We often suggest Lifetime portable basketball hoops to families who are looking for a decent hoop for their kids to learn the game of basketball on. However, the Lifetime 71522 Portable Basketball Hoop is a little different than many of the other Lifetime basketball systems. This hoop has a slightly higher price point than many Lifetime systems, and has several features that you will not find on the cheaper portable basketball hoops. Let’s dig a little deeper on some of the things that make the Lifetime 71522 a higher quality portable basketball hoop.
When it comes to the Lifetime 71522 it really begins with the Slam-It double compression spring rim made of solid steel. Many Lifetime hoops come with the two springs but they are left exposed and are more likely to rust over time due to the elements of weather. On the Lifetime 71522 Portable Basketball System this is not the case as the springs are housed within a metal cover to keep them protected and lasting significantly longer than other breakaway rims.
A rather weak point for this portable basketball hoop is that it relies on a three piece support pole system. Three piece support pole systems are generally found on lower end portable basketball hoops and are more susceptible to shaking when the basketball hits the system during a shot. In the future, we would like to see Lifetime upgrade the Lifetime 71522 Portable Basketball System so that it came with a two piece support system to reinforce stability. However, there are still some nice stability features within the support pole system in an attempt to make up for this. In particular we love that there are two braces reinforcing the backboard to help offset some of the vibrations you would otherwise get.
The 54 inch acrylic backboard is one of the nicest backboards you will see on a Lifetime portable basketball hoop. Many of Lifetime’s cheaper systems feature polycarbonate backboards, which while stronger than acrylic, do not offer the same level of performance. We do like how the backboard is steel-framed which should increase the life of the system. Another nice feature of the Lifetime 71522’s backboard is the padding that lines the bottom of the system. This is an enhanced safety feature that will help to prevent injuries and cuts that might result from hands and arms hitting the bottom of the backboard.
Portable basketball systems all generally include some sort of base that keeps the basketball hoop in place and stable. The Lifetime 71522 Basketball System features a 35 gallon polyethylene material base. Because of the upright design of this system we wish this would be increased to hold 40 gallons or more which would further reduce the risk of tipping. We do not recommend kids of adults hang on the rim of this system due to this. For transportation this base works nicely as it features two wheels in the front to allow you to slightly tip the hoop and move it your new preferred location.
We have to admit that we are pretty impressed by what Lifetime has been able to accomplish at a reasonable price point with the 71522 Portable Basketball Hoop. Being one of the higher price portable offerings from Lifetime there are some features on this system that you will not get from the other cheaper basketball hoops. A great middle road hoop for most this system will meet the needs of the vast majority of users. Only those who are very serious about the game and are looking for a top performing system such as the Goalsetter All-American may be disappointed with the performance of the Lifetime 71522 Portable Basketball System.
With the seemingly countless number of basketball hoops available for sale today it can be difficult to sift through the choices to find what will work for you. The Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball System is a hoop that will likely meet the needs of those hoopers who want a low priced system that can take a beating and keep on ticking. If you have kids or live in a tough weather environment, then the Lifetime 1558 Basketball System may make a lot of sense to pick up.
The reason we suggest this hoop for these situations is primarily due to the backboard of this Lifetime hoop. Coming in at 52 inches it is a decent size considering how affordable the Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball System is. But the Makrolon polycarbonate material that the backboard is made of really makes it suitable for rough treatment. Polycarbonate is nearly unbreakable so even if this hoop is mistreated with rim hanging and tipping due to bad weather it should hold up. Realize however that polycarbonate backboards are not nearly as responsive as acrylic and tempered glass backboards and will not have great performance.
On more affordable hoops like the Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball System an area that manufactures seem to cut corners on is the base size. The Lifetime 1558 is no exception to this as it has a 35 gallon base. While this will certainly keep it upright under normal playing conditions it can still be tipped if you hang on the center of the rim and in inclement weather. Due to this we would recommend adding a couple cinder blocks and place them on top of the base to weight the basketball hoop down more. If you want a portable basketball system with a larger base check out the Spalding 54 Inch Portable Basketball System which features a 40 gallon base.
Having double compression springs on the Lifetime 1558’s Slam-It rim is a plus. This will allow the hoop to take mild to moderate dunking without putting too much pressure on the backboard and support system. On the downside the springs on the rim are uncovered and thus exposed to the outdoor elements. Often these springs are the quickest part of portable basketball hoops to rust. If you purchase the Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball System be sure to put a little effort into keeping these springs dry.
A great thing about many Lifetime Basketball Hoops is that they often have an easy mechanism to adjust the height of the hoop. The Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball System is no exception to this with its action grip height adjustment mechanism. With a simple squeeze of the hand the height of the hoop can be adjusted from 7.5 feet to 10 feet. We would say that overall Lifetime makes the best hoops for kids to learn the game of basketball.
This hoop comes in a great price point of about $250 and will be best used in a home with kids on a limited budget. It will certainly do the job in terms of allowing players to work on their games and their shot, however, do not expect a professional hoop experience with the Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball Hoop. The system will shake when shots hit the rim and backboard. For those wanting to go a step up on their basketball hoop please check out our reviews for the Lifetime 71522 Portable Basketball System and the Spalding 54 Inch Portable Basketball Hoop. These are a bit more expensive but may have some better features that you are looking for.
The Lifetime 1529 Courtside Base Height-Adjustable Potable Basketball Hoop is a top quality hoop that is reasonably priced while retaining many of the features that are included on higher price Lifetime models.
The Lifetime 1529 basketball hoop has a black shatter guard fusion backboard that is 50” and made of extremely durable Makrolon polycarbonate. Good luck trying to break this backboard as it can stand some serious punishment. The Lifetime 1529 basketball system’s backboard is set on a heavy duty 3 inch round speed shift pole mechanism, offering a simple system for adjusting the height of the hoop between 8 to 10 feet in six inch increments. The height adjustment system operates with ease and can be worked with one hand.
This system also has a Slam-It rim with double compression springs for a sturdy but fair bounce, with welded-steel net hooks and an all-weather nylon net. This Lifetime hoop’s rim does feel and sound like a high quality unit, and handles shots well from all over the court. Overall, this rim is probably one of the best features of this hoop.
The base is 27 gallons and is filled with water or sand providing a stable foundation that comes with wheels for easy portability. The base does do its job, however, the plastic is somewhat cheap and may be subject to wear and tear over time. The Lifetime 1529 Courtside basketball system is in the lower price range, thus other higher price systems may provide stronger materials in some cases.
The assembly of the hoop is fairly easy, and the instructions include diagrams for the materials drawn to actual size so you can identify each necessary piece properly. For most folks it will take about three hours to put this hoop together, and the instructions are presented more clearly than other assembly-required products. Once erected, everyone will love playing on this hoop. Lastly, if anything does go wrong Lifetime does provide a 5 year warranty on this system.