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Lifetime 71281 In Ground Basketball Hoop Review

Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Basketball Hoop:  (7.5 / 10)

Main Features

  • 52″ shatter proof backboard made of polycarbonate material that will protect it from breaking
  • Limited 5 year warranty provided by the manufacturer allows you to buy with confidence
  • Power lift height adjustment system adjusts the height of the basketball hoop from 7.5 feet to 10 feet with single arm mechanism
  • Spring loaded breakaway rim allows for give during shots and light dunking

Lifetime Brand

We’ve done more reviews of Lifetime basketball hoops than any other brand of basketball manufacturer, and for good reason.  Lifetime is one of the most popular basketball manufacturers around today.

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.

Lifetime 71281: Full Review


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.

Height Adjustment

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.

Support Pole

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.

What We Like About The Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop

  • Power Lift Height Adjustment System makes adjusting the hoop’s height easy for all ages
  • At under $300, this basketball hoop is a great value for the features included
  • Backboard is a relatively good size at 52 inches and has a steel frame to add stability
  • Made in the USA and comes with a five year warranty
  • In-ground basketball hoops offer greater stability and durability than portable units

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • The exposed spring on the breakaway rim is susceptible to rust and is not designed to handle serious dunking
  • Polycarbonate backboard does not perform well and is not particularly responsive
  • Three-piece support pole allows for extra vibrations during shots

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.

Competitors to the Lifetime 71281 that are worth looking into include the Lifetime 71525 and Spalding 60 Inch In-Ground Basketball Hoop.


Best Pool Basketball Hoops of 2018

One of the best days of the year is being able to take the cover off of the pool after a long winter and getting everything set up to have family and friends over for awesome summer get togethers.

If you are basketball buff and a pool owner then a great way to entertain your family or guests is to invest in a pool basketball hoop.

Pool basketball hoops provide hours of fun while allowing you to remain cool in the hot summer weather.

With so many pool basketball hoops available to buy it can be overwhelming deciding on which hoop is right for your pool.  That is why we have compiled our top five pool basketball hoops so that you can get a great hoop on any budget.  Whether you plan to spend $20 or $200, there are great options that offer loads of fun.

Top 6 Pool Basketball Hoops


Best Cheap Pool Basketball Hoops (<$100)

Coop SwimWays Hydro Spring Basketball Hoop

Our first entry in the cheap pool basketball hoop list is the Coop SwimWays Hydro Spring Basketball Hoop.

Coming in under $25 this is great pool basketball hoop for those who just want to have a hoop to play with in the pool and are not looking for a full-size basketball experience.

The Coop SwimWays Hydro Spring Basketball Hoop is inflated so that it floats on top of the water allowing you to shoot from anywhere in the pool.

The Length, width, and height of this pool basketball hoop is 24.4″ x 24.4″ x 20.47″.  Basketball and carry bag are included.


Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop

Stumptown Sportz has created a great inflatable pool basketball hoop that is a level up from the Coop Swimways Hoop we reviewed above.

The Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop is 44 inches tall and 40 inches wide, making it a good size.  It is inflatable as well and will sit on top of the water while in use.

The Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop also comes with a lot of extras including two mini basketballs, an air pump with needles, and a carry pouch.

At around $40, the Stumptown Sportz Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop is more expensive than the Coop Swimways, but you do get a lot more for your money.  Overall, you can’t go wrong with this hoop.

Poolmaster Pro Rebounder Pool Basketball Hoop

Our most expensive pool basketball hoop on the cheap list is the Poolmaster Pro Rebounder.  This hoop is right under the $100 mark and perfect for those who want to spend a little more money for a better hooping experience.

The Poolmaster is the first pool basketball hoop on our list that is not inflatable.  It actually has a fill base that you fill with water or sand and place on the deck or cement on the side of your pool.  If you don’t have a deck or other level area around your pool then this hoop will likely not work.

We consider the Poolmaster Rebounder Pro Pool Basketball Hoop to be the first “real” pool basketball hoop on our list and if you have a little extra to spend it is well worth the price.


High-End ($>100)

Dunnrite PoolSport Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop

Our first entry into the high(er)-end of pool basketball hoops is the Dunnrite PoolSport Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop.

