Category Archives for Basketball Hoop Reviews

Is the Spalding Hercules Portable Basketball Hoop Right for You?

 


spalding herculesMain Features

  • Comes in two color schemes (black with blue trim or black with green trim/base)
  • Height adjustment from 7.5 feet to 10 feet via the Exacta-lift system
  • The base can hold up to 39 gallons of water to help keep the hoop stable and upright
  • 50″ backboard made of acrylic material to for maximum durability
  • Three piece vertical support pole that is round and 3″ in diameter

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Spalding Hercules Portable Basketball System:   6.9/10

The Spalding Hercules Portable Basketball Hoop is one of the newer portable basketball systems offered by Spalding.  As you may already know, Spalding has been a leader in manufacturing some of the highest quality basketball hoops and basketballs for many years now which has led them to be the official basketball of the NBA.  Knowing this we are very excited to give you an in depth rundown of the Hercules basketball hoop including what we like and what could be better about the system.  The rim of the Spalding Hercules Portable Basketball Hoop is Pro-Slam style which we have seen before on the Spalding Pro-Slam Basketball Hoop.  The Pro-Slam rim does have a breakaway mechanism, but would not be suitable for rough dunking or hanging.

The acrylic backboard is 3.5 mm thick and will have some mild to moderate vibrations when impacted.  As we have stated previously, acrylic backboards are generally better than polycarbonate, but do not perform as well as backboards made of tempered glass.  The Hercules Basketball Hoop from Spalding has a three-piece support pole that has a 3.5″ diameter.  We consider this three-piece support system a weakness as one or two-piece support systems are significantly more sturdy and durable.

The base of this hoop can hold up to 39 gallons of water to keep the Spalding Hercules Basketball System from tipping over.  During the Winter months you may want to drain some of the water out to avoid damage from ice expanding in the base.  There are two wheels that are attached to the base that can used to help make transportation easier, however, do not expect to be able to move this hoop without first draining the water from the base.

As far as assembly goes, you will most definitely want to have at least two adults working as a team to get this hoop put together.  If you have two people working on assembly, then expect this hoop to take anywhere from 3-6 hours to be set up.  Be sure to follow the directions closely and not assume you know the next step.  If you follow these suggestions assembly should not be too difficult.

What We Like About The Spalding Hercules Portable Basketball Hoop

  • We like the relatively large base that can hold up to 39 gallons of water to keep the hoop in place
  • The Spalding Hercules Portable Basketball Hoop has some padding that lines the bottom of the backboard which enhances safety
  • Comes in two different color scheme choices–one of the only hoops we’ve seen that offers this option
  • Acrylic backboard material is superior to polycarbonate

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Three piece support pole system is less stable than basketball systems that feature one or two-piece support systems
  • 50 Inch backboard is smaller than the 54 Inch backboard that is featured on the Spalding Pro-Slam Hoop

Overall, the Spalding Hercules Portable Basketball System is a quality addition to the Spalding basketball hoop lineup.  If you are interested in another hoop that has similar features we would suggest you see our review of the Spalding Pro-Slam.  However, if you want a hoop that has more features and higher quality materials then consider looking into “The Beast” Basketball Hoop from Spalding.

 

Lifetime 71286 XL Portable Basketball System Review

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 71286 XL Portable Basketball System:   7.3/10

Main Features

  • An all-weather nylon net
  • Square Power Lift pole that allows you to easily adjust hoop height from 7.5 feet to 10 feet in infinite increments
  • Portable basketball system allows for easy transportation
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • Double-Compression Slam-It rim with two springs that is made of steel
  • Features a 52 Inch backboard that is made up of shatter-proof polycarbonate

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.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Made in USA
  • Five year warranty is provided by Lifetime for this hoop so that you can buy with confidence
  • Square Power Lift Pole makes it easy to adjust the height of the hoop in infinite increments
  • Double spring rim provides support for the system for any dunks that thrown down
  • The Lifetime 71286 Basketball System is affordable for most family budgets

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Polycarbonate backboards do not perform as well as acrylic or tempered glass backboards found on higher quality units
  • Springs on the hoop’s rim are not covered and may be more susceptible to rust over time

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.

