Jan 07, 2024

The 7 Best Garden Hoses of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The Craftsman 50-ft Premium-Duty Rubber Red Hose was our overall winner

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People / Dera Burreson

Whether you’re a gardening pro like Christie Brinkley or just starting out with some flowers or vegetables in your backyard, you’ll need a good garden hose at your disposal. PEOPLE Tested put 30 of the best garden hoses to work to help you narrow down the choices—and there are many good choices. Fifteen hoses (half of those we tested) scored an average of 4 out of 5 or higher across testing categories. Three hoses scored a perfect 5 out of 5, one of which topped our list. (The CRAFTSMAN 50-ft Premium-Duty Rubber Red Hose was our overall winner.)

Jerry Gorchels, technical product representative at PanAmerican Seed North America, says the average consumer with watering needs should look for a couple of key elements in a garden hose. "Depending on their budget, they should look for one that is 25 feet longer than they feel [they need]. You always run short," he tells PEOPLE Tested. "Look for one that won't kink," he adds. "Some have a wire flex core that eliminates kinks. Hoses with a rubber lining and/or exterior have longevity."

Below, you’ll find our seven best bets, varying in length, materials, and capabilities—in short, something for everyone.


Easy to maneuver

Easy to screw on and off the spigot

Few (if any) kinks

No real cons, though the red color may not be every gardener's first choice

Our overall winner was one of three hoses in our field of 30 that scored a perfect 5 out of 5 in each of our testing categories: design, ease of use, durability, and value. The CRAFTSMAN 50-ft red hose was "solid, heavy, and the expected weight—not lightweight but not heavy. We like the red color," noted our tester. Described on its packaging as being fit for "hot water" use (up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit), this model is designed to hold up under rugged conditions and inclement weather. The red color will also make it stand out among the greens and browns in a typical yard or deck.

In our tests, the CRAFTSMAN hose was easy to maneuver and felt good in the hand, said our tester, adding that it was easy to screw on and off, thanks to its high-quality brass threading. The hose also felt extremely durable, and it didn't kink a lot, whether empty or full. "The price seems like a good deal for the product you get," concluded our tester.

Length: 50’ | Material: Rubber | Type of Couplings: Metal

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People / Dera Burreson

People / Dera Burreson


Grippy silicone handles make this hose easy to work with

Sturdy and easy to straighten out

This hose was heavy when full, making it a bit challenging to maneuver

The bright yellow color may not appeal to everyone

Scoring just a half point below our overall winner, the Flexzilla 50-ft Water Hose comes in a bright yellow color that's easy to spot in the yard. It scored a 5 out of 5 in design for straightening out nicely and being as heavy as expected. Our tester liked the "squishy silicone handles on both ends."

That silicone also provides a good grip and makes it easy to attach to a spigot. There was no leakage, but the hose was heavy when full, making it hard to swing over things while moving it around the yard. We gave it a score of 4.5 out of 5 for ease of use.

The Flexilla closed out testing with a pair of 5 scores for durability and value. The hose was sturdy, with a great grip, and it did not kink at all, thanks to the unique abrasion-resistant polymer construction that allows for fantastic flexibility (hence the name) as well as no memory, so it constantly stays flat. Our tester said it felt like it would hold up for a long time and noted that it's got an affordable price point considering the quality.

Length: Up to 100’ | Material: Flexible hybrid polymer | Type of Couplings: Metal with O-ring

People / Rachel Marek

People / Rachel Marek

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Very durable

Not too heavy, even when filled with water

The black material got very hot after the hose sat out in the sun

This garden hose was very durable in our testing and had a decent length to be able to cover a lot of surface area. It's even fit for commercial use with its crush-proof metal couplings and industrial-style reinforcing to allow for heavy water flow. However, the black rubber material got very hot from sitting out in the sun, leading our testers to give it a score of 4 out of 5 for design.

In the remaining three categories, however (ease of use, durability, and value), the Briggs and Stratton hose scored a 5 out of 5. It was easy to carry and not too heavy when filled with water, and it screwed onto nozzles and spigots very easily. It held up well when dragged across surfaces, and the material felt like it would hold up to a lot of use. "It's a great value for such a durable hose," said our tester.

