Silverback is a brand that makes basketball hoops in the mid price ranges, exactly where models like the Lifetime 51544 are so these can be considered direct competitors. What is unique about the NXT and makes it a best selling model for a few years in a row is that the brand has a completely different take on portable basketball hoops. The NXT is designed to give ball players more space around them and allow them to make better plays under the ring. In fact, this is done to mimic the built-in basketball hoops where nothing gets in your feet’s way when playing. Is it good enough for us to make that comparison? Well, you are about to find out.
Our Verdict: Due to its affordable price, we recommend the Silverback NXT portable basketball system to anyone who is looking for a cheap and at the same time portable hoop to play with. This particular model will mimic in-ground hoops without sacrificing much of its stability. While it doesn’t come equipped with the preferred tempered glass backboard, and the rim may need an upgrade, it’s a good choice for adults, teens, and kids, thanks to its impressive stability and height adjustable options.
Keep Reading to find out how this system performs when put to the test.
Features That Make It Stand Out
Silverback is impressing players all over the country by producing a lower priced portable basketball system that can easily outperform higher priced models on the market.
It’s not equipped with any fancy features and it doesn’t have a top of the line backboard, but it does offer a unique frame design that makes this system really stand out from the competition.
In almost all cases with basketball hoops, the more portable a model gets, the less stable and durable it is. With the NXT this isn’t exactly right. Let’s take a look at its construction to see why…
Overall Build And Construction Properties
The base here isn’t the biggest but there is extra-strength added through the Stabili-frame system in place here. The volume of the base is 25 gallons which is still more than most portable hoops in this price bracket. When filled with sand it will make the whole thing weigh way over 200 pounds making it as stable as those can get. The dimensions of the base aren’t big either which adds to the comfort when playing below the ring.
You cannot dunk on a hoop with such a base, though, so keep the aggressive play style to the more expensive gym hoops. Your kids will have a blast with this hoop, though, since it has supporting rods on the base which will allow for someone under 100 pounds to dunk and even hang from the hoop.
All in all, whatever part you touch during the assembly you will feel that Silverback didn’t make any cuts when it came to material quality. The actual assembly takes less than 2 hours if you have help. Once put together it is fairly easy to move the whole thing around thanks to its wheelbarrow based mobility system.
The material used in the board here is polycarbonate (acrylic). While this isn’t your typical NBA-level tempered glass, it does a great job at being super rigid and therefore can’t break easily when it gets hit by something different than a basketball. To add to the responsiveness, Silverback has created a unique design to their backboard. There is an infinity-edge technology in place here which is basically an enhanced framing which allows the board to bend backwards leading to a more authentic rebound.
There are three poles here which snap into one long piece quite tightly. If you don’t look closely you won’t be able to notice that this isn’t a one-piece pole. On top of them lies a nicely engineered mechanism which allows you to control the height of the hoop. It can range from 7 and a half all the way to 10 feet with increments of 6-inches. This makes this basketball system ideal for both kids and adults who want to play some ball.
The mechanism here is simple and is where you can notice the price cuts Silverback had to make to bring the price down to a budget range. The rim has one single exposed spring which can rust if left outside during winter or rainy season. If that is a concern of yours, you can get a cover for the hoop. Still, there is quite the impressive bounce to the rim which isn’t typical for this class of basketball systems.
Is It Hard To Assemble?
Usually, portable basketball hoops aren’t the easiest to assemble but the NXT puts an end to this myth. With a little work you can even assemble it alone for around an hour or two. The instructions included in the package you will get are very detailed, easy to follow, and have a step-by-step guide. Still, make sure you keep things organized as there are a lot of parts included in this set.
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Despite the fact that this system consists of a three-piece pole design, it scored really well in terms of stability. This system is definitely not a toy and works well for adults, teens, and younger children, thanks to the height adjustable design.
The system itself is impressively durable thanks to the Stabili-Frame. As we touched on earlier, the innovative frame design is what makes this model a great choice for adults. The Stabili-Frame consists of a slanted pole construction that’s designed to distribute weight evenly and improve stability, preventing rocking and swaying during use. Additionally, the pole connects directly to the system’s frame, right below its base. When put to the test we found that the pole design does help to improve the system’s stability, keeping it firmly in place and preventing any motion even after dunking.
The backboard is made out of polycarbonate instead of tempered glass, but still offers better than average responsiveness, as does the basic rim design. Ultimately, while the manufacturer obviously used lower priced materials to keep the price down, their unique pole construction is what really makes this system shine.
Is it Worth a Second Look?
Yes, it has a three-piece pole design and the backboard isn’t up to NBA standards, but there’s still plenty to love about this popular model.
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced portable basketball system, and one that won’t hit your wallet too hard, the NXT can be a great option for players of all age.
The system’s stability is especially surprising considering the smaller twenty-five gallon base. When filled with water to capacity, the base weighs in at two hundred pounds, which is more than enough weight to keep the system solidly in place. However, if you plan on wheeling it into your garage after use, keep in mind that when it’s filled to capacity it can be difficult to move. If you’d prefer to leave it out year-round, make sure you purchase a cover in order to prevent rusting.
Because the NXT is also height adjustable, you can raise or lower the backboard based on who is playing, lowering it for the kids and raising it to NBA regulation height when it’s time for the adult pickup game.
This is a fun family-friendly system that works for players of all ages, offering a rim and backboard that have a gym quality feel.
Check out our Buyer’s Guide if you are interested in more portable basketball hoops. There you will also find tons of general information on hoops and countless useful tips.
Now, let’s check some of the pros and cons of the Silverback NXT:
- Innovative design which leaves place to play underneath the hoop
- Great bang for the buck
- Looks great
- Premium quality parts
- Easy assembly in a matter of 1-2 hours
- Has height adjustment from 7 and a half to 10 feet
- Easy to move thanks to the wheelbarrow lift and roll design
- Steel frame substructure which reinforces the whole system
- Unique slanted pole design for improved stability
- The exposed rim spring can catch rust if left under the rain constantly
- The base can be a bit bigger
- The backboard isn’t tempered glass although it has a nice rebound
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