Everyone will have heard the saying that practice makes perfect, and this is doubly true for those who want to excel in basketball. If you want to develop your skills, you will need to dedicate plenty of time to honing them, and this can be hard if you don’t have regular access to a hoop.
However, fixing a basketball hoop onto your garage isn’t especially visually appealing, and installing a hoop permanently in your drive or back yard means that you can’t take it with you if you move.
A portable basketball system is a perfect solution since you can move it whenever required without taking up excess room. Read our review below.
Best Portable Basketball Hoops
|• Virtually unbreakable impact backboard|
• Height adjustable mechanism
• 27-Gallon base
• All-weather resistant
• 18-Inch black solid steel rim
• 5-year warranty
|• Adjustable height from 7.5 to 10 feet|
• Solid-steel rim
• 35-gallon base
• 5-year warranty
• Steel-Framed Shatterproof Backboard
|• Acrylic backboard|
• Heavy-duty steel frame
• Adjusts from 7.5 to 10 feet
• 40-gallon base
• Arena Slam breakaway rim
|• Adjusts from 7.5 to 10 feet
• Ultimate strength and stability
• Increased rebound with Infinity Edge Backboard
• Ultra-fast assembly
• Height adjustability (in 6” increments)
Why you should choose a portable basketball hoop?
There are two kinds of basketball hoop to choose from: Portable and in-ground options. An in-ground hoop must be permanently installed in a hole using concrete. These traditional style hoops are the same as the ones that NBA players use during matches.
A free standing basketball hoop, on the other hand, is not fixed directly to the ground. Featuring a large base which is filled with water or sand to make it stable, these modern hoop systems can be moved around thanks to the integrated wheels. These kind of hoops also allow for height adjustments so that players of every height and age can use it. Although they may not give the experience of playing in an NBA match, they are ideal for children to practice with.
As there is no need to dig a hole or use concrete to install a portable system, they are incredibly convenient and can be used anywhere, even in neighborhoods with restrictions on permanently installed hoops. No building permit is required, and if you move home it can easily come with you. As an added advantage, a portable hoop is also usually a lot cheaper than a permanent in-ground one.
Best portable basketball goals in 2020
Lifetime 1221 Pro Court
This portable hoop features a 44” impact backboard and is ideal for recreational use at home. With its classic rim and Pro Court 27 gallon base, it also features a telescoping post so that the goal’s height can be altered easily between 7.5 feet to 10 feet in increments of 6 inches to allow players of all ages to enjoy practising. The integrated wheels allow for easy movement while the black rim is extremely stable and features welded net hooks made from steel and half inch steel braces as well as a 50g net. The 44” backboard as been made from a high density polyethylene which is UV protected to guard against wear over time, and as it is very sturdy it will not fade, crack or chip. The 3 piece pole is powder coated and the entire system is protected by a 5 year warranty for peace of mind.
Lifetime 52 Inch
With its 52” shatterproof steel framed backboard, this hoop system features an Action Grip mechanism for height adjustment which enables the height of the goal to be adjusted between 7.5′ and 10′ to accommodate all ages of player. The Slam-It Rim features a nylon net suitable for use in all weathers while the round steel pole measures 3.5” in diameter for extra stability. The 35 gallon base allows the system to be easily moved to different locations while the graphics are designed to be fade-resistant. The entire system is protected by a manufacturer’s 5 year warranty for the purchaser’s peace of mind.
This portable system features a 60” backboard made from tough and sturdy acrylic and the steel frame is heavy duty enough to guarantee durability. There is a breakaway rim to enable slam dunking and the height adjustment system is a Screw Jack lift system which can adjust between 7.5 and 10 feet with infinite increments. The steel pole measures 3.5” in diameter and comes in three pieces with a front cover which serves as a rebounder. The large base takes 40 gallons of water or sand for excellent stability during use.
This portble hoop uses the latest strategic engineering and technology to enable speedier assembly, a better rebound, improved strength, effortless transportability and unmatched stability for a truly impressive gameplay experience. The Stabili-Frame technology offers amazing stability for extra safety and improved playability while the pole has a unique slanted design for even distribution of weight across its base. With a direct connection to the steel frame, its structure has improved integrity while the base’s shape and its weighted ballast wheels ensure a low center of gravity. The infinity edge wraparound backboard gives a clean and modern look while giving it extra strength and the sloping base enables easier movement. This hoop comes partially assembled for speed of erection while the Easy Slide Actuator enables easy height adjustments between 7.5 feet and 10 feet.
Lifetime 1269 Pro Court
With a 44 inch shatterproof fusion backboard, this portable system features telescoping height adjustments between 7.5 and 10 feet in height. The Classic rim comes with a nylon net suitable for use in all weathers and the round steel pole is powder coated and measures 2.75 inches in diameter for extra stability. The portable base is heavy duty and can be filled with 27 gallons of sand or water for sturdiness. The graphics on this hoop have also been designed to be resistant to fading in harsh weather conditions and the entire system is protected by a five year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Lifetime 48 Inch
Featuring a 48” shatterproof fusion backboard, this Lifetime Products system has a Speed Shift mechanism for height adjustment allowing for quick and easy adjustments between 8 and 10 feet in height in increments of 6 inches. The Slam It rim allows for slam dunking while the nylon net is suitable for use in all weathers. The powder coated steel pole measures 3 inches in diameter for extra stability and the portable base can hold 31 gallons of water or sand for excellent sturdiness. The backboard is fade resistant and the system is protected by a five year manufacturer’s warranty.
