Best Basketball Hoops: The Ultimate Buying Guide

Best Basketball Hoops
Best Basketball Hoops

Selecting the best basketball hoop is not an easy task. There are a lot of factors that have to be considered if you plan to get the perfect hoop for your specific needs. 

There are three main types of basketball hoops to choose from for home use: in-ground, portable, and wall-mount. In-ground hoops are fixed directly to the ground by a support pole that attaches to the backboard. These are offer superior stability, this leads to less vibrations and better responsiveness to shots hitting the rim or backboard.

There are many other factors to consider as well which we've detailed below. 

Because selecting a basketball hoop is such an involved process, I've decided to do a ton of research in the hopes that it helps you find the best basketball hoop for your situation. I considered over 100 basketball hoops before pairing down to the top 15 which are summarized on this page.

Below you can select whether you want to look at my picks for the best in-ground, portable, or wall-mount hoops. Clicking on the image will take you directly to my selections for that hoop category. You can also simply scroll through all the hoops that I've compiled.

Search The Best Basketball Hoops

Best In-Ground Basketball Hoops 

Goalrilla FT Basketball System

Goalrilla FT

Goalrilla FT Specs

Type:

In-Ground

Backboard Size:

54, 60, or 72"

Backboard Material:

Tempered Glass

Height Adjustment:

7.5-10 Feet

Support Pole:

One- Piece Square 5" X 5"

Price:

$1400-$1900

Rating:

Goalrilla makes some serious in-ground basketball systems. The Goalrilla FT is great for those who want something that will last for years to come, and consider brand reputation a top priority.  

Pricing

Pricing for this basketball hoop comes in at $1400 to $1900, depending on the size of the backboard. This is a similar to price range to other high-end recreational in-ground systems.

Backboard

All versions of the Goalrilla FT (54", 60", and 72") come with a tempered glass backboard. Along with being the heaviest backboard materials, tempered glass is also by far the best in terms of performance.

The FT is the newest premium hoop model from Goalrilla, and users so far have been pleased with its dependable performance.

One Amazon user in particular states "6 months of rim-grabbing, slam-dunking, three-on-threes later, our goal looks as good as when we first installed it."

Support Pole

As with all top of the line in-ground hoops, the Goalrilla FT comes with a single-piece square support pole. This single piece support pole is 5" x 5" squared. It anchors to the ground using bolts to a concrete base allowing the hoop to be moved if needed. 

Due to the pure size of this system, it is best for those considering the Goalrilla FT to have a large driveway or a dedicated backyard court (backyard court owners, are you looking for a new friend?). 👬

Assembly

You have two options in terms of assembly: either get several adults together to help, or hire a professional. Putting this hoop together is NOT a one-man job unless you plan to visit the chiropractor daily for the rest of all time.

Height Adjustment

The height adjustment mechanism on the Goarilla FT allows you to change the height of the hoop from my 7.5 to 10 feet. This mechanism has a faster actuation time compared to other hoops meaning you can change the height with fewer cranks. 

With several backboard sizes, this hoop offers top of the line quality at a reasonable price compared to other high-end systems.

  • Price: $$$$
  • Hoop Type: In Ground
  • Goalrilla's newest and most state of the art in-ground basketball hoop
  • Outdoor basketball hoop best for sizable driveways and custom built backyard courts
  • Anchor bolt mounting system allows for easy leveling
  • Backboard: Thick tempered glass; measures 54, 60, or 72 inches
  • Pole: 1-piece rock-solid steel; measures 5 by 5 inches

Lifetime 71281 Basketball Hoop

Lifetime 71281

Type:

In-Ground

Backboard Size:

52"

Backboard Material:

Polycarbonate

Height Adjustment:

7.5-10 Feet

Support Pole:

3- Piece Round

Price:

$300

Rating:

The Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball System is perfect for families who want a decent hoop to play on at a great price.

Certainly not up to par with the more expensive units, this hoop is best for those that simply want something for shooting sessions. But at $300 this is still a great hoop for the money.

Backboard

This hoop comes with a 52" backboard that is made from a polycarbonate material. Having this lightweight backboard material makes assembly easier compared to more expensive units. Two adults should be able to assemble and install this hoop without major issues.

While polycarbonate backboards frequently have a dead feel on impact, the Lifetime 71281 benefits greatly from being an in-ground system. This enhances stability and hoop performance.

Commenting on the stability of the Lifetime 71281, one Amazon reviewer states "I was worried about it being flimsy, as I watched the video. I was pleased to see it was pretty solid and not flimsy."

A nice additional feature of the 71281 is the backboard padding that runs along the underside of the backboard. Even though I'd considered the padding "light-duty" it still offers additional protection for hands and elbows during dunks and layups.

Assembly

Due to the small size and ease of assembly, I recommend the Lifetime 71281 for small driveway spaces that can't handle large hoop systems. 

I also recommend this hoop for families and those living in neighborhoods. Knowing that kids are tough on hoops, it is better to buy a decent cheap hoop so that when it inevitably gets torn to pieces you aren't out $1,000. 

Who Should Buy

Lifetime has created a successful hoop manufacturing business by catering to families looking for low-cost recreational hoops of sound quality. The Lifetime 71281 Portable Basketball Hoop fits in nicely with this tradition.

Get this hoop for the kids and maybe, just maybe, they'll wear themselves out so you can have some time to yourself (probably not, but I'm rooting for you).

  • Price: $$
  • Hoop Type: In-Ground
  • Front height adjustment with just a squeeze of the handles
  • Orange Slam-it rim with two compression springs
  • 3.5-inch, 3-piece powder-coated steel pole
  • Steel backboard frame with frame pad
  • UV-protection graphics; front height adjust mechanism in-ground

Silverback SB Basketball Hoop

Best Basketball Hoops - Silverback SB

Silverback SB

Type:

In-Ground

Backboard Size:

54 or 60"

Backboard Material:

Tempered Glass

Height Adjustment:

7.5-10 Feet

Support Pole:

Two- Piece Square 4" X 4"

Price:

$700-$900

Rating:

One of the most popular mid-tier in-ground basketball hoops is the Silverback SB Hoop model.  With over 300 reviews on Amazon, few hoops have a more established history than the Silverback SB.  

I've found that most in-ground hoops come in two categories: either cheaper value hoops or top-tier hight quality systems meant for the most serious players.

Thankfully, Silverback has plugged this hole in the market with their SB line of hoops.

Backboard

The SB comes with either a 54" or 60" tempered glass backboard. The thickness of these boards is 5/16". The performance you'll get from this board is lower than that of a Goalrilla FT, but worlds better than any polycarbonate or acrylic board.

Support Pole

Height adjustment for the Silverback SB ranges from 7.5 to 10 feet using the screw-turn mechanism found behind the support pole.

Silverback SB hoops are held upright by a 2-piece support pole. With a thickness of 4" x 4", this square support pole will satisfy most readers' expectations.

The smaller two-piece pole on the Silverback SB offers slightly less rigidity during play compared to hoops with 1-piece poles. This can become noticeable with a heavy tempered glass backboard sitting atop the pole.

Other Features

However, the other components of this hoop including the backboard, rim, and padding all perform close to those higher price systems.

Personally, I really appreciate the significant backboard padding that comes with this hoop. This helps protect players when they are driving to the hole.

