8 Best Portable Basketball Hoops of 2019: Features to Consider as You Shop

For many people, their love and enjoyment of basketball begins early, when they get a basketball hoop in their driveway and grow up practicing the game. This hoop doesn’t have to be anything special, whether it’s a stand-alone hoop or something like a mere backboard mounted to the garage– kids love it and it provides lots of opportunities for them to improve on their skills, make new friends, and discover how to dunk. In the end, a durable basketball hoop that lasts a long time can be a great investment.

In today’s world, a lot of neighborhoods have rules against backboards and hoops that are permanently installed. However, this doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the chance of being able to shoot hoops in your driveway: basketball hoops that are completely stand-alone and portable are available, and they’re relatively inexpensive. You’ll be able to find portable basketball hoops for any type of budget and for any type of situation, whether your kids are playing on the high school team or are just practicing their dribbling on nice sunny days.

The most basic idea behind portable basketball hoops is that they’re not restricted to only one location, so you can move it around your driveway and even let your neighbors borrow it. Many neighborhoods allow portable hoops because you don’t need to add anything to your garage, and it’s not required to put in a pole or cement base in the ground of your yard in order to be able to use them.

Most portable hoops come with wheels that allow you to relocate the hoop very easily. This makes things a lot more simple if you ever move, as well–you don’t need to leave the hoop behind, and you don’t need to worry about having to dig it up and reinstall it all over again. Portable hoops have a base that you fill with water or sand so it stays in one place (and makes is much safer for kids to play around), so all you need to do is empty it, and then transport it.

Portable hoops make playing basketball very simple and easy for your home. So, exactly what features should you look for, and where can you find the best ones? This article answers all of your questions and outlines the top eight portable basketball hoops that are currently on the market.

Top Portable Basketball Hoops Comparison Chart

ProductBackboardBase Can HoldPriceWhere to Buy?
Spalding Pro Slam NBA 54” Angled Pole Backboard Basketball System54 in34 gal. of sand/water$$Check Price on Amazon
Lifetime Pro Court Adjustable and Portable Basketball System44 in27 gal. of sand/water$$Check Price on Amazon
Giantex 10ft Portable Basketball Hoop Adjustable Indoor/Outdoor43 in88 lbs of sand or 66 lbs of water$$Check Price on Amazon
Lifetime Front Court Basketball System50 in$$$$Check Price on Amazon
Spalding NBA Hybrid Portable Basketball System60 in200 lbs of sand or 20 gal of water$$Check Price on Amazon
Lifetime 71524 XL Height Adjustable Portable Basketball System54 in35 gal. of sand/water$$Check Price on Amazon
Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop35 gal. of sand/water$$Check Price on Amazon
Spalding NBA “The Beast” Portable Basketball System60 in55 gal. of sand/water$$Check Price on Amazon

Portable Basketball Hoops Buying Guide

Features to Consider as You Shop Portable Basketball Hoops

Like other sports equipment, portable basketball hoops differ greatly in their sizing, features, ease of use, and durability. There are a lot of things you should consider as you try to find the best hoop for your driveway, but these are among the most important features:

The Backboard

Whether you’d like to improve your layups or work on other kinds of shots, you need a backboard that’s of excellent quality. If the backboard is important to you, keep these three factors in mind:

The size

The regulation basketball backboard that both the NCAA and the NBA use is 72 inches by 42 inches, however, you will hardly find a backboard of this size in anyone’s driveway. Unless you have a lot of money and you intend to create a professional basketball court in your yard, there are much more sensible sizes widely available. Typically, backboards begin at 44 inches wide. This is actually quite small, and it’ll be difficult to complete layups and bank shots on this. You’ll get improved playability starting at 54 inches, which allows you to play more professionally and perform easy layups. High quality hoops come with 60 inch backboards, and the 72 inch ones are basically reserved for the professionals and for more luxurious courts.

