Struggling with the ball-handling or failing to destroy a defense with your dribbling? It’s not your fault. A ball is a thing that influences the overall performance of every player.
You can also make an audience wow! If you jump into a court with the best outdoor basketball in your hand. A ball manufactured with quality material, a ball that gives better grip strength.
But here’s a thing;
Navigating to the perfect fit basketball is not that much easy as it seems. Balls with different sizes, different materials can make a decision daunting for you. Hence, to save your time and money, we have compiled a list of Top 10 outdoor basketballs on the market.
The comprehensive reviews of each basketball, along with their pros and cons, will help you in making an informed decision about your purchase.
So without further ado, let’s get into the details;
Our Top Picks
- 1 8 Best Outdoor Basketball – Comparison Chart
- 2 Top Outdoor Basketball Reviews
- 2.1 Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor – Outdoor Basketball
- 2.2 Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball
- 2.3 Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
- 2.4 Spalding NBA Street Phantom Official Outdoor Basketball
- 2.5 Under Armour 495 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
- 2.6 Wilson NCAA Wave Microfiber Composite Basketball
- 2.7 Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball
- 2.8 Spalding NBA Hexagrip Soft Grip NeverFlat
- 3 Best Outdoor Basketballs – Buyer’s Guide
8 Best Outdoor Basketball – Comparison Chart
Here is the comparison chart of top pick Outdoor Basketballs available on the market.
|Spalding NBA Zi/O|
|Wilson NCAA Replica|
|Under Armour 495|
|Wilson NCAA Wave|
Top Outdoor Basketball Reviews
Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor – Outdoor Basketball
For those who don’t want to have different balls for the various court conditions, Spalding NBA Zi/O has proved itself a perfect fit.
No matter, either you start hoping with it in a driveway or bring it out to play on a concrete court. The quality of the ball will remain the same for a more extended period. Long story short, you could choose it as an ultimate indoor/outdoor basketball for yourself.
Playing outdoor is fun, but the feel of an indoor game is something that everyone wants to experience. Being manufactured with a composite leather, Spalding Zi/O can serve you with the softer and indoor feel while shooting a ball.
Feel is not the only thing that makes it able to steal a top stop on our list. There are other things as well, and the dribbling friendly construction of the ball is one of them.
The ball is designed with the deep seams, which let the player sink his fingers inside. Ultimately, this design strengthens the grip of the ball that improves the dribbling ability of a player. Changing the directions quickly with this ball will be much more comfortable and fun for you.
Moreover, the cover and material ensure that the ball remains foreseeable and consistent during a play. Do you think, with these features, you will ever feel trouble in destroying a good defense. Absolutely, not.
Perfect for the 15 years older
Spalding Zi/O comes in the size of 7, which reflects that the circumference is around 29.5 Inches. Having that much circumference makes it a great deal for you if your age is not lesser than 15 years.
Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball
“Best budget ball”
Wilson is the name that every player is familiar with, because of their promised quality products. You are not going to say even a single word of complaint, after playing with this ball once.
Wilson is the producer of the official NCAA Tournament game balls, and the recommended one is the replica of one of those official league balls. But interestingly, you will not be able to mark the difference in both of them in terms of performance, feel, and quality.
The budget will not be an issue for you as well if you have decided to go with it. And the good news is that manufacturer does not compromise the quality for the sake of making it cheaper than competitors.
Indeed, you are going to enjoy the same quality, durability, and feel that most of the expensive balls claim. Isn’t it a better deal?
The ball is designed with the composite leather along with the butyl rubber core that gives a softer touch feel. Ultimately, help you in receiving passes, shooting or dribbling a ball with an improved grip.
Apart from this, the moisture-absorbing material allows you to palm the ball, even with the sweaty hands. Either it is raining, a ball has rolled out of a puddle, either way, the grip strength will remain at its best.
Being an outdoor basketball, Wilson NCAA will never quickly lose its quality and grip. Regardless of the concrete or sturdy surface of the court, you will keep enjoying the outdoor pickup games with this ball.
Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
“Best Multi-Court Basketball”
Molten has got the recognition among all of the basketball players, by supplying the balls to FIBA. But that was not the only reason; the usage of technology, quality material, and innovation in the construction of the basketballs contributes majorly.
Similar to all other Molten Basketballs, X-Series is one of those that the basketball stars love to play with. But why is it so, let’s figure out;
12 Panel Design
Instead of following the tradition, Molten comes up with the 12-panel design, which makes it attractive in appearance. Though the channels are not that much deep, but still compatible enough that you will not face any hurdle during the game. Other than that, the extra channels are going to help you a lot in shooting a ball.
