What is the Best Portable Basketball Hoop? Lifetime, Spalding or Silverback? Let’s Find Out!
Now that you’re knowledgeable about portable basketball hoops and have made up your mind on the features you want, just go ahead and read our review of individual brands/products while having those features at the back of your mind. That way you’ll find it easy to decide the best portable basketball hoop for you and at a convenient price.
By the way, as we were doing our research, we also came across some lesser known brands of portable basketball systems that are highly rated by users. While they didn't make our featured products, you may still want to check them out — especially if you are on a tight budget.
Our Top Choice
The Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop has a steel sub-structure for strength and the pole also connects directly to this structure to give it balance. If you’ll like a hoop with the base in-ground, check out the Silverback In-Ground Basketball System
, which has a tempered glass backboard.
Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop System – Available in 2 Sizes
Silverback has long been associated with the basketball community, creating and designing high-tech infused products to enhance the game. It pays attention to customers’ needs and creates basketball systems that suit that particular need, thereby providing a well-tailored solution. It strives to continuously use the combination of the highest quality materials to make its products so that its users can feel the real NBA experience.
The Silverback Portable Basketball Hoop is the birth child of advanced technology and superior engineering, giving this hoop better rebound and improved stability; the tires at the base also make it easy to move around. The construction of this hoop allows you to change the height from 7.5 feet up to 10 feet. The following are some other awesome features of this portable basketball hoop:
- It has the Stabili-Frame technology that keeps the hoop well balanced
- The Infinity Edge Backboard is extra-strong providing a better rebound
- Choose your backboard in either 50 or 54 inches
- The ErgoMove design used for its base uniquely distributes weight
- It’s easy and quick to assemble
- Adjustable height with the Easy Slide Acutator
- Sturdy steel construction
- Fortified acrylic backboard
- Plastic molded base with wheels
- Patented wheelbarrow lift and roll design
Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop Demo
The Silverback NXT is pushing the envelope for portable basketball goals. | Courtesy of Silverback Basketball
Lifetime Pro Court Portable Basketball Hoop has a steel construction with a base that can be filled with sand or water for stability and can withstand winds of up to 40 miles per hour. If what you want is a portable basketball hoop for juniors, check out the Lifetime Youth Basketball Hoop
which has telescopic height adjustment.
Lifetime Pro Court Height-Adjustable 44 Inches Portable Basketball Hoop System
When a dedicated father converted his idea of building a better basketball hoop for his family into reality, Lifetime as a company was conceived. With continuous iterations and dedication, he founded the establishment in 1986 with the main focus of designing and creating products that are of great quality and so durable they will last a ‘Lifetime’. As time went on and the brand grew, it included more products such as foldable tables and chairs, sheds, kayaks and much more.
Lifetime Pro Court Portable Basketball Hoop is a reliable basketball hoop that has a 3-piece steel pole that’s powder-coated to prevent rust and has a base you can fill with water or sand for extra stability. The balance and sturdiness of this system has been tested to withstand winds of up to 40 miles per hour. The following are some other great features of this portable basketball hoop:
- HDPE 44 inch backboard
- Telescopic height adjustment
- Impact backboard with UV-protected graphics
- Heavy-duty base
- Weather resistant net
- 3-piece steel pole
- Classic rim
- 5-year limited warranty
How To Fill the Base on a Portable Basketball System
Lifetime Quick Tip Assembly video. | Courtesy of Lifetime Products
The Spalding Over-The-Door Mini Basketball Hoop is a polycarbonate backboard that replicates the ‘real thing’ and has padded brackets so it won’t damage or scuff your door. If you’d also like an outdoor basketball hoop, you can check out the Spalding Pro Slam Portable Basketball System
which has an acrylic backboard.
Spalding NBA Slam Jam Over-The-Door Mini Basketball Hoop
Spalding has over a century of experience of manufacturing sports products that enhance the sport as well as the players’ performance in the game. It has been the official manufacturer of NBA’s basketball and backboard, the Rucker League, Arena Football League, NCAA, and Euroleague. Its dedication to excellence and commitment to never ending improvement is what’s taken this brand to great heights.
The Spalding Over-The-Door Mini Basketball Hoop is a replica of the official NBA backboard to its 1/4th-inch scale. It’s made of polycarbonate and has a dimension of 18 x 10.5 inches with a steel Slam Jam Breakaway Rim design that’s strong enough to allow you or your kid do a slam dunk.
This indoor hoop is easy to install as you just need to hang it over your door in a way similar to your clothes hanger. You don’t need tools or drill holes. The backboard has padded brackets that cushion your door, preventing scratches and damage. This portable hoop comes with a 5-inch official NBA basketball replica ball.
