Category Archives for Basketball Hoop Reviews

Lifetime 90585 Portable Hoop Review

Lifetime 90585 Features

  • Features a 48 inch polycarbonate backboard with gray styling
  • Base with 31 gallon capacity to keep the hoop stable
  • Slam-it rim with exposed springs to enhance durability 
  • "Strong-Arm" height adjustment mechanism allows for a height adjustment range of 8-10 feet
  • 3-piece round support pole attaches the backboard to the fill base

Full Review

When it comes to low-cost portable basketball hoops that offer the best bang for your buck, there is no company that has focused more on this market than Lifetime.  A simple review of their website or your favorite retailer will show you a seemingly endless list of Lifetime hoops that come in at under $400.  

Because of this, Lifetime should be the first brand you research if you want a cheap hoop for the family.  Their hoops are Made in the USA and feature a 5-year limited warranty to give you extra confidence in your purchase.

One of Lifetime's value portable basketball hoops is the Lifetime 90585 Portable Basketball System.  At under $200, this hoop is a great pick if you are looking to stretch your dollars while still bringing the game of basketball to your home.

Backboard

There are three materials used for backboards: polycarbonate, acrylic, and tempered glass.  The Lifetime 90585 features a 48 inch polycarbonate backboard.  Polycarbonate is the cheapest backboard material.  On the plus side, polycarbonate is extremely durable and unlikely to break under normal usage.  The biggest con of polycarbonate backboards is that they are not responsive and often perform in a manner that can best be described as "dead".  This means when the ball hits the backboard it will not come off with much velocity.  Hoops with polycarbonate backboards are not great for practicing bank shots or rebounding.

Rim

Featured on the Lifetime 90585 Portable Basketball Hoop is a slam-it spring rim.  If you are expecting a gym quality rim on this hoop then you will be disappointed. The spring and rim on the 90585 are not on the same planet as top of the line systems.  Having said that, the spring does allow for some moderate compression and enhanced durability.  For casual and recreational players, the rim on the Lifetime 90585 will be just fine.  If you are an advanced player who requires premium performance we would not recommend this rim.

Support Pole

Found on the Lifetime 90585 is a 3-piece support pole.  This 3-piece support pole is round and has a 3.5 inch diameter.  This is common dimension for low-cost basketball hoops and is par for the course as far as quality is concerned.  

3-piece support poles are more susceptible for additional vibrations when using the hoop due to there being more weak points.  Also, these connection points can lead to rusting over time with the small openings that can allow moisture to creep in.

Again, this is to be expected when you are looking to buy a hoop that has a price point under $200.  If you understand this going in then you'll be sure to be satisfied with this hoop.

Fill Base

Fill bases are a critical part of a portable basketball hoop as they work to ensure that the hoop stays upright during inclement weather and during dunks. Generally speaking, the larger the capacity of the fill base the better. 

For those who buy the Lifetime 90585 Portable Basketball Hoop you'll find it comes with a 31 gallon plastic fill base.  This is on the small side for fill bases, but considering the smaller backboard and lightweight nature of this system it should be adequate.  At the same time, we would not recommend dunking or hanging on the rim of this hoop as it could tip.

What We Like About The Lifetime 90585

  • Great entry level portable basketball hoop with a price point under $200
  • Easy height adjustment mechanism
  • Styling of the backboard looks good

What Could Be Better

  • Polycarbonate backboards do not offer great performance
  • 3-piece support pole is susceptible to vibration 
  • Fill base is fairly small and will not keep hoop upright when hanging on rim

Game Changer In-Ground Basketball System Review

Main Features

  • 60 Inch Tempered Glass Backboard Offers The Best In Performance and Responsiveness
  • Height Adjustment From 7 1/2' to 10' Makes This A Good Hoop For Developing Young Hoopers
  • Gym Quality Breakaway Rim Allows For Moderate Dunking Without Issue
  • Comes With Support Pole and Backboard Padding for Enhanced Safety
  • 12 Gauge 5" x 5" Steel Support Pole Creates a Stable Base For The Hoop

Rim

When it comes to basketball rims, us hoopers can be pretty particular.  I've found myself complaining about rims being too stiff, too soft, and lacking durability.  

If you're picky about your rims like me, then the Game Changer In-Ground Hoop will not disappoint.  The rim on this thing is the truth, like gym quality through and through.  It offers a spring loaded breakaway mechanism that will allow for dunking and creates just the right amount of give when shots hit the rim.  While you can dunk on the hoop, I don't recommend hanging due to long-term wear and tear.

Backboard

I've often found myself a little let down by the performance of recreational basketball hoops in terms of backboard quality.  Most are made of subpar materials like polycarbonate that are simply dead when a shot hits the board.  This means that practicing bank shots accurately is not possible, since shooting the ball that hard on a real gym hoop would mean the ball will fire off the backboard like a cannon.

To get true backboard performance their really is no substitute for tempered glass. This ensures the backboard will be responsive and makes practicing bank shots possible in the comfort of your own driveway.

One thing to note about tempered glass is that it is fragile.  If your hoop were to tip and the glass hit the pavement, it will shatter.  So, while tempered glass is the best material for a backboard, for those of you living in windy environments it may be worth looking into hoops with a more durable backboard material.

