Basketball is a great sport to introduce to your kids if you are looking for a healthy physical activity that they will surely enjoy. But the key is in choosing the right basketball hoop for them. You want a portable basketball hoop because it is generally easier to use, adjust, and move around. It is also less of a commitment, in terms of space.
With the right portable basketball hoop you can motivate your children, and even your teens, to get off the couch and start getting some exercise—in a fun way! So let’s talk about how to choose the right basketball hoop for this particular demographic.
What to Look for in a Portable Basketball Hoop
The four main factors that you should consider before buying a portable basketball hoop are the following: safety, adjustability, portability, and durability. If one product has all four of these qualities, then chances are, it’s a good investment.
Safety should be your number one priority. Portable basketball hoops are typically designed for adults, which means they have a steel frame that is used to stabilize the whole system. For kids, you want to make sure that they are very stable because if the hoop accidently tips over, it can cause serious injuries to small kids. We advise that you fill the bottom the base with water or sand, as directed by the instructions. You might even want to throw some sandbags on the base, to ensure as little movement of the hoop when the ball hits the back board. As for very young kids, you may want to stick with plastic basketball hoops.
Adjustability and portability should be considered because it ensures the longevity of your basketball hoop. This way, you can adjust the height of the system as your kids and teenagers grow taller. Even when they grow bigger, they can still enjoy the basketball hoop. When it’s not needed, you can move it out of the way or even store it.
When buying a portable basketball hoop, try to gauge how easy it is to use. The best products are extremely user friendly, allowing your kids to play right away.
You will want to choose a basketball hoop system that is durable. Durability determines the hoop’s lifespan. You wouldn’t want to spend extra money to buy another basketball hoop if the first one breaks. Make sure you get a durable one in the first place.
We have a few basketball hoop recommendations that are suitable for kids and teens. Do take note that some of these are not professional-grade hoops, so you can expect them to be cheaper but less durable than their adult counterparts.
Best Youth Portable Basketball Hoops
Here are our top 3 rated youth basketball hoop recommendations to get you started. We chose these on the above four qualities we mentioned: safety, adjustability, portability, and durability. We have then looked at customer recommendations and reviews of the hoops. Our selections were also based on how suitable they were for kids and teens alike, so take note that some of these are not professional-grade hoops. Even if you don’t go for these exact basketball hoops, they should still give you an idea of what to look for in a basketball hoop. So let’s have a closer look.
Lifetime 90690 Portable Basketball System
If you’re looking for a portable basketball system that is easy to assemble and adjust, the Lifetime 90690 Portable Basketball System fits the bill perfectly. It has a heavy-duty base, a 3-piece powder-coated steel round pole, and a classic rim that can all be assembled into one high quality basketball system in just slightly over an hour.
The 44” polycarbonate backboard is shatterproof, meaning your kids and teens won’t be able to break it through regular game play. The height is adjustable from 7 to 10 feet, so your children can enjoy this basketball hoop even as they grow taller. Because of this product’s durability and fade-resistant graphics, it can remain solid and sturdy through the years. For its price of around $200, this is certainly a good investment. Plus, the product is covered by a 5-year limited warranty, see Lifetime Hoop Warranty.
The Lifetime 90690 Portable Basketball System also has an all-weather net, which simply means it is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. The 3-piece steel pole creates a sturdy base and allows kids to play right underneath the net. It also eliminates the risk of them tripping over the base while running.
However, since it weighs 54.5 pounds, this system is quite heavy. It may require two or three people to move around, especially because it doesn’t have wheels. Some buyers piled cinder blocks on the base instead of filling it with water or sand to make it easier to move around, since the product is already so heavy. Additionally, the rim is not suitable for dunking.
That said, the Lifetime 90690 Portable Basketball System is a heavy duty and sturdy basketball hoop that is easy to assemble. It is suitable for kids and teens ages 6 to 15. Lifetime provides well written instructions that are easy to follow so you can set this up in no time.
Provides extra stability
Heavy and hard to move around
Not suitable for dunking
Affordable (around $200)
Fun Outdoor Hoop Lights
Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop
The Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop is good for players of all ages: while it can be used by adults, it is also highly recommended for kids and teens because of its stability and adjustability. You can adjust this product to suit anyone who is playing at the moment.
The basketball hoop’s height can be adjusted from 7.5 to 10 feet in six-inch increments. This is a bit more of a professional basketball hoop, but it’s a great choice for kids and teens ages 7 to 16. In terms of assembly, it is pretty straightforward: the NXT comes partially assembled with attached hardware. All you need to do is attach the major pieces using a few required tools. The instructions provided are incredibly detailed, and even the hardware pieces are individually labeled. Silverback claims it can be assembled in 90 minutes, and most buyers seem to agree.
Just like the Lifetime 90690 Portable Basketball System, this Silverback offering has a polycarbonate backboard, which means it is shatterproof. This adds an extra layer of durability to the product. The Stabili-Frame steel-on-steel connection between steel chassis and main pole makes this a heavy duty basketball system. The rim, on the other hand, is just the standard basketball rim. It is not designed for dunking.
