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Should you buy an expandable hose?

Which? tries expandable hoses, including the Xhose

Woman holding an expandable hoseExpandable hoses like the Xhose are light and compact

Expandable hoses have become a popular accessory for our gardens, but experiences have been mixed. Our experts tried out five best-selling expandable hoses so we can bring you our pick.

Expandable hoses are an alternative to traditional hoses that many of us have on reels in our gardens or sheds. They are lighter, compact and a lot of brands claim their expandable hoses won’t kink either.

However, we’ve found that some of them don’t stretch as far as they claim – especially if you have low water-pressure.

To find out which expandable hoses our experts think you should consider, and which to avoid, go to our first look review of expandable hoses.

Should you buy an expandable hose?

Expandable hoses are very light, very compact and are easy to use. However, there are a number of factors you might want to consider before taking the plunge:

  • most expandable hoses work best if you have good (high) water pressure. If you have low water pressure, you may not get the hose to extend to its full length
  • advice for looking after your expandable hose may include keeping it indoors. If you don’t want to do this, consider a conventional hose
  • a lot of expandable hoses are not repairable. So if you cross-thread the tap adaptor or the inner tube splits, you will have to replace the whole hose.

Find out more about the different types of expandable hoses, along with advice on how much to pay, in our guide to choosing an expandable hose.

Xhose and more – expandable hoses we tried

Our experts tried out five of the most popular expandable hoses including the Xhose and the Stretch Hose. Included in the mix was a coil hose that doesn’t expand but stretches from its spring-shape.

  • Green Blade Coil Hose
  • Magic Hose
  • Pampered Garden WonderHose
  • Stretch Hose
  • Xhose

Which expandable hose is best?

Our experts measured each hose before it was expanded, and again after it was expanded from a high water-pressure tap and a low water-pressure tap.

Some of the hoses we looked at expanded reasonably well even under low water-pressure and others contracted significantly, leaving you with a shorter hose that might not reach your plants.

Once you start watering, the pressure in the hose is released. When this happens, some expandable hoses pull-back too much towards the tap – which makes them tricky to handle. Our experts rated the pull-back on each hose, so you’ll know which will make easy work of watering your garden.

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