Recently, I bought my kids the Lifetime 71566 XL Adjustable Basketball Hoop from Amazon.com. They have been wanting a basketball hoop for some time now. I figured a basketball hoop would be a great piece of recreational equipment to get them outside and away from playing so much Disney Infinity (which they love)!
It's worked out very well. The kids love playing basketball outside. Who doesn't enjoy a good game of "horse"?
The Lifetime 71566 XL Adjustable Basketball Hoop is very well put together. It has an orange "Slam-it Rim" that features double compression springs to provide spring-back action.
It's a portable basketball goal so it's easy to move across concrete or asphalt. If you have to move it across rocks or grass, not so much! (we've tried). It has a 50-inch shatter-proof polycarbonate backboard with fade-resistant graphics. This ensures your 7 year old won't break the backboard while slam dunking.
What I like about Lifetime 71566 XL is that it adjusts from 7.5 feet to 10 feet in 6 inch increments. This is perfect if you have a smaller child who has difficulty getting the basketball up to the rim. Many of the other adjustable basketball goals only adjust from 8 feet to 10 feet. It also has a grip action handle that allows you to easily change heights.
The base can be filled with either water or sand. We fill ours with water. I had read comments from other Amazon reviewers that it takes FOREVER to try to fill with sand through the small access hole. If you're using water to fill, just be sure to at least partially drain in the winter so the water doesn't expand and crack the base.
The Lifetime 71566 XL carries a five-year warranty that covers everything on the system.
So What Are The Negatives About The Lifetime 71566 XL Adjustable Basketball Hoop?
THE ASSEMBLY! Both my husband and I are very handy when it comes to putting things together. We're quite capable of reading instructions and following directions. What we thought would be a quick and easy hour long project for the two of us turned into about a 4 hour struggle. If you do decide to purchase this basketball hoop, go ahead and plan for a good half day to put it together.
I don't know what it was about these instructions, but they were VERY tedious to read. I don't know how many times we had to backtrack. Also, many parts of the instructions seemed out of sequence. We'd get to a part in the instructions and wonder why we weren't told to do that step about 3 steps ago!
Many of the steps should have been done at the factory and the homeowners shouldn't have to do them. For instance, the trigger mechanism for the handle had to be put together and there were a couple teeny tiny screws that could EASILY get lost. Also, there is a plastic frame that goes around the backboard. We actually had to drill holes into the steel frame to attach these pieces. Either my husband had the dullest set of drill bits in the world, or this was the hardest steel he's ever had to drill into! Why couldn't the steel backboard frame come pre-drilled with those holes?
There were two parts that were missing in our assembly. One I think was a washer and the other another minor piece. Neither affect the functionality of the hoop, but still…you expect to get all the pieces when you pay for something!.
So yes, the assembly was a pain. I wouldn't even attempt the assembly by yourself, you really need at least 2 people….and a good rubber mallet. Some of these parts need a little gentle "persuasion" to go into place.
Ok, I'm finished complaining and whining about the assembly.
Even though the assembly was difficult, I have to say the basketball hoop itself is really nice. It's sturdy, heavy duty, and should withstand years and years of play.
If you're looking at one of those $100-$150 cheap basketball hoops, I would recommend you consider stepping up into the $250-$350 range and getting something like the Lifetime 71566 XL Adjustable Basketball Hoop. It's going to be much more heavy duty and can "grow" with your kids. After all, you don't want to assemble a basketball hoop more than once if you can help it! If you buy one of those "starter" models, you may be having to upgrade into another model in a few years…and these additional assemblies are NO FUN!
All in all, in my opinion the Lifetime 71566 XL Adjustable Basketball Hoop is a good buy and should give your kids many, many years of outdoor fun and enjoyment.