Another great feature for the backboard is the padding that aligns the bottom.  It can be easy for higher jumpers to hit their hand on the backboard, which could lead to injuries to fingers, hands, and wrists.  With the padding, there is a soft surface that will keep players safe.

Support System

In-ground basketball hoops have an advantage when it comes to stability compared to their portable counterparts.  In-ground hoops actually use the ground as their base making them much more resistant to forces like a basketball hitting the rim and dunking.  

The Game Changer In-Ground Basketball Hoop takes this to a whole new level thanks to the 5 x 5 inch single piece support pole.  Single piece support poles are the gold standard and are found only on the best quality basketball hoops. Protecting players from the support pole is a heavy-duty pad that covers the majority of the support pole surface.  If a player happens to run into the pole during play this pole pad will minimize the chances of serious injury.  

With this support system the support pole bolts into a cement base.  This allows for the Game Changer In-Ground Basketball Hoop to be moved if needed.  That being said, if you plan to move frequently we recommend that you consider purchasing a portable basketball hoop.

Last Second Shot

When it comes to spending your hard earned money on a basketball hoop, there are a lot of factors to consider.  With a price point in the $1100 range, it is safe to say the Game Changer Basketball Hoop is not the cheapest option out there.  But there is good reason for this when you consider all the features that come with the hoop not to mention the premium quality of the unit overall.  Taken as a whole, this hoop is an above average value.

Strengths for this hoop really lie within its rim, backboard, and large support pole that works to keep the entire system stable.  For those willing to spend some serious cheddar on their basketball system, then they should give the Game Changer In-Ground Basketball Hoop a serious look.

Goalrilla FT In-Ground Basketball Hoop Review

 

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Main Features

  • Comes with a tempered glass backboard that is offered in sizes of 54, 60, and 72 inches
  • Height of the Goalrilla FT In-Ground Basketball Hoop can be easily adjusted from 7 and a half feet to 10 feet using an efficient crank mechanism
  • Anchor bolt installation systems allows you to take this hoop with you if you happen to move
  • Pro-style breakaway rim performs up to gym standards and is able to handle dunks with ease
  • One-piece square support pole makes the Goalrilla FT one of the most stable in-ground hoops available
  • Dual extension arms support the backboard minimizing vibrations during shots

Goalrilla FT In-Ground Basketball Hoop Rating:   9.5/10

Goalrilla is a serious in-ground basketball hoop brand made for serious basketball players.  These in-ground hoops are made with top of the line materials and demand a high price.  Goalrilla’s newest in-ground basketball system, the Goalrilla FT, continues this strong reputation and adds some new features to set the FT apart from some of the past models from Goalrilla.

Backboard

All Goalrilla basketball systems feature tempered glass backboards, and the Goalrilla FT is no different.  What is nice about the FT is that it comes in three different backboard size options: 54 inch, 60 inch, and 72 inches.

Which backboard size to select will depend on your specific needs.  For those looking for a hoop to fit in a smaller space, we’d recommend the 54 inch backboard version.  While smaller, the 54 inch backboard still performs very well and still allows you to practice bank shots.

The 60 and 72 inch versions are best for hoopers that have large spaces and home courts available.  For the vast majority of players, you won’t require more than a 60 inch backboard.  Only those who require a regulation size backboard on their hoop should opt for the largest backboard option.

Rim

The Goalrilla FT features a professional quality breakaway rim.  This rim has a heavy-duty spring that is protected by a steel cover for enhanced safety and protection.  You can expect the this rim to have gym quality feel and performance.

To top it off this rim is able to handle dunking, which is something you will likely be doing since the hoop can be lowered to 7.5 feet.  At that height we can all pretend to be our favorite NBA star.

Support Pole

In my humble opinion, support poles are the most underrated piece of equipment when it comes to recreational basketball hoop quality.  Cheap three piece support poles allow for too much vibration during play and don’t stand up to the test of time.

Thankfully, for those looking to pick up the Goalrilla Ft, you are in luck.  The Goalrilla FT comes with a one-piece square steel support pole that is powder coated to protect from rusting.  One-piece support poles are the best support poles available and are found only on the best in-ground basketball hoops.

With the support pole system comes a bolt anchor system that bolts your hoop to the concrete foundation.  This anchor system comes in handy if you ever need to move your hoop as it makes an in-ground basketball system transportable.  Simply unscrew the bolts, load up the hoop, and go.

Attaching the support pole to the backboard are two wide angle steel arms.  These two arms attach at the horizontal edges of the backboard creating even greater stability than systems that use a more narrow attachment arm design.

Height Adjustment

As with most recreational basketball systems, the Goalrilla FT’s height can be adjusted from 7.5 to 10 feet.  This basketball hoop uses a crank system to adjust the height.  Crank height adjustment systems allow you to adjust a system’s height in infinite increments allowing it to meet your specific needs.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Comes in three different backboard sizes to help meet specific needs and budgets
  • Single piece support pole offers maximum stability
  • Tempered glass backboards are superior to acrylic and polycarbonate options
  • Crank height adjustment system makes raising and lowering the hoop easy
  • Rim is a heavy-duty breakaway unit with enclosed spring

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Padding aligning the backboard and support pole would enhance the safety of the Goalrilla FT Basketball Hoop
  • 54 Inch backboard option still comes in at around $1,400, making the FT too expensive for some

Goalrilla has done it again with the FT in-ground basketball system.  The variety of the backboard sizes coupled with the quality of system makes this one of the best in-ground basketball systems that money can buy.

