One of the greatest inventions for backyard fun must be the inflatable water slide and, in recent years, the industry has experienced amazing advances in ingenuity, size, safety, and just plain AWESOMENESS. If you are looking for the coolest, quality-made backyard inflatable water slides on the market, you are in the right place! Behold our ‘best of’ list for backyard inflatable water slides.

Top 10 Best Backyard Inflatable Water Slides List

(The links below will take you the each slide’s review.)

  1. Shark Park Inflatable Water Park
  2. 2 in 1 Ultra Combo Pack: Water Park and Bounce House Included
  3. Rocky Mountain River Race Inflatable Water Slide and Bouncer
  4. Pirate Blaster Inflatable Water Park
  5. Deluxe Inflatable Water Slide Park (5 Features Included!)
  6. Crocodile Inflatable Waterslide and Bounce House
  7. Sidewinder Falls Inflatable Water Slide
  8. Twin Falls Inflatable Backyard Water Park
  9. Tropical Marble Inflatable Water Slide
  10. 18-Foot Retro Inflatable Water Slide

History of Backyard Inflatable Water Slides

Oh, the good old days. As kids, we used to spread a whole roll of trash bags onto the grass and run hose water down it. We would run and slide down our makeshift waterslide.

Eventually, the Slip N’ Slide brand slip and slides emerged on the market and mums all over the world stopped wondering what had been happening to their trash bags! Slip N’ Slide still makes backyard slides that keep children entertained for hours. Below, I have included information on where to buy your very own brand name Slip ‘N Slide. The story does not end here! Slip N’ Slides are pretty epic, but leave it to millennials to think bigger.

In the early ’90s, personal playground sets popped up in the backyards of most middle-class American homes. These permanent playground fixtures were all the rage. A child of the 90s, I remember thinking my parents were bringing recess home with us when we got our first playground set! As summer heated up, playground sets did as well.

Kids on every block were aiming sprinklers at their playground sets to avoid burning their feet. Eventually, some brilliant child ran a hose down the slide of the playground set and the first backyard water slide was created!

Voila! I am sure these makeshift water slides caused more than a few injuries. After all, the plastic slides affixed to backyard playground sets are not designed to be more slippery than they are when dry. Add water, and you can imagine what happens.

After more than a few broken arms and many cases of grass rash, the inflatable water slide entered the market! Today, we have inflatable palaces with water slide towers and even bounce houses with 2 story high inflatable water slides!

My have we come a long way. From slip and slide to WAY UP HIGH!

Slip and Slides-Early Backyard Water Slides

Slip and Slides are still a fun way to keep cool and entertain the kiddos on a hot summer afternoon. If you do not want to invest in a backyard water slide of your own, you could make your own Slip and Slide, just like we did back in the day. Enlisting the help of your children for the Slip and Slide assembly is a great way to spend some quality time together.

DIY Slip and Slide

In the YouTube video below, posted by BabyLeague, DIY Dad explains how to make your very own Giant Backyard Slip and Slide. With a handful of items from your local hardware store, your kids will be slipping and sliding in no time! For your convenience, here is the list of products needed to build your own slip and slide: (with links for your convenience)

  1. Grass Hill or Slope
  2. Painter’s Plastic
  3. Ground Stakes (The tops of these stakes lay flat once hammered into the ground so you can avoid injuries if a rider runs over a ground stake.)
  4. Water Source (either your garden hose or a sprinkler)
  5. Bubble Solution (Baby Oil or Tear-Free Baby Wash mixed with water)
  6. Water Tubes or Mats (Optional)

Watch the video for assembly instructions. 

If you prefer reading about how to build an at-home Slip and Slide, refer to WikiHow’s How to Make a Long Slip and Slide.

Where to Buy- Slip and Slides

If you are not feeling all that handy, it is okay! Slip N’ Slide (the brand) still makes a great, quality product. Honestly, their products have become staples in American family homes. The traditional single rider slip N’ slide product is a thing of the past! Now, Slip N’ Slide makes double, even triple, rider Slip and Slides, as well as Extreme Slip and Slides.

Slip N’ Slide Triple Racer

 

Slip N’ Slide Wave Rider Double

 

Slip N’ Slide Single Rider

Why Purchase a Backyard Inflatable Water Slide 

Inflatable backyard water slides are great for graduation parties, birthday parties, Fourth of July gatherings or just a fun day in the sun.

