Best Outdoor Basketball 2017 – The Complete Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

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Are you looking for the best outdoor basketball? Then your best answer can be found here!

best outdoor basketball reviews 2017

I am sure that a large number of my readers are getting so excited. The season in which we can enjoy our outdoor activities with the ones we love is coming fast. For months, we have been waiting for this so we can go back to our sunny adventures.  Swimming, running, enjoying picnics, and playing different sports such as soccer and basketball will be the options of many when it comes to their what-to-do list each and every single day.

So gear up and prepare, as today, I will be giving you reasonable guidelines in finding the best outdoor basketball for your family and friends.

What Makes a Great Outdoor Basketball?

People might think that as long as you are going to play basketball, the kind of ball does not really matter. This is a myth. You have to understand that there are certain differences between indoor basketball and outdoor basketball.

Some may rebut, players only dribble and shoot, so what is the dissimilarity? The environment is my shortest most basic answer. The surface is rougher; hence, it can be more uncontrollable. An indoor basketball will not be able to tolerate the demands of an outdoor game. It will need a more durable material such as rubber. This will allow the players enjoy longer games without destroying the product.

Sweat can also make things more complicated when playing outdoor basketball. Compared to indoor arenas, players will perspire more because of their direct exposure to the sun. A non-slippery composite material will then solve this kind of issue.

Without further ado, let me tell you what things you should look for when assessing your basketball are:

Things to Consider before Buying The Best Outdoor Basketball

  • Age Range of Users and size

Not all basketballs are suited for a specific age of  the user. Most people would think that the size and age do not really matter, but it does. If you do not make use of the appropriate ball, children may find it uncomfortable and even frustrating to play basketball. Check out this table I have prepared for you to know which the most appropriate brown ball is.

Age of player Ball weight (in oz) Ball size Ball size (in inches)
16 years and above 22 oz 7 29.5 inches
12 years to 15 20 oz 6 28.5 inches
11 years and below 18 oz 5 27.75 inches

 

Basketball Materials and Construction

The price of your basketball will vary depending on the type you are going to buy. Leathers are the most expensive kind in the market. They can go as high as $50 to $100 or even more. On the other hand, outdoor basketballs made of rubbers are the most inexpensive ones. You can get a decent and long-lived ball for as low as $15. If you want to go in between; buy a synthetic composite-made playing tool.

  • Brands

There are so many brands we can choose from nowadays.

Molten has been in the business for years and just in 2012, they got the contract with all FIBA championships and Asia events. There’s also Nike, a popular sportswear brand which has been providing us basketballs for its own tournaments. This contract with ULEB and UAAP started in 2012. Nonetheless, Nike is also manufacturing bballs for leisure games.

If you want a basketball manufacturer who has been in the business since 1902, go for Rawlings. This is the basketball of choice for NAIA, NJCAA, and AAU. If you want an older one, choose Spalding. Spalding has produced a number of pioneer kinds of official game balls from baseball, basketball, to football since 1876. No wonder they hold the contract for NBA, WNBA, and NBADL. Lastly, we have Wilson who provides the official ball of NCAA.

What do these acronyms stand for:

AAU – Amateur Athletic Union
FIBA – Federation Internationale de Basketball (International Basketball Federation)
NAIA – National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
NBA – National Basketball Association
NBADL – National Basketball Association Development League
NJCAA – National Junior College Athletic Association
UAAP – University Athletic Association of the Philippines
ULEB – Union of European Leagues of Basketball
WNBA- Women’s National Basketball Association

 

  • Player type

You might have noticed that there are 3 types of basketball sizes. 27.5 inches, the smallest, are meant to be used by children or amateurs who have just been acquainted with basketball. 28.5 inches, on the other hand, is perfect for female basketball players. Finally, the biggest one, 29.5 inches is the regulation size. This is the size for most professional bballs.

The handling of the ball and its rating is also subjective. It can depend on the type of player’s preference and level of skills. For example, an expert may have different specifications compared to an advanced beginner. In the same light, a competent player may be more sensitive when it comes to the grasp, control, and grip compared to recreational players and novices.

  • Performance

It is not enough to know the age, size, material and brand. There are other subcategories which you should be focusing on like the control, durability, impression, grasp, and value.

