If you are setting up your own pickleball playing space, then there are plenty of things you need to do. One of them is to buy a good pickleball net. Helping you with making the right choice is going to be the goal of today’s material.
First off, we are going to introduce several great pickleball net systems to you. They all have something to offer, so you should be able to find the right thing for your needs.
In addition, we are going to guide you through the buying process by looking into what you should be looking for in pickleball nets and why.
Shall we begin?
The Best Pickleball Nets
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Our Reviews Of The Best Pickleball Nets
The 3.0 Portable Net System by Pickle-Ball, Inc. is a middle-end pickleball net system. Even though it isn’t the priciest net out there, it still has a couple of interesting features to boast.
The first thing that would probably interest you in a net is durability. With it, this net should have no problems. Interestingly, Pickle-Ball, Inc. claims on this net’s product page on their website that they have aimed to create the most durable net on the market. Whether or not they succeeded in it, this net should be durable enough since it has got a powder-coated steel build.
Being pretty tough, the 3.0 Portable Net System is rather light, weighing at 22 pounds. In addition, this net can be completely disassembled for more convenient transportation and storage. And assembling this net does not take more than 8 minutes, as claimed by Pickle-Ball, Inc.
A pretty important thing about this net is that it is compliant with USAPA competition regulations. It has the right size, white net bindings over the top of the net, as well as the correct height settings. With the integrated tension adjusters and the center bar, you should be able to keep the net at a proper height at all times.
- Durable powder-coated net.
- Compliant with USAPA regulations.
- Weighs 22 pounds, which is pretty light for a pickleball net.
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Did you know that USAPA itself sold pickleball net systems? Well, if you didn’t, you will now. And this is one good net, we have to say.
The first thing you’d expect from a pickleball net sold by the USAPA is compliance with competition regulations. And indeed, this portable net system is compliant with regulations. This isn’t the most notable feature of this net system, however.
The poles of the USAPA portable net system are made in an oval shape. Oval tubes are much less likely to twist or bend compared with round tubes. And the fact that the net system is made from powder-coated steel adds to its overall durability.
When it comes to stability, this net system also looks rather good. This is mainly due to its wider legs and center bar. In addition, this net weighs quite a lot – 32 pounds, to be exact, which is another thing that should contribute to its stability.
Lastly, as evident from its name, the USAPA portable pickleball net system can be disassembled completely for more convenient transport and storage.
- Stands stable on the ground.
- Durable oval frame.
- Compliant with USAPA regulations.
Make sure you also check out our guide to the best Pickleball Paddles.
If you have the money to spend on a pickleball net, then you may want to have a look at the SwiftNet net by Pickleball, Inc.
On first glance, one probably would already notice that this net looks different than other nets. And there is a serious reason for this – the SwiftNet net system is made from high-grade aerospace carbon fiber.
And this means several things for this net.
First of all, carbon fiber makes for an exceptionally durable net. Much more durable than steel, carbon fiber is very resistant to abuse, twisting, and bending. In addition, this net system does not rust or fatigue, which should allow you to use it in any conditions.
The second benefit of carbon fiber is that the SwiftNet system weighs just about 13 pounds. Given that regular nets weigh closer to 30 pounds, 13 pounds is indeed very lightweight.
This is going to be very good in terms of convenience in transport. On the other hand, the lighter weight may make this net more prone to wind, so you’d need to be a bit more careful with it in windy conditions.
And the last benefit of the carbon fiber build is that it has fewer parts in it, which obviously is going to make this net’s disassembly remarkably easier.
And finally, this net is compliant with USAPA specifications, which is a thing that may matter to you as well.
- Weighs just 13 pounds.
- Meets USAPA regulations.
- Exceptionally durable carbon fiber construction.
- Has fewer parts in it and is easier to set up.
Our handy guide to the best Graphite Pickleball Paddles features more great products like this.
OnCourt OffCourt is the first ever manufacturer to use oval tubes in their nets. They have since patented their design, due to which most of the sold nets with oval frames are just rebranded and resold by third-party manufacturers.
Following this same logic, the USAPA net we reviewed above is actually a rebranded version of this net. Which one to actually choose comes down to minor things like availability and momentary price differences.
The main advantage of this net, if you don’t remember from our USAPA net review, is its oval tubing which is more durable than round tubing. The oval tubing makes the powder-coated frame even stronger than it already is.
The stability present in the USAPA net is obviously also here. This is due to the heavier weight of the net – 32 pounds – as well as the wide legs and center base.
And, needless to say, this net is USAPA-compliant. In fact, the PickleNet has been quite popular at pickleball competitions, so if you are more or less serious about pickleball, this net may be a great choice for you.
