We can’t re-invent the wheel, and with many basic gardening tools, there’s not much we can do to improve on the designs people have been using for generations.
You might think garden hoses fall into this category, but you’d be wrong – so here are our top picks for best expandable garden hose.
At a glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Expandable Garden Hose
The Best Expandable Garden Hose of 2019
1. Flexi Hose Upgraded Expandable Garden Hose (Our Top Recommended)
For anyone looking to remove some of the hard work and effort from gardening, this lightweight 50ft expandable hose could be a great choice. This is a very inexpensive product but is still very well made – so much so that it comes backed up with a lifetime replacement guarantee.
It features a strong double latex core that gives a great combination of toughness and flexibility, while the shell is made of high-strength polyester to keep the core safely protected from being damaged during regular use.
It also incorporates superior-quality solid brass fittings that are designed to resist against the weather, corrosion or any other type of damage. There is also an on-off switch for ease of use.
Although this hose can reach up to 50ft in length when in use, after use, it quickly shrinks back to only 17ft by itself – you don’t need to do anything more than wait a few minutes for this to happen. Once back to its original size, you can easily coil it up and store it away until you need it again.
Another feature we particularly appreciate is the eight-function spray nozzle it comes with. It is made of zinc alloy and includes a comfortable rubber handle. The variable settings will give you much greater flexibility over the different tasks you need to perform.
If you are used to using a regular rubber hose, you will also appreciate how this hose is designed to be kink-free and tangle-free. Unlike with a regular hose, it won’t block the water as you drag it around to water your flowers or clean the car.
And now a couple of negatives. We were disappointed with the hose head that comes with it – it doesn’t appear to be of the same quality as the rest of the hose and may be prone to springing leaks.
Also, due to the way the hose works, it is less useful with things like sprinklers. Because it has to fill up to expand, you can’t connect it to a distant sprinkler until it’s turned on and water is running out. Once it is on, you can then walk to your sprinkler, but you’ll be spraying water the whole time.
There are possible ways round this problem, but it’s more awkward than when using an old-fashioned hose for this.
This would be a great option for someone who is looking for a versatile and inexpensive yet good-quality and reliable hose. It has a respectable maximum of 50ft in length, which would be enough for most people. However, if you prefer a bit more length, you are better off looking elsewhere.
- Lifetime replacement guarantee – peace of mind if anything goes wrong
- Kink resistant, tangle resistant and leak resistant – highly convenient to use
- 8-function spray nozzle included – makes this a versatile hose
- Solid brass fittings – built to last
- Lightweight and flexible – practical for anyone to use
- The supplied head is not of the same quality as the rest of the hose – prone to leaks
- Less useful for applications like sprinklers – must expand to reach further points your yard
2. Nifty Grower 100ft Garden Hose
This 100ft professional-grade expandable hose is the ideal option for someone with a large garden to water or who otherwise requires some extra reach. A 100ft rubber hose would be extremely heavy to drag around – and would require lots of space to store – and this is a perfect alternative.
It is very well constructed and built to last. The core is made of a double layer of latex, providing enhanced toughness while not adding too much weight. The shell is made of a strong polyester fabric, which protects the core while holding its shape well when expanding or shrinking.
The solid brass fittings are also high quality. They are resistant to damage and corrosion and will help ensure the hose has the longest possible lifespan. With build features like this, it is a hose that should last for many seasons before needing to be replaced.
This hose is also designed to withstand pressure of up to 12bar, allowing it to deliver a high-power jet of water – although optimum pressure is rated at 3-6bar. It can also withstand water temperatures of 41-113°, meaning you can use it with relatively hot water when needed.
This hose also comes with a handy carrying bag, making it easy and convenient to store away when not in use or carry it around when needed.
There are one or two minor issues to mention. With this hose, as with many similar versions, since the hose expands and grows, the water pressure inside will be reduced. This means it will be less useful with jet attachments or anything similar as the water won’t come out fast enough.
Also, if you don’t hold it at the end when you are using it and, for example, you lay it down to water a patch of flowers, you may also find that it begins to shrink back down due to the way expanding hoses work.
This is a great option for someone who needs something to replace a heavy, old-fashioned rubber hose and who has a large garden or otherwise needs extra reach. However, if you don’t need such a long hose, a shorter option might be a better pick.
- 100ft maximum extension – allows you to reach everywhere
- Durable and resistant solid brass fittings – made to last
- Tough double latex core to prevent leaks and tears – a reliable product
- Polyester fabric shell for added strength – also designed to increase lifespan
- High-quality storage bag included – practical for when not in use
- Lowers faucet water pressure – makes it less useful if you need a strong jet of water
- Need to hold it – otherwise it begins to shrink again
3. Forever Steel Hose 50' 304 Stainless Steel Garden Hose
This hose is perhaps not technically an expandable hose, but we wanted to include it in our reviews since it shares many of the advantages true expandable hoses have over traditional rubber versions.
