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A green garden hose

A green garden hose

You may be surprised to hear that a garden hose can last up to five to ten years. Many people end up replacing lower-quality hoses annually, however, investing in a good, quality hose can prevent leaks, cracks, knots, and rot that can require replacement. And, if you’re new to the world of garden hoses, we’ve reviewed a variety of the top garden hoses in 2022 and included details on what each product is most suited for. From expandable, drinking-safe, and soaker hoses to coiled or flat hoses, there’s a lot to consider. But don’t worry, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

When purchasing a hose, it’s not always easy to tell the difference in quality right off the bat. You’ll have to check out a few specs so you can compare options on a level playing field. Whether you’re using one of these products on a construction site or just watering your herb garden, this guide will assist you in picking the perfect garden hose according to the length, durability, and ease of use.

Top Picks

Best overall: Flexi garden hose

Strong fittings for reliability

Strong fittings for reliability

The expandable option, by Flexi, is a lightweight and durable product designed with great attention to detail, which is exactly why it’s at the top of our list. It’s a kink-resistant and flexible product constructed with a double latex core, preventing punctures from thorns and sharp corners as well as tangling. And, this option automatically expands to roughly three times its storage size, growing to the indicated length once the water is switched on. Once it’s switched off, this product shortens back to a compact length, offering effortless storage. With an ergonomic, slip-resistant handle and temperature resistance between 41-113˚F this garden hose is ideal for watering home gardens, and veggie patches as well as general outdoor use.

Key Features:

  • Includes a rotating 8 pattern spray nozzle

  • ¾ inch diameter

  • Solid brass fittings with on and off valve

  • Available in 25, 50, 75, 100, and 150 ft length

Great value: VIENECI garden hose

This flexibility allows the expandable hose to be self-draining, not kinked, not twisted, and not tangled

This flexibility allows the expandable hose to be self-draining, not kinked, not twisted, and not tangled

This kit offers everything you need in one package. Starting at 33 feet, this option expands up to 100 feet when water runs through it at full pressure. After use, as the water drains out, the product returns to its retracted state. Plus, this kit comes with a holder that’s both mountable and extremely portable. A storage bag also comes included, letting you keep this item out of direct sunlight. The connector also comes with three leak-proof rubber washers, it also fits typical US outdoor garden taps.

Key Features:

  • Includes a 10 pattern spray nozzle

  • ¾ inch diameter

  • Solid brass fittings with on and off valve

  • Available in 25, 50, 75 100 ft length

Perfect for drinking from: Flexzilla garden hose

Power source type: Corded Electric

Power source type: Corded Electric

The Flexzilla is a kink-free, lightweight garden model that’s easy to lift, carry and maneuver around your property. It’s weather and abrasion-resistant with UV and mold protection. The option is not only available in standard lengths but also comes in shorter pipes, making ideal extensions for use on balconies and patios. The safe to drink from, the lead-free inner tube makes this great for filling a pool and your pets’ water bowls. And, the leak-free connections with durable O-rings ensure no water gets wasted from dripping and leaks.

Key Features:

  • 5/8 inch diameter

  • Anodized aluminum fittings

  • Available in 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 75, 100 and 150 ft length

Elite design: TheFitLife garden hose

it’s incredibly lightweight, flexible, collapsible, and functional

it’s incredibly lightweight, flexible, collapsible, and functional

This expandable option is lightweight and easy to store in its retracted state. The tube has a reinforced polyester casing with a knitted sleeve, preventing cracks, leaks, and bursting. Once water enters the tube it will expand to the indicated length. When water is turned off and starts to drain, this product retracts back to its smaller size. This option is ideal for gardening tasks, watering, car washing, and pool cleaning.

Key Features:

  • Includes an 8 pattern spray nozzle

  • ¾ inch diameter

  • Solid brass fittings with shutoff valve

  • Available in 25, 50, 75, and 100 ft length

Durable materials: Gardguard garden hose

Ergonomic handgrip for effortless operation

Ergonomic handgrip for effortless operation

Designed for long-term use, this garden model comes with three replaceable rubber washers, a storage bag, and a wall-mountable holder. Its retractable, leak-proof, rust-proof, and no-kink design makes it a superb investment that’s easy to use, store and maneuver around various areas. And, the spray function includes an ergonomic non-slip handle for easy holding, ideal for gardening, car washing, watering a vegetable garden, and pool cleaning. This product can comfortably withstand temperatures between 41-113˚F and can also be stored safely in the provided pouch during colder weather.

Key Features:

  • Includes a 10 function spray nozzle

  • ¾ inch diameter

  • Solid brass fittings with on and off valve

  • Available in lengths of 25, 50, and 100 ft

A buying guide to the ultimate garden hoses

The type of product you need depends on what you’ll use it for and the conditions it’ll be stored in. If you’re simply using these items as an extension for watering potted plants in a small patio garden, you could get away with a less robust model. But, If you’re using these kinds of products during remodeling or construction, for watering a large garden or washing your car, you’ll need a durable model capable of withstanding lots of wear and tear and offering good reach. We suggest looking at the following six aspects when choosing a product so you won’t have to replace your trusty (or not!) watering buddy every year.

