So you’re in the market to buy a portable basketball hoop and you’re overwhelmed by the choices available. I bet you never knew there were so many options. Manufactures and retailers don’t make it easy to compare apples to apples either. This article will help you cut through the hype to the specifications that really matter. I’ve listed the three key specs to pay attention to when buying your next portable basketball hoop below…
This one is easy. Get a glass blackboard. Size isn’t as important as the material. The thicker the better as well. Optimally you’ll want ½ inch thick tempered glass but that’s too heavy for most portable hoops so look for ⅜ inch as a very good alternative.
The advantage is better performance and durability out in the weather. The other materials available are acrylic and poly-carbonate both of which do not perform nearly as well. Acrylic accumulates scratches and dulls over time. Poly-carbonate will crack after a few cold snaps and hard bank shots rendering it useless.
Most portable basketball hoop manufactures will not publish the thickness of the pole so, do the “flick test.” Flick the pole with your finger and listen for the thicker pole. It will be a deeper ding the thicker the steel.
A thicker main pole will improve performance and durability. Optimally you’d want a 7ga steel which is approximately 3/16 inch thick. This is not available in most portable hoops but 11ga is so that’s what I’d look for if possible.
Why rely on your portable basketball hoop prowess when you can learn from mistakes and triumphs of fellow basketball hoop buyers. Online is the place to go for tons of customer reviews. You’ll hear a lot about terrible assembly instructions and flimsy parts. Avoid these basketball hoops. Look for good reviews about assembly, performance and durability. The holy grail of reviews is the one after the customer has been through a few years with the hoop. Good luck!
You’re not going to find great warranties on most portable basketball hoops. You probably will not until you get in the $1,500.00 plus category which is an institutional-grade portable system. That doesn’t mean all sub $1,500.00 basketball hoops are created equal though. Look for the least limiting warranty. Specifically, compare warranties on the rim and adjustment mechanism as these are the two things that tend to wear out the quickest.
You might have to do a little digging but just about every portable basketball goal will have a weight specification. This is a good proxy for overall quality. The heavier it is, the more sturdy it will be. If you’re looking for a short-cut to determine quality, this is the one.
Most portable basketball hoops will be adjustable. Because of this, the adjustment mechanism becomes very important. If it fails, your hoop might be stuck at 7 feet which isn’t a lot of fun for anybody over 10 years old. Look at reviews that talk about the adjustment mechanism and if you’re in the store buying a portable basketball hoop give it a try to see how easy it is and how sturdy it feels.
It’s a basketball hoop, how complicated can this be, right? Keep telling yourself that 3 hours into assembly. Look for a portable hoop with few parts and clear assembly instructions. Many professional assemblers have sworn off portable basketball hoop assembly because customers were not willing to pay for how long it took as it was often more costly than the hoop itself.