If you’re shopping online for the
“best pickleball set”
sorry- but I have some bad news for you…
But fortunately, this story does have a happy ending!
First off, let’s just clarify what we are talking about since there are a couple of different types of pickleball sets on the market:
1) Complete Pickleball Sets: are sold by several pickleball equipment brands. The set usually comes with enough gear for 4 players including paddles, balls and a portable pickleball NET. These sets usually come with a few other (not so useful) accessories to get you started.
The key difference here is they include a net. The “bad news” I mentioned is that the starter net is often poor quality and many sets are overpriced for what you get.
The good news is that there’s an easy way to get everything you need and save money which I explain below.
If you really do prefer to just buy everything in a set for convenience I would take a look at this one from Rally. It’s got the Net, Paddles & Balls without the extra fillers (backpack, books, tape, etc)
2) Pickleball Paddle Sets: Combine just paddles & balls, normally in sets of 2 or 4 paddles. This is a separate category in my opinion because they just bundle together pickleball paddles & balls. NO net or other extras accessories. These are also referred to as “Paddle Bundles”.
These paddle sets or “bundles“ can be a good option for buyers looking to buy more than one pickleball paddle. You can save a bit of money with these bundles since buying the paddles & balls separately will cost you more. This is a good option for couples or family members starting out in pickleball together.
While pricing out these sets, I noticed in some cases you can save as much as 20 % or more depending on the brand- some sets it’s about the equivalent of getting the balls thrown in for free. So if you are already looking to buy two or more paddles and also need some balls to get started- why not go for the paddle set?
These are some of the top-selling sets on the market made by major pickleball brands like Selkirk and Rally. Here are our top picks for sets (paddles + balls).
If you also need a pickleball net, click here to jump down and see the easiest way to put together a better set, for less money, than the packaged sets currently on the market.
Best Pickleball Paddle Sets 2021
|NEO Pickleball Paddle Bundle||Composite||2/4||Check Price|
|Selkirk Sport Club||Composite||2/2||Check Price|
|Amazin’ Aces Paddle Bundle||Graphite||2/4||Check Price|
|Rally Flare paddle covers||Graphite||2/4||Check Price|
|Rally Tyro 2 Pro||Composite||2/4||Check Price|
|Rally Tyro 4 person set||Composite||4/6||Check Price|
|Rally Meister Beginner Set||Wood||4/6||Check Price|
How to choose?
First just to clarify, although some of these are major equipment manufacturers that also sell pro-level graphite and composite paddles, pickleball sets are usually marketed for beginner players just getting into the sport so none of these are really considered high-end paddles. That doesn’t mean they are not good quality paddles- just that you won’t find the newest technology here nor the most cutting edge paddles.
Neo Paddle bundle: the Neo by Selkirk Sports is the company’s answer to a better beginner paddle that was previously available on the market. This composite paddle features the same PowerCore™ polymer core that is used in some of their higher-end paddles. The paddle has a small grip size for smaller hands but don’t let that fool you- this paddle weighs in at just under 8 ounces and packs plenty of punch. It’s got good power and is approved for USAPA tournament play so if you are looking to get serious about your game this is a good paddle to start with.
If you’re looking for more details about the Neo paddle (along with other top beginner paddles) you can read our full review here.
Who is the NEO paddle set for? Players looking for an upgrade over a basic beginner paddle will appreciate the quality of the Neo. Last time we updated this (June 2018) it was only available in sets of 2 so if you’re looking for a deal on 4 paddles you may want to look elsewhere (or buy 2 sets).
Amazin’ Aces: this company has focused on beginner wood and composite paddles and is currently one of the top-selling entry-level options. Although they have recently branched out their paddle line to include graphite paddles and do offer it here as a set with a pair of paddles and 4 balls.
They’ve added a bonus item (free mesh ball bag) to the bundle. If you want to read more about Amazin’ Aces and their pickleball equipment see our full company profile and reviews here.
Who is the Amazin’ Aces paddle set for? If you are a beginner player but looking to skip over simple wooden paddles and lower-end composite paddles and go straight to graphite paddles it would be hard to find a honeycomb polymer paddle set with two paddles and balls for much less than this.
Selkirk Club Paddle: this set, also from Selkirk Sports, is their entry-level paddle. This lightweight polymer core paddle is an affordable option for someone looking for a quality paddle from this well-known equipment manufacturer at a more affordable price point. The set includes two club paddles and two balls roughly for the same price you would pay for one Selkirk Neo paddle.
This paddle is about one full ounce lighter than the Neo (7 ounces vs. almost 8 ounces). So if you are looking for a lighter (control overpower) paddle and getting into the sport at a bargain price for two of you…this is a decent option from a well-respected company. Their paddles are made in the US and the Club comes with a one year warranty. The club is only available as part of the starter set as a pair, currently, it’s not sold as an individual paddle.
Who is the Selkirk Club paddle set for?: If you are looking for a well-known paddle brand that makes their equipment in the USA, Selkirk is a great option. This club paddle is a budget option compared to their slightly more expensive Neo paddle.
***If you are also looking for a pickleball NET- continue reading below to learn:
- Why I think buying a complete set can be a very bad idea.
- Learn how to easily build your own set (we actually put it together for you below!)
- Get a superior set for LESS MONEY!
Complete pickleball kits or sets may look very appealing because they include several extras (like the photos at the top of this page). Extras may include a pickleball sling bag or duffel bag, court tape (to set up lines for temporary pickleball courts), and some other bonus items like a book or official pickleball rule book.
