▷ Best Garden Hoses for Backyard Gardeners (2018 Update)

Best Garden Hoses for Backyard Gardeners

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.

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 Reel

You know that giant spool you wind your unused garden hose around when it's time to store it? Yeah, it’s called a hose reel, and they’re great for saving space and preserving the life of your hose.

For the backyard gardener, you’ll want an outdoor hose reel that mounts to the side of your house or shed. While everyone has their stylistic preferences, it’s best not to skimp out on something small.

For a full-sized yard, we suggest finding one suitable to hold 100 ft. of ¾ inch hose and with a sturdy hose winder. And if you need a hand with installation, we found this quick YouTube tutorial to be super helpful.

Product 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 PRO Commercial Hose 50 Feet

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 Hose

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

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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    Despite price, customers claim it is durable. 
Cons
  • Some customer reports hold that it cannot support high water pressure.

The Hospaip 50 ft. garden hose clocks in at a very reasonable price point while still delivering great value.

Hospaip 50ft Garden Hose - ALL NEW Expandable Water Hose with Double Latex Core, 3/4 Solid Brass Fittings, Extra Strength Fabric - Flexible Expanding Hose with Metal 8 Function Spray Nozzle by

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.

Pros
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    Compact, lightweight design at 3.7 lbs.
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    Easy to use spray handle
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    Adjustable valve at end of hose to allow for desired water flow.
Cons
  • Some customer reports of leaking after several months of usage.
  • Not very flexible; does not stretch to its advertised length easily.

Best Soaker Hose

Next up, we’ll share the top three soaker hoses.

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.

Gilmour Garden Hose Flat Soaker Black 50 feet 870501-1001

With a perforated PVC liner and fabric cover, the Gilmour gains resistance against ultraviolet light. 

Pros
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    Excellent price point; very high value.
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    Comes with extended 7-year warranty
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    Can be laid for long stretches without bending or kinking.
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    Connects easily as an extension to traditional garden hose.
Cons
  • Prone to springing the occasional leak.

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.

Osmile Professional Series Soaker Hose - 100 Foot by Osmile

The Osmile includes a ¾” hose connection for maximum compatibility.

Pros
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    Suitable for all weather conditions and temperatures
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    Strong durability; resistant to ruptures and leaks.
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    Very water efficient delivery.
Cons
  • Very heavy build at 25 lbs.
  • Difficult to unwind.

Melnor offers a 2-year limited warranty on this flat soaker garden hose that measures in at 50 ft.

Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose; 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.

Pros
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    Super high value, at low price point.
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    Ultra-lightweight at only 1.3 lbs.
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    Flexible and resistant to kinking.
Cons
  • Prone to leaks and ruptures.
  • Features plastic connectors.

Best Lightweight Garden Hose

The next three products are our picks for the best lightweight garden hose.

The Forever Steel Hose garden hose offers a stainless-steel take on the classic garden hose formula.

Forever Steel Hose 50' 304 Stainless Steel Garden Hose - As Seen On TV - Lightweight, Kink-Free, and Stronger Than Ever, Durable and Easy to Use

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.

Pros
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    Unique stainless-steel build.
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    Tangle-free and does not kink.
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    Elegant design and durable “feel” to the model.
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    Relatively light 5.3 lbs.
Cons
  • Some customers report difficulty with connecting to water supply.

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.

LawnPRO 50' Expanding Garden Hose. Kink-Free. 5,000 Denier Woven Casing. Copper Fittings. Steel Assembly Clamps. 12 Month Manufacturers Warranty. + Free Storage Bag

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.

Pros
  • Comes with free storage bag
  • Uniquely designed with ribbed, black woven casing.
  • Equipped with copper fittings.
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    Light 2.3 lbs.
Cons
  • Prone to bursts and leaks.
  • Customers have reported that water pressure cannot be sustainably held over time.

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.

growfast Garden Hose, 100FT Expandable Lightweight and Durable Water Hose with 3/4 Nozzle Solid Brass Connector Flexible Stretch Hosepipe for Heavy Duty Commercial Use and Watering, Washing

Even at this light weight, it still packs brass connectors and a durable latex material for puncture and tear resistance.

Pros
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    Outfitted with solid brass connectors.
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    Features flexible stretch pipe that does not easily tear.
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    Lightweight at 4.76 lbs.
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    Highly durable latex while remaining flexible.
Cons
  • Higher price point.

Best Hose Nozzle

Of course, the nozzle also matters. Here are our top 3 picks.

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.

Homitt 10 Patterns Hose Nozzle, Leak Free Metal Garden Hose Spray Nozzle with Slip Resistant Rubberized Grip and 10 Washers for Garden Life and Washing Car and Pet

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.

Pros
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    All metal casing offers firm grip.
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    10 settings allow gardener to customize exactly to their preference.
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    Very strong jet stream and water pressure.
Cons
  • Nozzle reportedly leaks after heavy usage.
  • Not as durable as competitor models.

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.

VicTsing Garden Hose Nozzle Spray Nozzle, Metal Water Nozzle with Heavy Duty 8 Adjustable Watering Patterns, Slip and Shock Resistant for Watering Plants, Cleaning, Car Wash and Showering Pets

You’ll also get a 12-month warranty and a 60-day money back guarantee.

Pros
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    Highly affordable price point.
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    Great warranty if model break down.
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    Heavy-duty build design.
Cons
  • Can break easily from dropping.

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.

Garden Hose Nozzle / Hand Sprayer - Heavy Duty 10 Pattern Metal Watering Nozzle - High Pressure - Pistol Grip Front Trigger - Flow Control Setting Knob - Suitable for Car Wash, Cleaning, Watering Lawn and Garden - Ideal for Washing Dogs & Pets

This nozzle just looks like it’s made for tough situations, too.

Pros
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    Great water pressure; strong jet stream.
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    Excellent customer service and warranty.
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    Can reach plants while standing further back.
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    Firm grip and easy trigger squeeze.
Cons
  • Prone to chip and metallic end piece is known to rust.

Best Garden Hose Reel

Last, but not least, our picks for the best garden hose reels out there today.

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.

RL Flo-Master 65HR8 Retractable Hose Reel with 8 Spray Pattern Nozzle, 65-Foot

The mounting hardware comes included with the package.

Pros
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    Works exactly as advertised; conveniently retracts garden hose electronically.
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    Discreet appearance, fits snugly into small space.
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    Easy to use.
Cons
  • Easy to use.

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.

Liberty Garden Products 704 Decorative Cast Aluminum Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel, Holds 125-Feet of 5/8-Inch Hose - Bronze

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.

Pros
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    Holds maximum load of hose tubing.
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    Strong hold; durable metallic frame.
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    Heavy duty reel and easy crank for manual use.
Cons
  • Only features a 1-year warranty.
  • Prone to leaking at the swivel after heavy use.

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.

Suncast SFB205M 225-Foot Capacity Hosemobile Pro Hose Reel Cart with Aluminum In-Out Tube

We particularly like its functional design, ability to hold gardening accessories, and sturdy resin for maximum durability.

Pros
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    Can support up to 225 feet of hose.
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    Simple locking mechanism.
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    Easy to use; straightforward and relatively light to transport manually.
Cons
  • Wheels tend to wobble and get caught.
  • Plastic build design.

The Roundup

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.

About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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