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Ultimate Review Of Best Portable BasketBall Hoops In 2020

by Lisa Hayden
best portable basketball hoop

Basketball hoops are a reminiscence of my childhood; I came to love this sport when my dad gifted me with a basketball hoop. It wasn't anything special, and if anything, it was a simple, cheap plastic hoop mounted at the wall of our garage.

Nonetheless, I've to admit I loved this hoop, and I can remember how we had fun times with my siblings and friends shooting hoops in the warm summer evenings.

Fast forward, however, the neighbourhood has really changed, and where I live, for instance, they prohibit the installation of permanent hoops. But fortunately, if you're a die-hard basketball enthusiast who doesn't want to miss the excitement of dunking and shooting hoops, you can get yourself a portable basketball hoop.

Portable basketball hoops provide an opportunity for you to enjoy this outdoor activity at the comfort of your home. Basically, these hoops will get you the residential outdoor experience without the need of visiting a court.

However, these portable hoops come in an array of sizes, styles, and different features, and this makes it a challenge to choose one for your needs.

The good news is, we've compiled a list of the top 5 basketball hoops in the market, and hopefully, by the time you're through with this guide, you'll find a hoop that meets your outdoor gaming experience.

Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!

This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start  and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and just need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!

PRODUCT NAME

Backboard /Size

Base

Height Adj

Rim

BUY NOW

Polycarbonate/ 44"
27 gallons of sand
Telescopic Height Adjustment 7.5-10' (6" increments)

18" Standard 

Polycarbonate / 50"

34 Gallons

Speed Shift
8-10' (6" increments)

18” Breakaway

Polycarbonate / 54"
19 gallons of water & 200 pounds bags of sand
Crank mechanism
7.5-10' (~increments)

18” Breakaway

Other Great Recommendations

Tempered Glass / 60"

55 Gallons

Crank mechanism

7.5-10' (~increments)

18” Breakaway

Polycarbonate /54"

Stabli-Frame technology

7.5 to 10 feet (6 "increments)

18” Breakaway

The Best Portable Basketball Hoops In The Market For The Money!

portable hoops review

Lifetime Pro - Best for Kids

In life, everyone gets their start somewhere, and if you or any of your family members are interested in a beginner basketball hoop, the Lifetime Pro would be a great place to start.

See, as a beginner, you don't need to get fancy with your choice of a hoop; instead, you need frills-free and simple equipment, and this is precisely what the Lifetime Pro offers.

However, don't confuse the simplicity with non-performance; in any case, Lifetime Pro is quite a functional unit, and it comes with all the necessary features that any basketball enthusiast would be looking for.

Lifetime Pro  Hoop

Backboard

When in search of a basketball hoop, the first thing that I usually consider is the material construction of the backboard hoop as it determines the performance and overall sturdiness.

That said, the backboard on the Lifetime Pro is constructed from Polyethylene, which is simply a fancy name for plastic. Now, though I usually don't prefer Polyethylene, I was surprised to find it's quite sturdy, and durable, too.

Even so, Polyethylene has two striking problems; one is that the rebound is quite inferior and the balls stop "dead" once it hits the plastic board.

Secondly, the plasticky construction screams "kids" hoop, but this shouldn't be a problem if you're planning to gift your little one with the Pro.

Rim

The rims on the Lifetime Pro are the standard types, and not exactly what a professional player would want to see because they don't support dunking or any trick moves.

But there's the thing, this hoop is specifically tailored for the kids, and the amateur players, and so, the rims are not much of a deal breaker-after all, your kids aren't interested in dunking.

Base

With a 27 gallon base, I found the Lifetime Pro quite sturdy, and I didn't have to worry about the hoop crashing in my car when it gets windy.

Adjustable

The Pro is a highly versatile model that will "grow" with the needs of your kids, quickly adjusting to their height requirements.

I loved the telescopic height adjustment mechanism that allowed me to adjust the height of the pole for my kids from 7.5 feet to 10 feet, with an increment of 6 inches.

Even so, I found this adjustment mechanism quite a hassle to use, but unfortunately, at this price point, it wasn't going to be better. But still, it accomplished its purpose, though you're likely to need a second hand for the adjustment.

