Because there are so many out there and because it’s often difficult to tell the difference between one garden hose and another it’s tempting to just grab the first one you see and head for the checkout. But when you do that you potentially do your garden a disservice because, in fact, all garden hoses are not created equal. Where a cheap garden hose may last a year a high quality hose may last 5 or even 10 years. In this review guide we’ll look at the best garden hoses on the market for 2019 and then examine some of the things you’ll want to look for in a good garden hose.
The Best Garden Hoses
The Flexzilla Garden Hose is an all-weather wonder that retains its flexibility even when the mercury dips to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s tough, tear resistant and easily maneuverable around all manner of backyard obstacle. It’s highly resistant to kinks, won’t degrade in the sun and features tough, aircraft grade aluminum couplings. It also features durable rubber o-rings to prevent leakage and an inner core that won’t fold under pressure. In addition it’s memory resistant, meaning it will still lay flat regardless of how many times it’s been coiled up. Its versatility, all-weather reliability and affordability make it our hands down Best Choice. This is one of the gardening tools you definitely need in your garden.
Flexible hybrid polymer.
Extremely kink resistant.
For all weather applications.
Durable leak proof o-rings.
Outstanding resistance to pressure.
Zero material memory.
Lightweight and flexible.
- Weight1.6 ounces
The Neverkink from Tekno Apex is a tough, reliable, kink resistant beast that will stay flexible down to -45. Which means it’s great for both domestic and commercial applications. It’s treated with the company’s Microshield antimicrobial technology that makes it inhospitable to mold and mildew. While it’s not intended to drink from it will provide years of reliable service watering your plants, washing the car and cleaning the siding on the house in springtime. While the hose itself is nice and light the aircraft grade aluminum used in the couplings is extremely tough. This makes a perfect gift for gardeners in your life.
Lead free aluminum couplings.
Flexible to -45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mold and mildew resistant.
Guaranteed not to kink.
50, 75 or 100 foot lengths.
Domestic or commercial applications.
Reinforced vinyl construction.
- BrandTeknor Apex
- Weight8 pounds
The expandable garden hose has gained a lot of favor in recent years for its portability, versatility and affordability. And rightfully so. The Hospaip 50 foot expandable garden water hose starts out a modest 17 feet in length and expands by a factor of 3 as it fills with water. After you finish with the garden, empty the hose and it returns to 17 feet for easy storage just about anywhere. This expandable garden hose won’t kink, won’t leak and the zinc alloy spray nozzle offers multiple stream options. It’s the ultimate marriage of practicality and versatility. With this hose, you’ll be gardening like a pro!
Durable lightweight garden hose.
Latex tube with polyester cover.
Expands to 3 times its at-rest length.
Solid brass connectors.
Zinc alloy spray nozzle.
Multiple stream options.
- Model50ft Garden Hose –
- Weight3.35 pounds
Teknor Apex is back with a slightly scaled down version of their Pro Garden Hose (see above). Their NeverKink 8615-25 Heavy Duty Garden Hose features the same anti-kink technology as their Pro Garden Hose as well as the same Microshield antimicrobial treatment. So what’s different? Well it’s a short garden hose at 25 instead of 50 feet long, it has a slightly lower burst rate of 1000 psi and it is rated to -15 rather than -45. Still, for everyday backyard applications it proves its mettle and earns our Best Value designation. Make sure you also check our guide to the best gardening gloves.
Crush proof aluminum couplings.
Guaranteed not to kink.
Teknor Apex antimicrobial shield.
Rigid Ergo Sleeve at faucet.
50, 75, 100 and 120 foot lengths.
Made in the US.
- BrandTeknor Apex
- Weight3.83 pounds
Who said a garden hose has to be rubber or poly? The Bionic Steel Stainless Steel Garden Hose redefines practicality. It’s narrower than most hoses, has a flexible steel casing over a latex core, won’t break down in the sun, won’t crack in the cold and coils up in a snap after use. It’s also extremely light at just 3 pounds (longer lengths will weigh more obviously) and extremely tough with crush proof stainless steel couplings. You’ll pay a little bit more for it but you’re likely to get years of dependable use out of it. Be sure to also check out our list of the best hedge trimmers for more great items like this.
Latex lining with durable steel sleeve.
Extremely flexible in all weather.
Won’t crack from the sun or cold.
Weighs a scant 3 pounds.
Coils and uncoils with ease.
Cast stainless steel couplings.
304 stainless steel hose casing.
