Best Garden Hose: Picking The Least Expensive And Most Lightweight

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You wouldn’t think that picking the best garden hose would be difficult. Just grab a hose and move on, right?

Turns out there’s more nuance to buying hoses than anyone thought. It’s actually probably better to pick a more expensive hose that will last a while instead of having to replace a cheap one each year.

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Hose

If you know the specifics of what you want, then you’ll be able to find the best garden hose for you.

Length

You should only get the length you need and not longer. It can be tempting to get a longer one but they cost more and are harder to move with.

Measure the farthest distance from your spigot. Then buy a hose that’s a little longer than that length. You don’t want to tug or stretch out a hose too much.

Hose Diameter

Most hoses are 3/4ths of an inch, 5/8ths of an inch, or a half an inch in diameter. These are based on the inside of the hose, not the outside.

The bigger the diameter, the more water the hose will carry.

Material

Vinyl hoses are the least expensive and most lightweight. Though they’re also the ones that break the most.

Rubber hoses are the strongest and longest lasting, but they’re the most expensive and heaviest.

Composite rubber/ vinyl garden hoses are a good mix between them.

Reinforced hoses are usually reinforced with a mesh lining between layers of vinyl and/or rubber. They’re more resistant to kinks and splitting, and can handle higher water pressure.

Flexibility

There’s nothing more annoying than dealing with kinks. To minimize that, make sure that your hose is flexible. Kinks lead to cracks and splits.

Reinforced and rubber hoses are less likely to kink.

6 Different Types of Hoses

You should think about what you want from your hose before buying one. Each has their own pros and cons.

1

Lightweight/ Light Duty Hoses

These hoses are usually made of vinyl, kink more easily, and come in thinner diameters.

The perk of these hoses are that they’re usually the cheapest.

These are good for gardeners on a budget, won’t use it too often, have lower water pressure, and don’t use a sprinkler.

2

Flat Hoses

These are similar to a fireman’s hose. They’re flat when empty but round when water is coming out of it. They’re lightweight and can roll up easily. This means less storage space is needed. Though it can be hard to store without a hose reel.

Some flat hoses are sold with a hose reel, but if they aren’t, make sure they will fit the reel you have now.

Because they are so flexible, they are usually made of vinyl. This means they’ll kink more easily. They don’t work well when pulled around corners.

There’s also the annoyance of having to unroll and roll up the hose every time you want to use it.

But they are good for gardeners that have no storage space and have a pretty straight area to water. These aren’t the types that are for constant use.

3

Soaker Hoses

This type of hose is used for garden irrigation. They’re made of recycled rubber and plastics and have porous walls.

This means when water is turned on, it seeps out of the holes and into the soil. These hoses can be laid directly on the ground, buried just under the surface, or buried 6 or more inches deep.

These hoses are good for level sites and you’ll need a good amount of water pressure to make sure water is spread throughout the hose.

4

Drinking Water Safe Hoses

Most garden hoses are made with materials like plasticizers that give the hose flexibility but also contains chemicals like BPA, lead, and phthalates. These can find their way into the water.

These chemicals won’t hurt your plants but they’re toxic to humans.

Look for hoses that are labeled “drinking water safe” or “lead free.” You can find them sold for the purpose of fun instead of gardening. These hoses are made of with non-toxic, FDA-approved inner cores that don’t leak chemicals.

5

Coiled Hoses

A coiled hose can form into a tight spiral that comes together when not in use, and can stretch out when in use. They usually come in shorter lengths and have a smaller diameter.

Because of the coils, the hoses won’t stretch out to their full length. They also can be hard to store. They don’t fit on reels and get tangled up if you put in a box of any type.

These hoses are best for hand watering and being used in smaller areas.

6

Expandable Hoses

These are scrunchie-like hoses that expand up to 3 times their length when filled with water. They are lightweight and come in bright colors.

Though they expand, they have a hard time contracting. This can leave you with a hose that’s hard to store or coil. If you have high water pressure or leave the hose in the sun, they tend to rupture because of how thin they are.

Many people do like this kind of hose because they are lightweight. If you treat them gently and don’t leave them in the sun, they can be good hoses.

But they don’t seem to last long, so be prepared to buy replacements.

How We Chose Our Ratings

We chose our ratings through a mixture of articles and Amazon reviews. We looked at what insiders were saying the best hoses are and then comparing them to what a regular person says. There’s no point in having a fancy hose if you can’t use it.

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

$$

This hose is 50 feet long and comes with a 9 function nozzle. It has heavy duty brass fittings to prevent leaks.

It shouldn’t kink or twist. It stores easily and can be used for anything.

It come with a storage bag, a hook to hang it on, and extra washers.

It has a 4.9 star rating. Pros are that it’s light yet durable, the hardware holds up, and water flows through it easily. The only con is that a rubber gasket that it comes with doesn’t work too well.

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

$$

This hose is 25 feet long and has a diameter of 5/8. It has crush proof nickel plated brass couplings. It’s flexible even in 0 degree weather. It can withstand hot water, it’s made in the USA, and has a lifetime manufacturer warranty.