The material

Usually, backboards are made out of one of three materials:

Polyethylene/Polycarbonate

which is a fancy term for plastic. Usually, this is used for cheap basketball hoops. There is one great advantage: it’s basically indestructible, and if you want durability, this is the material to get as it’ll last you for years. When it comes to high quality, however, there are some problems to plastic: its effect on rebounds is very bad, as the ball will stop dead as soon as it hits the backboard, and it can look very cheap as well. This material is your best bet if you are getting a portable hoop for young kids.

Acrylic

which is the next step up from cheap, basic, polyethylene backboards. Acrylic is transparent, which definitely provides a more professional aspect and look to the hoop. However, acrylic is a material that’s quite soft, and it will get a lot of scratches over the long run, which can ruin the professional look. You’ll typically find this material in hoops that are moderately priced, because it weighs a lot less than tempered glass, which means that the structure that supports it doesn’t have to be quite so sturdy in order to support the backboard’s weight. A fair warning about lightweight hoops, however: they could fall over in a strong wind which makes them dangerous, and the response of the backboard is average.

Tempered glass

which is the material that professional courts such as those in the NBA and the NCAA use for their hoops. Tempered glass is the professional preference all around the world. It’s definitely the heaviest material for backboards, and requires a strong support pole and solid base in order to be supported. It’s expensive, however in return you get a great experience for playing and the rebound is great, especially for layups and bank shots. Glass also will not scratch, which means that its clean, sleek, professional look will last for a long time and won’t be yellowed over time.

The offset

The distance between the support pole and the backboard is the offset of the backboard. If the offset is small, this means it’s easy for the player to crash into the post after they attempt a dunk or a layup. While basketball hoops that are professionally used have an overhang that’s at least four feet, portable hoops will typically have a lot less. This isn’t a problem if the purpose of the hoop in your driveway is to simply practice shooting. But, if you or your kids would like to play real games, you need to make sure that the overhang is deep enough–either that, or add padding to the post so no one gets hurt.

The Rim

For every hoop on the market, the diameter of the rim is the same, no matter what: 18 inches. Where you’ll find any difference is in the way that the backboard is attached to the rim: a standard rim is just screwed into the lower part of the backboard. This provides the rim with a lot of stability, however it also results in shots that bounce around a lot and long rebounds. You don’t want to dunk on a rim like this, because any force is transmitted to the backboard; it’s easy to accidentally injure yourself or tear down some of the backboard.

Breakaway basketball rims have compression springs, which help to dampen how much your shots bounce. This results in the “soft touch” that most basketball shooters enjoy. If you’re going to be dunking a lot on your hoop, it’s essential that you get a breakaway rim. These come in two variations themselves: cheaper versions where the compression springs are exposed, or rims that are much more durable and expensive whose springs are covered. This offers protection from rust as well.

The Support Pole

A support pole that’s very robust and stable is essential if you’d like a basketball hoop that has stability over a long period of time. Currently, most basketball hoops that are portable have a height that can be adjusted and customized. These adjustable hoops are great for children who would like to learn how to play basketball (or for adults to learn how to dunk), but this makes it more difficult to construct support poles that are stable. Typically, hoops that are cheap or moderately priced use constructions of three pieces to the poles. This doesn’t have a lot of stability. If you need something that’s more stable and less shaky, look for a hoop that has a support pole that comes in two pieces–a quality that’s typically reserved for hoops that are more expensive.

The system for height adjustment can also vary widely according to the hoop’s ease of use and quality. In basketball hoops that are cheaper, you’ll find telescope poles that are fixed by using knobs in increments of six inches. For hoops that cost more money, such as the Spalding NBA system, there’s an adjustment system that uses a screw jack. This type of system is a lot more easy to use. For most hoops, you can choose between a height of 7.5 feet and 10 feet.

The Base

The base of the portable basketball hoop is one of the most important aspects to the whole thing; not only does it provide the hoop with stability, but it’s also an essential feature to the portability. Usually, the base will have a container that you can fill with either sand or water, in order to keep the hoop upright and in one place. The bigger the capacity that the base has, the more stability the hoop is able to have.

