10 Best Tennis Ball Hoppers, Baskets, and More: Reviews & Guide

10 Best Tennis Ball Hoppers, Baskets & More

Reviews & Guide

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A tennis ball hopper or basket is a practical piece of tennis equipment to store, pickup, and conveniently bring tennis balls to the court.

Whether you use one to speed up ball collection, practice your serve, or feed balls to a friend or student, it’s a relatively inexpensive investment that will last for years if you take reasonable care of it.

Although buying a ball hopper is relatively straightforward, it’s helpful to become familiar with the various options available to avoid a poor choice and make sure you make the best purchase the first time around.

As part of this guide, I’ll discuss features worth considering, present other pickup options you may not have stumbled on, share tips for buying balls for your hopper, and review my picks for the best.

ModelType
Wilson Ball Hopper – 75 Hopper / Basket
Tourna Ballport Delux Wheels – 80Hopper / Basket
Gamma Ball Hopper Hi-Rise Gold – 75Hopper / Basket
MasterPro Ball Hopper – 72Hopper / Basket
Kollectaball K-Hopper – 60Roller
Tourna Tenn-Tube – 20Tube
Gamma Ball Tube – 18Tube
Tomohoppper Mower – 90Mower
OnCourt OffCourt Multimower – 300Mower
Pop-It – 1Single Ball Pickup

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Why Buy a Hopper or a Basket?

Why Buy a Ball Hopper or a Basket

If you’re committed to improving your game or helping someone else develop theirs, then a ball hopper is an excellent investment. Here are a few of the most common reasons I find players buying them.

Faster & Easier Ball Collection

Faster and Easier Ball Collection

Hands down, the number one reason for buying a ball hopper or basket is to speed up the ball collection process. If you’ve ever picked up more than a handful of tennis balls one by one, then you know what I mean.

Bringing more than a few balls for practice is an efficient way to get the most out of your time on the court, but the more you bring, the more tedious it is to pick them up.

For that reason, a tennis ball hopper is one of the most practical and useful pieces of court equipment for players of all ages and levels.

If you’re lucky enough to own a tennis ball machine, then a tennis ball hopper or basket borders on a necessity. Ball machines often have high ball capacities to help players maximize their repetitions, so you’ll save yourself time and energy investing in one.

Transporting Tennis Balls

Transporting Tennis Balls

It’s common for players to pick up a ball hopper to transport a large number of tennis balls to and from the court, rather than stashing them in their racquet bag or bringing an entirely separate bag.

If this is you, it’s worth looking for a basket that has a lid, which you can close during transportation to avoid spilling the balls.

Feeding Balls to a Friend or Student

Feeding Balls to a Friend or Student

Another excellent reason to purchase a ball hopper is for practicing with a friend or student – especially if it’s one of your children.

Feeding several balls to the same location for practicing the same shot is an excellent way to practice and develop a player’s skill.

If you’re buying a ball hopper for this purpose, you’ll likely want to purchase one with handles that double as legs by folding underneath the basket when you’re ready to feed.

Practicing Your Serve

Practicing Your Serve

The serve is one of the most critical shots to learn, and one of the few that a player can practice independently. For that reason, I’m always encouraging players to take it upon themselves to practice it often, and a ball hopper is one of the best accessories to get the job done.

Although it’s possible to bring a handful of balls to the court for practicing your serve, it’s incredibly more efficient to carry 50, so you can get a sufficient number of repetitions under your belt.

For maximum convenience, you’ll want to find a ball hopper that has handles, which convert to legs when folded so that you can grab balls without having to bend down to pick them up.

Features to Consider

Surprisingly, there are more than a few features that you can take into consideration when purchasing a ball hopper or basket. Here are some of the most important to keep in mind.

Size or Capacity

Tennis Ball Hopper Features to Consider - Size or Capacity

Most ball hoppers will range in capacity from 40-140 tennis balls, and the more they carry, the larger they’ll be. For most players, a ball hopper within the range of 50-75 ball is more than sufficient.

