1. Home →
  2. basketball →
  3. 5 Best Portable Basketball Hoops for Driveways

5 Best Portable Basketball Hoops for Driveways

ByQueen Ballers Club|@queenballers| April 28, 2021
best-portable-basketball-hoops

The best portable basketball hoops make it possible to train all day every day. Plus they provide fun for the whole family! As the late Kobe Bryant once reflected, the only way to be a threat in basketball is to be a good shooter – everything comes from that. It really doesn’t matter how well you can dribble. If you can’t shoot, no one’s going to guard you. And a portable basketball hoop in your driveway is a great way to get up shots and working on your shooting.

So today, we’re going to take a look at a selection of basketball hoops that are great for serious hoopers as well as the whole neighborhood. We’ll highlight their basic features such as their backboard size and material, as well as their height adjustment potential, and how sturdy the base is. We’ll also consider their cost (some are more budget-friendly!), ease of being moved, and durability.

We’ve based our findings off customer reviews to help you find the perfect portable hoop to buy for your needs, based on our experience playing basketball, and based on how other sites such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, the Chicago Tribune and Money, have rated hoops. Top hoops include the Spalding Ultimate Hybrid, Silverback NXT, Lifetime MVP, WNBA/NBA Hoop, and Lifetime 90040.

Portable hoop factors to consider when selecting

So what’s important to consider when it comes to picking the right hoop? Keep in mind everything from the hoop’s overall size to its ease of assembly and how durable it is. Here are a few factors to add to your list.

What is a good size portable basketball hoop?

First things, first: the size of the backboard, and how much space the hoop takes up in general are important to consider. Backboard sizes can be anywhere from 48” wide all the way up to 72”. But if you just have a small driveway, you don’t really need something that big.

For more serious hoopers we recommend 54” wide, or bigger as dictated by the amount of space you have. For those just looking to get some shots up and complement other training, and for those just hoping to have some fun 44″ can be fine.

You might be wondering, is a 72-inch backboard too big for a driveway? Unless you have a three car driveway that could be a little much.

How durable is it?

When it comes to durability, mostly what we’re concerned with is the backboard material. There are three options:

  • Tempered glass backboard: This is the type of backboard that the basketball pros use to play. Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that is hardened in the production process to make it stronger than standard glass. It is heavy and fairly durable, and more resistant to scratches than other backboard options. This backboard provides the best rebound experience.
  • Acrylic (plexiglass) backboard: This is a kind of plastic used in most entry and mid-level hoops that looks like glass. It’s less expensive, softer, and lighter than glass. And outlasts polycarbonate when it comes to the sun wearing it down (though it can turn it a little hazy over time). According to Money, the majority of hoopers prefer this type of background for their portable hoop.
  • Polycarbonate backboard: This material will save you money compared to tempered glass, and it is less susceptible to damage from debris. Tougher than acrylic, this kind of plastic is built to endure high impact so it’s a great for rebounding performance and dunking. But, polycarbonate can become cloudy and brittle over time (3+ years) from the sun.

What size is the base?

This is good to know because it helps you decide how sturdy the hoop will be. You don’t want the hoop knocked over in a storm or you might not want it to fall during dunking. And also gives you an idea of how much you’ll pay to fill it up with sand.

How easy it the hoop to assemble and move?

The good news is, it shouldn’t take you more than a day of pain to set up any portable hoop. But some are definitely easier than others. Look for hoops with fewer separate parts or where you can purchase assembly as part of the package.

Another consideration is how easy is it to adjust its height and its location, especially for kids. Some hoops have hand cranks, while others have more of a push lever. Most portable hoops come with 2 wheels, but could be more challenging to move based on base shape and contents.

Once you’ve also considered how you plan on using your basketball hoop and how long you want it to last, you’re ready to shop.

Discover the best portable basketball hoops for driveways

Below we’ve pulled together a range of five models for advanced hoopers down to beginner hoopers. Because there are so many portable basketball hoops to chose from, we hope we helped save you a little time. Find the model that’s right for your budget and needs, and bring your hoop dreams to life! For each model we provide a summary, a video or photo so you can see it in action yourself, key features, pros, cons, and price range.

