Polycarbonate backboard, portable, affordable, spring rim, easy height adjustment, 5 year warranty
Small backboard, incremental height adjustment, lack of stability
The Lifetime 71566 XL is an entry-level portable system that features a 50″ shatter-proof polycarbonate backboard. The height adjusts from 7.5 to 10 feet with the use of a handle. You raise and lower the handle to make the adjustment. The 3.5″ round pole is broken down into three sections. Included is a solid steel double compression rim for dunking. The backboard offset is 22 inches. The base holds 35 gallons of water or sand. The 71566 XL is backed by a 5 year limited warranty.
What To Like
- Portable. Talk about stating the obvious. Nonetheless, portability allows you to move it from one spot to another and requires no installation. You can take with if you relocate.
- Affordable. Basketball hoops can get awfully expensive, but the 71566 XL is priced in a range that is affordable for many families.
- Polycarbonate backboard. This is a very strong material, as it’s stronger than the often seen acrylic backboards. Therefore, it’s not as likely to break because of dunking.
- Spring rim. It provides some give so players can dunk. However, I wouldn’t recommend hanging on it.
- Easy height adjustment. Squeeze the handle, and lower it up or down. That’s it, the process is quick and easy.
- 5 year warranty. If something breaks within five years, Lifetime will send a replacement part.
What Not To Like
- Backboard size. 50″ is a bit small, so players don’t have as big of a target when shooting.
- Height adjusts in increments. If you look at more expensive hoops, they’ll adjust infinitely. In other words, you’ll be able to set it anywhere in the height range, typically 7.5 – 10 feet. This hoop adjusts in 6-inch increments, so users don’t have as many options.
- Lack of stability. Naturally, a portable hoop isn’t going to be as stable as an in-ground. Plus, the pole and backboard aren’t very sturdy, so it will have some wobble.
- 22-inch offset. Not much space under the basket. Not a huge deal, but it’s less safe and doesn’t give players as much room to maneuver.
- 3-section round pole. A one-piece square pole is best for performance.
The Lifetime 71566 XL is pretty similar to many entry-level hoops. It’s well-suited for children or adults, as long as they don’t abuse it. The backboard is solid, the spring rim allows for dunking, and the height adjustment is pretty straightforward. It’s not going to perform as well as an in-ground. But if you want a portable hoop at a reasonable price, then it’s a good option.
As with all of the portable hoop systems that we have reviewed, installation is not a cakewalk. Once the hoop is up, it is actually a pretty sturdy hoop for the price. I would say that this hoop is fine for families with young children or old people with young grandchildren. I would not consider this the best alternative for families with rough teenage children that like to play basketball.
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