In many neighborhoods, shooting hoops is a community event. All the kids gather to play a game of ball together. Plus, shooting hoops in the driveway is a tradition in many households. And we all know you can't shoot hoops without a basketball hoop.
While there are plenty of portable basketball hoops on the market for under $100, cheap models generally don't last long — they're often wobbly, with a weak bounce off the backboard, even when they're brand new. This wobbling and instability could prove to be much more than an annoyance, it could also put players at risk.
A cheap, basic hoop may be fine if all you want is a toy for your little kids to get a taste of basketball. Just be warned that they may outgrow it fairly quickly, as the backboards on these models can soon feel very small to players, and the shaking from shots off the backboard only gets worse as bolts loosen over time.
Instead, what we suggest is a well-built basketball hoop that will hold up sturdily through cold winters, strong winds and blazing summer sunshine alike. A basketball hoop can be a gathering place for family games of HORSE, intense two-on-twos, ritualistic free throw shooting practice and more for years to come, so it's important that it can withstand weather and regular wear and tear. And it certainly won't hurt if the hoop looks ready for serious competitions as well, with a gleaming glass backboard and a pro-style breakaway rim you can occasionally lower so that everyone can dunk.
Basketball Hoop Buying Guide
Full-size basketball hoops can cost less than $100 (sometimes even under $50), and run up to well over $2,000. Having so many options to choose from can be overwhelming. And then there's the age-old question: how much should you spend?
Well, we'll look at a few things. How you plan on using your basketball hoop, how long you plan on it lasting and where it will be positioned on your property will help determine which model is most worth the money for you. Here are some factors to consider as you shop around:
• In-ground, portable or mounted? Before you buy a basketball hoop, think carefully about where you're going to use it — and particularly whether you want it to be portable.
Portable basketball hoops are popular not only because they can be moved around, but also because they generally cost a lot less and are more straightforward to set up. They're not entirely hassle-free, however. Installation can often be a pain, and, as you'd probably guess, portable models are not as stable as permanently installed hoops anchored with concrete into the ground.
The base of a portable basketball hoop is usually meant to be filled with sand or water. It's typically much easier to fill the base with water, but water expands when frozen and the structure can be damaged if it turns to ice in the winter. Filling it with sand is the better long-term option, but funneling all the material into the base is often a time-consuming chore — and removing the sand can be an even bigger pain.
In-ground basketball hoops are the ideal choice for people who are serious about having an optimal spot to play in the driveway or yard. They are obviously installed in the ground, so they're not prone to be knocked over like some portable models do when there are strong winds (or strong dunks). In-ground hoops are anchored in by concrete and built of stiff, high-grade materials. As a result, the best in-ground basketball hoops will be far more stable, with less shaking and wobbling after hard shots to the backboard, compared to portable hoops. This not only provides stability but also makes the hoop a better tool to improve your game. We suggest these for more serious basketball players, while a fun neighborhood game can use a portable hoop.
Besides their typically high price tags, the main problem with in-ground basketball hoops is that they can't be easily moved. That may not be a problem if you don't foresee moving the hoop to a different part of the driveway or perhaps out to the street. But before making your basketball hoop spot permanent, you should consider other reasons it might be nice to have a portable model. For example, you might want to be able to move it for delivery trucks, parties or future landscaping projects.
A third option for basketball hoops is the mounted model. This kind of hoop comes with a backboard and rim but no pole or base, and it's built to be mounted to a wall or roof (typically that of a garage). Mounted basketball hoops can be very sturdy, depending on what they're mounted to, but installation can be especially tricky and often requires the purchase of extra hardware. This is a great option if you don't have space for a portable hoop.
• Backboard materials. While the cheapest basketball hoops on the market have backboards made with some kind of fiberglass or plastic you can't see through, nowadays most decent backboards feature a transparent material for a more polished look and feel.
Backboards made with tempered glass are what you'll find in local gyms and in high school, college and pro games. High-quality driveway hoops also use it. Tempered glass is significantly stronger than regular glass. It's heavy and fairly durable, and it's more resistant to scratches than acrylic or polycarbonate — two other materials frequently used for basketball backboards.
Acrylic and polycarbonate are different kinds of plastic, and they're used in many mid-level basketball backboards. Backboards made with these materials will save you money compared to tempered glass, and they are also softer and less susceptible to damage from debris or vandalism — if, say, someone throws a rock. Because acrylic and polycarbonate are softer than tempered glass, the bounce off the backboard is dulled a bit, which may lead to stronger layups than necessary.
