Best Portable Basketball Hoops

This article looks for the best portable basketball hoop on the market – regardless of the price. Especially with basketball, practice makes perfect. And not everyone may have the space for an in-ground basketball hoop. This is why finding the best portable basketball hoop is so important.

If you had a budget, and didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money, we’ve already done the research for you. We have a guide to the best portable basketball hoop under $300. But don’t worry, there’s a hoop here for any budget!

We’ve organised this list of best portable basketball system from cheapest to most expensive.

Comparison Table

ImageProductPrice RangeFeatures 
Lifetime 1221

$100-$200
  • Backboard is made with a High-Density Polyethylene
  • Highly portable and highly versatile
  • If you are on a strict budget, or want to give someone a gift - this is perfect!
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Lifetime 51550

$150-$250
  • Backboard is made with a Makrolon Polycarbonate
  • All weather resistant with a shatterproof backboard
  • Has a steel Slam-It Rim with double-compression springs
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Lifetime 71522

$400-$500
  • Fantastic for someone who loves to ball recreationally, and wants to treat themselves
  • Extremely durable and professional looking Acrylic backboard
  • At a higher price range, you can expect much higher stability, durability and general wear and tear
  • Also comes with a solid-steel Slam-It Rim with double-compression springs
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Spalding 68562

$500-$600
  • A huge 60' backboard is made with an extremely durable Acrylic material
  • Extremely durable and stable, will last for years
  • Will withstand the hardest of dunks
  • Front cover of the hoop will also work as a basketball rebounder
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Spalding 'The Beast'

$1000-$1500
  • The mother of all basketball systems
  • If you don't have a budget, you're serious about having the best system, go no further
  • Withstands even the harshest of dunks - but with more stability comes less portability
  • Huge 60" backboard is made with authentic and amazing looking Glass
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So what are the Best Portable Basketball Hoops?

Lifetime 1221 Portable Basketball System

Lifetime-1221-Review

If you’re on a significant budget or just want to get a cheap gift for a basketball player – you need to look at the Lifetime 1221 Portable Basketball System. It’s consistently Amazon’s best selling portable basketball hoop. In particular, the hoop is extremely affordable, and extremely versatile. Priced at a point under $200, it proves to be a great gift idea for any youth basketball player. Comes with a 5 year warranty!

This particular hoop also disassembles easily for ease of portability. Also built with two large alloy wheels to wheel it around if needed! It’s not really the best option for an experienced basketball player, but definitely the best portable basketball hoop for beginners.

Quick Summary

  • Can be adjusted from 7.5ft right up to 10ft (increases in 6 inch increments)
  • 44″ impact backboard made from HDPE (plastic)
  • Fade resistant backboard
  • 5 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • 27 gallon base to be filled with either sand or water for stability
Click Here to Check Price on Amazon.com

Lifetime 51550 Portable Basketball System

31N5iUQw9fL

The second option in our hunt to find the best portable basketball hoop is the Lifetime 51550 portable basketball hoop. This is an ideal hoop for any budding baller, and won’t break the bank. Like most Lifetime hoops, it comes with a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.

An extremely affordable portable basketball hoop for beginner and intermediate players, it’s great for casual play. It’s not the most realistic backboard, and is a little springy – but for the price you pay, it’s exceptional value. A little tricky to assemble, but follow the instructions and you’ll have no issues at all.

Quick Summary

  • Can be adjusted to 8ft up to 10ft in 6″ increments
  • 48″ backboard made from Makrolon polycarbonate plastic
  • 31 gallon base that can be filled with sand or water
  • Extremely durable – reviews claim it won’t show visible wear and tear for years
  • Also has two wheels to help moving it around the backyard
Click Here to Check Price on Amazon.com

Lifetime 71522 Competition Portable Basketball System

lifetime-71522

Okay, we know this is a big jump in price, but this is probably Lifetime’s premier basketball hoop, and definitely the best portable basketball hoop made by them on this list. In particular, it’s advertised as competition grade.

The rim is better than those on the cheap hoops. Lifetime have designed it to take on any dunkers with it’s Slam-It Rim with double-compression springs. Did we forget to mention? Also comes with Lifetime’s standard 5 year warranty. Simply Lifetime’s best hoop.

Quick Summary

  • Steel-framed 54″ acrylic backboard
  • Adjusts from 7.5ft up to 10ft. Suitable for all ages and skill levels
  • Weather resistant pole and base – made to withstand all elements
  • 35 gallon base that can be filled with water or sand for stability
  • Has wheels to allow for movement – you’ll need effort if the base is full
Click Here to Check Price on Amazon.com

Spalding 68562 NBA Portable Basketball System

spalding-68562

So we finally move off Lifetime and look at probably the most well known brand in basketball – Spalding. Whilst their portable basketball hoops are definitely pricier, reviews consistently claim that Spalding are just bigger and better.

The Spalding 68562 is a lot bigger than just your standard portable basketball hoop – a huge 60″ backboard. And to add to this, the Arena Slam breakaway rim, holds up fantastically against the force of dunks. If you’re a dunker, this hoop won’t break easily. The front cover of the hoop will double up as a rebounder too.

Quick Summary

  • Huge 60″ acrylic backboard
  • Heavy duty steel frame
  • Screw jack system that allows it to be adjusted from 7.5ft to 10ft – suitable for all ages and extremely easy to adjust
  • 40 gallon base to be filled with sand or water
  • The base has wheels for ease of portability
Click Here to Check Price on Amazon.com

Spalding “The Beast” Portable Basketball System

spalding-the-beast

We leave the best for last. Named “The Beast” for a reason. This is the best portable basketball hoop on this list. If you’ve got the money, or want to splurge, this is an absolute must buy for any basketball player. Although it’s made to suit residential premises and backyards, it is unmatched in terms of durability and quality.

