The garden hose is an often forgotten piece of the home landscaping puzzle. Most of us consistently deal with a tangled, kinked hose that’s on its last legs or just snatch up the closest facsimile of our last hose in order to avoid having to think about our purchase. That’s a mistake, and making sure that you have the best garden hose can make your life a lot easier.
We tested out quite a few, and our favorite was undoubtedly the Flexzilla Garden Hose, it’s a mid-priced hose which has proven to be tougher than nails, extremely flexible, and perfectly suited for the average homeowner..
We found there’s more variation than you can shake a hoe at, however, and that means that there are quite a few worthy additions to your gardening tools out there in addition to our favorite. We picked five of our favorites out so read on and we’ll show them to you and then we can dig into the extensive research we did to make sure you only have the best.
For the best hose all around, we recommend taking a closer look at the Flexzilla in order to see if it’s the right choice for your home.
Top 5 Garden Hoses
|Flexzilla Garden Hose||3’ to 100’||Standard Garden Hose||Check Price|
|FlexiHose Upgraded Expandable||50’||Expandable Garden Hose||Check Price|
|Craftsman Premium Rubber||25’ to 100’||Rubber Garden Hose||Check Price|
|Gilmour Flat Weeper Hose||25’ to 75’||Soaker Garden Hose||Check Price|
|Gilmour Flexogen Super Duty||25’ to 100’||Standard Garden Hose||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Garden Hose
Flexzilla Garden Hose
For the average homeowner, the Flexzilla is an amazing upgrade. Despite the lime green color which makes it seem, at first glance, to be less tough than many of the hoses on the market we found it to be a durable option which holds up in a wide variety of temperatures.
We might take a bit of exception to calling it heavy-duty, but for your average homeowner it’s hard to beat. It has little coil memory, which means it tends to lay flat when you run it out and it resists kinking remarkably well.
On top of that, it’s available in a wide variety of different sizes ranging from small connector hoses to monstrous 100 foot models that can run all over your yard with ease. Add in that it also lacks any sort of chemicals which would make the water unsafe to drink and it’s an excellent hose for any purpose.
It’s also remarkably easy to connect and disconnect, although not quite as simple as those with octagonal handles.
Pros and Cons
- Extremely kink-resistant
- Quite tough
- Easy to connect and disconnect
- High-quality, crush-proof fittings
- Lime green color shows dirt and wear easily
- Tends to twist instead of kinking
2. Best Expandable Garden Hose
FlexiHose Upgraded Expandable Garden Hose
When it comes to expandable garden hoses, a bit of care is needed. We quickly found out that many don’t quite live up to their promises in the field and a lot of them have some serious issues, which is how we ended up being pretty amazed when testing the FlexiHose.
Expandable hoses are great for those with smaller yards, although even the best aren’t quite as durable as a standard hose so you may want to go with a normal one if you’ve got the room for it. We found they tend to cheap out on the fittings as well, but we loved the heavy-duty brass fittings that came with this one, as well as the fact it comes with an eight setting sprayer.
It’s also got a lifetime replacement guarantee, which made it stand out immediately. The company seems to readily honor it, which is great and shows it’s not just a gimmick. It’s also lightweight and easily maneuvered once it’s expanded which is a definite bonus for those who don’t want to haul around a normal hose.
If you’re going to go with an expandable hose, then the FlexiHose is the only real way to go. Avoid cheaper copies which simply don’t hold up for extended periods of time.
Pros and Cons
- Lifetime guarantee
- Easy to move and lightweight
- Excellent fittings
- Great length for most yards
- Not suitable for heavy duty
- Not as tough as a regular hose
3. Best Heavy Duty Garden Hose
Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose
If you’re hard on hoses, particularly if you’re the type who’s prone to leaving them out in the open for extended periods, then you’ll want to opt for a high-quality rubber option. Craftsman makes the best, hands down, and they’ve found use in various industries in addition to the humble backyards of lazy people.
The hose has a wide temperature differential and rubber tends to handle sun and weather much better than any of the other materials on the market. It’s also tough, so if you’re using it in a yard where hazards abound you’re less likely to spring a leak.
These hoses are heavy however, and many of our reviewers weren’t sure if the extra durability is worth it. Treated properly, on the other hand, a Craftsman rubber garden hose is going to last for a long, long time to come and the fittings are made to last.
For those who need a heavy duty hose, this is the way to go. Craftsman delivers with this basic, no-frills, tough as heck option even if it is overkill for some homeowners.
