Choose the Right Size Net for Your Garage Space
When selecting a hockey net for your garage, one of the most important factors to consider is the size. You’ll want to make sure you pick a net that fits appropriately within the existing space you have available. Taking measurements of your garage’s width and height will help determine the maximum dimensions for the hockey net you can accommodate.
Most garage hockey nets range in size from 44 inches to 72 inches wide and from 30 inches to 60 inches tall. Consider where you want to position the net in your garage and how much room you’ll need to be able to move around it for shooting and defending drills. It’s ideal to have at least 8-10 feet of clearance from the sides and back of the net if possible. This gives you enough space to take slap shots and make sharp cuts during drills.
Pay attention to the stated dimensions from the net manufacturer or seller as well. Some may indicate the overall frame size, while others specify just the net opening. Make sure to account for the extra width and height added by the frame piping too. You don’t want to end up with a net that’s crammed into your garage, making drills difficult.
It’s also a good idea to think about your skill level and the types of hockey drills you plan on running. Larger nets around 6 feet wide by 4 feet tall are great for beginners still improving their shooting accuracy. Smaller nets are more challenging targets for seasoned players to test their precision. Portable nets with adjustable sizing can allow you to customize the opening as your skills progress too.
Taking the time to evaluate your garage’s layout and your personal training needs will ensure you select the right sized hockey net. This allows you to maximize your practice time and space for drills. The last thing you want is a net that’s uncomfortably snug or so oversized that pucks miss it completely. With some careful measuring and planning, you can find the perfect fit.
Look for Durable and Weatherproof Materials
When shopping for a hockey net designed for garage use, paying close attention to the materials and construction is key. Since the net will be used and stored in an exposed garage environment, you’ll want something made of durable and weatherproof materials.
Look for hockey net frames constructed from steel or aluminum. Steel offers exceptional sturdiness and stability, though aluminum is lighter weight for easier portability and storage. Thicker gauge tubing around 1.5mm is ideal since it resists bending or damage from pucks. Avoid nets with plastic or PVC frames, which can crack or break under repeated impact.
For the netting itself, knotless polyethylene or nylon are great options. These synthetic materials stand up well to weather elements like sun, rain, and snow. They won’t rot or degrade over time. Knotless netting also provides a smooth surface so pucks won’t get caught in any knots or snags. This results in better rebound motion off the net during practice. See if the netting is reinforced with double stitching for added durability too.
Pay attention to the joining points where the frame meets the net. Look for solid welds or reinforced corners to handle forceful shots. Poor connections can cause the net frame to come loose from the netting material over frequent use. HIGH IMPACT EPOXY at critical stress points can extend the life of the net as well.
For targets and backdrops, high density self-sealing foam is excellent for absorbing impact while minimizing puck bounce back. It will hold up better than soft fabrics to repeated shots over time. The foam padding can also help protect garage doors, drywall or siding from errant pucks flying off the net.
Don’t forget to check reviews from other customers to get insight into real-world longevity. Nets made from flimsy materials may be cheaper initially, but will quickly show wear and tear requiring frequent replacement. Investing in hockey nets made of weatherproof, heavy duty construction materials will ensure it lasts for many seasons of garage practice to come.
Get a Net With a Quick Set Up and Take Down
When using a hockey net in your home garage, one convenient feature to look for is quick and simple assembly. Nets that set up and break down fast allow you to maximize your practice time versus wrestling with complex installation.
Look for hockey net frames designed for tool-free assembly. These utilize joiners, snap buttons, or slide connectors that allow the pipes to click together by hand without tools. Tool-free systems are much faster to set up compared to nets that require screwing pipes together or complicated threading. They also make it easier to disassemble and store the net after each use.
Pay attention to the number of pieces and connections needed to construct the frame. The fewer parts to assemble, the quicker the installation process. Multi-piece frames take more time to join all the crossbars and uprights together in the right configuration compared to simpler 1 to 3 piece designs.
Portable nets on wheels or folding frames offer fast set up options as well. Wheeled nets can easily roll into position fully intact after initial tool-free assembly. Folding or collapsible nets open up ready to use within seconds too. Just make sure folding joints are reinforced for strength when shots are taken.
The design of the net attachment system also affects set up speed. Nets that simply drape over the frame and secure with integrated straps or bungee cords are simplest. Avoid systems that require clipping individual connectors all around the net edges unless they snap on quickly and effortlessly.
No matter what style net you choose, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely during the first assembly. This familiarizes you with how all the parts properly interconnect for quick reconstruction each time. Keeping the instruction manual or a digital copy handy allows you to reference it as needed too.
With the right net design and a practice assembly under your belt, you can minimize the time spent setting up and focus more time on your hockey drills. Since garage time may be limited, quick and easy assembly helps you make the most of it.
