We had the opportunity to test Big Joe Pool Floats in our swimming pool this summer and last summer. Consequently, after two years of using them, we’ve become really big fans! When purchasing a pool float there are many options to choose from. If you aren’t a big fan of vinyl inflatables and want a cushy bean bag alternative, Big Joe makes some of the most comfortable pool floats out there.
Easy to clean and resistant to fading in direct sunlight, the Big Joe Pool Floats held up admirably after two seasons of usage and storage. We first purchased a collection of Big Joe floats at the beginning of the summer of 2021. After using the floats all summer long, it became clear that they weren’t sagging or beginning to show signs of stress from being tossed in and out of the pool. This was a relief as some of the other bean bag-style pool floats we’ve used in the past had a tendency to have that ‘played out’ look after a month or so.
Big Joe Pool Floats We Started Off With
Big Joe Captains Pool Float
One of the most comfortable pool floats we’ve tried and made our list of the 40 favorite pool floats of the summer. Definitely held up great at the pool, and easily our favorite out of all the Big Joe Floats. A great value for the money too at less than $75.
Big Joe Lazy Lounger
Big Joe’s Lazy Lounger got a lot of use in our swimming pool last summer and this summer. Again, this durable float held up well after being stored away. The colors did not fade and stayed vibrant season after season. Lazy Lounger is available in a variety of colors and patterns.
Big Joe Roma Pool Float
One of my personal favorites other than the Captain’s Float was the Big Joe Roma Float. Sturdy back support and a convenient cup holder with easy tote handles at the top and bottom make this float easy to fold up and take to the beach or the lake.
Big Joe Kona Pool Float
We added a few Kona Floats to our collection. These comfortable and spacious floating mattresses are perfect for laying out and taking a nap on the water. We love how durable they are and they also make the perfect float for our dogs. If you have ever had your dogs in the pool, you’ll already know how rough they can be on pool floats. The Big Joe Kona Float was perfect for them. (Seen below are the two different styles we went with – Blurred Blue & Faded Stripe Aqua)
Big Joe Noodle Sling
The Big Joe Noodle sling comes in two different styles, the Blurred Blue variation is similar to the one below but goes with the other collection. We added a few of these for guests and they were quickly grabbed first whenever family and friends came over.
Big Joe Noodle Sling – Red/Blue
Big Joe’s Noodle Sling in the Red/Blue variation is very similar to the Blurred Blue variety with the exception of the dual cup holders on each armrest and a deeper lounge seat. Those were a great add-on and made the Noodle Sling a favorite to take to the lake and beach as well.
At the end of the season, we stored our pool floats along with the seat cushions, pool noodles, toys, and vinyl inflatables we keep for guests. We bought a brand new storage container last year for all of our extra floats and it did a great job of keeping floats out of sight when not in use as well as protecting them from the elements. Consequently, we highly recommend the Suncast 99 Gallon Resin Wicker Patio Outdoor Storage Container for all your pool toys and accessories.
This summer we broke out our collection of Big Joe Pool Floats again and added a few new ones into the mix. We saw the new Petz line late last summer and were eager to try them out in the pool. We have to say, we’ve never seen such a mad dash by the kids in the family to get to their favorite pool float. The Big Joe Pool Petz were frequently the first snapped up, the longest squabbled over, and the most likely to be named by a child. Again, all summer long the floats held up remarkably well, and we were pleasantly surprised at how functional they were as actual pool floats and not just as toys.Sponsored Advertiser
Big Joe Petz Pool Floats
Big Joe Petz Crab Pool Float
Part of the new Petz collection, this fun crab-shaped pool float is fun to play with in and out of the water. The UV-resistant material held up great in the sun and did not fade through a whole summer of use.
Big Joe Petz Frog Pool Float
This cute frog-shaped pool float is a big hit with younger children. Kids will love the fun character and it’s great to use as a lawn pillow outside of the pool.
Big Joe Petz Polar Bear Pool Float
Hands down the cutest float in the Petz collection is the Big Joe Polar Bear Float. The float is large enough for smaller children to be able to ride on in the pool and was a big hit with the younger kids in our family.
