Portable, 54″ polycarbonate backboard, infinite adjustment, 22-inch overhang, breakaway rim
3-piece 3.5″ round pole, lack of stability, value
The 71523 Competition XL is the second highest priced portable hoop sold by Lifetime. Featured is a 54″ polycarbonate backboard and infinite adjustment from 7.5 to 10 ft. The slam-it pro rim has a wrap-around support that mimics what you would see in a gym. The rectangular extension arms allow for a 22 inch overhang, which is an increase over lesser priced models from Lifetime. The pole comes in 3 sections and has a diameter of 3.5 inches. The base holds 35 gallons of water or sand. The 71523 is backed by a 5 year limited warranty. Footprint: 49 x 24 x 12 ; weight: 118 lbs.
What To Like
- Portable. This type of hoop is suited for those who don’t want to install an in-ground model, or would like to store the hoop while it’s not being used. Portables are also ideal for casual players who won’t care as much about a lack of stability.
- Infinite adjustment. Some portable hoops adjust in increments, but this one can adjust to any height between 7.5-10 feet. It’s raised and lowered with a pneumatic handle assist. This makes it easier to adjust, but doesn’t have the reliability long-term that a manual one does.
- 54″ polycarbonate backboard. It’s well-suited for a 1-2 car driveway, and is big enough to shoot bank shots on from all angles. Polycarbonate is stronger than acrylic, which makes it less susceptible to damage if exposed to dunking and rough play.
- Breakaway rim. What’s different about this rim compared to other similar models is the wrap-around brace. It gives it a more professional look, and plays better because of it. Players can dunk without worrying about causing damage.
- 22-inch overhang. This isn’t much, but the Spalding 68564 costs $60 more and has an overhang of 16 inches. The more overhang a basket has, the more safe it is for players. That’s because there is more room to maneuver under the backboard. It also provides a little more realism.
- No installation. Another benefit of buying a portable hoop is not having to dig a hole or pour cement.
What Not To Like
- 3-piece 3.5″ round pole. The best poles are square and come in one-piece because they all but eliminate vibration. For casual play, it’s not a big deal however. But if you want performance, I would look for a hoop with a single pole. The other downside is that the sections have to be put together, which can be a challenge at times.
- Lack of stability. What you gain in portability, you lose in stability.
- Value. The Lifetime 71524 almost has the exact same specifications, yet costs $100 less. I think the main difference is that the 71523 has stronger extension arms, which results in a larger overhang. But is that alone worth an extra $100?
The Lifetime 71523 is ideal for casual/recreation play among children or adults. It’s a quality hoop, and there isn’t much to gripe about. Lifetime produces a really solid line of affordable basketball hoops. What’s strange how much this hoop resembles the Lifetime 71524, yet costs $100 more. What you have to decide is whether the additional overhang is worth the difference in price.
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