Basketball is one of the most popular sports not just in the United States, but across the globe. As a matter of fact, the NBA is currently the most popular sports league in China. Thus, so many kids and adults alike play basketball on a near-daily basis. Some play inside and some play outside. Both conditions are very different. Thus, there are indoor basketball and outdoor basketballs available. Unfortunately, buying one of the best outdoor basketballs is not super easy.
Are you new to basketball? Or are you looking for a good outdoor basketball for your kid? You are in luck. This buying guide has helpful information and 10 of the best outdoor basketballs. Thus, you can read insight facts below and buy a great basketball today. Yes, this buying guide makes it so simple.
Top Outdoor Basketball Comparison Chart
|1. Spalding NBA Street Basketball||Spalding||$$$$|
|2. Spalding James Harden NBA Player Basketball||Spalding||$$$$|
|3. Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball||Mikasa||$$|
|4. Molten X-Series Indoor & Outdoor FIBA Basketball||Molton||$$|
|5. Wilson Wave Phenom Basketball||Wilson||$$$|
|6. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor & Outdoor Basketball - Official Size||Spalding||$$$$|
|7. Under Armour Ua 495 Womens Basketball||Under Armour||$$|
|8. 9. Spalding NBA Outdoor Replica Game Ball||Spalding||$$$$|
|9. Baden Contender Indoor & Outdoor Composite Basketball||Baden||$$$$|
|10. Spalding NBA Street Phantom Outdoor Basketball||Spalding||$$$$|
Outdoor Basketball Buying Guide
What is the difference between an indoor basketball and an outdoor basketball? This is a great question to ask. Especially if you have little to no knowledge of basketball. Do not fret. Read below to learn all about the different court conditions and different basketball designs.
As mentioned before, basketball has risen to the top as a global sport. Now, there are more international players than ever before. All the while, younger athletes absolutely love basketball. Before, everyone wanted to be a football QB like Joe Montana. Now, everyone wants to be Steph Curry or LeBron James. SO buying one of the best outdoor basketballs is a great gift idea for you kid.
Important Qualities In The Best Outdoor Basketballs
Now, basketballs need a number of peculiar features. Specifically, outdoor basketballs versus indoor basketballs. Usually, indoor basketballs are made of full-grain leather. This is the authentic leather material and is not fake. On the other hand, outdoor basketballs are made of full rubber material. Thus, they do not lump or wilt after long periods of use on uneven or rough streets or surfaces.
What To Consider While Buying The Best Outdoor Basketballs
Factors of focus help shorten up the shopping process. Basically, focus in on each and every factor below. Apply the information to your shopping process. You will not spend hours upon hours shopping. Instead, you learn how to get a high-quality basketball in just a few moments. Spend less time shopping and more time playing with one of the best outdoor basketballs!
Price & Budget
The price of the basketball and your budget are the most important part of buying a basketball. As a matter of fact, this is true for literally every single product. First and foremost, establish a budget. Create your budget using two different price points. Basically, you do not want to overspend or underspend while trying to buy a good outdoor basketball.
Your maximum price is going to cap your budget. That way, you do not come out of house and home for one of the best outdoor basketballs. On the other end, your minimum price point prevents underspending. Going low on a price can sometimes hurt the quality of a product.
Luckily, most of the best outdoor basketballs come at a pretty fair price. So it is highly unlikely you spend too much money on basketballs. But, you must be rational and reasonable about the price.
In some cases, brand name is blown out of proportion by customers. However, in many cases, brand name is a big deal. For example, Nike shoes offer a brand name that other products cannot. Basketballs are not like this whatsoever. Yes, there are certain brands that have name recognition. But, they do not necessarily provide better value of a non-brand name basketball.
There are two brand names that stand out amongst the crowd. This includes both Spalding and Wilson. But, other sports brands have some great basketballs. For instance, our list boasts an Under Armour basketball made for women. So you do not need to strictly stick to Spalding or Wilson basketballs.
