Unlike other competitive sports, everyone can play pickleball, no matter their skill level. Because of this, pickleball is becoming a very popular game and it is easy to understand why.
Pickleball does not cost a lot of money to play, promotes a healthy lifestyle, and can be played both indoors and out, so the bad weather will not stop you. Another benefit of pickleball is that it is an excellent opportunity to socialize, especially if you play doubles. With such a close proximity to your team mate and your opponents (unlike tennis), there really is a lot of opportunity to chat and have fun.
As well as a paddle and ball, you are also going to need a pickleball net in order to play. You could find your nearest pickleball court to play in, but that might not be convenient or practical, or you could buy your very own portable net to use at home, in the park or wherever you want to play.
- The Importance of a High-Quality Net
- Why Should You Buy A Portable Pickleball Net
- 1. 3.0 Portable Pickleball Net
- 2. PickleNet
- 3. USAPA Portable Pickleball Net
- 4. Classic PickleNet Pickleball Net
- Why are Portable Pickleball Nets Good?
- How Do You Setup Up A Pickleball Net?
- Choosing a Pickleball Net, What to Consider?
The Importance of a High-Quality Net
If you are to buy a net, it is essential to make sure that you get a decent quality one. Often, when presented with a lot of choice, you would just choose one of the more expensive options but with pickleball nets, that is not always the best policy. Cost does not mean quality and whilst everyone will be looking for different features in their purchase, I am sure that we can all agree that we want a net which is well constructed and will last for years to come, no matter what you use it for.
Below are a few things to look out for when making your decision.
- If the pickleball net does not have good stability, it will keep on falling over from a gust of wind. Which is really annoying when you are mid point!
- Without proper support, your net will sag in the middle which defeats the purpose and looks unprofessional and cheap.
- Plastic nets or nets made from low quality materials are much more likely to break, especially over time.
Why Should You Buy A Portable Pickleball Net
Think of it this way, if you have a pickleball net of your own, which is portable and can be setup anywhere, you basically have a pickleball court of your own. Yes, I know that you do not have all the lines drawn out but even if you just have a portable net, you have the ability to quickly setup for practice or drills on the lawn or driveway.
There are many benefits that having a pickleball net of your own will give you:
- Quality time with friends and family – Pickleball is a social sport, as I mentioned, so the next time you have company over, why not get them to enjoy a fun game of pickleball.
- Your skills will improve – As with anything in life, the harder you practice, the easier it gets. And pickleball is no different, as you play more games, your skills will improve and the better you will become. So if you have a pickleball paddle, ball and portable net, you can play more often and in any place you want.
So now that you understand the value of having your own net, which one is best for your circumstances? Well to help out, I have reviewed and rated the best pickleball nets on the market so you can find one quickly.
Amazon does not give its ‘Choice’ award to just any product, it has to achieve the highest customer ratings and sales to be awarded the award.
So the fact that the Portable Pickleball Net from PickleBall Inc. has this award tells you something straight away. You are most likely looking at the winner!
So what makes this such a good portable pickleball net?
Well first and foremost, it is stable, and I mean really stable to use. It has a wide centre foot which acts as a stabilizer in windy or extreme weather playing conditions, to be honest here, unlike a few alternatives.
You are going to have a problem with the pickleball in the wind, before you have an issue with the wind effecting this portable net.
It has has a lower crossbar at the bottom of the net which is raised above the ground which adds rigidity to the structure and also means players can roll the pickleball to each other for serve, which I personally quite like. It reminds me of flicking the shuttlecock to my opponent in badminton.
The 3.0 Portable Pickleball Net System is also very easy to assemble as you can see in this video.
- Tension straps which manage rigidity and are very simple to tighten/loosen.
- Buckle adjusters which again are simple to use and keep the net tight and at regulation height.
- High quality net made from black mesh with vinyl bindings.
- Raised lower crossbar to keep the net taught and allows players to roll the pickleball to each other.
