Written by Terry Smith
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Best Garden Croquet Set Reviewed
This article was last updated on August 7th, 2021 at 3:15 am
The classic game of croquet is at the same time easy to pick up, and difficult to master, and this invites players of all ages and skill levels to play together, enjoying the fun. Thought to have originated in Ireland before being brought to England and developed into the game we play to today by the ‘leisure classes’ of the 1830’s, croquet has since spread around the world and is enjoyed by a wide range of nationalities and ages.
On this page, we have reviewed the best croquet sets out there. These sets include everything you need to have your own game of garden croquet with the family, and who knows? You just might end up taking it up competitively and making some new friends along the way.
Table of Contents
Best Garden Croquet set Buyer’s Guide
To help you make your mind up about which of our featured garden croquet sets are the best match for you and your needs, we have out together this short, but hopefully helpful, buyer’s guide. Here’s a few questions to ask yourself before buying:
How many people will be playing together?
You will have noticed that most of these croquet sets are designed to be used by up to six people, but that’s not always the case. It may well be that the set you like the most is only enough for four people to play, so then you’ll have to decide whether that will be enough for what you have in mind. Although we didn’t feature any in our reviews today, there are also larger sets for 6 people available if you search online.
How big/old are the intended players?
Different sets have different sized mallets; they are not all standard. If you just want something for your kids to play, then 28” mallets, or thereabouts will be just fine. But, for people over 5 feet 9, I would look for a set that has 35” mallets so you can play comfortably. Some sets, like the Uber Games one we reviewed earlier, have different sized mallets, but this is not as common as you would think. Of course, you could always buy an extra mallet separately that is more your size, but it will be an extra cost that you need to factor in.
What is the set made from?
Most garden croquet set mallets are made from wood, but the type of wood used may vary. Some sets are made from hardwood, while others use softwood like pine. Now, just because it says softwood it does not mean that the wood is softer or any less durable than a hardwood set, so don’t let that be a deciding factor. A lot of croquet mallets have rubber tips on them to prevent chipping and damage from frequent playing. I’ve always thought this was a good thing and doesn’t really affect how you play too much, but some would disagree.
Traditionally, croquet balls were made out of wood, and some sets still have wooden balls, but to save on costs and offer cheaper prices, many companies are now supplying all-weather balls made from polymer. These balls are designed to feel just like the real thing, and aren’t much of a step down from wooden balls.
Other materials to keep an eye on are the ones used for the grip on the mallet handles, and the metal used for the hoops. Some hoops are very thin and can get bent out of shape easily. Then of course there are the carry bags/cases that come with the sets. Again, the quality of these can vary a lot, but as a rule of thumb the thin nylon bags are usually the first show wear and tear.
So, there you have it: all you need to know about the best garden croquet sets available at the present time. As more products become available on the Uk market, we will of course take a look at them and any we find deserving of this page, so be sure to check back at a later date.
If croquet isn’t your thing, then perhaps you should browse our site some more. We have pages upon pages dedicated to all sorts of garden related subjects, DIY how to guides, and of course product reviews. Please be our guest, and take some time to explore it.
1. GoSports Six Player Croquet Set for Adults & Kids
One of the best-selling croquet sets online, The GoSports set is available in either a standard version, or a deluxe version, with the latter costing just over ten pounds more.
So, what’s the difference between the two? It’s all to do with the size of the mallets and the balls. The standard set has mallets with 28-inch handles and 2.75 inch balls weighing 7.5 ounces each. This makes it a good size for younger players who are just starting out in the game.
The deluxe set, on the other hand, features full size, 35-inch handles on the mallets and the balls are 3 inches in diameter, weighing 10 ounces a piece. Whichever set you go for, the mallets and pins are made from high quality hardwood, with the mallets in the deluxe set having comfortable nylon wrapping that helps to keep your aim true.
