The Best Tennis Ball Hoppers (2020)

After thorough research we reveal which tennis ball hoppers have the best features and prices and how they can make your tennis practice sessions easier.

If you have spent a lot of time on the court practicing tennis, either with a ball machine, or working on your serve, then you know that you need a quality tennis ball hopper to hold all of your balls. The last thing any tennis player wants is to have to spend valuable practice time picking up tennis balls with a mediocre ball hopper. You want the most efficient hopper, one that is easy to carry and store, will pick up tennis balls with ease, is affordable, and will be durable enough to last for a long time.

There are four basic types of ball hoppers or ball baskets as they are sometimes called; the traditional metal cage type, ball tubes, ball rollers, and teaching carts. They range in price from around $20 USD to $300. We’ve put together our list of the best tennis ball hoppers in each of the categories. Of all of the brands out on the market Gamma clearly dominates. Other top ball hopper brands include Hoag, Unique, Ballport, and Wilson. We consider the following tennis ball hoppers to be the best, based on customer reviews, features, and price.

Best Tennis Ball Hopper Basket

These are the traditional metal cage type models where you hold the handle at the top of the hopper and push it down over the ball to pick it up. The two handles on most ball hoppers are at least half the length of an average sized person. As you press down, the tennis ball squeezes through the gaps in the metal bars and into the cage – pretty simple. The balls won’t fall out of the bottom. You can then pull the tennis balls out using a gate at the top of the hopper.

If you’re practicing your serve, you can fold the handles on the hopper down so that the ball cage holding the tennis ball stands about waist level. That way you can grab the balls without having to bend over each time, which is really convenient. Also, if you’re using a tennis ball machine, you can just open the gate on the metal hopper and dump the balls into the ball machine hopper.

Here are our Top 3 tennis ball baskets.

The Gamma Ballhopper Whopper 140 features heavy-duty wire construction which is reinforced with a strengthened weld design and Diamond Clad weather resistant coating. It also has unique wear bumpers for durability. Convenient handles let you easily pick-up and flip over this ball hopper. The attached lid prevents spilling.

Key Features:

  • Capacity: 140 Balls
  • Weight: 11.2 lbs
  • Color: Silver
  • Average Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0
Editor’s comments: This hopper has the greatest ball capacity (140) of all the hoppers of this type on the market. Most tennis ball machines have a capacity on average of 150 balls, so if you are going to be practicing on a tennis ball machine, it only makes sense to get a hopper with enough capacity to match the ball machine capacity. The Whopper 140 is only another $14 USD more than the number 2 Wilson hopper which has a capacity of 75. Why not just pay the little extra and get almost double the capacity?

The Wilson ball hopper has a unique upright locking system, a no spill lid, and heavy duty plated steel. It easily breaks down for storage.

Key Features:

  • Capacity: 75 Balls
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs
  • Average Customer
  • Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0

Editor’s comments: The low price does make the Wilson ball hopper appealing and the lower capacity may be an option for you if you just want something small, compact, and light

The Gamma professional grade Ballhopper Hi-Rise Gold offers a heavy gauge carbon steel wired hexagonal basket shape with reinforced side welds for additional strength and rigidity. The basket is also coated with a strong polyester, the handles are protected, and the wires at the ball openings will move to the side to help make ball entry and pick-up easier.

Key Benefits:

  • Capacity: 75 Balls
  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • Average Customer
  • Rating: 4.25 out of 5.0

Best Tennis Ball Collector Tube

A tennis ball tube is a long slender tube that can be used to both pick up tennis balls and store them. You push the tube over the ball and it moves into the chamber of the tube until it’s full. To get the balls out you just turn the tube upside down and let the balls fall out the other end. Most models hold 15 to 18 tennis balls.

The primary benefit of a ball tube is that it is very easy to carry, most come with a shoulder strap, and they are much more convenient than just having 5 or 6 cans of tennis balls rolling around in your bag.

Personally, I like to use both a ball hopper and a ball tube. If you’re going out to practice and bang around a lot of balls, then you’re going to want a ball hopper. Hitting 18 balls, which is the maximum capacity of most ball tubes, and then going and picking them up every few minutes with the tube is a real pain. However, if you’re going out with a friend and you’re going to be drilling some and playing, just having a can or two of balls to practice is not going to cut it. 18 balls though in an easy to carry tube lets you get some good practice in, without feeling short on tennis balls.

Here are our top two tennis ball collector tubes.

