All over the world basketball has remained a popular sport for decades. It involves using your own strategy in order to outwit defensive players, focuses on maintaining speed, and requires physical strength, but in order to stay on top of your game, you need to practice often. This is a sport for kids, teens, and adults, but making it to a local gym or basketball court isn’t always convenient. Because of this, many families decide to purchase their own basketball hoop, but often their options are limited if they don’t have much space to work with or don’t own their home.
So, what’s the solution? Enter the best portable basketball hoops. These hoops have it all. Built tough, fully height adjustable, these systems are perfect for players of any age, size, and skill level.
But choosing the right model can take some serious research, especially considering there are hundreds of models to choose from.
Fortunately for you, we’ve done all the legwork for you by reviewing dozens of the leading models. We looked at ease of assembly, pricing, support pole design, backboard size and material, and overall quality and we came up with the five top models on the market.
Narrowing it down to the top five wasn’t easy, but we’re confident that you’ll find the perfect portable basketball system in on your five list.
The Perfect Choice for Any Family
If you or your children love playing ball, then having an NBA quality portable basketball hoop right in your driveway can be a dream come true. You can play ball anytime you want, move the hoop from place to place, and wheel it into your garage when you’re done playing for the day.
The fact that most models are height adjustable from seven and a half feet tall up to the NBA regulation ten feet means that you and the kids can enjoy a fun game using the same model.
What better way to stay active or get the kids off the couch then by having a pro-quality basketball hoop set up right in your driveway?
As we’ve mentioned, there are a number of features to consider. If you’re strictly looking for a hoop for yourself, then you should be more focused on finding a model that’s designed for advanced players. This can mean a solid pole support system that can withstand dunking, a large tempered glass backboard, and a base that has a large volume capacity.
For kids, you’ll want a hoop that has a reputation for durability and one that’s equipped with an easy to use height adjustment system. You’ll also want a larger backboard that offers excellent response.
If you’re totally new to portable basketball systems, we recommend reading our extensive buyer’s guide, which details which features to look for based on the size and skill level of the player, and how each of these features can impact player performance and the overall durability of the hoop system.
Each of the systems we’ve reviewed has something special to offer, whether it’s the perfect model for the family on a budget, or a system that’s dunk worthy. These reviews combined with the buyer’s guide will help you to choose a model that works for you and your family.
Additionally, our articles on basketball shooting drills and how to get better at basketball dribbling offer some great tips and tricks that can help you to improve and grow as a shooter. These articles also include some challenging workouts you can follow that will whip you into shape and improve your shooting precision, and your rhythm and coordination.
Now, let’s begin with our top five list with the best model around, The Beast by Spalding.
Best Portable Basketball Hoop-Spalding NBA The Beast Portable Basketball Hoop
Our top choice is The Beast by Spalding. This portable basketball hoop features a tempered glass backboard, large base capacity, and the type of durable design that makes this model perfect for advanced players. Solidly built, easy to transport, and featuring a highly responsive backboard, other models in this price range simply can’t compare to The Beast.
Top-Rated Portable Basketball System for Dunkers-Spalding NBA Portable Basketball System
Equipped with a massive fifty-four-inch tempered glass backboard and the popular Arena Slam breakaway rim, this model by Spalding came in second on our top five list. This portable basketball hoop is height adjustable and features a solid design that allows for some serious dunks and intense one-on-one games. A great choice for teens and adults, this model is designed to easily withstand rough use, thanks to the stable base and tough support pole system.
Most Stable Portable Basketball System-Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop
The NXT comes with a tempered glass backboard with an angled support pole that allows players to easily work under the hoop. The lightweight base may not make this hoop system the best choice for dunkers, but the hoop’s impressive Stabili-frame does an excellent job of eliminating rocking and wobbly during a tough street game.
Best Choice for Kids-Lifetime 51544 Shatterproof Portable Basketball Hoop
Featuring a shatterproof backboard that offers a decent response, and a height adjustable support pole system, this model by Lifetime is the perfect choice for kids and younger teens. This durable portable basketball system comes equipped with the Slam-it solid steel breakaway rim complete with the double compression spring design. The hoop’s lightweight base makes moving this system from place to place a breeze.
Budget-Friendly-Spalding Pro Slam Portable Basketball System
The Pro Slam by Spalding features a thick acrylic backboard that’s fifty-four inches wide, providing players with a highly responsive playing surface that’s perfect for players of all skill levels. The hoop’s angled pole design gives players plenty of room to move around under the hoop, while the model’s large wheels allow you to easily store the hoop system away when not in use.
