When it comes to volleyballs, there are hundreds of them in the market. They may look all similar but the quality is definitely not the same.
This guide will show you the best volleyballs in 2020 that provides the best value for your money.
I did a lot of research to come up with the list below. I tried to include volleyballs for every need: indoor and outdoor volleyballs as well as volleyballs for kids. You’ll also find cheap volleyball balls that can still be good options for recreational purposes.
Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Here below you’ll find a table that summarizes my best recommendations for each situation.
1. Molten FLISTATEC: Best Premium Indoor Volleyball
Molten FLISTATEC is designed for better grip, enhanced control, and consistency in flight distance. Nylon winding on the exterior make the ball firm and easy to serve. Playing the spike shots is easier as the ball gives you more contact space with your hand. You can also snap your wrist around the ball and make the perfect follow through.
Microfiber exterior surface creates more turbulence flow around the ball. The balanced flow makes the ball travel along a straight line after you hit it. Hence, you can afford to put extra force on the ball, giving little time for your opponents to react.
Bright red, green, and white color combination makes it easy to spot the ball even when it is in maximum speed of flight. Hence, the possibility of getting a chester from an opponent spike is less as you can spot the ball within fraction of a second. You can also retrieve the ball after your opponents block it.
Open hand pass to your teammates needs firm grip over the ball surface when the ball is in high speed. The honeycomb texture gives extra grip even when your palms are wet with sweat. Overall, the FlistaTec is an amazing volleyball ball that provides the best value for the money. It’s, in my personal opinion, the best indoor volleyball that you can buy in 2020.
2. Mikasa MVA200: Another Excellent Indoor Volleyball
Another volleyball ball that is very close to my heart is the Mikasa MVA200. This ball is designed for accurate control over speed and direction while serving and spiking. It can also fly over long distance due to the dimples on the surface which gives extra turbulence. Hence, you can afford to conserve your energy while serving by applying less for extra distance.
Cover texture and panel design makes it possible to gain better grip over the ball while making the passes. It also gives better aerodynamic stability to the ball. Probability of deviation from the intended path is very negligible. Hence, you can afford to play cross court shots, line shots, and off speed shots more accurately.
The ball gives you high grip while receiving the serves. You can return the ball in the intended angle and direction even when it comes to you from an unexpected angle. The ball has a bright combination of yellow and blue, which makes it easy to spot instantly. Hence, you get ample time to react when the opponent plays cross court shot or a cut shot. All in all, you can’t go wrong with choosing this ball.
Another Molten volleyball that is worth mentioning is the Molten L2. This NFHS approved ball is designed mainly for beginners who are interested in learning the defensive play of blocking, counter rotating, and Pancake. It is primarily due to the soft nature of the core which is wrapped by cotton.
Molten L2 is also good for intelligent overhand serves and floaters. They are made possible due to the micro fiber on the cover. You can use this feature to hit the ball from a single point of contact that is instant and fast. You don’t even have to bother about follow through since the angular momentum will be sufficient to beat the opponent.
The relatively soft and grain structure of the surface makes it easy to make cross court shots without putting excess force into it. The ball construction gives better transverse deviation to your shots which may be difficult for the opponents to pick up, especially when you hit near the sideline.
Molten L2 is relatively lighter with only 8 ounces of weight. Multiple channels on the surface give better control over the ball while returning the serves and shots from the opponent teams. To sum things up, The Molten L2 is a great ball that is cheaper than the premium FlistaTec but still provides an excellent value. I recommend this volleyball more particularly to beginners and aspiring volleyball players.
4. Tachikara SV5WSC : Another Excellent Indoor Volleyball
We can’t bring up the topic of best volleyballs without talking about some of Tashikara. The volleyballs that these guys make are amazing and they have built a good reputation over the years. And the Tachikara S5WSC is a proof of the quality of Tashikara Volleyballs.
This volleyball is designed to minimize longitudinal deviation from your serves by stabilizing the airflow dynamics around its construction. You can also control the angle of your cut shots while returning the serves and shots from your opponents. Tachikara S5WSC is designed to allow optimum air flow between the core bladder and the exterior wrapping. It is an added cushion which makes it easy to handle your shots. You can use your arms to block high speed serves and power packed shots without getting bruises.
Panel design on the Tachikara S5WSC surface is highly crisscrossed. The panels with large contact area give you better options to play blocking techniques for defense. Similarly, there are smaller panels with minimum contact area. They give you the option to play your dink and dig shots very easily.
Leather material used for the exterior cover gives extra grip with its highly granular texture. Hence, overhand passes and shots are easy to make.
Overall, this is by far the best Tashikara volleyball you can find in the market today. An excellent grip, awesome feel and a proven durability all make this volleyball a good choice especially if you’re a fan of the brand.
