A reliable garden hose is the workhorse of the backyard, providing a source of water for lawn care, cleaning, and summertime fun. Debra LaGattuta, a Master Gardener and member of The Spruce Garden Review Board, points out that the options for an effective, high-quality garden hose go beyond the standard, 100-foot-long rubber options. "As a mature gardener, I look for tools that make gardening chores easier for me," she says, "and that means lightweight but sturdy hoses that don't kink and are easy to roll up."
Keeping in mind LaGattuta's advice that one hose doesn't suit every situation, we tested dozens of garden hoses in our own home gardens and at our outdoor testing Lab. All of the hoses were subjected to a slew of real-world tests to find the best options, based on criteria including maneuverability, weight, and durability. Whether you're looking for a basic rubber hose, or want to up your gardening game, these are the best garden hoses on the market, tested by us.
|Hours Spent Testing||24|
Zero-G Lightweight Ultra Flexible Durable Kink-Free Garden Hose
Easily attaches to water spigot
Maneuvers well when full or empty
Only rated for use above 35 degrees Fahrenheit
If you’ve ever struggled to use or move a bulky, heavy hose around your outdoor space, you'll especially appreciate the Zero-G Garden Hose. Earning the best overall spot on our list, this hose stood out during our testing for its ease of use and durability. The lead-free couplings are designed to be crush-proof under loads up to 900 pounds. Plus, we loved how easily the hose connected to the spigot and we felt that its overall design was sleek compared to other options on the market.
The Zero-G is constructed of a heavy-duty vinyl inner tube with a durable, abrasion-resistant jacket. (It has the appearance of an expandable hose, but this version isn’t expandable or retractable.) We tested the 100-foot version and were impressed with how easy it was to coil or uncoil. After connecting it to a spigot, winding it on a hose reel, and pulling it through our testing environment, we thought this hose was well worth the higher price tag versus other hoses that didn't perform as well.
We will point out that this hose is not best for colder climates as it is only rated for above 35 degrees Fahrenheit, which is slightly higher than other hoses in this roundup. However, whether it was full of water or empty, this hose proved to be easy to handle, use, and store.
How It Performed Long-Term
With almost daily use this hose has proven itself as a durable, and splurge-worthy gardening tool. We've appreciated its lightweight nature and powerful stream for watering flower beds and clearing off decking.
Price at time of publish: $70
Material: Vinyl | Length: 100 feet | Diameter: 5/8 inch | Shutoff Valve: No
Eley 5/8-Inch Polyurethane Garden Hose
Very solid construction for a thick, durable feel
10-year warranty against leaks
The Eley five-eighth-inch Polyurethane Garden Hose has everything you need in a heavy-duty garden hose: thick, durable construction, high-quality fittings, and a kink-free design. During testing, we evaluated this hose's design, ease of use, and durability and we noted that it was solid and well-suited for heavy long-term use. That is no surprise since the polyurethane material is the same as what you find in inline roller skate wheels. The Eley resists cuts, punctures, abrasions, and tears, so you can expect to pull this hose across cement, garden tools, rocks, and more without puncturing or cutting it. Eley backs this heavy-duty hose with a 10-year leak-free warranty for added peace of mind.
This heavy-duty hose also scored high marks for not kinking during our garden testing. The hose is reinforced with high-tensile threads that resist kinking and also provide a defense against the hose bursting under high water pressure. As you’d expect of a heavy-duty hose, you can use the Eley in temperatures down to minus-40 degrees Fahrenheit. The crush-proof brass fittings are lead-free and corrosion-proof. All of these features contribute to the hose’s longevity but mean that you pay a premium price compared to a light-duty or budget garden hose.
Price at time of publish: $41 (for 6.5 foot hose)
Material: Polyurethane | Length: 6.5-200 feet | Diameter: 5/8 inches | Shutoff Valve: No
Flexzilla Garden Hose
Bright yellow color is easy to spot
Comfortable silicone handles
Does not kink
Heavy when full
After testing in our lab and In a real-world setting, we found the Flexzilla super simple and pleasant to use for a multitude of tasks: watering the lawn and flower beds, washing a minivan; rinsing out compost bin and garbage cans; and adding water to a pool. This hose stands out for its fluorescent yellow color but also for its flexible, pliable nature. It’s a great pick as an attachable hose, since it needs no special connectors. Also, its squishy silicone handles at either end give you a comfortable grip when connecting hoses or attaching to a spigot. It is certainly durable, having survived all our tests.
We also were impressed with how well this hose straightened out and that it didn’t kink during garden tasks. This is especially important if you plan to connect multiple hoses and don’t want the hassle of shaking loose a long, kink-filled hose that doesn't lay flat. However, we found it heavy when full, which made it hard to swing over things to maneuver into different places.
