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.

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.