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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Lifetime 71281 In Ground Basketball Hoop: 7.5/10
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With the holiday season coming up we felt it would be a good idea to give you some info on some of the best basketball related products that you can give as gifts to your young up and coming basketball fanatic. The Lifetime Double Shot Arcade Basketball System certainly fits into this category. For any of you who remember being a kid and setting high scores at your local arcade with an arcade basketball hoop, then you know how much fun these types of arcade basketball hoops can be.
With the Double Shot, Lifetime has created one of the most durable, reliable, and all around high quality arcade basketball system designed for home use.
One of the most important things for an arcade basketball hoop to do is to keep score accurately. If the system does not keep score accurately then it becomes a whole lot less fun to play. The Lifetime Double Shot Basketball Arcade System has one of the most advanced infrared scoring sensor system on any basketball arcade we’ve seen. Infrared is superior to systems with physical spring-loaded scoring sensors because the latter system cannot count two basketballs going through the hoop one right after the other.
The Lifetime Double Shot also will fold up when not in use so that it does not take up as much space. This is a big bonus for those who do not have a large space for an arcade basketball system, but would still like one for their home. To fold the Double Shot simply lift the two front legs up at they bend and fold toward the rim and backboard.
Durability and stability are also high on the priority list when it comes to arcade basketball systems. Lifetime Double Shot has you covered as this system features an 18 gauge powder-coated steel frame. This gives this basketball arcade system a strong “core” and minimizes shaking during gameplay.
The rims and backboard of this arcade basketball hoop are higher quality than those found on most other systems. In fact, the Lifetime Double-Shot has the best rims we’ve seen on an arcade basketball hoop.
As for things we don’t like about the Lifetime-Double Shot it pretty much comes down to the fact that this system does not use the power of the internet to allow you to play against players from around the world. While this is a newer technology, arcade basketball systems allowing you to connect to an App via bluetooth are starting to be available for sale. For example, the Shaq Cyber Hoop Shot being released at the end of October 2016.
Having this technology on your arcade basketball system is huge because it opens up your playing opportunities beyond just family and friends. With this in mind, we hope that Lifetime decides to add a similar technology in the near future as it would certainly take the Double Shot to the next level.
Lastly, this arcade basketball hoop comes with 7 mini basketballs and an air pump to get you on your way to playing some enjoyable games with your family.
Lifetime Crank Adjust In-Ground Basketball Hoop: 7.8/10
We are really excited to bring you our review of the Lifetime Crank Adjust In-Ground Basketball Hoop. Lifetime is a company with a long history of creating good quality basketball hoops that most families can afford. The Lifetime Crank Adjust is at a price point we find appealing because it is more expensive than most low-cost value hoops, but also less expensive than the premium in-ground systems from Goalrilla and Spalding.
Due to this price point, we feel that this basketball hoop is great for homes where you have a serious basketball player, but don’t want to drop $1,000+ on a hoop. The Lifetime Crank Adjust has two backboard size options: 54 inches and 60 inches. The price of each ranges from about $700 to $800.
A strength of the Lifetime Crank Adjust In-Ground Basketball Hoop is that it features a tempered glass backboard on both the 54 inch and 60 inch versions. This is the best material for a backboard that money can buy. However, the tempered glass featured on this hoop is not the most thick that we’ve seen. To get an in-ground basketball hoop with a thick tempered glass backboard you’d need to be looking at a hoop such as the Goalrilla GLS. Either way, for the price we like the backboard on the Lifetime Crank Adjust Hoop.
Another component of this hoop we like is the rim. It is a quality spring loaded breakaway rim that has a cover to protect the springs from rust, and also from injuring any players attempting to dunk. While not as heavy-duty as a breakaway rim in the gym, this basket will meet the needs of the vast majority of recreational basketball hoop buyers.
The crank mechanism of the Lifetime Crank Adjust Basketball System allows owners to adjust the height of the hoop from 10 feet to 7.5 feet in infinite increments. Having a height adjustment mechanism on your hoop allows for younger players to develop proper shooting skills and mechanics so that they don’t resort to throwing the ball at the hoop. Also, lowering the hoop makes for fun activities like dunk contests. Although for this hoop we would not recommend hanging on the rim for extended periods of time due to the potential for long-term wear and damage.
The support pole is a two-piece design that does a really nice job of minimizing excessing shaking. This support pole is 4″ squared, which is a good size to support this unit. Padding also aligns the bottom of the backboard offering enhanced safety during play, however, there is no padding included for the support pole.
