Basketball enthusiasts know the importance of outdoor matches, competitions, and tournaments. That is the reason why they look for the best outdoor basketballs in 2021. When everything shuts down and a pandemic situation arises, all they want is to set an outdoor basketball net, stand, and get a ball. You are right if you’re thinking that why don’t they play indoors? Well, no matter what happens we all know the safety measures of playing basketball outside. So, when it comes to getting a basketball, it is mostly outdoors. That is how players like.
Also, in situations where you are asked to practice at home or something like that, it is better to opt for outdoor basketball matches. Reason being, players get more room to move around, can aim and focus on hoops, jumps, passing on the ball, and all those elements that make them good players. Besides that, it is also found out that those who play outdoors are more juvenile towards the game.
At times we know all that but while selecting the best outdoor basketballs in 2021, they are dumbstruck and baffled. This article is for all those who are either new in the game and don’t know about the criteria of picking a basketball or are rookie who wants to practice day in and day out. Professionals hardly need such practices but even they might need some rehearsals and practices before the competitions.
Below is the guide which would definitely help those who are looking to find basic factors and a checklist. This checklist is quite helpful. This is why we have incorporated the section. Let’s start…
Guide to Buying Best Outdoor Basketballs in 2021
If you are not new to the game and have bad memories regarding the first pick on basketball, this guide will help you know what went wrong back then. We can tell what went missing in the last purchase with the help of this guide.
What matters the most in outdoor basketballs? How can you tell if a basketball is good for you or not? Which are the best basketballs keeping the criteria? All the answers to these questions are mentioned below.
Size, Dimensions, and Weight of the Outdoor Basketball
Basically, basketballs are found in three different sizes. The smallest one is of size 5. Then, we have 6 and 7. However, it is always about the gender and age of the player that determines the right basketball. You should know the details, right? Don’t worry. We have discussed the right size below.
Size 5: it is considered best for the ages of 11-year-old individuals. These balls are 27.5 inches (circumference). Whereas, when it comes to weight, it weighs 18 ounces.
Size 6: size 6 is meant for those who belong to the age group 12 – 15. Its circumference is 281/2 inches. However, when it comes to weight it is fixed to 20 ounces.
Size 7: men who are above 16+ are recommended with this size. Circumference and weight are 29 and 22 respectively. Another fact about this size is that it is best for professionals and NBA games. Also, it is important to keep in mind that when males mature and age, their hands and grip become bigger and firm. Primarily, that is the reason why males after 16 are required to use size 7.
Material and Categories of Basketball
In the 1890s basketballs were made out of leather and rubber. Manufacturers literally used hands for stitching leather on the panels of the cover. And it has a rubber bladder that was stitched inside the ball. Now times have changed. There is more variety to the basketball industry based on the construction process and material. The outcome is however dependent on these two parts. There are two main types of basketballs – indoor and outdoor. Composite leather and leather are two materials on which indoor basketballs are constructed. Whereas, for outdoor basketballs, durable composites and rubber are used.
Various Types and Kinds of Basketballs for Outdoor Setting
Three types of basketballs are there in the market – leather, rubber, and synthetic composite. Let’s understand the pros and cons of each type separately.
- Synthetic Composite Balls
If you are looking for a substitute for leather, synthetic composite basketballs are the ones you need to select. It is majorly because the feel is the same but these balls are cheaper in a pocket. Having said that, synthetic composite basketballs are considered good for indoor and outdoor basketballs, don’t need extreme dryness like leather, and are low on maintenance.
- Leather Basketballs
Leather basketballs are another type that is best for outdoor games. Initially, they are weird when you touch them but as they grow old, they are best to play with.
- Rubber Basketballs
Rubber basketballs are best for those individuals who want to practice in the playground or courts. Since these are said to be the “summer camp basketballs”, they aren’t much expensive. Neither do they have issues with the type of surface you play it on. Nor it has a finicky nature of getting damaged. Rubber basketballs are amazing in terms of prices so much so that some of the players call them “crazily cheap” balls with quality and resistance. We have seen professionals and rookies enjoying these types of balls.
