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So you want us to recommend a portable basketball hoop?
Whether you have a budding basketball star in the home who wants to practice the muscle memory of aim or you want a fun diversion for your backyard, a portable basketball hoop can be a great way to achieve this.
Portable machines are good for rental homes and buildings where you don’t want to install a backboard to the side of a building. They give you the option to create a court far from the garage door, saving wear and tear on your home’s exterior. Pair them up, and set up a court anywhere. They can even be shrunk down for a bit of indoor/outdoor versatility.
Portable basketball hoops come with a few different considerations. Adjustability for height, weight considerations, backboard materials, styling, budget, and materials all play a part in the differences. There are as many options for a hoop as there are aspiring NBA players.
So what’s the best portable basketball hoop?
We’ve chosen ten of our favorites for your consideration, and our all-time favorite based on the different specs and innovations available. Whether it be a hoop for a driveway or a portable basketball hoop for pool parties, these are all great choices. Read on to learn more.
Read on to discover our favorite hoops and possibly even find your own!
"If you like to play hard enough that you expect some slammed balls and an occasional toppled hoop, this might be the choice for you. It also is a good choice if you want hard, year-round play and you live somewhere where high winds are a common occurrence in the stormy seasons."
"This particular hoop offers a full, pro-size backboard with the shatterproof frame, breakaway rim, and the durability you’ll need for anyone who needs a hoop that works as hard as they do on their way to basketball glory."
"This full-sized hoop from Spalding is the last in the series. It offers a big, acrylic backboard that is metal-wrapped to help prevent shattering. Breakaway rim, adjustable pole, and hybrid base all offer additional benefits."
If you’re the person who buys things to last a decade instead of a season, this is the choice for you. There has been a lot of thought put into every aspect of this piece, from the steel wrap on the polypro backboard to the weatherproof netting. If you want something that your kids and grandkids will both get an opportunity to enjoy, this is a great option.
There’s nothing basic about this high-end hoop. How does it do overall?
What makes it special?
Base can be filled and emptied to make it very portable- can be tipped onto wheels for quick movement
Easy pneumatic height-change ability
Every part has an extra layer of durability for long-lasting, four-season toughness
What cons did we find?
Takes some time and the right tools to assemble- comes in a lot of parts
Backboard cannot tilt if you want to put it on a slope
He bought a steel pipe, a piece of plywood, and a basketball rim. What began as a backyard business advertised in the local classified ads has become a national company that is a leader in the portable hoop marketplace.
A strong contender in the all-around category but very basic.
This is, overall, a great choice for a cost-effective and portable tool. It has strong materials that give a good balance between durability and portability. The design, once assembled, is pretty universally loved. The only negative was a slightly complicated construction process with a manual that could use an update. If you’re an avid DIYer or you have access to one, then this is hardly a problem.
If you liked the first one, just wait to see what else we have to show you!
So how does this portable hoop stack up overall? Is it a buzzer-beater or a brick?
What are our favorite features?
Durable piece that’s good in all weather
Safety-conscious polyethylene backboard
Good balance between sturdy and mobile
Anchor base can be filled with sand or water
Telescoping design lets you lay it in the garage during the winter if you wish
What could be better?
Requires some time and additional tools to assemble
What does this top manufacturer of basketballs know about hoops? Quite a bit.
So Spalding has created a portable basketball system that gets rave reviews online. The company makes excellent basketballs as well as portable, screw-on, in-ground, and pro-level basketball hoops.
They have spared no expense on the materials of this Spalding NBA Portable Basketball System. The backboard is tempered glass to allow you the same kind of bounce that you’ll get on competition-level hoops and backboards. Every bit of this is quality material, and it shows with the performance of the piece.
The materials on this portable hoop are everything you’d expect from a pro manufacturer of equipment
There is a lot to like about this basketball hoop. Spalding made a real attempt at taking a rollable portable model and making it function as much like an in-ground pro-level hoop. The biggest difference is the real glass backboard.
They’ve worked hard to make it as break-proof as possible, knowing that there is a real chance that the backboard will hit the ground on occasion. While it’s not perfect, it’s pretty fantastic for the price point.
What benefits and drawbacks does this portable basketball hoop have to offer?
What are its best features?
