Most people don’t have the luxury of having constant access to a high quality gym where they can hone their skills. For most, a portable basketball hoop is the best way to give yourself the opportunity to practice as often as possible, and become the best baller you can be. This review provides a list of the best portable basketball hoops of 2018, and gives you some advice on just what to look for when bringing a portable hoop to your driveway.
Reviews of the 5 Best Portable Basketball Hoops, Plus the 2 Worst to Avoid
- Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop Review: This Silverback NXT review will explain to you why this product is worth purchasing. This hoop has everything that you need to improve your game, from extreme strength and stability, to an Infinity Edge Backboard, which allows for improved rebounding. This backboard is made of a polycarbonate material, which, while generally less bouncy, doesn’t shatter like glass, meaning you can feel safe dunking like Shaq on this thing. With a wheelbarrow design on the base, it’s extremely easy to move this hoop around, so you can practice your shot from all corners of your backyard. With much of the hoop pre-assembled when you buy, you’ll be able to be shooting with 90 minutes of getting this product in your backyard. It’s durable, strong, and behaves like a basketball hoop should, and you can’t go wrong with this purchase.
- Spalding NBA Portable Basketball System – 54” Glass Backboard Review: Spalding is well known for their high quality basketball products, and this portable hoop is no exception. The tempered glass backboard that comes with this product is akin to what is used in professional indoor basketball, so you know it’s good quality. The backboard is significantly thinner than on NBA hoops, but it is still strong, and it makes the product much easier to move around. The heavy duty solid steel Arena Slam hoop will be able to withstand as many dunks as you can throw at it, which might be quite a lot considering there is an adjustable height system enabling you to lower the hoop down to 7.5 feet. The base has a 40-gallon capacity to be filled with water or sand, keeping it firmly in place. This is an extremely durable and high quality product, and is the best Spalding portable basketball hoop money can buy.
- Spalding Pro Slam Portable Basketball System Review: This one is a little cheaper than most of the other portable hoops on this list, but it is the best portable basketball hoop under $300 that you will find. The Heavy-Duty Pro Slam rim is much like that of the more expensive Spalding systems, and the White All-Weather Net will last through rain, hail or shine to ensure your long range connections are rewarded with that beautiful swish sound. The backboard is acrylic, which is generally regarded as lesser quality than glass, and that is a major reason for the cheaper price tag on this item. The backboard, however, still functions very well, mimicking a glass backboard (as well as an acrylic one can). Some users have had issues with assembling the product, but once this part is over you’ll be left with a high quality, inexpensive portable basketball system, which should last you many years.
- Lifetime 54 Inch Acrylic Portable Basketball Hoop Review: Lifetime dedicates a lot of their resources to developing basketball hoops, and this is the best Lifetime portable basketball hoop you’ll find. The acrylic backboard is steel-framed, and despite not being glass, still has the look and the feel of a professional basketball backboard. The Power Lift height adjustment mechanism allows you to easily alter the height of the backboard between 7.5 feet and 10 feet, meaning regular-sized people will have the chance to show off their dunking skills, rather than only the NBA-sized giants. The solid-steel Slam It Rim is extremely durable, something you will need if you’re going to capitalize on the lower height to which you can adjust this hoop. Overall this is a really solid product, and one that, for most people, will stand the test of time.
- First Team Fury Select Portable Basketball Hoop Review: This is an extremely high quality basketball hoop, and though the price tag represents that, it will most likely last you for many, many years. With a 60-inch acrylic backboard, there is plenty of room to practice your bank shots from the tightest of angles. The Heavy Duty hoop ensures that you’ll get years of use out of the product, while the Fury basketball system safety padding is a great idea to ensure you don’t suffer any Paul George-like injuries when flying in for a one-handed jam. The hoop is adjustable all the way down to 6.5 feet, further than most of its competitors, meaning even the younger (or shorter) ballers will have a chance to dunk on this thing. With such flexibility in height on offer with this product, this is the best portable adjustable basketball hoop on the market.