Price at time of publish: $40
Material: Hybrid Polymer | Length: 50 feet | Diameter: 5/8 inch | Shutoff Valve: No
TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose
Lightweight and easy to store
Features a water shutoff valve
Exterior may snag over time
Expandable hoses offer the advantage of being lightweight and easy to coil, even without the help of a hose reel. TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose is a great example of how an expandable garden hose should feel and function. In The Lab and at one of our homes, we tested a 25-foot version that shrinks to just 9 feet when not in use and weighs only 1.8 pounds. The materials felt high-quality, and during our lab tests, the hose didn't snag on rocks, as some other expandable models did. TheFitLife hose also held up well to almost daily use in our home testing—whether being dragged across the grass or a concrete patio. We didn't notice any snags or tears along the hose and it's been able to stand up to extreme Florida heat and humidity.
Like other expandable garden hoses, this version is covered in a stretchy 3750D polyester fabric that protects the expandable latex inner tube. We are curious to see how this covering performs over a longer-term period with extensive use. Turn the water pressure on, and the FitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose quickly reaches its full length without becoming heavy or cumbersome. When full, it felt even more durable, but still stretchy, and easy to walk it around. And when we did, no kinks or coils slowed us down or interrupted water pressure. It's also equipped with a shutoff valve for convenient water management.
Price at time of publish: $30
Material: Latex | Length: 50-100 feet | Diameter: Not applicable | Shutoff Valve: Yes
Best for Small Spaces
Dramm 17005 ColorStorm Rubber Garden Hose
Flexible in minus-25 degrees Fahrenheit
Available in a variety of colors
Easy to store
Not a potable water hose
In our testing, the Dramm ColorStorm Premium Rubber Garden Hose proved to be tidy, durable, and an excellent value. While these attributes would qualify it for a wide variety of uses, it’s our top pick as a garden hose for small spaces. With a 25-foot length, this hose is ideal for watering patio plants, a small garden, or for keeping handy on your deck or balcony. Just keep in mind that it’s not intended for drinkable water, so keep children and pets from drinking out of it.
The flexibility of this garden hose really impressed us, and the rare kinks that occurred were easy to shake loose. Even in cold-weather climates, you can expect this hose to stay limber and durable down to temperatures of minus-25 degrees Fahrenheit. The hose's durable EPDM rubber is available in a number of colors beyond the usual green hue associated with garden hoses. We tested the purple version, which we thought was fun and attractive.
How It Performed Long-Term
After three months of regularly using this hose, we're still happy with its overall durability and ease of use. Although it does kink occasionally, the kinks are easy to remove without fighting the hose too much. We also noticed that it has a strong flow, even when coming from a rain barrel, rather than a hose spigot.
Price at time of publish: $40
Material: EPDM Rubber | Length: 25 feet | Diameter: 1/2 inch | Shutoff Valve: No
Flexi Hose Lightweight Expandable Garden Hose
Built-in water shutoff valve
Doesn’t become hot in the sun
Does not snag on concrete or rakes
Not suitable for use below 41 degrees Fahrenheit
Weighing less than 5 pounds but stretching up to 100 feet, the Flexi Hose is your best bet for a lightweight garden hose. "Lightweight" doesn’t always mean durable, but that wasn't the case for this garden hose, which we dragged through grass, across concrete, over a rake, and around patio furniture. We had to give it a hard tug around some obstacles; however, it did get stuck when we tried to pull it around patio furniture. We also noted that you do not need to control the water release because the hose actually stretched more since water was moving through it. It's important to note this hose does twist easily, which can result in kinks if you're not paying close attention.
We're tempted to chalk up the durability of this lightweight garden hose to its design. A 3750 denier stretchy outer fabric cover resists abrasions while allowing the hose to stretch up to three times its starting length. Inside the hose, a 2 mm thick latex tube gives the hose the capacity to handle water pressure up to 12 bar. You cannot use this hose in temperatures below 41 degrees Fahrenheit, so it may be not the best choice if you live in a colder climate. One other attractive feature of this garden hose is the attached water shutoff valve. We also found this hose was very convenient for switching nozzles or moving from one area to another while watering.
How It Performed Long-Term
We've enjoyed using this hose for several months to water and clear off patio furniture. It doesn't seem to kink as easily as we initially expected, and we're still very impressed by its compact and lightweight design. We have no issues wrapping it up and think it will winterize well compared to rubber hoses that crack while coiled.