There is also a 30" offset from the backboard to the pole, which enhances safety alongside the padding. 

I'd recommend getting three adults together to assemble this hoop, or hiring a professional installer. 

The Silverback SB has an anchor bolt mechanism similar to the Goalrilla FT. These anchor bolt systems come in handy when it is time to level the hoop. This is because you can adjust the height of each bolt till the hoop stands perfectly level.

Silverback describes the rim on the SB as "medium-weight, pro-style flex rim".

When I've played on Silverback hoops I've found the rims to have a good breakaway mechanism that can protect the hoop from damage. The rims on these hoops do tend to have a bit more vibration than rims you would play on in your local gym.

  • Price: $$$
  • Hoop Type: In-Ground
  • Backboard sizes include 60 x 33 inch and 54 x 33 inch
  • Pole:4 x 4-Inch Two-Piece Dupont Powder Coated Two-piece Pole Simulates Characteristics of a One-Piece Pole
  • 2.5 Ft Overhang Increased Playing Area Under Board All-Steel Actuator Easy and Precise Goal Adjustments from 7.5 to 10-Feet
  • 7-year limited warranty
  • Corrosion Foam Pole Pad Safety for Aggressive Play

Dominator Basketball Hoop

Best Basketball Hoops - Dominator

Dominator Hoop

Type:

In-Ground

Backboard Size:

72"

Backboard Material:

Tempered Glass

Height Adjustment:

7-10 Feet

Support Pole:

One- Piece Square 6" X 6"

Price:

$2500-2750

Rating:

Dominator is a bit of a new comer to the world of recreational hoops. Featuring a unique one-piece aluminum support pole, this basketball hoop brand is bringing something new to the table.

Support Pole

We all know that water causes rust.  But did you know that aluminum is resistant to rust? The folks at Dominator realized this and it helped them come up with an exclusive support pole design.

Thanks to the aluminum support pole on the Dominator Hoop it should last for years even in the harshest conditions. 

Not only is the support pole rust-resistant it is also one of the biggest on the market. At 6" x 6" it can effectively manage the heavy 72" tempered glass backboard that comes with this the Dominator.

Backboard

Speaking of the backboard, the Dominator's board is made from two 1/4" thick tempered glass sheets. This creates one of the thickest backboards you can buy.

Height adjustment for the Dominator In-Ground Hoop ranges from 7-10 feet. Like other premium hoops it has a screw-turn mechanism to raise and lower the hoop.

I specifically like that the height adjustment actuator is lower so that even kids can easily change the height of the hoop to suit their needs.

Assembly

With only five pieces to the entire unit, the Dominator hoop has a huge advantage over other premium level in-ground basketball hoops.  Put together this amazing hoop and get playing while others are still busy working on assembly and installation.

Having less pieces to the hoop also creates a more stable performing hoop. This means shots and dunks are absorbed throughout the entire Dominator hoop system.

Padding

Padding aligns the bottom of the backboard of the Dominator. There is also heavy-duty padding on the bottom section of the support pole. I do wish the support pole padding ran higher up the support pole to protect players' heads if they happen to run into the pole out of control.

Pricing

At $2500-$2750, the Dominator Hoop is more expensive than other premium hoops. This is a hoop meant for those who take the game seriously.

Due to the size of this system, we recommend the Dominator for those with large driveway spaces and backyard basketball courts. Those with smaller driveways and families will find this hoop to be overkill for their needs.

  • Price: $$$$
  • Hoop Type: In-Ground
  • Single piece aluminum support pole that is naturally resistant to rust
  • The combination a single-piece support pole, tempered glass backboard, and pro style rim give this system the capacity to take on arena shaking dunks
  • Come in both 60 and 72 inch backboard versions

Goalsetter All-American Basketball Hoop

Best Basketball Hoops - Goalsetter All-American

Goalsetter All-American

Type:

In-Ground

Backboard Size:

 60"

Backboard Material:

Acrylic or Tempered Glass

Height Adjustment:

6-10 Feet

Support Pole:

One- Piece Square 5" X 5"

Price:

$1500-$2000

Rating:

Goalsetter may not be the most recognizable name in in-ground basketball systems, maybe it should be. Their All-American hoop model has a distinct support pole setup that other hoop manufacturers may want to emulate. 

Backboard

The All-American features a 60" backboard that comes in either acrylic or tempered glass. Thickness of the glass on this system is 3/8". 

Want a premium in-ground hoop for your medium-sized driveway? If so, the Goalsetter All-American is a great option. 

Rim

You can even get the All-American with a standard rim or HD breakaway rim. For anyone planning to dunk on this hoop the HD Breakaway rim is a must have feature. If you plan to only shoot on your hoop then the standard rim should suffice.

Height Adjustment

The 6-10 foot height adjustment range of the All-American is one of the widest for any recreational hoop. Even young children can enjoy this hoop thanks to the wide height adjustment range.

With a height adjustment actuator that is low to the ground kids will be able to adjust the hoop height without adult help.

An anchor-bolt system connects the bottom of the 1-piece support pole to the ground. A common feature among pricier in-ground systems.

Support Pole

The support pole is 5" x 5" and is one solid piece of metal. The thickness of the support pole is seven-gauge, or 3/16 of an inch. 

The support pole on the All-American is off-set which increases stability and durability as the pressure from dunking is more evenly transferred throughout the support pole, rather than just at the top.

Four metal extension arms attach the backboard to the support pole. Unlike attachment arms on other hoops that use welded joints that can break down over time, the All-American uses die-formed extension arms. These are much more durable.

Offset between the pole and backboard is a full three feet. This gives space for players to execute acrobatic layups.

Because of this support pole, I recommend this hoop to anyone who is willing to pay the money for a hoop that can withstand rim shaking dunks.  In fact, this would be the hoop I'd trust the most when it comes to dunking in general.

One area lacking on this hoop is padding. There is none on either the bottom of the backboard or the support pole.

Pricing

Prices range on the All-American due to the large number of options. Depending on backboard size/material and rim type you are looking at spending between $1500 and $2000.

  • Price: $$$$
  • Hoop Type: In-Ground
  • Single piece support pole with an off set that is engineered to increase stability and durability
  • Comes with a 60 inch backboard that is made of tempered glass or acrylic
  • Height adjustment is an above average 6 - 10 feet
  • No backboard or support pole padding
  • Comes with either standard rim or HD breakaway rim

Spalding 888 Basketball Hoop

Spalding 888

Type:

In-Ground

Backboard Size:

54, 60, or 72"

Backboard Material:

Tempered Glass

Height Adjustment:

7-10 Feet

Support Pole:

One- Piece Square 6" X 6"

Price:

$1100-$1200

Rating:

While the Spalding Arena View is the top hoop in the Spalding line, the 888 makes our list for its combination of quality and value. With a great variety of backboard sizes and proper padding, this basketball hoop offer flexibility and enhanced safety features.  

Backboard

Starting with the backboard, the Spalding 888 comes in 54", 60", and 72" backboard sizes. Each of these are made of tempered glass that is 3/8" thick. 

Bracing the backboard is an h-frame that includes two vertical and two horizontal bars. These bars directly enhance backboard stability by covering a wide area of the backboard.