A great, virtually unbreakable basketball system
Offers spacers and other protective hardware to help provide shatterproof, tweakproof stability
The bounce is as close as you can get to a pro-level backboard bounce angle
What could be improved?
Takes several hours to put together and requires two people to do it well
If the base is incorrectly installed, it may leak water
The perfect budget-friendly or kids’ beginner portable hoop
This is a great choice if you’re looking for something for an occasional light backyard pickup game. It’s a great beginner hoop for younger kids as well. The materials are lighter and not quite as durable as those of some of the other hoops, but if you’re someone who is more interested in the occasional pickup game than hanging on the rims, this will work just fine.
And how does it fare overall?
Why is it special?
A great choice for kids and families
All components are weatherproof and break-resistant
What are the flaws?
Smaller size than other backboards
Materials are a bit lighter and cannot stand things like rim hanging
If you are getting the basketball hoop for someone who cannot seem to keep things in good condition due to a habit of playing rough (whether that be your four boys or yourself), this is the model designed to stand up to the fiercest roughhousing.
The parts are designed to be padded in the important places and made of shatterproof materials. This results in a hoop that you can hang on and leave out all year.
A great choice for the tough customers in your life!
If you like to play hard enough that you expect some slammed balls and an occasional toppled hoop, this might be the choice for you. It also is a good choice if you want hard, year-round play and you live somewhere where high winds are a common occurrence in the stormy seasons.
While it’s not going to give you the performance of a pro backboard, it is going to make it through your toughest customers intact.
Sounds like a tough contender to me!
What are the pros and cons of this hoop?
Why are we impressed?
Tough, four-season weatherproof design
Attractive design that won’t fade in rain or UV light
Great for kids and adults alike
Portable basketball hoop with adjustable height to grow into
What negatives must you be aware of?
Polyethylene backboard doesn’t bounce like a pro backboard
However, it’s also lighter, virtually unbreakable, and a great option for those who love the quality of this brand but don’t need a pro-level hoop.
A strong overall hoop with good features in the mid-range and dunking capabilities.
If you live in a family with members who are constantly hanging on the rim or toppling their portable hoop, then this might be just the solution. The acrylic backboard offers the closest thing to the bounce angle of real glass while being virtually shatterproof, even with a 200-pound, near seven-foot teen crashing down with it.
A strong hoop from a quality company makes for a strong contender.
What are the best and worst points about this Spalding hoop?
What makes it stand out?
Durable construction is perfect for dunking with the breakaway rim design
This is definitely a top contender if you want a quality hoop that works with a wide variety of skill levels.
This hoop is a very high-quality option that will suit both those who are looking for a play-hard item that they can use to hang from the rim as well as those who are getting their kids used to a pro-size hoop as they learn to master the game.
Adjustable height is pneumatic, making it easy for anyone to add or subtract six inches at a time. It’s one of the top options that Lifetime offers and can be upgraded to an in-ground system with a simple call to customer service.
One of the best ones to grow with. But we still have more great options to go!
What stands out?
Can be converted to an in-ground hoop if you want to upgrade
Breakaway net and shatterproof backboard allow for high-intensity play
Pneumatic lift for height adjustment makes it easy to change heights
What cons did we manage to find?
The kit requires two people and several hours to assemble
One of the few quick-assembly hoop systems on our list. How does it fare overall?
Silverback’s biggest claim to fame is that you can assemble this hoop in 90 minutes. Since almost all of the competition requires four or five hours and at least two people to do correctly, this is a big deal for those of you who hate DIY projects.
Quick assembly and strong construction.
How can you do much better?
This is overall another super strong contender in the all-around category. The fact that one person can put it together in under two hours is huge, especially considering the fact that the amount of time and the complexity of assembly is the number one complaint of the other hoops. Silverback is tough, highly lauded, and gym quality.
How do the pros and cons measure up?
Why did it make our list?
Actually somewhat quick and easy to assemble
Overwhelming positive reviews
Feels gym quality
Easy for anyone to adjust, kid or adult
What is not ideal about it?
Requires you to purchase or own a large ratchet set. This is not included.
How does this final contender from Spalding measure up?
This full-sized hoop from Spalding is the last in the series. It offers a big, acrylic backboard that is metal-wrapped to help prevent shattering. Breakaway rim, adjustable pole, and hybrid base all offer additional benefits.
