Need Help Deciding Between Portable and In-Ground?

When buying a basketball goal for your family's home, it's important to understand the two most popular options of hoops and learn the advantages and disadvantages of each when considering your needs. We'll break down the differences between in-ground basketball goals and portable basketball goals to help you make the best decision.

The three main differences between a portable goal and an in-ground goal are safety, durability, and mobility. Because a portable hoop isn't installed into the ground with concrete or an anchor kit, there is a risk the unit will tip or fall over with aggressive play. If your players enjoy dunking and action-packed play, it may be best to look at in-ground basketball goals as an alternative.

Another key difference is durability. If your players are looking to replicate the gym experience at home in the driveway, they'll want to choose an in-ground basketball option. Because portables aren't directly installed into the ground with concrete and their bases are filled with either sand or water, this creates instability. In-ground hoops feature glass backboards that simulate a collegiate or NBA basketball experience while portable hoops are unable to support the weight of a glass backboard. Instead, portables utilize a lighter polycarbonate or acrylic backboard, which sacrifices consistent rebound and playability. Because of these important differences in material, the average lifespan of a portable is only two to five years. According to our research, consumers who purchase a portable often purchase another portable at a later date — whereas consumers who purchase an in-ground often never purchase again. If you believe that your basketball unit will have infrequent and short-term use, it's best to consider a portable goal.

Lastly, another key difference is mobility. If you need to move your hoop around your driveway or into the garage, perhaps you're considering a portable design. It's notable although most portable hoops can be moved from one spot to another, most stay stationary throughout their lifetime because of their more economic materials. The base is often the first piece to fail causing homeowners to look for an alternative to weighing their hoop down. Once bricks or sandbags are added to the top of the portable's base, the hoop's mobility becomes increasingly difficult to achieve. Although immobile, in-ground hoops with an anchor kit have the option to unbolt and remove the hoop in case you need to move homes or the hoop itself. You will simply buy another anchor kit and install it before bolting your existing basketball goal on top again.

Advantages of an In-Ground Basketball Hoop:

  • Backed by a much longer warranty because of the higher quality materials
  • In-ground goals will stand firm during aggressive play, high winds, extreme weather, and more keeping the rim and backboard undamaged
  • Can be used for dunking, higher quality of play without worry of the unit falling and hurting someone making these safer
  • Athletes do not have to hold themselves back with concerns of hurting the basketball goal
  • Extremely well made for a much longer lifespan than portable hoops
  • Compatible with many training accessories such as a pole pad, hoop light, or Yard Guard to get the most out of your court
  • Replicates the gym experience in your driveway and plays similar to collegiate or NBA-style hoops
  • Takes up very little ground space compared to a portable goal
  • Aesthetically pleasing and increases the curb appeal of your home
  • Large glass backboard for consistent rebound and playability
  • When installed with an anchor kit, you have the option to unbolt and move it with you to your new home

For more information to consider, visit our basketball hoop buying guide here.