Choosing the best portable basketball hoop for your child can have a greater impact on his future development than you might think. With the growing number of fun, but static activities that our kids can engage in these days, the risk of growing up to be overweight is enormous. Deciding to buy a portable basketball hoop as a gift for your kids, will give them a reason to get away from the screens, by engaging in a healthy, competitive activity that not only benefits their physical but also mental state. But before checking out the best basketball hoops in the table below, let me tell you a short story.
When I was 9 years old my grandparents bought a portable basketball hoop for my birthday. It wasn’t as sophisticated as the ones you can buy today, but it definitely was the best gift I could have received at that point. Starting that day, playing basketball was an everyday activity for my friends and I. There were always video games as an alternative, but my basketball hoop got more attention than any of the game consoles they left back home.
Looking back, it had a big impact on my development. Because I practiced a lot, I was picked to be part of my school’s varsity team. By the time I graduated, I received a mixed college scholarship (academics + sports). Of course not all my friends I used to play with, all those long summer days, had the same trajectory in life, but playing team sports for the better part of our childhood contributed a lot to the people we grew up to be. I couldn’t be more thankful for that gift I received all those years ago.
Best portable basketball hoop comparison table
What you need to take into account when choosing the best portable basketball hoop
Finding the best portable basketball hoop is easier said than done. It requires days of research and comparison. Most people don’t have the necessary time. And when they do, they probably want to relax from their daily routines, not get a headache from information overload. Sounds familiar?
This is where we come in to the scene. This website was born to help you, among others, find the best portable basketball hoop. We’ve done the painstaking research so that you can easily identify what you’re looking for. We’ve taken into account every bit of information that made a difference, analyzing and comparing every portable basketball hoop that even seemed to be an option.
As we conducted our research, these are features that we found to be important deciding factors when looking to buy the best portable basketball hoop:
Most backboards on portable basketball systems are between 44 and 60 inches wide. Regulation basketball system backboard are 72 inches wide, but you will be unable to find that easily. Plus, they are probably out of your budget, unless money is not an object and you want to build a professional basketball court in your backyard. The rest of us should be steering our attention towards backboards that are over 52 inches. From this size upwards, you’re going to be able to execute a number of moves that are not possible with smaller backboards, like layups and bank shots.
Most backboards are made of one of the following three materials:
You can find this material in lower end basketball backboards. It’s actually a scientific name for plastic. While it will last for a pretty extended period of time and is rather inexpensive, there are certain drawbacks that determine most people to stay clear of this choice. The biggest drawback is the way the ball bounces off them. Or better said doesn’t bounce off them. Among the materials used to make backboards polyethylene has the lowest bounce factor. If you look for the best portable basketball hoop for someone over 6, you might want to choose a different material backboard.
This is a step up from polycarbonate. The biggest difference is the fact that it’s clear, which gives it a much more professional appearance. The bounce factor is better than polycarbonate as well, but it’s still not quite the very best option. They also get scratches pretty easily, losing their nice appearance over time. An advantage is the lower weight, compared to tempered glass. Because of this they don’t need very elaborate support structures. You can usually find acrylic backboards on mid range portable basketball hoops.
This is the material used in professional basketball hoops all over the world. You can see them everywhere, in the NCAA, NBA and other leagues. The main advantage of this material is the authentic experience you have when using it. You don’t have to have NBA dreams to choose a hoop with tempered glass backboard. The fact that it will keep its looks, let’s say, forever is reason enough to see the superior value you get for your money. You probably guessed the drawback of this material: its weight.
- Offset of backboard
This refers to the distance between the backboard and the support pole. If you’re looking to play pick up games as well, not just exercise your shooting, you need to look for an offset as big as possible. Otherwise, the risk of crashing into the pole after a layup or dunk is pretty high. A helpful tip: try padding the support pole as well as possible.
All basketball rims are standard size: 18 inches in diameter. The talking point when analyzing rims is the way they are attached to the backboard. There are 2 types:
- Standard rims
These are the simplest type of rims you can imagine. They are attached to the lower part of the backboard offering a high level of stability. As you might expect, there are certain drawbacks to this type of rims. Being fixed, there are many shots that bounce far away after hitting the rim. There are also more shots that go in and out, because they are fixed. And last, but not least, refraining from dunking on this type of rim is a must. Because they are fixed, either your hand or the backboard can get hurt.
- Breakaway rims
Besides providing a dampening effect for your shots, this rim is the one you can dunk on any way you like. The compression springs that are included in this type of rim, assure that soft touch every shooter loves. They also stop the transmission of the forces to the backboard while dunking. There are 2 sub-types of breakaway rims: covered springs or uncovered springs. Although the covered version is more expensive, the money is well spent. They are protected against humidity and tend to have a longer lifespan.