- BrandBionic Steel
- Weight3 pounds
While Swan Products is keen to attach the Miracle Grow name to their garden hose it doesn’t actually distribute that well known nutrient mix to your plants. Marketing aside however it’s tough, well-made, meets federal lead free standards and has a burst limit of 400 psi. In spite of its name (who would want to drink Miracle Grow?) it’s drinking water safe and at 50 feet in length it’s likely long enough to handle any of your backyard applications. It’s also highly resistant to kinking and features crushproof solid brass couplings. Our handy guide to the best weeding tools features more great products like this.
Crush proof couplings.
1/2 inch diameter.
For domestic or commercial applications.
Reinforced at critical stress points.
Won’t twist after repeated use.
Lead free construction.
Drinking water safe.
- BrandSwan Products
- Weight4.85 pounds
The distinctive Gilmour Pro Farm and Ranch House hose is double reinforced for commercial applications. But with a 5/8 inch diameter it’s not going to be too heavy for domestic use either. It features a specially designed collar that reduces the chance of kinks at the spigot, heavy duty solid brass couplings that are naturally antimicrobial and a 6 layer, doubly reinforced hybrid exterior that will withstand years of being dragged about. You’d have a hard time creating kinks in this hose even if you tried. But in the unlikely event it did kink and crack it also comes with a limited lifetime warranty. If you like working around your garden, check out our guide to the best leaf shredders.
Double reinforced construction.
For domestic or commercial use.
Abrasion resistant exterior.
Rubber o-rings for tight seal.
5/8 inch diameter with 90 foot length.
Limited lifetime warranty.
- Weight11.75 pounds
With nickel plated solid brass couplings that are virtually crushproof and robust genuine rubber o-rings guarding against leaks you can tell just by looking at either end of the Briggs and Stratton 50 foot Garden Hose that it’s built to last. This is a genuine heavy duty garden hose with a 100% rubber cover that retains its flexibility regardless of the weather and stands up to repeatedly being dragged through the yard and across the driveway and walkways. It will also accommodate hot water up to 200 degrees. For passionate gardeners, we have prepared a guide to the best pruning shears so check it out.
Accommodates water up to 200 degrees.
Heavy duty crush proof couplings.
Retains flexibility regardless of temperature.
100 percent rubber garden hose cover over latex.
100T rubber is kink resistant.
5/8 inch by 50 feet.
Genuine rubber o-rings.
- Brand Briggs & Stratton
- Weight9.65 pounds
Stanley, well-known maker of world-class power and garden tools, applies their engineering expertise to the common garden hose and the result is the Fatmax Professional Grade Water Hose. It features a swivel grip at each end to prevent connector kinks and polyfusion technology where PVC and polyurethane are combined to produce a shell of incredible durability and flexibility. In addition, there are both anti-kink and anti-memory features that ensure the hose will always answer the call in proper shape. The aluminum/titanium couplings are incredibly tough and the cherry on the cake is the 500 psi burst strength. For all these reasons and more it’s our Premium Pick. Before you water your lawn, make sure you mowed it with one of the best robot lawn mowers from our list.
Polyurethane and PVC hybrid.
Crush proof aluminum/titanium couplings.
500 psi burst strength.
For home or commercial use.
Abrasion resistant cover.
Flexible to -15 Fahrenheit.
- Weight7 pounds
The second expandable water hose on our list is this beauty from Pamapic. In its at-rest state it’s 17 feet long and extremely compact, so you can stow it just about anywhere. But once you attach the solid brass coupling to the spigot and turn on the water the Pamapic Expendable Garden Hose expands to its full 50-foot length so you can reach your precious flower beds with ease. The nozzle provides you 10 different stream options which makes this the ideal hose not just for the flowers but for washing the car, hosing down the deck or cleaning the windows after a storm. Don’t forget to check our guide to the best riding lawn mowers for more great items like this.
Polyester fiber over latex.
Multiple stream options.
Flexible to 130 degrees.
Expands from 17 to 50 feet.
Crush-resistant brass couplings.
Ultra-compact for easy storage.
Ideal for home use.
- Weight2.25 pounds
The Giraffe Garden Hose has a throwback look that belies its contemporary sophistication. It’s got a hybrid rubber casing over an ultra-flexible latex core. It retains its vaunted flexibility in temperatures down to -40 Fahrenheit and its swivel grip means it attaches to any spigot no matter how inconveniently located. With a burst strength of 150 psi it’s not the strongest hose on this list of best garden hoses but it may well be the most flexible and the most reliable. The nickel plated solid brass connectors, like the rest of the hose, will stand the test of time and are well protected by the anti-kink sleeves at each end. If you are looking to upgrade your gardening tools check out our guide to the best cordless lawn mowers.