Let your own sensibilities dictate brand name preferences. Do you care about buying a brand name outdoor basketball? If so, then stick to the previously mentioned brands. If not, you can still buy some of the best outdoor basketballs. Even the Molten X-Series on our list is a FIBA approved ball!
Size is definitely the toughest part of buying one of the best outdoor basketballs. Especially if you are a newbie. So, this section aims to provide you with great size information. Usually, there are three different sizes for basketballs both indoor and outdoor. The three sizes include official/regulation, intermediate size for women, and youth-sized balls for kids.
Each size comes with specific measurements. But, you can also look for single digit numbers. For example, the best outdoor basketballs for kids come in a size of 27.5-inches and is referred to as a size 5. The best basketball for women is the intermediate size. An intermediate size measures out at 28.5-inches and is called a size 6. Finally, the official sized basketball measures at 29.5-inches and is called a size 7.
Why do basketballs come in different sizes? Because people come in different sizes. Children cannot learn how to shoot if the ball is too big. Here are all of the age breakdowns. A size 5 basketball is best for kids under the age of 9. Size 6 basketballs are ideal for girls above the age of 9 and boys between the ages of 9 and 12. Finally, size 7 basketballs are made for males above the age of thirteen! Use this size information and buy one of the best outdoor basketballs today.
Outer Ball Cover Materials
Cover materials make all the difference when it comes to outdoor basketballs. Fortunately, there are only a few cover materials available. This includes leather, composite leather, and rubber. As mentioned before, indoor basketballs are made of full-grain leather. Thus, the best outdoor basketballs are not made of full-grain leather. So you have now narrowed down materials to just two rather than three!
Composite leather material is basically faux leather material. Thus, it is cheaper than genuine leather. However, composite leather is much more versatile. Avoid the more high-end composite leather. This type of basketball is made only for indoor courts. However, fairly priced faux leather basketballs are built for the wear and tear of outdoor courts.
Finally, we highly recommend rubber basketballs as the best outdoor basketballs. First and foremost, rubber basketballs are sent to you inflated. Thus, you take it out of the box and play outside immediately. All the while, the rubber material is much more durable and can take on the stress of outdoor play. Furthermore, the best basketballs for kids are all made of leather.
Grip & Feel
Every time you touch a basketball, you feel a certain type of grip. The best outdoor basketballs optimize the grip. However, you do not want to sacrifice the feel. Thus, you need a basketball that can do both. Basically, you need to find a basketball that has deep channels. Each channel sticks to your skin. This is ideal for anyone that wants to palm their basketball.
Dribbling involves the ball leaving and entering your hand. Notice the sensation that comes from each contact with the ball. How does it feel? The ball should not hurt nor should you feel uncomfortable. A bad feeling alters how you dribble and that is bad for your performance. Focus on a soft feeling that is great for long hours of play out on the court!
Amongst basketball actions and movements, dribbling is number one. After all, you cannot play basketball without dribbling the basketball. A bad basketball is really hard to control. It will bounce uncontrollably and will bounce out of your hands. Thus, you cannot buy an outdoor basketball that does not bounce well. The best outdoor basketballs bounce right into your hands with every single dribble.
How can an off-center bounce happen? Well, potential lumps and bumps cause this problem. A big lump can make a ball bounce right or left and not straight up and down. Bottom line, this is worst case scenario. Furthermore, the inflation level is also a big part of the bounce. Properly maintain your basketball for the best performance possible.
Everything wears out eventually. This includes basketball shoes, cars, and even basketballs. Especially if you frequently use something on outdoor surfaces. As a result, customers must be rational and fair when it comes to durability. Do not freak out if a basketball wears out within the span of one basketball season. Instead, properly maintain and take care of your ball to maximize the lifespan.
The best outdoor basketballs are more durable than the standard indoor basketballs. Why? Because outdoor courts are more brutal than indoor courts. This is not to say outdoor courts are unsafe. But, they are not maintained like indoor basketball courts. Indoor courts at gyms and recreational centers are cleaned and polished every night. As a result, this is the ideal basketball court surface.