When you buy a basketball, I advise you to dribble them inside the store to give you a preview on how it feels to play with it. There should be a good control; the bounce should have a very good center. Check how easy you can take a hold of your basketball or the grasp.

I don’t know about you but sometimes, I can fall in love with a ball based on how I feel; my impression as I touch it (comfort and steadiness) can make or break the deal. Lastly, go for the product that can give value to your money by getting the most durable of them all.

  • Price range

Ball prices can be classified as budget, mid-range and high-end. It all depends on the purpose of your bball. Professional matches would require you to spend a little more compared to the others because they need to have the highest quality, and that is why we call it high-end.  You will observe this in the materials used and in the process the ball was made. Next would be the mid-range. This is the basketball of choice for training and school matches. Lastly, go for a budget basketball for your recreational games. This is also the cheapest of them all.

Best Outdoor Basketball 2017 – Top 10

This table has been arranged according to the original location target of the manufacturer: indoor and outdoor versus outdoors only. I also arranged it according to the available sizes and age range, alphabetically.

The aim of this arrangement is to help my readers find the perfect match for themselves or their children or friends in an easier method.

Product NameSizeAge rangeMaterial
Spalding NBA Street Basketball7/6/5AllRubber
Baden Crossover Flex Composite Basketball29.5" (size 7), 28.5" (size 6),12 years and aboveComposite synthetic
Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball29.5" (size 7), and 28.5" (size 6)12 years and aboveComposite leather
Spalding NBA Varsity Outdoor Rubber BasketballOfficial size 29.5 inch (size 7)16 years old and aboveRubber
Under Armour Stephen Curry Official Size Basketball (BB151)Official size 29.5 inch (size 7)16 years old and aboveUA Gripskin rubber
Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball, FIBA Approved – BGMX29.5" (size 7), 28.5" (size 6),12 years and aboveSynthetic cover
Spalding NBA Indoor/Outdoor Replica Game Ball29.5" (size 7), and 28.5" (size 6)12 years and abovePremium composite
Under Armour 495 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball29.5" (size 7), 28.5" (size 6),12 years and aboveGripskin Composite
Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor BasketballOfficial size 29.5 inch (size 7)16 years old and aboveComposite leather
XGUMIHO Basketball Street Ball Outdoor/IndoorOfficial size 29.5 inch (size 7)16 years old and abovePU Leather

What did not make our list:


You might notice that there are some high-rating basketballs that do was not enlisted today. These are Mikasa Sports Usa Mikasa Bx1000 Series Elementary 25.5″ Basketballs and DribbleUp Smart Training Basketball (with iPhone App). I just did not include it simply to avoid selection bias. And let me reiterate that these two are great choices.

If you have a youngster, who is very interested in learning this beautiful game of basketball, give them the Mikasa Sports Usa Mikasa Bx1000 Series Elementary 25.5″ Basketball. This junior size bball did not get included simply because it is not qualified for the comparative sizes I used. It is also way cheaper than the ones on the list.

This Mikasa junior sized ball is perfect for our sons and daughters who would love to learn basketball. If you have a furry friend who loves playing with balls, this is also perfect for them. It has a nice feel and a good pebbled texture and it is made of durable rubber material.

Pros
  • Very good ball for young children
  • Advisable for pet use as well
  • Good grip, control, and bounce
Cons
  • Some might consider it too small for starters

On the other hand, I would love everyone who wants to educate themselves more about this physical sport to buy DribbleUp Smart Training Basketball (with iPhone App). Yes, it is expensive; however, it will give you the feel of having your own personal coach anytime anywhere.

The virtual trainer will measure your speed of crossover, consistency in height and location and keep an eye on your dribbling. It has a live feedback and you can get your very own 30-day guided training program. You do not only pay for the ball – you are actually trying to buy a better basketball player within you that comes with a free phone stand. Unfortunately, this is only for apple users.

Pros
  • Basketball tracking device
  • Helps monitor your progress using your iPhone
  • Gives 30-day guided training
  • Can be used for all ages, all types of players
  • Virtual coach anytime and anywhere
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Cannot be used without IOS (only for iPhone users)

Our pick for the best outdoor basketball:

It is not that easy to choose a single basketball to recommend because they all have their pros and cons; giving this recommendation will also be subjective. However, let me tell you that our editor’s choices would be one for outdoor-only use and another for indoor/outdoor. Without further ado, I would like to tell you that I highly suggest our readers to buy: Spalding NBA Street Basketball and Xgumiho Basketball Street Ball Outdoor/Indoor.