It is made of strong and sturdy stainless steel and is designed to be thorn-proof, pet-proof, weather-proof, kid-proof and leak-proof – in fact, it’s practically indestructible.
If you are fed up of traditional rubber hoses that are forever springing leaks or being chewed through by your dog, this one could well be worth checking out.
You might imagine that a metal hose would be heavy, but in fact, this hose is also very lightweight – probably more so even than a regular hose. This means it’s not only strong and durable but also easy to carry about and use.
Another advantage of the steel construction is that it’s completely tangle-proof and kink-proof. It’s literally impossible to fold it over to block the water or tangle it up. Again, this makes it much easier to use than a regular rubber hose.
Another great feature we love is that it is supplied with a special stainless-steel outer case. This makes it easier to roll out when you need to use it, but equally, it makes it simple to roll back up when you’ve finished. It’s also easy to store when not in use.
Finally, this hose has a lower price tag than you might expect, making it great value for money.
On the downside, the diameter of the internal hose is smaller than on a regular garden hose. This means the water flow is restricted, so you won’t have the same water pressure you are used to. Also, when you start using this hose, it feels strange and will take some getting used to!
This would be an ideal pick for anyone who values strength and durability above all – but also who appreciates convenience, ease of use and a very reasonable price. A recommended option.
- Stainless steel hose – is almost indestructible
- High-quality materials – highly resistant to weather and corrosion
- Very lightweight despite metal construction – easy to carry
- Comes complete with stainless steel outer case for storage – practical and convenient
- Very affordable price – costs less than you might imagine
- Diameter of hose smaller than a regular hose – restricts waterflow somewhat
- Takes some getting used to – will feel strange using a metal hose at first
4. TheFitLife Best Expandable Garden Hose
If you like the sound of expandable hoses but require something a bit more heavy-duty and durable, this could be the one you are looking for.
It includes several build features that make it even tougher and resistant to wear and tear than many of its competitors. Notably, it includes a triple latex core for increased ruggedness. This hose is unlikely to ever spring a leak.
The shell is also built for toughness – it is made of high-density woven polyester fabric to ensure the core is kept protected and safe inside. It also incorporates high-quality brass fittings that are built to last and will resist all forms of corrosion and other damage.
In fact, this hose is so well built that the manufacturer has tested it for up to 1,200 uses – this is supposedly far more than the 200 or so uses other hoses are tested for.
This hose is available in a selection of lengths, including 25ft, 50ft, 75ft and 100ft maximum length. Whichever you choose, when not in use, it shrinks back down to only a third of this length.
It is also designed to make your life easier – whether you use it for watering the plants, washing the car or anything else, it won’t kink, tangle or twist. This takes all the hassle out of using it that you might be used to with regular rubber hoses.
Finally, the spray nozzle that comes with it gives you eight different setting options, including full, flat, mist, soaker, cone, jet, angled and shower. This should give you all the flexibility you need, whatever use this hose is destined for.
And now a couple of negatives you should be aware of. As with many hoses of this type, due to the way it expands, you won’t receive the same water pressure coming out of the end as you would with a regular hose – so it is less useful if you need a powerful jet.
Also, and again this is true with many expandable hoses, if the water pressure from your faucet is not high enough, the hose will be unable to extend to its full length.
This is a great choice for anyone who wants an expandable hose that will stand up to above-average rigors of use. The fact there are several different lengths to choose from means you can pick exactly the right one for you.
This hose might be priced slightly above comparable products, but this reflects the superior build quality and ruggedness – this hose is still great value for money.
- Extra-strong triple latex core – gives increased ruggedness and durability
- High-density woven polyester shell – keeps the latex core protected
- Very lightweight despite the triple core – easy to handle
- Tested for up to 1,200 uses – many more than some comparable products
- 8-setting adjustable spray nozzle – for extra versatility
- Water pressure lower than normal hoses – as with many expandable hoses
- Won’t expand to full length without enough pressure – similar to comparable products
5. Soled Expandable Garden Hose
If you need more than just the 50ft of reach most expandable hoses give you and you also want something that is tough and built to last, this is an option that could be well worth checking out.
It features a triple latex core for extra toughness as well as a polyester fabric outer shell to protect it. The manufacturer claims it is the strongest expanding hose on the market, and while we can’t vouch for this, it is certainly a durable item that is designed to withstand a certain amount of punishment.
One of the highlights of this hose is its 100ft length – and it is claimed that this is the only expandable hose out there that is capable of reaching this length with standard US water pressure.