This pool basketball hoop has a water fill base that attaches directly to the backboard.  The fill base helps to keep the hoop stable and upright, but we do not recommend dunking on the Dunnrite as it could still tip and cause injury.

On the plus side, the Dunnrite is the first pool basketball hoop entry that has a full size rim.  This allows you to use real basketballs in the pool if you choose.

The bottom line is that the Dunnrite Pool Basketball Hoop is a great choice if you want a real basketball experience in your pool without breaking the bank.


Lifetime 1301 Pool Side Basketball System

We have reviewed many Lifetime basketball hoops on over the years.  For those that are unfamiliar, Lifetime is a popular manufacturer of recreational basketball hoops that are generally friendly on your wallet.

The Lifetime 1301 Pool Side Basketball System continues this tradition as it costs right around the $150 mark as of this writing.

With the Lifetime 1301 you get a 44 inch backboard and a height adjustment mechanism that allows you to adjust the height of the Lifetime 1301 from 4 feet to 6.5 feet.  This makes it a more versatile choice than some of the other pool basketball hoops on this list.

Lifetime also used a rust resistant coating on the metal pieces to help ensure a long lifespan for this basketball hoop. This along with the other features makes the Lifetime 1301 Pool Basketball System a great choice for any pool owner.

Dunnrite Splash and Shoot Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop

Our second entry from Dunnrite is the Splash and Shoot Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop.

This hoop is a more expensive alternative to the Dunnrite Pool Sport is full of features and quality components.

The Splash and Shoot features a 43 inch by 28.5 inch polycarbonate backboard that will not break.  It also has a telescoping pole that allows you to adjust the height of the hoop so that it will be a perfect fit in your specific pool setup.

When filled with water the Dunnrite Splash and Shoot weighs in at 200 pounds making it a secure pool basketball hoop.


Ryval C872 In-Ground Basketball Hoop Review

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Ryval C872 In-Ground Basketball Hoop:  (9.8 / 10)

Main Features

  • 6″ x 8″ galvanized steel support pole ensures resistance to rust and offers maximum stability
  • Limited lifetime warranty includes dunking and offers peace of mind when thinking about buying a high-end hoop like the Ryval C872
  • 5 to 10 foot heigh adjustment range in infinite increments is one of the widest ranges available on any recreational hoop
  • 72″ tempered glass backboard that is 1/2″ thick, making it regulation sized
  • Gym quality rim that performs and plays just like the ones used in pro arenas

These days there are many different quality high-end basketball manufacturers to choose from.  Some brands are well known like Spalding, Goalrilla, and Lifetime, while others are up and comers such as Hoopstar, Pro Dunk, Goalsetter, and the brand behind the C872, Ryval.

Any review of the Ryval C872 starts with its 72 inch tempered glass backboard that is 1/2 inch thick.  This is truly a regulation sized board with the same quality as those found in collegiate gymnasiums.

Due to the quality of the backboard, the Ryval C872’s rebounding performance is spectacular.  The basketball comes off the backboard with force and consistency.

Safety is another strength of the Ryval C872.  Covering both the anchor base and support pole is heavy-duty padding that comes included with the basketball system. Quality padding also aligns the bottom of the backboard to protect players’ hands and heads.

Height adjustment on the C872 is controlled with the 2 FX Life Assist Cylinders that allow you to raise or lower the hoop from 5 feet to the regulation 10 feet.  This is great for families with growing children who will be able to use proper mechanics on a lowered hoop as they build strength.

The rim on the Ryval C872 is also top of the line.  It features one horizontal spring and two vertical springs to offer maximum weight support that can handle rim rattling dunks.  The springs are covered which works to minimize wear and rusting that can happen to rims exposed to the outdoor elements.  When shots hit the rim it performs beautifully, remaining stable without being too rigid like double ring hoops you may remember from the playground.