The best portable basketball hoops for every budget comparison graphic

Interest in general tends to be highest for Lifetime portable hoops based on Google search trends, potentially due its lower price tag making it more accessible. You can also see the increase in interest for all types of hoops at the start of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.

Google Trends for different basketball brands shows interest in Lifetime hoops brand is highest

Let’s get into the break down!

1. Spalding Ultimate Hybrid 54″ Portable Hoop

The Spalding Ultimate Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop provides the convenience of a portable system while delivering the high quality rebound experience you’re used to on a professional court. It has an acrylic backboard with arena-style padding and a heavy-duty breakaway rim built for dunking. The Screw Jack lift system helps younger hoopers lower the basket, and the Ultimate Hybrid base takes less time to assemble than a traditional base. It calls for a mix of water and sand (see the base here), which you can load in with no tilting required. This hoop made it into Money‘s top five as well.

Best for: Higher-end experience and price for dedicated hoopers, while still being under $1,000

Key features:

  • Backboard Size: 54″
  • Backboard Material: Acrylic
  • Adjustable Height Range: 7 1/2′ to 10′
  • Base Size: 19 gallons of water and 4 50 pound bags of sand 

Pros:

  • With Spalding you can get the hoop assembled for you. Their professional assembly partner will contact you to schedule an appointment and install your Spalding basketball hoop after delivery, starting from $199.
  • Very durable for a portable hoop.

Cons:

  • If you assemble it yourself, it takes two people to assemble and approximately 4 hours.
  • Backboard won’t feel as professional as the glass version.
  • The support pole is thin, so it could be sturdier.

Reviews: 4.5/5 on Spalding

“Very sturdy. Definitely takes at least 2.5 hours with 2 capable adults to put together, but it was worth it. Looks great on the driveway!”

Price: $$$

Check current price.

As an alternative, Spalding also recently launched a new hoop that’s super easy to set up. As SLAM reported, Spalding has continued to, literally, change the game with the perfect avant-garde to their TF Line: the Momentous EZ Assembly Basketball Hoop that assembles in only 30 minutes. But it’s currently sold out.

“We named the hoop Momentous because it will have a significant impact on the future of basketball,” says Ron White, Sr. Director of Global Basketball Systems at Spalding. “Spalding has a 150-year history of continuous innovation to grow the game. Disrupting the basketball hoop category—a category we lead globally—is in our DNA.”

2. Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop

Money rated this one their Editor’s pick runner up, while Chicago Tribune rated this one best bang for the buck. Chicago Tribune considered 104 hoop models and consulted with 158 consumers to find out what they cared about when shopping for basketball hoops.

The Silverback NXT looks nice because of its Infinity Edge backboard, which has edges that wrap around to the back of the backboard for increased rigidity. This hoop also features Stabili-Frame technology, creating sturdiness. Unlike competitor goals, the pole directly connects to the steel frame below the base, increasing the integrity of the structure and its safety. The NXT comes partially assembled with attached hardware, so you just put together the major pieces using only a few required tools. They say it takes approximately 90 minutes to assemble, but many reviewers say 2 hours is more realistic – still that’s faster than other hoops!

Best for: Overall value – perfect for dedicated hoopers and small driveways, and a mid-tier price with simplest do-it-yourself assembly

Key Features:

  • Backboard Size: 54″
  • Backboard Material: Acrylic
  • Adjustable Height Range: 7 1/2′ to 10′
  • Base Size: 35 gallons

Pros:

  • Faster assembly.
  • Strength and stability from steel-on-steel connection between steel chassis and main pole.

Cons:

  • Strong winds can push it around.
  • The rim can be loud.
  • Backboard doesn’t have edge trim.

Reviews: 4.5/5 on Amazon

“Great hoop and worth the money IMO. Bought it because my daughter had outgrown her Lifetime junior goal which is a great starter goal for kids. Put it together by myself in about 2 hours. Instructions are very thorough and parts are nicely packaged and labeled. I shopped a 54″ Lifetime goal and this and settled on the Silverback.”