Pros and Cons
- Incredible rubber construction
- Heavy-duty brass fittings
- Easy to put on and remove
- Handles nearly any temperature without getting stiff
- Rather heavy for some people
- Quite expensive
4. Best Soaker Garden Hose
Gilmour Flat Weeper Hose
Soaker hoses are a bit of a niche item, but when we got our hands on this one from Gilmour we felt it would be a shame to pass up the opportunity to show it off. It was hard enough to get them back from reviewers with gardens that we were impressed.
Soaker hoses are a specialty hose, with thousands of small holes which allow for the hose to weep water into the soil without disrupting delicate plants. This was the best one we found, with durable construction and a design which resists UV pretty well and allows for it to be left snaked through the garden bed without worry about having to replace it constantly.
We’d recommend picking up a hose splitter and a regular garden hose if you’re going to use this one, of course, but out of the soaker hoses we took a look at the high-quality construction and seven year warranty made this one a standout option.
If you’ve been looking for a soaker hose, we recommend the Gilmour Flat Weeper. It’s a high-quality hose with a long warranty and probably the best way to handle seedlings and other delicates in the garden.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent soaker design
- Available in a few different sizes
- Allows for watering of super delicate plants
- Seven year warranty
- Not suitable as a main hose
- Tend to develop problems in cold weather, roll them up in the winter
5. Best Budget Garden Hose
Gilmour Flexogen Super Duty Garden Hose
If you’re looking for something basic that will save you a couple of bucks, Gilmour makes this excellent hose. It’s not super heavy-duty, and it’s definitely no Flexzilla, but it’ll serve and comes in a great price.
Unlike many budget hoses that we took a look at there are a couple of extras. The springs to prevent kinking at the spigot and sprayer are pretty well done and the fittings are brass rather than something low quality. They’re also octogonal which makes them easy to work with.
Other than that, well, it’s a garden hose. It’s not going to be winning prizes for innovation anytime soon but for the price it can’t be beat.
If you’ve been looking for a cheap hose to work as a replacement, this simple model might be just what you need.
Pros and Cons
- Springs to prevent kinking
- Great price
- Lots of sizes available
- Excellent fittings
- Kinks relatively easy
- Not super high-quality
How We Chose
Let’s face it, hoses are mostly a simple matter. As long as water flows through it then you’re probably going to find it quite serviceable in the short run at least.
We did come up with a few different criteria to get some objective criteria to go with, however, and we think that with a bit of careful thought and spending some extra money as time goes on you’ll most likely be able to keep yourself well-served for a much longer time than if you were to go with something which is subpar.
Kinks are the devil in hose form.
You’re dragging the hose and it folds over on itself, stopping the flow of water and forcing you to go along the entire length of the hose to find out where it’s folded in on itself. Usually straightening it out is a fairly simple matter, but it’s a big irritation factor for most people.
Unfortunately, due to the way hoses are constructed, it’s pretty much unavoidable. That said, some kink much more easily than others and we put great emphasis on how easily the hose kinked when we were picking out the ones which we brought to you.
The material your hose is made of is something which few people spend a lot of time thinking about. Indeed, most are unaware of the internal construction of their hoses entirely but as a general rule they’re made of some sort of plastic polymer put over a mesh frame which helps the hose to hold its distinctive round shape.
Most hoses are made of either vinyl or rubber.
Vinyl hoses are cheaper, lighter, and less durable than their rubber counterparts. If you’re willing to make sure you use a hose shelter to keep them out of the sun then you can save some money by going with that material.
Since they’re more vulnerable to UV damage, however, they’re not recommended for those who tend to leave their hoses outdoors or live in particularly sunny climates as they’ll have a much shorter lifespan.
Using vinyl hoses in areas with a lot of rocks or other obstructions is also ill advised, as the material tends to puncture easily which can render a brand new hose worthless in a matter of seconds.
There are also some hoses which are comprised of a composite of the two materials. These tend to sit in the middle of the two when it comes to expense, durability, and flexibility.
While almost all hoses in the US and Canada have the same threads, you want to make sure that you don’t accidentally purchase one which comes with British threads since they’re slightly different and won’t mate properly with your spigot.
Fittings for hoses tend to be either plastic or brass. Brass fittings have a lot more durability, but tend to be more expensive upfront. Since a truly worn fitting can end your hose’s effective life we recommend going with brass fittings for the most part.
Many people find that the octagonal fittings which can be found on modern hoses are also quite a bit easier to use than the older models.
For the average home, fifty feet is about the optimal length. This will allow you to get around the yard without running the risk of the hose tangling on obstacles or getting easily punctured. Shorter hoses can be used for very small yards but we found them to be a bit cumbersome even for washing cars so avoided them in our final round-up.
