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.
The Confer Plastics ladder above has become the most common ladder we see on a daily bases. Our local pool stores sell them with their pools and they are included in many online pool packages. Most of our ladders are built by our helper but when he is not working I build them. The instructions are good and the ladder assembles as it should. Once done it appears to be an outstanding ladder, but don't take my word for it, let's see what others say about it.
As I would expect, the reviews were great, page after page of five star reviews. I will get to a few of those, but first I want to address a couple of negatives. It seems these ladders are not intended for Intex pools and I understand that. The ladder is meant to be bolted to an above ground pool top rail. You cannot mount this ladder to an Intex pool. With that said the ladders that come with Intex pool are flimsy and also not mounted to the pool. The confer ladder, once filled with water on both sides, becomes solid as a rock. I don't see why it would not work just fine. I have many steel wall pools where these ladders were never mounted with no problems.
I bought this ladder because I wanted something sturdier than the ladder that came with the pool. It looks like it should be sturdy but there is one huge problem. It has to be bolted to the pool otherwise it will tip over even if you fill the legs with water like directed. Found this out the hard way as I fell when the ladder tipped. The issue is that in order to bolt it to the pool we would have to drill a hole through the liner that wraps around the edge of the pool. I can see this would be a major issue as the liner is tight and this could cause a major rip. I am sure it would work fine for a pool without this issue but for my 16 foot Intex pool it will not work.
Not so for other Intex pool owners, apparently this ladder is far better than the one that comes with the pool.
We have an 18'x48" intex easy set pool and We love this ladder! It states that it's not intended for our type of pool BUT The reason it's not made for our type of pool is because it can't be braced to the actual pool. And it is supposed to be attached to the ledge that surrounds most above ground pools. However, the little flimsy ladder that comes with the intex easy set pools doesn't attach to anything either and this is a MUCH sturdier ladder. We "make it work" and feel much safer climbing in and out of our pool now.. We found a way to stabilize the outside bottom of the ladder so it doesn't wobble. And with little grandkids playing in our backyard it's so nice with the roll down safety guard. My husband and I, working together found it very easy to put together. I can't say enough good things about this ladder!
Love this ladder! Very sturdy. We did not attach to pool & it still stays still & sturdy. Heavy, well made & works great in our saltwater pool.
This staircase was easy enough for my 12-year-old and his buddy to assemble themselves. I had to assist when it came to drilling the screws in, but otherwise they did a good job.
Make sure to have a rubber mallet handy for assembly, and a cordless drill!
Also, the side braces that are supposed to be "optional" and can be screwed into the side of your pool are not, in fact, "optional". We experienced the ladder shifting from one side to the other until we added those braces. So, go ahead and install them and just don't screw them into the sides of your pool!
We install a few Intex soft sided pools every year. On each one I use the pool ladder that came with the pool to get in and out for smoothing out the bottom. I have my partner hold the ladder while I use it, they scare me. I understand the reviews that claim this ladder is far better than what came with their pool. Another issue with ladders has to do with those a little heavier than others. I have built wood decks and installed expensive inside steps to make these people feel safer. I found the next reviews interesting.
I bought this ladder for my large family. A few weight in excess of 300 lbs. so the stock ladder that comes with many pools are not for that kind of abuse. This ladder really works well and has been very sturdy. Easy to set up and stays in place once I filled it with water. Great ladder!!!!
Did my research, purchased in Feb, assembled in May, installed in June. Instructions were very clear and repetitive on important steps. I have an Intex 48" Ultra Frame and the side brackets BARELY reach across the legs but do work rather well. I am going to retrofit some 1' uni-strut in place of the brackets due to my inability to properly locate the pool next to the paver path. Confer Plastics put a lot of R&D into this bad boy. #1, I READ THE INSTRUCTIONS & I DON'T REGRET IT. It was cold and raining that day so I assembled it in the garage in less than 2 hours, with smoke & coffee breaks included. All I needed was a rubber mallet, a Philips head in my cordless and some 'alone time' to snap it all together. #2, I followed the instructions and didn't care if anyone was watching. I climbed up on this thing WITHOUT the brackets installed and it still held my fat behind. #3, Once installed with legs filled with water and the side brackets mounted, I couldn't be happier. It is rated for 300# but I can tell you for a fact that it will safely hold more than that. #4, The roll-guard safety feature works great and is a MUST HAVE. We have a 4yo grandson with ASD and you can't be too careful. This is a POSITIVE feature that works better than advertised and is simple to operate. Confer Plastics even includes a high quality keyed padlock for the roll guard latch. This ladder is worth twice the money as it stands but is priceless when I see that the kids can't get it open without an adult.
The last statement sums it up for me. This ladder is worth twice the money as it stands but is priceless when I see that the kids can't get it open without an adult.