The following are some other awesome products from Spalding:
- Spalding NBA Hybrid Portable Basketball System – It has a steel frame with an aluminum trim and has the Ultimate Hybrid Base
- Spalding NBA Portable Basketball System – It has a solid steel breakaway rim with adjustable height and a tempered glass backboard
- Spalding NBA Hercules Vertical Pole Basketball System – It uses the Pro-Glide lift system for height adjustment with a 3-piece vertical steel pole and an acrylic backboard
The Franklin Sports Anywhere Basketball Hoop has a 15x9 inches backboard with an attractive graphic design that can be set up virtually anywhere with its strong adhesive backing. If what you want more traditional backboard over the door basketball hoop
, Franklin has those too — as well as outdoor portable basketball systems!
Franklin Sports Quikset Anywhere Basketball Hoop with 15 x 9” Backboard
Franklin Sports is a globally recognized brand of sporting goods with strong partnerships with other major brands like MLS, NFL, NHL, MLB, and even Disney to mention a few. It brings innovation and performance through its products to sports participants at all levels. It aims at consistently satisfying its customers with its high-quality and durable products and has strong ties with the big names in the retail industry to help make its products available worldwide.
The Franklin Sports Anywhere Basketball is a miniature hoop that is designed to be setup just about anywhere. It has an adhesive backing that’s used for sticking it to surfaces and the attachment system creates sufficient tension that keeps the board from falling off.
This basketball hoop has a colorful graphic design on its backboard giving it a vibrant appearance kids will absolutely love. This hoop is recommended for ages 6 and above. It has a dimension of 15 x 9 inches which is portable enough to fit almost anywhere you need to place it.
It comes ready to play as it requires no installation; just stick it wherever you want with the adhesive strips, pump the deflated ball with the classic Franklin Ball Pump with needle that comes with the package and you’re ready to start dunking and having great fun.
The following are some other cool products from Franklin Sports:
- Franklin Sports Shoot Again Basketball – It has an authentic plexiglass style backboard with automatic feeding system. It requires 4 ‘C’ size batteries
- Franklin Sports Over-The-Door Mini Hoop – It has a dual spring loaded rim with an acrylic backboard that gives the best rebound and comes with a mini rubber basketball
The Step2 Shootin' Hoops Basketball Set is a sturdy plastic construct with a breakaway rim and a well-balanced base, and it’s ideal for both indoor and outdoor play. If you’d like a smaller size of this same design, go for the Step2 Shootin' Hoops Junior Basketball Set which has a stable base that can be weighted. We also recommend checking out kids basketball hoops by Little Tikes
Step2 Shootin' Hoops Pro Basketball Set with Built-In Cup Holders
Based out of Streetsboro, Ohio, Step2 as a company started in 1991. Since then, it has become one of the largest manufacturers of children’s toys, furniture, and other play things that improve their interaction with their environment and foster their mental and physical development. It ensures that all its products, large and small, aren’t only designed to entertain and educate children, but are also safe for them to play with.
The Step2 Shootin' Hoops Basketball Set is a basketball system recommended for children 2 years and older. This basketball hoop is made of durable plastic which is sturdy enough to take all the beating your kids can give it. This plastic hoop will sure get kids running and jumping for hours on end. The following are some features of this basketball system:
- The height can be adjusted from 48 inches to 60 and 72 inches
- The adjustment mechanism is so easy the kids can do it themselves
- Large and strong backboard for great rebounds
- The base has 2 built-in holders for drinks
- This system comes with a 6-inch basketball
- Easy assembly (by an adult)
- Balanced base that can be weighted with sand or water
- Breakaway rim with authentic woven net
How to Choose a Portable Outdoor Basketball Hoop or Over the Door Hoop
Basketball is a popular sport that needs no introduction
. It’s a game played all over the world at different levels of professionalism. This game we love is also played for recreation at home and even in the office. Besides the cardiovascular exercise you benefit from playing it, it’s also fun grouping up into teams and getting competitive. Portable basketball hoops will help you achieve this as it lets you bring the game wherever you want.
The best portable basketball hoops give the same effects as the hoops on a standard court. They have a sturdy and balanced support for both the rims and the backboards. The metal parts are well coated to prevent rust and handle weathers well. The backboards are well made with the right materials to give you the best rebounds. They have breakaway rims that withstand the force of the ball and power dunks.
There are different types of portable basketball hoops and the one you choose will depend on how you plan on using it. The backboards too are made of different materials, which may affect your game differently. There are a lot of designs out there that allow you to adjust the height to your comfort and performance level. There are also portable basketball hoops for kids too, so they’re not left out of the fun. Some hoops are packaged with a basketball
and a basketball pump
, so that all you need to do is to get your basketball shoes
and it’s game on!