The Worst 2 Portable Basketball Hoops to Avoid
- Lifetime 90061 Portable Basketball System Review: This hoop has many of the benefits present in most portable basketball hoops. It’s shatterproof, relatively durable, rust-resistant, and has an adjustable height. Unfortunately, getting the product in one piece is so difficult that it’s hard to justify purchasing this system over other, similar ones. Putting together this hoop can take upwards of four hours, with more than one person. If you have the time and inclination to do this, then the hoop itself is not the worst, but considering the extreme effort required to even put this product together, there are many other better options out there for you.
- Lifetime Pro Court Height Adjustable Portable Basketball System Review: This system might be appropriate for children, but for more serious basketball play it is best avoided. To start with, the backboard is just 44” wide, which is simply not enough to practice genuine bank shots from more than a slight angle. The height adjustment system is also relatively complex, much more so than in more expensive models, and the hoop is directly attached onto the support pole, meaning you may well end up flying face first into the pole after a dunk or layup. The product is very cheap, and is clearly designed for budget buyers, but even for its low price there are better options available.
2018 Buyers Guide to the Best Portable Basketball Hoops:
Portable basketball hoops aren’t cheap, so it’s important to buy one that you know you’re going to get good use out of. There are various factors, which you need to consider before buying a hoop to ensure you aren’t disappointed, and this 2018 Buyers Guide will help you to do exactly that.
3 Main Points to Consider
- Durability: Considering the amount of money you’re going to be parting with to make this purchase, you want to ensure that the hoop is not going to fall apart after a couple of months. The best basketball hoops are able to withstand all weather conditions, as well as you continually throwing down reverse 360 dunks, without deteriorating in quality. The material used to make the backboard plays a major role in this, as does the attachment of the hoop to the board – you certainly don’t want the hoop falling off while you’re hanging from it after dunking on your friend! The most durable basketball hoops are able to last many, many years, and when you’ve been getting great use out of it for five or ten years, you won’t be too worried about the steep price tag you had to initially pay for it.
- Price: Having said all that about durability, it is still important that you purchase something within your budget. It’s all well and good to acknowledge that the most expensive basketball hoop on the market is probably pretty good quality, but the fact is it’s simply not feasible for some people to drop close to $1,000 on a product like this. As with most products, there is a happy middle ground here. There are plenty of basketball hoops that won’t completely break your bank, but are also relatively good quality. If you start looking at the cheapest of the cheap, you will inevitably lose out on durability and quality a little, so for most people, a mid-priced basketball hoop is the way to go.
- Backboard material: This is probably the single most important factor in terms of the feel of your basketball hoop, and how much it will mimic a top-quality, NBA-style hoop. Backboards are generally made out of one of three different materials: glass, acrylic, and polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is basically plastic, and is used on the cheapest hoops. It is very hard to break, but the ball won’t get anywhere near the same bounce that it will from other materials, meaning practicing your bank shots and rebounding will be tough. Acrylic is the middle ground, a material which resembles glass while making the system cheaper and lighter, and is bouncier than polycarbonate. It does, however, tend to pick up scratches and deteriorate over time. Finally, glass is the material used in all professional levels of basketball. It gives the best rebounding effect, and stays clean and in good condition. It is far heavier than other materials though, meaning the rest of the basketball hoop needs to be a lot more heavy duty to handle it, and as a result, glass backboard portable hoops are the most expensive.
Is a portable hoop or in-ground hoop best for the driveway?
For the driveway, a portable hoop is generally your best bet. Their major benefit is, of course, their portability, meaning you can move it around with ease. Have it right in front of the garage if you want, and when someone comes home and needs to get their car inside, you can simply move the hoop out of the way. With in-ground hoops, once they’re in a certain spot that’s where they stay, which can at times be problematic. Driveways, in particular, are an inappropriate place for them given the ground is normally concrete, so for your driveway, stick with a portable hoop.
Is the Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop the best portable hoop? (Video):
Final Thoughts on Finding One of the Best Portable Basketball Hoops:
Buying a portable basketball hoop isn’t something to be taken lightly. The difference between a good and a bad hoop is significant, and they aren’t cheap, so make sure to consider our 2018 Buyers Guide prior to purchasing. This article has also offered up some of the best portable basketball hoops on the market, and a couple to avoid, which should make the whole buying process that little bit easier.