10 Best Slip and Slides for Summer 2018: Fun for the Entire Family

Living through a brutal heat wave during the summer months can be enough to break the morale of the strongest families. Trying to do that without the cool relief available through water play and activities is downright inhumane. There is nothing worse than bored kids during the summer; except hot, bored kids.

Top Slip and Slide Comparison Chart

Not everyone has the luxury of being able to set up a pool in their back yard. There are the space restrictions of many of the newer housing developments. Many home owner’s associations flat-out refuse to allow homeowners to put a pool in their yard. And often homeowner’s insurance won’t cover the liability of a pool in your yard.

Some people go to community pools while trying to beat the heat during the summer. Let’s face it. Many times, community pools are poorly maintained, crowded and dirty. There is nothing worse than paying to swim in a pool only to find out that someone has vomited in the pool an hour ago, and now you have to wait another 2 hours until the chlorine kills all of the bacteria. Gross! 

What can you do to beat the heat during the summer months while staying in your own backyard?

The best water entertainment was, and still is, the slip-n-slide.

 Sling and Slide Buyer’s Guide

These awesome slides are great for the whole family. Slip-n-slides allow non-swimmers to participate as well as those who are just not comfortable getting into the water. The hardest part about owning a slip-n-slide is trying to decide which one you should get for your family.

Slip-N-Slide Parts and Accessories

Slip-N-Slides are, for the most part, fairly basic. They usually are a long sheet of plastic (any number of plastic composites can be used to make the base of a slip-n-slide). The slides have a hose hook up for the water to come into the slide and sprinklers or spigots throughout the slide to keep the slide wet while sliding.

Additional things that may be included with your slip-n-slide           

Splash Pool

Slip-n-slides are starting to feature end pools or splash pools as a design element more and more. These pools range in depth and size but are generally designed to give the rider a large splash as they meet the end of their ride on the slip-n-slides.

If you are looking at a slip-n-slide that features an end pool you may want to consider who will be using the slide the most often. If you have a lot of younger children who don’t know how to keep their face out of the water, this feature may not be the best for your family. Those with older children and up are sure to enjoy this element of a slip-n-slide.

When you get a splash pool, you want to make sure a few things are happening on the construction of the slip-n-slide so that you can get the most enjoyment out of it.

  •  For splash pools, the entrance needs to be soft and inflatable. If it is a flat entrance, make sure you have the right incline on the hill you plan on setting up your slip-n-slide so that you can enjoy it.
  •  The end bumpers need to be high enough to stop your largest person from sliding off of the end of the slide. Usually, they are 3-6 inches tall. If you know that a 6’ tall 200 lb man will regularly be enjoying the slip-n-slide as well – opt for the larger bumper.
  •  Three-sided splash pools are best. Four-sided usually don’t allow you to splash into the pool. The first bumper slows you enough to stop you from entering the splash pool.

Inflation

The days of the flat slip-n-slide seem like they may soon be a thing of the past. Many slides now feature inflation. The inflation can be at the end in the form of a splash pool, the sides for bumpers or railing or at the beginning of a ramp. Most of the side and end inflation is simply decoration or to pool water in a specific splash zone.

Slide inflation on slip-n-slide is very popular. Most often the slides are short and stout to accommodate the smaller users of the slip-n-slides. If you are looking at inflatable slide options, make sure that you know who the slides were designed to work for.

Often inflatable slip-n-slides are designed for the younger audience and older children get frustrated when it doesn’t work exactly right. The small flat slides can be fun for all ages as they usually just add in some extra speed, but anything bigger than 1ft is most enjoyed by younger participants.

Why?

The stability in larger inflatable slides starts to diminish the taller and more narrow they are. The more weight that you apply to the unstable slide, the more likely you will not stay on.

Hard Slide

Much like inflatable slides hard slides are featured at the beginning of a slip-n-slide to give the rider a speed boost when they first get going. Similarly, the hard slides are only designed for the younger riders. You will be hard-pressed to find a slip-n-slide with a hard slide in front designed for anyone over age 8.

That being said, the little ones will have an absolute blast on these types of slip-n-slides. They give them the thrill of a slide and the splashdown effects of a pool. They are perfect for non-swimmers because you don’t ever have more than a few inches of standing water at a time.

Hard slides take up more space than their inflatable counterparts, but they are usually a bit more durable. Depending on your preference you may prefer a hard slide to an inflatable one on your slip-n-slide adventure.

Boogie Boards

Many slip-n-slides are coming with boogie boards to assist the slider in getting all the way to the end of the slide without stopping. Often the bigger participants find that they have a hard time getting to the end of the slip-n-slide. Boogie boards try to put an end to that.

Here are the reasons you should consider getting a slip-n-slide with a boogie board.

  • You have older people who don’t like the feel of impact with the ground.
  • Speed is what you want when going down your slip-n-slide.
  • You want to get to the end of the slip-n-slide every time you go on it.
  • You have larger people who cannot make it to the end of the slip-n-slide without stopping.