An outdoor court presents potentially hazardous bumps, cracks, and random objects. Thus, you need a strong and durable basketball built to last. Rubber basketballs are the best material when it comes to the best outdoor basketballs. Thus, you do not need to worry about any potential problems!
Special Bladder Designs
Every sports ball usually features a number of similar parts. Inside of a basketball, each part is just as important as the last. However, the bladder is a huge deal. Especially if you crave value and a long-lasting life. The bladder of a basketball is just what you think. This is where air comes in and out. As a result, it can be the undoing of a good basketball.
There are two types of bladders available and this includes latex bladders and butyl bladders.
Basically, latex bladders allow gases to pass through more than any other type of bladder. Thus, air leaks out of a latex bladder and eventually flattens out a basketball. Obviously, this is not ideal in the best outdoor basketballs. Not if you want it to last a couple of years. Luckily, there is a better option.
The butyl bladder is the most important feature in the best outdoor basketballs. There are low levels of air leakage. Thus, the air pressure is kept at a constant level for a long period of time. Even after a long winter season. This bladder material is best for hard surfaces like an outdoor baseball court. Get the best possible basketball for your outdoor basketball play.
Best Outdoor Basketballs Reviews & Ratings
The best outdoor basketballs provide hours of fun outdoor on the court. Best of all, they are easy to inflate an easy to deflate. Meanwhile, the performance is of the highest quality possible and the durability is long lasting. Read through each product recommendation below. We guarantee you find a great outdoor basketball for yourself or your kids!
Spalding NBA Street Basketball
Spalding is the best brand on the planet when it comes to outdoor basketballs and indoor basketballs. As a matter of fact, Spalding is even used during National Basketball Association games. So it should not be a surprise to learn that Spalding tops off this list of the best outdoor basketballs. Especially since this ball is their signature Street ball design.
This ball has a cover made of high-performance and ultra-durable rubber. As a result, this ball lasts for a very long time. All the while, the rubber provides an excellent bounce on the court. Meanwhile, the tough design is built to withstand the rugged nature of street basketball. Not all outdoor conditions are ideal and perfect so the best outdoor basketballs are made to last.
Finally, this ball features a wide channel design. Why? So you enjoy the best possible grip. All the while, this is an official size ball that meets all of the NBA’s standards. This includes both the weight and size. Thus, you enjoy one of the best outdoor basketballs at the professional size. But, there are two other sizes available including an intermediate size and a youth size!
- Spalding Brand Name
- NBA Official Weight & Size
- High-Performance & Ultra-Durable Rubber
- Great Price
- Can Develop Holes
Spalding James Harden NBA Player Basketball
Do you or your kids have a favorite player? If so, then the special Spalding NBA Player Basketball is the best outdoor ball for you. There are five different player options available including this James Harden ball. The other players include Chris Paul, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, & Klay Thompson. This definitely covers some of the most popular players in the league!
Now, this James Harden basketball is one of the best outdoor basketballs for a reason. James Harden is the 2018 MVP and is one of the best offensive players ever. Kids love playing with their favorite players and kids in general love Harden. Thus, this is a great pick for your outdoor basketball play. Best of all, this basketball boasts the Spalding brand name.
The Spalding premium outdoor rubber cover is one of the best cover designs available. As a result, this ball is built to last for a long time through intense basketball games. The official NBA size and weight are also ideal for young athletes. Plus, you can transition from outdoor play to indoor play. So this is more than just one of the best outdoor basketballs available.
- Spalding Brand Name
- Special NBA Design
- Premium Outdoor Rubber
- Official NBA Size & Weight
- Does Not Come Inflated
- Expensive Price Tag
Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball
Do you want the best value for your hard-earned cash? You are in luck. The Mikasa BX1000 is the best outdoor basketball for the price tag. There is no cheaper product that does not sacrifice quality. Instead, the Mikasa BX1000 delivers more performance than all of the other pricier options. Do not let the non-brand name fool you! This is one of the best outdoor basketballs on the market.