For those who are set on having backboard and support pole padding, you can purchase this separately.

Similar hoops to the Goalrilla FT include the Goalsetter All-American and the Lifetime Mammoth In-Ground Basketball System.

 

 

 

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Basketball Hoop Review

Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Basketball Hoop:  7.5/10

Main Features

  • 52″ shatter proof backboard made of polycarbonate material that will protect it from breaking
  • Limited 5 year warranty provided by the manufacturer allows you to buy with confidence
  • Power lift height adjustment system adjusts the height of the basketball hoop from 7.5 feet to 10 feet with single arm mechanism
  • Spring loaded breakaway rim allows for give during shots and light dunking

Lifetime Brand

We’ve done more reviews of Lifetime basketball hoops than any other brand of basketball manufacturer, and for good reason.  Lifetime is one of the most popular basketball manufacturers around today.

Lifetime makes many models, from cheap portable systems to high-end in-ground basketball units that can handle rim rocking slams.  Every Lifetime hoop is built in the USA and comes with a five year warranty providing their customers with great service and support.

Lifetime 71281: Full Review

Backboard

The backboard on the Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop is 52 inches measured diagonally.  This is a medium sized backboard for a recreational in-ground basketball hoop and will meet the needs of most families.  It is steel framed, which enhances the stability and durability of the backboard.

Low cost home hoops like the Lifetime 71281 have a backboard that is made of a polycarbonate material.  This makes the backboard durable and unlikely to break or shatter.  However,  polycarbonate backboards are not very responsive and do not perform particularly well during use.

Height Adjustment

The Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop features the Power Lift Height Adjustment mechanism, which makes adjusting the height of this basketball system a breeze.  To adjust the height from the 7.5-10 feet range you simply grip the Power Lift system and lift up to adjust the height down or pull down to lift the height of the hoop higher.  The leverage created by the Power Lift System makes it easy so you don’t need to be He-man to get the job done.

Rim

Many recreational Lifetime basketball hoops such as the 71281 have an exposed spring breakaway rim setup.  This does allow for some light dunking, but we do not recommend hanging on the rim as you could cause damage to the system over time.

Exposed spring breakaway rims have springs that may rust over time due to being exposed to the elements.

Support Pole

Most low-end in-ground basketball hoops have a three-piece support pole and the Lifetime 71281 is no exception.  It has a three-piece rounded support pole with powder coating to help protect it from rusting.

Three-piece support poles are good for recreational use but will allow for more vibration than more expensive two and one piece support pole designs.

What We Like About The Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop

  • Power Lift Height Adjustment System makes adjusting the hoop’s height easy for all ages
  • At under $300, this basketball hoop is a great value for the features included
  • Backboard is a relatively good size at 52 inches and has a steel frame to add stability
  • Made in the USA and comes with a five year warranty
  • In-ground basketball hoops offer greater stability and durability than portable units

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • The exposed spring on the breakaway rim is susceptible to rust and is not designed to handle serious dunking
  • Polycarbonate backboard does not perform well and is not particularly responsive
  • Three-piece support pole allows for extra vibrations during shots

The value basketball hoop market is dominated by Lifetime.  Lifetime makes a great product for a low price that simply is hard to beat.  The Lifetime 7182 In-Ground Basketball Hoop is an example of this with its Power Lift Height Adjustment feature and breakaway rim.

If you are truly serious about the game of basketball and don’t just want something to shoot a few baskets on then we suggest you spend a few more bucks on a better basketball hoop.  The Lifetime 71281 is best suited for families who are just looking for a fun activity to do together.

Competitors to the Lifetime 71281 that are worth looking into include the Lifetime 71525 and Spalding 60 Inch In-Ground Basketball Hoop.

 

Lifetime 73650 Backboard and Rim Combo Kit Review

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 73650 Backboard and Rim Combo Rating:   6.2/10

Main Features

  • Compatible with most Lifetime basketball systems as a functional hoop replacement
  • Can be mounted to a pole or wall using the universal mounting kit
  • One of the most affordable basketball hoop options on the market
  • Comes with a five year limited warranty included
  • 44 Inch shatterproof backboard is great for recreational games and families

Back in the day most recreational basketball hoops were mounted to the garage.  Nowadays it is hard to even find a hoop for sale that can be mounted in this way.  Thankfully Lifetime makes the Lifetime 73650 backboard and rim combo kit for those who still prefer a wall mounted hoop.

A Great Hoop for Any Budget

The Lifetime 73650 is also perfect for those who are on a tight budget.  At under one hundred dollars, this is a great choice for any family who simply wants to experience the game of basketball in the convenience of their own home.

The backboard on the Lifetime 71650 is 44 inches and made from a combination of both acrylic and polycarbonate components.  There certainly is some vibration with this backboard due to its cheaper materials, but gets the job done if you just want to shoot baskets.