Support Pole

The Spalding 888 has a 1-piece 6" x 6" support pole. This support pole has a gauge 11 thickness, or about 1/8 of an inch. Heavy-duty padding runs up the support pole for greater safety.

Users do mention that the black paint on the support pole has a tendency to chip off over time. This can affect the appearance and longevity of the hoop as it allows rust to build on the exposed metal.

On the positive side, another Amazon reviewer states "There is little to no vibration from the backboard and the system is overall very solid."

Assembly

Buyers of this hoop state that assembly and installation is a time consuming task taking around 6 hours. 2 hours for hole digging, 2 hours for the concrete base, and 2 more hours for hoop assembly.

Be prepared to have two adults for most of the installation and assembly, and three for attaching the backboard. This is the hardest part of assembly.

Height Adjustment

Height adjustment for this hoop ranges from 7-10 feet. Height is adjusted using the U-turn pro lift system. The lift handle is actually removable so that if you go on vacation or are going to be gone for an extended period you don't have to worry about anyone messing with your hoop.

The offset from the support pole to the backboard is 3-feet for the 54 and 60 inch backboard versions. The offset is 4-feet for the 72 inch version.

NBA logos appear on both the support pole padding and backboard of this hoop.

Rim

The rim is a flex breakaway that has a metal casing that covers the springs. Speaking of this rim Spalding states "Built to withstand dizzying dunks, the Flex Goal Basketball Rim has a breakaway design. The covered springs and powder-coated finish help it stand up to the rough conditions of the outdoor court."

Two vertical metals bars help to further stabilize the hoop and the support pole mechanism.  At a price point around $1,100, you get a lot of hoop for the money.

  • Price: $$$$
  • Hoop Type: In-Ground
  • Screw jack lift system that has a 7.5 to 10 foot height adjustment range
  • Pro-quality covered spring rim that can handle two-handed dunking
  • 6 x 6 inch square one-piece support pole 

Best Portable Basketball Hoops 

Spalding The Beast Basketball Hoop

Best Basketball Hoops - Spalding Beast

Spalding Beast

Type:

Portable

Backboard Size:

60"

Backboard Material:

Tempered Glass

Height Adjustment:

7.5-10 Feet

Fill Base

55 Gallons

Support Pole:

Two-Piece Square 5" X 5"

Price:

$1100

Rating:

What can be said about the Spalding Beast Basketball Hoop that hasn't been already? Everything you need to know about this system is in the name. It truly is a "beast". 

Backboard

This system comes with a tempered glass backboard that is 60 inches wide and 36 inches high. There is an aluminum trim that incases the glass backboard and offers additional stability to the system. For those interested you can also find a 54 inch backboard version at Spalding.

Supporting the backboard is an h-frame that includes two vertical and two horizontal braces that are attached to each other. These braces work to keep the backboard from excessively vibrating during bank shots.

Rim

The arena slam rim featured on the Spalding Beast is no slouch. It is a covered spring unit and the best rim you can find on a portable basketball system. This is the one portable system that can handle moderately aggressive dunking without being damaged.

Support Pole

Moving on to the support pole, you'll see it is also heavy-duty compared to other portable basketball systems. The Spalding Beast features a 5" x 5" square 2-piece support pole. It is set at an angle to provide a great playing area and to protect players.

The support pole is reinforced by the front fill base cover along with two diagonal braces that attach about halfway up the support pole. 

Fill Base

Another way the Beast is different from your average hoop is the fill base. With a capacity of 55 gallons, this thing is simply massive. It needs to be to hold the 60 inch tempered glass backboard.

Because of the fill base size, you should not have to worry about the hoop tipping over during dunks or high winds.

Attached to the fill base are four plastic wheels. These are in place to help move this behemoth when necessary.  First, You'll need to drain the fill base to move the hoop, and even then transporting the hoop will require a friend.

Attaching to the front of the fill base is the rebounder guard. This plastic plate helps to keep basketballs from flying off the fill base during rebounds. 

This rebounder guard has an extra utility in that the middle section hinges allows you to drag the hoop if you need to move it close by. Looking closely you can see the handle at the top of the gray section of the rebounder guard.

One downside to the Spalding Beast is the lack of padding on both the backboard and support pole. 

Height Adjustment

As with most Spalding hoops the Beast has a height adjustment range of course 7.5 to 10 feet. If uses a screw jack system to raise and lower the hoop. Having this height adjustment ability is great for young kids who can't shoot the ball high enough on a standard hoop.

Pricing

This is the best portable hoop available and is also the most expensive. Prices on Amazon vary, but are most commonly in the $1,000 to $1,250 range.

Due to the size and heavy-duty nature of this hoop, I recommend that you find a couple buddies to help you to assemble the hoop.  The beer and pizza you'll want to buy them for their efforts is sold separately.

Made for real hoopers, if you must have a portable system but demand the best, then really there is no other choice than the Spalding Beast Basketball Hoop.  

  • Price: $$$$
  • Hoop Type: Portable
  • The most premium portable basketball hoop made for outdoors that your hard earned money can buy
  • 55 gallon fill base that keeps this monster upright and stable during shooting and moderate dunks
  • Pull out handle is featured on the ball return shield makes moving the hoop a bit easier
  • 60 x 36 inch tempered glass backboard provides great responsiveness for bank shots and rebounds 
  • Two-piece 5 x 5 inch squared support pole reinforces the connections between the fill base and the backboard making for a hoop with superior stability

Silverback NXT Basketball Hoop

Silverback NXT

Type:

Portable

Backboard Size:

50" or 54"

Backboard Material:

Acrylic or Poly

Height Adjustment:

7.5-10 Feet

Fill Base:

35 Gallons

Support Pole:

3-Piece, Round

Price:

$450-$600

Rating:

For many years Silverback has been known as the best mid-tier in-ground basketball hoop manufacturer.  They've now expanded into the portable basketball hoop market with the NXT.  

Due to some really unique features that also save space, this is one of the best hoops for tight or small playing areas.

Backboard

Let's start with the infinity edge backboard. This board has been actually molded so that the edges are bent back.  This creates a unique appearance as the Silverback NXT does not feature an aluminum trim around the backboard.

You'll also notice that because of this backboard design, that the support braces connect to the four corners of the backboard. Most often these braces are situated in the middle part of the backboard in an "h-frame" design.

The problem with some h-frames is that they support the backboard in a way that is very supportive in the center of the board, but leaves the right and left sides of the backboard unsupported. This creates dead space on either side of the backboard.

With the Infinity Edge Backboard, you get more consistent backboard performance no matter where the ball makes contact.

Backboards on the Silverback NXT come in either 50" or 54" and are made from a polycarbonate or acrylic material.

Rim

Moving on to the rim, you'll see the Silverback NXT has a semi-covered breakaway rim setup. It features a single spring for breakaway support. This mid-tier rim is great for shooting but not up to the task of rim-hanging slams.

The support pole of the Silverback NXT is a standard 3-piece, 3.5" circumference pole made of metal. There are two braces that attach to the support pole from the fill base to keep it upright.

Support Pole

Another innovation on the NXT is the Stabili-Frame structure that sits under the fill base. The support pole bots to the Stabili-Frame substructure, which runs the length of the fill base. This adds stability throughout the hoop and offers reinforcement to the support pole.