“Very happy with it. We love it. It took me about two hours to put it together. Note I took my time and did it myself. The instructions and parts was probably one of the best I’ve seen. Each part was packaged well and the nuts and bolts were shrink wrapped. Only change I made was the spring. I felt the silver was stood out too much so I sprayed it black with outdoor metallic glossy paint. It’s perfect and the kids can easily adjust the height. A little tough for them to set to 10 feet. but easy enough for them to click on links in between. Was originally planning to put one in ground but cost of $1200 plus another $400 to install in ground was just too much. This hoop is perfect.”

Price: $$

Check current price.

3. Lifetime 52″ MVP Portable Basketball Hoop with Shatterproof Backboard

Rated as the best hoop by Dick’s Sporting Goods with over 300 four- and five-star reviews, this hoop is good quality for practice and play at home. It’s all-weather resistant, designed to withstand the harshest elements and is backed by a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty. The Slam-It Rim features double-compression springs so you’re supposed to be able to dunk if you want, but that really depends more on how you fill the base. One of the best and most unique features on this hoop is the user-friendly Power Lift function that makes it easy for kids to adjust the height with just one hand.

Best for: Durable driveway staple at a mid-tier price, great for kids

Key features:

  • Backboard Size: 52″
  • Backboard Material: Polycarbonate
  • Adjustable Height Range: 7 1/2′ to 10′
  • Base Size: 35 gallons 

Pros:

  • Overall a decent hoop for the price.
  •  The lever to raise and lower it is handy.

Cons:

  • The instructions are pictures only – a few words of explanation would have made assembly a lot easier to understand.
  • It can be a little difficult to move as you have to tip it pretty far forward to engage the wheels.

Reviews: 4/5 on Amazon. “Definitely buy it! I am very impressed with this basketball hoop, we’ve had it for a month and it seems like it is going to last a long time! My 8yr old son LOVES it and uses it more than I could have hoped and in this day and age you can’t put a price on getting kids outside off the electronics so this hoop was worth every penny! I highly recommend it.”

Price: $$

Check current price.

4. Official WNBA 50″ Portable Basketball Hoop

Get a hoop with a sleek WNBA logo to inspire the next generation! This Officially Licensed WNBA 50” portable basketball hoop is ideal for small spaces, and is exclusively sold at Walmart. This WNBA portable basketball hoop gets its stability from a 34-gallon wheeled base. And it can easily be wheeled to any spot or adjusted anywhere between 7.5’ and 10’ using its Unlimited Crank system. It has a durable polycarbonate backboard, and is weather and water resistant for all-season use. (There’s an NBA one too, by the way.)

Official WNBA Portable basketball hoop is one of the best

Best for: Fun for the whole neighborhood at a good value under $250

Key Features:

  • Backboard Size: 50″
  • Backboard Material: Durable Polycarbonate
  • Adjustable Height Range: 7 1/2′ to 10′
  • Base Size: 34 gallons

Pros:

  • The base is wheeled (2) for easy portability.
  • All parts and tools for assembly included, and there’s a video to watch.
  • Lower price.

Cons:

  • Crank isn’t as easy the power-lift on other hoops, but it gets the job done.
  • Not good for dunking.

Reviews: 4.7/5 on Walmart

“Good quality! Not only does this product transport easily, it is good quality and will last for years. We wish that we had purchased this sooner for our granddaughter.”

“Easy to assemble. Would recommend.”

Price: $

Check current price.

5. Lifetime 90040 Height Adjustable Portable Basketball System 44″

This one came in handy for us during the pandemic. It’s simple but it’s a great way to get up some shots and practice moves to the basket. This portable basketball system can go anywhere. It features a 44-inch backboard, 3 pieces of black 3-inch round telescoping pole sections, a portable base, and a classic black rim. The backboard, constructed of high-density polyethylene, is durable and rugged to withstand the elements though will get brittle over time in the sun. The rim features a solid steel ring supported by braces and the nylon net is weather resistant so it’ll last for a while. The telescoping pole makes adjusting the rim possible, and a 27-gallon capacity makes for a stable foundation.

Best for: Beginners and hoopers who just want to have fun and are on a budget.

