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Outdoor basketball hoops are a worthy upgrade for any home – whether you’re training for a tournament, helping your kid get ready for basketball season or just shooting around. The best outdoor basketball hoops also sometimes offer better build quality than hoops at public courts – not to mention zero crowd. In other words, you’ll likely end up playing more and having more fun while upping your game.
There are many outdoor basketball hoops to choose from, but some are not worth the investment. You can get a good hoop for under $200 (such as this one). However, many higher-end hoops will not only play better but will last much longer as well, meaning you won’t need to replace or repair the hoop any time soon.
Outdoor Basketball Hoop Buying Guide
From backboard material to installation processes, there’s a lot to consider when picking the best outdoor basketball hoop. Here are a few things to look at while shopping.
Type of Hoop: There are three types of outdoor basketball hoops: in-ground, portable and wall-mounted. In-ground hoops are the gold standard with the best stability and the most solid construction. However, laborious installation and HOA restrictions sometimes make in-ground hoops difficult to install. But, if you have the backyard space and plan on staying in your home for a while, definitely consider an in-ground hoop.
Portable hoops are the most popular option. They use a water or sand-filled base that can be emptied to move the hoop around, and many offer fantastic quality with top-tier specs.
Wall-mounted hoops are another popular option. These are bolted to a wall (many users place them above the garage door), making them easy to assemble and install. Wall-mounted hoops are also smaller than portable or in-ground hoops, making them easy to transport if you move.
Backboard: A basketball hoop’s backboard is a big deal. The first consideration is size, with larger backboards offering the most opportunities for layups and bank shots. NBA regulation backboards measure 72 inches wide and 42 inches high, and most high-end outdoor hoops measure either 54 or 60 inches across. The backboard material is either tempered glass, acrylic or polycarbonate, and dictates how well the ball rebounds. NBA-style tempered glass is the most bouncy (for good rebounds), acrylic is solid for most players, and polycarbonate is the cheapest option with the least rebound response.
Rim: The best outdoor basketball hoops use breakaway rims with springs that dampen the bounce of the rim and allow for dunking. This means you won’t feel robbed on good shots – something we’ve probably all experienced at public outdoor basketball hoops. Also check if the springs on a breakaway rim are covered, as this will protect them from rust.
Overhang: The overhang of a hoop references how far the hoop stands away from the base or the wall. The more overhang the better, as you’ll be able to charge the rim without worrying about hitting anything.
The Best Outdoor Basketball Hoops
1. Spalding The Beast Portable Basketball Hoop
This outdoor hoop from Spalding, dubbed The Beast, combines stability and pro-level specs with the convenience of a portable basketball hoop. Its base is a massive 55-gallon tank that can be filled with water or sand, permitting hard slam dunks from most players. The backboard is made of NBA-style tempered glass and measures 60 inches across, which is about as big as any portable hoop backboard can be. The backboard and breakaway rim also have some overhang and sit away from the main pole, which you don’t often see with portable hoops. If you need to move The Beast, the tank can be emptied and four wheels allow easy mobility.
2. Spalding NBA Portable Basketball System
Another great portable option is this NBA hoop, also from Spalding. It’s about half the price of the Beast but still offers a very impressive build compared to most outdoor hoops. Like its big brother, the portable NBA hoop is designed with some much-appreciated overhang for driving layups. The backboard measures 54 inches across (which is big enough for most casual to intermediate players) and is made of a bouncy acrylic material. A large base and sturdy breakaway rim all but eliminate movement, although players should still be careful dunking.
3. Silverback NXT 54″ Wall Mounted Basketball Hoop
If you’re looking for a high-end wall-mounted hoop, go for this Silverback NXT. Unlike some wall-mounted options, the NXT hangs well away from the wall and the height can be adjusted anywhere between 7.5 and 10 feet. Together, these features yield a play feel that’s as close to tournament-level as any wall-mounted hoop can get. Build quality is also top-notch with a powder-coated steel frame, an acrylic backboard and a covered breakaway rim. This means the hoop can sit outside for years without rusting or breaking down.
4. Goalrilla FT72 Basketball Hoop
For serious ballers (with space, approval from the HOA and patience for installation), we recommend this Goalrilla FT72 in-ground hoop. With a concrete-cured anchor, a 72-inch tempered glass backboard and an anodized steel pole, this hoop plays almost identically to an NBA regulation hoop. You’ll be able to make more bank shots or hard layups, and you can slam dunk with real force. If you want to dunk more or play with little ones, the hoop can be adjusted between 7.5 and 10 feet in height. The best spot to install the FT72 is on a lawn right up against concrete.