- Durable oval tubing.
- Sturdy positioning.
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This net system is also manufactured by OnCourt OffCourt. PickleNet Deluxe is a heavier-duty version of the PickleNet, so it adds up on top of the advantages the regular PickleNet had.
At the basics, the design of the two PickleNet systems is the same. They are both sized similarly in order to comply with USAPA regulations, first of all. The reinforced oval poles pioneered by OnCourt OffCourt are also here, ready to contribute to the reliability of this frame. And in general, the two net systems are very similar to each other.
There are two things that differ in the PickleNet Deluxe system, however.
The first difference is the sturdier construction, as we mentioned in the beginning. The Deluxe net system is stronger and more stable, which may make it a better choice for you if you are looking for a net that will work for the years to come.
And the second difference is that this net system has locking wheels at the corners of the side legs. These wheels, obviously, are going to make the PickleNet Deluxe system easier to transport. And since its wheels are locking, this net should stay in its place while you are playing pickleball.
A not so good thing about this net is that it is rather heavy. Well, it is made more heavy-duty, so it isn’t very surprising. But since it has wheels, transporting its 50 pounds of weight shouldn’t be a big problem.
What should be also noted is that OnCourt OffCourt includes a wheeled carry bag with this net. And given that PickleNet Deluxe weighs 50 pounds, such a bag is a necessity. 50 pounds could make you fatigued pretty quickly if you were to carry them over the shoulder, so it’s really nice that OnCourt OffCourt includes a wheeled bag.
- The reinforced version of the popular PickleNet net system.
- The inbuilt wheels make transportation easier.
- Compliant with USAPA regulations.
- Heavy-duty duffle bag with wheels included.
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Up next on our reviews is yet another portable pickleball net by Onix. This net system may not be as remarkable as, for example, the PickleNet systems we examined earlier, but it still has a couple of interesting features.
Let’s take its weight, for example. The Onix portable net system weighs 25 pounds, which is rather lightweight for a pickleball net. Most nets weigh around 30 pounds, so the 25-pound weight of the Onix net certainly is an advantage.
Needless to say, the lighter weight would make this net easier to transport. But what additionally contributes to the easiness of transport of this net is the included wheeled carry case.
Not everyone will really need a wheeled carry case to transport their net, especially given that the Onix net isn’t that heavy to begin with. In the case of the PickleNet Deluxe, such a bag is a must-have, as we mentioned. Not so much for a net that weighs 25 pounds, but it nonetheless will be a nice addition that could make your life a bit easier.
What should be also noted about this net is that it has a rather wide center base. Needless to say, this base is going to make this net more stable on the ground.
The Onix net is also compliant with USAPA regulations, which is a very important thing if you will be playing pickleball more or less seriously.
Now, let’s move on to the not so good part.
The poles of this net are made round, which means that they are going to be less durable than the poles of nets like the PickleNet. On the other hand, the round poles are lighter, which is one of the reasons why this net weighs 25 pounds.
So what would be important for you, durability or lighter weight? The answer to this question will determine whether or not the Onix net is a good buy for you.
- Wheeled carrying case included.
- Wide and stable center base.
Check out our review of the best Pickleball Bags for our top picks.
Does everybody need a USAPA-approved pickleball net? Certainly no. There are a lot of people who are serious about pickleball, but some just want to get a net to have some fun every once in a while. A couple of times a year, perhaps.
Would it be worth it to spend nearly 200 bucks on a tournament net if you won’t be using it too frequently? For some, maybe. But for not very often family gatherings or whatnot, a cheaper net like the one offered by F2C may be a better choice.
This net is just a tad off from being a USAPA-compliant net. The thing is that the net hangs just 31 inches above the ground in the middle, according to the product description, while regulations require at least 34 inches. This is the only thing that isn’t “right” in this net.
The overall build in this net is also weaker than in the net systems above. Well, that’s what you’d expect from a cheaper net. It has round and probably thin poles, as well as narrower post stands. All this allows for a lighter weight of 21 pounds, albeit at the expense of reduced durability.
But would you really need anything outstanding for occasional parties? Probably not. That’s why we think F2C portable net is an excellent choice for recreational pickleball at family gatherings.
- Weighs just 21 pounds.
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The Classic PickleNet offered by OnCourt OffCourt is basically identical to the PickleNet system we reviewed above. There is one thing different in them – the poles.
As you probably remember, the PickleNet pioneered oval poles in them. That was their main feature. In the Classic PickleNet, however, there are no oval poles, only regular round ones.
