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Best Portable Basketball Hoops – Ranked & Reviewed

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Practice makes perfect. This applies to all sports, especially one of the most beloved among them, basketball.

The thing is that practicing basketball isn’t that easy. It’s hard to find an open court that you can attend every other day and not everyone has the privilege of installing a fixed hoop somewhere.

That’s where portable basketball hoops come in handy: they’re convenient, affordable, and efficient. Most importantly you can install them anywhere in your house garage or walkway.

The options are endless and the market is filled with products that look the same but don’t behave so. Throughout this thorough buying guide, we’ll be trying to guide you through the process of purchasing the portable basketball hoop that best suits your needs.

Whether you’re looking for some way to practice or an after school fun activity with your kids, you’re in the right spot.

Choice Criteria

We’ve carried out extensive research and scanned the market to come up with a brief list of the best of the best.

We took into consideration stability, quality of material, ability to withstand aggressive dunks, ease of assembly, and durability.

We also tried to find the best option in every price range. So that no matter what your budget is, you’re going to find an option that suits you.

Best Portable Basketball Hoop – The Shortlist

Now off to business, we compiled a list of the top 7 portable basketball hoops and ordered them according to their price. There we go.

Best High-End: Spalding ‘The Beast’ Portable Basketball Hoop (Below $900)

Last update on 2020-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re willing to invest in a decent basketball hoop, you better put your money into something that’s worth it. After hours of research, we recommend you go for ‘The Beast’ from Spalding.

‘The Beast’ lives up to its name, it’s a real beast in terms of durability, stability, and base strength. It’s guaranteed that you and your kids will have a good time dunking on this hoop. It’s considered the best option for rebounding due to its high degree of a rebound off the glass backboard.

Unlike hoops of lower price ranges, lowering and raising this hoop isn’t seamless. It requires a noticeable amount of force, which is definitely a drawback. However, we have to mention that it’s pretty easy to move around the driveway. Thanks to its wheelbase.

Due to its size and weight, it’s best suited for outdoor use. It checks all the boxes of a perfect outdoor portable basketball hoop. Even in bad weather conditions, like wind or rain, it won’t be affected.

The price you pay for this unit is not just monetary, it’s also costly in terms of effort; as its assembly is quite hard and time-consuming. The instruction manual isn’t helpful either. The best solution would be to have several people do the assembling.

Specs

  • Board size: 60″ x 36″
  • Backboard material: Tempered glass
  • Breakaway rim: Steel Pro-Image
  • Height adjustment range: 7.5′ to 10′
  • Height adjustment method: Screw jack lift
  • Base size: 55 gallons
  • Shipping Weight: 348 lbs

Pros

  • Heavy base
  • Sturdy hoop
  • Wheelbase makes it easy to move
  • Impeccable customer service

Cons

  • Some customers complained of receiving missing or faulty parts
  • Time-consuming assembly
  • Costly

Suitable For

Outdoor use. People who have more than 2 children, who plan to use it regularly. Also, those who want something that will last long.

Lightweight Option: Lifetime 1221 Pro Court Height Adjustable Portable Basketball System (Below $160)

Last update on 2020-04-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You’ll find Lifetime products popping up on our list multiple times. The company was established by a basketball fan who wanted to manufacture a better adjustable basketball hoop and it went from there. Their aim is to create affordable items with quality and they pretty much live up to it.

Back to our product now, this model 1221 is one of the lightest among Lifetime products, it weighs only 54 lbs. It has a sturdy rim with a durable nylon net. The backboard is made of Polyethylene and its size is about 44 inches, which is suitable for children. It won’t be convenient for bank shots though.

The backboard is directly screwed to the support pole. That’s why we won’t promise it’ll withstand a strong dunk. It’s more of a ‘shooting practice’ kind of hoop.

We love the fact that it’s weather-resistant, but we think you should store it in your garage in winter. It also comes with a 5-year warranty.

Its assembly is okay, not the easiest, but not hard to follow. Since the base is plastic, we recommend you fill it with sand rather than water, as it might freeze in winter.

Specs

  • Board size: 44″
  • Backboard material: Polyethylene
  • Breakaway rim: Solid steel rim
  • Height adjustment range: 7.5′ to 10′
  • Height adjustment method: Telescoping mechanism
  • Base size: 27 gallons
  • Shipping Weight: 54.4 lbs

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth height adjustment

Cons

  • Limited mobility
  • It won’t last long

Suitable For

Younger children, less than 13 years.