There are two factors to consider here. First, if you want to take full advantage of a larger basket, you’ll have to buy more tennis balls, which can get expensive. Second, the more balls you carry, the more difficult it will be to transport the basket, and the more challenging it will be to use for picking up balls as it fills up.

Size is also important to consider if children will be using the hopper to help since they’ll require a smaller hopper.

Weight

Tennis Ball Hopper Features to Consider - Weight

Hand in hand with size, the weight of a ball hopper is worth noting when you make a purchase. Although the weight of an empty basket might not seem like much, once you start adding tennis balls, it can add up.

An average tennis ball weighs around 55-60 grams. With that in mind, here’s roughly how much weight balls will add on the low end:

253 lbs / 1.4 kg
506 lbs / 2.8 kg
759 lbs / 4.1 kg
10012 lbs / 5.5 kg
12515 lbs / 6.9 kg
15018 lbs / 8.3 kg

Again, these aren’t massive numbers, but the convenience factor does begin to drop slightly the larger the basket gets, so it’s worth keeping in mind. Once again, if you’re dealing with kids, you’ll want to have a smaller basket to keep the weight lower.

The materials can also contribute to a hopper’s weight, so if you’re looking for the lightest, one with plastic construction might be ideal.

Height

Tennis Ball Hopper Features to Consider - Height

When you pick up balls, you want the ball hopper’s height to be tall enough so that you’re not bending or crouching when you press it down on top of balls to pick them up.

For the most part, companies making ball hoppers recognize this, but I have encountered a few unreasonably short baskets that make the cleanup process a little less convenient.

Someone who’s six-foot-tall will want a basket that stands roughly 30 inches (give or take one or two inches) tall when picking up balls. Usually, if it’s taller, that’s less of a problem, but you don’t want it to be too short.

It’s also worth noting that a handful of hoppers like the Gamma Ball Hopper Pro 90 offer adjustable handles.

Materials

Tennis Ball Hopper Features to Consider - Materials

Steel and plastic are the two most common materials you’ll find used for ball hoppers. For the most part, a steel hopper will offer added durability, but it can increase its weight, so there may be a tradeoff.

Beyond the core materials, some baskets offer coatings to help protect the baskets against the elements. If that’s a concern and you’re looking for a basket to last longer, then it’s worth considering.

Construction

Tennis Ball Hopper Features to Consider - Construction

Various ball hoppers will offer varying degrees of construction for added durability. For example, some ball hoppers offer thicker steel and more robust welding to improve their durability.

A few companies have introduced a floating wire at the bottom of their baskets, making pressing down on balls to collect them dramatically easier, which is a handy feature if you’ve struggled to pick up balls with a standard hopper in the past.

Legs

Tennis Ball Hopper Features to Consider - Legs

Many ball hoppers offer handles that convert into legs by collapsing beneath the basket, which is handy to raise it off the ground when feeding or grabbing balls while serving.

For most players, finding a basket that offers this feature is a no brainer. However, it is worth noting that these baskets tend to be a bit less durable due to the design.

With that in mind, some people and clubs may opt for ball hoppers that don’t have legs and only pick up balls, especially if they use larger carts for feeding balls.

Lid

Tennis Ball Hopper Features to Consider - Lid

If you’re using your ball hopper to transport your balls, it’s useful to find one that offers a lid. On a handful of occasions, I’ve watched players accidentally tip over their basket outside the court and in the parking lot, and tracking down the balls is a pain.

A lid is a simple addition to a ball basket that can save you the frustration of having to pick up spilled balls.

Wheels

Tennis Ball Hopper Features to Consider - Wheels

Finally, depending on the capacity of the ball hopper you purchase and who will be using it, wheels may be a welcome edition.

A handful of baskets offer wheels for easier transportation, which can be particularly useful if kids are part of the equation.

Other Tennis Ball Pickup Options

Ball hoppers and baskets are among the most popular options for picking up tennis balls, but there are a handful of others worth considering.

Tubes

Tubes

Another popular option for picking up tennis balls are tubes, which can pick up a single ball one at a time. They’re perfect for kids and can make ball pick up a fun rather than an arduous task.

