This article will help you to find the best outdoor basketball currently on the market. We have done all the research and testing to put this list together for you, so you don’t have to. With the help of this list, it will be easy for you to find the best outdoor basketball for your needs and budget.
Most for the money
Most for the money
Spalding NBA Street Phantom
Spalding NBA Street Phantom
Great for the budget
Spalding NBA Hexagrip
Great for the budget
Spalding NBA Hexagrip
8 Best Outdoor Basketballs Reviewed and Rated
- Official NBA size and weight: Size 7, 29.5 inch
- Zi/O Tournament composite cover
- Foam backed design for excellent feel
- Designed for indoor and outdoor play
- Shipped inflated and game ready
The Spalding NBA Zi/O basketball is an indoor and outdoor basketball. It is, therefore, an excellent choice for when you want to save money by buying just one ball. The cover is foam-backed, giving it a soft feel that many players appreciate, while the ball’s tight pebbling provides good grip for shooting and dribbling.
The Zi/O is quite bouncy when inflated to 7 PSI, so the ball’s air pressure doesn’t have to be higher to achieve a good bounce. This is an advantage since excessively pumping a ball might break the bladder and cause leaks. The ball’s bounce is also consistent, meaning you can expect it to end up exactly where you expect it to.
Additionally, this ball has a deep, narrow channel design, which makes it easy to line it up for a jump shot and also helps in dribbling. The Zi/O also features full pebbling. Full pebbling means there is no chance you’ll make contact with a completely smooth part of the cover while using this ball.
The pebbling provides an excellent grip and moisture-wicks by absorbing the sweat on your hands as you play. Moisture-wicking prevents the ball from becoming slippery when your hands start to sweat. The ball’s channels aren’t pebbled, like most Wilson balls’ are, but neither are the channels of the official NBA basketball.
Durability-wise, the ball wears down faster on outdoor surfaces. And although it does better than the softer, indoor-only composite leather balls, the grip on the ball smooths out after the first few months. But even then, the ball feels grippy and is still very much playable.
The Spalding NBA Zi/O basketball is overall a good quality indoor/outdoor basketball. If you are a serious basketball player looking to better your skills and need a more durable ball but don’t want to compromise on feeling and ball handling, I wholeheartedly recommend the Spalding NBA Zi/O. This is why we gave it the first place as the best outdoor basketball.
- Full pebbling and the foam-backed design provide a higher grip and soft feel
- Consistent bounce
- Has deep channels that allow for smooth release and a steady flight path
- Doesn’t deflate with increased temperature
- Features NBA official size and weight (Size 7, 29.5 inches)
- Picks up quite a lot of dirt that doesn’t easily come off when used outside
- Costs more than other indoor/outdoor balls on the market
The NBA Street Phantom is an all-black ball with colored neon lettering designed for outdoor use, such as on concrete or asphalt surfaces. It employs Soft Grip Technology, which allows for better ball handling and makes palming the ball easier. It also gives you a good grip when your hands are sweaty or when you’re playing in the rain.
Other than enhanced grip and appearance, the cover of this basketball also provides a soft feel. It has dense pebbles that provide a good grip for dribbling and shooting. It also has a wider than usual channel design that enhances ball control and handling. I should also mention its steady rotation.
The NBA Street Phantom comes inflated, meaning you can go “shoot hoops” as soon as you get your hands on it. This ball has a satisfactory bounce according to industry standards. However, when it is pumped up to a higher pressure than usual, you may experience bounce inconsistency.
The ball has a top-quality, durable rubber cover to enable it to handle weeks of basketball drills and games. The cover also ensures the ball survives the toughness of any outdoor surface. So as far as abrasion resistance goes, this outdoor basketball beats the cheap rubber outdoor basketballs that are prone to punctures and wear within the first month.
Now, as the name suggests, the Street Phantom is solely a streetball. I wouldn’t recommend using it on a hardwood basketball court, as it wouldn’t perform well. Instead, take it for a spin on an asphalt driveway, concrete pavement, outdoor court, or the rough streets. You can get the ball at a low cost, so your expectations for it should not be as high as for one that costs considerably more.
The Spalding NBA Street Phantom comes in the official NBA size and weight, meaning you will be practicing with a ball similar to those used in NBA leagues. Additionally, its unique black color and the different lettering color options allow you to personalize the ball a little. It has an average user rating of 4.3 stars.