The set comprises six mallets and six balls that are matched by colour: green, blue, purple, red, orange, and yellow. There are also two wooden end posts, and nine metal hoops / wickets.
The balls are not made from wood like more expensive, traditional, sets, but they do have a good bit of weight to them, and are certainly built to last.
This garden croquet set comes with a very nice, and large, carry bag that you will have no problems fitting everything in, and the shoulder strap makes it less of a chore to carry it around.
If you’re looking for a professional quality set, you should carry on looking, and will have to be prepared to spend a fair bit more too. However, as a garden croquet set to enjoy with the family, this offers good value for money. There are a few minor issues, but nothing I would get upset about, or not expect for the price.
2. ApudArmis Six Player Croquet Set
As I said in the review above, if you want higher quality, you have to be prepared to pay for it. The APudArmis six player croquet set costs a little under 200 pounds, but the overall quality of the product, and its components, speaks for itself.
ApudArmis have chosen premium quality pine as the material for their mallets to make them chip-resistant and also non-slip. I can attest that they are just what they claim to be, and the craftsmanship and finish of the mallets is excellent.
Like most of these modern sets, the balls are made of an all-weather, elastic polymer, but they are a good weight, and replicate the feel of playing with classic wooden balls well. For some reason, the makers decided to make the mallet handles shorter than full size at 28 inches, probably aimed at younger players, so taller folks might feel a little hunched over using them. The handles screw into the mallet heads really easily and feel nice and secure, with no wobble or play like you often get with cheaper sets.
ApudArmis know they have a quality product on their hands, and are even offering a 30-day return guarantee, on top of their standard 1 year warranty.
The carry bag that comes with this garden croquet set is also very well made, and big enough to fit the 6 mallets, 6 balls, 2 ending stakes, and 9 steel wickets inside, you don’t even have to remove the mallet heads first either, which is a welcome timesaver.
If you have the money, then I would whole-heatedly recommend the ApudArmis garden croquet set. The general durability and quality is just at a higher level than the cheaper products and, to me anyway, that’s worth paying for.
3. Uber Games Garden Croquet Set with Wooden Trolley
Easily the most comprehensive garden croquet set we feature today; the Uber Games set is also the most expensive. So, is it worth it? I would have to say yes. This is the only set that has different sized mallets ( 2x 34” and 2x 38”) for a start, and this allows for players of different sizes and ages to play together.
The mallets are beautiful to look at, with dark, varnished wooden heads, and black and gold soft grips on the handles. In addition to their eye-pleasing aesthetic, these mallets are very well made from very high-quality hardwood, and extremely robust.
There is a fifth mallet included in this garden croquet set, but it is not for playing with. It is specifically meant to be used to hammer the metal hoops into the ground before playing, and so has a rubber head to prevent damage to the hoops.The steel hoops themselves are made of much thicker and stronger material than with all the other sets, and the paint finish is better too.
There are four coloured balls, red, black, yellow, and blue, but these are made in the traditional style: from wood, and not the plastic or polymer found in cheaper sets. While all-weather plastic balls are just fine, you just can’t beat a game with proper wooden balls.
Also included are a 21-inch, hardwood centre peg, and even 4 corner flags. All of these are up to the high quality of the rest of the set, with a nice smooth finish to the wood.
There are various versions of this garden croquet set available, at different prices, with the only thing changing is the storage component. For example, you can buy the set with a nylon bag, a thicker toolkit bag, a wooden box, or a large, wheeled, wooden trolley. I loved the wooden trolley, as it keeps everything stored neatly and looks great doing it, but it probably isn’t the best option for those who want to take their croquet to the park. For that, I’d go with one of the other, cheaper, variants.
To put it simply, this is probably the best garden croquet set out of all the products featured here today, and definitely worth the extra you pay for it. High quality materials, a good selection of equipment, and good workmanship all add up to a superior product.