Spalding NBA Street Basketball can be very assistive game ball for all aspiring basketball players. From recreational players to novices to professionals can vouch for Spalding’s quality. Spalding has been a great manufacturer of first-rate game balls for different kinds of sports. This model was specifically created to have a very robust merit making it a perfect fit for outdoor games. It can be played in asphalt, cement even in rough streets without getting damaged and deformed.

Xgumiho Basketball Street Ball Outdoor/Indoor, on the other hand, has the best material for both indoor and outdoor use. Unlike balls in the same kind, some are can only function excellently inside but as you transfer its use to al fresco settings, you can easily notice wearing and tearing. It has different colors to choose from. This product is made of PU or bi-cast leather making it extra durable for rough surface gaming. What I also love about this is that the cover has an anti-slippery material. It also has a butyl bladder that ensures elasticity, precise bounce back and air retention.

In-depth Analysis & Reviews

Best outdoor basketball #1: Spalding NBA Street Basketball

The term itself ‘street basketball’ makes it an extra-hot choice for us who love playing outdoors. This basketball has a very good grasp and it does not slip off our sweaty palms easily. The size, 29.5 inches makes it the perfect ball for teenagers who are aspiring to become a future professional basketball player.

This is a high-end ball that is durable and long-lasting even if you choose to play it on asphalt or rocky streets. The fact that it has a respectable quality and it is sold at a very reasonable price makes it a perfect inclusion for this list. Lastly, if your girlfriend or sisters love playing hoops, this is also the safest bet as they offer pink and purple color! This product comes in sizes 5 and 6 as well so children and teens can comfortably play.

Unfortunately, some users are having problems with the capability of the ball to hold air for a long period of time. It seems questionable since many would vouch for the need of an air pump as it deflates often.

Conclusion:

I would highly recommend this basketball to those who would like an affordable but hard-wearing toy. It does not easily get damaged with asphalt or hard concrete outdoor grounds and most of all, it gives you that boost of confidence if you are hoping to join professional matches someday.

Pros
  • It carries the National Basketball Association Logo
  • It comes in different colors
  • Commendable grip
Cons
  • The bounce is way too much for starters
  • A number of players report leakage of air

Best outdoor basketball #2: Baden Crossover Flex Composite Basketball

If you do not like typical basketball, this Baden Crossover Flex is for you. You will not see the orange background and black lines. It is the other way around. You will get a black ball with orange channels. If you are not happy with orange, you can go for the green one. But of course, the classic brown is still an option; please do not get me wrong.

Although the main color is black, the surface will not stain your hand or your courts at all. Another great thing about this product is that the black actually hides the dirt as you use this ball frequently.

This bball is made of flex composite cover. The purpose of their widely spaced panels is to avoid bounces that are inconsistent. The ball was created in a perfectly symmetrical shape to enhance every play.

Conclusion:

This ball is one of the best choices as gifts for exceptional personalities. The dramatic choices of colors will make every game exciting. This ball is not only great physically, its performance and function are also very remarkable. Great for starters and experts. Give it to your children and I can assure you that their playmates would want to have one as well!

Pros
  • Very good feel
  • Comes at your doorstep fully inflated
  • Color is so great
Cons
  • Not for very rough outdoor surfaces

Best outdoor basketball #3: Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball

This great NCAA Replica Basketball from Wilson offers a very good grip and size which makes palming very comfortable. The bball manufacturer is very proud to present its cushion core technology and a moisture absorbing cover made of composite leather. Also, this product offers a patented channel style, perfect for spinning the ball on top of your fingers – however, it is not considered ergonomic by many advanced players.

I have seen this ball being played by many during recreational games and hear no negative comment about it. Well, again, those are the ones who do not take the game seriously.

Conclusion:

If you are planning to give a basketball for someone who wants to use it as a recreational game, this will be the best outdoor basketball for you. It will satisfy amateur and leisure players, but not those who are aware of the characteristics of a flawless ball. For ladies and men who love the color pink, you may happily purchase the pink, 28.5 version of this model.

