Pros: Easy setup. A lot of pool for the money. Proven track record.
Cons: These types of pools won't last forever, but they're not a lot of money either.
After finally having to get rid of our "Easy Set" Intex pool after three years (see my other review on that product), we decided to purchase their 16'x48" metal frame pool at Sam's Club for $270. The box says it is 16'x 48" (and it is), but I can't seem to find that size on Intex's website. I like to purchase items at Sam's because they seem to uniquely package things. For example: for the $270 purchase price we received the pool, pool cover, pump/hoses, debris net, skimmer, ladder, and three extra filters. Other stores may have had the exact same package, but I know on other items we have purchased at Sam's, we have received just a bit more in the package than at other stores. Anyway, back to the pool.
Since we had the other pool for three years, we didn't have to do a LOT of work on the ground, but we DID spend several hours making sure it was just as level as we could ever get it. This is VERY important with these pools.
We then proceeded to unpack the main box. Everything was packed very well, except the liner (the main part of the pool). The plastic bag it had been packed in had obviously been dragged across a dirty floor as it was torn and there was also an "abrasion" on the liner itself. I don't know if it would have leaked, but I wasn't going to take a chance. I called Sam's and asked if I had to bring the whole pool in or just the liner and they said just the liner. They were VERY nice and I had exchanged the liner in no time.
Following the instruction video, we unfolded the liner and began inserting the metal frame pieces. This went together fairly smoothly except for the connectors to hold the metal pieces together. You have to line four holes up and insert the plastic piece through them. This sounds easy, but is very frustrating as you have to have the holes lined up just right. However, once we accomplished this (and it probably only took about 30 minutes), the vertical poles went together flawlessly. At this point, all we had to do was smooth out the few wrinkles in the bottom of the pool by pulling on the bottom side seams and also pressing the bottom towards the sides (from the inside). We filled it with an inch of water and then smoothed out a few more wrinkles. It took probably between 6-8 hours to fill with two hoses. When it was full, we had a few small wrinkles, but nothing too bad.
We also purchased two extra tarps from Home Depot to go under the pool for added protection against rocks and tree roots. The reason we had to get rid of our old pool was because we only had one thin tarp under it.
Interestingly, the pump that came with this pool is slightly less powerful than the pump that came with our 15' pool, but it seems to be adequate. The filter is always filthy every time I clean it which is every 2-3 days.
The ladder that came with this pool seems very unstable. Instead of screws like our last ladder, this one uses plastic pins on each step and finally a few screws at the top, but it's just not as stable. I don't think it will fall apart, but it kind of feels like it might.
Even though this pool is only 1 foot wider and 6 inches taller then our previous easy set pool; it gives you a LOT more actual swimming area with the metal pole design as the sides are straight up and down instead of bulging out. And the entire pool is sturdier.