Despite the ever-growing pace of technological advancement in our society, the tools we use to take care of our lawns and gardens have remained mostly consistent. After all, it is difficult to truly improve on something that already performs its assigned task adequately.
Naturally, this list of garden tools includes the trusty hose, which has been one of the most efficient ways to water our garden since its inception. Still, the classic metal hose has been upgraded over the years, namely in the materials they use.
These days, an expandable hose is not only one of the most efficient variants of a garden hose but also one of the most convenient. With an expandable comes significantly less weight, easy storage when not in use, and some of the best performance available.
An expandable hose may not be the ideal choice for every situation, but when it comes to taking care of your lawn and your garden, it won’t be outperformed very often.
Buyer’s Guide to the Best Expandable Hose
An expandable hose is a very simple tool; of course, it sprays water like a hose, but it can stretch and contract. Initially, they rest at a short length, but when they fill with water they stretch to great lengths.
These stretching hoses are labeled as an expansion hose or an expanding hose, but they are usually just called expandable hoses. These slightly different names all refer to the same product.
But why should you consider an expanding hose? An expandable hose waters things just like a classic hose. However, it does that job more efficiently, and with a lot of nifty conveniences that make it easier to use and less of a hassle to maintain.
Some of these benefits include lightweight, extreme flexibility, and ease of storage when not in use. And of course, an expandable hose can use all the same fittings as a traditional rubber hose. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll cover all of these features and more in detail, as well as discuss which features to take into consideration when you are searching for a product.
Features Unique to an Expandable Hose
While an expanding hose ultimately achieves the same thing as a traditional hose, it has some features unique to it that make it a better choice than a classic one. The biggest difference between the two is the materials involved.
While a classic hose is often made with durable but heavy vinyl or rubber, an expandable garden hose is usually made with lightweight materials, like latex and nylon. Combined with a latex core, this creates a garden hose that is still tough, but also quite flexible. Considering how heavy and clumsy a classic hose is, it is pretty obvious why one might want an expandable garden hose for this reason alone.
On top of that, storage of an expandable garden hose is very easy; not only does the lightweight and flexibility make it easy to coil, but your typical expanding hose is self-draining, so water pressure won’t stop you from coiling it back up. In fact, because of their elasticity, an expanding garden hose will often coil of its own accord when not filled with water, making your job even easier.
Frankly, the expandable garden hose has a bad reputation in regard to its durability. It’s not hard to see why; aside from the fact that flexible things are often regarded as fragile, your average expandable hose wasn’t very durable in the earliest days of its usage.
In fact, they were often flimsy compared to the heavy but tough classic hose. But that was ten years ago, and the materials used in your typical expandable garden hose have greatly improved.
Some of these hoses have a density of 5000D or greater, making them ten times tougher than their original counterparts and just as durable as your typical classic hose.
The best expandable garden hose will have double inner tubing; a tough outer layer of material will often cover a latex core, which adds the stretch factor. But with just one inner tube, the chances of springing a leak are greatly increased.
That’s why a top of the line expandable garden hose will have a second tube outside of that one, as a redundant fail-safe barrier. If the innermost tube springs a leak, the water will still be contained in the second inner tube and the outer layer protects the inner one as well.
Finally, you have the fittings. Naturally, the versatility of a garden hose is mostly determined by those fittings. After all, that’s how you make use of a spray nozzle or other useful tools.
Thankfully this aspect is no different from your classic garden hose. Like a regular garden hose, an expandable hose can come with all sorts of fittings, from plastic and aluminum to brass. Of course, brass fittings are the better option, as they are much more durable and reliable.
But like your typical garden hoses, you can find an expandable hose with both cheap and quality fittings. It’s just a matter of ensuring the product you are looking at uses brass connectors.
What You Should Consider When Shopping
Like any product, there are many different factors to consider when you are looking for an expandable hose. The main appeal of an expandable hose is its lightweight and flexibility, those are two of the things most people consider.
Of course, the maximum length of the expandable hose is also very important. After all, the more length your expandable garden hose has available, the larger the area you can cover with it.
But the hose length and weight are secondary to durability. These expandable hoses often use two inner latex layers for durability and flexibility, but some have more layers, which means more durability.
Fittings are also a major part of durability; you should always choose a hose with solid brass fittings. Finally, any product that comes with extra accessories, like a spray nozzle or sprinkler, is particularly noteworthy.
Once all of that has been taken into consideration, you can check for things like a good warranty (like Flexi Hose that offers a lifetime warranty), a money back guarantee, and a good price in general. Some products are more expensive despite offering no superior features.
