Best Garden Hose
A garden hose is one of the most crucial tools in the arsenal of both professional gardeners and homeowners alike. Garden hoses are versatile; you can use them to water your plants or connect them to your sprinkler system; they can fill a kiddie pool or a manmade pond; they can be connected to or used with an array of children’s summer lawn toys, like the ever-popular Slip ‘N Slide. Essentially, the opportunities and applications with which to use a garden hose are so exponential, it would be silly to list them all. The point is, garden hoses are a must-have for every home. And because they are versatile by nature in general, the best garden hoses go a step further; they have modernized features that further enhance, and improve the quality of, that versatility.
The benefits of buying a garden hose
The main benefit to buying a garden hose is easy access to water outdoors. Sure, you could put your watering can up to the outside tap and let it fill, but for a large garden, this just isn’t practical. It would take multiple trips and put a lot of strain on your back to water a large garden that way. With a garden hose, you merely turn on the tap and carry the hose around. Since it’s a continuous stream of water, you don’t have to walk back and forth to get more water, which is more time efficient.
And it’s a pretty similar situation if you’re looking to wash your car at home to save money. Having a gardening hose is handy, because, once again, you’re not making several trips to the faucet and lugging water back. This allows you to finish the job quicker, saving you a lot of headache (and backache).
Of course, garden hoses aren’t limited to chores. They’re a super convenient way to fill up your kid’s pool on the first day of summer. Likewise, there are all sorts of outdoor water toys that you can hook up a hose to, which are a great way to occupy your kids and keep them busy during those long days of summer vacation. And of course, there is the old-fashioned sprinkler, that can be used for both work and play—it, too, requires a hose to function.
Those are just the basic benefits of buying a standard, generic gardening hose. When you focus on the details and get more specific, even more benefits begin to manifest. For instance, there are a lot of nozzle options out there. Depending on which kind you get, it can make watering your garden or washing your car loads easier than if you were just to use a bare, generic hose.
These days, they also have hoses that are anti-mold, antimicrobial and lead-free. If you’re going to use a hose to fill up the family pool or let your kids run through the sprinkler, it’s a good idea to take advantages of these more modern, safer hose options, because they’re just healthier than the lead-laden, moldy hoses of the past.
Garden hose material types
One of the most dramatic differences between one garden hose from another is the material it is made from. While most garden hoses on the market today are competent in ideal conditions, you need to keep in mind the most extreme conditions you might be using your garden hose in (such as extreme heat, cold or around sharp objects) and gauge your material and construction needs based on that.
There is no one perfect garden hose material, though each material type has its benefits. Here’s a breakdown:
- Vinyl: Vinyl hoses are easy to find and the cheapest option. The downside is they’re going to fail before more durable hose types will; vinyl hoses are best for people with few watering needs who live in an environment that isn’t prone to temperature extremes.
- Rubber: Rubber is easily the second most common hose material, because it’s a durable alternative to vinyl. It’s less likely to burst or abrade than vinyl; however, like vinyl, it can kink.
- Polyurethane (PU): Polyurethane is a good choice when you’ll be using your hose for chemical applications; it’s also great for standing up to temperature extremes
- Hybrid material: A hybrid material may be any combination of the above materials or a new material. While each hybrid type will have its advantages and disadvantages, the benefit all hybrid types put forward is the fact that they tend to exhibit the best features of their parent materials while reducing the weaknesses.
- Woven fabric: Woven hoses are typically made of nylon or another synthetic material that can stand up to watering applications without molding or mildewing. Woven fabric hoses have the big advantage of being less likely to link. Always choose a high-denier woven hose if you’re interested in this hose type, because it signals better quality and durability.
What to look for when buying a garden hose
The number one thing you need to look at when shopping for a gardening hose is length. In general, garden hoses come in a variety of lengths. You can’t just pick one and hope it works. It’s important to know the distance from your outdoor faucet (tap) to wherever you will be using your hose. Many modern American homes feature more than one outdoor faucet, which makes things easier. However, if you only have one outdoor faucet, you may wish to get with a much longer hose, because you’ll need it to cover more area.
After you decide which hose length you need, check out hose diameter and hose material. Some may say you need to consider these separately, but really, they go hand in hand, the reason being that what material a hose is made out of will sometimes dictate its thickness or its thickness range.
If you have major watering needs, opt for a hose with a larger diameter. When the diameter is larger, more water naturally flows through the hose. This is a good idea for people who will be filling up swimming pools and manmade ponds. However, if you have a small garden or live in an area where you are limited in how much water you can use, opt for a smaller diameter hose. Less water will flow through at a given time, allowing you more control over how much you use—plus, its flow won’t drastically over-exceed your needs.
