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Published Sep. 20, 2021

The bucket, the cup, the goal, the peach basket, the fisherman’s lament, whatever you call it, the basketball hoop is the most important piece of equipment for playing the game. The hoop consists of the pole/mount, the backboard, the rim, and the net. And the quality of each component can vary widely. 

Today’s best basketball hoops are made of impressive materials that give the amateur slab of asphalt the professional feel of an NBA court. From tempered glass backboards to breakaway rims, these hoops are designed for heated one-on-one, three-on-three, or five-on-five games. They’re also good for one-on-none afternoons of simply shooting the ball. 

With improved installation techniques like anchor plates, you can set up the home basketball hoop in an afternoon. And these hoops are made to last. Even modern portable basketball hoops offer surprising toughness. In the driveway, the street, or the backyard, the best hoops offer a fantastic home court advantage.

How We Picked the Products

Methodology

As a product reviewer for the past 15 years, I know the importance of good materials for everything from iPhone cases to lawn mowers. You can feel the difference when something is made well. Taking a deep dive into about a dozen basketball hoops sold online, I scrutinized the specs, materials, and sizes to find the best of the best. 

The best materials, like those of the Goalrilla and Silverback basketball hoops, will not only hold up to constant use, but also ensure the basketball gets a calculated bounce off the rim and backboard. 

Portable basketball hoops had to be sturdy enough to take powerful shots from short and long range. And set up had to be straightforward without needing special tools. 

Price is also a huge factor for rounding up the best basketball hoops. While the Goalrilla basketball hoop is made of great material, the steep price point nudged it out of the “best overall” slot. And we didn’t even bother with toy hoops under $100, and neither should you. 

Most of all, the basketball hoop had to be fun. 

The Best Basketball Hoops: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall Basketball Hoop: Silverback In-Ground Basketball Hoops, Adjustable Height Tempered Glass Basketball Goal

Solid Materials

The best in-ground basketball hoop for both serious ballers and amateurs. Silverback

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Specs:

  • Backboard size – 54 x 33 inches
  • Tempered glass backboard
  • Rim height adjustable from 7.5 to 10 feet

Why It Made The Cut: The Silverback in-ground hoop is the best of the best if you don’t mind more-involved installation. The sturdy backboard and pole are close to pro-level and the materials are built to last. 

Pros:

  • Adjustable height feels sturdy
  • Large glass backboard gives ball the right bounce
  • Strong breakaway rim snaps back into place

Cons:

  • It’s expensive
  • Installation requires tools, time, and a helping hand  

The Silverback is the best basketball hoop because it can take a beating and still feels like professional gear. And it’s not too expensive. The tempered glass backboard is big enough for serious players, offering a great rebound bounce. The breakaway rim snaps back straight even after it’s been bent down in a glorious dunk. And the adjustable pole offers good overhang (meaning the backboard is away from the pole). It also offers a good variety of height options for kids who want to do their best Joel Embiid impression and feel like a giant. 

The biggest downside is installation. You’ll need to dig a hole and use the included anchor system. It feels pretty solid when all put together, and the anchor system lets you easily unbolt the pole and take it with you when you move. (You just leave the anchor plate behind, so there’s no need to dig up the driveway.) This is the best hoop for those looking for a semipermanent basketball court that holds up even after years and years of heavy use.

Best Portable Basketball Hoop: Spalding Screw Jack Portable Basketball Hoop

Large Portable Backboard

The Spalding is the sturdiest portable basketball hoop with a large backboard and strong rim.
Spalding

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Why It Made The Cut: The Spalding basketball hoop has the rigidity of a pro hoop but can be wheeled into position and stored safely during winter. 

Specs:

  • Backboard size 60 x 34 inches
  • 7.5- to 10-foot height adjustment, screw jack lift
  • 40-gallon base
  • Acrylic backboard 

Pros: 

  • Easy to set up and move
  • 40-gallon base filled with sand feels solid and safe
  • Biggest backboard for a portable hoop

Cons:

  • It’s not cheap
  • Plastic base won’t last forever (about 5 years, depending on use)

The Spalding portable basketball hoop beats out the others because it feels firm even when attacked with an aggressive offensive/defensive play. The 40-gallon base can be filled with water or sand and the two wheels allow for easy maneuverability. At 60 inches, the acrylic backboard is one of the biggest for a portable hoop. (A 54-inch version is also available.) Rim, backboard, and pole are easy to assemble with simple instructions. Moving the rim from 7.5 feet to regulation 10 feet is simple with the screw jack lift. The price is a little high for a portable unit, but this is the best basketball hoop for families looking for high-quality outdoor gear that goes well-beyond Nerf toys.

