The best garden hoses you can buy

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  • If you've got plants to water, a car to wash, or a sprinkler to connect so the kids can splash around this summer, then you're going to need a good garden hose. If you want a great garden hose, the Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose is our top pick. It's a flexible, durable, all-weather hose that's made in America and backed by a lifetime warranty.

Look, garden hoses aren't all that interesting, really. But unless you'd rather spend your weekend hours carrying buckets of water to every square foot of your lawn and to the flowers and shrubs lining the property, and unless you love paying top dollar at the local car wash, life probably dictates that you go ahead and get a garden hose.

Since you need a hose anyway, you might as well get a good one. A good garden hose will last for years and will make all your watering, washing, and summer fun projects easier. Also, the frustration of using a shoddy garden hose ranks up there with multiple paper cuts and burned out bulbs on holiday light strands.

This is a lesson I learned personally after buying two cheap hoses shortly after my wife and I moved into our first house. I figured one hose was more or less like the next, so why spend extra cash on something that simply needed to move water from the spigot to the sprayer? Big, annoying mistake.

I spent the better part of a year wrangling tangles and bends, trying and failing to make even coils after use, and soon enough, wrapping plumber's tape around numerous dripping punctures, cracks, and tears. Long story short, if you buy a cheap hose, you get a cheap hose. But don't worry, there are lots of great garden hoses out there that won't break the bank. In fact, our top pick also happens to be right in the median in terms of pricing.

But don't pick your garden hose based on price even if you aren't pinching pennies, because the most expensive hose on the market may not serve your needs. Instead, pick a hose that does. For the smaller property, a coiled or expandable hose is a good idea because it minimizes space occupied during storage. For a region that experiences a broad range of cold and warm temperatures, hose durability is more important than expansion and contraction.

Finally, think about who will be using the hose and for what. Coiled hoses are great for watering plants on a patio, for example, but terrible for connecting to a sprinkler set in the grass. A super strong steel plated hose might be great for the home with a dog who tends to chew on things, but might not be ideal for the senior citizen who has trouble lifting heavier objects.

Here are the best garden hoses you can buy:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

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The best garden hose overall

The best garden hose overall
Why you'll love it: The Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose will last a lifetime — guaranteed — and it doesn't get twisted easily.

If I weren't already calling the Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose a superlative product based on its inherent quality, I'd call it a great buy simply due to its price. This rugged, capable hose could easily sell for double its price tag thanks to its durability.

It just might be the last hose you buy, in fact. Unless you run over it with a lawnmower. And yes, I've cut short the life of a hose that way (OK, two), though thankfully not a Craftsman.

The thick yet pliant rubber used in the construction of this hose remains flexible and resists cracking even in temperatures down to 25 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) and it is safe for use with water as hot as 160 degrees, which is dozens of degrees hotter than you'll probably ever run through it anyway.

The nickel-plated brass hardware is crush-proof and corrosion-resistant, and the octagonal exterior shape of the couplings makes it easy to twist the hose onto or off of a spigot, sprinkler, sprayer, and so forth.

With a few dozen reviews posted on Amazon, this hose has a shining 4.8-star average. One buyer praised it as being "very good quality" and able to "handle high pressure," while another called it "well constructed" and loved that it "does not kink."

The product testers from TheWirecutter recommended the Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose, saying "the thick material [used in fabrication] contributes to this hose’s kink resistance" and noted its overall "build quality."

Pros: Exceptional durability, works in extreme temperatures, kink-resistant

Cons: Leaves scuff marks on some surfaces

Buy a 25-Foot Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose on Amazon for $32.51

The best lightweight hose

The best lightweight hose
Why you'll love it: The 50-foot Water Right 400 Series Slim & Light Garden Hose weighs less than many garden hoses that are half its length yet it still delivers plenty of water pressure and volume.

If you think dealing with a heavy garden hose is no big deal, then you have clearly never dealt with a heavy garden hose. I had a 110-foot long monster hose a few years back, and I guarantee my neighbors learned new curse words listening to me haul the thing around our property.

Even many 50-foot hoses can weigh more than 10 pounds when bone dry, with any water trapped in the tube adding lots of extra weight. For a senior citizen, a person of smaller stature, or anyone with strength limited by injury or ailment, a heavy hose can be a serious hindrance to gardening, cleaning, and other such projects.