The main problem with some pickleball sets is that they often include one or more inferior products in the package. For example, there may be quality composite paddles but a cheap, poor quality starter net.
Ultimately you would be better off buying a quality net and those same paddles separately. For complete sets I really think the NET is the key item to research and focus on- the net, in theory, should be the most valuable part of the set but unfortunately, the included net in these sets is often a cheapo.
Another problem is that the sets often include stuff you DON’T need!
- Were you really planning to buy that Pickleball book they included?
- Do you really need a printed copy of the Official Pickleball Tournament Rulebook when you can download the PDF here for FREE?
- Do you need rolls and rolls of court tape to tape down the lines to make a temporary pickleball court? (psst- you probably don’t!)
- Are you going to play indoors or outdoors? Often times the set just comes with one option (indoor balls).
You can easily put together your own (& BETTER) bundle by choosing the products separately.
If you really do want all that stuff, then maybe a complete pickleball set is right for you but I generally find these extras are just fillers that will end up collecting dust. If I was buying a pickleball set for family or friends, I would buy the following products separately:
Pickleball Set For 4 Players:
Skip the branded sets with extra bells and whistles, with just three products in your shopping cart you’ll be playing pickleball in no time: Net, Paddles & Balls.
2) Paddle Bundle: So apart from the net, the only real decision to make is whether you want to play with wood, composite, or graphite paddles by picking one of the paddle bundles that we listed above.
You’ll have a set with a quality net plus the paddles that work best for you (along with some balls to get you started on the court) for less than you would spend on a branded set.
To make it easier, here are the products in case you want to see more details or read reviews on Amazon:
Quality Pickleball Net: The net should be made of high-quality powder-coated steel poles, (preferably newer oval design – not round), a heavy-duty steel center support, and steel center pole. It should also have velcro adjustment straps to keep the net tight at the regulation height of 34″.
Paddles: If you have the budget to afford them, we would skip wood paddles and skip directly to a mid-weight intermediate composite paddle or a graphite paddle. If you are still not sure, click here to see our best choices for beginner paddles or here for our graphite paddles picks.
Balls: Normally outdoor pickleball balls are only played outdoors whereas many players like the feel and control of lighter indoor balls. If you are not sure if you’ll be playing indoors or out (or plan to play both) get a few of each or stick to indoor balls to start. (Normally balls come in packs of three or more (3, 6, 12, etc). Three is enough to get you started.
Some sets include 8 balls (or more!) which makes the set look more complete-but to start playing Pickleball you don’t need more than a few balls.
As mentioned above, the bundles that include just Paddles & Balls CAN save you money – so do take advantage of those and then if needed add then a quality net to round out your own set.
Extras: Later on, if you decide you need a pickleball bag or want to read up on pickleball strategy check out these books – those are better than any of the “free bonus” books I’ve seen included in any packaged set.
Pickleball Bundles: Just Paddles and Balls.
As mentioned above, if you are planning on buying more than one pickleball paddle then these bundles can be a good deal.
They include a number of paddles and balls without all the extra add-ons like pickleball books and court marking tape.
Often times you can save 10-20% …or even more on the paddles by buying in bundles of 4 or more.
And if you price out the paddles and balls separately, you’re often on the winning end of the deal, some times if you buy a set of 4 you save as much as one the paddles would cost or at least what the balls would cost you so it’s like the balls were thrown in for free.
These are a great option for couples or families just getting into Pickleball.
Who are these pickleball bundles good for?
The best deals on the bundles are the ones that include 4 paddles (compared to sets of 2) and a number of balls. A common configuration is a set like this one with 4 paddles with 6 pickleballs.
These are good options for anyone that needs to buy a large amount of pickleball equipment: schools, summer camps, large family get-togethers, community centers, gyms, retirement homes or anyone organizing a large event. They also make a great holiday gift for a couple starting out at pickleball!
The limitation on these bundles is that the paddles are usually beginner, they normally come with either wooden or composite pickleball paddles. We’ve not seen any 4 pack bundle on graphite paddles although it would be a nice if some brand were to offer this as a way to save money on a high-end quality set of paddles.
There are paddle bundles like this one that includes 2 graphite paddles and 4 balls but we have yet to see a set of 4.
Based on the sets currently on the market, we recommend the following choices:
- Wooden: Rally Wood Paddle Set of 4
- Composite: Deluxe Tyro Rally Composite Pickleball Paddle Set of 4
For Graphite Paddle Bundles (2 paddles) this is our top choice:
Click here to read a detailed review of all three of these Rally Pickleball Paddles (Meister Tyro and Rally NX)
Cheap pickleball sets and Multi-Sport Sets:
The one other exception to my “Don’t buy sets rule” is if you are looking for an all-around set for multiple sports including other racket sports and or volleyball. If you’re planning a family reunion, large picnic or get together where kids and adults want several sports options and pickleball is not going to be the sole reason for using the set, then I can understand you might not want to buy the pickleball paddles and balls separately.
There are some decent package deals on kits that include Pickleball and Badminton, like this set from Lifetime or if you want to play pickleball, badminton, and volleyball a set like this Volleyball, Badminton, & Pickleball Set might be the solution.
Again, these are not top quality pickleball equipment sets, but they can be a decent option for the price if you are looking to play two or three sports with just one starter set.