Best Slip-N-Slide Reviews

Now you know all of the features that are out there for the slip-n-slide. Let’s take a look at 2017 best models and see which one will fit your family’s needs.

There are a few elements that were included in each review to make it easy for you to compare. The features are easily listed. If there is a weight limit that on the quick specs as well. The manufacturer age limit is also included for your convenience. 

Intex Surf ‘N Slide Inflatable Play Center

This slip-n-slide is amazing. At just over 13 feet long it has all of the bells and whistles that you could look for in a backyard slide. The main thing you would need to be concerned with would be the space in your yard it measures 160”x60”x60”. You may need to consider where you are going to set this up because of the large footprint that it has.

The boogie boards are included for a reason on this slide. It is hard to get down the slide with just your body. If you don’t like using a boogie board, you may not find that this is the slide for you.

Features:

  • Inflatable Slide
  • Boogie Board
  • Splash pool

Weight Limit: 176-lbs

Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 3-months and up

Pros

  • Sturdy slide
  • Comes with boogie boards
  • Large splash zone

Cons

  • You need the boogie boards to get down
  • Large footprint

Little Tikes Wet & Dry

The Little Tikes Wet and Dry slip-n-slide is designed for smaller children. The concept is great while the slide may be a little steep. The steepness of the slide means that your kids may not get very far on the slip-n-slide. That should not deter you from getting this fun slip-n-slide though. Many little kids enjoy the water feature as well as the hard slide.

There are streams of water all the way down the slip mat making it easier for you to slide down the slip-n-slide

Another nice thing about this slip-n-slide is that the hard slide is detachable and can be used wet or dry. This makes it a versatile toy that can be used in multiple situations.

Features:

  • Hard Slide
  • Themed Slip Mat
  • Sprinklers

Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 24 months – 8 years

Pros

  • Sturdy slide
  • Detachable Slide
  • Sprinklers

Cons

  • Designed for smaller children
  • Slide may be a little steep

 Wahii Waterslide

At first look, this water slide can seem a little over the top. It is definitely designed for those with a bit of room in their backyard. The slide is 50 ft long and 12 feet wide, so you will need lots of room to set this slide up.

Unlike other slip-n-slides, this slide does not feature water hook up or built-in sprinkler ports. It is recommended for you to have a good sprinkler to use on the slip-n-slide to make it nice and wet.

If you don’t have a hill in your yard, you will need to get a running start to make it to the end of this behemoth slide. It is very long and requires a lot of momentum to get through all 50 feet of the slide. While a hill is not necessary, it makes sliding on this slip-n-slide a lot more fun.

Features:

  • Extra long and wide
  • Very thick UV protected plastic

Weight Limit: 256-lbs

Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 5-13

Pros

  • Durable plastic
  • Huge sliding space
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • No hose attachment
  • May require a hill to get the full length
  • Lengthy setup

 Bonzai Speed Curve

The Speed Curve is a fun and curved slip-n-slide that has a splash pool at the end. There is a good hose connection at the beginning of the slip-n-slide, and it allows the water to fill the side tubes and the sprinklers to lubricate the slide as you go down.

The sprinklers on this slip-n-slide can be unpredictable. Sometimes they work great. Sometimes the sprinklers water the lawn. Sometimes they don’t want to work at all. There really is no reliability on the way that the sprinkler system is going to work on this slip-n-slide.

The plastic for the slide is a little thin, and the seams can break easily. Make sure that it is fully inflated with water/air before you use it so that you don’t run the risk of damaging the slide unnecessarily. Other than the flimsy material it works as intended.

Features:

  • Sprinkler jets
  • Splash pool
  • Curved slide

Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 3 years and up

Pros

  • Splash pool
  • Sprinklers
  • Unique Design

Cons

  • The flimsy material can break easily
  • Sprinklers don’t always work.

H2OGO! Shark Attack

This is a themed slip-n-slide that features a tunnel shaped like a shark’s mouth for you to slide through. The tunnel piece is separate though and doesn’t seem to add any function to the slip-n-slide other than a fun design. It would have been nice if it had shot water out of the mouth or added something to the actual sliding experience.

The beginning of the slip-n-slide features a small slide (or speed ramp) designed to help you go faster. You have to hit the ramp in the right way to get the boost of speed, but with a few practice runs it is easy enough.

At the end of the slide, there is a splash pool that is shaped like the shark’s tail. All along the slide, you experience streams of water, and there is a tube of water to help stabilize the slip-n-slide as you make your way down. It makes it for a wet and fun ride all the way down the slide.

This slide can take some time to set up. So make sure you bring your patience with you and don’t tell your kids until after it is ready!

Features:

  • Inflatable Shark Tunnel
  • Small slide
  • Splash pool

Weight Limit: None

Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 36 months – 10 years

Pros

  • Splash pool
  • Strong sprinklers
  • Fun ramp

Cons

  • Difficult to set up
  • The shark mouth doesn’t do anything!