Hoops for beginner basketball players typically have a capacity of about 27 gallons. These also usually have plastic backboards, which means that the hoop is overall relatively light, and it’s not necessary for the base to be heavy in order to have stability. Hoops that are more advanced and have backboards that are made from acrylic material and are bigger will need heavier bases. These heavier bases have a volume of about 35 gallons. For the most expensive, and heaviest, hoops, the base can easily surpass 50 gallons. The negative aspect to this is that the hoop, while of great quality, will not be very portable.

If there’s any reason that you will need to move your hoop around, for example, if you’ll have to put the hoop in your shed or garage for the winter or put it away every time you park your car, this means that portability is essential. No matter how heavy the base is, you need to make sure it has wheels. Luckily, most portable basketball hoops have wheels in today’s market.

Keep the Local Weather in Mind

Because the whole purpose to portable basketball hoops is to be able to play basketball in your driveway, you’ll need to consider what the weather is like in your area. Do you occasionally experience severe storms that come with high winds? If so, you need a hoop that has a very large base to prevent the system from tipping over during bad weather. The biggest problem people have with their portable hoops is tipping; if your children are playing and the hoop tips over, this could cause injuries, and sometimes the hoop can cause damage to fences, garages, or cars.

When the weather is bad, you need a portable hoop that you can easily and quickly store in your garage or shed. If it’s too big to move, you need to lower its height to the lowest setting, which will give it a lower center of gravity and make it much harder to tip over.

Be aware as well that if you live in a place where it rains a lot or is humid for most of the year, this will cause your hoop to rust a lot over time. If the rim has covered springs, this can protect the rim from the elements, so keep this feature in mind as well as you make a purchase.

The Best Portable Basketball Hoops Reviews

Now that you have an idea of which features you should look for as you shop for your own portable basketball hoop, check out these hoops, which are the top 8 currently on the market.

Spalding Pro Slam NBA 54” Angled Pole Backboard Basketball System

Spalding is a company well known around the world for its durable and supportive sports equipment. The Pro Slam NBA backboard basketball system is 54 inches and angled, and it’s made from Plexiglass material, making it see-through and clear and more resistant to abrasions. The black markings on it help you line up your free throw shots, making it the perfect hoop for people who wish to just practice and get better. The pole is constructed of steel which makes it very durable, and you can adjust the base from 7.5 feet up to 10 feet. The net is made of very strong material and it shouldn’t be required that you have to replace it. With a rim made of steel, the hoop is perfect for dunking, and the whole system will stay in place and have great stabilization due to the base that can hold up to 34 gallons of sand or water.

Each portable hoop on this list does have some downsides, however. As great as the Spalding Pro Slam is, the wheels of the base tend to get stuck which makes maneuvering difficult, and the instructions for assembly aren’t clear. The backboard’s material is durable, however the sides get very easily damaged. The pole can make weird metallic noises that are very distracting, and the base may leak.

Pros:

  • Net is made of very strong material
  • Black markings help you to line up your shot
  • Plexiglass backboard is unique; makes the hoop see-through
  • Pole is constructed of steel for long-lasting durability
  • Steel rim perfect for dunking

Cons:

  • Wheels tend to get stuck and make it difficult to maneuver the hoop
  • Side of the backboard is easily damaged
  • Instructions for assembly aren’t very easy to understand or follow
  • Some people had troubles with the base leaking
  • Pole may make weird metallic noises

Lifetime Pro Court Adjustable and Portable Basketball System

The Lifetime Pro Court is a great choice of hoop if you’re looking for something for your kids that you can adjust as they grow and get taller. This portable hoop adjusts from 7.5 feet to 10.6, and the 44 inch wide backboard is made from polyethylene–aspects that make this hoop perfect for young children. It’s very lightweight and easily portable so you can put it in the garage for the winter, and the all-weather resistant material withstands wind and rain for years. The hoop is very easy to assemble within a couple of hours, and once you put it together, simply fill the 27 gallon base with sand or water, roll the hoop to your desired location, and you’re set to go. The rim is made of solid steel and it even comes with a 5-year warranty, so if something happens and the rim bends or breaks, you’re covered.

