By Caroline Biggs and Elly Leavitt

Published on July 4, 2018

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Illustration by Phuong Nguyen

While the thought of making it through the summer without a swimming pool might seem unbearable, we’re here to remind you that it’s not impossible. Sure, an Olympic-sized private pool is the dream, but in reality, most of us are lucky if we have access to any kind of pool when we housesit for friends. But fret not my sweaty friends, the web is filled with affordable and portable mini-pools that can turn your backyard, rooftop, or driveway into a full-blown oasis in no time.

And though you won’t be able to practice your backstroke in any of these pint-sized pools, you can still cool off poolside with a few friends—and, crucially, a few margaritas—in the privacy of your own yard. Read ahead for nine portable swimming pools that probably cost less than your electric bill. 

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Courtesy of Amazon

Bestway Steel Pro Swimming Pool, Amazon, $81.99

Walls constructed from three separate sturdy materials make for a portable pool that feels less temporary and more like a permanent backyard fixture. This 87 x 59 x 17-inch frame pool is ideal for kids or even pets in need of a quick cool down—just take it down and put it back up as the seasons change.

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Courtesy of Walmart

Play Day 8 Foot Family Pool, Walmart, $19.97

The main selling point for this pool is how crazy easy it is to install. One reviewer used an old air mattress pump to get it set up in five minutes; another DIY-ed a pump of sorts using a hair dryer and the top of a small water bottle. It’s under $20 and a great value for the price.

 
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Courtesy of Intex

Intex Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump (8ft X 30in), Amazon, $44.99

Not only is this 639-gallon pool super easy to set up (just spread it out on level ground and inflate the top ring), it comes with a foolproof water filter that connects to your hose if you prefer to swim in purified H2O. Plus, it’s made with super tough PVC sidewalls, which means you won’t have to stress over pesky holes or leaks.

 
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Courtesy of Amazon

Intex Family Cabana Swim Center Pool, Amazon, $38.31

Transform your backyard into a partially shaded oasis with this cabana-style inflatable pool. Along with a cushioned bench and removable shade, this comfy pool comes with a built-in water sprayer that doubles as mini-sprinkler!

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Courtesy of Amazon

Intex Relax And Keep Cool Lounge Pool, Amazon, $52.24

Consider this family-sized lounger the Rolls Royce of inflatable swimming pools. Along with seating up to four people, this wade-style pool comes with built-in backrests and seat cushions so you can really kick back and relax in the water.

 
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Courtesy of big lots

Summer Waves Quick Set Pool (14′ x 36″),  Big Lots, $95.99

If you’re looking for a portable pool worthy of a backyard party, we’ve got you covered. On top of being incredibly durable and simple to set up, this spacious pool holds 2,400 gallons of water and can comfortably fit up to eight people.

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Courtesy of amazon

Intex Swim Center Inflatable Family Lounge Pool, Amazon, $35.49

Searching for an inexpensive way to cool off in a pinch? This Amazon Prime-ready inflatable pool is perfect for lounging (there’s a cushy built-in bench on one side) and splashing around on a scorching summer day, and won’t set you back more than $40.

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Courtesy of target

Fast Set 10′ x 30″ Pool Set, Target, $58.99

Constructed of tough TriTech material, this pool is easily the longest-lasting option on our list. However, when you take into account its painless setup, quick drain plug, and impressive water filter pump, this 961-gallon pool—that comfortably holds six people— it might also offer the most bang for your buck.

 
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Courtesy of sears

Intex Metal Frame Pool (12′ x 30″), Sears, $99.99

They might look a little retro but metal frame swimming pools persevere for a reason. In addition to being extra roomy and durable, this classic above ground-style pool boasts a filter (that pumps 530 gallons of clean water an hour) and a shimmery faux-tile liner.

This story was originally published on July 17, 2017. It has been updated with new information.