Of the two plastic materials, polycarbonate is tougher; in fact, it's actually marketed as bulletproof. However, polycarbonate can become cloudy and brittle over time if it's constantly exposed to the sun's UV rays. Acrylic, often referred to as plexiglass, won't be damaged by the sun's rays and should remain perfectly clear regardless of how long it stays outside.
That's why I usually recommend acrylic for outdoor basketball hoops. It's less expensive, softer and lighter than tempered glass while being superior to polycarbonate in terms of its lifespan under a powerful sun.
• Backboard size and shape. Cheaper, lower-quality basketball hoops often have small backboards that are rounded and shaped like a fan. Clear backboards are almost always rectangular in shape, and their measurements are usually specified in widths from 44" to 72".
A 72" tempered glass backboard is what you'll see in serious competitions ranging from high school games through the NBA. But an impressive backboard of this size feels like overkill for casual pickup games in my cramped driveway next to my old Honda.
On the other hand, a 44" backboard might seem puny, and, generally speaking, bigger is better when it comes to backboards. For most people, there's a happy medium with a clear rectangular backboard that's 54" or 60" wide.
• Height adjustability. Let's face it: You'll probably never dunk on a regulation 10' rim. If you have very young kids, odds are their shots won't even reach over a 10' rim at first. The good thing is that most basketball hoops can be adjusted for height, which can definitely add to the fun.
Some models offer much easier height adjustment than others, so take a close look at how (and how easy it is) to change the backboard's height before you buy. Consider models with a crank to lower or raise the height to exactly where you want for convenience. Others have a pin system, in which you can adjust the height to different set levels.
• Assembly. Putting together a basketball hoop out of the box is usually a lot more difficult than, say, building an IKEA bookshelf. For most new hoops, assembly requires at least two people, a few tools and a fair amount of muscle power, as well as anywhere from an hour to an entire afternoon.
If all of this sounds overwhelming or not worth the hassle, consider outsourcing this job to a professional. Some manufacturers and online sellers offer an add-on service to build the hoop at your home for $100 and up.
Comparing the Leading Basketball Hoops of 2023
1. Best overall (in-ground): Goalrilla FT72 Basketball Hoop
List Price: $1,849.95
For a basketball hoop that will be the envy of the neighborhood — and a magnet for kids seeking pickup games — check out the Goalrilla FT72.
Goalrilla's in-ground FT series of hoops is as good as it gets for driveway basketball games. They come in a choice of 54", 60" and 72", ranging in price from roughly $1,600 to $2,400. Every Goalrilla FT hoop features powder-coated steel frames and 1/2" thick tempered glass backboards, and they all come with a 9" anchor system and heavy-duty breakaway rims similar to those used at the highest level of competition. The rim height is adjustable too, from 7.5' to the standard 10', by twisting a hand crank. If you're looking for the most durable, top-quality in-ground hoop on the market, choose this option.
While all of the Goalrilla FT hoops are sturdy, with little to no shaking after proper installation, the FT72 is exceptionally strong. It's built with a 6" x 6" steel pole, compared to 5" x 5" for the smaller Goalrilla FT hoops. Combine that with the fact that the FT72 is the biggest model in the series (72" wide by 42" high), and you can understand why this is our pick for the best overall in-ground basketball hoop.
As with any in-ground basketball hoop, be warned that it's essential for installation to be done carefully and properly. In addition to picking out the perfect spot for the new basketball hoop, you'll need precise measurements and quite a lot of concrete to pour. Also, be warned that while tempered glass backboards look awesome and provide a great touch for shots "off the glass," the material is often more likely to crack from an errant rock or tree branch than acrylic, polycarbonate or fiberglass.
Nevertheless, once it's properly installed, this hoop can take on almost anything — even your Division I nephew showing off his dunks over Thanksgiving.
- Very sturdy backboard comes in three sizes
- Easy to adjust the height
- Secure anchoring system
- Professional-grade performance and construction
- More expensive than other models
- Installation may require multiple people
2. Editor's pick: Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball System
List Price: $990.00
Perhaps a $1,000 basketball hoop is out of the question, let alone one for $2,000, but you still want a product that allows for serious play and is much better and more durable than a toy. If that sounds like you, there's a sweet spot in the range of $500 to $1,000 where you'll find very good quality portable basketball systems without feeling like you went overboard.
Our pick for this category is the Spalding Hybrid, so named because the base is filled with a mix of water (19 gallons) and sand (four 5-pound bags). In fact, the base — or rather, how it's filled and emptied — is one of the reasons we selected it. Unlike many other portable hoop bases, which have one tiny hole at the base serving as a fill-up spot, the top layer of the Spalding Hybrid's base can be removed entirely so it's fast and easy to fill it with sand. (Likewise, this makes it exceptionally easy to remove the sand if that's ever necessary.)