Keep in mind that this is a great hoop for young children. If you need a hoop for older kids or even for yourself, this would not be the best item to purchase. It’s also very difficult to complete dunks or bank shots on this portable hoop, so if your children attempt these, it could be dangerous. The reason for this is that the backboard is attached directly to the pole, so you’ll crash into the pole if you try to dunk. It’s not easy to adjust the height and difficult to change heights quickly and often. Overall, this hoop is great for playing around and for children, but is not ideal if you’re more serious about your game.

Pros:

  • All-weather resistant material is very durable and withstands wind and rain
  • Pole is adjustable through a telescope mechanism; adjust 7.5 feet to 10.6 feet
  • Assembly is very easy; doesn’t take more than a couple hours
  • Base has 27 gallon capacity and wheels to easily roll the hoop around
  • Rim is solid steel and has a 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • It is not simple or easy to adjust the height and requires two people
  • Difficult to change the height quickly and often
  • Backboard is screwed directly onto the support pole; if you attempt to dunk, you will crash into the post
  • Best for shooting and playing around, not ideal for dunking and practicing seriously
  • Plastic material cracks and splits easily

Giantex 10ft Portable Basketball Hoop Adjustable Indoor/Outdoor

The Giantex 10ft Portable Basketball Hoop is another great choice for young kids. Both the 43 inch backboard and the base are made from polyethylene material. A lot of people like the coloring and aesthetic look of this hoop, so if your kid is into style, this is the choice for you: the backboard is black with a red trim, and the net is colorful. A unique aspect to this hoop is that it can be used both indoors and outdoors, and will not cause a lot of damage to the inside of your household, which makes it perfect for year-round use; your kids can play basketball even when it’s snowing outside. The base holds either 88 pounds of sand or 66 pounds of water. The height it begins at is 6.6 feet, not the usual 7.5 feet-another reason it’s perfect for young kids. It’s easily adjustable as well, and has wheels to easily move around.

Some negative aspects to the Giantex is that this is another hoop that’s perfect for casual practice and for children, but is not ideal for more serious players. It’s very dangerous to dunk and there’s a high chance of getting injured; the hoop even has a sticker on the backboard warning against this. There are also significant corners to the backboard that make it easy to miss when you take a shot.

Pros:

  • Can be used both outdoors and indoors
  • A lot of people like the aesthetic look and coloring (a little more stylish)
  • Very easy to adjust
  • Adjustable height begins at 6.6 feet, not the typical 7.5
  • Base can hold 66 pounds of water or 88 pounds of sand

Cons:

  • Much more ideal for younger basketball players who are beginners
  • It’s highly likely you’ll get injured if you attempt to dunk
  • Backboard is even smaller than the typical 44 inches
  • Significant corners to the backboard make balls easily shoot past
  • Screws of the backboard easily become loose

Lifetime Front Court Basketball System

If you’re looking for the next step toward a professional basketball hoop, Lifetime’s Front Court system is a great median. This one has a see-through, 50 inch wide backboard that gives you better rebound and allows for layups. You can even dunk: the rim comes with a breakaway mechanism that allows for this and gives a bounce, so it’s not dangerous and you won’t get injured. The backboard also is not attached directly to the pole and hangs 18 inches in front. The height of the system is also very easy to adjust, so if you have kids who are different ages, you can accommodate this pretty well. There’s a speed shift adjustment you use with only one hand that allows you to change the height–and it’s easy and safe enough for your kids to use it themselves. If you need a great hoop for real basketball games, this is the system for you.

Some downsides to the Lifetime Front Court is that it is a relatively heavier system, so you’ll likely need two adults to move it even if you’re just rolling it around. A lot of people also found that the assembly instructions were poor, and there was unusually a large number of tools required for the job. Some people even received their hoop without all the parts necessary for assembly. If you live somewhere where the wind is strong, you should bring the hoop indoors or put it in your garage–it blows over quite easily.

