6 Best Outdoor Basketball Hoop Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2021

All basketball players are not created equal.

There are those who play it on professional courts and play it in youth leagues, high school teams, college teams or at professional level.

Then there are those who play basketball in gym – just to enjoy the game and maintain fitness at the same time.

And then there are those who nail a hoop to the garage wall and play basketball with their family.

This post and buyer’s guide for people who want to buy best outdoor basketball hoop for home and offices.

All reviews are based on personal exposure and research. Read the buyer’s guide in case you want to be able to pick your own hoop.

Best Outdoor Basketball Hoop To Buy In 2021

1. Lifetime 44” – 

Best Outdoor Portable Basketball Hoop

This is one of the best portable systems (not just the hoop, but full shebang) that you can get on Amazon. It is made of very sturdy and durable materials and the rave reviews from happy customers as well as the rating proves that this is worthy of your money.

44” Impact Board 

The first and foremost thing about any outdoor basketball setup is the board. Why? Because board takes all the heavy-hitting. It has to be made of a very sturdy and yet bounce-friendly material. This setup’s impact board is 44” big and made of polycarbonate. They call it shatterproof. Polycarbonate is one of the best materials that are used to make impact boards; it is durable, yet flexible enough to ensure the rebound. Since it is a fusion backboard, the frame is made of plastic.

Classic 18” Rim 

All of the good-quality outdoor basketball systems listed in this article have classic 18” rims. These rims come with weather-resistant and durable nylon nets. This is a rigid rim – so people who prefer breakaway rims should not buy this setup.

3-Piece Telescopic Pole 

Pole that comes with this setup is a 3-piece telescopic pole. This means that you can easily reduce or increase the height of the hoop. This is a 3” circumference pole that goes anywhere from 7’5” to 10’ when you optimize its height. The height limits were decided keeping in mind those who may want it for teens/kids and those who want to practice for a tournament.

43 Gallon Base

Unlike a few other beginner level outdoor basketball setups, this one does not have a small base. This one has a big 43-gallon base that will keep the pole and hoop from moving free. You can fill it up with water or sand.

Fade Resistant Graphics 

If you are someone with an eye for aesthetics, you would love the graphics on the backboard. These graphics are fade resistant which means weather as well as your shooting will not cause them to fade away.

Pros
  • 44” Backboard
  • Weather-Resistant Coating on the Pole
  • 7’5” to 10’ Adjustable Pole
  • 43 Gallon Base
Cons
  • Plastic Frame
  • Adjustment of Height Takes Time and Effort

2. Spalding NBA 54” – 

adjustable outdoor basketball hoop

Spalding is one of the giants in the industry of basketball goals and setups – especially outdoor and portable hoop setups. This is for those who are interested in professional-level basketball training. You can have it at your home or office and train as per the standards.

54” x 32” Board 

Unlike the 44” Lifetime backboard, this one is a big one with a 54” x 32” size acrylic board. I would prefer acrylic to plastic, because acrylic boards are used for tournaments due to the durability and strength of these boards. This means that a) these boards are not going to shatter even in face of the fiercest shooting, and b) they will stay for a long time because they’re weather resistant as well.

Screw Jack Lift 

Now this is something interesting. If you read the Lifetime board’s review above, you must have noticed one of the cons of that setup. It takes two men and more than average time to set it up. Same is not the case with this setup. It has a screw jack mechanism that one person can easily handle with one hand.

Arena Slam Breakaway Rim

Another exciting thing about this setup is that it comes with Arena Slam breakaway rim. Arena Slam is just sort of brand name that Spalding uses. A breakaway rim is one with a hinge and a spring that connect it with the pole. It is preferred on tournament levels and thus it is good that this setup offers a breakaway rim.

5” Weather-Protected Pole 

While 3.5” pole provides a little more strength than a 3” pole, this is not everything about this pole. It has weather-protective coating just like in case of Lifetime’s pole. And the height of this pole can also be optimized between 7’5” (family/kids/teens) size to 10’ tournament size.

40 Gallon Durable Plastic Base

This setup comes with a 40-gallon durable plastic base. In terms of durability, Spalding hoops’ bases are better when compared with Lifetime ones.

By the way If you are looking for 10 foot BB system you can also select this one !

Pros
  • 54” x 32” Board
  • Screw Jack Lift
  • 40 Gallon Base
  • Breakaway Rim
Cons
  • Base Should Have Been Bigger
  • Not 100% Shatterproof

3. Spalding NBA 60” – 

portable outdoor basketball hoop

So, in case a 54” x 32” outdoor hoop system was not up to your standards, take Spalding’s NBA standard 60” x 34” basketball outdoor system. It comes with amazing features like a breakaway rim, a hybrid base detachable handle and a screw jack life etc.

Screw Jack Lift 

The screw jack lift is not something specific to basketball goal and setup. This is a pretty general mechanism that is applied in a lot of other structures used in different industries and for different purposes. This makes it super easy top increase or decrease the height of hoop. In case of this setup, you play between 7’5” family setup limit and 10’ tournament standard.

