Best Portable Basketball Hoops of 2017


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We all know the old saying “Practice makes perfect.”  This is very true for the sport of basketball.  To become skilled at the game you have to commit a great deal of time honing your skills.  This becomes very difficult if you don’t have a basketball hoop close by.

However, hooking up a basketball hoop to your garage can be unsightly, while installing a permanent basketball hoop in the ground does not allow for any portability.

Today, the portable basketball hoop is a great addition as it can be moved when needed while not taking up much space.  Below we have compiled what we feel are the three best portable basketball hoops based on three categories: Least Expensive ($200-450), Mid Range ($450-750), and High End ($750+).

To make our decision on the best portable basketball hoops we looked at several factors.  First, we took in the user rating based on Amazon.  Second, we looked at the actual features of the hoop.  Third, we looked at the price.  We hope this guide can make finding the perfect portable basketball hoop as easy as a layup.

 

Top 5 Portable Basketball Hoops

lifetime 51544 slider

  • (4.3 / 5)
  • Price: $
  • Rim: Light-Duty Breakaway Rim With Exposed Springs
  • Backboard Material: Polycarbonate
  • Backboard Size: 50 Inches
  • Backboard Offset: 18"
  • Base Size: 34 Gallon
  • Height Adjustment: 8-10 Feet/6 Inch Increments
  • Support Pole Specs: 3" Diameter Round Three-Piece Pole
  • Padding Included? Bottom of Backboard

spalding 60 inch basketball hoop slider

  • (4.3 / 5)
  • Price: $$
  • Rim: Medium Strength Breakaway Rim with Covered Springs
  • Backboard Material: Acrylic
  • Backboard Size: 60 Inches
  • Backboard Offset: 16"
  • Base Size: 40 Gallon
  • Height Adjustment: 7.5-10 Feet/Infinite Increments
  • Support Pole Specs: 3.5" Diameter Round Three-Piece Pole
  • Padding Included? Bottom of Backboard

spalding beast

  • (4.8 / 5)
  • Price: $$$$
  • Rim: Pro-style Breakaway Rim with Covered Springs
  • Backboard Material: Tempered Glass
  • Backboard Size: 60 Inches
  • Backboard Offset: 4 Feet
  • Base Size: 50+ Gallon
  • Height Adjustment: 7.5-10 Feet/Infinite Increments
  • Support Pole Specs: 5" X 5" Square Two-Piece Pole
  • Padding Included? No

spalding hybrid slider

  • (4 / 5)
  • Price: $$$
  • Rim: Pro-style Breakaway Rim with Covered Springs
  • Backboard Material: Acrylic
  • Backboard Size: 54 and 60 Inches
  • Backboard Offset: 16"
  • Base Size: 19 Gallons of Water + 200 lbs. of Sand or Gravel
  • Height Adjustment: 7.5-10 Feet/Infinite Increments
  • Support Pole Specs: 3.5" Diameter Round Three-Piece Pole
  • Padding Included? Bottom of Backboard

lifetime 71522 slider

  • (3.8 / 5)
  • Price: $$
  • Rim: Light-duty Breakaway Rim with Covered Springs
  • Backboard Material: Acrylic
  • Backboard Size: 54 Inches
  • Backboard Offset: 22"
  • Base Size: 35 Gallon
  • Height Adjustment: 7.5-10 Feet/Infinite Increments
  • Support Pole Specs: 3.5" Diameter Round Three-Piece Pole
  • Padding Included? Bottom of Backboard

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Portable Basketball Hoops Summary Chart

Use our portable basketball hoops summary chart to fast track your way around this page to any hoop on our list that you are interested in.  To jump to a hoop simply click on the basketball hoop name.

