The Best Baden Basketballs [2023 Buying Guide]

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On the hunt for a new basketball and considering the Baden brand?

Well, you’re in luck!

This article has been written to cover a wealth of good options produced by this particular manufacturer.

Baden Sports – founded in 1979 – made a name for itself as the first athletic ball manufacturer to produce the women’s basketball, which was adopted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 1984.

Over the years, the developers at Baden have been making their mark on the basketball arena with even more stunning, grippy, and efficient basketball designs.

Let’s now take a look at the best Baden basketball models available for purchase in 2023.

Here’s a quick comparison of the top options:





Our #1 Rated

Baden Elite Indoor Basketball

Microfiber cover

Recessed stealth valve


Best Value

Baden Contender Composite Basketball

All court play

Wide panel configuration


Best Budget 

Baden SkilCoach Rubber Basketball

Deluxe rubber outer covering

Double the weight


Baden Rival Basketball

Cushion Control Technology

Symmetrical panel construction


The Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball ranks in first place due to its combination of supreme grip and softness, which makes the ball easy and comfortable to control. In addition to that, its recessed stealth valve fitting reduces the amount of exposed rubber from the valve stem and softens the entire valve panel.

1. Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball

Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball
  • ELITE - Baden’s Elite basketball with a moisture grip gives you superior ball control throughout your game. You can only achieve Perfection by designing for athletes, using the best raw materials, and paying attention to every detail
  • DESIGN - The Elite’s proprietary composite microfiber cover provides superior grip and tack for optimum basketball control. Its patented Cushion Control Technology (CCT) creates a softer feel, truer bounce, and longer life
  • ADVANTAGE - This is a basketball that you can trust from the inside out. Whether you’re putting in hours practicing your free throws, passes, or draining three’s, this ball will help you reach your full potential on the court

The Elite model is the top-of-the-line basketball produced by Baden, and for the past 30 years, they have been polishing each design while keeping in mind the needs of the players.

You see, this model was created for the elite basketball player seeking the highest level of playability and consistency in an indoor basketball.

Now, let’s take a look at the various features that make this a top-tier product.

Microfiber cover

For optimal playability, the cutting-edge microfiber cover strikes the ideal mix between sharpness and softness.

best baden basketballs - elite indoor model with microfiber cover

Since it doesn’t absorb moisture, you can keep hold of the ball comfortably.

This is an especially great feature to bear in mind for players who sweat excessively on their palms as they compete.

More so, gripping on to the ball when it’s tossed in said player’s direction becomes much less of a problem.

You see, Baden developed a patented Cushion Control Technology (CCT), which embeds thousands of tiny air cells in the carcass, which creates a perfect tack that won’t absorb moisture, gain weight or discolor over time.

Recessed stealth valve

One of the most annoying things to encounter when you bounce a basketball is the protruding air valve continuously poking at your palm.

Baden have made sure to eradicate this discomfort by giving the valve on this ball a much lower resting profile, which reduces the amount of exposed rubber from the valve stem and softens the entire valve panel.

So, no matter where you touch the ball during play, you won’t feel the valve as it’s constructed to sink deeper into the outer covering and not protrude.

The end result here is a ball that’s extremely comfortable to bounce.

Symmetrical panel construction

Another impressive element of this ball is its unique symmetrical panel construction.

This special symmetrical panel architecture helps to distribute the panels evenly, giving you a more consistent bounce and an even feel across the ball.

Other specifications

  • Material – microfiber
  • Sizes available – 6 (28.5″) and 7 (29.5″)
  • Fairly decent price point for a game quality build basketball that’s approved for NFHS play
  • Does not go flat or slowly deflate after you’ve pumped it up
  • The ball is super tacky out of the box and when you roll the ball on the court you can hear how sticky it is
  • Easy to palm when hands are dry
  • Panels are evenly spaced which give it a different feel
  • Only suitable for indoor play as it can pick up considerable damage if used frequently on an outside court

If your monetary budget is quite constraining, then you should have a look at the Baden Rival basketball instead.

Baden Rival
  • The Rival combines Baden’s patented Cushion Control Technology (CCT) with a premium composite leather cover for optimum performance and feel
  • Approved by NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) and perfect for high school, junior high, and elite recreational men's and women's basketball game play
  • More about CCT: Cushion Control Technology creates a layer of cushioning that gives Baden basketballs a softer feel, a truer bounce, and a longer life

This one’s been designed to compete head-to-head with the industry’s best game balls at a value that can’t be beat, all by combining Baden’s patented Cushion Control Technology (CCT) with a premium composite leather cover for optimum performance and feel.

2. Baden Contender Composite Basketball

Baden Contender Composite Basketball
  • Contender - Whether you’re hooping in the gym or on the blacktop this indoor/outdoor Basketball has the toughness you expect out of a street ball with the soft touch of an Indoor Gamer
  • Design - this ball comes with Baden’s performance composite cover providing excellent grip, consistency, and longevity
  • Perfection - symmetrical design for a perfectly balanced ball while its wide Panel configuration eliminates lumps which prevent inconsistent bounces and turnovers

The Baden Contender performance composite model comes in second, and for good reason.