- Features a durable premium rubber cover
- Soft Grip Technology enhances functionality and durability
- Has one-year Limited Warranty
- Comes in five different color combinations
- The dominant black color makes it hard to mark it for easy identification when mixed with similar balls
- Bounce can be inconsistent if the ball’s air pressure is higher than usual
- Official NBA size 7: 29.5-inch
- Soft grip cover
- Never Flat air retention technology
- Classic orange look with Hexagon pebbling
- Designed for indoor and outdoor play
The Spalding NBA Hexagrip basketball is the second indoor/outdoor basketball on this list. It has a Soft Grip Technology cover that provides a good grip and soft feel, and hexagon pattern pebbling that for grip while shooting and dribbling. The design also has moisture-wicking properties that ensure you still have a good grip in the rain or when your hands are sweaty.
The Hexagrip has deep channels designed to help you achieve a perfect release and rotation on your shot. However, this wide channel design and the hexagon pebbles etched on its surface gives it a different feel from many other balls. The ball also tends to pick up dirt when used in dusty or dirty courts, which can affect its overall performance. For instance, dirt can negatively affect grip and make handling the ball rather unpleasant.
The bounce is consistent regardless of the temperature and the surface. Spalding’s NeverFlat air retention technology ensures that the air remains in the ball even during extreme bouncing or dribbling. The technology also ensures it stays inflated 10x longer than any other basketball. The ball’s exterior is made of quality, hard rubber that makes it durable and improves abrasion resistance.
As you may know, soft-grip basketballs tend to lose their shape after a few months of usage, but this Spalding model is an exception. The ball is designed with top-quality materials and technologies to ensure you can play with it every day for a year without the ball losing its grip, shape, and weight. Epic, right?
The Spalding NBA Hexagrip Soft Grip NeverFlat comes in the official NBA size and weight (Size 7, 29.5 inches), but you can also get it in intermediate size and weight (Size 6, 28.5 inches). You can use it for recreational games or training camps and play with it on indoor and outdoor courts. This basketball is overall good value for the money.
- Stays inflated for at least one year
- Has a soft grip
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
- Has a deep channel design for great control
- The feel may be disappointing to some users
- Dirt impacts its performance
- FIBA Approved
- Indoor/ Outdoor Synthetic Cover
- Butyl Bladder
- Signature 12 Panel Design
- 1- Year Warranty
The Molten BGMX indoor/outdoor basketball has a 12-panel Giugiaro design for both aesthetic and practical purposes. The design enhances visibility, which allows players to track the backspin easily. It also makes the ball more visible to both players and spectators. The pebbling on this ball isn’t random. Each pebble is strategically aligned to give a consistent touch regardless of where you hold it.
Molten balls usually have a rubbery and spongy feel, but the Molten BGGX isn’t as soft. On dry, clean surfaces, it provides an excellent grip for shooting and dribbling. However, when wet, the ball is very slippery on the release, which makes it considerably difficult to get a consistent feel for shots. Don’t you just hate when that happens? The ball also performs poorly grip-wise when dusty or dirty.
Now, given that this basketball has more channels, you would expect it to have an inconsistent bounce. However, since the grooves are quite shallow, it has a rather smooth surface, which allows for a consistent bounce overall. The ball has a Butyl bladder that helps it retain air longer. However, compared to a Spalding Zi/O Excel, it loses air pressure slightly faster.
You can use The Molten BGGX in any environment. However, it feels softer compared to your typical indoor/outdoor basketball. Plus, its pebble design wears down faster than the traditional pebble pattern. The ball is better suited for indoor use, as it will wear down even quicker when used on rough surfaces. Not to mention, wet or dirty surfaces notably impact the ball’s grip.
You can purchase the Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor basketball in three sizes: Junior size 5, Intermediate size 6, and Official size 7. Unlike the basketballs we have previously reviewed, this ball comes deflated and is, therefore, not game-ready. It comes with a one-year warranty.
- FIBA (The International Basketball Federation) approved
- One-year warranty
- Improved visibility
- Available in three sizes
- Doesn’t come game-ready
- The “consistent touch” feature can negatively affect performance
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Under Armour is an established brand of footwear, sports, and casual apparel. One of their products is the Under Armour 495 women’s basketball, which has a 4.1-star user rating. Although it doesn’t say so in the name, the ball is, in fact, designed for both indoor and outdoor use.
It is manufactured using UA’s trademarked GRIPSKIN composite for excellent and complete control. The ball’s design also considerably contributes to enhanced shooting ability and perfect spin control. The composite cover material is responsible for the great feel many reviewers mention.
However, when the ball is fresh out of the box, it has a heavy sheen to it, which can make the ball feel a little slippery. You will have to break it in over a few days for the soft feel.
