Best Portable Basketball Hoop – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2017 Reviews, Tests, Pros & Cons

Basketball is a game that requires a good deal of practice. In order to enhance your gaming skills, you will have to commit your time, energy and interest to the sport. However, even with a high level of commitment and latent skills, you can practically do nothing if you do not have a best portable basketball hoop nearby. You can either have one in your backyard or at a friend’s place where you can practice regularly but having it close does have its own benefits.

choosing best portable basketball hoop for backyard

If you do not have a dedicated space to install the hoop, you could think of places like the garage but wouldn’t that look ugly? If you plan to get a permanent basketball hoop installed, then portability becomes an issue. What could you do to ensure that you can play the game regularly without disrupting the interior or the exterior of your house? You could get the best portable basketball hoop and move it around wherever and whenever you wish to without taking up much space at all!

In this article we have reviewed the Top 5 Portable Basketball Hoops in the market and factors like user rating, features and price helped us to come to a decision about choosing the best. We hope this Buyer’s Guide helps you to find your best.

Comparative Table Of The Top 5 Portable Basketball Hoop

Brand Backboard Size Base Size Material Backboard Support Pole
Lifetime 1221 44 inches 27 gallon High-Density Polyethylene 3-piece
Spalding Pro Slam NBA 54 inches 34 gallon Polycarbonate Angled pole
Lifetime Youth Basketball Hoop 30 inches 10 gallon Nylon Net 3-piece
Silverback NXT 50 inches/ 54 inches 40 gallon Acrylic 3-piece
Spalding NBA 54 inches 40 gallon Tempered glass 3-piece

Top 5 Best Portable Basketball Hoop Reviews

Lifetime 1221 Pro Court Portable Basketball System, 44 Inch Backboard

When we started looking for portable basketball hoops, the first brand that we came across was the Lifetime 1221. We heard the name so many times that we had to see it for ourselves and needless to say, it soon became our top pick. We could soon make out how it is the top rated product on Amazon and a bestseller as well.

One of the most striking features of this basketball hoop is the fact that its height can be adjusted from 7.5 feet to 10 feet. This is a huge advantage for younger players who are not ready for a 10-foot hoop right away. The height adjustment can be done without tools that allow players of different skill levels and ages enjoy the game.

Most in-ground basketball hoops are anchored in concrete and makes portability difficult. This hoop, on the other hand, can be rolled on wheels. You can position the basket support as per your desired location. The only thing that you need to do is to fill up the 27-gallon base with sand or water and dunk away.

If you are an aspiring dunker, you can gradually raise the basket 6 inches at a time as your vertical improves over a period of time. If you are not feeling too confident about constantly handling the steel rim to make all the height adjustments, think again. The steel rim is a sturdy 18-inch solid structure that is held together by ½ inch steel braces, net hooks and also by a 50-gram net. This combination promises high durability and ease of use for a long time.

What’s more, the 44-inch backboard is equally sturdy considering the UV-protection and the high-density polyethylene construction. Made of a sturdy material, the backboard will be able to withstand rough use while preventing chipping and cracking all the way. Also, you can expect the graphics to resist wear and tear as well. The three-piece pole that supports the entire unit is black powder-coated to keep it resistant from rough weather conditions. The entire unit comes along with a five-year warranty that enhances the value of the product.

The base of the hoop is quite flexible and you can install it anywhere you want to. We recommend you to use room temperature water to fill up the base for the best results. Assembling this unit is so easy that it will merely take 2 people and 10 minutes for the entire thing to be set up. The user guide that comes along with the system has all the instructions required to install the loop easily.

If you are in the United States, you can expect free shipping of the product.

Pros:

  • Height-adjustment mechanism lets both adults and young players enjoy the sport.
  • The backboard is made of durable material making it tough and weather-resistant as well.
  • The base makes the unit portable and very stable.
  • The unit comes along with a 5-year warranty.

Cons:

  • The unit could have done with a double spring compression.

Spalding Pro Slam Portable NBA 54” Angled Pole Backboard Basketball System

When it comes to basketball hoops, Spalding is a household name because it is popular across all ages and skill levels. This is primarily because Spalding offers a wide variety of portable as well as in-ground hoops that can be used by beginners as well as by advanced players. The Spalding Pro Slam Portable NBA 54” basketball system can be used in your driveway as well as your backyard for games and practices.

This unit is available in a mid-range price point so if you have just started playing the game or are simply using the hoop as a hobby, it is perfect for you. You will have a decent portable basketball hoop without needing to spend too much.