Color Combination of Outdoor Basketballs
What happens when you pick a darker version of the color? How did it help? See, they assist the player to find the ball where ever it goes. Officially black and orange are declared as the best colors for any basketball. However, it is totally upon the player which color he or she chooses to play with. One thing that must never be forgotten is the dark shade. Neon colors are considered best for those who love to play basketball on nights.
Durability – A Must Look At!
You have to be extra careful in the outside environment. There are many reasons but the main one is based on the kind of materials your basketball gets exposed to. It means, there are metals of all kinds, dirt, moisture, rocks, and what not in the outside courts and playing grounds. Basketballs are therefore required to be robust with durability. We agree that it is easy to get a ball fixed every time it ruptures or loses grip. But the question is, are you ready to do that? Won’t it be daunting? If your answers are yes, then remember it is always better to opt for a durable basketball. That way, you are able to enjoy one ball for a year or two.
Skill Level and Suitability of Outdoor Basketball
Another factor to keep in mind at the time of purchasing an outdoor basketball is skill level and suitability. Compromises are made when playing outside. First thing first, you got to buy composite leather or a rubber ball. If and when you opt for a composite leather basketball, get ready to change it time in and time out. Reason being, these are not much durable. On the other hand, selecting rubber basketballs for kids will allow you to last it for a longer period. Also, rubber balls are good when you are teaching how to shoot in the hoops. Obviously, after that kid’s practice, and for that rubber, balls justify the need.
Moisture and Grip
It is a known fact that once a player plays outside, basketball gets exposed to water. In either situation when the ball flips or drops in the puddle or you are the one who just can’t miss playing a game in the rainy weather, basketball will get wet. So, that is the point where you need to see if the basketball passes the moisture test or not. Below are some questions that you need to ask before giving a verdict.
- After you dry the basketball, does it remain damp?
- What was the reaction of the basketball when it was moist?
- Does a basketball take water as a friend or a foe?
If the answers are negative then naturally, it is not the perfect fit for the play.
Recommended 05 Best Outdoor Basketballs 2021
Now that we know the basics, let’s start the review of the best outdoor basketballs. These basketballs are reviewed by many professionals and experts of the game. However, it didn’t take a lot of time in the research. We invested only 15 hours in the search of the most acclaimed and popular outdoor balls for basketball game. These basketballs are reviewed unbiasedly. There are features, pros, and cons of each ball.
1. Mikasa BX1000 Rubber Basketball
Players need an outdoor basketball for their games. Sometimes when the player has to go for competitive basketball games they ought to get discouraged by the quality of balls. To avoid such a situation, they look for the best outdoor basketball with a conventional structure. By that we mean, they opt for something that is easy to hold and maintains moisture in the ground. Mikasa BX1000 Rubber Basketball is one of such basketballs that helps the player in the outdoor settings. Mikasa BX1000 is said to be the best based on some features and advantages. However, like any basketball, this one too has a drawback. Let’s delve into those features to understand the worth and credibility.
Features of Mikasa BX1000 Rubber Basketball
There is a number of reasons why rookies and kids opt for this basketball. Some of the features that make this product stand out are mentioned below.
Grip – Astounding and Firm
Mikasa BX1000 gives a firm grip that leaves the player with an amazing experience. It will never ditch you like those which flips from hand and makes the player look dumb or silly. Mikasa BX1000 is such a ball that will only give you the best performance. However, there is a catch to it – you need to inflate it as soon as it starts to lose air. By the way, do you know what makes this super firm? It is about the design that makes it firm and sturdy. Crown of the ball is designed in such a way that there is a pebble-like structure. With that, there are wide channels that make Mikasa BX1000 one of the best outdoor balls. Along with firm, there is a feature that absorbs moisture. It helps when your hands and palms become sweaty.
Durability – Excellent for Performance
Since Mikasa BX1000 is made up of rubber, many players think it is not going to survive for years. This is just an assumption and there is no link to reality. The truth is: Mikasa BX1000 is not made up of low-quality rubber. Instead, the rubber is of utmost and premium quality. Unlike other outdoor basketballs, this one doesn’t wear and tear after one week of use. It uplifts the skills of the player in many ways. Passing on the ball to reaching the hoops is all because of durability.