With the Water Right 400 Series Slim and Light Garden Hose, weight is hardly an issue. This slender flexible hose weighs scarcely more than three pounds, so you can move about with ease while using it, distributing water anywhere you need up to 50 feet away from the source.

Made with sturdy, durable polyurethane, it also resists permanent kinks and is safe to use in sub-freezing conditions or in temperatures hotter than any yet recorded on earth. (Which was 134 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in Death Valley, CA on July 10, 1913 in case you were wondering.)

With more than 900 reviews and counting, this lightweight hose has a fine 4.3-star average rating. One elderly gardening enthusiast was thrilled that the Water Right 400 Series Slim and Light Garden Hose "is so lightweight" that it didn't hurt her "hands, arms, or back" to use. Another customer called it "simply perfect!"

A Garden Hose Adviser write up called this hose "all weather safe" and "drinking water safe," and of course also noted its light weight.

Pros: Lightweight and flexible, safe for use with potable water, resists permanent kinks

Cons: Quite a pricey option

Buy a 50-Foot Water Right 400 Series Slim & Light Garden Hose on Amazon for $69.95

The best coiled hose

The best coiled hose
Why you'll love it: The Orbit 26380 25-Foot Coil Hose is ready to stretch out to its full 25-foot length when you need it and coil back up when you're done.

There are a few scenarios in which you probably shouldn't opt for a coil-style garden hose. If you need to use your hose for a sprinkler that rests on the lawn, this design is a bad pick. If you need to run extra high-pressure water through your hose, same story. For just about everything else, however, a coiled hose gives you the reach you need when you need it and stores away in significantly less space than a traditional rubber or vinyl garden hose, and no laborious winding or looping needed to stow it away.

The Orbit 26380 25-Foot Coil Hose is a great choice for your next coiled hose because it's a good price, it's of good quality, and because it comes with a sprayer head. For watering potted plants on a porch, balcony, or patio; for irrigating small patches of lawn or garden beds; or for spraying down a car in the driveway, this hose gives you reach and easy control, and then it coils itself right back up again when you don't need it anymore.

An Orbit 26380 25-Foot Coil Hose owner named Karl said that after using this hose, he would "never go back" to other hose types. Another customer was thrilled that she didn't "have to roll it up" after watering, as the hose "snaps back in place" once the water is turned off and the hose has been released.

I do have to note that some customer report leaking problems, many of which I suspect were caused by too much water pressure.

Pros: Self-coiling for easy storage, comes with sprayer head, lightweight design

Cons: Occasional leaking issues, not suitable for all applications

Buy an Orbit 26380 25-Foot Coil Hose on Amazon for $21.99

The best expandable garden hose

The best expandable garden hose
Why you'll love it: The Hospaip Expandable Water Hose extends out to a full 50 feet when water is flowing through it, yet contracts back to a mere 17-foot length again after use.

You've probably seen TV commercials for hoses like this, right? You hook them to a spigot, turn on the flow, and that "short" hose starts to stretch out, eventually doubling or even tripling is length as if my magic! Well, kids, that magic is just the inherent elasticity of latex and the clever design of a knit polyester cover. Sorry to burst the bubble, but I'm not sorry to say that the Hospaip Expandable Water Hose is one of the finest examples of these hoses around.

It delivers plenty of water pressure for most common residential and light commercial tasks, from car washing to watering gardens to hosing off decks or driveways, and it has a 50-foot reach when in operation yet measures just 17 feet long when "dry," so it takes up minimal storage space.

The Hospaip Expandable Water Hose features durable, rust-resistant brass fittings and has a convenient on/off valve built into the male end of the hose. If you need a relatively long hose but don't want to deal with a large, hulking piece of hardware, this just might be the one for you.

At the time of this review, the Hospaip Expandable Water Hose enjoys a sterling 4.7-star average rating on Amazon. One gentleman spoke for many when he lauded the convenience of storing the hose after it had shrunk down following use, saying the hose made it "much, much easier to water [his] plants." A lady named Janet was direct when she said: "this hose is made extremely well."

The product writers from Ezvid called the Hospaip hose "lightweight and easy to carry" and resistant to leaks.