The rim is pretty nice considering the affordable price point of the Lifetime 73650.  It comes with two exposed springs to offer some protection from dunks.  Although the spring is helpful we do not recommend dunking on this basketball hoop as it is not designed to take heavy punishment.

One downside to the Lifetime 73650 is that it does not come with a mounting bracket.  If you need a mounting bracket you will need to buy on separately, which can be found here.  While we know not including the mounting bracket makes the hoop cheaper, we feel that Lifetime should just include this piece as it is important for most people who buy this hoop.

Every Lifetime basketball hoop is made in the USA, which offers an extra “feel good” bonus to your purchase.  Lifetime is a great company and they make solid products all around.  You can see more of our Lifetime basketball hoop reviews here.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • One of the few wall mount recreational basketball hoops that are for sale today
  • At its price, the Lifetime 73650 is very affordable for families
  • Backboard is super durable and unlikely to break even with rough play
  • Double spring rim is pretty nice for this basketball hoop

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Should come with the mounting bracket included to keep buyers from having to make two purchases
  • 44 inch backboard is very small and will limit bank shot opportunities

For those who want a hoop to mount to their garage or another wall without spending a fortune, then the Lifetime 73650 is for you.  While it is not perfect, it is priced right and works very well for families and others just looking to shoot some hoops.

If you would like to check out another wall mount basketball hoop then we recommend checking out the Spalding 54-Inch Backboard and Rim Combo.

 

Best Pool Basketball Hoops of 2019

One of the best days of the year is being able to take the cover off of the pool after a long winter and getting everything set up to have family and friends over for awesome summer get togethers.

If you are basketball buff and a pool owner then a great way to entertain your family or guests is to invest in a pool basketball hoop.

Pool basketball hoops provide hours of fun while allowing you to remain cool in the hot summer weather.

With so many pool basketball hoops available to buy it can be overwhelming deciding on which hoop is right for your pool.  That is why we have compiled our top five pool basketball hoops so that you can get a great hoop on any budget.  Whether you plan to spend $20 or $200, there are great options that offer loads of fun.

Top 6 Pool Basketball Hoops

 

Best Cheap Pool Basketball Hoops (<$100)

Coop SwimWays Hydro Spring Basketball Hoop

Our first entry in the cheap pool basketball hoop list is the Coop SwimWays Hydro Spring Basketball Hoop.

Coming in under $25 this is great pool basketball hoop for those who just want to have a hoop to play with in the pool and are not looking for a full-size basketball experience.

The Coop SwimWays Hydro Spring Basketball Hoop is inflated so that it floats on top of the water allowing you to shoot from anywhere in the pool.

The Length, width, and height of this pool basketball hoop is 24.4″ x 24.4″ x 20.47″.  Basketball and carry bag are included.

 

Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop

Stumptown Sportz has created a great inflatable pool basketball hoop that is a level up from the Coop Swimways Hoop we reviewed above.

The Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop is 44 inches tall and 40 inches wide, making it a good size.  It is inflatable as well and will sit on top of the water while in use.

The Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop also comes with a lot of extras including two mini basketballs, an air pump with needles, and a carry pouch.

At around $40, the Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop is more expensive than the Coop Swimways, but you do get a lot more for your money.  Overall, you can’t go wrong with this hoop.

Poolmaster Pro Rebounder Pool Basketball Hoop

Our most expensive pool basketball hoop on the cheap list is the Poolmaster Pro Rebounder.  This hoop is right under the $100 mark and perfect for those who want to spend a little more money for a better hooping experience.

The Poolmaster is the first pool basketball hoop on our list that is not inflatable.  It actually has a fill base that you fill with water or sand and place on the deck or cement on the side of your pool.  If you don’t have a deck or other level area around your pool then this hoop will likely not work.

We consider the Poolmaster Rebounder Pro Pool Basketball Hoop to be the first “real” pool basketball hoop on our list and if you have a little extra to spend it is well worth the price.

 

High-End ($>100)

Dunnrite PoolSport Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop

Our first entry into the high(er)-end of pool basketball hoops is the Dunnrite PoolSport Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop.

This pool basketball hoop has a water fill base that attaches directly to the backboard.  The fill base helps to keep the hoop stable and upright, but we do not recommend dunking on the Dunnrite as it could still tip and cause injury.

On the plus side, the Dunnrite is the first pool basketball hoop entry that has a full size rim.  This allows you to use real basketballs in the pool if you choose.

The bottom line is that the Dunnrite Pool Basketball Hoop is a great choice if you want a real basketball experience in your pool without breaking the bank.

 

Lifetime 1301 Pool Side Basketball System

We have reviewed many Lifetime basketball hoops on bestbasketballhoops.org over the years.  For those that are unfamiliar, Lifetime is a popular manufacturer of recreational basketball hoops that are generally friendly on your wallet.

The Lifetime 1301 Pool Side Basketball System continues this tradition as it costs right around the $150 mark as of this writing.

With the Lifetime 1301 you get a 44 inch backboard and a height adjustment mechanism that allows you to adjust the height of the Lifetime 1301 from 4 feet to 6.5 feet.  This makes it a more versatile choice than some of the other pool basketball hoops on this list.