Best For – Kids and Rookies
Mikasa BX1000 is one of the finest basketballs for kids. This basketball serves best to those kids and youngsters who aim to take it professionally. Also, it is good for rookies who are in the practicing mode to keep it to the professional level. You may think that how can it be the best ball for kids. Well, it is because of different sizes. Those include sizes for kids between 7 and 12 years. Such sizes are perfect for kids with small hands. Furthermore, the Mikasa BX1000 size for kids provides a comfortable grip. It is not heavy which allows kids to enjoy the game.
Size – Varies from Player to Player
Mikasa BX1000 doesn’t come in one size. Several sizes make players of different age groups satisfied and comfortable. See, there is an official size, to begin with. Then, we have three more sizes – youth, compact, and junior. Juniors are up to 12 years of age. Whereas, Mikasa Junior is for above 12 years of age. And naturally, from 18 onwards, it Mikasa Compact is considered best.
- Excellent overall performance
- Light in pocket
- Various sizes
- Warranty: 1 year
- Durable and convenient to play
- Deflates easily
2. Spalding Rookie Gear Outdoor Composite Basketball
Spalding Rookie Gear Outdoor Composite Basketball is surely one of the best outdoor balls for basketball players. The company, Spalding has earned fame for a number of reasons. Primarily, it is because of the relationship it has built over years with both, NCAA and NBA. Besides that, it is important to know about the special design for the children and youngsters. It means, this basketball is not only for adults and has impacted on kids’ interest in basketball. Furthermore, features that make it unique are such that have the potential of enticing almost every basketball player. To know more about the product, you must get in knowing pros, cons as well as important features.
Features of Spalding Rookie Gear Outdoor Composite Basketball
With all the goodness and drawbacks, Spalding Rookie Gear is considered the best. We can say that because it is a very friendly basketball. Let’s check out qualities that highlight this basketball.
Grip and Moisture Control – Something to Envy
Spalding Rookie Gear Outdoor Composite Basketball is made up of leather (composite) that allows it to provide an optimum level of experience. What does that mean? It means that the material is such which facilitates the player with excellent performance. What helps in providing the best performance? Well, it is because the grip isn’t slippery. Instead, it is firm. Players get an extra grip on smaller hands. This means that this basketball is perfect for children as well as youngsters. However, the grip is amazing because of the pebbles. Furthermore, it controls moisture which doesn’t let the ball slip from hand. Besides all these qualities, the basketball is pretty soft and tacky.
Less Bounce – Hybrid Composite Ball
Spalding Rookie Gear has unfailing and steady bounce. It doesn’t change in the outdoor setting. However, it doesn’t have much bounce and there is a reason – it is a ball with hybrid composite leather. We have seen experts and professional basketball players recommending this ball to rookies and amateurs. Especially when they are making a shift from rubber to conventional leather basketballs. You might have a question that, why pros have recommended this ball for the transition? Well, it is because kids and others who are making a transition in the balls prefer something lighter with outstanding performance. This basketball has both perks.
Balance – Best for Kids and Youth
We can say that Spalding Rookie Gear is one of the most balanced balls. Why does a basketball need to be balanced? Well, it is quite an understood factor – equally distributed basketball is easier to play with. By playing we mean passing, shooting, and dribbling. There is a consistent and predictable bouncing effect.
Light in Pocket – Modestly Priced
Considering all the features and qualities, this basketball is reasonably priced. It fulfills the potential needs of amateur players. Also, the must-have checklist of “what makes an outdoor basketball perfect” fits perfectly. According to the experts and pros of the field, Spalding Rookie Gear is one of the best outdoor basketball for youth.
Durability – Gives Best Performance
Pounding, dribbing, and bouncing ball on the ground needs durability. Interestingly, Spalding Rookie Gear isn’t just a basketball. It is “the ball”. Yes, we emphasized the ball because it is not like other basketballs which are manufactured for the sake of helping others in a very mainstream manner. Instead, this ball came into existence after the rigorous hard work of experts in the field. Manufacturers are those who have invested years of experience in shaping this beautiful ball. With that, it means the ball holds the potential to run against time. it stays the same, without deflation or ruptures in the roughest of weathers.