Unfortunately, this ball won’t last as long as some of the harder balls on the market. It does, however, have 80% nylon windings to ensure excellent shape retention and a 100% durable butyl bladder for maximum air retention.
The channels around the Under Armour 495 are wide enough to help you locate the seams quickly for a successful follow-through when shooting. Bounce-wise, it feels slightly flat compared to the competition. You can pump more air into it to give it a better bounce, but keep in mind that this could make the basketball feel harder.
Despite being an indoor and outdoor basketball, it is quite soft and doesn’t do too well on rough outdoor courts. However, if you’re not planning to play primarily outside, then it’s a sensible choice. The ball only comes in the official size, size 7, or 29.5 inches.
Overall, the Under Armour Ua 495 Womens Basketball (BB126) provides sufficient grip, has a consistent bounce, and good shape and air retaining qualities. It is, however, priced slightly higher than several other indoor/outdoor basketballs from Spalding, Wilson, and Molten. Those other basketballs are not only cheaper but also offer superior bounce and outdoor durability. So, you might want to check into them as well.
- UA GRIPSKIN microfiber composite gives the ball a stronger grip
- Retains air for a long time
- Can be used both indoors and outdoors
- Has an unsatisfactory bounce
- Costs more than several other indoor/outdoor basketballs
- Ultra-durable, performance rubber cover
- Designed to withstand the rough-and-tumble street...
- Wide channel design for excellent grip
- Features the NBA logo
- Official size 29.5 inches, size 7 (Size is not...
For starters, the Spalding NBA Street basketball is the best-selling basketball on Amazon currently. It likely sells well due to being extremely affordable. The official size (29.5″) was going for a relatively low cost on Amazon at the time of writing this review.
The ball features a performance synthetic rubber cover with a full pebbling design that gives you a superior grip regardless of the weather. However, when it gets dirty, you lose a lot of that grip. The basketball has deep, black channels on the surface, which allow for expert ball handling and better ball control on the court.
The rubber cover also gives the ball a soft feel. Unlike most outdoor basketball, it doesn’t have an overly hard surface and rough feel. So, if you’re accustomed to using higher-priced basketballs, you will immediately notice the difference in the grip and feel. And unless you have an unusually large hand size, you can forget about dunking a Spalding NBA Street Basketball.
“Inconsistent bounce” is a common complaint about outdoor basketballs, but this basketball’s bounce is relatively consistent on a variety of surfaces. When fully inflated, the ball will achieve a good bounce when you dribble it. The key to ensuring a good bounce is proper maintenance and consistent air pressure. However, being an outdoor basketball, you will require several drills to break in your brand new basketball.
Given that it is very affordable, the ball is notably well-balanced, with a steady flight path and a perfect shot/pass rotation. And despite not being at the same level as high-performance indoor/outdoor basketballs, it allows you to dribble and shoot with confidence. The ball’s strong design and performance rubber cover make the balance more likely to be maintained after many years of play.
As far as durability goes, the rubber cover is very durable on asphalt and concrete outdoor courts. The ball is specifically designed to withstand the harsh outdoor environment, from wet weather conditions to sharp stones and metal nets on outdoor courts. You also won’t be required to repump it after every use. Moreover, the ball doesn’t deflate when left outdoors.
The StreetBall is expected to remain firm and efficient after many years of regular use on rough surfaces. It is also affordable on almost any budget and offers excellent value for money. So, if you’re looking for a cheap, quality basketball that will not require replacement any time soon, I do not hesitate to recommend it.
The Spalding NBA Street Basketball has an average user rating of 4.2 stars from thousands of reviews. The ball is designed to meet the NBA’s official size and weight specifications: Size 7, 29.5 inches. However, it’s available in two other different sizes: Youth size (Size 5, 27.5 inches) and Intermediate size (Size 6, 28.5 inches).
- One of the most affordable outdoor basketballs available
- Super durable rubber cover
- Good bounce across different outdoor surfaces
- Available in official NBA size and weight
- Rubber cover does not offer sufficient grip and overall feel, which can be easily noticed by most experienced basketball players
Check price on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Spalding-Parent-63-249-parent-NBA-Street-Basketball/dp/B01C8TVYJ6
- Quality rubber cover
- Nylon winding ensures long wear and consistent...
- Please specify size when ordering
Granted, Mikasa might not be the first brand that comes to mind when basketball is brought up. However, their apparel and equipment are as good as those of other manufacturers.
Take, for instance, the Mikasa BX1000, which has a high-quality, durable rubber cover that makes it abrasion-resistant. It is able to survive rough outdoor surfaces for many years, unlike other outdoor basketballs that develop cracks and dents in the first week of use.
