We know that our next statement is going to raise an eyebrow amongst the football lovers out there. We’re going to take our chance and say it anyway: basketball is one of the most popular sports in the US at the moment.
There are thousands of public parks all across the country, which is why basketball is so popular and played.
Even if driving to a park isn’t tricky, it’s certainly unpleasant to get to a park only to realize that there is no basketball hoop so that you and your kid can throw some balls.
It’s where the portable basketball hoops come into the equation, providing many parents the chance to play the ball in the driveway, in the backyard, or wherever they are safe to play.
Buying a portable basketball hoop is both comfortable and an inspired idea. You no longer need to go to a public court every time you and your kid want to shoot some hoops. Besides, you don’t even have to spend the extra buck as there are so many options to choose from.
What’s the first thing to know when buying?
Even though the variety of portable basketball hoops is excellent, you should do due diligence about it so that you make an informed and wise decision at the end of it all.
High price doesn’t guarantee that the portable basketball hoop is going to last forever, just as much as one cheap option doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a lemon either.
The more you know about what to look for in a portable basketball hoop, the better the chances for you to find what you need exactly and, more importantly, do it without emptying your wallet.
Height, stability, and weight- they all count for the value!
You should start by asking yourself who is going to be using the basketball hoop the most? If it’s your younger kid shooting the hoop all the time, you may want to look for a system that permits you to lower the basketball goal height.
On the other hand, if you and your teenager are going to use the hoop for some aggressive game, you may want to stay away from a lightweight system that isn’t stable enough.
Take a good look at the durability of the basketball hoop. As you’re going to use it outdoors, it has to handle the elements, wind especially,
Broad stable bases, large overhangs, and some safety padding for the rough competition are aspects to consider when selecting the basketball hoops.
The backboard type- which one is the best?
Most common kinds of the backboard are made of tempered glass, acrylic, and polycarbonate (it’s another type of plastic).
The lightest and most durable type of backboards are the ones made with polycarbonate. They also keep their looks for many years to come, which only makes them even more popular. On top of everything else, the portable polycarbonate hoops can even handle hard impacts and don’t shatter in case of being tipped over.
However, if your kid is determined to become a professional basketball player or if you’re also using the basketball hoop, you should look into the models that come with tempered glass or acrylic backboard. Both materials are a lot heavier than polycarbonate, and the tempered glass is the heaviest amongst all. The extra weight of the backboards renders the bases to be a lot bigger than in the case of lighter backboards. The broader base always means more stability, which is something you want in your portable basketball hoop.
How adjustable is it?
Is the portable basketball hoop easy to adjust? It’s great if you can find a model that allows you to set a specific height, according to the age and level of ability for the players. When you’re buying a basketball hoop for your kid, adjustability should be fundamental.
Most portable basketball hoops are fairly easy to adjust from 10ft down to as low as 5 1/2ft or 7 1/2ft, depending on the model. There are many types of mechanisms used for adjusting the height of the portable hoops. Some allow adjustments in 6-in increments, whereas others let you set any height between a maximum and a minimum (aka “infinity” settings).
Broomstick adjustments, trigger handle adjustments, telescoping pole adjustments, pneumatic adjustments, and crank handle adjustments are the most common types used for the basketball hoops.
Many children’s basketball hoops present telescoping mechanisms, whereas the broomstick type is common in the lower-end basketball systems.
Trigger handle adjustments are straightforward to use, and you only need to use one hand to operate them. It’s the same with the pneumatic adjustments that use hydraulic technology, making adjustments a breeze.
The crank handle adjustments are an ideal option for the high-end portable basketball hoops as they’re straightforward to use.
Here are some things to take into consideration related to the adjustment system:
- How do you do the adjustments? A spring-aided crank system is better than the regular spring-slide method. Some hoops come with built-in rim height indicator for accuracy, with many models providing impressive adjustability.
- What’s the range of height adjustment? Some hoops can go up to the full regulation 10ft high, but you can also find models that don’t go higher than 7ft.
- Is it difficult to change the rim height? You never want to have to use special tools nor stand on a table for making all the adjustments you need.
Just how portable is?
Suffice to say it, a portable basketball hoop is a self-contained unit that can be installed in several places (unlike the in-ground basketball hoops). It’s fundamental for a portable basketball hoop to be easy to move around.
However, more often than not, some junior basketball hoops don’t come with wheels for easier rolling around. You want your portable basketball hoop to glide friendly and easy on its wheels so that just one person can take it back in the garage or moving it in the driveway. A tip and roll method is easy, but you can find units that feature a folding mechanism which lowers the backboard so that you can roll it under the door.
At the end of the day, you want your portable basketball hoop to be user-friendly so that you can move it wherever you want, whenever you need!
Our final considerations!
Adjustability, durability, and portability are essential when selecting your portable basketball hoop, but the quality of the built and extra-features come to the equation as well.
Whether it’s acrylic, tempered glass, or heavy-duty flex that you’re selecting as material for the backboard, you should always pay attention to the overall value of your choice.
You want your kid to be safe while playing the ball so base padding is also essential to consider when buying.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution as a portable basketball hoop. You need to pay attention to all aspects and make an informed decision. It’s a lot easier when you go shopping on a free wallet, for the obvious reasons, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check the more affordable models too. Who knows, maybe the right choice for you is a lot cheaper than expected!