Lifetime also used a rust resistant coating on the metal pieces to help ensure a long lifespan for this basketball hoop. This along with the other features makes the Lifetime 1301 Pool Basketball System a great choice for any pool owner.

Dunnrite Splash and Shoot Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop

Our second entry from Dunnrite is the Splash and Shoot Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop.

This hoop is a more expensive alternative to the Dunnrite Pool Sport is full of features and quality components.

The Splash and Shoot features a 43 inch by 28.5 inch polycarbonate backboard that will not break.  It also has a telescoping pole that allows you to adjust the height of the hoop so that it will be a perfect fit in your specific pool setup.

When filled with water the Dunnrite Splash and Shoot weighs in at 200 pounds making it a secure pool basketball hoop.

 

Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball System Combines Sand and Water for Improved Stability

Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop

Spalding Hybrid Portable Hoop Rating:

Assembly         7.0/10

Rim                    8.0/10

Backboard       8.5/10

Fill Base             10/10

Support Pole      7/10

Overall                 8.5/10



 

 

Being that I review basketballs, basketball hoops, and other basketball-related products for a living it goes without saying that I take the game seriously.  So, when it was time for me to pick up a basketball hoop for my home you can bet I did a fair amount of research.

At the end of the day I ended up buying the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop.  In this review I am going to give you insights on why I picked the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop, tips for installation, and my commentary on how this basketball system performs.

Why The Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball System?

Given that I review and research basketball hoops regularly it is fair to ask why I went with this hoop.  Going into the buying process I knew I wanted a portable basketball hoop.  That alone eliminated all the in-ground basketball hoops that are available for sale.

Next was deciding which portable basketball hoop was right for me and my needs.  I went about checking out some portable basketball hoops at the local sports store and at the end of the day it came down to either the Silverback NXT and the Spalding Hybrid.  I went with the Spalding because the reviews of those who purchased were exceedingly positive (except for one purchaser), and the Spalding Hybrid has more bulk and heavy-duty features when compared to the NXT.

Lastly, I like the idea of the hybrid base.  While it may seem like a gimmick at first, I’ve read many stories of hoop owners who have bases that have leaked over time basically making the hoop useless.  With the hybrid base I can always add as much sand as I need even if a leak develops in the future.

The calm before the storm

Assembling the Spalding Hybrid Basketball Hoop

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Initial Thoughts

I received my Spalding Hybrid Basketball Hoop via home delivery and the guys delivering were nice enough to place the hoop in my garage so that I could begin the assembly process.

When I initially pulled out all the parts and materials I was a bit overwhelmed.  Admittedly, I am not the most handy individual, but have improved over the last few years.

Either Get Help or Clone Yourself

Assembly was certainly time consuming but not overly difficult.  I will say that you will need at least two people to assemble this hoop.  There were probably 3-5 instances where I needed the extra help during assembly, so for the most part you can do it on your own, but some steps will be impossible without the extra hands.

Some of these steps where extra help will be needed include when you fit the three support pole pieces to each other, attaching the backboard to the support braces, and when you install the screw jack lift system.

Time Frame

I do not have an exact time frame for how long the Spalding Hybrid Portable Hoop takes to assemble because I did it over the course of two days.  However, I’d say that if you are reasonably handy like me (certainly not exceptional) and don’t make some of the boneheaded mistakes I made, then you should be hooping in no more than four hours.

Main Assembly Tips

Having gone through the assembly process with the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball System I have a few tips to use to make your assembly process as painless as possible.

  1. As I mentioned above plan to have at least one extra person available for those assembly steps that require more help
    1. This is especially true when you connect the three support pole pieces, you only have one shot to get these right
  2. The rim is actually held up by the breakaway spring, which is not clearly shown in the directions.  I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to attach the rim to the backboard before my wife clued me in to how it actually worked
  3. You will need a wrench set and hammer to assemble this hoop, if you don’t have these get them or consider hiring a professional to assemble the hoop for you
  4. Once you’ve got the backboard attached be sure to place some sort of weight into the base where the sand will eventually go to avoid the chance of tipping the hoop while you are assembling
  5. Make sure to read the directions for securing the bolts.  On several assembly steps you do not want to tighten the bolts completely.
  6. My experience was that the glossary of bolts, nuts, and washers was not completely accurate in terms of both numbers of each item listed and pictures.  Do your best to use the right bolts.  It gets easier to identify the correct items as you go along.
    1. Side note: it appears that Spalding uses some generic pages in their manual which causes this issue.  I’d like to see them create completely custom assembly manuals for each hoop model they sell.
Spalding Hybrid Basketball Hoop

Fully assembled Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop

Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball System Performance Review

Now that I’ve gone over the good and bad points of the assembly process let’s get into the meat of this review.  This includes how the Spalding Hybrid performs, both good and bad.  I’ve used the hoop several times now and feel confident that I can offer anyone considering buying this hoop a good idea of what they will get with their purchase.

Rim Quality

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Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop Rim

Side view of the Spalding Hybrid rim

Overall I’ve been impressed with the rim quality on the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop.  I will be the first to admit that the rim on this hoop is not up to par with a gym quality breakaway rim, but you should not expect this when spending $500-$700 on a hoop.  If you do have this expectation then I suggest seriously considering a top of the line in-ground basketball hoop that generally start in the $1500 price range.

