Best Basketball Hoops for the Garden [UK] to keep kids busy
More and more of the UKs youth are getting into basketball. A recent survey found that it was the second most played sport, behind football, for 11-15 year olds; and that number looks like it will only keep on growing. If you have budding little basketball stars of your own, you’ll want them to always have a place to practice, and what better place than at home in your very own garden? Golf nets, football nets, and basket ball hoops will keep you kids busy during this New January 2021 lockdown!
Believe it or not, there are some excellent basketball hoops for your garden available online that can be delivered right to your door during this time of Covid-19 based uncertainty, and you’ll probably find that even the best basketball hoops don’t cost as much as you think.
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So, here are our picks for the best basketball hoops for your garden available at this time.
1. Lifetime Youth Basketball System
Lifetime’s youth basketball system is available with two different shaped backboards: a standard rectangle one, and a fan shaped one; with the former costing around 20 pounds more than the latter. No matter which style you opt for, both backboards are thick, and molded from high density polyethylene, and so are almost impossible to break under normal playing conditions. Both styles are also screen printed with inks that have been designed to be UV resistant and won’t fade if left outside.
This is a basketball hoop that your kids can grow with, not only thanks to the robust materials used for every part of this product, but because the main pole is telescopic and can be adjusted in 6-inch increments, from 1.67 metres to 2.28 metres. I really like this part of the design as it means that children of different ages can use it, and this increases its value for money rating, in my opinion.
The hoop stands on a freestanding base that can be filled with either sand or water. While this takes a little while to set up at first, it does mean that you don’t have to cement anything into the ground, which is a bonus.
The base does a good job of keeping everything solid, especially when filled with sand, and you can bounce the ball hard off the backboard without worrying if the whole thing will topple over, like with some hoops I’ve seen. This is designed for kids and young teens though, so don’t go trying to show off and slam dunk the ball and hang off the rim.
The only downside to this otherwise excellent basketball hoop, are the instructions. They make it an already tricky assembly job, more difficult than it should be. Thankfully though, there are multiple videos on tube that will walk you through the process of setting up this very same product.
2. Hudora All Stars Basketball Net and Stand
Let’s be honest, when it comes to hobbies and interests, some kids change their minds like the wind. This leaves us parents with a bit of dilemma: Do we spend good money on the best equipment out there and hope our child doesn’t get bored after a week and never use it again? Or, do we buy the cheapest we can find, only for it to break in a week and have to buy a new one? Thankfully, there are products that are in the ‘goldilocks’ zone. They’re well built and won’t fall apart anytime soon, but they won’t cost you the earth either, and the Hudora All Stars basketball hoop is just such a product.
Like the Lifetime garden basketball hoop set, this one is freestanding on a base that should be filled with water or sand. The base has a set of plastic wheels on the front that make moving it around much easier once it’s filled. Also like the Lifetime product, the Hudora is height adjustable from 1.65 metres to 2.05 metres, giving you plenty of leeway when it comes to what age groups can use it.
Most of the materials used in the making of this product, from the thick plastic backboard, to the powder coated metal parts, feel very solid and durable, and not that far off much more expensive products.
So, where have the costs been cut? Well, from what I saw, it is in the fittings. Some of the screws and such that were supplied with the components are either low quality, or they are simply the wrong size! While this is annoying, it is a cheap and easy fix and only needs you to take a quick trip to B&Q to buy the correct ones.
The only other gripe I have is that the material the base is made from isn’t up to the same high standards as the other parts of the set, and this will probably be one of the first things to show wear and tear, but spare parts are readily available from Hudora if that should happen.
3. Northern Stone Pro Court Free Standing Height Adjustable Portable Basketball Hoop System
Buying for a teenager who wants a full-size basketball hoop? Northern Stone are here with their adjustable, portable, basketball hoop system to help. The telescopic pole can be adjusted from a low 6.5 feet, to a regulation standard height of 10 feet, getting your teens ready for the big leagues.
The pole comes in three separate sections that slide together easily and then they connect to a portable base, just like with our previous two reviews. The Northern Stone base can be filled with either 80kg water, or 1000kg of sand, making it quite stable, even when the players are giving it a bit of a pounding. I did think the hole for filling the base was a bit on the small side, and this made filling it slower than it should have been, but the same can be said for most of these free standing basketball hoops made for gardens.
Constructed of high impact polyethylene plastic, the 44 inch backboard is really solid, and it’s plain black and white colour scheme looks simple, but professional. Probably something a teenager would choose over the bright colours meant for younger players.
The basketball rim is official size, and made from metal with a high quality, powder coated black finish, to help keep rust away. The net is nylon, and coloured red, white, and blue. This rim should hold up just fine to normal playing conditions, and has a nice bit of spring to it, but just like with other products like this, it will not withstand an adult or big teenager jumping up and grabbing the rim.
For a change, the instructions to help with assembly of this product were not overly confusing, and all the fittings needed were included and were the right sizes, so thumbs up there from me. The only fiddly part that needed two of us to get right, was attaching the rim to the headboard. But, with a little adjusting here and there, we managed to sort it out.
This is in the same price range as the Lifetime Youth basketball hoop, and is very similar in terms of quality. However, what this basketball hoop has going for it, is the ability to be extended to full, regulation, size.
4. WISHTIME Kids Adjustable Portable Basketball Set
If you’re starting your kids out young on their basketball journey, you could do a lot worse than getting them this adjustable kids basketball hoop from Wishtime. Aimed at younger players who are just starting out, the height of this product can be adjusted from as low as 120cm, for kids as young as three to try, or for older children, the height can be set at up to 168cm.
