The water hose is one of the few essentials for any home gardener. Whether you’re tending to your lawn, garden, or sprinkler system, a trusty hose is necessary for carrying water to your plants. But not all hoses are made equal. Today, we will explore what makes the best garden hoses for backyard gardeners.
Looking for an irrigation upgrade? Before making an impulse purchase, you should know exactly what to look for according to your individual needs. In other words, let me help you make the right choice to make sure you don’t get, well, hosed.
Best Water Hose
This is the generic tube component of the hose. The thing everybody, even non-gardeners, keep coiled up in their garage. So, for this, I’ll keep it simple.
As explained by Blain’s Farm & Fleet, the basic garden hose is made with either vinyl, rubber, or a combination of both. Rubber hoses are heavy-duty and more cumbersome to carry, although they last longer and can tolerate hot water well. While vinyl hoses are comparatively lighter, I’ve rarely owned one that lasts longer than a single spring and summer season.
When searching for the best water hose, pay attention to the ply count. Simply put, plies are layers. And more ply means more strength. Your typical garden hose will consist of between one and six plies, with the best water hoses for backyard gardeners will land somewhere in the middle.
Size and length are important considerations here. When taking length into account, you have to keep in mind that water pressure decreases the longer the hose extends.
This means that you should figure out precisely how long your hose needs to be to reach across your yard, and go with nothing further than that. When it comes to size, your standard ¾-inch diameter tubing is ideal as this width allows for the most water to be carried at once. If you still end up with a lot of hose, you may want to take a look at our hose reel reviews to keep everything tidy.
Lastly, you’ll need to think about coupling. (And no, not that kind of coupling.) Coupling, or fitting, refers to where the hose connects to the tap or spigot. You will have the choice of either plastic or brass. While brass lasts longer, plastic is the perfect choice for those of you with weaker hands like me.
Best Expandable Hose
If you’re my age, you might remember a time when you needed to link two water hoses together to buy yourself some extra length. Thankfully, today there are stretchable hoses on the market that can expand to several times their reach when unfilled.
These collapsible garden hoses contain an elastic rubber inner lining that allows the tube to contract in the absence of water pressure. This is super convenient if you’re limited on space, or hate having to deal with constant tangling or kinking.
This particular brand of hose is several times lighter than a conventional garden hose, and come up to three times longer when fully expanded. For those of you with a larger-than-average yard size, an expanding garden hose is a must.
However, be sure to check the fabric quality–I’ve heard from multiple buyers that 600Dx600D nylon outlasts 420Dx800D by a long shot.
Best Soaker Hose
What is a soaker hose? The soaker hose is an all-in-one drip irrigation system. It’s like a regular water hose, except it’s punctured with small holes along one side. Depending on the pressure, this allows for water to drip or spray out of the hose and be applied directly to your plants. Talk about efficiency!
A soaker hose is ideal for getting at those hard-to-reach areas at the root level. Laying a soaker hose down along the soil and gently applying pressure allows you to water your plants while preserving far more water than a traditional hose.
It makes sense, then, to go for a soaker if you’re living in a water-sensitive location or somewhere prone to droughts. We suggest looking out for a model with a thick rubber tube as insects and other critters who rummage around your soil tend to eat away at the hose over time.
Best Lightweight Garden Hose
There’s nothing worse than dragging around a heavy, kinked hose in the middle of the summer heat. Thankfully, advances in manufacturing have made hose portability a dream.
Super-slim lightweight hoses are now commonplace with the introduction of synthetic fibers known as polyethylene. A slim garden hose made of this material makes all-day gardening feel like a breeze.
Even lighter yet, featherweight garden hoses weigh approximately 0.1 lbs per foot of tubing. These are simply the best lightweight garden hoses on the market, as they can be handled comfortably by young and old alike.
So, what’s the catch? Unfortunately, the fiber quality of lightweight, slim garden hoses is no match for the tough rubber and heavy nylon found in the best water hoses. If longevity is a concern, we suggest picking up a couple to last you through the summer.
Best Hose Nozzle
When choosing the best hose nozzle, there are two major elements you need to pay attention to. First is water pressure, second is ergonomics.
The best high-pressure hose nozzle is one which has a pistol grip and a metallic composition. These units are by far the most effective for generating pressure in comparison to, say, the turret grip handle or the watering wand.
This is because their lock mechanism is far more secure than their plastic competitors, and their ergonomic fit means you can firmly squeeze the trigger.
To make it quick for you: the best hose nozzle for pressure is both metallic and features a pistol grip.
Best Garden Hose Reviews
Check out the guide below to see how the best garden hoses on the market measure up.
Best Water Hoses
First, we’ll start with reviews of three noteworthy water hoses.
GreenPro Rubber Garden Hose
The 2018 Pro Green rubber hose offers a 5-year warranty to go along with its excellent materials – a hybrid polymer with anodized brass ends.
I found it easy to set up, and it holds together well in the long run thanks to its sturdy manufacturing. The Pro Green hose is rated for 150 psi working pressure.
Gilmour PRO Commercial Hose 50 Feet
For gardeners who want maximum durability, you’ll find that the Gilmour PRO rubber and vinyl hose can handle just about anything you throw at it.
With 500 PSI burst strength, a crush-resistant brass connection, and integrated O-ring, the Gilmour PRO commercial hose can handle tough jobs. It’s especially suited to warm environments with its rubber material composition.
Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose, 50FT.
For a good combination of durability and affordability, the Craftsman Premium rubber garden hose fits the bill.
While the Craftsman hose sits on the heavy end of the weight scale at 10 lbs., you’ll enjoy its full lifetime warranty and tough design at a great price point.
Best Expandable Hoses
Next, we’ll share our best expandable hose picks.
