Hmm! What attributes makes the hoop best? Is it the backboard quality or pole support or in a case of portable hoops the base? Well, the answer is all of the above. The quality of backboard depends on the material it is made of, generally, portable hoop backboards are made of polycarbonate or acrylic material because it’s lighter then tempered glass backboards, which are considered as the best backboards, also uses in official leagues like NBA.
The heavier the backboard, more support it needs from pole to stand still. Now, the quality of pole depends on 3 factors i.e. how thick the steel is, pole sections (one piece, two pieces or three pieces– one-piece pole being the best) and the angle of the pole. If a pole is standing straight then base support is enough to hold a steel pole, but if a pole is slightly tilted forward, companies do that to provide players more room to play under the basket, it needs some extra support in the form of a strut.
This takes us to our third point, the base. Thick pole needs more support from the base or the hoop can tip-over in case anyone hangs on the rim or even by hard flushing dunk. The heavier your whole system, the colossal base you need to support it. Overall, companies provide good base support anywhere from 25-gallon to 50-gallon which can be filled with either water or sand and is enough to hold a hoop with 60” glass backboard.
Now that you have a clear understanding of which portable hoop to choose, let us introduce the hoop which we think is durable and best in its class. Of course, don’t expect a dunker hoop under 200 dollars and be realistic with your choice. You can’t hang on $200 hoop weighing 180-200 lbs, this budget hoops are best for kids and shooting purpose only. Surely, you can dunk on these hoops but hanging on them is not advisable.
Considering how people like to buy things we divided the price range into categories. Further, we have chosen 2 hoops in these categories, the first one being the economical one and the other being the best in that price range. We have given more significance to price v/s specs ratio in economical hoops whereas we consider specs more in the best hoops.
Best Portable Hoop In Range $0-200
Best Economical: Lifetime 1221 Pro Court Height-Adjustable Portable Basketball System, 44 Inch Backboard
We will start with the cheapest yet robust portable hoop the Lifetime 1221 Pro. This hoop cost around $110 and is recommended for kids and rookies who want to improve their shooting skills or for families who wants to enjoy the game from the luxury of their home.
Design wise, the hoop features a 44″ backboard made of polyethylene material and a classic rim that can be adjusted from 7.5 foot to 10 foot in 6inch increments through Telescoping mechanism. Lifetime 1221 also got 2.75inch 3 piece pole which is screwed onto the base. Talking about the base, it can store up to 27 gallon of water or sand; which is capable of holding a hoop steady. Also, Lifetime is offering a 5-year warranty with this hoop.
Now, Lifetime 1221 might not seem like a winner at first glance but when you look at other hoops in same price range or even higher (up to $150) you will realize that this is the best specs you can get here. Furthermore, there are more than 1500+ reviews of Lifetime 1221 Pro Court on Amazon.com with the average rating of 4.4/5 and 1600+ reviews on Walmart.com with an average customer rating of 4.5/5. To Read Customers Reviews at Amazon.Com Click the screenshot to your right; for customers reviews at Walmart Click Here.
Best In Price Range: Lifetime 51550 48 Inch Portable Basketball Hoop
You will get many options in this range to choose from but none better than Lifetime 51550 portable hoop. This basketball system is priced near $200 and features a 48inch polycarbonate backboard accompanied by Slam-It Rim which certainly adds to the playability and durability of the hoop.
Furthermore, Lifetime 51550 user-friendly speed shift height adjustment system allow users to adjust rim height from 8 feet to 10 feet. Also, the hoop features a 3-piece round pole with 3inch diameter. This pole is powder-coated to protect steel from corrosion in bad weather.
While pole and backboard of Lifetime 51550 seem robust and durable, the base is also made up of hard-wearing polyethylene material; it can store up to 31-gallon of water or 365lbs of sand.
Although this is the best configuration under $200 range, you can also look for Huffy Sports 72351 portable system which features a 4” smaller 44inch polycarbonate backboard but has a bigger base with 37.5-gallon of storage capacity. However, if we bring customer rating into consideration the 72351 basketball hoop has only 33% 5-star rating out of 50+ reviews whereas Lifetime 51550 system got 55% 5-star rating out of 280+ reviews at Amazon.com. To Read Amazon Customers Reviews Click on the Screenshot.
