Nothing says summer than a long, wet plastic ramp on which kids can slide belly first and likely take a rock to the tailbone. Backyard slip-and-slides are iconic of the dog days of the warmer months, and they’re a ton of fun for sweaty kids and adults alike. What makes the best slip-and-slide? With almost a hundred years of history, the form has largely been perfected, and all you have to do is select an option that accommodates your space. Big backyard or small? Multiple children at the same time or one at a time, time-trial style? Regardless of your choice, the best backyard slip-and-slides are all about speed, velocity, and escaping gravity for a few exhilarating seconds, and over the ensuing decades, they’ve only become more refined.
Sure, you can DIY your own homemade slip-and-slide (and you easily can), but thanks to Amazon, it’s a hell of a lot easier to pick up one of these. Once you’ve Prime shipped it, take the time to learn how to set it up safely. First, find the perfect spot — ideally, a good hill (the steeper, the better), but a flat surface will work too. Next, make absolutely certain that there are no rocks, roots, or tree stumps in the sliding path. (We cannot emphasize this enough, as generations of kids have developed bruises through these naturally occurring obstacles.) Soften the ground beneath your mat with a little bit of water, which adds some natural cushion beneath your tarp. Finally, be sure to supervise kids as they slide. Once all those steps are checked off, you can use any one of these setups to slide into summer 2021 with old-school backyard fun, gliding, swimming, and grilling to your heart’s content.
The Best Backyard Slip ’N Slides for Summer 2021
From the maker of the original, this updated toy pits child against child in the ultimate aquatic face-off. Two color-coded lanes separate one competitor against another. But here's the secret: There are no losers when everyone's having fun.
This is one of the biggest backyard water slides out there — Wahii also makes a 75-footer, which they tout as the 'world’s biggest backyard water slide.' Hyperbole? Maybe. But, with the Wahii Waterslide’s beastly 50- and 75-foot runways, it’s hard to argue. At 12 feet across, the slides are wide as a country lane, with tons of room to slide around. The slide is constructed of specially-formulated, UV-protected plastic, making it extremely smooth, and rated to hold 256 pounds per square foot. A patented fastening system keeps the slide securely in place.
This heavy-duty lawn launcher is 25 feet long and 6 feet wide, giving sliders a nice wide track along which to fly. it comes with two sleds and a customizable connection that allows you extend it up to 100ft. The slide stays fast and cool, thanks to a unique zigzag construction sprinkler system that runs the length of the slide and connects easily to your backyard hose spigot, to flood the runway. Made from extra-thick, heavy-duty PVC, for durability.
The souped-up edition of Wow's 25-foot slide, this 36-foot colossus is also constructed of heavy-duty, thick PVC and features the same zigzag sprinkler system running the length of the slide. Comes with inflatable sleds for water-park fun in your own yard. You can combine Wow water slides to create a longer slide too.
Short of building an actual water park in your backyard, there’s not much that can top the Intex Surf ’N Slide. The 15-foot inflatable slide launches from the jaws of an adorable shark for extra thrills. The slide comes with a pair of 'Surf Riders' (mini, inflatable boogie boards, really) that have heavy duty handles, so your little daredevil can hold on tight all the way to the landing pad.
No hose? No problem. With the Slip ’N Slide XL, all you need is a bucket of soapy water to lather up the double-lane runway, and you’re good to go. At more than 30 feet long, it’s designed for record-breaking rides, and features a pegging system to keep it in place. A soft cushion at the end of the ride also helps minimize any aquatic after burn.
From Wham-O, inventors of the iconic raincoat-yellow Slip ’N Slide, a high-speed water ramp into the end zone. This 16-foot football-themed slide comes with an inflatable ball and a pair of menacing inflatable linebackers to be knocked over like a pair of bowling pins as kids hydroplane toward a touchdown.
This 16-foot triple-lane slide is built for high-speed tie-breakers. Comes with three sleds, an inflated launching pad and ends in a small crescent pool for soft landings.
For those backyards on a budget, this simple Speed Blast slide is really all it needs to be — a 16-foot long-sliding surface, featuring durable PVC construction and universal garden hose compatibility.
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