On the subject of material, you want to weigh hose material against two factors: your climate and your usage. If you live in a climate with extreme heat or extreme cold, you should take care to choose a hose material that’s indicated for those issues. As for usage, what are you using it for? Do your hose applications logically dictate that you go for a heavy-duty rubber hose that’s capable of standing up to a lot of abuse and usage? For instance, if you’re a homeowner with a small vegetable patch, you have a lot more options than a professional who will be using their hose all day has. And if your watering applications are industrial in nature (such as farming), then you’re going to need to pay special attention to durability.
You might be wondering right now which material is best. The truth is, however, that you choose the material to suit your needs. For instance, vinyl hoses are great for some purposes while other hose materials are much better for other purposes. Always read what material a hose is made out of and weigh that against your watering applications.
If you have children and pets, or if you’re going to be watering vegetables, fruits, herbs and edible flowers, it is absolutely crucial that you go for a lead-free hose. I cannot stress this enough. Lead-free hoses are always a good idea, but they truly are the best garden hose when children are around, especially. Lead is a toxic metal. In enough quantities, it kills. In smaller quantities, it causes permanent brain damage and developmental issues. Therefore, it’s vital children never come into contact with lead. It’s important to note that many lower quality hoses DO contain lead, whether they mention it or not in the specs, so always go for a hose that explicitly states that it is lead-free. Don’t just assume all hoses—even nice ones—are lead-free.
There are other safety features to look for in a good garden hose as well. Opt for a hose that is resistant to mold and mildew—especially if you live in a high-humidity area, or an area known to have mold issues. Even if you don’t meet either of those criteria, it’s still a good idea—especially if you or anyone in your household has asthma, allergies or a compromised immune system due to chemotherapy, an autoimmune disorder or other factors. Some of the newer hoses may even have an antimicrobial layer inside to prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria, which, if your kids or pets were to drink it, could make them sick.
Consider where you’re going to store your hose. It’s not a good idea to just leave it lying on the ground. Go for a hose that can be stored in the way that works best for you, or that comes with its own storage option. This will protect your investment.
Some hoses have special properties that make them last longer or just get rid of the annoyances people associate with hoses. For instance, one the main issues any hose can have is that it can kink. A bad kink can stop water flow. Obviously, this isn’t good. Opting for a hose that’s anti-kinking will save you from this common annoyance and also boost your watering efficiency. Other hoses feature extra layers for durability; if you use hoses around sharp objects or just want an extra-durable hose that isn’t prone to rips and tears, then opt for durability-boosting features.
Tips on how to choose the best garden hose for your needs
It’s important to always consider your specific needs when shopping for anything you will be using regularly, and garden hoses are no exception. Consider the following to help you find the best garden hose for your needs:
- Always go for a lead-free garden hose when possible—especially when the water will go to children, pets and edible plants
- Choose an anti-mold, anti-mildew and/or anti-microbial hose whenever possible; anti-microbial is optional if you won’t be drinking out of it, however; since water is chemically treated in America to get rid of the most harmful bacteria, running water is relatively safe, so as long as you don’t let the water in your hose stagnate, it should be fine to water plants (which you will hopefully be washing before you consume!)
- If your applications are more industrial or large-scale in nature, go for a hose that’s rated for that kind of work, because it will have the durability and performance level you need
- Consider your climate: For instance, if you live in an extremely hot climate, choose a hose that won’t melt or crack in very high heat
- If you’re going to be using your garden hose with a nozzle (such as for washing a car), make sure the hose you choose works with the nozzle, or has a compatible nozzle you can buy
- A larger diameter hose will yield more water and water plants faster; however, it obviously uses more water—weigh the pros and cons of a large diameter hose to see if the benefits for your purposes outweigh the extra water usage
- If you want your hose to last a long time, steer clear of vinyl and opt for more durable materials
- If you don’t already have a place to store your new hose, consider storage when buying a new hose and make sure your storage option and hose are compatible
Garden hose reviews
NeverKink Commercial Pro Garden Hose
As the name suggests, NeverKink hoses are specially designed to never kink—no matter what. Kinks in your hose aren’t just annoying—they can shorten your hoses life and lower your watering efficiency (which costs money over time). The NeverKink hose uses a special patented translucent strip called Non-Torsion System (NTS) technology as well as Reflex Mesh technology; these high-tech materials run the entire length of the hose, and not only prevent kinking, but tangling as well—another common garden hose annoyance. The non-kinking, anti-tangling aspects of the NeverKink garden hose simply make it easier to wield and less generally frustrating than other garden hoses.