Ohuhu 100 Feet Expandable Garden Hose
With its fun name – Ohuhu – and highly-expandable design, this hose can handle any garden challenge.
We think you’ll particularly like its 8-mode spray nozzle, leak-resistant brass connector, and kink-resistant capabilities. Best of all, the Ohuhu hose won’t slow you down at a mere 2.68 lbs.
Quality Source Products 50 Feet Expandable
While expandable hoses don’t often win awards for durability, we think the Quality Source garden hose will impress you with its multi-layer latex core and distinct lack of plastic fittings.
Brass connectors, kink resistance, and a 12-month warranty for manufacturing defects round out the package.
Hospaip 50ft Expandable Garden Hose
The Hospaip 50 ft. garden hose clocks in at a very reasonable price point while still delivering great value.
While some customers reported leaking, its brass connectors, zinc alloy spray nozzle, and 2750D polyester fabric cover are considered industry-standard when it comes to durability and pressure capability. The Hospaip hose also comes with a free 8-pattern hose nozzle as a bonus.
Best Soaker Hoses
Next up, we’ll share the top three soaker hoses.
Gilmour Flat Weeper/Soaker 50 Foot
The Gilmour soaker hose combines a bottom-of-the-barrel price point with above-average features, including a clog-resistant fabric cover, 7-year warranty, and flexible tubing that makes it easy to use for both new seedlings and mature gardens alike.
With a perforated PVC liner and fabric cover, the Gilmour gains resistance against ultraviolet light.
Osmile Professional Series Soaker Hose - 100 Foot
The Osmile soaker hose will make you smile when you realize it can achieve 1 gallon per foot per hour at low pressure, making it great for both the lawn and the garden.
The Osmile includes a ¾” hose connection for maximum compatibility.
Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose; 50 ft.
Melnor offers a 2-year limited warranty on this flat soaker garden hose that measures in at 50 ft.
We particularly appreciated how easy it’s stored thanks to its flattening capability, flexibility, and rust-resistant end cap that allows for easy connection to standard garden hose thread.
Best Lightweight Garden Hoses
The next three products are our picks for the best lightweight garden hose.
Forever Steel House (50’) 304 Stainless Steel Garden Hose
The Forever Steel Hose garden hose offers a stainless-steel take on the classic garden hose formula.
We’ve truly never seen anything like it. With its flex ridge design, it avoids kinks and tangles, and there isn’t anything out there that’s going to puncture stainless steel. Best of all, it weighs in at 5.3 lbs.
LawnTEC LawnPRO 50’ Expanding Garden Hose
The LawnTEC LawnPRO 50-foot garden hose weighs in at under 2.5 lbs., making it a great choice for gardeners who need a durable product that’s feather-light.
With copper fittings and steel assembly clamps, the LawnPRO hose can handle the toughest garden conditions. Plus, it’s all backed by a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty.
Growfast Garden Hose, 100FT Expandable Lightweight
The most durable lightweight hose on this list is the Growfast Garden Hose. It’s a 100-ft. expandable lightweight hose that weighs in at 4.76 lbs.
Even at this light weight, it still packs brass connectors and a durable latex material for puncture and tear resistance.
Best Hose Nozzle
Of course, the nozzle also matters. Here are our top 3 picks.
Homitt 10 Pattern Hose Nozzle
The Hommit 10-pattern hose nozzle comes with an adjustable water flow valve, portable lock bar, and a standard ¾” connector designed for all standard hoses in the United Stastes.
Even at its low price point, the Hommit nozzle still packs a punch with 10 configurations: vert, angle, center, mist, shower, rinse, cone, jet, ½ vert, and soaker.
VicTsing Garden Hose Nozzle
The VicTsing garden hose nozzle offers 8 spray patterns, including center, flat, mist jet, cone, shower, soaker, and rinse. Its advanced materials include a metal body and a rubberized outer coating, making the VicTsing easy to grip and slip-resistant.
You’ll also get a 12-month warranty and a 60-day money back guarantee.
Gardenite Garden Hose Nozzle
For a heavy-duty garden hose nozzle that can really pack a punch, the Gardenite hose nozzle offers a pistol grip front trigger, a flow control setting knob, and a durable design with 10 configurations.
This nozzle just looks like it’s made for tough situations, too.
Best Garden Hose Reel
Last, but not least, our picks for the best garden hose reels out there today.
RL Flo-Master 65HR8 Retractable Hose Reel
A good hose reel is worth its weight in gold, and the RL Flo-Master 65HR8 gets the job done with an automatic guide that stops hoses from overlapping while retracting, a bonus 8-pattern nozzle included with every purchase, and mounting brackets that enable a 180-degree swivel.
The mounting hardware comes included with the package.
Liberty Garden Products 704 Decorative Cast Aluminum Wall Mount Garden House Reel
This reel evokes a sense of Victorian-era sensibilities with an intricate design and bronze texture. Fortunately, the Liberty Garden hose reel combines functionality with form.
It can hold up to 125-feet of 5/8” garden hose and includes a shelf for frequently-used equipment. A 1-year warranty doesn’t hurt, either.
Suncast SFB205M 225-Foot Capacity Housemobile Pro Hose Reel Cart
With support for up to 225 feet of hose, the Suncast Hosemobile reel cart (try saying that 5 times in a row) wins our “Most Durable” award in the reel category.
We particularly like its functional design, ability to hold gardening accessories, and sturdy resin for maximum durability.
In the end, the hose you decide on should be one suited for you and your specific gardening needs. However, broadly speaking, the best water hose for backyard gardeners is the Growfast Garden Hose. It’s lightweight, sleek, and built to last. Overall, this hose offers a complete package that any gardener could benefit from.