Consider Backstop Padding for Safety
When installing a hockey net in your residential garage, an important consideration is protecting walls, doors, and other surfaces from stray pucks. Adding backstop padding or barriers can help prevent accidental damage or injury.
Look for hockey nets that come with thick foam padding kits to absorb impact. These attach to the top, sides, and back of the net frame to provide a protective barrier. The padding is often made from high-density self-sealing foam at least 2 inches thick. This cushions any missed shots so pucks won’t dent drywall or fiberglass garage doors.
If your net doesn’t include padding, you can purchase accessory foam barrier kits sized to fit the net dimensions. For extra safety, double up the foam layers or choose thicker 3-4 inch padding. Some kits even have canvas covering to enhance durability and prevent picking or tearing of the foam over time.
For garage wall protection, inexpensive interlocking foam floor tiles work nicely too. These can be installed temporarily during practice sessions and removed after. Look for puzzle edge tiles that form a tight seam to keep pucks from sneaking through gaps.
You may also want to suspend a durable tarp or blanket behind the net to provide an extra layer of insurance. Solid vinyl tarps or thick canvas absorbs force and contains the pucks within a safe area. Just securely anchor the top edge and overlap the sides for full coverage.
Depending on garage size, placing a practice shooting tarp in front of the net is another option. Pucks can then be contained on the tarp, keeping them from bouncing loose. These heavy tarps allow pucks to slide rather than ricochet for safer deflection.
By taking a few safety measures with padding or barriers, you can gain peace of mind knowing your garage interior and contents are protected. This allows you to keep focus on hockey practice rather than worrying about errant shots causing property damage or physical harm.
Find Options for Shooting Angles and Rebounds
When practicing your shooting in a home garage hockey net, look for options that allow you to vary shot angles and puck rebounds.
Nets with multiple target areas give you more challenging shooting variety. There may be several smaller targets within the net that force you to aim precisely under fast paced drills. Targets at varying heights also help improve accuracy on low ankle shots versus top shelf. Some have removable targets to further mix it up.
Target backdrops made of self-sealing foam absorb pucks better than mesh for a consistent rebound motion. Foam slows the puck which allows developing quick return shots versus an unpredictable mesh ricochet.
Look for hockey nets that angle the top outward slightly. This helps keep pucks contained and avoids shooting over the net. The angled design also helps direct rebounds down and outward toward the shooter.
Curved side frames are another clever way to redirect puck rebounds for follow up shots. The puck rebounds naturally at angles off the curved surface. Side targets further enhance tricky angle banking while sharpening aim.
For advanced rebound training, some companies offer radar technology in targets. Built in sensors track shots and provide performance data on shot speed and accuracy. The visual feedback helps groove proper shooting technique.
No matter what net design you choose, always position it with care in your garage space. Avoid shooting at sharp angles off side walls that can lead to unpredictable bounces. Leave enough clearance so you can shoot straight on for controlled rebounds.
With the latest net designs offering varied targets, angles, and intelligent feedback, you can take your shooting and scoring skills to the next level right from your own garage practice space.
Look for Wheels to Easily Move and Store the Net
Mobility and storage are important factors when selecting a hockey net for garage use. Models equipped with wheels make it easy to maneuver the net in and out of position for practice sessions or offseason storage.
Wheeled hockey nets allow you to roll the entire assembled net frame into place against a backstop or padding barrier. Look for smooth rolling casters that swivel for maximum maneuverability in tight spaces. Larger wheels around 5 inches glide more easily across the concrete floor too.
Locking wheel brakes are crucial for keeping the net securely in position while in use. Check that the brake locks the wheel itself and not just the swivel motion. This prevents any inadvertent net shifting during intense drills or slap shots.
Having a portable net on wheels also makes it simple to relocate it out of the way when not training. You can quickly roll it into a corner or against the wall freeing up floor space. Some wheels are removable too for a more compact storage footprint.
For extra convenience, seek out hockey nets with quick-release wheels. These allow the wheels to pop on and off within seconds without tools. Quick-release makes assembly easier and gives you the option to go wheel-free for rock solid stability when needed.
Keep in mind that wheels do add weight which makes the net frame a bit bulkier. You’ll want to make sure your garage floor is smooth enough for easy rolling without cracking or divots. Also confirm that the net feels stable and well-anchored during intense hockey drills.
Overall, the mobility of a wheeled hockey net provides flexibility for use in garages with limited space. You can quickly set it up or stow it away as needed for maximum convenience during practice and offseason breaks.
Get Targets to Practice Accuracy
Hockey nets designed with built-in targets are great for sharpening shooting accuracy and precision in your home garage practice area.
Look for nets that come equipped with multiple durable targets placed at different heights and locations within the netting. Targets challenge you to pick corners and work on aim rather than just firing away randomly. Smaller bullseye targets or glowing LED lights are ideal for honing pinpoint accuracy.
