The Best Outdoor Basketballs of 2020

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Are you someone who loves practicing outdoors, and you are looking for a viable outdoor basketball? Do you spend your time hooping around courts in your neighborhood, and you are now looking to find the best outdoor basketballs? If either of these holds, you are in the right place. 

Imagine purchasing a new basketball and being eager to get home to play, only to find that your ball was for indoor use only. You assess the damage and the scuffs on your ball only to realize that it is unsalvageable. The heartbreak you feel is intense, and you vow never to make that mistake again. With this in the back of your mind, you try to purchase an outdoor ball only to find that you don’t know what you are looking for. Never fear, we are here to help. 

This article will provide you with some of the most recommended outdoor basketballs. These balls will range in price, sizing, and overall quality. We will also give some real purchaser feedback, so you know exactly what you are purchasing and how other basketball players like yourself have enjoyed the ball.

Outside of this, we will also provide you with some quality information on how to choose the best basketball for you. However, before we send you off into the wild, we will also help you understand which basketball materials work better outdoors than others and so much more. All you have to do is keep reading!

If you want to get back to playing basketball, get our top pick for the best outdoor basketball here.

Our Top Favorite
Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball (Official Size)
Our Top Runner Up
Spalding NBA Zi/O Basketball 29.5"
Our Top Value Pick
Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball
Outdoor Basketballs
Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber
Spalding NBA Zi/o Excel Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball (Official Size)
Outdoor Basketballs
Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Spalding NBA Zi/O Basketball 29.5"
Outdoor Basketballs
Spalding NBA Zi/o Excel Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball
Outdoor Basketballs
Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball
Prime Eligible?
-

Our Favorites for the Best Outdoor Basketballs Our Favorites for the Best Outdoor Basketballs

Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber

If you think that something affordable can’t be quality, this ball will have you thinking again. The Mikasa basketball is consistently receiving roaring reviews for its outstanding performance and durability. This is a good outdoor basketball if you need something affordable yet functional. 

What Makes it Unique:

  • The ball comes with a premium rubber cover. This cover tends to provide a more significant reaction when bounced. This means that you may need to put more air into the ball for it to reach its maximum capacity.
  • The deep pebbling on the ball aids in creating an excellent grip; however, it will take a few games to break it in accurately.
  • This ball comes in several sizes. This includes official size (7), Intermediate (6), youth (5), junior (4), and even mini (3) basketballs.
  • This ball only comes in a traditional orange color.  

Why choose this best Outdoor Basketball:

  • This is an excellent option for kids to use as an excellent entry-level basketball. It would be great to practice the necessary basketball skills.
  • This is also an excellent and affordable ball for youth programs and institutions.   The ball has a soft feel, which will hurt less if a child is accidentally hit.
  • Many purchasers found this to be a great option as they discovered that it has a leather-like feel.  
Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball (Official Size)
  • Premium outdoor cover
  • Deep-pebble design
  • Designed for outdoor use

This is an excellent option when choosing a basketball which is versatile enough to be used indoors and outdoors, several purchasers consider this to be one of the best Spalding basketballs and highly recommend it. 

What Makes it Unique:

  • With the purchase of this ball, you won’t need to worry about inflating it anytime soon. This ball comes shipped and ready for gameplay.  Spalding also guarantees that this ball will remain inflated for at least a year. 
  • The is available in three different colorways.  These include the traditional orange design, black with green accents, as well as a red, white, and blue option.  They also come specially branded with never-flat messaging. 
  • This ball comes in size seven or a size six.  It also offers a soft grip cover, which allows for better control through the use of Spalding’s soft-grip technology.
  • The ball boasts a wide channel design, which allows for better ball control.  
  • The Hexagrip ball can lock in ten times more air than a traditional basketball. 

Why Choose this Best Outdoor Basketball:

  • Aside from the air retention technology which this ball uses, it is . This is an excellent option for beginner players looking for a great ball. 
  • Though when purchasing the colored ball, the colors may fade with time, the performance of this basketball stays the same. Even after a year of play, many purchasers say it bounces just like when they first bought it.

Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball GM7X

The Molten X-Series basketball is another cost-effective option that gives you great value for the price. It can be used on indoor courts or the tough blacktops outside. This is also the FIBA’s official game ball. Many players even say that every time they play with it, it feels like the first time. 

What Makes it Unique:

  • Molten basketballs are becoming more internationally recognized as they gain exposure through FIBA.
  • This basketball has a full pebble skin, which allows it to be easily gripped and controlled. Molten refers to this as a consistent touch design. No matter where your hand lands on the ball, it feels uniform. The ball’s more vibrant and enhanced design allows basketball players to see its rotation more clearly. 
  • The GM7x has a 12-panel design and is available in multiple sizes.  These sizes include size seven, six, and youth size 5. The ball’s butyl bladder ensures that it is airtight with no seepage. 

Why Choose this Best Outdoor Basketball:

  • Many purchasers love this ball for its enhanced features and feel that it can go up against even the most expensive outdoor basketballs. 
  • If you are looking to get into the FIBA, this may be a great ball to practice with. It is made to hold up against any surface. 
  • The synthetic cover on the ball allows for excellent grip, although to some players, the ball seems slightly smaller.  Many purchase caution that this ball will have a different feel than balls made by Spalding or Wilson. 

Our Runner Ups for the Best Outdoor Basketballs Our Runner Ups for the Best Outdoor Basketballs

Spalding NBA Zi/o Excel Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

This Excel basketball brought to you by Spalding is excellent for the driveway or the gym. It isn’t the cheapest option, yet it still falls in a moderate price range, especially for Spalding. The ball has an excellent grip and is very sturdy and durable. If you are looking for a ball that can take any court you put it on, this is it.

What Makes it Unique:

  • This ball doesn’t come in the standard orange hue, instead of a darker, deeper wooded color with black and gold lettering.  It is also available in a traditional size seven or a size six. 
  • This Spalding hybrid has a Zi/O PU composite leather cover with a foam-backed design. This foam allows for increased durability and excellent grip.  
  • Purchasers continuously rave about the ball’s tacky feel and adore the feeling that it gives. This is a quality that does not diminish when the ball is exposed to moisture or dust, though the ball does collect some dust when using it. 
  • Spalding has found the perfect balance with the Spalding Excel.  The ball has a consistent bounce that performs well on indoor or outdoor surfaces. 
  • When comparing the Excel to other basketballs in its class, this ball seems exceptionally lighter making it perform better when shooting. 

Why Choose this Best Outdoor Basketball:

  • If you are looking for a ball that would work well for competitive play, preferably outdoor play, this is an outstanding contender.
  • Several players can vouch for the durability of this ball, even with extensive outdoor play. The ball can last for several years.  The strength of the ball can be attributed to the composite cover.
  • If you are having trouble controlling the ball, this will give you excellent ball control due to its deep channels. 
  • This is a good outdoor basketball, which is slightly more affordable than other options on the market. 
Sale
Spalding NBA Zi/O Basketball 29.5"
  • Official NBA size and weight: Size 7, 29.5 inch
  • Zi/O Tournament composite cover
  • Foam backed design for excellent feel

Under Armour 495 Indoor/Outdoor Composite Basketbal

Under Armour is continually looking to make strides in the sports industry and is moving in the right direction with this indoor/outdoor ball. The Under Armour 495 ball is a great option for adults playing on multiple surfaces. It is not only affordable but offers a quality grip and feel. It is a solid contender for being one of the most recommended outdoor basketballs.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The Under Armour ball uses the grip skin technology to provide an enhanced grip and a comfortable feel.  The basketball offers a pebbled surface, which may seem slick at first use, but will be broken in with time. 
  • The ball is available in sizes six and seven, both of which are approved by the NFHS.  Six is the standard size for women, whereas seven is the traditional size for men.
  • The indoor/outdoor composite ball also boasts a deep channel design and mainly nylon windings, which aid in retaining the ball’s shape. 
  • For some players, the ball seems a bit heavy and can fill flat when bouncing.  However, merely adding a bit more air into the ball will rectify this issue.
  • Under Armour gives this ball a 100% butyl bladder, which aids in air retention.  Along with being able to retain air easily, the refill valve is exceptionally well hidden and not cumbersome. 

