Just a couple of months ago I began searching for a variety of portable basketball goalsthat would be just right for my daughter and the rest of the family. She is 7 years old and new at basketball but both her step-father and I grew up playing and aren’t bad at all. I wasn’t sure where I would put it which is the reason I decided to look for a portable basketball goal. I was interested in finding a goal that we could play on for years and take with us if we moved.
I do not buy anything without thorough research; drives my husband nuts. That being said you will find this first post full of useful information and videos to get you started on your search for a portable basketball system. Keep up with my later posts so that you can get even more detailed information.
Steps in Purchasing a Portable Basketball Goal:
I’m assuming we are all the same page and have decided that a portable goal is our focus.
Set your budget. How much would you like to spend? Would you like to spend $200, 500, or $1000? Goals range from $50 for your molded plastic goals to $20,000 for the premium high end goals for gyms and churches. With that range you can definitely find one that fits your price range. If your budget is flexible, and it is not your most important criteria in choosing a goal, then set your top dollar you are willing to spend. Write that down then proceed to the next step.
What size backboard are you looking for? They can range from a kids 42 inch to the regulation size of 72 inches. It’s not uncommon to find 50 to 54 inch portable basketball goals in someone’s backyard or drive way. When making this selection consider who will be playing? Children will be more than happy with a backboard up to 50 inches. As an adult and one who played a lot growing up, I wouldn’t have gone below a 52 inch. I decided on a 54 inch backboard and found it to be perfect for all of us.
Do you plan to dunk? O.k. Most of us will not be dunking anytime soon. But for the few of you where this is a possibility you need to consider the rim. Is it hard or soft and by that I mean is it tightly screwed on or loose? Soft rims have give in them. My suggestion is to read the manufacturers information on the rims. Most will add a comment that hanging is not recommended etc. That is all I’ll say about that.
What type of adjustment system are you interested in? There are five main types of mechanism for portable basketball goals. Telescoping pole, broom stick adjust, trigger handle, pneumatic adjust, and crank handle. When deciding on a lever system, consider how often you will be raising and lowering your adjustable basketball goal. If not that often then a broom stick adjust can be an option for you along with the others. If you will be adjusting the goal often then that method may be more of a nuisance than a help. The pneumatic adjust is the more complex of the system as it runs on a pressure system and is easy to use. The crank seems to be the ideal way to go because it is simple. Sometimes simple is best. It may take a tad longer to raise and lower but come on. What’s 30 seconds? To read more on adjustment systems click here.
If you want to consider the pole when deciding on a basketball goal then by all means go for it. I did not even think of the size of the pole or base of the portable system. Don’t over think it.
Are you brand conscious? I was not although I did end up buying the spalding 54 acrylic portable basketball system. Spalding, Lifetime, and Goalrilla are a few of your most popular brands. I think it is more important to know who you are buying from and do they have a good reputation? Will they help you if there is a problem with the goal and what is there return policy if for some reason it is defected? These issues are quite rare but it will give you peace of mind “just in case”.
That is it. If you have followed these steps you have selected a specific portable basketball goal that suits you and your family.
If you have just begun your search on the best portable basketball goals you may be wondering where to start your search. I have always found Walmart easy to buy from and return things if needed. So, below is my review on Walmart portable basketball goals.
Walmart has a vast selection of portable goals and you are sure to find the right portable basketball hoop. In my random search term I found over 200 goals to choose from. You can select from acrylic, polycarbonate, or glass backboards. The sizes of the backboards range from 44″ to 72″. There are also different adjustment systems to choose from. Most of these Walmart goals range from $200 to $8700.
The best sellers include the Lifetime 54″ Shatterproof Portable System for $360, the Spalding 54″ Angled Portable Backboard System with the NBA Super Tack Basketball bundle for $259 and the First Team Storm Pro Portable Basketball System for $5947. To help you even more I have added extra information about each of these Walmart portable basketball goals. This hopefully will help you better understand what makes the prices different.
Lifetime 54″ Shatterproof Portable System
This system has an XL base which provides more stability and sets on rollers for easy portability. This base can be filled with water or with sand and can hold 35 gallons. The height can be set at 7.5′ to 10′ which will allow users of all age to enjoy the system. It can be adjusted with one hand using the special speed mechanism. The backboard is 54″ and is made from shatter-proof Makrolon polycarbonate. In my research, Makrolon is suppose to be the best polycarbonate. This feature is what makes it highly durable. The pole itself is made of a powder coated steel to resist rusting. The rim is an orange slam-it pro and solid steel with a wraparound bracing and double-compression springs. Although they advertise that it can be put together effortlessly and with no tools, reviews state otherwise. One person suggested having a socket set handy. It will take anywhere between 2-4 hours to put together depending on how good you are at things like this. Most you can do yourself but you will need help when attaching the backboard to the post. The biggest complaint about the Lifetime 54″ Shatterproof Portable System is that the directions are horrible. That in mind you can click here to watch a video of an assembly to give you and idea what you will be doing. There are people out there you can hire to assemble. Just FYI. This goal is priced at $360. The rating was 4.3 out of 5 stars.