Flexible Multi-level construction.
Rigorously tested for strength.
150 psi burst limit.
Flexible to -40 Fahrenheit.
8 legged coupling lock up.
5/8 inch by 100 feet.
- BrandGiraffe Garden
- Weight7.54 pounds
The final item on our list of best garden hose is this second entry from Swan Products. While the Camping and Boating Water Hose is obviously marketed for the non-gardening crowd you’re going to find this hose provides just about everything you want from a good backyard watering hose. It’s tough and kink resistant. It features what Swan calls “hose armor” to protect the ends from the scourge of kinking, it meets California lead free standards and the coupling are made from crush proof cast brass. So if you back over them with the car there’s nothing to worry about. Overall, the hose is light and coils easily like a good garden hose should. It’s 50 feet long to reach your remote flower beds and it won’t take a bite out of your bank account.
Crush proof aluminum couplings.
Lead free construction.
Highly resistant to UV damage.
5/8 inch by 50 feet.
300 psi burst limit.
Hybrid rubber garden hose.
- BrandSwan Products
- Weight5.5 pounds
Garden Hose Buying Guide And FAQ
Features To Look For In Garden Hose
As we said at the outset of this best garden hose review guide if you just grab the first garden hose you see you’ll likely be doing yourself, your wallet and your garden a disservice. Here are the things to keep in mind when looking for the right garden hose.
Length – If you just grab any old garden hose you may be in for a surprise when unspool it to water the garden. That’s because there is no standard length for a garden hose. They typically come in 25, 50, 75 and 100 foot lengths. So if you need 75 feet and grab 25 feet, well, it’s back to the store for more hose. The best thing to do before you spend your hard earned money on something that’s not going to fulfill your needs is to get out in the yard and measure how far it is from the faucet on the side of the house to the furthest point you’ll need to water.
And remember, the longer the hose the heavier the hose. So don’t just pick up a 100 foot hose in order to cover all the bases if that’s not what you need. If all you really need is a 25 foot hose it will be a major headache to move the super long hose around and re-coil it when you’re done. In addition, the longer the hose the less the water pressure. And water pressure is important if you use attachments to distribute water.
Diameter – The diameter determines two things: how much water is released and how heavy the hose will be when it’s full of water. Most garden hoses are 5/8″, although 1/2″ and 3/4″ inch hoses are also available. In most cases a 5/8 inch hose will be appropriate for just about any backyard application. 1/2 inch hoses will also work for hand watering the flower beds and such but anything larger than that and you are getting into the realm of large scale commercial applications. Keep in mind that a 3/4 inch hose will carry twice the water volume of a 5/8 inch hose. And twice the water volume means twice the weight. If you are unsure which diameter to get, but the area that needs watering is nothing out of the ordinary, a 5/8 inch hose should serve you well.
Material – The garden hose may be fashioned from any one of several different materials.
Rubber – For years rubber was considered the best, most reliable material from which to make a garden hose. After all, it’s flexible, which reduces the chance of the hose kinking and breaking, it’s durable (tires are made of rubber for a reason) and it is pretty much impervious to weather, within reason. It also responds well to high water pressure, where less substantial materials my spring a leak.
So why isn’t every garden hose made of rubber? For one, because it’s heavy. A 50 or 100 foot rubber water hose full of water is going to present a challenge even for a healthy person to drag around the yard. Still, rubber hoses are fairly common for all the above-cited reasons. Plus the fact that many are rated safe to drink from and a rubber hose is also better at handling hot water. So if you ever need to drain the water heater for any reason you can use your rubber garden hose.
Vinyl – The vinyl garden hose is a lightweight alternative to the rubber garden hose. They’re easy to drag around and easy to coil up when you’re done with them. They’re also typically the least expensive type of garden hose. The vinyl garden hose is good for use in moderate climates where it never gets extremely hot or cold.
That’s because extreme heat can warp a vinyl hose and extreme cold can cause it to become brittle, even if it’s sitting in your garage during the winter unused. When you take it out in the spring to get gardening you may find that during the winter it developed cracks. Even in moderate climates however, the vinyl hose will eventually develop cracks and leaks, particularly around the connectors.
Polyurethane – Polyurethane occupies a kind of grey area between vinyl and rubber. The polyurethane hose is usually free of harmful chemicals so many of them are theoretically safe to drink from, it’s stronger than vinyl, almost as light and it’s very flexible like rubber. The polyurethane hose can also be used to transport hot water and does not develop kinks easily, like a vinyl hose will.
