Best Portable Basketball Hoop 2018

Best Portable Basketball HoopBasketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, but it can also have some serious paywalls to entry.

Whereas other sports need little more than a ball and a field, basketball requires the eponymous basket in order to play the game. Unfortunately, this is also one of the least wieldy pieces of equipment in sports.

With professional basketball hoops hanging from a well-supported ceiling and occupying a fair amount of area, it can be difficult to replicate that same experience at the comfort of your own home. Thankfully, manufacturers have sought to alleviate this concern by producing the best portable basketball hoops to play on at your home or other property.

What is the Best Portable Basketball Hoop in 2018?

Of course, figuring out which is the best portable basketball hoop can be a difficult and confusing task. That is why we have put together a list of the 7 best portable basketball hoops, highlighting what each one does best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the portable basketball hoop to suit your needs.

Product
BackboardHeight RangeCounterweightLift 
Spalding NBA "The Beast"
(Editor’s Choice)
Glass7 ½’ x 10’50 gaScrew Jack
Makrolon7 ½’ x 10’35 gaPneumatic
Acrylic7 ½’ x 10’35 gaHand
Acrylic7 ½’ x 10’35 gaScrew Jack
Lifetime Pro Court
(People’s Choice)
Polyethylene7 ½’ x 10’27 gaTelescopic
Polyethylene6’ 4 ½” x ; 8’ 1 ½”935. gaTelescopic
PolycarbonateN/AN/AN/A
Polycarbonate7 ½’ x 10’28 gaTelescopic

1. Spalding NBA “The Beast” – Best Portable Basketball Hoop (Editor’s Choice)

Spalding NBA "The Beast"As the official sponsor of the NBA, it should come as little surprise that Spalding also happens to produce the best rated portable basketball hoop as well.

That being said, no one told Spalding to outright embarrass the competition. However, when you compare “The Beast” to pretty much all of the other portable basketball hoops on our list, it should be easy to tell that the company did just that.

Backboard

When it comes right down to it, the most important part of a portable basketball hoop-assuming the supports are stable-is the backboard. Thankfully, the Spalding NBA “The Beast” basketball goal easily has the best backboard that we have seen. For one, this backboard is 60” wide, which is only a foot shorter than a professional basketball hoop. On top of that, this backboard is also the only one on our list that is made of glass. This will provide the best rebound when the ball makes contact with the backboard and will serve as the most durable backboard on our list.

Convenience

Beyond the quality of this basketball hoop’s build, “The Beast” is also one of the more convenient basketball hoops that we reviewed providing various advantages that few to none of the other basketball hoops offer. For instance, this basketball hoop comes with a gray insert cover that performs a few functions. The primary benefit of this insert cover is that it serves as a rebounder for one-person practice sessions. However, the tame insert can also be used as a handle to help lift and move “The Beast” from one place to another.

Pros:
  • Comes with a rebounder
  • Comes with a moving handle
  • The backboard is 60”
  • The backboard is made of glass
  • Features a counterweighted base
  • Can adjust with the screw jack
  • Features 4 strut support
  • Has breakaway rim
  • Has 4-point Z-Arm mount
Cons:
  • The most expensive portable basketball hoop reviewed
  • Shipping and assembly can be difficult

2. Lifetime 52 – Best Portable Basketball Hoop under 300

Lifetime 52Lifetime may be a step down from Spalding when comparing basketball equipment, but it is still one of the better brands around. In this case, we have a portable basketball hoop that comes with a surprising number of features that will make it a great addition to any home.

However, the real benefit of this goal comes not when you are using it but during those instances before a game when you actually have to change the height of the goal.

Lift

This is by far the best quality about the Lifetime portable basketball hoop for a number of reasons, though it too does not come without its own caveats. Specifically, this is the only portable basketball hoop on our list that features a pneumatic lift. This is important because a pneumatic lift is by far the easiest and safest type of lift that a basketball hoop can use. This means that younger teenagers will be able to raise or lower the goal to their desired height without the risk of injury.

Build

Another thing that actually sets this goal apart from the others is the choice of materials for the backboard. As opposed to the normal materials used for a basketball hoop backboard, the Lifetime uses Makrolon. This is technically a type of polycarbonate, which carries with it a few physical properties. First, this goal will not provide the best rebound for the ball, however, it is significantly more durable than acrylic and is even a better quality of polycarbonate than most other brands use.

