Best Sports Equipment in 2020 (December Reviews)

Written by: Gadget Review Last Updated: 05 Nov 2020

Choosing the best sports equipment keeps folks active for hours on end. The wrong one can result in injury, premature wear and tear, and permanent disinterest in any sport. Our evaluation focused on fun factor, durability, ease of use, and age appropriateness. We also looked into auxiliary features such as packaging and use indoors and outdoors.

After more than 18 hours of research and testing, our top pick goes to the Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball. Fueling the No. 1 sport on the planet, this soccer ball works for children and adults with three sizing options, a durable synthetic leather cover, and outstanding durability when used indoors or outdoors. Keep reading to learn more about the Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball and six others that met our strict grading criteria.

Top 7 Best Sports Equipment

 #1  Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is one of the best pieces of gym equipment thanks to 3 sizing options and a strong synthetic leather cover, making it suitable for children and adults indoors or on the pitch.

Pros
  • Best budget
  • Best soccer ball
  • Very durable leather cover & butyl rubber bladder
Cons
  • Easily stained
  • Slightly less than 100% inflated out of the box

This soccer ball is surprisingly durable, using a synthetic leather cover which is water and heat resistant. Its inner butyl rubber bladder also offers better air retention and is less “flighty” than latex bladder soccer balls, which require a bit more mastery to control. While testing, a 3-hour kicking session against soccer posts and walls did not deform its shape. No indentations were observed and its bounce was consistent on soft and hard flooring.

Thanks to three sizes, Size 3 (for 8 and up), Size 4 (8 to 12 years of age), and Size 5 (13+) – this soccer well is equally suited for children and adults. Bonus points for its black and white panel design, which is ubiquitous the world over. The best smartwatch is also great for tracking sports activities.

 #2  GHB Pro Agility Ladder Agility Training Ladder

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best exercise equipment to develop agility, using a 12-rung ladder with adjustable rungs to work on quickness and skip the fat away.

Pros
  • Great exercise equipment
  • Very durable rungs and straps
  • Easy to pack and stow away
Cons
  • Thin plastic rungs
  • Adjusting all rungs at once may be time consuming
  • No ground stakes to hold the ladder in place

We like this six-meter long agility ladder for basketball, football, and tennis drills. Plus, it can be used by virtually anyone who can stand and walk. It is very easy to use – simply lay out the nylon ladder, adjust the spacing between rungs (up to 15″) and perform your straddle hops and one-foot shuffles to your heart’s content. 16.5” rungs are long enough for most average-sized feet to hop in between without touching.

Thanks to flexible plastic rungs and nylon straps, this agility ladder is very durable. A separate set or organizing straps keep your rungs together and make it easy to stow in a gym bag. It also includes a carrying bag with a pull rope to open and retrieve in seconds. Ladies can use the best smartwatch for women to meet fitness goals.

 #3  Champion Sports IHS1 Rubber Horseshoe Set

Award: Best for Families

WHY WE LIKE IT: This piece of fitness equipment helps people master spatial awareness and hand/eye coordination using horseshoes that are tossed to a series of pegs.

Pros
  • Very durable
  • Easy to set up
  • Great for indoors or outdoors
Cons
  • Flimsy hollow plastic pegs
  • Slight odor after unboxing
  • Not ideal to play on smooth floors

This horseshoe set is very durable, consisting of thick, rounded rubber horseshoes and pegs with no sharp edges. They are also very brightly colored, which makes it easy to track in the air. Two rubber mats are also included, which do not slip or slide on grass or coarser floors. With virtually endless ways to throw and change the horseshoe’s trajectory, it is a great game for both children and adults.

Thanks to four horseshoes, this can be paired by up to four family members playing singles or doubles mode. Kudos for being easy to set up, taking less than 30 seconds. Simply place the two rubber mats with yellow pegs on the ground and throw each horseshoe from a safe distance away. Even a toddler can do it. Now when it comes to sports where heavy lifting is required, the best lifting belt will help.

 #4  Pro Disc Cones (Set of 50)

Award: Best for Agility

WHY WE LIKE IT: We like these agility cones to set field markers or boundary lines for soccer games, helping players improve their agility and sense of direction.

Pros
  • Great for multiple sports and developing agility
  • 100% money-back guarantee & comes in a set of 50
  • Includes bonus speed/agility exercises ebook
Cons
  • Some cones may have loose threads
  • May be too thin for some people

Options for these disc cones are virtually limitless. They can be used to set boundaries for agility drills, used as obstacle course markers, or even stacked on top of one another to double as impromptu goal posts. 50 cones come in a set, which is more than enough for an entire soccer team to use in one training session.

We also like its bright colors and durable rubber construction. When stepped on, they immediately bounce and retain shape if not hit too hard. Bonus points for a cone caddy and a mesh drawstring bag to stow them away easily when not in use. Speaking of sports, the best exercise ball will keep you in shape.

 #5  Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls

Award: Best for Golf

WHY WE LIKE IT: These are the best golf balls, featuring a durable thinner cover than traditional golf balls for better trajectory and wind performance.

Pros
  • Durable and improves range
  • Nice trajectory even with heavy winds
  • Same balls used by professional golfers
Cons
  • High cost
  • May have too high compression for some golfers

These golf balls are very durable, in part because of a thin urethane elastomer cover that’s roughly 20% thinner than its predecessors. While performing a series of puts and drives in ~8 mph winds, the ball traveled really well with noticeably more speed than previous balls we used. We were very impressed with the overall feel and highly recommend it for casual and serious folgers.