It has a 4.8 star rating. Highlights are how sturdy it is, the lifetime warranty, and the reasonable price. The lowlights are that it can leave black marks on whatever it’s stored in and possibly your hands.

50ft Garden Hose - ALL NEW Expandable Water Hose with Double Latex Core, 3/4" Solid Brass Fittings, Extra Strength Fabric - Flexible Expanding Hose with Metal 8 Function Spray Nozzle by Hospaip
  • MAKE YOUR WATERING SIMPLE AND EFFICIENT with the Hospaip water hose: we designed and manufactured the hose used only high-quality, sturdy, modern materials, made it quite functional, lightweight, flexible and long enough to make it easy and convenient for maneuvering around the garden, even when full of water
  • INCREDIBLE DURABILITY - no more leaks, tear or cracks: solid 3/4 Inches brass connectors, rubber washer, double latex pipe, sturdy on/off valve, zinc alloy spray nozzle, extra-flexible 3750D polyester fabric cover; the hose can withstand water pressure 3-12 Bar and temperature 41℉-113℉ - this garden hose for long-term use
  • FLEXIBLE DESIGN - this expandable hose starts out from 17 Feet; when the water is turned on the hose quickly expands up to 3 times in length (50 Feet) with the water pressure (3-12 Bar) and returns in minutes to its original length when the water is out. Just make sure there is enough water pressure to expand the hose
  • FREE 8 PATTERN HOSE NOZZLE - durable zinc alloy construction; the rubberized outer coating is slip-resistant and comfy; water controlling knob for changing the water pressure; rotating bezel for easy choosing kind of spray. Select right type of the stream and water plants, clean garden or pool, shower pet or wash car
  • EASY TO STORE - lightweight, highly portable, flexible hose comes with a free storage bag - simple way to save your storage space. Just drain water from the hose when not in use, put in the bag and store out of direct sun. Besides that, the water hose in the bag can serve as a USEFUL GIFT for all gardeners

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

$$

This hose is 50 feet long with a diameter of 3/4. It’s functional while still being lightweight. It has a double latex core and a polyester cover.

It can handle temperatures from 41-113 degrees Fahrenheit. It also comes with a free storage bag and nozzle.

It has a 4.6 star rating. Pros are how light it is, that it shrinks down, and all the extras it comes with. The biggest con is that it appears to spring leaks within months of use for some.

Water Right 400 Series Polyurethane Slim & Light Drinking Water Safe Garden Hose, 50-Foot x 7/16-Inch, Brass Fittings, Olive Green, USA Made
  • Soft, flexible, slim, lightweight, & effortless to use. Will not permanently kink.
  • NSF and FDA certified polyurethane resin for safe drinking water. Tasteless and odorless as compared to pvc or vinyl hose.
  • Contains no lead, BPA, Phthalates or other toxic chemicals.
  • Industrial grade brass chrome-plated, lead free fittings are long-lasting, non-tarnishing, & crush-resistant.
  • Flexible in all weather conditions from sub-freezing temperatures to running hot water up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

$$$

This hose is safe to drink from and you can choose from 25, 50, 75, or 100 of length. It has a diameter of 7/16 and brass fittings. It also comes in 4 different colors.

It soft, flexible, lightweight, and kink resistant. It’s NSF and FDA certified as safe to drink from. It can handle extreme heat and cold and still work.

It has a 4.3 star rating. People like that it’s lightweight and easy to use. It doesn’t hurt their hands or back as they work with it. They also like that it’s made in the USA.

Some people feel there isn’t enough water pressure and there have been problems with its memory. It seems to really like to coil up and some reviewers had to wrestle with it.

Flexzilla Garden Hose, 5/8 in. x 50 ft., Lightweight, Drinking Water Safe - HFZG550YW-E
  • EXTREMELY FLEXIBLE – Extreme all-weather flexibility makes it easy to maneuver around trees, bushes or other obstacles
  • EXTRMELY DURABLE – Durable and abrasion-resistant outer cover and crush resistant anodized aircraft aluminum fittings
  • WON’T KINK UNDER PRESSURE – Flexible hybrid polymer material allows the hose to lay flat with no memory
  • LIGHTWEIGHT – Lighter than traditional garden hoses making Flexzilla easier to carry, life and maneuver around the yard
  • EASY TO COIL – Won’t fight you when coiling and zero memory means the sprinkler stays put without twisting

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

$$

You get a variety of choices for length, going as small as 3 feet to as long as 100 feet. The diameter of this hose is 5/8.

It can handle temperatures of below 40 and up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It has an abrasion resistant outer cover to ensure durability. It won’t kink and is flexible. It’s also safe to drink from.

It has a 4.2 star rating. Highlights include its lightness, how little it kinks, and its durability.

Lowlights are that it seems to develop mold within months of use. It’s on the inside and no one seems to be able to get rid of it.

We can’t help but wonder if these people got a bad batch because other reviews are so positive.

