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Consumer Reports: Expandable Garden Hoses Galore

By Consumer Reports
|  Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013  |  Updated 2:30 PM CDT
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 You've seen them on TV and they're popping up in stores. They claim expandable garden hoses are much easier to use than a regular hose. Consumer Reports goes to great lengths to find out!

Deanna Dewberry, Consumer Reports

You've seen them on TV and they're popping up in stores. They claim expandable garden hoses are much easier to use than a regular hose. Consumer Reports goes to great lengths to find out!

When it's time to water your yard, does your hose drive you crazy? It’s heavy. It gets tangled. It’s hard to move. Now there are several new As-Seen-On-TV garden hoses that sound like they make watering your garden a snap. Consumer Reports put them to the test.

Consumer Reports tested three, each 50 feet in length. The DAP XHose, the FlexAbleHose, and the Pocket Hose. First they were weighed, and they all came in around a pound, a lot lighter than a regular hose.

Then it was time to go to work. Testers measured the length, flow rate, and water volume, comparing the results with regular garden hoses. Their length increased by three times, as claimed. And their flow was good, just like a regular hose.

But if you try to do something such as fill up a kiddie pool with the valve fully open, the hoses may shrink because of lower water pressure. And using them with sprinklers also poses a challenge.

To use one with a sprinkler, you need to turn on the water before you put the sprinkler in place. When you turn the water off, the hose will contract, and it may pull the sprinkler through your garden.

Traditional hoses always seem to kink. But the Pocket Hose couldn’t kink if you wanted it to. Consumer Reports also folded, twisted, and even knotted all three expandable hoses! No matter what, the water kept flowing.

And after the water drained out, all three shrank back to their original size as promised. So all three lived up to their claims. But it was the Pocket Hose that came out on top because it didn’t shrink as much when the water pressure dropped.

With any of the expandable hoses, be aware holes cannot be patched, so be careful with the outer covering.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.

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