Our Top Pick for 2018: Wilson Official AVP Outdoor Game Volleyball
Read our full review.
It seems as though the weather has finally decided to cooperate with us, and one of many favorite American pastimes is gathering a big group of friends to enjoy the weather and head out to the beach for a friendly game of volleyball. While you do not have to be a professional in order to play a good game of ball, what you do need, however, is a great ball. This is a comprehensive list of the best volleyballs for indoor or outdoor use. Soon you will enjoy the wind in your hair and the sand on your feet this summer.
#1. Wilson Official AVP Outdoor Game Volleyball
As Tom Hanks proved to us in Castaway, Wilson may not only be your best friend in the entire world, but it is also an extremely durable and reliable brand of volleyball. Look no further than right here to find the best and most durable volleyball you will need for your summer adventures. Rated a total 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com, this volleyball is sure to enhance your summer plans.
This is branded as the official AVP beach volleyball, and that in itself is no small feat. AVP is the Association of Volleyball Professionals, and is the United States premier beach volleyball. It takes a revolutionary type of technology to be named the official Volleyball of the Association of Volleyball Professionals, and this one has that technology. It features a hand sewn, durable microfiber construction that will withhold the strongest of punts you could imagine. Even famous volleyball player Kerri Walsh-Jennings has endorsed this Wilson Volleyball when she plays. This one in particular has set a very high standard that many other volleyball companies aspire to due to its high quality and durability.
The premium microfiber composite not only lends credibility to its durable leather cover, but it also provides a softer ball to hit. Because it is so soft, it also means that it is quite light and will permit the ball to float better in the air as well as allow the players to use the weather to their advantage. It can be quite difficult to get a ball where you want it to go when it is very heavy and the wind is blowing. There is also an extra structural layer inside of the ball that extends the durability of the ball and will help it to maintain its shape. For lower quality volleyballs, it can easily become quite misshapen and deformed, which can cause it to bounce incorrectly and go in directions you were hoping it would not go. Because it is also hand sewn, there is a smaller margin of mechanical error and lends to the expert craftsmanship that the Wilson name carries.
One of the many interesting qualities of this ball is that it has a very high resistance to dirt as well as a lower moisture absorbency in the leather of the material. Beaches are notorious for having muddy spots, and sand sticking to the ball can cause sharp pain when hitting it over the net. Due to the unique composition of the leather, sand will not stick to the ball nearly as much as other models may. This will also give you easier clean up and will only require a towel wiping before you put it in your bag to head home.
Wilson puts a lot of work and craftsmanship into their products, and this is absolutely no exception. This is specifically designed for competitive players, so even if you are starting a neighborhood team, you will not have to sacrifice quality. Also because of the butyl rubber bladder that creates the basis for its dirt and moisture resistant fabric, it has superior air retention. This is definitely not the type of volleyball that you have to be worried about carrying around an air pump with you, or being concerned that it is going to deflate in the middle of your game.
Many of the reviews on Amazon mention that the ball has a much more graceful feel than some of the Spalding models do. This indicates that instead of feeling like you are hitting a clunky ball that has a mind of its own on where it wants to go, you can hit it with purpose and it will aim right where you pointed it.
Do not be concerned if you order the ball off of Amazon and it arrives to your home deflated. Some of them arrive that way to save on shipping materials and are guaranteed to retain their shape after the first time you inflate them. These volleyballs are priced for about $36.94 on Amazon, which is a significant price discount compared to other options. Overall, this would be a great choice for professional volleyball players as well as beginners. It is definitely sure to please, and comes with guaranteed quality or your money back.
#2. Tachikara Sensi Tec Composite High Performance Volleyball
Tachikara, while not as well-known of a name as Wilson, does exude the same type of quality. It is considered a world leader in advanced manufacturing methods, as well as innovative materials for their athletic balls. They were established in the early 1900’s and were named after Tachikara Ono-Mikoto, who was better known as the “God of Power” in Japanese mythology. The company wanted to bring the ultimate quality to people with its products as well as live up to their mythological name. Tachikara was the very first company to improve their balls with a seamless design to prevent the hems from splitting and allowing the ball to fall apart. It was also this company that pioneered the single unit construction for manufacturing.
While the Wilson Volleyball came in a bright white and yellow color scheme, this Tachikara Sensi is a much more muted dark navy blue and white color. Since it is a bit darker than its predecessor, it will also show less dirt and grime, although both of these options have a protective coating to prevent too much sand from sticking to it. If you prefer a different color though, fear not, as the Amazon option does come with 65 different color options for you to choose from. The variety of 2-3 color combinations will spice up your games a little bit, as well as give you increased visibility from some of its brighter color options if you like to practice in the dark. It is also a refreshing change from the traditional white volleyball that tends to get lost in a variety of backgrounds.
This is definitely a high quality ball for anything you could possibly think of. It would be great for practicing by yourself, in a competition or just for fun and casual neighborhood games. The Sensi-Tec construction provides a superior softness for when you are hitting the ball, as well as durability from the beating it will take from hard punts. Tachikara is constructed with a patented loose bladder that will allow maximum air and shape retention no matter what you are using it for. This was specifically designed with every single person in mind. This simply means that it can be used by anyone and for anything you might want to use it for.
Many of the reviews on the Amazon website state that they are have been playing volleyball their whole life and love this ball more than any of the ones they have used in previous years. Many people have also mentioned that it has been used for indoor play and is great for the gym. One of the top phrases that is commonly seen in the reviews is the fact that it is quite controllable. When you move to hit the ball, it will go exactly where you would like it to go.