Pros:
  • Support made of heavy-duty steel
  • Backboard made of Makrolon
  • Net made of nylon
  • Has a breakaway rim
  • Features counterweighted base
  • Can adjust with pneumatic lift
  • The backboard is 52”
  • Has a 5-year warranty
Cons:
  • Is a somewhat expensive basketball hoop
  • Not the easiest to assemble

3. Silverback – Best Portable Basketball Hoops

Silverback NXTSilverback is a bit of a unique brand on our list because it is one of the few, which is not actually its own company. Instead, Silverback is merely a brand within the Escalade Sports Company that owns 45 different brands in total.

That said, Silverback is the mid-tier brand of basketball hoops the sports equipment conglomerate and offers some distinct advantages over some of the other basketball goals we reviewed.

Portability

When it comes right down to it, despite all of these basketball goals having wheels, most of them are not that easy to move from one place to another. This is due to two causes: first, the wheels themselves are incredibly small and will either be stuck or wedged with the first rock they meet. On top of that, few portable basketball hoops have a convenient place to grab the goal. Thankfully, Silverback’s ErgoMove makes short work of both problems. First, the wheels are larger to make moving the goal easier and there are handles on the side to lift.

Backboard

Another great quality about the Silverback NXT is the backboard, which, while not necessarily the near professional level that another product on our list provides, still offers an excellent surface. First, it is made of acrylic that, while not the most durable, still provides better rebound than plastic. On top of that, this backboard also comes with Infinity Edge technology, so it will remain stiffer and have more durability than your standard acrylic or plastic backboard. Finally, it comes in both 50” and 54”.

Pros:
  • Support made of heavy-duty steel
  • Backboard made of acrylic
  • Net made of nylon
  • Has an Infinity Edge backboard
  • Features counterweighted base
  • Can adjust with lift
  • The backboard is either 50” or 54”
  • ErgoMove design is convenient
Cons:
  • Is a more expensive basketball hoop
  • Rim cannot be dunked on

4. Spalding Pro Slam – Best Portable Basketball Hoop for Driveway

Spalding Pro SlamSpalding makes another appearance on our list, but this time they are putting forth their mid-tier product. Keep in mind, there are few people who truly need a nearly professional portable basketball goal.

Unless you have a significant space for the court and are playing with highly skilled and competitive players that can dunk, chances are you do not need to spend over $1000 on a portable basketball hoop.

Base

Though we have not paid too terribly much attention to the base of the basketball goals on our list, the base of the Pro Slam comes with a few advantages that bear repeating. For example, this goal is set into its base at an angle, so you do not have to worry about hitting the pole when you are playing directly underneath the rim. On top of that, this basketball goal also comes with a rebound board, which will come in handy whenever you are shooting or practicing by yourself.

Build

Beyond the base, this basketball goal is just generally well-built, and while many of its features may not necessarily the best of their class, most of them are either top-tier or fairly close. For instance, the backboard comes in at a respectable 54” and is made of acrylic. This will provide a better rebound to the ball when compared to the basketball goals with a plastic backboard. This portable basketball hoop also features a breakaway rim, so you do not have to worry about people breaking it if they dunk.

Pros:
  • Support made of heavy-duty steel
  • Backboard made of acrylic
  • Net made of nylon
  • Has a breakaway rim
  • Features counterweighted base
  • Can adjust with a screw jack
  • The backboard is 54”
  • Comes with a rebounder
Cons:
  • Not the easiest to assemble
  • Not the easiest to move

5. Lifetime Pro Court – Best Youth Portable Basketball Hoop (People’s Choice)

Lifetime Pro CourtThe solid, mid-tier basketball sports equipment brand Lifetime makes another appearance on our list, and it is the most popular portable basketball hoop that we reviewed.

This means that this basketball goal provides the most people with what they require at a cost that is a bit more manageable. While not truly the best budget portable basketball hoop, nor does the best all-around value, the Pro Court still provide a good mix of features.

Materials

This is the first basketball goal that we reviewed which features a polyethylene backboard. This material will not provide too terribly different of rebound off the ball, so you should definitely keep in mind that the game would be played closer to the rim more often than not. That said, it does feature a heavy duty steel support as well as a net made of durable, high-quality nylon. To show that they stand behind the build of their basketball goal, Lifetime even offers a limited 5-year warranty on the various parts of the Pro Court.

Issues

It should be noted that a big part of the reason that the Pro Court was not rated as the best all-around value has to do with a headache that this basketball goal can cause.

