By Mark Wolfe, Savannah Sher and Glenda Taylor | Updated 5:07 PM, October 5, 2021
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Retractable hoses make lawn and garden care easier. When the water is turned on, they will stretch to three times their original size, and when the water is turned off they will shrink back. These self-draining, anti-kink, anti-twist and anti-tangling hoses weigh far less than traditional hoses and take up very little space.
The key to their innovative design is two separate parts: the protective shell and the elastic core. When there is water, the outer shell forms a rigid wall around the hose and protects the core from puncture and abrasion. The inner core works like a balloon and can be stretched to three times its resting length. When the water is turned off, the hose will return to its original size and shape, and empties itself when deflated.
We want to know whether these new space-saving hoses meet the requirements of the promotion, so we tested them. We did not attack-we really let them finish their pace. Read on to learn more about what we think are the best expandable garden hoses on the market.
Inflatable hoses can do all the work done by traditional garden hoses. They are a great choice for homes with limited storage space, small spaces where other hoses are kinked and twisted, and people who are tired of dragging heavy rubber hoses. The best expandable hoses swell under moderate water pressure, drain themselves, and are resistant to wear due to their lightweight, kinks-free housing.
The quality of these products varies with materials, hose fittings, length, weight, and nozzles. Most of the hoses we tested have multi-function nozzles, although almost any nozzle will fit.
High-quality hose materials can distinguish between durable expandable hoses and hoses that are immersed in water. The outside of the hose protects the core from damage and should be strong enough to resist wear and puncture; it also needs to dry quickly to resist mildew.
The core must be very flexible and elastic to easily expand to full length under pressure and shrink back to its original size when not in use. There are several different core materials for expandable hoses:
In most cases, the protective shell is made of nylon. Durable, mildew and mildew resistant, it can withstand the rigorous test of lawn and garden care.
The core of the best expandable hose is both stretchable and strong. Although the shell protects the core, the grit that passes through the shell will still threaten the core due to piercing and wear over time. For this reason, most hoses have at least a double core, although some hoses have as many as four layers.
However, the extra layer will add extra resistance. Thicker cores require greater water pressure to expand to full length. For example, too little water pressure means that a 30-foot hose can only be expanded by an additional 25 feet.
A more durable core can also absorb some of the water pressure from the faucet to stretch it, which may cause the pressure in the hose to decrease significantly. For overall performance, especially when water pressure is involved, the added layer is not necessarily the best expandable hose.
The hose joints that connect the hoses to the water supply system and nozzles may be made of brass or plastic. Plastic fittings are cheap and generally durable, but they tend to have cross threads after repeated use, which can lead to leakage.
The solid brass connector is better maintained by repeatedly threading and loosening to the water supply and nozzle. Some expandable hoses also come with quick connect fittings, allowing users to connect the hose to the water supply system without the need for threads. Quick connectors are also available separately.
The length listed on the manufacturer's packaging corresponds to the length of the fully extended hose. For example, a 50-foot expandable hose can only extend 17 feet without water pressure. Longer hoses can improve maneuverability. Keep in mind that multi-layer cores and weak water pressure will shorten the actual operating length of the hose, so there is no harm in buying the next size.
For expandable hoses, weight is hardly a factor. They weigh between 1.5 and 3 pounds, which is about one-fifth of traditional hoses. Fixtures and nozzles play the biggest role in the weight of the hose. Brass fixtures and nozzles are heavier (and more durable) than plastic.
Most expandable hoses have plastic or metal nozzles. The nozzle has different spray patterns for different purposes. Some of the best hose nozzles include a dial for switching between different spray patterns, from a gentle spray suitable for watering seeds to a high-pressure jet that can wash away clumps of mud on the sidewalk.
In addition to mist and spray, these nozzles usually have several other modes, including:
The flow rate of an expandable garden hose depends on the water pressure of your home and the size of the hose. The standard water pressure for American households is between 40 and 60 psi (pounds per square inch). A longer hose has a lower flow rate, while a wider diameter increases the flow rate.
The diameter of a standard garden hose is ⅝ inches, which results in a flow rate of 17 gallons per minute on a faucet with a standard water pressure of 40 psi. However, a thicker hose with a diameter of ¾ inches can push up to 23 gallons per minute. Due to the high water pressure in some homes, garden hose specifications usually include the level of pressure that can be withstood without causing a blowout.