Attached to the support pole and is the height adjustment mechanism. It can adjust the hoop height from 7.5 to 10 feet in six inch increments. 

Safety features like padding are not included on the NXT, but it does sport a 26" offset between the support pole and backboard allowing for play underneath the hoop.

Fill Base

When taking a look at the fill base you'll find it has a capacity to hold 35 gallons of water. Most of the water will sit toward the back of the fill base due to the design. Again, this is to establish greater weight where it is needed most and aides in stabilizing the hoop.

Set toward the back of the fill base are two plastic wheels that allow you move the system with greater ease. I'd still recommend a friend to help you with this to avoid accidentally damaging the hoop or injuring yourself.

Assembly

One of the biggest pros to buying the Silverback NXT is the quick assembly time. According to Silverback, the NXT can be completely assembled and ready for action in just 90 minutes! 

Compared to the 2+ hours you'll spend assembling other portable hoops this is a significant improvement. 

Price

Lastly, there is price. In the case of the Silverback NXT you get a lot of hoop for the money. Depending on options you are looking at anywhere from $450 to $600. 

With all the unique innovations found on the Silverback NXT this is a great value.

Simply put, this is one of my favorite new hoops to come on the market in a long time.

  • Price: $$
  • Hoop Type: Portable
  • Portable basketball system with sturdy polyethylene base and bottom wheels
  • Comes in two different backboard size options: 50 inch and 54 inch
  • Ergo move base design makes moving the hoop easier
  • Can assembled in 90 minutes, making it one of the fastest hoop assemblies available

Spalding NBA Portable Basketball Hoop

Spalding NBA Portable

Type:

Portable

Backboard Size:

54" or 60"

Backboard Material:

Acrylic

Height Adjustment:

7.5-10 Feet

Fill Base:

40 Gallons

Support Pole:

3-Piece, Round

Price:

$500-$700

Rating:

A wonderful mid-tier portable basketball hoop, the Spalding NBA Portable Basketball System is great for those developing their game.

Finding its place between the Pro Slam and the Beast, the NBA Portable System from Spalding has a lot of features for the money. The main difference between the Spalding NBA and the Spalding Beast is the size and quality of the components that make up each hoop.

Backboard

The backboards for both the Beast and Spalding NBA are 60", but made of different materials. While the Beast has premium tempered glass, the Spalding NBA has the mid-tier acrylic.

Supporting the backboard on the Spalding NBA are two vertical braces. This is a bit less coverage than we'd like a could lead to a few dead spots on the far right and left sides of the backboard.

Support Pole

You'll also notice that Spalding NBA has a standard 3-piece round support pole found on almost all portable basketball hoops. The Beast is set up with the square 2-piece. 

Fill Base

Finally, the fill base for the Spalding NBA is smaller at 40 gallons compared to the Beast's 55 gallon capacity.

Having said all that, the Spalding NBA Hoop is much closer in quality to the Beast than it is to the Pro Slam. This hoop is a BIG step up from the entry level portable hoops.

Now getting all that out of the way the Spalding NBA Portable Hoop is very good in its own right. The 40 gallon fill base is one of the largest you can get on any portable hoop and is nothing to dismiss. Trust me, this hoop is stable.

Like the Beast, the Spalding NBA also has a rebounder guard and two wheels on the base that help with moving the system.

Height Adjustment

As with most Spalding hoops, the Spalding NBA has a height adjustment range of 7.5 to 10 feet via a screw jack system. With this system you can change the height in inifinite increments.

One area that Spalding NBA hoop outshines the Beast is padding. While the Beast has none the Spalding NBA does have light-duty padding that runs along the bottom of the backboard. 

Pricing

When you look at the price of this hoop you quickly see it is an above average value. With some heavier-duty components compared to the Silverback NXT, you'll only spend another ~$100 for this Spalding NBA Hoop.

All told the price for this hoop ranges from $500-$700 depending on the backboard size you choose.

  • Price: $$
  • Hoop Type: Portable
  • 3-piece, 3.5-inch round steel pole; front cover acts as rebounder
  • Screw Jack lift system adjusts from 7.5 to 10 feet in infinite increments

Lifetime 71522 Basketball Hoop

Lifetime 71522 Hoop

Type:

Portable

Backboard Size:

54"

Backboard Material:

Acrylic

Height Adjustment:

7.5-10 Feet

Fill Base:

35 Gallons

Support Pole:

3-Piece, Round

Price:

$400-$600

Rating:

Lifetime is the undisputed king of low cost portable basketball hoops. It seems they have more under $500 portable models than anyone would need, and they are all basically the same with a few exceptions. 

Getting through all these models to get to Lifetime's best value portable basketball hoop is no easy task, but I feel I've found it with the Lifetime 71522.  

Backboard

Let's start with the backboard. While most Lifetime portable hoops feature polycarbonate backboards the Lifetime 71522 steps things up with an acrylic board. This backboard is 54" wide, 33" tall, and 1.5" thick. 

The backboard is supported by two vertical braces which will give good support overall. Having said that there may be some dead spots toward the corners.

Rim

The rim is also nicer than slightly cheaper Lifetime models. It has a cover over the two-springs that allow for quality breakaway performance. Having said that I wouldn't go slam dunking on this hoop.

Support Pole

On the Lifetime 71522 is a 3-piece 3.5" support pole. I'm not a huge fan of the support pole due to the vertical orientation. I prefer diagonally set support poles with the braces toward the front of the fill base.

This set up is flipped on the 71522. The support pole sits at the front of the system with the two support braces connecting toward the back. 

I don't like this for two reasons:

  1. It inefficiently distributes weight. With the 71522 all the weight of the hoop sits over a very small surface area. This makes it easier for the hoop to be tipped over.
  2. It makes the offset between the hoop and support pole smaller. When player drives to the hoop they have a greater chance of running into the pole.

Height Adjustment

With a height adjustment range of 7.5-10 feet, this is a great hoop for families with youngsters wanting to learn the game. Height is adjusted with the Power Lift mechanism that requires the strength of an adult.

Fill Base

Keeping the Lifetime 71522 upright is a fill base with a 35 gallon capacity. A fill base this size should be able to keep a hoop the size of the 71522 stable without issue.

Assembly

Assembly for this hoop is not overly difficult, but will take some time for one adult. Thankfully, you should be able to assemble this hoop yourself save for a step or two.

Commenting on the assembly, one Amazon review stated, "I was able to put it together by myself within about 3.5-4hrs even with a couple minor mistakes."

Pricing

When it comes to price the Lifetime 71522 is in the mid-tier costing around $500. Not the best value out there, but also not bad considering the backboard and size of the fill base.

  • Price: $$
  • Hoop Type: Portable
  • Includes a 35 gallon fill base that can be filled with either sand or water
  • Double spring compression slam-it rim that is able to take some mild punishment
  • 54 x 33 inch acrylic backboard with two vertical stability bars

Spalding Hybrid Basketball Hoop

Spalding Hybrid Hoop

Type:

Portable

Backboard Size:

54" or 60"

Backboard Material:

Acrylic

Height Adjustment:

7.5-10 Feet

Fill Base:

19 Gallons Water + 200 Lbs. Sand

Support Pole:

3-Piece, Round

Price:

$500-$700

Rating:

Wanting a portable hoop with flexible fill base setup? If the answer to that question is yes, then take a look at the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop.