For example, if you want to raise or lower the goal, then you are going to have to unscrew the lock, raise or lower the entire goal by hand while holding the support, and then screw the lock back into place.

Beyond that, the absence of large, wide-set wheels as well as any meaningful handle to hold onto makes this a more difficult basketball goal to move as well.

Pros:
  • Support made of heavy-duty steel
  • Backboard made of polyethylene
  • Net made of nylon
  • Features counterweighted base
  • Can adjust with telescoping support
  • The backboard is 44”
  • Has a 5-year warranty
  • Is a less expensive basketball hoop
Cons:
  • Not the sturdiest
  • Difficult to fill the counterweight

6. Best Choice Products – Best Portable Basketball Hoop under $200 (Best Price)

Best Choice ProductsWe should get out of the way early that the Best Choice Products is by no means the best or highest rated on our list. However, that is not the intended purpose of this basketball goal.

Instead of providing the absolute best product on the market, Best Choice Products instead sought to manufacture a basketball goal that would best serve the needs of younger children.

Size

One of the most notable differences between this basketball goal and the other on our list has to do with the various dimensions and clearances that the goal provides. For instance, when it comes to maximum and minimum heights, this goal is the lowest on both fronts. While that is fine for the minimum, the fact that the maximum height is just a bit above 8’ means that taller players will not find this basketball goal enjoyable. That said, children would be more confident shooting at a shorter goal, which will help them learn and develop the fundamental skills that will make them star players on a larger goal when the time comes.

Backboard

Another notable difference in size between the Best Choice Products and the other goals on our list is the size of the backboard. Whereas most of the other backboards are at least 44” wide, this goal comes in at a small 28”. While this would seem tiny to most players, younger children will once again appreciate how the compact backboard actually makes it easier for them to make their shots since the target is more in line with the rest of goal.

Pros:
  • Support made of heavy-duty steel
  • Backboard made of polyethylene
  • Net made of nylon
  • Features counterweighted base
  • Can adjust with telescoping support
  • Features a smaller backboard for children
  • The lightest full-size portable basketball hoop reviewed
  • Is a less expensive basketball hoop
Cons:
  • Only goes up to 8’
  • Not the sturdiest

7. SKLZ – Best Portable Basketball Hoop for Home Use

SKLZ ProNot every portable basketball hoop needs to be made for play outdoors or for highly competitive players. Sometimes, you simply need something to help you pass the time and keep you distracted while you wait for something else to happen.

You might even simply want a product that can make chores or other tasks, which are otherwise mundane, have a little bit more excitement or entertainment value. This is where the mini basketball hoop comes into play.

Size

As the name suggests, this basketball hoop is significantly smaller than all of the others on our list-though it is actually not quite as small as many of its other direct competitors. Of course, its direct competitors are other mini portable basketball hoops and not full-sized basketball goals. Still, at 23” wide, this mini basketball hoop’s backboard is nearly ½’ larger than most of the others. The backboard is also made of polycarbonate, so you do not have to worry about the backboard breaking.

Build

Beyond the backboard, this mini basketball hoop actually has a few other things going for it.

For example, though it cannot take the same kind of abuse as larger rims, the rim of the Skillz Pro is actually made of metal and even features a single spring breakaway design. This will not protect the rim if you constantly slam it, but it will prevent it from breaking during normal play.

Finally, this mini basketball goal also comes with a miniature sized ball and a strong nylon net.

Pros:
  • Smaller for indoor spaces
  • Can be mounted nearly anywhere
  • Comes with mounting hardware
  • Rim is made of metal
  • Has a breakaway rim
  • Is a less expensive portable basketball hoop
  • Larger, polycarbonate backboard
  • Comes with a mini basketball
Cons:
  • Is not a full-size basketball hoop
  • The least durable portable basketball hoop reviewed

8. Franklin Sports – Basketball Hoop – Authentic – Clear – Portable – Driveway – Street – 48″

Franklin Sports Basketball Hoop review

Shoot Hoops in your Backyard (or Front Yard)

The Franklin Sports Hoop takes everything that works well in most street goals and adds it all together into one package. If you’re familiar with playing hoops outside, it’s nothing you probably haven’t seen before.

There are two wheels at the bottom to help you get it situated in any position you have in mind. This also aids in transport but must be put together first. The height can be changed to conform to high school, ACAA, or NBA heights with increments of six feet with each size alteration.