Apart from the constructional design, the color of Molten X-Series is improved for serving players with excellent visibility. Tracking the rotation of the ball will be much more comfortable, ultimately you will be able to dribble quickly. Definitely, you don’t want to miss the chance to amaze your spectators.
Grip & Feel
The pebble pattern and the cover ensures you a strong grip over the ball, along with the consistency. As far as the feel is concerned, we are short of a word to explain it to you. However, feel is far better than other basketball leading brands.
Being designed with the synthetic material, it holds the ability to deal with the tougher and concrete outdoor courts. But still, you can ruin its cover by playing more aggressively.
According to regular usage, it could last more than a year. If it’s not, then nothing to worry, the warrant of 1 year is there to compensate you.
Spalding NBA Street Phantom Official Outdoor Basketball
“Best outdoor basketball for beginners”
You have to agree with me; rubber basketball is not a primary option for any basketball player. But in case of the tight budget, you usually left with no choice other than Rubber basketball.
There could be another scenario that you want your primary ball to last long while using a rubber ball as a secondary one for your pick up games.
Either way, from a bunch of rubber ball options, no one can beat Spalding NBA Street Phantom ball in terms of the quality, value for money, and, most importantly, grip.
Unlike Spalding standard design, they have made this ball unique by using different color outside. You don’t need to follow the trend always, grab the ball and show up in court to be noticed by every other player.
Thanks to the soft grip technology for making the grip much stronger and enjoyable. Surprisingly, 60-70 seconds is the noticed time for which you can grip it. Whereas, finishers usually look for the ball with the grip of 15-20 seconds.
More than that, the grip is even friendly that the women can hold it up with ease as well. What else do you need under such a decent budget?
Though, similar to other rubber basketballs, the feel is something that lacks. But the performance is always at its best. Now the decision is yours, either you want to experience a feel or a better performance.
Suitable for Beginners
The extra grip allows the beginners to practice and perform effectively with this ball. Hence, you will find most of the beginners enjoying gameplay with it. If you are a new learner as well, then it is perfect for you.
The 7 size and the circumference of 29.5 indicate it’s perfect only for those beginners who are above 15 years because the younger would not hold it well.
Under Armour 495 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
“Best Value basketball”
Under Armour is the brand that has started its journey only a few years back, but made itself stand right next to the leading brands like Spalding.
Just the delivery of the promised quality and the value of money made them so acceptable in the market.
From their basketballs product line, Under Armour 495 has got the attributes to be featured as the best outdoor basketball. Let’s see what the factors were behind it;
UA Gripskin technology
If you are the one who’s primary consideration is the grip of the basketball. Then, believe me, its UA gripskin technology is going to leave you surprised. As per our examination, we have found that anyone can comfortably grip it for around 30-35 seconds.
However, in the early days, it could slip out of your hand again and again. But after a few days, you will enjoy palming it.
The usage of technology was not enough for a better grip. Hence, the pebbles of the ball designed a little bit larger, while making the channels deeper.
The grip of the ball with all these features together become much enjoyable. Consequently, you can use grip as a weapon to dominate the court.
Under Armour 495 features the Nylon Windings to keep the ball shape as it is, for the longest possible time. No matter how much tougher your asphalt court is, you will not find it damaged so easily.
And for the air retention, manufacturers have used 100% Butyl Bladder. Resultantly, the ball only loses 0.2 psi even after 24 hours, which is highly appreciate-able.
Wilson NCAA Wave Microfiber Composite Basketball
“Best composite basketball”
Here comes another ball from Wilson. A Wilson NCAA Wave basketball, which has been praised by almost every street basketball player since it’s launched. And we are sure, after using it in a game, it would become difficult for you to replace it with any other ball.
Wilson NCAA features “Wave Triple Threat Technology” that adds up 3 grooves to each channel of the ball. Ultimately, allow you to experience the grip and feel of the indoor balls.
Along with the technology, the deep pebbling, wider pebbled channels, and the composite cover have an even contribution in improved grip and the softer touch.
Apart from this, the grooves do not only make the ball gripper. But grooves also work with the composite leather to reduce the build-up of dirt at the maximum level.
Bounce as you expect
Similar to other Wilson Balls, NCCA is neither too flat nor too bouncy as well. You will experience a good amount of bounce. Whereas, the responsiveness will remain at its best until the ball wears down.
As far as the consistency is concerned, during the cross overs, you could face some level of inconsistency. But overall, the bounce is far better than many other outdoor basketballs.
It could be used for every sort of court surfaces, either indoor or outdoor. But relatively, it wears down more quickly in outdoor courts. Considerably, 3-4 months is the period, after which it starts losing its grip and the performance level.
Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball
“Best Rubber Basketball”
For those who can’t experience the quality and premium performance of other balls, just because of the budget, Here we have come up with another exceptionally affordable option for you. Let’s see, either it makes its way to your cart or not.
Primarily, it is designed with a premium rubber for outdoor play. And interestingly, unlike other basketballs, it is available in 4 different sizes from the official one to the smaller one so that every basketball player could get the best return of their money.
The grip is neither exceptional nor the weaker. During our testing, we have found that you can grip it comfortably but not for a more extended period. Though, the grip is satisfactory enough that there is no chance of facing difficulty in palming a ball.
Being designed for outdoor play, Mikasa BX1000 has an attribute of dealing with every sort of harsh condition. The cover is not going to fell over; the shape of the ball will remain the same until it meets some unusual situation.
But if the ball failed to serve you for the longest time, then still replacing it with the new one would not be an issue at all because of being so cheap and affordable.
Spalding NBA Hexagrip Soft Grip NeverFlat
Spalding NBA Hexagrip is designed to let you experience the premium quality basketball at an affordable price range. We were shocked, how Spalding managed to offer such premium features without putting a dent in your pocket. You are going to make the best out of your purchase.
Let’s have a look at its prominent yet competitive features;
The ball features a hexagonal pattern at its surface, which makes the ball easy to grip. Even, with the sweaty hands, you would struggle to palm it at all. Consequently, you are going to witness the improvement in your dribbling along with the shooting, due to the enhanced grip.
Other than the Hexagonal pattern, the optimal width of channels also ensures a better grip experience. The only thing to consider, don’t play with it in dusty court. Better to keep on clean it for the better ball rotation and dribbling.
Consistency in bounce is the thing that makes it different from the competing basketballs. None of the competing balls could even reach the level of this ball in terms of bounce consistency.
Moreover, even after the usage of months unlike other soft-grip balls, you are not going to experience any change in its shape. Thus, bounce consistency will be with you as well for the longest possible time.
As the name implies, the ball never goes flat. Unlike other annoying balls, you could keep on playing without pumping air during a game.
You might be surprised after learning about the fact that it can remain inflated for at least a year. Is not it interesting?
Best Outdoor Basketballs – Buyer’s Guide
Either you are playing indoor or outdoor, the ball is the thing that has a significant impact on your game performance. Therefore, choosing the right fit, yet the quality ball should be the pre-requisite before jumping into the court for pickup games.
So far, we have shared all of the best outdoor basketballs, which should be your priority to look for when thinking of buying an outdoor basketball.
But still, if you are confused about choosing any of them, let me help you in understanding the core of outdoor basketball selection criteria that could make you able to find out the one for yourself.
So without further ado, let’s get started;
Factors to consider before choosing a basketball
4 most essential pointers would help you in selecting the best outdoor basketball on the market. Avoiding anyone of them could lead you to the wrong choice. So, it’s always better to spend some time in understanding those factors.
The outdoor courts are less forgiving. Their concrete surfaces and the steel hoops could severely damage your balls within no time. Therefore, your ball cover should have the capacity to bear harsh conditions of outdoor courts.
Most of the time you find outdoor basketball in 3 types of cover
- Genuine Leather
- Composite Leather
Genuine Leather basketballs are not much common these days, but still, Spalding produces genuine leather balls as an official producer of NBA regulation balls.
You would hardly find any street player having genuine leather basketball because they require a longer duration to soften and to provide a comfortable grip.
You would also have to deal with uncomfortable handling and dribbling would be hard as well. Most importantly, the NBA has also shifted to composite leather balls. So why should we even consider it?
Let’s move on to the detail of composite and rubber basketballs, where the real deal is.
Composite leather is the synthetic leather that only makes the look of the ball as same as the genuine leather basketballs. In real, composite leather made up using various materials such as microfiber. But who cares about the material until and unless the ball keeps on performing well.
Unlike Genuine leather balls, these sorts of balls require less time to break-in. Provide better yet enhanced grip while ensuring the consistency always. Other than that, composing leather makes the ball affordable for everyone, in multi-color options.
Most importantly, it has the ability to bear up with concrete surfaces and steel hoops. All these attributes are making it the right choice for your outdoor games.
Lastly, rubber basketballs could also be a great option when it comes to outdoor basketball.
You would not find ball damage as well, even after many pickup games. Though, also if the ball gets damaged still, there will be no issue at all. Because rubber basketball is relatively too cheap that despite being on a tight budget, you can quickly grab it any time without facing any problem.
