Best Portable Basketball Hoop – Reviews & Comprehensive Buying Guide

From Lebron James to Michael Jordan, basketball has been a favorite sport among many and to become skilled at the game you need to commit a great deal of time honing your skills. But installing a permanent basketball hoop in the ground is neither an easy task nor will it allow for any portability.

However, hooking up a basketball hoop might come in handy for basketball lovers like me out there and all you need is a little bit of space in your courtyard to set up the hoop. The portable basketball hoop is a great addition to your sports garage as it can be moved as and when needed and it does not take up much space.

Best Portable Basketball Hoop - Our Picks

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Here is a list of the best portable basketball hoops based on three categories that you should be acquainted with before investing your valuable money:

Lifetime 1529 Courtside Base Height-Adjustable Portable Basketball System

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The Lifetime 1529 portable basketball hoop is the least expensive one. 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.

Lifetime 52-Inch Shatter-Proof Backboard Portable Basketball System

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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 blank 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.

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

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This 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 Rim with double-compression springs and welded net hooks.

There are two extra backboard braces which do give a marked improvement in terms of backboard vibrations in response to blank shots.

Spalding 68564 Portable Basketball System

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Now that looks like a real basketball hoop! The Spalding 68564 has a 54″ steel framed acrylic backboard with authentic style board pads. The Screw Jack lift system allows you to remove the lift handle so that the hoop’s height cannot be tampered with. While the top hoops have a backboard made of tempered glass, the acrylic backboard features on this basketball system does play nicely and is very durable.

The Spalding 68564 basketball hoop comes with two wheels at the base to make moving easy. This basketball hoop system comes with a 40 gallon base (the largest on this list so far) to keep this high quality unit in place. This system features a 3 piece, 3.5″ round pole set at a 20 degree angle from the base.

I really like that the support pole is at an angle as this allows for more play under the rim and keeps players from hitting the pole during drives. The rim on the Spalding 68564 is an arena slam offering performance that mimics the rim you play on in your local gyms.

Spalding NBA Hybrid Portable Basketball System – 60″ Acrylic Backboard

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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.

Spalding Portable Basketball System – 60″ Aluminium Trim Acrylic Backboard

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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. The angled support pole allows for safe play and under the hoop action.

This hoop looks very similar to the Spalding 68564. 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.

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

Spalding “The Beast” Portable Basketball Hoop

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The Spalding Beast 74560 Portable Basketball Hoop features a two piece, 5 Inch square angled 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.

I would like to see backboard padding on this hoop, which it currently lacks. However, 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.

Street Tournament Side Court Portable Basketball Hoop from Spalding

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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.

Things to look for in the Best Portable Basketball Hoops



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.


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


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.

Generally I 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.


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 I 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.


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 I 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)

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.


In my 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 have maximum stability and will stay in place under almost any conditions.

A Couple of 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. Many injuries occur due to players tripping or running into the base during games.

Support Pole System

Having a quality support pole system on a portable basketball hoop is central to keeping the whole system stable when in use.

Support Pole Design

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 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 connects to several portions of the backboard or line up parallel to the backboard.

In a Nutshell

For any basketball lover, these basketball hoops will prove to be fruitful as you can play your favourite sport any time and any place. Also as these come in handy, you can carry them when you think of travelling to the countryside from the city and spend a day of fun and frolic with your closed ones. So, for a basketball hoop according to the best of your requirements, pay attention to the important things that I have mentioned and you are good to go!

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  • Updated October 11, 2016