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A Solar Pool Cover Attached to a Reel

Owning a solar pool cover is great, many benefits.

But as you may know, the two worst things about solar pool covers are:
1) putting them on the pool, and
2) taking them off the pool

The best way to fix that is with a solar pool cover reel. 

But not just any reel! Buying a cheap reel is usually no bargain at all, they can make your life more miserable than not having one at all. 

To help you out, we’ve done a deep-dive investigation (sorry for the pun) of your best options. Here they are…

Top Picks

  The Best Overall Option –

VINGLI Solar Cover Reel

The Upgrade Option –

Rocky’s 5A Solar Reel

The Value Option –

Sun2Solar Reel System

Choosing the Best Solar Cover for Your Pool

It’s important that you determine your needs before investing in a solar pool cover. In the following sections, we’ll discuss some factors that you should consider. This will ensure that you choose the best solar cover for your needs.

How Thick Should a Solar Pool Cover Be?

If your main priority is to reduce evaporation and limit water usage, a thicker cover is the better option. Invest in anything between 12 and 16 mil for the best results.

If heating your swimming pool is more of a concern, you’ll find that an 8 or 10 mil cover will serve you nicely. This will allow more sunlight to pass through the water, although it won’t trap heat nearly as long as a thicker model.

What Is the Best Color for a Solar Pool Cover?

It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Those who wish to reduce their pool costs are better off investing in a blue solar cover. Conversely, pool owners who simply want to achieve the warmest swimming conditions possible will get the best results from a clear cover.

Do I Need a Reel for My Solar Cover?

While it isn’t an absolute necessity, you’ll have a much easier time keeping your solar pool cover intact by investing in a solar cover reel. It’s no secret that solar covers are lightweight. They tend to get picked up by the wind if the conditions are right.

With a solar cover reel, you’ll have a much easier time repositioning your solar blanket in the event that it lifts off of the water. You simply wind it up and straighten it out.

Things to Consider

You always want to keep the thickness of the solar blanket in mind, as well as the color. These two have differing effects on your pool. You also want to make sure that you invest in the tight swimming pool cover reel. This will ensure you have a hassle-free swimming season.

Cover reels come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important that you get the right one for your solar blanket. You want your swimming pool cover to fit perfectly onto your new pool cover reel.

Do Solar Pool Covers Really Work?

They sure do! Solar covers for pools are a great way to reduce costly upkeep. Not only will you save money on chemicals, but your water usage will lower, as well.

When installed correctly and used with cover reels on your pool, solar covers are an effective and efficient way to retain heat and reduce evaporation. Many pool owners keep a solar cover on pool water to help raise its temperature. It’s a great way to save on expensive heating systems.

Best Solar Pool Cover Reel Reviews

1. Best Overall Option – VINGLI Solar Cover Reel

VINGLI impressed us with its durable build-quality and excellent construction. This swimming pool cover reel makes it easy to roll up your solar cover for optimal protection and user-friendliness.

The strap links are embedded in the telescopic aluminum tubing. This works to prevent vibrations during use, allowing you to evenly roll up your pool cover. Solar cover reels from VINGLI are often well-made, and this one is no different. Its clever design reduces snagging and other hassles.

Solar pool covers aren’t exactly cheap, so it pays to have a solid pool cover reel to protect your investment. VINGLI gets everything right in this model, making it a great buy for any pool owner.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty – VINGLI’s Solar Cover Reel is well-made and highly-durable. With its excellent craftsmanship and quality construction, you’re sure to get plenty of use out of this reel system.
  • Rust-free – Since your reel is going to be by your swimming pool more often than not, being rust-free is an absolute must. You won’t have to worry about water damage with this tough reel.
  • Solid tires – No plastic wheels on this pool cover reel. Big rubber tires ensure you have an easier time with the reel’s use, making winding stable. Pool covers are less likely to get snagged during roll-up, ensuring that your cover stays intact.
Cons
  • Poor instructions – We weren’t too thrilled with the directions VINGLI included. Fortunately, assembly is easy to figure out on your own. The reel goes together fairly quickly, too.

2. Upgrade Option – Rocky’s 5A Solar Reel

If you want the best of the best, Rocky’s 5A Solar Reel is the cover reel for you. It’s built like a tank and should last as long as one, as well. Its die-cast aluminum construction ensures that you are getting a reliable and durable cover reel system.

Solar cover reels like this are made to withstand lots of use throughout the swimming season. You’ll appreciate its high level of craftsmanship, as it’s easy to wind up and won’t cause snags during use.

The only downside to the 5A is that it is very expensive. But if you want a cover reel that you can count on to last for years, Rocky’s 5A will definitely give you your money’s worth. It works with a variety of pool covers measuring up to 20 feet wide.

Pros
  • High-quality – There’s no denying that this is hands-down the best-made reel we’ve reviewed. It sports die-cast aluminum in its construction, as well as baked enamel. If you want a reel you can count on to last season after season, Rocky’s 5A is the one you want.
  • Huge crank – We love the big crank Rocky’s used on the 5A. It’s easy to grip and comfortable to turn. We had no trouble winding our solar cover up during our testing.
  • No snagging – This is a nice bonus. Thanks to the clever construction of the 5A, your solar blanket is less likely to get snagged during roll-up. The cover winds up smoothly and effortlessly for hassle-free use.
Cons
  • Expensive – Ouch. As great as Rocky’s reel system is, it’s mighty pricey. Be ready to shell out three times as much compared to what you’d pay for other reels.

3. Value Option – Sun2Solar Reel System

Sun2Solar is back yet again, this time with a cost-effective pool cover reel system that works really well. We love the thick plastic construction, as it’s pretty lightweight and easy to maneuver around your swimming pool. This pool cover reel isn’t susceptible to water damage, and therefore won’t rust.

It’s an absolute breeze to assemble, and can easily be done by one person. Even better, it’s a cinch to use and is quite effective in its use. We were able to roll up our solar pool cover with just one hand, making this one of the most user-friendliest reels we’ve reviewed.

This pool cover reel accepts solar pool covers that measure up to 21 feet wide, and it’s surprisingly versatile in its use. Better still, it works remarkably well and won’t cost you an arm and a leg to own.

Pros
  • Easy operation – This budget-friendly reel is a breeze to use. We were able to quickly and painlessly roll up our solar cover. It winds nicely and isn’t prone to snagging. It’s also rather lightweight compared to other entries, making it easy to move.
  • Affordable – Solar pool cover reels tend to be as much or more than the solar cover itself. Thankfully, Sun2Solar once again delivers a winner that won’t put much of a dent in your wallet.
  • Long-lasting – Thanks to its heavy-duty plastic construction, you don’t have to worry about water damage or rusting. It’s thick and durable, too, ensuring that you’ll get plenty of use. Pool covers using this reel roll up evenly and effortlessly.
Cons
  • Above-ground – The main drawback to this reel is that it’s meant for above-ground pools. That being said, we were able to use it on our in-ground pool without much trouble at all. The reel accepts solar covers up to 21 feet wide, so measure accordingly.

Our Recommendation for Solar Pool Cover Reel

VINGLI's Solar Cover Reel

We reviewed some mighty fine reels for solar pool covers. In the end, though, we had to give the top spot to VINGLI. This well-designed reel makes an excellent addition to any pool, and comes at a reasonable price. We appreciate its usefulness and effectiveness. It winds easily and makes short work of pool covers.

Rocky’s 5A was certainly the best of the bunch in terms of build-quality, but we just felt that its price was too high to justify its purchase. Some pool owners won’t mind, but those trying to cut expenses will opt for VINGLI or Sun2Solar.