Best Wall-Mounted Basketball Hoop: Silverback NXT 54″ Wall Mounted Adjustable-Height Basketball Hoop

Easy Installation

A simple way to attach the perfect backboard and rim to the garage. Silverback

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Why It Made The Cut: It has all the benefits of the in-ground model but at nearly half the price. That makes this Silverback basketball hoop the best for mounting on a garage, wall, or pre-existing pole. 

Specs:

  • Acrylic backboard size 54 x 33inches
  • Adjustable from 7.5 to 10 feet
  • Breakaway rim 

Pros: 

  • Quick install time
  • Easy to raise and lower
  • Good shock absorption for your garage walls 

Cons:

  • Cannot be attached to brick
  • Pay attention to the rear clearance as the angled arm may bump into roof overhangs

There’s no need to buy an expensive in-ground basketball hoop if all you need is a wall-mounted hoop. The Silverback wall-mounted model has all the benefits of the in-ground version, with a big, bouncy 54-inch acrylic backboard and easy-to-control adjustable height. Set up from box to gametime will be about two hours, though you may need more time to space the backboard perfectly. If this is mounted near the roof overhang, make sure you have enough rear clearance for the backboard and mounting arm. Despite the setup time, it’s still much easier to install than the in-ground model. It also sits at a great price-point for a high-quality hoop. For those with a garage or spare wall, this Silverback basketball hoop is a fantastic way to play.

Best Pro-Style Basketball Hoop: Goalrilla FT Series Basketball Hoops with Tempered Glass Basketball Backboard

Professional Size

A big backboard and sturdy pole make an in-ground basketball hoop worthy of college players and the pros. Goalrilla

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Why It Made The Cut: The Goalrilla basketball hoop is a big, beefy monster. With an NBA-size glass backboard and stone-like rigidness, this in-ground hoop is made for serious ballers. 

Specs:

  • Backboard size 72 x 42 inches
  • Tempered glass backboard 
  • Powder-coated steel frame 

Pros: 

  • NCAA/NBA-style backboard
  • Can withstand nature’s fury all-year
  • 4-foot overhang 

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to install 

Product Description

Backboards used by college athletes and the pros will measure 72 by 42  inches, which can be tough to find for the typical suburban hoops. The Goalrilla basketball hoop has a big, NBA-sized backboard made of NBA-style tempered glass. This is as professional as it gets for consumer hoops. The price is steep, though. At more than $2,000, you could afford two cheaper portable hoops and make yourself a full-sized court (space permitting). That makes this a speciality product for those who are serious about their sports. You are paying for quality. The Goalrilla in-ground basketball hoop is as sturdy and strong as they come. The breakaway rim works perfectly and the high-quality surface of the rim and backboard means the ball gets an accurate bounce. Cheap basketball hoops made of inferior material can feel like you’re throwing the ball against carpet, instead of rebound-ready glass. If you’ve got a big enough b-ball budget, the Goalrilla hoop is the best, top-of-the-line piece of outdoor sports equipment. 

Best Value: Lifetime Height Adjustable Portable Basketball System, 44 Inch Backboard

Cheap Hoop for Kids

This is an affordable option for families in need of a basic, cheap basketball hoop that is still sturdy. Lifetime

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Why It Made The Cut: The Lifetime basketball hoop is inexpensive but not too cheap. Families and kids will get a lot of use out of this simple hoop. It’s small, portable and easy to set up. Not bad for the price. 

Specs:

  • Backboard 44 inches 
  • Adjusts from 7.5 to 10 feet in 6-Inch increments
  • Polyurethane backboard 

Pros: 

  • Affordable basketball hoop
  • Easy to store in the garage or shed
  • Good, solid rim 

Cons:

  • Backboard is lightweight
  • Base and backboard material is cheap, and you can feel it

The best basketball hoops will cost more than $300, but you can still find a good affordable option if you don’t mind giving up some features. For starters, the less-expensive Lifetime portable basketball hoop is small, with a 44-inch backboard. It’s also lightweight, something you don’t really want in a basketball hoop. But on the plus side, it’s a lot of fun for kids. This isn’t meant to be a tournament basketball hoop. It’s made for driveway sports. What it lacks in NBA authenticity, it makes up for with its affordable price tag. You can find cheaper basketball hoops, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Those budget hoops will crumble and topple if you shoot a ping-pong ball against the backboard. This is the best of the low-end models. It’s cheap enough and strong enough for younger players who don’t care about specifics measurements. This is the best inexpensive adjustable basketball hoop. 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Basketball Hoop

Because they look alike, it’s easy to assume all basketball hoops are the same. However, there are big differences between materials, sizes, and installation that should all be closely looked at before buying a basketball hoop.

