Spalding NBA 54 Portable Angled Basketball Hoop with Polycarbonate Backboard – Top Options Explained With Pros & Cons

Basketball gained notoriety at the beginning of the 20th century. It is now one of the most popular and watched sports in the world. You can find a basketball court in almost every school, as well as in people’s backyards, parks and playgrounds.

More and more people invest in hoops hoping for a comfy experience after a long day at work or a sunny weekend. The sport brings in a bunch of benefits – both psychological and physical. Furthermore, it keeps people in shape and it is entertaining.

With all these, getting a hoop for your own yard could be tricky. Some places do not allow permanent or in-ground hoops, so you need an alternative solution. This is when the portable hoop kicks in – easy to install and portable enough to take it anywhere.

Such a system can be used outdoors, but also indoors. You only need a flat surface and enough space to shoot some balls and you are ready to go. There are loads of options out there, but some of them can easily stand out in the ground.

Spalding NBA 54 portable angled basketball hoop with polycarbonate backboard

Choosing the best Spalding NBA 54 portable angled basketball hoop with polycarbonate backboard can be tricky, but not impossible. You get a solid brand with a good reputation, as well as a durable item and the optimal size for the backboard.

If you are new to this, learning about the benefits and things to look for in a hoop will pay off. Plus, you will have to analyze the best rated products in commerce – with both pluses and minuses – before making a final decision.

So, what do you need to know?


There are more benefits associated with a classic portable basketball hoop and each of them could represent the main reason wherefore you will get one.


Portability is by far the most important advantage. The idea of a classic in-ground system does have its benefits as well, but more and more people turn to the portable option for an obvious reason. Basketball is usually an outdoor game, so people would like to carry their hoop anywhere they go – whether they move to a different property or they go on holiday. You can fold the system, throw it inside your van and hit the road.

Moreover, there are times when you may not necessarily be able to play on the driveway. If a car is there, you may want to move it to the backyard. If it is a hot sunny day and the sun hits the back of your house, you may want to play at the front. Simply put, the possibility to move the hoop around gives you plenty of flexibility.

Easy installation

A Spalding NBA 54 portable angled basketball hoop with a polycarbonate backboard is easy to install anywhere. Make sure the surface is flat and you got plenty of room – there you go. Simply unfold everything and set pieces together. The installation is straightforward and easy.

In-ground hoops are more sophisticated. You will have to dig holes, drill around, fix poles with cement and so on. It takes days for the cement to sit and harden. Plus, you might need to get an authorization for an in-ground hoop too – all in all, while these systems are quite durable, they can become a nightmare.

A portable system leaves no mess behind – you can start shooting within minutes.


Scalability is not to be overlooked either. In-ground hoops are adjustable in height, but this is pretty much it. Height adjustability is a must, especially if you got kids who keep growing. At the same time, you could do with a challenge as well. But then, a portable hoop comes with more scalability.

You can upgrade to a different system, for instance. You could add a breakaway rim to what you have. You can find upgraded parts that can take more weight and so on. Simply put, there are lots of options to change the system.

Now that you understand what makes portable basketball hoops so popular, what are the top rated products out there? What kind of features do they come with and what are their pros and cons?

Our Picks

Spalding 68395W

Spalding’s best rated portable hoop is less likely to disappoint you. The 68395W model is built with heavy-duty uses in mind. While portable, it can take a good beating without showing any signs of wear and tear. It must be put together, but you can also order it with professional assembly included – for a higher price.

The unit features a solid three piece pole. It is four inches wide. While it consists of three pieces, there is no rattling or shaking involved. Parts are very well put together and the heavy profile makes it quite stable.

The basketball rim features an arena breakaway style. It is fitted with solid screws and it is less likely to cause any issues. It is based on heavy-duty solid steel. The design is only available in one color combo – black pole, black and white backboard, red rim and white net.

The backboard measures 54 inches. It is the optimal size for all players – experienced, new or in between. It is based on polycarbonate, which will last for ages. Plus, polycarbonate will not fade in the sun and it is cost efficient. Other than that, the board comes with a solid aluminum frame.

