Best Basketball Hoops Rating
- 35 gallon base that can be filled with either water or sand
- Front Adjust allows for easy height adjustment in infinite increments
- Has been tested to be able to withstand up to 40 mph winds
- 52 Inch backboard made of polycarbonate with padding lining the bottom
- Manufactured in the USA and comes with a five year warranty
Lifetime’s basketball speciality has become producing quality portable basketball systems that are affordable for most families. Mainly priced between $100 and $500, Lifetime hoops balance between durability and performance. The cheaper of these options tend to do better at the former than the latter due to backboard materials and support. The Lifetime 52 Inch 90061 Portable Basketball System finds itself in the middle of this price range. At this price you will find that the Lifetime 90061 has some higher quality components mixed with those found on budget hoops.
Starting with the backboard, the Lifetime 90061 Portable Basketball System features a 52 Inch “Shatterproof” backboard that is made of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is the most affordable backboard material you will generally find on a basketball system. Polycarbonate is indeed very strong and unlikely to break even during rough play, however, polycarbonate backboards lack the performance that you find with more expensive materials. As an added bonus, the backboard on the Lifetime 52 Inch 90061 Portable Basketball Hoop features padding the lines the bottom of the backboard which enhances the overall safety of this basketball system.
The rim on the Lifetime 52 Inch 90061 Portable Basketball System features two compression springs to support mild to moderate dunking. One issue with Lifetime’s lower priced breakaway rims is that they tend to have too much bounce during shots. This hoop is no different. Still the rim is certainly serviceable and at some point when you are buying a hoop as affordable as the Lifetime 52 Inch 90061 Portable Basketball Hoop you have to be aware that the hoop will not perform like a top of the line gymnasium basketball hoop. During the Winter months or when the hoop is not in use for an extended period of time we suggest covering the system to limit rusting and wear and tear.
A strength for the Lifetime 52 Inch 90061 Portable Basketball System is the design of its height adjustment mechanism. The Front Adjust allows for anyone to simply squeeze the handles and move the hoop up and down with a range of 7.5 feet to 10 feet. This mechanism works smoothly and is a certain upgrade from many other more expensive basketball systems that we have tested. Why is height adjustment important? Mainly, it allows for younger children to use the hoop and gives them the opportunity to develop proper shooting mechanics. Also, for anyone who would like to feel what it is like to be their favorite NBA pro then this hoop will give you the opportunity to through down some slam dunks.
An important feature of any portable basketball hoop is the base. The base keeps the hoop upright and weighed down to prevent tipping. The Lifetime 52 Inch 90061 Portable Basketball Hoop comes with a 35 gallon base that can be filled with either water or sand. If you go with water we recommend that you put a little antifreeze in the mix to prevent freezing and expansion during colder months. The base on this basketball hoop also has rollers which help make moving the hoop slightly easier.
What We Like About This Hoop
- The Front Adjust height adjustment system is one of the most efficient designs we’ve seen on a portable basketball hoop
- 35 gallon base is fairly large for a hoop at the price point of the Lifetime 52 Inch 90061 Portable Basketball System
- Padding the runs on the bottom of the backboard will help to keep players safe when driving to the hoop for a layup or dunk
- A couple of reinforcement braces work to keep the backboard stable
- 5 year limited warranty will help to make you feel even more confident when purchasing this basketball system
What Would Make This Hoop Better
- Three piece support systems are cheaper and more susceptible to shaking and vibrations than two and one piece support systems
- The exposed springs on the compression spring Slam It rim have a tendency to rust over time
- Polycarbonate backboard are durable, but lack the performance of acrylic and tempered glass backboards
For the price, the Lifetime 52 Inch 90061 Portable Basketball Hoop is a good choice for many families. Having a relatively large base for its price should help parents feel that their children are safe from being able to tip the hoop. If treated properly this basketball system should last many years. For those who are interested in a basketball hoop that is slightly more expensive but has some extra features we would recommend you check out the Lifetime 71522 XL Competition Portable Basketball Hoop.