The surface of the ball has a deep pebble pattern that provides an excellent grip on the ball, which helps in ball control and handling. The grip remains firm even when your hands sweat or when you play in cold or rainy weather. Even more to Mikasa’s credit, you don’t lose much grip when the ball is dirty, which is a rare characteristic to find.
The channels on this basketball are not very deep, but this is made up for by the grip of the pebbling. You’re therefore going to get most of the rotation on this ball from the pebbled surface. The rotation of the ball is generally steady, and the ball is slightly lighter than the competition.
Additionally, The Mikasa BX1000 has a consistent bounce. You should also note that the size of the ball is dependent on its inflation. Therefore, when you achieve what you feel is the right bounce, there’s a good chance that the ball will be slightly underinflated. The reason being that the ball’s cover amplifies bounce intensity. So, you may need to pump more air in the ball for it to reach the correct circumference. Using an underinflated basketball can increase the risk of damaging it.
As with some of the previous basketballs I’ve reviewed, the Mikasa BX1000 comes in several different sizes. Other than the official basketball size (Size 7, 29.5 inches), you can go for the Elementary (Size 4, 25.5 inches), Youth (Size 5, 27.5 inches), and Compact (Size 6, 28.5 inches) sizes. This selection from Mikasa helps solve basketball needs and requirements for all genders, ages, etc.
The Mikasa BX1000 is an excellent choice if you’re working with kids that are familiarizing themselves with basketball and building basic game skills such as dribbling and passing. The ball not only looks good but also gives a consistent reaction, which will help kids to quickly and easily learn the game of basketball.
Overall, the Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball is a good quality for the price. The ball is, however, best suited for use in schools, youth programs, or at home for recreational purposes. An intermediate or expert player trying to improve his/her game needs a higher performance ball.
- Highly durable
- Available in four different sizes
- Good value for money
- Comes with a 1-Year Warranty
- Does not come fully inflated
- Break-in is necessary
Best Outdoor Basketball Buying Guide
Basketballs, whether indoor, outdoor, or both, come in all shapes and sizes. So how do you choose one for outdoor use? Here are some of the factors we used to find the best outdoor basketballs and steps you should consider before making a purchase.
If you only want a basketball for recreational use, the size doesn’t really matter. But if you’re looking to improve your skills, you will need to get the correct basketball size for practice. The three standard basketball sizes commonly sold today are:
- Size 5: Generally for youngsters aged 9 to 11. They have a circumference of 27.5 inches.
- Size 6: Generally for teen boys and women’s competitions. They have a circumference of 28.5 inches.
- Size 7: The standard basketball for men and boys aged 15 years and up, the NCAA, and professional competitions. They have a 29.5 inch circumference.
A basketball with a great feel makes you handle the balldeflateg confidently, allows you to make ankle-breaking crossover moves, and allows you to have a soft touch on your finishes. A top-quality outdoor basketball gives you an indoor feel. If a ball feels good, overall performance improves.
Cheap outdoor basketballs tend to deflate when the temperature drops, negatively affecting the ball’s bounce. While all outdoor balls deflate a little when it gets cold, a good basketball will deflate much less.
Outdoor courts usually consist of dirt, rocks, metal nets, moisture, and metal backboards. These elements can be very rough on a basketball causing it to wear and tear fast. You should, therefore, choose a ball made of high-quality, durable material that will survive a harsh environment. Rubber balls generally last longer outdoors.
The ball will inevitably come in contact with moisture from sweat or rain. Wet surfaces reduce a ball’s gripability. Fortunately, there are basketballs designed to absorb your sweat as you play to ensure you receive consistent performance on the court. However, the moisture-absorbing feature comes with premium quality basketballs. With this feature, there will also be no break in play.
If you are a serious basketball player and will be primarily playing outdoors, you want a composite leather ball like the Spalding NBA Zi/O. The ball has a great feel and is fun to play with. Unfortunately, composite leather balls are less durable on rough surfaces, so you will occasionally need to get a replacement.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a basketball for young kids that are just starting to familiarize themselves with the game, handling is not that crucial. Therefore, a cheaper, durable ball that can survive harsh outdoor conditions will do. The Spalding NBA Street, in this case, would be a great choice.
The basketballs I’ve reviewed are some of the best in the market today. I hope you found the best outdoor basketball to suit you and that reading this has helped narrow down your options to at least one ball that perfectly aligns with your personal preferences. Go GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS!
If you liked this article, make sure you check out the best portable basketball hoops and best in ground basketball hoops! And our most popular posts: Best indoor basketball and best basketball shoes. Enjoy!