Lifetime 71799 In-Ground Basketball System Review

71799

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 71799 In-Ground Basketball System:   7.3/10

Main Features

  • Features a 50 Inch backboard that is made up of Makrolon polycarbonate that is nearly impossible to break
  • An all-weather nylon net
  • Action grip pole that allows you to easily adjust hoop height from 7 feet to 10 feet in 6 inch increments
  • Double-Compression Slam-It rim with two springs allows for monstrous dunks
  • 5 Year Warranty

As with all Lifetime products, their goal is to bring you a solid product of high quality that is affordable and built for long lasting use. The Lifetime 71799 In-Ground Basketball System follows suite by giving you a ton of great features at a family friendly price point.

Some other hoops that the Lifetime 71799 hoop is comparable to include 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 71799.

The Lifetime 71799 Features an Action Grip Pole for Easy Height Adjustment

The Lifetime 71799 Rim

First, let’s take a closer look at some of the features that make the Lifetime 71799 Basketball System special.  The rim on this hoop is high quality and has two compression springs to support shots and rim rocking dunks. Unfortunately, there is no cover over these springs which could leave them susceptible to rusting over time.

While this is a spring loaded rim that will give when dunking, we would not recommend hanging on the rim of this hoop as it is designed more for recreational play rather than a gym quality system that is heavy-duty.

The action-grip pole for height adjusting is another fantastic innovation from Lifetime to make the game more accessible for youngsters wanting to work on their shooting skills.

The six inch height adjustment increments that are available are not as specific as the infinite increments of more expensive units, but it will suffice for the majority of families.

The 71799 Lifetime Basketball Hoop also has a 50 inch backboard made of Makrolon Polycarbonate material.  This material is nearly unbreakable, which is great for families with kids who like rough housing and may not always treat the hoop with dignity.  On the flip side most polycarbonate backboards simply will not perform at a level even close to that of a tempered glass backboard like the one featured on the Goalsetter All-American Basketball Hoop.  The backboard quality simply comes down to how much you are willing to pay for your home basketball system.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Five year warranty is provided by Lifetime for this hoop so that you can buy with confidence
  • Made in USA
  • Action-grip pole makes it easy to adjust the height of the hoop allowing young players to practice proper shooting technique
  • The rim on the Lifetime 71799 Basketball System has two springs which provide extra support
  • This hoop is generally price between $275-$325 making it a good value purchase

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • The backboard could use more support by adding a more extensive support frame so that there is less vibrations during shots
  • Height adjustment system adjusts only in increments of six inches rather than infinite increments seen on more expensive hoops.

To summarize our views on the Lifetime 71799 Hoop, we feel that this system is a great choice for families who are looking for an inexpensive in-ground basketball system that can take reasonable wear and tear.

However, for those who are more serious about the game and want their family members to play on top quality hoops we would suggest looking at the Goalsetter All-American or the Silverback SB-60, which are a step above in quality and price.

Goalsetter All-American In-Ground Basketball System Review

goalsetter all american in-ground basketball hoop

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Goalsetter All-American In-Ground Basketball System:  9.0/10

Main Features

  • Features the Goalsetter heavy duty breakaway rim to handle all kinds of dunks
  • Height Adjustment Mechanism allows for a 6 foot to 10 foot hoop height range in infinite increments
  • One Piece support pole design
  • 60 inch backboard made of tempered glass material (acrylic is also available)
  • Can be completely assembled before being raised
  • Angled pole design allows for greater stability and extra hoop support

One name that may not be familiar to many but is rising in the ranks of basketball hoops is the Goalsetter basketball hoop brand.  These guys specialize in in-ground basketball hoops that are in the higher price range.  There may be no better hoop that represents what Goalsetter brings to the table than the Goalsetter All-American In-Ground Basketball Hoop.  This hoop has a distinctive look and feel based on the support pole design, but make no mistake this is one of the best high end hoops you can get.

