There are two types of nets in pickleball. You’ve got the permanent nets found on dedicated pickleball courts, and you’ve got the portable nets. If you’re like most pickleball players, you play more on the portable nets than you do on the permanent ones. And if you’re as crazy about pickleball as I am, then you may be looking to buy your own net. Well, I’ve got some great recommendations for you. I’ve played with the vast majority of portable pickleball nets out there. In reality, there are very few differences between them, but that doesn’t mean that some aren’t better than others.
The benefits of owning your own net
There are many benefits to owning your own portable pickleball net. When I bought my first net, I went into it thinking that I would also have to mark out my own court, but this wasn’t the case.
Of course, you can use your portable net on a DIY court that you made with chalk lines or otherwise, but you don’t have to. Most of the times when I go use my net, it’s just for dinking or drills. Sometimes we’ll take it out to the driveway, mark off the kitchen line, and that’s it! It’s a simple way to get some great dinking or cross-court dinking practice in without having to mark a full court.
They’re also very easy to set up. Once you’ve done it a few times, it will only take you 7-10 minutes to set it up. This way you’re playing more pickleball than you are getting set up to play pickleball! And let’s be honest, the more pickleball we have in our lives, the better!
Barrett’s #1 pickleball net pick
3.0 Portable Pickleball Net System (Check prices)
This is simply the best and most recommended portable pickleball net out there. Whether you’re looking for a net to use in your driveway, garage or even if you’re buying 3-4 for your new pickleball venue, the 3.0 net system is the best choice to go with.
This net comes with a regulation-sized net that can be used for recreational play or for official USAPA events. It also comes with a bag so that you can easily carry it around.
In general, the net is very high quality, but also very lightweight. It only weighs around 24 pounds (.45 kg) in the bag. Not bad! It’s also manufactured by Pickleball Inc., one of the most trusted names in pickleball.
It’s got all of the bells and whistles that you’ll want in a portable pickleball net. The 3.0 pickleball net has straps on the end posts to adjust how taught the net is. It also has a stabilizer in the middle of the net in order to keep it rigid. The black net is made out of a mesh material which is covered by a strip of vinyl at the top and on the sides. It’s very sturdy.
Another great benefit of this net is that because of how the center stabilizer works, you can actually roll balls underneath the net to the other side. Hallelujah! How many times have you tried to roll a ball under the net to have it get caught? That almost never happens with this net.
The big difference
The biggest difference between this net and others nets are the legs.
This is what makes the 3.0 system different. See how the legs are nice and wide, but also angle down? This creates a sturdy net that can withstand windy conditions in case you’re playing outside. A lot of other nets don’t have this design. Thus, in very windy conditions, the nets can actually blow over because of the flat feet.
Now, if you’re not worried about the wind, then you don’t have to go this route. However, you might as well because it’s still the best net out there.
PickleNet System (Check prices)
This is the other net that I recommend in case you can’t find the 3.0 net system. It’s just as sturdy as the one mentioned above, but it’s different in one major way. Once again, it’s the legs. See how they’re flat in the picture above?
The legs on this net have a flat base instead of an angled base like the 3.0 net that I talked about earlier. You’re probably wondering, does this make a difference in the wind?
I live in Texas which means that the wind here something to actually write home about. It can be fierce at times. The PickleNet will never blow over in low winds or even high wind gusts. However, for extended wind gusts of 30-40 mph, the net starts to topple over. Again, the flat feet of the net have a harder time keeping the net upright in windy conditions. However, if you’re playing indoors, this net is perfectly fine to use.
Taking care of it
It’s always a good idea to take care of your new baby. In general, this means that:
- You should never leave the net outdoors for any reason.
- Set up and take down the net carefully without banging any of the bars.
- Keep the net in the bag and stored safely indoors.
Portable pickleball nets are meant to be sturdy and tough, but they’re not invincible. Treat it the same way you would treat your prized pickleball paddle and you should be fine.
In terms of weather, take the net down if it begins to rain. It’s too risky to let the net get wet (Rhyme intended.) Treat the net with care and it will last you a very long time.
Also, be careful when you’re putting the bars into the bag. The bags in the net systems above are made of nylon. However, these bags are known to tear and fray over time. So when you’re putting the bars in the bag, be careful not to scrap them on the sides of the bag.
You can’t go wrong with any of the nets that I’ve listed above. I’m curious, do you any of these nets? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comment section below.