Since our elder boy was struggling for a good performance in the American Youth Soccer Organization, his coach told us something which really hit us. “Look, Mr. Mike, don’t limit your young one to AYSO; let the spirit of the game surround him at the hearth,” said his coach.
From that day, the hunt for the best soccer goals for the backyard began and we tested lots of full-size soccer goals, portable soccer nets, and many popup small practice nets.
With our backyard laying over 500+ sqft, our testing took steady turns from a premium 16x7Ft FORZA Alu60 to a medium-range SKLZ Quickster (our favorite) to the cheapest and top-rated BLACKHAWK. This put great patience in us for finding the right balance between our backyard size and the best backyard soccer goal.
So what were the products we tested, and which ones we found the best? Here is the list of soccer nets for the backyard which you can choose for your toddler to growing teens.
Best Backyard Soccer Goals for Kids 2023 (Small-Full-Size Nets)
Because different skill sets and ages call for various sizes and types of backyard soccer goals, I’ve sorted them into 3 categories. Below, you’ll find the top 3 best products in each category, all of which we’ve personally tested right in our own backyard.
- Metal/Full-size Soccer Goals for Teenagers, Growing Kids, and Adults
- Best Collapsible/Portable Soccer Goals for Small Backyards
- Small/Pop Up Soccer Goals for Kids
Metal/Full-size Soccer Goals For Teenagers, Growing Kids, and Adults
Placing here the most practical range of metal soccer goals that’ll cater midrange to big backyards to train kids from 4 to 15+ years.
Best Collapsible/Portable Soccer Goals
Placing here the small plastic or metal indoor/outdoor soccer goals for kids between 2-10 years. These training nets are very basic to make your kids familiar with the field.
Small/Pop Up Soccer Goals for Kids
Metal/Full-size Soccer Goals for Teenagers, Growing Kids, and Adults
Why Do We Choose This: If you want something very decent and durable enough apart from Franklin and Forza, this GoSports elite portable soccer net becomes a go-to option. With the creamiest setup, highly durable materials, and training accessories in the package, it truly makes it a value-for-money and reliable option for your kids who are developing muscle and skills. The most practical fastening system allows you to use it outdoors as well as indoors.
Who’s it For: Users looking for a no non-sense net, practice and game day, mid-size backyard, indoor courts, and proper soccer fields, kids age under 15
Who Should Avoid it: Budget users looking for basic PVC goals, Users looking for a variety of sizes.
The Best Selling Points of GoSports Elite:
- Durable Materials for Hard Shooting: The combination of a fiberglass frame and a thick Nylon net is powerful enough to amplify the passion in your training sessions. We didn’t encounter any deterioration in quality, thanks to great UV and rust resistance
- Useful Training Accessories in the Package: It gets face-to-face with Kwik Goal, FORZA Proflex, and other portable soccer goals; no product comes with additional practicing accessories except Gosports.
- Easiest Setup: Even my younger kid managed to set it up within 10 minutes. It took us only 15 minutes to get it ready for the game
The main intent lying in this metal soccer goal is sheer decency while providing great value for money. I mean, there are no-nonsense and flashier claims but the real-time performance. While we compare it closely with Kwik Goal, we find it’s highly quality polyester that is relatively closely meshed, diffusing the ball either it’s a strong stroke or just a mere weak hit.
That said, the net shows nearly non-existent tearing effects in such scenarios.
We genuinely appreciated the reinforced bow metal frame; it remained stable even in high windy conditions, and its smooth assembly process was a bonus. Yet, if you face such a scenario, fret not! The collapsible soccer goal takes only 2 minutes to disassemble, and you can effortlessly set it up indoors without needing any specialized tools.
This is the kind of practicality we’ve been talking about.
The only that made us feel slightly restrictive is the availability of only 2 sizes. I mean, while Forza Proflex comes in 8 sizes, and it comes in 12W x 6H Ft and 6W x 4H Ft sizes. We only had the option to choose a full-size soccer goal considering our backyard, covering 250-270 sqft. But to be honest, it definitely looks big but with 3ft depth, it didn’t consume a lot of plot.
But we can ignore it when we see a set of 6 practicing cones coming in the package. No other competitor gives such freebies to elevate the standards of your kid’s training sessions
- High-quality materials.