In-ground, portable, or wall-mounted basketball hoops

There are three standard options for a home basketball hoop. In-ground basketball hoops will always feel superior to portable hoops as they don’t sway and wobble during an intense game. In-ground hoops require holes, cement, and a lot of installation time. The upside, these hoops are the strongest of the strong and give players the feel of shooting on a pro court. In-ground basketball hoops will also be more expensive. 

Portable basketball hoops have a pole that’s mounted on a thick plastic base with small plastic wheels. The base can be filled with water or sand to weigh it down. Most portable basketball hoops on the market today do a fair job at staying upright, but they can never come close to the stiffness of an in-ground model. On the other hand, they can be wheeled into place easily, and for kids who may not stick with the sport, it’s a great option. Wall-mounted hoops offer the rigidity of the in-ground hoops, but you’ll need a free wall.

Backboard Size and Materials

The backboard is the most important part of the home hoop. Smaller backboards will measure about 44 inches wide. That’s great for kids and casual ballers, but limits your shooting options. A nice mid-sized backboard is 54 inches, and 60 inches is perfect for most suburban driveway courts. The pros shoot on a 72-inch backboard. Do you need the extra-large board? Probably not. But if you want the feel of authentic NBA and NCAA games, you can find models that go up to 72 inches. 
Tempered glass is the best backboard material. It gives the ball a good bounce and holds up well. Acrylic backboards are a little cheaper, a little less bouncy and great for portable hoops. Polyurethane and polycarbonate backboards are cheap but can feel like you’re throwing the ball against a pile of mud.

Overhang

Overhang refers to the distance between the backboard and the pole or mount. It can range from 1 to 4 feet. The bigger the overhang the better…sometimes. If the overhang is short, you could run into the pole, or the pole will interfere with the game. The farther away the pole, the greater the freedom of movement on the court. This isn’t a huge factor for kids, but if you take the game seriously, you’ll want room to work. However, longer overhang means you’re eating up space on the court. Not every driveway is large enough for a pro-sized 4-foot overhang.

Height

Many modern basketball hoops for consumers are equipped with height adjustability. With a turn of a crank, you can raise a 7.5-foot hoop to the regulation 10-foot height. The measurement is taken at the tip of the rim. For kids and adults, dunking on a 7.5-foot hoop is a lot of fun and is the closest we’ll ever come to being Michael Jordan.

FAQs

Q: What is the best basketball hoop to buy?

The best basketball hoop to buy is the one that fits your budget and your home. Not all hoops are good for all types of home courts. If you have a garage or wall, a mounted basketball hoop like the Silverback is a great choice. It’s secure, it’s durable, and the backboard has a great bounce to it. For in-ground basketball hoops, the Goalrilla hoop is one of the best, but the steep tag may be too high for some shoppers. Portable basketball hoops like the Spalding are cheaper and hold up well for casual games or shootouts. Look at your current space and take accurate measurements before you buy. 

Q: What hoop does the NBA use?

The NBA uses professional equipment like the Spalding Arena line of hoops. These hoops can cost well over $10,000. They’re not made for the typical suburban driveway player. For a cheaper, more consumer-friendly option, look at the Goalrilla basketball hoop. It’s one of the best high-end hoops you can get, offering a fantastic 72-inch backboard made of tempered glass…just like the pros.

Q: Are Spalding or Lifetime basketball hoops better?

Spalding makes some of the best basketball hoops on the market. The material is strong and durable. The backboards look fantastic. And all the parts fit together perfectly. That said, don’t overlook the cheaper Lifetime basketball hoops. These can be just as good as the Spalding models. They may not be a household name, but Lifetime makes some good sports equipment. For kids, a Lifetime hoop is a solid choice.

Final Thoughts

Ready to take it to the court? You’ll need the right equipment, starting with the best basketball hoop. The best hoop will be sturdy enough for intense games. You can opt for a more expensive, but stronger in-ground basketball hoop like the Silverback. Or you can keep things moving with a portable hoop like the Spalding. And if you want to impress the neighbors (if the neighbors are Steph Curry), install a Goalrilla pole and backboard for the pro feel. Basketball is one of the easiest sports to pick up and play, as long as you have a good hoop. Give your driveway the look and feel of a real b-ball court with the best basketball hoop.

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