Seeking out nets with angled top edges is another way to improve precision shooting skills. The angled design helps redirect pucks down into the net rather than sailing over and keeps rebounds contained as well.
Some advanced target systems have smart sensor technology to track shot speed, location, and accuracy. Built-in radar monitors shooting metrics and provides performance data electronically. This instant visual feedback helps develop proper shooting technique by identifying problem areas.
Look for target backdrops made from self-sealing foam rather than mesh netting too. Foam absorbs the puck on impact minimizing unpredictable rebounds. It also helps extend target longevity compared to materials that wear quickly.
No matter what target configuration you choose, always ensure proper safety netting extends above, behind, and to the sides. This contains stray pucks and prevents garage damage. Protective padding or barriers provide an extra layer of safety as well.
With the right mix of challenging targets and helpful feedback systems, a garage hockey net becomes a backyard shooting clinic. Dialing in accuracy through targeted practice makes you a consistent sharp shooting threat anywhere on the ice.
Find Nets With Tool-Free Assembly for Easy Installation
When setting up a hockey practice net in your residential garage, tool-free assembly makes the installation process quick and hassle-free.
Look for hockey net frames specially engineered for no-tools construction. These utilize integrated snap buttons, slide connectors, or easy interlocking joints for fast assembly by hand. Tool-free systems allow you to click the frame pipes together without the need for screws, clamps, or complex threading procedures.
Nets with fewer frame pieces require less connections so they go together faster. Multi-piece angled frames take more time to correctly join all the crossbars and uprights compared to simpler 1-3 piece frames. The ideal design balances strength with ease of assembly.
Wheeled hockey nets are convenient since the base frame stays intact. You just have to attach the rear supports and netting after initial construction. Folding or collapsible nets are also extremely quick to deploy in just seconds.
Pay attention to the net attachment system too. Nets secured by integrated straps, bungees, or simple side clips are fastest to mount. But make sure the clips or edges are reinforced to withstand hard shots without pulling loose.
No matter the specific net style, be sure to do a complete test assembly including disassembly when you first unbox it. This allows you to learn the installation process and refer back to it for quick setups.
With a sturdy yet simple no-tools net design, you can spend more of your limited garage ice time honing skills and less time struggling with complex assembly. Just unroll, connect, and start shooting in minutes.
Compare Brands Like EZ Goal, BSN, and Champion
When researching hockey nets for your garage training area, it’s helpful to compare top brands to find the right balance of quality, features, and budget.
EZ Goal nets are popular for their patented slide lock frame connectors that enable quick no-tool assembly. Models like the EZ Fold-Up Pro use premium materials and have removable wheels and padding for versatile indoor/outdoor use.
BSN Sports offers a wide selection of garage and driveway nets for all skill levels. Choices like the Deluxe Steel Framed net have angled tops and wrap-around HD foam padding kits available. BSN nets feature durable knotless polyethylene netting and steel frames.
Champion Sports makes affordable beginner hockey nets ideal for home use. Their nylon nets with plastic frames simplify assembly yet withstand casual practice pucks. Add-on target boards provide shooting variety.
Harrow is another trusted brand known for advanced tech features like infrared sensors to track and display shot speed and accuracy data. Harrow’s net frames are constructed from weatherproof anodized aluminum.
No matter which brand you select, opt for thicker gauge steel or aluminum tubing frames for increased stability. Prioritize thicker polyethylene knotless netting and look for protective padding components. Check that key connection points are reinforced.
Reading customer reviews can provide insider knowledge on real-world durability, ease of assembly, and how responsive the brand is with replacement parts. This helps ensure you select quality net built to last through seasons of garage hockey practice.
See If the Net Folds Up Small for Storage
When setting up shop in your residential garage, look for hockey practice nets that fold down into a compact storage footprint. Nets that collapse or break down into small spaces make offseason storage simple.
Many premium hockey net frames are designed to fold up accordion-style for storage. The pipes collapse in on themselves and the netting folds into a slim bundled package. This minimizes the space needed to tuck it away in a garage corner, shed, or closet when not in use.
Wheeled hockey nets on a rigid base frame already conserve space since the entire frame unit can roll into a slot whole. But some wheeled models have pipes that disjoint from the base for a thinner profile. Just don’t lose the hardware pieces during disassembly.
For pop-up style hobby nets, the joiners allow the pipes to come apart for a flatter packed size. Look for nets with storage bags to keep all the parts neatly together as well. Piping that locks together securely prevents loose connections that lead to lost pieces.
No matter what collapsible design you choose, be sure to follow the folding instructions closely to avoid putting unnecessary stress on joints. And inspect connection points and net seams for wear after prolonged use and folding.