Finally, adjustments in height are done over a screw jack. You can go anywhere between 7.5 and 10 feet in height. The base can take 40 gallons of water. You can also fill it up with sand for stability. It is made of plastic and measures 54×34 inches.


·         Easy to adjust

·         Good value for money

·         Solid base

·         Well put together

·         Durable backboard


·         Putting it together might be a bit challenging

Spalding 68395W NBA Portable Basketball Hoop with 54 Inch Polycarbonate Backboard

Spalding NBA Portable Basketball System/Hoop

You simply cannot go wrong with this Spalding NBA 54 portable angled basketball hoop with polycarbonate backboard. It is built to face the test of time and makes a good addition to your indoor or outdoor space – just make sure you have enough space for it.

The backboard is made of polycarbonate. It may not be the most expensive material out there, but it is one of the most durable options out there. Plus, it is cost efficient and it will not really affect your playing style. The board has a steel frame for durability. It measures 54×32 inches.

The pole can be adjusted in height, so you can challenge yourself occasionally or perhaps accommodate your growing kid’s needs. It goes between 7.5 and 10 feet and it can be adjusted over the so called Exactaheight lift system.

There is not much to be concerned in terms of stability. The base can take 34 gallons of water – you can also fill it with sand. It is equipped with a couple of wheels, so you can move the system around without too much hassle. Wheels can be blocked when the hoop is in use, of course.

The arena style padding adds to the overall experience, while the Slam Jam breakaway rim will make you feel more professional. Finally, the whole system weighs just under nine pounds, so putting it together and moving it around will not cause too much trouble.


·         Easy to put together

·         Durable design

·         Easy to move around

·         Simple to adjust

·         Stable


·         It may take a few good hours to put together

Spalding- 54″ Polycarbonate Backboard NBA Portable Basketball System/Hoop –

Spalding NBA 68395R

This Spalding NBA 54 portable angled basketball hoop with polycarbonate backboard is built with durability in mind. The backboard is based on polycarbonate, which can last for ages if looked after. Then, you have steel and iron for stability and a solid profile.

The backboard measures 54 inches. It is not too big for advanced players, but not too small either – ideal for newbies. Simply put, it makes a good choice regardless of your skills. It has a metallic rim around it, so you can see it when you shoot, but also to protect the polycarbonate edges.

The arena style slam rim is made of heavy-duty steel. It has a super smooth spring action too, meaning you can use it for a dunk every now and then. In terms of design, the NBA’s portable hoops come in classic colors – black, white and red. You can order this hoop with or without expert assembly.

The pole features a rectangular shape. It has good strength and it feels stable. It is also covered in padding, which is great if you are too energetic and risk injuring yourself. The whole system must be put together – when done, it weighs 45 pounds.

In terms of adjustability, you have a screw jack lift system, which allows working on the height between 7.5 and 10 feet – pretty standard. There are no increments. Plus, you get a 40 gallon base that you can fill with sand or water for stability.


·         Easy to adjust

·         Heavy and wide base

·         Suitable for all skills

·         Pole padding against injuries

·         Durable polycarbonate backboard


·         Heavier than other similar hoops

Spalding NBA 68395R Portable Basketball Hoop with 54 Inch Polycarbonate Backboard

What To Look In The Best Spalding NBA 54 Portable Angled Basketball Hook

Choosing the best Spalding NBA 54 portable angled basketball hoop with polycarbonate backboard could be tricky. It sounds easy – you just need a good base and a hoop, right? Well, the truth is there are a few other things you should know before making a final decision.

Type of rim

When it comes to the rim, there are three different options out there and each of them has its own specifications.

The standard rim is classic. Basically, the unit is solid and stable. It does not have a compression spring technology though, meaning constant dunking may bend or break it. This option is great if you do not dunk too much – plus, it is inexpensive when compared to some of its alternatives.

The exposed rim is a middle choice. It brings in a more professional feel, and it comes with a spring loaded mechanism. The mechanism is not the most advanced one on the market, but it is alright for light dunking every now and then.

