Choosing a Solar Cover and Reel


New member
May 29, 2008

Happy Friday everyone.

I have a 20x40 inground liner pool in CT, plan to buy a clear solar cover and reel this year, and have narrowed the choice to the following:

- 14 mil. Magni-clear currently ~$200 at and

- 12 mil. clear cover from $145

Does the difference between the two justify the premium? Is there much of a weight difference between a 12 mil. and a 14 mil.? My wife and kids will likely do most of the placing/removal work during the week so would like to make the whole process as easy as possible while maintaining quality. Also, anyone have experience with those websites?

For the reel, I am interested in the Feherguard Blanket Handler. Prices seem to be all over the place and some sites offer an anodized version while others don't. Have people had good experience with Feherguard? Does anodized make a difference? Can someone recommend a good site for buying this reel?

Thanks for your thoughts -- great forum!

UPDATE: Just got on the Feherguard website (haven't been able to get on for the past few days) and noticed that they recommend using no higher than a 12 mil. cover on any their reels. Anyone have any experience with these reels? Where's the best place to buy?



LifeTime Supporter
Mar 31, 2008
Central VA
I'm not very qualified to help you with the reel, but I do have a solar cover...not even sure what mil. thickness it is, but it helps quite a bit, especially at night, when it holds heat in quite well.
I will tell you this...we talked to our PB and checked around some, it seems the reels can break easy and/or be a general pain, you may want to ask around. We decided against a reel...We took our cover and cut it into thirds (horizontally), and it's much easier to put on & remove, I can actually remove it by myself.
Also, from what I've read on this forum, the cover won't last much longer than 3 or so seasons anyway (not sure why - brittleness? Mine's already getting flimsier in its second season) - so you may not want to put out too much up front for the cover itself.


LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
Dec 22, 2007
Central New York
My two cents...... buy a good reel and a cheap 8 mil solar cover. At the end of the swimming season, throw away the 8 mil solar cover and buy a new one next spring.

The 8 mil solar cover is the lightest one that I know of and works just as good as the heavy 12 mil and 16 mil covers.

With my reel, my wife can roll it up herself.

This is where I buy my cover. ... covers.asp

I have a low-profile reel to fit under the diving board when rolled up. Works for me.


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 30, 2007
Because we have to move ours out of way once removed we went with the Rocky Roller System.
My wife didn't want a reel and cover if it was going to be a PITA

It can be removed and wheeled away in 2min. Its easy to put back on also.
Its a lot of money but worth it, if my wife can do her thing when I am not around.

If you shop around you can save about $100.00 the prices where all over.
Most give you a deal on the blanket if you buy a roller. Good luck.

Just did a quick search because I bought last year, two searches.
1. $419.00
Shop around for your pool equipment!