Find the Best Outdoor Basketball of 2016

 So good in fact, you may have a difficult time telling a genuine leather basketball from a high quality composite leather basketball.

Now that you know how we rate each basketball we review be sure to see our basketball reviews to find out how each basketball stacks up against the competition.

When looking at which basketball to buy overall performance is an important consideration.  In fact, only Spalding continues to mass produce a genuine leather basketballs, which is the Official NBA Game Basketball.  Grip is essentially a measure of how easily a basketball is to clutch or hold.  Here at BestOutdoorBasketball we review basketballs on a scale of 1 to 5 in several categories including:

When including features and material quality does the basketball give a good bang for your buck.  While other high performing basketballs may be a steal.

The Rock is a Premium Indoor Composite Leather BasketballThe Rock is a Premium Indoor Composite Leather BasketballComposite Leather

Use our interactive hoop buying guide and you will get a list of hoops that best meet your needs:

Genuine leather basketballs were at one point in time much more common than they are today.  Once at peak performance, the genuine leather basketball will feel nicely cushioned and will last for years and years.

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FYI, if you are looking for other great sporting goods product reviews be sure to visit

What Basketball Brand Do You Prefer?How Much Do You Plan to Spend on a Basketball?What Most Important Factor In a Basketball to You?Preferred Basketball Channel Design?


28.5? Women’s

Whether a player desires a basketball with an ultra soft cover, a sticky grip, or one that works to mimic the unique feel of a genuine leather basketball is based on personal preference..  The weakness of leather basketballs is that they often feel hard and generally have a poor grip.  With so much selection a decision can be difficult. Having a great basketball can help you focus on what matters…the game!

The price of each basketball is likely to vary due to several factors that we have listed throughout this guide.  Great for elementary aged boys and girls the youth basketball can work well in both full sized rims and some smaller mini hoop rims. One thing that no basketball player wants to worry about is the consistency and quality of the basketball.  Genuine leather comes out of the box needing to be broken in through regular play.  Rubber is very durable on hard surfaces making it a good option for outdoor use.  At first the basketball may feel slick and harder to control than a composite leather basketball.  However, if you are patient and are willing to work the genuine leather basketball in over time, then there is no other cover material that can compare. Should I take this shot? Is my teammate open? Can I thread the needle on this pass? Often, these decisions have to be made in a split second.  Having a smaller basketball will help children develop proper shooting and dribbling mechanics.

2. Spalding “The Beast” Portable Basketball Hoop


There are literally hundreds of basketballs to choose from.  More moderately priced indoor outdoor basketballs are also made of composite leather but are created to be able to take the wear and tear that occurs on the courts.

3.  Generally, you should expect an indoor/outdoor basketball to last a couple years with normal play.  We do not measure indoor basketballs and indoor/outdoor basketballs the same in this regard as their playing purposes are different.

Rubber is the cheapest material that is still used to make basketballs today.  While genuine leather gives the ultimate feel for a basketball it is not appropriate for outdoor use due to leather’s lack of durability.  The best performers for a given sport are always playing with the best equipment, because it makes a difference.

Price: $$$$

What Type of Hoop Are You Looking to Buy?Will children use the basketball hoop you buy regularly?What Backboard Size Do You Need?How Much Do You Plan to Spend On a Basketball Hoop?What Backboard Material Do You Prefer?What Support Design Do You Prefer?

If you are unsure about some of the questions asked  in questionnaire please visit our hoop buying guide to learn more about the different features on portable and inground basketball hoops.

Price: $$$$$

Composite Leather

How to Find the Best Outdoor Basketball for You

When engaged in a heated battle on the court you have several things to worry about. Cover Material

The NBA Official Game Basketball is Made of Genuine LeatherThe NBA Official Game Basketball is Made of Genuine Leather

Price: $$$

29.5? Regulation Size

60in x 38in x 3/8in Competition Tempered Glass Backboard that is a full 1/2 inch thick

6X6 inch square one piece support pole that offers that maximum stability and durability

Professional quality breakaway rim that can take punishment like dunking and hanging on the rim

Internal Height Adjustment System that Allows for Limitless Adjustment from 5 – 10 Feet

Support pole padding comes standard so that players are protected and safe during the heat of game competition

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All Basketballs are NOT Created Equal


The majority of basketballs available for sale today are made of a composite leather material.  Basketballs that are made of composite leather do not have to be broken in and come out of the box ready to perform at their peak.  This is the regulation sized basketball that is used for men’s basketball games from high school all the way to the NBA.  Having to play a pickup game with a ball that just does not make the grade.  Because of this, we have listed below the top 10 outdoor basketballs.  You can see our extensive list of reviewed hoops, and our picks for the best portable and in ground basketball units.