This is an extremely easy basketball hoop to put together and apart from filling the base, it only takes a matter of minutes to get set up. The base is shaped like a car tyre, which I thought was a little strange, but my friends seemed to really like the design. It is made from ABS plastic, and feels quite strong, particularly when filled with sand or water, and has a handy drainage hole that you can use when you want to store the basketball net until next spring or summer.
The good thing about these smaller basketball hoops, is that you can actually bring them inside easily and set them up in the kids bedroom, or a spare room or garage, so if your youngling is basketball mad, they can still get to practice, no matter what the weather.
The included ten inch hoop, and smaller sized ball, are obviously better for little kids, and they won’t struggle to use these like they would with full size equipment. There is an adapter included in the box for inflating the ball too.
Being a kid’s toy, rather than proper sports equipment, it is hard to say how long this will last. The materials used aren’t of the highest quality, but they aren’t bad for the price. I also think that this is only really good for children aged between 3 and 6, as anyone older than that will be able to produce a more powerful throw than I think the backboard can handle without wobbling dangerously.
For little children though, this is a good product. Just don’t expect it to be of a professional standard, or last forever.
5. Lifetime 44 inch Impact Basketball Backboard and Rim Combo
As long as you don’t intend to adjust the height of your basketball hoop anytime soon, there are some advantages to buying a wall mounted basketball hoop and backboard over a freestanding one. Firstly, they are generally easier to set up, with less parts, and requiring only a few screws, bolts, etc. to secure them to your intended wall. You also don’t need to spend time filling any bases up with sand or water, and because the basketball hoop is mounted, it is obviously much stronger and sturdier, with no chance of wobbling or toppling when teenagers or adults play.
Of course, there are downsides too. The main ones are that changing the height entails more work than with a freestanding adjustable model, and then there is the noise of the impact of the ball against the backboard which will be heard inside the house if mounted on a main wall. My advice is to put it over a garage to avoid this.
While the quality of the 44 inch, UV resistant, backboard was good, as was the metal used for the rim, the fittings were either low quality, the wrong size, or missing, again! So annoying, but easily rectified.
The instructions weren’t all that much help either, but to be honest, a little common sense is all you need to put this basketball hoop up. Well, that and someone to help you.
This hoop and backboard comes with a 5 year warranty, which is reassuring, and to be fair the materials and construction did feel quite robust and durable. I was just annoyed with the fittings fiasco and had to mark it down a point or two for that. All being said, for around 55 pounds, this is a good basketball hoop for your garden, and should last a fair old while.
Other games and hobbies for the kids besides basketball:
- Best Golf Putting Mat Reviewed [November 2020]
- Best garden swimming pools for outdoor fun
- Best Garden Badminton Sets
Garden Basketball Hoops Buyer’s Guide
Below you will find a list of things to consider when buying a basketball hoop for your garden. Give them a quick read, as you never know what you might not have thought about, and this might help you to decide on a product.
These garden basketball hoops come in a variety of colours, and even some with different shaped backboards. You have to find something that suits your kids age and tastes, or you just know that you’ll get complaints from them! Brightly coloured basketball sets are better suited to younger children, and will even encourage them to use the toy, whereas the same colour scheme will probably be off putting to a teenager and deemed ‘not cool’. You’ve also got to think about how the basketball hoop will look in your garden. Will it be too much of a contrast with the colour of your house and garden furniture?
Freestanding or wall mounted?
These are the two main types of basketball hoops for your garden. Most free standing models these days have a wheeled base that can be filled with water or sand. Now, if you decide to go with one of these, the thing to think about is how old your kids are. The older the child, the larger you need this base to be, for stability. A base that can only hold 50kg of water is not going to be enough for a big bodied teenager, so you should look for a larger one.
Wall mounted hoops can come with or without a backboard. While just a hoop is easier to set up, we’d recommend getting one with a good backboard. His backboard will help to take some of the shock out of the impacts and reduce the noise and vibration felt in the house. Ideally, you should mount these types of basketball hoops on a garage rather than the wall of the house directly.
A standard regulation basketball hoop is 10 feet, but that is too high for most kids to play on, and that’s why there are garden hoops of various sizes. If you buy a wall mounted hoop, you’ll have to decide on a height and leave it at that, but most freestanding hoops will have adjustable poles. Check that the maximum and minimum heights of these adjustable basketball hoops suit the age of the people you are buying for to avoid disappointment. If buying for older teenagers, it’s a good idea to go for a basketball hoop that can be extended to the full 10 feet (3 metres) that professional courts have on them. Some products may look full size in the photos, but might only have a 2.5 metre maximum height or less.
Even a low cost basketball hoop for your garden is not going to be all that cheap, so you’ll want to know that you’ll get a bit of use out of it. Backboards made from polyethylene are very strong and can take a lot of punishment, and you’ll want ones that have UV protection, both for the material and the ink used on them. High quality nylon nets, and powder coated steel rims are a must too. A thing to look out for though, are the smaller parts like bracing bars and similar. These parts are often where the manufacturers cut costs, and these can sometimes fail or break long before the main parts like the backboard and rim do.
Buying a basketball hoop with a good warranty is always a good idea, but also read customer feedback to see if there are any common problems. One or two negative reviews is normal, as quality control sometimes slips, but if there are a lot of people complaining about a particular thing, it’s probably best to avoid that product.