For those who have a very large yard, something in the range of a hundred feet long is a good idea, but you’ll want a hose reel to get that monster back under control once you’re done with whatever job you might be doing.
Types of Hoses
Depending on what you’re looking to do with your garden hose, there are actually some remarkably nice specialized hoses which can make all the difference when it comes time to use them.
Most of these are pretty much single use, however, so think things over carefully if you’ll need a hose for normal tasks like cleaning the car or filling the dog dish.
Expandable hoses are great for those with limited storage space. While they were originally touted as a fix-all for all hose problems, we found that in practice they tend to leak or burst easier than any other models of hose on the market.
They’re worth some consideration if you really have a limited area in your garden, but for the average person they’re simply not going to be worth the bother.
We still recommended our favorite, which in practice we had no issues with although the general consensus among people tends to differ considerably.
Flat hoses… lay flat when there’s no water going through them. This actually makes them remarkably kink-resistant and most of them are quite tough in construction. One of the best parts is that since they run flat, they can also handle the occasional abuse like being run over by your vehicle without any lasting damage.
Lastly, they also tend to automatically drain which is an added advantage since it will prevent water from sitting in the hose and growing algae or attracting bacteria.
Soaker hoses are made of a porous material which allows them to function as an irrigation effort. Unlike a standard hose they’re not great for filling buckets or other purposes, but we found them useful enough in the garden to mention them.
The way they work is by slowly soaking the ground around them. If you’ve ever tried watering delicate plants with a standard hose you know how careful you have to be, in most cases you’ll need to resort to using a watering can or other device and even then you can damage seedlings and other especially delicate plants.
They’re our favorite option for flower beds and herb gardens, since all you need to do is turn them on and let them soak the ground around in order to keep things hydrated.
While many people opt to use sprinkler attachments for their hoses, we found that sprinkler hoses are a pretty good option for some people. We tried a few out but didn’t find them to be worth recommending over a simpler sprinkler attachment.
For large lawns without irrigation running, however, they can do a good job at keeping things green through the summer heat. For the average yard they’re a bit overkill, and we still think you’re better off setting up a sprinkler system in most cases if you’re dedicated to keeping your lawn clean.
They also tend to hit a bit too heavily for seedlings, so we recommend a soaker hose if you’re looking for an easier way to make sure that your plants are kept in good condition.
Garden Hose Care and Maintenance
Taking care of your hoses is a big deal, and it can make the difference between a hose lasting for a couple of years or still functioning fine a decade later. The truth is that a high quality hose, taken care of properly, should last for a long time to come. Cheaper ones should still last a couple of years.
UV radiation is the biggest concern for most hoses. Ultraviolet light breaks down most rubber, vinyl, and other polymers over time and that’ll eventually cause a leak. If you insist on just leaving the hose in your yard then you should probably opt for a heavy duty hose in order to make sure it lasts for a long time.
We found that most rubber hoses will still last for years in this fashion, but we’d recommend some kind of shelter in order to keep things in better shape for as long as possible.
Repeated kinking can also damage a hose after some time. This is pretty easy to avoid with most hoses, and we recommend that you take your time when running out a hose that’s not on a reel in order to ensure that it doesn’t get kinked on obstructions.
The best way to avoid basically every problem that can occur with a hose is simple: put it back when you’re done using it. This will help prevent basically any problems which can occur when you’re using the hose, but if you’re not willing or able to do that then opting for a heavy-duty hose will ensure a longer lifespan.
Ideally a garden hose should be coiled and kept out of the sun when not in use. While reels can be expensive, a good one will keep a hose out of the sun and also keep it coiled. All of that together adds up to a lot of protection and can prolong the life of your hose enough to easily pay for itself within a few years.
At the very least a hook with some sort of sun protection should be used.
If it freezes where you are in the winter, then it’s also a good idea to drain the hose and hang it in the garage or a shed during the cold season when it won’t be in use.
Basically, as long as you take care of your hose it will take care of you.
While garden hoses aren’t as complex as many of the purchases we make for taking care of our landscape at home, they still bear some careful consideration in order to ensure that the one you have is right for you. Whether you opt for a specialized hose or just something simple to keep the water flowing there are some definite contenders for “best” out there.
For simple, around the yard duties the Flexzilla Garden Hose still stands out from the rest, but ultimately the choice rests with you and what you’re planning on doing with the hose.
It’s time to replace that old, frayed, sun-damaged hose lying in the backyard. Don’t you think that you deserve the best garden hose you can find?