Intex Easy Set Pools Review

Inflatable pools for those post-toddler years are another Intex specialty. Intex Easy Set reviews say these temporary, soft-sided swimming pools are fine for childhood play, teenage amusement, and adult relaxation. The 15' x 42" model is large enough for floating chairs and some kicking and paddling, notes one review on the Target website, but not so deep that you constantly worry about the children. Owners like the relatively low prices on these inflatable pools, and say you get your money's worth even if they last just a couple of years. As one parent comments in a review on Amazon, even with all the extra accessories (e.g., solar cover and heater, saltwater chlorine generator), your total outlay is still less than what you'd pay for a family weekend at a theme park. Factoring in the cost of water and maintenance supplies for a 15' x 42" pool won't strain the budget, either; an Intex Easy Set review on Epinions says operating expenses come to less than $100 for the season.

Still, complaints do surface in Intex Easy Set reviews. As with many cheap swimming pools, owners report the original-equipment pump is inadequate. Quite a few write of upgrading to bigger and better pumps and going with a saltwater filtration system; one owner suggests reinforcing the pump's plastic impeller with epoxy to minimize the chance of breakage. We read several comments about pinhole leaks (more likely to emerge after a winter in storage), including one near the top that wasn't discovered until the pool was filled with more than 4,000 gallons of water. Some owners also regret not having properly leveled the site, and one Intex Easy Set review on Amazon notes that a difference of even an inch from one side to another affects how the pool fills. Consequences include a shape that's not perfectly round, water that rolls over the lower side, and walls that collapse from the weight of the unbalanced contents. One owner leveled the field by stacking some cardboard at the lower side and covering with a tarp.

Assembly is relatively straightforward but requires attention to detail. After you fill the top ring with air (using an air pump is a good idea), you can let the water flow. But first, say experienced Easy Set owners, take care not to over-inflate the ring and make sure the bottom is smooth. Then, as the water pours in, hold up the sides so the water doesn't "lock in" any folds in the plastic walls.

The company's line of Easy Set pools includes nine sizes; the smallest is 8' x 30" (starting at $97, but about half the price without a pump and filter) and the largest is 18' x 48" (starting at $279). Note that the dimensions are somewhat misleading: The fill line stops well short of the stated depth and the diameter of the swimming area is less than the stated width (a 15-foot pool cover, for example, fits perfectly inside an 18-foot Easy Set pool). A filter pump comes with the smaller pools and the larger pools are packaged with a ladder, ground cloth, pool cover, and maintenance kit.

The Easy Set pools are a good buy if you're looking for just a couple of seasons of low-cost swimming fun. They're easier to put up and take down than framed above-ground pools but require the same level of maintenance and have shorter life spans.

Maralyn Edid

Maralyn is a veteran reporter, writer, researcher, and editor. From her early years at Crain's Chicago Business and the Detroit bureau of Business Week, then on to a long-term stint at Cornell University's ILR School and now at Cheapism.com, Maralyn has been -- and remains -- committed to getting ...

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