A tennis ball hopper is an extremely useful tool for bringing multiple tennis balls to the court, and provides a convenient way to store, pick up, and transport tennis balls.
Using a tennis ball hopper and a large number of tennis balls can save you time and the hassle of collecting and chasing balls, so you can spend more time focusing on actually improving your tennis game.
We’ve reviewed the best tennis ball hoppers, as well as covered some things to think about when buying one.
Here are the best tennis ball hoppers on the market today:
Why Use a Tennis Ball Hopper
Whether you’re playing for recreation or practicing to be a more serious player, a tennis ball hopper is a must have item on a tennis court. You might be using multiple balls when practicing on the court, so it’s important to have these stacked nearby so you can develop the muscle memory to have better serve and receive swings.
Picking up the balls can be quite a chore, especially when you practice with more than 50 balls. A ball hopper allows you to pick up and store the balls with ease and comfort.
What Is It
Tennis ball hoppers are perfect accessories to help you easily pick up and store balls without having to break your back bending over and over again picking up multiple balls on the court.
Its main parts consist of a holder basket with a bottom that allows the ball to get in when pushed down on them, legs that can be converted into a handle when you’re picking the balls up, and optional lids and/or wheels for easy portability.
How Does It Work
Tennis ball hoppers are fairly easy to set-up and use. The legs that are used to hold the entire thing up when you need to use them to store and hold the balls can be converted into a handle when you need to go and collect the balls.
You can then simply push down to collect the balls as the bottom of the basket has either movable and/or flexible parts, or have bars that are spaced enough to let the balls get into the basket when pushed down but prevent them from also spilling over.
You can also pick up multiple balls in doing this, saving you a lot of time and effort and helping you get back to practicing quicker.
Depending on the brand and variant, converting the legs as a handle and vice versa is as easy as sliding them up or down, or spreading them over and locking them.
What to Look For in a Ball Hopper
When looking for the best tennis ball hopper for you, there are a few things you need to keep in mind: what material the accessory is made of, its height, weight, how the stand/handle works, if there’s a lid and/or wheel or not are all factors you need to consider, as some of these would be deal-breakers for you depending on your needs.
A tennis ball hopper is usually made with a heavy-duty metal alloy for the entire frame, with heavy-duty plastic, or a combination of both.
Most ball hoppers today are made to be sturdy and durable regardless of the material they are made of. However, the material does affect its weight, which you would also need to look out for.
Weight and height
Size and weight are also important factors you need to think about. Smaller, more compact ball hoppers are great if you need to carry it and travel around with it; bigger ones usually have larger holder baskets that hold more balls, but they are heavier.
In this regard, you also need to consider who would be using it. If you have a kid, or run a tennis clinic for kids, smaller, lighter, and shorter ball hoppers can be perfect for them relative to their height.
You also need to remember that as you use them, the ball hopper does get heavier as the basket fills with balls as you pick them up
Aside from kids, senior citizens who still play also stand to benefit from using a lighter ball hopper.
Stand and handle
One defining characteristic most ball hoppers have in common is its stand that can be turned into a handle. There are hoppers with stands/handles that are collapsible and you can adjust it depending on whether you need to use it as a stand to hold the balls or a handle when you need to pick them up.
Some hoppers the same can also be done to some of them by simply sliding the stand for it to become a handle.
Tennis ball hoppers with lids are perfect for when you need to bring the hopper with you on the go. The lids help store and keep the balls in place for when you need to haul it around your car or carts.
A tennis ball hopper’s portability is usually determined by its overall size, weight, and other features like whether it has a lid or wheels or not. Ball hoppers that have lids and wheels are of course much easier to lug around.
There are also ball hoppers that are collapsible and compact enough that it would not be a hassle to carry and transport with.
Probably one of the most important factors to consider, and the make-or-break element aside from those that have already been mentioned are, of course, how many balls it can pick up and hold.
Standard hoppers usually hold around 50-85 balls. Larger capacity hoppers can store up to around 140 balls.
Our Top Picks for the Best Tennis Ball Hoppers
That said, after scouring through different products and reviews, we’ve come up with our top picks for the best tennis ball hoppers in the market!