- Carry case for transporting the portable net, with additional pockets for pickleballs and paddles.
- Strong, Protected Frame – One of the things I like about this particular set is that the frame is not only strong, being made from metal but that the metal struts and sections are also powder coated, which means that they are more durable to the weather conditions and will take a lot longer to rust. This powder coating is the same as used on truck bumpers, so even if you are planning on leaving the net out for extended periods in all weathers, the metal should have good durability and longevity.
- Great Stability – With wide legs, and clever stability features, the 3.0 Portable Pickleball Net System remains stable, which is important when the wind gets up. Trust me, you will stop playing before the net does!
- Easy to Set Up – A portable pickleball net has to be easy to setup, or it fails and this one ticks all the boxes with easy to snap together metal sections, which are designed for quick assembly in 5 minutes.
- Portable Design – You would think that with all of this stability and metal it would be heavy, but the complete set including carrying case is only 22 lbs, meaning it is portable and easy to move around, whenever you want.
Customer Reviews92% of customers on Amazon rated the 3.0 Portable Pickleball Net System as 5 star, which is a huge indication as to the quality and suitability of this net. One P.E. teacher said “I’m a PE teacher so have handled many, many nets in my career…This net is VERY sturdy! Can be put together and taken apart in minutes.” A superb review from a qualified and experienced user. Others added to this review, saying “Quality, easy to set up and take down net system for indoor and outdoor use” and “The instructions are very detailed and easy to follow”, so very easy to setup as well.
Overall, this is an excellent net and one I think that anyone would be happy to play with, day after day and indoors & outdoors. The lightweight makes it very portable and the stability means that you can play even in windy conditions. Excellent net and superb price.
Its unusual for Amazon to award two ‘Choice’ awards to products within the same category, especially a category with less than 10 products, but they have, and there is a reason for this.
PickleNet has been through several iterations and this version has a number of improvements and features which make it sturdier than its predecessors and a wee bit heavier as well. One of the changes is the poles which are now oval shaped to increase strength and durability and like our number 1 choice above, the metal is powder coated to increase longevity and reduce the risk of rust, plus it gives it a nice finish.
The carry bag itself is a good, well made bag, with plenty of room to store the net and poles, allowing for you to transport the system anywhere you want. I have seen this net used in local community centres, being put up and taken down on a daily basis, with no issues and very little wear and tear, so it is definitely portable and durable.
What is the best way to pack up your PickleNet after you have finished playing? Take a look at this easy to follow video tutorial which shows you the easiest and best way to do it.
- Durable black nylon mesh net
- The tension straps are velcro which allows you to control the tension in the net so it does not sag.
- Vinyl headband which acts as protection to the net edging, so they will not fray or fall apart.
- Strong nylon storage bag with internal storage sections which easily have enough room to transport the net system and keep the net separate from the poles.
- Powder Protected Metal Frame – With a strong metal frame, this portable net is built to last and has a powder coat to the metal paintwork to ensure that it can withstand the outside weather conditions and time.
- Meets Official Pickleball Net Reulations – The PickleNet is USAPA regulation width and height, measuring 34 inches high in the center and 22 foot wide.
- Portable Design – Although it is quite a bit heavier (32 lbs) than our number one choice, the PickleNet is still very portable and easy to carry around in its sturdy nylon carry case.
Customer ReviewsYou cannot go wrong with this net, and 95% of Amazon users who rated it as 4 or 5 star would agree with that sentiment. It might not be my top choice but it is an excellent portable net with buyers leaving reviews like “PickleNet, the standard for dedicated senior players” and “Good solid net for pickleball players.”
From experience, I can tell you that this net is quick and easy to put up and take down, and if you are thinking of getting these to use daily in your local community center or gymnasium, they are durable and built for frequent use.
The third choice in our review is the official USAPA Portable Pickleball Net which obviously meets all of the USAPA regulations when it comes to width and height. It is also not a bad net!