5. Molten Pro Touch: A High-end Premium Volleyball
Another Molten volleyball that should be on this list is the Molten Pro Touch. This ball is designed for the juniors and intermediate level players and those who train for advanced levels as well. Core bladder made from natural rubber is firm and strong to provide high tensile strength. It can retain air pressure during high intensity training and playing sessions.
External cover made from genuine leather gives extra grip over the ball while serving and returning the serves. Main advantage is its panel design. Larger panels give grip to your arms, while smaller panels provide better grip for your fingers. Molten Pro Touch is ideal for practicing overhand shots. For example, you can use the nylon winding on the surface to execute the overhand throw and serve actions. Optimum contact area with your hand generates high speed, even when the force you use is relatively lower.
Performance improvement is one of the key benefits you get from the NFHS approved design and construction. With a dimension of 13″ x 13″ x 13″ this ball is neither too big nor too small for you to handle. You can learn most of the defensive moves and cross court shots that could bring crucial points to your team. All in all, this is a good premium volleyball ball that you should totally take into consideration.
Tachikara SV-MNC is specially designed for the youngsters who wish to train to the school level proficiency of playing. With a compact dimension of 10.7″ x 8.8″ x 7.5″ it can fit into your hands and arms very well.
Tachikara SV-MNC has a soft core and a moderately firm construction. The surface area has four large size panels with multiple small size panels. They ensure maximum contact space while making your defense moves and also practicing the serves. Optimum aerodynamic pressure around the ball gives you better control over flight direction and speed.
Tachikara SV-MNC gives you maximum options to practice all your shots to precision. The most important of them is the overhand spin serve. You can easily roll your hand over the contact area to generate maximum spin. Soft synthetic cover material makes it easy to handle overhand passes to your teammates while standing firmly in your place. Even when the serve from the opponent comes at high speed, it won’t hurt your hands.
This volleyball is designed with youth players in mind. That’s why I mostly recommend this ball for kids under the age of 12 who want to learn the basics of volleyball. Besides, the cheap price makes the decision a lot easier for any parent. Best volleyball for kids? Go with the Tashikara SV-MNC ball. Period.
7. Mikasa VQ2000 : Another Volleyball Worth Talking About
Mikasa VQ2000 is designed for kids and juniors in the beginning and intermediate levels. The overall construction is soft. The core bladder is made from butyl rubber to ensure highest level of firmness and airtight structure. It has an inbuilt ability to retain maximum air pressure over an extended period.
The external cover is made from microcell material which has high flexibility and pressure endurance. At the same time it gives moderate level of firmness to the construction. Hence, you can play your line shots, hits and off speed shots with highest level of accuracy.
Panel design pattern is specifically created to provide speed and spin. It is especially useful while trying to surprise your opponents with slow return shots that move away from the court center after getting deflection from your opponent arms. Hence, you get the advantage.
Compact design of 8”x 8”x 8” makes the ball highly suitable for practice sessions with high intensity training on defensive play. You can practice all block shots which will be required while playing at the school and club levels.
Best Outdoor Volleyball Balls In 2020: Detailed Reviews
1. Mikasa VLS300 : Best Outdoor Volleyball On The Planet
MIKASA VLS300 is designed and developed for professional outdoor volleyball games, especially those played on beaches. It is made from a firm bladder that can retain the air pressure for a long time and maintain the hardness of the ball consistently.
The exterior cover is made from water resistant hard material which can endure the hot and humid conditions on the beach and outdoor courts. It is resistant to pierce, abrasions, and accidental damages.
Reinforced top layers provide extra contact space for your arms and hands. You can easily serve aces and float serves due to the extra pace generated by the firmness and hardness of the exterior cover. You can also execute cross court shots that are hard to beat.
Pressure and impact resistances are the key features of this volleyball, which help in maintaining the perfect round shape of the ball. You may play the ball on harsh sand surfaces for hundreds of games without causing a single scratch or a puncture. Mikasa VLS300 comes in bright yellow, blue and white colors. It is the combination which is clearly visible to your eyes, even when it is in full flight speed within your court or across.
Overall, this volleyball is easily one of the best outdoor volleyballs in the market. To me, I’d say it’s the best ever. This volleyball can be used anywhere. Some even use it indoor. However, harsh surfaces especially beaches is the natural place for this volleyball.
2. Wilson Official AVP II : 2nd Best Choice In Outdoor Volleyballs
The creation of Wilson AVP outdoor volley ball is aimed at professional players at the club and senior players at the college levels. It has a core high quality rubber bladder. The construction of the bladder and its shape ensures maximum air retention at standard pressure.
The air pressure is also responsible for maintaining the spherical ball shape. Combined with the microfiber leather surface, the ball can be used to generate high spinning speed. Cross court shots and top spin shots playing becomes simple and sophisticated. Microfiber leather construction at the top cover is also responsible for producing the top speed for the serves. Hence, you can afford to use low volume energy for playing power packed shots. Large number of panels on the surface cover gives extra contact space and control.