Pros: Requires minimal storage space, features built-in shut-off valve, lightweight and flexible

Cons: Extending and retracting processes wastes water

Buy a 50-Foot Hospaip Expandable Garden Hose with Sprayer on Amazon for $39.99

The best low-cost garden hose

The best low-cost garden hose
Why you'll love it: The Beaulife Steel Garden Hose is durable and capable, but it's most noteworthy because of its super cheap price.

Looking at the Beaulife Steel Garden Hose, you would probably think the most notable thing about it was the fact that the exterior of the hose is constructed entirely from bands of stainless steel. Indeed that's a fine feature. The hose resists damage from dog bites, crushing, and even encounters with tools like shovels or rakes. (Don't try mowing over it, it will probably lose.)

On learning that the hose can easily tolerate high water flow such as might be used for pressure washing, you might think its capabilities were the real selling point. But in fact, it's the price point that sells this hose. A 75-foot Beaulife Steel Garden Hose sells for less than fifty bucks.

In fact, currently, it sells for less than $47. If you have rambunctious kids or pets prone to cause hose damage, or if you need a hose for a high traffic area like a garden nursery open to the public, this tough, cheap hose is a fine choice.

With more than 225 reviews posted on Amazon, most buyers are more than sold on the high quality of this low-cost hose, which has a 4.2-star average rating. A lady named Erica says that it's a "must have for owners of brat dogs," while a gentleman named James calls it "durable" and even "good looking."

A Garden Hose Adviser write up calls the Beaulife Steel Garden Hose a great buy thanks to its "very low price" but also because it resists damage so well.

Pros: Very low price, resists damage, high water volume

Cons: Prone to leaking issues

Buy a 75-Foot Beaulife Steel Garden Hose on Amazon for $46.98

The best irrigation hose

The best irrigation hose
Why you'll love it: The Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose delivers a slow, steady drizzle of water to tree roots, garden beds, planter boxes, or even to small patches of grass.

While all garden hoses can, of course, be used for irrigation of plants, flowers, turf, and so on, a standard garden hose is not referred to as an irrigation hose. That's a classification reserved for hoses like the Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose, which features a permeable exterior that allows a water to slowly but steadily leak out all along its length.

This design allows you to weave the hose among rows of flowers or food plants, to coil it loosely around the base of a tree, or to snake it up into planter boxes or along the edge of a strip of grass or ground cover.

The Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose can be used in place of much more expensive and invasive irrigation systems, and it can be moved around or removed entirely as needed, unlike more permanent watering hardware. Also, the 50-foot Melnotr Flat Soaker Hose costs all of $13.

While this hose is going to prove entirely ineffective for powering a sprinkler or pressure washing a front stoop, it's a superlative choice for keeping plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, and patches of ground cover watered and healthy.

The Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose has a solid four-star average rating at the time of this review, with one satisfied customer saying she is "glad [she] did [her] research before choosing a soaker hose, because her Melnor irrigation hose proved a be a "success story." Another owner says the hose was "a great addition to [her] veggie garden."

A writer from Garden Aware said the Melnor Flat Soaker Hose "provides even water distribution for your flower beds, perennials, shrubs, flower bushes and other plants," and called it durable thanks to its "woven mesh material with composite reinforced structure."

Pros: Provides ideal irrigation for myriad plants, great low price, durable construction

Cons: Not suitable for use with sprinklers or sprayers

Buy a 50-Foot Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose on Amazon for $25.66

Check out our other gardening gear guides

Check out our other gardening gear guides
The best gardening tools you can buy

Having the essential gardening tools ready in your shed or garage makes the work even more of a joy, instead of a chore. That’s why we’ve gathered up a collection of the best tools for a variety of gardening needs.

These are our top picks:

Here are the best gardening tools you can buy:

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The best gardening gloves you can buy

If you spend a lot of time in the garden, you need a good pair of gardening gloves. We've poured over expert reviews to find the best ones. The Atlas Showa NT370 Nitrle Gloves suit most gardeners' needs and they're very affordable.

We also recommend the StoneBreaker Gardening Glove if you want a goat skin pair, the Bionic Women's Relief Grip Gardening Gloves for improved dexterity, the Exemplary Gardens Rose Pruning Gloves for dealing with thorns, and the Wells Lamont Kids Work Gloves with Safety Cuff for young kids who love to garden.

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