4. ROPODA Six-Player Deluxe Croquet Set
Available for just over 45 pounds, this set is a bit of a bargain. Featuring a beautiful, vintage, aesthetic, and made from solid materials, the six-player Deluxe garden croquet set is one to seriously consider.
The 31 inch long, dark, hardwood mallets not only look fantastic, but also have a solid feel to them, giving you the impression that durability is assured. Although there is no leather or other fabric grips on the handles, they have been carved with ridges to help stop the mallet slipping during a game.
Each of the 6 mallets has a different coloured strip on them, and there are also 6 weather resistant, moulded balls with corresponding colours, so you always know whose is whose during a busy game.
There are two 18 inch ending stakes included in the set, and these are made of the same hardwood as the mallets and have the same classic, dark brown, colour scheme. Of course, you can’t play croquet without the hoops/wickets, and there are 9 steel ones thrown in with the price.
Everything comes in a black carry bag that is about what you’d expect for the price. It isn’t up to the excellent standard of the ApudArmis bag, but then again what do you expect when you’re paying a quarter of the price? If I was trying to find faults with this set, I could complain that the multi-coloured balls don’t quite fit into the vintage look of the rest of the set, but I do understand the reasoning behind it so I can’t really gripe too much.
Other than that, I think this set offers people who don’t want to spend too much, a real bargain.
5. Juegoal Six Player Deluxe Croquet Set
With it’s shorter, 28 inch handled mallets, this six player garden croquet set from Juegoal is a good option if you are buying for younger players, but might not be that comfortable to play with if you are over 5ft 9. Just like the Ropoda deluxe croquet set, this one has a dark brown, classic look to it, and is also made of hardwood. However, unlike the former set, the mallet heads in this croquet set are tipped with rubber caps. Whether you prefer this or not is completely down to personal preference, but I thought it was worth pointing it out.
The set is pretty standard and contains six mallets, six all weather balls, 2 ending stakes, and of course nine metal wickets. Everything is of a decent quality, and I had no complaints, especially considering the sub-40 pound price tag.
Where the low-cost of this set shows though, is with the free carry bag. It just isn’t up to the same quality as the rest of the pieces of the set, and I would even go as far as to say it’s a bit flimsy, with stitching being quite questionable. Still, with inexpensive, but decent carry bags available on Amazon, you could always order a better one.
Apart from the bag, the Juegoal garden croquet set is quite good value for money. The mallet handles screw into the heads easily and tightly, the balls are a good weight and roll true, and despite being a little bit on the weaker side, the steel wickets have a vinyl coating and should last if not abused.
Final thoughts: If you’re looking for a nice looking, budget set for kids to learn to play on, you could do worse than this.
The Baden Deluxe series croquet set is priced at just under a hundred pounds, and offers a nice lift in quality from the sub 50-pound sets without breaking the bank in the process.
So, where are these raises in quality applied? Well, it’s mainly in the little things.
For example, all of the sets we reviewed today have mallet handles that screw into the heads. However, with all but this product, you are screwing wood into wood, with some fitting tighter than others.
With the Baden Deluxe series, the ends of the handles are fitted with metal screws and the mallet heads have a matching metallic component into which these screw into. This obviously makes for a tighter fit, less ‘play’ in the head, and an overall better performance.
Again, these mallets are on the shorter side at 27 inches, and are aimed at shorter players and kids. Strangely though, the ending posts are larger than usual at 24 inches. Not that it makes any difference.
All the wooden components are made from solid and varnished hardwood, and they certainly seem very durable, but I was surprised that there weren’t any soft grips on the handles of the mallets. It’s certainly something I would have expected for the price.
The carry bag that comes with the set is really nice. Made from thick material, and with decent stitching, it serves its purpose well; but again, it leaves you thinking that it could have been better for the money that you pay.
This set is a bit hit and miss for me. In some ways, the quality is higher, and there are some nice little touches, but in others I just think that the company could have done better for the nearly 100-pound price tag.