Most garden hoses are made from a rubber or vinyl construction and they tend to last between 5 to 10 years. However, in order to standout from the crowd, many manufacturers are now integrating clever design features such as kink resistance, microbial protection, expandable designs and so much more into their hoses.
If you require a quick answer, the best garden hose is the Hozelock Auto Reel, which features a clever rotating wall mounted design and a triple layered durable hose construction. However, if you would prefer an expandable garden hose, the FlexiHose No-Kink is the best alternative that also comes with a 8 pattern spray gun.
To rate the garden hoses within this article, we based our recommendations upon testing multiple hoses, plenty of research and a number of factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the type, length options available, build quality, supplied fixtures and fittings, additional accessories, warranty and value for money.
Table of Contents
- The Best Garden Hose
- How We Tested & Rated
- Garden Hose Buying Guide
Garden Hose Comparison
|Hozelock Auto||10 – 40 Metres||Wall Mounted Auto Reel|
|FlexiHose No-Kink||15 – 30 Metres||Expandable|
|Hozelock Cart||20 – 50 Metres||Manual Reel Cart|
|Karcher CR3110 Compact||10 Metres||Wall Mounted Manual Reel|
|Running Bulls Anti-Leak||15 to 45 Metres||Expandable|
|Karcher HR7320 Premium||20 Metres||Wall Mounted Manual Reel|
The length of the garden hose is one of the most important factors that you need to consider. You’ll want the hose to be able to reach each corner of your lawn as well as the driveway for washing your car. The majority of hoses are around 15 metres long but most manufacturers will offer multiple lengths to best suit your requirements.
It’s important to note that when the hose isn’t in use, it should be coiled using a hose reel to reduces wear. Not every garden hose comes with a reel and buying it as a complete package may offer far better value for the money.
Below is a list of the best garden hoses that are available as a retractable or expandable hose.
The Best Garden Hose
1. Hozelock Garden Hose With Auto Reel
Hozelock are the market leaders when it comes to garden hoses in the UK and they produce multiple types of hoses that are suitable for each and every application. This automatic reel design in particular is one of their most popular options and it’s available in multiple hose lengths that range from 10 to 50 metres.
Unlike other Hozelock hoses, this model is designed to be wall mounted and it includes a bracket for easy removal and storing it away when its not in use. The bracket is easy to install and it only requires two screws to hold it on the wall.
Other features of the Hozelock Auto Reel Hose include:
- 180 degree pivot for easy mobility
- Premium 3 layer hose construction
- Powerful spring that automatically retracts the hose without kinks
- Child lock to prevent misuse
- Includes all the fixtures and fittings to install it
- Multiple hose length options
- Two side compartments for storing accessories
Although it comes with a premium price tag, this wall-mounted option is one of the best on the market and it’s completely worth spending the extra for the intuitive design. As it’s produced by the Hozelock brand, you also have complete peace of mind that spare parts are readily available if you ever need them.
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2. FlexiHose Expandable Garden Hose
The popularity of an expandable garden hose has exploded over the last few years. This is mainly due to the fact that they require no reels and shrink down in size for storage without any kinks. The FlexiHose is by far the most popular and highly rated expandable hose in the UK and it’s available in lengths ranging from 15 to 30 metres long.
Along with the hose pipe, the brand include a 8 pattern spray gun and a 3/4 inch solid brass fitting for the installation.
Other features of the FlexiHose Expandable Garden Hose include:
- Lightweight and flexible construction
- Double latex pipe for zero leaks
- High strength polyester self retracting wall
- Withstands 12 bar of pressure
- Expands to three times it’s size
- Lifetime replacement guarantee
Overall, the FlexiHose is the best expandable garden hose on the market with multiple hose lengths available. Although expensive, it’s built to the highest of standards and it also includes a matching branded spray gun.
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3. Hozelock Garden Hose With Cart
A more affordable Hozelock option is the brand’s garden hose that’s connected to a manual reel. It’s available in lengths of 20, 30 or 50 metres and it comes fully assembled out of the box, which makes setting it up nice and easy.
Unlike other cheaper manual reels, the Hozelock construction is well-made and allows for quick rewinding of the hose.