When shooting the rim performs best on shots that hit the back of the rim, which makes sense because this is closer to where the rim connects to backboard.  Shots that hit the front of the rim tend to make the rim perform in a more flimsy manner.  Performance on shots as a whole has been slightly better than I expected.

A common question I get is if the rim can handle dunking.  I would not recommend hanging on this rim, especially from the front for fear of damaging the rim or potentially tipping the hoop.  It can likely handle some dunking but it will probably shorten the life of your hoop if you dunk on it regularly.

That being said the rim on the Spalding Hybrid impresses me when considering the cost.  I certainly feel like it meets my needs and will meet the needs of most families.

Backboard

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Up close view behind backboard

Spalding offers several different backboard models for the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop.  These include 54 inch and 60 inch acrylic backboards which are good mid level backboards.  On the expensive end there is a 54 inch tempered glass backboard version that will cost you a couple hundred dollars more.

I picked up the cheapest option, the 54 inch acrylic backboard.  I must say that the backboard has surpassed my expectations.  The ball comes off the backboard with velocity, with bank shots and layups performing in a similar fashion to tempered glass backboards.

The only thing I will say is that with a 54 inch backboard you don’t have as much room to operate when executing a reverse layup.  Sometimes the ball will hit the side of the backboard on the 54 inch version, when on a larger backboard the ball could very well end up in the hoop.

However, this is a small price to pay.  If you feel like that would bother you then consider moving up to the 60 inch acrylic backboard.  With the quality of the acrylic backboard I don’t see it being worth the extra $200 for the 54 inch tempered glass version.

Spalding Hybrid Fill Base

Fill Base

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Fill base without cover

Most fill bases found on portable basketball hoops are only filled with water.  These can range in size from 25 gallons all the way up to 60 gallons for the Spalding Beast Portable Basketball Hoop.

The Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball System really changed the game in terms of the fill base.  On the Spalding Hybrid you have two main compartments.  The first compartment is the actual base and can be filled with up to 19 gallons of water.  The second compartment is actually a space that has been “cut out” of the base so that you can put up to four 50 pound bags of play sand in the base.

At first this didn’t seem like a big deal to me.  But now I see the advantages.  Most portable basketball hoops are hard to move when the base is full of water.  This means you have to empty the base somewhat to be able to transport your hoop to another location.

With the Spalding Hybrid Hoop you only need to remove the bags of sand and the hoop can be moved with the 19 gallons of water still in the base.  Having this options makes the Spalding Hybrid more versatile than most other portable hoops.

Back view of the Spalding Hybrid’s support pole

Support Pole

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Featured on the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop is a three piece support pole.  Three piece means that there are literally three pieces that are attached together to make the support pole system.  Three piece support poles are found on most portable basketball systems.

In fact, I believe the Spalding Beast is the only portable basketball system that has a two-piece support pole.  For those who are wondering, one-piece support poles are the best, but they are only found on higher-end in-ground hoops.

I must say that going into the purchase I thought that the three-piece support pole would be the cause of a lot of vibrations with the hoop.  Thankfully I’ve found that my worries were unfounded.  For having the cheapest support pole design the Spalding Hybrid is a durable basketball system.

Summary

What I Like About This Hoop

  • The Spalding Hybrid feels durable, especially considering it has a three-piece support pole
  • Raising and lowering the hoop is easy with the screw-jack system
  • The hybrid fill base is more versatile than other portable systems
  • Rim offers really good performance at this price point

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Rim does get a bit flimsy when shots hit the front of the rim
  • Directions for assembly were unclear at points and the bolt/nut glossary is inaccurate

Hopefully this review has given you a thorough idea of what it is like to assemble and use the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop.  I’m really glad I bought this hoop and I am satisfied with the performance.

As I mentioned earlier, I would not spend the extra money for the tempered glass version.  I just can’t imagine it making a big enough difference.  Not only that but tempered glass is much more likely to break.

If you feel that the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop would not be up to your expectations, but want a portable system, then I recommend the Spalding Beast Portable Basketball Hoop.

Ryval C660 In Ground Basketball Hoop Review

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Ryval C660 In-Ground Basketball Hoop:  9.5/10

Main Features

  • 60″ tempered glass backboard that is 1/2″ thick offering top of the line rebounding performance
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
  • 5 to 10 foot heigh adjustment range in infinite increments is one of the widest ranges available on any recreational hoop
  • 6″ x 6″, 7 gauge one-piece square support pole that provides exceptional stability
  • Under and top coating rust protection utilizing galvanized under coating powder coating top finish keeping this basketball system rust free

Ryval is quickly building a name for itself in the premium in-ground basketball hoop arena.

We have previously reviewed the C872 model produced by Ryval and found it to be one of the best in-ground basketball hoops that money can buy.  Today, we are looking at the C872 little brother, the Ryval C660.  But don’t be fooled into thinking this slightly smaller Ryval hoop model doesn’t live up to the performance standard of the larger Ryval hoop.  The Ryval C660 is a formidable in-ground hoop in its own right.

