14 Best Inflatable Water Slides & Water Parks for Your Backyard

To help you save time in your quest for the best inflatable water slide/park we’ve broken the 14 models up into:

We’ve also including a handy Buying Guide and a Comparison Table so you have all the information you need at your finger tips.

Smaller Inflatable Water Parks & Water Slides

Let’s start with the smaller models, these are perfect for smaller backyards (and smaller budgets). But don’t worry, just because they aren’t as epic as some of the other Inflatables on the list doesn’t mean your kids won’t have a blast on them!

Intex Surf ‘N Slide Inflatable Play Center

Best on a Budget

If you’re looking for a pretty basic inflatable waterslide, then this offering from Intex is perfect for you and it comes in two super fun designs, a wave, and a really cool shark.

In the shark model, kids slide down through the shark’s mouth, which adds a fun (and maybe scary!) element to the slide.

This slide is perfect for little ones, with manufacturers recommending use for ages 3 and up. Most reviewers estimate 6-7 years is the maximum for use, although with a 175lb weight limit, even Mum or Dad could potentially have a go (carefully).

The weight limit also means little ones can have their friends over to use and play on this water slide, although official recommendations are to only have 1 user at a time, so some patience will be required.

Both models are made from 16 gauge vinyl and come with two surf riders with heavy-duty handles to keep the little ones safe as they ride their way down the slide.

Other features include an under landing mat for extra padding, climbing steps with handles, garden hose attachment for spraying and wetting the sliding surface. This water slide also comes with side handles for easy transport once it’s inflated. It also comes with a repair kit.

Things to Consider

It’s important to note that this model doesn’t come with a blower and does have 6 separate compartments that need to be inflated as well as the wave riders, which can be time-consuming if your blower is not powerful enough. Some reviewers complain about leaks with this model, but the majority of reviews are positive.

What We Like:

Easy to dry and store between uses
The slide stays wet so kids won’t get “Slide Burn”
Very affordable when compared with other options
Splash pool is large enough to cushion kid’s landing
It holds inflation pretty well over long daily sessions of play

Our Concerns:

The weight capacity is limited
It is just a slide so kids may get bored quicker than they would with some of the larger choices on the list

Sportspower My First Inflatable Water Slide

Great Value for the Money

This model from Sportspower is a slight step up from the Intex Surf ‘N Slide Play Center with a steeper slide, splash pool and super cool water cannon which will keep kids entertained for hours as they aim water at their friends flying down the slide.

This model also recommends use for up to 3 kids at once, compared to only one in the Intex model. Although, the weight limit of 132lb might restrict the number of kids who are realistically able to play on this water slide.

It’s important to note that there are some discrepancies in the weight limit with online limits varying from 100lb – 250lb, but instructions included in the model state 132lb.

This inflatable water slide comes with its very own powerful in-built ground fault circuit interrupter and blower, which makes assembly pretty easy and should only take 5 minutes according to the manufacturer.

It’s also important to note that this water slide is made from extremely durable polyester with a PVC coating for added strength.

The Sportspower Inflatable Water Slide also comes with ground anchoring for proper setup and stability and the manufacturer makes mention of meeting ASTM safety standards, which is an important inclusion for many parents. This model also comes with great ratings on Amazon with 4.4/5 stars.

Watch Video

What We Like:

Easy setup and generous size with air blower; can be set up in under five minutes.
Durable and heavy-duty
Inflates quickly, preventing a long wait for the kids
Has an exterior mesh pocket where kids can store their shoes.
Three children can use the bouncer at the same time.
The slide can be used as a water slide or as a dry one

Our Concerns:

The maximum weight capacity is quite low; It has a low weight limit of 132 lbs.
No splash pool
Does not offer much variety of play

Banzai The Plunge Inflatable Water Slide and Pool

Awesome Slide With Large Splash Pool

Banzai The Plunge Inflatable Water Slide and Pool

This offering from Banzai is a great option for families with a few kids who want to spend their time in the water. Offering a huge 12’ splash pool and much steeper slide than the other models we’ve seen so far, the Plunge can easily fit a few kids (and even adults) looking to cool off during summer.

