Portable, adjustable, backboard size and material, easy adjust, breakaway rim
No overhang, 3-piece pole, not as stable, difficult assembly
The Lifetime 1558 XL is a larger, more expensive version of the Lifetime 51550 Basketball System. It features a 52-inch Makrolon (polycarbonate) backboard and a breakaway rim. It’s portable and adjustable from 7.5 to 10 feet. The base holds 35 gallons of sand or water, compared to 31 with the 51550 model. The pole comes in 3 pieces, and is 3.5 inches round. The 1558 XL is backed by a 5 year warranty that covers everything.
What To Like
- Portability. Being able to move it around is advantageous for many homeowners. Portable hoops typically have a smaller footprint and require no installation.
- Adjustability. It adjusts in infinite increments, which is a feature that some other lesser-expensive hoops by Lifetime didn’t have. The 7.5 -10 feet range is pretty typical among adjustable hoops. This feature is ideal if you have children 10 and under who aren’t able to shoot on a 10 foot hoop yet.
- Makrolon backboard. This is a stronger form of polycarbonate, which seems to be a trend nowadays. It’s actually stronger than acrylic, which has been used a long-time for backboards. This certainly doesn’t compare to tempered glass, but is pretty good for a hoop just south of $300.
- Crank adjust. Simply grab and squeeze the handle to lift and lower the hoop. It’s about as easy and it gets.
- Breakaway rim. This type of rim gives so players can dunk without breaking the rim or backboard.
What Not To Like
- No overhang. One of the downsides that you often get with portable hoops is no overhang, which means that there is virtually no space from the pole to the backboard when at 10 feet. Players become more susceptible to running into the pole, and this doesn’t allow for play under the backboard.
- Backboard size. At 52 inches, it’s not large enough for a 2 car driveway. It’s also not suitable for adults to play on.
- 3-piece/3.5 inch pole. One-piece poles are ideal because they are the most rigid. The 3.5 inch pole is strong for this hoop, but still doesn’t provide a ton of stability. Square poles are better for performance as well.
- Stability. In-ground hoops are best for stability, so it should come as no surprise that a portable hoop isn’t as stable. It’s one of the downsides when you buy a portable model.
- Assembly. A few customers said they had a difficult time understanding the directions and assembling the hoop. In general, basketball hoops are not easy to assemble. Most people say it takes at least 3-4 hours to complete, depending on the hoop and if others are helping.
The Lifetime 1558 XL is an upgrade over the 51550 model. It has a larger size and stronger backboard, a larger base, and a slightly thicker pole. This hoop is built well and is big enough for adults to play on. If you need a portable and adjustable hoop at an affordable price, this is a pretty good option.
The goal’s design is fairly heavy duty, and holds up well to fully grown people hanging briefly from the rim, along with the other expected abuses a hoops goal goes through.” – T. Piedmont (Amazon Review)
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