I've personally owned a Spalding Hybrid hoop and can tell you a lot about my experience having one. 

Backboard

Starting with the backboard, you can either get this hoop in a 54" version or a 60" version. Both backboards are made of acrylic. 

For my hoop I went with the 54" version. I felt that this was perfect for my needs. I don't use the backboard much to begin with and I'm not at a point in my life where I'm doing rebounding drills.

The backboard on the Spalding Hybrid is supported by two vertical metal braces. Overall, performance of the backboard is average for a hoop at this price. There are certainly dead spots the further you get from the center of the hoop. 

There is some light-duty padding that attaches to the bottom of the backboard. 

Rim

Moving on to the rim, the Spalding Hybrid has a cover breakaway spring rim. There is one spring that holds up the rim. This rim gets the job done, but does have more vibration than a professional quality breakaway rim.

Having said that you can still shoot bank shots with relative ease, just don't expect gym performance.

Let me address dunking on this hoop for a minute. Basically, I don't recommend it. The rim is not heavy-duty enough to handle rim hanging unless you are okay with causing damage it over time. 

Teaming up with the rim is an all-weather net that I genuinely enjoyed. I'm weirdly particular about net material and net length. I don't like super long nets or nets that are so thick they don't make a "swish" sound. 

Thankfully, this net is neither too long or too thick. Perfect shots go through without resistance and provide that satisfying swish sound that I love.

I'd also be worried of the hoop tipping if the person dunking weighs over 140 pounds. This is especially true if you are dunking on the Spalding Hybrid when it is set at 9 feet and up. 

The higher this hoop's setting the easier it will be to tip. In high wind weather I'd recommend lowering the rim to the lowest 7.5 feet setting to help eliminate the chance of the hoop tipping.

Under normal playing circumstances and weather this hoop will have no problem staying upright.

Support Pole

Holding the Spalding Hybrid backboard and rim is a 3-piece, 3.5 inch circumference support pole. This is a standard support pole for a portable basketball hoop.

I like that the support pole is at an angle and attaches to the back half of the fill base. This enhances the hoop's overall stability.

Fill Base

This hoop has a base that is half filled with water and half filled with sand giving you easier options to transport the hoop if necessary. Specifically, the breakdown for the fill base is a 19 gallon water capacity and 200 pounds of sand.  

The main benefit of this setup is that you can easily take out the bags of sand, making moving the hoop easier due to the lessened weight. Otherwise, you'll spend time draining the water from the fill base until the hoop is movable.

Due to this, I recommend the Spalding Hybrid if you plan to move this hoop on a semi-regular basis. 

An additional feature of the fill base is two wheels that attach to the front of the base that make moving the hoop easier. Having experience with this hoop I can say that you'll need two people to move the Spalding Hybrid safely.

A rebounder plate attaches to the two support pole brace poles that minimize wacky bounces that offer after shooting.

Pricing

Pricing for this hoop is in the $500-$700 range. I find this to be an average value compared to other systems. 

I've owned this hoop and was very satisfied with the quality, eventually I gave it away because I moved and didn't have the space to put the hoop. For those interested, you can see the video review I did on this hoop on Youtube here.

  • Price: $$$
  • Hoop Type: Portable
  • Three-piece support pole with 3.5 inch diameter
  • Fill base uses 200 pounds of sand and 19 gallon of water to help weight down the system
  • 54 and 60 inch acrylic backboard versions

Lifetime 71566 Basketball Hoop

Lifetime 71566

Type:

Portable

Backboard Size:

50"

Backboard Material:

Portable

Height Adjustment:

7.5-10 Feet

Fill Base:

35 Gallons

Support Pole:

3-Piece, Round

Price:

$300-$400

Rating:

Our second Lifetime portable hoop included in our list is the 71566. Great for those looking for a low-cost hoop that will fit in a regular sized driveway, this hoop provides recreational level performance without a budget busting price point.

Backboard

A 50" polycarbonate backboard holds the rim in place and attaches to the support pole. These backboards are okay for recreational purposes but won't come close to gym performance. 

Two vertical braces support the backboard. These vertical braces are spread further apart than most portable hoops and will create a more balanced performance profile.

Running along the bottom side of the backboard is some minor padding. This can be good for safety when the hoop is lowered.

Rim

Double compression springs support the "Slam-It" rim. The springs are uncovered which can lead to rusting over time in humid environments. 

The rim's performance is a bit bouncy, but that should be expected for a hoop at this price.

Support Pole

A vertical 3-piece support pole holds the rim and backboard in place. I've discussed my issue with vertical support poles in another review, but basically this design is not great for weight distribution. This can make the hoop more susceptible to tipping.

Height Adjustment

An action grip mechanism allows for the hoop's height to be adjusted from time 7.5 to 10 feet in 6 inch increments.

Fill Base

Moving on to the fill base you'll see the one sported on the Lifetime 71566 has a 35 gallon capacity. This is an above-average capacity for the price of this hoop and a strength for the Lifetime 71566.

Two small plastic wheels attach to the fill base for enhanced transportability. 

Assembly

According to the buyers of this hoop, assembly seems to be difficult with the Lifetime 71566. Many complained of confusing directions and missing pieces. 

One Amazon reviewer lamented, "As most everyone has noted in their reviews, the instructions seem to have been put together by a sadist. Everything is referred to by strange three letter codes (AAF, AEB, etc) but nothing (not a single part) is labeled."

Knowing this you'd be best served by having at least two adults handle assembly. Be prepared to take your assembly partner out for a nice dinner afterward as well.

The other option is to hire professional to assemble the hoop while you sit around sipping a lemonade (i.e. beer) like a boss.

Pricing

At $300-$400, the Lifetime 71566 is a good buy for moms and dads looking for a recreational hoop that their kids can have fun using.

  • Price: $$
  • Hoop Type: Portable
  • Three-piece support pole and 35 gallon fill base
  • 50 inch makralon backboard that is "shatter proof" according to Lifetime
  • 5 year limited warranty

Best Wall-Mount Basketball Hoops 

Goalsetter Wall-Mount Basketball Hoop

Goalrilla Wall-Mount

Type:

Wall-Mount

Backboard Size:

54, 60, or 72"

Backboard Material:

Acrylic

Height Adjustment:

6-10 Feet

Bracket Included:

Yes

Price:

$1200-$1700

Rating:

While most hoop buyers today opt for portable or in-ground systems, there are still many of us who have walls and roofs that are set up to handle a wall-mounted hoop.  It also helps that garage are often the center piece to the driveway making it an optimal location for a hoop.  

Our top pick for the best wall-mount hoop is the Goalsetter Wall-Mount Hoop. Goalsetter has already made our list once with their All-American In-Ground System, and their Wall-Mount Hoop brings the same quality to garages and walls everywhere.

Backboard

Starting with the backboard, you can get this hoop with a 54", 60", or 72" backboard. Currently on Amazon this hoop is only available with an acrylic backboard. On Goalsetter's site you can get the 60" version in tempered glass.

Each backboard has a thickness of 3/8" which is solid and will offer stability and heavy-duty performance.

Two heavy-duty metal braces support the backboard keeping it in place. 

Rim

Next, I want to discuss the rim. This thing is a beast. It is a gym quality rim with two pro-quality springs that are covered. 