Price at time of publish: $74
Material: 3750D elastic outer fabric with latex inner tube | Length: 100 feet | Diameter: Not applicable | Shutoff Valve: Yes
H2O Works Garden Flat Soaker Hose
Durable across rough terrain
Easy to maneuver
Water distribution seems slow
Give your plants a slow trickle rather than a steady shower with the help of a soaker hose. "The benefit of a soaker hose," notes Master Gardener Debra LaGattuta, "is that it deposits water exactly where it's needed: directly to the plant roots. Because the water is not airborne, there is much less evaporation, and water is applied slowly and gently to the plants." Soaker hoses are placed directly on the soil surface and work best when you can lay them out in a straight line.
The H2O Works Garden Flat Soaker Hose we tested started watering quickly and proved itself durable, making it our team’s top choice for a soaker garden hose. Made of a porous PVC, this hose features tiny holes from end to end that deliver water droplets to the roots of plants rather than shooting tiny streams of water into the air, like some other soaker hoses. The unique material is also very lightweight, and the 50-foot hose winds up compactly.
To thoroughly test this soaker garden hose, we dragged it across rocks and a rake, then checked its performance and condition. It was still in perfect condition after all of our durability tests. We also let the soaker hose run on a concrete surface, to check the distribution of water output. We found that the water began to condensate quickly, but we will notice the distribution did feel a bit slow from one end of the hose to the other. The brand claims it dispenses 2 gallons in 2 minutes.
How It Performed Long-Term
With regular use, we discovered this hose is best for flat beds with straight rows. We tried to use it to water a curved flower bed and curving the hose interrupted the flow rate of the water. However, we still think this soaker hose is a great pick due to its size and lightweight material.
Price at time of publish: $26
Material: PVC | Length: 50 feet | Diameter: 1/2 inch | Shutoff Valve: No
|Overall Rating||Design||Ease of Use||Durability||Value|
Zero-G Ultra Flexible Durable Garden Hose
Eley Polyurethane Garden Hose
Flexzilla Garden Hose
TheFitLife Garden Hose
Best for Small Spaces:
Dramm Rubber Garden Hose
Flexi Hose Garden Hose
H2O Works Garden Flat Soaker Hose
Our favorite garden hose is the Zero-G Lightweight Garden Hose because it's incredibly durable with crush-proof couplings and also surprisingly easy to maneauver. If you're looking for an expandable and easy-to-carry hose, we recommend the TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose. It weighs just 1.8 pounds and is only 9 feet long when empty but expands to offer 25 feet of reach. Longer lengths are available, too.
Other Options We Tested
Rocky Mountain Goods Flat Soaker Hose: We were excited by the potential of this easily packable soaker hose, but it fell flat in multiple categories during testing. This hose constantly kinked and required a lot of effort to readjust it and ensure that water flowed throughout its length. While we appreciate its durable construction, we don't think it's worth the effort required to constantly monitor it for proper operation.
Pottery Barn Garden Hose: We love the aesthetics of this garden hose, but found that it was stubborn to uncoil and would constantly tangle during our testing process. The rubber material felt durable, but overall we weren't impressed enough by this hose's performance to believe it's worth spending $80 on.
How We Tested the Garden Hoses
For this article, we combined results from our test team in The Lab in Des Moines, Iowa, with our writers' and editors' own research to bring you this roundup. We tested 30 hoses at The Lab and rated them across a number of top categories, including usability, design, value, size, and durability. We also used 13 hoses in our own home gardens to determine their long-term durability and practicality in real-world scenarios. Those 13 hoses were tested over an additional period of 3 months and we recorded our thoughts on what could be improved and whether we'd continue to reach for the hose after the end of the testing period.
We began by unwrapping them from their sealed packages and noting how easily and quickly they uncoiled to be ready to use. We determined whether each hose seemed heavy or light for its size and material, and how easy it was to carry.
We connected each hose to an ordinary spigot atop our Des Moines' facility's rooftop garden, a location that combined grass with concrete and metal walkways. We checked how little or much the hose leaked, and rechecked after we modified the connections, such as adding hose washers. (We rated lower those hoses that continued to leak despite modifications.) After ensuring a leakproof connection, we unwound each hose and dragged it across grass, cement, and a garden rake with its tines turned up. We then took each hose for a "slalom," maneuvering the product around three large pots in the testing area and carefully noting any punctures or other signs of wear.
We then sprayed water for 2 minutes to ensure that the hose filled up, and we turned the water off, without emptying the hose, to try to wind it back up on the reel. (We repeated this test with the hose empty and compared the results.) For soaker hoses, we dragged only the product to a dry concrete area, turned the water on, and left it on for 2 minutes. After we shut off the water, we inspected the area to determine whether it was evenly saturated. For all hoses, we evaluated the maddening kink factor: how much or little each hose kinked and whether the kink could be cleared just by shaking it out.