What We Like About This Hoop
What Would Make This Hoop Better
What a unique hoop in terms of price and performance. We are really glad that Lifetime has decided to make a hoop like this because we feel it fills a void in the basketball hoop market. Some other basketball hoop options in a similar price range include the Spalding 60 Inch Portable Basketball System and the Silverback SB In-Ground Hoop.
We have reviewed many other low cost Lifetime Basketball Hoops in the past, and have found the vast majority of them to be a great value. These lower cost system generally cost in the $100-$400 range and are made primarily for families with children who want to learn the game of basketball. The Lifetime 1269 Pro Court Portable Basketball System is a hoop that finds itself in this category. Priced at under $200, the Lifetime 1269 is one of the lowest cost portable hoops that you will find. If you are on a tight budget and don’t want to spend a ton of money on a basketball system, then give this hoop a closer look.
To begin our review, we want to discuss the specific strengths of the Lifetime 1269 Pro Court. First, even we actually prefer a standard springless rim to the typical low grade double compression breakaway rims that are found on most low cost portable basketball hoops. Low quality breakaway rims tend to be too bouncy when shots hit the rim making them feel flimsy and unlike gym quality rims. Springless standard rims on the other hand are firmer and are more responsive to shots. The truth is that low cost portable basketball system will not hold up to dunking over the long terms whether of not the hoop has a breakaway rim, so really what’s the point?
We also like the relatively large 27 gallon base that is featured on the Lifetime 1269. Most portable hoops in this price range do not have this large of a base. For portable basketball systems, the base is a critical component. With a base that is too small you will find that your hoop could tip during inclement weather and during dunking. Bottom line, the bigger the base the more stable the hoop.
The final strength of this hoop is simply price. At under $200, this portable basketball hoop is cheaper than all but a few hoops on the market today. If you are not going to spend over $500, the honest truth is that there is not a huge difference from a $200 to $400 other than a larger backboard and base. So, this hoop could give you just the amount of family fun for about half the cost.
Now, with a hoop this low cost there are going to be some weaknesses. The backboard is small at 44 inches and is made from a type of polycarbonate material. Polycarbonate is the lowest quality backboard material and while durable does not perform well during play. This leads to a lack of responsiveness when the ball hits the backboard giving the backboard a “dead” feeling. The telescoping height adjustment mechanism is not the most user friendly. It requires that the person changing the height be able to support the upper half of the hoop while lowering it or raising it, making it impossible for most children to adjust the hoop height safely. The three-piece support pole system is the lowest quality support system design found on basketball hoops. This lower grade support pole design means that the hoop will feel less stable during play. Lastly, the Lifetime 1269 Pro Court Portable Basketball Hoop does not have a support pole to hoop offset, which can make it easier to run into the support pole when driving to the hoop.
What We Like About This Hoop
What Would Make This Hoop Better
A slightly more expensive Lifetime Basketball System that you may be interested in is the Lifetime 71286 XL Portable Basketball System.
When shopping for a portable basketball system for your home, price is usually a factor that comes into play, along with quality, durability, and looks. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, a great option for you is the Lifetime 1268 Streamline Impact Portable Basketball System. Solidly in the low priced category, the 1268 makes an average starter hoop for your family, and allows you hours of play and tons of shots without a load of money to spend. However, remember that paying a lower price can sometimes sacrifice quality and other features.
Let’s take a look at some of the features included with the Lifetime 1268 Streamline Impact Portable Basketball system. While the price point is low, you might have to sacrifice some of the features and quality that you would find in other hoops. This hoop features a 44 inch backboard, which is constructed with a high-density polyethylene. While it is not the strength of an aluminum or Makrolon backboard, for the price this polyethylene can handle the job for most players with moderate use. The backboard has colored graphic details, and is UV protected for the color to last. Lifetime claims that the backboard can hold up through moderate use, and offers their 5 year warranty to back that claim up.
Like many other portable basketball systems, the Lifetime 1268’s hoop height can be raised and lowered according to your needs. The hoop can be adjusted from 7.5 feet to 10 feet in 6 inch increments; we found the hoop to be easy to raise by teens and adults, although children would likely need some help. Despite having an easily moveable hoop, the hoop and pole are seen to be weak and flimsy,
The base of a portable basketball system is of great importance, as a good base allows the hoop to stay strong through high winds and weather, as well as tough games with minimal shaking. The Lifetime 1268 comes with a mere 12 gallon base which can be filled with sand or water; while this provides a lightweight and easily portable hoop, the weight of 12 gallons of water or sand cannot withstand vigorous play. Some mentioned it leaked water when filled, and others talked of the cheap, thin plastic of which it is constructed.