So what is keeping every hose from being a polyurethane garden hose? Because they cost more than vinyl and many people don’t see the point of investing the extra cash in something that’s just going to move water from the house to the flowers. Still, if cost is not a major consideration for you then it’s likely you won’t regret purchasing a polyurethane water hose.
Hybrid – Some contemporary garden hoses are fashioned from hybrid polymers that provide reliable flexibility and extreme durability at the same time. Others feature multi-layered construction with latex or some other similar fabric inside and a tougher but still flexible outer layer over the top. This type of construction makes for a very light and flexible hose, even when the temperature plummets to well below zero. Still other hoses feature a polyurethane/PVC hybrid blend that again is extremely durable, lightweight and flexible.
Flexibility – Flexibility is important for a couple of reasons. First, when you finish with the hose you have to coil it up. If the hose is not flexible coiling it will cause it to kink, which will eventually cause cracks to appear. Often sooner rather than later. Second, you need to be able to move the hose around backyard obstacles and often into out of the way areas. And to do so it needs to be flexible. Most every type of hose will kink up to some extent. It’s a matter of how well they respond to kinking. Rubber hoses for example snap back to their original shape easily and dependably. While vinyl hoses, for all their lightweight affordability, will not suffer kinks very long or very often before developing cracks.
Couplings – The connectors on a garden hose may be made from any of several different materials.
Plastic – Yup. Plastic. Some garden hose connectors are fashioned out of high quality plastic that’s tough and light and relatively durable. But their main attraction is that they’re inexpensive. That said even the most durable plastic coupling isn’t going to be able to compete with brass or stainless steel in the toughness arena and is likely to need replacement after a year or two at most.
Stainless – Stainless steel connectors are likely to outlive your hose. They’re unaffected by weather extremes, won’t chip or crack like plastic connectors can and are virtually impervious to damage from being dropped or dragged across the yard or the driveway.
Brass – Brass connectors come in two forms: either cast or stamped. Stamped or formed brass couplings are the more fragile of the two and can be damaged without much effort. Even so they’re still more durable than plastic. Cast brass connectors are the classic garden hose connectors. They’re heavier and tougher than stamped brass and as tough as stainless steel. Brass has the added benefit of being naturally antimicrobial. Which is why brass connectors have long been a garden hose favorite.
Aluminum – In recent years aluminum couplings have become increasingly popular. They’re light, inexpensive, corrosion resistant and tough. Couplings cast from aircraft grade aluminum are almost (almost) as tough as those cast from brass or stainless steel. If aluminum has a downside it’s that it is susceptible to microbial development.
Types Of Garden Hoses
While many folks tend to think a garden hose is a garden hose, there are actually quite a few different types of garden hose ranging from the traditional to the expandable and running the gamut from cheap to pretty darned expensive.
Traditional – The traditional garden hose has been around for decades and is as familiar a part of the domestic landscape as the porch light or mailbox (although the mailbox is becoming something of an endangered species of late). This is an all-purpose hose used for everything from watering the lawn to washing the car. It’s usually fashioned from vinyl, rubber or polyurethane and can be anywhere from 25 to 100 feet in length. Most of the garden hoses on our list are a form of traditional garden hose.
Flat hoses – The flat hose looks like a miniature version of the firefighter’s hose. It lays flat on the ground with a deflated appearance until the water is turned on. Flat hoses are typically made of vinyl and are best for applications that don’t require a lot of flexibility. It’s not common to find them in homes but it’s not unheard of.
Sprinkler hoses – The sprinkler hose is perforated along its length and sends a mist into the air that settles on the garden or lawn. Some people turn them around so that the perforations are face down and use them as a soaker hose. Typically sprinkler hoses don’t work well in flower beds because the plants prevent the mist from rising.
Soaker hoses – Soaker hoses can be found in gardens nationwide where they are used to seep water into the soil so it can be soaked up by plant roots. Soaker hoses make efficient use of water and many are used on a semi-permanent basis in gardens, although they’re often covered in mulch because they can be negatively affected by direct, prolonged sunlight.
Pocket hoses – The pocket hose (also known as the “expandable garden hose”) expands to about 3 times its empty size when you turn on the tap. Several of the hoses on our list are expandable garden hoses for good reason. They’re good for around the yard like long hoses but they pack away neater than even a short garden hose. The downside of the expandable garden hose is that they tend not to last very long and they can be damaged by regular exposure to sunlight.