Basketball HoopBackboard SizeBase Size (Gallons)Backboard MaterialSupport Pole
Lifetime 152950 Inches27PolycarbonateThree-Piece
Lifetime 5154450 Inches34 PolycarbonateThree-Piece
Lifetime 52 Inch52 Inches34PolycarbonateThree-Piece
Lifetime 7152254 Inches35AcrylicThree-Piece
Silverback NXT50 or 54 Inches40 AcrylicThree-Piece
Spalding Hybrid54 and 60 InchesHybrid, up to 200 lbs.AcrylicThree-Piece
Spalding 60" 60 Inches40AcrylicThree-Piece
Spalding Beast60 Inches50+Tempered GlassTwo-Piece
Spalding Street60 InchesN/ATempered GlassHeavy-Duty
First Team Fury48 InchesN/ATempered GlassHeavy-Duty

Least Expensive ($200-450)

Lifetime 1529 Courtside Base Height-Adjustable Portable Basketball System

 

lifetime-1529Backboard: (2 / 5)

Rim:             (3 / 5)

Base:           (2 / 5)

Support:       (2 / 5)

Overall:         (2.5 / 5)

Check out the full review of this hoop here.

The Lifetime 1529 portable basketball hoop is the least expensive option on our list coming in at around $200.  It is a portable, height-adjustable basketball system.  The backboard is 50 inches wide and made with a shatterproof polycarbonate.

While polycarbonate is durable, it does lack the responsiveness of more expensive backboard materials such as acrylic and tempered glass.

The base of the hoop can hold 27 gallons of water to keep the unit stable.  This is a smaller base so we do not recommend you dunk on this hoop or leave it in an environment with the possibility of high speed winds.

The height of this basketball system can be adjusted from 8 feet to 10 feet in increments of six inches.  While this may not be as nice as the infinite height adjustments seen on more expensive hoops, this hoop will suit the needs of many families with children who are looking to learn the game of basketball.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • The Price point is affordable for almost any family
  • Polycarbonate backboards are durable and unlikely to break if the Lifetime 1529 Portable Basketball System is tipped

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Telescoping mechanism for height adjustment is cumbersome to use
  • Lack of stability due to three piece pole system and polycarbonate backboard

 

Lifetime 52-Inch Shatter-Proof Backboard Portable Basketball System

Backboard: (2.5 / 5)

Rim:             (3 / 5)

Base:             (3 / 5)

Support:       (3 / 5)

Overall:          (3.5 / 5)

Check out our full review of this hoop here.

Lifetime’s 52 inch Shatter-Proof Portable Basketball Hoop is made with a spring enforced rim that has spring-back action.

The hoop’s height can be adjusted from the front by squeezing height adjustment handles so that anyone is able to change the height of the hoop.  Height range of this hoop is 7.5 feet to 10 feet.

A feature that is also noteworthy is 3.5 inch diameter powder coated three piece support pole.  This portable basketball hoop also provides a rolling base so that the unit can be moved easily to wherever you need it.

The extra large base is designed to be filled with water to provide a stable base to keep the hoop from tipping which enhances safety.  While the backboard does vibrate on bank shots, it is minimized by the two backboard braces.  This is another great option for families who have a little more money to spend, but are still looking for a high quality value basketball hoop.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Front height adjustment system has an increased range compared to the Lifetime 1529 (7.5 feet to 10 feet)
  • Rolling wheels on the base making this portable basketball hoop easier to transport
  • Has two backboard braces to enhance stability

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Polycarbonate backboard does not perform up to the standards of higher priced basketball systems
  • Rim has too much bounce when shooting

 

 

Lifetime 71522 Competition XL Portable Basketball System with 54-Inch Shatter Guard Backboard

Backboard: (3.5 / 5)

Rim:             (4 / 5)

Base:             (3.5 / 5)

Support:       (4 / 5)

Overall:          (3.8 / 5)

Check out the full review of this hoop here.

Our first entry in the middle range portable basketball hoop class is a high quality system that comes with a 54 inch shatter-proof backboard.

It is adjustable from 7.5 to 10 feet.

The rim is better than those seen on the lower priced hoops and is durable, prepared to take on any dunkers with a Solid-steel Slam-It Rim with double-compression springs and welded net hooks.

We wish the support system was a little more rigid at this price as it offers the same three piece, 3.5 inch diameter support pole as the one seen on the Lifetime 52 Inch system.  However, there are two extra backboard braces which does give a marked improvement in terms of backboard vibrations in response to bank shots.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • The backboard bracing on this portable basketball hoop is definitely a step up from the least expensive category options
  • Double compression Slam-It rim has a cover to protect the springs from rusting
  • Has padding lining the bottom of the backboard for added safety

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • No cover on the base may lead to players tripping and getting injured
  • Has an upright design that may lead to more tipping and does not provide as much room under the hoop

 

 

Mid Range ($500-750)

 

Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop

Backboard: (4.5 / 5)

Rim:             (4 / 5)

Base:             (4.5 / 5)

Support:       (4.5 / 5)

Overall:          (4.4 / 5)

Check out the full review of the Silverback NXT here.

