Lifetime 1221 Portable Basketball System Review

Main Features

  • Portable, height-adjustable basketball system with 44-Inch backboardlifetime 1221
  • Telescoping mechanism adjusts from 7.5 to 10-Feet 6-Inch increments
  • 27-Gallon base fills with water or sand and rolls to your desired location
  • UV-protected, high-density polyethylene construction resists chipping and cracking
  • 18-Inch black solid steel rim with 1/2-Inch steel braces, 5-year warranty

Everyone gets their start somewhere. If you or one of your family members is a beginner basketball player, you may be looking for an affordable hoop to try out the sport of basketball. You don’t want to spend a ton of money yet, since it is a beginning hobby, but you want a hoop that can give you or your loved ones a good experience with shooting and playing. For a great beginner hoop at a very low price, a good choice is the Lifetime 1221 Pro Court Portable Basketball System. Lifetime’s 1221 model will give beginners a great start with the sport of basketball without the price commitment of higher end hoops.

While the Lifetime 1221 Portable Basketball System brings a nice lineup of features, you have to remember that when you pay less for a hoop, the features become more basic and less numerous, but for a starter hoop, the features of this Lifetime product give you just what you need. The Lifetime 1221 Portable Basketball Hoop features a 44 inch backboard made of High Density Polyethylene plastic. While the plastic is UV resistant for weather situations, remember that plastic is not as strong as the higher end backboards made of polycarbonate, aluminum, or tempered glass, so playing too rough on this hoop might affect its quality after some time. You’re not going to get a great bounce coming off the backboard as you would with higher priced hoops. The backboard comes with attractive graphics, and the UV protection of the backboards allows those graphics to resist fading and wearing over time. Older players may find the 44 inch backboard a bit small, but the size is perfect for children and smaller players needing a more size appropriate hoop.

As a lower priced hoop that suits a younger audience, the Lifetime 1221 Portable Basketball System has great adaptability for height that can allow kids to enjoy this hoop from an early age. The hoop can be adjusted from 7.5 feet to 10 feet with a telescoping mechanism in 6 inch increments. Kids will need an adult’s help to change the height, as it is a two person job, according to our reviewers. The 1221 features Lifetime’s usual three piece, powder coated steel pole; this brings rust resistance and strength to this hoop.

Since this is one of Lifetime’s most basic hoops, it does NOT come with a Slam-It rim, merely an 18 inch classic rim. For moderate use by kids, this will not be a problem, but if you are looking for a hoop for more serious use, you might want to look elsewhere. The basic rim will allow kids to perfect their shots, learn to shoot layups, or practice foul shots for hours on end. Along with the basic hoop, the Lifetime 1221 comes with a basic tank for its base as well. The tank 27 gallons of water or sand for weight and comes with rollers for easy movement up and down the driveway, or into your garage for the winter. Reviewers found the 27 gallon base to be durable and effective for play by most children.

Assembly of the Lifetime 1221 Portable Basketball System seems fairly easy and not too time consuming, given you have the correct tools prepared. 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. For a great starter hoop for the little baller in your family, the Lifetime 1221 Portable Basketball Hoop is a perfect place to begin. But, if you have a player older than 10 or 11, a bigger hoop might be a better option.

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
  • Cool colors and graphics on the backboard
  • Nice range of height with easy maneuverability
  • Very affordable for those buying a hoop for children

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Easier assembly instructions would aide in the time consuming assembly process
  • Higher quality base would limit leaking
  • More protection around the backboard
  • Better backboard material to be more authentic

Nick Daniels

Nick is has been a student of the game of basketball most of his life. He loves writing about all things hoops and basketball gear.