A high-quality rubber cover delivers great durability and great performance out on the court. Thus, you play basketball for hours on end without any problems. Best of all, the Nylon winding is a rather rare material in outdoor basketballs. As a matter of fact, not a lot of the other best outdoor basketballs boast this material. Simply put, this Nylon winding provides a very consistent bounce!
Want to pick from multiple size options? If so, then the Mikasa BX1000 is great for you. Pick from three different options that include a compact size, a junior size, and obviously the official size. Thus, you can buy this ball for yourself or your children. It is a wonderful gift for kids and one of the best outdoor basketballs available. Especially if you want value more than anything else.
- Versatile Size Options
- Quality Rubber Cover
- Nylon Winding
- Great Bounce
- Not A Brand Name Basketball
Molten X-Series Indoor & Outdoor FIBA Basketball
FIBA basketball is an international basketball organization. The FIBA basketball design is unlike the design for any of the other best outdoor basketballs. The white strips weave across the orange basketball color. Thus, it is distinct and super sleek. We highly recommend this ball for customers that want flair. We guarantee the Molten X-Series FIBA basketball has what you need.
This basketball is a versatile ball. Go from indoors to outdoors in a moment’s notice. Take your ball anywhere and everywhere. The synthetic cover delivers a long-lasting lifespan. Meanwhile, the signature 12 panel design gives you a very firm grip. Avoid slipping situations and stay outside for long hours!
Finally, this ball features a butyl bladder design. Basically, butyl is a premium material used in soccer balls and basketballs. Latex rubber has more permeability as opposed to butyl rubber. Simply put, latex rubber is more likely to slowly leak out air over a certain period of time. Thus, we encourage customers to buy one of the best outdoor basketballs made of butyl. You will not regret it.
- Butyl Bladder
- FIBA Approved
- Special 12 Panel Design
- Stylish & Sleek Design
- Not An NBA Official Ball
Wilson Wave Phenom Basketball
Wilson is one of the other great basketball brands on the market. As a matter of fact, Wilson makes basketballs for College Basketball games in the NCAA. Thus, customers trust Wilson with all of their best outdoor basketballs and more. Specifically, the Wilson Wave Phenom Basketball is built for outdoor conditions. As a result, you do not need to worry about damage or reduced grip.
The dual-tone design is built to provide great durability. All the while, you enjoy a better bounce on concrete courts. Due to this, we recommend the Wave Phenom as one of the best outdoor basketballs. Plus, this ball features a premium core design. This design creates a long-lasting shape retention. So your ball does not deal with lumps of air and any misshaping.
A pebbled rubber channel delivers the best possible feeling. Thus, you get to enjoy a soft touch basketball at all times. But, the WAVE Triple Threat Technology is the real star. Why? This technology boasts three extra grooves on each panel for a better shooting grip. That way, the ball fits right into your shooting form without any problems.
- WAVE Triple Threat Technology
- Dual-Tone Surface
- Pebbled Rubber Channels
- Premium Core Design
- Ball Comes Flat
Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor & Outdoor Basketball – Official Size
This Spalding ball is unlike the previously mentioned options. Why? This is the most versatile ball from Spalding. Seamlessly transition from outdoor play to indoor play in a matter of moments. This ball is designed for both playing conditions. Thus, it is one of one of the best outdoor basketballs and indoor basketballs all at once. Plus, it is not too expensive given this versatile value.
The Zi/O Tournament composite cover is all composite material. Thus, it feels like leather but it is not. All the while, this ball features a much darker color as opposed to a bright orange. Thus, this ball boasts a very crisp and alluring appearance. Best of all, you enjoy an official sized NBA basketball. What more can you ask for out of your new outdoor basketball?
This Zi/O basketball is sent inflated and ready to go, unlike other basketballs. Thus, it may be ideal for someone who lives life on the go. After all, not everyone wants to inflate a basketball before they play. A foam backing delivers a very soft touch and feel. Meanwhile, you enjoy a very firm grip that is great for outdoor play in wet weather!