And this, obviously, means that this net is going to be somewhat less durable than the newer PickleNet. But it is going to be lighter as well – PickleNet Classic weighs 23 pounds, while the newer oval-design PickleNet weighs 32 pounds.
Is this a big enough difference for you to consider buying the classic version? It may well be if you think 32 pounds will be too much for you. Otherwise, we think that the oval-pole PickleNet is a preferable choice due to its increased durability.
Other than the poles, there are virtually no differences between the two PickleNets. Most importantly, the classic net is USAPA-compliant, which makes for a good practice net.
- Rather sturdy and stable.
- Weighs 23 pounds.
- Compliant with USAPA regulations.
And the last net on our reviews of best pickleball nets is the Rally portable net by PickleballCentral. This net actually seems to be a rebranded version of the Classic PickleNet we’ve just reviewed. But it comes with a little bonus.
PickleballCentral includes a ball holder with this net that can be hanged on either net post. Not the feature that you absolutely need in a pickleball net, this ball holder nonetheless could make your life a bit easier by keeping the spare balls nearby.
Other than that, the rally net system is pretty much identical to the Classic PickleNet net. The similarities between the nets include their design, weight, size, and USAPA compliance. So if the accessory ball holder is important enough to you, the Rally net would be a better buy than the Classic PickleNet system.
- Wide and stable legs.
- Side ball holder included.
- Weighs about 23 pounds.
Pickleball Net Buyers Guide
Things to look for in pickleball nets
The question now arises – how do you choose the absolute best pickleball net? This buying guide should be able to provide you with a comprehensive answer to that question. We are now going to describe the features that matter the most in pickleball nets.
If you are planning to engage in pickleball seriously, you will have to make sure that you are getting a properly sized net system. The thing is that there are certain competition regulations for net size. And if you are going to compete, you should get the right net so you could train your shots properly.
So what is the regulation net size? We’ve already mentioned all the requirements in our material on pickleball rules, but we’ll repeat them here. Here’s what the USAPA requires:
- The distance between the inside surface of the net posts needs to be 22 feet.
- The net posts’ maximum diameter should not exceed 3 inches.
- The net length should be at least 21 feet 9 inches when measured from one post to another. As for the length, it needs to be 30 inches top to bottom.
- The net needs to be suspended 36 inches high above the ground at the sidelines and 34 inches high in the middle.
A center base isn’t a thing required by the USAPA in nets, but it is a thing that you may want to look for. Some cheaper nets don’t have a center base, but you are going to see it in most net systems available out there.
What a center base basically does is make the overall build more stable and durable. A net with a center base will, first off, stand on the ground more stable. On the other hand, the center base helps with keeping the net at regulation height.
Tensioning straps at the sides of the net is also a thing that you’d want to have. They would allow you to adjust the height of the net to make sure that it stays at the regulation 34 inches in the middle. Nets may sag or otherwise fall out of the regulation requirements, so straps are very handy to have.
The weight of the net system isn’t restricted by the USAPA. However, it still is a rather important factor for you to consider.
Depending on the material, build quality, and overall construction, pickleball nets may weigh from about 10 to 30 pounds.
Obviously, when it comes to transportation, a lighter net system is definitely a better choice. On the other hand, a lighter net, though highly unlikely, may be more susceptible to wind. Your net probably won’t get tipped over by wind no matter how light it is, but the risk is still there.
And besides, heavier nets tend to be more durable.
But if you’ll be using your net indoors, then you may go for the lightest model you can find out there.
You also need to pay attention to what kind of material both the net and its frame are made from.
The USAPA requires that the material the net is made from doesn’t allow the ball to pass through it. Basically, the net needs to be able to stop the net rather than let it through. As for the net material itself, there are no specific requirements.
The frame material will play a key role in how durable your net system is going to be. The frames in the cheapest nets may be made from aluminum, which is a material you should avoid.
The best bet would be to go for a net system with steel poles. Steel is going to be highly resistant to bending and twisting, which is the thing that should interest you most of all.
In addition, if you will be placing the net outdoors, make sure that it is powder-coated.
A few nets out there have poles made from carbon fiber. An example of such a net was Pickleball, Inc. SwiftNet. Such nets are going to be exceptionally durable and lightweight. But they are also going to cost a lot, so you’d need to have a good budget to afford one.
The poles in net systems can either be made in a round or oval shape. As we’ve mentioned in our reviews, oval poles are going to be noticeably more durable than round poles. They are simply better at resisting sag, twisting, and bending.
Net systems with oval poles tend to weigh more than nets with round poles, but the increase in durability is certainly worth it.