Teknor Apex NeverKink, 8612-50 Boat and Camper, Drinking Water Safe Hose, 5/8-Inch-by-50-Foot
  • No matter the destination, it’s along for the ride.
  • Drinking Water Safe - Manufactured with FDA sanctioned materials
  • Patented anti-kink technology prevents kinks, twists and tangles, the # 1 consumer complaint
  • RIgid sleeve prevents kinking at the faucet
  • Ergonomic leak proof coupling for easier attachment to the faucet

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

$$

You can choose from 25, 50, or 100 feet length and the diameter is 5/8. It’s abrasion, leak, and puncture resistant. It’s doesn’t kink and is safe to drink from. It’s made in the USA.

It has a 4.0 star rating. People love it for how easy it to coil up, it doesn’t kink, and how lightweight it is. People have complained that it can be leaky.

Orbit 26380 Coil Garden Hose, 25 ft, Green
  • 8 patterns for a wide range of watering needs, including jet, Shower, center, angle, flat, cone, full and mist spray modes
  • Ideal for patios, hanging baskets, porches, pools and more
  • 25-Foot coil hose quickly deploys for all outdoor watering uses
  • Returns to original shape for convenient and compact storage
  • Comfort grip for ease of use

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

$$

You can pick from either 25 or 50 feet and there are 4 color choices. It comes with a nozzle that has 8 water patterns like jet, shower, cone, and more.

It returns to its original shape easily for storage needs.

It has a 3.9 star rating. Pros of this hose are how small it can become, how light it is, and the variety of hose choices. Cons are that some people say the hose doesn’t last long. They had leaks within 6 months of using it. Though people who use it causally don’t have this problem.

BEAULIFE Short Flexible Metal Garden Hose 3 Feet Connector Extension 304 Stainless Steel Small Water Hose 3ft Connectors Attachment Hose Reel Leader Hose
  • [304 METAL GARDEN HOSE] - Made of premium quality heavy duty 304 stainless steel, so it won't break under high pressure. The metal design gives guaranteed flexibility, smooth operation, durability and longer lifespan of the Beaulife Stainless Steel Metal Garden Hose 3ft!
  • [TEAR AND TANGLE Resistant] - This new ultra-strong and high-quality design metal short water hose is Kink and Puncture Resistant, Dog Chew Proof, Tear and Weather Proof, UV Resistant. Ultra Flexible, more than any other hose! Tangle FREE - no water flow stoppages, even when it finds itself in a knot.
  • [HIGH WATER FLOW] - The new version metal garden hose features a bigger diameter of the inner hose than other metal garden hoses as seen on tv. 16 Gauge - 3/8'' ID 5/8'' OD. The inside diameter is limited by a conventional process design of stability, works great with both low & high water pressure guaranteed! Compatible with 3/4-inch water fixtures.
  • [DRINKING WATER SAFE HOSE] Lead / BPA / Phthalates free, the Flexible Hybrid Polymer inner tube material is drinking water safe. Great for camping, RVing, gardening, washing your vehicle, watering livestock and more.
  • Free Bonus: Come with 2 additional washers. 12 Month Warranty for Manufacturing Defects. Please be free to contact us for any questions.

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

$$

You have the option of 25, 50, 75, and 100 feet to choose from. This is made of heavy duty 304 stainless steel. The design still guarantees flexibility though.

It’s kink and puncture resistant. It won’t be affected by the weather or the sun. It rolls up easily and be stored anywhere. It also comes with a nozzle.

It has a 3.9 star rating. Perks are how small it compacts itself, how it can handle dog bites, and that it doesn’t twist or kink.

Takeaways are the size of the hose. Many people felt it had too small of a diameter. If they had low water pressure, then it was useless to them. People also felt that this hose is not as durable as advertised. It would spring leaks or get dented after getting stepped on once.

Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose; 50 ft.
  • Backed by a Melnor 2-Year Limited Warranty. Melnor stands behind its products. Need additional information or assistance? Leave a question/feedback below. We value your experience with us.
  • FLATTENS FOR EASY STORAGE - The compact design dripper only takes up about 0.05 ft³
  • EXTREMELY FLEXIBLE AND VERSATILE - It gets water right where you want it! You can place it above ground or under a thin layer of soil or mulch. The porous hose delivers soft and gentle watering with no waste. It's perfect for raised beds and vegetables!
  • EASY CONNECTION - Included rust-resistant end cap allows multiple hoses to be connected together
  • FITTING SIZE 3/4 INCH - Fits standard garden hose thread

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

$$

You can choose from 25, 50, and 75 feet. It flattens easily for storage and is flexible. You can choose to put on the ground or below it.

The company offers a 2 year warranty.

It has a 3.9 star rating. People like it that it gives the right amount of water to their gardens, how flexible it is, and how easy it is to work with. People have complained that theirs fell apart within months of use. There also seems to be problems with attaching the hose to the spigot.

Finding the One

By deciding what type of material, length, and water pressure you need, it should be easy to find the best garden hose for you. Check out the reviews and see if these hose or others suit your needs.

A few extra dollars can save you a lot in the long run.

Amanda Dcosta
 

Amanda writes about botany and plants from the deserts of Oman where summer temperatures climb to 130 Fahrenheit. Amanda has a BSc in Botany and is a co-author of Encyclopedia of Cultivated Plants: From Acacia to Zinnia. Read more articles by Amanda.

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