Pros

  • Suitable for kids
  • Durable
  • Budget option

Cons

  • Challenge to adjust

Check Lifetime Pro Price On Amazon

Lifetime Front Court Basketball Goal - For Semi Pros

Lifetime Front Court Basketball Goal is a step up to the Lifetime Pro, and though it does not have a "pro" tag in its name, it's tailored for the semi-professional athletes, or at least it's what I think.

Contrary to the Lifetime Pro we've reviewed above, this hoop has incorporated a variety of premium features such as a large backboard, and a more substantial base, and combined, they'll give you that professional feel.

Lifetime Front Court Basketball Goal

Polycarbonate Backboard

Polycarbonate isn't the best material for the serious players, but in most cases, we see many players looking past this model.

The polycarbonate is quite durable and doesn't give away easily; though it absorbs the ball impact and isn't "reboundy" as I prefer, it can easily withstand shocks and is entirely shatterproof.

In any case, since I began using this hoop, it has remained as new during use and hasn't developed any scratches from my rough handling.

Another upside of the backboard lies on its size; with a generous dimension of 55", this offering from Lifetime gave me a professional feel and allowed me to make angled floaters with ease.

Base

Just by knowing the size of the base, you'll understand why this sports equipment is not recommended for the aggressive players.

Though the 34 gallons is slightly higher than what we had seen earlier on the Lifetime Pro, this weight is still not sufficient to allow the aggressive player to dunk and hang on the hoop, though I found it okay for the light and moderate plays.

Support Pole

A contrasting difference between this model and its sibling the Lifetime Pro is the pole adjustment mechanism.

This model uses an easy and straightforward one-hand height adjustment Speed Shift mechanism, as opposed to the telescopic adjustment, and I found it quite easy to adjust from 8 to 10 feet in 6-inch increments.

The major highlight of the pole, however, is that it came with padding, and this was quite a welcome feature as it promoted greater safety since the last thing you want is to smash your head on a pole with no padding.

Even so, I had issues with the adjustment, and I didn't really like the three-piece pole construction. In my opinion, the two-piece support poles are usually less shaky and more stable, but then, these systems are reserved for the top-tier hoops. But don't get me wrong, the hoop is still firm and strong enough to hold the wobble without too much wobble.

Rim

Another departure point from the Lifetime Pro the ultra-premium breakaway rim, which in my opinion doesn't in any way reflect the price class of the Lifetime Front Court.

In any case, this breakaway rim uses a set of compression spring is commonplace in professional NBA-certified hoops.

When using it, it feels natural, and the compression springs will dampen your shots resulting in the "soft touch" that every shooter loves.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Padded poles
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Assembly is a challenge

Check Lifetime Front Court Price On Amazon

Spalding Pro Ultimate Hybrid 54" - Best Portable Model

From here on, we shall look at some of the more serious contenders in the market, and kicking off our list of the aggressive models is the Spalding Ultimate Hybrid.

Let's see what this model has in store for us.

Spalding Pro Ultimate Hybrid 54"

Hybrid Base

Now, I know this might sound more or less like a gimmick, but the hybrid base is probably what gives this hoop a breakthrough.

As its name suggests, this model has adopted a hybrid base, where you can fill 19 gallons of water at the top and four bags every 50 pounds at the bottom.

There're numerous benefits to this design, but what I probably found quite impressive is that the entire base is detachable, meaning you can put or take sand out quickly, and this saved a lot of effort in transporting or even the water getting frozen.

Again, I had some users claim that they can always add as much sand as they need, even if a water leak develops in the future.

Backboard

Another distinguishing feature from the low-tier hoops is the 54-inch acrylic backboard.

Let' s first discuss the size; we can agree that the 54" backboard is pretty large and will offer better playability for a professional feel, and I was impressed at how the board made it easy for me to make the bank shots.

The choice of backboard material is also quite solid; acrylic is far more durable than moulded plastic, and its superior rigidity will allow you to have an aggressive game without worrying about it tearing up.

