I’m going to try a new format for this review and break it down into 3 sections: The Good (what I like), The Bad (What I don’t like), and The Verdict (Should you buy one or not?).
MAXIMIZES SPACE – I don’t know where you live, but here in Southern California space it at a PREMIUM. Both indoor AND outdoor space. In the past you had your garden hose piled up in a corner or wrapped up in one of those large stands. Either way, valuable space is lost.
The expandable hose is two layers of stretchy material (watertight inside tube with stronger nylonish outside layer) that grows when it’s full of water and retracts when empty. This means that a 50′ hose is only about 17′ long when empty. I’ve tested 4 different brands of these hoses, including 25′, 50′, and 100′ hoses. These things are GREAT!
VALVE ACCESS – Every expandable hose I tested had a shutoff valve at the end of the hose. Here in southern california water conservation is an overarching theme. We can water our lawns 3 times per week for a max of 5 minutes at a time. We also have a lot of fruit trees and vegetable plants. My peach tree and strawberry patch need a bit more water than that! Even without a sprayer on the end I can shut off the water flow without going back to the spigot. Convenience factor +1,000,000!
WEIGHT – These hoses are MUCH lighter then regular old garden hoses. This makes it easier to use for anyone who struggles hauling a heavy hose around.
DURABILITY – This can be an issue with these hoses. When you see a negative review of these, it’s usually because it popped or leaks. It’s hard to tell if it’s a flaw in the hose or someone simply has their water pressure set too high, but either way it was VERY rare on our old green garden hoses, so it’s worth mentioning. If you’re shopping for a hose I’d go for one with brass fittings (the ends that connect to the spigot and sprayer) as they’ll be more durable and less likely to crack than the plastic fittings. The tubes themselves can be made of different materials which can be stronger or weaker. Regardless, sellers of these hoses seem to be willing to replace or refund any flawed products.
HOSE CONTRACTION – With these hoses, increased water pressure = increased length (to a point). When you turn on the sprayer it reduces the pressure in the hose as water is released. Those stronger hoses I mentioned? Well the reduction in pressure causes them to retract. Sometimes dramatically. Is it a big deal? Welp… if you have a hose that expands to 50′, and the plants you’re trying to water are 55′ away, you’re going to miss that extra 5-10 feet. I recommend geting a hose that’s a bit longer than you actually need.
MAINTENANCE – These hoses should be stored empty. When you’re done watering, turn of the spigot, then run the water out of the hose. It will contract back down to it’s smaller size for storage.
THE PRICE – Regular old 50′ garden hoses range in price from $10 – $50 (sometimes more). These new 50′ expandable hoses start at around $15 and get as high as $100. Yup, they can be twice as much. Whether it’s worth it is up to you.
I REALLY like these hoses. If I was going to buy a new hose and had the money, this would be a no-brainer for me. Many of them come with a hook that hangs from the spigot for hose-storage and an adjustable hand-sprayer for watering. The durability hasn’t been an issue for me, the “hose contraction” is easily resolved by making sure you get the right size, and the maintenance is just an easy step to remember at the end of my watering process. But then again, I’m a sucker for new technology, and it’s been a while since anyone improved on the garden hose.
If you choose to buy one, I recomend getting one with brass fittings. The rest is up to you! Enjoy!
Living the Dream,
Products Links (I tested and liked all the hoses below):
Amazon – TechCode 100′ Expandable Garden Hose w/ nozzle – $25.99
(NOTE: This is the only one I tested w/ plastic fittings. Unsure about long-term durability)