Best Mid-Range: Silverback NXT Portable Height-Adjustable Basketball Hoop (Usually Below $600)

Last update on 2020-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another strong contender on the list is Silverback NXT portable hoop, from the manufacturers of Goalrilla in-ground baskets, this hoop is here to knock Lifetime & Spalding out.

The effort put in engineering this product is noticeable from the point you unbox the package. No missing parts were reported by any customers, and it comes with a thorough instruction manual.

The Silverback NXT base design is quite impressive, it’s made of a steel frame and it features wheels that can be lifted and moved to help move across rough terrain.

Another feature we like is its backboard, it’s made of transparent see-through polycarbonate with a white square outline to help you shoot right at the hoop. Fast rebound is guaranteed through an Infinity Edge backboard, which folds backward to increase rigidity.

The advertised 90 minute assembly time might be an exaggeration, yet this is one of the few units with relatively easy assembly and a clear instruction manual.

Specs

  • Board size: 50″
  • Backboard material: Polycarbonate
  • Breakaway rim: Covered Breakaway
  • Height adjustment range: 7.5′ to 10′
  • Height adjustment method: 6’’ increments with 30’’ overhang
  • Base size: 25 gallons
  • Shipping Weight: 161 lbs

Pros

  • Straightforward instruction manual
  • Fast assembly
  • Ergonomic movement
  • Unique design

Cons

  • The base might leak water
  • It won’t withstand harsh weather conditions

Suitable For

People who’re looking for a quality mid-range hoop.

Best Value: Spalding NBA Hybrid Portable Basketball System (Usually Below $550)

Last update on 2020-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

People usually complain of the difficulty of moving their ‘portable’ basketball systems around due to their heaviness. The reason? The water-filled base.

While filling the base with water provides great stability, the more stable it is, the harder it is to move. That’s the problem Spalding NBA Hybrid system is trying to solve. A hybrid base that’s partially water, partially rocks/sand, gives it an advantage over its counterparts. It doesn’t only allow for smoother mobility, but it also makes the base sturdier.

This is a system you should get if you want a professional court-like feel of the rim. As it’s a single spring breakaway one with a board pad. The rim is heavy-duty and will withstand your aggressive dunks. It’s weather-resistant as well.

On top of that, the acrylic backboard is quite appealing; it’s surrounded by a steel frame and it provides great rebound effect. It’s available in 2 sizes 54 & 60 inches.

Bring your favorite sports arena to your home yard with this exquisite basketball system! It’s a bit on the expensive side, but it’s totally worth it.

Specs

  • Board size: 54″ x 32″
  • Backboard material: Acrylic
  • Breakaway rim: Covered Breakaway
  • Height adjustment range: 7.5′ to 10′
  • Height adjustment method: Screw jack lift
  • Base size: 19 gallons + 4 50-lbs sandbags
  • Shipping Weight: 163 lbs

Pros

  • Stability
  • Robust base
  • Weather-resistant rim
  • Smooth height adjustment mechanism

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Assembly is tiring and time-consuming

Suitable For

More experienced players or those who want serious practice.

Best for Kids: SKLZ Pro Mini Hoop Basketball System with Adjustable-Height Pole (Below $230)

Last update on 2020-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re in the market looking for something that’s tailored to suit your kid’s needs, you’re in the right place. This mini hoop basketball system will give your kids an entertaining time, whilst being safe and without hurting your pockets.

Unlike most of the portable basketball hoops that have adjustable heights from 7.5’ to 10’, this one has children’s heights in mind, so it ranges from 3.5’ to 7’ to suit them.

The 7” rubber basketball is easy to play with. Your kids will enjoy dunking it into the spring-action breakaway rim that bounces back into place instantly after they make the shot.

Our favorite feature is definitely its water compatibility. Place it on the poolside for double the fun!

The lightweight, easy mobility, and low price make it a nice gift idea for your loved little ones. Just bear in mind that it won’t be there as they grow up.