Like our number two choice, the USAPA Portable Pickleball Net System has undergone a redesign and now has oval shaped poles to increase strength and durability. These redesigned metal poles take the overall weight to 32 pounds, which whilst still being very portable, is 10 pounds heavier than the 3.0 Portable Pickleball Net System. However, what it does add is sturdiness, in spades.
With a center support pole and tension straps, this net stands up to the wind and bad weather conditions, always remaining taught with no sag.
The other thing I like about the USAPA Portable Pickleball Net System is that the poles are numbered, meaning it is very easy to put together, even if you have never done so in the past. Just follow the numbers and you will have this portable net assembled in a few minutes. Nice touch.
Lastly, the carry bag has wheels! Great idea to make moving it around easier, even for those who might struggle with the 32 pound weight. Again, nice touch, well thought out, with us seniors in mind.
- Very easy and quick to assemble with an easy snap assembly system and numbered poles.
- Meets USAPA regulation width and height being 22 foot wide, 35 inches high at either end and 34 inches high in the middle.
- Nice black mesh netting and white vinyl protecting the edges and providing an attractive finish.
- Wheels on the carry case for easy transport.
- Easy to Assemble and Put Away – The numbered poles make it very quick and easy to assemble this portable pickleball net, and the snap on system means that the poles stay attached during assembly, which is not the case for other net systems.
- Regulation Size – Small nets are fun and easy to setup for practice or warm up, but having a net which conforms to regulation standards means that you become conditioned mentally and physically to the space available for movement and shot placement, meaning you are always ready for competitive matches or tournaments.
- Protected Steel Frame – The metal work of this frame is powder coated, making it resistant to outdoor weather conditions and rust, meaning it will last for years to come.
- Portable – 32 lbs might be a little too heavy for some to comfortably carry but with the addition of wheels to the carry case, anyone is able to move the net around, making it truly portable.
- Easy to Transport and Store – The nylon carry case is well made and durable and also has dividers inside so you can keep the net separate to the poles to ensure no damage is caused unnecessarily during transport or storage.
Customer ReviewsWith comments from buyers on Amazon like, “Perfect net to get quick game of Pickleball going”, Easy to set up and take down. Good construction.” and “This is a very solid high quality net and stand. We really like the bag too. Easy to get it all back in.“, it is easy to see that this is a quality and simple to use net, which is suitable for casual and professional players alike.
Overall, this is a great portable pickleball net, which meets competition standards, is easy to assemble and is well thought out design wise. For the USAPA to put their name to it, it must be pretty good!
The last of our portable pickleball nets in this review is the Classic PickleNet. Just like the other options in our review, the Classic PickleNet has a steel construction and has undergone several iterations to get to this point and design.
Firstly, the net is regulation size, meaning that it conforms to the USAPA rules for height and width, which as I mentioned previously, means that you are always playing to competition standards, i.e. available space for shots and movement.
Where the Classic PickleNet differs from the last two portable nets in our guide is weight, where they have topped in at 32 lbs, the Classic PickleNet weighs only 23 lbs, making it much more portable than all but the 3.0 Portable Pickleball Net System (22 lbs).
One thing you need to be aware of if you are thinking of leaving this pickleball net outside, is that it does not have a powder coat finish to the painted metal frame. This is a definite negative in my book as it means that it is not resistant to rust. So, if you are planning on buying this net, make sure it is for indoor use only, or is packed away when you are finished playing, so it will have a long life.
- Looks great with its black frame, black net and white vinyl headband.
- Meets USAPA size and height regulations.
- Quality carry bag for transportation.
- Enhanced Center Support – With a stronger, wider and more rigid patented center support structure that makes this set more stable and less likely to sag in the middle
- Lightweight Design – This is not a heavy portable net system weighing in at only 23 lbs, but it does not sacrifice weight for stability, and this net will stand up to the wind and bad weather.
- Well Built – The edges have a white vinyl headband to protect it from damage and the net itself is made from a nylon material which is very durable, and also looks great.