 Grand Slam Water Slide

The Grand Slam Water Slide is perfect for those who love baseball or are having a baseball themed event. The slide is designed in a baseball diamond shape and has sprinklers lining the outside. The sprinklers are hit or miss on how well they work. Hopefully, the one you get has a great set of sprinklers.

The fun element about this slide is that you can have multiple people going at the same time. You just need to watch the kids because a crash can happen if the timing gets off or if they are intentionally trying to race in the same direction – so be aware of that temptation.

The ground stakes that are included do their job and secure the slide in place. The slide is a little on the flimsy side so make sure that you are ready with the patches in case it tears.

Features:

  • Baseball diamond design
  • Sprinklers around the outside
  • Ground stakes included

Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 5 years and up

Pros

  • Fun baseball theme
  • Light bat included
  • Can be used by multiple people at once

Cons

  • Thin material can rip easily
  • May need patching

 H20GO

The H20GO is an ultra low cost slip-n-slide and perfect for any budget shopper. This slide is designed for the smaller kids because the thin material and poor seams will likely burst under the weight of some of the larger people.

If you are looking for a cheap, basic water toy for the backyard this slip-n-slide is the perfect way to go. Even if you have to patch it a few times, the price is worth the patch.

The seams are to be the biggest point of weakness for these slip n slides. If you get one with good seams, then you are set for hours of fun. If not make sure the store has a good return policy.

Features:

  • Speed ramp
  • Water sprinklers
  • Splash pool

Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 5-12

Pros

  • Price
  • Sprinkler
  • Splash Pool

Cons

  • Cheap seams
  • Thin material

Waverider

The wave rider is one of the most basic slip-n-slides featuring a stream of jets down one side and a splash pool at the end. This slip-n-slide is 16 feet long and is very light weight. Weighing only 1.9 pounds making it easy for one person to set up, unlike the inflatable slip-n-slides which often take two people to set up.

If you’re looking for something that you can just toss in the backyard and let the kids have fun this is the slip inside for you. There is really no difficult part in setting up this slip-n-slide, and it is fun for the kids all summer without worrying about your investment.

Features:

  • Splash pool
  • Sprinkler jets

Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 5 – 10 years

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Thin plastic
  • Sprinklers have low pressure

Banzai Wave Crasher

This slip-n-slide by Bonzai has an inflatable slide that just doesn’t seem to want to stay upright unless it is 100% full. That makes it kind of tricky if you plan to have kids playing on it all day. Make sure you keep the air compressor handy.

The set up was relatively easy, as long as you have an air compressor. Blowing this up by mouth would take a decade.

Also, the material on this slide seems to be on the cheaper end, so it is prone to getting holes in it. Make sure you are a pro at patching vinyl. If you don’t mind having to repair a hole or two, then this is the inflatable slip-n-slide that is perfect for those who are on a budget or looking to save money on their summer entertainment.

Features:

  • Inflatable Slide
  • Splash pool
  • Boogie boards

Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 5 and up

Pros

  • Nice splash pool
  • Good for younger kids

Cons

  • The slide can collapse if not fully inflated
  • Cheaper material is prone to holes
  • Need an air compressor

Bonzai 16 Foot Triple Racer

At first look, the Bonzai 16 Foot Triple Racer looks like it would be a fantastic slip-n-slide. It has three lanes, sprinkler jets, includes boogie boards and has a splash pool at the end. Unfortunately, all of the awesome features don’t really matter because the poor construction of the slip-n-slide means you are probably not going to be able to enjoy it.

This seems on the slip-n-slide often don’t hold when put under the pressure of the water. Or the scenes holding together the different colors of a plastic rip when someone slides down the slip-n-slide. This is one of the most purchased slip-n-slides and yet it has some of the worst performance that we have seen.

If you do get a good Bonzai 16 Foot Triple Racer, you will probably enjoy a lot of fun hours on the slip-n-slide.

Features:

  • Three racing lanes
  • Splash pool
  • Bumpers with sprinklers
  • Boogie boards

Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 5 – 12

Pros

  • 16 feet long
  • fun splash pool
  • Boogie boards included

Cons

  • cheap material
  • not durable
  • poor seems

 

Conclusion & Recommendations

As far as the slip-n-slide goes, it really is a case of you get what you pay for. While some lucky people get some of the more inexpensive models to hold up, too often they are faced with broken seams, sprinklers and pools that won’t hold water. Others want a high-quality slip and slide that will last a lifetime.

The top choice for an inflatable slip-n-slide has to be the Intex Surf ‘N Slide. This has it all and will not leave you wishing you had bought a different model. If you prefer a more basic slide then you cannot go wrong with Little Tikes Wet and Dry or, if you have space, the Wahii.

It is all a matter of preference and even the lower end models of slip-n-slide are going to provide the entertainment value they were purchased for. If you don’t mind having to throw on a patch here and there then you may want to go with one of the Bonzai models. They all work well, assuming the seams hold.

No matter which slide you choose this summer, it is sure to keep you cool. Remember that you can’t put a price on family fun and entertainment, especially during that summer heat wave.

Slip ‘n Slide on Steroids

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