This model also comes with a detachable water spraying hose for kids to have fun with, as well as an in-built blower and patch kit.

This slide is pretty steep – the name says it all with the slide being a real plunge! It is relatively short though which might take away some of the fear factor. This might be a little scary for some little ones, but the pretty big pool at the bottom means they can be happy splashing around until they’re ready to use the slide.

With the in-built blower, assembly is easy and should only take a few minutes (less than 3) according to the manufacturer. It’s important to note that the blower is designed to be on constantly, which may put some parents off from a utilities perspective (this is extremely common for many inflatable water slides and parks).

Some reviewers complain that without the constant work of the blower, the Plunge can begin to collapse. However, the constant airflow coupled with the heavy-duty Dura-Tech construction helps to resist small tears and punctures.

Things to Consider

When compared to the Sportspower and Intex models, the Banzai has more complaints about stability and tears, but it by far offers the largest splash pool of the three models. As a result this model is likely perfect for little ones who are more interested in the splashing than the sliding, or maybe for parents who’d like to cool off with the kids.

What We Like:

Easy to setup
More affordable than full sized Water Park
Fits in smaller backyards

Our Concerns:

Takes a long time to dry completely

Little Tikes Slam ‘N Curve Water Slide

Great Design from a Name You Know & Trust

The Little Tikes Slam ‘N Curve is one of the most popular inflatable water slides on the market. Including a raft of features such as a challenging inflatable rock climbing wall and a curved slide for a gentle landing, a basketball hoop and ball and a separate splash pool area which will avoid any heavy landing accidents from the slide.

The Little Tikes model also has one of the highest weight limits of all of our more basic inflatable water slides at 350lb and a maximum 3 child limit.

This coupled with the separate play areas (climbing wall, basketball hoop and slide) means that the little ones won’t be too frustrated waiting for friends to finish using the slide, which may be an issue with other models only offering a slide and pool.

The Little Tikes also includes a heavy-duty blower, which should ensure assembly only takes approximately 2 minutes. It also has 4 included stakes for the blower and 6 to anchor the bouncer, which adds to its stability. The blower does have to run continuously similar to most of the other models.

This model also comes with a 90-day warranty for the polyester inflatable fabric bouncer.

This model also has one of the best customer reviews on Amazon of all of the water slides with 4.6/5 stars. Many reviewers make mention of the fact that this water slide doesn’t take up too much storage space and once dry can fit back in it’s bag which is another huge draw for many parents.

This is notable since a common complaint with many inflatables is that they don’t fit back in their bag once deflated.

Watch Video

What We Like:

The footholds hold up well to countless climbs
Can be used without water
Easy to fold, dry, and store after use
Puncture-resistant material and easy setup
High load capacity and multiple features

Our Concerns:

The stitching could be better
Does not hold air well
Prolonged exposure to sunlight can damage the seams

Blast Zone Hydro Rush Inflatable Water Park

Our Favorite Mid-Range Slide & Splash Model

Blast Zone Hydro Rush Inflatable Water Park

The Blast Zone is probably our favorite of the more simple inflatable water parks in the roundup. It by far has the best reviews and matches the Little Tikes model for features to keep lots of little ones occupied.

This is especially important since the Blast Zone can accommodate 6 kids at once, despite the weight limit being lower than the Little Tikes model at 200lb (versus the Little Tikes 350lb).

Features include a curved 10-foot slide, 2 overhead sprayers, a generous separate splash area with a water canon and a climbing wall.

Again, these separate play areas mean that several little ones can be occupied at the same time without having to grow impatient waiting for the slide to become free.

The Blast Zone is made from commercial grade vinyl and quadruple heavy duty stitching. It also includes a blower which provides constant airflow and anchor stakes to improve the stability of the water park.

The powerful blower means that assembly should be fast and only take 2 minutes according to the manufacturer. The Blast Zone also comes with a DVD to walk you through set up. Finally safety netting adds to the overall safety of this model.

