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In-Ground Basketball Hoop or Portable: Which One Should You Get?

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world for a reason: it’s enjoyable and challenging. Whether you’re an experienced player or just starting, having a basketball hoop at home is a great way to improve your skills to get in some extra practice. Plus, there’s nothing quite like playing a game with friends on a hot summer day.

So if you’re considering getting a basketball hoop, there are a few things to remember when deciding which type to purchase. Installing an in-ground basketball hoop means the hoop is permanently in the ground versus a portable hoop, which you can move as needed but is less stable and sturdy.

In-Ground Vs. Portable Basketball Hoop

Both hoops have advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the one that’s right for you is essential. Important factors to keep in mind before choosing the best basketball goal for you and your family include:

  • Cost
  • Installation
  • Safety
  • Portability
  • Quality
  • Protection against theft
  • Installation

Another critical consideration for an in-ground basketball goal or portable is installation. Generally speaking, portable hoops will be easier and quicker to install than in-ground hoops since they don’t require excavation or concrete work. All you have to do is set them up on the level ground, and you’re ready to go. Usually, you have to fill the base with sand or water to keep it stable.

On the other hand, in-ground hoops need to be installed in a hole at least 3 feet deep and 3 feet wide. Doing this can be a big project, especially if you have no concrete work experience. As a result, it’s often best to leave this type of installation to the professionals. However, if you do know what you’re doing, it can be a fun do-it-yourself project that should only take a few hours.

You can move portable hoops around as needed, which is a significant advantage if you have a small yard or live in an area where the weather isn’t conducive to playing basketball year-round. On the other hand, in-ground hoops are more permanent and often require more planning.


Safety is a critical issue people often overlook when it comes to basketball hoops. And in general, in-ground hoops will be safer than portable hoops because they’re installed in the ground, making them much less likely to tip over. Not only are they installed in the ground, but they’re also typically made of higher-quality materials, which makes them sturdier overall.

Portable hoops, on the other hand, are usually set on top of a base, making them more top-heavy and likely to tip over, especially if you don’t fill them correctly or place them on uneven ground.

Another safety issue is that moving portable hoops around can sometimes fall, cause injury, and/or damage vehicles and property, especially if the person attempting to move them over-estimate their physical capabilities.

In-ground hoops are a great option if safety is your primary concern. Portable hoops might be more convenient, but if you like to dunk, most portable hoops cannot withstand hanging from the rims for the best dunking action. We especially recommend in-ground hoops if you have teenagers or want your hoop to be safe when your children become older.

Portability VS Longevity

We’ve briefly touched on this already, but it’s worth mentioning again: portability is one of the most significant advantages when choosing between an in-ground basketball goal or a portable hoop. However, you need to be sure portability doesn’t compromise the longevity of your hoop. While portability may seem like a benefit, they’re usually made with lower-quality materials.

That means that every storm you face, you’ll have to bring your portable goal indoors to protect it. An in-ground hoop will stand up better to poor weather, so you don’t need to worry about storms battering it about.

As such, in-ground hoops are more permanent, but often require more planning. Once you’ve installed one, it’s not going anywhere. That also means heavy winds won’t take it anywhere either!

So if portability is a significant consideration for you, then a portable hoop is probably the way to go. But if you want something more permanent that you know will last through the years, an in-ground hoop might be a better choice.

And remember, portability isn’t usually the most critical factor when deciding between an in-ground basketball goal or a portable hoop. After all, if you’re only going to use the hoop in your driveway, then an in-ground hoop might be just as convenient.


In general, in-ground hoops will be of higher quality than portable hoops. This is because the higher-quality materials and installation directly into the ground make them more stable. For example, in-ground hoops often have powder-coated steel poles, which makes them more durable and less likely to rust.

Portable hoops, on the other hand, are more prone to rusting or bending, and since they aren’t as durable, they won’t last as long.

In-ground hoops are typically made of higher-quality materials and construction, so they tend to last longer and with less need for replacement, you’ll save money in the long run. With tempered glass backboards, heavy springs in the rims, thick steel with galvanized coating, and stainless steel hardware, in-ground basketball goals are built to last.

While portable basketball hoops might be cheaper upfront, they often require more maintenance; because owners constantly move portable hoops, parts can break or wear down more quickly. So over time, the costs of owning a portable hoop can start to add up.

Regardless of the type of hoop you choose, you want to aim for suitable quality materials so that the hoop will last longer and stand up to more wear and tear.

Some of the best materials for an in-ground hoop are powder-coated steel, aluminum, and fiberglass. And for a portable hoop, you want to look for a robust and durable base.

An in-ground hoop is probably the way to go if you want something that will last longer and stand up to more wear and tear. But a portable hoop might be a better option if you’re not as concerned about the quality and want something more affordable.

Home Resale Value

While you may not be planning to sell your home anytime soon, you shouldn’t discount the idea of home resale value. A portable basketball hoop may seem more convenient in the short-term, but an in-ground hoop will be a boon to your property.

It can set your home apart from the competition, and often raises your home resale value. If you want to consider the increased equity of your home at all, then an in-ground basketball hoop is the clear choice.

Protection Against Theft

Finally, since in-ground hoops are more secure, this installation makes them more difficult to steal, especially if you concrete them in or use bolts to secure them.

Portable hoops, however, are easier targets for theft because they’re just that: portable. If you choose a portable hoop, you should consider purchasing a lock and securing the hoop against a tree or fence post. Also, follow the manufacturer instructions for filling the base with sand, making the hoop heavier and less portable.

Final Thoughts

In-ground hoops are the way to go if you want something safe, permanent, and high quality. Portable hoops might be more convenient, but they’re not as secure and don’t last as long.

So if you’re trying to decide between an in-ground basketball goal or a portable hoop, we recommend going with an in-ground hoop like the ones below in terms of safety, stability, and durability.

When looking for an in-ground hoop, choose one made of high-quality materials that will last longer and stand up to more wear and tear. In addition, be sure to have it installed by a professional so that it’s done correctly and is safe to use.

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