The 54-inch acrylic backboard of this unit is framed in steel and is thus highly durable. Generally, tempered glass offers the highest amount of durability but it is also quite expensive at the same time. If you are not looking to spend too much right away then acrylic is what you should opt for. While offering you better quality and durability than cheaper alternatives, it is at least more affordable than tempered glass.

The backboard has a steel board pad that makes it stronger during layups but it does not have a padded board like a few other portable hoops in the market do. You need to exercise caution while dunking or laying up hard. You can also buy a padded board pad separately and add it on to your hoop.

The rim of this basketball unit measures 5/8 of an inch and since it is a breakaway rim, it allows young as well as old players to dunk safely. There is a weather-resistant net attached to the rim that you leave outside in all weather conditions without causing wear and tear to the net. The net along with the rim helps basketball players of all ages and skill levels to try bank shots, dunks and layups without any apprehension.

It has often been seen how during intense gaming sessions, players run into the pole of the basketball hoop. The Pro Slam hoop has a 3-piece angled hoop, is 3.5 inches in diameter and the angling keeps the players from running into the pole.

What makes a huge difference to a basketball hoop is its base. When you have a solid base, the chances of vibrating too much, shaking or falling are greatly reduced. This unit has a 34-gallon base that is as solid as you want a base to be and it can also be filled up with water or sand if you need to add more weight to it. Most users have reported that the base is quite sturdy when filled up with sand or water and dunking is more convenient than ever before.

The assembly of the unit takes 2-4 hours when you do it alone but the time definitely reduces when you have a helping hand.

Pros:

  • Angled pole avoids accidents during intense gaming sessions.
  • Backboard material is durable and of high quality.
  • Players of all ages and skill levels can use it.
  • The net is weather-resistant and hence durable.

Cons:

  • The plastic base could have been bigger.
  • 3-piece pole is shakier than 1-piece poles.

Lifetime Youth Portable Basketball Hoop

Since basketball is a sport that needs to be initiated early in life, young children need a quality hoop to develop their hand-eye co-ordination. The Lifetime Youth Portable basketball system is designed for young players to learn and play basketball early in life with a hoop that grows with them.

Your children can have unlimited hours of fun with this portable hoop that is made of durable materials. The backboard is made of polyethylene and is 32 inches in size that makes for a high-density and molded appearance. The rim is made of solid steel and is reduced to 15 inches in size but allows your child to play with junior size as well as full size balls.

The 3-piece pole is made of powder-coated steel that holds up the rim and backboard and can take hard blows of a game of HORSE to lighter blows of a friendly game in the neighborhood. The assembly of the hoop is also quite simple and adjusting the height is as easy as it is with other portable basketball hoops.

Reviewers have mentioned that this basketball unit holds up really well because of its sturdy base that can be filled with sand or water and made more stable. Also, the base has wheels that can be used to move the hoop to different locations.

This hoop is perfect for children who are always outgrowing things. Don’t we all know the pain of buying things for children of growing ages? This basketball hoop can be adjusted up to 6-inch increments and can be grown from 5 ½ feet to 7 ½ feet. This height adjustment mechanism makes it perfectly suitable to be used for children of 4-12 years of age. Even if we consider the fact that every child grows differently, it will at least give you 5 years of great use.

Pros:

  • The entire unit is designed to withstand harsh elements of Nature.
  • The base is stable and portable.
  • Assembly is simple.
  • Height adjustment of the hoop helps cater growing children.
  • Is backed by a 5-year limited warranty.

Cons:

  • It does not have a breakaway rim.

Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop

It is not for nothing that the Silverback NXT is called the infinity backboard. While most backboards have a metal frame to attach it to, this backboard wraps around at a 90 degree angle that is known as flanging. Flanging makes the backboard stronger and more durable. The infinity design of the backboard gives it a clean and sleek look in the absence of a metal frame.

Its exclusively designed ErgoMove base is yet another significant feature. The large wheels at the base make the hoop easier to transport. You will also find the support of two hand grips on the sides of the base that you can hold on to while moving the hoop.

Two metal bars run beneath the fill base and enhance the stability of the unit. We have reviewed and researched a number of portable basketball hoops but only the Silverback NXT has this incredible feature.

Most portable hoops are a pain to assemble but the Silverback NXT will not take you more than 90 minutes to assemble the entire unit.

The rim of this unit also has an easy one spring setup. The rim has an impressive bounce and strength. Height adjustment is a common feature of portable hoops and this too can be adjusted from 7.5 ft-10 ft to accommodate growing children.

Pros:

  • The design of the infinity backboard is unique.
  • The unit is lightweight as well as durable.
  • The ErgoMove feature makes transportability quite convenient.
  • The frame enhances the stability of the hoop.

Cons:

  • It is more expensive than other portable hoops with more or less the same features.
  • Assembly could take longer than the claimed 90 minutes.