No other portable basketball hoop on our list has as many unique features and design components as the Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop.

The backboard on this basketball system is an “infinity” design in that there is no frame that encapsulates the backboard.  This allows for the support braces to connect directly to the backboard making for a portable basketball hoop with superior stability.

Silverback also focused on making assembly easier with the Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop.  This basketball hoop comes with several pre-assembled parts, and the entire portable basketball system can be put together in as little as 90 minutes!

The support pole of the Silverback NXT attaches to a steel undercarriage that runs the length of the base.  Again, the goal of this unique design is to increase the stability of the basketball hoop overall. It is not surprising that this portable basketball hoop is making waves with early users.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Many aspects of the Silverback NXT work to increase stability (infinity backboard, support pole attachment, backboard braces)
  • Easy to transport with two large wheels and ErgoMove design base
  • The easiest and fastest assembly found on any portable basketball hoop

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Rim is fairly standard
  • Not quiet as heavy-duty as other similarly priced portable basketball systems

 

Spalding NBA Hybrid Portable Basketball System – 60″ Acrylic Backboard

Backboard: (3.8 / 5)

Rim:             (4.5 / 5)

Base:             (4.5 / 5)

Support:       (4 / 5)

Overall:          (4 / 5)

Check out the full review of this hoop here.

The Spalding NBA Hybrid Portable Basketball System brings a new spin to the portable basketball system.

With this basketball hoop the base is a hybrid which is filled partially with water and with 200 pounds of rocks or sand for the other half.  This makes storage and transportation even easier than other portable basketball hoops.

Beyond this the Spalding NBA Hybrid Portable Basketball System also features a 60 or 54 inch acrylic backboard and an arena slam rim.  The hoop also has a base cover and padding running along the bottom of the backboard to enhance player safety.

Reviewers state that the hoop is high quality but is difficult to assemble.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Solid stability due to a quality support pole system and robust base
  • Flexibility that comes from being able to fill this hoop’s base with both sand and water, making storage and moving the hoop a breeze
  • High quality arena slam it rim that takes shots and dunking well

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • The hybrid base system could be larger
  • Is difficult to assemble, but likely manageable with the right tools and enough manpower

 

Spalding Portable Basketball System – 60″ Aluminum Trim Acrylic Backboard

Backboard: (4.5 / 5)

Rim:             (4.3 / 5)

Base:             (4 / 5)

Support:       (4.3 / 5)

Overall:          (4.4 / 5)

Check out our full review on this hoop here.

Our most expensive mid range option comes from Spalding.  This portable basketball hoop features an arena style breakaway rim, and a heavy duty, powder coated, steel frame.

The unit has a 40 gallon base which keeps the hoop from tipping over when you go in for the slam.  Having the angled support pole allows for safe play and under the hoop action.

As you can see this hoop looks very similar to the Spalding 68564, which we just reviewed.  The main difference is the larger 60 inch acrylic backboard allowing for a larger shooting area.  This hoop can be adjusted from 7.5-10 feet in height so that young ones can develop proper shooting skills as they grow.

We recommend this hoop for serious and developing players who plan to consistently practice and work on their game to get better.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Larger 60 inch backboard allows for a larger banking and rebound area
  • 40 gallon base is quite large and allows for the basketball hoop to be stable

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Three piece support system is a disappoint for a portable basketball system priced as high as the Spalding 60 Inch Portable Basketball System (+$600)

 

High End ($750+)

Spalding “The Beast” Portable Basketball Hoop

Backboard: (5 / 5)

Rim:             (4.5 / 5)

Base:             (5 / 5)

Support:       (4.8 / 5)

Overall:          (4.8 / 5)

Read our full review about “The Beast” basketball hoop here.

The Spalding Beast 74560 Portable Basketball Hoop with 60 Inch Glass Backboard features a two piece, 5 Inch square angeled pole system with a screw-in water level gauge base cap, a 60 Inch tempered glass backboard, and the Pro Image breakaway basketball rim.