This means if you don’t have access to water under higher than average pressure, this might be a good pick since it can still reach its full potential. With other options, you might be disappointed to find your hose will not fully extend under the water pressure you have available.
We like the way this hose is tough and strong and yet doesn’t suffer from being overly heavy. It is also very reasonably priced, making it a good pick for anyone who always insists on good value for money.
As a slight concern, it is worth pointing out that the outer material may suffer some fraying with use, although this is just superficial damage and it will still protect the hose inside. Also, we were a little disappointed that this hose doesn’t include a spray head and one must be bought separately.
Overall, this would be a good pick for anyone looking for a longer than average expandable hose featuring a triple layer core for extra resilience. If you feel that 50ft versions are too short and double core version might not cut it, this could be the answer you are searching for.
- 100ft maximum length – gives you plenty of extra reach
- Tough and durable triple latex core – built to last
- Extends fully under standard water pressure – many competitors can’t
- Very reasonable price – great value for money
- Strong polyester fabric shell – keeps the internal part protected
- Hose doesn’t come with a spray nozzle – must be bought separately
- External covering may suffer superficial damage – but still protect internal tube
6. Hospaip 50ft Expandable Garden Hose
This is a well-made hose that is built to last. It features a double latex core for extra durability and is surrounded by an extra-strong polyester shell to give the latex core even more protection. Add to this the high-quality brass fittings and you have a hose that is designed to last for many years.
It is a very functional hose, too. It can handle 3-12bar of pressure and withstand temperatures of 44-113°F, allowing it to deliver a powerful jet of water when you need it. However, if the pressure is below 3bar, it won’t be able to extend fully. Optimal pressure is 3-6bar.
It also includes an adjustable spray nozzle with eight different settings, including rinse, flat, soaker, cone, jet, center, mist and shower. This will allow you to put this hose to all manner of uses, like watering, car washing, cleaning your garden or even washing the dog.
Another highlight of this hose is its size and weight. The whole point of buying an expandable hose is that it takes up much less space than a regular rubber hose when not in use – and that’s certainly the case with this one.
It has a maximum extended length of 50ft – but when not in use, it quickly shrinks back down to only 17ft. It is also lightweight and resistant to tangles and kinks, making it a real pleasure to use. If you are used to hauling about a heavy regular garden hose, you will notice the difference immediately.
One final touch that we love is that it comes supplied with its own bag – when you’ve finished using it and letting it drain, you can coil it up into the bag and store it away conveniently until next time.
We need to mention a couple of negatives too, however. Our first minor gripe is that it takes a bit longer than you might expect for the hose to fill up and expand when you turn on the water – although this only means waiting a few extra moments.
Secondly, while this hose is well-made, you need to take care to store it correctly to protect it from wear and tear when not in use.
Overall, this would be a great option for someone looking for an affordable and compact expandable hose that is built to last. With the included storage bag, it would also make a great gift for a keen gardener. However, if you need a longer hose, you might choose to look elsewhere.
- Double latex core – designed for increased toughness and durability
- Brass fittings – made to last
- Extra-strong polyester fabric shell – protects from wear and tear
- Adjustable spray nozzle – includes eight different settings
- Small size – only 17ft when not in use
- Takes longer than you’d expect to fill and expand – although only a few moments
- Needs to be stored carefully – otherwise is prone to being damaged
7. Lovel Flexible Garden Hose 50 Ft
- 9-setting spray nozzle for the ultimate in versatility
- Ultra-lightweight – only 2.6lbs when drained
- Triple natural latex core for extra durability
- Kink-free yet highly flexible
- Very reasonable price
This is another tough a reliable expandable hose that is built for a hard life and designed to last. It features a triple core made of natural latex to ensure there is very little chance of it ever springing a leak or tearing.
To protect the core, it also incorporates a heavy-duty highly resistant fabric shell. Despite this level of ruggedness, it manages to remain amazing light, weighing in at only 2.6lbs when fully drained. It also makes use of corrosion- and weather-resistant solid brass fittings along with aluminum clamps.
When not in use, the hose is highly compact, measuring only 17ft in length. However, when in use, it grows up to three times in length, giving you a maximum of 50ft.
This gives you the advantage of the hose being extremely practical and easy to roll up and store when not in use but being able to give you a decent amount of reach when needed.
One of the outstanding features of this hose is that the spray nozzle gives you a total of nine different settings, one more than the usual eight offered by most comparable hoses. This gives you an even greater level of versatility over what you use it for.
As with similar expandable hoses, this one is highly flexible yet resistant to kinks and tangles. It can also hand high water pressure of up to 10bar, giving you the possibility of producing a powerful jet of water.
This might be the right option for someone who wants a lightweight yet rugged hose that comes with an affordable price tag. The extra spray setting gives you another option for how you use it – but if you need something with a longer reach, this might not be the right hose for your needs.