Why Choose this Best Outdoor Basketball:

  • No matter how rough you feel that a surface is, this ball can withstand against while not losing out on its quality.
  • Many purchasers marvel at the indoor feel this ball possesses while being able to use it on multiple surfaces. 
  • The UA 495 is exceptionally durable, making it suitable for multiples games for expanded periods.  Even after continuous gameplay for months at a time, the ball still has excellent grip and bounce.  
  • If you’re looking for a way to get out of purchasing two balls, this is it. This is an excellent ball if you split your time between playing indoors and playing outdoors.  Under these circumstances, the ball should fair nicely. However, if being used strictly outdoors, you should probably invest in a more durable, outdoor only, ball. 
Under Armour 495 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball, Official/Size 7
  • Deep Channel Design/Full Ball Pebbling
  • 80% Nylon Windings for Shape Retention
  • 100% Butyl Bladder for Maximum Air Retention

Wilson NCAA Wave Microfiber Composite Basketball

The Wilson NCAA Wave is another excellent option if you are searching for a good outdoor basketball. This ball is extremely affordable and highly recommended. The NCAA wave ball is often used at high schools. 

What Makes it Unique:

  • The microfiber basketball uses the wave triple threat technology. This technology utilizes three grooves on the ball, which provide enhanced grip and reduce dirt and moisture. 
  • The grooves on the ball provide increased ball control for basketball handlers
  • The Wilson Wave ball gets its name from the wave technology used on the ball.   With the Wave Technology, the ball has additional T3 grooves, 24 to be precise. These grooves allow players to have increased grip and control over the ball.  Though these grooves may take some time to get accustomed to, this is a ball loved by point guards. 
  • The Wave ball also uses Cushion Core technology, which enhances its bounce. 

Why Choose this Best Outdoor Basketball:

  • The full pebble structure further enhances your grip on this basketball.
  • Though this ball can be used outdoors, many purchasers feel that the pebble-like design lends it better to indoor courts.
  • If you are a high school athlete or an athlete’s parent, this is an excellent gift for anyone looking to have the game ball feel while at home. 
  • Many purchasers swear by this ball so much that they purchase it over and over. Some even consider it to be the best outdoor basketball. 
Wilson Wave Solution Game Basketball, Official - 29.5"
  • Patented Wave Pattern creates 4x more grip points, with each groove closer together for improved grip while shooting, passing, catching and rebounding
  • Laid In Composite Channels are made from the same high-tack composite as the rest of the ball, unlike inferior balls that use smooth rubber channels. This means the Wave is easier to grip, no matter where on its surface your fingers land
  • Cushion Core is a sponge-like core, which is soft and makes the ball easier to control vs competitor balls who use a stiff core.  Cushion core allows for maximum feel and ball control

Our Value Picks for the Best Outdoor Basketballs Our Value Picks for the Best Outdoor Basketballs

Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball

The Wilson Killer Crossover might just be the cheapest ball on the list. However, even with its low cost, it is loved by many. If you aren’t familiar with what a crossover is, are you really a basketball player? This ball’s claim to fame is its ability to help you change speed and direction quickly. This ball is ideal for beginners or individuals just looking to play at their leisure. 

What Makes it Unique:

  • The Killer Crossover is available to you in three different sizes.  This includes sizes 7, 6, and 5. The ball can also be purchased in a variety of different colorways.  These colors include Carolina blue and white, lime green and white, black and white, navy and white, red and white, and also orange and white. 
  • This ball has a consistent bounce that doesn’t have you guessing where it will go next. 

