Portable Vs In-Ground Basketball Hoops

Before buying a basketball system for personal or home use, you need to consider some critical issues before buying.

You choosing a basketball hoop is a joyful decision that would lead to a lot of evenings spent around your family shooting basketball.

This is an investment of time, labor and money. It shouldn’t be taken lightly. By taking the time to look up your options, you will ensure you choose one that meets your needs and that of your kids and the entire family.

In today’s market, basketball hoops are divided into two categories: in-ground hoops and the portable hoops. Most suppliers design both devices catering to different demands.

These are some excellent thoughts to put into consideration before buying a basketball system.

If you are deciding between an in-ground or a portable basketball hoop, or you are thinking about upgrading your mobile unit, it is crucial to fully understand the distinctions between both hoops before making the purchase.

What is Portable Basketball Hoop?

Portable basketball hoop

Portable basketball hoop always has a large plastic base with wheels attached to it which is used for rolling. Though portable goals can be moved to various positions in the driveway, they often remain stationary throughout their lifetime.

As they can be heavy and hard to move, don’t be fooled by the name.

Portable hoops are also weighted by sand or water inside their plastic base, so they don’t require in-ground installation.

They require from 90 minutes to 10 hours for assembly if it’s just out of the box. It is unable to support the weight of a glass backboard.Instead, it utilizes a plastic backboard which is lighter.

Portable hoops are made with economical materials with an average lifespan roughly between 2 to 5 years. The typically first piece that fails is the blow molded base used as a support structure.

Since a portable hoop has a counter-weighted base filled with either water or sand, it cannot endure rough play, such as dunking, due to high risk of tipping or falling.

The most popular place where a portable basketball is a driveway, it’s simple to assemble.

What is In-Ground Basketball Hoop?

in-ground basketball hoop

In-ground hoops can’t be frequently moved, and they are installed with an anchor system which allows you the flexibility to unbolt the screws and relocate the hoop when you change homes.

In-ground hoop installation process requires a lot of multiple tools and people to carry on the installation. It generally takes like about four days for the concrete installation and final assembly.

Once this process is complete, the performance and the permanency can’t be compared to portable hoops.

In-ground basketball hoops often use real glass, steel poles and they have a lifespan of about 5 to 7 years, with some goals, like Goalrilla lasting more than 15 years.

These hoops replicate the likes of NCAA and NBA hoops, offering an advanced performance of any residential goal. Most of them have tempered glass backboards which offer authentic rebound and the steel pole mounted in concrete offers stability for the unit.

The concrete installation in the in-ground makes it much more stable, removing the risk of falling over or tipping, especially during a dunk. It requires less ground space.

In-ground basketball systems are the better option for a larger driveway or designated courts. It takes up less space and is more stable. When purchasing, make sure, there is enough space around it.

Now, Let’s Compare In-Ground Vs Portable Basketball Hoop

Portable vs in-ground


Portable Hoop

  • Can be moved to different positions
  • Often stationed at a place because it can be difficult to move

In-Ground Hoop

  • Has an option to unbolt and relocate when you change homes
  • Installed with an anchor system
  • Cannot be easily moved


Portable Hoop

  • In-ground installation is not required
  • The time required for installation is anywhere from 90 minutes to 10 hours

In-Ground Hoop

  • Takes longer for the installation process to be completed
  • A lot of tools, materials, and people is required
  • Takes over 72 hours for the cement to dry


Portable Hoop

  • Less expensive compared to the in-ground hoop
  • Cheaper materials are required
  • Has a shorter lifespan
  • Can easily get damaged over a period

In-Ground Hoop

  • Has higher quality performance but its more expensive
  • Adds excellent value to your home
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty
  • Last longer
  • Hardly gets damaged easily


Portable Hoop

  • Has a lighter and plastic backboard
  • Can’t support the weight of a glass backboard
  • Lifespan is roughly between 2 to 5 years

In-Ground Hoop

  • Offers authentic rebound because of its tempered glass
  • Equivalent to the specifications of NCAA and NBA hoops
  • Maximizes stability through the concrete and in-ground installation
  • More fun to play with a lot of people and family


Portable Hoop

  • You can’t dunk on it
  • Tipping or falling over is a high risk
  • No overhang on the pole
  • Adding sand or water does not make it stand better

In-Ground Hoop

  • Eliminates trip hazard
  • With concrete installation will not tip or fall
  • Provides more stability when playing
  • They are more durable


Before getting a basketball system for usage, you should take into consideration some purchasing concerns prior before buying.

For instance, in some situations, a buyer would make a mistake investing on an in-ground device to find out later that constructing in their neighborhood is not allowed including permanent structures like cementing a basketball pole to the ground.

Sad, right?

I bet this shortcoming is not what you would like to have experience of. You have had the privilege to see and know the ins and outs of both the portable and the in-ground hoops. And I’m sure you have probably had a better idea on what you are looking for.

Glen Jensen

This is Glen Jensen founder of Fisher Picks. I started this blog to provide guide and reviews of best fishing & outdoor products.

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