The material and design used in making a portable basketball hoop are the major factors that affect its pricing. You can understand why an in-ground hoop with a 54-inch tempered glass backboard will cost significantly more than a 48-inch high plastic-made kid’s hoop. The high-end portable basketball hoops cost over $1000, while the less expensive portable hoops cost around $400.
There are also the cheap portable basketball hoops we came across during our research. These ones will fall apart almost at the first sign of weathering. They’re not strong nor are they durable whatever type of hoop they come in. Getting tempted by the price is equal to throwing the money away.
Basketball is one of the most watched sports game in the US and it’s played in varying skill levels all over the world. Portable basketball hoops allow lovers of the game to play the game in their backyards, garages, and even indoors. If you’re looking to get that kind of access to this ‘beautiful game’ too, here are some features you can look out for before making a purchase:
This list will point you in the right direction when deciding which combination of features you want in your hoop. As you read on, you’ll have a better understanding of how each feature affects the overall performance of the portable basketball hoop you decide on.
Construction and Design
The first thing to do when looking to buy a portable basketball hoop is to know what and how you intend to use it. This will help you decide on your preferences. There are different types of portable basketball hoops that affect their appearance and usability, and they’re listed below:
These are usually the most stable types of basketball systems simply because the upright support pole has its base buried into the ground and sealed with concrete. This type is usually recommended for players who take basketball seriously, either for practice or competition. Of course, if you’re the type who moves often, in-ground hoops are not for you, unless you want to use the hoop as a selling pitch for the house. It’s a bit tricky to install an in-ground hoop as you must make sure it is balanced and use concrete to keep it firmly in place.
This hoop type is quite popular because of its mobility and it can also be as stable as the in-ground if you need it to be. Portable basketball systems often have bases that can be filled with either sand or water to keep the hoop rigid and in place. The bases come in different capacities and the larger the capacity, the heavier and consequently more stable they are. Portable hoops have greater recommendations than the in-ground counterparts because they’re easy to move around and easier to install. One downside to portable hoops is that they’ll usually shake and vibrate more while in use than those that are attached to a wall or supported by concrete as with the in-ground.
Mounted hoops are the most versatile types of them all. They can be used both indoors and outdoors. They can be mounted on almost and strong and stable such as on the wall outside your house, above the garage door, depending on the size, at the back of a door within the house etc. There are many different types of mounting systems different brands use. What’s common among them all (at least most of them) is that they’re designed not to damage the surface you decide to mount them on. So, you might want to pay extra attention to the mounting mechanism if you opt for this option.
It’s worthy of note that the portable and mounted types are the ones that apply to portable basketball hoops for children, in case you’re are shopping for your little angels.
Backboards are important to in-game performance in basketball; they have everything to do with rebounds either offensive or defensive. I’m sure you already know that. There are also three main types of backboard according to the material used for making them, and they are:
This is the best performing backboard material, and of course the most expensive. It’s made of real glass but specially treated not to break into shrapnel. This type is ideal for serious basketballers who want to advance their skills as it provides a great rebound. The downside is that tempered glass isn’t as strong as the other types, so if the hoop holding carrying this kind of backboard happens to fall or you have a powerful dunk like Shaq, it might shatter. At least the pieces won’t hurt you, seeing as the glass is tempered.
This type of backboard is made with thermoplastic acrylic and it offers great performance. Most mid-level hoops have this type of backboard, so chances are the portable basketball hoop you’ll eventually decide upon has an acrylic backboard (unless you’re willing to pay top dollar for a basketball hoop). The quality, durability, and performance will speak for themselves when you start using it.
These types of backboards are quite common as they are less expensive than the others. Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that’s strong and can endure rough weather quite well. This is the least professional backboard we’ve listed here as it doesn’t offer enough of a rebound when the ball hits it. To look on the bright side, this backboard type is quite affordable and if you’re buying a hoop just for recreational purposes, a portable basketball hoop with a polycarbonate backboard might serve the purpose nicely.
The rims are an important part of a basketball hoop as it affects every shot thrown at goal. It reduces the tension on the backboard which prevents the backboard from breaking because of continuous use or a power dunk. There main types of rim that are used are:
The Standard Rim
used to be the only kind of rim there was, since it was only later that it was found that these rims warp, break, or bend when dunked which is what lead to the development of The Spring Loaded Breakaway Rim
which simply is the use of springs to support the rim. These springs do a great job allowing the rim to release the force exerted by the ball through its bounce and vibration, eliminating the warping and breaking. There are two types of spring loaded breakaway rims which are the exposed spring
and the enclosed spring
rims. The enclosed spring rims have the advantage of providing protection for the rim against the elements. It’s important to note that if you’re going for an outdoor hoop, be sure to check the measures the brand of your choice has taken to prevent rust. Though most brands have the metallic parts of their hoops well powder-coated, it’s still safer to be sure first.