Spalding NBA Portable Basketball System – 54” Glass Backboard

Have you ever wondered why glass backboards are highly recommended by professional basketball players? This is because glass is the most expensive and professional backboard that you could use and it gives the best kind of bounce, thus allowing you to play like a pro. The Spalding NBA Portable basketball system has a glass backboard that is the best you could ask for.

Its base is sturdy and has a 40-gallon capacity that can be filled up with water and sand to make it more stable. The glass backboard is tempered and measures 54 inches. It also has a breakaway rim that is made of heavy duty solid steel and that will add to the sturdiness of the structure.

The 3-piece support pole has a 4-strut mount that increases the support and makes the entire unit quite safe to be used for intense gaming sessions.

Like all portable basketball units, it has a height adjustment system that moves the basket from 7.5 feet to 10 feet. This height adjustment can be done with a Screw Jack system that makes the entire process quite convenient.

Pros:

  • Glass backboard enhances strength and durability.
  • Base is sturdy and keeps the unit stable.
  • Height can easily be adjusted.
  • The rim is made of heavy duty steel.

Cons:

  1. The instructions could be slightly difficult to follow.

Best Portable Basketball Hoop – Buyer’s Guide

Now that we have discussed the top products at length, let us take a look at the factors that you should bear in mind before investing in a portable basketball hoop.

Size

While the general range of sizes in portable basketball hoops varies between 44 inches to 60 inches, the majority of homes looking to install a hoop for recreational purposes would opt for a 52 inch.

Material

There are three different backboard materials available for portable basketball hoops. They are Polycarbonate, Acrylic and Tempered Glass. While polycarbonate is highly durable, performance is definitely compromised with it. The rebound effect is not as good as the other more expensive materials.

Acrylic backboards are less durable than polycarbonate backboards but they perform much better. If weather conditions are unfavorable in the area where you reside, it is advisable to opt for an acrylic backboard.

There is no doubt about the fact that a tempered glass backboard is the real deal. It performs way better than acrylic and polycarbonate materials and the amount of money that you invest in it will definitely be worth it.

Rim

When you need the best quality rim for your portable hoop, opt for a professional grade breakaway rim without a second thought. These rims are highly durable. However, it is better not to let them hang for a very long time.

Base

The bases that have a 50 plus gallon capacity are the ones that you should ideally opt for. These have the maximum amount of stability and can stay in place in all kinds of situations. Make sure that the base of the unit has wheels to ease transportation. If you reside in an area where the mercury dips below freezing point, a little anti-freeze in the base along with water can keep the base from expanding and contracting frequently. This prevents damage of the base.

Support Pole

You can have 1-piece, 2-piece and 3-piece support pole systems in place. 3-piece support pole systems are the cheapest and they will result in the maximum amount of shaking during gaming sessions.

2-piece support poles are more stable compared to 3-piece support poles and can take on more.

1-piece support pole systems are the most expensive and they are found on the top of the line basketball hoops.

Bracing

You can enhance the performance of your backboard when there is enough support bracing inside the hoop’s design. These braces come in the form of metal pieces that attach to different portions of the backboard, making it more stable than it already is.

These factors play a major role in deciding the kind of portable basketball hoop you end up buying. Always remember to opt for one that suits your needs and preferences. If you plan to play on a professional level, invest in the high-end products. However, if it is meant for recreational purposes, opt for the ones that are not very expensive yet serve your purpose.

Final Thoughts

Since basketball is a game that has innumerable benefits for all the members of the family, it is advisable to start early. If you have young children at home, introduce them to the game even as they are toddlers because it will help them to develop and catch on better skills early in life. This is also why you need a sturdy basketball hoop that is also portable at the same time. There are several advantages of a portable basketball system. Its space saving capacity makes it convenient to be placed wherever you wish to. This ensures that whether it’s raining or snowing outside, you can always place it inside your garage etc to continue playing.

–> Got your ideal hoop? Check out our Top 10 Basketball Shoes!

Among all the brands that we have reviewed, Lifetime 1221 is our personal favorite because of how it combines all the essential features along with affordability. However, all the 5 products are top rated in the current market because of their individual features. These have been categorized on a general basis and it is up to you to decide the kind you want for your recreational or professional needs. While using your basketball hoop for your younger children, always check the stability of the base because that is what keeps the entire unit steady. If the base is wobbly or shaky, avoid buying it because it will only add to your troubles by leading to accidents. Although most of these units are quite durable, try and place them inside the house when it rains torrentially and in winter months. This keeps the net working in optimal conditions. So read through our best portable basketball hoop guide, and get your child to dunk a ball and lend a hand to it right away!

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