Spalding 66291 Pro Slam
The Spalding Pro Slam system is perfect for residential recreational use thanks to its Hercules base which fills with 37.5 gallons of sand or water to offer excellent stability. The 3 piece silver pole measures 3.5 inches in diameter while the portable hoop is also equipped with an EZ Touch lift system to prove accurate height adjustments between 7.5′ and 10′. The steel framed acrylic backboard is equipped with a 5/8” steel breakaway Pro Slam rim and a net which is suitable for use in all weathers.
How to choose the best basketball system?
1. Determine your budget
There are many different options available for purchase when it comes to choosing the best portable basketball hoop, and so it is quite easy to find something that fits into your chosen budget. However, you need to determine first how much you are prepared to spend.
All portable basketball hoops offer different advantages and disadvantages, and while you often get what you pay for, the most expensive hoop may not be the best one for your family’s needs. It is therefore important to compare the features of different systems in order to identify the best one for you. It is also very important to care for your hoop properly so that you maximize your investment.
2. High-quality materials
When you buy a portable hoop you will be wanting to get the best value for money, and choosing one that has been made from the highest quality materials will ensure you get a product with a long lifespan. However, as these systems are often very expensive, you may need to opt for something more middle of the road. Many products come with high quality backboards but a lower quality base or height adjustment system, so you need to decide what is the most important factor for you when buying your system.
3. Height adjustability
It is very important when choosing a portable system to choose one that offers adjustments in height as this will ensure that you can find the perfect height for your growing child. Usually, portable hoops can be adjusted between 7′ and 10′ in height and there are several height adjustment mechanisms to choose from too. You will want to select one that is easy to operate, especially if you will be adjusting the height often to accommodate the needs of adults and children.
Telescoping poles – these are usually inexpensive systems with adjustments being made by moving 2 poles up or down.
Broomstick – these systems are also relatively inexpensive, with height adjustments occurring by raising or lowering a stick before locking it in place using a ratchet. This can be a tricky process to negotiate.
Trigger handle – this is quite simple to operate by unlocking the trigger, adjusting the rim then releasing the trigger.
Pneumatic adjustment – this system is slightly more sophisticated although similar to the trigger handle, using pressurized gas for adjusting the height.
Crank handle – the top height adjustment system, this high quality method may be hard to assemble but allows for simple and quick adjustments to be made.
You will probably want to ensure that your system is durable and will have a long lifespan, especially if you are planning to use the goal on a regular basis or for a number of years as your children grow up. Every component of the goal’s system adds to its strength, and therefore you will need to determine which system components are key to your requirements before you buy.
What should you look into?
Backboard types and sizes
Size of the backboard:
A regulation NCAA or NBA basketball backboard measures 42” in height and 72” in width, however these are rarely found in domestic homes. Most portable backboards begin at a width of 44”, but this is pretty small, making bank shots and layups very difficult. A backboard of around 54” is a lot more playable and gives a professional feel allowing for angled floaters and easy layups. Higher quality, more expensive hoops frequently come with a 60” backboard.
Backboards are usually made from one of three types of material:
Polyethylene – this type of plastic is commonly used on affordable hoops & over the door basketball goals and as it is virtually indestructible you can guarantee that your hoop will have a long lifespan. On the downside, there is a poor rebound effect.
Acrylic – these are lower in weight than tempered glass backboards and therefore its support structure will not need to be quite so sturdy in order to support its weight. However as acrylic is soft it can be easily scratched over time.
Tempered Glass – this professional material is heavy and needs a strong support pole and heavy base, however it does offer a professional quality playing experience. With excellent rebound, tempered glass backboards also don’t scratch easily.
All basketball hoops have an 18” rim diameter, however the way in which the rim is attached to the backboard can vary.
Standard rims – these are screwed to the lower backboard giving excellent stability but also long rebounds and shots which bounce in then out again. Also they are not suitable for dunking.
Breakaway rims – these feature compression springs to dampen the bounce of shots. Suitable for dunking, there are two types available, one with exposed springs and one with covered springs for extra durability and rust protection.
Having a support pole which is robust and stable is essential to ensure the hoop’s stability. Most portable hoops allow for height adjustment – ideal for growing children, however this ability can come at the expense of stability. A two piece pole will be sturdier than a 3 piece one but will also cost more.
Its base is a key element of any portable hoop as it not only equips the hoop with its stability but it also ensures its portability too. All portable hoop bases have a container which must be filled with sand or water to ensure its stability. The larger the base’s capacity, the more stable it will be. Most beginner portable basketball hoops start with a capacity of about 27 gallons, and as the plastic backboard that comes with these goals is pretty light, this is usually perfectly adequate. The more advanced systems that have acrylic backboards have a heavier base containing around 35 gallons of water or sand, and the most expensive portable basketball hoops often have a base holding up to 50 gallons, however these are very heavy and may not be very portable. If you will be moving your hoop regularly, you will need to choose a base equipped with wheels.
Although it may seem complication, it isn’t actually that hard to find the best portable basketball hoop system for your kid or for yourself. Use the information in this review to find out more about the different units, features and styles available on the market today and choose one that not only fits your requirements now but which will be an investment in the future too.
There are several styles of portable basketball goals which will work for your requirements, budget, available space and children’s ages, and with prices ranging from just $100 up to $1000, you will need to check out all of the features on offer as well as adjustable portable basketball hoop reviews from other customers before making a final purchasing decision.
Use this information wisely and you are sure to buy a portable hoop system which will be useful, for you and your family for a long time. Remember that if you buy a cheap model, it may not last as long as a more sturdy unit, so take care. However, buying the most expensive system isn’t always necessary either. There are lots of styles out there, so take your time, do your research and you are sure to find a portable basketball goal that is perfect for you.