For the price, the Flexzilla Garden Hose is tough to beat. As the name implies, it’s a very flexible hose, yet is durable, lightweight, and safe to drink from. This also makes it our pick for the best drinking safe garden hose of 2020 as well!
It’s neon green color will keep you from accidentally running it over with the lawn mower and remind you to coil it up each night.
The key feature of the Flexzilla is it stays malleable in both extreme heat and extreme cold. This is because, unlike most hoses, it is made from a hybrid polymer material, preventing it from kinking under pressure and remaining tangle free.
Cheap in price doesn’t have to mean cheap in quality. Teknor’s Apex NeverKink hose is labeled as ‘extra heavy-duty,’ and it generally stands up to its reputation. As the name also implies, it has a patented anti-kink technology that prevents kinks, twists, and tangles – although it’s debatable whether or not it actually “never kinks.”
The hose also features anti-microbial protection that prevents mold and mildew build-up, which can cause the hose to deteriorate faster over time. This, however, does not make it safe to drink from. The hose is made in the USA and is available in 50 or 100-foot sections at a very reasonable price.
An expandable garden hose is similar to a coiled hose, in that both are aimed at saving space. TBI Pro’s 4-Layer Latex hose is our choice for the best expandable garden hose. Four layers of inner latex ensure lasting durability over the many expansions and contractions of the hose. That inner latex tube is further wrapped in 3750D fabric that protects it from the wear and tear of everyday use.
It expands in seconds, and this model, in particular, includes several additional accessories, including a nozzle attachment, hose splitter, storage bag, and additional hardware for parts that may wear out over time.
Water Right’s 400 Series garden hoses are the perfect option for someone that wants effortless watering from a soft, slim, and lightweight hose. It’s so light, your grandmother could lift it without breaking a sweat.
Additionally, the hose comes in 4 designer colors and uses FDA certified polyurethane resin, which makes it safe to drink from. It is flexible in all weather conditions all the way from sub-freezing up to 140 degrees of hot water.
The price is a bit higher than your standard garden hose, but a rubber hose is arguably the most superior in terms of durability. Leave it outside all winter, and run hot water through it – it won’t even flinch at the thought of either. This rubber hose will hold up to temperatures ranging from -25F all the way up to 180F.
All brass, crush-resistant couplings, and a water pressure rating of up 500psi makes this hose suitable for virtually all conditions. And in case you’re wondering, most home spigots only reach pressures of around 40-60psi. The craftsman hose is the one you’ll want if you’re looking for durability for years to come.
It isn’t complicated, and it’s far from sexy, but Rocky Mount Goods’s flat soaker hose is our pick for the best soaker hose of 2020. Set it around vegetation or bury it just beneath the soil, this hose features a heavy-duty double-layer design that consists of a PVC liner that is wrapped in a durable fabric.
Types of Garden Hoses
Standard Garden Hose
You probably have had one of these before, or you might even have one now! These are your medium-duty hoses that are good for pretty much everything from watering the lawn, washing your lawn mower, or washing your car. They’re cheap, and they get the job done. Although… they’re going to have their kinks, they will not fare very well in the weather, and likely won’t last more than a few seasons before needing to be replaced.
Flat Garden Hose
These are an upgrade from your standard hose and will make your life a bit easier when it comes to storing and using the hose.
Think of the flat cables you use for HDMI connections, phone chargers, and headphones. The concept is the same here, just with water flowing through. These hoses are great for storage in tight spaces and are much easier to keep out of the weather.
Soaker Garden Hose
You wouldn’t think you’d want a hose with holes in it unless you have a garden and other unique areas that need to be frequently watered. A soaker hose typically lays somewhat flat when first rolled out but is very flexible.
It allows you to weave it around flowers, vegetables, and anything else you want to water. Sending a low amount of water through the hose ‘inflates’ it, and through tiny holes, a stream pours out to water the plants. This an excellent choice to save time if you find yourself watering the same route over and over again.
These hoses are even available as nets, so you can simply lay them out across a vegetable patch, flower bed, or even your compost pile.
What size garden hose do I need?
In terms of length, that is covered in the next section. Some garden hoses come in a few different diameters, typically ⅝” or ¾.”You might see some that come in ¼” or even ⅜,” but this is less common.
If you’re not sure, the most common size in the United States is ⅝”. This is the size most often found in home improvement stores. Unless you have a unique application or different size fittings, this is what is probably connected to your home. You can also measure the diameter of your current hose to determine its size.