NeverKink’s MicroShield technology prevents mold and mildew from forming in the full length of your garden hose line. It may not seem like a big deal, but consider the fact that your hose spends a lot of its time curled up and the interior is damp and dark—this is the perfect environment for mold, which is why anti-mold technologies like MicroShield are so important if the hose water will come into contact with people, pets or edible plants. MicroShield is also antimicrobial, which means bad bacteria and viruses will have a hard time taking hold and multiplying. Bacteria and viruses generally need to reproduce and multiply to make a person sick (this isn’t always the case, but typically is). While antimicrobial materials aren’t as germ-killing as antibacterial cleaners like bleach, they can still offer that extra layer of protection that people need—especially those with weakened immune systems like children, the elderly and the chronically ill.
The aluminum couplings on the NeverKink Commercial Pro Garden Hose are lead-free, so it is safe to water edible plants with. Moreover, these couplings are also anti-corrosive and anti-rusting, so they can stand up to high usage.
Easy to use
The NeverKink Commercial Pro Garden Hose is flexible down to 45 degrees and is highly maneuverable. Because it literally never kinks, it’s highly efficient and cuts down on watering time.
The Commercial Pro is designed with the needs of professionals in mind. With its heavy-gauge flexible power coil and effortless handling, it takes a lot of the strain and frustration out of professional watering applications. Furthermore, it’s durable enough to stand up to commercial use. It’s crush-proof up to 1,400 pounds, and strong enough to be hooked up to chemical sprayers and industrial sprinklers.
What to like about the NeverKink Commercial Pro Garden Hose:
- Never kinks
- Doesn’t tangle or twist
- Professional grade
- Appropriate for industrial applications
- MicroShield is antimicrobial, anti-mold and anti-mildew
- Patented Non-Torsion System (NTS) technology
- Patented Reflex Mesh technology
- Crush-proof up to 1,400 pounds
- Made with non-corrosive aluminum couplings
- Easy to handle
- 1 feet long
- Lightweight at just 2.44 pounds
- Made with rubber for durability
- Made in the USA
- Lifetime guarantee
What to consider:
- You can’t use it with hot water; however, since this is a garden hose, you likely won’t need to use it for hot water anyway
Flexzilla Garden Hose 5/8 in. x 50 ft.
The Flexzilla Garden Hose remains flexible regardless what temperature it is outside. While hot temperatures rarely affect flexibility (though they may affect other garden hose aspects), cold weather can really do a number on a garden hose’s ability to flex and move. However, due to Flexzilla’s innovative design, it remains highly flexible within the temperature range of -40 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Flexzilla hoses are made with a hybrid polymer material that has no memory. When we think of memory, most of us think of the RAM in our computers, or the memory in our heads. What we don’t often think about is the fact that materials have memory too. (Think Silly Putty vs. Jell-O—Jell-O may wobble, but it snaps back into place while Silly Putty maintains the hole you just poked in it.) Because of the no memory nature of the Flexzilla’s hybrid polymer material, you can coil the hose and then lay it flat and then coil it again without the hose containing any hint of the shape it was just in. This no-memory property is a big part of what makes Flexzilla hoses so flexible.
The Flexzilla Garden Hose is durable enough to withstand daily usage. It doesn’t kink and it’s resistant to abrasion.
At just 8 pounds, the Flexzilla is remarkably lightweight. This makes it a great choice for gardeners with bad backs, because even though it’s a relatively heavy-duty hose, you can still carry it around without too much back strain.
Safe to drink from
Most hoses simply aren’t safe to drink from; they contain lead and other hazardous, toxic chemicals that can cause harm to the body. Flexzilla’s hybrid polylmer garden hose is safe to drink from ad doesn’t leach toxins into the water.
What to like about the Flexzilla Garden Hose 5/8 in. x 50 ft.:
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Resistant to abrasion
- Doesn’t kink
- Safe to drink from
- Lightweight at just 8 pounds
- Made from no-memory hybrid polymer material
- Male and female fittings are made from crush-resistant anodized aluminum
- Maintains integrity in ambient temperatures from -40 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit
What to consider:
- Though 8 pounds is pretty lightweight, it still may be too much for those with back problems or those who will be watering for long periods of time
Ohuhu Super Strong Garden Hose
The Ohuhu Super Strong Garden Hose may look like a crumpled paper snake when not in use, but don’t be deceived; when you turn the water on, it plumps up and grows to 50 feet in length. When the water is shut off, the hose shrinks back down to 17 feet. It’s easy to coil and smaller to store than hoses that retain their full-length without water pressure.
The Ohuhu garden hose is made of latex. Latex is not only great for standing up to high water pressure, it’s also super-durable, and able to resist abrasions and other issues that can develop from heavy usage.
Because latex has low memory, it doesn’t kink or hold its coil when you want it to lie flat. This flexibility and lack of kinking makes it easy to wield and use.
The Ohuhu Super Strong Garden Hose comes with its own nozzle included. The connectors are brass and feature eight different easily-adjustable settings: center, full, cone, angle, mist, shower, flat and soaker.