Why Choose this Best Outdoor Basketball:

  • If you are looking for a ball for your budding basketball start, this is an excellent option.
  • The Crossover ball can withstand several harsh outdoor environments while still offering excellent grip.

Why You Should Invest in Quality Outdoor Basketballs

Having a quality basketball is extremely important for honing in on your basketball skills. It is also essential for maintaining and growing as a basketball player. If you are someone who frequently plays indoors, we do not recommend using your indoor ball, outside. Although outdoor balls can be used inside, it is not recommended to do the opposite. 

Investing in a quality outdoor basketball is essential. It is especially crucial for someone who plays streetball regularly or even practices outside. Quality basketballs come in a variety of types, big or small. They also can be made of different materials, including leather composite, rubber, or synthetic composite material. 

FAQ on Outdoor Basketballs

Is Composite Leather Good for Outdoor Basketball? 

If you are wondering if a composite leather basketball is suitable for outdoor use, then the answer is yes. Two materials that are heavily used in outdoor basketballs include composite leather as well as synthetic leather. Composite leather is an excellent material to use for making basketball.

Although it does not have the same break-in period as leather, it feels similar to that of real leather. Though the ball may have the same feel as genuine leather, they do not perform the same. Composite balls are far more durable and last longer. They can even be played on indoor or outdoor courts. 

If you are unfamiliar with what composite leather is, we will help you understand. Composite leather is made up of leather bits and Polyurethane. It is often more cost-effective and affordable when used in basketballs. 

What’s the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Basketball?

You may be wondering what exactly the difference is between indoor and outdoor basketballs. This is a common question which many people ask and one that all basketball players should know the answer to. 

To answer the question at hand, Yes. There are several differences between balls specialized for indoor play and balls used for playing basketball outdoors. Outdoor balls are designed to be able to handle more rough or rugged terrain. This includes surfaces like blacktops, playgrounds, etc. These surfaces will usually scuff or tear indoor balls and make them feel flat. This, in turn, makes them more challenging to play with. 

Though you can use an outdoor ball to play inside, it is not recommended that you do the same with an indoor ball. Indoor balls are not as flexible as outdoor basketballs. They can even feel cumbersome or bulky when used outdoors. Indoor balls have more pebbles on their surface, making them perform better indoors. Even when sweating, these balls do not lose their grip.

What is Soft Grip Technology in Basketball? 

Soft grip technology is a way of providing basketball players with the  possible in outdoor basketballs. With this type of technology, a basketball has two layers of sponge rubber. These layers allow for not only a soft grip on the basketball player’s hands but a longer lifetime of your outdoor basketball. 

This technology makes the ball easier to palm and even provides added grip during rain or heavy sweating. 

How to Choose the Best Outdoor Basketballs for You

There are several options to choose from when looking for the best outdoor basketball. Although we hope that you find something on this list that you love, we know that that may not always be the case. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of the perfect information for you. We understand that there is an array of brands that offer outdoor basketballs. Therefore, we have created a list of characteristics and questions to use when you are ready to start your search for the perfect outdoor basketball. 

When choosing a basketball, the same ball may not feel the same for everyone. You must assess your personal preferences when choosing a basketball. Below you will find a list of questions that you can use to evaluate your options and ultimately choose one that is perfect for you. You must do adequate research when looking to pick a basketball. This will help you ensure that you are making the right decision. 

What size basketball will be perfect for my needs?

Basketballs are available in a variety of sizes. These sizes will vary based on who they will be used by. If you are an adult male, you will likely need a regulation basketball. This ball would be a size seven. If you are a female who is looking for a regulation basketball, yours would be slightly smaller. Size six is the standard size for females and even the sized used in the WNBA. 

