The 6 Best Pool Cover Reels
This wiki has been updated 10 times since it was first published in July of 2019. Solar blankets save money on heating and water bills, and time on maintenance, by retaining heat, stopping evaporation, and preventing debris from falling into your pool when it isn't in use. The problem is, getting them on and off can be a hassle, which is where these pool cover reels come in. We've included a variety of sizes and designs to suit most needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
July 25, 2019:
Whether it’s at the center of the summer’s biggest party, or just shimmering next to you while you read a book by yourself, during hot weather there’s few greater pleasures than a swimming pool. But it’s no secret: pool maintenance can be both expensive and time consuming.
Solar blankets are one simple way to save on the price of heating your pool – by capturing the sunlight's heat when your pool isn't in use. They also save on time required for maintenance – by preventing stray debris from blowing into your water. The only problem is that taking the cover on and off the pool all the time can be a major hassle, which is where pool cover reels come in.
A note on safety before we continue:
Although the issues associated with these covers are for-the-most-part minimal, there is one major safety concern that pool owners need to be aware of: the risk of a swimmer getting caught under the cover, and drowning. To avoid this, it’s recommended that your pool cover be reeled the full way in during use, and the full way out when it’s not being used.
The real danger occurs when the cover is left rolled halfway over the pool, creating a situation where curious children (or perhaps intoxicated friends) might be tempted to dive underneath it. For best safety, aim to have a sober, supervising adult, trained in first aid and lifesaving techniques, present whenever your pool is in use.
A few things to keep top of mind while you’re shopping:
What material is the reel made of? While some lower-end models online appear to have completely-plastic constructions, aluminum seems to be the most common material for this application – likely favored for its low cost and light weight. Some higher-end models include stainless steel components (steel shafts are less likely to sag).
How often will you be moving this reel? If your unit’s likely to remain in place for an entire season, then you might want to consider an option that’s designed to be permanently secured to your floor or fencing. However, if you’d like an option that allows some portability, plenty of options include castors that should allow two people to wheel the reel around, without too much trouble (for offerings that don’t include castors: they might be sold separately from the company, as in the case of the Aqua Splash 16 Foot, or a suitable alternative can likely be sourced from your local hardware store). Other offerings, like the Sun2Solar 20 Foot and the Vingli 21-Foot Roller have two eight-inch tires on one side, allowing a single user to move the apparatus like a wheelbarrow.
How handy are you when it comes to assembly? Although many users report having a very easy time assembling these units, others say it took them hours, and required tools they didn’t expect they’d need. For instance, the Rocky’s Reel Systems 3A requires the use of a hammer drill and core drill bit, to install anchor points into the floor next to your pool.
So, if you’re somebody who is absolutely uncomfortable handling any sort of power tool, even for a moment, look for a model that advertises easy assembly. Or alternatively, order whatever model you like, but just be prepared for the possibility of hiring a professional from your local pool store to help with installation.
A good reel is really a must have for any pool owner that intends on regularly covering their pool. Have fun shopping for one that’s going to look great in your yard, and just remember: the whole idea of the reel is to make it easier to spend more time I your pool. No more skipping days!