Portable Basketball Hoop Buying Guide
Shopping for the best portable basketball hoops can be exciting, but you have to do your research in order to find a hoop that will work for you and your home. Our buying guide will provide you with all the info you need in order to make an informed decision before you buy a hoop for your court or driveway. We’ll break down the specs to look for, the differences between rims, and backboard types, and we’ll discuss some of the basic features you’ll want and need in your hoop for a pro setup.
Once you learn more about the different features available and what you want and need in a hoop, you’ll have a better understanding of each of the products we have reviewed, and you’ll get a better idea of what type of budget you’re looking at in order to get the very best portable basketball hoop possible. So, let’s get started.
Our site focuses on the best portable hoops, but there are a couple of other types of choose from including wall-mounted hoops and ground hoops.
Portable: This is by far the most popular option available. These systems typically come with a base that you’ll fill with liquid or sand, which keeps the model stable and prevents it from moving. In terms of base size and capacity, these models can range from twenty-seven up to fifty gallons. Larger models also feature space to place heavier materials such as bricks, which help to weigh down the unit even more.
Most homeowners can agree that a portable hoop is the best option because they’re much easier to install than an in-ground hoop, they won’t cause damage to your garage like a wall-mounted hoop can, and they’re incredibly easy to transport. The only real drawback of portable models is that some tend to vibrate and shake more than an in-ground hoop, but this is usually only an issue you’ll run into with lower priced models.
In-ground hoops: As we have mentioned, these hoops are more stable than a portable basketball hoop. This style uses support poles which are placed deep into the ground using cement. These hoops are often recommended for serious players. However, not many homeowners have enough space to accommodate an in-ground basketball hoop, and for renters, they simply aren’t an option.
Wall-mounted hoops: Over the past several years this type of basketball hoop has dipped in popularity, mainly because portable basketball hoops are a much more convenient option. This type of hoop is fairly stable, thanks to the support brackets used and the fact that the backboard is directly attached to a building. However, if you have teens or you and your buddies enjoy playing a game of b-ball in the driveway, you’ll quickly learn that you can’t dunk on this type of hoop without risking cracking the backboard and causing significant damage to the structure it’s attached to. For these reasons, many players have made the switch to portable basketball hoops.
Using the Best Rim
By far, the rim is the most important piece of hardware on a basketball hoop because it comes into play with nearly every shot. Most types of modern hoop systems will come with a type of breakaway mechanism that reduces tension in the hoop when dunking. This feature reduces the risk of the backboard breaking, an issue that’s common with wall-mounted hoops.
There are a few different types of rims that you’ll find available:
Standard: This type of rim has been around for years and it’s very versatile, which means it can be used on all basketball hoops. But this type of rim isn’t used very often, thanks to the rise in popularity of the breakaway rim. These days the standard rim is usually only found on lower-priced models. Fortunately, you can easily make an upgrade. The standard rim doesn’t have a breakaway mechanism, so they usually break, warp, or bend when dunked on. However, if you normally just shoot layups or regular shots, then a standard rim may be all you need.
Exposed spring: This type of rim features an exposed spring design and consists of one or two springs total. Over time, these springs have a tendency to rust, especially in humid climates. Many types of exposed spring rims are low quality, causing too much bounce in the rim once the ball makes contact. Obviously, this can impact a player’s performance. These rims are also notorious for wearing out pretty easily if dunking is the norm.
Enclosed spring: This type of rim is often found on top of the line portable basketball hoops. The springs on this rim are fully enclosed with a metal cover so they won’t be exposed to the elements. This works to increase the lifespan of the rim.
Choosing the Right Type of Backboard
For serious players, backboard quality is everything. There are a few options to choose from including tempered glass, acrylic, and polycarbonate.
Polycarbonate: This type of backboard is most commonly found on lower priced hoops. But this plastic is very rigid and can even handle the elements well. Unfortunately, they don’t have the best reputation in terms of performance. Often, players notice that the ball doesn’t come off the backboard with much force, which may be due to the lack of brace support. However, a polycarbonate backboard can be a great choice for families who are simply looking for a recreational hoop for the kids.
Acrylic: A thermoplastic acrylic backboard easily outperforms a polycarbonate backboard. Most higher priced portable basketball hoops come equipped with this type of backboard because this style offers a better bounce and is incredibly durable.