Spalding 54″ Angled Portable Backboard System with NBA Super Tack Basketball Bundle
This system can hold 34 gallons of water or sand in its base. This along with a 20 degree angled steel pole will provide sturdiness during hard play. This pole comes in three pieces and is 3.5″ round. The angled pole provides more room for play directly under the basket.The backboard is 54″ and made of a steel frame polycarbonate material. It has a blow-molded board pad. This will help it hold up to normal everyday wear and tear. This portable basketball hoop contains the Exacta-Height™ Lift System and adjusts from 7.5′ to 10′ and can be raised in 6″ increments. Everyone in the family can use this goal. The rim is a Pro-Slam Breakaway. Yes you can dunk but reviews say do not hold on. This also comes with a Spalding NBA Super Tack basketball. The official size is 29.5″. This basketball is made with a composite leather material which resists excessive use. It has a classic wide design providing a strong grip for players. The goal does come with a one year warranty also. As with most goals the assembly seemed to be a pain. Most said plan on three to four hours and you will need help once together. In my opinion plan on two of you working on any portable goal. It received 4 out of 5 stars. Most of the negative reviews had to deal with the pain of assembly. I don’t think you will find any one brand being superior over the other in this area. The price is $259.
First Team Storm Pro Portable Basketball System
Even though most of my readers are looking for a home portable basketball hoop you never know who is shopping for their school or church. This goal did show up under my search for best sellers. This basketball system is for larger areas such as gymnasiums, field houses, recreational facilities, and multi-purpose facilities. The goals sits on a Storm portable base unit and is highly durable and stable. Want to dunk and hang on the rim? Yes you can. It is made not to fall over, allowing unlimited dunk time. Players are protected by heavy foam padding on the front, side, and back of the base. This padding comes in a variety of colors. This system rolls with ease on 8″ non marking castors and will fold down into a compact storage position. Because of this, it requires less space than other comparable portable basketball goals. It has a backboard that measures 36H X 60W made with 1/2 inch thick tempered glass. You can adjust the height from 6′ to 10′ using the Storm’s “Spring Assist” design. This gets rid of the need for tools, cranks, electricity or hydraulics. Just pull the pin out and adjust to correct height. It has a lifetime limited warranty and is priced right under $5800.
I bought the Spalding 54″ Angled Portable Basketball System. I have no complaints about this one. At 5’2″ I still haven’t dunked the ball yet and neither has my nine year old. We have found it sturdy for play and I personally like the fact that the pole is angled. It gives me the freedom to play aggressively under the goal without thinking I”m going to run into anything. If you want to learn more specifics in how to select a portable basketball hoop click here.
Pickup or Shipping
Some of the goals are available for pickup while others will require shipping. As of the date that I write this any purchase over $50 receives free shipping. If you want standard, expedited, or rush shipping then you will pay a fee. Your best price is the free value shipping or standard. After that the cost gets on up there because of the weight. If you choose to pick up the goal at a certain Walmart location you can do that.
Unless something is inherently wrong with your portable goal I do not foresee you returning your goal. That being said, it is always good to know the return policy. You always want to keep your receipt and box at least 90 days after the purchase because most items can be returned in that time frame. I did chat with a Walmart customer representative and she said I could return it to the store or by mail within the 90 days. If I go into the store they will refund the cost directly to the payment method I used. When done by mail, you contact Walmart directly and they will send out a return label so you do not acquire shipping charges. They will then give you the refund by the same payment method you used. If you purchased from a marketplace retailer then you will need to return your item to them directly. Any replacements, cancellations, or refunds would have to be managed directly with this retailer. Therefore, look closely when buying.You’ll be able to see in the description of the item if your goal is from Walmart or by another specific retailer. If it is a marketplace partner be sure to review their policies. Keep in mind if there is a part missing there is no need to send the whole thing back. Just call the manufacturer and let them know. Walmart can supply that contact information and you can email that retailer directly. They do have a place under returns to get the list of retailers and emails to avoid having to call Walmart at all. Of all the reviews I read I do not recall missing parts to be a big issue.
If you have any questions Walmart has a chat window. It is quick to chat with someone and they are quite helpful. Get all of your questions answered so you will feel comfortable in your purchase.
If you have been shopping for a portable basketball sale, Walmart consistently has their goals marked down. They will price match Academy, Dicks Sporting, Sports Authority and other online stores. Just let them know that you have found a portable basketball sale at one of these places and they will match. As with everything there are limitations so visit the Walmart price match page to see all the guidelines.