Key features:

  • Backboard Size: 44″
  • Backboard Material: Acrylic
  • Adjustable Height Range: 7 1/2′ to 10′
  • Base Size: 27 gallons 

Pros:

  • Lots of outdoor entertainment for the price.
  • Simple assembly; no additional tools required.
  • Weather resistant system and net – UV-protected, high-density polyethylene construction resists chipping and cracking.

Cons:

  • If you don’t fill up the base pretty full, it will get knocked over in a storm.
  • Not great for dunking.
  • Rebounds will be pretty flat.
  • Won’t last as long as others.

Reviews: 4.5/5 on Amazon

“So worth it. Fast shipping. I purchased this for my son’s 11th Birthday and assembled it before his friends showed up for his birthday party. I wouldn’t really call myself a handyman but was able to follow the instructions easily enough. [My son] loves it. It’s a great addition to our driveway and provides a lot of fun father son time after school and it’s a good escape from the Xbox with his friends on the weekends. It’s nice and sturdy and has already withstood some strong gusty winds. We filled ours (the base) with water.”

Price: $

Check current price here.

How to fill the base of your portable basketball hoop

Once you have your hoop, you’ll need to decide how to fill the base to keep it from tipping over. Your two choices are sand or water, and most hoopers recommend using sand.

Sand provides more stability because it’s heavier. And it won’t freeze. But getting it set up the first time and emptying the base will be more of a pain.

On the other hand, water is cheap and easy. But, it weighs less than sand and can even evaporate in the summer. During the winter it can freeze potentially cracking the base. (To avoid this, empty the water or when it’s cold.)

One option to help avoid the freezing is to add BaseGel (we’ve never tried this though but a hooper in Idaho says it’s incredible: “This stuff is amazing. Water freezes especially here in Idaho. Sand is messy and nearly impossible to remove from your basketball hoop. One bag of this stuff mixed with water has given our basketball hoop a very secure and heavy base. We had to move our hoop and you simply add water until it has liquified enough to drain out. I highly recommend this.”)

Which brand basketball hoop is the best?

Which brand basketball hoop is the best really varies based on your needs. On the higher end of the market for intermediate to advanced hoopers MegaSlam is a favorite. For on the higher end, but under $1,000, Spalding is the best value. For beginner to intermediate hoopers Lifetime and Silverback NXT are both solid hoop brands for the value.

Are portable basketball hoops worth it?

Portable basketball hoops are definitely worth it. While you’ll spend a few hours setting it up, it’s relatively hassle free and the most convenient type of hoop to have. Unlike a hanging mounted hoop you don’t have to pick just one place on your house to put it, and you don’t have to mess up the roof.

You also don’t have to deal with the stress or cost of pouring cement! An in-ground system could cost $450 or more just to be installed, including labor and materials. Meanwhile, portable basketball hoops can provide years of entertainment and healthy outdoor exercise.

In this Google Trends chart of the last 5 years, you can see interest in portable hoops remains much higher than in-ground hoops.

Portable basketball hoops have more search interest

Can you dunk on a portable hoop?

Yes you can dunk on certain portable hoops, as long as your base is securely weighted. And as long as the hoop’s rim is designed for it. For example, the Lifetime Portable MVP has a Slam-It Rim which features double-compression springs so you can dunk as long as you’ve weighted the base well.

Basketball hoop Black Friday deals

Here are a couple of ways to save on your portable basketball hoop:

Shop the best portable basketball hoops

Order the best portable basketball hoop for you! You might even consider trying to hold out for big sale periods during the year, such as Black Friday, to make your purchase at the best price. By the way, a few of these hoops, if you purchase, we’ll get a couple cents back to fund our site (thank you so much), but not all of them. We hope you get a great hoop and start putting in work!

Up next, learn how elite basketball players prepare for games with pre-game routines.

Previous Post
Allisha Gray: An X-Factor with Xbox Skills
Allisha Gray: An X-Factor with Xbox Skills
Next Post
Jocelyn Willoughby: The New York Leading Lady
Jocelyn Willoughby: The New York Leading Lady