- Additional training accessories for better value for money.
- Excellent polyester net quality with a close mesh structure.
- Sturdy metal frame resists tipping over against strong shots and windy conditions.
- Comes with a replaceable warranty.
- Limited variety in sizes.
Best Alternative to GoSports Elite:
Why Do We Choose This: When you are looking for a highly durable and top-notch weather-resistant full-size soccer goal, Forza Steel42 is the answer. I mean, it brings superb UV-resistant materials, making it a true outdoor soccer goal that can be left outdoors without any worry. And with 4 sizes divided into the most in-demand mid and full-size dimensions, it will definitely be an attraction for your neighborhood. And to sum up, it’s lightweight, durable, an outdoor warrior, and versatile.
Who’s it For: Users with low indoor space looking for highly durable outdoor soccer goals, moderate budget users looking for most regulated mid and full-size soccer goals, long-term utility, mid-big size backyards
Who Should Avoid It: Budget users, users looking for more portable and foldable soccer goals, Aesthetic lovers,
The Best Selling Points of Forza Steel42:
- Highly Durable: With its 42mm robust galvanized steel, this is a gem for those seeking unbeatable durability.
- Superb UV Resistance: Each component is layered with a UV-resistant shield. With the coated frame and a 3mm net, you can play in any weather without a second thought.
- Precise Size Options: It’s available in four specific sizes to keep your kid’s training on point. Looking for more size choices? See its bigger brother Forza Alu60 in 10 sizes.
Believe me, it’s sheer pain to see you shuffling your big backyard soccer goal from one spot to another just because weather effects deteriorate its life. This is where Forza Steel42 comes in with great endurance against weather effects and is great for those who love to have a full-size soccer net for the backyard without it being weighty.
That said, the 42mm galvanized solid steel frame really impressed us. I mean, it’s sturdy yet lightweight and only needs two persons to shift it from one place to another. But lightweight doesn’t mean it tips over against powerful strokes. Instead, we found it stable enough that you can place it without ground hooks.
Similarly, I can’t endorse the 3mm UV-resistant net enough. It feels superbly flexible and throws back the ball no matter how strongly it’s been hit.
Its bigger brother ALU60 comes with almost similar specs and quality standards, yet allows you to pick a regulated size from a series of 10. But that becomes expensive, and Forza Steel42 keeps the “moderate-budget” line intact and offers you 4 sizes.
We picked the 12 x 6 ft size that is perfect for a midsize 250-270sqft backyard. But our only complaint is the non-foldable/collapsible design. This is where the Lifetime 90046 soccer goal finds the opportunity to serve you with superbly foldable frames.
- Highly Durable materials and premium build quality.
- Weather and water-resistant materials.
- Lightweight and easy assembly within minutes.
- Great endurance against rust with its unmatched outdoor intent.
- 4 excellent regulated designs.
- The frame isn’t foldable.
Best Alternatives to Forza Steel42:
Why Do We Choose This: We loved this beauty! Why? When graduating from pop-up soccer goals becomes necessary, when your plastic mini soccer goals no longer inspire the young ones, or, in the most disheartening scenario, when hefty academy subscription fees strain your wallet, this item becomes a life-saver for supporting your kid’s passion. It’s incredibly sturdy, built to endure multiple seasons, and reinforced with a metallic frame and fiberglass bars to withstand even the hardest strokes with ease. Plus, the vinyl white goalposts provide a sleek, professional appearance, giving your backyard a genuine soccer field ambiance.
Who’s it For: Users in quest of durable and stable products for mid-sized backyards, for decently portable soccer goals, and those who have multiple kids to train
Who Should Avoid It: Budget Users looking for full-size options and variable sizes, fixed installations, users who live in highly rainy and wet areas,
The Best Selling Points of Kwik Goal Flex:
- Highly Sturdy Build Quality: It’s renowned for its heavy-duty construction, which is why it’s slightly heavy yet remains stable even in high-wind conditions.
- Impressive Netting Materials: We appreciated the super-thick net with a box mesh pattern that flexes easily, handling even the most aggressive shots.