Finally, the enclosed rim is the most professional option out there. It is professional and allows heavy dunking, so it is suitable for intense players. The spring mechanism is fortified to prevent damage and other problems. These rims are not just stronger, but the spring system is also inside a metallic compartment for a longer lifespan.

Backboard size

When it comes to the backboard size, it normally depends on your skills as a player. Small size is good for kids or those with loads of experience. A bigger one will help you grow your skills much faster. Since you are looking for a 54 inch board, you probably know what you want. This is the most common option out there. Anything around it is suitable for both experienced and new players.

The 54 inch board will never sacrifice space for performance and vice versa. It is compact, so it can be easily moved around, but it is also wide enough for less experienced users.

The smallest option for residential hoops goes down to 44 inches. When it comes to the largest one, it will be around 60 inches – shorter than professional boards found in the NBA, which measures 72 inches.

Backboard material

Polycarbonate is the most common option out there. You are looking for one because the material is durable and provides good value for money. It is also inexpensive and durable. Sure, it is not perfect – the ball may lose some momentum after bouncing off it, but it will work wonders.

Other alternatives involve acrylic and tempered glass. Acrylic is suitable for large families or groups of people with different skill levels. It is sturdy and durable, but not as solid as polycarbonate. The rebound effect is better though.

Tempered glass is better in performance due to the rebound effect, but the price is quite high. Plus, it can shatter faster than other materials, so value for money is quite bad.

Pole and base

The three piece pole is the most common one – stable and easy to work with. You can also find poles in one or two pieces. One piece poles are not so common in portable hoops though. They are pretty expensive as well.

When it comes to the base, it depends on the backboard weight. Some hoops feature hollow bases that can be filled with water or sand. At times, you may want to add a few bags of sand on the base to keep it more stable. Portable hoops tend to come with large bases for stability. The bigger the base is, the better.


Last, but not least, do not overlook the adjustability either. The perfect hoop should be able to match your family needs – every member of your family should be able to have a good game. This rule is even more important if you have kids in different age ranges.

Most commonly, adjustability goes between 7.5 and 10 feet in height. There are also a few different adjustment mechanisms. The telescoping one allows working on the height in specific increments – usually in six inch increments.

More expensive mechanisms may come with hydraulic, pneumatic or jack screw elements. They give you more flexibility, as there are no increments.

Frequently asked questions

Still unsure about certain aspects of the Spalding NBA 54 portable angled basketball hoop with polycarbonate backboard? Go through frequently asked questions and answers:

Is sand better than water for the hoop base?

Spalding recommends both water and sand for the base. Each option will provide stability. Sand is, however, better if you are after stability. It is denser than water and it weighs more per gallon. But then, sand will also make your hoop more difficult to move. Besides, water is easier to take out than sand. At the end of the day, it depends on what you prefer – more stability or more portability. Even if you choose sand, the difference in weight will not be massive, so you will still be able to move the hoop around.

Do I need to look after the water in the hoop base?

Add a bit of bleach inside the water to prevent the growth of algae. It could get smelly, especially when you replace the water. Bleach will annihilate the growth. Other than that, if the winter temperature goes to freezing limits, you may want to empty the base or add some nontoxic antifreeze. If it freezes, it will expand and break the base.

How can I fill the base with sand?

A funnel while filling the base is highly recommended to prevent spilling sand everywhere. You may struggle to do it yourself though, so you could use a friend’s help.

Is wet sand better than dry sand?

If you choose sand for the base, you should know that wet sand weighs even more per gallon. While it would be more difficult to get it inside the base, it will add even more stability. If freezing temperatures are the main reasons wherefore you avoid water, you should know that wet sand is rich in water, which can also freeze and expand. In other words, wet sand can still crack your base if you leave it outside in freezing temperatures for too long.


The bottom line, the Spalding NBA 54 portable angled basketball hoop with a polycarbonate backboard is an excellent middle choice for players of all ages and skills. Spalding’s hoops are durable and well put together, but they also come with great adjustability. There are more models out there and a few slight differences between them – choosing the right one is a matter of personal preferences only.