As the weather warms up, those outdoor pickup basketball games are becoming more and more frequent. And if you’re a player, it that means you’ll need a quality street ball to handle the hard-pounding those surfaces dole out.
Outdoor basketballs have come a long way thanks to newer technologies and higher-quality materials. They’re made of rubber or composite, which helps with grip and durability, necessities when playing outdoors on hardcourt surfaces and in the weather elements. And another positive — you can get these street basketballs at a very reasonable price. We’ve compiled a list below of both street and outdoor basketballs from some of the top brands in the game like Spalding, Wilson and Baden.
Continue reading below to check out some of the best outdoor basketball available from the top brands on the market today. Browse a wider selection of street and outdoor basketballs if this list doesn’t have the style or model you’re looking for.
1. Spalding NBA Street Basketball
Over the years, one of Spalding’s most popular outdoor balls has been their NBA Street Basketball. Featuring a durable rubber cover, the ball has been cited for being long-lasting and able to withstand the rigors of the outdoor game, which generally includes dribbling on hard concrete surfaces. The wide-channel design is perfect for getting an excellent grip whether dribbling or taking a long 3-pointer. With an NBA logo on the ball, the Street Basketball is available in three sizes — official, intermediate and youth — and all are priced under $20.
Price: $11.69 (35 percent off MSRP)
- Great grip
- Available in 3 sizes — official, intermediate, youth
- Won’t ship for 1 to 2 months
- This ball is rubber; some users prefer the leather feel
2. Wilson NCAA Replica Rubber Basketball
Wilson is the official ball of the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Tournament and the Replica Rubber Basketball was designed for outdoor play. Featuring a high-performance rubber cover, you’ll have no problem getting a solid grip in the street pick-up games. And that grip and performance can also be attributed to the design, which has wide and deep channels, necessities when dribbling and shooting in the outdoor elements. The ball is available in three sizes — official (29.5 inches) and two intermediate sizes (28.5 and 27.5 inches) — and can be had for under $20. The official size shown here is just $12.99, 43 percent off the market price.
Price: $12.99 (43 percent off MSRP)
- Excellent grip
- Some users received the ball delivered deflated, so you’ll need a pump
- Some users experienced early wear and tear
3. Baden Grip Tread Rubber Basketball
It’s all in the name for this Baden basketball — Grip Tread Rubber. And one look at the ball, and you’ll understand what they mean. Engineered to give ultimate grip, the ball doesn’t have the look of a typical basketball, but features a unique tread design guaranteed to catch the eye of everyone on the court. The street ball, which can also be used indoors, is very durable and was made to give great performance and maximum air retention. The Baden ball is available in official size (29.5 inches) only.
- Sleek design
- Can also be used indoors
- Excellent grip
- Some users experienced early wear on the grips
- Available in just one size (official 29.5 inches)
4. Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
The FIBA approved Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball certainly has a unique look with its 12-panel design. But it’s not just a great looking ball, but also supplies plenty of performance. Perfect for both indoor and outdoor play, the ball’s aligned pebble pattern guarantees a consistent contact no matter where the ball is being held. And it’s durable; the inner ball bladder is constructed of butyl rubber. The ball ships deflated and is available in three sizes — official (7), intermediate (6) and junior (5) — and comes with a 1-year warranty.
- 1-year warranty
- Indoor/Outdoor use
- 12-panel design for enhanced grip
- A little on the pricey side
- Some users felt the ball had durability issues
5. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
This isn’t your typical street basketball. No, Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball has a look and feel like you should be playing under the bright lights of a pro arena. But its construction makes it ideal to the outdoors as well. The Zi/O composite leather includes full-ball pebbling which provides a tacky feel, which is ideal for streetball play. And the cover is also back-lined with foam for a softer feel and durability. You’ll maintain a solid grip and control whether you’re inside or in the park playing pick-up. It measures (29.5 inches — official size) and features the official NBA logo.
- Superior design and feel
- Good for indoor and outdoor use
- Some users said the ball didn’t feel great for the outdoors
6. Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball
Expect supreme grip and control with Wilson’s Killer Crossover Basketball, which is perfect for indoor or outdoor use. The 16-panel construction features an optima rubber cover with pebbled channels which ensure a soft, tacky feel and durability, important characteristics when dribbling and shooting on the playground. Wilson is the official ball of the NCAA Tournament so you know they’re not going to put their name on anything. The Killer Crossover is available in official and intermediate sizes making it a great ball for the recreational player.
- Pebbled channels for increased grip
- 16-panel construction
- Good for indoor or outdoor play
- Some found wear on the ball after mild use
- Ball came deflated to some customers, so you might need a pump
7. Franklin Sports Grip-Rite 1000 Basketball
If you’re looking for a quality outdoor ball at a bargain price, the Franklin Sports Grip-Rite 1000 Basketball could be for you. It’s made of high-quality rubber with inner yarn winding so you can expect to get a durable basketball that can withstand the elements of outdoor play. And as for grip, the pro-style ball has deep channel construction so you’ll get a great feel for when you’re leading the fast break or pulling up for a deep 3-pointer. The particular ball pictured comes in the official 29.5-inch size.
Price: $14.99 (25 percent off MSRP)
- Top-grade rubber construction for durability
- Deep channel construction for improved grip
- Some users felt it lost air too quickly
8. Baden Contender Indoor/Outdoor Composite Basketball
Baden’s second item on this list is the Contender Composite Basketball which can be used for both indoor and outdoor play. The top grade composite cover will stand up to the rigors of outdoor play, but lend the feel of an indoor ball. Another interesting highlight to this ball is the Baden’s Stealth Soft-Valve System, which cuts down on the amount of exposed rubber from the valve, therefore making it one of the better air-retention balls on the market. That ensures consistent play and dribble with every bounce. It’s available in official and intermediate sizes and in various bright colors, which give off that old school charm.
Price: Shown here at $30.57 (13 percent off MSRP), but price will vary depending on color and size
- Soft, durable cover
- Full-pebble design
- Brighter colors available
- Some users experienced sub-par ball pressure
- Some users felt it wore out too quickly
9. Under Armour 495 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
Highlighted by GRIPSKIN Composite technology, Under Armour’s 495 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball is designed to give you an amazing grip and soft feel regardless of the surface you’re playing on. With a deep channel design and full ball pebbling, you’ll get top-notch performance and be in control on every dribble and shot. It features 80 percent nylon windings so the ball is ensured to keep its shape over time. And thanks to the 100 percent butyl rubber bladder the ball will endure minimal air loss.
- GRIPSKIN Composite technology for ultimate grip and feel
- Deep channel design
- Nylon windings to help maintain shape over time
- Some users had issues with air retention
- Some users felt the bounce was awkward
10. Spalding NBA Courtside Team Outdoor Rubber Basketball
Show support for your favorite squad with the Spalding NBA Courtside Team Outdoor Rubber Basketball. The ball is made of high quality rubber, so you’ll be sure to have a great handle on the ball when playing outdoor surfaces. It can also be used inside. It’s official size (29.5 inches) and comes in vibrant colors of your No. 1 NBA team, including logos. Golden State is pictured here, but if you’re not a Warriors fan, it’s OK — the ball comes in almost all NBA teams.
Price: Shown at $16.99 (25 percent off MSRP), but price depends on team and availability
- Excellent grip
- Can use for both indoor/outdoor
- Available in all 30 NBA teams
- Users experienced eventual wearing away of team logo