Specs

  • Board size: 33″ x 23″
  • Backboard material: Shatterproof polycarbonate
  • Breakaway rim: Spring-action breakaway
  • Height adjustment range: 3.5′ to 7′
  • Height adjustment method: Regular adjustable pole
  • Base size: 31.6 x 20 x 6.3”
  • Shipping Weight: 36.9 lbs

Pros

  • Height range that’s suitable for kids
  • Easy to move around
  • Stable base

Cons

  • Won’t suit older kids or adults
  • Frame isn’t durable

Suitable For

Younger kids. If you want something that’s more of a game, rather than sports practice.

Versatile Option: Lifetime 90023 Portable Basketball System (Below $470)

Last update on 2020-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another interesting model to look at from Lifetime is the 90023. It packs an array of features at a very reasonable price.

Featuring a 3-pole system for sturdiness and a Slam-it rim, this system is in for real games. A lot of customers found it to be larger than they expected, so make sure you have roomy space for such a system.

It’s designed to be suitable for all types of players, that’s why it’s gaining popularity among customers. Its height is easily adjustable through the broomstick.

You’ll probably need 2 people to do the assembly and it’ll take them some time before they’re done. But, we grant you that the result will be worth it. Also, the system’s sturdiness will save you any future efforts to adjust or fix it.

Specs

  • Board size: 44″ x 30″
  • Backboard material: Acrylic Fusion
  • Breakaway rim: Classic rim made of steel
  • Height adjustment range: 8′ to 10′
  • Height adjustment method: Broomstick
  • Base size: 31 gallon
  • Shipping Weight: 66 lbs

Pros

  • Brilliant height adjustment mechanism
  • Reasonable price
  • Strong rim

Cons

  • Tiny holes of the base make it difficult to fill
  • Minimum height is tall for some kids

Suitable For

People with a medium budget, who still want something that can endure heavy usage.

Budget Pick: Lifetime 32″ Youth Portable Basketball Hoop (Below $160)

Last update on 2020-04-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yes, you heard it right. Lifetime has gone the extra mile to produce a basketball hoop that’s only dedicated to youth for $80 only.

Just like most Lifetime products, the backboard is made of weather-resistant polyethylene and it has a telescoping height-adjusting pole.

The base here is quite different due to its small size, as its capacity is 10 gallons only. No worries, it’ll suffice, as long as you use it for beginners practice. Also, its compact size makes it perfect for limited-sized yards.

This is a product made for beginners to start getting into the game, it’s not meant for heavy usage or strong dunks. If you’re in the market for an affordable beginner’s hoop, that fits the bill.

You’d expect poor quality at such a price, yet Lifetime won’t allow this to happen. The hoop won’t shatter easily. However, it won’t tolerate aggressive dunks.

Specs

  • Board size: 32″
  • Backboard material: Polyethylene
  • Breakaway rim: Folding-rim
  • Height adjustment range: 5.5′ to 7.5’
  • Height adjustment method: Telescope
  • Base size: 10 gallons
  • Shipping Weight: 30.8 lbs

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Weather-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Won’t last long

Suitable For

Beginners who want an introductory set to get acquainted with the game. Also those with small walkways.

Honorable Mentions

As you may have noticed, there are a few manufacturers in this field, yet they provide a plethora of options. To be honest, some options are pretty similar to each other that they don’t seem to have differences.

That’s why we’re adding this section that features some products that we liked, but didn’t make it to our shortlist, accompanied by brief reviews of their most distinct features so that we don’t waste your time.

Spalding Pro Slam Portable NBA 54 (Below $500)

Last update on 2020-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a classic well-functioning portable basketball system that we couldn’t help but put on our list. It’s one of these few Spalding products that come at a relatively low price without compromising their well-known quality.

Our favorite feature is its double springs that are placed between the board and the rim to relieve stress off the board and protect dunkers against possible injuries. Like most of Spalding products, it’s made of powder-coated steel to resist the weather.

Lifetime 71524 XL Height Adjustable Basketball System (Below $800)

Last update on 2020-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We told you that Lifetime products will be recurring in this guide. This product is worth mentioning for a couple of reasons; an extremely smooth height adjusting mechanism via a power lift, a large stable 50-gallon base, and a robust rim that’s reinforced with a wrap-around brace to tolerate strong shots.

Giantex 10FT Portable Basketball Hoop (Below $150)

Last update on 2020-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This system’s base and backboard are made of polyethylene, which is a light material. The rim as well isn’t so sturdy and it’s not designed for hanging and strong dunks. This isn’t a surprise, as there’s a clear warning sticker on the backboard stating so.