The Ryval C660 features a gym quality breakaway rim

The only significant difference between the C872 and the C660 is the size of the backboard.  The Ryval C872 features a 60 inch backboard, while the C872 has a 72 inch backboard.  But here is the thing, the C660’s 60 inch backboard comes with the same 1/2 inch thickness as the C872, so while smaller, the Ryval C660’s backboard performs just like its larger counterpart.

With a thick tempered glass backboard the Ryval C660 performs just like a gym quality backboard when missed shots come off for rebounding.

Among many other strengths this hoop has the height adjustment is among the most robust.  The C660’s height adjusts from 5 feet to 10 feet in infinite increments.  This allows for young hoopers building their strength to develop proper shooting mechanics.

Ryval C660 Backboard

Speaking of young hoopers, Ryval shows a commitment to safety by including heavy duty padding on the C660 model.  Padding can be found completely covering much of the support pole and lining the bottom of the backboard.  This coupled with the 3 feet of overhang from rim to the support pole makes this a safer hoop than most.

When it comes to support poles Ryval has it figured out.  The absolute best support poles found on recreational basketball hoops are all one-piece.  This means that the support pole is a single piece of steel, rather two or three pieces that have to be bolted together, which are found on lower quality hoops.

Having a single piece support pole on your basketball hoop makes it more stable during play.  You won’t see the hoop vibrate violently and will handle pretty much all you can dish out with relative ease.

When it comes to the rim on the Ryval C660 you can expect gym quality performance.  This means the rim on this hoop will not be too stiff or floppy, providing a great feel when the ball hits the rim.  Also, for those wanting to dunk on this hoop the Ryval C660’s rim will be able to take your high flying dunks without issue.  This is not something we say for many other hoops we review.

What We Like About The Ryval C660

  • This hoop has the best 60 inch backboard on the market
  • We love the heavy duty padding and 3 foot overhand of the C660 enhancing the overall safety of the hoop
  • Top of the line gym quality rim
  • Very wide height adjustment range of 5 feet to 10 feet
  • Impressive rust guard protection through galvanizing and powder coating
  • Limited lifetime warranty

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Assembly will take multiple people, or professional installers
  • You need to be serious about the game to justify spending this much money on a hoop

The Ryval C660 in action

Ryval continues to impress us here at BestBasketballHoops.org.  Their hoops are getting rave reviews from customers and the features found on their hoops are unparalleled.  Not only are they making quality hoops, but they continue to expand their product lines so that there are more hoops to fit varying budgets.

For most the Ryval C660 is probably a bit more than you need.  The C660 is a premium quality in-ground basketball hoop that has a premium price tag.

However, if you are serious about the game or have a child who really wants to commit themselves to the game, then the Ryval C660 is a great option.  Rest assured it will not disappoint.

While the Ryval C660 has many great features, there are other similar hoops to consider if you are in the market to buy a hoop.  Some other great in-ground hoop options include the Ryval C872, Lifetime Mammoth, and Goalrilla GS-I.

Ryval C872 In-Ground Basketball Hoop Review

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Ryval C872 In-Ground Basketball Hoop:   9.8/10

Main Features

  • 6″ x 8″ galvanized steel support pole ensures resistance to rust and offers maximum stability
  • Limited lifetime warranty includes dunking and offers peace of mind when thinking about buying a high-end hoop like the Ryval C872
  • 5 to 10 foot heigh adjustment range in infinite increments is one of the widest ranges available on any recreational hoop
  • 72″ tempered glass backboard that is 1/2″ thick, making it regulation sized
  • Gym quality rim that performs and plays just like the ones used in pro arenas

These days there are many different quality high-end basketball manufacturers to choose from.  Some brands are well known like Spalding, Goalrilla, and Lifetime, while others are up and comers such as Hoopstar, Pro Dunk, Goalsetter, and the brand behind the C872, Ryval.

Any review of the Ryval C872 starts with its 72 inch tempered glass backboard that is 1/2 inch thick.  This is truly a regulation sized board with the same quality as those found in collegiate gymnasiums.

Due to the quality of the backboard, the Ryval C872’s rebounding performance is spectacular.  The basketball comes off the backboard with force and consistency.

Safety is another strength of the Ryval C872.  Covering both the anchor base and support pole is heavy-duty padding that comes included with the basketball system. Quality padding also aligns the bottom of the backboard to protect players’ hands and heads.

Height adjustment on the C872 is controlled with the 2 FX Life Assist Cylinders that allow you to raise or lower the hoop from 5 feet to the regulation 10 feet.  This is great for families with growing children who will be able to use proper mechanics on a lowered hoop as they build strength.

The rim on the Ryval C872 is also top of the line.  It features one horizontal spring and two vertical springs to offer maximum weight support that can handle rim rattling dunks.  The springs are covered which works to minimize wear and rusting that can happen to rims exposed to the outdoor elements.  When shots hit the rim it performs beautifully, remaining stable without being too rigid like double ring hoops you may remember from the playground.

