• Flexzilla Garden Hose

  • GrowGreen Heavy Duty Expandable Hose

  • How We Tested

  • What You Should Know About Garden Hoses

  • Other Garden Hoses We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Garden Hoses of 2020

  1. Best Overall

    Flexzilla Garden Hose

    Pros

    • Lightweight and flexible

    • Male and female ends have comfort grips

    • Made from lead-free material

    Cons

    • None that we could find

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best Expandable Garden Hose

    GrowGreen Heavy Duty Expandable Hose

    Pros

    • Built-in shutoff valve

    • Drawstring sack for easy storage

    • Great durability

    Cons

    • Hard to use when fully extended

    Skip to the full review below
Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac
Best Overall
Flexzilla Garden Hose

As we began our several-weeks-long garden hose tests, the Flexzilla quickly emerged as one of our favorites. It manages to be light and flexible without sacrificing durability or performance. This hose moves easily at any range thanks to its lightweight construction and smooth surface. Both the male and female ends of the Flexzilla have comfort grips, while the others we tested had only one or none at all. As its name would imply, it is an extremely flexible hose. That flexibility did lead to a couple of kinks as we pull the hose taut, however, it un-kinked itself after a moment, so the brief kinks didn’t end up being an issue at all.

To test durability, we smacked the connectors of each hose against the concrete three times as hard as we could. While the aluminum fittings of the Flexzilla felt more fragile than the brass ones on some of the other hoses, these held up just as well as any that we tested. The most we could manage was a couple of scuffs. The flexible nature of this hose also made it a breeze to coil and carry from one place to another. As a standard hose, it can’t touch the portability of an expandable hose, but this coil hose was definitely the easiest to move (coiled or expanded) of the standard hoses we tested. If you have a smaller yard or need portability above all else, you might prefer the GrowGreen expandable hose instead.

The Flexzilla’s neon green color is easy to spot in any landscape, which could be a positive or negative depending on how you want to use this hose. The color also won’t excessively heat water in the hose to the extent that a darker hose might. The Flexzilla is made from lead-free material, which means it’s safe to drink from, so my kids won’t be ingesting the same toxins I undoubtedly did as a child (Eek!).

Pros

  • Lightweight and flexible

  • Male and female ends have comfort grips

  • Made from lead-free material

Cons

  • None that we could find

Best Expandable Hose
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac
Best Expandable Garden Hose
GrowGreen Heavy Duty Expandable Hose

It’s hard to beat the portability of an expandable hose. If you often find yourself moving hoses around from one spigot to the other, or if you want an easy way to store your hose between uses, the GrowGreen is right up your alley. In our tests, this kink-free hose didn’t break apart when smacked on the concrete. It has a built-in shutoff valve and a drawstring sack for easy storage. The brass hose fittings are solid, but if they were to somehow break, the GrowGreen is covered by a 12-month warranty.

This type of hose is not particularly enjoyable to use at its full length because it’s a lot like a slinky—the more you try to extend it, the more it wants to retract. So while the GrowGreen does pull you back with some force, with some effort, we were still able to extend the hose its entire 50 feet. Fully collapsed, the GrowGreen is only 17-feet long, and it’s pretty entertaining to watch it shrink back when you turn off the water.

This hose performed well in our tests despite the fact that it has received some negative ratings recently claiming that it leaks after a few months of use. The vast majority of online reviewers rave about this hose, and it garners 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon across almost 500 ratings. It’s also worth noting that other expandable hoses we considered for inclusion received similar complaints, so it would seem that splitting and leaking are common issues with these hoses as a category, not just one particular brand.

Pros

  • Built-in shutoff valve

  • Drawstring sack for easy storage

  • Great durability

Cons

  • Hard to use when fully extended

Related content

How We Tested

The Tester

Hi, I’m Sarah Kovac. Garden hoses were present for some of my best childhood memories—playing in the sprinkler, helping Dad in the garden, spraying down my bike after a ride through the mud. Now, as a Midwestern homeowner with kids of my own, garden hoses have again become an integral part of everyday life. Our flower beds, grass, and vegetable garden have relied heavily on garden hoses to stay alive this especially dry summer. I wasn’t expecting to see much difference between hoses, but I quickly learned during testing that a good garden hose is much more pleasant to work with.