- ·A Highly Professional Look: While this may not matter to everyone, the excellent design and white vinyl posts emulate a traditional soccer goal look, transforming your backyard into a professional field
When you imagine, “Soccer only requires a ball, it’s true, but goals really do encourage kids to play.” Kwik Goal Flex makes it a reality. I mean, with its robust and extendable design, whether it’s for professional training or a weekend get-together, Kwik Goal seamlessly fits every purpose.
It sits in the upper midrange of backyard soccer goals, but we genuinely loved its premium build quality. Whether it’s the snap-button expandable metallic frame or fiberglass extension bars, the finish, quality, and overall feel are definitely top-notch.
That said, the white vinyl goalposts were what truly impressed our elder boy. They have this chic look, transforming the backyard soccer field into something truly professional. We also compared it with other metallic large soccer goals like Franklin Sports Futsal, but it didn’t give us that unique vibe we experienced with Kwik Goal Flex.
Its robust construction is commendable, but it bumps the weight up to 30 lbs, which isn’t exactly lightweight. However, the inclusion of a wheeled carry bag in the package eases things up, making it one of the top portable soccer goals despite its metallic frame.
The only downside we found is the limited size variety, with only 4’x6’ and 12’ x 6.5’ options. It either goes very small or pretty big.
- The intelligent design not only gives it a professional look but is key to its sturdiness.
- Snap-button assembly allows the metallic frame to extend.
- It’s stable, both indoors and outdoors.
- The net quality is top-tier and designed to last.
- The wheeled carry bag facilitates easy transportation of this 30lbs collapsible soccer goal.
- Limited size options.
- A tad expensive.
Best Alternatives to Kwik Goal Flex:
Best Collapsible/Portable Soccer Goals for Small Backyards
Why Do We Choose This: The reason we chose this in the small soccer goal category is its durable construction and lightweight frame. Besides that, it offers a versatile configuration with both folding and non-folding variants, and it comes in three sizes to fit various backyard dimensions. While most practice soccer goals in this category feature PVC construction, this one boasts light-alloy steel, making it a standout choice when PVC and mini-popup soccer goals aren’t on your radar.
Who’s it For: Parents looking for reliable options other than PVC and Popup, moderate budget users, users who prefer portability despite metallic constructions, and indoor and outdoor usage
Who Should Avoid It: Highly budget users under 100 bucks, PVC lovers looking for extremely lightweight options.
The Best Selling Points of Franklin Sports Competition Goal:
- Highly Practical Goal: Given its decent durability, lightweight yet robust build, and good range of sizes, it’s undoubtedly a wiser decision over PVC and pop-up soccer goals.
- Decent Quality Net: The 4×4” mesh Nylon net in our experience withstood various weather conditions, lasting over 3 years.
- Versatile Range of Configurations: Whether you want folding or non-folding, small, medium, or large sizes, you’ll find every type of configuration here
It’s not always assumed that a mini-soccer goal for practice will be just a basic PVC net. I mean, this Franklin Sports Competition is solidly built with high-endurance alloy steel, making it both lightweight and durable. Tell me, wouldn’t you want to know about this?
We’re discussing a top backyard soccer goal for kids that isn’t just some basic plastic item, but a high-quality metal construction that will surely inspire your budding soccer stars. The design is simple and elegant, free from unnecessary components. Though it’s not the most weather-resistant, it has proven to endure multiple years, even without meticulous care.
The Nylon net is also commendable, with a 4×4” mesh size, and in our case, it held up for 3 years with only minor wear and tear. But my suggestion: if you’re interested in bigger sizes and want a more durable net with UV protection, pick Hit Run Steel Goal, which is relatively inexpensive but better quality.
“Additionally, we had the non-folding variant and didn’t encounter any signs of rusting, even though we mostly used it as an outdoor soccer net for kids in various weather conditions.
Given that it’s available in 3 different sizes, with both folding and non-folding options, we chose the smallest size, and it provided the most stable performance. With its 3” depth, it stayed firmly on the ground without the need for steel ground stakes. This should be a major selling point if you’re frustrated with plastic nets that tip over.
- Lightweight enough for your kids to lift without difficulty.
- Durable construction ensures great endurance.
- Setting up the frame with locking pins is the easiest part of its assembly.
- Offers a versatile range of configurations, including folding and non-folding features.
- Remains stable even without ground stakes.
- The net straps tend to slip from their places over time.
