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The garden hose can be a wonderful thing, if you have the strength to wrangle it, the storage space to store it, and the patience to coil dozens of feet of hose. For those who don’t, there is a solution. The expandable garden hose. A hose that can stretch up to three times its normal length when you turn on the water and that shrinks back when you’re done using it.
They’re lightweight, they’re tangle-, twist-, and kink-resistant, and they’re even self-draining. And yes, that really is a feature, just ask anyone who has had to lift each foot of their hose to drain the water in the off season. For car owners, expandable hoses come in handy when you’re washing your car, helping you reach all four corners with little frustration.
If any of these benefits has piqued your interest, read on to learn more about the best expandable garden hoses and what they can do for you.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: Flexi Hose Plus Lightweight 50' Expandable Garden Hose
- 2. Aterod 50' Expandable Garden Hose
- 3. Delxo 100' Expandable Hose
- 4. TBI Pro 50' Expandable Hose
- 5. Elk & Bear 50' Expandable Hose
- What do I look for from an Expandable Hose?
- Storing and Caring for your Expandable Garden Hose:
1. Editor's Pick: Flexi Hose Plus Lightweight 50' Expandable Garden Hose
This recommendation features a 3/4-inch hose that allows for plenty of flow, along with solid brass connectors for durability and a double latex interior pipe to prevent leaks. It’s designed to withstand up to 174 psi of pressure, which is more than double what your home water line is likely to put out, giving you the reassurance of durability. Lightweight and measuring just 17-feet long when collapsed, this hose expands to nearly three-times its original length, making it 50-feet long when you’ve pulled it out.
This kit comes with an eight-pattern hose nozzle that gives you the ability to pick the best water spray for washing your car. Dealing with hot water? The Flexi Hose can withstand temperatures up to 113-degrees F. The Plus kit also includes a storage bag as well as a wall hook, and a brass on/off valve that you can use to stop the flow of water at the outlet end of the hose for ease of use.
2. Aterod 50' Expandable Garden Hose
The Aterod hose expands from 17 feet to 50 feet, and all it takes is water pressure. Thanks to an extra flexible material in the construction of the hose as well as the woven casing, the interior latex pipe is protected. The manufacturer says that the hose will never twist, kink, or tangle, a common issue when using fabric and conventional rubber hoses.
This option is rated to withstand up to 12 bar of pressure, helping it avoid leaks and blowouts. The brass fittings are connected to the hose with self-locking connectors, which also contribute to preventing leaks there. Lightweight and tangle-free, the hose comes with a nine-function spray nozzle and it offers a wall hook for storage. The manufacturer does warn against high and low temperatures and says that if your water pressure isn’t above 65 psi, the hose might not fully expand—an issue common to several of these types of hoses.
3. Delxo 100' Expandable Hose
If a 50-feet hose doesn’t cut it for you, this one just might do the trick. It’s 33-feet long when you’re not using it, but turn the water on and this hose grows to a whopping 100-feet long. That should be enough to reach every corner of your vehicle, while still being small enough for easy storage. Turn the water off and the hose collapses in seconds, returning to its original 33-foot length so you can put it away.
While this hose is extra long, it weighs just 5.5 lbs, making it much lighter than a conventional hose and much easier to carry and store when you’re done washing your car. With rubber seals on the hose ends, and a plastic protective cover for the inside of the hose along with a flexible polyester cover fabric, this option is designed to be as durable as it is expandable. The kit includes the hose and a sprayer, as well as a splitter that lets you have two hoses leaving the tap. A storage hook makes it easier to put the hose away when you’re done.
4. TBI Pro 50' Expandable Hose
If you don’t care about the accessories, but do care about strength and durability, this is our recommendation for you. While many of the other products on this list are two-layer, this one is constructed from four layers of latex. Twice as thick means it’s much stronger, meaning that it’s more likely to last for you long term. Brass connectors ensure that the ends of the hose don’t corrode with use, and they’re designed to make sure that the hose doesn’t leak from fittings when you’re using it, thanks to what the manufacturer calls an aircraft aluminum seal.
This hose is one you probably won’t need to worry about if it drags on the driveway or gets stepped on while you’re spraying. The fabric coating is strong and smooth to avoid twists and kinks, ensuring that it stays easy to use. Because latex is a light material, adding an extra thickness to the hose increases weight only slightly. So this hose should still be easy to handle while washing your car. This option expands from 17 feet to 50 feet.
5. Elk & Bear 50' Expandable Hose
Like most of the recommendations on this list, the Elk & Bear option expands from about 17 feet when it’s not under pressure to 50 feet when you turn on the water. It’s also available in lengths up to 100-feet long, all with a similar 3:1 expansion ratio. This hose, the lightest of the bunch at just 2.3 lbs, is also one of the most durable. The manufacturer offers a lifetime guarantee with product registration.
This product also offers some of the highest (and lowest) working temperatures in the bunch. From negative 5-degrees C all the way to 98-degrees C, that’s from just below freezing to just below boiling. Like the other latex hoses here, it won’t kink and it’s compact to store, making it ideal for space-limited uses like to bring along with your RV. The hose comes with brass fittings, including a shut-off valve at the nozzle end, and it also offers a multi-position trigger-operated hose nozzle sprayer.
What do I look for from an Expandable Hose?
Specifications are important here, though most of them use the same latex core. That’s a natural rubber often used in rubber gloves, balloons, and the like. It’s flexible and strong, but it’s not indestructible. Here, thicker is better, so two layers is good, three is better, and more is best. If you’re not ready to be careful about dragging the hose over your driveway or gravel, you’re definitely going to want a four-layer hose. If you want the hose a big lighter and a bit cheaper, be careful and get two.
The exterior covering is important too. Most of these hoses use a nylon fabric shell, a material that protects the fragile core from everything outside that wants to destroy it. That includes abrasion, punctures, and ensuring the material is mold and mildew resistant for when it sits in the garage when it’s not being used.
When it comes to fittings, metal is best. Plastic fittings are prone to breakage, even just from fastening it to the faucet. Brass fittings hold up and resist corrosion, making them ideal for hose fittings. Quick-connect plastic fittings can be handy, but you then need to purchase adapters for your faucet and accessories.
Storing and Caring for your Expandable Garden Hose:
Most of these hoses will tell you not to leave them out in extreme heat or cold. It’s not good for the latex interior, and can cause it to break down and fail prematurely. Likewise, leaving the hose in the sun or using hot water should be avoided.
When you’re done with the hose, turn off the water and let the hose drain. Once it’s returned to original size, store it with the provided hook or in the included bag, and keep your hose out of extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. These steps should help ensure long life for your expandable hose.
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