Let’s start by discussing the backboard and rim. The rim for this hoop could very well be the best rim available for a recreational hoop.  It is a heavy duty breakaway rim that can handle even the most monstrous of dunks.  The backboard is made of tempered glass and is 60 inches wide.  Acrylic backboards are available for this hoop for those who prefer durability over backboard performance.

While we really like both the rim and backboard, there is a lot more to be excited about with the Goalsetter All-American Basketball Hoop. If you are looking for a great hoop and want your money to go to the right place, then you are in luck because all Goalsetter hoops are made in the USA.  The support pole of the All-American is top notch with it’s one piece design keeping the unit stable.  What really makes the support pole unique is the shape which allows for greater support and stability.  The support pole is square shaped and 5 inches.

The system also has one of the widest hoop height adjustment ranges that we’ve ever seen.  The Goalsetter All-American Basketball System can be adjusted in height from 6 feet to 10 feet in infinite increments.  The handle for the height adjustment can be removed to stop unwanted guests from messing with your hoop.  It is also encouraging that based on the Amazon ratings this basketball system is one of the most simple hoops to install, which is not something that can be said for most recreational hoops.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • The rim is amazing and can handle all dunkers with it’s breakaway capacity and heavy duty design
  • Height of this hoop can easily be adjusted from 6 feet to 10 feet
  • The support pole design is awesome and leads to greater stability and performance
  • We are quite impressed with the reviews stating that this hoop is easy to install
  • Tempered glass backboard performs great and will match what you are used to in a gymnasium environment

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • This hoop could really benefit from padding on the support pole and under the backboard to minimize the chance of injury
  • If looking for a regulation sized backboard, then it may be better to look for a basketball system with a 72 inch backboard

When real basketball players look for a hoop, they look for the best.  It is easy for us to recommend the Goalsetter All-American Basketball Hoop as one of the best basketball systems that money can buy.  If you are committed to your game and want to become the best basketball player possible then a high quality hoop like this one is a must.  If you would like to read about some other high quality hoops, then we recommend you look into the Goalrilla GLR GS I or the Spalding Arena View.

Lifetime 51550 Courtside Portable Basketball Hoop Review

lifetime 51550

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 51550 Courtside Portable Basketball Hoop Review:   7.8/10

Main Features

  • Features a 31 gallon base with wheels for easy transportation and to keep the portable basketball system in place during shots and dunks
  • 5 Year warranty so that you can buy with confidence
  • Slam-it rim with two compression springs
  • 3 piece support pole and frame system
  • Height adjustments from 8 feet to 10 feet in 6 inch increments
  • Backboard that is 48 inches that is made with polycarbonate material

There are countless families who are wanting a high quality basketball hoop that is a good value and will allow for their kids to have a hoop for their home.  If you find yourself in this category then the Lifetime 51550 Courtside Portable Basketball Hoop would be a nice choice.  This basketball hoop has some higher quality features when it is compared to the its price.

We really like the five year warranty provided by Lifetime, who manufactures all of their hoops in the USA. They have a solid reputation as a value based basketball hoop manufacturer.  If you would like a Lifetime basketball hoop with a larger backboard with similar features as the 51550, we consider you take a closer look at the Lifetime 71566 and Lifetime 71522.

lifetime 51550 actionWhile the hoop is small it has some great characteristics. To start, the backboard is 48 inches and is made of a polycarbonate material that is very strong.  The downside to polycarbonate backboards is that they do not have the performance found with backboards made from acrylic and tempered glass.  The height adjustment mechanism is very easy to use allowing the hoop’s height to be adjusted from 8 feet to 10 feet in 6 inch increments.  Having a hoop that has the height adjustment feature allows for children to practice proper shooting technique.

