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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best croquet sets are, I’d recommend the Amish-Crafted Deluxe 8-Player Croquet Game Set.
Croquet used to be a wealthy person’s sport. We’ve all seen it in the movies. People at country clubs in their high heels and button up shirts enjoying the sunshine while listening to the satisfying whack of the mallet on a ball.
However, the best croquet sets are available to everyone. You don’t have to go to the country club to play. You can play in your own backyard. Now your neighbors will think you’re fancy, too!
Here are the croquet sets I will be reviewing:
- How to Choose a Croquet Set
- My Croquet Set Reviews
- The Verdict
How to Choose a Croquet Set
Perhaps you’ve played croquet before, but you’ve never bought a set yourself. Or maybe you have no idea what you’re doing but it looks like a fun time. If you’re in the latter group, this may help:
Either way, here are some of the things you might want to keep in mind when shopping for the best croquet sets.
Age of players
This is an important consideration because it makes a huge difference in the kind of set you should get. If the whole family will be playing together, you’ll have a variety of ages using the set.
Your best bet is to get a lightweight set that everyone can enjoy. Plus, if the parents are beginners, too, it ensures that they’ll be more comfortable with the lightweight components until they get used to how the game is played.
Older or more advanced players can invest in a better set with heavier components that help to ensure accuracy. As your kids grow, a higher quality croquet set may be a great investment so you can play more competitively with one another.
Consider not only the number of mallets a set comes with (you’ll want a mallet for each person playing), but also the material they’re made of. Heavier mallets can be harder to swing, but they can also give you more power behind your shot.
While many beginners tend to want to use lightweight mallets, they may have a hard time getting any distance on their shots, which can also be discouraging for someone who doesn’t have a lot of practice.
Sometimes a step up from the lightest weight might be more beneficial, despite being a little harder to swing.
Fiberglass, carbon fiber, and aluminum are common materials used to make lightweight mallets while woods like hickory, ash, or tawa are common for high quality sets.
No one should have to stoop too much to make their shot, so a variety of mallet lengths is also a great consideration for families who want to play together.
More advanced considerations for your mallets include how rigid the shaft is for better control, the shape of the shaft for consistent angling, the size of the head, and the shape of the head.
Attributes of the balls
Most croquet sets come with different colored balls. They include green, orange, yellow, red, blue, or black. The colors should correspond to the color mallet you’re using, especially if you’re a beginner. This makes it easier to keep track.
In some variations of the game, you may use more than one ball at a time, but the colors make it easier to remember which balls belong to you.
Families playing croquet together should look for lightweight balls made of plastic. They won’t be as accurate, but they’re not as heavy as wooden or regulation balls. Regulation balls are much more durable, so as your family advances in the game, this is a great upgrade to your set.
Durability of stakes and wickets
The stakes and wickets are what you drive your ball through and hit as you play. It’s important that they’re durable enough to take a beating. They need to be hard enough to drive into the ground without losing their shape as well.
Wood and steel stakes and wickets are great options. Plastic can sometimes be durable, too, depending on its grade and thickness.
The color is another consideration for beginners. Make sure that you can see the color on the stakes and wickets prominently so you know which belong to you.
Adding on to the set
When purchasing a croquet set, consider some accessories that you may want to add either now or later. You can make your game look more official with things like boundary string, corner pegs, or flags.
In fact, all of these things can be purchased separately or added later and are really helpful to remind beginners of where the boundaries of the court are.
Purchase your croquet set while keeping in mind where you’re going to play. The great thing about this game is that you can play it on a lot of different surfaces. Short grass makes your shots more accurate and you can hit it farther.
However, most people will play in their backyards, so the game is largely dependent on the condition of your yard. The length of your grass has a big impact. You may have a lot less ball control.
If you have access to an artificial surface or you maintain your lawn immaculately, this could make things easier for you. You could also play in dirt or clay.
My Croquet Set Reviews
Now that you know how to play and what kinds of things to look for, here are some of the best croquet sets money can buy.
Antique and traditional croquet sets were typically made of wood. While a lot of modern croquet sets have moved on, this Amish-crafted set offers the same look and feel of the traditional sets.
The Amish are known for their excellent craftsmanship, so I would venture to say that this is the best croquet set for a few different reasons. Not only is it durable, but it’s a large, versatile set that you can use time and time again.
The eight wooden mallets ensure that you won’t outgrow the set any time soon. Whether you have a large family or you simply like to play with a group of friends on the weekend, you should have everything you need.
It also comes with eight balls, two stakes, nine wickets, and a wooden storage rack to keep everything organized and make putting it away a lot easier. Unlike some of the storage bags that other sets come with, this storage rack allows you to tuck it away while still showing it off.
The mallets are made of solid maple and lathe-turned so they are both durable and beautiful. The rings at the end of each are solid brass, which help to prevent breaking or chipping. Everything is hand-painted for color coordination.
You can choose 28” or 32” handle lengths to accommodate your players, which makes it great for all ages and skill levels. While this is a pretty expensive set, it will offer you lasting quality, which makes it well worth it.
This set is a bit more wallet-friendly, but it’s still made of natural wood. You get the reliability you need with the design you want. It’s the best value croquet set on the list because it combines aesthetics with affordability.
You can choose from light wood, light gray, or dark gray colors. It’s a great set for casual players who want to spend time in the backyard with friends and family, but the set is built according to regulation game play, so serious aficionados will still have fun, too.