For the most part, assembly of the Lifetime 1268 Portable Basketball system can be difficult and too time consuming; multiple reviewers stated that they needed more than one person to successfully assemble this hoop, and that at times there were parts missing. Lifetime features helpful customer service if you come upon missing pieces or questions, and their 5 year limited warranty comes into play on many of the pieces and parts.
What We Like About This Hoop
What Would Make This Hoop Better
A better starter hoop choice in our opinion is the Spalding Pro Slam Portable Basketball Hoop. It is more expensive, but still affordable and a much better hoop system.
A good basketball hoop for your home or gymnasium can make a big impact on the players who use it to play a friendly pick –up game, or those who use it to tweak their free-throw and three point skills. Here at Best Basketball Hoops, we look to review great hoops at all price ranges so that you can find the best match for your needs. Today we are reviewing the Lifetime 1533 44 inch portable backboard system. This Lifetime hoop comes in at our lowest price point, so at under $300 dollars, this would make a great starter hoop for those just getting into the game, as well as a solid choice for those not wanting to spend big bucks to fulfill their hoop dreams.
The main features of the Lifetime 1533 offer a good product for your driveway. The backboard of this hoop measures 44 inches, and is constructed of high-quality acrylic with a polyethylene frame; the backboard also features some great red and blue colored graphics, making you feel the flair of a pro hoop as you drop in your lay-ups. The graphics are fade resistant, so your hoop will still look great after a summer of sitting out in the sunshine. The base on the Lifetime 1533 is a 31 gallon tank with rollers that can be filled with water or sand to give you a sturdy and strong base. Reviewers have found the wheeled system to be easy to use and move around as needed, so this hoop can move from your driveway into your garage or backyard without too much hassle.
The Lifetime 1533 Portable Basketball System also features a Quick Adjust II system, which allows you to adjust the height of the hoop from 8 feet to 10 feet with the simple act of a yardstick or broomstick. With the Quick Adjust feature, your hoop can grow with your young ball player, or meet the need of players of various heights and ages. The 3 inch round pole attached to the Quick Adjust is made of powder-coated steel for strength and durability. When it comes to assembly, reviewers have found it easy to assemble, as well as move around, so if you’re looking for a basketball hoop that can get you up and playing in little to no time at all, this Lifetime product is a great idea.
What We Like About This Hoop
What Would Make This Hoop Better
The Lifetime 1533 is a great option for beginners, kids, and those looking to not spend a boatload of money on a portable basketball system. Although it has a lower price point, it still is a quality product that we here at Best Basketball Hoops were happy and confident to review. Let your game improve without emptying your pockets!
Of all the basketball hoop manufacturers out there, Lifetime is the brand of basketball hoops for which we have done the most reviews. They are continually working to improve their products and come out with new models often that balance quality and affordability. The Lifetime 71286 In-Ground Basketball System continues the traditions of Lifetime Basketball. If you want some other comparable options to the Lifetime 71286 hoop then be sure to take a look at the Lifetime 71525 Portable Basketball Hoop and the Spalding Pro Slam Basketball System, which are both priced comparably and have many of the same characteristics as the 71286.
As we do with each hoop we review let’s dig a bit deeper to uncover some of the features that are unique to the Lifetime 71286. The backboard on this hoop is 52 inches and is made of a polycarbonate material. This is a very durable backboard, but struggles to replicate the backboard performance of higher price boards that are made of acrylic or tempered glass.
The rim includes two springs that help to support the basketball system during dunks. It is made of steel with welded on net hooks. The all-weather nylon net is nice and with give that “swoosh” sound when your shot is on the mark.
We really like the Square Power Lift pole that allows for the Lifetime 71286 basketball hoop’s height adjustments. This system allows for the hoop’s height to be adjusted from 7.5 feet to 10 feet in infinite increments. If you have young children who will grow up with this system then having this feature will be crucial for them to develop good shooting form habits.
The 71286 XL Lifetime Basketball System includes a polyethylene base that can be filled with either water or sand to keep the hoop sturdy and avoid tipping. Having a portable basketball system is good for anyone who may move semi-frequently or wants to be able to move the hoop indoors for storage in the winter.
The only downside of this is that portable basketball hoops tend to be less sturdy than in ground hoops and may tip over when hanging on the rim, which we do not recommend for any portable hoop.
To summarize our review of the Lifetime 71286 Basketball System, it is a great choice for those with growing children who will be able to grow up playing on a good basketball hoop. If you are more interested in a higher quality hoop with greater features be sure to see our reviews of the Spalding 60 Inch Portable Basketball System or the Lifetime 71522 Basketball System, which are a step above in quality and price.