While choosing a garden hose may seem like a simple task, you’ll soon discover there are lots of options to choose from. Do you prefer a standard hose or coiled design? Will a 25-footer do or do you need something longer? Do you prefer a rubber or vinyl design, and what are the plusses and minuses of both? If your head’s beginning to spin, don’t worry. We’ve taken the hassle out of hose buying by narrowing the criteria down to the most important things to consider. Here’s how to find the garden hose that will deliver this summer and for many summers to come.

Bargain Buy

This product is durable and won’t kink under pressure. Flexzilla

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Comes in many different lengths, so consider your yard’s size. If you live in a townhouse with a small patio or a house with just a little bit of yard, a 10-foot hose will probably do nicely. For larger yards where you may need to reach distant areas to water, clearly you’ll need more length but beware. The longer the hose, the more it will weigh and the tougher it will be to lug around and store. If you need more length, consider buying a 50- and a 25-footer and connecting them together. Your back will thank you. When choosing a hose diameter (1/2-, 5/8-, or ¾-inch), know that 5/8-inch hoses are the best for running sprinklers, power washers and handling everyday chores like car washing.

Multiple Sizes

This product will not curl. Teknor Apex

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Vinyl hoses: Cheap vinyl hoses are just that—cheap. They will kink, they will crack, and they generally have crummy hardware. If budget is a concern and you’re only going to water a fewer pots, however, these can work. But for bigger jobs, give these a miss.

Rubber hoses: Hoses made of rubber are far more durable that vinyl hoses, so they’ll definitely last longer. Check the specs when you shop to ensure the rubber model you choose has been treated to resist ultra-violet breakdown by the sun’s rays. Rubber hoses will definitely not kink the way all-vinyl hoses will.

Reinforced hoses: Garden hoses that are reinforced with mesh (usually placed between layers of rubber or vinyl) are definitely the strongest. These hoses are made to last for years and will stand up to higher water pressures. While reinforced hoses will cost more, many are backed by guarantees (up to 10 years in some cases)Other things to look for when choosing a hose are flexibility, the quality of the hardware, and the burst pressure, which is particularly important if you intend to use your hose with a power washer that pumps up line pressure big time.

Stows Neatly

This product shrinks down when not in use for easy storage. Flexi Hose

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Three types of hose designs are also available. The style you choose can greatly impact the weight and ease of storage.

Standard Garden Hoses: Whether you choose a vinyl or rubber hose, check to be sure it’s labeled as being “drinking water safe” if you intend to drink out of it or use the hose to provide water for animals or pets. If it’s not so labeled, you need to understand that both vinyl and rubber will leach chemicals into the water supply as it passes through—no biggie for watering plants, but definitely not a good choice for potable water.

Expandable Hoses: These are a great choice for gardeners with little storage space as they accordion out when filled with water. They’re very lightweight when they’re not full, so they’re easy to haul around the yard, but they’re not built to withstand years of outdoor use the way standard rubber or vinyl hoses are.

Coiled Hoses: These types are permanently coiled, so they’re not practical for running sprinklers or for watering very far from a host bib. But for those looking for a simple way to get hanging baskets on the porch or a few pots on the patio watered, coiled hoses can be just the thing.

Also Consider:

This model stretches to full length quickly under pressure. TheFitLife

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This model has a leakproof and crackproof design. OCNESS

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