However, an interesting option with this hoop is that you can get it with a standard (no breakaway) rim if you choose. This may not be a bad option if you have no plans to dunk on the hoop.

Best Uses For This Hoop

Due to the pure size of this system, it is best for each garages with large studs or indoor environments. Another great option is to drill this wall-mount into a brick wall.

Height Adjustment

Another strength of this hoop is the wide height adjustment range. You can raise or lower the rim from 6 to 10 feet, making it great for all ages.

The height is adjusted using a screw-jack mechanism that is similar to those found on Spalding hoops. 

Assembly

This monster wall-mounted basketball system from Goalsetter allows you to have a high-level basketball experience within a smaller area since you don't need extra room for a support pole and fill base.

Assembly of this hoop can be a bit tricky. First, you must have a wall that can hold this hoop. That means a brick wall, or studs that can hold several 2x4s that will serve as the base for the wall-mount. 

Also know that no bolts or other equipment come with the hoop to attach the mount to the wall. You'll have to figure out and buy the correct materials for your situation.

Price

In regard to price, you get what you pay for with Goalsetter Wall-Mount. You can expect to pay between $1200 and $1700 depending on the backboard and rim you select.

Certainly plan to have at least 2-3 adults to install the wall-mount and the hoop. FYI, the hoop and wall-mount weigh over 200 pounds.

A satisfied customer from Amazon mentioned the following, "This is a prime example of how you get what you pay for. The basketball hoop/backboard is made with outstanding quality and it is a solid as they come!"

If you have a nice garage area then give this hoop serious consideration.

  • Price: $$$$
  • Hoop Type: Wall-Mount
  • Height adjustment system allows you to raise or lower the height between 6 and 10 feet
  • 36 inch offset between wall and backboard giving you room to operate beneath the basket
  • Comes in 48, 54, 60, and all 72 inch backboard sizes

Silverback NXT Wall-Mount Hoop

Silverback NXT Wall-Mount 

Type:

Wall-Mount

Backboard Size:

54"

Backboard Material:

Acrylic

Height Adjustment:

7.5-10 Feet

Bracket Included:

Yes

Price:

$300-$400

Rating:

One of my favorite portable hoops is the Silverback NXT.  It has innovative features and I've always been a fan of the quality from the Silverback brand. 

Less of a monster as the Goalsetter Wall-Mount, the Silverback NXT Wall-Mount finds itself as a mid-tier wall-mount. There are pros and cons to this.

Assembly

One pro is that assembly is much easier for the Silverback NXT. It weighs significantly less and boasts an assmebly and installation time of 120 minutes or less.

Get two adults together and you should playing on this hoop in no time.

While it sports the NXT name, this wall-mount version has some differences from its portable version. 

Backboard

This wall-mount version comes with a 54" polycarbonate backboard, while the portable NXT uses an acrylic material. Thanks to the a-frame support braces, the backboard has awesomely consistent performance throughout.

You should not find many dead spots when using this backboard, if any thanks to this bracing design.

Rim

The rim on the wall-mount NXT is a bit more heavy-duty and the performance is top notch. A single vertical spring operates the breakaway mechanism for this hoop.

Height Adjustment

With the wall-mount NXT the mounting bracket comes included in the price. It offers a 7.5-10 foot height adjustment using a hydraulic tube that requires a hook on a stick to operate.

For those wondering, the mount bracket is meant to be used on a vertical wall, and will not work on a slanted roof.

Pricing

This hoop is a truly amazing value at $300-$400, maybe the best on this list. The quality of the hoop combined with the mounting bracket being included is hard to beat. 

Thankfully, Silverback has realized that the NXT is a winner and has created a wall-mount version.  Personally, I like the two diagonal bars and one connecting horizontal bar that helps to secure and stabilize the backboard.

  • Price: $$
  • Hoop Type: Wall-Mount
  • Infinity edge acrylic backboard that enhances rigidity
  • Mid-level covered spring rim that will allow for moderately duty use
  • Bracket allows for height adjustment from 7.5-10 feet

Spalding Rim and Backboard Combo 

Spalding Rim Backboard Combo 

Type:

Wall-Mount

Backboard Size:

54"

Backboard Material:

Acrylic

Height Adjustment:

N/A

Bracket Included:

No

Price:

$300

Rating:

Back in the day, it seemed like everyone had a wall-mount hoop attached to their garage. Today these have become less popular compared to portable and in-ground systems.

The last selection from our wall-mount hoop category is the Spalding Rim and Backboard Combo. 

Backboard

Let's take a closer look at the backboard of this basketball hoop. It is 54" wide and 32" tall. In regard to materials this backboard is made of acrylic.

Supporting the backboard is an h-frame with two vertical braces and one horizontal brace. 

Padding runs along the bottom of the backboard and offers some moderate protection for hands and elbows. 

Rim

Rounding out the hoop is an Arena Slam Rim. This rim is similar to  the rim found on other mid-range Spalding hoops such as the Spalding Hybrid.

This rim will vibrate a bit more and perform softer than gym quality rims. But for shooting around and practice sessions it will surely get the job done.

An all-weather net comes with this system and will perform well. A good net offers feedback when shots go through allowing you to see when you've made a shot. 

If anyone reading this has been to a playground and used a hoop without a net you surely know what I'm talking about.

Mounting Bracket?

A significant disadvantage to the Spalding Rim and Backboard Combo is the lack of a mounting bracket. The mounting bracket must be purchased separately (you can find it here). 

When combining the rim and backboard with the mounting bracket you'll be spending around $450 for this system.

Because of this price point we gave the Silverback NXT Wall-Mount the award for best value. Not to mention that you only have to make a single purchase for the NXT compared to buying the hoop and bracket separately with the Spalding Rim and Backboard Combo. 

Assembly

Assembly and installation can take upwards of 3 hours so be prepared to free up a morning or afternoon to get this thing ready for action.

I also recommend two adults for this assembly so that one person can hold the hoop while the other screws or bolts together pieces.

The best environments for this hoop would be above garage door or on a wall. Be prepared to pick up a stud finder if you don't have one already and some other materials that you'll need to connect the mounting bracket to the wall.

However, if you are interested in a wall-mount system the Spalding 54 Inch Backboard and Rim Combo is a reasonable choice.  

  • Price: $$
  • Hoop Type: Wall-Mount
  • Backboard/rim combo designed to mount to square pole or wall
  • Arena Slam breakaway rim with ultra-smooth spring action
  • Looks and plays like genuine pro-style backboard

What I Considered When Selecting Hoops

I took into consideration the following:

  • Backboard material (Polycarbonate, Acrylic, Tempered Glass, as well as size)
  • Support Pole (3-Piece, 2-Piece, 1-Piece, and size)
  • Rim (Standard, Uncovered Breakaway, Covered Breakaway, as well as overall quality)
  • Fill Base
  • Padding
  • Price/Value
  • User Reviews from Amazon and Wal-Mart

What to Consider When Buying a Basketball Hoop

Picking the best basketball hoop for your home is a big decision which you should not take lightly.

Because this is an expensive purchase it is critical to do your research and understand the differences between basketball hoops in regard to material and features at each price point.