Breakaway Rim 

This one also comes with a breakaway rim. Breakaway rim is better not only because it is the kind of rim used in tournaments, but because of the benefits associated with it. It reduces the chances of wrist injuries and it makes it less likely for backboard to shatter when the player dunks it.

60” x 34” Acrylic Board 

The best thing about this backboard is that it the closest you can get to the standard size for tournaments and high school basketball. It is a big – massive, 60” x 34” board that is made of acrylic. Acrylic is not only durable – it is also flexible which is what you need for rebound.

5” Round Steel Pole 

This one also comes with pretty standard 3.5” round steel pole. The weather-protective coating on this pole makes it weather-proof and protects it from stimuli like rust, moisture and warp etc.

Hybrid Base 

Another very interesting thing about this setup is the way they have decided to do the base. This is a hybrid base that takes both: water as well as sand or gravel etc. You can fill it up with 19 gallons of water and there is a separate space for 4 50 pounds each bags of sand.

Pros
  • Big Backboard
  • Hybrid Base
  • Breakaway Rim
  • Screw Jack Lift
Cons
  • Pole is Unstable for Adult Players
  • Setup Needs Technical Assistance

4. Lifetime 32” – 

lifetime outdoor basketball hoop

While making a list of top outdoor basketball systems (and trying to add the type of hoops that qualify for tournament training too), I could miss out on kids and teens who love to play basketball. But I did not and this is the reason why Lifetime’s 32” youth impact backboard hoop is a part of the list.

This one is considered best for youth.

32” Youth Impact Backboard 

This setup comes with a 32” youth impact backboard. What is an impact backboard? It is a basketball backboard made with high-density polyethylene. Not only it is very sturdy and flexible, but it also has UV-protected and fade-proof graphics on it.

15” Foldable Rim 

The rim that comes with this setup is a 15” folding rim. It has an all-weather nylon net. It is quick drying net with durability of almost a lifetime.

Telescopic Pole

This setup has the same height adjustment system that you notice in case of almost all Lifetime outdoor hoop setups. It is a 3-piece telescopic pole that can be adjusted anywhere between 5’5” (for kids) to 7’5” (for teens) in 6” increments. The pole is a standard circumference pole with weather-protective coating on it.

10 Gallon Base

This hoop has a 10-gallon base that can be filled up with water or sand. It is made of durable plastic and this makes it rust and moisture-proof. The dimensions of the base are 31.6” x 23” x 6.1”.

Pros
  • 32” Impact Board
  • 15” Folding Rim
  • Telescopic Pole
  • Fade-Proof Graphics
Cons
  • Very Small Base
  • Difficult Assembly

5. Spalding NBA Screw Jack – 

spalding outdoor basketball hoop

If you’ve been reading this review with attention, you will notice that this one is very much similar to the other 54” Spalding backboard and hoop system that I’ve reviewed above. However, both of them are not the same. Most probably, the only meaningful difference between both of them is that previous one’s backboard was made of acrylic and this one’s board is made of tempered glass.

54” x 32” Tempered Glass Board 

This is a tempered glass backboard. The size is pretty big when compared with most of the backboards on this list. The bigger size is a concern for those who want to ensure that the ball would not fall on the other side of the hoop (and they would not enjoy the rebound effect). As far as the material is concerned, while tempered glass is hard and durable, you do not enjoy the kind of rebound/flexibility that you enjoy in case of other materials.

Screw Jack Lift 

Just like all other Spalding products, this one also has a screw jack lift. The beauty of this system is that one man can easily increase or decrease the height of the pole – and in case you’re experienced, you can do this with one hand.

Arena Slam Breakaway Rim 

Just like all other hoop setups from this company, this one also comes with a standard Arena Slam Breakaway Rim. Not only the breakaway rim makes it easy to avoid wrist injuries, but this kind of rims also make it easy to dunk the hoop by grabbing the rim.

Square Pole –

This system – from screw jack to pole to rim – is made with very sturdy metal and the material is coated for weather protection. A wide, square pole keeps the hoop from moving a lot.

40 Gallons Base

The container base is made of weather-proof, high-quality plastic. It can withhold 40 gallons of water or an equal weight of sand. I’d say 40 gallons is a decent amount of weight to hold a pole and board firmly, but it could be bigger (and better).

Pros
  • 54” x 32” Board
  • Tempered Glass for Durability
  • Big Square Pole
  • Screw Jack Lift
Cons
  • Not 100% Shatterproof
  • Base Materials Aren’t Very Good

6. Spalding The Beast – 

Outdoor basketball goal

Last, but not the least, is the Beast from Spalding. A 60” tempered glass backboard that will satisfy those who aren’t into basketball only to pass time or have fun, but who want a professional-level outdoor hoop for practice. This is the closest that you can go wishing to get your hands on a professional-level basketball system for home/office/outdoor.

