Above ground pool ladders have come along way in the 30 some years I have been building them. Ladders that used to take hours to build now take minutes. Instead of a hundred parts a nice resin ladder may be only three or four parts.
Above ground pools are getting taller. Years ago all above ground pool ladders were either for a 36" pool or a 48" pool. Now they have added 42", 52" and 54". Most of the newer resin ladders have adjustments built in to accommodate pools from 48" to 54".
Deck ladders have changed also. Years ago you would simply cut off half of your A-frame ladder and mount the inside portion to your wood pool deck. Now they make special ladders for deck mounting.
The ideal ladder for me is one that will be adjustable enough to fit snugly on the top rail of the pool and have a means of secure attachment to a rail or deck. The outside portion of the ladder should then be either removable or swing up and lock in the up position. You would never want a child to drown in your pool.
This is a solid, fully adjustable ladder. The outside section slides up and locks to prevent unwanted entry.
Having installed a few of these ladders I believe them when they say it will hold up to 300 pounds. Built correctly, and mounted securely, that is.
You no longer need a deck to enjoy the extra stability that these pool steps offer.
To get the most out of your pool ladders be sure to follow the instructions when you build them and make sure they are securely fastened to the pool.
Too much movement on the liner can cause little holes to appear very quickly. Ladder Pads are a good idea but keeping the ladders from moving is the most important thing.