Best Alternatives to Franklin Sports Competition:
Why Do We Choose This: Sometimes metal soccer goals become expensive and regular PVC practice nets don’t stand high at durability standards. In that case, Forza comes at the front with its legendary soccer goal which is PVC but carries the strength of a heavy-duty soccer goal. With high-grade PVC materials, excellent quality, and good stability, this comes in 5 different useful sizes to train kids from ages 4 to 15. Its multi-dimensional practicality allows you to use it for casual recreational soccer sessions or full-fledge club training.
Who’s it For: People avoiding expensive metallic nets, budget users, high portability seekers, and small to big backyards
Who Should Avoid It: Lightweight Alloy lovers, Users looking for some premium and luxury items
The Best Selling Points of Forza PVC Practice Net:
At times, metal soccer goals can be pricey, and regular PVC practice nets might not meet durability standards. This is where Forza steps in with its legendary soccer goal made of PVC but with the robustness of a heavy-duty metal goal. Constructed with high-grade PVC materials, this goal boasts excellent quality and stability. It’s available in five useful sizes tailored to train kids aged 4 to 15. Its versatility makes it suitable for casual recreational soccer sessions and intensive club training.
- Great Value-for-Money: Exceptional durability with PVC materials at a competitive price is indeed a unique combination.
- Focus on U10 Kids Training: The goal’s purpose is evident. With its five size variants, it’s mainly designed for small to midsize backyards to train beginners and intermediate-level kids under 10.
- Stable Performance: Its commendable durability and thick PVC poles ensure stability, even without ground clips.
If you have doubts about PVC soccer goals’ quality, this product will certainly change your perspective. Despite being made of high-grade plastic, it competes well with the performance of metal soccer goals. Its thick uPVC poles, sleek design, five different sizes, and ease of assembly make it a top pick, whether you’re starting fresh or looking to upgrade.
We got the 8 x 6 feet variant, and honestly, its practicality was impressive. For starters, its easy assembly allowed my elder child to set it up with a friend’s help. Surprisingly, even without ground clips, this backyard soccer net displayed impressive stability, holding up well against strong hits.
Though lightweight for enhanced portability, we primarily used it outdoors due to its rain-proof and UV-resistant net and frame materials. A common complaint is the top pole slightly sagging in the center. It’s not too prominent and doesn’t compromise the overall durability. But if you’re zeroing in on performance and resilience, it’s a negligible flaw.
In our experience, we didn’t face such an issue, suggesting that it might be a sporadic problem.
- Ideal for those getting their first soccer goal for kids or upgrading their current one.
- Excellent weather resistance.
- Remains stable even without ground stakes.
- Lightweight with straightforward assembly.
- Available in five different sizes.
- The potential sagging of the top pole might be a concern for the quality-conscious.
Best Alternatives to Forza PVC Practice Net:
Small/Pop-Up Soccer Goals for Kids:
Why Do We Choose This: Normally, pop-up goals mean small, basic foldable practice nets for toddlers and kids for recreational activities. But this pop-up soccer goal for kids defies that norm without being extravagantly priced. We particularly loved its range of sizing and exceptional build quality, both in netting and framing. Plus, there’s a premium feel that’s rare to find in a $100 small soccer goal for kids.
Who’s it For: Users looking for great value for money, avoid small-sized popup goals, Users who are serious about their kid’s start over, Quality seekers,
Who Should Avoid It: Users just looking for casual or basic low-budget products,
The Best Selling Points of Happy Jump Pop-up Goal:
- Good range of Sizes: Many pop-up goals come smaller than you’d expect. This one offers five different sizes, so you can fine-tune your choice for your kids.
- High-Grade Materials: Whether it’s the standout quality 10mm fiber poles, the 3-layered L-shaped metal corners, or the double dacron waterproof net, the quality truly delivers.
- Easiest Assembly and Portability: With an ultra-smooth setup and easily collapsible design, it’s perfect for both indoors and outdoors.
Everything the manufacturer boasted in the specs sheet, we experienced in reality. The overall feel is super-premium, mainly because in this price range, we usually see 6-8mm steel gauge materials for frame construction. This soccer goal features 10mm, which speaks volumes about its durability.