Best Portable Hoop In Range $200-400
Best Economical: Lifetime 1558 Portable Basketball System.
Lifetime 1558 portable system is our pick as most economical hoop in the price range from $200-400. At this price range, the hoop looks robust and equally featured packed that offers great value for your money. Click Here To Read Our Review Of Lifetime 1558 Basketball Hoop.
This basketball system cost around $270 for which you will get a 52-inch Steel-Framed polycarbonate backboard, a Slam-It Rim with all-weather nylon net and a 5-year warranty.
This economical system also includes a 3.5 inch 3-section round pole supported by a 35-gallon heavy-duty base. Furthermore, Action Grip Mechanism is there to assist users in adjusting the rim height from 7.5 feet to 10 feet. I know, these are not great configurations but the price at which company is providing these features makes it worthwhile.
Amazon.com has 310+ reviews of Lifetime 1558, out of which 80% above are 4 and 5 stars and only 5% customers have given it a 1-star rating. Click on Screenshot to read Lifetime 1558 Customer Reviews At Amazon.Com.
Best In Price Range: Lifetime 90061 Portable Basketball System
The Lifetime 90061 makes it to very top by competing with elite hoop-makers like Spalding, Huffy-sports and other brands in a cut-throat market. Oh by the way! This is the 4th straight Lifetime product in our list of best portable hoops. With the mid-budget market flooded with portable hoops and still getting four spots in our list just shows the supremacy and dominance of Lifetime products– at least in the mid-range market.
Moving forward, the 90061 features a 52inch shatterproof backboard and a Slam-It Rim with double-compression Springs to handle power moves above the rim. Also, the hoop’s height adjustment mechanism is a breeze to use that adjusts rim height from 7.5foot to 10 foot in 6inch increments.
In addition to this, the solid 3-piece steel pole which is 3.5” in diameter conjointly with 35-gallon heavy-duty base provide hoop enough solidity to withstand even toughest of dunks. At present, the 90061 costs around $380 and comes with a 5-year warranty as does it siblings.
Lifetime 90061 got good reviews at Amazon.com– Click On The Screenshot To Read– with more than 90+ reviews and an average rating of 4.4/5, there are only 10% reviews below 3 stars which signify that most buyers are happy with their purchase.
Best Portable Hoop In Range $400-600
Best Economical + Best In Range: Spalding 68564 portable system
At this price point, we were looking for a hoop that enhances the overall gaming experience by having acrylic or glass backboard; more overhang between backboard and pole; massive base and a heavy-duty 3 section or 2-piece pole to keep hoop steady. But to our disappointment, there are not many options available to choose from in this price category.
The only hoop which slightly fits our criteria is Spalding 68564 portable system. The hoop features a clear 54 x 32” steel framed acrylic backboard together with an arena style breakaway rim which took a lot of tension from backboard while dunking. Not only this, it also provides a more professional look and feel to backboard much like a premium hoops.
Moreover, the 16inch overhang between pole and backboard give players some room to work underneath the basket and also avoid injuries during fast pace game by accidentally crashing into the pole.
When it comes to height-adjustment mechanism, Spalding 68564 has a screw jack system at the back of the pole that helps adjust the rim height in infinite increments from 7.5 feet to 10 feet. It also gives the user control to remove the handle so that no one can alter the hoop height without permission.
Our third concern was base support, however, with a 40-gallon massive base, that can be filled with water or sand, Spalding 68564 aced this exam also. Although the 3.5” 3-piece round pole is not to our liking, still the base provides enough muscle to stabilize the overall structure of the hoop to keep it steady.
Spalding 68564 has positive reviews from customers as 90% out of 70+ reviews are 3 stars or above– out of which 50% are 5 stars. Amazon.com offers this hoop under $600 which is the lowest price I have seen so far. To Read Amazon Customers Reviews Click At The Screenshot.
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P.S: For making this page more useful for other readers please share your thoughts and comments if you own or played on any above-mentioned hoop. Or if you have any question regarding best portable basketball hoop under $600 please comment below and I will response as soon as possible. STAY FIT! HAPPY PLAYING.