60” x 36” Backboard 

This is a big 60” x 36” massive backboard. It is made of tempered glass. The tempered glass material is preferred because of its stiffness, strength and durability. It is closed to 6 feet professional-level systems that you might want to have at home or office.

5” Width Square Pole 

The weather-protection coated pole is square in shape and wider than any other pole on this list. It is 5” wide and made of industrial grade steel. Rest assured that it will not be easy for wind to move the thing.

Pro Image Breakaway Rim

The setup comes with Spalding’s proprietary Pro Image Breakaway Rim. This is a steel-made rim with powder-coating to protect it from weather and to make it a smooth breakaway. The enclosed springs are immune from weather stimuli.

55 Gallons Base

This setup features an easy to move “Power Move” base. Although the base is the biggest one on this list (55 gallons), it can be easily moved, thanks for the 4 wheels and Power Base system.

Screw Jack Lift System

Just like all other basketball systems on this list – made by Spalding – this is also a screw jack system. It is very easy for one person to use it and optimize the hoop’s height. It can be optimized anywhere between 7’5” minimum to 10’ maximum (tournament level).

Pros
  • 60” x 36” Backboard
  • Tempered Glass
  • Wide Square Pole
  • Pro Image Rim
Cons
  • Front Wheel Lever Needs Improvement
  • Not 100% Unshakable

Buyer’s Guide

So, this was it – all 6 outdoor basketball hoops that we vetted before we picked them for this list.

However, many of you would love to know what to look for when buying outdoor basketball goals.

For more inquisitive ones, here’s a buyer’s guide. Follow this and you’d not regret your buying decision.

Budget

First thing first – you should know your budget and the type of value that you expect for that amount.

It is not simple. For example, if your budget is $100+, it’d be stupid to buy the first hoop that you notice within this price range.

You should define the value that you expect for that money and then pick a hoop that checks most of the value boxes.

It can be quite hard to find a good basketball goal at a budget price, but if you are willing to search the internet or read some articles like this, you will surely be able to find some great fits for your needs. Just don’t forget to go through their details before deciding on a specific one.

 Purpose

This is actually sort of basic detail and linked to the first part.

You would not pay $150+ or $200+ for a hoop if you want it for your kids or teens.

So, you must be sure about the purpose you want a hoop for.

You are a professional basketball player (at any level), and you want a setup at home/office to train whenever you’re free.

You are a mom or dad with kids who play videos games all the time and you want them to enjoy recreational time doing something better for their brain and body.

Or

You are an individual who love to dribble a ball and dunk the hoop in free time and you want a hoop at home or office.

Defining the purpose will decide the kind of hoop you actually need.

Backboard

Now we’re done talking general detail and off to discussing specific points.

If you only need a big backboard that will cover the area behind the hoop and will not shatter in the face of your hard-hitting, go with a tempered glass backboard.

However, if your expectations are higher and you want your backboard to be both: durable and big, and flexible for rebounds, you should pick a plastic-based or acrylic backboard.

But remember that mostly hoops with tempered glass are used professionally. If you want to pursue basketball as a professional career or you are willing to join different leagues or teams, it is better to go with tempered glass to improve your skills in all ways.

Rim

There are two types of rims available in the market. Rigid rim is fixed/welded with the structure and it does not bend.

A breakaway rim is connected to the structure with hinges and springs. It is used for the kind of jumps where player holds the rim and shove the ball down the net.

This type of rims is considered better than rigid rims because they save from wrist injuries. They are considered professional – so in case you need a setup for professional training, pick one with a breakaway rim.

Pole

A pole is very important in an outdoor basketball hoop setup. There are different types of poles available.

One of them is telescopic pole. Since it is a telescopic one, it is hollow from inside and not very sturdy in the face of high wind.

You can use it to reduce or increase size between usually 7’5” to 10’ limit.

The other types of systems come with screw-jack poles. You use a simple screw jack mechanism to increase or decrease the height.

Both types of systems have their own pros and cons, but it is very easy to use a screw jack system.

Base

Base is the durable plastic-made container that you fill up with either water or sand (in case of hybrid ones, you can use both at a time).

One of the most common complaints about base is that it starts to leak after you use it for quite some time.

This happens because of cheap materials used in making of these bases. Make sure to pick a base that is made of industry grade plastic or other highly durable and strong materials.

Another complaint is about how difficult it is to move a setup with base full of water or sand. If you intend to move your setup a lot, go for something like Spalding The Beast setup that has a Power move base.

Conclusion

Well, before we decide as to which one of these setups is the best for professional training as well as fun at home, let us take a look at the comparison table above.

As you can see, Spalding’s 60” setup with 50 gallons’ base seems to be the best choice – especially for those who want to train for tournaments or at professional level. 

However, you can pick any of these 6 setups as per your personal preferences and requirements – I bet that it will not disappoint you.

In case you specifically want a basketball setup for kids, you should go with Lifetime’s 32” setup.

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