The three piece support system does vibrate, but will meet the needs of most families looking for a hoop for recreational style play.  As a safety measure, the bottom of the backboard is lined with padding, which will keep players from getting injured.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • The Lifetime 51550 basketball hoop has a double spring rim which is rare at this basketball hoop’s price point
  • Having the height adjustment system makes this hoop great for basketball players of all ages
  • The 31 gallon base is quite large and should minimize the possibility of the hoop tipping

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • The three piece support pole system is more susceptible to vibration that two or one piece support systems
  • Polycarbonate backboards are strong, but do not provide the same performance of hoops featuring tempered glass backboards

As we mentioned previously, the 51550 hoop is a great option for families with growing children.  The basketball system is a lower priced hoop and should not be looked to provide professional level performance.  There are many great features that come with this hoop that you may not find with other value priced hoops.  If you are looking for a higher quality, more expensive hoop, we suggest that you consider the 71566 or 71522, both from Lifetime.

 

 

Lifetime 90040 Portable Basketball System Review

lifetime 90040

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 90040 Portable Basketball System:   7.0/10

Main Features

  • Standard steel rim with all weather net
  • A support base that can hold up to 27 gallons of either water or sand
  • Uses a telescoping height adjustment system that allows the hoop to have an adjustable height range of 7.5 feet to 10 feet in six inch increments
  • Three piece support pole design
  • Portable basketball system allows for easy transportation
  • 44 inch backboard made from polyethylene plastic
  • Support pole is powder coated to help fight against rust build up
616gkDtV0PL._SL1500_

The Lifetime 90040 Features a Telescoping Height Adjustment System

One of the great things about the basketball hoop market is that there is a large variety of hoop sizes and prices so that almost anyone who wants a basketball system for their home can afford to make it happen.  For those who are very serious about the game and are willing to drop a couple thousand dollars they can have a great pro quality hoop.  However, if you are like many families and are looking for a solid hoop for your home that will give your kids the opportunity to learn about the game of basketball and have fun then the Lifetime 90040 Portable Basketball System would make a great fit.

At the time of this writing the hoop cost $119 on Amazon, making the 90040 one of the most affordable full size basketball hoops out there.  For such a reasonable price the hoop comes with some nice features.  The 61iSdFs1I5L._SL1500_Lifetime 90040 Portable Basketball System has a telescoping support pole design that allows for easy height adjustment.  While we prefer some of the more advanced crank adjustment systems, the telescoping system will work just fine and gives owners the ability to adjust the height of the hoop in increments of 6 inches.  The plastic backboard featured on this hoop coupled with smaller than average support brackets cause this hoop to have significant vibration, especially on bank shots and layups.  Not surprisingly, there is a noticeable difference between the performance of this hoop and those found in your local gym.  The rim is made of a quality steel material.  However, if you are looking to dunk on your system the Lifetime 90040 is not a good choice as the rim does not have any breakaway springs.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • The price of the Lifetime 90040 Basketball Hoop is tough to beat and makes it a great value buy
  • We are happy to see that the support pole is powder coated to prevent rust extending life of the basketball system
  • A great choice for growing families who are looking for a recreational hoop for their driveway
  • While the hoop is on the low end in terms of price, it still offers the ability to adjust the height of the hoop so that youngsters can get their feet wet and learn the game of basketball

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • The plastic backboard vibrates significantly during bank shots which causes the ball to come off “dead”
  • No spring support for the rim means that this hoop is not a good choice for those who are set on dunking
  • Telescoping height adjustment does not allow for infinite adjustments as is the case with more expensive units

For any dads out there who want to teach their children about the basics of basketball like shooting, then the Lifetime 90040 Portable Basketball System is a fine selection.  It offers all the basics that you need to be able to have fun family games.  If you are willing to spend a bit more on your home hoop for some added features, then take a look the Lifetime 1529 and Spalding 48 Inch Basketball Systems, which are a step up in quality and price.