Extreme pressure and impact resistance results in maintenance of original ball shape for years even on the hardest of outdoor court surfaces. There are granules on the panels which give you the best grip over the ball while playing the dink shots. I think we’d all agree that Wilson is one of the best volleyball brands ever. And this ball is definitely their best outdoor volleyball you can get today. I totally recommend it.
3. Spalding King of the Beach : Best Beach Volleyball
The Spalding King is designed for professional tournaments and intermediate level competitions on the outdoors. Core bladder is made from high quality rubber for maximum air pressure retention.
You can literally test the pressure by dribbling it on sand surface. You will be surprised to see the rebound almost reaching your shoulder.
Composite synthetic external cover has medium level of firmness and hardness. At the same time it is soft on your hands and arms. It enables you to extend your playing time without getting any bruises on the arms. Construction of the bladder, wrapper, and the synthetic exterior cover enhances the durability of the ball. It also increases the control over speed and direction while serving and playing the shots.
The Spalding King of the Beach is designed with large and small panels across the exterior cover. Hand stitching with high denier thread can result in extra thickness of the top layer. It can also result in extra firmness due to increased air pressure. To sum up, this volleyball is easily one of the best beach vollyballs out there. People seem to love it and I’d advise you to at least consider it before making your final decision.
4. Molten Elite Beach Volleyball: Great Beach Volleyball
Molten Elite is the full-blown professional beach volleyball with high quality rubber bladder and PU external cover. The texture of the stitching and external cover properties make it worthwhile for playing all the harder shots at and away from the net.
The type and size of the stitches on the panels will give extra grip onto the ball. You can pass the ball effortlessly within your court, handle forearm shots, rebounds and play the hit shots effectively.
Playing an ace against trained professional players might have been your long cherished dream. Molten Elite can certainly overcome the problem by introducing a top and a bottom panel which have extra density compared to the other panels.
The panel gives you extra contact space between your hand and the ball while making the serve. You can choose between jump serve, float serve, or a sun serve depending on your exact requirements.
Using the higher denier stitching threads on the synthetic surface creates series of firm liens along the stitches. Hence, the surface hardness will also correspondingly increase on the professional model. You can play harder shots through the over-arm styles to reach the winning points sooner than your opponents.
5. Wilson Cast Away : Best Cheap Outdoor Volleyball EVER!
Wilson Castaway is specifically designed and constructed for the outdoor entertainment and intermediate level training games. The most important feature of the ball is its core bladder. Made from high quality butyl rubber it can hold air at high pressure.
The extension of pressure onto the surface areas results in higher level of firmness and hardness. You can aim the ball for jump servers, lollipops and sun serves with top speed. It can also generate considerable volume of spin, though it is not very great. The number of the panels allows you maximum control and grip over the ball due to area of contact. Hence, it is possible to play your dink shots to the full potential to win crucial points.
Machine stitching of the panels creates firm gripping lines along the entire ball surface. You can use this feature to make faster forearm passes within your court. The overall construction of the ball allows you to make soft serves with relatively no spin and slow dropping action. It is the kind of serve which often confuses the opponents and forces them to make errors.
This is by far the best entertainment-only outdoor volleyball that you can get for less than 20 bucks. If you’re not really a volleyball person and just want to enjoy casual volleyball beach? then the Wilson Cast Away is PERFECT FOR YOU.
Spalding Extreme Pro is a professional volleyball designed for leagues and higher levels of playing and tournaments. It has a high firmness in its core due to strong rubber bladder. It can retain high air pressure over extended playing time with zero loss of air.
The surface area cover made from synthetic TPE material is moderately hard with stiffness factor at the same level. At the same time, it is soft on its surface due to the intrinsic material property. Hence you can play fast and slow shots with the same flow. Spalding Extreme Pro is relatively light in weight. However, the stitched surface area with multiple panels gives you the perfect options to play power shots by constantly controlling the direction and speed.
Bright three color combination makes the ball clearly visible even in bad weather conditions. Moreover, you can spot the spinning ball from a distance and prepare for the return shots. Extra panels of different sizes and wave shapes make it possible to get extra contact with your hand and arms. You can get maximum control over cross court shots in a much better way than ever before.
Wilson Soft Play is specifically created for the hobby play and amateur beach volleyball games. Genuine rubber bladder with soft wrapping and external synthetic leather cover make it relatively soft with moderate level of firmness.
Stitching on the synthetic leather creates variable size of panels that are soft to touch on the exterior and firm in the interior. It helps you play all your training shots from cross court, cut shot, and soft ding to the forearm passes, lollipop, and sun serves. The synthetic leather and the rubber bladder are designed to provide maximum protection from accidental damages, ruptures, punctures, and abrasion.