- Helps in building confidence and various techniques
- Sturdy grip because of pebble design
- Recommended for beginners
- Panels are multi-colored
- Lighter than other basketballs
- Less bounce provided
3. Nike Versa Tack Size 7 Basketball –
The third best basketball for outdoor use in this article is Nike Versa Basketball. It may look familiar to indoor basketball. But it is not! It is meant for outdoor purposes. However, it would not be wrong to say that it is equally good for indoor and outdoor. When it comes to recognition and repute of the brand, Nike doesn’t need any foreword or introduction. Its name does magic on others and you simply fall in love with this ball if you are a die-hard fan of the brand. Furthermore, it is quite an outstanding ball regarding quality. Reason as to why we have included it in the list of best outdoor basketballs is simple: it has all that a basketball player wants in a ball. We can say that it possesses many features that make it special. Let’s check on those qualities, shall we?
Features of Nike Versa Size 7 Basketball
What makes a basketball special? Features and qualities, right? Other than the size which is 7, there are many other highlights.
Grip – Pebble Surface
First thing first, Nike Versa provides an amazing grip to the player. At the time of playing a game, a player doesn’t slip the ball from hand. It is because of the grip which is perfect due to the pebbled surface. Also, it has a sensitive elastic touch to make the player feel special. With this basketball, one can easily hold on to the ball and pass, bounce, dribble, or shoot the ball.
Control – Comes with Durability
According to experts and professionals, Nike Versa enables the player to give the best performance in competitive games. What does it mean? It means the player gets the grip and he can control the ball as needed. Durability is another factor that plays an important role in controlling a ball. If and when the ball is not durable or deflates easily, no one can control it, right? Likewise, it is a must to have a structure that gives control to the player. Again, if a ball is not manufactured or designed evenly from all sides, it will not be possible for the player to have control in the game. The best aspect of this ball is that it has all the necessities – air retention, perfect and even structure.
Balanced Ball – Butyl Bladder
There is always something that maintains the shape of the basketball. In this ball, the shape remains the same even after rough use for years. How it is possible? It is possible because of the butyl bladder. Balanced as is mentioned above, is one of the biggest traits of this basketball. Therefore, Nike Versa is considered best for all levels of expertise (amateurs, rookies, and professionals). Since it is a balanced basketball, it is easy to play with it for long hours. What makes this basketball balanced? There is a fine percentage of each material used in the making – 70%, 16%, and 14% (elastic, nylon, and calfskin respectively).
Durability – Same Performance After Years
With Nike Versa players can stay confident. The reason being, it can go up to six years. You don’t have to look for another basketball in all these years. No matter how hard you throw or push it on the ground, it doesn’t deflate, wear out, or show signs of damage.
- Light in weight
- Flawless control and bounce
- Sturdy and durable
- Butyl bladder used
- Pebbled surface
- Takes time to get in terms with bouncing effect
4. Under Armour 495 Basketball
First and foremost, Under Armour 495 Basketball is best for handling different surfaces. It is one of such basketballs which tend to play their role in all the weathers – tough and rough ones. Among all the qualities of any outdoor basketball, this one too offers excellent grip with a moisture control feature. Grip takes most of the performance and with the right moisture, the control in basketball game becomes enjoyable. Keeping that in mind, Under Armour provides all those factors which help in making it the best outdoor basketball. Other than that, it is a composite ball that is recommended to all – professionals, rookies, and noobs. However, when you use this ball, one thing is for sure – you will simply love the experience! It is not what we are saying merely to get attraction, it is stated by the experts of the field.
Features of Under Armour 495 Basketball
There are always some qualities and features that make a basketball stand out in the crowd. Here, we have mentioned some of the main features of Under Armour 495 Basketball. All these are those features that make the ball unique.
Design – Deep Channel
One of the main features that allow the player to enjoy a game is based on design. To ensure flexibility and relaxation during the play it is important to keep wrists easy. To keep wrists and fingers relaxed, it is important to have a well-structured and designed ball. Fortunately, the channels in this ball are constructed and stitched widely. That helps in performance (because of grip).
Durability – Longevity Required
Under Armour 495 Basketball has perseverance and a longer threshold. Players at the start think that this ball doesn’t stand for long but it isn’t so. It has one of the finest durability that lets the player stay in the game for long. What makes it durable though? The answer is “Grip Skin composite leather”. It is such a material that allows longevity. Besides that, the windings are made up of 100% pure nylon. The material on the surface of the ball reinforces the higher sustenance of game.