Other features of the Hozelock Retractable Garden Hose include:
- Durable plastic hose reel
- Portable with wheels and a handle
- Premium triple layered hose
- Multiple hose length options
- Includes a 2 year guarantee
To conclude, the Hozelock manual retractable reel is an excellent all-round garden hose that offers the best value for money. It’s made using the highest quality materials and is designed to last many years with its durable construction.
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4. Karcher CR3110 Compact Garden Hose
Karcher are another huge UK brand that produce a range of popular hose and reel options. The CR3110 model in particular is fairly unique as it features a compact design that can be wall mounted or remain as a portable unit.
Other features of the Karcher CR3110 Hose and Reel include:
- 10 metre hose length
- Storage available inside the drum
- On-board outlet to stop the water flow
- Includes 2 “AquaStop” connectors
- Easily removable for transportation
- Ergonomic carrying handle
If the 10 metre length of the hose integrated into the CR3110 setup isn’t an issue, this Karcher hose and reel is the perfect option for space saving. It’s packed full of intuitive features and it’s the best compact option on the market.
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5. Running Bulls Expanding Garden Hose
A more affordable expandable garden hose is the new and improved Running Bulls option, which is available in 50, 100 or 150 feet length options. According to the brand, it’s able to expand up to three times its original size and it’s backed by a one year warranty and 90 day money back guarantee for complete peace of mind.
Included with this expandable hose is a spray gun, 3/4 and 1/2 inch brass connectors, wall hanger and a storage bag. It really is the complete package and with all the items combined, it offers outstanding value for the money.
Other features of the Running Bulls Expandable Hose include:
- Lightweight and easy to store inside of the supplied bag
- Durable latex core and 600D polyester webbing construction
- Spray gun with 7 adjustable settings
- Multiple hose length options
- Suitable for all UK standard taps
To conclude, the Running Bulls expandable hose is a cheap yet high quality option that’s available in multiple length options to best suit your requirements. When compared to similar priced alternatives, this expandable hose offers far better quality and it even includes a spray gun which many budget options don’t provide.
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6. Karcher HR7320 Wall Mounted Garden Hose
Another Karcher garden hose is the HR7320 model, which features a manual retractable reel. It has a clever design that can be easily mounted to the wall as well as an integrated storage box for any extra accessories. Unlike other wall mounted constructions, this garden hose has the benefit of being easy to remove for using it as a portable reel.
Other features of the Karcher HR7320 include:
- Space saving design
- Easily removable drum
- Heavy duty and built to last
- 20 metre hose length
- Includes a spray nozzle and installation hardware
Overall, it’s a high quality garden hose with a clever reel design that’s easy to install and use. The only drawback is that it comes with a premium price tag but the quality of the construction and clever design makes it a great investment.
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How We Tested & Rated
Whether we are watering our plants or washing the car, the use of a garden hose is essential and over the years, we have tried and tested a wide range of hoses. In terms of the testing, we tested how easy the hose was to setup and use, the quality of the construction and hardware and also its portability. Whilst testing, we used multiple hoses that were offered by some of the most reputable brands in the UK. These hoses included a standard hose and reel setup, a wall mounted reel and an expandable hose.
We personally prefer to use a standard hose with a reel and in the photo is my exact garden hose setup with the portable reel. However, the expandable alternative is a great option to consider if you have limited storage space for a bulky hose and reel setup. Alternatively, if you have space in your garage, a wall mounted reel is a great option to consider and some come with an intuitive design that automatically rewinds the hose without any kinks.
As well as testing multiple garden hoses, we also based our recommendations upon hours of research and a number of factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the type, length options available, build quality, supplied fixtures and fittings, additional accessories, warranty and value for money.
Garden Hose Buying Guide
A garden hose is something that you’ll find in the majority of UK homes. They are a requirement for most gardening or car cleaning tasks and they are available in a range of designs that are portable or can be mounted to the wall.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding garden hoses.
Types of Hoses
When choosing between the different types of hoses, you’ll find that there are standard (rubber/vinyl), expandable and flat types. The standard garden hose is made from a durable rubber or vinyl construction and it includes multiple layers for durability. They also usually comes as a package that includes a reel or a cart and they offer great value for money.
