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Consumer Reviews

Best inflatable water slides for kids

Kids’ inflatable water slides

If you want to avoid the long lines that come with an exhausting day at the water park, you might want to turn your backyard into your own miniature attraction. Bring out the sprinkler, fill the kiddie pool and — if you want to turn things up a notch — pick out an inflatable water slide that is bound to be the envy of the neighborhood. Instead of bringing your kids to a water park, let an inflatable water slide bring the park to you.

How much do inflatable water slides cost?

Inflatable water slides can cost more than you might expect, but they usually come with a ton of features. You’re not just getting a slide, you’re also getting extras like splash pools, climbing walls and water sprayers. In some cases, there’s even a second or third slide. As far as pricing goes, some water slides can run anywhere between $300-$800. A slip and slide, which can function as a smaller and more affordable water slide option, runs anywhere from $50-$200 depending on the size.

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How do I set up an inflatable water slide?

Flat areas tend to work best when it comes to putting up a water slide. Find an area that will fit the dimensions of the slide when it is fully inflatable. It's also important to make sure you have a hose that is long enough to reach your slide. Some sets come with extra hoses, but most don't, so it's always good to check.

Next, you have to unpack your water slide. The box should come with stakes to fasten the inflatable to the ground, which should make sure the slide is secure and won’t topple over.

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Once the stakes are in place, you have to inflate the slide. Some inflatable slides come with an air pump, but to make things easier, you can buy an electric pump. If you are using your own pump, make sure it is compatible with the slide first. When you fully inflate the slide, there should be a little give to add some bounce.

Finally, fill the splash pool and attach the hose to the slide. Turn on the water and you're ready to go!

Can I use my slide without water?

If you're looking to get use out of your inflatable water slide year-round, you'll want to take that into consideration when you make your purchase. Some combo playsets let you convert the splash pool into a ball pit, but not all inflatables are designed for this. Others require the extra weight of the water for stability and are not functional or safe without it.

Best inflatable water slides for kids

Inflatable water slides for individual use

ACTION AIR Inflatable Shark Waterslide: available at Amazon

Our take: A shark-themed 15-foot inflatable water slide with a built-in splash pool, water gun and tunnel. The weight capacity is 200 pounds.

What we like: This one has a cute design and allows one to four kids to spread out and play. Stakes, tubes and an air blower are all included, and protective mesh sides keep your kids safe.

What we dislike: Setting it up is much easier than taking it down and folding it up.

Bestway Mount Splashmore Kids Inflatable Water Park Bounce House: available at Amazon

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Our take: This inflatable water slide features a climbing wall, climbing rope, water blaster and wading pool. It can comfortably hold two children at a time.

What we like: It has a spontaneous dump bucket for extra splashing and the material is double-stitched and sturdy. The blower comes included along with stakes, a repair kit and a storage bag.

What we dislike: Water cannot be disconnected from the filling bucket without also being disconnected from everything else.

BOUNTECH Inflatable Water Slide: available at Amazon

Our take: A castle-themed inflatable set with a curved water slide, climbing area and wading pool. Suitable for three or four kids at a time.

What we like: There's plenty of room here for kids to space out. The slide is a fun, unique shape and durable, strong stitching keeps the material from tearing.

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What we dislike: The blower is not included but may be purchased for extra.

Inflatable water slides for parties

Costzon Inflatable Giant 7 in 1 Crocodile Water Park: available at Amazon

Our take: A top-tier inflatable water set with two water slides, a climbing wall, basketball hoop, tunnel, water cannon and splash pool. The maximum weight capacity for the inflated portion is 289 pounds.

What we like: There are plenty of features to keep up to six kids busy. It works for kids of different ages, with something to do for everyone, plus a safety net. A repair kit is included, and an air pump is available for an additional cost.

What we dislike: Set up can take a long time.

H2OGO! Beachfront Bonanza Kids Inflatable Splash Park: available at Amazon, Wayfair and Kohls

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Our take: This is a 9-foot-tall inflatable water park with a 15-foot-long side. It also has a splash pool, climbing wall, water sprayer and soak bucket. It can hold 120 pounds per child and 600 pounds total.

What we like: The entire thing is easy to set up, and the slide's high sides are great for added safety. Stakes, storage bag and hoses are all included.

What we dislike: Getting the water out when you're all done is a bit tricky.

JumpOrange Inflatable Water Slide with Air Blower: available at Wayfair

Our take: This durable vinyl two-slide water playset features a giant inflatable octopus at the top. It can accommodate up to six kids at a time.

What we like: Two slides mean less time waiting for a turn. There's a climbing section in the middle and a large wading pool. Stakes, air blower and a repair kit are all included. It's also fairly easy to set up and take down again.

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What we dislike: No storage bag included.

Slip and slide water slides

Intex 15-Foot-Long Inflatable Surf 'N Slide: available at Amazon

Our take: This might be a pricier slip and slide, but it definitely has great lift, thanks to the inflatable base. It can hold up to 176 pounds at a time.

What we like: It features a cute shark theme with a fun climbing area and hand grips for safety. It should easily hold up to daily use over the summer.

What we dislike: One lane means one child at a time.

ANGELGGH Inflatable Water Slide for Kids and Adults: available at Amazon

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Our take: This extra-thick double lane slip and slide is over 15 feet in length and features water-spraying spouts around the edges.

What we like: There are sprinklers on both sides and an anti-collision pad at the end. The materials are durable and strong.

What we dislike: The slide and stakes come together but nothing else is in the box. Hoses are not included.

TEAM MAGNUS 31ft Water Slide: available at Amazon

Our take: This is a 31-foot extra-thick two-lane slide with an inflatable crash pad that is certain to provide hours of wet and wild fun for kids up to 12 years old.

What we like: The stakes are included, plus waterproof duct tape for repairs. It can be assembled quickly and features built-in water sprinklers.

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What we dislike: The lanes are not as wide as some buyers expected.

Emily Verona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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