▷ Best Garden Hoses for Backyard Gardeners (2019 Update)

Best Garden Hoses for Backyard Gardeners

Written by Joseph Biggs and updated on January 14, 2018
Best Water Hoses for Backyard Gardeners

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.

The Rundown

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.

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.

All NEW 2018 Rubber Garden Hose by Pro Green | 5/8 in. x 50 ft, Heavy Duty, Strong Rubber, Flexible & Lightweight | Water Hose Commercial Worthy | Full Customer Warranty

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.

Pros
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    Connectors hold strong and do not lose bind over time.
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    Thick, strong, and kink-free.
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    Bright color allows for easy detection and fun personalization.
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    Capable of withstanding extreme temperatures.
Cons
  • A little on the heavier side at 8.3 lbs.
  • Only a five-year warranty on a heavy-duty model.

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.

Gilmour 25034050 Comm RBR/Vin Hose, 3/4 by 50'

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.

Pros
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    High durability; often lasts ten years or longer.
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    Rubber lining means that it is resistant to heat in warmer climates.
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    Comes with lifetime warranty backed by the trusted Gilmour brand.
Cons
  • This model tends to kink immediately out of the box
  • Rubber material causes the hose to weigh in at 10.5 lbs.

For a good combination of durability and affordability, the Craftsman Premium rubber garden hose fits the bill.

Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose, 50FT. x 5/8. inch

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.

Pros
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    All-black minimalist design
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    Excellent return policy, even if damaged by negligence.
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    Very tough and kink-free.
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    Easy to reel in and wind.
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    Metal fittings on both ends for added security.
Cons
  • Heavy build at 10 lbs.

Best Expandable Hoses

Next, we’ll share our best expandable hose picks.

With its fun name – Ohuhu – and highly-expandable design, this hose can handle any garden challenge.

Ohuhu Expandable Garden Hose, 100 Feet Strong Expanding Garden Hose, 100 ft Flexible Water Hose with All Brass Connector & 8-Pattern High Pressure Spray Nozzle

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.

Pros
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    Extremely versatile. Long length with expandability.
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    Requires ⅓ of the space of a regular water hose.
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    100% kink-free, so it’s easy to organize and tuck away
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    Compact coil. 
Cons
  • Latex tubing leaves durability uncertain.
  • The plastic spray nozzle may not generate high water pressure.

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.

Quality Source Products Garden Hose 50 Feet Expandable Hose with All Brass Connectors Expanding 3X Size

Brass connectors, kink resistance, and a 12-month warranty for manufacturing defects round out the package.

Pros
  • Great value; among the most affordable models with brass connectors.
  • No plastic fittings. This makes for optimum coupling with the water supply or nozzle.
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    Super lightweight at 2.1 lbs.
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