Having your own inflatable water slide at your kids’ birthday party will make you the coolest parents on the block! Your child will also gain major popularity points with his friends after his birthday party goes down as the top party of the summer.

Waterslides are also great for adult gatherings, as they provide a wonderful activity to keep the children busy. A designated adult should always be supervising children at the water slide, but if you implement the safety bracelet strategy discussed below, all partygoers will have a chance to enjoy the adult party.

Here is a great YouTube video of a group of friends enjoying an afternoon of fun after renting the world’s tallest inflatable water slide for their very own backyard!

Although lots of fun was had to make this video, I do not suggest using dish soap to add slippage to your slides. Especially for younger children, making inflatable slides any more slippery than they already are could be dangerous.

Also, going headfirst is not suggested on any water slides, as most catch pools are too shallow for a headfirst entry. Remember to follow all safety rules outlined in each water slide manual, as well as the safety suggestions discussed in the following section of this article.

Hope you enjoyed the video! If you have any videos of your children enjoying their backyard inflatable water slide, drop a note in the comments. I would love to post some of your videos, especially if you decide to purchase one of our recommended products.

Safety of Backyard Inflatable Water Slides

Those of you with a pool and an inflatable water slide in your backyard should always hire two lifeguards to supervise children at your gatherings. If you can only afford to hire one, have the lifeguard supervise children in the pool and use the safety bracelet system (discussed below) to ensure proper supervision of children at the water slide.

Safety Bracelet System

Although supervision around any sort of water feature is ALWAYS recommended, inflatable water slides can be easier to supervise than a pool, as the water is usually no deeper than knee-high and fewer children can use the slide at one time.

We recommend having a designated adult, a.k.a. the slide watcher, at the water slide, while children are in the backyard.  The safety bracelet system allows all adults to enjoy the party equally while providing peace of mind that the children are supervised.

Purchase a bright-colored wrist band. For example, this is the product we use at our parties:

Every thirty minutes, a new adult gets to put on the wristband and supervise the children on the water slide. Each adult ends up with one or two shifts, depending on the size of your gathering.  This allows for maximum socializing time with other partygoers.  Children should be told at the start of the party to look for the adult with the wristband if they need help on the water slide.

Rent or Buy Backyard Inflatable Water Slides

Renting bounce houses and inflatable water slides is possible, but it is expensive.  Thumbtack.com reports the national average cost to rent an inflatable as follows:

national-average-rental-cost-of-inflatable-water-slides
Image by Thumbtack.com

However, prices differ depending on whether you rent a dry (bounce house), wet (water capable), or combination inflatable.  Wet inflatables and combination inflatables are priced higher than dry inflatables.

For a more in-depth analysis of rental cost, click here.

To check average rental costs in your zip code, use Thumbtack, Inc.’s rental cost calculator.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Backyard Inflatable Water Slide

  1. Well-Made, Quality Product
  2. Safe Product
  3. Age Appropriate
  4. Variety of Features (depending on what activities you want your inflatable to include)
  5. Affordability
  6. Ease of Assembly

Some inflatables come with a manufacturer’s warranty.  This can be very useful if you receive a defective product or the product breaks soon after purchase. (Aside from normal wear and tear, obviously!)  Remember to keep the instruction manual and any warranty paperwork included inside your inflatable purchase packaging.

How to Make Our ‘Best of’ List

Our list contains inflatable water slides which meet and exceed the criteria in ALL of the following categories:

1. Well-Made, Quality Product

The inflatable water slide is quality-made, will stay inflated as long as needed and will not fade in the sun. If the company manufacturing a toy has a bad reputation, its product will not make our list. Materials used to construct the products on our list are sturdy, tear-resistant, and able to withstand a mob of high energy children for hours!

2. Safe Product

Each inflatable water slide on our list has met the following standards for safety:

No Choking or Puncture Hazards

Slides are free from sharp objects, as well as detachable objects that may pose a choking hazard to young children.

Easily Supervised

All water slides are tested for solo adult supervision. In other words, the slide must be designed in such a way that a single adult can observe every child using the product at the same time, from a mostly fixed position.

In the time it takes to supervise different compartments, divided by barriers obstructing the supervisor’s view, a child may drown. Even if the risk is small, it is unacceptable. Therefore, products with features that include hidden compartments or barriers between sections are not included in our list.

