When the weather starts to get warmer, that’s when the Backyard Boss team starts thinking about summer fun. Croquet immediately springs to mind as a classic, leisurely activity that everyone in the family can enjoy. In looking for the best croquet set, we considered durability, aesthetics, and portability.
We found that by choosing a set that has all of the above qualities, such as the Franklin Sports Outdoor Croquet Set, you can get many years of fun, no matter what the age or skill level of your family and friends. We also found some sets that are handmade with some of the finest craftsmanship available on the market.
Backyard Boss Top 5 Croquet Sets for the Summer of 2021
|Amish-Crafted Deluxe 8-Player Croquet Game Set||Check The Price!|
|Franklin Sports Vintage Outdoor Croquet Set||Check The Price!|
|GoSports Six Player Croquet Set||Check The Price!|
|Franklin Sports Croquet Set||Check The Price!|
|BroWill Croquet Set with Carrying Bag||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
We have dedicated ourselves to outdoor relaxation and activities, and when it comes to fun, we definitely consider ourselves experts. By working on dozens of articles on backyard games and summer fun, we know what to look for in sports equipment as well as some of the pitfalls to avoid. Nothing ruins an afternoon on the lawn like broken accessories or a low-quality game set.
I live in California, which is known for its hot summers and beautiful weather. Most of my months are spent in the backyard barbecuing, exercising or playing some kind of outdoor game like volleyball, badminton and yes, croquet. My father grew up playing the game and when I was a kid, he would often break out his old set that he had for years. Its high-quality meant that we never had to worry about breaking a mallet or cracking a ball, no matter how into the game we got.
Best for Durability and Years of Use
Why We Like It: The Amish-Crafted Deluxe 8-Player Croquet Game Set could be a great choice for people who value craftsmanship and quality woodworking. Handmade in Lancaster, Pennsylvania by Amish craftsmen, this set is meant to last and it shows in the product. The mallets are heavy-duty and solid, and the balls are meant to withstand years of hits by kids and adults alike.
Each mallet and ball is hand-painted and everything is lathe-turned. There are no cheap factory-assembled parts in this set at all. Even the stand is made from high-quality maple hardwood and each mallet features a brass ring on the head to keep it from cracking or splintering. The attention to detail and emphasis on durability makes it a good option if you want to keep using this set year after year, even with the higher price point.
Who Should Buy It: People who want to keep the same croquet set for many years and don’t want to have to worry about damage due to heavy use or intense playing.
Best Styled Croquet Set
Why We Like It: There is no doubt that croquet is a stylish game with a vintage feel and roots in turn-of-the-century luxury. That’s why the Franklin Sports Outdoor Croquet Set is such an interesting choice for those who want to embrace the old-timey style of the sport itself. Its angled stand and brass fittings are a throwback to the croquet games of yore and will fit right in at any high-class barbecue or garden party.
The brass fittings that cover the knurled wood mallet heads give a well-worn, classic look to the mallets themselves. They also provide protection for strenuous matches or overzealous players. The 36-inch mallets are small enough for a child to play with, but still provide enough leverage for adults to use as well. For the price, the look and feel of this set are unique and will fit right in with any kind of crowd.
Who Should Buy It: People who are interested in vintage styling and staying true to the time period of the game itself, while still wanting a high-quality, durable set.
Most for Families With Kids
Why We Like It: When the summertime rolls around, that means entertaining the kids. One of the best ways to get them out of the house and playing in the yard is with a lightweight, smaller scale game like the GoSports Six Player Croquet Set. This set features 28″ mallets for smaller hands and shorter heights.
Playing with a full-size set might be a little bit unwieldy for kids, which can take a lot of fun out of the game. That’s why this set is a good option if it is going to be a family-oriented activity. Fortunately, the mallets are still tall enough to be used by an adult and the set itself is durable enough for heavier hits.
Who Should Buy It: People with smaller children who want a decent quality croquet set that isn’t going to be too expensive to let kids play with it.
Best for Beginners and Tight Budgets
Why We Like It: While this is one of the most budget-friendly sets on the market, it is of relatively high quality and isn’t going to break after the first use. It comes in two sizes of mallets, 24-inch and 26-inch, so you don’t have to buy different sizes for people who might want a smaller mallet, like kids. The mallets themselves have hard plastic caps on the end to keep the wood from splitting or breaking.