 

 

Lifetime 90168 Portable Basketball Hoop

41+Vr+NdbiLTake your basketball game to the driveway, courtyard or cul-de-sac with the Lifetime 90168 Portable Basketball Hoop. This hoop is great for family get-togethers, drills or a little friendly competition. The Lifetime 90168 Portable Basketball Hoop is portable and can be easily and instantly relocated. The Lifetime 90168 features a 48in shatterproof fusion backboard that has a pro-glass look, UV and weather-resistant graphics and a resilient polyethylene frame. This long-lasting, family-friendly unit features the Quick Adjust II height adjustment system so you can raise your goal from 8 to 10 feet to accommodate amateurs and professionals alike. The heavy-duty Slam-It rim has double-compression springs for plenty of spring-back action and an all-weather nylon net. Other exceptional features include a 3in weather-resistant pole and heavy-duty 31-gallon moveable base. No cement installation necessary with this Lifetime 90168 Portable Basketball Hoop from Lifetime Products. Just fill the portable gallon base with sand or water to provide the necessary stability. Perfect for kids, teens and adults, this is a cost efficient basketball goal that offers you the freedom to move, adjust and play wherever and however you desire. Even young players can experience the thrill of making their first shot with the rim set at 8-feet. Get years of use from your basketball system with the included 5-year, factory warranty honored by Lifetime Products.

Features and specifications

  • 48in x 30in x 2in Shatterproof Fusion Backboard with Blow-Molded Polyethylene Plastic Frame / Heavy-duty, Pro-Glass Look
  • Graphics are Screen-Printed with UV-Protected Inks for Superior Color and Protection against the Elements
  • 18in Black Slam-It Rim Made of 5/8in Solid Steel with 1/2in Steel Braces and Double Compression Springs / All-Weather Nylon Net
  • 3-Piece 3in Diameter Powder-Coated Round Steel Pole with Weather-Resistant Finish
  • Quick Adjust II Height Adjustment – Adjusts from 8ft -10ft in 4in Increments Using a Broomstick or Post

Pros

  • It is suitable for all ages and skill level.
  • The hoop is a good value for the price

Cons

  • Not the best selection if you are looking for a competition level hoop.  Check out this option if you are looking for a top of the line portable hoop.

Best Outdoor Basketball Rating

Lifetime 90168 Portable Basketball Hoop: [usr 3.9]

(Rating based on price, features, and purchaser reviews)

Spalding 60″ In-Ground Basketball System Review

60 spalding

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Spalding 60″ In-Ground Basketball System:   8.9/10

Main Features

  • Breakaway rim with double springs that recreates look and feel of indoor quality rim
  • Features a 2′ offset from the backboard to the support pole offering space for reverse layups
  • Comes with a ground sleeve anchor system which makes installation easier than other in-ground systems
  • 60″ tempered glass backboard that features aluminum trim to keep the board intact and performing optimally
  • U-Turn Lift setup to allow for the most minute height adjustments

Spalding has been a leader in the game of basketball for many decades and continues to set a course which many other basketball brands follow.  They arguably offer the greatest variety of basketball hoops at different price points, features, and quality.  The Spalding 60″ In-Ground Basketball System is a mid-priced hoop that finds itself positioned between less expensive portable hoops like the Pro Slam and higher-end in-ground systems like the Spalding 888 system.  So, if you want to take a step up from some of the more common value hoops but may not have the budget for a hoop that will set you back one or two grand, then the Spalding 60″ In-Ground Basketball System is likely to be right up your alley.

The value of this hoop cannot be understated.  It features a 60″ tempered glass backboard while keeping a price point under $600, a rare feat in the basketball hoop market.  Tempered glass offers the best rebounding experience when compared to backboards made of acrylic or polycarbonate.  The backboard also has a better more supportive design than what is more commonly seen with lower priced hoops.  The rim that comes with this hoop is also a step up from other systems and is more capable of handling dunks and competitive game play.  Installation of this hoop is made more simple with the ground sleeve anchor system that is included with this hoop.