Length: Up to 100’ | Material: Heavy-duty rubber | Type of Couplings: Nickle-plated brass

People / Rachel Marek

People / Rachel Marek

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The long length makes this high-quality hose a great choice if you’ve got a bigger yard or gardening space

Easy to coil

It's got the highest price point of our winners ($75)

Everything about this aluminum garden hose was easy to use. With a length double those of most other hoses we tested, it still remained manageable to carry around. The zero-G hose was "easy to connect . . . easy to coil up, and easy to uncoil to use," notes our tester. Maneuvering around buckets in our testing was a breeze, and the heavy-duty hardware impressed us. This is due to the coiled design, which helps the keep hose effortlessly serpentine and gliding through grass, dirt, and gravel without kinking. It's also puncture-resistant, so you can carry it with you through tough jobs without worrying about wearing away the material.

While the zero-G hose was more expensive than some others with a list price of $75, our tester called it "a good price for this hose. Yes, it's more expensive, but it worked much better than others, and it was very long." If you’ve got a space that calls for a longer hose, this one could fit the bill.

Length: 100’ | Material: Woven | Type of Couplings: Metal

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Very durable—no fraying, even after being rubbed on top of rocks

At 25’, this model is likely too short if you’ve got more than a small garden or patio to water

At just 4.5 pounds, this fabric hose's core is made of a triple-layer latex wrapped with interwoven elasticated fabric, stretching to 100 feet from its original 33-foot length. Within seconds, it returns to its original length for you to coil and stow away easily.

Of all the fabric hoses we tested, this one felt the most durable to our tester with its high-quality materials. While some other expandable models would snag on rocks in testing, this one did not. Easy to coil and lightweight when empty, it's got a shutoff switch attached to the solid brass fitting at the end of the hose, and it was easy to attach to a spigot. When it was full of water, the hose remained stretchy but still durable, and it was easy to walk around with while testing.

"It goes back to its original size very quickly for easy moving around," noted our tester, adding that it did not kink at all while being dragged across the ground. "At $26, this short hose would be a good pick if you had a small garden or patio you needed to water."

Length: 25’ | Material: Multi-layer Latex | Type of Couplings: Brass with shutoff valve

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Extremely lightweight

Easy to maneuver

Very durable

This model did not load well onto a reel, likely due to its flat shape

Soaker hoses are great for consistently and steadily watering ground plants without having to stand and administer the water yourself. Simply snake the flat hose throughout the plants, turn on the water, and allow it to slowly leak through the tiny holes throughout the hose until you've sufficiently wet the ground.

This soaker hose performed well in testing, despite the "soaking" feature being a bit deceiving. "It felt like watching a cool science experiment, seeing the water condensate on the outside of the hose," said our tester. "It doesn't seem like it would get the ground particularly wet; however, the brand claims that it dispenses two gallons in two minutes, though, which is pretty impressive."

The hose was extremely lightweight and easy to maneuver, and after dragging it through rocks and a rake, the hose held up in perfect condition. It was durable, dispensed consistent water, and is priced affordably. The only major con we found was that this hose kinks a lot when loading on a reel, perhaps due to its flat shape. A pot or hanger would be better suited for storing this type of hose.

Length: 50’ | Material: PVC | Type of Couplings: Brass

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Impossible to kink

Virtually indestructible

Traditionalists may find the metal design to be an eyesore

"I have never seen a hose like this before," said our tester of the Forever Steel Hose. Its shiny metal appearance is "not what you'd expect."

But change can be a good thing, and this hose scored a perfect 5 out of 5 in all of our testing categories. "This was the easiest hose I have ever used," added our tester. "Impossible to kink, easy to roll up when done, easy to maneuver around plants or trees, and never got tangled."

While typical rubber hoses need to be replaced periodically, this one claims to be the last hose you’ll ever buy. While we were obviously unable to disprove such a claim, the Forever Hose certainly proved durable, moving through rocks and grass with ease due to the "flex ridge" design, which allows the hose to be serpentine and free of kinks. The material is also weather-resistant, so it can bake in the sun all day and still remain cool to the touch. (The same goes for the wintertime—no freezing!) And while you'd think a steel hose would be incredibly heavy, it's actually the opposite—we found it to be super-easy to carry from point A to B without feeling like we were lugging it with us. Finally, this hose is a great value at just $35.