Matching the Little Tikes for ratings, the Blast Zone also has 4.6/5 stars on Amazon and the reviewers seem impressed with its durability and stability. The main complaint is that its carry case is too small for most parents to use it reliably for storage.

The Blast Zone is also the biggest of the slide and splash models which can accommodate a few little ones.

Watch Video

What We Like:

It can accommodate up to six kids
Commercial-grade vinyl means this is one durable slide
A 10 ft. tall curved water slide
Features a return path so the kids won’t exit the park
Strong foot holes and handles for climbing the wall

Our Concerns:

There is no bottom plug for quick drainage
Some complaints about plastic coating sloughing off in wading pool
It can only hold up to 200lbs when inflated
It can only hold up to 200lbs when inflated

KidWise Splash Landing Waterslide With Water Cannon

Tunnel & Cannon For Extra Fun

KidWise Splash Landing Waterslide With Water Cannon

This KidWise model is pretty similar to the Blast Zone Hydro Rush above but includes a fun tunnel as an alternative entrance to the splash pool. Other features include a curved slide with overhead sprayers, a large splash pool with a water canon, climbing wall and the aforementioned tunnel.

Its dimensions are smaller than the Blast Zone, which may appeal to some parents who have smaller usable space in their backyard. It has the same 200lb weight limit, but only recommends use by 2 kids at once.

Again, the option of the separate play areas means that several little ones can use this inflatable water slide happily without having to wait for the slide.

It also includes a blower and 9” anchor stakes to add to the stability of the water slide. Once again, the blower does need to continuously operate while this unit is in use.

Made of heavy-duty Oxford Nylon and coated vinyl material, the KidWise Splash Landing Waterslide also has double stitched reinforced seams and also includes a patch kit, which is handy in case of any little tears or rips.

This KidWise model also comes with a 1-year blower warranty and 30-day bounce house limited warranty, which isn’t quite as long as some of the other 90-day limited bounce house warranties.

Finally this model is ASTM compliant puncture and fire resistant.

Bestway H2OGO! Turbo Splash Water Zone Mega Water Park

Best Budget Pick Water Park

The Bestway H2OGO! Turbo Splash Water Zone Mega Water Park is our best budget pick. Coming in about $100 cheaper than similar models and only slightly smaller than the Kidwise, Blast Zone and Little Tikes models, the Bestway H2OGO! has a similar lineup of features, which makes it a great alternative.

Featuring a curved slide, climbing wall with mesh walls to prevent falls and a water splash pool with a moveable built-in water blaster to spray at siblings or parents (so much fun!).

Finally a water dispenser that periodically dumps water is a super fun surprise for kids that also keeps the slide wet. It also has a mesh shoe storage area to keep shoes dry and close by, which is a lovely thoughtful touch not included in many other models.

The Mega Water Park is constructed to meet all ASTM safety standards with OVC-coated polyester material that’s durable and lightweight. An electric blower is included which means that according to the manufacturer, you can assemble the water park in less than 2 minutes.

The park also comes with 8 stakes to ensure stability and security, as well as a repair kit. With 4.3/5 stars on Amazon, the most common complaints are about tears in seams not being covered by warranty, the quality of the slide and the weight of the model for storage.

While ripping can be a common complaint for many inflatable models, the quality of the slide is an issue for a model where the main attraction could arguably be the slide.

Watch Video

What We Like:

Great for small backyards
Comes with a picnic table, mailbox, and grill.
Made from high quality materials
Meets the height requirement

Our Concerns:

Difficult assembly
Not suitable for kids over 6 or 7
Roof can detach in high winds

Mid-Size Inflatable Water Parks & Water Slides

Banzai Slide N Soak Splash Park

Great Design & Affordable Price

As with our previous three models, this Banzai model offers several different play areas for little kids who want to play together.

With a similar raft of features to our previous models, the Banzai Slide ‘N Soak includes a climbing wall, water slide, side rain shower and overhead sprinkler to keep the slide wet. We love the option of a couple of different water shower options for the kids.