This basketball hoop system is designed to move around easily. It has a wheel-barrow design that lets you lift and roll it to the desired location. But because this product is quite heavy, especially when the base is filled, it will still require two people to safely relocate the basketball hoop. The base takes 25 gallons of water, but some users recommend filling it only halfway though, to make it easier to move.
It also has a slanted pole design that is designed for even weight distribution, allowing for extra stability. The shape of the base and the weighted ballast wheels create an optimal center of gravity. This ensures that the goal stays upright. It doesn’t wobble so much when hit by a basketball. This gives the feeling of a professional basketball hoop that you can find at the gym.
This product costs over $500, so it is on the pricier end of the spectrum, but it’s a high quality product, solidly constructed. Add in the fact that it can be enjoyed by all ages—including adults—and this makes for a very good investment. The Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop is also backed by a 5-year limited warranty.
Heavy and hard to move around
Not suitable for dunking
A good investment for the price
Expensive (for a youth basketball hoop)
Lifetime 90022 32” Youth Basketball Hoop
Compared to the Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop and the Lifetime 90690 Portable Basketball System, this basketball hoop can be considered the “cheap” option. It costs a little over $60. It does not mean that the Lifetime 90022 Youth Basketball Hoop is poorly made. In fact, it’s a great basketball hoop for younger basketball players, for its comparative price.
It is very popular and for good reason: the Lifetime 90022 Youth Basketball Hoop is a lightweight, durable, and easily adjustable basketball hoop system. This product is suitable for kids ages 6 to 10.
It has a 32-inch polycarbonate backboard, which is one of the strongest materials for backboards out there. It means your teens won’t be able to shatter it during regular play time. The product should last for more than 5 years if well-maintained. (insert image with tag: Lifetime 90022 32” Youth Portable Hoop on Amazon)
This backboard is also on the larger side. Portable basketball hoops typically have 28-inch backboards, but the Lifetime 90022 Youth Basketball Hoop has a 32-inch backboard that allows for more bank shots. It stands at 5.5 feet, but can easily be adjusted to 7.5 feet with no problems.
The netball type base has 3 poles that fit together: the two lower poles are attached to the third and highest one before being attached to the base. This base is rust and weather-resistant, meaning it can withstand the harshest elements. Additionally, because of the way it’s designed, the kids can play right underneath the net without tripping over the base.
The Lifetime 32” is easy to adjust and can easily slide the pole to the desired height that you want. The adjustment range is 5.5 ft – 7.5 ft, with the lowest setting of the rim being 5.5 feet high. A full size basketball should fit thought the hoop, it is not a full size rim at only 15”. So you might want to keep this in mind if your kid is playing for junior high, where the rim should be 18” in diameter.
It weighs 30 lbs, and the base can also be filled with up to 10 gallons of water or sand, providing stability. This means it may take two people to move it around, as it doesn’t have any wheels. Because of the fade-resistant ink used on the backboard, it still looks new even after a long time of use. The rim and nylon net are all weather resistant as well.
If there is any downside to this product, it’s that it tends to shake when the ball hits the backboard. It can be a bigger problem if the ball hits the backboard at an angle. Kids and teens usually don’t mind this, but you should keep in mind that it is not a professional basketball hoop, so it does tend to shake. Adding sandbags to the base can provide extra stability.
Lifetime is an expert when it comes to manufacturing portable basketball hoops for adults, and they have brought this same expertise when creating this child-friendly product. The Lifetime 90022 Youth Basketball Hoop is a reliable basketball hoop system that is worth buying.
The Lifetime 90022 Youth Basketball Hoop is backed by a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty.
Backboard tends to shake after getting hit by a basketball
Hard to move around/doesn’t have wheels
Not suitable for dunking
Very Affordable (around $60)
The Potential Dangers of Portable Basketball Hoops
Portable basketball hoop systems carry a few risks that parents need to be aware of. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of a portable basketball hoop for teenagers is, that they can fall over easier. The basketball systems made for adults are much sturdier because they are designed to replicate the basketball court experience, but this is not the case for some junior hoops.
The risk significantly increases when a player tries to dunk on the basketball hoop. Some teens get carried away and attempt dunks, not realizing that these hoops aren’t designed for that. Encourage kids to practice their shots and their footwork rather than their dunks—otherwise they might suffer from an injury.
Thankfully, these dangers are easily avoidable. If the basketball hoops are used properly, then the risk of accidents drops significantly. Remind your kids to do a proper warm up before playing basketball because this also reduces the risk of accidents such as rolling ankles, sprains, and strains.To ensure the safety of your children while they’re playing with the portable basketball hoop, supervise them and make sure they are playing at a good pace. Remind them not to dunk or play too rough.
From Buyer reviews, you can tell what parents are looking for in a portable basketball hoop system: something that is easy to assemble, adjust, and move around and the longer it lasts, that’s even better.