We see the Spalding 60″ In-Ground Basketball System as a good entry into the premium hoop game without some of the bells and whistles that are included with more expensive systems.  Most notably, this hoop comes with no padding on either the support pole or the backboard.  While the 2″ offset from the backboard to pole does help to keep players from getting injured, it may be worthwhile to invest in a pole pad if you decide to purchase this hoop.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • One of the best values if you are specifically looking for a backboard that is made of tempered glass.  The performance of this backboard off of rebounds will blow away other boards made of acrylic and polycarbonate
  • Two vertical steel supports make sure the hoop is stable and minimizes vibrations
  • Breakaway rim is high quality and will impress with it’s performance
  • The ground sleeve will save you from any angry out bursts that may scare your neighbors during the installation process

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • While only a concern during intense game situations, the lack of support pole and backboard padding could be an issue for safety conscious buyers
  • A 2 foot offset from the backboard to the pole is less than the 4 foot offset seen featured on more premium basketball systems

The Spalding 60″ In-Ground Basketball System is a great value that comes with features not matched by many hoops at its price point.  This characteristic is what helped drive our rating of this hoop.  We would generally recommend this hoop for families as well as those who are serious about the game of basketball and their budget.  For those wanting the features of a higher priced hoop (padding, larger backboard, etc.) we suggest looking into the Goalrilla GLR GS-I and the Spalding Arena View Hoop.

 

Lifetime 71525 In-Ground Basketball System Review

lifetime 54 in ground

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 71525 In-Ground Basketball System:   7.4/10

Main Features

  • Features a Power Lift system that works to adjust the height of the hoop from 7.5 feet to 10 feet at any increment
  • An all-weather nylon net
  • A double compression spring “Pro Slam It” rim to protect the backboard during dunks
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • 54 Inch backboard that is comprised of Makrolon polycarbonate which is much stronger than tempered glass

We see Lifetime as a brand that works to bring quality basketball systems to many homes by making hoops that are a good value and in the price range of the masses (except in the case of their premium Mammoth Hoops).  The Lifetime 71525 In-Ground Basketball System continues this tradition as an in-ground unit that gives you good bang for your buck.  This is a mid-level hoop in the Lifetime product line and comparable to the Lifetime 71566 Portable Basketball Hoop and the Lifetime 71522 Portable Hoop, which are in a similar price range and have similar features.

pro lift

The Pro-Lift Pole System Makes Adjusting Hoop Height Simple

Speaking of features, let’s take a moment to dig deeper into the Lifetime 71525 In-Ground Basketball System.  The first thing you will notice is that the rim on this hoop is high quality compared to the price of this system.  It comes with a double spring rim with a cover over the spring box to reduce rusting.  While this is a spring loaded rim that will give when dunking, we would not recommend hanging on the rim of this hoop as it is designed more for recreational play rather than a gym quality system that is heavy-duty.

We see the most prominent feature for the Lifetime 71525 In-Ground Hoop being the Power Lift pole system.  Just grip the handle and move the hoop up or down, it really is that simple.  This Pro Lift set up surpasses the screw-jack system in simplicity, which is more common in higher priced hoops.