Appropriate Rails and Barriers

Inevitably, rubber and water make for a slippery surface so proper rails are very important to ensure safety. Each water slide is slippery in the appropriate places, like on the slide itself. However, handrails, climbing walls, and other features attached to waterslides must be constructed with a surface easily gripped by children.

Proper barriers at the height of the slide and other ‘high off the ground’ features are necessary to prevent falls to the surrounding area.  All slides included in our list include all these safety features, reducing the risk of injuries.

NOTE: No matter how safe a product is, when water is involved, supervision is mandatory. A child can drown in less than 3 inches of water. Always have a designated supervisor when children are using a water-related product.

3. Age Appropriate

Every inflatable water slide on our list is fun for children, no matter the skill level. Although, children who are not able to walk may require assistance for some of the bigger slides and taller features.

Most inflatables are not able to hold twenty twelve-year-olds at a time.  In fact, the product will start to deflate and this may cause injury. Be careful to watch weight requirements on the slides, as some of the smaller slides are not made for children over a certain age.

Each slide has different age suggestions.  Some features, like a ring toss, may not keep older children entertained.  On the other hand,  a climbing wall may be too difficult for younger children.  Keep these potential situations in mind when deciding on a final purchase.

4. Variety of Features

All inflatables on our list have, at the very least, an awesome water slide. However, many of the products include other water features, such as climbing walls, bouncy compartments, and more. The more features, the more children a product will entertain at one time. However, some features may be too difficult for the youngest children. Please be aware of your child’s abilities and purchase accordingly.

All slides have fun colors, cool features, innovative designs, or all the above! Each is handpicked for its superb ability to provide hours of entertainment and fun in the sun.

5. Affordable

We get it! No one wants to break the bank for a children’s party, but these products can be used at every gathering you have throughout the summer, potentially for many years to come.

The products on our list are the most affordable, quality inflatable water slides on the market. Slides priced for extremely cheap prices, are usually severely lacking in quality and safety.

If you decide to buy a slide at a clearance price, do not be surprised when it pops in the middle of your party! Trust me, I have seen it happen. (I think my cousin still has nightmares of her son balling his eyes out, with twenty other 4-year-olds frowning in the background, twenty minutes into his birthday bonanza.) Not a fun memory, but we are thankful no one was hurt.

Point is, you get what you pay for when it comes to inflatable water slides but investing in a quality slide will provide entertainment for many summers to come!

6. Ease of Assembly

This one is self-explanatory. The assembly directions must be clear for a slide to make our list. An instructional video gains brownie points…or should I say gains a fish? 😉

The Scale of Fish

Dependent on performance during at-home testing, each water slide is assigned a specific ranking for each of the five categories listed above. All slides included on this list have received at least 3 fish in every category.  Rankings are assigned using a scale of 1-5 fish, as outlined in the following table:

Scale-of-Fish-Backyard-Inflatable-Water-Slides

Without further ado, here is our detailed list of the best inflatable water slides for months of backyard gatherings to come!

10 Best Backyard Inflatable Water Slides of 2019

1. Shark Park Inflatable Water Park Review

Slide by Blast Zone
Shark-Park-Inflatable-Water-Slide-Review

Note:  Blast Zone’s Shark Park received only 4 fish in the ‘Safe Product ‘Category because the Crawl Tunnel feature is not visible from all angles, making supervision a little more complicated.

PRICE: $599.99 (As of July 14th, 2019)

This price may seem high, but I have seen this inflatable last for over six years of summer gatherings.  The price is reasonable for such a quality-made, durable inflatable.

Where to Buy:


2. 2 in 1 Ultra Combo Pack: Water Park and Bounce House Included Review

Slide by Banzai

 

THE GOLDEN FISH!

Price: $685.19 (As of July 14, 2019)  This is a great price for two great units!  For less than 50% more than the average cost of an inflatable slide, a full-size bounce park is included! You do not want to miss this deal!  Plus, this product received five stars in ALL categories.

 Where to Buy:



3. Rocky Mountain River Race Inflatable Water Slide and Bouncer Review

Slide by Little Tikes


Rocky-Mountain-River-Race-Inflatable-Water-Slide-Review

Note: Rocky Mountain River Race only received 3 fish in the ‘Well-Made, Quality Product’ Category because, after a year or so of use(depending on how rough your children are), the seams around the grips on the climbing wall may start to come loose.