Tennis tubes come in various sizes with different ball capacities, which typically range from 15-21 balls. A few features to look out for include straps for carrying, rubber bands to prevent balls from falling out, and a small hook at the top end for hanging on a cart or fence

Rollers

Rollers

A modern take on ball pickup, companies like Kollectable, have popped up with a new design that players roll over the balls as if you were mopping the floor to pick them up.

You’ll find they come in various sizes, with the main advantage being the speed at which you can pick up balls.

Most products in this category are designed exclusively for ball pickup, but you can find a handful of options, which also double as hoppers or baskets for feeding.

Mowers

Tennis Ball Hopper Features to Consider - Mowers

Mowers are the fastest way to pick up many balls with the least effort. A player pushes the mower forward, and large arms funnel the balls to the machine’s center, which forces them out the top and into a basket.

Although their use skews to tennis clubs, a few more portable options have entered the market with collapsible components for transportation.

Single Ball Pickup

Single Ball Pickup

On the opposite end of the spectrum from mowers, you’ll find a product called Pop-It, which attaches to the end of a racquet’s handle.

Once attached you can press the butt of your racquet’s handle down on top of a single ball to pick it up without bending down.

Although it might seem a bit gimmicky, it can help make ball pickup fun for kids, just like a ball tube, but it’s also practical for anyone with back issues that has challenges bending over to pick up balls during play.

Robot or Electric

Robot or Electric

For years we’ve used machines to feed us tennis balls, now one company, Tennibot, is setting out to do the same with ball pick up.

Tennibot works much like a Roomba robot vacuum. You tell it where to clean, and it scours the court picking up balls on its own. The founders launched a Kickstarter campaign to help get the product off the ground, so it’s only available for pre-order at the moment.

As far as court equipment goes, it’s about as extravagant as it gets, but if you get a kick out of this type of technology, then it may be a product worth considering.

Tennis Balls for Your Hopper or Basket

Tennis Balls for Your Hopper or Basket

If you’re purchasing a ball hopper, you’ll also need to buy some tennis balls in bulk to fill the basket. When deciding which to buy, one factor to consider is whether they’re pressurized or pressureless.

Pressurized

Most tennis players will be familiar with pressurized tennis balls. The cans for these balls, which usually come with three or four balls, contain nitrogen for pressure.

As a result, they offer exceptional bounce and are the type of balls you’ll find used for virtually all competition and, in many cases, lessons. However, their most significant drawback is they lose pressure and require replacement after a short period – usually a few weeks max.

If you’re competing a lot, then you may opt for regularly replacing pressurized tennis balls so that you’re not transitioning back and forth from one kind of ball to another, but it can get expensive.

Pressureless

An alternative to pressurized tennis balls is pressureless. These balls are not pressurized with nitrogen, and therefore you’ll typically buy them in a mesh bag or bucket.

They’re a bit heavier and don’t have quite the same bounce as your standard pressurized balls, but they last considerably longer, and their bounce improves with use as the rubber softens.

In many cases, pressureless tennis balls are ideal for use with a hopper, especially if you only take your hopper to court for practice periodically.

For example, if you open ten cans of pressurized tennis balls and use them to practice once but don’t get a chance to practice with them for a few weeks, they’ll lose a significant amount of pressure and die.

However, under that same scenario, pressureless tennis balls would be good as new a few weeks later. Of course, once the felt wears and gets too dirty, you’ll still need to replace them. However, you’ll get significantly more uses out of them over an extended period, and perfect for practice.

The downside is that they play a bit different than pressureless balls, so you’ll have a bit of adjusting to do the next time you hit the court with pressurized balls.

10 Best Ball Hoppers, Baskets, Tubes, and Mowers

There are quite a few options when it comes to collecting or picking up tennis balls, so I’ve pulled together my ten favorites.

As far as options go, my favorite is your standard hopper, which in my experience, is the most versatile for the price, so I’ve listed those first.

Of course, everyone’s needs vary, so hopefully, you find something that works for your specific needs.