It also features anchoring water bags, secure ground stakes and mesh safety barriers. The large lagoon pool is great for little ones who love to lounge in water, especially because of the overhead sprinkler, which will keep them cool during those hot summer afternoons.

The Banzai also comes with a blower and according to the manufacturer should only take 2 minutes to inflate.  Another important feature is that this model is compatible with a regular garden hose,

This model comes in at a lower star rating than other models with only 3.5/5 stars on Amazon. Most complaints are of a similar nature to other models with rips in seams or complaints about drying time.

While we love the fun features and huge lagoon pool of the Banzai Slide ‘N Soak Splash Park, the poor star rating and low weight limit may put off some parents.

What We Like:

It’s very strong, even a few adults can use it
Slide works well and provides plenty of fun for the 5-10 years kids
Easy to break down and dry out
Sets up quickly (in 2 minutes) and easily
An impressive, kid-focused design
Large and spacious pool area for comfortable play

Our Concerns:

Expensive price
It takes up a lot of space and is difficult to dry and store away
It requires more water than some of our other picks to function properly.

Banzai Sidewinder Falls Inflatable Water Park

Curved Slide & Tunnel

We love this enormous Banzai Sidewinder falls for its super long curvy slide and sheer size! This model is 10 feet tall, which is nearly 2 feet taller than the last couple of models we looked at. This means it’s a great option for some bigger kids, larger families or just to be the talk of the neighborhood.

The weight limit is 120lb, but with so much room, this is a great model for a big family, or a family with real water lovers who want a model which will work for kids as they grow summer after summer.

The individual weight limit is 120lb meaning it’s perfect for big or little kids and it can happily host 5-6 kids at a time, which is great for parties, BBQs or just big families!

The Banzai also has a tunnel-sliding ramp which means there’s two sliding options for kids! This is great for a family who has big and little kids since the slide might be too much for some of the little ones.

It also has a climbing wall, a large lagoon pool, and a tower with mesh walls to keep kids safe and be the perfect place for secret meetings or counting for hide and seek!

Unfortunately it doesn’t have the same water cannon that some of the other models have, which may not be an issue for some parents. A blower and repair kit is also included and as with many other models, the blower needs to be continuously operating while the slide is in use.

The Banzai Sidewinder also comes with water bags and ground stakes for both the blower and the water slide for added security and stability of the model.

The sidewinder is made from sturdy Duratech materials and includes cushioned rubber which will soften any of the little ones landing and keep them playing for hours.

Things to Consider

This model does have a slightly higher number of complaints about seam tears than some of our other models and there is no mention of double or triple stitching at any of the seams as there is with the KidZone or BlastZone models.

Amazon star rating is 3.9 out of 5 stars for this enormous inflatable water park from Banzai. Finally many reviewers mention that due to the size of this model, proper drying can be an effort but is incredibly important for proper storage for multiple summers in a row.

What We Like:

Many kids can play in the same time
A quick inflation time of fewer than 3 minutes
It has excellent versatility; watch your kids crawl through the tunnel, splash about in the generous pool, or slide down the cushiony diving ramp!

Our Concerns:

Quite heavy to carry (67 pounds)
Quite costly
Only suitable for children aged five and over

Little Tikes River Race Rocky Mountain Slide Bouncer

Double Slides with Tunnel

Little Tikes River Race Rocky Mountain Slide Bouncer

The River Race Rocky Mountain is the bigger sibling of the Little Tikes Slam ‘N Curve, but is not quite as big as our previous two Banzai models. It’s more comparable in size to the KidWise Splash or the Bestway H20Go! with the very obvious draw card being the awesome double slide design.

Little Tikes absolutely know what they’re doing as will with a hefty 350lb weight limit meaning a older kid could potentially take a little one down the slide. The manufacturer recommends no more than 4 kids using the water park at one time though.

Other features include a climbing wall, overhead splashers to keep the slides wet and a surprise dumping water bucket for extra fun and to keep the little ones cool.