When purchasing a basketball goal the first thing you will notice is the differences in material. Some goals are made of molded plastic, acrylic, polycarbonate and glass. Below is all the information you need to know about the different materials portable basketball goals are made of.
Molded Plastic: Molded plastic is found on the cheaper goals. These goals are suited for children as they can not take a lot of wear and tear. You may see the term “eco composite”. It is the same thing. It vibrates and when you shoot the soft plastic absorbs the shock so there is virtually no rebound.
Acrylic: Acrylic is clear and far more durable than molded plastic. It is a rigid material which will allow you to have an aggressive game and it will take it. It will also allow a descent rebound while not producing too much sound. For most players, there is no need to worry about tearing up the goal. If you do, however, play extremely rough on your goal then consider polycarbonate.
Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate is even more durable than the acrylic backboards. It looks like acrylic, feels like acrylic and even acts like acrylic but can take a rougher game of basketball. It is just stronger than your acrylic. They say you can’t even break it with a baseball bat; not that I would test that out. The price is very similar to the acrylic backboard. If you plan to dunk and play hard against the backboard then grab you a polycarbonate goal. Better safe than sorry.
Glass: Then there is the wonderful glass backboard. This is the same material as the NBA basketball goals. Oh, the rebound. There is nothing like playing on a glass backboard. You find glass on your higher end goals. Of course it is more rigid and durable than any other material. You find these glass goals not only in the NBA but schools, churches, and recreational centers.
Since rebound is important in a game of basketball I thought I would give you a visual of the performances of each material.
To Summarize: First decide what is important to you; durability and or rebound capability. Knowing these two things will help you narrow your search quickly and get you on your way to owning your own portable basketball goal. Visit my next blog on selecting the right size backboard.
I’m sure if you have began your search for a portable basketball system you have noticed all the different sizes in backboards. So what size is best? Backboards range from 44″ to 72″. Let’s first began with the NBA regulation size. They are 72 inches wide, 42 inches high, half an inch thick and of course are made of glass. If you are looking for a home basketball gym or for a church or school then this will be the size you will want to go with. Most of you, however, are looking for drive way or backyard portable basketball goals. There is no need to have a 72 inch backboard.
If you are a die hard basketball fan or recreational player, and it fits into your budget, I would consider a 60 inch. This will run you at least $1000 but will give you the closest feeling of playing on a regulation size goal.
Then you have the 54″ goals which is a good size for a basketball goal. I have a 54″ and it is just the right size for my driveway. I do not feel that it is too big or too small.
The 50 inch backboards seem better suited for small driveways or backyards. Adults may find the size a little too small so take into account if it will be kids playing on it or adults. If you do have young kids they will mature and need a goal they can grow into. Since you are considering a portable basketball goal you will be able to take it with you if relocation becomes a factor. Just something to think about.
The 44 inches and 48 inches are definitely suited for young children. These backboards are not so big as to overwhelm the child but rather just the right size. Since they are smaller its less expensive so getting a new one in a few years can be an option.
Almost all portable basketball goals has a height adjustment mechanism. Some are quick and easy to use while others take a little more time and effort. If you are not aware of the differences then I believe this post will clarify everything for you.
The five mechanism are:
Telescoping pole: This mechanism you find on the cheaper goals that are usually for kids. It works by having two poles. One pole is attached to the base and the other holds the backboard that can move in and out of the base pole.
Broom stick adjustment: This is used on some of the less expensive portable basketball hoops. A long stick is used to unlock a ratchet system behind the backboard. That same stick is used to lower or raise it to height of your choice. You may have heard of this mechanism referred to as “exact height”. At first glance this may seem to be annoying to use but if you do not intend to raise and lower your adjustable basketball goal often then it’s not that big of a deal. I wouldn’t let it deter you of getting the goal you wanted.
Trigger handle: With this system there is a trigger on the back of the pole. You just pull on the trigger to unlock it then you move the rim by moving the handle up and down. Once you select your desired height all you have to do is release the trigger and the backboard will stabilize.
Pneumatic adjustment: This one is similar to the trigger handle except it uses a gas pressure to raise and lower the basketball goal.
Crank handle: The crank handle is one of the easiest to use and found on the more expensive goals. It does take a little more time to raise and lower the goal but the simplicity makes up for it. Crank handles are offered with an internal or external location mechanism. What this means is that the internal design encloses most of the components inside the main pole of the basketball system while the external design has the majority of the crank components outside of the pole. If you choose the internal design expect to pay $100 more than the external.
Some adjustable goals adjust in increments such as 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0 while others adjusts infinitely. For example: 7.5, 7.8, 8.2, 8.3. I personally do not know why that type of adjustment is necessary since most players want their goal adjusted to the height played in leagues and schools.
I hope this information clarifies for you the differences in adjustment systems on an adjustable basketball goal. If you have not read my blog about the differences between acrylic and polycarbonate click here.
