When you buy a garden hose there are a few factors to take into consideration.
The length should be just long enough for your requirements and no longer. Longer hoses not only need more space but cost more and can be difficult to drain after watering.
Measure the length you require by going to the furthest point in your garden and adding a couple of extra feet.
As for width, generally speaking hoses come in three width sizes: ¾ inch, five-eighths inch and half inch. Obviously the larger the measurement the more water the hose will carry. Most specialists would recommend a hose width of five-eighths inch.
Material-wise, rubber is typically longer-lasting and most durable. Rubber hoses do tend to be heavy to carry around and the most expensive. Vinyl is lightweight and cheap but do not last as long. A good option is a composite rubber/vinyl garden hose.
If you are a novice at buying garden hoses, try the kink test, which is simply bending the hose into a U shape. If it is not flexible enough and kinks, move onto testing another one.
How you attach the hose to your water tap is important. There are several choices from plastic, stamped metal and cast brass. Plastic will split eventually and cannot be tightened properly. The best option, although the most expensive, is cast brass. It will last you for years.
Finally, if you have pets that are going to drink from the hose or be hosed down in the summer months, be careful to buy one that is safe for them. Both rubber and vinyl hoses can seep harmful chemicals into the water. You can get ‘drinking water safe’ hoses especially for animals.
Here’s what we recommend:
BEST BUDGET-BUYSavisto Long Expandable Garden Hose With Spray Gun, 75ft – £15.49
It was the good customer reviews that made us take a look at this garden hose from Savisto. Surely for under twenty pounds we couldn’t expect a great product? But we were wrong. This hose is made from a durable woven nylon that stretches when filled with water and then shrinks back to size when empty. There are no kinks to worry about and also included is a multi-action spray gun which delivers fine sprays or a targeted burst of water. It has a plastic connector which is not great, but for the price we love it.
BEST MID-RANGE BUYHozelock Ultimate Hose, 30m – £34.99
Renowned as leading experts in the garden industry, this hose from Hozelock has a range of features, including anti-kink, anti-twisting, ultra-light, weather-proof with UV and frost protection. This hose is around 25% lighter than other hoses of the same length and diameter, so it is much easier to move around. Despite its lightweight structure it is crush-proof and durable.
BEST TOP-END BUYGardena Wall Mounted Hose Roll-Up Automatic. 35m – £144.99
What’s the worst part about hosing your garden? Rolling up the hose after you’ve finished watering. Thanks to this handy automatic system, that pesky chore is done for you. The box can be mounted on any wall and swivels at 180 degrees. You can pull in the hose at 50cm intervals. There is a hose guide incorporated into the box that stops the hose getting twisted or kinked up. Accessories such as nozzles, sprayers and wash brushes can be stored on the wall bracket, nest to the box. Comes with three tap connectors, a standard hose connector and a water stop.
BEST DRINKING WATER HOSEFood Grade Hose – Caravan / Motorhome / Boat 12mm 1/2″ – non toxic hosepipe, 10m – £19.50
Showing that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a safe drinking water hose for you or your pets. This one comes complete with a clear inner core and is marked with the food grade logo and EU standards mark for your extra reassurance. It is also anti-kink and can be used for your outside water tap or take it with you on your boat or caravan.