This design is probably more appropriate for little ones rather than big kids, with a relatively small splash pool at the bottom of the two slides, although if your family had a mixture of ages it would work just fine. It is really well thought out for little ones though and it a great model for a social water baby who loves having friends to play.

The Little Tikes River Race Rocky Mountain also comes with a blower (which must run continuously), repair kit, stakes to anchor the bouncer and has a 90-day limited warranty on the polyester inflatable fabric bouncer and a 1-year limited warranty on the blower.

The main downfall of this model is the construction material which is all nylon as opposed to many other models which are PVC or PVC and nylon. As a result, this model may not withstand too many kids using it at once. Despite this, it still has pretty great Amazon reviews.

L.O.L Surprise!

This model also comes in a super sweet pink design which is called the L.O.L Surprise! It’s the exact same feature-wise but is very different looks wise and may appeal to some little princesses who prefer the pink look.

Watch Video

What We Like:

High weight capacity of 350 lbs, or four children
It offers fantastic variety; it includes a climbing wall, two slides, and a splash pool
The design allows you to always see what’s going on
Comes with a built-in dump bucket that pours water on kids while climbing the wall
Puncture-resistant material – Includes a repair kit and a storage bag

Our Concerns:

Short warranty on fabric, only 90 days
Gets moldy easily; therefore, must be dried properly before storage
Roof can detach in high winds

Larger Inflatable Water Parks

Blast Zone Pirate Blaster Inflatable Water Park

Most Popular Inflatable Water Park

Blast Zone Pirate Blaster Inflatable Water Park

This is our number one pick from the larger inflatable water park options. As with the majority of the Blast Zone products, the reviews are great and kids absolutely LOVE the super cool features.

This model takes the inflatable water park to a whole new level with its awesome mini-bouncer with safety netting and commercial vinyl bounce floor.

Other features of the Pirate Blaster include two water cannons that can be maneuvered to spray at unsuspecting siblings or parents as rascal pirates are want to do. It also has a slide, crawl tunnel, climbing tunnel and a pretty massive splash pool.

It includes all the features of previous models and with the addition of the bouncer, you will truly win summer with this model. Obviously it is absolutely huge, so if you’re considering this model, ensure that you measure your usable space prior to purchase.

The hefty 600Lb weight limit (with 200lb limit on the slide) and recommended use for 6 kids alongside all of the features means that you’ll keep your family and their friends occupied for hours. The enormous splash pool means that even parents can recline in the cool with a drink while the kids play.

From a safety perspective, the materials are high-strength X-Weave and commercial vinyl as well as double and quadruple-stitched reinforced assembly.

The park comes with ground stakes, a blower and sprayer assembly with a flow regulator, and a DVD for ease of assembly. Assembly should take under 2 minutes with the powerful included blower which is pretty impressive for such a huge model.

An important note before discussing the reviews is that this model has recently been updated. Previously called the Pirate’s Bay, the model was much the same other than one feature.

The new Pirates Blaster model has higher bounce walls for better protection and importantly includes a return path to the climber. This is important because, in the previous Pirate’s Bay model, kids feet would become covered in grass and dirt as they returned to the climber across the backyard surface unless parents put a tarp down (which could be slippery).

In the new model, the pool is expanded so kids don’t have to get out to go to the splash pool. This means no more dirty feet and a bigger pool area.

You can still purchase the well-reviewed previous Pirate Bay model for about $100 cheaper than the Pirates Blaster if those things aren’t an issue, but the new model looks much the same and we are anticipating similarly excellent reviews for the update.

With an astounding 4.8/5 stars on Amazon, this is an amazing option for an inflatable water park.

Watch Video

What We Like:

Generous size with multifunctional recreational uses for kids to enjoy
Commercial-grade impact surfaces for prolonged and safe use
Fast, trouble-free assembly – Inflatable in just two minutes
Has a substantial bouncer
Big splash area
The bounce and slide surface are assembled with multiple heavy duty stitches

Our Concerns:

It can be challenging to plug a water hose into the slide – and it is prone to leaks
Difficult to clean

Blast Zone Crocodile Isle Water Park

My Top Pick!