With the latest space-saving folding net technology, you can essentially store your entire home hockey training gym within a small corner of the garage when the season ends. Just unfold and roll out next year for instant access to hockey drills at home.
Check if the Frame Has a Lifetime Warranty
When investing in a hockey practice net for your home garage gym, opt for models that come with a solid lifetime warranty on the frame. This provides peace of mind should any defect issues arise down the road.
Look for hockey net brands that offer a lifetime replacement warranty on the frame components. This guarantees the pipes, connectors, and joints against breaking, bending, or premature wear for the usable life of the net.
Netting and accessories may be covered for a shorter 1-3 year duration or not at all. But premium nets designed for intense residential use should have lifetime frame coverage. Just be sure to register your warranty properly upon purchase.
Find out the warranty details like what types of damage are covered and what voids the warranty. Using the net outdoors or commercial applications may exclude warranty claims so check the fine print.
When submitting a warranty claim, you’ll need to provide proof of purchase and photos of the damaged frame parts in question. Responsible companies stand behind their quality nets and make the claim and replacement process simple.
A lifetime warranty provides the assurance that your hockey net investment is built to last. Though defects are rare with quality nets, it’s a worthwhile protection should you receive a lemon frame or pipes that fatigue too quickly under normal conditions.
With a solid warranty in place, you can play and practice as hard as desired knowing the net frame is covered against premature breakdowns. Just be sure to carefully follow product use and care guidelines from the manufacturer.
Pick a Net That Won’t Damage Garage Doors or Walls
When installing a hockey shooting area in your garage, it’s crucial to select a net designed to prevent accidental damage to doors, drywall, and other surfaces.
Look for hockey nets that include thick foam protective padding in the backstop kit. Padding made from high-density self-sealing foam at least 2 inches thick helps absorb impact from pucks without cracking drywall or fiberglass doors.
Nets with an angled top frame help deflect shots down into the netting instead of continuing to ricochet if they miss high. The tapered top contains pucks and rebounds for safer deflection.
Curved side frames also allow pucks to bank harmlessly downward rather than careening unpredictably off rigid corners if accuracy is off.
Suspending a protective tarp behind the net adds another barrier layer for containment. Durable vinyl tarps secured along the top edge provide an extra backstop for missed shots.
Interlocking foam tile flooring attached to walls makes a removable crash pad option too. Just ensure there are no gaps along the edges for pucks to squeeze through and do damage.Properly positioning the net is also key. Allow enough clearance so you can shoot straight on into the netting. Extreme side angle shooting increases the risks of missed shots bouncing erratically.
With the right safety-minded net design and placement, you can unleash your hardest wristers and slap shots without worries of damage. The garage interior stays protected so you can focus efforts on improving your game.
Look for LED Lights to Practice Any Time of Day
Hockey nets designed with built-in LED lighting allow you to sharpen your shooting skills anytime of day right from your own garage.
Look for nets that come equipped with glowing LED strips around the frame or rim. Bright LED lights make the net visible even in low light conditions for late night practice sessions. No need to wait for daylight to work on your quick release wrister.
Some nets incorporate LED lights into the targets themselves. Illuminated bullseyes provide a clear visual focal point even after dark. Cranking up target visibility helps hone shooting precision.
LEDs also mark the net boundaries so you can see the exact opening edges for positioning. This helps prevent stray pucks from missing high or wide under poor lighting.
Ensure the LED lights are made to withstand harsh weather and repeated impacts. Look for protected lighting strips rated for outdoor use. Durable LEDs hold up to years of use and elemental exposure.
For power, most nets run on built-in rechargeable lithium batteries that provide hours of glow between charges. Some utilize external battery packs for longer runtimes.
With lighted net technology extending your practice time, you can polish scoring skills morning or night. No need to lose your sharpness during busy days – just shoot until the LEDs burn out.
Read Reviews to Ensure Quality and Durability
When selecting a hockey net for garage use, taking time to read customer reviews helps evaluate real-world quality and durability.
Browse detailed reviews on sites like Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, HockeyMonkey, and the manufacturer websites. Look for feedback on how well the net holds up over time with frequent use and abuse.
See what users say about stability of the frame and if connections loosen or bend with hard slap shots. Shaky frames that collapse easily spell poor construction.
Check if buyers mention issues with netting tearing, fraying, or pucks poking holes after months of shots. Premature degradation indicates lower quality materials.
See if reviews talk positively about easy initial assembly and breakdown for storage. Complicated assembly could lead to frustration.
Also look for remarks on responsiveness of the brand if warranty issues pop up. Good companies stand behind their products.
No hockey net will last forever with daily use, but quality designed models should provide years of durable service. Customer reviews reveal design flaws, material weaknesses, and overall longevity better than marketing claims.
By digging into detailed user feedback, you gain insights to make the smartest purchase for a long-lasting net that enhances your home training rather than falling apart after one season.