools are better for a broader audience as they come in a larger variety of sizes, shapes, and materials and are easier to buy, repair, or replace.

In summer waves vs. Intex pools, no single brand comes out as the absolute best. After all, each one has its pros and cons. This article covers the benefits and drawbacks of each alongside a relevant brand overview, so you know which pool is right for you.

Summer Waves Pools: A Brief Overview

Summer Waves brand is owned and operated by Polygroup, which was founded in 2003. You might think that “poly” in the PolyGroup might refer to the fact that this business owns multiple brands, but that’s not the case. “Poly” refers to polymers, which are the key source material in many of the products manufactured and marketed by the group.

The business focuses on family-friendly home-leisure products, and its Summer Waves verticals deal exclusively with above-ground pools. While polymers are certainly present in many of Summer Waves products, the material variety of the brand is quite wide and encompasses metal frame pools as well.

However, the strength of the Summer Waves brand is undercut by the fact that its parent company isn’t focused on swimming products alone. The “Jack of all trades” connotation can discourage some buyers who prefer their products to come from specialized businesses. 

Among Summer Waves Pools are inflatable ones, sturdy non-metal frame pools, elite frame pools, and quickset pools. Summer Waves lagged behind Intex Pools for a long time as Intex used to offer pools that could be set up instantly alongside ones that were sturdier and took more time. 

Recently, Summer Waves has caught up on product range and has started offering better alternatives in certain product tiers. Non-metal hard-frame pools from Summer Waves get better durability ratings and reviews than ones from Intex. It seems like Summer Waves pools are less prone to cracking. 

The product range of Summer Waves pools might not be large enough to dwarf Intex pools, but it is big enough that it gives you decent alternatives where Intex presents a weaker product.

Pros of Summer Waves pools

I’ve covered whether summer waves pools are any good elsewhere on this blog. Here, the advantages are compared to Intext, which is the leading alternative for Summer Waves above ground pools. Below are the advantages that Summer Waves has over Intex.

Goodlooking Above Ground Pools

The Polygroup product line has been conceived from a home decor perspective. One of the most potent pain points for most homeowners looking for above-ground pools is that these pools stick out like sore thumbs. 

With Summer Waves pools, the products are designed with the right color scheme and given great texture, making your garden or backyard look like a mini waterpark.

Durable Non-Metal Frame Products

Don’t let the aesthetic beauty of Summer Waves pools fool you. The products are also extremely sturdy. Even if you don’t opt for an Elite Frame pool, the one you get is going to be incredibly durable and will accommodate your whole family while holding enough water for everyone to have fun.

Easy and Smooth Drainage Options

Pools that hold large quantities of water are usually a pain to drain. Fortunately, Summer Waves pools come with straightforward, easy drainage that can be activated without any technical prowess. 

The home and family focus of the business behind Summer Waves lends to the fact that you don’t need to be a technical wizard to get the ins and outs of these products.

Easy to Clean Pools

Another extension of the pools’ family-friendliness is that these pools are easy to clean. If a pool is built to be used by kids and adults alike, it is bound to get dirty. Summer Waves pools can be cleaned in a shorter period. With regular cleaning, the time saved adds up significantly.

Good Value for Money

Finally, the greatest advantage of Summer Waves pools is that they’re better priced when compared to their Intex counterparts. Ironically, they seem more expensive as well because of relative brand concentration. 

Intex pools have been overexposed to the point that they might be considered basic, whereas Summer Waves pools might not be as well-known. You might think that getting a pool from a brand that’s not known might signal that the product is cheap. 

But mystique works the opposite way if the product has great visual appeal. Haagen-Dazs ice cream features a made-up word because the owner thought it sounded foreign enough that people would assume it is a luxury brand from a Scandinavian country. 

Summer Waves brand has similar magic: it looks good enough to look expensive, and people who don’t know the brand assume it commands a high price.

Cons of Summer Waves Pools

Here are some of the drawbacks of opting for a Summer Waves pool. Please note that some of these disadvantages are product-specific.

Metal Frames Might Rust

Summer Waves metal frames are not powder coated like Intex steel. This can lead to rusting through the metal selection, and the finish ensures that the chances of this are minimal.

A Little Too Niched

The Summer Waves brand focuses on the “home” aspect a little too much. Being a family-friendly brand has its perks, but if you’re an adult with no kids, you might have an easier time getting an Intex pool that matches your needs.

Intex Pools: A Brief Overview

The Intex brand is better established than Summer Waves purely by longevity. With over 50 years in the aqua leisure market, Intex Recreation Corp is well-positioned as a leader. It has several patents for pumps, frame tech, and even inflatables. 

Moreover, Intex has spent the last decade lowering its carbon footprint and, as a market leader, has 49 retail partners and is sold in over 100 countries. This means that all the advantages of buying from a highly specialized big business apply when you get your above-ground pool from Intex.

Pros of Intex Pools

The advantages of getting an Intex Pool are the same as ones of getting a product from a large manufacturer. With economies of scale, product research and development improves, as does the price. These apply to an extend to Summer Waves pools as well. Below are the advantages that Intex Pools have over their summer waves counterparts.

Rust-Resistant Metal Frames 

Intex metal frame pools feature powder-coated steel, which makes them less conducive to rusting. It is worth noting that steel in itself doesn’t trust easily. The high-quality rust-resistant coating ensures the rusting and wear and tear are even slower. If the metal frame lasts longer than an above-ground pool’s shelf life, you don’t have to worry about rust and corrosion.

Larger Size Variety Than Summer Waves Pools

Intex is a much bigger business and brand than summer waves. Therefore, its size variety is much greater than Summer Waves pools. You’re more likely to find a product that suits you as a bachelor, a homebody, a social butterfly, and a family man. This also comes with shape and design variety, though Summer Waves pools feature much better-looking options.

Easy to Get Spare Parts or Replacement

Intex pools are so widespread, as covered in the brand overview section that you can get them almost anywhere in the world. But how does that matter if you’re in a country where you can get either via Amazon? 

Well, the more easily available a brand is, the easier it is to get its replacements and spare parts. Summer Waves has this advantage in the United States, but Intex has it everywhere, including the USA. Getting replacements is easy for both; it’s just easier with Intex.

Cons of Intex Pools

Here are some of the drawbacks of Intex Pools compared to Summer Waves pools.

Unreliable Plastic integrity

If you want to buy a non-metal frame pool, then get an Intex inflatable one or get a Summer Waves pool because the Intex plastic products have received negative reviews citing cracking.

Debatable Value for Money

While Intex has grown enough to offer quality products at a low price, some of its pools are pretty expensive for seemingly no reason other than a brand premium. It is advisable to judge Intex products’ prices on a case-to-case basis.

Knock-Offs on the Market

Finally, the ease of availability can be an advantage for replacements and spare parts but also a disadvantage when knock-offs are introduced to the market. 

Intex brand is overexposed, which means you might end up buying a knock-off. Look for authorized dealers when shopping in-store. Avoid buying online if the product ships from a country with little trademark compliance oversight.

Final Thoughts

Summer Waves and Intex Pools are both great choices for an above-ground pool. The one that’s best for you depends on your needs. Smaller families with smaller budgets opt for Summer Waves, while those looking for a safe purchase that’s also accessible regardless of where they move, go for Intex pools.

Jed Arnold

Jed spent every year from the ages of 15 - 22 as a Lifeguard (Red Cross) and ages of 17 - 22 as a Certified Pool Operator (CPO). Between working for over a dozen facilities and owning a pool, he carries over a decade of pool experience.

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