Above Ground Solar Cover Reels

Solar covers for above ground pools are a wonderful invention for adding natural solar warmth to your pool, while retaining heat at night and eliminating evaporation. However, solar blankets can be cumbersome to remove and replace on an above ground pool. 

Solar Pool Cover Reels are the answer; attach the solar cover to the pool cover roller with the included straps and clips. A hand crank on one end allows you to roll-up your solar blanket onto the pool cover reel, which can be moved by two people to a stored location. 

Sure, above ground solar cover reels are convenient and functional, but did you know that they also protect your solar blanket from all types of calamity while it is removed from the pool?

Sun, wind, dirt, dogs, squirrels, birds, lawnmowers – there are many ways that a solar cover can be damaged when removed from the pool. Using a pool cover reel keeps your cover safely rolled up, and out of the way. Solar cover reels are also useful for long-term solar cover storage, during the hotter summer months or during winter.


  • Powder coated aluminum or resin bases
  • Aluminum tubes 2” - 4” dia., adjustable
  • Ball bearing hand crank assembly
  • Strap and Clip Kits included
  • Lift and Pivot Feature


  • 1-person removal and replacement of solar covers
  • Safely stores your solar cover when off the pool
  • Can triple the lifespan of your solar pool cover
  • Mounts to top rail, pool deck or posts set in concrete
  • 50” tube segments allow for custom fit on smaller pools

Selecting an Aboveground Solar Cover Reel:

Pool Size: Aboveground solar cover reels are ordered by pool width - up to 18’, up to 24’ and up to 28’ wide. For added strength to the reel, for thicker or longer solar blankets, consider buying the next largest size. The 50” tube sections will have more internal overlap, increasing overall tube strength. A larger solar reel can be custom sized to fit any size (smaller) pool.

Solar Cover Thickness: We sell solar blankets in three thicknesses, 8 Mil, 12 Mil and 16 Mil. Like longer and wider solar covers, thicker solar covers are also heavier, and as such are more suited for heavy duty solar cover reels. Although bowing of the reel seldom causes damage, it can make operation more difficult. For this reason, for longer or thicker pool covers, considering using the next largest reel size, or just buy our most heavy duty reel, the 28’ Aqua Splash Pro or the 28’ GLI Whirlwind.

Installing an Aboveground Solar Cover Reel: Above ground solar reels are mounted to the pool top rail, over the widest part of the pool. For round pools, this is straight across the center, and for oval pools, install the base mounts at the point where the straight wall panel meets the curved panel. You can also set wood posts in concrete for mounting the reel, or for resting a pivoting reel, as shown in the left and right images below.

Most aboveground solar reels can be assembled and installed in under 2 hours. Complete pool cover reel instructions are included with pictures, and requires a power drill and basic hand tools. General assembly involves joining the tube sections and bolting the reel mounting plates to the top rail of the pool, or to an attached deck, or posts set in the ground.

Attaching a Solar Cover to a Solar Reel: You can do this while in the pool, with the cover folded on itself, so you can reach the tube, or spread across the driveway. Screw the cover straps to the tube as directed, then connect the straps to the solar blanket with the cover clips to pinch and hold the cover. Important: Because the cover is folded to connect the cover clips, this pulls it away from the ends of the pool by 1” - 3”. As such, it is advised to attach the solar blanket to the reel before trimming it to fit the pool.

Moving the Solar Reel: After rolling up the solar blanket, some above ground solar cover reels pivot on one end, to store the reel along the top rail, like the AquaSplash and Tidal Wave reels. Other reels require two people to move the rolled-up solar blanket and reel to rest on the pool edge, laid on the ground next to the pool, or a post or rack can be installed to rest the cover and reel while off the pool.

Removing the Solar Blanket: Turn the crank to rotate the tube, which is connected to the solar cover by straps and clips. The pinched pool cover will begin to rise up, and follow the straps up and over the reel tube. Keep cranking until it is completely wound-up - the tube may bow on larger pool diameters. One person can (usually) operate a pivoting solar cover reel, or two people are needed for those that do not. A wet, rolled up solar blanket on a large pool can be heavy and awkward to move, so have a plan, and lift with your knees!

Replacing the Solar Blanket: Removing the solar cover is easier than replacing it, because the cover folds up on itself, and the sides sometimes stick together. The best way to replace an above ground solar blanket is to attach cover clips or grommets to the outside edge of the cover, on both sides, and attach a thin length of pool rope. Use the rope to pull each side of the cover gently to the edge, and the pool cover reel will rotate as you pull.