Tempered glass: For many players, tempered glass is considered the best option. Both polycarbonate and acrylic are forms of plastic. Tempered glass is the real deal and it’s the type of backboard used in the NBA and what you’ll normally find used in gyms all over the country. Hands down, tempered glass excels in performance compared to other styles, which is why it isn’t surprising that it’s often found on more expensive models. This is the backboard that’s preferred by serious players. But, as most basketball fans know, a tempered glass backboard can also be shattered when dunked on.
The size of a backboard can also vary and comes in two shape options: square or fan. These days, most hoops feature a square-shaped backboard. This shape provides a larger surface area for missed shots. A square shaped backboard comes in a variety of sizes ranging from forty-two inches up to seventy-two inches. Seventy-two inches is considered regulation size.
The support poles also come in a few design options: one-piece, two-piece, and three-piece. This means that a two-piece support pole uses two different pieces to make up the support, while a three-piece design uses three, and so on. When it comes to the support pole design, the fewer pieces used to make up the support the more stable the hoop will be. A one-piece support pole is often found on top of the line models, while the three-piece support pole design is used on lower-priced basketball hoops.
Support Design for Backboards
Cheaper basketball hoops usually feature a brace that’s used to adjust the height of the hoop’s position at the center. Higher priced models will come with a much thicker support pole and extra bracing which will encompass most of the playing area of the backboard, thus working to reinforce shot stability.
Since lower priced basketball hoops don’t have this type of extra support, a shot that hits the right or left side of a backboard will usually come off dead, compared to when the ball lands in the middle of the board where most of the support is applied.
Most portable basketball hoops feature a height adjustment system. In the past, players would have to use a broom handle in order to adjust the height, but modern systems now come with a crank mechanism or handle that allows for easier adjustment. Lower priced hoops may still come equipped with a telescoping system, where a bolt is placed through the hoop’s support pole at a variety of increments.
Height adjustments can range from seven and a half feet up to ten feet, which is regulation height. Some models offer an even taller range. Make sure you check out a hoop’s height adjustment range before you buy in order to determine if the hoop you’re interested in is designed for kids and younger players or if it’s able to meet the pro-regulation height that most serious players opt for.
Why Portable Basketball Hoops are so Popular
Simply put, if you don’t have much room to work with, a portable basketball hoop can be moved from place to place, easily, via the built-in wheels. So, you can store your hoop in your garage when not in use and roll it out to your driveway for a fun pickup game with friends.
They’re also a great choice for renters because they don’t have to be mounted to a structure or sunk into cement.
They’re a more affordable option than an in-ground hoop set up.
If you live in a part of the country where it snows or rains a lot, you won’t have to worry about the hoop rusting since it can be safely stored away during the winter months.
What to Know Before You Buy a Portable Basketball Hoop
Playing a fun casual game of b-ball in your driveway or cul-de-sac can be a great way to get active, burn some calories, and have fun with friends. However, purchasing a new model can be confusing and a little overwhelming. Where you’re looking for a hoop you can use for a competitive game, a game of horse with the kids, or one you can use to practice team drills, these helpful tips can help you to decide which model is perfect for you.
- It’s all about location. Make sure you have enough space to accommodate a hoop before you take the plunge and hit that buy now button. Ideally, you’ll have plenty of paved space to work with such as a large backyard patio or driveway.
- Keep in mind that it’s illegal to play ball on the sidewalk or in the street, so if you live in a cul-de-sac it might be a good idea to get some feedback from your neighbors before you buy, if you plan on playing some hoop in the street.
- The hoop you choose should be based on who uses it. If you’re buying a hoop for the kids, then a lower priced standard model will work just fine. If you have a teen on the high school basketball team who needs to use the hoop for practice, or you and your buddies enjoy playing a game on the weekends, think bigger and stronger. Often, models designed for adult use will come with a higher price tag, but they’re also much more durable.
- Wheel quality is also important. When you’re shopping around for a basketball hoop make sure you read customer reviews for each model and learn how easy or difficult a hoop is to move from place to place. Some models are equipped with top of the line wheels so moving a hoop from the garage to the street isn’t a problem, while other hoops have wheels that stick or don’t turn well, which can make it difficult to transport.
- We briefly touched on base gallon capacity earlier, explaining that the base of each hoop is filled with sand or liquid in order to improve the hoop’s stability. Around twenty gallons or higher is fine for children, but for serious players, you’ll need a capacity of at least fifty gallons to prevent the hoop from moving or rocking during use.