Make no mistake that this basketball hoop is a behemoth, and as such takes a lot of effort to assemble.  If you buy this hoop please plan to have at least three people for the job.  For those who are not handy consider hiring a company to do the installation for you.  It will save you a lot of headaches in the end.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Ample amount of padding under the backboard and at the anchor base
  • Rim is gymnasium quality and has the perfect balance of stability and feel
  • One of the best backboards you can buy for a recreational basketball hoop, 72 inches of tempered glass heaven
  • Very wide height adjustment range of 5 feet to 10 feet
  • 4 feet of offset from the support pole to the hoop allows for play under the rim

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Because of the many features and top quality materials it should come as no surprise that this a very expensive basketball hoop
  • Assembly will take multiple people, or professional installers

With the increasing number of basketball hoop brands that are focused on building high-end in-ground basketball hoops it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.  Ryval has done this with the C872 due to the galvanized parts and awesome safety features that comes standard with this hoop.

If you are serious about the game of basketball, or have a child who has a passion for the game, then it may be time to consider investing in their basketball future by picking up a high-end hoop that will last for years and years.  The Ryval C872 is a great choice and would make a fine addition to your driveway or court.

Competitors to the Ryval C872 that are worth looking into include the Goalsetter All-American, Lifetime Mammoth, Goalrilla GS, and the Spalding Arena View.

Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop – Revolutionary Features

Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop:   8.8/10

Main Features

  • Comes in two backboard size options: 50 inch and 54 inch
  • Features the infinity edge backboard that not only looks cool but also makes the backboard material stronger
  • Adjusts in height from 7.5 feet to 10 feet in six inch increments
  • Frame actually runs beneath the fill base for enhanced stability
  • Assembly takes only 90 minutes due to the unique design features found on the Silverback NXT
  • Silverback NXT is listed as once of the best portable basketball hoops available

 

The vast majority of portable basketball systems for sale are made by two companies: Lifetime and Spalding.  Both of these companies make quality hoops, but it does somewhat limit the variety of basketball hoops that are available to buy.  With that said it is encouraging to see Silverback, who specializes in in-ground basketball hoops, jump into the portable basketball hoop market with the Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop.

Another reason we are excited about the Silverback NXT is the numerous unique features that it has not found on any other portable basketball system we’ve seen to date.  The most visually obvious of these features is the backboard.  The Silverback NXT features what Escalade Sports calls an “infinity backboard”.

The Silverback NXT Features the ErgoMove Transport System

Silverback NXT Infinity Backboard

Most backboards have a metal frame that the backboard attaches to.  In the case of the Silverback NXT Portable Hoop the backboard does not attach to a metal frame and instead wraps around at a ninety degree angle via a technique called flanging.  Flanging makes the material stronger and more stable.  At each of the four corners of the backboard it attaches to the support system.

Lastly, the infinity backboard just looks freaking cooler than most other backboards out there.  The infinity design gives the hoop a clean and sleek look due to the absence of the metal frame.

The Silverback NXT Portable Hoop also has an exclusively designed ErgoMove base.  This base has two large wheels made to make transporting the hoop easier.  There are also two hand grips on the sides of the base so that you can easily get a stable grip when moving.

Beneath the fill base there are two metal bars that run the length of the base reinforcing the hoop structure and offering enhanced stability.  No other portable basketball hoop that we know has this feature on their base.

Assembly

One of the biggest pain points when it comes to recreational basketball hoops is the amount of time and effort assembly can take.  Often times assembly requires several hours and several people to put together a hoop, which is then further complicated by directions that are lacking in clarity.

Thankfully, the Silverback NXT Portable Hoop has you covered if you don’t want to spend hours upon hours assembling.  Silverback states that their NXT hoop only takes 90 minutes to assemble, but there have been some buyers that claim it took them longer despite being fairly handy.  Either way, this portable basketball hoop should take you less time to put together than most others.

Rim

As for the rim on the Silverback NXT it is a pretty simple one spring setup.  The spring is exposed to the elements so rust could be a concern over time.  However, the bounce and strength of the rim is impressive.  We recommend that if possible to bring the Silverback NXT Portable Hoop inside for storage during the winter months.

This portable basketball hoop’s height is adjustable from 7.5 feet to 10 feet in increments of six inches.  The actual adjustment range is pretty standard among portable basketball hoops, but many other similarly priced hoops can be adjusted in infinite increments.

The biggest downside to this hoop is the price.  The 50 inch version of the NXT will run you about $500, while the 54 inch version will set you back an estimated $600.  This is in the mid-range of hoop prices and there are some other basketball hoops at this price that we’d consider a better value.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • The infinity backboard design is unique and does make the acrylic backboard perform better than other similar hoops
  • The Silverback NXT basketball hoop has the best balance of lightweight and durability
  • ErgoMove makes transporting this hoop easy
  • We love how the frame extends under the fill base to give the hoop an even more stable profile

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Pay a fairly steep price for the innovations found on the Silverback NXT
  • At this price point of the Silverback NXT Hoop we’d like to see a higher quality rim
  • While stated assembly time is 90 minutes, it will take longer for most buyers

No doubt that the Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop brings something unique to the table that no other portable basketball hoop can match.  We hope to see more portable basketball hoops from Silverback in the future because we feel they can add variety and force other hoop manufacturers to step up their game as well.  We wish the pricing of the NXT was more competitive when you consider at the same price you can get a Spalding 60 Inch Acrylic Portable Basketball System.

Infinity Backboard

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