The two piece support pole system offers a great deal more support and rigidity when compared to their three piece competitors.

Tempered glass is the absolute best backboard material and is very responsive when shots hit the backboard.  The Spalding 74560 Beast basketball system adjusts from 7.5 feet to 10 feet with an easy to use screw jack adjustment system and is easily portable using the multi-wheeled castors with engaging handle.

We would like to see backboard padding on this hoop, which it currently lacks.  However, the simple truth is that this hoop is awesome for any home.  Consider buying this hoop if you have the budget and are truly serious about the game of basketball, but need a hoop that can be transported if necessary.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Tempered glass! The Spalding Beast is a hoop that can perform with the best of them
  • 50 gallon base is enormous and ensures the hoop is stable and performs well
  • Pull out handle on the base helps move this portable basketball system
  • Two piece support pole design is a huge step up from the three piece support designs seen on the other basketball hoops

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Backboard padding

 

 

Street Tournament Side Court Portable Basketball Hoop from Spalding

spalding tournament hoop

Backboard: (5 / 5)

Rim:             (5 / 5)

Base:             (4.5 / 5)

Support:       (5 / 5)

Overall:          (4.8 / 5)

The Spalding Street Tournament Side Court Portable Basketball Hoop is for those looking for a truly durable and long lasting system that can take on recreational and tournament play.

The cushioned backstop helps to protect players driving to the hoop during an intense battle.  There is also a 3 foot offset so that this hoop plays and feels like an official gym bucket.  We also like that this hoop can be folded down to improve storability.

So, if you are hosting a tournament or summer league games, then there is no substitute for this hoop produced by Spalding.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • The base allows you to weigh down this system with as much weight as you can find, just keep pilling on the cinder blocks
  • Huge padding area to protect players from hitting the support system

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Height adjustment is much more difficult than portable basketball hoops better designed for recreational use

 

 

First Team Fury Select Portable Basketball Hoop

Backboard: (4 / 5)

Rim:             (5 / 5)

Base:             (5 / 5)

Support:       (5 / 5)

Overall:          (4.8 / 5)

The First Team Fury is a very high quality portable basketball hoop with unique features.  It has an amazing adjustable height range of 6.5 to 10 feet.  What we feel is the best thing about this hoop is its unique folding feature that makes it much easier to move than the other hoops on this list.

It also comes with a breakaway goal so that it can take any high flying punishment you can dish out.  It also features a 48 inch extension from the hoop to  the pole as to ensure safety.

This hoop works great for both indoor and outdoor environments.  Our biggest complaint about this hoop is its relatively small sized 48 inch backboard.  Yet the craftsmanship of this hoop cannot be underestimated and will last for many years with normal use.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • The base on the First Team Fury Select is self weighted and ready to go
  • The rollers on the base make this hoop very easy to move

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • This portable basketball hoop is not really designed for the outdoors

 

What Should You Look for In The Best Portable Basketball Hoops?

 

1. Backboards

Size

Portable basketball hoops come with backboards of different sizes and materials.  Generally, the smallest backboard we could find on a portable basketball system is 44 inches.  For residential portable basketball hoops 60 inches is likely to be the largest backboard you will find, like the one featured on the Spalding The Beast Portable Basketball System.

The majority of homes looking for a portable hoop for recreational use will find a 52 inch backboard to be very satisfactory.

Material

While backboard size is the first feature that comes to mind for many buyers when looking to buy the best portable basketball hoop, we believe that an even more important factor is the portable basketball hoop’s backboard material.

Polycarbonate

Most inexpensive Lifetime and lower priced Spalding systems will have a backboard that is made of a polycarbonate material.  Polycarbonate is extremely durable and will be unlikely to break if tipped over or during rough play.  However, while durability is a strength for polycarbonate backboards, performance is a big weakness.

Portable basketball hoops with polycarbonate backboards often tend to have a “dead” feel when the basketball comes off the backboard during shots.  This significantly changes the way rebounds play on cheaper polycarbonate backboards compared to top end tempered glass backboards.

Generally we recommend portable basketball hoops with polycarbonate backboards for families who want to use the basketball hoop for recreational play and for young children learning the game.

 

Acrylic

The middle tier backboard material that is found on many portable basketball hoops today is acrylic.  Acrylic backboards are less durable than their polycarbonate counterparts but perform much better.  Acrylic backboards are generally featured on middle priced portable basketball systems that offer a greater number of features.