Support where it’s Needed

The hollowed-out bucket at the base of the goal is for support. You can fill it with dirt and/or sand to keep it from falling over. Rocks could also e used, but this may damage the plastic over time.

Even with a filled bucket, additional support could still be warranted. If so, simply get another heavy object (tire, big rocks, sandbags, etc.) to make it stay upright.

Franklin Sports is a good way to get outdoor games started with your family or friends, so get it if you want to shoot hoops without going to the park.

Pros:
  • Can be adjusted from 7 1/2 to 10 feet, with switches every 6 inches
  • Built with weather resistant materials that won’t erode or rust goal parts
  • Has wheels on the bottom to help aid in quick trasport
Cons:
  • Instruction manual for setup is difficult to follow
  • Although the base can be filled with sand, additional support might be needed to keep the goal from tipping over

Best Portable Basketball Hoop – Buyer’s Guide

Backboard

Though it may seem as if the hoop or the support should get top billing, it should make absolutely perfect sense that the backboard is actually the most important aspect of a portable basketball hoop when you really think about it.

Other than the ground, the ball will spend more time bouncing off the backboard than it will any other part of the basketball hoop.

As such, it is important to make sure that you get a basketball hoop with a backboard that will provide the proper rebound when the ball bounces off it.

On top of that, you also need to make sure that the backboard is durable enough to stand up to the punishing abuse of the game as well as the toll the elements will take.

PolycarbonateBest Portable Basketball Hoop Review – Polycarbonate

This is often seen as the lowest grade of material used for basketball goal backboards, although other types of plastic have also begun to make appearances, which ultimately throw that ranking upended.

Regardless, polycarbonate is not one of the more desired materials to use for a backboard specifically because the ball does not rebound off it not all that well-at least any compared to some of the other materials used.

That said, polycarbonate is a durable material and has been labeled as shatterproof, as it is used for a large majority of the lenses for sunglasses. This material is also resistant to mold or water damage and can take the sun’s rays-though it may bleach out.

Polyethylene

This is the other plastic that is starting to make more and more appearances in lower-end portable basketball hoops and for largely the same reasons as polycarbonate.

Specifically, polyethylene is a much less expensive material to use to make a basketball goal backboard, whose savings are directly passed on to the consumer in the form of significantly less expensive products.

When compared to the other materials, polyethylene is similar to polycarbonate in a number of respects. For example, both polycarbonate and polyethylene do not provide the best rebound for the ball-especially when compared to the solid and excellent rebound you get from acrylic and glass respectively.

Acrylic

This is basically the material that virtually all manufacturers use when making the backboard for a mid-tier portable basketball hoop. Though both polycarbonate and polyethylene can be made transparent, acrylic is actually the first goal material that will feature a fair number of transparent backboards.

In terms of the rebound, acrylic provides nearly twice as much rebound on the bounce when compared to polycarbonate and polyethylene-though it actually trails far behind glass by nearly as much as it surpasses the plastics.

That said, the ball’s rebound might not be the only factor you find important, especially when you consider that the plastics are actually a fair bit stronger than acrylic making this choice more about the type of game you play.

Glass

It should come as little surprise that glass is the premier choice for basketball goal backboards, though it is more appropriate to call it tempered glass. If you have not already gathered the trend by now, glass provides the best rebound to the ball and will be the only material that can properly emulate how the ball bounces when using a professional grade, indoor basketball hoop.

However, glass is not simply the best material to use with basketball goal backboards because of the rebound alone.

In fact, not only does glass provide the best rebound for the ball, but also glass is also both more rigid and durable than all of the other materials commonly used for portable basketball hoop backboards-including the plastics.

The only problem with glass is that it can be prohibitively expensive.

Backboard SizeBest Portable Basketball Hoop Review – Backboard Size

Aside from the material that the basketball hoop backboard is made of, you also need to consider the size of the backboard. This will largely depend on the size of your court as well as the expected size of your players. For instance, younger players might actually have a more difficult time shooting on a portable basketball hoop with a full-size backboard.

The smaller backboards allow younger players to focus on the bank target without becoming intimidated or overwhelmed. Of course, if the basketball hoop is located at the end of a driveway or in some other area where space is limited, there is a good chance that you do not need a larger basketball goal.

For children, you can actually get a basketball goal with a backboard that is smaller than many of the common sizes. Whereas 44” is usually the low-end for the standard basketball goal backboards sizes, a child’s goal can be less than 3’ wide.