Continuous playing on the beach courts in hot sun and on hard sand could cause the formation of grains on surface to increase surface hardness. The interior of the synthetic leather layer is supported by soft sponge layer. The material makes it possible to make all the passes and play the shots from opponents with no risk of pain or bruises. The primary purpose of the Wilson Soft Play is to play the soft games which are aimed at beginners.
Primary aspects which you need to check while buying volleyball, are the mass, circumference, and internal pressure. Others are core bladder, external wrapping and cover, number of panels, color, and exterior finishing.
Volleyballs are of two basic types, namely indoor and outdoor. They can also be categorized for adults (above 12 years) and kids (below 12 years). You can start with the volleyball for adults.
Here below we’ll go through some of the elements that you need to pay attention to when searching for a good volleyball ball.
Volleyball bladder is usually made from latex or butyl rubber and it forms the core of the ball. Since it has to withstand the internal air pressure and the external impacts, it must have high tensile strength. It should be firm enough for serving, bumping, and spiking.
Besides, it needs to be flexible enough to play the cut shots and forearm passes. Of course, you won’t be able to open the cover and see the bladder. However, you can read the specifications of the ball before buying it.
Volleyball External Wrapping
External wrapping on the volleyball bladder should be preferably synthetic or cotton. Some of the balls may also have sponge wrapping for softer feel and better shot selection. It allows you to play the dink and forearm pass more efficiently and quickly.
Volleyball External Cover
External cover is attached to the ball with stitching. It can be synthetic leather or natural leather with grains. If it is full grain leather, you can be sure it belongs to the professional category. Training balls may have fewer or no grains. Cover is generally machine stitched to the wrapping layer.
Volleyball External Panels
Professional volleyballs that meet the Olympic standards will normally have 8 panels. Size of each panel will be big enough to provide extra contact area while playing. This allows you to get better ball control while passing.
The number of panels on a volleyball could be 32 or even more sometimes. More panels means extended durability. However, the hand grip and control may become lesser.
Some of the volleyballs may have external cover made from microfiber. This is cast into panels with dimples on the surface. This design enhances the true flying capacity of the ball in the air during play.
Some of the volleyballs may have panel seams construction which allows air circulation between the cover layers. This construction may increase the feeling of softness while serving and passing. At the same time it keeps the ball firm without buckling under shocks from shots and spikes.
Types of Volleyball Balls:
• Indoor Volleyballs:
Ball circumference should be between 25.5” and 26.5”. Standard weight range is from 260 grams to 280 grams. Internal air pressure should be between 4.6 PSI and 4.3 PSI. Exterior finishing of the panel surface is relatively softer with firmer interior. Machine stitched panels will have more strength compared to hand stitched panels.
• Outdoor Volleyballs:
Ball circumference should be between 26” and 27”. Standard weight range is the same as the indoor volleyballs. Internal air pressure factor will be relatively lower than the indoor adult ball. Generally it is between 2.5 PSI and 3.2 PSI. Exterior finishing of the panels may have extra grains to make it rougher. It gives better grip over the palms and good control. Roughness is also helpful in protecting the ball from external weather conditions, impact of sand (while you play beach volleyball) and concrete (while playing on solid floor court), etc.
Volleyball Nylon Panels for Recreational Purposes?
If you’re looking for a volleyball for recreational purposes, you may choose the one with nylon winding instead of leather panels. It is much cheaper compared to the leather version. Moreover, the external cover will be made from rubber and it is best suitable for indoor games.
Best Volleyballs for Kids (Youth Players)
Volleyballs for kids (youth) have a generic circumference of 25” to 26”. Average weight is preferably between 250 grams and 260 grams. Standard internal air pressure is 43 PSI. The other parameters will be similar to the ones explained in the bladder, cover, and wrapping sections.
Which Color Is Best For Your Volleyball?
Professional volleyballs may have single color of white, light grey or brown. Training and kids’ volleyball may have multiple bright color combinations. However, the new standards allow bright and flashy colors for the professional volleyballs also.
Volleyball Testing: After Purchase Tips
When you first receive the delivery of your purchased volleyball ball, it’s recommended that you do some tests to make sure you bought the right volleyball.
You can test the volleyball in different conditions to check the effectiveness and efficiency. Inflate the ball to 90% of its net capacity while testing. If you aren’t experienced enough to test, it is better to let your trainer or senior player check it before making the final selection.
So that’s it for this guide.
At least for now because I’ll keep updating it over time to make sure that the volleyballs included in this guide are INDEED the best options available in the market.
I hope this guide may be helpful to you when deciding which ball to go with.
If you still struggling to make your final decision on which volleyball ball is best for you, do let me know in the comments and I’ll help you figure it out. I mean it. Just comment and explain to me your situation and preferences.