Product Review #3 – Expandable Hoses

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?).

THE GOOD:

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.

THE BAD:

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 eith20160804_190053er 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.

THE VERDICT:

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,

-Humble Dave

Products Links (I tested and liked all the hoses below):

Amazon – FTLife 50′ Expandable Garden Hose w/ nozzle & hook – $49.99

Amazon – Platinum 50′ Expandable Hose – $38.87

Amazon – Gen8 50′ Expandable Garden Hose w/ nozzle – $14.98

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)

Disclosure: I received these products at a discount in exchange for testing and reviewing it.  All opinions are my own.
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Product Review #1 – Inflatable Lounger

Although I see these more and more online, I’ve never known anyone who actually owned one.  And although you don’t know much about me, I love finding new ways to relax and be comfortable. When I had the opportunity to get a free sample lounger to test and review, I jumped on it.  Spoiler Alert: You’re going to be seeing a bunch more of these!

It just so happens that I had the perfect venue for a test run: the 1st birthday party for my friend’s twin girls, at a neighborhood park.  Perfect.  I expected to be bored and thought the lounger would be a way to relax.  Nope.  Lounger is an attention magnet.  Downside: I barely got to use it.

It comes in a small carry bag all rolled up.  After unrolling it I learned it’s SUPER easy to inflate.  No pump needed; it’s filled by wind.  We had a light wind that day, so I held it open and ran a few steps then sealed it up.  You need to fill it about 80% with air, close it, roll the ends over 4-5 times until it’s tight, then clip it shut.

There were a LOT of people at this party (popular friends, and the kids are cute).  Nobody had ever seen one before, and EVERYONE wanted to try it. There were big adults using it (about 250 lbs), small kids, couples, people sitting like a chair, and kids playing on it like it was a playground (throwing it around and everything). It’s incredibly durable and really took a beating. Definitely the highlight of the party (except for the adorable birthday twins).

When the party was over it was time to roll it back up.  It was still fully inflated, and it didn’t appear there was any air leakage over the course of the 2 hour party (and heavy use!).  I had no trouble folding it up although it took me two tries (did it upside down the first time – pro tip: start folding the the New Metal logo facing down). Back in the bag and off we went!

After the party we took it back to my friend’s house and tested it in the pool. Re-inflating took about 30 seconds in their backyard because there was no breeze. Ran for 10 ft with it open to refill. Threw it in the pool and floated with no problem.  Is there anything it’s can’t do!?

I can’t even begin to describe how much fun we had with this. So many new product over-promise and under-deliver, but this inflatable lounger is AWESOME.  I recommend it without hesitation.  Buy with confidence and live the dream!

-Humble Dave

Product Links (there are many, but I tested these):

Amazon Link – New Metal Inflatable Lounger $39.99

Amazon Link – Tabiger Inflatable Lounger $39.99

Disclosure: I received these products at a discount in exchange for testing and reviewing them.  All opinions are my own.