Read on to find out why…

All court play

For starters, this basketball is very well suited to both indoor and outdoor play.

It’s great to be able to shoot hoops on any court surface without having to worry about damaging the structural integrity of the ball.

As a matter of fact, this basketball was created especially for recreational, camp, and youth practice purposes, which makes it a flexible option for players who enjoy the experience that comes with trying out new venues and surfaces.

Wide panel configuration

The way the panels are set up on this ball model really helps to eliminate lumps.

You see, these lumps are one of the major culprits when it comes to things like inconsistent ball bounces and unexpected turnovers, so it’s good to have a ball with wide panel layouts that directly caters to these specific annoyances.

Meanwhile, its symmetrical design blends in to create a well balanced ball that provides a consistent experience when it comes to various elements of basketball, such as:

  • Shooting;
  • Passing;
  • Catching;
  • Rebounding; and
  • Ball handling

Other specifications

  • Material – performance composite
  • Sizes available – small (27.5″), intermediate (28.5″) and official (29.5″)
  • Colors – natural orange, navy/white and red/white
  • The ball arrives fully inflated, which allows one to skip the set up and get straight down to court play
  • Economical price point makes it affordable for many buyers
  • Has the feel of a traditional indoor ball with more durability for outdoors
  • Air retention is good
  • Buyers should be mindful of leaving this ball in the cold, as the edges of the panels may be prone to losing adhesion and start coming off around the seams.
  • Doesn’t come in traditional retail packaging

3. Baden SkilCoach Heavy Trainer Rubber Basketball

Baden SkilCoach Basketball
  • IMPROVES – Your basketball shooting range, dribbling, and passing skills
  • HELPS - Increase strength, muscle memory, and ball handing efficiency
  • IDEAL – For any level of indoor or outdoor basketball training

For those athletes who place a high value on training and practice, the Baden SkilCoach heavy trainer rubber basketball has been designed to be the ideal fit for novice and professional players alike.

If you want to increase your ball grip, dribble, and shooting skills, the Baden Ski Coach Basketball is a great pick, and here’s why:

Double the weight

What’s most interesting about this product is that it comes in weighing double the amount in pounds that an official NBA basketball would.

The benefit a player gets here is that they can gradually increase their arm, wrist and finger strength as well as their passing range between practice sessions, because the ball in question is meant to simulate a difficult training environment.

Just think back to any superhero movie where the protagonist has to improve their fighting ability in order to defeat the main villain.

They go through a rigorous schedule in order to become stronger, and it usually pays off in the end!

That same logic can be applied to the weight of this ball, which helps build a player’s overall physical strength.

Deluxe rubber cover

This basketball is made of heavy duty rubber.

And this very material is fully capable of withstanding rigorous training, whether that’s done indoors on the hardwood or outdoors on the blacktop.

Other specifications

  • Outer material – rubber
  • Sizes available – intermediate (28.5″) and official (29.5″)
  • Comes inflated
  • Weight isn’t too heavy nor too light
  • True to size and bounce uniformity is good
  • The ball is very grippy, and it takes some umph to dribble it, which strengthens a players ability to pound the ball, resulting in better control with a regular ball
  • It also helps prevent kids from developing bad habits by rebounding with one hand. 11 year olds can’t pluck these off the backboard with one hand…they need to use both hands and be strong.
  • If you’re planning to get this ball, bear in mind that the pebble rubber can cause blisters on your finger tips should you use the ball for long durations of time or hard dribbling workouts.

Factors to consider before buying a Baden basketball

Hold your horses!

Just because you’ve seen some of the best Baden basketballs doesn’t mean things end there.

Because you still have to account for the following:

Court surface

The number one thing that you have to keep in mind is where exactly you intend to play.

Because Baden makes basketballs that cater to different playing environments.

Should you have access to a well maintained hardwood court, then an indoor ball is what you need to pick.

Conversely, if you can only play those casual pick up games on the asphalt, then consider going for either a ball that’s suited to all-court play (i.e. on any surface) or a dedicated outdoor one.

Game type

Secondly, the sort of game you often play with your basketball matters too.

Baden make balls of intermediate proportions (i.e. 28.5 inches), which are great for training with, and they also make official size models that cater to match scenarios.

If you’re more focused on improving different facets of your game, then opting for a smaller sized ball at first can help you perfect your core skills, before eventually transitioning on to the larger 29.5 inch size balls that Baden manufactures.


Ultimately, Baden have a fantastic offering when it comes to their basketballs.

You certainly can’t go wrong with the Elite Indoor model, which comes top of the pile.

If you’re interested in some basketballs made by some other brands, then you can check out our other product roundups, such as:

About Samuel Waihenya

Samuel is an avid fan of basketball and has been following the sport for over 10 years. He now intends to dedicate his time to produce great content for his own little basketball blog that aims to help its readership with whatever basketball-related topic they can think of. Have a read through Samuel Waihenya's author bio page here.