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As summer starts approaching and the weather gets warmer, the need to regularly water garden plants becomes all the more important.
While this can be quite a menial task, it is one that must be carried out almost every day and, although the Great British summer can be more than a little unpredictable, it’s a job that will keep your garden looking healthy and colourful all summer long.
However, the idea of lugging a big, long, heavy hose around the garden isn’t one that fills anybody with joy. Throw in the risk of it cracking or splitting, springing a leak in the process, and you’ll find yourself filled with frustration and wishing you’d never started.
That’s why an expandable garden hose is an essential piece of garden equipment. Designed to grow up to three times their original size as the water flows in, and then shrink back down again once the tap has been turned off, they’ll help you reach every inch of your garden with ease.
They are also a great way to perform a variety of other outdoor jobs, such as cleaning windows, hosing down the patio or cleaning your car, without having to resort to the more traditional method of a bucket and sponge!
There are a plethora of options to choose from when you’re looking for an expandable hose, however, which can make finding the perfect one for your needs a little bit tricky. So, to take the hard work out of finding one, we’ve put together a collection of some of our favourite hoses below, as well as a handy buying guide that’s packed full of tips on what to look for before you make your final decision.
Grab a seat, put your feet up and come with us on our journey through the best expandable garden hoses, and pretty soon you’ll be watering your garden with unbelievable ease.
If you’re in a hurry and are looking for a fantastic expandable garden hose that will keep your plants healthy and watered all summer long, check out our top pick below.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Expandable Garden Hose UK – Comparison Table
Best Expandable Garden Hose UK – Reviews
Best Expandable Garden Hose UK – Buyer’s Guide
Expandable hoses are definitely the best option for any garden, whether it’s large or small, and will make getting to even the most difficult and hard to reach areas of your garden easy.
They’re also a great choice for carrying out a variety of other jobs, such as cleaning the car or washing the family pet, and will store away neatly when not in use.
However, there are a few factors that you should give some consideration to when you’re looking at which one to buy. We’ve outlined some key points below that will help make deciding which hose to purchase a bit easier, and make sure you get the perfect one the first time around.
The first thing you’ll want to give some thought to is the length that you need your garden hose to expand to. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get right to the back of your garden to water because the hose doesn’t stretch far enough.
We’d recommend popping out into your garden with a measuring tape and getting the dimensions of your garden correct before ordering your hose. That way you’ll know if you require a 50ft, 75ft or 100ft hose, and you won’t be caught short when your plants need a good drink!
Remember, also, that although expandable hoses do shrink down when they’re not in use, the longer the hose you choose the longer the unfilled size will be. With this in mind, make sure you have ample room to store it neatly when it’s not being used for watering.
The material that your expandable garden hose is constructed from will ultimately determine how durable it is, and how long it will last, so it’s definitely something that’s worth paying some attention to.
Garden hoses are ordinarily formed of two components. The first of these is the internal tubing, which will carry the water from your outside tap through to the spray head. The inside of your garden hose needs to be built from a strong material, such as dual or triple latex, which will be able to withstand up to 10 bars of water pressure without cracking or splitting.
The second component is the outer material. When you’re watering your garden, you’ll be dragging the hose across a variety of surfaces including lawns, gravel and paving, so the hose needs to be able to withstand this. Look for a garden hose that has a tough, polyester fabric cover somewhere between 3570D and 5000D.
This won’t only ensure that it won’t snag or tear as you move it around, but will also allow for expanding and contracting as the water flows through it, and as it shrinks down again.
Most garden hoses now come with spray heads included, however the best ones to look for will offer you multiple watering patterns to choose from. These are really good as you’ll be able to switch between different flows of water, and choose the best one for the task at hand.
For example, if you’ve got some seedlings growing that require gentle watering, you’ll be able to switch your spray head to a ‘mist’ pattern and water them without any risk of damaging or dislodging the delicate young plants.
Likewise, if you’ve planted a large shrub or a tree and need to water it in, a spray head with multiple patterns will allow you to switch to a much heavier flow of water in order to give it a really good soaking and help it settle in.
By design, expandable hoses will shrink down to a compact size that makes storing them easier. However, if your hose is left in a pile in the corner of the garden when it’s not in use, there’s an increased chance of damage occurring to either the hose or the spray head. Not to mention, a hose that has been left to trail along the floor could become a trip hazard for yourself or anybody else in your household.
With that in mind, look for a hose that comes with a holder included. This can be attached to a wall near your outside tap and lets you neatly store the garden hose away, and keeps it from laying on the ground.
Some garden hoses also include storage bags as part of the kit, and these are also a great accessory to look for. A storage bag for your hose pipe will give you somewhere to neatly and securely store it away over the winter months when you won’t be using it as frequently, and also offers you a safe place to store it away if you’re not keen on using a hose pipe holder.
There are a few choices available when it comes to connectors for your garden hose, however the most common materials you’ll find will be brass and plastic.
Brass connectors are a great choice as they are naturally rust resistant and corrosion proof, as well as extremely strong, so you’ll be able to establish a secure connection between the tap and the hosepipe without any risk of leaks or drips.
Plastic connectors are also very strong, however they have a tendency to be a little more lightweight than brass ones, and could easily chip or break if they were accidentally dropped on the ground.
Some garden hoses also include two-headed connectors, which allows you to secure your hose pipe to one connector and leaves another one totally free. This is a good feature if you’d like to keep using your outside tap to fill a watering can or your dog’s bowl for instance, but don’t want to have to disconnect your garden hose every time.
As with all things, it’s a good idea to set yourself a budget when you’re shopping for an expandable garden hose. You may be surprised to find that there are many options available that also come with a variety of accessories, and are reasonably priced.
Remember to always look at the features, and make sure that you’re paying for the product and not just for the brand.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an expandable garden hose?
Expandable hoses are designed to expand and contract as water flows into them, and then gets shut off at the source. They are fantastic for saving space in your garden, and also tend to be a lot more hardwearing than standard hoses, as well as giving you a variety of spray patterns to choose from so you can carry out a wide range of outdoor jobs.
Are metal or plastic hose connectors better?
Both metal and plastic connectors are great for establishing a secure connection between your garden hose and your outside tap, and both come with their own benefits. Metal connectors, usually made of brass, provide a leak-free connection and won’t rust when in use. Plastic connectors are also leak-resistant, however they are easier to damage if they get accidentally dropped.