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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Spalding Portable Aluminium Trim Acrylic
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!