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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.