The hoop also includes a 54 inch backboard made of Makrolon Polycarbonate material.  The positive of this type of material is that it is extremely durable and is much harder to break than tempered glass or acrylic.  However, performance of a backboard made of this material leaves a little to be desired as it tends flex and come off as flimsy.  There is also little backboard support as there are two steel attachments to the backboard which are focused on the rim.  The main support pole is fairly standard and should suffice for the vast majority of homes looking for a good quality recreational hoop.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • The Pro Lift system makes height adjustments a snap for the Lifetime 71525 In-Ground Basketball System
  • Double Spring Pro Slam It Rim is of relatively high quality for the price of this hoop
  • The Backboard is very durable and unlikely to break under any normal usage situations
  • Five year warranty is provided by Lifetime for this hoop so that you can buy with confidence
  • Made in USA
  • This hoop is generally price between $300-$400 making it a good value purchase

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Better backboard support would enhance the system’s overvall performance especially in terms of shots coming off the backboard
  • While the Makrolon polycarbonate backboard is very durable, acrylic and tempered glass boards as seen on higher priced hoops are superior in performance

To wrap up our review of the Lifetime 71525 Hoop, we feel that this system is perfect for families who are looking for an in-ground hoop that will provide years of recreational level performance.  If you are looking for a more premium in ground option we would suggest looking at the Silverback SB-54ig or the Silverback SB-60, which are a step above in quality and price.

Spalding 54 Inch Portable Basketball System Review

spalding 54

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Spalding 54 Inch Portable Basketball System:   7.0/10

Main Features

  • Arena slam rim that is high quality and made of solid steel
  • Screw Jack adjustable height system allows system’s height to adjusted from 7.5 feet to 10 feet in infinite increments
  • Four-inch square pole that features a three piece design and four arms that attach to the backboard for enhanced support
  • 54 inch tempered glass backboard
  • Includes recreational quality backboard padding and a plastic guard at the base for added protection

Spalding is a major player in the manufacturing of recreational and professional level basketball hoops and has a great reputation for putting together good products.  Because of this we work to review as many hoops they produce as possible so that you can make an informed decision.  We would like to take a closer look at the Spalding 54 Inch Portable Basketball System with tempered glass and break down its strengths and weaknesses.  Let’s take a look at the strong points of this hoop first.  The Spalding 54 Inch Portable Basketball System comes equipped with a high quality breakaway rim that is spring loaded, and while it is not quite gym quality it will work great for the vast majority of homes.  This hoop also features a tempered glass backboard, which is the highest quality backboard material allowing for the basketball to come of the backboard consistently and with appropriate force.  Lastly, we really like that there are four support arms that attach the support pole to the backboard which will significantly reduce backboard vibrations when compared to hoops that have less support for the backboard.

While this hoop does have some strengths it also has some serious weaknesses as well which led to our lower rating for this hoop.  Our biggest concern is that the design of the Spalding 54 Inch Portable Basketball System lends itself to tipping, especially during assembly, which as a result has caused the tempered glass backboard, which is weaker than acrylic, to shatter.  We believe this is related to the vertical nature in which the support pole is set on this system when compared to hoops like the Spalding Beast.

It has also been reported that normal shots have caused the backboard to shatter as well.  However, there are plastic spacers that are supposed to be placed between the backboard and goal which are crucial to keep this type of thing to happening to you.  Spalding has begun to pre-attach these spacers, but it is recommended by us that if you do not see these spacers on your system or in the shipping box to contact Spalding to ask for them before beginning any assembly.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • The Spalding 54 Inch Portable Basketball System is a decent value when you consider the tempered glass backboard with support braces and breakaway rim
  • Offers backboard padding which enhances the overall safety of this hoop
  • The infinite height adjustments provided by the screw jack system is great for families wanting to teach their children proper shooting technique on a hoop that is accessible to little ones

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • As we discussed in our review this hoop has a tendency to tip, especially during installation.  We believe this is likely due to the heavier tempered glass backboard coupled with a vertically positioned support pole.
  • The directions provided for installation could be presented more clearly

As a final note on the Spalding 54 Inch Portable Basketball Hoop, we feel that this hoop is good as it stands, however, it could be significantly better with a few minor adjustments.  In particular, we believe that if the support pole was positioned at an angle that it would help stabilize the system.  Because of this flaw, we feel most buyers would be better suited selecting the Spalding 60 Inch Portable Basketball System and the Spalding 68564 Portable Basketball System which are both at a similar price point.

>