Best Garden Hoses for 2023 – CNET

$49 at Walmart

The Teknor Apex Zero-G Hose sits in a coil amidst some mulch.

Teknor Apex Zero-G Hose (4001-50)

Best garden hose overall

$40 at Amazon

The EADUTY Hybrid Garden Hose sits coiled atop some garden mulch.

Eaduty Hybrid Garden Hose

Best traditional rubber hose

Having a green thumb isn’t a prerequisite for also having a good quality garden hose around the house. A reliable hose will make washing a car or cleaning up unwanted debris a much easier task, even if you never use it to water a garden.

Whether you’re picking one up at Walmart or Lowe’s or ordering one off of Amazon, garden hoses aren’t hard to get, but finding one that’s dependable and versatile is a little trickier. While a standard 50-foot garden hose may look simple and straightforward on the surface, there are plenty of details to consider when buying one.

A hose’s material, weight and water flow rate all play a factor in how it operates. Some tasks do require a heavy duty rubber hose that’s capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and water pressure. On the flip side, sometimes a small, lightweight hose is the best tool for the job.

I looked at all these factors and used calculated tests to see how seven different hoses compared to each other. I also looked at more-subjective details like whether a hose felt comfortable to hold and if it scratched up when it was dragged across concrete. The goal here is to help you find a garden hose you can rely on when you need it.

The Teknor Apex Zero-G Hose sits in a coil amidst some mulch.

<span class="g-color-text-meta u-inline-block g-text-xxxsmall">Tyler Hayes/CNET</span>

If you were asked to design a garden hose, you’d probably want it to be lightweight while also having a fast flow rate. Ideally it wouldn’t kink easily and wouldn’t be a pain to screw on or off of a spigot. The well-rounded Zero-G Hose from Teknor Apex ticks all those boxes, including having the second fastest flow rate, at 0.98 pounds per second. 

This hose will work well for casual use around your home, but it should also be able to handle a more involved landscaping project. Unlike expandable fabric hoses, the Zero-G doesn’t expand or retract, so there’s no shrinking sensation that you have to accommodate for. This hose promises abrasion and puncture resistance, and Teknor backs up those claims with a five-year warranty, which is a nice step up from the one- or two-year warranties you’ll find with most other hoses.

This is a great all-around hose for most people, and I especially liked its twisting end pieces to help make it easier to connect to a spigot. The hose wasn’t unwieldy and should be light enough for most people to move it around without trouble. As long as you can tolerate its exterior staying damp a little longer than rubber hoses, and the relatively low maximum water feed temperature of 80 degrees, then I think this hose is worth its retail price.

The EADUTY Hybrid Garden Hose sits coiled atop some garden mulch.

<span class="g-color-text-meta u-inline-block g-text-xxxsmall">Tyler Hayes/CNET</span>

The Eaduty Hybrid Garden Hose is about as traditional a garden hose as you can get. There’s very little about its design or construction that feels unique. That isn’t a problem, however, because water flowed freely and its plastic twist grips on the ends made it easy to get the hose on and off a spigot with minimal effort.

This Eaduty Hybrid Garden Hose was similar to the Giraffe Tools Garden Hose in most ways, but it edged that one out with a lightweight design, faster water flow, and slightly better value at $45. Plus, I preferred how its plastic twist grips stayed put and didn’t slide up and down the hose body. 

This hose is capable of handling extreme temperatures and pressure bursts up to 450 psi. Its rubber body didn’t show any visible scratches after I dragged it across a concrete driveway, just a few minimal scratches on the plastic twist grip.

If you prefer to stick to a more traditional rubber hose, for whatever reason, I think this is the one to pick. The two-year warranty is a bit stingy for its price, but beyond that consideration, I was satisfied with the product.

The all-metal Rosy Earth Garden Hose sits in a coil next to some small shrubs.

<span class="g-color-text-meta u-inline-block g-text-xxxsmall">Tyler Hayes/CNET</span>

With a stainless steel design, the Rosy Earth Water Hose is an unusual contender in the garden hose category. And while it might not be the right hose for everyone, its minimal footprint and ability to never kink makes it superior to a common rubber or fabric hose in a number of use cases. 

Because of the hose’s metal construction, I was very curious about how it would fare across a concrete driveway. I was pleasantly surprised to see it didn’t cause any damage, nor did it look overly worn from being dragged back and forth. In this instance, it proved to be more durable than the WeGuard Expandable Water Hose and its polyester fabric cover, which quickly began to fray. 

