▷ Best Garden Hoses for Backyard Gardeners (2020 Update)

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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.