Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop Review – Should You Get It?

Welcome to my review of the Lifetime 71281 in-ground basketball hoop.

It’s not a secret that Lifetime makes fantastic products for a low price that simply is difficult to beat. Am I right?

And, their 7182 basketball system is a prime example of this statement with its Power Lift Height adjustment attribute and breakaway rim.

So should you get this one? Is it the right choice for you? Keep reading my Lifetime 71281 review to find out…

Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop Review

Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop Review

Lifetime is one of the most popular basketball suppliers today. I’ve done much more reviews of Lifetime basketball hoops than any other brand name of hoops.

And, their Lifetime 71281 in-ground basketball system is just like you would expect.

It has a shatterproof polycarbonate backboard. The size of the backboard (54″) might feel a touch small for pro players but big enough for kids, teens, and amateur adults.

Moreover, the Slam-It rim contains a spring that activates when the pressure is applied. This type of rim is good for light dunks and offers a nice rebound.

The power lift device makes the elevation adjustment process easy. That said, you can change the height from 7.5 to 10 feet with a light grip of the hand.

The 3-piece steel round post is not the strongest one. However, due to the lightweight design of the entire system, it shouldn’t shake or vibrate too much.

Furthermore, its UV protection and rust-resistant attribute will maintain the basketball system secure from being damaged.

All in all, the 71281 model from Lifetime features a few brand-new technologies that make it a high-quality system that is definitely suitable for you and your youngsters.

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Power Lift Basketball System, 52 Inch Shatterproof Backboard

Backboard Size54″
Backboard MaterialPolycarbonate
Rim QualitySlam-It rim
Support Pole3-piece 3.5″ steel pole
Height Adjustment7.5 – 10 feet
Anchoring SystemConcrete anchoring
Overall Rating🏀🏀🏀🏀
Check Price

Lifetime 71281 Basketball System Features

For someone who does not plan to buy the premium hoop, Lifetime 71281 will certainly be an excellent pick. It comes with many remarkable features that you can barely ignore.

Speaking of which, let’s take a look at what you get with 71281.


The backboard on the Lifetime 71281 is 52 inches. It is steel mounted, which improves the stability and durability of the backboard.

As expected, affordable home hoops like the Lifetime 71281 have a backboard that is constructed from polycarbonate material.

This makes the backboard resilient and unlikely to break or smash.

However, polycarbonate backboards are not extremely receptive and also do not carry out specifically well in terms of the rebound effect.

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Power Lift Basketball System, 52 Inch Shatterproof Backboard


Lifetime basketball hoops such as the 71281 have an exposed spring breakaway rim arrangement. In my opinion, it’s good, but not the best rim.

See, this type of rim does permit some light dunking. But I do not suggest holding on to the rim as you can create damage to the system in time.

Keep in mind that revealed spring breakaway rims have springs that may corrosion in time as a result of being subjected to the elements.

Height Adjustment

The Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop features the Power Lift Height Adjustment System. With this system, the height can be readjusted from 7.5 feet to 10 feet.

That said, the task of changing the height with a special device like a power lift absolutely elevated the level of the hoop a little bit more than other systems.

This mechanism is built to make the job of dealing with or adjusting elevation much easier. Therefore, even your kids can do it with a simple grip of a hand.

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Power Lift Basketball System, 52 Inch Shatterproof Backboard

Support Pole

Lifetime 71281 has a three-piece rounded assistance post with a powder finish to help protect it from rusting. Indeed, this is a nice touch from the manufacturer.

Three-piece assistance posts are good for casual usage. However, this structure will vibrate more than more costly two or one-piece assistance pole systems.

On the bright side, Lifetime version 71281 hoop has actually been thought of as a friction-weld joint. This will certainly act as a safety and security guard against undesirable activities.

Furthermore, Lifetime includes a pad to the post with this model. It definitely raises your and other players’ security while playing under the hoop.


The Lifetime 71281 comes with instructions for easy assembly and installation. For more visual instructions, you can refer to the video below…

What Do I Like About Lifetime 71281?

A variety of the advantages of this hoop have been discussed at the start of the review. Let’s finalize all the interesting attractions of Lifetime 71281 right here!

  • The backboard is a relatively good dimension at 52 inches
  • The backboard has a steel frame to add stability
  • High-density polyethene backboard gives the assurance of long life
  • The power lift height mechanism is easy to use for adjusting the elevation
  • Made in the USA and features a five-year warranty
  • Under a $300, it provides fantastic worth considering all the unique attributes

What I Don’t Like About Lifetime 71281?