The Rosy Earth Water Hose never got overly tangled, so it always uncoiled quickly and was speedy to manually roll up — that aspect was great. It isn’t the tidiest pick, though. The metal exterior did cause the hose to be a bit slippery against itself and that, in turn, made it a challenge to keep the thing neat and orderly during storage.

Storage woes aside, this hose had a solid but unspectacular flow rate of 0.86 pounds per second. It didn’t feel slow while filling the test bucket, but it was slower than most other tested hoses because of a narrower body diameter. Being narrower did give it a bit more natural pressure, however.

One aspect I was surprised by was that the hose became stiffer and much less flexible when water was flowing through it. It was interesting during my hands-on, but it didn’t prevent any functionality. The Rosy Earth Water Hose with a retail price of $42.99 is a good option for people who are intrigued by the expandable fabric hoses for their compactness but want better durability.

Other hoses we tested

Showing the metal end of the Briggs and Stratton rubber hose after drag test

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Briggs and Stratton Rubber Garden Hose (8BS50)

The Briggs and Stratton Rubber Garden Hose seemed like it could be a long-term workhorse based on its performance. If you do have a more challenging environment where you need a hose to work constantly, this one is a solid option with a retail price of $42.90. 

It can perform in extreme temperatures, but most importantly, if something does happen to it, the hose has a lifetime warranty. Though it had great performance, the 10-pound hose is on the heavy side, it was bulky to manually roll up, and it didn’t have the nicety of twisting handle grips for screwing the end on and off a spigot. 

Flexzilla garden hose in bright green laying twisted on a driveway

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Flexzilla Garden Hose (HFZG550YW-E)

The Flexzilla Garden Hose retails for $40 and was certainly the brightest and most visible hose I tested. If the visual element ranks highly on your list of priorities for any reason, this hose would make a fine choice. 

The Flexzilla hose had the fastest flow rate, at 1.26 pounds per second, but I was constantly frustrated by the twists, tangles, and kinks that formed along the hose if it wasn’t babied in how it was laid out and moved around. Part of that may have been from the extremely flexible hybrid polymer material. It felt good to hold, but it was still bulky to store in a garage and weighed almost 8 pounds.

Showing the end of the giraffe garden hose after a drag test

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Giraffe Tools Hybrid Garden Hose

The Giraffe Tools Hybrid Garden Hose was very similar to the Eaduty hose but didn’t stand out in any way from that option. It was perfectly fine, but I didn’t care for the way the plastic twist grips didn’t stay attached to the ends. Plus, it has a high retail price of $50.

showing the WeGuard expandable garden hose coiled up

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WeGuard Expandable Garden Hose

The WeGuard Expandable Garden Hose is compact, lightweight and retails for $29. It’ll work best for areas like a balcony or small patios. I was disappointed by its durability in the drag test and its expansion from 17 feet to 50 feet can make certain watering tasks trickier.

Showing 6 hoses coiled up laying on a driveway

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How we test garden hoses

First and foremost, I used CNET’s hose testing guidelines to evaluate each product in three specific areas: connection, kink, and flow rate. These performance-based tests helped identify how the hoses functioned, and also how they compared to each other.

Each hose passed the connection test, which checked to make sure none of them were leaking when screwed on to the spigot or when used with a spray nozzle. Each had a perfect connection out of the box. Each time I connected a hose to use it, I also checked the connection to confirm there were no leaks. 

None of the hoses leaked at the point of connection after at least five times of screwing them on and off, either. The rubber O-ring will likely deteriorate over time, so there may be leaking in the future, but when the hoses were in new working order I didn’t see any design flaws that would lead to a bad experience right from the start.

Holding the Rosy Earth water hose for the kink test

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>You won&#8217;t have any kinks to worry about with the all-metal Rosy Earth Garden Hose.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Tyler Hayes/CNET</span>

Similarly, all the hoses passed the kink test, with 100% water flow when holding the hose about two feet from the end and wrapping it around my hand. Some of the hoses, such as the Flexzilla and the Briggs showed slight kinking and made sounds to suggest that they were on the verge of kinking, but neither of those had a slower water flow.