Big Joe Petz Alligator Pool Float
This cute and friendly alligator makes a great addition to the swimming pool and is a fun and affordable float for kids. The incredible attention to detail and superior quality fabric is also something rare that you don’t often find in a child’s pool float.
Big Joe Petz Seal Pool Float
This adorable bean-filled seal-shaped float will be a smash hit at your next pool party. Makes a fun ride for small children in the pool as well as a good pool chair due to its unique shape and design.
Final Thoughts on Big Joe Pool Floats
All in all, we’re immensely satisfied with the comfort and value the Big Joe Pool Float collection offers and we think you will be as well. If you’ve been looking for a comfortable float that won’t break your wallet, and will still look good season after season of use, Big Joe has much to offer. After testing their line of pool chairs and floats, we have no qualms telling you – Big Joe makes one of the better pool floats on the market.
Photo Credits: Big Joe
Basecrete Launches OnDeck Wearable Waterproofing System
OnDeck waterproofing system promises to be a real game changer for pool contractors.
When it comes to the waterproofing of residential and commercial pool vessels, Basecrete Technologies has long been a leader in waterproof bondcoatings for the pool and spa industry. Recently, Pool Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with Vito Mariano and Christopher Gates to discuss the newest innovation to hit the pool trade, OnDeck, a new system they claim will revolutionize waterproofing.
The OnDeck Difference
“The actual application process is super simple. It can go horizontal and vertical and can be textured as the installer sees fit. Heavy and light textures can be rolled on, shot on, or troweled on but it’s based on the same science as Basecrete,” said Gates, who will be managing the OnDeck product.
One of the primary reasons the new system is predicted to be a surefire hit with pool contractors is due to its versatility, which Gates says will be a game-changer. “You can take a new project and marry it to an old project. Our material allows you to build up an old existing deck that’s chipped and broken. You can clean it out and build up to two-inch lifts using the material to build that up so that it’s seamlessly the same elevation as the new concrete. Then you coat the whole thing with OnDeck and it all is just beautiful and elegant. That all happens out of one bag and bucket of polymer.,” explained Gates.
Versatility and Customization
OnDeck is sure to appeal to contractors who have experienced frustration with other products in the past said Gates. As an industry veteran, he knows those frustrations first-hand, “you have to buy a bag of this for horizontal, and a bag of that for vertical, and a bag of that for waterproofing. Ours is just real simple,” explained Gates.
Color options and customization are a big factor when it comes to decking materials. OnDeck promises to alleviate many of those concerns as well. “The last coating is a pigmented stain and sealer which comes in seven different colors. We operate in a light base and a dark base so you can tint a custom color,” said Gates, “if you have a big project, say you were doing a stadium, for example, and you wanted to have the colors of the team, you can get your own color mixed with a lighter or darker base.”
A Cost Effective Waterproofing System
The OnDeck system is all the brain-child of Vito Mariano who has a history of producing award-winning products of this nature. His strategy for propelling the system into the market is to win contractors with a better product they can have at a smarter price point than what they’ve already been accustomed to using.
“Price per square foot is number one,” said Mariano, “OnDeck is not expensive and it’s a fast waterproofing decking system at the same time. Now you get all these new benefits that the industry isn’t used to; instead of just your typical low-end cementitious spray, roll on, epoxy or latex-based material. We’re staying focused on simplicity, our waterproofing capability, and price. That’s very important out there.”
Bringing OnDeck To The Industry
Mariano is confident in having an industry professional like Gates to help drive the product in the market. “I’ve been producing OnDeck for a long time. The formula goes back many years,” said Mariano, “and I’ve used it again and again for my own applications. I never really had the time to pursue it because I was busy with other products. We think Christopher will be ideal for us. He’s got an edge because he knows the industry and he gets it. “
The success of Basecrete has industry insiders eager to demo the OnDeck system. “I had a phone call from a gentleman I did a contract with a while back who wanted to thank me. He told me ‘Where has this product been? I’ve used everything out there in the last 35 years. I’ve never seen anything this good before.’ He now has 60 driveways totally converted to the OnDeck system and will be doing our training,” said Mariano.