USAPA regulations require that the top of the net be edged with a 2-inch white binding. The binding needs to run over a cord or a cable. Again, if you are serious about pickleball, make sure that your net has edge binding to comply with regulations.
Some pickleball net systems – like OnCourt OffCourt PickleNet Deluxe – have a pair of locking wheels on each side bases. After you’ve placed the net where you need it, the wheels can be locked so the net system stays stationary.
Needless to say, such wheels allow for facilitated transport of the net. This would be ideal for community centers, schools, gyms, or other locations where the net doesn’t have a permanent location.
If you are looking for a wheeled net system specifically, make sure that the desired net is compliant with competition regulations. The wheels are going to elevate the net, and manufacturers would need to compensate for it to ensure that their nets are regulation-compliant.
Lastly, carry bags. Usually, sellers provide carry bags with their net systems, which is expectable since they weigh quite a lot. What kind of a carry bag comes with the net is another question.
Some nets come with regular bags, while others come with wheeled bags. Either of these would make your life easier, but wheeled bags are much more convenient. A wheeled bag just needs to be dragged on the ground with no need to hang it over the shoulder. And given that net systems can weigh up to 50 pounds and maybe more, a wheeled bag is a good accessory to look for.
If the desired net doesn’t come with either a regular or a wheeled bag, you would need to buy one.
Why do some nets look identical to each other?
We’ve touched upon this topic above in the reviews, but we think it is important enough to get its own section in our material.
So, why are some nets identical to each other, even though they are branded differently?
As we’ve said above, rebranding pickleball equipment is a common occurrence. A vivid example of this is the OnCourt OffCourt PickleNet net system. It is often rebranded and resold under different names without any major modifications. Some sellers may include additional accessories with the rebranded nets, like it was with PickleballCentral Rally net which came with a ball holder.
Is it a bad thing to buy a rebranded net system? No. Usually, the sticker of the seller is the only thing that is changed in rebranded nets. Functionally, rebranded nets are going to be identical to the originals, so, for example, the USAPA net will deliver the same performance as the PickleNet it is based on.
Indeed, all this rebranding may add some confusion to your research. The fewer nets you have to choose from, the better. And the more the nets differ from each other, the easier it will be for you to pick the right product.
This actually is the not so good thing about net rebranding. You’ll have to go through a bigger number of nets to make the final decision.
On the other hand, as we’ve mentioned in our reviews, you will have more options when it comes to net purchasing. What if the PickleNet is out of stock? Well, you could go for the USAPA net instead since it is the same exact net.
And besides, though unlikely, there may be some price differences between different rebranded nets. Obviously, you’d want to go for the cheaper net if you come across such a difference.
Lastly, design may also play a role for you. It won’t affect the net’s performance in any way, but if you run out of objective criteria when picking between two nets, your subjective design preferences are going to come in play.
Why have your own pickleball net?
Community and recreational centers have their own pickleball courts set up. So why would you want to go and get your own net?
Well, there are two good advantages that come with owning a pickleball net. If those sound like the thing you need, then buying a pickleball net would indeed be beneficial for you.
You can have fun with friends and family anywhere
Whether you are going to play pickleball in your backyard or somewhere out in the wild with friends and family, a pickleball net would come in handy. Having fun in a recreational center is nice, but what if you want to have some private time with people close to you?
With your own net system, you’d be able to achieve this easily. You’d also need to have other stuff like paddles and balls though, so keep that in mind.
You can practice more often
For whatever reason, you may be unable to practice pickleball as often as you’d want to. You may be out of town, or maybe you don’t feel like crossing half the city to get to the gym.
Once again, if you have your own net set up in the backyard, you’d be able to practice whenever you want without stepping out of your property. But, unless you want to practice solo, you’d need to have someone to play with you. In a community center, finding a pair may be much easier.
You may also need to set up a backyard pickleball court to bring your experience closer to competition. For practicing shots or spin, just a net may be enough. But if you were to practice serving in doubles – which, as you probably know, is done to the diagonal service court – you’d need a bit more in-depth setup.
You might now think that you don’t need a net to practice your shots. You could just grab your paddle and hit the ball, right? Actually, no, since the height of the net is a thing that you will need to get used to. Practicing drop shots, for example, may also be very difficult without a net system.
So overall, when it comes to serious pickleball, things are a bit more difficult than with recreational play. Playing with friends and family, you don’t need to account for the exact layout of a competition court. But if you are a competitive player, you will need to do that to develop proper habits. And this means that you may need to spend more money than on just buying a net.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post – if you want to find our more about the great game of Pickleball, discover some unique strategies or just read more equipment reviews then head on over to our Pickleball Home page here.