Performance and Ease of Use
The upright pole that keeps the backboard up is like the backbone of a portable basketball hoop: it offers support and balance to the hoop. Asides the mounted hoops, portable basketball hoops have vertical poles that keep the backboard and rim up. This pole comes in three main designs: one-piece, two-piece, and three-piece. The one-piece is usually found on the in-ground hoop type. The two-piece and three-piece designs are found mostly on portable hoop types, with metal rods or sturdy plastic connecting the upright to the base to distribute weight.
Backboard support comes from the metal rods that are located behind the backboard to hold it up and keep it steady for shots. These supports play a major role in the performance of the backboard; a hoop that has adequate support to keep the backboard rigid will provide more rebound. Those that have support concentrated in the center tend to make balls come off dead when they hit the sides of the board. So, if you’re keen on the quality of your rebound, it’s important to pay attention to this factor too and not just the material.
Most of the portable basketball hoops out there are height adjustable so you can reduce the height if the standard height is too challenging. Even some kid’s basketball hoops have height adjustment so the hoop can grow along with your kid. There are some accessories that come with certain types of hoops; for instance, there’s a type of hoop that can shoot the ball back at you through a mechanism placed under the rim. Imagine how much energy and time that’ll save you if you just want to do shooting practice. There also some hoops that come with lights or allow you to install lights on them so you can play even during the night with no worries. Another type of accessory that might interest you is the automatic counter that keeps tab of the scores during the game so you and your friends can stop the frequent fights over how many shots have been sunk.
Now that you have all the information you need on portable basketball hoops, we hope you will find it easy to make up your mind on what you want from a basketball hoop that’s ideal for you.
Get the Best Portable Basketball Hoop of 2020!
Now that you’ve finished reading our review, it’s time for you to ahead and purchase the portable basketball hoop of your choice. If your mind isn’t made up yet, remember that these particular products we featured aren’t the only ones made by these brands. So, go check out the other variants they have and you’ll find the best portable basketball hoop that fills your needs.
Our Top Choice
Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop
Lifetime Pro Portable Basketball System
Spalding Over-The-Door Mini Basketball Hoop
Franklin Sports Quikset Anywhere Hoop
Step2 Shootin' Hoops Pro Basketball Set
Portable Basketball Hoop FAQs
What is the best portable basketball hoop?
Want to play basketball on-the-go? Buying a portable basketball hoop is the way to go. However, with the many models and manufacturers out there, knowing the best can be a big problem. The first thing will involve considering who is going to use the equipment. So, the best basketball hoop will be different depending on whether it will be used by kids, teenagers, or adults. Not forgetting that the hoop needs to be durable enough to withstand pressure from users. That will depend on the material used to make it. To avoid having a hoop that topples over, you should also ensure that it is stable. In your judgement, you will settle on the excellent basketball hoop for you.
How do you assemble a portable basketball hoop?
When it comes to setting up a portable basketball system, each one is a bit different so you should check the manufacturer's instructions. However, here are some general guidelines on how to set up a portable basketball hoop. Identify the driveway in which you want to install the basketball hoop. Fill the base with a bag of sand weighing at least 50 pounds. That will ensure that the hoop doesn’t move in stormy or windy weather. Attach the main arm, which is where the rim and backboard will sit. In the package, you will find the bolts and nuts to connect the arm to the base. Once the main arm is in place, attach the backboard, followed by the rim. Finally, you will attach the net. When you have everything in place, raise the arm to a desirable height depending on the players.
How do you secure a portable basketball hoop?
To avoid having a hoop that quickly moves around in windy and stormy weather, there are several simple things you can do. Firstly, instead of using water in the base, try sand. Sand is denser and will hold the hoop in a better way. However, that might still be prone to extreme weather. So, you should try to use the combination of ratchet straps and anchors to secure the basketball hoop. In the market, you will also find specialized products known as hoop anchors. You can buy any of the models you find to firmly hold the hoop in place. So, don’t allow your portable basketball hoop to be swept away when you can do something about it.
How do you level a portable basketball hoop?
One of the ways to make a portable basketball hoop usable is to level it. That means preparing in advance the ground on which you intend to install it. It doesn’t really matter the material you want to use to fill the base. Whether it is on a hard surface or grass, you should ensure the ground is flattened and levelled up. That will ensure the hoop stands as upright as possible.
How to take down a portable basketball hoop
You have been using a portable basketball hoop, and now you need to take it down. Start by removing the rim and blackboard. If there are any screws, nuts, and bolts, safely keep them in a plastic bag. After that, disassemble the main arm from its base. Safely keep away the hardware. After removing the anchoring material, pour water or sand from the bottom. Eventually, you can pack and carry the different parts of the portable basketball hoop to a new location.