Taking time to recognize your needs will be the best thing you can do to find a hoop that will be perfect for you and your family. Below we discuss a few of the major factors that will come into play when shopping for a new basketball system.

1. Price

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all get the absolute best basketball hoop and money wasn't an issue? Okay, now let's take a sad trip back to reality.  

The truth is that money matters and it comes into play when you are purchasing a basketball hoop for your driveway or backyard court.

Basketball hoop prices range greatly. You can easily find a cheap basketball hoop for around $100 on Amazon.  

Prices from there can go all the way up to around the $3,000 range for a top of the line gym-quality system.

But what exactly do you get for your money? That's the question I'm going to try to answer for you in this section. There are certain features and specs you should expect to receive at certain price ranges for basketball hoops.  

With the chart below you should have a good idea on what these features are and if the price you're paying for a hoop is a good value. If not, you'll be able to hold on to your "Benjamins" until a better deal comes along. 

Basketball Hoop Pricing Chart and Info Guide

$100-$400 

At this price range, you are in the market for an entry-level basketball hoop.  Made purely for families and recreational play, these hoops are meant more for fun rather than offering true basketball performance.

I recommend these hoops to parents who want to expose their children to the game of basketball while keeping their budget intact.  

Almost all the systems at this price range will be portable basketball hoops. You can expect these hoops to feature a polycarbonate backboard that will range in size from 44" up to 54".

All support poles on these basketball hoops will be three-piece and round with about a 3.5" diameter.  

Many of the cheapest hoops in this range will come with a standard rim that has no springs. As you go beyond $200 you will begin to see basketball hoops with low to mid-quality rims that have some sort of spring breakaway mechanism. 

Fill bases for these lower-priced hoops will be smaller than their more expensive counterparts.  The cheapest units will have a fill base that can hold around 25-30 gallons of water.  

Moving up the price range you'll find that the fill bases become bigger. For example, the Lifetime 72524 (priced at $399 on Amazon) has a base with a capacity of 35 gallons.  

Top $100-$400 Hoops

Wall-Mount: Silverback NXT 

$400-$800

The mid-tier is where the majority of our readers fall in terms of what they plan to spend on a basketball hoop.

At this price range you can expect some upgrades from the low-cost hoop category. 

Every portable hoop in this price range features an acrylic backboard.  The majority of in-ground hoops in the mid-tier also have acrylic backboards, with a few exceptions.

For example, the standard Spalding In-Ground Basketball System has a smaller tempered glass backboard.  

Fill bases on the portable hoops in the mid-tier get larger, creating more stability. You can expect a portable hoop in this range to have at least a 35 gallon fill base.

All rims will have some sort of spring breakaway mechanism.  Hoops on the higher end of this range will have noticeably better performing rims.

Top $400-$800 Hoops

In-Ground: Silverback SB-54

Portable: Silverback NXT

$800-$1500

Starting around $800, you'll enter the market for a high quality hoop.  

There is only one portable hoop, the Spalding Beast, that falls in this price range. If you're set on a portable hoop and willing to spend the money then the Beast truly is your only choice.

Most of the hoops in this range and higher are in-ground units. Over $1000, you'll be in the entry level for premium in-ground basketball systems.

This means you'll be purchasing a premium hoop model with maybe a smaller 54" or 60" backboard, rather than the full-size 72 inch.

Support poles in this range will start with squared two-piece and quickly move into the single-piece support poles at the higher end of this price range.

Essentially every hoop in this range will have a tempered glass backboard.  The only exception is the Goalsetter All-American, which has an acrylic option.

For those reading this who plan to use their hoop in a driveway then I'd recommend not going beyond this price range. The hoops in the absolute top range are best utilized in backyard courts that have the space for such a large hoop.

Top $800-$1500 Hoops

In-Ground: Goalrilla FT 54"

Portable: Spalding Beast

$1500+

Best used for backyard basketball courts, these are the mecca for home hoops.  All of these will have at least a 60" tempered glass backboard, with most featuring a new 72". 

All the hoops in this range will have a single-piece square support pole that is built to handle heavy-duty dunking.  

Most buyers looking for a hoop for their driveway really won't need a hoop this size. 

On the other hand, if you've spent the money on a backyard basketball court, go ahead and cap that investment off with the absolute best basketball hoop.

Top $800-$1500 Hoops

In-Ground: Dominator 724

Wall-Mount: Goalsetter Wall-Mount 

2. How Much Space Do You Have?

The amount of space you have for your basketball hoop and playing area will have a huge impact on which basketball hoop you ultimately choose to buy.

Here are some the considerations for each type of playing area and the best basketball hoops for each.

Driveways

If you plan to use your driveway as your playing area you are in the majority of hoop buyers. 

The great thing about using your driveway for playing basketball is that it is already there and ready for use. 

Which hoop you ultimately choose to buy will depend how large your driveway and playing space is at your home. 

Larger driveways will be able to handle all portable basketball hoop models, as well as some small to medium sized in-ground systems. Those with smaller driveways should stick to a portable hoop or a small in-ground system.

Backyard Courts

Backyard Basketball Court

Have you invested in a backyard basketball court? If so, that's awesome and it opens you up to some of the best basketball hoops money can buy. Knowing how much you've spent on your backyard court, I'd highly suggest you top off your investment with a premium in-ground basketball hoop.

These will have the size and quality that will allow your court to truly shine. Opt for in-ground systems that have at least a 60 inch tempered glass backboard. 60 inch backboards and larger play great and offer more angles for shooting bank shots. 

For half-courts one basketball hoop should suffice for your needs. But if you've gone all-in on a full court then consider getting two hoops, one for each end.

Street

Street Basketball

While I personally wouldn't recommend playing basketball on the street due to the questionable legality and safety concerns, many people do buy hoops for this purpose.

There have even been city controversies surrounding people putting up hoops on the streets in their town.

For those who are buying a basketball hoop for the street I highly recommend buying a portable basketball hoop. This way if you are forced to move the hoop you won't have much difficulty getting it out of the way. 

3. Basketball Hoop Type

Portable

There are three main recreational basketball hoop types.  These include the portable basketball system, in ground, and wall mount basketball hoop.  Each of these have pros and cons.

Portable basketball systems are easily transported and are recommended to those who may move regularly or want a system that can be moved out of the way for mowing, cars, etc.

They also universally offer some form of height adjustment mechanism to help young ones develop fundamentals (or so dad can feel like Lebron for a moment by throwing down monster dunks at 8 feet).  

Often cheaper portable systems lack stability and may have less than desirable backboard performance due to poor materials and support. 

Portable Hoop Pros

  • You can transport these hoops to different locations and take them with you if you move
  • Many low cost portable hoops to choose from to purchase
  • Easier to install and set up than an in-ground basketball hoops, no need for concrete or hole digging
  • All portable hoops are height adjustable, usually 7.5-10 feet

Portable Hoop Cons

  • Portable hoops can be tipped over if you hang on the rim
  • Few high quality portable hoops to choose from
  • Less stable and more vibrations than in-ground hoops
  • Most portable hoops feature lower quality polycarbonate backboards and three-piece support poles 

In-Ground

In ground hoops are another common basketball hoop type you will see around. Like the portable hoops the in ground basketball systems often offer a height adjustment system.  

In ground hoops often have superior backboard performance and support setups when compared to portable basketball hoops.

