Looking for the perfect pool toys to spruce up your pool party? Spoilt for choice and can’t decide which pool accessory to buy? When getting a pool float, there are a few factors to consider such as purpose, pool size, material and of course, personal preference. This guide will help you choose the best pool accessories to enhance your pool experience.
Why SHOULD you buy a float?
Let’s face it — If you’ve clicked on this article, you probably already plan on buying a float. Here are four reasons to assure you that floats are essential.
1. Fun: The first thing that comes to mind when people say float is the endless number of crazy or silly designs there are. With pool inflatables coming in a variety of shape and sizes, there’s no shortage of fun with them around!
2. Appeal: There’s a reason why pool floats are always present at pool parties; they have the ability to inject life into an otherwise dull and lifeless pool. With a couple of the right ones, you’ll be the coolest kid on the block in no time.
3. Relaxation: While there are several land alternatives for tanning or lounging under the sun, nothing beats the hard ground like floating gently on the water. Some floats just offer a degree of relaxation no deck chair ever can.
4. Versatility: Although floats usually come with a “pool” in their name, they can, in fact, be used in many other water bodies like beaches, lakes, and beaches. Talk about getting a bang for your buck!
FLOATS vs. RAFTS: what are the differences?
Pink flamingos, rainbow unicorns, rubber duckies…these are some of the more popular float designs that many tend towards. Floats typically prop their users into upright positions, which make them ideal for a leisurely drift around the pool. However, tanning or proper resting may be harder as users are unable to lie flat. Instead, some prefer floating around with a book in hand or simply to watch the children. The length of the floats can vary, with some long enough to keep one’s entire body dry, while others allow users’ legs to dip into the water. Some floats come with a drink chamber, or even multiple, like the Pool Beer Pong float!
On the other hand, rafts are typically flat. This requires users to either lie on their back or stomach, and some rafts even include a pillow section to cushion one’s head. However, its flat nature also restricts a user’s movement in the water, making it difficult to paddle properly. As rafts are usually long enough to support the length of the entire body, they make great floating beds for relaxing or sunbathing.
Suiting your style
With an array of different floats, it’s easy to understand why it’s hard to pick one. Here’s a rundown on the different types of floats so you can choose what’s best suited to your needs.
Classic Pool Floats
These are the traditional one-man floats that support lying flat and stretching your legs out. They can be inflatable, foam or even mesh. Mesh is a material which allows water to flow through, keeping you cool while you float under the sun.
Side-by-side Pool Floats
Catching up with a best friend or lover? These floats are great for spending intimate time together. They seat two people side-by-side, either in the same direction or facing each other.
Family Pool Floats
Spending time with a big group of friends or your entire or family instead? Not to worry, family pool floats fit large groups of people in a single float. Some of these family floats have circular designs which allow each passenger to face inwards, perfect for bonding. Some also feature built-in seats for added comfort and a hole in the middle for dangling one’s feet into the water. This makes it easy to watch the little ones instead of letting them float everywhere by themselves. While the family floats are good for keeping the group together, it’s important to consider size constraints. The family float is much larger than the typical classic float.
Baby Pool Floats
Swimming is an important life skill that should be taught at a young age. Toddlers and babies as young as six months can begin to learn how to swim. There are many baby pool floats which feature a secure seat that holds the baby in place, preventing them from wriggling out and dropping into the pool. Other designs include inflatable armbands or training vest. The inflatable vest features straps (just like a backpack) that ensures the baby doesn’t slip out from it.
Fun Pool Floats
Think wacky, think silly, and think fun! Pimp up your pool with some fun pool floats. Pizzas, sea turtles, teacups, or even giant islands — the options are endless. With their variety of colors and shapes, these floats offer flexible movement coupled with entertainment to start a party in your pool! Alternatively, pool noodles are another accessory people use for swimming, floating, or even play-fighting.
Material: which should you go for?
Different levels of activity and different types of users are important factors to consider when choosing your float or raft material. The lifespan of different materials varies with usage, as intense activities would require more durable materials. Pool owners with active children or pets may have to consider more hardy materials. Foam and inflatables are the two main materials used in making floats and rafts.
Foam pool accessories have a soft foam core covered by an outer vinyl layer. This material is pretty much exclusive to pool rafts. The thin quality allows the user to lay extremely close to the water surface, making one feel as though she/he is gliding. This thinness also makes the raft easy to store in small spaces. However, the foam is normally very dense, which make it heavier and harder to fold. On the bright side, the denseness allows the raft to float even if there are holes or small punctures, making it longer-lasting if kept properly.
Inflatable floats are made of vinyl and have to be blown up before you can use them. The bigger the float, the longer it would take to inflate. It’s important to also note that after blowing them up, you need to release the air to compress it again after every use, which makes it a bit of a hassle. Alternatively, you can consider using air pumps or an air compressor to reduce the workload. While it takes more effort before you can actually use it, inflatable floats have a far wider selection than foam. Since the float can also be deflated, it proves easier to store and carry around when traveling. As inflatables are made of a single layer of material, they are often cheaper than foam. However, this also makes them more prone to punctures. If you know your float may be in for a rough time, it’s advised to get those of durable material and even a patch kit. Patch kits can temporarily help contain leaks. For the more adventurous, there are rafts made of super hardy materials that can be used for intense water sports like white-water rafting. Time for a vacation outdoors!
Sifting through a vast selection of pool toys can be daunting, but you can be assured that there’s just the one for you. Float and rafts are a great addition to your pool experience, and hopefully, this guide has better informed you of which choice to make. Happy floating!