A good mid-range hoop that offers a decent entry price point.
To be fair, this is a great middle-range hoop. If you want something cheap that is relatively durable, this is a good choice. It is not for rim-hangers or those who want something that is the same quality as a gym-level or in-ground hoop.
And the final contender? Are we saving the best for last?
And how does it fare overall?
What are its best features?
Hybrid base lets you combine both sand and water for a more versatile anchor
This is a good, budget choice for anyone who is looking for a lower price point.
The only entry from Giantex, the Giantex Portable Basketball System offers a good entry-level option to discover what portable basketball nets have to offer. This has some mixed reviews, but it’s a good choice if you want something basic but don’t need something overly tough.
This is a good price and a decent hoop.
If you want to save money and play the occasional pickup game on a net that will be put away for winter, then this is a great choice. But it struggles with intense play or heavy weather. It’s tough to make a quality, discount basketball hoop but Giantex has made a good try and it’s a great choice for those who fit in that price point.
And how does the basketball hoop stack up?
What stands out?
One of the best prices
One of the easiest setups
Great for light to medium games
The widest range of telescoping heights
What cons did we manage to find?
Some construction issues have made this a little more fragile
Not great for four-season play
Things to Consider
All the Types of Portable Basketball Hoops
When it comes to construction, most portable basketball hoops offer the same basic design. They come with a backboard of either plastic or glass construction, a telescoping metal pole, and a base that can be filled with either sand or water for weight-based stability.
Look for differences in:
The type of backboard- quality ranges in order from glass to acrylic to polyethylene
The post construction- is it square or round? How thick? What kind of weatherproof coating?
The adjustment system: is it manually adjustable or pneumatic?
The rim: Is it breakaway or not?
The weatherproofing components
Lifetime Portable Basketball Hoop
Lifetime is a Utah-based company that specializes in backyard basketball hoops. The owner began by making one in his backyard from a few different hardware store components. From there, he began offering to build them in the local classifieds. Now, the company makes dozens of low price point hoops that work as in-ground, portable, and wall-mounted systems.
The company has graduated to also making a number of other sporting goods and backyard items like tables, sheds, watersports equipment, and playground equipment.
The Benefits of Having a Hoop
A fun reason for kids to play outside and not inside
A good outlet for healthy exercise
A great reason to have the local kids play in your yard and not unsafe areas
A great way for your child to spend lots of extra hours training for the sport
Size and Materials
When it comes to backboards, there are two things to consider, the size and the materials. as for size, pro-level backboards are 72 by 42 inches. smaller dimensions of backboard make for a lighter overall hoop system, but they also have reduced playing space. backboards come in one of three materials:
Glass– tempered glass is the highest level of quality for boards. It transfers the most energy back to the basketball when hit and offers a strong rebound opportunity. It does break more easily than acrylic or polyethylene.
Acrylic is the medium level of quality for a backboard. It offers more motion transfer than polyethylene but less than glass. It is very unbreakable, however.
Polyethylene is very strong, rather unbreakable, but it absorbs a lot of vibration and doesn’t give it back to the ball.
There are a number of different things to consider when it comes to playability. Much of it has to do with the way that you play.
Do you need a durable system because you tend to play hard and the net occasionally tips over or a light model for pickup games?
What height range do you need?
Do you want a large backboard that bounces like the pros or are you more interested in perfecting your shots that are net-only?
What about breakaway rims?
Do you need them?
Considering all this can help you to make the right choice.
The single biggest complaint about all of these systems revolved around the installation. The bottom line is that these systems have a lot of parts and take two people with muscles and some know-how the better part of a day to assemble.
This is a really common complaint on all but one of the models. Rather than looking at this as a bad thing, consider it to be a necessary component in all but one of the model brands. There are many things that take a lot of time and effort, and this just happens to be one of them.
If you want to take your time, this is definitely a great new backyard accessory for your home. If you don’t want to take your time, Amazon offers installation services on these hoops for an additional fee. The fee is based on average assembly time, so it is different from the hoop to hoop. If you’re tighter on time than you are on budget, this can be a really great option to have.
