What to Look for in a Portable Basketball Hoop

Training is important for many professional and amateur basketball players, as this enables them to improve their skills or fix anything in their movements that can be a weakness on the basketball court. In order to have a proper training session, basketball players would need to have different pieces of gear and equipment that can help in their training. Then, they may also need to be at a place or venue where they will feel comfortable and safe to train.

However, there will be particular situations where gyms and basketball courts are occupied or closed, and in those situations, a lot of us would just give up training for the day. Fortunately, there is still a way for us to get a little bit of training even when we are at home, and this is possible with the use of a portable basketball hoop.

The portable basketball hoop is a piece of training equipment that works exactly like the basketball hoops you will see in gyms and basketball courts, but the difference is that the portable basketball hoop is easier to move from one area to another because it is lighter. If you are planning to get a basketball hoop for home use, here are the things you should look for in a portable basketball hoop.

Inspect the Size of the Backboard

The first thing you need to understand about portable basketball hoops is that they have backboards that come in different sizes. Choosing the size of the backboard, which is the part that is placed right behind the hoop, is dependent on how much free space you have in the area where you will train or play basketball, as well as the space in the area where you will store the portable basketball hoop.

The best backboard size for homes that don’t have a lot of space for training and storage is 54 inches in width, which is still large enough to let you practice jump shots and layups but is small enough for you to easily store it in the garage or backyard if you fold it. But, if you want to get a portable hoop that is exactly like the ones you use in basketball courts, you should buy the one that has a 72-inch backboard, as this is the regulation backboard size.

Know the Materials Used on the Backboard

Besides the size of the backboard size, you may also need to check the materials used on the backboard, as they would determine the durability or longevity of the portable basketball. Here are the most common materials used for portable basketball hoop backboards.

1. Tempered glass

this material is particularly used in professional-level basketball hoops, which basically means that this is found in hoops used in NBA courts, as well as high-level college and high school leagues. Tempered glass is significantly stronger than normal glass, and it is arguably the strongest backboard material since it can withstand years of use. The downside to tempered glass is that it is more expensive compared to other materials.

2. Polycarbonate

 as opposed to tempered glass, polycarbonate is a material that is very affordable. So, if you want to get a cheap portable hoop, you should get one that has a polycarbonate backboard. Besides being affordable, polycarbonate backboards are also quite strong, although they are not as durable as tempered glass since they are prone to yellowing and becoming brittle over time. 

3. Acrylic

this material is considered to be much stronger and longer-lasting compared to polycarbonate, as it is hard to shatter, and it won’t become brittle even after years of use. Acrylic backboards are also relatively affordable, although they are not as cheap as polycarbonate. In addition, acrylic backboards can take much longer to turn yellow or cloudy, as they can withstand about 15 years of constant exposure to the sun before they can become as yellow as a polycarbonate backboard, which can only have about three years of exposure before it starts to yellow.

Check if the Hoop Has Suspension


The durability of the portable basketball hoop is also reliant on the actual hoop, as it may need to have suspension in order for it to have better impact protection against the weight of the ball and your hand whenever you dunk and hold on to the rim. There are basically two types of rims or hoops, with one having suspension while the other having none of it. Here are more details about these two types of rims.

  • Static rim – this type of rim, as its name already suggests, is stationary and is screwed directly on the backboard without any suspension. Because it doesn’t have suspension, the static rim is the most affordable option out of the two types, although it is not the most durable since it can easily shatter the backboard whenever you apply too much pressure on the rim, especially when dunking.
  • Breakaway rim – this type of rim is the one that has suspension, which comes in the form of springs found between the backboard and the rim. The springs allow the rim to snap back into place whenever there is pressure applied to any side or area of the rim.  So, if you want to practice your dunks, you will need this type of rim.

These are three of the biggest factors that you need to consider when buying portable basketball hoops. To have an easier time finding the best portable basketball hoops, you may want to read or watch reviews online, as these will already give you every piece of information you need to know about the newest and most popular basketball hoops on the market.