Blast Zone Crocodile Isle Water Park

Another excellent option from Blast Zone, this super cool Crocodile Isle Water Park truly feels like a real jungle paradise water park with its huge splash pool where kids can cool off when they’re tired of climbing and sliding.

It’s a great and much bigger alternative to the Little Tikes River Racer if having dual slides is a must for you.

We love it for it’s massive splash pool and the fact it can accommodate up to 5 kids at once, which means there’s plenty of room for big kids and little ones.

It has a much lower weight limit than the previous Pirate Blaster model from blast zone, coming in at 300lb (as opposed to 600lb on the Pirate Blaster), but is also about $300 cheaper.

Other than the dual slides and massive splash area, there’s also a climbing ramp and a climbing wall, so this is a great option for kids who have the energy to burn.

From a safety and materials perspective, as with all Blast Zone products, the Crocodile Isle is made from commercial grade vinyl on all slide surfaces and X-Weave material on others with heavy duty quadruple stitching and also has safety netting.

It comes with a blower, sprayer assembly, and an instructional DVD for ease of assembly. It also has a 1-year warranty on both the inflatable and the blower and a 2-year “promise” on the kit.

Reviewers love this model with a 4.7/5 stars on Amazon and many making mention that they’re used it for multiple seasons when it’s well taken care of.

The main complaints are about cleaning and taking the enormous water park down, which is understandable due to its size. If you’re prepared for the maintenance, then it seems that Crocodile Isle can give you years of summer fun.

Watch Video

What We Like:

Epic size
Commercial-grade impact surfaces for added durability
No exit reduces the chances of grass and debris entering the lagoon
Big splash area accommodates up to 6 children with room to spare
The bounce and slide surfaces are assembled with multiple heavy-duty stitching
Sturdy construction – Features commercial-grade impact surfaces
Long 108-inch slide

Our Concerns:

Takes a long time before drying
Difficult to take down – It is quite heavy and cumbersome to put away
Filling it with water may take a while

KidWise Dinosaur Rapids Water Park

Best Dinosaur Themed Inflatable Water Park

KidWise Dinosaur Rapids Water Park

This extremely cool inflatable water park also comes in a Crocodile design

For all of the young archeologists and dinosaur lovers out there, this is an amazing option for an inflatable water park. We think this is a great middle option for the large inflatable water parks in terms of price, size and accessories.

It has all the features of others, including a fun really design where it’s double slides are the dinosaur’s mouth and tail respectively – so fun for the little ones to play running away by sliding down the tail or being brave and escaping through the mouth.

Other features include a water canon, basketball hoop, crawl tunnel, climbing wall and splash pool. Safety wise there are protective mesh walls to prevent falls up top while choosing which slide to go down.

The Dinosaur Rapids Water Park also comes with an air blower and it has a garden hose attachment to keep the water flowing.

The notable absences from this model are the lack of sprinklers / water sprayers, but the hose attachment might make up for that for many parents. The generous 400lb weight limit means that the Dinosaur Rapids can be used by big or little kids and a few at once for big families, growing families or social water babies who love parties.

The super fun thing about this KidWise model is that it also comes in a crocodile design for kids who are into more modern dinosaurs. The crocodile model has all the same features and the only difference is in the design.

Most Kidwise models come with come with anchor stakes and are made of heavy duty nylon and vinyl with reinforced double stitch seams. This model doesn’t specifically mention these features though.

What We Like:

Heavy laminated and coated vinyl and nylon material – Double-stitched reinforced seams and reinforced jump surface
ASTM compliant puncture and fire resistant
Easy to set up and take down
Up to a 400 lbs weight limit with 4 kids overall

Our Concerns:

Only 2 kids at 100 lbs each on the slides at a time

Blast Zone Misty Kingdom Water Park

Use Wet or Dry!

This is a little bonus for anyone looking for great versatility in their inflatable bounce and water parks. This model from Blast Zone can be used inside or out, during warm or cool weather, which is amazing for anyone with enough space and who doesn’t have a long summer.