These hoops can be more difficult to transport and are often stuck in the place they are installed.

Be prepared to have a friend or two help you with installation, or hire professional installers so you can site back have a sip of lemonade while your hoop gets set up for you. 

If you are looking for an expensive hoop, the in ground basketball hoop offers the most options.

There are several brands that sell in-ground hoops with premium features that have a price tag over $1,000.  Some of the brands includes Goalrilla, Lifetime, Spalding, Ryval, and Goalsetter.

In-Ground Hoop Pros

  • All top of the line recreational basketball hoops for outdoors are in-ground hoops
  • Greater stability and rigidity compared to portable basketball hoops
  • Many in-ground hoops have squared two and one-piece support poles that enhance hoop performance
  • Larger in-ground hoops are best for those who have dedicated backyard basketball courts

In-Ground Hoop Cons

  • Most take up more space than their portable counterparts
  • Assembly and installation is significantly more difficult and require multiple people or professional installers
  • Harder to transport and take with you in the case of a move to a new home

Wall-Mount

The third basketball hoop type is the wall mount.  This type of basketball system has become less popular over time and there are currently few options.  

One such option is the Spalding NBA Rim and Backboard Combo.  A pro for these type of systems is that they are often relatively cheaper due to not requiring a support pole.

They also tend to have decent backboard performance from a support bracket.  A limitation of these hoops is that you do not have the height adjustment ability that comes with in ground and portable basketball hoops.

Wall-Mount Hoop Pros

  • Take up the least amount of space compared to other basketball hoop types
  • Less parts to assemble and install
  • Fairly rigid and high performing due to being attached directly to a wall of a building
  • Can get a high-quality wall-mount hoop for a reasonable price

Wall-Mount Cons

  • Mounting the basketball hoop can be tough and will require multiple people
  • Can be unsightly to have hoop attached to your garage or building
  • Height adjustment mechanisms are slightly more difficult to utilize

4. Backboard Material

When it comes to basketball hoops there are three types of backboard materials. Cheaper basketball hoops generally feature smaller backboards (48 or 52 inches) made from polycarbonate.  Polycarbonate is extremely durable and unlikely to break during normal usage.

Polycarbonate

However, polycarbonate backboards have a tendency to feel dead when contacted with the basketball on shots.  For buyers it will be important to decide what is more important when considering a basketball hoop with a polycarbonate backboard, durability or performance.

Acrylic

Mid priced and some more expensive hoops have backboards made of acrylic. Acrylic is also a durable material and will perform noticeably better than its polycarbonate counterparts.  

Yet, many basketball players who have spent hours in the gym getting better will note that the backboards made of acrylic still do not respond like the backboards in their local gym.  

A solid choice for a hoop with an acrylic backboard includes the Spalding 60 Inch Portable Basketball System.

Tempered Glass

The last and most expensive backboard material available is tempered glass.  This is the heaviest material out of the three and is used on basketball hoops in gyms around the country for peak performance.  

It is worth noting that tempered glass is the least durable material you can buy for a recreational hoop, and you should expect that if the hoop were to be tipped or fall over that the glass will shatter.  

For this reason we do not recommend tempered glass hoops for families with children who are young or prone to rough play.  If you want a portable hoop with a tempered glass backboard we recommend the Spalding The Beast Portable Basketball System.

5. Rims

The rim is one of the primary parts of the basketball hoop.  Over the past 30 years there have been some revolutionary advances in rim technology which last longer and allow for hard dunks.  

This is mostly due to the advancement of using spring supported rims that "breakaway" when dunked to minimize pressure from the slam and maximize durability.  

Most of the cheapest hoops will not feature any spring mechanism (see the Lifetime 1221 for an example), which means that if dunked over time the rim will likely either break or become warped.

Hoops in the $300 to $500 range almost universally offer a spring enhanced rim.  However, these are often not professional level and are designed with springs exposed, which can lead to rusting over time (see the Lifetime 1558 for an example).

At the high end price range you will find higher quality breakaway rims with springs that are protected by a metal cover.  The top quality rims offer a firm feel that will last for years to come (see the Goalsetter All American for an example).

6. Where To Buy

Where you ultimately purchase your basketball hoop is an underrated factor for many hoop buyers.  

First, you'll want to decide whether you'd like to purchase a basketball hoop in a physical store or through an online retailer. There are pros and cons to both decisions. 


Physical Stores

While buying online has certainly risen in popularity, there are some unique advantages to buying your basketball hoop from a physical store.

Physical stores will give you the opportunity to actually see the basketball hoops for sale. Seeing the hoops you are considering gives you a chance to get familiar with the sizes and features of each system.

Which store you visit will mostly depend on your budget.  Low-cost hoops, such as Lifetime and Huffy, are primarily found at big-box retailers like Wal-Mart. Dick's Sporting Goods has a mix of both low-cost and more expensive systems.

Your best bet for physically finding high quality in-ground basketball hoops is to go to a store dedicated to recreation products. These stores often sell basketball hoops, playgrounds, and trampolines and will offer installation services. 

One near me sells Goalsetter and Goalrilla hoops.

Physical Store Pros
  • Ability to physically see, touch, and check the quality and features of each basketball hoop
  • Can take basketball hoop home immediately after purchase 
  • Easily ask questions to a sales professional that can help you in your decision making process
Physical Store Cons
  • Will need a vehicle that can fit the unassembled basketball hoop contents
  • Less hoops to choose from at each store
  • May have to visit multiple stores to see all your options

Online Stores

With the rise of Amazon and e-commerce, you now have more choices than ever when it comes to purchasing a basketball hoop. 
Deeper product lines, lightening fast shipping, and competitive pricing highlights the online purchasing experience.

There are two main players when it comes to buying a basketball hoop online: Amazon and Wal-Mart. While you will find the most diverse basketball hoop options from Amazon, Wal-Mart has made a push within the last year to become another great online marketplace. 

When I searched the term "basketball hoop" on Wal-Mart and Amazon, both sites provided thousands of results. This sums up the seemingly endless basketball hoop models you can find for sale online.

The nice thing about Amazon and the online Wal-Mart marketplace is the basketball hoop models they sell range from entry level all the way to top of the line in-ground models. You don't have to visit too many websites to find 95% of the hoops that are on the market.

For those visitors who are not confident in their ability to assemble a basketball hoop, Amazon allows you to hire professional installers for an extra fee. 

Online Store Pros
  • Can shop in the convenience of your own home (no shoes, no shirt, no problem)
  • Get your hoop delivered right to you home
  • More basketball hoop models to choose from
  • Easily hire professional installers as part of the buying process
Online Store Cons
  • Unable to physically see the basketball hoops
  • Have to wait for the hoop to ship to your home
  • Fraudulent or inaccurate customer reviews may lead you to selecting wrong hoop

How Can I Help?

I have worked to put together this site as a guide for anyone seriously looking to purchase the best basketball hoops out there. The interactive chart above provides great information on each hoop so the your decision can be made easier.  

I also wanted to give you the opportunity to use the data to make the decision that meets your needs rather than simply be told what is best.  

Our links for each basketball hoop take you to the Amazon page for the product so that you can feel safe that you will be buying from a reputable company.  

I hope you find this information useful and good luck on your journey to getting the best basketball hoop for you!

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