In general, expandable hoses are not as durable as standard garden hoses and cannot withstand so much internal water pressure. If the water pressure of your faucet exceeds 50 psi, consider installing a flow reducer to prevent the water from exerting excessive pressure on the hose.
We tested many expandable hoses and according to our selection criteria, which hoses are currently the most popular sellers. In order to occupy a place on the list, hoses must be lightweight, strong and durable. In addition, its accessories must be able to be easily connected to the nozzle and socket without leakage. The following models performed well in our hands-on tests and are all tops in their category.
When we connected the 17-foot-long Aterod hose to the faucet and turned on the faucet, its length expanded to less than 52 feet. Its solid brass fittings are designed to handle high water pressures up to 174 psi with no leakage at the nozzle or socket connection. The fitting itself is connected to the end of the hose through a self-locking connector to increase strength and eliminate bursts.
The hose does not seem to be negatively affected by spending a day and a night outdoors, nor is it harmed when we reverse the vehicle.
The included nine-function nozzle provides the correct spray pattern for watering the garden, washing dogs or cleaning windows. We can change the spray options by simply turning the yellow connecting ring on the sprayer. The only disadvantage is the outer shell fabric, which may not be able to withstand drag on the worn surface. However, when fully deployed, it is strong and rigid.
As soon as it was taken out of the package, Delxo left a deep impression-although this is a hose that reaches 104 feet long when fully deployed, it is only 30 feet long in a static state. Unlike some other hoses, Delxo's outer fabric shell is smooth and helps prevent tangling.
When filled with water, its sturdy 3750D fabric shell is smooth and strong; if you don’t know it is an expandable hose, you may mistake it for a standard hose. The smoothness also makes the hose less likely to get stuck when pulled along gravel or rough corners. It has a flexible double latex core that can withstand water pressure up to 180 psi.
The nine-function nozzle includes spray patterns suitable for various outdoor chores, but it is a trigger sprayer-a thumb-controlled sprayer would be great. Delxo's complete kit includes a two-way metal separator, a storage bag, leak-proof tape, a hose clamp and three spare rubber washers.
When filled with water, the maximum length of Knoikos is approximately 48 feet-very close to its advertised 50 feet. Like the other hoses we tested, it has brass connectors and gaskets to prevent connector leakage. The sturdy three-layer core is made of 2mm thick latex and a durable polyester fabric shell, making it a reliable lawn and gardening tool. It has withstood the test of 24 hours outdoors and does not seem to be affected by the car being reversed. When we hit it on the concrete terrace, a brass connector was slightly worn, but it was still connected and there was no leakage.
The advantage of the 10 function nozzle is that it has a non-slip rubber handle, we can use the thumb control instead of the trigger handle to open and close the water.
All nozzle functions work well, except for the "Infuser" option, which looks more like an uncoordinated trickle. Nevertheless, it is still a high-quality hose at a reasonable price. The kit comes with a hose hanger, storage bag and three spare seals.
Although this hose shares the same premium shell fabric and brass fittings with many other hoses in the series, its thick four-layer latex core makes it unique. It doubles the industry standard thickness, which makes the wall strength of the hose twice that of most expandable hoses.
The manufacturer recommends a water pressure of at least 60 psi, but we have found that it only works well at 45 psi. A nice feature is the rubber non-slip handles at both ends, which also provide some protection when we hit the accessory on the concrete-this test caused a washer to fly out. After the replacement, we reconnected the hose and there was no leakage.
When filled with water, the TBI hose only reached 50 feet, and was not damaged by the car backing up. All in all, this is a tough little hose that looks like it can be used continuously. The kit includes a storage box and additional rubber gaskets. Remember, although the TBI hose is strong and durable, it is not equipped with a sprayer.
It is never a good idea to leave an expandable garden hose outdoors in winter, especially in harsh conditions. But some gardeners may still need a hose for outdoor housework in cold weather. Those who live in areas where the temperature is often close to freezing should consider using garden hoses made of brass fittings, which are more durable than plastic fittings.
The Flexi hose uses solid brass fittings, which can be tightly connected to the socket and will not leak. Although the connection between the hose and the nozzle leaked at the beginning, it was quickly repaired by tightening the connection. When filled with water, it will expand to a maximum length of 50.5 feet.