What to Look for in a Garden Hose
Vinyl hoses are the most lightweight and easy to store, but they aren’t as durable as other materials. Rubber and reinforced hoses are less likely to snag, kink, or break, and they hold up to extreme temperatures. If strength is a concern, check the ply, too. (Ply usually ranges from 1 to 6, with 6 being the strongest.) Metal hoses are durable, long-lasting, and kink-resistant, but they're heavy to deploy and expensive. A hose made of quality rubber, such as our best for small spaces pick, the Dramm ColorStorm Premium Rubber Garden Hose, is another durable alternative. All of our recommended tested products survived being dragged over concrete and hauled around without tearing or overly kinking.
Hoses come in a variety of sizes, ranging from a few feet all the way up to 100. The longer the hose, the more reach you have, but unfortunately, a longer hose also means there’s more tubing to store and carry around. Water pressure also decreases as the hose lengthens. If you only occasionally need a long hose, consider buying two shorter hoses and combining them for when you need to reach farther. Most of the hoses we tested were at least 50 feet long. Other hoses, such as our best expandable hose pick, the TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose, can be perfectly serviceable in 25-foot lengths, depending on the size of your outdoor space.
"Coupling" refers to the point at which a hose connects to its water supply or to another hose. Generally, there are two options: brass, which is stronger and lasts longer, and plastic, which is easier to maneuver but less durable overall. Some hoses have aluminum couplings, which last longer than plastic but may break down more quickly than brass. It can also be a challenge, depending on the shape and position of the spigot, to line up the hose and connect it. We singled out our best overall selection, the Zero-G Garden Hose, for its ergonomic connectors, making it easier to accomplish that. Most hoses are fitted with standard screw-type couplings, which may require inserting separate hose washers to ensure a leakproof fit. You also can buy quick-connect kits, which are components that screw onto each end of the hose, and connect and disconnect with a twist. We disqualified any hose that leaked excessively, even when a hose washer was inserted.
Many hose packages list burst strength, which is the amount of water pressure a hose can handle before tearing. A higher number means the hose is more durable. If you're working with higher water pressure for some reason, look for a higher-than-average burst strength. Our Best Heavy-Duty selection, the Eley five-eighth-inch Polyurethane Garden Hose, has such a fairly high burst strength.
How long can I expect a hose to last?
A high-quality garden hose typically lasts for five to 10 years, but numerous factors can affect the lifespan. Proper storage and maintenance—which include draining the hose after each use and removing kinks—help to ensure that your hose lasts as long as possible. Bring hoses inside during the winter, as cold temperatures can cause them to crack.
How can I prevent kinking and knotting?
Garden hoses often become kinked, or bent in a way that restricts water flow, because they’re typically stored in tight coils for long periods, and the material develops a “memory” of that position. To combat this common problem, some hoses have anti-kink technology, but you also help prevent kinking by changing the way you store your hose. The best thing you can do is to leave it straight when it's not in use, which can be done by stretching it along a path. If that’s not possible, try storing in large, loose loops, which minimize the chances of developing a coil shape.
The material you choose also impacts how often you have to contend with kinks and coils. Master Gardener Debra LaGattuta shares her experience: "I've found that it's impossible to prevent standard rubber hoses from kinking," she says. "To prevent rubber hoses from kinking, I had to walk to the location of the kink and manually straighten out the hose and then go back to watering." So if you choose a rubber hose for its long-lasting durability, keep in mind that you may have to straighten it frequently.
What's the best way to store a hose?
There are lots of different ways to store garden hoses, including hose reels, pots, and holders. But as mentioned above, coiling a hose increases its risk of kinking. For that reason, hose holders are often your best choice, as you can loosely loop the hose over them. However, if you have a kink-resistant hose, you can use any storage solution. Master Gardener Debra LaGattuta shares her strategy for keeping hoses organized and accessible: "During the growing season, I store my fabric-covered lightweight hose on a hose reel, and I store my flexible, retractable hose in a very large nursery container [about 20 gallons] that I saved when I purchased a tree." It's also important to properly store hoses during the cold weather months. "[For] the winter, I drain the water from all hoses in late fall," Debra says, "and store them in my unheated garage. I never leave hoses outdoors during the cold winter months."
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Erica Puisis, who has years of experience researching and writing about the best products for indoor and outdoor living. To find the best options for garden hoses, she relied on first-hand product testing insights from The Spruce's Lab. The hoses were evaluated based on their usability, material, coupling, maneuverability, and value. Emma Phelps, updates writer for The Spruce, added long-term testing insights to this article and updated our product list to ensure it included all of our latest testing data.
Puisis also interviewed Master Gardener Debra LaGattuta. She is a member of The Spruce Garden Review Board and has had decades of experience in using garden hoses of a variety of types and sizes to keep gardens and lawns looking lush. Debra spoke on the selection, use, and storage of different hoses while sharing what she has found to be most effective in her gardening pursuits.
What Is The Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.