Size and price wise it’s comparable to our medium size models but it has a bigger age range and larger weight limit that is more comparable to the larger options.

Features of this model include a slide, bounce house with safety mesh walls, a ball pit, splash zone and a sprayer system. It’s important to note that you have to buy the balls separately as they do not come with the model.

The real tradeoff with this model is that there is no big splash pool and the slide is much smaller than with other models, so if your kids are true water babies, then I would probably gravitate towards some of the other options above. However, if your kids are really active all year long, then this is going to be great for you.

This is really great for super busy kids who don’t need water to have fun and who love bouncing, sliding, climbing and playing. The idea is that you bounce and use the ball pit in winter while in summer you fill the splash pool with water and attach the sprayers

As with all Blast Zone models, the safety features and materials are top notch for this water park with commercial grade vinyl impact surfaces, double and quadruple-stitched reinforced assembly and X-weave material on other surfaces for added durability. It also has numerous anchor points for safety and a blower included.

Things to Consider

There is a bit of a trade-off with the Misty Kingdom. The fact that you can use it both wet and dry is great as it means you can use it year-round… BUT… as a pure water park, I think there are better choices. While kids do love the bouncy house, the Misty Kingdom lacks a substantial splash pool, and the water slide is less than epic.

If you will be using your water park mostly during the summer Blast Zone’s Pirate Blaster is very similar and is probably a better choice in most situations.

Watch Video

What We Like:

Can be used all year round – dry or wet play time
Huge – 13 feet wide, 14 feet deep and 8 feet high
Inflates in two minutes (includes blower)
4 different activities in one inflatable

Our Concerns:

Pretty big drop so smaller children might need to be careful

Backyard Water Slide Buying Guide

If you’ve decided an inflatable water park or water slide is for you, then you’re about to have some very happy little kids this summer!

Water parks and water slides are the perfect way to keep little water babies entertained for hours during the heat of summer. It’s important to note that for the majority of these models you need access to running water as well as electricity to keep blowers going to keep your water park or water slide inflated and full of water!

How do you choose the best inflatable water park or inflatable water slide for your backyard? We have six inclusive categories that are worth your consideration prior to making your purchase.

Extend the Life of Your Inflatable Water Toys

inflatable water toys and pool

A note before we begin. If you begin looking into these super fun items for kids, you’ll see that there are many complaints about tears and rips in seams, particularly after a prolonged storage during winter.

This is natural considering we’re talking about an inflatable item that there will be some failure. Many models come with repair kits as I’ve mentioned below, but your best bet is to do your best to dodge rips and tears all together.

You can avoid this to some degree in your choice of materials (below), but there are also other precautions you can take. Proper drying of your inflatable water park or water slide is absolutely key to maintaining it prior to packing it up. You should also clean it thoroughly to avoid any mold or mildew and this also seems to help avoid rips and tears.

Happy reviewers also mention placing their inflatable water park or slide on a tarp as an additional way to preserve it for the future.

All of this may sound like a lot of work, but it will save you the ultimate disappointment of pulling your inflatable water park next summer and finding rips or tears, or even worse, starting to inflate it and cracks turning into tears as your kids start to use it.

With all that being said, let’s get into our buying guide!

Age of the Kids

children happily playing with water

There are two things to consider in this category:

  • How old your kids are right now?
  • How long you think they will use the water slide or water park for?

If you have very little kids, then you may be restricted by the age limits for some inflatable water slides and water parks. Each model will have criteria for the age and weight maximums of the users.

If your kids are a little older, or if you’re considering buying something for the whole family to use, including adults, then the age limit and weight capacity will be an important consideration, so be sure to check (we include these on all of our reviews).

If you have true water babies at home, then consider buying an inflatable water park or slide that will grow with them. If your kids love playing outside with water, it’s a great idea to invest in a model that will keep them entertained for a few years.

Many of our recommended inflatable water slides and parks are durable enough to last years, even with vigorous use and many are easy to disassemble for storage when it gets colder.