Has a Pro Image breakaway basketball rim, suited to all forms of dunking, as well as an all-weather white net that looks fantastic. Most importantly, it’s one of the very few retail portable basketball hoops that you can purchase with a glass backboard. This is the best of the best.

Quick Summary

  • 60″ glass backboard
  • Grey front insert acts as a ball rebounder
  • Adjusts from 7.5ft to 10ft
  • 4 point Z-arm for maximum stability of the backboard and rim
  • Two-piece, 5-Inch square angled pole system with screw in water level gauge base cap
  • Huge 50 gallon base to be filled with water or sand for maximum stability
Click Here to Check Price on Amazon.com

What Should I Be Looking For?

The Height of the Hoop

So really, it doesn’t really matter a whole lot as to what height the hoop is. Play to what you feel comfortable with. In saying that, NBA and professional basketball leagues have a regulation height of 10ft. If you want to train to this height, then keep this in mind. Most portable basketball systems are an adjustable height though, so I wouldn’t worry too much about this aspect of the hoop.

Backboard Size and Shape

Portable basketball hoops all come with backboards of different sizes, materials, and shapes. This is typically determined based on the price. The smallest you’re likely to find is 44 inches, and the largest residential backboard you’ll find is 60″ (which is what the Spalding ‘The Beast” offers). Official basketball leagues around the world require the backboard to be 72 inches.

When talking about backboard shapes, there’s really only two different types that you need to watch out for. Rectangular backboards, and fan-shaped backboards.

When looking at a backboard, our top tip is to make sure you get a backboard that is the largest in size that is within your budget. Similarly, avoid the fan-shaped backboards unless you are a beginner. A large, rectangular backboard is definitely the best option for rebounding shots.

Backboard Material

There are three common materials in which backboards are made from. Naturally, the more you pay, the better the backboard is.

Plastic

The cheapest portable basketball hoops all come made with a plastic backboard. A fantastic option for someone who’s on an extremely tight budget. However, it is cheap for a reason.

Polycarbonate is moderately durable, and will probably only chip in the event the basketball system drops. In saying that, the overall quality is quite inferior, and does not provide a true or authentic rebound at all.

polycarbonate backboardPolycarbonate

The next step up (although not a huge step) sees portable basketball systems made from a polycarbonate material. These are usually a much better option for people with a small budget, but willing to splurge just a little bit for quality.

Polycarbonate material is definitely a much more durable option, and is extremely unlikely to be damaged even when it tips over. It’s hard to shatter and will withstand the harsh weather conditions. In saying that, the rebound feeling still feels quite dampened. A fantastic option for recreational play and for families.

Acrylic basketball backboardAcrylic

Okay now we’re starting to get a little bit pricier. Considered a middle tier backboard material, acrylic basketball backboards are made for fans with bigger budgets, and want the most authentic feel they can get.

They’re definitely not as durable as the polycarbonate hoops, however, acrylic backboards give a great rebounding feel.
For something that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, it’s the closest hoop you’ll get to the real thing.

Glass backboard basketball hoopGlass

Now this is what excites us. When you’re ready to splurge, and will only accept having the best portable basketball system there is available, then buying a glass backboard is essential. This is the real deal and is the type of backboard that only the best indoor hoops have.

These backboards perform the best out of any portable basketball hoop you can buy, leaving acrylic and polycarbonate for dead. Similarly, the tempered glass will have a rebound performance that is almost true to professional basketball hoops.

Naturally, glass means it’s susceptible to breaking. And a glass basketball backboard is no different. If you’re going to spend the money on quality, make sure you treat it with respect.

The Base

Another big factor that should be taken into consideration when looking for the best portable basketball hoop is the size of the base. Typically, cheaper portable basketball systems come with bases that are usually around the 27 gallon mark. Whilst stable, it will struggle to stay upright in high wind circumstances, and when dunking.

The best basketball systems that are available on the market can typically by filled by up to 50+ gallons of water. This provides maximum stability, and will not move. Just make sure that if you want it to remain a portable option, make sure you’re buying a base that has wheels.

Another tip it to always mix a little bit of anti-freeze in the base. Water expands when it freezes, so naturally the water in the base will expand and could seriously damage an integral part to any portable basketball system.

The Pole

This usually goes under the radar, but you’re spending big money – don’t forget to check the pole! One-piece poles are the most stable and most durable of the lot – the only issue is they are rare ever found on portable basketball systems. Whilst they are the best, they’re only typically used in permanent in-ground hoops.

What you will find on a portable basketball system are usually divided into two-pole and three-pole systems. Two piece systems are found on the more expensive hoops, and are much more stable than the three-piece systems. Three piece, whilst not exactly a bad option, are found on more budget hoops and will result in a fair amount of shaking when practicing.

Further Research?

We definitely do encourage that you spend some extra time looking at all the options that are available in the market before spending a large chunk of your wallet on a brand new portable basketball system. Again, don’t be tempted by price alone. Look at all the aspects and find what suits you.

What we have done here is summarise what we consider to be the best portable basketball hoops in their respective price ranges. If possible, it’s always good to check the other reviews on the internet – particularly on Amazon. Ask your peers, friends or coach if they’ve had experience with any of these hoops!

Final Words

Pretty much, if you want to get a portable basketball system that is durable, stable and able to withstand everything you throw at it, you’ll need to spend at least $100 at the minimum. Don’t skimp out though! You typically pay for what you get in terms of quality.

For any serious basketballer, or anyone really wanting to treat themselves, Spalding’s “The Beast” truely is unbeatable – and if not for the price, it’s the clear winner.

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