Despite its name, Giantex isn’t that big, so it can be used indoors or outdoors. It’d be a nice option to have a basketball system inside your house for your little tikes. It’s adjustable height starting from 6.5’ up to 10’ makes it a good companion for your kids as they grow.

Buying Guide

Now that we’ve looked into the products, we’ll be discussing everything related to buying your portable basketball hoop to help you make an informed decision.

Basic Parts

There are some fundamental building units of the system that you should know well.

Backboard

You’ll find a wide range of backboard sizes, a regular one of 44” would usually suffice. You can opt for larger ones, in case you want something that has a more real-court feel.

Regarding material, you’ll always find the higher-priced options have a tempered glass backboard, it’s highly durable and has a springy rebound.

Medium quality ones will probably have acrylic, polyester, and polycarbonate boards. These can be called ‘plastic’ boards, the problem with them is their poor rebounding, meaning the ball won’t bounce back to you well. While they’re good materials, most of them won’t stand power shots or aggressive dunks. The best of them is probably Acrylic, yet it’ll probably scratch over time.

Polycarbonate’s durability is its strong suit. It won’t shatter or break easily. But as you know, nothing’s perfect; its durability is matched with poor performance. Balls don’t bounce off it well and it’s often described to have a ‘dead feel’.

Rim

There are 2 main types for rims: standard and breakaway.

Standard rims are the basic ones that are directly screwed to the backboard. Being this close to the board means that you should expect multiple in and out bounce shots, these will damage the board on the long run.

More modern designs try to solve this problem by adding springs between the rim and the board to produce fewer rebounds and to allow for better dunking. Such rims are called breakaway rims.

Base

The base’s size and capacity should be compatible with the backboard, in order to ensure stability. Usually, you fill in the base with water, sand, gravel, or a mix of them.

A companion consideration is that of people who live in cold weather. In case of water filling, there’s a pretty good chance it’ll freeze, after defrosting, you might find the base deformed. That’s why you should use sand instead or add an anti-freezing solution to water.

Some medium-quality products might leak water from their base. So, generally, sand is safer.

If you care about portability, then you should look for a base with wheels. Beware that moving a base-filled hoop is exhausting, even with wheels, due to the heavy weight.

Some people try to ensure base stability by putting heavy stuff on it, like metal equipment, tires, or other things. This can cause real safety hazards and it can actually make things worse.

Height Adjustment Mechanisms

In a portable basketball hoop, you should look for a height adjustment mechanism, so that the hoop is suitable for different settings and can grow up with your children.

There are some well-known mechanisms for that like a crank handle, a trigger handle, a screw knob, a broomstick, and a telescoping pole. Each one has its benefits and drawbacks. However, the trigger handle is the one with the smoothest movement.

Bracing

This is the frame surrounding the backboard, usually made of steel. Its function is to support the backboard stability. These bracings help enhance the performance of the backboard immensely.

Final Checklist

Before making your purchase you should ensure that your chosen product complies with these factors.

Price

It should be within the decided price range obviously. You’ll find an option for every budget, so please don’t be fooled by attractive cheaper options, they’ll be of less quality.

Space

Make sure that your chosen product matches the space available at your yard. Also, check whether it’s easy to move or not. You don’t want to be stuck with an immobile system.

Usage

Your purpose for buying the system is important. There are options for beginners, for kids, and for experienced athletes. Determine your purchasing goal clearly, so that you can look for the right options.

Assembly

Don’t go for a system that’s hard to assemble if you’ll be doing it yourself. Also, if you have to buy such a system, try getting help with the assembly to move things around.

Final Thoughts

When choosing a portable basketball hoop, you should get your priorities straight. The first thing to consider is its size. You don’t want to get a high-quality hoop that you can’t use freely because of limited space.

Our favorite is Silverback NXT Portable Height-Adjustable Basketball Hoop. For us, it gets the benefits/ price ratio just right! It’s packed with options and has a solid build.

If you have some extra dollars to spare, we’d definitely recommend Spalding ‘The Beast’ Portable Basketball Hoop, it’s one of these rare expensive products that’s worth its price. Besides, you’ll never go wrong with Spalding!

We hope we’ve helped you with the purchasing process. Now get that basketball hoop up and running, the game is about to start!

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