Lifetime 71286 XL Portable Basketball System – Featuring a 52-Inch Shatterproof Backboard

Overall Impressions

This is an awesome portable hoop system.

It is a high-quality product and definitely worth the price. Once it’s set up, it’s a breeze to adjust and manage.

If you prefer a portable basketball system over an in-ground one, then you will appreciate this one.

It requires minimal installation efforts, unlike the in-ground setups that require concrete to stay in place.


The assembly is a little tricky in some areas but overall not a problem. I had to read the manual cover to cover first because some of the instructions seemed unclear, but it turned out to be simple to follow.

Take your time with this because it needs to be set up carefully in order to have a product that will last and hold up to rough game play.

The pictures are detailed and will guide the assembly. The manufacturer has taken the trouble to individually bag the components required in each step.  At the beginning of each assembly phase, the instructions show an inventory of all the hardware parts that will be required during the phase. This made the instructions easier to digest and it was easier to remain organized and focused during the task.


The backboard is made of a tough Makrolon polycarbonate, which withstands strong impacts easily.  The surface is pretty much resistant to scratches and has remained smooth so far. The graphics on it have not faded out, even though the hoop has been set up outside and is exposed to the sun and wind.

Base and Pole

The base seems to work perfectly well. It has remained steady during some very rough winds and tough games.

The base is easily fillable with water and this seems to be the most common option. Using water to act as a counter weight is a convenient option.

People also use sand, but it is harder to empty out if you decide to move the system. One side has wheels to facilitate moving the hoop, but if you are moving it over rough, uneven surfaces, the wheels won’t be much help. So if you move the system frequently then use water for weighing it down or use one of the base gels available in the market. These provide more weight than sand or water and can make the system more safe and sturdy. If you live in cold climes then the water will freeze, but you can avoid that by using other options.

The pole is easily adjustable and the hydraulic system is responsive enough to be functional without much effort. It remains stable during rough gameplay; it does not seem to shake from side to side like the products of other brands are apt to do.

Final Word on the Lifetime 71286 XL Portable Basketball System

The manufacturer has created a wonderful, quality product that is worth the price and assembly effort. It has turned out to be a great portable option for basketball enthusiasts and for those who are looking for quality at the right price.

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