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ASDA Inflatable Pirate Ship Paddling Pool review: our verdict on this swashbuckling pool

With summer on the way and temperatures rising, we put this affordable inflatable to the test. Here's what our tester and her two children thought of this swashbuckling paddling pool.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Jun 30, 2023


Price: £40 | Buy now from ASDA

Rating: 3.5/5

What we like

  • A whopping 9.5ft long

  • Quick to inflate and fill

  • Easy to clean

  • Lots of fun features

  • Inflatable swords included

  • Hose attachment keeps kids cool

What we don’t like

  • Quickly got punctured

Our verdict

Much bigger than our tester imagined when she first bought it, the ASDA Inflatable Pirate Ship paddling pool offers lots of interactive fun for kids on a warm day. The pirate ship’s design comes complete with a turnable steering wheel, a water-spraying cannon and inflatable swords, making it more than your average paddling pool.

While shallower pools like this one can lose play value as children grow, this one has enough going on to keep our tester’s 6-year-old just as engaged as her 3-year-old. The added plus of being easy to empty and clean - no chemicals required - makes it a winner in our eyes.

The only thing that let this pool down was its vulnerability to punctures. Made from PVC, it’s not as thick and hard wearing as other models, and needed a patch-up after being left out overnight.

Read next: Our pick of the best paddling pools, as recommended by Mumsnetters


Key specs

Type of paddling pool: Inflatable | Capacity: 460l | Material: PVC | Dimensions: W160 x H133 x D340cm | Weight: 5.79kg (unfilled) | Minimum age: 3 years+

How we tested

We consulted with our Voices panel to find out more about the paddling pools Mumsnetters have bought themselves and recommend highly. After all, if anyone can give honest advice on the best outdoor toys their kids really love, it's the parents who have tested these products through vigorous, long-term use.

Once we compiled a shortlist of the paddling pools Mumsnetters recommended, we then interviewed our tester, in order to get her insights into what it was like for their family to own this paddling pool. We asked her all about her and her children's experiences with the pool, including the ease of set up and maintenance, design, quality and how much play value it gives kids. Through turning to real, independent Mumsnet users for reviews, we ensure we get honest opinions and feedback from people just like you.

What’s in the box?

  • Pool

  • Puncture repair patch

How easy is the ASDA Inflatable Pirate Ship Paddling Pool to set up?

Setting up the paddling pool was a breeze. The pool was inflated in 10 minutes and took another 10 minutes to fill with water from the hose - the whole process was hassle-free. Plug any garden hose into the water cannon for maximum fun and you’re good to go. Our tester also found it easy to clean, a huge plus when it comes to paddling pools, as it can be difficult to keep paddling pool water clean and hygienic in deeper pools.

What is the ASDA Inflatable Pirate Ship Paddling Pool like to use?

Our tester is blessed with a lovely big garden, so the 9.5ft pool was no problem to fit onto her lawn. Her kids loved the water cannon the best, spending hours splashing each other (and their mum) and playing at being pirates.

“My kids are 6&3, they love it as the pool is part of interactive play.”

With its built-in roleplay potential, this pool makes for endless hours of fun in the sun - supervised, naturally. If your kids get bored of playing pirates, there’s plenty more their imaginations can invent to play in this fun pool. It’s spacious, just the right depth for playing while staying toddler-friendly.

Read next: The best hammocks for chilling in the garden this summer


How does the ASDA Inflatable Pirate Ship Paddling Pool compare to other paddling pools?

Compared to a fast set paddling pool like the Bestway Fast Set Swimming Pool, the ASDA Inflatable Pirate Ship is nowhere near as deep, and its construction isn’t as robust against errant cats, making fast set pools a better option if you want to leave the pool filled for any length of time. However, for younger children, the Pirate Ship pool’s shallower water and myriad play features make it lots more appealing.

Compared to a regular inflatable paddling pool like the Chad Valley Family Swim Centre, there’s less scope for adults to relax in this pirate pool, but we think most kids would pick the fun roleplay pirate pool over a plain one any day.

How do you drain, clean and store the ASDA Inflatable Pirate Ship Paddling Pool?

Draining and cleaning the pool was a doddle for our tester. Thanks to its relatively shallow depth, it’s quick to both fill and empty - meaning there’s no real need for chemicals to keep the water clean. Chemical-free water can be emptied out over your lawn or flowerbeds. Once the water’s all drained, give the pool a quick wipe with an old towel and a spray with some antibac and pop it away until the next time you want to use it.

Read next: The best pool toys, as chosen by Mumsnetters

Is the ASDA Inflatable Pirate Ship Paddling Pool good value for money?

At £40 there are certainly cheaper paddling pools out there, but they’ll offer fewer play features and are generally smaller. For the amount of fun features, we think £40 is a very fair price, and our tester agrees - she was especially impressed by the generous size of the pool.

In conclusion, the ASDA Inflatable Pirate Ship paddling pool’s easy set-up, great design and additional play features make it a standout choice for young buccaneers. Despite the unfortunate puncture incident caused by neighbourhood cats, the pool's repair kit means the pool can live to sail another day. This pool proves to be an entertaining investment for children aged 3 and over, keeping them cool during summer and encouraging imaginative play on the high seas.

About the author

Poppy O'Neill is a Content Editor at Mumsnet and a mother of two. She's been researching and reviewing baby and child products for 2 years, with a particular focus on baby essentials, toys and books for toddlers and outdoor play equipment. From potties to paddling pools and bunk beds to bedtime stories, she loves to deep-dive into research and find the best products out there.

Poppy is also the best-selling children's and parenting author of books such as Don't Worry, Be Happy, The Extraordinary Book That Makes You Feel Happy and Mother Power. She specialises in children's mental health and her books are used by therapists, teachers and SENCOs across the UK. She won the Kate Betts Memorial Prize in 2019, her books have been translated into eight languages and her writing has featured in The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Sun.

After earning a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Leeds and a PGCert in Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism from University of the Arts London, she worked in fashion for most of her 20s. When her children were young, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester and re-trained as an author and freelance writer. When she's not working, Poppy enjoys Pilates, hunting for sea glass on the Sussex coast and playing with tarot cards.

About Mumsnet Reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.