Bownet versus Golme versus Pugg Goal portable soccer goal comparison:
Being involved with youth soccer I’ve set up and taken down portable goals hundreds if not thousands of times. I have done it in the rain, wind, and cold so bad I couldn’t feel my fingers. With all this experience with these three manufacturers, I wanted to share my reviews and recommendations.
You might wonder why soccer clubs of all ages utilize portable soccer goals when you see so many permanent goals everywhere. The main reasons are: To keep game fields in good shape, to play small sided games which give players more touches and learn to make decisions at a faster pace, and to force players to aim their shots versus just striking the ball as hard as they can, as well as many other reasons.
Three of the biggest manufacturers of portable soccer goals are: Bownet, Golme Goals and Pug Goals. All three of these goals are used extensively in all levels of soccer and I will give pros and cons of each as well as a final recommendation:
The greatest aspect of Bownets is the Wide range of sizes and the quality of the materials. The smallest is the mini 3’ X 5’ all the way up to a full size 8’ X 24’ and range in price from $100 – $600. Their “bow” technology has been so successful that they have created nets for other sports. They have a metal frame at the base that you pull on to expand the frame to its proper size. Then you use black fiberglass rods/posts in the corners that you bend/bow in order to attach the net and keep proper tension. In addition, it works well inside or outside since it’s freestanding and has rubber feet. When set up, they work quite well and mimic a “real goal” wonderfully. There is minimal sag in the net and the goal stands up quite well to the hardest of shots.
One drawback of the quality materials is the weight of the goal. The full size version weighs 46 lbs and the bag is a bulky 62” X 13” X 8”. It’s quite a chore to have to carry a couple of these across a few soccer fields. In addition, my 5’ 10” height makes attaching the top of the 8’ net difficult. It takes quite a bit of strength to bend the posts enough for me to attach the top of the net. Lastly, our club has struggled with the telescoping base when it gets wet. If you store it when wet, the metal seems to create a vacuum which makes it very difficult to extend. We have resorted to having to use pliers and vice grips to expand them at times. That being said, I’m guessing those of you in drier climates won’t have to deal with this issue.
In summary: Bownets are a quality product with loyal users with a wide range of sizes. Despite some of its drawbacks it’s a terrific product that I recommend.
The goals most often used for small sided drills are Pugg Goals. Their popularity is due to their small size, quick set up, lightweight, and inexpensive cost. I think just about every soccer club has a few of these. They come in 4’, 5’ and 6’ sizes. The Pugg Goals are easily the quickest to set up. They have fiberglass rods on their perimeter and “pop open” as soon as you release their velcro ties. Although getting them back into their “storage” position is confusing at first. They typically aren’t rectangular like a standard net (although they do offer some), but instead are shaped like a rainbow. Their lightweight makes them prone to be blown or knocked over easily, so you need to stake them into the ground with the attached spikes. The drawback to this is they are not a great option indoors which is too bad as their size is perfect. Their light weight and small stature allows them to be quickly moved by even your youngest of soccer players which makes changing drills very easy. One problem is the spikes are plastic and do break after a while if you are not careful. The good news is you can purchase 6 replacements for only $7.95. After writing this article I noticed they now carry a “weighted goal” which should be better for indoor purposes, that I have not tested yet.
In summary: Pugg goals are the standard goal when it comes to quick setup and ease of movement. They are perfect for situations where you don’t have a goal keeper and encourage players to aim their shots more carefully. Their lower cost is great for those on a budget.
A relatively new addition to the portable goal market is Golme. They are a smaller, family owned company that has some impressive products. Their goals come in 3 sizes and all are relatively large. The smallest is their youth size which is 6.5’ X 18’ and their largest is a standard 8’ X 24’ priced $249 and $399 at the time I wrote this review.
What stands out to me about these goals is how portable they are when you consider their size. The largest only weighs 29.5 lbs and comes in a nicely made duffle bag. It’s small enough my eleven year old son has no problem carrying one. It sets up in less than 5 minutes and is strong enough to handle the hardest shots. When I first opened it I was skeptical about how durable it would be. When I set it up I was truly surprised by how well it handled the hardest of shots. I quickly understood why Golme offers a full 365 day warranty!!!
They even provide a nice rubber mallet in the bag for pounding in stakes.
Speaking of stakes, that is one of the drawbacks of the Golme design. They have two stakes that need to be used that are attached to straps that extend from the outside posts to roughly 5’-6’ outside the posts. It doesn’t really impact the use, it’s just a little awkward when walking around the goal.
In summary: Golme Goals are impressive. Their one year warranty says a lot about they build their products. Although they are quite light and portable, I have seen some reviews mention they leave them up all year long. The cost of these goals seems reasonable for the build quality as well.
Overall Recommendation: GOLME GOALS
There is a reason all three of these manufacturers are having great success selling this goals, they all are quite capable of doing the job quite well. I’d have to say that if you’re looking for a small, movable goal on a budget the Pugg goal is the choice. If you want something that doesn’t need to be staked and can be used indoors the BowNet is the best choice. Overall, the Golme goal gets our top recommendation due to portability, price, durability and warranty. We think it is the best choice for a backyard or training soccer goal. If you want to purchase the Golme goal the best deals are an Amazon. Use the link below to get the best price possible.
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