Pros:

  • More professional 50 inch backboard is see through
  • Rim designed with a breakaway mechanism so dunking is possible and safe
  • Speed shift adjustment makes it very easy and quick to adjust the height
  • Rim is not attached to the pole; hangs 18 inches in front
  • Extra space allowed for layups and other such shots

Cons:

  • Is relatively heavy; may take two adults to move around
  • Assembly is very difficult; instructions are of poor quality
  • An unusual number of tools are required for assembly
  • Sometimes parts were missing for the assembly
  • Easily blows over in strong wind

Spalding NBA Hybrid Portable Basketball System

Spalding’s NBA hybrid system is a great median item for people who would like a smaller and easier portable hoop, but still need some of the best features that a hoop has to offer. The 54 inch backboard is made from acrylic materials, and it has a 1 inch, steel frame around it as well as aluminum around the edges. The height adjusts from 7.5 feet to 10 feet, and the base holds either 19 gallons of water or up to 200 pounds of sand. If you need to store your hoop or transport it, this is the one for you: it has a removable lid that allows you to pack the whole system down so it’s easier to transport and store. It’s also safe to dunk and complete layups, as the board is offset from the pole by 16 inches. The red rim is made of heavy duty steel, and the net is made of durable material. A 60 inch backboard version of this system is available as well.

Some downsides to the Spalding NBA Hybrid is that the instructions for assembly are very difficult to understand, and the packaging may arrive damaged. The hoop also requires a lot more space than it may first seem, so you need a large yard or driveway in order to use it properly. Some people found that the base cracked easily, and it may leak as well.

Pros:

  • 54 inch backboard made from acrylic materials
  • Removable lid allows you to pack the system down so it’s much easier to transport and store
  • Backboard is offset from the pole by 16 inches; allows for safe layups and dunks
  • Can fill base with either 200 pounds of sand or 20 gallons of water
  • Front cover for rebounder as you play

Cons:

  • Hoop requires a large amount of space; will need a large driveway or yard in order to accommodate
  • Instructions of assembly are difficult to read and follow
  • Base may crack easily
  • Packaging the system arrives in is often torn and damaged
  • Some people had problems with the base leaking

Lifetime 71524 XL Height Adjustable Portable Basketball System

The Lifetime 71524 XL basketball system is a great heavy-duty hoop for people who are serious basketball players and have a large yard or driveway to play in. The 54 inch backboard is made from Makrolon polycarbonate material, which is shatterproof. The material is also see through with a black brace that runs along the sides and the bottom. This design–a clear backboard and black overlay–stands out from the way that many other backboards are designed. The pole is made from steel with a coating of powder, to prevent rust, and it can be adjusted from 7.5 feet to 10 feet. Overall, the frame is made from steel and was designed to be able to take very strong hits from more experienced players. The base holds 35 gallons of either sand or water, and has two wheels for portability. The Orange Slam-It Pro Rim bounces back into position due to a spring mechanism, and it has an arena-style wraparound brace.

Some downsides to this hoop system is that it’s another hoop that requires a very large space to use, so you need a big driveway or yard. The material of the backboard can warp in high heat, so it’s better to get this if you live in colder states. When it came to assembly, oftentimes people found that the bolts included are mismatched, so they had to go out and buy replacements in order to put the system together. Sometimes, the pole may wobble after the system has been installed, and it can make weird sounds when the ball hits.