This set comes with six mallets, six balls, two stakes, nine wickets, a rule book, and a bag for easy storage. The two-piece mallets make it easy for you to stow it out of the way when you’re not playing.
The handles are made of strong maple while the heads are made of chip-resistant bamboo. Brightly colored balls are coordinated to the mallets, enabling easy game play for all ages.
The steel wickets are coated in vinyl and will not bed easily, so you can pound them into the ground over and over again without worrying about wear and tear.
The balls on this set are the only thing that could be better. They are a bit soft and could deform easily if hit hard enough. You may find yourself needing to replace these sooner than the other components of the set.
Luckily, the bamboo mallet heads are made to remain durable while being more gentle on the balls than a harder wood.
This set combines beautiful natural wood construction with a modern update to the coloring. It’s bright and color coordinated, making it both easy to play and appealing for all ages. Families can enjoy this classic game together.
The GoSports set stands out from the rest due to its modern design. It doesn’t look much like the dated game you see in the movies. Instead, it’s inviting and fun, making it one of the most updated-looking sets you can buy.
Handles and mallets boast hardwood construction for extra durability and the leather grips make them comfortable to hold. With a length of 35 inches, most people won’t have to stoop to hit the ball.
This set comes with six mallets, six balls, nine wickets, a rulebook, and a carrying case. The handles on the carrying case make it easy to pack away and take it with you to the park or wherever you want to play.
The balls are made of a heavy plastic rather than real wood, but the weight of them makes them hit like real wood, which is a really nice touch. It saves on cost while giving you an authentic feeling set that you can enjoy.
While the hard plastic is good quality, you may find that hitting hard plastic with wood mallets may result in damage over time. Dents in the balls are par for the course, but it’s still durable enough to last, even after a few little dings.
Not only is the set great quality, but the customer service at GoSports goes above and beyond in case you encounter any problems.
Franklin Sports is a well-known manufacturer of sports equipment, so while many people may not think of croquet as a conventional sport for the masses, their quality is unwavering, even here.
This set comes with six mallets, six balls, six stakes, and nine wickets.
The mallets have wood handles that are 26” long. These aren’t quite as long as some others available, so it may cause some taller people to stoop, but they’re a great size for kids. The metal locking joints help with stability and durability.
The balls are 3.31 inches in diameter, so they’re slightly larger than some other sets. Colors include red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and black. Each wood stake is color coordinated with the balls.
The wickets are all-weather treated, so they should hold up in all kinds of situations.
The carrying bag is less than attractive, but it serves its purpose. It’s a great way to store your set when you’re not using it. It’s made of durable canvas and will protect your set from damage while giving you a way to take it with you wherever you go.
If you like the Franklin brand but you don’t want to spring for the professional quality set, you can choose the starter set, which is smaller, but great for beginners, or you could choose the family set that’s a great balance of quality and price. This set gives you the most room for growth.
This is one of the most professional-looking sets you can buy. Some might find the colors boring, but you can nearly guarantee that this set will last and become a family heirloom. You’ll see its durability hold up throughout your lifetime and likely your children, too.
The price is high, but if you’re looking for something that will last without breaking or wearing out, this is the one.
This set comes with six mallets, six balls, nine wickets, two stakes, a book of rules, and a carrying case.
The mallets have polyethylene heads that are nearly indestructible. The shafts are made of ash and have an octagonal grip for more comfort, accuracy, and stability.
The balls are also made of polymer and are a regulation 3 5/16 inches in diameter. The wickets are also made to last, with steel rods coated in chip-resistant powder.
The stakes are longer than most other sets, so you can hit them rather hard and they won’t budge. They’re made from a naturally finished ash that looks beautiful, while the steel ground pins ensure they stay put.
The nylon cordura carrying bag is ultra durable, but it’s definitely not as attractive as some sets you’ll find.
The best thing about this set is that the founder of Oakley Woods plays international croquet competitively, so he is familiar with what goes into making an effective set.
Croquet enthusiasts can customize their set online, but beginners and families will be just as happy ordering the factory set.
This is one of the most fun and attractive croquet sets for families. The bright colors are modern and unique while the design of the mallets is still classic enough to appease those who like the traditional look of quality.
It comes with six mallets, six balls, nine wickets, two stakes, and a carrying case.
The mallets are made of hardwood and hand-painted for excellent detailed striping on both the handles and the heads. They are 26 inches long, so they’re a great length for kids and most adults won’t have to stoop.
The mallets come with detachable heads that make it easy to store. Simply screw them on when it’s game time.
The balls are molded and weather resistant, so you can ensure they’ll hold up even if they get caught in the rain.
The wickets are made of steel and are coated in vinyl for long lasting use while the stakes mirror the design of the mallets for coordination and a cohesive look.
This set looks nice but it’s also lightweight, so while you may not have as much control or accuracy as other sets, you’ll be able to take it with you easily and accommodate the entire family.
The only problem with this set is that its quality does reflect the price. While you won’t break the bank with this set, you’ll probably only enjoy it as a beginner set before needing to upgrade. It’s a great way to get started with the game, but it’s not meant for professional or serious competitive play.
The Amish-Crafted Deluxe 8-Player Croquet Game Set is my overall top choice because of its versatility. Not only is it durable, but it has an attractive design you’ll want to display on the storage rack.
It’s a large set with eight mallets, so you can play with a large or small group. It’s also great for families because it combines sturdy construction with smart design that gives you both accuracy and ease of use.
You’ll be able to enjoy this set for a long time and it’s a worthwhile investment.