- Zi/O Tournament Design
- Composite Cover
- Foam Backing
- Great Grip
- Ideal For All Playing Conditions
- Bounce May Produce Echo Sound
Under Armour Ua 495 Womens Basketball
Before, Under Armour was more of a general sports brand. Now, they still are a general sports brand. However, their focus as of late has been on basketball. They one of the best outdoor basketballs for women. After all, basketball is just as popular amongst girls and women as it is boys and men. So we encourage you to buy a great outdoor basketball for your daughter.
The Under Armour GRIPSKIN composite cover is specially made for one reason, grip. Enjoy the ultimate feel from a premier grip. Thus, the ball sticks in your hands as you dribble, drive, and shoot. All the while, you can take this ball indoors whenever necessary. But, you do not sacrifice any of the outdoor durability. Get the best of both worlds.
Finally, deep channel grooves are built to enhance the great grip. Meanwhile, the 100% nylon windings are excellent and maintain the original shape. Do not worry about dents or bumps in your ball. Best of all, the 100% butyl bladder actively retains all air in the ball. The best outdoor basketballs should retain air, no matter what!
- 100% Butyl Bladder
- Deep Channel Grooves
- Special GRIPSKIN Composite Cover
- Made For Women
- Lacks Durability
Spalding NBA Outdoor Replica Game Ball
This is an official NBA basketball from the Spalding brand. The replica design boasts an authentic appearance, unlike any of the other best outdoor basketballs. Plus, the official size and weight meet all of the NBA standards. Best of all, this ball is sent to you already inflated. Not all other basketball products offer a fully inflated product. This is best for anyone that wants to get out and play today!
A performance composite cover delivers great durability and a natural appearance. Also, this is a really versatile basketball. Thus, it is one of the best outdoor basketballs and indoor basketballs at the same time. Now, the real star here is the price tag. Rarely can you get any official NBA product for such a low price? So we encourage you to get one of the more valuable outdoor basketballs today.
- NBA Replica Game Ball
- Performance Composite Cover
- Inflated When Shipped
- Made For Outdoor & Indoor Play
- Not Ideal For Rough Play
Baden Contender Indoor & Outdoor Composite Basketball
Baden does not boast a brand name like Wilson or Spalding. However, they do boast one of the best outdoor basketballs on the market. This composite basketball adapts to both indoor and outdoor basketball courts. Thus, you ball anywhere at any given time. Nothing stands in your way with the Baden Contender composite basketball!
The recessed stealth soft-valve system cannot be found anywhere else. Basically, this system actively retains all necessary air. As a result, your basketball does not leak out air over a slow period of time. This is ideal for durability and frequent use. After all, no one wants to spend too much time maintaining their basketball.
Finally, high-quality performance is ideal for everyday basketball. Enjoy premier grip, premier consistency, and plenty of durability. Plus, the symmetrical design creates a balanced basketball. Thus, there are no lumps that form over a long period of time. This is a quality found in only the best outdoor basketballs available.
- Available In Official Size
- Stealth Soft-Valve System
- Great Grip & Consistency
- Soft Touch & Firm Design
- Best For Younger Basketball Players
Spalding NBA Street Phantom Outdoor Basketball
This Spalding basketball is last but it is definitely not least. First and foremost, this basketball boasts an appearance unlike any of the other best outdoor basketballs. Usually, basketballs are made to be orange or a light brow. In this case, the NBA Street Phantom Outdoor basketball is completely black. As a result, you turn heads out on the court.
The NBA Street design is built for outdoor surfaces and courts. After all, outdoor basketball can get rough and rugged. Especially because there can be jagged edges and sharp rocks. Luckily, the sponge rubber design is built to avoid a potential pop. Plus, it feels really good in your hands.
High-performance rubber covers all of the basketball. Also, there is soft grip technology that lives up to the name. Grip the basketball for a soft and sensational feeling. Now, a soft basketball is uncomfortable and does not play well on outdoor courts. Thus, the best outdoor basketballs must provide a soft feeling without giving up a firm design!