Pros:

  • Backboard is made from Makrolon polycarbonate material, which is shatterproof
  • Design of a clear backboard with black overlay stands out
  • Steel pole has powder coating to prevent rust
  • Graphics were designed to be fade-resistant
  • Orange Slam-It Pro Rim has spring mechanism and wraparound brace that’s arena-style

Cons:

  • Requires a large space; will need a large yard or driveway in order to use
  • Backboard can warp in high heat, so it’s better to purchase this if you live in a colder area
  • May come with mismatched bolts, requiring you to purchase replacements in order to assemble
  • Pole is not quite sturdy and may wobble
  • System makes weird sounds when basketball bounces against it

Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop

The Silverback NXT has a covered breakaway rim and a base that holds 35 gallons, and its height is adjustable from 7.5 feet to 10 feet. Its most distinguishing factor that makes it stand out from all other hoops is that it has an infinity edge backboard that doesn’t have a frame like other backboards and instead offers a very clean, modern look. The backboard also folds backward so you can get increased rigidity. The 26 inch overhang gives you more than enough room to make safe dunks and other types of shots. Another thing that makes the Silverback NXT stand out from the other hoops is that it’s extremely easy to assemble, and the company’s known for their great build quality. Each part of the hoop is numbered, and the instructions are very detailed and easy to follow. In fact, you can assemble the system in just a couple hours. Once it is assembled, you’ll find that the hoop doesn’t rattle or make weird noises, and the frame is very stable and strong with a Stabili-Frame connection between the pole and the steel chassis. You can easily move it around with a wheelbarrow ErgoMove design; simply lift and roll. Overall, this high quality hoop was made to last and it’s a great investment.

However, like all hoops on this list, there are some downsides to the Silverback NXT. A lot of people found that their backboard warped, and the base easily gets holes, which means that it leaks the water and sand you put into it and doesn’t hold up the system as well. If the system ever is blown over in the wind, you’re likely to end up with a bent rim and cracked steel in the pole. If a ball hits the base, it shoots out in any direction and many people spent a lot of time chasing down the balls they had just shot at the hoop.

Pros:

  • Covered breakaway rim
  • Distinguished Infinity Edge Backboard for a clean, modern look as well as better rebound
  • 26 inch overhang gives you more than enough room to make dunks and other shots
  • Stabili-Frame connection gives the pole great strength and stability
  • Easy to assemble; some parts are pre-assembled and everything is labeled

Cons:

  • Backboard warps over time
  • Base gets holes and leaks quite easily
  • When the system gets blown over, the rim bends easily and the steel cracks
  • The way the base is designed, any ball that hits it shoots out in any direction
  • System blows over very easily

Spalding NBA “The Beast” Portable Basketball System

This portable basketball hoop created by Spalding was given the name “The Beast” for good reason. It has a large 55 gallon base that provides excellent stability, and the backboard is large as well at 60 inches. Out of all the hoops on this list, this is the one that’s closest to the type that professionals use. The backboard is made from tempered glass that’s of high quality, and you can definitely practice your dunks on this, as it has great rebound and a Pro Image breakaway rim. While many other hoop systems tend to make weird noises and rattle or vibrate, this system is definitely quiet. It adjusts easily from 7.5 feet to 10 feet and the pole comes in two pieces, not three, so it’s relatively easy to assemble.

The downsides to The Beast is that all of the weight and stability does have a big side effect: it’s not very easy to move the hoop at all. It’s doable with two adults, but this is not an ideal hoop if you need to keep it in the garage or shed after you’re done playing with it. A lot of people also experienced a malfunction with the front wheels, where they didn’t retract enough and the system could not rest on its pads on the ground. This means the system may roll freely. You should also be prepared to spend a long time assembling the hoop. The seam of the tank may split, and you should be warned that the backboard is not shatterproof.

Pros:

  • Large base has a capacity of over 50 gallons and provides great stability
  • 60 inch backboard made out of high quality tempered glass
  • Great for dunks with a Pro Image breakaway rim
  • Very quiet system; will not make any noises and will not rattle or vibrate
  • Angled pole system comes in two pieces, not three, for easy assembly

Cons:

  • Due to stability and weight, it is not very easy to move this system at all
  • Front wheels may not retract enough for the system to rest on its pads, meaning it can roll freely
  • Seam of the tank splits easily
  • Assembly takes a very long time
  • Backboard is not shatterproof

Conclusion And Final Portable Basketball Hoops Recommendations

Portable basketball hoops have a lot to offer, and whether your kids have shown an interest in basketball or you’d like to brush up on dunks yourself, portable hoop systems are a great addition to anyone’s driveway or yard. You can play basketball all day, without a worry. The only difficult thing is choosing the best hoop for your situation.