Control and Grip – Excellent Handling
Grip Skin is the trademark of Under Armour. This provides extra control and grip to the ball. Which ensures the best performance of the player. Shooting, passing, dribbling, every action was taken in the game is justified when the grip is strong. That is why Under Armour incorporates this technical feature. Most of the players who have used this basketball rave about the comfort level. According to the noobs, rookies and pros, this ball gives more than the price it offers. This ball is best for all. So much so that those who have smaller hands don’t find an excuse to dislike this basketball.
Air Retention – Best Among the Rest
Who doesn’t like a well-inflated basketball? Balls that hold air for months are considered best. That is the reason why players wish to use this ball. If you are thinking as to why the ball retains air so long, let us tell you it is because of the butyl bladder (it is known for air tension).
- Microfiber composite
- Confirms firmer grip
- Pebbled structure
- Air is retained for a very long
- Comes in 2 sizes – 6 and 7
- Bounce is lesser than expected
5. Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball
Designs, structures, manufacturing demands, and factors to make the ball best for outdoor games are necessary for all the capacities. Such is the credibility of balls and when it comes to Wilson NCAA Replica, it has it all. Wilson has manufactured many basketballs. Among all those balls, this particular one has made a mark of its own. It is because it is reliable, fits the need of a professional player, and is the finest ball for all genders. Other than that, this basketball is admired by almost everyone who knows the difference between a mainstream and high-end ball. Since it is one of those balls which is good for indoor and outdoor, people, in general, assume it is not much durable. Well, that is a misconception. To know more about the features and qualities, read on. We have a lot to share with you.
Features of Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball
There are many reasons why this basketball is included in the list of best outdoor balls. Some of the main ones are mentioned below in the form of features. Let’s have a look.
Handling – Control of the Ball
What makes a ball good? Anyone would tell that it is about the handling and an outlook as a whole. This ball gives bets handling so much so that even amateurs can make use of it. Secondly, the design of the ball is such that the player feels relaxed and comfortable. It is because players can do as much dribbling as they want. Moreover, spinning is controlled through channels. This ball has indeed a lot to offer. Grip however is more than average but lacks a bit. Therefore, it is not more than 80% firm. That is pretty okay for the noobs and rookies.
Grip – Pebbled Surface and Composite Leather
When we talk about grip it is based on the texture. Softer balls give better grip. Likewise, Wilson NCAA Replica shoots, passes, dribbles, and bounces easily. How does it happen? Well, it is all about the pattern which is based on dense pebbles. It maintains grip on different palm and hand sizes. Besides that, the basketball is made up of composite leather and looks soft.
Surface – Smooth and Shallow Channels
Again, as mentioned above, pebbled channels in the design make the surface smoother. What does it do and how does it help a player? Interestingly, it protects fingers from getting accidents and risks of breaking. Also, it helps in keeping the ball dry even when hands are sweating heavily. Channels however are shallow and aren’t narrow or wide. Therefore, if you are accustomed to playing with deeper channels, this isn’t what you would like. However, there isn’t a big difference between shallow and deeper channels.
Moisture – Drier Performance Assured
Another feature of Wilson NCAA Replica is moisture absorption. You can enjoy the game as long as you want because it doesn’t let your hands remain wet or sweaty. It wicks away moisture in a second. Also, it is important to know that this basketball has butyl rubber which maintains durability.
Bounce – CCT (Cushion Core Technology)
Special design in the latest technology called “Cushion Core Technology” is used in the making of this basketball. Reliability and increased prediction are the effects of the technology. Nevertheless, the consistency of bounces isn’t the same. At times it doesn’t bounce where you want to aim. But still, it is one of the top preferences for starters.
- Leather cover
- Durable and long-lasting
- Deep pebbled channels
- Strong grip
- Control is commendable
- Air retention isn’t great
I have been playing basketball for more than a decade now, and my passion and enthusiasm for it drove me to write about it. I am Ahmed, a professional basketball player and a fan who has now become a writer to help fellow basketball players and enthusiasts to opt for the best possible basketball accessories and essentials. Stay tuned to feast yourself with the content you might not have seen anywhere else.