Size / Height / Weight / Available Space

inflatable water slide in the backyard

Some considerations in this category:

  • How much usable space do you have for your inflatable water park or slide?
  • What shape would suit your space best?
  • What is your storage capacity?

For this category, we talk about usable space. This is important. You want a fairly flat, unobstructed space for your inflatable water slide or water park. An overhanging tree could present danger to a child moving quickly down the slide for example. There should also be ample room around your slide for little ones to run around it without any trip hazards.

It’s also important to ensure there is nothing nearby which could potentially puncture your new water slide or water park. Nothing will ruin the joy of this excellent new toy like rapidly escaping air!

If you don’t have a lot of space, don’t despair! Inflatable water slides and parks come in all shapes and sizes and will take up different types of space depending on their shape.  The best thing to do it to measure your usable space and have those set dimensions when considering which model to buy.

Finally consider how much weight and storage capacity you will have if you pack your inflatable water park up for the winter. Some models can weigh up to 100lb or more and while most fold down considerably, some of the larger models will still take up a bit of space in a cupboard or garage.

Best Water Slide Materials

little girl enjoying her water slide pool

It’s important to consider materials and the level of durability of your water park or slide. Cheap materials will not only wear out quickly, but also will impact the stability of the water slide or water park itself. Most inflatable water slides or parks are made from:

  • Laminated polyester
  • Chemical Grade Nylon
  • PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
  • Synthetic Rubber
  • Neoprene

Most manufacturers choose PVC over other materials due to its quality of elasticity and high quality PVC will usually last for years with considered care. Chemical grade nylon is another great choice as it’s also good in terms of elasticity and is also durable and lightweight.

Care is another important consideration, since whenever we’re dealing with inflatable toys, punctures can happen, so it’s important to think about how you would potentially patch any holes.

Some manufacturers sell repair kits on their sites and others will include them with their models, so be sure to check this out when purchasing. Without access to a repair kit, you’ll have to call a company or a repair man which would add to the cost of ownership.


kid enjoying the water slide

Durability is a part of the consideration for materials and again, here most manufacturers use PVC or nylon for that reason. Some inflatable water parks or water slides will have double layers of material and extra stitching to prevent punctures and tears.

Whether you need to spend money on a more durable model really depends on your kids. First of all, we come back to the question or how long you’ll use the water slide for. If you’re planning on using your water park for many years, then you definitely want to go for durability and it’s worth paying money for extra layers of materials and stitching.

Even if you think your kids will get a couple of summers out of your water slide but will use it every single day, it’s worth going for a stronger model.

Finally, how enthusiastic are your kids with their toys? Do your little ones love their toys to death? Is their play style more rough and tumble than calm and quiet? If that’s the case then durability is going to be key for you! Definitely choose a stronger model that comes with a good repair kit.


Finally a word on safety. It’s a great idea to check to ensure that your inflatable water park or slide of choice meets ASTM safety standards.


boy holding money and boy playing on water slide

This is the big one for many families and the prices vary wildly, especially when considering both inflatable water slides and inflatable water parks.

As a general rule you’re looking at paying at least $100 for a simple inflatable slide with an air blower (more on that below) with prices ranging well over $1000 for an extensive inflatable water park with tunnels, slides and water canons.

The good news is that if you’re looking for a sizeable inflatable water park with lots of fun features, the majority range from $300 – $700.

Accessories and Features

kid in a candy themed water slide pool

There are so many really fun added extras that you can choose from. From water canons, ladders, splash pools, tunnels and basketball hoops to super fun pirate, shark, crocodile or princess themes, there’s something to please every kid.

Our advice is to think about the things that your kids will get the most joy from, coupled with an inflatable water slide or park of the right size and again, consider how long your kids will use it for. If you think your little ones will love a tunnel but your big kids can’t fit in it, then it won’t be the best accessory for your family.

The only addition we strongly recommend going for is a blower to inflate your water park or water slide. The vast majority of inflatable water parks or slides do come with one and it makes your life infinitely easier to not only assemble, but also keep your water slide or water park inflated with a blower.

Water Slides & Water Parks Comparison Table

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top
slot gacor