If you take the game seriously but live in an area where severe weather, including high winds, can occur then we would suggest considering a portable basketball hoop with an acrylic backboard.

 

 

 

Tempered Glass

When you are ready to dig deep into your wallet and will only accept the best portable basketball system, then it is time to invest in a hoop with a tempered glass backboard.  Tempered glass is the real deal and is the type of backboard used on indoor hoops across the country.

These backboards perform better than both acrylic and polycarbonate materials.  Portable basketball systems with tempered glass will have rebound performance that is superior and will be more game like.

The biggest issue with tempered glass backboards is that they are susceptible to shattering.  For this reason we would recommend that if you are going to spend the money to buy a portable basketball hoop with a tempered glass backboard that you closely assess the likelihood that hoop will be tipped or mistreated.

 

2. Rim

There are three main types of rims that you will see on modern portable basketball systems.  Each has pros and cons which are important to consider when selecting a hoop.

Standard Rim

The standard basketball rim has been around for several decades.  It has no compression springs making it more susceptible to breaking or warping if dunked on over time.

If you do not plan to use your hoop for dunking and do not plan to spend much money, then we would suggest you purchase a hoop with a standard rim over a portable basketball hoop with a cheap compression spring as the standard rim tends to have better performance than those with a cheap single compression spring.

Compression Breakaway Rim (No Cover)

Exposed Spring Breakaway Rim

The next step up from the standard rim is the breakaway rim that features compression springs that are exposed.  These rims are better able to take mild to moderate dunking without becoming damaged.  They are still not good for harder dunks or rim hanging.

These cheaper compression rims do have a tendency to be a bit more “bouncy” than we prefer.  Also, because the springs are exposed there is a greater chance that they will rust over time, which diminishes the rim’s performance.

Pro-Style Compression Breakaway Rim (Springs Covered)

When it comes to portable basketball systems, the best portable basketball hoops come with professional grade breakaway rims that have the springs protected in a box that connects to the backboard.

These rims are generally able to take a lot more punishment than the cheaper rims.  Even though this is the case we still recommend limiting the amount of rim hanging you do to avoid damage.  These pro-style rims will also bounce much less on a shot compared to the cheaper compression rims.

 

3. Base

In our opinion the base is a very underrated feature of the best portable basketball hoops.  The budget portable basketball systems come with bases that are generally 27 gallons.  This will keep the hoop upright during most circumstances, but could be tipped in high wind weather and when dunking.

Mid-priced portable basketball hoops will have bases that can hold up to between 35 and 40 gallons of water or sand.  These portable basketball systems will be harder to tip and will provide significantly more stability during play.

The best portable basketball hoops have bases that can be filled up to 50+ gallons.  These bad boys have maximum stability and will stay in place under almost any conditions.

A Couple Tips For The Base:

  • Be sure to check to see if the portable basketball system you are looking to buy has wheels on the base.  This will make any transporting of the system much easier.
  • If you live in a location where the weather gets cold, mix a little anti-freeze in the base if you fill it with water to keep the water from freezing and expanding which can destroy the base.
  • Lastly, look for a portable basketball hoop that has a protective plate in front of the base (like this one).  Many injuries occur due to players tripping or running into the base during games.

 

4. Support Pole System

Support Pole Design

Having a quality support pole system on a portable basketball hoop is central to keeping the whole system stable when in use.  There are three main support pole designs: three piece, two piece, and one piece.

Three piece support poles are typically found on budget and middle tier portable basketball hoops.  This is the cheapest design and will result in the most amount of hoop shaking during play.

Two Piece support poles are generally found on high end portable basketball systems.  These have significantly more stability compared to three piece support pole systems and will be able to take more abuse.

One piece support pole systems are unlikely to be found on portable basketball systems and are generally only found on the top of the line in ground basketball systems.

Backboard Bracing

A backboard’s performance can be enhanced when there is proper support bracing within the portable basketball hoop’s design.  These braces will generally be in the form of metal pieces that either connect to several portions of the backboard or lineup parallel to the backboard.

Be sure to consider all of these factors when choosing which portable basketball hoop to buy.  We hope this guide has been helpful and we welcome feedback using our Facebook page!