3. Support Pole
When trying to find the best portable basketball hoop, the support pole is probably one of the most important parts of the entire system. If not good enough, the whole thing might be shaky and unstable. It’s the worst case scenario.
When it comes to support poles, look for sturdy and less parts. More inexpensive basketball hoops tend to have support poles made of 3 parts. On the other hand, support poles of higher end systems have 2 parts. Being as adjustable as possible is a great advantage, but not if it comes with a lack of stability.
The base is also an important part in the entire system. Together with the support pole, it provides for stability of the basketball hoop. Depending on your particular needs you will have to choose between smaller bases, that are usually coupled with lighter types of backboards or larger bases, for heavier backboards. The base will be filled with water or sand. The downside of a heightened stability of larger volume bases is the decreased portability. Sure, most portable basketball hoops these days have wheels, but, it’s pulling a 40 – 50 gallon base with a heavier backboard is not the same as pulling a lighter one.
If you don’t have to move your hoop every time you want to play, or if you don’t mind the extra effort, larger bases are generally better.
Best portable basketball hoop reviews
In our quest in finding the best portable basketball hoop, we found not one but 5 high quality choices, for multiple budgets. These are our favorite picks:
Spalding NBA Portable Basketball System
- Very sturdy. Very close to professional basketball systems;
- Tempered glass backboard provides for best rebound and durability;
- 40 gallon base provides for enough stability. You can fill it with either water or sand.
- Adjustable height between 7.5 and 10 feet;
- 3 piece support pole is stable;
- Breakaway rim can be dunked on freely.
- When assembling, you will need another person to help on certain portions;
- Because of the heavier backboard it’s a bit more difficult to move than lighter hoops.
>> Click here to see price on Amazon <<
Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop
- Easy assembly, in about 90 minutes;
- Superior strength due to steel on steel connection between main pole and base;
- Ergonomic design makes it easy to move around;
- Very stable infinity edge backboard;
- Great distance between backboard and pole (about 30 inches) which gives enough space under the rim;
- Covered break-away rim made to last.
- The rim can only take light dunking;
- Not really as heavy duty as other similarly priced options.
>> Click here to see price on Amazon <<
Spalding NBA The Beast Portable Basketball System
- 60 inch tempered glass backboard and 55 gallon base makes it the closest residential basketball hoop to professional systems;
- The tempered glass backboard is similar to indoor hoops and in-ground models. The rebound effect is the best with this material.
- The rim on this portable basketball hoop is one of the sturdiest on the market. It can definitely take a lot of dunking.
- There is a downside, though, to tempered glass. It’s heavier than other materials, which makes the entire system a bit more difficult to move.
>> Click here to see price on Amazon <<
Lifetime 71522 Competition XL Portable Basketball Hoop
- 54 inch acrylic backboard provides for a nice bank shot;
- Height adjustment power lift mechanism allows easy adjustment in a multitude of increments;
- The 35 gallon base can be moved fairly easy offering the proper degree of stability;
- The break-away, covered rim is made to last;
- The nylon net is made to withstand the harshest weather;
- Although assembly might seem a hassle at first, especially if someone could assist you, it might turn out to be easier as you progress with the installation.
>> Click here to see price on Amazon <<
Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball System
- Pneumatic power lift height adjustment mechanism lets you easily and rapidly adjust height from 7.5 to 10 feet;
- The finish is powder coated and rust resistant;
- 52 inch acrylic backboard is very sturdy;
- 5 year warranty;
- The rim has double compression springs for spring-back action;
- The hole through which you fill the base with sand or water is pretty small, which makes the filling process pretty tedious;
- The initial installation is pretty complicated due to the great number of bolts and parts.
>> Click here to see price on Amazon <<
Portable Basketball Hoop Guide
Since you have the best outdoor basketball it is currently time to turn your regard for finding the best open air b-ball loop to coordinate. There are actually many b-ball bands to look over for your home and the attributes of each can differ significantly crosswise over value, highlights, materials, and size. It is imperative for any ball aficionado who needs to convey the amusement to their home to genuinely consider each of these factors while picking a b-ball framework. Beneath we have chosen what we consider to be the best basketball hoop for your home. You can see our broad rundown of explored bands, and our picks for the best portable and in ground basketball hoop.
So, the first thing is about mobility of portable basketball hoop and in ground basketball hoop. As you can imagine, in ground basketball hoop can`t be moved without some specialist, so it`s the first difference. Because the portable basketball hoop can be easily moved to another place. So it depends, if you are mobile, and you have a rented house or you just move / travel a lot across the world, it is better to choose portable. But if you have bought the house, that means you`ll probably not move to another place in a few years, then you can choose in ground basketball hoop. And why? We will talk in a second.