The Ballhopper Ball Tube is a lightweight tube with special end caps that will pick up and hold 18 balls quickly and easily. You can use the shoulder strap to carry the Ball Tube on and off the court and it can be hooked onto the fence when you’re not using it.

Key Features:

  • Ball Capacity: 18 Tennis Balls
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Color(s): Red
  • Average Customer Rating: 4.25 out of 5.0

#2 – Tourna Tenn Tube Tennis Tube

Tourna Tenn Tube tennis ball collector

The Dunlop Sports Tennis Tube offers a quick and easy way to pick up and practice with tennis balls. This flexible 4′ long tube is both lightweight and durable. It will hang on the fence using a fence clip attachment when not in use and fits easily in your car trunk or locker. It has durable rubber plugs on either end for convenient ball pickup.

Key Features:

  • Capacity : 15 Balls
  • Color : Clear
  • Average Customer
  • Rating: 4.25 out of 5.0

Editor’s comments: Although the Dunlop tennis tube has a clear tube so you can see the number of tennis balls in there, which is pretty neat, I would go with the Gamma because it’s cheaper, has a greater ball capacity, and comes with a cool shoulder strap.

Best Roller Tennis Ball Hopper

The roller ball hopper looks like an old style manual lawn mower. The roller ball hopper is supposed to work by rolling the machine over the balls, and picking up many at a time. If you’re into golf, you can see a similar type concept at the driving range, where a guy driving a “mower” will pick up the golf balls out on the range. However, based upon the reviews we read on several sites, the roller tennis ball hopper design still needs some perfecting. The average rating was 3.0 out of 5.0 for the Gamma Rollerhopper 150 Tennis Ball Hopper and a lot of people said it was heavy and just didn’t pick up the balls like they thought it would. Wilson also offers a model, the Wilson Easy 85 Ball Pick-up, which was unavailable at the time of this article, and no reviews were listed.

It’s likely that the force generated from just rolling the machine is not as great as when you push straight down on a traditional hopper to pick up a ball. Therefore the balls just don’t squeeze through as efficiently with the roller.

Our top picks are below:

The Kollectaball K-Max 60 is one of the few good roller tennis ball hoppers on the market today. It can collect up to 60 tennis balls easily that will save you from bending over and picking up the balls. It’s also a lot more faster and efficient way to use a roller ball hopper than picking them up by hand.

This is an extremely durable and lightweight design. It’s also really easy to release the tennis balls from this hopper with a simple V-opener mechanism. They advertise that it will only take you 12 seconds to release all the balls from the roller hopper. If you play tennis and use a lot of balls, the Kollectaball K-Max tennis ball hopper will save you tons of time.

Key Features:

  • Capacity : 60 Balls
  • Color : Orange
  • Average Customer
  • Rating: 4.2 out of 5.0

Best Tennis Teaching Cart

Teaching carts look like big shopping carts full of tennis balls. If you teach tennis at a club or camp, then a teaching cart is the ideal option as they are very sturdy and can hold 200-300+ tennis balls. Teaching carts are easy to wheel around the tennis court, but transporting them by car can be difficult if you don’t have a truck or SUV. You don’t use a teaching cart to pick up balls; you’ll need a hopper for that. A cart is just used for storage and for keeping a lot of balls together on the court.

Here are our top two tennis teaching carts.

The Gamma® Brute™ Teaching Cart™ offers extremely durable construction consisting of a wire basket that is heavy duty reinforced.  The Brute also has chrome plated legs, a padded handle, and bolted wheels with ball bearing swivel.  It is ergonomically designed to fit smoothly through the doors and gates you will find at most tennis courts. The Gamma Brute also includes a convenient tray under the basket for storage.

Key Features:

  • Capacity : 325 Balls
  • Weight : 40 lbs
  • Average Customer
  • Rating: 4.2 out of 5.0

The Coach’s Cart is sturdy and versatile, with a powder coated frame and vinyl coated basket. It has top quality rubber 4 inch wheels with sealed bearings that let you roll the cart with ease and a lifetime guarantee on the wheels from ever popping off.

Key Features:

  • Ball Capacity: 250
  • Weight: 42 lbs
  • Average Customer
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Editor comments: Although the Coach’s Tennis Ball teaching cart has less capacity, costs more, and weighs more than the Gamma Brute, it does have a pretty cool feature where you can hook a standard metal ball hopper to the front of it for easy carry and convenience. Please note though, the Coach’s Teaching cart does not come with the extra metal hopper, you have to buy that separate.

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