Children’s sizing is a bit different as there are several sizes to choose from based on your child’s age. Mini balls are meant for all ages and do not have specific age groups. These balls are often referred to as novelty balls and come in size three. Other options for children include a size five or a size six. A size 5 is perfect for children whose ages are between five and eight years old. A size six-ball is meant for males and females over the age of 9. However, a female size six is often used for adults as well. A size six is the official size of the WNBA game ball.

What material am I looking for the ball to be covered with?

Your ball’s material goes hand in hand with where you plan to use the ball. Each element offers a variety of different pros and cons. These should be explored before making a final decision. There are several different materials often used for basketballs. These materials include genuine leather, composite material, synthetic leather, and rubber. Indoor basketballs are more commonly made of leather, microfiber composite material, or rubber.

If you have an outdoor ball, it will most likely be made up of synthetic leather, rubber, or composite. Rubber basketballs are often a cheaper option used in schools or large play settings. 

Will this ball be used for outdoor and indoor gameplay or both?

Though finding an outdoor basketball is our primary goal, you need to assess if this ball will be solely used for outdoor purposes. Your location is essential and has a substantial effect on the basketball that you use. This will aid you in cutting down the options which are available to you and that you should purchase. 

Although the basketballs on this list are made for outdoors, some like the Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball is made for play on both surfaces. Using them on their respective surfaces will ensure you get optimal performance out of the basketball. Another thing that you must take into account is that although you may purchase a hybrid ball, some will perform better on one surface than the other. 

One common debate is between the Molten GM7x vs. GG7x. Though the Molten GG7x  is used for indoor only, many people use it outdoors as well, because they prefer its grip to the GM7x. 

How much am I willing to spend on my outdoor basketball?

Affordability is often a significant driver in which ball you purchase unless you have an unlimited budget. Though many basketballs are affordable, their prices can vary. Although many may not understand it, basketballs can be extremely pricey. Brands like Spalding tend to cost more than basketballs you will find at your local Wal-Mart. High-end basketballs tend to come with high-end price tags.

However, don’t rule out the cheaper options. Several of the balls on this list come in at an extremely affordable price point and may even be considered cheap. However, they offer excellent quality and value for the money. 

Design and Color

Although most basketballs come in the traditional orange color, there is a multitude of styles and designs which add personality to your basketball. Though color can be fun and eye-catching, especially for children’s basketballs, it is not a necessity. Some colors can also fade over time, making your basketball look less appealing. However, it will not have a significant impact on the basketball’s function. 

Wrapping Things Up: The Best Outdoor Basketballs

Wrapping everything up, here are the best outdoor basketballs we went over today:

Our Top Favorite
Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball (Official Size)
Our Top Runner Up
Spalding NBA Zi/O Basketball 29.5"
Our Top Value Pick
Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball
Outdoor Basketballs
Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber
Spalding NBA Zi/o Excel Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball (Official Size)
Outdoor Basketballs
Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Spalding NBA Zi/O Basketball 29.5"
Outdoor Basketballs
Spalding NBA Zi/o Excel Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball
Outdoor Basketballs
Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball
Prime Eligible?
-

If you have made it this far, we hope you have gained valuable knowledge about some of the best outdoor basketballs. Although many people don’t think about the quality of the ball they are purchasing for recreational purposes, real ballplayers know that the small details matter. The balls on this list are some of the most recommended outdoor basketballs and the best of their kind. 

The Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball is one option that everyone tends to love. It not only comes in a variety of sizes; it has a leather-like feel that many outdoor basketballs do not give. If you didn’t love that ball, the Spalding NBA Zi/o excel is an excellent runner-up. Its foam backing makes it extremely durable, and purchasers rave that it has a long game life.

If you didn’t love any one of the balls on this list, don’t worry, we won’t be offended. All you have to do is utilize the tips we provided to choose a ball that works better for you. What are you waiting for? Grab a ball and get out on the court.

Because you read this post, you may also like our guide on the best indoor basketballs here

If you would like to know how to clean your outdoor basketball then this ultimate guide is for you.

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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