The Hybrid comes in a choice of 54 or 60 acrylic backboards, priced at $550 and $800, respectively, when I looked. The backboard is supported by a steel pole (either 3.5" in diameter or 4" square, depending on the model), which is angled forward so it stays out of the way when people are playing. The pole is braced by a triangular "rebounder," which adds stability to the backboard and helps steer basketballs back into the court after they've gone through the hoop.
We like that the hoop comes with a breakaway rim so that it won't bend if someone dunks, and the rim height is adjustable from 7.5' to 10' by twisting a hand crank. It also includes ground stakes to help it stay firmly in the ground, and a pair of plastic wheels for rolling it to a new location. With this, you'll easily be able to move it up and down the driveway.
- Base is easier to fill than other models
- Thick metal plate conceals the jam spring
- High-gloss rim to mimic professional hoops
- Height adjusts with a smooth crank mechanism
- Expensive for a portable hoop
- Instructions could be clearer
3. Editor's pick runner-up: Silverback NXT Portable Height-Adjustable Basketball Hoop
List Price: $629.95
In addition to its top-notch in-ground hoops, Goalrilla sells very good portable models under the Silverback line.
The Silverback NXT line has polycarbonate backboards and comes in 50 or 54" widths. One of the strengths of the Silverback line is, literally, its strength. The hoops are built with a steel frame that extends all the way through the base up into the pole that connects to the backboard.
The main pole is slanted for even weight distribution, and it is braced by a pair of angled steel poles extending from the base for extra stability and minimal shaking. However, the Silverbacks do not have a "rebounder" at the base as the Spalding's portable models do. This means the ball might fly off after a shot, so be sure to place it in a fenced-off area.
Speaking of the base, the Silverback NXT's features a uniquely sloped design that helps keep the hoop balanced and makes it easier to move using a wheelbarrow-like method. Another thing that stands out is that the Silverback is a "Quick-Play" hoop that, theoretically, can be taken out of the box and fully built in 90 minutes or less, mostly with preassembled parts.
- Angled braces and sloped base reduce shaking
- Portable 25-gallon base for stability
- Large and durable backboard
- Easy assembly with clear instructions
- No triangular rebounder at base
- Not easy to drain base for storage
4. Best mounted basketball hoop: Silverback NXT 54-Inch Wall-Mounted Adjustable Height Basketball Hoop
List Price: $399.99
We like the wall-mounted version of the Silverback for most of the same reasons we recommend the brand's portable hoop. Namely, it uses high-quality materials throughout, the height adjustment is easy to operate and installation should be quicker and less of a hassle than most competitors.
The frame is made of powder-coated steel backed by a five-year warranty and comes with a pro-style breakaway rim. To adjust the height, you can hook a steel "actuator" (included) to a hook connected to the frame, and twist until the backboard goes higher or lower. (This is a pretty rare feature for wall-mounted hoops, which tend to have old-school designs that lock in at one height, with no option for adjustability.)
Many of Silverback's parts come pre-assembled. Even so, installing wall-mounted hoops can be tricky and time-consuming. The brand promises that assembly can take place in "120 minutes or less," but it may not be a straightforward project.
Take note that mounting hardware is not included with the Silverback hoop and backboard. Why? Well, for one thing, the hardware you need can vary greatly depending on what surface you're attaching the hoop to. So be warned that it may require an above-average level of home improvement handiness and familiarity with the local hardware store to be able to install this hoop (or any wall-mounted hoop, for that matter) to your garage or another surface. Also, Silverback says that this hoop should not be mounted to any brick surface.
- Sturdy construction for minimal vibration with shots
- High-quality hardware included
- Easy-to-follow assembly instructions
- Approved by most homeowners associations
- Mounting bracket could be difficult to install
- Net holders may be prone to rusting
5. Best over-the-door basketball hoop: Franklin Sports Over the Door Basketball Hoop
List Price: $39.99
Silverback's wall-mounted hoops are marketed to use outside and indoors. But for most people, the prospect of installing a full-size basketball hoop inside their homes just isn't a possibility.
What you can do to bring your game inside, however, is buy a mini basketball hoop that can simply be hooked over the top of a door. Something like this would be perfect for inside a garage or basement. These mini hoops are incredibly popular for kids' rooms and adults' offices, and there are dozens and dozens of different models. You can buy a super cheap one with a flimsy plastic rim for $10 or less, but odds are it'll break.
