Best Lightweight Garden Hoses 2020 – Reviews and Top Picks
To develop an effective lawn care routine, you can always count on a sturdy and reliable hose for the bulk of your watering needs. A longtime staple of rural and urban homes alike, garden hoses can often make your outdoor life an easygoing affair – unless, of course, you choose the wrong kind for your needs.
Long gone are the days of bulky, overweight garden hoses that are almost impossible to properly wind and store. Instead, the newest developments in lightweight hose materials have not only made garden hoses easier to carry but also more compact and easier to store. In the reviews that follow, we’ll be introducing you to our 10 favorite garden hoses, with options in every budget and category.
Comparison Table (updated in 2020):
|Best Overall||Flexzilla HFZG550YW-E Garden Hose||
|Best Value||Nifty Grower 100ft Garden Hose||
|Premium Choice||Teknor Apex zero-G 4001-50 Lightweight Hose||
|Flexi Hose & 8 Function Nozzle||
|Todoya Expandable Garden Hose||
The 10 Best Lightweight Garden Hoses:
1. Flexzilla HFZG550YW-E Garden Hose – Best Overall
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges of transitioning from an older, heavier hose to a modern lightweight model is the learning curve associated with a new tool. If you’ve ever balked at the idea of using one of the many expandable, flexible hoses available with tons of added features and tricks, the Flexzilla Garden Hose is a perfect alternative – and our favorite hose of all the lightweight garden hoses we tested.
With a nearly identical appearance and functions as a rubber garden hose, the Flexzilla won our hearts with just how well-designed its base material is. Ultra-flexible and completely weatherproof, it’s also durable enough to withstand the toughest of jobs. When under pressure, it’s completely kink-free and delivers a consistent flow of water.
On top of all that, every Flexzilla hose comes with a 2-year warranty in case of defects or accidental damage. In short, there’s no hose we’d rather have for our homes and yard work.
2. Nifty Grower 100ft Garden Hose – Best Value
Available at a fraction of the price of many other hoses we tested yet boasting a top-of-the-line 100 feet of length, the Nifty Grower Expandable Garden Hose is easily one of the best lightweight garden hoses for the money. Better yet, a double latex core and high density knitted polyester cover combine with solid brass fittings to make it as durable as it is affordable.
With a design that starts out at 34 feet long, the Nifty Grower requires 40 to 80 PSI of water pressure to expand to its full 100 feet of length. Most municipal water sources will provide more than enough pressure, but if you’ve had water flow problems before, an expandable hose may not be right for you.
Overall, the Nifty Grower is a lot of hose for not a lot of money – and a surprisingly durable product at that. If you’re looking for a bargain that’s built to last, this is definitely the hose for you.
3. Teknor Apex zero-G 4001-50 Lightweight Hose – Premium Choice
Most of the lightweight hoses available on the market today are designed for at-home use, with durability playing a backseat role to convenience. If you’re looking for the toughest lightweight hose around, however, you’ll need something more like the Teknor Apex zero-G. Lightweight, flexible, and kink-free, it’s designed to be “job site tough” and extremely resistant to leaks, tears, and punctures.
Offering a burst rating – the amount of water pressure necessary to cause structural damage to the hose – of over 600 PSI, the zero-G is the most rugged hose of any that we tested. Amazingly, even with this nearly invulnerable design, the Teknor is still completely drinking water safe, too.
While it’s certainly not the least expensive lightweight hose that you’ll find, Teknor’s zero-G should be the go-to hose choice for anyone who demands maximum durability.
4. Flexi Hose & 8 Function Nozzle
One of the first expandable hoses to hit the gardening scene, Flexi Hose quickly developed a reputation as being a wonderfully easy-to-use hose for avid home gardeners and landscapers. Starting at 17 feet in length, it quickly expands to a maximum length of 50 feet even with weak water pressure. Throw in an 8-pattern rotating nozzle for added versatility, and the Flexi Hose is a solid contender for your garden hose investment.
The name brand for Flexi Hose does, unfortunately, come at a bit of a price markup. If it weren’t for this slightly inflated cost, the Flexi Hose may have been a strong competitor for our best overall pick. As it stands, the excellent reliability and easy storage requirements of this collapsible hose will still make it an attractive option for homeowners looking for an all-in-one hose solution.