Mariano expects many brand ambassadors to come forth and champion the product in the coming months. “We’ve got folks like Jose Garcia from Barefoot Pools in Arizona, chomping at the bit to get this product. He does phenomenal Basecrete applications on hundreds of pools. Those are the kind of companies and applicators that we’re going to go for,” said Mariano.
Gates, who has a long history in the pool industry, previously with California Pools and San Juan Pools; says the timing is ripe for a product of this nature.
“On pool and deck projects many years ago we started doing polymer overlays and acrylic top coats. Every one of them kind of marched to the beat of their own drummer, and you had to figure each system out. You’d try to stick with one that you could use if you knew the idiosyncrasies of a given system,” explained Gates, “when Vito started telling me that it’s the same bag to make the material that goes on the flat deck, that goes up the walls, that waterproofs the corners; it’s just different mixing styles – that’s got me excited. That coupled with this fellow he’s talking about who will doing all the training for our team members that are coming on board makes it a no-brainer,” explained Gates.
Listen to our entire conversation and learn more about the OnDeck system on the Pool Magazine podcast.
Light Up The Night With PAL Lighting
When discussing pool lighting solutions, frequently one name that pops up again and again in conversation is PAL Lighting. The Sydney Australia-based manufacturer makes a line of wirelessly controlled LED lighting and controllers that are perfect for swimming pools, spas, water features, and landscape lighting. After first entering the US market back in 2004, word spread both in the marketplace and with professionals. Consequently, today, PAL Lighting has become a serious force to be reckoned with in the world of LED lighting. Folks are suddenly paying attention, particularly in the pool industry; and for good reason.
A Vacuum in Supply for LED Pool Lights Creates Opportunity
One thing the pandemic did was create supply chain issues with manufacturers all over the globe. What it also did was create an opportunity for LED lighting manufacturers like PAL to suddenly reach more customers. While many pool professionals were aware of who PAL Lighting was, change happens slowly in the industry as does mass adoption of a new product line. Shortages and delays getting products have caused professionals to reexamine PAL’s products and value proposition. Suddenly PAL is in the spotlight, so to speak.
To get a better understanding of their product line we met with Ben Forrest, U.S. representative for PAL Lighting and Ryan Hughes, one of the elite builders working today. “Many have heard of our product line but haven’t tried them just because of the comfort level of doing the same old thing,” said Forrest, “while they might have heard of us, they may not have much experience with our products.”
Industry Looks To New Sources For LED Pool Lighting
“Most pool professionals in the industry didn’t have much knowledge of PAL Lighting prior to the pandemic, we were probably best known for our strip lighting. When Covid happened product shortages impacted a lot of manufacturers. That didn’t happen with us because our products are manufactured in Australia, not in China so we didn’t have any of the trade sanctions or challenges other manufacturers faced to the same degree,” said Forrest.
“A lot of operators were forced to try PAL Lighting as an alternative to one of the ‘Big 3’ and when they did they came back and said ‘Wow, where have you been?’, and we said, ‘Well, we’ve always been here, but nobodies been paying attention til now,'” said Forrest.
Building Awareness One Builder at a Time
“Our sales have skyrocketed, simply because we’ve had to fill the void,” explained Forrest, “for us, the growth that we’ve seen in demand for our strip lighting is really exciting. For the last four years our strip lighting has been more than 1,000% of the previous year. You do that for four years in a row and you can tell you’re really getting strip lighting out there.”
“The other growth that’s exciting for us is that once we build a relationship with a builder and go through a few projects with them, they start to get a real understanding of what they can do with our lighting,” said Forrest, “they’re accomplishing things they’ve never been able to do before and that gives them room for growth. Instead of putting 4 lights in a swimming pool, I work with builders who are regularly putting 20-30 fixtures. They’re adding lighting for outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and all sorts of things.”