- Easy to Assemble and Put Away – You can put this net up, or take it down in only a few minutes and it follows the exact same principles as others in this guide.
Customer ReviewsAgain, there is high praise for this set on Amazon with buyers saying “The net is firm and stays in place easily. Putting it away and placing it back in the tote bag is a snap. We are very pleased with our purchase and highly recommend it.” and “My husband is a PE teacher and he agrees that this Pickleball Net system is a great one and will last a long time.”
Overall, this is a great portable pickleball net system and I love the fact that it is lighter to carry around, which is great for us seniors. However, remember that it does not have a powder coating to the metal frame, so it is best used in doors to prolong its life.
Why are Portable Pickleball Nets Good?
- Convenience – Having your own pickleball net is convenient. They are made from lightweight materials which can be setup in less than 10 minutes and provide you with everything you need to start a game. There is no need to waste time driving to your nearest court, all you have to do is grab your net and in less than ten minutes you are playing with friends.
- Easy to move around – Most systems are portable, allowing you to play a game anywhere and whenever you want. Having your own portable pickleball net means you can have your own court without the expense of a permanent court which can be very costly.
- Affordability – Compared to the cost of buying a membership at a local club, community centre or purchasing a permanent pickleball court, the cost of buying your own portable net system is cheap and very affordable.
- Versatility – Pickleball was created with versatility in mind, it is meant to be a sport where anyone can play, anywhere. A portable net is a truly versatile piece of equipment, allowing you to play anywhere, anytime and with anyone.
How Do You Setup Up A Pickleball Net?
Setting up a pickleball net really is very easy, so don’t worry. The products included in this guide are simple to setup and use, which is why I chose them. However, if you would like a little more peace of mind, checkout the below video which shows you exactly how easy it is to setup your own portable pickleball net very quickly.
Choosing a Pickleball Net, What to Consider?
When you are thinking of buying a portable pickleball net, you would do well to consider a few points before making your purchase.
Price vs Quality
- Price Does Not Always Reflect Quality – Just because something is more expensive than its competitors, does not automatically make it a better choice or product. Yes, some of the more expensive products have more features and are designed for professional use, but ask yourself, do I really need those features or am I looking for a portable pickleball net for casual use, fun with family and friends?As you will have seen from my review of each of these four portable pickle ball nets, the most expensive is not always the best choice, so make sure that you read reviews from trusted and reputable sellers to ensure that what you are buying is fit for purpose and will last you a long time.
- Net Durability – If you are paying over $100 for a product, you want it to last, so check to see if the net is durable, well made and will withstand not just hours of play but years of play. Does it have strong vinyl headbands to protect it? what is it made of? what do others say, having used it? All of these points should be considered before choosing the right product and each of the four systems I have reviewed have excellent quality nets, otherwise they would not be on my shortlist.
- Net Post Durability – Without the posts and poles, your portable pickleball net is not going to do much for you. So making sure that the posts are made from metal (steel or aluminum) rather than plastic is a must, as they are much less likely to break easily. Also, if you are looking to use your net outdoors or leave it out for days/weeks, you will want a metal poles which are powder coated, so they are resistant to rust and will last for years to come.
- Net Specifications – If you plan to only play indoors, lighter nets are a good choice as you do not have to worry about the wind, but if you are planning on using your net outdoors as well, you may want to look for a net which is built to withstand bad weather conditions. One of the most annoying things mid game is your net falling over because of a gust of wind. Especially when you are in mid stroke for a winning point!
I really hope this guide has helped you determining which is the best portable pickleball net for you, and that whatever you choose, it brings you years of enjoyment. I honestly believe that you cannot go wrong with any of the four nets I have shortlisted, all are excellent but some are more suited to indoor use rather than outdoor, hence a bit of choice. Please checkout the user reviews on Amazon, as they are also a great guide as to how they perform over time, how easy they are to setup and their overall quality. Enjoy!