The Better Option – Portable Hoops vs In-ground Hoops

There are two types of basketball hoops that can be purchased: In-ground hoops or portable hoops.

In-ground hoops are hoops which have to be installed by digging a hole and permanently fitting the hoop system into the ground using concrete. These are more traditional kind of hoops, ones which NBA players use during their basketball matches.

Portable hoops are as the name suggests, portable. They are not directly fixed into the ground like in-ground hoops. They are a more modern kind of hoop system, introduced as early as the nineties. They have a large base which has to be filled with sand or water for stability. They are mobile and can be moved from one place to another due to the wheels at the bottom of their bases. A key feature of the portable type of hoops is the ability to adjust its height. This enables players of all ages and heights to play basketball with it. Though portable hoops may not provide the feel and experience of an NBA game, but it is very useful for children as they can start playing and practicing their skills on portable hoops.

Comparison between Portable hoops and In-ground hoops pros and cons

Portable Basketball hoops:


  • A portable basketball hoop is a complete system to begin playing the game, and they can be upgraded with other features like a breakaway rim for those who like to slam-dunk.
  • They are a portable basketball system, so you can play them anywhere.
  • Unlike an in-ground basketball hoop, there is no need for concrete to install, no digging a hole for the pole-Once assembled, they can be moved anywhere.
  • They can be used in any neighborhood that has restrictions on in-ground basketball systems.
  • Since they aren’t permanent structures, the is no need to get a building permit in order to install portable hoops.
  • Portable hoop systems are equipped with wheels so you are easily able to move them around.
  • There’s an adjustable height, so children who aren’t as tall to play on an in-ground basketball hoop can also play basketball using the portable basketball hoop.
  • It can be a child’s best toy growing up, as it’s height can be adjusted to match the height of the growing child.
  • Mobility – These hoops are very useful for people who have to move from place to place because of their jobs, while moving all they have to do is pack it up and set it up in the next place they are moving to.
  • Cost – It’s a lot cheaper than in-ground hoops.


  • The rim of the portable basketball hoop can rust or get bent or broken by the unit falling over onto the rim, or by people dunking or hanging on it.
  • These hoops are meant to be kept outside, but weather can still ruin your goal, especially wind.-If the goal gets blown over during a windstorm, the rim can be broken off or irreparably bent.
  • The original feel of basketball is rather lost due to the obscure looking portable hoop unit.-Portable hoop systems are cheaply built and don’t last very long.
  • These systems are hard to move when the base is empty, you have to tip it back on its wheels to roll.
  • Portable hoops have huge and inconvenient bases, which take up a lot of space when installed on a driveway.
  • Portable hoops cannot be used for aggressive and dynamic play, as they are fragile compared to in-ground hoop systems-Water or sand is required to make the base of portable systems stable and usable.
  • Backboards are much smaller compared to in-ground units.-As portable hoops are not very durable, they do not come with any significant warranty period.

In-ground Basketball hoops


  • Unlike portable basketball hoops, in-ground hoops stand firm on the ground even in hurricanes.
  • They give more traditional and original feels to the players playing basketball with it.
  • Since they are firmly planted into the ground, in-ground hoops have more stability and are sturdier than portable hoops.
  • These hoops allow the owner to have more options on the type of backboard to use.
  • Safer to play with, compared to portable hoop systems.
  • Well made and can endure a lot of use for years.
  • Players can slam dunk without any worries of damaging the hoop system.
  • Spacious – These hoops take very little room on the ground space where it is to be installed and due to its permanent installation
  • Can be used for aggressive and dynamic play, as opposed to portable hoops.
  • Easy to install as they come with anchor system.
  • They have a large backboard.
  • They usually come with long time or lifetime warranties.


  • Their location is permanent, and cannot be moved after installation.
  • Installation is difficult as it requires concrete and digging of a hole in the ground.
  • They cannot be used in any neighborhood that has restrictions on in-ground basketball systems.
  • They are permanent structures, so a building permit may be required.
  • These hoops are not useful for people who have to move from place to place due to its permanent installation.
  • Expensive compared to portable hoops, as they are made of many expensive materials.
  • Dismantling the hoop is much harder compared to portable basketball hoops.

In the end, both the types of hoop systems, portable and in-ground, have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the user and his/her preferences along with other conditions that decide which type of hoop is better. For example, a person who has a small budget would go for a Portable hoop, whereas a person with a lot of money to spend can go for an in-ground hoop. A person who wants portability will opt for a portable hoop, and a person who wants a richer experience will buy an in-ground hoop system. After considering all the pros and cons of both types and taking into consideration one’s preferences, must one decide which type of hoop is best for them, portable or in-ground.

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