Tourna Ballport Deluxe Tennis Ball Hopper with Wheels
Tourna boasts that their Ballport Deluxe Tennis Ball Hopper is lighter than most hoppers that has the same capacity at around 4.5 lbs. It is also made out of heavy duty propylene so you won’t have to think about parts and welds that rust and break.
Wilson Tennis Ball Pick Up Hopper
Easy to set-up and made with a solid steel frame, the Wilson Tennis Ball Pick Up Hopper is a great hopper to consider. It’s sturdy to have a ball basket and a hopper to pick up the balls, and its unassuming basket design is sure to be a no-frills product for you to have on a tennis court.
Gamma Hi-Rise 75 Ball Hopper
Renowned for specializing in sports equipment, especially tennis, the Gamma Hi-Rise 75 ball hoppers are products that know what tennis players need on the court to play and practice better. Made out of carbon steel, the Gamma Hi-Rise is sure to serve you for a long time.
Gamma also offers two variants: the Hi-Rise 75 and the Hi-Rise 75 with wheels, so you can choose depending on your portability needs.
HOPARAZZI Elite Tennis Ball Basket
The HOPARAZZI elite is sure to catch anyone’s attention with its vibrant colors, of which there are 17 options of – Electric Yellow, Clear Blue Sky, Cobalt Blue, Red Hot Delight, Purple Passion and more.
It’s perfect to have around if you’re running a tennis clinic for kids as the handle is adjustable and has built-in wheels.
Gamma Sports EZ Travel Cart Pro Ball Hopper
The Gamma EZ Travel Cart hopper’s design is certainly going to help you be a pro. With a large capacity of 150 balls, you are definitely getting more out of your practice sessions having all those balls nearby for you to practice your swings. The bag is easy to carry and the cart definitely helps it easier to go around.
Gamma Pro Plus 110
Another offering from Gamma that made it to our list is the Gamma Pro Plus 110 ball hopper. Its large capacity is perfect for those who are seeking to be more serious in their practice sessions. Like the Hi-Rise 75, it is built with a sturdy carbon steel frame that is durable enough to serve its purpose in helping you pick up a relatively large capacity of balls.
Tennis Ball Hopper Alternatives
If a regular tennis ball hopper is out of the question for you because it’s out of the budget or you need other equipment, there are several alternatives you can consider as well.
Go for Tennis Ball Mowers or Rollers
A rather more expensive option would be a tennis ball mower. Mowers are perfect if you run a clinic and teach multiple students or players at a time.
You can simply push the rig and collect the balls by simply running over them and the mechanism at the bottom would pick up the balls. This offers a faster alternative of picking up a huge number of loose balls on the court.
Rollers have roughly the same capacity as a hopper. But while hoppers work by pushing down on the balls into the holder basket, rollers have a cylindrical basket that collects the balls when you run the roller over them.
Using A Tennis Ball Pick-up tube
One popular option you can look into is using a tennis ball pick up tube.
Pick up tubes are a perfect alternative as a tennis ball pick up hopper since it essentially does the same job of helping you pick up balls easier without breaking your backs.
It usually can pick up 15-20 balls at a time and it’s very easy to empty them out into a basket or a tennis ball cart. They are also relatively more portable and lighter than regular ball hoppers but they can only pick up a fairly limited number of balls compared to using an actual ball hopper.
DIY a Tennis Ball Hopper
Another budget alternative is, well, to create a DIY ball hopper. You can use the tubes that come with purchasing tennis balls at your local Walmart or Target and craft them together with glue or scotch tape.
You can also try to look for plastic cylinders or the used tubes that come with the balls for sale that can just snugly fit the balls and create a tube tennis ball hopper with it.
Here’s a video of a rundown on how to create your own DIY ball hopper:
Summary and Recommendations
Built to help you spend more time practicing your swings and strokes rather than bending down and picking up loose balls, tennis ball hoppers are an essential tool in the court.
Built to be functional and practical, the Gamma Hi-Rise 75 Ball Hoppers is our top pick, especially since you have the option of getting one with or without wheels, depending on your needs, while the Tourna Ballport Deluxe Tennis Ball Hopper offers the most value for a budget-friendly price.
So there you have it! We just made a comprehensive guide of what you need to look for in a ball hopper and gave reviews of the best products in the market.
Go ahead, don’t break your back, and get your swing on!
Post last updated on August 6, 2021