Even better, it allows a decent rebound while not producing too much sound. Furthermore, its performance is above that of polycarbonate backboard as it's sturdier and brings fewer wiggles in playing.

Arena-Style Breakaway Rim

If you're fond of dunking, you'll love this breakaway rim that is covered by steel metal to protect your monstrous dunk, though we suggest that you take it slow on the dunks to preserve its shelf life.

Contrary to the "naked" rims we had earlier seen on the Lifetime Front Court, the springs on this model are covered with a metal case, meaning they'll resist corrosion for an extended period even when left out in the open.

16-Inch Offset

This is yet another feature that truly makes this model a design suitable for professional players.

According to the manufacturer, this hoop comes with a 16-inch offset, making it less likely for you to crash on the basketball pole after a layup or dunk attempt.

Sure, while we had seen some safety mitigation such as padding on the Lifetime Front Court, the offset is quite a superior safety option and quite a handy option if you want to play real games.

Pole

While a majority of the Lifetime hoops adopt a straight pole, Spalding prefers an angle pole, and this is evident in this model, the "Beast" and 66291 Pro Slam.

Now, while the angled pole will, to some extent, add to the stability of the hoop, it severely limits the overall portability as I found it quite challenging to move.

Pros

  • Breakaway rims for monstrous dunks
  • Sturdy
  • Nice bound

Cons

  • Vague instruction

Check Spalding Pro Ultimate Price On Amazon

Spalding "The Beast" - Best for Professional Athletes

The Beast is not your ordinary basketball hoop, but rather a high-quality option that won't compromise on your training performance or quality.

But before we dive deep into the Beast abyss, I need to caution you that this hoop is on the higher end, and not particularly an ideal unit for the budget-conscious individuals.

Nonetheless, it's a superb and quality option that will set you up for a treat, especially if you're a professional basketball player.

Spalding The Beast.jpg

Backboard

First thing first, the Beast's backboard is constructed from tempered glass, the epitome of backboard material. If anything, tempered glass is used in professional basketball hoops in the NBA and NCAA.

One significant benefit of this material is that it doesn't scratch easily, and unlike other materials such as polycarbonate, which tend to change in colour after exposure to the sun for an extended period, the tempered glass keeps clean, and I've to mention it's quite appealing too.

However, the glass is quite heavy, but in return, I was rewarded with the best playing experience so far, and in particular, I enjoyed the incredible rebound response that made it easier for me to perform a variety of complex tricks such as layups and bank shots.

I was also quite impressed by the monstrous 60" backboard that gave me a luxurious and true LeBron James feel.

On the other side of the coin, I was a bit concerned by the durability of the glass because it is less forgiving and tended to last lesser than other backboard materials. 

Rim

Like all the premium hoops, the Beast features a dunk-friendly breakaway rim alongside an all-weather net.

Now, if you know anything about rims, you know that the breakaway rims, especially those with compression springs, usually dampen the bounce of your shot for the soft touch experience.

Base

So far, the Beast has the most extensive base with a water capacity of 55 gallons, and the good news is, the base is flexible as it can be filled with either water or sand.

In my opinion, though, I would prefer sand over water as sand offers more stability and doesn't carry the risk that comes with a leaked base.

Either way, the base is quite solid and will allow you to make super dunks without having to worry about the stability or structural integrity of the hoop.

Pole

So far, the Beast is the only hoop with 2-pieces pole adjustment system, and this speaks a lot about its structural stability.

And like its sibling, Spalding NBA Hybrid, the Beast similarly comes with a crank adjustment system that isn't hard to manage.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Premium-quality
  • Professional-grade

Cons

  • Expensive

Check Spalding The Beast Price On Amazon

Silverback NXT - Best for Stability

A majority of the portable basketball hoops are incomparable to the in-ground systems because if anything, their strength and durability are, in most cases, hampered by greater portability.

However, Silverback seems to be an exception to this because the angled base setup is not only sturdy, but it set you up with a robust system that drastically reduces the vibration and movement.

Each of the detailed design boosts the sturdiness and the overall safety of this model.

Silverback NXT

Backboard

The backboard on the NXT is nothing more different than other types, and the polycarbonate material is sturdy and durable.