The four-layer latex core of the hose is 10 mm thick, which the manufacturer claims provides additional low-temperature protection. We only left Flexi Hose outside for 24 hours-and it just rained-but it didn't seem to get worse. It withstood the test of a car driving past it, and its connector hit the concrete without even scratching. Its eight-speed nozzle has an ergonomic non-slip handle, which is particularly good, but the sprayer is slightly smaller than competing models.
The LOOHUU expandable garden hose is small but powerful and can extend to 26 feet when filled with water, which is sufficient for small yards, terraces and gardens. When not in use, it shrinks to an easy-to-manage 8 feet.
We drove past LOOHUU and it was not scared. We knocked its brass connectors on the concrete and then connected them to the faucet-no wear and no leakage. Its three-layer latex core and sturdy shell make it a sturdy and reliable garden companion. The nozzle includes 10 spray functions, all functions are good except for the "spray" option, it is more like a stinging spray. The sprayer has a beautiful rubber selection ring that seems to be more durable than some plastic rings on competing models.
The only disadvantage we noticed is that the rubber protectors that slide between the hose and the fittings are not firmly connected-they can slide out easily and do not seem to increase the strength of the hose.
Most expandable garden hoses are much lighter than traditional hoses, which helps make them so convenient. TheFitLife's 25-foot, 1.8-pound garden hose provides an ultra-lightweight option. Fully stowed, it is 9 feet long for easy storage.
Although form has nothing to do with function in this case, TheFitLife is visually stunning. It is also very strong-it withstood the support of the car, and its brass fittings were not damaged after being hit by concrete. It is a very durable hose and is equipped with a cute eight-function sprayer with a non-slip comfortable handle and convenient thumb operation.
When filled with water, the hose looks and feels sturdy-the fabric seems to lock into place, making it one of the most durable models we have tested.
Of the longer hose options we tested, HBlife was the best. It is an excellent all-round expandable hose, arguably the best quality sprayer. The nozzle is made of sturdy and durable metal, which is durable and can withstand severe wear and tear. The eight spray functions cover all types of watering chores, including lightly spraying seedlings, washing the car, or spraying dirt from boots. All spray options are working well.
HBlife has withstood the test of its connectors hitting concrete, and pouring a car on it did not affect it. Its all-brass connection fits tightly, and we found no signs of leakage. Includes additional replacement gaskets. Leaving it in the element for 24 hours does not seem to affect it.
The hose is lightweight, flexible and has no kinks. It is sturdy and durable, and its shell forms a sturdy protective cover that mimics a standard hose when filled with water.
Due to advances in materials and technology, expandable garden hoses have become very popular in the past few years. They bring several obvious advantages to lawns and gardens.
We were very impressed by the quality of the expandable hose we tested. Our first two recommendations are the Aterod expandable garden hose, which occupies the first place in the lineup, and the Delxo expandable garden hose
After the unsatisfactory experience with expandable hoses a few years ago, it is impressive to see how much they improve. Older models tend to be on the weaker side, and you never really know whether the tug will cause the core to rupture. The hoses in our series have passed our strict quality tests, and each of them is very suitable for residential environments.
We passed these hoses through the ringer and we did not play favorites. Each hose is connected to a sprayer, so we can test each of their spray options, paying attention to whether the spray is uniform or the connection is leaking. After changing the water pressure of each hose, we found that they work best at a water pressure of at least 40 psi.
All hoses are placed in the element for 24 hours, and we support each hose with a car. To ensure that the fittings are strong, we knock them on the concrete, then reconnect the hoses and check for leaks, which indicates that the fittings have changed shape.
In addition, we noticed how comfortable the sprayer is in the hand and how easy it is to pull the hose in the yard.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions to maintain and use new expandable hoses. This will ensure easy watering in many seasons. Here are answers to some common questions about expandable garden hoses.
Connect the hose with the nozzle installed to the water supply system. Turn on the water to full pressure or use a hose timer. Be careful not to drag the hose onto a rough surface or drive on it, as this will puncture or shorten its service life.
To repair an expandable hose, cut the hose cleanly at the leaking site, and then use a hose repair kit to reconnect the cut end.
When the expandable hose is not in use, turn off the water supply, disconnect the hose, and allow it to drain itself. Then store the hose away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. Most expandable hoses come with hooks or carrying bags.
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