 This sized basketball is meant to be used by children who are growing up and learning the fundamentals of basketball.  Composite leather basketball prices can vary depending on whether it is an indoor only basketball (+$50) or an indoor/outdoor basketball ($20-$50).  Composite leather is a synthetic leather-like material that is cheaper and more versatile than genuine leather.  Feel is the most important factor for dribbling in basketball performance.

4.  It is important for any basketball enthusiast who wants to bring the game to their home to seriously consider each of these variables when choosing a basketball system.  Because of this we recommend rubber basketballs for children who just learning the game or for homes with a hoop over a gravel driveway.

When dribbling the basketball does the ball perform consistently, or does it have off center bounces making it hard to control? Basketballs with off-center bounces are frustrating to use and often end up in the closet or the trash.


If you are looking to buy a basketball for a lady baller or a youngster, then take a look at the 28.5? sized basketballs.  Higher end composite leather basketballs (like the Wilson Evolution) are indoor only basketballs and are often used in high school and collegiate games. Pro Dunk Gold In Ground Basketball Hoop


We’ve all been there.  A great basketball has the correct grip balance while maintaining a smooth feel. You should NEVER have to be thinking about whether a ball will bounce consistently, or if it will be difficult to handle.  Due to the increased size of the regulation basketball it also ways slightly more than the other sized basketballs.

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2.  Make sure to look at each ball and its characteristics to make a decision that meets your balling needs.  Do not forget to consider how you plan to use the basketball and your own basketball related goals.

Similar to grip, but different. 4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)

Price: $$$$$

Answer the questions in the quiz to get recommendations on the basketball that will best meet your needs:


4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)

4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)

3. Silverback SB-54iG In-Ground Basketball System

4. Spalding Portable Basketball System- 60? Acrylic Backboard

Rubber Basketballs are the Most Affordable Rubber Basketballs are the Most AffordableRubber


We recognize how important it is to have the best outdoor basketball for players who expect a top quality product.  Instead of having someone else tell you what ball to buy, check out the list we have compiled and use the data to decide which is the best outdoor basketball for you!

Now that you have the perfect outdoor basketball it is now time to turn your attention to finding the best outdoor basketball hoop to match.  With only one inch difference in circumference the difference between this basketball and the regulation size will be hard to differentiate by many.  Rubber basketballs are the cheapest and can be found pretty easily for somewhere between $10 and $15.

27.5? Youth

Price: $$$$

Genuine Leather

The best outside basketballs are almost all made from a composite or synthetic leather material.  It is either too slick or too rubbery, or inconsistent in its bounce.  You have to think about what matters to you including cost, brand, size, color, feel, and grip.  There are literally hundreds of basketball hoops to choose from for your home and the characteristics of each can vary greatly across price, features, materials, and size. Performance

How long is the basketball likely to last under normal playing conditions.  While we all have different preferences, we feel you will find any of the basketballs on our list are worth of being crowned best outdoor basketball.

For adults and boys who are in their teenage years, a standard 29.5? basketball will be the best choice.  But there is good news!  Today’s composite leather is of great quality and does an amazing job simulating the feel of genuine leather.  A proper amount of grip allows for the basketball to be controlled during, but not so much grip that it loses feel.

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Things to Consider When Buying a Basketball

1.  Do you really think that Billy Hyle or Sidney Dean would play with a sub-par ball?  Of course not!  Great ballers want to have the best outdoor basketball because this gives them the best opportunity to play their A-game.  Below we have selected what we consider to be the best five basketball hoops for your home. Price

1.  When using the basketball does it feel connected to your hands making dribbling and control effortless?  A basketball with good feel has a good balance between cushion and stability.  This is the same for almost every sport. Size

With our interactive chart you will find valuable information regarding each basketball we have listed.  Tip: If you have a high school aged daughter having her practice with the regulation size basketball at home will make the 28.5? used during the games feel like shooting fish in a bucket!

4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)

5. Lifetime 52-Inch Portable Basketball System

This seems to be a popular feature for those wanting to be able to palm a basketball.  The most important factor on basketball price is the cover material.  Genuine leather basketballs are the most expensive (~$140). Some basketballs out there charge a premium price but have nothing special to offer

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