The wickets are made of coated steel that is meant to withstand all kinds of weather. Busy families and people with kids may not want to be removing and packing the wickets all the time for fear of losing them, making this a good feature for people who want to be able to leave them set up year-round.
Who Should Buy It: People who are looking for a simple and inexpensive croquet set to learn with and not hassle with setting up and breaking down over and over again.
Most Portable Croquet Set
Why We Like It: One of the benefits of croquet is that it doesn’t take a whole lot of equipment to play. The sets can be brought anywhere, provided they are designed to be portable and light enough to pack in the car. The BroWill Croquet Set with Carrying Bag is specifically tailored to be as portable as possible. The eucalyptus mallets are light and easy to handle, as are the wire-wrapped plastic wickets.
One of the things that makes this croquet set so portable is the fact that everything is designed to fit in the included 600D fabric carrying bag. This bag zips up nicely and can be carried to a picnic, birthday party, or local park for fun anywhere you want to go.
Who Should Buy It: People who want to teach others how to play the game or just want to bring their croquet set out and about wherever they might be going.
What to Look for in a Croquet Set
When looking for a croquet set, there are a few things to consider that can help you find the best one for your needs. One of the first steps is to figure out what your specific needs are. Is this set going to be left permanently in your backyard, or are you going to want to pack it up and take it with you? Are you a seasoned player who is looking for professional quality mallets and balls, or are you just trying to find out if the game is something you and your family can enjoy?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you make a choice that you will be happy with and will suit your needs. There are all kinds of croquet sets on the market and not all of them are for the same purposes. However, there are a few things you can look for that are important no matter what kind of croquet player you are.
You are always going to want to find a croquet set that is well made and uses wood meant to stand up to lots of use. Mallets that are made with premium woods like maple and eucalyptus are your best bet since they are water-resistant and can stand to be left out in the sun or rain if they are accidentally forgotten about after a party.
Other than mallets, look for balls that are made from hard plastic or resin instead of wood. While wood balls will have more bounce, they are much more prone to cracking and splitting should someone get a little heavy-handed with the mallet.
Most full-grown adults can start off with a 36-inch mallet height. This is generally comfortable and will feel right to most people. However, it is much better to go with a smaller mallet if you aren’t quite sure. It is easier to adjust to a shorter height than it is to one that is too tall. For example, many kid-oriented croquet sets come with 26″ mallets, which will still be relatively usable for adults.
You will also want a mallet head that is balanced and reasonably sized. A mallet head that is unbalanced will affect your swing and make it difficult to hit the ball accurately.
Portability and Style
Knowing whether you are going to leave your croquet set up year-round will affect the type of set you buy. If you are going to want to bring it to parties and events, a lighter, simpler set will be the way to go. These portable sets are also usually much less expensive, which makes them more bearable if you accidentally lose a wicket or a ball at a family function.
If you want a permanent set for your backyard, going with something a little more stylized and expensive may be the best option. Not only will the pieces be more durable and of better quality, but they can also add to the decor of your backyard. If you are serious about croquet, a good-looking set can be a point of pride and enjoyment.
How We Picked
Some of the things we looked for when picking the croquet sets above were:
- Hardwood construction
- Attractive style
Finding a croquet set with wood other than pine is incredibly important. Some cheap sets use pine for its lightweight feel and low cost. However, it is too soft to withstand the hits that a croquet mallet must take. We looked for sets that use maple and eucalyptus, which are good alternatives that are hard enough and still fairly lightweight.
We also looked for sets that had attractive styles and designs. This is especially important if you are buying a set to keep up year-round in your backyard. Not all croquet sets are nice-looking enough to keep set up in your backyard without eventually becoming an eyesore.
While not all the sets we chose are meant to be moved around, they can all be packed up relatively easily. Some are specifically designed to go into an easy-to-carry bag, but even the ones that aren’t can still be packed into the trunk of a car.
The Verdict on Croquet Sets for Backyard Fun
By knowing what to look for, we were able to find croquet sets that should meet your needs no matter what they may be. Whether you want a permanent conversation piece for your backyard or something that you can pack in a bag and bring to a picnic, there is something on our list for you.
Our overall favorite is the Franklin Sports Outdoor Croquet Set for its cool vintage style and heavy-duty materials. It is well-made enough to withstand all kinds of use and is small and lightweight enough to take practically anywhere. Not to mention, it is very unique and interesting looking to boot, and when it comes to croquet, it is just as important to look good as it is to play well!