Why not cement your position as the best parent/guardian ever by adding an inflatable water slide to your garden? Not only will it encourage kids to put down their devices and get outside, but when they’ve had enough, you might even be able to have a go too!
Inflatable water slides come in all shapes and sizes – from your simple slip n’ slide with an inflatable ring to catch the slider at the end, to bouncy castle-like structures with built-in steps, tunnels, slides and pools (sadly, these types are not usually suitable for adults).
The best water slide for you will depend not only on your preference and budget, but also on the amount of space you have available. Some of these slides require several square metres of level lawn, with more space around for safety, so you’ll need a reasonably-sized garden.
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If you’ve got the space, and the desire to become the most sought-after house for summer playdates, check out our selection of the 5 best inflatable water slides. We’ve based this on their design, quality, affordability, and most importantly, the fun factor!
Our best inflatable water slide is more of an adventure playground – good luck getting the kids off this!
Cost: Price not available
Our favourite inflatable water slide had to be this dinosaur-themed design from Best Party. It’s got so many fun features that will keep up to 4 children aged 3 – 10 years entertained for hours – and all for a very reasonable price.
The slide includes an inflatable rock wall with heavy-duty grips, so kids can practice their climbing skills. This leads to a jumping area, with a slide on either side – that’s right, there’s not one, but two slides! At the bottom is a pool area and a water gun, for more splash-tastic fun.
Inflating the slide is easy, and only takes a few minutes using the included air blower (you will need to keep this running while children are playing). All you’ll need then is a hose attached to a tap to provide water, and your water slide – or water playground – is ready to be used.
Not only is this one easy to set up and super fun, it’s also got plenty of safety features, to put parents’ minds at ease. There are reinforced sidewalls made of netting to provide a safe, enclosed play area, and a mesh door, to allow parents to keep an eye on their children as they play.
The slide is made from durable 420D Oxford material, with an 840D jumping area, for added strength. Overall, this is both a practical and fun option, and the multiple play features, funky dinosaur design, and bright colours are guaranteed to delight younger children.
- Made from durable Oxford material.
- Includes 2 slides and multiple play features.
- Easy and quick to inflate, in just 2 minutes.
- Mesh netting makes for a safer play environment.
- Suitable for 3-4 children at a time (300lbs max. weight capacity).
- Takes a while to fully dry out for storage.
- Requires continuous power for the air blower.
- Not suitable for children under 3, or over 10.
Our best value inflatable water slide is another bouncy castle-style option
Cost: Price not available
If you’re impressed by all the features of the Best Party water slide, but you’re not looking to ‘splash’ so much cash, this Kids Inflatable Bouncy Castle by Costway might be the perfect compromise.
For a more affordable price, you get many of the same fun elements, including a climbing wall, slide, pool and water gun. There’s ‘only’ one slide, but we think we can forgive it that! You can use this one wet as a water slide, or leave it dry during cooler weather, and use as a bouncy castle/ play area.
Like the Best Party slide, this one can be inflated easily in just a few minutes using the included air blower, which means less hassle for parents. This inflatable playground is made from a premium, Oxford cloth material with double stitching, and there’s protective netting at the top to help keep kids safe while they play.
The mesh also means it’s easier for parents to supervise their children. As with the Best Party water slide, the safety instructions only recommended this for ages 3 – 10. There’s a maximum weight limit of 106kg, and 2 – 3 children can play at a time. If any damages to the slide occur with use, the included repair kit should enable you to fix it quickly.
Ultimately, this inflatable playground has many of the same fun features as the Best Party, and as long as you don’t mind sacrificing a little on the design (and an extra slide), we believe this one offers you the best value for money.
- Includes lots of fun elements, including a slide, climbing wall, pool and water gun.
- Protective mesh netting ensures safer play.
- Made from durable and non-toxic Oxford cloth material.
- Inflate in minutes using the included 450W blower.
- Includes carry bag, stakes and repair kit.
- Only suitable for children aged 3-10.
- Although good value, it’s not the cheapest option.
This super-long, double inflatable water slide is the largest available in the UK
Cost: Price not available
Our next slide is, as the name suggests, another sizeable model – the Splash Mountain by BeBop. If your kids are all about water slides, and not too bothered about any additional features, this could be the best choice for you – the manufacturer claims this is the largest inflatable water slide available for domestic use in the UK.
We’ll have to take their word for it, but with an overall size of 6.7m long and 3.3m high, we can easily believe it. There are 2 slide lanes, so children can play together or race each other, and a climbing wall on the opposite side, to enable them to reach the top. The pool at the bottom of the slides can be filled with water, for even more fun.