#3. Molten FLISTATEC Volleyball
Bringing in even more competition to the game is the Molten FLISTATEC volleyball. While the Wilson Volleyball may have been the official ball of the Association of Volleyball Professionals, the Molten ball is listed as the official volleyball of the USA volleyball. Since 1997, Molten has been the official volleyball of many U.S. National Teams and just recently in 2014 because the official ball of the USA. This means that all of the professional teams use this ball when they compete. Many of the teams feel they can trust this ball with the fate of their championship title, and would help you to maintain a winning status with any of the games you may want to play.
In addition to being the official volleyball of the USA, it is also NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championships and is FIBA approved. FIBA is short for the International Basketball Federation and indicates that it is the ultimate choice for a variety of collegiate conferences and programs all across the nation. All of the reviews for this product on many different websites list some of its best qualities as exceptional and top of the line. Professional athletes have even gone as far as to say it gives them increased visibility over the net and has enhanced flight stability when it is passing through the air. In addition to this, it has a guaranteed accurate overhand passing during your sets.
Equipped with the unique Flight Stability Technology it will deliver athletes the control and consistency that they should have during every practice and every game. This Flistatec technology is considered revolutionary and many feel is has brought major change to the concept of volleyball as well as enhanced excitement. Molten redesigned this volleyball from its original in order to improve visibility and create a smoother rotating motion. As with volleyballs prior to this one, this means that when you hit it in one direction, it is going to do exactly what you want it to do. Molten’s volleyball also features increased ball control that will optimize the air-current around it in flight to once again increase the amount of control you have over the volleyball when you are playing. As opposed to a regular spherical shape that has been used in the past, this volleyball uses raised hexagonal shaped designs on the surface for better flight stability. Finally, on Molton’s large list of improvements with this design, there is a soft, yet thick microfiber layer that combines the secure nylon to the hexagonal surface. This will increase the grip that the player has on the ball and will allow for a firmer and more accurate overhand pass.
One important aspect to keep in mind when you purchase this ball is that many of the reviews mentioned that you should break it in before you judge the overall quality of the ball. Several people stated that the coating feels a bit rubbery as opposed to the traditional volleyball and will hurt your hand the first few times you use it. Once it is broken in however, there are absolutely no complaints to be found in this product. Molten’s volleyball is available on Amazon.com for approximately $54.89 in tri-colored schemes.
#4. Mikasa Squish No-Sting Pillow Cover Volleyball
Simple yet sweet, this ball is not the last on this list because it lacks any of the quality that the others have. The Mikasa ball is our final contestant because it is the very best ball you can get on this list while still staying on your budget.
The Mikasa ball is a great option for those who are starting out their volleyball career as it is coated with a no sting cover that will not hurt your hand. This doesn’t mean that it is not a great option for more serious players. After all, nobody likes the pain and stinging of hitting a hard volleyball. It is a bit more squishy than previous models, hence the name, as this does lend to the “no-sting promise that comes with this model. Many people reported that when they first received the ball it arrived slightly under-inflated, so before your first use it may be a good idea to give it a pump or two.
Unique to this ball in particular is the fact that it is waterproof and will float on top of the water if you are playing with it, making this ideal for beach days and water sports. Since it is so waterproof, if you do decide to bring this is to the water with you, it won’t retain any moisture and become too water logged to hit. This is not necessarily a hard regulation volleyball if you are looking for something to compete seriously with. It will most likely end up being a great option for children who are out playing, or those who just want to enjoy a friendly competitive game with their friends. Since it is not a hard regulation volleyball, it is significantly lighter to carry and to punt.
Since this is a softer ball, it is important to remember not to over-inflate it as it will pop. One of the best parts of this option is that is comes with a 1 year warranty if you are not satisfied with the product. Simply return it and you will receive a full refund of what you paid. The Mikasa ball is available on Amazon.com for $10.79, and can be purchased in four multi colored combinations.
How serious of a player are you?
If you are interested in heading out for a long beach day with a few of your good friends and lounging around with each other, it probably is not too important to you to purchase a NCAA certified volleyball. However, if you are looking to compete on a serious team or are a professional collegiate player, one of the first three options is probably the best for you.
How much are you looking to spend?
This pre-purchase consideration ties into our first one a bit. If you are looking to compete competitively as opposed to just hanging out and enjoying yourself with some friends, spending a lot of money on a volleyball may not be a great decision. In the flip side, if you are a professional player with a vested interest in succeeding in the game of volleyball, spending a bit of money is definitely in your best interest. Overall it is up to you and what your preferences are.
Would you prefer your ball to be colorful or plain?
Your preferences are going to be a major factor in all of the purchases in your life, and this one is no exception. If you are a professional volleyball player, purchasing something that might not necessarily look pretty and have jaw-dropping colors attached to it is probably not your biggest concern. When you play professionally or in a collegiate sport, you are generally a bit more concerned with the quality of the ball and if it is going to go where you want it to go.
If you are once again looking to spend some time with your friends in the local pool playing a bit of water volleyball, you can be choosy on what colors you would prefer to use.
What will you be using it for?
Tying all of the pre-purchase considerations together, this final one simply asks what exactly you will be using it for. As with the previous considerations, it was important to think of your overall use when you purchase any of these volleyballs. If you are a high school gym teacher who wants to get your kids active and move outside, the final choice would seem like a great option. It is affordable enough to buy in bulk, and it also reduces the risk of your student injuring themselves or others. The no-sting coating will prevent them from hitting it too hard and feeling any stinging in their hands.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
Overall, as with any purchase you make, what your preferences are will depend on what you buy. There is something in this list for everyone, and whatever you decide to go with, your satisfaction will be guaranteed. Whether or not you are a pro athlete, one of the volleyballs in this article will last you quite a long time and will keep you active with your friends or your team.