As you have read in my earlier posts, portable basketball goals vary in a few details which will be a factor in the cost. In this post I simplify the pricing differences so you will have a better understanding what you are getting for your budget. I will not go into detail about the material etc as I’ve already mentioned that in my previous post. If you didn’t read my blog about the differences in materials click here to read.
Material of the Backboard
The first difference in the pricing of portable basketball goals comes from the material the backboard is made of. That material defines how rigid and durable the goal will be.
Molded plastic: Cheaper material so the pricing will be extremely low. $60- $100
Acrylic goals: Far more durable than molded plastic. The pricing of these goals can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.
Polycarbonate basketball backboards: Even more durable than the acrylic backboards in the lower price ranges. The average price is very similar to the acrylic. $200 – $2000
Glass backboard: Usually found on a premium basketball goal. You can find them starting at over $1000 then heading up to over $13,000 for the ones for gyms and schools.
Size of the Backboard
Yes, size does matter here. You want to go with the largest backboard your budget allows. Just to compare, the NBA regulation size backboards are 72 inches wide, 42 inches high, half an inch thick and are made of glass.
72 inches: Very high premium price for this portable basketball system. I found one for over $20,000.
60 inches: For around a $1000 you can find a 60 inch backboard that you will be more than happy with.
54 inches: The average range is from $400 and up, although you can find some lower.
44-48 inches: For your kids a 44 or 48 inch should work which will keep the price down below $100.
Size, Shape and Pieces of the Pole
Size, shape, and the number of pieces of the pole all factor into the price. With most of the portable basketball goals you will find round poles and comparably the same size. As you get into high end portable basketball hoops all three factors begin to change. Since most of us are not looking for the premium gym goal I won’t go into any more detail.
How the goal adjusts definitely plays into the price. For example: you may find an adjustable basketball goal that adusts like 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, and others that adjusts in even smaller increments such as 7.7 or 8.3. These include the telescoping pole, broom stick adjust, trigger handle, pneumatic adjust, and crank handle. The price goes up in the order I listed them. To learn more about these systems click here to read my earlier blog on adjustment mechanisms.
To summarize, the material the portable goals are made from and the size of the backboard are the biggest determining factors as to the cost you will pay. Decide what is most important to you, and if it fits into your budget, focus on those basketball goals for selection.
To complete this review on portable basketball goals I thought I would give you my final thought on finding a new basketball goal.
If you have not yet decided on a goal let me summarize the information that is most relevant to your search.
Set a budget: Portable goals can range from as low as $80 to over $600. If you are not sure yet then at least set your top amount. You can then decide what features you would want for your goal and see what price range that falls.
What features are you looking for? Do you want a 50″ backboard, does it need to be an adjustable basketball goal? How durable do you need it to be? What is important to you and your family in a goal? Decide on that.
What type of goal can you get for your budget and with those features? In most cases you will be able to find a portable basketball system that falls within your criteria. If not you need to readjust either your budget or your features.
Decide on a brand or in some cases decide not to focus on brand. Some people feel more comfortable purchasing from a well-known brand. I can relate. That is why I bought my spalding 54 acrylic basketball system. Are there just as good off brands? Sure. You just have to do what you are most comfortable with.
Welcome back to the Portable Basketball Goals review. I hope all the information on my site has helped you already select your basketball goal or prepare you for your upcoming purchase. As I am fully aware, putting together a portable goal can be tedious. That is why I’ve added this post. I want to give you some tips for making the assembly of your portable basketball hoop go easily.
Search for a Video: Regardless if you bought a Spalding 54 acrylic portable basketball system or another brand you can probably find a video on you tube showing step by step how to assemble. I’ve added one below that I found. Even if it’s not exact I found that by watching it you will get a better idea of what to do.
Search for the Manual: Many times you can find the exact manual of the brand of portable basketball goal you purchased. If you can not find the exact then there is a generic one. I’ve added a link to a portable system owners manual.
Hire Someone to do it: This is a good option for those that are not use to assembling products, aren’t strong enough to handle the pieces, or just do not have the time. It will take about 4 hours to put together. The average cost of hiring someone is $150.
I hope this information helps. Thank you for visiting my review site and I wish you lots of fun playing on your new portable basketball system.
Hi! My name is Krista Guillot and I am the author of this Portable Basketball Goals review.
I live in Texas and am happily married and the proud mother of a 7 year old girl.
Recently my family and I decided to purchase a portable basketball system which we have enjoyed immensely.
The reason I wrote the review is to help people, like yourself, make a quick and educated decision on choosing the right basketball goal. I thought their would be other people that were interested in an honest review about portable basketball hoops.
Whether they decide on a spalding basketball goal or another brand I'm sure this site can help.
CLICK the about me page to read a little more.
PortableBasketballGoals.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.