Taking all of this into consideration, you should have no trouble selecting a quality expandable hose while shopping. But to make your life a little easier, we’ve compiled reviews of some of the top garden hoses available. Using these reviews, we hope you’ll have a simple time selecting the best expandable hose for your needs.
Best Expandable Garden Hoses Reviewed
GrowGreen Heavy Duty 50′ Feet Lightweight Expandable Hose Set
This GrowGreen Heavy Duty Expandable Hose is a solid 50 feet long when operating under standard water pressure, yet only 17 feet when not in use. This makes for a versatile garden hose that can stretch to nearly any point in your lawn or garden but is still easy to store when you are finished with it.
Moreover, it only weighs a measly 2.5 lbs on its own, making it very easy to move around. This lightweight might be a good choice for those who just can’t lug around a heavy hose all day, or for those who simply don’t want to.
This all black hose from GrowGreen is made with high quality materials, namely PVC, high quality polyester, and brass connectors, a feature that may come in handy for those that want to reliably connect their hose accessories.
Finally, this hose is a package deal that also included a built-in shutoff valve, which could be useful for turning off the water without going back to the faucet, and a storage sack that could help keep the hose out of the elements and extend its life. It’s hard to claim any hose as the ‘best’ expandable hose, but this product is a very solid choice as far as expandable hoses go.
- Brass connectors are durable and reliable
- Only 17 feet when not in use
- Extremely light weight makes it easy to carry
- Comes with a built in shut off valve
- Includes a storage sack
- Has a small diameter, and can’t exert significant water pressure
TBI Pro Expandable Garden Hose 50ft
Another 50 foot hose, the TBI Pro is undoubtedly one of the most durable expandable hoses we’ll be discussing. In fact, it is probably one of the best options, for a wide array of reasons.
First of all, it is made with outer fabric with a density of 3750D; on the high end to be sure, but the latex core is really noteworthy, as it has four layers, whereas a typical hose will only have two. Four layers mean twice as much strength as your typical two layers that the vast majority of hoses use.
That durability is further enhanced by brass fittings and connectors, beneficial for the long amount of time they will last. And even with all of that, the hose only weighs approximately 3.5 lbs. Like most other 50 foot hoses, this one shrinks down to around 17 feet when not in use.
On top of all of that, the TBI Pro comes with a whole lot of extra accessories. This includes a 2-way hose splitter, a 9-way zinc sprayer, a hose hanger, additional washers, and a storage bag. For the price you actually pay for this hose, that’s quite a lot of bang for your buck.
With all of these features taken into account, this hose is beneficial to just about everyone; it’s light enough to carry with ease, tough enough to withstand the abuse, and versatile enough to tackle a wide array of tasks. Sure, there are longer expandable hoses out there, but it’s not a bad tradeoff in the least.
- Four layers of latex provide excellent durability
- Comes with a versatile array of accessories
- Still light despite the extra layers of material
- Length is just average, nothing special
TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Hose
Another 100 foot hose, this product from TheFitLife is notable for its triple layer latex core. Granted, three is not as many as the hose prior to this one, but most expandable hoses only have two, so a triple latex core is still better than average.
On the other hand, the materials used in the outer layer are vague at best, with the product only labeling it as ‘high quality fabric’, which is a little dubious. The connectors are brass, however, which is of course beneficial to anyone that wants longer lasting reliability.
Honestly, there’s not too much that makes this hose particularly unique aside from the aforementioned triple latex core. It does come with a spray nozzle with eight available water patterns, but this is a feature plenty of other hoses have as well.
It’s also a bit more expensive than most of the competition, despite bearing many of the same features. This is not to say that the hose is bad, only that it doesn’t significantly exceed the quality of any others, while still managing to be mildly more expensive. It has its strong points, but they might not be worth the increased cost.
- The triple latex core is more resilient than most hoses
- 100 foot in length offers great reach around the garden
- Brass connectors are more durable than the plastic some hoses use
- The product only lists the outer material as ‘high quality fabric’
- Is a bit more expensive than most hoses of this length
Titan 50ft Hose
The Titan 50ft hose is a pretty average specimen. It too has a 3750D density polyester outer weave, a double latex core, brass connectors, a built in shutoff valve, and a resting length of 16-17 feet. It’s another ‘good but not great’ hose.
It can still meet your regular gardening needs better than a classic hose, but as far as an expandable variant goes, it doesn’t offer any extraordinary feature that sets it apart from all other products. It does come with a storage bag, extra washers, and a simple nozzle, but this also is something many other products offer.
