Choosing the best portable hoop for you or your kid doesn't have to be difficult. Just think about the desired age and price range and here you’ll find our most recommended models:
The top youth portable goals offer sturdy construction, durability, decent playing capabilities and affordable price. Here is our most recommended system:
- Lifetime 90022 and a few others
On the other hand, a quality basketball goal that will be used by adults or for a serious play requires much better stability, sturdier components and top notch playing capabilities. Here are our picks – a Lifetime goal for a decent price and a more expensive professional hoop from Spalding :
|Step2 Shootin’ Hoops|
|Spalding NBA “The Beast”|
|Price||UK CA||Our rating||Height||Backb. size||Backboard material||Base size||Assembly||Height adjustment system||Warranty||For|
|$52.99||4’/5’/6′||N/A||N/A||N/A||quick and simple||plastic tabs – easy but may break||3 years|
|$62.84||5.5′-7.5′||32"||polyethylene||10-gallon||1 hour||knob – easy||5 years|
|$99.00||7.5′-10′||44"||polyethylene||27-gallon||1 hour||knob – quite easy||5 years|
|$140.99||7.5′-10′||44"||polyethylene||27-gallon||1 hour||knob – quite easy||5 years|
|$150.50||7.5′-10′||44"||acrylic||27-gallon||1-1.5 hour||knob – okay||5 years|
|$211.65||8′-10′||48"||acrylic||31-gallon||1.5-3 hour||handle – very easy||5 years|
|$254.99||7.5′-10′||52"||acrylic||35-gallon||a few hours||handle – very easy||5 years|
|$1,248.99||7.5′-10′||60"||glass||50-gallon||2.5-4 hour||crank – easy||1 year, backboard 5 years|
How to select the right Portable Basketball Hoop for your needs
There are many basketball hoops on the market today, but we’ll do our best to help you select the right one quickly and easily. Just think about what purpose should the goal serve:
- Do you need a simple and inexpensive hoop just for kids or family play?
- Or a higher quality model that can be used even for a more serious play?
- Or the best of the best, top quality system?
The hoops for kids and family play are the least expensive – they feature a smaller backboard made of polyethylen (cheaper but reduces the bounce) and a basic height adjustment system with just a knob and several holes in the pole. They are not as firm and wobble considerably when hit which makes them useless for an aggressive or serious play – but during family play that’s not a problem. On the other hand, they are not too heavy and fairly easy to move around even with the base filled. Also, their assembly is usually easier and faster.
More expensive hoops
As the price increases, so does the quality of components and size and weight of the hoop. The backboard gets larger and switch from polyethylene to acrylic (much better playing capabilities) or even glass. Adjusting height gets much easier thanks to the handle or crank systems and the hoop becomes a lot firmer and is able to withstand even dunking or hanging on the rim. Unfortunately, as the system gets more sophisticated, the assembly also takes more time. Also the additional weight makes moving it around a lot more difficult (after filling the base).
Evolution of Basketball Hoops
Today, basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, globally more than 450 million play it as either professionals or amateurs. In many countries it replaced soccer as the most popular sport.
As the popularity of basketball rose in the second half of the last century, the concept of a home hoop system was born – instead of visiting a basketball court, people could have fun or even train on their own backyard.
Both wall-mounted and in-ground hoops served well but were not ideal for this task due to their disadvantages (for example no height adjustment or necessity to dig a hole and use concrete). But then Lifetime and Spalding came with a unique concept – a complete basketball system that is portable, adjustable and also affordable, packed in just one box.
The main difference is that these hoops use their own base which can be filled with sand or water and provides stability. Also, the pole height can be adjusted to accomodate either kids, teenagers or adults and the small wheels enable moving it around. Thanks to these advantages portable hoops became very popular and many people have one on their driveway or backyard.
There are many benefits to owning a portable basketball hoop, most importantly it presents a new outdoor activity and source of fun for your kids (so much better than sitting inside playing video games). And parents can join them as well! Or it can be used for training or shooting practice if your child is an aspiring basketball champion 🙂
Portable versus in-ground hoops
Portable basketball hoops are generally more suitable for a home use than the in-ground systems as they can be moved around and do not require digging holes or mixing concrete. Also, the basic models are pretty cheap so if you need just a plaything for your kids or a simple goal for family play, they’re perfect.
Of course, they’ll never be as firm and stable as hoops anchored in the ground. But after you fill the base with sand or water, their stability becomes very good.
Should I fill the base with sand or water?
To achieve proper stability, the base of the hoop has to be filled with either water or sand – and both substances have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Sand is heavier and therefore provides better stability. Also there is no danger of leaking or freezing in the winter. On the other hand, filling the base with sand takes much longer and becomes a nightmare if it’s not perfectly dry (some people even cut a larger hole into the base to speed up the process).
- Water is a lot easier to work with, you can fill (or empty) the base really quickly and without any trouble. However, sometimes a leak can develop in the base and the hoop becomes unstable without you even knowing it – so it’s important to check it occasionally. Also, water can freeze and damage the base so people usually drain it for winter or add an antifreeze (easier but you probably won’t be happy if it spills in your backyard in case a leak occurs).
- Combination of both these methods is an interesting alternative – you fill the base with water and then add a few sand bags on top of it. The result is perfect stability even in strong winds and in case a leak occurs, the goal would still be fairly stable, giving you more time to spot the problem.
Is there any maintenance?
Good news is that most portable hoops don’t require almost any maintenance, they are very durable and pretty fade/rust resistant. Most often you just tighten a few bolts from time to time – check the product manual of your goal for the exact instructions.