best badminton sets

The best badminton sets for family, adults, and kids

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My girlfriend and I began playing with a basic badminton set during the pandemic lockdown a few years back. It wasn’t exactly the best of badminton sets out there, but it got the job done.

It was useful to get some exercise in the garden at first, but make no mistake, they are not a great fit for regular on-court players as they tend to be highly flexible and have a low tension tolerance. 

If you don’t know what that means, these sets will likely be a good fit for you as you haven’t been spoiled with amazing performance rackets just yet. If you’re curious about the flexibility and tension, it just means that they are intended for beginners with little ability to reconfigure them as you improve your skills, with better strings for example.

If you do know what that means and are looking for something affordable, but more suitable for a regular beginner player, here’s my guide on the best budget rackets and best beginner rackets.

If you’re looking to get someone introduced to the sport, the best badminton sets can be a good fit. They tend to be affordable and there are variations made specifically for children with shorter shafts, which makes it easier for them to swing the racket. Although for children, the real gift is playing badminton with them.

As I was researching these sets, I wasn’t able to find any sets that contain decent shuttles or rackets (even at other shops like Decathlon), so think about these examples as some that’ll do the job for a fun afternoon in the garden but not much more.

In the name of transparency, keep in mind that I haven’t tested these sets like I normally do with my badminton racket reviews for beginner and intermediate players. Instead, I’m suggesting them based on how their specs compare with that of typical badminton gear.

What to look for in the best badminton sets

Badminton sets tend to be less technical than performance-based badminton gear as the games they are used for are more casual than even recreational games on a court.

That means you can worry less about technical specs and more about what you need to use it for. Sets usually come in a few different categories:

  • Sets with rackets, net, and shuttles
  • Sets with rackets and shuttles but no net
  • Sets for kids (with a shorter handle on the rackets)
  • Sets that are multi-purpose such as being used for badminton and volleyball

For most of us, the decision comes down to whether we have access to a net or not.

One thing to keep in mind is that plastic shuttles tend to be best suited for outdoor play as they are not as easily carried by the wind. They do fly faster and tend to be easier to hit with power than feather shuttles. That’s why they are often included in badminton sets instead of feather shuttles (and that they are probably cheaper to produce).

The downside is that you lose some feel and control when hitting the shuttle which is why feather shuttles are preferred by most when playing on courts indoors.

With that in mind, let’s jump into looking at the best badminton sets with nets and shuttles for playing in the backyard or garden.

The best badminton set with a net for family play

These are your typical garden sets that are suitable for playing with the family during a BBQ. They tend to come with a net, plastic shuttles, and rackets made from steel, aluminum, or even titanium for durability over playability.

With these types of sets, your biggest issue tends to be the racket strings breaking and it’s often just as cheap to buy a new racket at this quality than get it restrung at a sports shop (and more convenient as well).

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This set appears slightly more expensive than other sets at first, but I’ve noticed that some other sets appear misleading with images showing four players and four rackets while only providing two. That means you’ll need to purchase two extra rackets separately if you intend to play doubles with those other sets.

This set is described as including four rackets, two plastic shuttles, a net, and the box that also functions as the base for the net while being foldable to conveniently transport the set to the park for example.

Like the other sets, this one sells itself on being easy to set up and take down without using any tools, and it comes with a lightweight case to carry the rackets.

There’s no information provided about the rackets or shuttle except a generic description of “plastic”, so I’m not able to dive deeper with them.

Reviews mention that you might receive a crooked set, but have also reported Amazon quick to replace it. They also mention this badminton set to be highly portable, but not super durable if you wanna leave it up in your backyard for a long time.

Best badminton sets without a net for playing on a court

If you need the best badminton set of rackets to play on a court with a friend, but don’t need a net, there are other options.

In my limited experience with these types of sets, the rackets tend to be slightly higher quality than those that include a net as you often pay roughly the same but get less stuff. At the same time, the racket strings in both the garden sets with a net and these without, tend to be poor and strung at low tension.

That is fine when you play in the garden, but when you get on a real badminton court you’ll naturally pay more attention to the length of your shots as the court has lines. The lower the tension, the more difficult it is to generate power in your shots but instead, it’s easier to hit a clean one.

If you haven’t played much badminton before, you’ll likely not find this an issue but it’s worth noting as you won’t have much flexibility with restringing if you need better strings later (but you should still be able to restring the rackets no problem).

The set with two rackets (and no shuttles)

If you want two rackets without shuttles, these appear to be the best pick among the bunch. They are slightly lighter than most of the other rackets in this category but still crazy heavy compared to what regular on-court players prefer.

The description suggests they are made of graphite just like many performance rackets are. But usually the selling point is being lightweight, so I figure it’s mixed with something else like aluminum or even steel as they are heavy comparatively.

The weight isn’t a deal breaker considering the affordable price, but you’ll likely feel more tired and sore in your forearm and shoulder from playing for a half hour, if you’re not used to using those muscles compared to when playing with your typical performance racket at double the price.

The set with four rackets

If you’re looking for a set of four rackets with shuttles, this set is an affordable choice. The rackets are made of steel to be durable and last longer. That means they’ll be even heavier to swing around than the set above.

It comes with a few shuttles and a carry bag as well.

The set with two rackets and shuttles

As an alternative, if you’re looking for just two rackets along with a few shuttles, this set from Carlton appears like a decent choice. Like with the set above, they will be fairly heavy relative to performance rackets so don’t expect too much.

The best badminton sets for kids

The best badminton players started taking an interest in the sport when they were children. The tricky thing with rackets for them, though, is that they can be difficult to swing around as their arms are short while the racket shaft is long.

When my five-year-old niece tried one, it was difficult for her to maneuver it comfortably so she quickly felt discouraged compared to playing table tennis where the paddle shafts are shorter.

As it turns out, someone had the genius idea of making children’s badminton sets with rackets that have much shorter shafts.

While it still takes a while for kids to learn the difference in hand-eye coordination and timing to hit a shuttlecock instead of a typical ball, this makes their lives much easier.

This set includes two rackets with short shafts and two plastic shuttles. There isn’t much to comment on here as children’s rackets aren’t comparable to adult- or even junior rackets (junior rackets are rackets in near-adult size but suitable for pre-teens).

Some reviewers mention that their shuttles arrived disfigured or became that after the first use, so you might want to consider ordering some extra plastic ones separately. If you want to go dirt cheap, consider these and if you want some that are slightly better, consider these.

Alternatively, this training set can be suitable for kids to get used to hitting the shuttle. We use something similar for training back in Denmark.

Takeaways

  • Badminton sets are an affordable way to convert your garden into a badminton court for the family or test the sport to see if it’s for you without going all in
  • It can be tricky to find the best badminton sets among so many similar looking options. Most of them aren’t that different from one another and come with mostly the same features and loads of both good and bad reviews
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