Coming up with a list of the best portable basketball hoops isn’t always easy. There are a few things to consider to find the one that best fits your purpose.
In general terms, you need to look at a few different aspects:
- Who’s going to use it?
- Do you need a professional basketball system or just something to entertain the kids outdoors?
When you’ve got these two questions answered it is then much easier to narrow down your choices.
For the purpose of this article, I’m assuming that you’re looking to buy a good quality portable basketball hoop that can grow with your child, is solid and one that even the adults in the neighborhood could play with (if they get lucky and the children will ALLOW them to play with it).
Common Features Of The Best Basketball Hoops
A Rectangular Backboard
Buy one with a rectangular backboard. This is the shape the pros use and there really is no reason why you should buy the fan-shape alternative. The shape of the backboard almost always makes little difference to the price of the system, so why settle?
Since schools, stadiums and other pro basketball locations use only the rectangular-shaped backboard, your child can easily get used to that shape and space that surrounds that net.
Tempered Glass Basketball Backboards
You want the best? Then buy one with glass backboards. They’re very sturdy. They look professional and they are the only ones used in the basketball hoops of the NBA (you are training your child to join them one day, right? )
When it comes to playing, a glass backboard feels good too as it offers the best rebound.
They’re significantly more expensive than those with a different material like Acrylic or Polycarbonate. And being Tempered glass (like the ones used in cars), they can break when they are struck by a sharp object..
There is an alternative in the form of Acrylic Backboards. They may not have the exact look and feel of the NBA hoops but they are certainly more durable for outdoor home use. They offer less bounce than tempered glass but they’re equally good for recreational play.
Apart from this, Acryllic backboards are also:
- lighter than tempered glass (making them much easier to move around)
- easier to install and take down (in case a really big storm is expected)
- cost less
The Size Of The Backboard
Next to backboard material, backboard size is another major thing you need to consider. This you need to think about not just for the players but for the aesthetics of your house as well.
Regulation backboards are 72 inches wide and 42 inches tall. Realistically though this just isn’t feasible it many backyards as they could be a bit too big for the space that many people have.
Another disadvantage to a backboard this big is that they cost a lot of money.
So what’s the alternative?
Many residential basketball hoops are within 48 – 60 inches wide. These are just as good and you can find good quality, reasonably-priced systems at these sizes.
Obviously, the bigger the board is, the better it is specially for beginners.
Consider the Basketball Pole
Here’s one aspect of a good basketball hoop for home use that you need to look at. The basketball pole is important to the stability of the hoop.
For a stable hoop, a thicker pole is best. Square size poles are also deemed sturdier than the circular ones. They’re not only more secure but they can also support heavy backboards very well.
Also look at the Offset, which is the distance from the backboard to the pole. YOu’d want there to be sufficient space so that players have enough area to play under the hoop.
Who Makes The Best Portable Basketball System?
Top Of The Line High End Basketball System Manufacturers
- Goalrilla – One of the more popular high end manufacturers.
- Spalding – Spalding Basketball systems has both low end and high end products.
- Goalsetter – Many basketball hoops nowadays are actually manufactured overseas. But Goalsetter is one of those companies that proudly makes its products in the USA. They make strong durable basketball systems but do come at a price.
Entry Level Portable Basketball Systems
If you don’t intend to spend more than $1000 on the portable basketball system for your driveway, there are other basketball systems that are quite good for recreational play.
These systems are made of good quality material, they look good and are made to last for a long time too.
Some of the respected manufacturers considered to make the best portable basketball hoops for recreational play are:
1) Lifetime – This is probably the company many are most familiar with. They make lots of different systems at different price range.
2) Huffy – Huffy is now owned by Spalding.