The second thing is stability of these two types of basketball hoop. The portable basketball hoop will be naturally less stable, than in ground basketball hoop. So you must look, if you are living in a windy place, or something like this, because then your portable basketball hoop can fall over. So, if you have these type of conditions in your place of living you should choose in ground basketball hoop.
Third, and last thing in this article, is about the price of basketball hoop. Portable basketball hoop will be surely cheaper, because it can be removed easily, and you do not have to cement it to keep it stable and in one place. But the in ground basketball hoop will be clearly much more expensive, but it brings you other qualities than portable basketball hoop. So I have presented all qualities of two types of basketball hoop, now it is your turn to choose.
Benefits of portable basketball hoops
It’s been more than 20 years since portable basketball hoops have appeared on the market. The first models weren’t really the real thing, meaning they were more a compromise. But, fast forward to today, that has changed a lot for the better.
Portable basketball systems today are a lot more sophisticated and some are comparable in quality to in-ground basketball hoops. Of course, with the portable versions, you have the big advantage of being able to move them around with relative ease. And with the regulations in a growing number of neighborhoods, that oppose the installation of in-ground basketball hoops on driveways for aesthetic reasons, the decision to acquire a portable version is even more justified.
Because of their portability, these types of hoops are preferred by a growing number of homeowners. Not having to go through a tedious process during installation is an aspect that attracts most who chose the best portable basketball hoop for their family.
Again, because of their portability, your investment has all the chances to last for an extended amount of time. Fixed basketball hoops, whether in-ground or wall-mount will be subject to all types of weather. Unless their uninstalled and stored somewhere, or at least protected in a way, they generally have a shorter lifespan than portable basketball hoops.
Things to consider before buying a portable basketball hoop
Probably one of the most important points to start your journey of finding the best portable basketball hoop is from the budget you have available for this product.
Generally speaking, it’s like with any other kind of product. You have choices in smaller price ranges as well as in higher price ranges. Usually, higher priced items are also higher quality. But the highest priced item is not necessarily the best as well.
Height adjustment capabilities
Being able to adjust the height is another important aspect when choosing the best portable basketball hoop. Most hoops can be adjusted between 7 and 10 feet. If you buy this for a child, being able to adjust the hoop accordingly is an absolute must. And if kids as well as adults will be using the hoop, then the height adjustment mechanism is very important too. The easier is is to adjust height, the better, if you will have to do it frequently.
There are five different types of height adjustment mechanisms:
- Broomstick adjustment;
- Telescoping pole;
- Trigger handle;
- Pneumatic adjustment;
- Crank handle.
Broomstick adjustment and telescoping pole are generally found on rather inexpensive models. Crank handle, on the other hand is what you will be using if you choose a higher priced model. It’s a lot easier too adjust height but it’s known to be pretty difficult to put together. This is why, if you choose a portable basketball hoop that has a crank handle height adjustment system, you might want to call in a specialist to put it together the right way.
Depending on the budget you have available for this purchase, you can choose to buy a portable basketball hoop made of more durable or less durable materials. There are options, though, that could be considered about middle range that might be enough for the occasional player.
But if you’re looking for the best portable basketball hoop out there, quality of materials is not what you should be saving money on. Actually, spending a bit more, and choosing quality can translate in more money saved in the long run, because it will simply last longer. And even more so if you take good care of it.
Durability is an important aspect for any product, and even more so for products that are intended for outdoor use. Because wasting money is something that you should avoid as a principle, choosing to buy a more inexpensive hoop might turn out to be a bad financial decision, in the long run.
You might end up buying multiple hoops over the years if you don’t go for quality from the first purchase. This doesn’t mean you have to overspend to ensure a high quality choice, you might just have to analyze your real needs in terms of a portable basketball hoop and choose accordingly. Think about how often and in what conditions it will be used. Different parts of the hoop are important in different ways towards offering the best basketball experience. Decide upon a hierarchy of importance when it comes to the needed features and what you can compromise on, and only afterwards make your choice.
Safe keeping tips for your portable basketball hoop
If you fill the base with water you will have to make sure to add anti-freeze as soon as temperatures drop below freezing point. If you don’t and the water freezes solid, it might crack the base and make your hoop useless. You can also get the water out if you don’t plan on using it until spring.
We recommend, though, that you store your portable basketball hoop in a garage, if possible. Keeping it away from cold and humid weather will extend its life. If that it not possible, the least that you can do is cover it as well as possible with covers made of impermeable materials.
Now that you’ve read our guide, you have all the information you need to make the best decision. Before you make a final decision, go through your needs checklist again and try to make as few compromises as possible. Whichever model you choose from the basketball hoops we’ve included in our favorite picks list is going to offer you great value, but your specific expectations should dictate your final pick.