As you shop portable basketball hoops, keep in mind the type of space you have and your intentions. Do you have small kids who don’t know how to dunk yet? Or is your teenager practicing for the high school team? Bigger, more professional portable hoops are the ones your teenager needs to practice their shots adequately, however these need a large driveway to accommodate them. You can have smaller hoops that are great for young children, which have a smaller base, smaller backboard width, and which you can have both indoors and outdoors. The quality of the backboard matters, and keep in mind that there’s a trade off between materials and strength. Durable steel construction and a stable base are definitely essential if you’re interested in purchasing a hoop system that will last throughout the years.

Take a look at the top eight portable basketball hoops outlined above, which all offer excellent solutions for any type of home. No matter what you decide in the end, you can get a portable hoop that is durable, strong, and which your kids will love.

FAQs About Portable Basketball Hoops

What are the advantages of a portable basketball hoop?

Rather than digging a hole in your yard, filling it with cement, and installing a pole, or attaching a backboard and net directly to your garage, you can get a hoop system that’s portable. This offers many advantages; it is not a permanent alteration to your house or yard (which you might regret later), it doesn’t violate any rules your neighborhood might have, and it’s much easier to do away with when your kids outgrow their basketball days. In addition, if you have children of different ages, many portable hoops are adjustable in their height, so you can help your young child practice their dribbling skills while also being able to help your older one practice their shots, with a single hoop that satisfies everyone’s needs.

What size backboard should I get?

This will mainly depend on the age of the people who are playing basketball in your driveway. Most backboards for portable hoops vary from 44 inches in width to 60 inches, and 44 inches is perfect for young children. For older players and large driveways, 50 inches is great, while 60+ inches is usually reserved for professional courts.

Does the material of the backboard matter?

Backboards do come in a variety of materials. Tempered glass is usually used for expensive, professional hoop systems, but there is a risk you may break tempered glass backboards. More affordable hoops use either acrylic, polyethylene, or polycarbonate. Typically acrylic is considered the best when it comes to look and durability. The material matters because it will offer a variety of rebound ability; for example, a ball will not bounce very well off of polycarbonate, but it will rebound highly from acrylic or tempered glass.

My portable hoop has a breakaway rim, what does that mean?

Rims come in three different varieties: standard, breakaway with the springs uncovered, and breakaway with the springs covered. Standard rims are great for hoops you won’t be dunking on, so hoops that are designed for smaller children typically have these. Breakaway rims however allow you to dunk and can take some pressure without breaking.

How much capacity can the base of the hoop have?

The base will vary as well in terms of capacity. Smaller portable hoop systems can hold around 25 gallons of sand or water, mid-level hoops hold 35-40 gallons, while the larger ones will hold 50+ gallons. If the backboard is larger, the base will need to be larger as well.

Should I fill my base with water or sand?

This mainly depends on the temperature of the area you live in. If you live somewhere where the temperature dips below freezing often, filling up your base with water means that it will freeze, and your base will become a block of ice. Even after the base defrosts, it will be permanently deformed. If you live in a colder climate, you should use sand instead, or add antifreeze to the water you put in.

Keep in mind that filling a base of water can lead to leaks, and leakage is a common problem that people who purchase portable hoop systems deal with. Be aware of how water could escape from the base and where this water might go.

Should I worry about what type of bracing my portable hoop has?

The only difference in the bracing will be in terms of stability. Backboards tend to be braced with some kind of frame which is usually made from steel. Sometimes, this frame supports only the sides and the bottom of the backboard. In other cases, this bracing will extend all around and support the whole backboard, which leads to better stability.

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