In this in-depth Lifetime 71281 review, I’ll be discussing some major elements that I directly don’t like such as:

  • The polycarbonate backboard does not carry out well compared to glass
  • A three-piece assistance post offers a little vibration throughout the shots
  • The exposed spring on the breakaway rim is vulnerable to rust
  • The rim is not made to handle hard-core dunking or hanging

Who Is Lifetime 71281 Best For?

People all over the world acknowledge that Lifetime basketball hoops are top-quality. They all are produced in the U.S.A. and are made from quality materials.

That said, the Lifetime 71281 is the finest fit for people that are seeking a fun activity to do together. Is that you and your family?

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Power Lift Basketball System, 52 Inch Shatterproof Backboard

Furthermore, it comes at a price that is available to anyone ($300).

Despite the low price, the inclusion of new technologies makes it a high-quality hoop that is definitely appropriate for domestic entertainment.

But if you are serious about the game of basketball and don’t want something to shoot a couple of baskets on then I suggest you invest a few more bucks in something better.

What Are Lifetime 71281 Reviews Saying?

Out of 500+ reviews, more than 70% of the users rated Lifetime 71281 in-ground basketball hoop with a positive review giving it 4-5 stars.

Most customers are happy with the quality and the longevity of the material. Despite years of use and abuse, 71281 stood the test of time.

On the other hand, a tiny portion of users complained about weak support poles and malfunctions related to the height-adjustment system.

Positive Reviews

  • I purchased this hoop two years ago. My family loves to play dunk ball. We have played thousands of games on our hoop over the past two years and this hoop has been incredible. It’s sturdy, can take a lot of dunking, hanging, swinging, etc (and I weigh 215 pounds) without any bending of the rim. It looks as good and works as good as the day we purchased it. The other feature I have really appreciated is the ease with which you can lower and raise the hoop. My young children can adjust the height without any problem. I strongly recommend this hoop!
  • Great product. We installed this in a newly poured cement pad on the side of our house when we built-in 2011. It has been an excellent product. The only caution is to make sure you leave enough room to bolt the bottom section into the sleeve. Also, the pad for the pole finally wore out after 5 long winters and summers (the straps basically disintegrated). Other than that, this has been a great product and stood up to A LOT of use by teenagers who are not typically gentle with these things.

Negative Reviews

  • My kit was missing 5 pieces. After calling customer service it took 2 weeks for the replacement parts to come and they only sent had of them. I called back and they said they would expedite the order. It’s been a week and they still have not even shipped yet. So a month into summer and I have a post concreted into the ground with a $500 boat anchor sitting in my basement… DO NOT BUY!
  • I bought the system and overall it has performed great. The backboard still looks new however the post rotted and the whole top backboard bent and fell on our driveway. What a disappointment for an expensive system that is supposed to weather well outside. I would never recommend or purchase this product again.


Lifetime makes everything from affordable systems to high-end hoops that can manage rim shaking bangs. Every Lifetime hoop is built in the USA and includes a five-year guarantee!

Lifetime 71281 is a medium-sized hoop that will satisfy your needs. It’s highly recommended for kids, teens, and amateur hoopsters.

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Power Lift Basketball System, 52 Inch Shatterproof Backboard

Backboard Size54″
Backboard MaterialPolycarbonate
Rim QualitySlam-It rim
Support Pole3-piece 3.5″ steel pole
Height Adjustment7.5 – 10 feet
Anchoring SystemConcrete anchoring
Overall Rating🏀🏀🏀🏀
Check Price

Having some advanced technological features is the main reason for being one of the best hoops on the market.

What I like the most is the Power Lift System makes it easy to change the height of the hoop. You do not require to be Hulk Hogan to get the job done.

As a cherry on top, this basketball system is backed by a 5-year manufacturer guarantee!

With this, we have come to the end of my Lifetime 71281 in-ground basketball hoop review. What do you like about it the most? Do let me know in the comment box below…

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4 thoughts on “Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop Review – Should You Get It?”

  1. Really thank you so much for this review. I also like basketball very much. Most of the time I play on the field. But this is awesome. This Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop is great. I’m sending this to my friends too. The money for this is also reasonable. We will definitely buy this. Keep posting like this. If this is very useful.

  2. Hey Ivan

    thanks for this comprehensive review! My husband loves playing basketball and I was contemplating getting a hoop recently for my son so my husband can teach him. However, I was looking at ones where they’re wall-mounted. You may have changed my mind!

    I really like the fact this is height adjustable and a has 5 year guarantee. Thanks for sharing


  3. Thank you so much for this very detailed review. My family is all about the basketball. It’s such a fun sport to play and watch on and off the court. This Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop is great and a total must have. I love have how the price and how durable this seems to anyone who seems to want to get this for themselves or there family. So keep sharing stuff like this it’s a totally must for sports fans fans like me. 


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