The Tests

testing
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

For those times when you accidentally leave the hose strewn across the driveway, we backed over these hoses to test their durability.

We tested different hoses on their ease of use, comfort, durability, likelihood to kink, and portability. We whacked the connectors on the pavement, ran over them with my car, stretched them, coiled them, and attached them to sprinklers.

What You Should Know About Garden Hoses

What's your local climate?

If your area experiences dramatic temperature swings, you'll want to pay attention to the materials that make up your hose. Plastic hose fittings especially will have a tendency to crack and deteriorate over time after repeated warming and cooling. Look for brass fittings.

Will people or pets drink from the hose?

Not all hoses are safe enough to drink from. You don't want toxins leeching from the hose into water that you or your furry friend might ingest, so if there's a chance that might happen, keep an eye out for a hose that's made from lead-free materials.

How will you use the hose?

There is a variety of different hose types for every possible use. Soaker hoses are great for laying along garden beds that need deep watering. Expandable hoses are awesome in terms of portability and storage. Standard hoses are great for use with a sprinkler, a pressure washer, or for filling containers. Lightweight hoses are best if you're moving the hose around the yard a lot. If you know how you'll be using the hose most of the time, you can select the right hose type for you.


Other Garden Hoses We Tested

Melnor Flat Soaker

Deep watering is an essential part of nurturing a garden bed or landscaped area, and soaker hoses are built to do exactly that. Wind a soaker hose through your plants and these hoses will drip water along the entire length, soaking a precise stretch of soil with minimal effort and waste. The Melnor did its job well in our tests, and despite its plastic fittings and our enthusiastic efforts, we couldn’t hit the end of the hose on the pavement hard enough to do any actual damage. It watered the ground along the entire length of the hose without fail, and its flat, lightweight construction made it easy to relocate around the lawn.

Pros

  • Flat and lightweight

  • Great durability

Cons

  • None that we could find

Teknor Apex NeverKink Max 8692-50

The NeverKink Max somehow managed to blow our sprinkler apart. Yeah, it was an old, cheap sprinkler, but still. The difference in water pressure was notable even before our sprinkler succumbed, as the sprinkler’s streams of water were reaching a much wider area with this hose attached than with the others. Only after a few days of baking in the Missouri summer sun would the NeverKink Max kink briefly, and the hose fittings are very solid. There is a metal coil around the end of the hose that connects to the spigot to ensure even this kink-prone spot keeps water flowing freely.

Pros

  • High water pressure

  • Metal coil ensures water flow in case of kinks

Cons

  • Pricey

  • Kinked after being in use a few hot sunny days

Teknor Apex NeverKink 8615-50

The design of the Teknor Apex NeverKink is similar to that of the NeverKink Max with a couple of exceptions: the Teknor Apex lacks the coil that protects the end of the hose from kinks, but it does have a comfort grip. Otherwise, it performed the same in our tests, and it increased the range of our sprinkler almost as much as the NeverKink Max. If you’ll be using your hose to hand water, you’ll appreciate the grip on this one.

Pros

  • High water pressure

  • Has a comfort grip

Cons

  • No metal coil to protect from kinks

Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose

The Craftsman garden hose feels extremely durable, and it should be since it’s made with an all-rubber body and brass fittings. The downside to all this durability is that it’s fairly heavy. Dragging it around the lawn wasn’t a pleasant task. It can withstand extreme temperatures (as low as 25 degrees below zero) and no doubt would last a long time, but if you move your hose around much, you’ll probably prefer something that’s both durable and lightweight (like our top pick, the Flexzilla). And if you leave this black hose laying in the sun, the first water to shoot out is definitely going to be scalding hot. Not ideal if kids will be playing with it.

Pros

  • Very durable

Cons

  • Heavy

  • Pricey

Meet the tester

Sarah Kovac

Sarah Kovac

Editor, Smart Home

@sarahkovac

Sarah Kovac is an award-winning author and smart home editor for Reviewed. Previously, she worked with a multitude of outlets such as Wirecutter, TIME, PCMag, Prevention, The Atlantic, Reviews.com, CNN, GOOD, Upworthy, Mom.me, and SheKnows.

See all of Sarah Kovac's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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