Inexpensive, portable, adjustable, breakaway rim, polycarbonate backboard, small footprint
Less stable, backboard size, no overhang, 3 piece pole
The Lifetime Complete Portable Basketball Hoop is primarily designed for children and amateur players. It’s adjustable in 6-inch increments from 7.5 to 10 feet, and the rolling base gives it portability. Featured is a 48-inch shatter guard polycarbonate backboard and a breakaway rim for dunking. The backboard has fade resistant graphics, and the nylon net can stand up to all weather conditions. The telescoping pole comes in 3-pieces for adjusting the height. The Lifetime Complete System is backed by a 5 year warranty.
What To Like
- Inexpensive. At under $250, this doesn’t require a heavy investment. Basketball systems can cost thousands of dollars on the high end. The only cheaper model I have seen from this brand is the Lifetime 90040.
- Portable. If portability matters, then this is certainly a plus. Even if it’s not on your list of criteria, being able to move it around is beneficial. For instance, if you decided to relocate, then you could pack it up and take it with. Or, you may just need to move it out of the way for one reason or another. This of course can’t be done with inground models. Also, portability means no cement installation.
- Adjustable. This feature is ideal for children who aren’t yet capable of shooting from medium distance on a 10 foot high rim. The furthest it lowers is 7.5 feet, which is pretty much the standard for adjustable models. Lowering and raising is a rather easy process.
- Breakaway rim. I certainly would not recommend dunking and hanging on this rim, as this basket isn’t strong enough to handle that long-term. But this style is more suitable for dunking because it has some give. Children and teenagers can have fun with this.
- Polycarbonate backboard. This is a pretty strong plastic that would be very difficult to break. It will naturally suffer from wear and tear over time, but at this price point you aren’t going to get tempered glass. What I like is that it’s see through, so it gives the appearance of glass.
- Small footprint. I couldn’t find the exact dimensions, but I do know that this won’t take up much space. It can be stored in a small area if necessary.
What Not To Like
- Less stable. Portable hoops naturally are going to be less stable, which means you lose some realism. While pouring sand into the base will certainly help, it’s still not going to be nearly as stable as an inground model. However, this probably won’t bother casual players or children.
- Backboard size. At 48 inches, this is on the small end. Shooting bank shots from an angle is more challenging, plus children would benefit more from a larger backboard. This is a good size however if your playing area is limited, or you are on a budget.
- No overhang. This is a downside for almost every portable hoop out there. Regulation hoops have a 4 foot space from the pole to the backboard, which allows for play under the hoop. Also, players are more susceptible to bump into the pole since it’s right next to the backboard.
- 3 piece pole. As you might imagine, a one piece pole is going to be stronger than a 3-piece one. Also, square poles are preferred because they reduce vibration.
The Lifetime Complete System compares very favorably to the Lifetime 51550 Courtside Basketball System, except it happens to be about $30 cheaper and about 10 pounds lighter.
As mentioned, this hoop works well for children and casual play. It really however isn’t suitable for serious play by adults. Whether or not you should buy it depends on your budget and who it’s for. If this price is what’s affordable or all you want to spend, then this is a good hoop to consider. This is a solid basketball hoop for the price. As long as it’s not abused, it should last for as long as you need it to and children will likely enjoy it.
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