For the larger backboards, it is best to set those up in an area where you can at least have a reasonable size court it need not be a full-size court, but it should probably be close to half-court sized with a proper distance 3-point line.

If the backboard is too large for space, it can actually serve as a distraction to the players. Of course, if the players are skilled and highly competitive, there is a good chance they will prefer the larger backboard regardless the size of the court.

Rim

When it comes to rims, there is only a single thing that you need to consider: how many springs does it have. Most basketball hoops will be sized large enough for a regulation ball-regardless the size of the backboard. On top of that, basketball hoops are also generally made out of the same metal materials.

As such, the primary difference between the rims of different basketball hoops comes down to the number of springs the rim has to break the impact of slam-dunks. In this regard, 2 springs are accepted as a solid standard and are the number of springs used for what is known as a “breakaway” rim. Keep in mind, a goal with less than 2 sturdy springs should be dunked on lightly if at all.

LiftBest Portable Basketball Hoop Review - lift

There is numerous way to change the height of an adjustable portable basketball hoop. Some of them are easier than others though, which can be especially important if you have children who will want to adjust the height of the basketball goal on their own.

On top of the ease of transition, the type of lift that a basketball goal uses will also play a bit towards the durability of the lifting mechanism. In this case, the fewer moving parts that can possibly fail and break the better.

Screw Jack

This is one of the more popular types of basketball hoop lift for a couple reasons-though it is far one of the least convenient types of lifts that are used. Essentially, the goal of the basketball hoop is fitted with a threaded support. To raise or lower the goal, all you have to do is turn the screw jack one way or the other.

While the directions are simple, it can be tedious to change the height of the goal if you want to raise or lower it a foot or more. That said, this is also one of the most durable lists since the only moving piece is usually the screw jack itself.

Hand Lift

This is one of a couple lifts that do not provide any sort of mechanism to assist in dealing with the weight of the goal as you try to raise or lower it. Instead, the hand lift features a rod or pole connected to a handle.

To change the height of this type of basketball goal, you will literally need to use your strength to hold the goal up while you disengage the lock-though many hands lifted basketball goals are actually designed so the lock disengages when you lift.

From there, you will need to similarly use your own strength to raise or control the lowering of the goal. This is not the most durable type of lift, but it is still durable.

Pneumatic Lever

Best Portable Basketball Hoop Review - Pneumatic Lever

If you have the option and all of the other qualities about the basketball hoop are in line with what you are looking for, always opt in for the pneumatic lever. Basically, this type of lift features a level that makes use of pneumatic hydraulics to provide some additional oomph to your lifting and lowering.

This is not only the most convenient type of lift used, it is the safest as well as the pneumatic hydraulics will prevent the goal simply dropping to its lowest height if your hand slips.

That said, this is also the least durable type of lift use, though this should not be much of a surprise considering the effectiveness of this lift is entirely dependent on the durability of the pneumatic system.

Telescopic

This is the simplest and most basic type of lift used which carries with it a few benefits but plenty of drawbacks as well. On the plus side, this is usually the least expensive type of lift used, and goals with this type of lift will often cost half what an otherwise identical basketball hoop would cost.

From an ease of use side, you essentially must undo a lock-usually a screw or two-and then physically life the support pole to the desired height before tightening it again.

In terms of qualities, this is by far the least convenient method for lifting or lowering a basketball hoop and will often require 2 people to accomplish. On top of that, telescopic basketball hoops often have issues with the goal leaning after frequent height changes.

Conclusion

Best Portable Basketball Hoop 2018In the end, there is not a single portable basketball hoop that will be the best for all players. If you are a skilled and highly competitive player, chances are that you will expect more from your portable basketball hoop than a young child who is still learning the fundamentals of the game. Likewise, the difference in cost between an upper-tier and a mid-tier basketball goal can be stark.

Still, if you are looking for the absolute best portable basketball hoop that we found, we will recommend you go with Spalding’s “The Beast.”

Practically everything about this portable basketball hoop is top of the line with a large 60” glass backboard and a base cover that serves as both a rebounder and a lifting handle, the only not to love is the cost.

In this case, we would actually recommend Spalding’s other product that we reviewed, the Pro Slam. While the backboard is not quite as impressive as “The Beasts”, it is still made of acrylic and comes in a large 54”. This Spalding also features the rebounder at the base of the goal and is slanted to allow play under the goal to remain unobstructed by the goal’s supports.

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5/52 ratings

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