Affordable backyard alternative to expensive pro sets. Uses special loops to restore tension quickly. Easy to pack and unpack.
Challenging to stake down and maintain tension. Replacement volleyball may be necessary. Not 100% weather resistant.
Net is professional height for professional practice. Heavy duty stakes maintain tension well. Suitable for beach volleyball as well.
Complaints of missing parts and instructions. Poles are sectional, not telescopic. Included ball is substandard.
Flat ribbon boundary lines easier to see. Very solid tension and strong anchoring. Neon yellow for evening play.
Difficult to adjust height for co-ed or men's play. Reports of missing parts. Boundary lines may be short.
Wide net for a variety of game set-ups. Easy to assemble and disassemble. Upgrade from cheaper entry level volleyball sets.
Badminton rackets and shuttlecocks not professional grade. Some rusting reported. Volleyball not regulation size.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
When played at a high level, volleyball is a beautiful sport. The athleticism, quickness, and power of elite players is impressive. But one of the best things about volleyball is that it’s a great game no matter what the players’ skill level. A game of volleyball in the backyard or at the beach is a lot of fun whether you’re hosting a barbecue, throwing a birthday party, or just enjoying a summer afternoon.
One of the best ways to introduce your family to the game is by purchasing a volleyball set. Beginner-level sets don’t cost much, and they have everything required to start playing right out of the box.
We’ve looked at the available volleyball sets and written this guide to help you find the right set for you. If you’re ready to buy, take a look at some of the volleyball sets that we think stand out from the rest.
When considering different volleyball sets, it’s helpful to think about your experience with the game and how you plan to use the set. If you’re a dedicated player, you might prefer to install a permanent set in your yard. If you want to play occasionally at the park or the beach, a portable set might be more your style. The primary differences between these two types volleyball sets are durability and price.
A permanent volleyball set can be set up indoors or outdoors. It has a regulation-size net and poles that are extremely stable and durable. The stability of the net and poles is particularly important during highly competitive play, but even in casual games, the net needs to remain intact if struck by a player or ball. The poles and nets in permanent sets are designed to withstand rough play. The poles should have some kind of padding because they won’t give way if players crash into them.
The poles in some permanent volleyball sets can be removed and stored, such as in sets used in a school gym. This allows the floor to be used for other activities like basketball. If the volleyball set is for your yard, you might want to permanently install the poles. If you’re a serious player, you might find a permanent set to be more appropriate.
A portable volleyball set can be set up and taken down quickly and easily and used on grass or sand. You’ll rarely find a portable volleyball set that’s used for indoor play. Most portable sets have telescoping or sectioned poles. They aren’t as durable as poles used for permanent installation, and they could collapse if hit with enough force. Portable sets are less expensive than permanent sets. As a general rule, most recreational players looking for a volleyball set for occasional use outdoors will be happy with a portable volleyball set that can go to the park or the beach.
If you’re looking for a volleyball set for outdoor play, choose one with coated metal poles that will resist rust.
You can use the net in some volleyball sets for badminton, too.
A typical portable volleyball set for home use has several components. With these items, you should be able to begin playing immediately without any additional equipment.
Poles: In many at-home volleyball sets, the poles collapse down to a smaller size to be more portable, and some are telescoping. Other poles consist of multiple sections that you have to assemble. The poles in an at-home set have a smaller diameter and are lighter than poles in a permanent set. Most high-level permanent volleyball sets designed for competitive play only include the regulation poles and regulation net and no other gear. These items will consist of high-quality materials and construction, ensuring an excellent level of game play.
Stakes: The poles in a volleyball set intended for outdoor use are secured to the ground using ropes and stakes, similar to those used to secure a tent. You’ll need to supply your own hammer or mallet to drive the stakes into the ground.
Net: The net attaches securely to the poles, and the poles are positioned so the net is taut, not sagging. Some nets in at-home volleyball sets are shorter than regulation length. This is a nice feature for two-on-two or three-on-three games or for games with young children.
Boundary markers: Some volleyball sets come with ropes or straps that attach to the ground to outline the court’s boundaries.
Ball: Outdoor portable volleyball sets usually include a ball, but don’t expect a high-quality ball in an inexpensive set. The ball could have a rubbery texture or a harder exterior than an official volleyball. For more enjoyable game play, you might want to substitute an official indoor or outdoor volleyball for the one that comes with your set.
Pump: Many sets that include a ball often include an air pump, too. A properly inflated volleyball creates a more enjoyable playing experience and improves the lifespan of the ball.
Carrying bag: All the equipment in the volleyball set fits inside an accompanying bag, making it easy to take your set anywhere.
Beware of cheaply made poles. A ball crashing into the net from a hard serve could take down the net.
Inexpensive: The least expensive volleyball sets cost $25 to $75. These are portable sets that won’t stand up to rough play.
Mid-range: These portable volleyball sets cost $75 to $250 and consist of higher-quality materials. These work nicely for semi-competitive outdoor games.
Expensive: You’ll pay anywhere from $250 to a few thousand dollars for poles and a net designed for permanent installation. If you play competitively, you’ll need the stability and quality afforded by this level of equipment.
Look for steel cable in the net. A high-quality net made for competitive play has steel cable inside the edges. This allows you to easily tighten the net and helps the net hold its shape. Cheaper sets have rope inside the edges of the net.
Watch out for wind. The poles and nets in some inexpensive volleyball sets can’t stand up to high winds.
Set the net at the proper height. Check that you can adjust the height of the net in the volleyball set. Regulation net height for men is 7.97 feet; for women, it’s 7.35 feet. For children ten and under, the net height is 7 feet for boys and 6.5 feet for girls.
Here are some other products we considered that didn’t make our top picks. For an inexpensive portable volleyball set, the Goplus Portable Training Net is a nice choice. It has a net that adjusts between 2.5 and 5 feet high, which is great for kids just learning the game. For an inexpensive set with a standard length net and good-quality equipment, we like the Triumph Sports Competition Volleyball Set. If you have a bigger budget, the Park & Sun Sports Spectrum Classic delivers a high-quality net and sturdy, two-inch diameter poles made for outdoor use at the beach or the backyard. When you can’t drive stakes or poles into the ground, check out the cool design of the HLC Portable 3-in-1 Net with Stand. The net extends upward from a base that doubles as the carrying case.
Q. Will a portable volleyball set work for indoor play?
A. Inexpensive portable sets like the ones we highlight are made more for recreational outdoor play. For more serious indoor play, you’ll want a regulation net. Players can adjust the height and tension of this style of net. And it connects to extremely sturdy poles that fit into sockets embedded in the floor.
Q. How do I secure the poles in a portable volleyball set?
A. Most portable sets use stakes and ropes to secure the poles to the ground. With other sets, you drive the ends of the poles into the ground. Another option is to create anchors for the poles. Some people fill two large buckets with cement or sand, sink a PVC pipe in the center of each bucket, and then slide the volleyball poles into the PVC pipes to secure them.
Q. Can I create a permanent volleyball set in my backyard?
A. If you desire a more permanent volleyball setup, you have that option. Just sink regulation volleyball poles in cement in your grass or sand backyard court. Then purchase a regulation net that you can hang for games or practice and take down for storage.
Q. How long does it take to set up a volleyball set?
A. If you have the poles in place, hanging the net between them only takes a couple of minutes. Just be sure to roll the net up before storing it to avoid tangles that you’ll have to spend time undoing the next time you want to play. If you need to set up the poles, too, it takes five to ten minutes.
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