Maintaining the basketball hoop requires very little work. These are designed, for the most part, to be four-season systems that can take whatever wind, rain, snow, and sun can throw at you. Maintenance is as simple as wiping it down every once in awhile.
This can prevent a buildup of mold and mildew on the hoop. Your netting will last longer if you take them down during the winter or wet season of the year, but it’s not necessary.
The biggest thing to know about these anchor systems is tied to the other big complaint about these systems. Most of the anchors can be filled with a choice of sand or water. However, major problems happen if you plan to fill them with water and leave them out in sub-zero temperatures.
This is because the water turns into ice and ice expands in comparison to water. If the anchor is too full, it will crack the plastic holder and require you to purchase a hoop replacement base. You have two choices to prevent this. You can empty (or partially empty) the anchor during the winter months. You can otherwise opt for dry sand to prevent the issue.
Good to know.
How To Ensure A Safe Playing Area
A safe playing area is an important part of a good court.
One of the biggest things to do when you are bringing in one or two portable basketball hoops is to consider the best way to set up a basketball court.
A good court is flat, smooth, and free of tripping hazards. It is big enough to do some running and considers what is behind the hoop when it comes to placement. A missed ball will hit whatever is behind the hoop, so make sure you’re comfortable with whatever that is.
Hoops need to be placed on a flat enough surface to prevent tipping
Concrete can’t be a tripping hazard- watch for roots and sidewalk cracks
Consider putting the hoop in front of a tall shrub or woodland area rather than pointing it toward the street or your house.
Choose the longest open area you can to allow some running in the game. You don’t need to have the size of a court, but half a court would be good.
Design Considerations for the Best Portable Basketball Hoop
What should you consider when looking for a hoop?
There are a number of different design features that can be looked at when choosing a portable hoop. Here are a few to consider:
Square vs round pole: A square pole can cause some very different post bounces than a round post.
Acrylic vs Glass vs Polyethylene causes different backboard bounce.
Pneumatic lift vs manual lift changes the way that the basketball hoop telescopes up and down. If ease is important to you, choose one of the hoops that offer help.
Breakaway rims are a good choice for those who like to hang on them.
Washers and other securing hardware for fasteners can help to reduce vibration and prevent stripping.
Metal-wrapped backboards are sturdier and more resilient to falls.
Choosing designs that are higher in quality will allow you to use the hoop longer in the year, hang on it harder, knock it over when blocking a few fouls, and more. Choosing designs that are lighter and not as durable can work well if you prefer playing horse or fooling around in the summer to heavy, year-round use.
What are the common questions that people ask about these portable hoops?
Water is an easier, cheaper choice. However, it can expand when the temperatures drop below zero and crack the base. If you’re going to use it all winter long, then sand is definitely your better choice. If you want to use water, you can remember to pour out about half of it when the weather gets cold. This should give you enough room to expand without cracking.
If you’re playing at a high level of performance, the bounce on a backboard will best approximate what you’ll find in a gym. This can give you the muscle memory to be in the right place at the right time when you get backboard bounce. However, glass is also much more breakable than acrylic or polyethylene. Because of this, most of the glass backboards are actually found in posts that are anchored permanently into the ground.
So what’s the best choice of all?
When looking at all of the different choices, the best portable basketball hoop needs to be based on a number of different factors. This includes the kind of backboard you might want, the height range, the ease of putting the hoop together, the durability of the system in all four seasons, and more. For us, we wanted to find the best option between high-quality construction and durable design and ease of use in all situations.
When looking at all the options, a few things were pretty even all around. The basic setup of all of the anchors varied in the number of gallons that they held, but they were essentially the same. Everyone had some form of a telescoping pole for height adjustment, though the actual ease of adjustment did vary from one to the next.
With one exception, they were all time-consuming to put together and there was a lot of struggle with instructions that weren’t always too clear.
Based on this information, the honor of the winner of the overall best portable hoop belongs to the Lifetime 52 Inch Portable Basketball Hoop System. The biggest design difference was the ease of assembly. Combine this with the fact that the hoop got very high reviews about the quality and durability, and we have a clear winner.
Though Spalding had a contender with a higher quality backboard made from glass, and other Lifetime’s hoops had an option with an innovative combo anchor design, it was this breakthrough that really made the grade.