Pros
  • Has a patented composite laid in channels
  • Has a patented cushion core technology
  • Good for amateur and recreational players
  • Great for indoor and outdoor basketball games
Cons
  • Not for expert and sensitive ballers
  • Channels are too wide, with rough transitions

Best outdoor basketball #4: Spalding NBA Varsity Outdoor Rubber Basketball

This basketball is made from traditional rubber cover. This Spalding NBA Varsity Basketball bears the official size and weight professional players from National Basketball Association make use of.

This model is suitable for both girls and boys. This product comes in two useful sizes: 6 and 7. Aside from that, it comes from very attractive colors you can choose from (Black/Blue, Blue/Black, Green/Blue, Pink/Black, Pink/Green, and Red/Pink). This selection will make all playtime personalized and less monotonous.

Apparently, one of the things I noticed is that the valve of this product needs special during pumping or else, leaking will start or worse, pins will fall inside.

Conclusion:

For creative minds and the younger generation, this ball can stimulate their playful side. It has a good grip that will not make the ball slip easily from the palms of your teens. Hence, they could play longer and enjoy more time outdoors with this. A perfect buy if you would like their hands off their mobile phones or computer gadgets.

Pros
  • You may choose from 6 attractive colors
  • Wonderful grip and bounce
Cons
  • Careful inflation should be observed

Best outdoor basketball #5: Under Armour Stephen Curry Official Size Basketball (BB151)

There are certain preferences in life in which we base on our icons, and our choice for basketball is not exempted. This ball is perfect for all the fans of Stephen Curry. Need I say more? I am like that when I was younger, and even until now.

This very good-looking ball has combinations of black, blue and yellow colors. It is manufactured only with basketball’s official size which is 29.5 inches. Since this is an Under Armour ball, expect it to be made with their exclusive Under Armour Gripskin rubber.

The ball is not only great for the eyes, it is also a great playmate. It is extremely durable and you can play with it indoors or outdoors.

Having this ball is not only perfect for your game; it can also have a positive psychological impact. Who would not?! Hello?!… This is Stephen Curry’s basketball!

Unfortunately, many are not happy with the price you have to pay. And others would even mention that the built of the ball is not really for competitive gaming.

Conclusion:

Are you a fan of Stephen Curry? How about your son? Or friends? If so, this will be perfect with no hesitations. Whether you are just going to add it to your collection and display it; or you would actually be playing with it – this product will certainly make you happy. However, please be cautioned that this beautiful ball is not for hard-core use.

Pros
  • Very attractive color with paint splashed design
  • Made of UA Gripskin rubber
Cons
  • Expensive

Best outdoor basketball #6: Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball, FIBA Approved – BGMX

By the model itself, you can already tell that this is a no-nonsense product. This ball is the official choice of FIBA. The manufacturers present the ball with enhanced functionality. They ensured to create consistent, even and identical pebbles to make the texture perfect for grip, feel, and control.

The visibility is also undoubtedly heightened because of the GIUGIARO 12-panel design. This design is one of my favorites out there. You can easily see the way the ball rotates. For starters, they can use the markers as a guide on how to handle, pass, and even shoot the ball properly.

Conclusion:

This is a perfect indoor ball and although it says that you can use it even outside, it wears easily. Playing with this ball will give you a boost of self-esteem knowing that this is the same ball FIFA players are using. The price is lower compared to other indoor/outdoor balls but I think this is better used on smooth surfaces.

Pros
  • FIBA approved
  • Unique Molten’s signature patented design
  • Comes with 1-year warranty
  • Great for indoors and outdoors
Cons
  • This ball is superb indoors, but not for purely outdoor gaming

Best outdoor basketball #7: Spalding NBA Indoor/Outdoor Replica Game Ball

If you are looking for a basketball that can cater your basketball itching whether indoors or outdoors, this Spalding NBA Replica Game Ball is so right for you. It bears the official size and weight of professional bball matches, making it easy for you to practice dribbling and shooting perfectly in a wide array of angles.

It is made of premium composite cover that gives you that perfect leathery feel and very robust rubbery quality.