Length: 50’ | Material: Stainless steel | Type of Couplings: Stainless steel

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The sentiment applies with some products more than others, and our expert says it absolutely applies here. "You get what you pay for," says PanAmerican Seed North America's Jerry Gorchels. "In other words, the more inexpensive, the shorter the lifespan." The hoses we tested ranged from $27 to $135. Our Best Overall pick comes in somewhere toward the middle at $45, so while it certainly isn't the most expensive offering, it is not a "cheap" buy.

"The newer expandable garden hoses give me all the length I need but easily shrink down into a clean and manageable size that is lightweight and easy to move around," says home and lifestyle blogger Kelli Bateman from My House of 8. "These hoses have made a huge difference in offering the flexibility we need while removing the need for a hose reel."

"Will it be attached and stretched out all summer, for example, supplying water to the garden?" asks Bateman. "Maybe it is more likely to experience intermittent use with frequent attachments, disconnects, and roll-ups and recoils. You want the hose to match the durability or flexibility of the expected task." If you plan to use your garden hose for big tasks, an offering like the Forever Steel Hose or the Flexzilla would be perfect. However, if you want a steady and consistent watering of your garden, you might consider the H2O Works Soaker Hose to do the trick. Consider your projects, and match your needs to the right hose.

"Basic vinyl hoses with little or no reinforcement or mesh layer, or those using a low number of layers/plies, will typically be lower-quality," adds Bateman. "This makes them prone to easier kinking, which is annoying and eventually leads to splitting. Plastic fittings can be easier to work with but become more brittle and susceptible to breaking when exposed to longer hours of heat or frost." Heavy-duty rubber or UV-resistant metal hoses as well as brass or steel couplings tend to be the most durable and reliant of materials.

The answer here depends on where the leak is occurring. If there is a leak at the end of the hose, you may need to replace the washer at the "female" end of the hose. If the leak remains, consider replacing the coupling altogether. However, if the leak is in the hose itself, consider cutting off the rupture and installing a hose repair fitting. (Keep in mind, though, that a heavy-duty hose like the Forever Steel Hose could prevent any sort of heartache from having to purchase a repair kit in the first place.)

You can expect a durable garden hose to last anywhere from five to 10 years; however, this depends on a myriad of factors. First and foremost, the material you choose will determine your hose's lifespan. "For longer-lasting options, the rubber hoses with brass connections will hold up the best to the elements," says Bateman. "Also look for a hose using reinforced mesh for strengthening if you want it to last longer. These qualities can make for the longest-lasting hose, but they may be heavier and harder to drain and connect, so you really want to think about the usage before you spend extra for features that might last longer but be harder to work with." You'll also want to ensure that you're storing your hose safely, which brings us to our next point.

The type of storage you choose for you garden hose depends upon the type of hose you're working with; for example, a standard kink-free hose can be wound on a hose reel, while a fabric, metal, or soaker hose would fare better in a storage drum. You may also decide to coil your hose and hang it on a wall-mounted or free-standing hanger.

NJ garden center owner Elaine Eggleston suggests lying a hose flat on the ground before lifting one end up and walking your hands down to the other end while letting all excess water run out behind you to reduce the weight of the hose and prevent freezing before stowing it away: "When water freezes inside a hose, the material expands and can rupture," she explains. To that point, never leave a hose outside in cold weather, and be sure to store yours in a cool, dry place when the temperature dips.

PEOPLE / Rachel Marek

Our testers evaluated 30 garden hoses, rating them on their design, ease of use, durability, and value. We looked for lightweight, flexible hoses that were easy to maneuver and built with long-lasting materials. We also made special note of those hoses with high-quality, solid fittings that did not leak or spray water out of the couplings. Testers dragged each hose across grass, cement, and a garden rake, making note of any signs of wear or kinking. They also noted how each hose worked on a garden hose reel, winding it when the hose was both empty and full of water.

She considered our testers' impressions of dozens of garden hoses, such as ease of use and durability. In researching garden hoses, she spoke with PanAmerican Seed North America's Jerry Gorchels and home and lifestyle blogger Kelli Bateman from My House of 8.

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right ones for your needs.

But we don't stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we’ve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval, because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust—every day, every purchase.

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