- Sleek Black Design
- High-Performance Rubber Cover
- Soft Grip Technology
- Not An Authentic/Professional Ball
Conclusion and Final Outdoor Basketball Shoe Recommendations
Buying the best outdoor basketballs is much easier than you think. Especially when you use this buying guide to your advantage. Do not go it alone. Instead, look back over our product recommendations for one of the best basketballs. You will find something perfect for yourself or your kids.
Every customer is different. Every customer has a different budget. Thus, certain customers want to save themselves money. On the other hand, other customers pined without any constraint. But, maybe you just want the best outdoor basketball overall? Luckily, we have specific recommendations for you below.
Best Street Basketballs Overall
Spalding NBA Street Basketball
As mentioned before, Spalding is the best brand for basketballs. Thus, the Spalding NBA Street Basketball is definitely the best outdoor basketball available. First, it comes at a pretty low price. Also, you pick from three different sizes: youth, intermediate, and an official size. Best of all, this product boasts the official NBA logo!
Best Basketball for Outdoor Use at a Premium Price
Spalding James Harden NBA Player Basketball
Want to spend more money on basketballs for better quality? If so, then the Spalding NBA player basketball is the best option for you. First, you pick from a number of the best NBA basketball players. Each ball comes in team colors and a graphic of the player. Thus, you get a basketball with James Harden, the league MVP. This is the perfect birthday gift for your kid.
Best Outdoor Basketballs for Value
Mikasa BX100 Premium Rubber Basketball
Value goes a long way, especially if you save money. But, the value still has to provide you with great performance. The Mikasa BX100 is the best basketball for your hard-earned cash. The quality rubber cover is built to last for a very long time. Also, you enjoy Nylon winding for a great bounce out on the basketball court.
Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Basketballs
Can I Use Outdoor Basketballs Inside?
You can but it is not ideal for indoor conditions. Instead, outdoor basketballs are built for more rugged conditions. Luckily, there are some options on our list that do both. Versatile basketballs can go inside and outside with the drop of the hat. We recommend one of these indoor and outdoor basketballs for anyone that goes between courts.
What Is Brand Is The Best Brand For Outdoor Basketballs?
The best brands are usually Spalding and Wilson. Thus, we encourage customers to check out those two brands. Now, you only want these brands if you require an authentic appearance. If not, then just about any other brand will do the trick!
How Do I Find The Right Size For My Outdoor Basketball?
As mentioned earlier, there are three distinct sizes. There is a junior size, an intermediate size, and an official size. Simply put, match the size to the age group. Go back and check out our size section for a specific guide on buying the right sized basketball.
What Is The Best Type Of Inflator For The Best Outdoor Basketballs?
Get a weaker inflation device. You do not need a big tire inflator for your basketball. Instead, we recommend a pump inflation tool for your basketball. After all, an overinflated ball bounces way too high. So avoid any overinflation situation when it comes to your outdoor basketball.
Are Knockoffs Basketballs Sold Online?
Unfortunately, there are knockoffs sold online for all types of products. Thus, there are definitely counterfeit basketballs available. Luckily for you, avoiding counterfeit products is rather easy. Focus on the seller. Make sure the seller is the actual brand. So if you buy a Spalding basketball, the source must be the Spalding brand! If not, you are potentially going to end up buying a knockoff product.
How Do I Avoid Improper Inflation With My Outdoor Basketball?
Check the product information upon purchasing one of the best outdoor basketballs. Manufacturers always provide recommended inflation levels. That way, the ball performs best out on the court. An overinflated basketball bounces way too much. Thus, overinflated basketballs do not perform naturally. Likewise, underinflated basketballs do not bounce enough. Generally speaking, the best inflation level is right around 8 PSI.
How Can I Avoid Basketball Deflation During The Winter?
Do not leave your basketball outdoors. This is one of the worst things you can do. During the winter, the ball deflates due to problems with gas molecules contracting and not moving around fast enough. Therefore, customers must keep their basketball indoors. As a matter of fact, store it away in room temperatures. You can even deflate the basketball If you do not use it.