You know you’re crazy about pickleball when you actually buy your own pickleball net. That’s exactly what happened a few months ago when I bought the Classic PickleNet portable pickleball net system. I remember it arrive at my doorstep and I couldn’t have been more excited. Luckily, I had someone’s driveway to test it out on. Today, I’m going to give you a portable pickleball net review so that you can decide if you’d like to have one of your own.
What do you get?
First, let’s talk about what you get with this item. You obviously get the entire net including the frame it attaches to plus an instruction sheet. But you also get a handy storage bag to carry the system in. This is great for transporting the net to a recreational center or anywhere else.
It’s as simple as that.
This system is also one of the most popular nets sold, and is often used in official tournament play. The net is regulation size measuring 22 feet across, 36 inches high at the side posts and around 34 inches high at the center of the net. When the system is stored in the carry bag, it weighs around 23 pounds.
My shipment came with everything neatly plastic wrapped and was easy to get it all out to get rolling!
Construction and Quality
Let’s get into the meat of it. How is the construction quality of the system?
As I was setting up the net for the first time, I became more and more impressed with the quality as I progressed. I found myself saying out loud “Oh, that’s cool” quite a lot.
When it comes to construction, there’s one word that comes to mind: solid.
The frame just feels solid. The bars are pure metal with a black coating. I accidentally dropped the bars a few times (oops), but it didn’t affect the constitution of the bar itself. However, it did leave some scratches on the black coating. If you buy this net, expect to have a few scratches here and there.
When fully set up, the frame feels sturdy and reliable. There wasn’t a single moment when I felt uneasy about the foundation of the PickleNet system.
The net itself is taut and professional looking. Just look at this picture:
The net is made out of nylon, and will last for a very long time as long as it is taken care of. The headband is made of vinyl and is just as sturdy as the rest of the net. You can also adjust the tautness of the net using the adjustment bands at the top of the side posts as shown above.
This brings us to one of the most best parts of this net, the center bar. The PickleNet doesn’t sag as much thanks to a metal bar that’s placed into the center stand.
This is probably my favorite feature of the net. The bar allows the net to not sag as much, but it also increases the tension of the net. Instead of the slack of the net going from end post to end post, the tension is now spread out between this metal bar. The net looks flat, instead of curved.
Also, because of how taut the net can get, balls that are hit into the net gently bounce back to you, and don’t get stuck in the bars.
Overall, the construction of the net is excellent for a portable pickleball net system. You can find the exact one that I got here at Amazon.
Getting it set up for play
The setup of the net is as easy as it gets. Most of it is self-explanatory, but the set does come with instructions in case you need help. Once you’ve done it a few times, it won’t take you more than 5-7 minutes to set it up. It can even be done by yourself. Just to make it easier on yourself, make sure you check out the basic instructions before starting.
When people talk about “some assembly required” they’re not being sarcastic, it really is just some. There’s no need for screwdrivers or wrenches with this net. All of the pieces slide into each other easily with little hassle. Sometimes you will have to work to get the last side post in, but it’s not too bad. It’s worth nothing that you don’t want to pull the net too tight as it could cause some damage.
It’s your baby, take care of it!
As you know, taking care of your pickleball gear increases the likelihood of it lasting longer. The PickleNet system is no different. Although it can be a pain to disassemble after an intense match of pickleball, doing so ensures the long term integrity of the net. The manufacturer recommends never leaving the net outside to suffer the whims of the elements, especially in the rain.
As I mentioned earlier, the system weighs 23 pounds while in the bag. This isn’t exactly light, but it’s doable to at least get it inside a building for storage. The bag itself is about 40 inches wide and around 6 inches tall, so it can easily be stored in a closet.
What if I don’t have room for a full court?
Most people buy pickleball nets because they need one for a pickleball meetup group at a tennis court or recreational center. Some people, including myself, just want one because we’re obsessed with the sport and want easy access in our driveway.
But not everyone has access to a driveway that’s big enough for a DIY pickleball court. I’m here to tell you that’s perfectly fine! You don’t have to fit an entire court into your driveway. If you have room to physically place the net, then you can at least use the net for some basis dinking. Think of it as a practice net, and not necessarily a full court.
The net certainly isn’t designed this way, but you can roll up one side of the net and only use 11 feet of net instead of the regulation size 22 feet. Then you’ll be playing mini pickleball!
Overall, if you’re in the market for a pickleball net, I can’t recommend this net highly enough. It’s one of the best out there, and I’ve seen it for myself. The frame and net are extremely high quality and it should last you for years to come. Even if you don’t have room for a full court, you can still get some use out of a net for dinking practice.
Have questions about the net? Leave a comment below!