Choosing a garden hose can seem overwhelming with choices and decisions. If you’re here, you’ve decided that you require a lightweight garden hose. They are also referred to as featherweight hoses.
There are many reasons for wanting a lighter hose. They can get heavy if you have to move it around to different spots in your garden.
If you have hanging planters, your arms can get really tired trying to hold the hose up to water them.
But your decision making doesn’t end once you choose a lightweight hose. You need to look into length, quality, construction, as well as how easily it can kink up.
Hoses are made from rubber, vinyl, polyurethane, or a combination of materials.
Vinyl tends to be light, but it is the lowest quality. It can degrade if left out in the sun. So if you decide to choose vinyl, make sure it’s reinforced so it will last longer.
Rubber garden hoses are the most durable. They can be used for both hot and cold water. Rubber also gets broken down by sunlight. So you will need to store it out of the sun.
Rubber hoses are the most durable. They don’t nick easily, nor do they get abraded when pulling them over your patio.
Combination hoses are made from rubber and vinyl. They are lightweight and more durable. These garden hoses are flexible and resistant to kinking
Pure vinyl garden hoses will be the lightest. They have a tendency to kink up at the worst times.
Rubber hoses will be the heaviest.
The rest of the hoses will weigh somewhere in between depending upon the length and how it’s reinforced.
No Kink vs. kink resistant
Some lightweight hoses are prone to kink easily.
What is kinking? That’s when the hose twists up so water cannot flow anymore. Usually, when it happens, you have to shake the hose to get it to unkink.
If you get a poorly made hose that kinks, you could spring leaks because of the water pressure.
If your hose springs a leak, you could try repairing it with tape. But that’s not a long-term solution and you will need to replace it.
The length of the hose will also determine the total weight of the hose. A long hose will weigh more than a short hose.
To determine the best length for you, measure the farthest distance you will need to go from the spigot. Then choose one that’s a little longer.
It’s better to have a slightly too long hose than to always be tugging on it.
Couplings are the metal or plastic threads on the ends of the hose. They’re also called fittings. Hoses have a male thread on one end and a female thread on the other.
Couplings are made from brass, nickel plated brass or plastic.
Octagon shaped fittings are easier to hook up than the standard round shape.
How to Determine the Best Hose
Quality hoses will cost more than poorly made ones. They are also more durable.
If you will be drinking from the hose or using it to fill a pet’s water bowl, you want it to be “drinking water safe.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined the level of acceptable lead. A hose that is not drinking water safe may have as much as 10 to 100 times the level of lead recommended as safe.
Caring For Your Hose
To help prevent kinking and prolong the life of your hose, you will want to take care of it.
When using a hose for the first few times, straighten and untwist it until the hose lays flat.
Straighten and untwist the hose before coiling it back up. Avoid storing the hose with kinks in it.
Always coil your hose in the same direction — either clockwise or counterclockwise.
Store the hose on a hose reel for easier coiling.
Two more tips are to drain the hose as you coil it. By draining the water out, you prevent mold and bacteria from growing in the hose.
And drain the hose before freezing temperatures and store someplace safe. A garden shed is the best place for storage, or in the garage.
Our favorite hose is the Flexzilla Garden Hose because it has the best balance between lightweight, kink resistance, and durability. While it is more expensive, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty and a solid company to back it up. It is also drinking water safe.
The lightest option is the Miracle Gro ULTRALite. It’s a combination material so it’s more durable and kink resistant. This hose is also drinking water safe. Miracle Gro also offers a limited lifetime warranty. This is only a 1/2″ hose. Standard household garden hoses are 5/8″.
Another drinking water quality hose is the Clear Flow® Water Garden Hose. It’s clear made with materials approved by the National Sanitation Foundation. UV rays pass through to eliminate bacteria and mold growth. ClearFlow offers a ten-year warranty.
Now that you know how to choose a lightweight garden hose, you will want to plan which one is the perfect length. Then you can look at how you will use your hose.
Don’t forget to think how you will be storing your garden hose. To ensure it lasts a long time, you will want to take good care of it. Regularly drain water out of the hose. Most hoses also should be stored it out of the sun to reduce being broken down by UV radiation.
You may also want to look into investing in a hose reel to make it easier to keep your hose out of the way when not in use. The lightweight choices will make it easier for you to wind up.