Conclusion:

If you are really an indoor player but sometimes prefer to play outside once in a while, this ball is great for you. Think about the fact that you will not be using money (and storage area) to accommodate another basketball will make you go for this ball without questions.

Pros
  • Designed for both indoor and outdoor games
  • Gives a very comfortable grip as leather balls do
Cons
  • There are so many sellers out there that trade a counterfeit model of this ball
  • The constant changing of play area might ruin the feel of this ball

Best outdoor basketball #8: Under Armour 495 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

This basketball is unlike other balls because of its 80% nylon windings. This characteristic is important for the retention of the shapes of basketball.

I love that the manufacturers actually addressed that specific concern of outdoor players. Technically speaking, if the bball changes its shape, the control, grip, and bounce will be affected. That will not be a problem when you purchase Under Armour 495.

A special cover made of Under Armour composite gripskin, full ball pebbling and channels that are designed deeply will give you the perfect feel and grasp as you play your favorite game.

Aside from all of these very good features, air leakage is also not an issue because this product is made with 100% butyl bladder to hold air in the longest possible time.

Conclusion:

Although Under Armour may be new in the basketball manufacturing industry, I still highly recommend this basketball. It has undeniably superb features and many users are highly satisfied with its performance.

Pros
  • Cover is made gripskin composite
  • Has shape retention feature
  • Has maximum air retention feature
Cons
  • Does not bounce as good compared to others.
  • The cover can get too slippery at times

Best outdoor basketball #9: Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball – Official Size 7 (29.5″)

Classics can never go wrong. This model provides the players with the official color, feel, size, and weight of an NBA ball. We can safely say that this Zi/O Spalding Basketball is designed following the stipulations of the professional National Basketball Association team.

The grip is also one of the favorite recommendations I can give with this product. The ball has a pebbling effect that enhances your control and grasp during the ball game. It is made of composite leather that gives you the feel of playing a very expensive basketball, but in fact, it is very affordable.

Ill-advisedly, this indoor/outdoor ball cannot handle the pressures of an open-air environment. It can get brittle, deflate and appears to be in bad shape.

Conclusion:

This ball is perfect for different player types, from amateurs to training professionals. You can make use of it as you practice dribbling and shooting for serious matches or as a simple time-pass activity. Best for indoor use; however, its outdoor performance may not be as good. As the elements of al fresco environments might be so challenging for its composition.

Pros
  • Full ball pebbling texture
  • Designed for both indoor and outdoor games
  • Highly modeled according to the specifications of NBA
Cons
  • Not for constant outdoor use

Best outdoor basketball #10: Xgumiho Basketball Street Ball Outdoor/Indoor

This is another type of basketball that gives us great color choices. You can select from brown, purple and yellow, red or yellow. The availability of colors, however, may vary from one store to another.

This street ball is made of PU leather. This leather is known to have different names such as bi-cast leather, split leather, and even Ricky leather. Unlike rubbers, this Xgumiho has a cover that allows the moisture to be absorbed. Hence, playing with sweaty hands will not actually be a great challenge.

The composite leather also provides a softer texture compared to other balls in the market without sacrificing its bounce, grip, and control. Nonetheless, other players are not satisfied with the feel of this ball claiming that is softer than usual. But let me tell you that I particularly do not have any problems with it. For maximum air retention, this product has also butyl type of bladder.

This has been manufactured with the official size and weight of professional basketballs (29.5). Therefore, if you wanted to practice your NBA moves, this is the best bet for you and your friends.

Although this ball will arrive at your doorstep deflated, they actually included pumps for your benefit! Now that is a really thoughtful act. Kudos to manufacturers.

Conclusion:

This ball is perfect for different player types, from amateurs to training professionals. You can make use of it as you practice dribbling and shooting for serious matches or as a simple time-pass activity. Best for indoor use; however, its outdoor performance may not be as good. As the elements of al fresco environments might be so challenging for its composition.

Pros
  • It is made of PU leather but does not get too slippery unlike others
  • Pumps included
Cons
  • The soft feel will make other players uncomfortable

Conclusion

If you are an aspirant professional basketball player, but Xgumiho’s Basketball Street Ball Outdoor/Indoor so you will not be limited to practice your skills inside your gymnasium. It will give you a good training for dribbling, shooting and passing especially because this is made with the specifications of an official basketball already.

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