Kids basketball hoops represent a step up from toddler hoops and a sort of bridge between the toy-like toddler hoops and the full-sized hoops that official games are played on.
The hoops we will be featuring on this list are mostly portable. If you’ve looked at our other guides or the list of our top portable hoop, you will notice many similarities between the hoops on this list and the portable hoops.
However, you will also notice that the features of the hoops found on this list simply aren’t up to par of the features of the proper portable hoops and simply aren’t suited for any level of serious play by older teenagers or adults.
On the other hand, when evaluated in the context of being used by kids, they are more than sufficient and they offer a great way of learning the basic basketball mechanics that will be invaluable when they eventually switch to playing on proper gym hoops.
We will be evaluating the listed hoops through this lens, and while some hoops on this list can be raised up to 10’, by no means do I recommend you to consider them as a viable option for serious play by older players.
This model from Lifetime is a hoop with a fillable base that takes up to 10 gallons of water or sand for stability. Given how to hoop itself weighs only 28 pounds, a full base should provide more than satisfactory stability and ensure that the hoop can’t be tipped over.
The support pole and the 15’’ rim are made from coated steel while the 32’’ backboard is made from plastic. The rim can also be raised between 5’5’’ and 7’5’’ in 6’’ increments and it will be best if a youth basketball is used because a full-size basketball will make scoring very difficult (9.5’’ ball vs a 15’’ rim).
Kids should avoid using full-sized balls anyway as they are too heavy and will mess with their learning process when it comes to proper dribbling and shooting mechanics. A 32’’ backboard should be sufficient for basic layups and bank shots often made by kids.
Overall it is a hoop that does pretty much everything right for its category in terms of features and even outperforms many other hoops in terms of durability at a very affordable price.
This is a hoop aimed at slightly older children because of its rim height range of 7.2’ to 9.2’. At a glance, it looks and feels quite similar to the Lifetime 32’’ that is above it on this ranking and they share the same backboard size of 32’’.
Other things they share include metal support poles and rims, as well as bases that can be filled with sand or water. Yaheetech’s system has a slightly larger 16.5’’ rim which is to be expected from a hoop aimed at older children.
Also, this hoop’s base comes with two wheels for easier mobility, something that is already fairly simple due to the hoop’s low weight. I wouldn’t recommend dunking on this hoop, or any other hoop in the category for this matter, but its performance in other aspects will be more than satisfactory.
This hoop is aimed at younger children with its 5’ to 7’ rim height range and it offers a 16.5’’ rim that makes scoring on this hoop easier. Their looks and construction are fairly similar but the metal support pole of this hoop is a bit thinner than that of the hoops above it at 45 millimeters.
This might have a bit of an impact of stability but it shouldn’t be anything major. A 32’’ plastic backboard and a metal rim found on this hoop are nothing groundbreaking, so we won’t go in-depth about them.
The base of the hoop is quite spacious and should do a good job of keeping the hoop in place once you fill it with water or sand. It also comes with a pair of wheels that should aid mobility which is already high given how the hoop weighs just 22 pounds.
Unfortunately, there are no mentions of any protective coatings on the metal components which doesn’t bode well for durability but there is at least a 1-year warranty offered by the manufacturer. In terms of performance and quality, this hoop sits just below the two already featured on this list.
There are surprisingly few basketball hoops aimed solely at children. This means that most kids will have to play on lowered 18’’ rims in the best case, or on 10’ 18’’ rims in the worst case scenario. Unfortunately, few real hoops can be lowered beyond 7.5’ which is a bit too tall for smaller kids.
Provided that you already have a real hoop that can go lower (like the Pro Dunk Platinum), you can just buy a youth basketball and let your kids play on the lowered rim. If you don’t have this luxury, however, getting a kids basketball hoop can be a great transition method until they are ready for the real deal.