Make no mistake that this basketball hoop is a behemoth, and as such takes a lot of effort to assemble.  If you buy this hoop please plan to have at least three people for the job.  For those who are not handy consider hiring a company to do the installation for you.  It will save you a lot of headaches in the end.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Ample amount of padding under the backboard and at the anchor base
  • Rim is gymnasium quality and has the perfect balance of stability and feel
  • One of the best backboards you can buy for a recreational basketball hoop, 72 inches of tempered glass heaven
  • Very wide height adjustment range of 5 feet to 10 feet
  • 4 feet of offset from the support pole to the hoop allows for play under the rim

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Because of the many features and top quality materials it should come as no surprise that this a very expensive basketball hoop
  • Assembly will take multiple people, or professional installers

With the increasing number of basketball hoop brands that are focused on building high-end in-ground basketball hoops it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.  Ryval has done this with the C872 due to the galvanized parts and awesome safety features that comes standard with this hoop.

If you are serious about the game of basketball, or have a child who has a passion for the game, then it may be time to consider investing in their basketball future by picking up a high-end hoop that will last for years and years.  The Ryval C872 is a great choice and would make a fine addition to your driveway or court.

Competitors to the Ryval C872 that are worth looking into include the Goalsetter All-American, Lifetime Mammoth, Goalrilla GS, and the Spalding Arena View.


The Hoop for Kids: Lifetime Youth Portable Basketball Hoop Review

71Rtv-nyk5L._SL1500_Basketball is a lifetime sport, one that can be played from a very young age all the way into adulthood. Learning the skills and game of basketball at a young age can benefit a child greatly, from learning to play with a team to developing the necessary hand-eye coordination that carries over to other parts of life. What’s the first step in giving the special child in your life the value of learning a sport like basketball? Having a quality hoop that meets that child’s needs is a great place to begin. Our pick for a favorite hoop for the younger ones here at Best Basketball Hoops is the Lifetime Youth Portable Basketball system. This Lifetime product is built to allow young ballers to have the ability to learn and play basketball with a hoop is their size and can grow with them. Let’s learn a little bit more about Lifetime’s Youth hoop.

Lifetime has manufactured a product that can provide hours of fun to your children with lasting and durable materials. This hoop system comes with a 32 inch impact backboard, constructed with polyethylene for a high-density and strongly molded look. The rim is a reduced-size 15 inches, and features a frame made from solid steel; despite the reduced size of the rim, you can still play with a  regulation basketball, making it a product that can grow with your child from the junior size balls to full size. Holding up the rim and backboard is a three-piece pole made of powder-coated steel, ready to take the blows of everything from shooting a game of HORSE to a friendly game with the neighborhood kids. Our reviewers have said that assembly of the Lifetime Youth Portable Basketball Hoop is no more difficult than other hoops, and is easy to both adjust the height and transport.


As you research the purchase of a hoop for children, it’s important also to note the features that make the Lifetime Youth Portable Basketball System a good choice for your children, grandchildren, or students.  First, is it going to last through the rough and tumble play of kids? Along with our above notes about the product fabrication, our reviewers also found the Lifetime system to hold up well. The base can be filled with sand or water, and provides a supportive foundation that can withstand hard play. The base also has wheels which allow the hoop to be moved to various locations in your driveway or garage.


Since kids grow and change so quickly, it’s most important to have a basketball hoop that grows with them, and the Lifetime Youth system is a solid bet when it comes to a growing hoop. The hoop height is adjustable in 6 inch increments, and can grow from 5 ½ feet up to 7 ½ feet. Our reviewers here at Best Basketball Hoops agreed that those heights make the hoop suitable for about 4 years old up to about 12 years old, or from about preschool to sixth grade, depending on the height of your child. Nevertheless, this Lifetime system can provide at least 5 years if not more as a great hoop for your home, and it can provide many years of use in a gym or school.


It’s important for kids today to get out and play, to stay active and learn the value of teamwork, and to develop hand-eye and other coordination skills. Help your child learn and grow by purchasing the Lifetime Youth Portable Basketball System, so that they can build these skills, build relationships, and build a lifelong love for the sport of basketball.



Spalding 68564 Portable Basketball System Review

spalding 68564

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Spalding 68564 Portable Basketball System: (8.2 / 10)

Main Features

  • Three piece support pole with 3.5 inch diameter is rust resistant
  • Front cover rebounder feature
  • Screw-jack lift system adjusts in height from 7.5 feet to 10 feet
  • Arena Slam breakaway rim
  • Attaches to 40 gallon plastic base which can be filled with sand or water
  • Portable basketball system for easy movement

In the market for a portable basketball system for your driveway or backyard? Finding the right hoop is important so that you have the features you desire at the price you want, along with a product that is made to last depending on your level and frequency of use. Spalding is a manufacturer of hoops that is time-tested and well-respected, and the Spalding 68564 Portable Basketball System is a great option if you are looking for something moderately priced, but a solid addition to your yard or driveway with some great features.