The Super Strong weighs only 2.2 pounds. It’s ultralightweight, which makes it great for people who have lifting restrictions (such as those with back injuries or who have recently had surgery). Gardening is a great low-impact exercise, which is why it’s nice to have a hose that’s not too heavy.
What to like about the Ohuhu Super Strong Garden Hose:
- Made with ultra-flexible latex
- Low memory
- Easily coils and lies flat
- 8-setting nozzle included
- Brass connectors
- Saves space: expands and contracts
- Doesn’t tangle, twist or kink
What to consider:
- The hose is made from latex: While latex is a great, durable hose material, some people are also highly allergic. If you have a latex allergy, consult your doctor before use—or opt for an alternative, which is the safer option.
Gilmour Flexogen Super Duty Hose
The Flexogen Super Duty Hose features Gilmour’s patented Tri-Extrusion Construction technology as well as their patented 8-layer process. The result is an ultradurable garden hose with purpose-designed layers that protect your investment and your health.
Mold and mildew aren’t good for you, your kids, your pets, or your plants. Flexogen’s antimicrobial layer prevents these harmful microbes from taking hold in your garden hose.
The burst strength on the Flexogen is rated up to an astounding 500PSI (pounds per square inch). It’s great for all-weather usage without compromising its integrity. With heavy-duty couplings, an abrasion-resistant surface and a double polyester cord reinforcement, Gilmour’s Flexogen is made to last a lifetime.
The Flexogen’s 8-layer construction lends itself to being naturally imbued with positive qualities, one of the most important being kink-resistance. The nylon knit and foam layers work together to provide kink-resistance and flexibility in the hose itself, while the Flow Guard Plus spring prevents kinks from happening in the faucet area.
What to like about the Gilmour Flexogen Super Duty Hose:
- Made in the USA
- Lifetime warranty
- All-weather usage
- Antimicrobial layer
- Kink-resistant in the hose body and at the female connector
- Seals tightly
- Durable for daily usage
- 8-layer technology, including the spiral wrap nylon layer which prevents kinks and bursting
What to consider:
- It is kink-resistant, but not kink-proof: However, because the hose is so heavy-duty for most this pro will outweigh the slight chance of a kink; it would simply be nice if it was guaranteed non-kink instead of being kink-resistant
LawnPRO 50’ Expanding Garden Hose
The casing of the LawnPro 50’ Expanding Garden Hose is 5000-denier. The weave on the LawnPro is almost twice as durable as most other hoses with woven casing, which run roughly around 3,000-denier, give or take. When we’re talking about woven materials, the higher the denier, the more durable and the better the quality. This high denier plus the lack of a seam protects against the hose bursting.
Because the LawnPro Expanding Garden Hose is made out of a woven casing instead of standard rubber, it is, by nature, less likely to link. While rubber has a low memory, it will still link when held in a certain position for a long time or folded a certain way over and over again. However, because the LawnPro is woven, it’s an even lower memory fabric—it simply can’t kink.
Replaceable copper fittings
LawnPro uses high quality copper fittings in their hose. Copper is a durable and safe metal, and is often used in plumbing applications, because it holds up well to water. Better still, the copper fittings on the LawnPro can be replaced if they ever do get damaged—most hoses require you to purchase a new hose when their fittings become damaged, because their fittings are affixed to the hose itself and can’t be removed.
At only 2.5 pounds, the LawnPro is an ultralightweight gardening hose. This protects your back and arms from strain and allows you to spend more time in the garden and less time taking breaks, upping your efficiency and enjoyment.
The LawnPro Expanding Garden Hose is 50 feet when the water is turned on. Without water pressure, it shrinks to 20 feet, making it a compact choice. As an additional space-saving feature, it can be coiled up and stored in a bag.
What to like about the LawnPRO 50’ Expanding Garden Hose:
- 12-month (one-year) manufacturer’s warranty
- Premium replaceable copper fittings
- Steel assembly clamps
- Lightweight at just 2.5 pounds
- Compact: Shrinks down to less than half its full length when not in use
- 5,000 denier woven fabric for durability, performance and kink-resistance
What to consider:
- Some feel like their hose is less than 50 feet when the water is turned on. Either there is an issue with water pressure, or these unlucky individuals received a defective hose. If it’s the latter, there is a one-year manufacturer’s warranty; they will definitely replace a defective hose with no questions asked
There are a lot of great and worthy garden hoses featured in this best garden hose roundup; however, the NeverKink Commercial Pro Garden Hose was a standout and easily the winner. The NeverKink has a lot to recommend it: It’s lead-free, ultradurable, doesn’t kink, is antimicrobial, and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Plus, it’s made in America, which is always a big pro for most American consumers. For all of these reasons and more, the NeverKink Commercial Pro Garden Hose takes the cake for best garden hose.