The slide is designed in the UK, to EN71 standards, and includes all the necessary equipment for set up, including a 680W fan. It’s suitable for children ages 3 – 10 years, which means older kids and teens will have to sit this one out as well. The maximum weight and height limit per user is 38kg and 145cm respectively, and no more than 2 children are recommended to use the slide at any one time.
This is the most expensive option here, but considering the amount of fun on offer, we still think it’s worth it. For a couple of youngsters, this super long water slide is sure to provide hours of entertainment on a hot day.
- Super long slide – the largest available in the UK.
- Includes 680W air blower, pegs, storage bag and repair kit.
- Quick to set up in just a few minutes.
- Made from durable PVC and nylon.
- Comparatively low max. weight limit of 76kg – only 2 children under 10 can play at a time.
- Priciest option on our list.
This traditional-style slip n’ slide is extra-long and has 2 lanes for racing
If you’re just after a traditional slip n’ slide, rather than an imposing bouncy castle, take a look at this Team Magnus Water Slide. At 9.5m, this extra-long slide is guaranteed to keep children aged 5 – 12 years happily sliding for hours at a time.
There are 2 lanes, so kids can race each other, a built-in sprinkler system, and an inflatable crash mat at the bottom, so they can stop safely. Also included with the slide are pegs to keep it in place, and waterproof duct tape, so you can easily repair the PVC material, in the event of any tears.
The clear advantage of this type of slide over the bouncy castle types is that it requires minimal setup – just blow up the crash barrier using an air pump, or blow it up yourself, and find a clear area of flat lawn to place it on. If you don’t have an outdoor tap and hose, you can use the slide with a bucket of soapy water instead, and it’s super easy to pack away too.
However, it has to be said that this slide is unlikely to last as long as the bouncy castle-style options. It can be prone to tearing, particularly along the central channel, and if used by older children. The manufacturer themselves only promise ‘a season’s use’ from the slide, so it’s hardly the most environmentally-friendly option either.
Despite the lack of additional features and the likely low life span, the affordable price of this slide still makes it a great option for a summer of fun.
- Extra-long slip n’ slide, made from durable 0.22mm PVC.
- Includes pegging system, crash mat, and waterproof duct tape for repairs.
- Minimal setup time, and low running costs.
- Built-in sprinkler system.
- Can be used with a bucket of soapy water if you don’t have a hose.
- Not as many features as the bouncy castle-style options.
- Not suitable for children under 5.
- Unlikely to last as long as other designs – prone to tearing.
This no-frills garden slide is by far the most affordable option – and it can be great fun for younger children
Finally, for a simple slip n’ slide without all the extras, this Rexco Soak & Splash is by far the most affordable choice.
At 4.87m, it’s half the length of the Team Magnus slide, which makes it more suitable for younger children – although the recommended age range is 5 – 12 years. There’s only one lane, but other children can be entertained by the sprinkler system while they wait their turn.
The slide is very easy to set up, and can be secured to the ground using the included stakes. It also takes up minimal space, so it’s perfect for smaller gardens, or if you want to try out a garden water slide before investing in a larger or more expensive option.
This isn’t the best quality slide on our list – the plastic is thin, and the sprinklers require a water pressure higher than that which is available in most households to reach the heights shown in the image.
However, for the ultra-low price tag, you really can’t expect too much – and it’ll still provide exciting, water-based fun on the few sunny days we’re likely to get this summer!
- Easy to set up and use.
- Includes stakes to secure it to the ground.
- Also includes a sprinkler system, for added fun.
- Highly affordable – our cheapest slide.
- Great for smaller gardens.
- Not the best quality – thin plastic.
- Needs high water pressure for the sprinklers to work.
- Comparatively short sliding length (4.87m).
- Only one child can slide at a time.
How Much Water Does A Water Slide Use?
Generally speaking, garden water slides need to be attached to a hose and outdoor tap, to provide the water. Assuming the tap is turned on to quarter flow, the slide will use approximately 4 litres of water for every minute of operation.
If you are concerned about using too much water, many inflatable slides can also be used with a bucket of soapy water instead, or enjoyed dry as bouncy castles.
Are They Dangerous?
Although accidents are rare, inflatable water slides do have the potential to be dangerous, especially if used incorrectly. To limit the risk of injury, make sure the slide is set up correctly, and always follow the safety instructions from the manufacturer – including adhering to any restrictions on age, weight and number of users.
Use the slide only on grass, not on hard surfaces, and remove any rocks, sharp objects or other obstructions from the area around the slide, to a minimum distance of 2 metres. Before use, check the slide over for signs of damage. Children should always be supervised when playing on water slides.
Proper maintenance of your water slide will also help to keep it in good condition and ensure it’s safe to use. Make sure to dry out the slide thoroughly before placing it in storage, to prevent mould, and repair any tears immediately, to prevent them worsening.
April is a freelance writer who specialises in writing about home and garden design and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.