Best Outdoor Basketballs – Complete 2017 Guide
We provide a full dashboard of top balls using data and reviews from Amazon.com in combination with our own original reviews!
What should you look for in a great outdoor basketball?
My name is Ricky Shockley, an outdoor recreational baller from South Florida. If you’re like me, you likely know that it’s very hard to find an outdoor ball that’s affordable, durable and maintains a good grip (the thing I care about most) and feel. I’m here to help you break down your best options for getting an outdoor ball that fits the bill! In addition to using reviews and feedback from top sites on the web, I’ll also be reviewing some of the balls on my own, complete with video and images from my own experience with the products.
Sometimes I feel like the outdoor courts my friends and I play on here in South Florida are made of sand paper and metal. Certain balls feel great out of the box, but after a few days/weeks they begin to wear down quickly. If you’re concerned about durability, opt for a ball with a rubber surface. The NBA Street-Phantom by Spalding is a great option if you can get past the non-traditional color.
It’s very hit or miss when it comes to finding a durable ball and it seems hard to predict upon purchase. At BestOutdoorBasketball.com, we’ll be reviewing these balls ourselves and providing our original reviews and feedback on durability of top outdoor ball options, so stay tuned!
You have a few options when it comes to the type of material on your basketball. The three main materials are Rubber, Composite Leather, and Genuine Leather.
If you’re looking for an outdoor basketball, this probably won’t even be a consideration. The top tier indoor balls are generally made of real leather. If you’re interested in one of those, you can shop some top options here. If you’re looking for an outdoor basketball you’ll want to avoid leather. These balls are expensive and wear out quickly when used on rough outdoor surfaces!
Many of the balls labeled “indoor/outdoor” will be made of composite materials. These balls are often a nice balance between grip, affordability, feel and durability. Check out our list below for specific ball options.
Many of the lower cost basketball options are made from rubber. Traditionally, these balls have great durability but also have inconsistent bounce and weight. They tend to have great grip on dirty outdoor environments but can get slippery when wet from sweat or water. Some newer balls are blurring the lines between rubber and composite with softer, higher quality rubbers that feel more like top composite balls.
3. Weight & Size
In my opinion, this is one of the most overlooked aspects of a good outdoor basketball. Here are standard weights for basketballs…
- Full Size – 7 (29.5″) = 22 oz
- Size 6 – (29.5″) = 20 oz
- Size 5 – (29.5″) = 17 oz
- Size 4 – (29.5″) = 14 oz
- Size 3 – (22.0″) = 10 oz
Most balls you purchase (especially the more expensive options) will have very accurate weights. If you’re concerned that the weight of your ball may be off, you can purchase a food scale to check a combination of the weight and inflation. Also be sure to check that your ball is inflated properly. Here is a great article on basketball inflation for reference.