Lifetime 51550 Portable Hoop Review

product image of Lifetime 48 Inch Portable Basketball Hoop

 Our rating: 4.5 stars Very good  

 Customer rating: 0 reviews

Price: $279.99        Buy from

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The Lifetime 51550 is an advanced hoop for a fair price – it offers 48″ acrylic backboard, sturdy and durable parts and fantastic height adjustment system. Not a pro-grade system but more than adequate for home play.

  • Great height adjustment system
  • Nice acrylic backboard
  • Sturdy and durable
  • assembly (see below)
Key specifications:
Lifetime Portable Basketball Ball Hoop (Model 51550)

Advanced Basketball Hoop – but not Professional

boy and girl playing with the Lifetime 51550 hoopThe 51550 is one of Lifetime’s advanced hoops – not a pro-grade system but completely fine for home use, children from approximately 7 years, teenagers or even adults.

So what advantages does it offer when compared to budget hoops available for half the price? Besides the height adjustment system (we’ll talk about it later) it’s the decent sized (48″) acrylic backboard. It looks great and offers much better response and rebound than those polyethylene backboards of cheaper systems, definitely worth the price difference.

The rim is fairly strong and able to withstand dunks – on the other hand, the backboard and pole wobble a bit when hit which limits the use for more serious play.

Assembly – Not Difficult But Takes Some Time

Assembly is probably the only reason some users were not satisfied with this system – it’s not overly difficult but takes some time (1.5-3 hours according to users) and some tools are required (set of sockets and wrenches). With some effort, the assembly is manageable alone but some steps are much easier in 2 persons.

Some customers mentioned the instructions could have been clearer – however, it seems they have been improved recently and are easy to follow now. Also all the nuts and bolts are packaged separately according to the individual steps.

A few users also reported some missing or broken parts – fortunately the Lifetime customer service sent them immediately when contacted.

Adjusting the height

Durable, Height Very Easy to Adjust

What users like the most about the 51550 is the height adjustment system, you just grab the handle and set the height as you like (in 6″ increments) – so easy! Thanks to the counterbalance springs the transition between heights is really smooth, even the kids themselves have no problem adjusting it using just one hand.

The entire system is also very easy to move when empty – but relocating after filling is quite a challenge of course. You can use either sand or water and while filling it with sand takes much longer, it is more recommended due to the additional weight and therefore stability.

And to speed up the process, you can cut a larger hole into the base or at least use a perfectly dry sand and a funnel. Once filled, the hoop becomes sturdy and stable even for a rougher play.

Also, the durability (as with other Lifetime hoops) is on a very good level, even after a few years it looks like new, there’s no faded paint or rust.

Conclusion:  If you are looking for a quality hoop for older children, teenagers or even adults, the Lifetime 51550 would be a good choice, we can recommend it to you.

On the other hand, if you want a hoop suitable even for a serious play, check out the Lifetime 1558 which offers a larger and more stable backboard.

>> Read more or buy the Lifetime 51550 here

dunking is not a problem      practicing shots


  • Brand: Lifetime
  • Backboard size: 48″
  • Backboard material: acrylic
  • Height: 8′ – 10′
  • Base size: 31-gallon
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

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