Again, the hose is as tough and flexible as you would expect one to be, so it certainly isn’t bad. But it is a bit more expensive than much of the competition without offering anything noteworthy that the others don’t.
The one feature worth noting about this product is actually the warranty; it comes with 24-month replacement for defective products, and a thirty day money back guarantee. Granted, warranties aren’t all that uncommon on gardening products, but not every hose has one: or a good one, at any rate.
- Brass connectors are superior to plastic
- Built shut off valve makes it more convenient to use
- 24 month defective product replacement warranty
- Has no particularly extraordinary features for its price
Vieneci 100ft Expandable Hose
At this point in the article, you may be noticing that many of these products include the same features and that there really isn’t that much of a difference between most of them. This one is no different.
33 feet when not in use, this hose has a double latex core, brass fittings, and a polyester fabric outer layer. Like much of the competition, it comes with a nine function spray nozzle, a storage bag, a hanger, and extra sealing rings.
This once again places it into the category of ‘average, but not extraordinary.’ It will do exactly what you expect an expandable hose to do, but there are undoubtedly some alternatives out there that will last longer.
That said, it is worth noting that this hose, like some of the competition, is also slightly more expensive despite not offering something unique, like a triple or even quadruple latex core.
While it would perform adequately, it wouldn’t do it any better than a slightly cheaper alternative with all the same features. It meets expectations, it just doesn’t surpass them.
- Comes with a nine function spray nozzle for versatility
- Two inner layers of latex for durability
- Fittings are durable and reliable
- Offers no unique or noteworthy features compared to your average hose
Growfast 100ft Expandable Garden Hose
Compared to many of the other expandable hoses on this list, this product boasts an extremely respectable hose length of 100 feet. But while 100 feet obviously gives you a lot of room to maneuver, it also means the hose is a sizable 40ft even when not in use.
The long length may be great for moving around your entire yard without having to switch faucets, but it also means someone with little storage space might find it a little problematic. Weight aside, this long hose is very durable, thanks to its Polypropylene core and thermoplastic polymer exterior.
The good news is that this expandable garden hose comes with multiple connectors and a nozzle adapter, which is beneficial because it increases the number of situations it is viable.
Unfortunately, these connectors and adapters are plastic, and therefore not especially durable. So long as you are careful with them they should last quite some time, but regardless of how well you care for the hose, these fittings won’t survive as long as brass ones would have.
On top of that, this hose is almost twice the weight of the previous products on this list at five lbs. Granted, five lbs isn’t really all that much to hold even in comparison to 2.5 lbs, but it is still worth noting. That said, five lbs are still significantly lighter than most traditional rubber hoses.
- Has an extremely long length of 100 feet
- Comes with various size fittings and an adapter for versatility
- Shrinks to less than half of its total size when not in use
- Connectors and adapters are not the ideal material
- Is approximately twice as heavy as most other expandable hoses
Now that we’ve briefly covered this array of the best expandable garden hoses, we’d like to part with our advice for choosing the ideal hose for your needs. It’s not our place to say which hose is the absolute ‘best’, but we can tell you what qualities make the best hose, and how much consideration each quality should receive.
Latex Cores: Nearly every expandable hose has two latex cores. But more cores means more durability, so a hose with three or even four cores will be even tougher and less likely to spring a leak. This is by far the most important thing to consider.
Brass Fittings: Admittedly, most of these products use this durable material for fittings. But some still use plastic, which is much less durable. You should always go for brass if you want the hose to last.
Length: No matter how good a hose is, if it isn’t long enough for your needs it is no good. The most common lengths are 50 and 100 feet, but you can find things like 25 or even 125 if you need them.
Extra Accessories: A lot of these hoses come with extra accessories, like spray nozzles, extra washers, storage bags, etc. It’s common, but not guaranteed. The more you get for your money the better, so consider how many accessories you get with your purchase.
Cost: Nearly all of these best expandable garden hoses are in the same price range, with a difference of more than $10 being rare. But if you want to save money, compare prices regularly. There’s no need to buy a more expensive hose with the exact same features as a cheaper one.
Weight: This is the least important quality because it is the most consistent. Nearly all 50 foot hoses weigh 2.5-3 lbs, and nearly all 100 foot hoses weigh 4.5-5.5 lbs. The differences are so slight it should be the last thing you base a judgment on.
These qualities are the most important factors to consider when you choose an expandable hose, as everything else is universal; they are all flexible, and they all stretch and contract.
The above qualities are not universal and therefore make the difference in each hose. An expandable hose is ideal for anyone that regularly works in the garden, but with this advice, we hope to help you find the perfect one for you.