5. Todoya Expandable Garden Hose
Featuring many of the same desirable features as our best value pick, the Todoya Expandable Garden Hose is an excellent low-budget alternative for a 100-foot garden hose. What’s more, it’s equipped with a spray nozzle and comes with a hose hanger and storage bag as well. If you’re interested in those accessories, this effectively evens out the cost of the Todoya to be just as great of a deal as our best value pick.
Brass connectors and a 3750D polyester fabric mean that the Todoya is quite a durable lightweight garden hose. This makes it ready to be used for any jobs around the home, but not quite tough enough to stand up to professional landscaping or job site use.
Overall, the Todoya Expandable Garden Hose is another great option for a 100-foot expandable garden hose, so long as you’re interested in all of the accessories that it comes with.
6. TBI Pro Expandable and Flexible Garden Hose
Another hose to feature an ultra-tough 3750D polyester fabric exterior, the TBI Pro Expandable and Flexible Garden Hose is doubly tough thanks to crush-proof brass connectors. Featuring 4 layers of latex core, it’s also incredibly puncture-resistant and kink-free when pressurized.
All this extra padding and durability put the TBI Pro in a somewhat awkward position relative to other garden hoses on the market, though. Compared to other 50-foot hoses, it’s far more expensive due to its added toughness – but compared to job site-ready hoses, it’s not quite as indestructible as it should be.
In short, if you’re looking for the most rugged hose available for at-home use and don’t mind paying extra for it, the TBI Pro will do the trick.
7. Flexzilla HFZG575YWS Garden Hose with SwivelGrip
We’ve already sung Flexzilla’s praises in the review for our number one choice product – so what’s another hose from this company doing so much further down this list? Oddly enough, it’s due to the big price hike that comes with the added “SwivelGrip” technology that the company also offers.
Featuring an easy to turn and tighten grip that allows for simpler connectivity at your spigot, the Flexzilla with SwivelGrip really is quite comfortable to hold and exceptionally easy to put on and take off of a water source.
Of course, everything else we love about Flexzilla hoses – their durability, user-friendly design, weatherproofing, and more – is still present here. But unless you’re truly enticed by the idea of being able to thread your hose onto a spigot faster and easier, the traditional Flexzilla is a better value all around.
8. TheFitLife Expandable and Flexible Garden Hose
The only 25-foot hose to make our list, TheFitLife’s Expandable and Flexible Garden Hose is an inexpensive if unremarkable option for home use. At first glance, this hose seems to offer everything you might be looking for: A durable 3750D polyester exterior, multi-layer latex core, super lightweight 1.8-pound design, and leakproof connectors.
In our testing, however, that last quality is where TheFitLife’s hose seemed to fail. Right out of the box, it already wasn’t entirely leakproof. Dripping slowly almost from the moment we connected it to a spigot, we’re not confident that the manufacturing quality is entirely consistent on this hose. While we’d like to give it higher marks here, as it stands, we can only recommend this hose for the most casual of at-home use.
9. Bionic Steel 304 Stainless Steel Metal Garden Hose
Stainless steel is the metal of choice for many kitchen and home construction projects and tools – but for a hose? If it seems like a strange choice, that’s because it is.
While the Bionic Steel Metal Garden Hose certainly is as lightweight and durable as it advertises, weighing just 3 pounds for a 50-foot hose, the ease of use for this product is a huge problem. Simply put, it doesn’t move like you want or expect a hose to move. Sometimes doubling back on itself, often getting stuck on anything lying along the ground, even with its lightweight design we found ourselves wrestling with the Bionic Steel hose.
Overall, it’s a hose that’s much better in theory than it is in execution.
10. Water Right 400 Series Polyurethane Slim & Light Garden Hose
A small section of the lightweight garden house market is still devoted to polyurethane materials, citing their lightweight and softness as reasons to use them around the house. Water Right’s 400 Series polyurethane hose is a classic example of this style, complete with all its usual faults: too expensive, too easy to kink while in use, and not as durable as other materials.
Aside from polyurethane’s ability to handle hot water better than many other garden hoses, there are few redeeming qualities to hoses made from this material. Unless you simply must use hot water in your hose, choose another option from this list and you’ll be much happier with your purchase.