The ball is much softener, and the feel is incredible as well. But the grip is average relative to the composite leather ball. Better to grab it only if choosing a ball for your kid or for someone who is in the learning phase yet.
There is no “one size fits all” basketball available in the market. Considering the size of the basketball before making a purchase, as essential as the other factors are.
Though, if you are choosing a basketball for recreational activities, you don’t have to worry about size at all. But if the improvement in skill level is the primary concern, then size can’t be ignored at any cost.
There are three standard sizes of basketball, and every sized ball fulfills the different concerns of different age players.
- Size 5 – Youth Ball
Size 5 basketballs usually are of 27.5 Inches circumference and weigh around 18 ounces, which makes it a perfect fit for youth players aged 9 to 11.
Due to the smaller circumference and the lighter weight, youth basketball makes it easy to learn dribbling and shootings effectively.
If you are the one who is learning fundamentals of the basketball, then, Size 5 youth balls should be your consideration.
After developing some skills, you could move to the slightly bigger balls to reach the level of professionals.
- Size 6 – Intermediate Balls
Size 6 – Intermediate balls are those, which have a circumference of 27.5 inches. They are only one inch bigger in circumference than the youth balls. Hence, the younger children aged 9 to 11 can also use it for their games.
But specifically, women and teenage boys & girls would find it perfectly compatible with their hands.
- Size 7 – Regulation size
Size 7 (Regulation size) are the standard basketballs with the circumference of 29.5 Inch. All the balls that you usually notice in the professional competitions and even in the NBA are of the same size as the regulation-sized balls.
Being larger in circumference, the weight of the ball is slightly heavier as well. Hence, due to the larger circumference and increased weight, size 7 balls are the perfect choice for the Men.
No doubt, the price is another essential factor that we have to consider before purchasing an outdoor basketball. No matter how luxurious your life is, still the price could influence your decisions.
The prices of outdoor basketballs vary from ball to ball due to multiple factors. The factors may include cover material, performance level, size of the ball, and the brand name as well.
But we prefer value for money, more than the price tag. Hence, we did a lot of research and brought you the best of the best basketballs, which ensures value for money. Meanwhile, we have also assured before listing them as the best choice that all of the balls are easily affordable.
There are the balls that could make you dominate the courts, but some would not let you shoot, pass, or dribble effectively. Hence, you should not miss the performance level of basketball as well, when making the final purchase.
There are some factors that affect overall performance.
Let’s get into the detail of them one by one;
As the basketball is more about holding on to the ball. Hence, the grip turns out as the most essential that determines the performance.
The ball should have enough channels and the compatible surface that you don’t find it difficult to hold or palm. Moreover, the moisture-absorbing ability will be the edge. Because with the sweaty hands, palming a ball is not easy at all.
If the ball has the moisture absorbing ability, then you would have a grip over it all the time. Either it is raining, or the ball has come out of a puddle, either way, you will keep on performing well due to better grip.
The feel of the ball has a significant impact on the overall performance. If you don’t feel good with the ball, then even your expertise is not going to help you in performing well. It’s a feel that allows you to destroy defense, and score for your team.
Quality outdoor basketballs are those, which provide you the indoor feel along with the soft touch while shooting.
You can even assume a ball that does not deflate. No matter what ball you are going to choose. Just keep in mind that you should have the air pump at home, because it will deflate at any point of usage.
Though, the best outdoor basketball is the one, which deflates much less than any other ball. Otherwise, if you choose a ball that flattens quickly and too much, then don’t even assume that you would dribble effectively.
Deflated balls don’t respond right, which affects the overall performance.
Frequently Asked Question – FAQ’s
Is composite leather good for outdoors?
Composite leather basketballs are able to withstand the harsh and less forgiving outdoor settings. You will keep on enjoying the better handling, grip, passing, and shooting with a composite leather ball.
Can you use an evolution basketball outdoor?
The evolution basketball is designed for the indoor basketball courts. It would be cruel to use them in an outdoor setting because they will start getting damaged. And you would have to replace it sooner.
What is the best brand of basketball?
- Under Armour
- Baden sports
Which basketball is better Wilson or Spalding?
Wilson and Spalding are the well-known brands of the basketball industry. Because of producing quality basketballs, which provide perfect value for money. Choosing any one of them solely depends on your needs.No matter which brand you choose. Quality is the thing that you will receive at the end of the day.
What size of basketball should I buy?
Basketball comes in 3 different sizes including, size 5, size 6, and size7. If you are purchasing it for the kid aged 9 to 11, then you should opt for size 5 basketballs. Whereas, size 6 basketball is for teenagers and women. As far as size 7 is concerned, these balls are designed for professional and men competitions.