The Spalding 68564 hoop offers an array of solid features for the baller in your life, be they young and beginning, or a veteran of the game; the hoop would be best for those looking to play recreationally and practice drills and shots on a regular basis. It features a large 54 inch acrylic backboard made for frequent play and practice. There is a heavy duty steel frame lining the backboard, giving you extra strength and durability as you go up for layups and slam dunks. Acrylic backboards are a great option for those looking for a quality, strong backboard for bank shots and layups, without the high price of tempered glass; a great middle ground option.

When it comes to adjusting the hoop height, the Spalding 68564 Basketball System makes things pretty easy. Thanks to the Screw Jack lift system, the hoop can raise from 7.5 feet to 10 feet in a smooth, one-handed motion. The hoop can lift in infinite increments making it able to be personalized to the height that works best for the player. It also has a removable handle so that once you have found your desired height, it cannot be tampered with. The Spalding 68564 has a 3 piece, 3.5 inch pole, which is set at a 20 degree angle from the base, with a plastic cover on the front gives you a built in rebounder when you play.

The foundation of the Spalding 68564 Portable Basketball System is one of the larger models on the market, with a 40 gallon plastic base; the large size allows for a sturdy and strong foundation, minimizing shaking that can come with weaker or smaller bases on other models. You can fill the base with water, sand, or a polymer gel product to allow for little movement in your neighborhood basketball games and free throw work. Reviewers of this hoop found the base to be adequate and found it durable enough to withstand cracks and weaknesses in the plastic, where sometimes other hoops do not measure up.

For those players who love to perfect their slam dunk, or even just complete their first one, the Spalding 68564 offers a great platform for such a goal; it features an Arena Slam breakaway rim with solid steel support braces. The smooth spring associated with the rim allows for it to give way when going up for that amazing dunk or layup, and minimizes pressure on the backboard, allowing for a stronger and longer lasting product.

While this hoop has a lot of great points, one thing to consider is assembly. Many reviewers have found the assembly of this hoop to be time-consuming and difficult, with improper instructions or missing pieces. However, other found the hoop easy to assemble and did so with little help or time on their hands.  Assembly can vary, but this is just one factor to consider when purchasing the hoop that is best for your lifestyle.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Arena Slam rim minimizes pressure on the backboard
  • 54 inch backboard offers great acrylic finish with wide range
  • Steel framed backboard provides strong support for vigorous games
  • Support pole system is coated with a rust resistant material that helps to keep the hoop lasting longer
  • Angled support pole makes tipping less likely
  • Extra-large 40 gallon base provides a solid foundation

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Easier assembly instructions would aide in the time consuming assembly process
  • Further cushioning around the backboard would aide in protection when going up for close to the basket shots
  • Padding on the support pole could be better

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Lifetime 1558 Basketball System Review

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball System:   (7.2 / 10)

Main Features

  • 52 Inch backboard made of Makrolon polycarbonate which is super durable and strong
  • Support system features a powder coated rust resistant finish that will help the hoop last for years
  • The Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball System has a 35 gallon base that can be filled with sand or water
  • Comes in at around $250 making the Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball Hoop a very affordable system
  • Manufactured in the USA and comes with a five year warranty

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.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • The Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball Hoop is very easy to transport which makes it a good choice for families who move often
  • We like the powder coated finish on the support system that will help to keep the Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball System from rusting over time
  • For the price the 35 gallon base is a decent size
  • One of the few low priced hoops that has padding on the bottom of the backboard
  • The action grip height adjustment mechanism is easy to utilize and great for making the hoop kid friendly
  • 5 year limited warranty will help to make you feel even more confident when purchasing this basketball system

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • While 35 gallons is usable we would still prefer to see the base size be increased to 40 gallons
  • The three piece support pole system shakes more during use than we would like.  If you want a more stable hoop look for basketball systems with two or one piece support pole designs
  • The Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball System has a more upright design which may make it more susceptible to tipping

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.