solar cover options

Jun 13, 2016
I'm hoping that there has been some renaissance in solar cover technology since I bought my last one three years ago.

We need to replace the solar cover on a 28' steel sided above ground pool in Wisconsin. I've been getting three years out of 12mil covers by keeping them covered when off the pool, removing it when shocking, and using a reel. I've used a liquid blanket product with no results; I suspect that given the high overnight humidity here (90%+) evaporation is not the primary cause of heat loss overnight. The pool is heated by thermal solar panels, so we don't have a use for any covers that claim to absorb more heat during sunlight hours (we used a clear cover and so no difference in temperatures relative to a blue one, and didn't last as long before needing replacement) but do need to keep the heat in when the sun isn't shining.

Is there anything that works as well as bubble-wrap-type plastic covers that has a longer lifespan?


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
Short answer is no. The fact is that no matter what cover you get the plastic will degrade with UV/CL exposure. So the more time it spends on the pool in the sun, the shorter the life. Our general advice on the forum is to get the lightest cheapest cover you can and just plan on replacing it every couple of years.

I have had 5mil, 8mil, 12mil, 16mil and they all lasted 2-3 years. But the 5mil was far easier to use.
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