Wilson Ball Hopper – 75 balls

Wilson Ball Hopper - 75 Balls

My favorite ball hopper on the market is the Wilson 75 tennis ball pick up hopper – it’s no-frills, yet it checks all the right boxes.

It’s carrying capacity is more than sufficient, it doubles as a hopper to collect balls, and it just works. When standing, there are slots to lock the legs if you choose, but honestly, I never feel the need to use them. It also has a sturdy lid that prevents accidental spills.

There’s a light protective coating that will help shield the metal, but don’t expect too much from it. Courts are abrasive, so anytime the basket handles or bottom rub against it or the handles hit the side, it will wear. Some minor rust may develop over time, but that’s pretty much the case with every ball hopper I’ve ever used.

For the cost, I usually replace mine every 3-5 years.

Tourna Ballport Delux with Wheels – 80 balls

Tourna Ballport Delux with Wheels - 80 Balls

Next up, the Ballport Delux from Tourna is another long-standing option that’s worth checking out.

Two features that make it popular are the hopper’s plastic construction, which helps reduce weight while also helping eliminate any rust for that part of the basket, and it also has wheels for transportation.

The bars at the bottom for collecting balls move and flex slightly to make pressing down on balls easier. Furthermore, it has a locking mechanism for the handles when it’s standing upright for feeding balls or practicing your serve.

Two sliding bars close at the top for transportation and keeping the balls in place. It’s not as secure as some other baskets, and they can sometimes be a bit finicky, but it does the trick.

Although the plastic is excellent to help keep weight down, it’s not the most durable. I’ve seen a player hit a forehand right through the side of one of these, which is a rare occurrence, but worth noting. Like other baskets, you’ll find some rust develops overtime on the handles as they come in contact with the court surface, but that’s pretty standard.

The Tourna ball hopper comes in black, red, and blue, and in two additional models:

  • Ballport 80
  • Ballport Mini

Gamma Ball Hopper Hi-Rise Gold – 75 balls

Gamma Ball Hopper Hi-Rise Gold - 75 Balls

Another excellent ball hopper is the Gamma Hi-Rise Gold, which holds 75 balls like the Wilson ball hopper.

To help protect against rust and prolong the basket’s life, it has a polyester coating for added durability. Furthermore, you’ll also find the basket offers floating rods at the bottom, which move slightly to the side when pressing down to collect balls and make it easier.

Like other ball hoppers, it will develop rust over time due to the court’s abrasive surface and the arms or legs coming in contact with the side of the hopper, but it’s what I’d consider normal wear and tear.

This specific model only comes in one size, but Gamma offers a variety of other ball hoppers, including:

  • Ball Hopper 90
  • Ball Hopper Whopper 140
  • Ball Hopper Hi-Rise 75
  • Ball Hopper Hi-Rise 75 with wheels
  • Ball Hopper Risette 50

MasterPro Ball Hopper – 72 balls

MasterPro Ball Hopper - 72 Balls

An alternative to the Gamma Ball Hopper Hi-Rise Gold is the Master Pro Hopper, which holds roughly the same amount of balls.

It offers virtually identical features as the Hi-Rise Gold but has a few small differences. First, there’s only one bar at the bottom, which moves to make picking up balls easier, referred to as EZ-Glide Bars. Second, they provide a short chain to help secure the legs when the hopper is standing, which is unnecessary but useful.

Again, expect some rust over the life of the basket. They take a beating, so it’s unreasonable to expect otherwise.

The MasterPro Ball Hopper comes in two additional sizes:

  • MasterPro 100
  • MasterPro 50

Kollectaball K-Hopper – 60 balls

Kollectaball K-Hopper - 60 Balls

If you’re looking for a faster way to pick up tennis balls, then the Kollectaball Hooper might be more your speed.

It’s an entirely different concept from your typical ball hopper, but every bit as effective at the task. Instead of pressing, you roll a cage of 60 flexible wires over the balls, which open to allow balls in, not out.

When rolling a Kollectaball Hopper, you can adjust the handle’s height if you prefer, and when turned upside down, they double as legs. Once again, you can change the legs for the desired feeding height.