We also noticed 3 layers of support at the corners, reinforcing the “luxury in affordability” point. Most pop-up soccer goals often lack weather resistance, especially at the sleeves. However, this goal’s double dacron reinforced 420D Oxford fabric being waterproof is a game-changer. The feel and thickness of the sleeve fabric are a testament to its quality.
Although its design is meant to be portable, having a water shield means your kids can train, come rain or shine. Regarding size, there’s often a discrepancy between advertised and real sizes in pop-up goals. This one adds an extra meter in both height and width, making it a standout.
- Exceptionally premium materials, adding immense value.
- Size options that are a cut above the rest.
- Extra layering in the frame and net ensures durability.
- Simple assembly and a foldable design.
- Net sleeves being waterproof is a big plus.
- Some people find it a bit on the smaller side, except for the 5×3.6’ size. We didn’t feel the same.
Best Alternatives to Happy Jumper
How to Choose the Best Backyard Soccer Goal For Kids and Adults
Selecting the best backyard soccer field may seem straightforward, but there are many overlooked factors that can greatly influence your purchase decision and the lifespan of the soccer net for kids.
Types of Soccer Goals
The journey starts with identifying the right soccer goal. The choice largely hinges on the balance between your goal’s size and your backyard’s space. FIFA provides guidelines here. When choosing a goal size, it’s essential to consider your child’s skill level.
Younger beginners might find the game more challenging and fun with smaller goals. As their skills develop and they grow older, larger goals become appropriate. Firstly, determine the type of goal that’s right for your children.
There are full-size soccer goals suitable for teenagers and adults which require a larger space. Mid-size foldable soccer goals are designed for smaller play areas and are apt for kids under 13. For children under 8, plastic or pop-up soccer goals are ideal for smaller outdoor spaces.
Soccer Goal Size Vs. Your Backyard Space
Choosing the right soccer goal size is crucial. In standard adult soccer, the goal sits at the field’s end, which is at least 50 yards wide.
For mini soccer fields in small lawns or gardens, there’s no need for vast space. However, ensure there’s ample room for kids to play without constantly sending the ball out of bounds.
A regulation-size outdoor soccer goal for adults measures 8 feet high by 24 feet wide. Such a large goal isn’t typically suited for backyards, especially for kids. Many backyard goals range from 4 to 6 feet high and 6 to 12 feet wide. Smaller pop-up goals, usually 2.5 to 4 feet wide, are popular for younger children.
Your yard’s depth is as crucial as its width. A buffer zone behind the goal is necessary for missed shots. Ideally, your backyard’s width should be thrice the goal’s width, and the yard’s length should be 3-4 times the goal’s width.
For instance, a 6-foot wide goal needs a yard at least 18 feet wide and 20-24 feet long. A smaller 4-foot goal would fit a yard at least 12 feet wide and 15-20 feet long.
Choose Materials Wisely
Selecting the right material is as crucial as choosing your child’s school. The two main components are the Frame and Net Quality:
I. For Frame Materials
A. PVC: Lightweight and budget-friendly, ideal for kids under 7-8. It isn’t as sturdy as metal but is rust-free. While it’s suitable for wet climates, extreme cold can damage it. Best for short-term use.
B. Aluminum: More expensive but offers the sturdiness of both steel and plastic. It’s rust-free, suitable for aspiring professionals, and resists diverse weather conditions.
C. Steel: Designed for professional training or adult play. It’s heavy, rust-prone, and not very portable, but it’s robust enough to withstand forceful shots.
II. For Net Materials
We have Nylon, Polyester, and Polyethylene.
A. Polyethylene: Durable, and able to withstand strong shots and harsh weather so highly go-to option for outdoor soccer goals because of its weather resistance, and generally quite affordable, tightly woven, and has decent thickness for the best durability.
Brands like Net World Sports and Franklin Sports are known for their high-quality polyethylene nets.
B. Nylon: Typically stronger and more flexible than polyethylene nets and has a bit of stretch to it so it absorbs the energy of a fast-moving ball. Not as weather-resistant as polyethylene and may degrade if left out in the sun and rain. Perfect for indoor goals.
Brands like Pass and GOLME are known for producing quality nylon nets.
C. Polyester: Durable and has decent UV resistance, making them a good choice for outdoor goals, can be a good compromise between Polyethylene and Nylon.
Brands like Forza and Bownet have good reviews for their polyester nets.