In the following YouTube video, TotsToyCollector demonstrates how easy the Rocky Mountain River Race Inflatable is to set up:

Price: 349.99 (On sale right now! Price as of July 14, 2019)

Where to Buy:


4. Pirate Blaster Inflatable Water Park Review

Slide by Blast Zone

pirate-blaster-inflatable-water-slide-review

Note:  The pirate blaster inflatable slide/bounce house is one of the best products on the market.  Unfortunately, we could only award 4 fish in the ‘Safe Product’ Category because supervision by one adult is difficult.  The dark safety netting around the bounce house distorts the supervisor’s line of sight and the splash area on the side of the water slide, as well as the crawl tunnel, is not visible from all angles.  However, this product received 5 fish in ALL other categories and we HIGHLY recommend it. 

Price: 599.99 (As of July 14, 2019)

Where to Buy:



5. Deluxe Inflatable Water Slide Park (5 Features Included!)Review

 

The Golden Fish

Note: This product received 5 fish in all categories!

Price: 529.99 (As of July 14, 2019)

Where to Buy:



6. Crocodile Inflatable Waterslide and Bounce House Review

Slide by Action Air

Action-Air-crocodile-inflatable-review

The Golden Fish

This YouTube video, by Kristian Simpson, shows two kids playing on the Action Air Inflatable:

Price:  389.99 (As of July 14, 2019)

Note: This product received 5 fish in all categories!

Where to buy:



7. Sidewinder Falls Inflatable Water Slide Review

Slide by Banzai

Sidewander-Falls-Inflatable-Water-Slide-Review

Note: Sidewinder Falls Inflatable only received 4 fish in the ‘Affordable’ Category because, at this time, it is priced higher than similar products of the same quality.  However, 5 fish were awarded in all other categories, making this product a great choice for summer fun!

This YouTube video, by the Droesslers, shows a family unboxing, setting up, and playing on the Sidewinder Falls Inflatable Water Park:

Price: 650.00 (As of July 14, 2019)

Where to Buy:



8. Twin Falls Inflatable Backyard Water Park Review

Slide by Kahuna

Kahuna-Twin-Falls-Inflatable-Backyard-Water-Slide-Review

Note: Twin Falls Inflatable Water Slide only received 4 stars in the ‘Well-Made, Quality Product’ and ‘Safety’ Categories because it’s construction poses a tipping hazard.  The climbing wall is positioned on the side, and if a heavier child is climbing the wall, it may cause the unit to start tipping over.  A proper weight balance should be observed.

Price: $559.99 (As of July 14, 2019)

Where to Buy:



9. Tropical Marble Inflatable Water Slide Review

Slide by TentandTable

Tropical-Marble-Inflatable-Water-Slide-Review

Note: This inflatable received only 3 fish in the ‘Variety of Features’ and ‘Affordable’ Categories.  It lost points in the features category as it only has waterslides.  Also, it was marked down in the affordable category because it is priced significantly higher than the other inflatables on our list.  However, it is a much bigger inflatable and very well-made.

Price: $2,399.99 (As of July 14, 2019)

Where to Buy:



10. 18-Foot Retro Inflatable Water Slide Review

Slide by TentandTable

Note: This inflatable received only 3 fish in the ‘Variety of Features’ and ‘Affordable’ Categories.  It lost points in the features category as it only has waterslides.  Also, it was marked down in the affordable category because it is priced significantly higher than the other inflatables on our list.  However, it is a much bigger inflatable and very well-made.

Price: $3,999.99 (As of July 14, 2019) Limited stock available.

Where to Buy:



So there you have it!  These are the best backyard inflatable water slides on the market.

If you want your kids to have the coolest summer swimsuits, check out our ‘best of’ swimsuits lists:

Best Toddler Boys’ Swimsuits – Summer 2019

Best Toddler Girl’s Swimsuits – Summer 2019

Please share your experience with any of these products in the comments section below.  Feel free to ask any questions you may have.  Have a great Summer and remember to BE SAFE and WATCH YOUR KIDS AROUND WATER.

-Ashley Aquatics

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25 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for this fabulous site. With two young ones at home I cannot begin to tell you how valuable this information is. How do we contact you for lessons

  2. When I was looking for inflatable slides I was always in shock at the cost! Thank you for posting these well worth products! It’s always nice to know about durability and warranties when spending a decent amount of money.