If you’re used to making do with the same old sort of polyvinyl hose that your parents and grandparents used, it might be challenging to get a grip on just how amazing a lightweight hose can be. As we tested more than three dozen lightweight garden hoses for these reviews, we kept copious notes – and after organizing them into categories, we’re confident that you can use the selection criteria listed below to better understand how to make the best choice for you.
Benefits of Lightweight Garden Hoses
We’re big fans of lightweight garden hoses. Why? Because compared to standard hoses, lightweight garden hoses are:
- Easier to carry, often weighing less than half as much as a standard garden hose.
- Easier to store, thanks to being made of more durable materials that aren’t as vulnerable to extreme weather.
- Not susceptible to kinks, making for a more consistent flow and preventing damage from being stored improperly.
- Not as damaging to grass and therefore better for the overall health of your lawn and garden.
- Eco-friendly and often made of more environmentally sustainable materials.
- Better for more people, including the young, elderly, or movement impaired.
And with lightweight garden hoses being available for nearly identical prices as their heavyweight counterparts, we can’t see any reason not to choose lightweight every time.
What to Look for In A Lightweight Garden Hose
For what might appear at first glance to be a simple yard work product, lightweight garden hoses have many features to differentiate one model from another. In testing hoses for these reviews, we’ve taken into account the following qualities for each hose:
- Durability is key for any hose since you’ll be dragging it around your yard and home. The more ruggedly built your hose is, the longer it will last and the better an investment it becomes.
- Flexibility adds another degree of protection to any hose’s design, allowing it to move freely without getting pinched or damaged. The more flexible the hose is when not in use, the easier it will be to roll and store.
- Weight may be the most attractive quality for newcomers to lightweight hoses, but it’s not the most important overall. Most lightweight hoses weigh within 1 to 2 pounds of each other, making it a non-factor except in special cases.
- Length is a personal choice and should be considered relative to the size of the area that you’re looking to use the hose in. Longer is not necessarily better; instead, aim to be able to easily cover your entire yard from whatever available spigots you have. Small homes may need as little as 20 feet of hose, while larger yards can use the full 100 feet offered by some brands.
- Fittings can be made from a variety of metals including brass or steel, but the important thing to look at is whether they’ll fit with the size of your water source fittings. Standard sizes will either be 5/8 or 3/4 inch, depending on where you live.
- Warranties are offered with many of the higher-quality hoses on the market and are a great way to guarantee the safety of your investment. In the event of a tie between the utility of two hoses, we give preference to the product offering a longer warranty.
- Drinking Safety is an oft-overlooked problem with older garden hoses, which are not safe to drink from due to some chemicals from their plastic materials leaching into the water. The best lightweight garden hoses in our tests are all safe to drink from, giving them added versatility for home or camping trips.
Types of Lightweight Garden Hoses
The major differences between lightweight garden hoses come down to what materials they are made from. The most common types of lightweight garden hoses include:
Offering a nearly perfect combination of old-school style and modern technologies, the Flexzilla HFZG550YW-E Garden Hose is easily our favorite hose of any that we tested. Of all the lightweight garden hoses in our reviews, only the Flexzilla scores high marks on every single quality and feature we want in a hose. From durability to ease of use and affordability, it’s a complete package that you’ll be delighted to have in your garage this summer.
Homeowners with smaller budgets and larger yards, however, will appreciate the Nifty Grower 100ft Garden Hose as an excellent alternative to our top choice. Incredibly lightweight and surprisingly durable, if you have adequate water pressure to inflate this expandable hose you will be delighted with its performance. The Nifty Grower is a real bargain for a hose of this size.
- Comparison Table (updated in 2020):
- The 10 Best Lightweight Garden Hoses:
- 1. Flexzilla HFZG550YW-E Garden Hose – Best Overall
- 2. Nifty Grower 100ft Garden Hose – Best Value
- 3. Teknor Apex zero-G 4001-50 Lightweight Hose – Premium Choice
- 4. Flexi Hose & 8 Function Nozzle
- 5. Todoya Expandable Garden Hose
- 6. TBI Pro Expandable and Flexible Garden Hose
- 7. Flexzilla HFZG575YWS Garden Hose with SwivelGrip
- 8. TheFitLife Expandable and Flexible Garden Hose
- 9. Bionic Steel 304 Stainless Steel Metal Garden Hose
- 10. Water Right 400 Series Polyurethane Slim & Light Garden Hose
- Buyer’s Guide