Ryan Hughes Turns To PAL Lighting
In this industry, mass adoption happens when products hit a tipping point with the right people. The fact that the elite of the industry such as Ryan Hughes have begun incorporating PAL Lighting into their luxury pool projects, suddenly puts PAL on the world stage with their products. In a recent interview with Hughes back in November at the International Pool & Spa Expo, Hughes showcased one of his latest projects using PAL Lighting products.
In Hughes’ PAL Lighting application he wanted to give homeowners the ability to fully control their lighting system. “They were the only manufacturer that could give us a four wire RGBW light that could be connected with DMX,” said Hughes, “because (the homeowner) wanted a DMX controller, he didn’t just want 10 colors, he wanted to be able to have any color show he wanted.”
Forrest, who uses the Hughes project as an example when showcasing the product, agrees that homeowners have come to expect more from their lighting system. Consequently, the number of existing pool owners that are looking to upgrade to LED lighting in their pool is growing.
“Think of all the lights that were installed prior to the late 90’s and early 2000’s. All of them use incandescent bulbs. We developed a bulb that we can use as a replacement that takes the average pool from a 500 watt incandescent bulb to a 9 watt LED and you get all the features that you would get from a true RGB light,” said Forrest, “meaning you get 16 million colors, dimming functions, true white mode; all controlled by remote. Pool professionals can make good margins but still retail these things for under $400.”
Listen to our entire conversation with Ben Forrest of PAL Lighting on the Pool Magazine podcast.
Ledge Lounger’s Autograph Collection is the Smash of the Summer
As the weather warms up, many of us are looking forward to spending more time outdoors. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, you may be considering how to make the most of your outdoor living space. One option that has become increasingly popular this summer is the Ledge Lounger Autograph Collection.
This brand new luxurious line of furniture already seems a perfect fit for those who want to create a sophisticated and stylish outdoor living environment in their backyard. A recognized staple in outdoor living furniture and amenities.
Ledge’s newest collection completely reimagines comfort as it equates to luxury and refinement. Understated, modern, and streamlined aesthetics lie at the core of the Autograph Collection.
What’s truly impressive is how the collection is both equally at home at the trendiest 5-star luxury resorts as well as right in the backyard. A quick glance through the new collection leaves no doubt that Autograph is versatile and well-designed. Featuring a variety of high-end amenities that sophisticated homeowners are looking for, the new collection includes comfortable chaises, chairs, umbrellas, and side tables.
One of the hottest features in recent years has been incorporating huge tanning ledges in the design of the pool. Not only does this create a larger shallow area but creates a more dynamic use of the space. Ledge Lounger has capitalized on this trend to rapidly become the leader of in-pool furniture with their popular line of chaise lounges.
Perhaps the most exciting offering in Autograph is the reinterpretation of their exciting in-pool furniture. We’re in love with these stylish new chaise loungers and think you will be too. Available in white, sandstone, cloud, and granite gray, there are 4 unique looks in Autograph Collection which should greatly appeal to designers and builders looking to offer more options to their customers.
The Autograph chairs are available in the same exact colors and when smartly paired with side tables instantly create a stylish and contemporary poolside conversation area. Submersible up to 12 inches, the chairs can also be used in and out of the pool which makes them an enormously popular choice this summer.
Ledge’s efforts to create a luxurious collection really bring some of the best elements together. New, incredibly comfortable headrest pillows were designed for the chaise lounges and come in a wide assortment of colors and patterns.
Marine-grade fabrics and EZ-Dri foam core make the pillows resistant to fading, mold and mildew. They also come with convenient built-in pockets for storing a cellphone, wallet, or keys.
One thing we appreciate in the new collection is the attention to detail in how products are used and utilized in real-world settings. Smart details like creating multi-functional pieces with hidden storage for ice and drinks are the differentiator here. The Autograph Umbrella Stand features an Ice Bin as does the tall variation of the Autograph Side Table.
Attention To Detail & Real World Use
Honestly, these are all important and frequently overlooked details that make all the difference when selecting a line of outdoor living furniture for your pool area. The Autograph Collection will appeal to those looking for ways to take their backyard to the next level. With its luxurious design and high-end features, the Autograph Collection is the smart choice for those who simply want to enjoy the very best of outdoor living.
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