Thanks to a thermoset urethane cover, these golf balls are amazingly durable. Hard shot after hard shot did not cause a dent or split them open. We are very comfortable using them for the longest of drives. Playing Golf keeps you in shape, just like the best ab machine

 #6  Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor/Outdoor Composite 27.5 Youth Basketball

Award: Best Basketball

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best basketball for kids 8-and-under thanks to a soft composite cover and lightweight (~ 1 pound), making it easy for kids to develop control before moving on to regulation-sized balls.

Pros
  • Great for kids
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Great for indoors and outdoors
Cons
  • Too small for ages 8 and up
  • Color may peel with heavy use
  • Bounce may be too flat for some players

This basketball is really well built. using a composite cover that can be used on hardwood or outdoor courts. While testing on hard pavement, cobblestone, and indoor gym hardwoods, it held its form without losing bounce or inflation. We were very confident with its overall build.

We like the fact this youth basketball is smaller than regulation size and weighs less than 1 pound, which gives kids with smaller hands much greater control. The grip is comfortable, feeling more like leather than rubber with a decent amount of bumps, but not too little for hands to continually slide off.

 #7  Elite Sportz Equipment Bowling Game

Award: Best Tabletop

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is a highly entertaining tabletop game for families, using a portable bowling alley and soft puck-shaped “balls” to replicate the bowling experience at home.

Pros
  • Great for indoor play
  • Easy to set up & store
  • Bowling balls feel properly weighted with no friction
Cons
  • Curled ends if packed too tightly
  • Slight learning curve to control ball

We like this game’s construction, which uses a 47” long, tabletop “bowling lane” that rolls up easily for easy stowing using the included drawstring bag. Two bowling balls and a set of pins are also included. While made of plastic, the “bowling balls” contain ball bearings for added weight and offer no friction, replicating the feel of actual bowling balls for a table game. This makes it a winner in our book.

This tabletop bowling game really does a nice job of helping children and adults develop a feel for the game. Discs should be sent strongly and veer to the unintended direction like an actual bowling ball. Difficulty level is somewhat modest and we like this game for people ages 6 and up.

How We Decided

In determining the best sports equipment to buy, we evaluated durability, fun factor,ease of use, and age appropriateness. Obviously, not everyone who buys sports equipment is an experienced athlete with a high-tech home gym. So we chose products that are suitable for all skill levels.

We recommend sports equipment that is well designed and can withstand regular abuse. Our #5 pick, the Titleist V1 ball, is constructed using a thin urethane cover with near impenetrability, capable of withstanding her hardest golf shots. Our #7 pick #7 Elite Sportz Equipment Bowling Game uses a plastic and vinyl rollup design that sticks easily to any smooth surface, as well as durable weighted ball-bearing discs that offer no friction.

Fun factor is an important consideration. Our scoring criteria ranked spots equipment in terms of the sheer number of hours they can be used at a single time without getting boring. Our #1 pick Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball and #6 pick Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor/Outdoor Composite 27.5 Youth Basketball provides hours and hours of pickup games, which may develop over time to more competitive forms of play.

Lastly, we considered sports equipment that could be shared by multiple people. This eliminates obvious sports equipment like javelins and barbells.

Best Sports Equipment Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Durability
    Look for sports equipment that can withstand regular wear and tear and does not lose its shape. A great example is our #6 pick Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor/Outdoor Composite 27.5 Youth Basketball, which uses a composite cover good for use indoors and outdoors on all kinds of surfaces from grimy street courts to indoor hardwood.
  2. Fun Factor
    Our recommended sports equipment picks were also assessed based on fun factor, or the number of hours they can be used in a single “sitting” without inducing boredom. Two of our picks are a basketball and a soccer ball, both of which could be shared by an entire team for hours on end.
  3. Age Appropriateness
    We gave the nod to sports equipment that is suited to the widest age range possible. That eliminated niche sports like javelin throws and weight lifting and prioritized basketball, soccer, and bowling. Any sports equipment store, sports equipment center, or sports equipment online store should be able to provide recommended ages.

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Sports Equipment FAQs

What sport should I play?

We recommend playing the sport that aligns best with your personality and fitness needs. If you prefer a more stationary sport with less pivoting and movement, go for golfing or bowling. If you are looking to develop agility and master quick change of direction, purchase - and go for frenetic sports like soccer and basketball. Our recommended best sports equipment applies to many sports and forms of exercise.

What is the #1 sport in the world?`

Soccer takes this title, easily. Its estimated global following is pegged at 4 billion people with a higher concentration in Europe and the Americas. We love it for its simple style of play, only needing a soccer ball and two-goal nets for a full game.In most lists of top selling sporting goods online, soccer balls should be close to the top.

What’s the most boring sport?

We really don’t like to label sports by ‘most boring’, as ‘boring’ has different meanings to different people. Golf is often considered boring, but it may not be for more cerebral players who use mastering distance with power as a form of mastery.

What sport is the hardest sport?

We feel boxing and mixed martial arts are the hardest sports in the world to master due to its sheer physical demand. To participate in a 12 round boxing bout, athletes must operate at peak endurance not as common with other sports such as football and basketball which have frequent breaks and stops. Besides, the likelihood of injury is spectacularly high, playing into the mental factor as well.

What other sports equipment should I consider for working out at home?

If you’re looking to improve your home exercise routine, you should consider the following sports accessories: aerobic steppers, ab wheels, exercise balls, resistance bands, yoga mats, and jump ropes, medicine balls. If you would like to find out more, check out these articles: Best Medicine Ball, Best Exercise Ball and Best Exercise Resistance Bands.

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