Features to Consider
There’s nothing worse than being just a few feet short of getting the last little bit of your lawn because you decided to shorten your hose. You want to have a hose that is long enough so you can comfortably reach any part of your property or your car, if you wash it yourself.
The easiest way to figure out how long of a hose you need is to measure in a straight line from the spigot to the farthest corners of your property. If you don’t have a measuring tape long enough, simply walk the distance and then multiply however many steps you take by 3.
Each step is roughly a yard, and there are 3 feet in a yard, which will be a good enough estimate.
Round up whatever number you come up with to either 25 or 50 ft increments. Most hoses are sold in these increments, and you can connect hoses of different lengths together if need be.
Weather is going to be the second most significant contributing factor to wear and tear on your hose, apart from regular use. The sun, bugs, cold air, and your kids are going to do some damage on the hose. So unless you want to be buying a new one next season, make sure you weigh the durability factor of the hose.
Most garden hoses are going to be made of vinyl, rubber, or a combination of the two. There are some hoses made of stainless steel and other non-traditional materials, but long-term success with these is few and far between.
Rubber is more often than not the best option. Although it’s heavier and usually has a higher price tag, it’s less likely to kink, will resist cracking in cold or hot temperatures, and resists UV damage.
Most, if not all, hoses will also have some sort of reinforcement. Mesh lining seems to be standard and helps hoses resist kinking or splinting.
Lead-Free / Pet Use
If you have pets or might find people drinking from the hose, you’ll want a polyurethane garden hose. Growing up, I always drank from our cheap standard hose, which looking back now might not have been safest.
Most hoses today, unless otherwise explicitly marked, will contain lead, BPA, or plasticizers (yup that’s a word), that can leak into the water. There likely isn’t enough leakage to cause damage to plants or grass, but lead isn’t something you want in your drinking water.
A good human or animal-friendly hose will be made of FDA grade polyurethane and will be marked as being free of lead or phthalates.
Couplings aka Fittings
If you want the best, look for cast brass. It’s much thicker and more durable than the stamped sheet metal you’ll see on cheaper hoses and creates the tightest connection between the spigot and hose.
Avoid plastic couplings if possible. It doesn’t hurt to pick up some plumbers tape to wrap around the threads, or some rubber washers to help create a better seal.
Moving down from the spigot and fittings, some hoses may have a collar on them connected to the coupling. This collar helps prevent kinks near the top of the hose, where they commonly form.
Additionally, if you will frequently be attaching and removing the hose, these will make twisting the hose on and off much easier wet or dry.
Expandable garden hoses came on the scene a few years and really have grown in popularity. Their biggest feature: a space-saving design. Imagine the hose like a slinky that retracts when it’s done.
If you have a considerable distance to cover, farther than that of the standard 100’ hose, you might need to double up on hoses.
The majority of hoses you buy can be extended with a connector piece, but just keep this in mind when planning.
Commercial-Grade / Heavy Duty
If this hose is going to see daily use, whether a residential or commercial operation, you’ll want something that can stand up to the wear and tear.
Some hoses may be labeled as “commercial” or “heavy-duty” but may not be able to stand up to the regular use. Be sure it’s made of rubber and has some sort of additional reinforcement.
Nothing is worse than having the hose kink 50’ away when you’ve just unraveled the entire thing. If your property has lots of twists and turns, a kink-free hose might keep your frustration levels to a minimum.
It goes without saying, the longer the hose, the heavier it’s going to be. Additionally, heavy-duty and rubber hoses will weigh significantly more than a standard vinyl hose. Don’t forget that it will be filled with water too.
Hot Water Use
Very few people are going to need a hot water hose. These are typically used for janitorial, restaurant, RV, or plumbing purposes. However, if you want to have a very durable hose, these are tough to beat since they have added material to help stand up to water close to 200F.
With an RV or Marine specific water hose, you want to make sure it’s labeled as such. There’s a good chance potable water will be flowing through one of these. You want to ensure they’re lead free, use FDA approved materials, and durable enough to be taken on the road or water.
As we’ve already covered, vinyl is going to be the cheapest and most common material used to produce different water hoses. It’s typically reinforced with a mesh material to give it better durability. However, these hoses usually kink easily, don’t last more than a few seasons and are not safe to drink from, unless otherwise noted.
Rubber hoses will be your most durable option, although a bit more expensive. These water hoses are less prone to breaking, have better flexibility, but are a little bit heavier.