Considerations for buying garden hoses

Length

If you’re aiming a water spout into the sky, catapulting droplets over shrubbery at the opposite end of your garden, and you just can’t reach your target, it may be time for a change. But, before snatching up an extra-length model as your next purchase, keep in mind that longer versions are not only heavier but also cost more, are harder to store, can be difficult to drain, and may result in lower water pressure. They do have their place, of course, but we highly recommend selecting an ideal length suited to your specific needs. This requires a little measuring though. Garden models come in different lengths from 25 feet up to 150 feet.

Measure the farthest distance from your tap and choose a size reaching slightly further. You don’t want to be tugging a product to its maximum length, so make sure there’s still a little leeway.

If you’re using a garden version, for various purposes, in both larger and smaller areas, getting two shorter units may be a better option for you. This way, you can join them together when needed, and also have the option to just use the shorter hose – so you won’t need to detangle, lug around and store a heavy, lengthy unit every time. And, if you ever need a replacement, you can send back just the broken portion and you won’t need to pay full price for an extra-length model.

Width

The width of the garden hose indicates the internal diameter of the hose which essentially determines the water flow. The wider the diameter, the heavier the water flow. Garden hoses are generally available in three-quarter, five-eighths, or half-inch diameters.

The smaller size (half inch diameter) hose is useful mainly for watering pot plants and hanging containers and is best for hoses 50-feet and shorter as the water flow is not strong. They’re ideal if you’re looking for something lightweight for your balcony or patio. A five-eighth inch diameter hose will be the best option for most home gardens as it allows a steady and strong water flow, yet is not too heavy. Unlike the smaller diameter hose, this size can also be used for sprinklers and car washing.

Material

These products come in rubber, vinyl, or a combination design. Vinyl versions are lightweight and the most budget-friendly option. Although they are reinforced with radial cord, they are not as sturdy as other models, making them more prone to twisting and degrading in harsh weather. If they’re stored under a cover and only used for light-duty tasks, these models can still be a good, got-to option.

A rubber garden model is the most durable version and they’re suitable for heavy-duty use throughout any season. Even though you’ll pay a little more for these models, you can rest assured they’ll be long-lasting even when stored outdoors. These products are also less likely to twist, kink, or crack. This version is a little on the heavier side, but it can carry warm water, which is great for washing vehicles, boats, equipment, and bikes.

Reinforced versions offer the perfect middle ground. They can be made from either rubber and vinyl or a combination of both. And they provide a mesh lining between layers. In terms of weight, water pressure, and durability, these lay somewhere between the two options above. For regular gardeners, with a sizable backyard needing tending to, this is ideal.

Regardless of the option you choose, both rubber and vinyl leach chemicals into the water, making them unsafe to drink from. If you’re using these products to fill a pet’s water bowl or for any kind of drinking, be sure to buy a “drinking water safe” version, made of polyurethane.

Burst pressure

Burst pressure is the maximum water pressure these products can take before rupturing. Ideally, you want a garden model with a burst pressure above 350 psi, especially when using a sprinkler. Pressure washers will most likely require a higher psi, so be sure to check the manual requirements before using one with a regular hosepipe.

Flexibility

A somewhat flexible garden model is easy to store and can go around corners without any hassle. Something that is too flexible, however, will kink and cause blocks, cracks, and leaks. If you can bend the product into a U shape without it causing any kinking, you have a winner.

There is one exception though, Flat versions, which are similar to models used by firefighters. These models remain flat when nothing is inside and, as water begins flowing through them, they plump up, becoming round. These versions are purposefully made soft and flexible too, promoting easier storage.

Couplings

Couplings are end attachments, connecting to faucets and sprinklers. Cast brass couplings are the most durable since they’re thick and leak-resistant. Other types of couplings are made of plastic or sheet metal. Plastic versions aren’t as weather resistant and can develop cracks and leaks.

Using a high-quality rubber washer at the connection point between a product and the faucet or nozzle will help with preventing leaks.

Specialized garden hoses

Expandable hoses

These versions look somewhat scrunched up, but they expand to almost three times their length when water is flowing through them. And, they are both convenient to store and lightweight. If you like the idea of having this funky-looking garden model, keep in mind that storing it out of direct sunlight and treating it gently will greatly improve its longevity. These versions are great for hand watering but they may lose some contraction ability over time.

Drinking water safe hoses

If you’re looking for something made with materials that won’t leach harmful chemicals into drinking water or your pool, check for products labeled as “drinking water safe”. Failing that, they should at least be labeled “lead-free”. Hosepipes often have plasticizers, lending them flexibility, however, these products may contain BPA, lead, and phthalates which are harmful when consumed by humans or animals.

Even if you’re not using one of these products to drink out of, it’s better to let the water run through until it’s cold before watering herbs and vegetables. Chemicals can concentrate inside a hose that’s been laying in the sun. Letting some water run out beforehand allows any undrained water to flush out, along with any harmful chemicals.

People also asked

Q: What is a soaker hose?

A: Soaker models come in a variety of sizes and are mostly used as part of an irrigation system with small holes, allowing water to squirt through and onto greenery. These products are often made with recycled rubber and plastics. They are also installed as fixtures in a garden or greenhouse as opposed to being handheld like other versions.

Q: Are coil hoses a good option for large gardens?

A: Coiled versions are best for hand watering small areas. They come as a spiral that can be pulled out when used or coiled up neatly for storage. Due to their coiled design, they don’t always stretch to their full length. The easiest way to store these items is with a wall-mounted or stand-up hanger designed specifically for these versions.

Q: Can I join two hose pipes together as an extender?

A: Yes, doing this is a great way to get the length you need for use over large areas.

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