When we moved to our farm, we had never owned a house before. This meant that there were many items that we never needed before, that now became a necessity. Shovels, rakes, a lawn mower, trimming tools, and the list goes on… However, one item caused us no end of grief… Enter the garden hose (water hose?). Or whatever you call it. Maybe the Southerners have a special name for it, like “grab ye hoos y’all” or something.
Our first real need for a hose was a couple months after we moved in. We bought two Llamas and two Alpacas and using a hose to fill up their water is far easier than hauling heavy buckets of water around. As a sidenote: Llamas hardly drink anything…they really are like camels! Cows on the other hand, well that’s another story.
Black Hose #1
Unfortunately the hose has been removed from Amazon so I can’t find the price or any info on the hose, but it looked just like this picture. It was 33ft long, expandable to 100ft and cost probably $50.
Having never owned a hose before I wasn’t sure what to look for. But it was well reviewed, the price was good for the length and it was expanding! Pretty cool sounding, yes? Expanding, yes! Ha!
Our initial impressions were good. The expanding hoses are light weight and for the price you can get a longer hose. They also store pretty easy. But there are several downsides to this style.
- Constant pressure is needed for the expanding to work
- This means that the hose will expand when you turn the water on, but it loses some expansion when you actually start using the water.
- Your mileage will vary depending on what is on the end of the hose and what you water pressure is.
- When the water is turned off, the hose contracts
- Depending on where the hose is and what it is connected to, this can cause extreme hose stress.
- It will also pull smaller sprinklers across the yard/garden potentially damaging smaller plants.
- Unlike traditional hoses, expandable hoses can’t really be repaired
After our first winter (mild use) and spring with it, tension on the spigot side of the hose caused it to start leaking and it shortly became so bad it was unusable. In short it broke…
Green Hose #2
We liked the first hose enough that when it broke I thought, well let’s try a similar one and be more careful with it. I searched around and ended up getting this: MoonLa Expandable 100ft Garden Hose
It was $48 and had the same upsides and downsides as the prior black hose. Unfortunately dragging this type of hose around the farm is too much for it to handle. It only lasted about two months before it started leaking more water than came out the end… I don’t feel like we were overly hard on it, but the contraction/expansion of the hose puts strain on the ends, particularly the end attached to the spigot. In short, it broke..
This hose was our last foray into the expandable hoses… I do want to say something about them though. If your hose use is light and you are careful, a hose like this is probably fine. But if you are like us and need to drag it around the yard, and aren’t always super careful that there is plenty of slack at the spigot when the water is turned off… You get the idea.
Steel Hose #3
I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought this hose… Tiabo Metal Garden Hose
It was 50′ long and cost $30.49. I suppose I was drawn to the idea that the casing was metal and maybe would hold up well? I mean it’s stainless steel, and surely it’d last a while? The hose is made of interlocking rings of steel around a plastic hose. The plastic hose is quite thin walled and as I discovered, it can balloon out in between the rings. In short, it broke…
It broke in less than 30 days and thus was a quick return to Amazon. I have nothing good to say about this hose. It is just a gimmick really and I fell for it. Shame on me.
White and Blue Hose #4
After three “non-traditional” hoses I found myself thinking I should just get a normal run of the mill hose. But I was in need of a good, drinking water safe hose to use for chicken butchering so the normal hose from the “local” chain stores wouldn’t do. After lots of agonizing searching and reading reviews, I decided to try the Teknor Apex NeverKink.
The upsides, as I saw it, were, decent reviews, good price ($24.50), made in USA and the whole lead free claim.
After getting it, I’ve come to like it quite a bit. For a more traditional hose, it is pretty light weight. It hasn’t ever kinked and we haven’t had any issues with it. It looks pretty nice, is flexible and the “wing nut” style connection is easy to connect/disconnect from other hoses or the spigot. I should note however, our use of it is lighter as I want it mostly reserved for butchering times.
So far we have owned it for more than a year, making it our longest lasting hose yet.
Red Hose #5
Hose #4 wasn’t intended to be our general purpose hose, so I still needed to find one. I once again decided on a traditional hose and after lots of soul searching I decided to get the Gilmour Farm & Ranch Hose 5/8 Inch x 90 Feet, Red. It cost $28.46 at the time (and seems to have risen to $34.99 at the time of me writing this).
Given my past hose experience, I think the thing that sold me on it was it’s claim to be a tough hose, designed for the rigors of Farm/ranch use. I’m pretty sure anyone using this hose would call it heavy duty, if only for it’s weight. It is one heavy hose and combined with it’s long 90′ ft, it is a beast to pull around the yard.
So far we have owned it for a year and it has held up pretty well. The hose is nice and thick and in our use of it (frequently moving it around) it hasn’t kinked up much if at all. I did have a issue where I had to replace the connection hardware on the spigot side. A simple hose repair kit got it fixed in a few minutes. Given my experiences with this and prior hoses, I have deduced that hoses really don’t like being pulled and tugged on the sensitive ends… I have since taken to lightly wrapping all my hoses around a nearby post to alleviate pressure on the end and this has helped a lot.
Oh one more note on it… The hose has a odd smell when first used that I can’t say that I like. I usually run the water for a minute if it hasn’t been used in a day. Just to clear the smell. But beyond that it has been a solid performer. Enough so that we bought a second one a few months back.
Hoses can be quite frustrating, and there are many many options out there. The only advice I can really give is don’t fall for marketing gimmicks and get a more traditional style hose. The other hose types just don’t hold up.
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