Beyond the standard kink test, I did notice that water was restricted in some of the hoses for other, adjacent reasons. For example, though wrapping the WeGuard fabric hose around my hand didn’t restrict the water flow, stepping on it did.

To test the flow rate of each hose, I turned on the water spigot to completely open and timed how long it took to fill a 5-gallon bucket to a line marked near the top. Then, I measured the weight of the water.

The WeGuard expandable hose spraying water

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>The WeGuard expandable fabric hose had the slowest flow rate of the hoses I tested.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Tyler Hayes/CNET</span>

The Flexzilla hose filled the bucket the fastest, with a speed of 1.26 pounds per second. For comparison, the slowest hose was the WeGuard, at 0.66 pounds per second. The Zero-G and Briggs and Stratton hoses both had a speed of 0.98 pounds per second, Eaduty had a speed of 0.96 pounds per second, and the Giraffe Tools Hybrid Garden Hose had a speed of 0.92 pounds per second.

The Rosy Earth Metal Hose was a little slower than most others, with a speed of 0.86 pounds per second. The hose has a narrower body, which doesn’t allow as much water through. However, I also found that the narrow design led to more natural pressure from the hose, which could be beneficial in certain use cases.

In terms of durability, I can’t predict how these hoses will fare over time, but I did want to try to see as much initial wear as I could. To do this, I dragged each of the hoses across a concrete driveway back and forth 10 times. I wanted to see how the end pieces and the hose material held up, in addition to whether the hose caused any damage to my driveway.

Showing the fraying fabric of the WeGuard expandable garden hose

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="28"></p> <p>The fabric exterior on the WeGuard expandable garden hose frayed almost immediately after being dragged back and forth on a concrete driveway.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Tyler Hayes/CNET</span>

The most noticeable damage happened to the WeGuard fabric hose, which began fraying almost immediately. The results don’t suggest this hose could hold up very long being used exclusively across concrete or pavers. 

The rubber hoses showed only the faintest of scratches, most of which wouldn’t be noticeable unless finely inspected. I have almost no concerns about the longevity of the Eaduty or Briggs and Stratton hoses. The Flexzilla hose had no visible scratches on it, and the plastic tubing around the end of the hose took all the abrasions, but even those weren’t of consequence.

Showing light scratches of the hose body of the Rosy Earth Metal hose after being dragged on a driveway

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="29"></p> <p>After I dragged the Rosy Earth metal garden hose across a concrete driveway 10 times, it had only very light scratches.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Tyler Hayes/CNET</span>

I was most curious to see how the Rosy Earth metal hose absorbed scratches, or didn’t. After dragging the hose back and forth, I saw that it definitely had wear marks, but they weren’t noticeable from a distance. The metal end piece scratched up visibly, but the damage didn’t seem to cause any functional issues. Thankfully, the hose didn’t leave any marks or signs that it had slid around the driveway, either.

Out of curiosity, I left all the hoses in direct midday sun for 45 minutes to see how hot they got. The rubber hoses got the hottest. They were very warm to the touch but didn’t burn my hand. The Rosy Earth metal hose, Zero-G hose, and the WeGuard fabric one were each warm, but not hot. The Flexzilla hose didn’t seem to heat up at all.

Garden hose FAQ

We’ll give this post an update every time we test out a new round of garden hoses — for now, here are some answers to commonly asked questions. For more, be sure to check out CNET’s Yard & Outdoors section.

What different types of garden hoses are there?

The most common types of garden hoses are vinyl, rubber, expandable, pre-coiled polyurethane, and metal. Each of these different hose types can be used for a variety of tasks, but each of these has areas it’s best used for.

Expandable and pre-coiled polyurethane tend to be more fragile and better suited to light gardening, while rubber and metal hoses can withstand more abuse and prolonged exposure to natural elements.

How long a garden hose do I need?

Most garden hoses come in multiple lengths, ranging from 25 feet to 100 feet or more. An appropriate length for most homes is 50 feet, and it’s the length we stuck to for these tests. But you might want something longer depending on the size and layout of your yard, garden or whatever other area you’re planning to use it in. If your garden hose is too long, it could lower the water pressure you’ll get out of it, so try to avoid getting a hose that’s longer than necessary.

What does a garden hose’s thread size mean?

A garden hose’s thread size refers to the end connection piece. A larger connection size will allow more water through. For residential use in the United States five-eighths of an inch is the most common thread size.

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