Though it's not the best material for rebounding as it tends to dampen your shot, it's still surprising how players can perform trick shots on this board.

However, what separates this board from the regular polycarbonate boards is the Infinity Edge board, a feature that wraps around the back of the board as a continuous material. Contrast to the traditional backboards that are usually framed by plastic or metal edge, the Infinity Board not only creates a modern and clean look, but more importantly, it gives the board unmatched strength, and it significantly reduces the "dead" spots common in portable hoops.

Ergo Move

For increased portability, NXT comes with a sloped design, which the manufacturer has branded as Ergo-Move.

What this technology does is it creates a unique weight distribution, allowing you to move the hoop with greater ease than a traditional portable hoop, though you'll require a helping hand to move the goal.

Similar to the engineering on a wheelbarrow, this design allowed us to tilt the entire weight of the goal backward, thus relieving much of the weight that we were required to support.

Base

Departing from the norm, NXT doesn't add water or sand into the base for sturdiness; instead, it uses Stabili-Frame technology to connect the steel frame for the overall structural integrity.

Height

Similar to a majority of the hoops on our list, the NXT is adjustable and can move from 7.5 to 10, thus allowing both teenagers and adults to participate in the game. 

In my opinion, though, I loved how easy it was to adjust, and I found out that even kids had an easy time to do it on their own.

Pros

  • Highly portable
  • Quite sturdy
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • Some parts are mislabeled

Check Silverback NXT Price On Amazon

Best Portable Basketball Hoops Buying Guide

basketball arena picture

In the section below, we shall look at some of the crucial criteria that you need to consider when making your next basketball hoop selection.

Backboard

The first thing you need to consider is the material construction of the backboard, as it significantly affects your performance, especially the rebound response.

The three common types of material used in constructing the backboards include;

  • Polycarbonate: It's a fancy name from plastic, and it's common in the low-tier hoops. It's a popular option because it's incredibly durable and doesn't scratch. On the flip side, however, it doesn't particularly excel at rebounding the ball since it tends to dampen the shot.
  • Acrylic:  This is a more premium option that is often associated with the mid-level hoops. It's a tad expensive than the polycarbonate, but it rewards users with an increased rebound.
  • Tempered glass: Tempered glass is at the epitome of the backboard materials and is commonly used in the high-end hoops, including those used in NBA. While it will cost you a fortune, it does provide you with unmatched rebound performance.

Base

The base determines the stability of a hoop, and how easy and safe it is for you to dunk.

Normally, the heavier the base, the more stable a hoop is.

Typically, beginner hoops have a base with a capacity of around 27 pounds, but their construction often designed from plastic, so they're light and don't need to be hefty. 

The more advanced hoops usually come with a more substantial base of around 37 pounds, while the most expensive and premium models can easily exceed the 50-pound mark, which has the negative effect of hurting the portability.

Support Pole

While the sturdiness and ruggedness of a basketball pole are crucial, so is the adjustability.

Ideally, you should look for a hoop that comes with an adjustable pole, and this will let you set the height according to your preferences.

Offset

This refers to the distance between the backboard and the pole. If the range is too small, it's easy for players to crash in the pole after layering or dunking, and for this reason, you should find equipment that features an overhang of at least 4 feet.

FAQs

  1. Are portable basketball hoops safe? Absolutely, Please look at our buying guide above on key considerations before making a purchase, and you will be golden.
  2. Which basketball hoop is best in a driveway? LifeTime Pro or Spalding Pro as they both are not so heavy to clog your driveway space
  3. Are portable basketball hoops easy to move? They are very much so.
  4. Can you dunk on a portable basketball hoop? Yes, on Spalding Beast portable basketball hoop model, you can absolutely dunk!

Conclusion

Portable basketball hoops are an incredible way of practising basketball at home, without the hassle of finding an open court.

The good news is, they're reasonably priced, and they're available in a gamut of styles and variety that will fit in your budget.

However, when choosing a hoop, ensure that you consider what we've mentioned above, and above all, you should purchase a hoop based on your needs.

That said, the five hoops we've listed above are some of the best options available in the market and will get you improving your skills in no time.

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