Instead, check out models that have real metal rims with springs that provide a nice touch for your shots. Franklin's over-the-door hoop is an excellent option, featuring a shatter-resistant backboard and a metal rim that's 9.5" in diameter rim that should — theoretically — survive rambunctious games behind a teenager's closed door.
The Franklin hoop comes in a few different colors and styles, with prices generally ranging from $25 to $40. A 5" rubber basketball with a nice grip is included, as is a pump and needle for inflation. Its biggest downside is probably the temptation to hold family slam dunk competitions and put ceramic figurines at risk.
Another good option for over-the-door hoops is available from SKLZ. For about $30, the SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball Hoop comes with a 9" metal rim with springs, an 18" x 12" polycarbonate backboard and a 5" basketball (but no pump or needle). To supersize your indoor game, an XL version of the SKLZ hoop, featuring a 23" x 16" backboard and a 9.5" rim, goes for roughly $40.
- Includes a mini ball and pump
- Fits most doorframes
- Comes with clear instructions
- Can hold up to intensive use
- May reduce your productivity if at work
- Difficult to tighten screws
6. Best for low prices: Spalding 54-Inch Polycarbonate Backboard NBA Portable Basketball System
For around $250, this Spalding model with a 54" polycarbonate backboard and an angled design that helps with stability is of great value in my book.
Like other portable Spalding models, this hoop has a rim that can be adjusted from 7.5' to 10' high. Instead of twisting a crank to adjust the rim inch by inch, it has a pin that can be moved to a handful of different set heights.
This hoop does the trick for casual shooting around and the occasional two-on-two game. It's more stable and provides a more comfortable playing area than most other cheap basketball hoops designed for the driveway — which usually feature a vertical pole that players inevitably bump into and is prone to wobbling.
However, typically sold at a very low price, it's not the strongest and best-built basketball hoop out there. Polycarbonate is more durable than acrylic, but can turn cloudy when exposed to the sun for a few years. The pole is round and made of steel, and 3.5" in diameter, which is the same as many mid-range hoops but smaller than the heftiest top models. The base is big enough to handle 34 gallons of water or sand, which again, is less than some other models. As a result, this hoop may shake a little more than you like and could be more prone to tipping over compared to higher-priced competitors. That's why, in addition to filling the base with sand or water, many owners take additional precautions with their hoops by adding weight on top of the base or just laying them flat when heavy winds are expected.
Finally, shoppers should know that while this Spalding hoop is sold at Amazon, it's made especially for Walmart, and prices are sometimes slightly cheaper there. During Walmart's Black Friday 2021 sale, for example, it was available for just $200. At other times, however, this model has sometimes been out of stock. As always, it's smart to shop around.
- Sturdy base can withstand windy conditions
- Wheels offer easy mobility
- Ideal size for beginners
- Convenient to store when not in use
- Backboard may be small for wide shots
- Filling the base can be tedious
People Also Ask
What size backboard should I get?
That depends on the size of your driveway. For a one-car driveway, we suggest a smaller, 54 or 48-inch backboard. If you have a driveway that can fit two cars wide, the average 54 or 60-inch backboard will work perfectly. If your driveway is even bigger than that, you can look into larger, professional-grade backboards.
What size basketball should I buy?
That depends on the age and sex of the majority of your players. In men's basketball, the NBA uses a size seven. The WNBA, however, uses a size six basketball. For youth, we recommend a size five.
Do in-ground hoops affect property value?
Actually, an installed basketball hoop can add value to your property. Because you've already installed it, potential buyers can now benefit from a basketball hoop without having to buy it themselves.
How much wind can a basketball hoop withstand?
In-ground basketball hoops should be able to withstand incredibly high wind speeds. Portable hoops, however, can only handle wind up to 40 miles per hour.
Where should I put my basketball hoop?
Usually, it's recommended to put your new hoop in the driveway. If this isn't an ideal location, look to your backyard or side areas for a flat surface. Make sure the terrain isn't too bumpy so as to avoid sprained ankles or a fallen hoop. If you can't find any flat surfaces, a mounted hoop may be the best option for you.
Why Trust Us
Our commitment to the consumer begins with product selection and ends with the last word we write in each article. Each basketball hoop is carefully vetted quantitatively through star ratings and the number of reviews qualitatively through careful examination of reviews and the features each one has to offer. Leveraging our team of bargain hunters, we’re also always sure to keep your budget in mind while we find the best basketball hoops on the market. Our team of experts is dedicated to accurately depicting the pros and cons of each basketball hoop translating technical product specifications into information you can understand. Our goal is to share the most elite basketball equipment available, so you can get the best hooping experience for your buck.