Two arms swivel toward the wires and spread them apart to empty or keep it open for grabbing balls when feeding. Luckily, you can replace the individual wires with new ones if necessary.

It’s a great concept, but the biggest downside is the cost. In most cases, this hopper is roughly double the price of most standard hoppers. If you’re not interested in using it for feeding and only for pickup, there are three other models to check out:

  • Kollectaball Max
  • Kollectaball Strike
  • Kollectaball K-Mini

Tourna Tenn-Tube – 20 Balls

Tourna Tenn Tube - 20 Balls

For anyone looking for a simpler device for picking up tennis balls, the Tourna Tennis Tube is an excellent option.

All you have to do is press it over the top of a ball, and it will stay locked inside. When you’re ready to empty it, turn it upside down.

The tube holds up to 20 balls, has a rubber band on the top end that you can pull on or off for keeping the balls secure during transportation, and it also has handy hooks at the top for attaching it off the ground against a fence or on the edge of a ball cart.

It comes in transparent plastic and three different colors, which include red, blue, and yellow. Tourna also offers a smaller kids tennis tube that’s shorter in height, picks up stage 1, 2, and 3 balls, and holds up to 15 regular sized balls.

Gamma Ball Tube – 18 Balls

Gamma Ball Tube - 18 Balls

An alternative to the Tourna Tennis Tube is the Gamma Ball Tube, which has virtually identical features.

The only difference is that the Gamma Ball Tube holds a maximum of 18 balls, and it comes with a strap for carrying if that’s of interest to you.

It also comes in clear plastic or red.

Tomohoppper Mower – 90 balls

Tomohopper Mower - 90 Balls

Ball mowers are the most efficient way to pick up large quantities of tennis balls. If you’re an instructor or have a court at home, it may be worth considering one to reduce pickup time for more efficient lessons or time on the court – especially private lessons.

The Tomohopper offers a unique design that works great for picking up balls, but it also works as a basket. After you’ve collected balls, you can raise the hopper so that it’s a sufficient height for feeding.

Perhaps one of the best features about the Tomohopper is how compact it collapses for travel to stick in a trunk.

The machine has a somewhat limited capacity for its size at only 90 balls, so you’ll need to consider that. Furthermore, it only works with standard yellow tennis balls. If you’re looking to use one for larger kids’ tennis balls, then the Tennis Multimower is ideal.

OnCourt OffCourt Multimower – 300

OnCourt OffCourt Multimower - 300 Balls

With a higher overall capacity of 300 balls and the mower’s ability to pick up a variety of different size tennis balls, the Tennis Multimower is worth checking out and one of the best on the market.

Like the Tomohopper, it incredibly efficient for picking up tennis balls, and it has two baskets – one for collecting balls and another for feeding.

It’s not as compact for transportation, but it does easily collapse by removing the vertical handles, so if your car has enough space, it can work well on the go too.

Pop-It – 1 Ball

Pop-It Tennis Ball Pickup - 1 Ball

Finally, the Pop-It ball pickup accessory is a useful tennis accessory for picking up individual balls while playing. It’s not intended for efficiently picking up many tennis balls. Instead, its design is perfect for picking up a single ball while you’re playing rather than having to bend over.

It stays on the racquet at all times, so you may need to get used to that, particularly if you’re an adult. However, if you struggle with back pain or have difficulty bending over, it might be a solution worth considering.

For kids, it’s a fun way to help the instructor or a parent pick up balls.

The Pop-It comes in two colors, black for adults and green for kids. Some players struggle to keep the accessory in place on their racquet, so you may need to build up your racquet’s handle with an extra overgrip to get it to fit correctly.

Wrapping Up

Picking up balls is a tedious task, but if you’re taking lessons or practicing, it’s a necessary part of the process. To make pickup more efficient and transportation of balls easier, a ball hopper, basket, tube, roller, or mower are excellent options to consider.

Hopefully, this guide has helped provide some useful insight on what to look for when buying a ball hopper while also providing some worthy options to consider if you’re in the market.

If you have any questions about anything covered in this guide, drop a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

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