The other popular type is an expandable garden hose, which is becoming very popular in the UK due to their extra long length. They are designed to expand three or four times their length as water pressure is applied and they also come with a range of benefits such as ease of storage and handling due to its lightweight design.
Flat hoses are another type that are similar to what the firemen use and they are often available in very long lengths. However, we didn’t include any of this type within this article due to the fact they easily kink and tangle.
One of the biggest decisions to make when purchasing a garden hose is deciding upon a length that best suits your requirements. You could have the best garden hose on the market but if it doesn’t reach to the end of your garden or around your car, it can be very frustrating to use.
Rather than approximately measuring the length of the lawn and driveway, many people make the mistake of buying the longest garden hose available. However, if the extra length isn’t required, it can be hard to move around, require more storage space, reduce water pressure and they are often more expensive to buy.
Therefore, to avoid the mistake of purchasing a hose that’s too short or too long, simply measure the total length of the lawn and driveway from the outside tap.
Not every garden hose will come with a spray gun as part of the package and you may need to purchase it separately. If you do need to purchase a spray gun, look for one that’s a universal fit for all UK garden hoses. You’ll also want to check that it includes multiple spray patterns and an ergonomic anti-slip grip.
If you are on a budget, it may be tempting to leave out the hose reel. However, the reel isn’t just for keeping the hose tidy because it also reduces wear, makes it easier to store and also helps to rewind the hose without kinks.
Most reels for garden hoses are made of plastic, fiberglass or metal and they feature a cylindrical reel for coiling the hose. They can also be manual, automatic or even electric for winding the hose back into the reel.
Regardless of the type of reel you decide to use, all of them can be mounted to fixed locations such as the wall but this is dependent upon your personal preference.
As you can see in the photo, along with our hose setup mentioned above, we also have a garden hose reel located in our garage. We mounted this particular hose onto the wall (very easy to do with the hardware included) so that it didn’t take up any floor space.
Hose Connections and Adapters
Before you can begin to use the hose, you’ll need to connect it to an outdoor tap and this may require an adapter that sits between the hose and tap. It’s important to note that the adapters may need to be purchased separately and if you plan to connect the hose to a pressure washer, you will also need a matching adapter to fit that too.
The majority of connectors and adapters are standardized in the UK, which means they are readily available. However, it’s strongly recommended that you opt for a brass or other high quality metal over the plastic alternatives.
There may be occasions where you need to transport the hose to another location or you may have multiple outdoor taps. This makes a portable design that’s lightweight and easy to move around very beneficial. The best option for portability are hoses that are connected to a cart reel and have wheels at the bottom for easy transportation.
Anti Kink and Tangle Free
There is nothing worse than a garden hose that constantly kinks or tangles and stops the water passing through. Not only is it frustrating but it can even cause the hose to crack or split when under large amounts of pressure.
Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you purchase a hose that’s specifically labelled as having an anti-kink or tangle free design to avoid this frustration.
Garden hoses are very versatile and you can often purchase many additional attachments. For example, you may wish to connect a garden sprinkler, specific spray gun or a pressure washer to the hose. To ensure that there are no issues, check to see whether the brand offer these attachments and that the hose is a standard UK size.
Using a garden hose is fairly straightforward and with the correct spray gun, you can use it for multiple applications. However, there are some best practices that we advise that you follow in order to maintain the hose.
The first of our tips is that you should always drain the hose after it has been used. Water that’s left standing inside of the hose can increase the chances of bacteria or algae growth. It can even cause the hose to split whilst winding it up into the reel due to the amount of pressure it’s under.
When it comes to storing the hose, you should also ensure that it’s left in a cool location and not in direct sunlight. This helps to prevent the hose from hardening or cracking from the UV rays or heat.
Investing into the best garden hose that you can get your hands can make a huge difference. This is because they’ll be longer lasting, offer more functionality and be much easier to use than some of the cheaper alternatives available.
All of our recommendations above are suitable to a range of budgets and include the main types of hoses. If possible, we recommend buying reputable branded hoses because spare parts and other attachments are readily available.