If you’re thinking about buying an expandable hose, you’ll want to know the kind of things to look out for to help you choose – but before we look at that, let’s remind ourselves what expandable hoses actually are.
What is an expandable hose and what are the advantages?
An expandable hose is pretty much what the name says – it’s a hose that grows. When you turn the water on and it begins to flow through the hose, the hose expands and extends. When in use, expandable hoses usually grow to around three times their length.
This gives expandable hoses an obvious advantage over traditional rubber hoses – storage. Because they shrink down when not in use, an expandable hose takes up less space.
This means that if you don’t have space for a regular-length hose, an expandable one could be a good option. Alternatively, if you need a bulkier, longer hose, by choosing an expandable one, you won’t need to find such a large space to store it.
There are other advantages too, however. Expandable hoses are lighter than regular rubber hoses and require less effort to pull out or carry around.
They don’t tend to kink or tangle like regular hoses and they are also easier to coil up, making it easier for you to keep your yard tidy and free of obstacles.
What to look for
If an expandable hose sounds like the solution you are looking for, you’ll want to know what to look for when choosing a good one. First, think about what you are planning to use it for – watering flowers, washing cars, spraying down a patio or general use – and then consider the following:
One of the most important aspects of your hose is the materials it is made from, so let’s have a look at that now.
The core of the hose is the tubing the water passes through. It is usually made of one of two materials, latex or TPC (thermoplastic copolyester). Both are materials that are valued for their ability to expand.
TPC is a tough, durable and heat-resistant material that is used in industrial tubing. TPC hoses tend to be more expensive than latex ones.
Latex is also a tough, durable and flexible material and can be either natural or synthetic. Synthetic latex is made from the sap of trees while synthetic latex is manufactured from petroleum.
Since latex is cheaper than TPC – and some claim that it is also more durable – most expandable hoses or made from it an this is the recommended option.
There is little to choose between natural and synthetic apart from the fact that you may prefer to use a natural material to water your vegetable garden.
Even though TPC and latex are durable materials, they need to be protected on the outside to them from becoming damaged and potentially springing a leak. This is where the shell comes in.
The shell is an outer layer that is usually made of polyester, a material that is used due to its ability to stretch and still retain its shape. Some more expensive hoses incorporate a woven polyester shell for even more flexibility, strength and protection.
A good-quality, well-made shell will keep the core safe and damage-free.
The other part to look at is the fittings – they are normally made of either brass, aluminum or plastic.
In general, the best hoses all have brass fittings. This material is extremely resistant to weather and corrosion – as well as damage from general wear and tear – and will last for a very long time.
You may find some mid-range hoses with aluminum fittings. These can be ok too, but it depends on the quality. If they are well made, they can also give you many years of service – but cheaper ones will tend to break more quickly.
Plastic fittings are only found on the cheapest hoses. They can help bring the overall price down, so they could be an option if you have a very limited budget – but if you can afford it, it’s much wiser to invest in a hose with brass or aluminum fittings.
Other things to look out for
- Number of cores
Some hoses have double or even triple layers of latex or TPC cores. This will give you extra durability but will also make the hose heavier. You will have to decide which combination of weight and toughness is right for you.
Different hoses are made to handle different pressures of water – with higher pressures capable of delivering a more powerful jet of water. To be able to handle higher pressure, the hose may need to be thicker and heavier, so again, you need to decide on what is important for you.
One of the most important aspects when buying a hose of any type is the length – will it be able to reach to where you want to use it?
With expandable hoses, you should also distinguish between the length when in use and the length when not in use since, as we mentioned, they can increase by three times in length when water is pumped through them.
Another point to bear in mind is that expandable hoses perform at their best when the water reaches a certain pressure. If the pressure is not high enough, the hose may not be able to extend fully.
If you need a longer hose but you don’t have high enough water pressure, you may consider buying one with a longer maximum length knowing that it won’t be able to quite reach this maximum when you use it.
Who should buy an expandable hose?
Expandable hoses are suitable for many different uses. If you are looking for a hose that is lighter than a regular garden hose as well as easier to use, you could well benefit from an expandable version.
Similarly, if space is at a premium or you simply don’t want to waste lots of space storing a bulky traditional rubber hose, an expandable hose would be a great option.
Finally, in many ways, they are actually more durable and resilient than traditional hoses, and if you want to see an end to leaking garden hoses, and expandable one could be the solution you are searching for.
Many high-quality choices to pick from
As you can see, expandable garden hoses offer many advantages over traditional rubber hoses. They are lighter, take up less space and are resistant to kinks, tangles and twists. If you are interested in trying one of these innovative products, the hoses on our list all come highly recommended.