Intex Ultra XTR above ground pools combines a tough 3-layer liner with a galvanized steel frame to provide years of sturdy support.
The pools also come with Hydro Aeration technology that improves filtration performance and gives the pool a sparkling look.
The XTR series has five pool sizes and two pool shapes. Options range from a small round backyard pool for your small family to a 32ft rectangular pool that’s as large as a standard in-ground pool.
Read our in-depth above ground pool buying guide for reviews of other great above-ground pools.
1. Sturdy and Durable Steel Frame Construction
Steel framed pools are our favorite type of above ground swimming pool. They balance perfectly between durability and affordability.
They last longer than basic inflatable pools but cost less than steel or resin pools.
The Ultra XTR series of above ground pools from Intex are some of the best steel framed pools in the market.
The main part of the pool, the liner, is designed to withstand the weight of the water and weather elements for years without cracking or puncturing.
It’s made with a 3-ply material that is highly resistant to degradation and tearing.
It’s supported by a lightweight but a sturdy steel frame that goes around the pool.
The top steel railing keeps the pool upright while the vertical frame supports to hold the pool in place. The supports have leg endcaps at the bottom to increase stability.
All steel parts have a powder coating inside and outside to prevent corrosion and rusting.
2. Two Shape Options
Prefer something different from the usual round shape? Intex offers three rectangular options.
If you prefer a clean, minimalist look, the round sizes will be more to your taste. But if you want a pool you can comfortably swim laps in; the rectangular ones are perfect.
Just note that the rectangular sizes take up more space because of the angled support braces.
3. Sand Filter Pump and Timer With Hydro Aeration Technology
All the sizes come with a Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump as well as a timer. The pump flow rate varies with the pool size.
The smallest has a pump flow rate of 1,200 gals/hr while the large 32ft rectangular pool comes with a 2,650 gal/hr pump.
The pump has good enough suction to keep the pool clean. If you want better circulation, you can always upgrade to a bigger sand filter pump.
The pump uses Hydro Aeration technology (mixing water with air) to increase filtration performance and give the pool a sparkling look.
If you notice bubbles near the water inlet, that’s the Hydro Aeration tech working. Those air bubbles clump sediment together, making it easier to filter out.
They also introduce negative ions into the water, making the pool better for your skin and overall health.
4. Saltwater System (32ft Pool Only)
The 32ft rectangular Ultra XTR pool uses a saltwater system, which means you don’t have to add chlorine tablets to the water.
The only time you’ll use chlorine is when you are shocking the pool.
A saltwater system has several advantages over a standard chlorine pool. It lacks the typical strong chlorine smell, and the water is better for your skin.
5. Dual Suction Outlets
We’ve seen this feature only in Intex above ground pools. The pool has two outlets through which water is sucked out of the pool.
The benefit of having dual suction outlet is that the water is circulated faster through the filter pump — higher circulation results in better filtration and cleaner water.
There’s no chance for algae, bacteria and other contaminants to build up in the pool.
The Ultra XTR pools come with everything you need, other than the water, of course.
In addition to the pool liner and steel frame, here are the accessories included:
- Sand filter pump with timer.
- Saltwater system (32ft pool only).
- All necessary fittings to connect the pool to the pump.
- Debris cover with rope tie to keep it in place when it’s windy.
- Ground cloth to protect the liner.
- Steel ladder with 300lb weight capacity. The ladder is removable to prevent access when the pool is not in use.
Issues & Concerns
Because of the size and weight of the pool when it’s full, it’s a good idea to prepare the ground before you set it up.
The first thing to check is that the ground is completely level. If it’s not, use some sand to level it out or go all out and prepare a concrete pad.
If you use sand, you’ll need pavers beneath the feet of the vertical frame supports to prevent them from sinking.
Overall, set up is a bit more involving than an inflatable pool, but it’s still something you can do yourself albeit with an extra pair or two of hands to help you.
The pool takes 30 minutes to two hours to assemble, depending on the size you’ve ordered.
Installation is DIY; you don’t need to spend extra on a pro. The setup instructions are straightforward to follow, and everything you need is included in the package.
The best part is that you don’t need any tools.
Once you’ve laid out the ground cloth and positioned the liner in place, just snap the metal parts together. They have an easy and a secure locking system.
Finish assembly by attaching the outlet and inlet fittings and connecting them to the pump. You’ll need to have a GFCI outlet nearby to plug the pump into.
Filling the pool with a garden hose could easily take an entire day. An easier option is to call a pool filling service.
Make sure you are around when they fill the pool so that you can check if everything is working okay.
Add some chlorine tablets (not necessary for the 32ft pool – it has a saltwater system) to the water, and your pool is ready for swimming.
Pool depth ranges between 48” for the smallest one and 52” for the others. So it’s an actual swimmable pool.
Our Bottom Line
Intex Ultra XTR above ground pools is perfect for families looking for large, affordable and durable steel framed above ground pool that’s easy to set up and maintain.