Best Garden Hoses
Gardens aren’t made by sitting in the shade, but the right garden hose, or water hose, can make the task a lot easier. Knowing what to look for when you shop for a garden hose reel can help you find the right product that keeps your plants green and your car clean.
Hoselink Retractable Hose Reels have an automatic rewind system, 180° of swivel, and the ability to be secured at any length for tangle-free use, letting you care for your garden without a fuss.
Durable hose and fittings
Simple to install
Easy to retract into storage unit
You don’t have to worry about an unsightly hose reel with the Hoselink Hi-Flow 25m Auto Rewind Hose Reel 3425 - its high water pressure, ability to retract smoothly, and self-layering mechanism lets you neatly and easily water your garden.
Great water pressure
The Delrico Retractable Hose Reel has high-quality brass fittings and comes in 2 lengths, making it suitable for yards and balconies of all sizes.
Water flows steadily
Sometimes has trouble retracting
With an auto rewind feature, an impact-resistant casing, and an automatic lock that lets you secure the hose to a length suitable for you, the AK Reels Easyhose can help make light work of gardening.
Leak-proof, ergonomic, and built to last the Aussie elements, the Hoselink Ned Kelly Starter Kit 2250 lets you instantly upgrade your hose so you can water with more ease.
Latest review: I have had two Holman 1130H 30m retractable hose reels (I’ve probably had more but I’ve erased the bad experiences from my memory). They last about 2-3 years before they won’t retract anymore. No matt
Latest review: Had poor water pressure for months. Customer service said check for kinks but found none. One HOT day i pulled the hose right out and filled wih water. Now
Latest review: This is so light and easy to store over the tap. I've just bought 2nd. Tried the cheaper versions first but no good. Would recommend blue original x hose. Plenty of videos the net to see how they
Latest review: The rewinder got stuck from new ,returned it and got a new one,used it for 1 year,it works but the moving rewind bar always jams on the slightest angle. Sorry south australia Pope garden company not
Latest review: Bought the more expensive pope brand, after a month of using the perma fit connection continued to blow off at any water level, pope always had a good name but now see its rubbish, avoid and buy a
Latest review: I have had weeper hoses in my large front garden for at least a decade and have never had any issues with them. I don't remember what brand they were, but when I went to purchase a couple of new ones
Latest review: Purchased the Gardena 'original flex' from our local hardware store. Payed top dollar for the product. Worst hose I've ever owned. Every hose kinks, I get that. But it's only a couple months old and
Latest review: Unfortunately this unit broke the first time I used it. There is a right angle fitting in the middle of the unit which had snapped. Now probably has to be thrown into the
Latest review: I didn't buy the full sprinkler as shown in this product photo, but I bought the nozzles separately which are marketed to do the same and installed them. They are incredible, they really do throw
Latest review: I purchased the garden hose which expands to 15 meters the second time I used the hose It parted company at the end fitting of the inner hose fitting making it absolutely
Latest review: This was bought as a general purpose watering hose, and I think I paid about $20 or so at the great 'Barn'. The chemical smell was intolerable. Before watering plants, I would have to flush the line
Latest review: totally useless unuseable, my husband got upset when it started leaking, as if it was my fault. Non returnable, as it was bought from the eastern states. would not recommend at
Latest review: This 30 m garden hose in winter it goes hard and cannot straighten and almost impossible to rewind . Also it kinks all the time particularly in the cooler months. What a waste of
Latest review: Very good value. Works very well. A point worth noting regards rewinding.... release the pressure first and it will work well.(locks better when hose under pressure) Hose appears flexible, will be
Latest review: I have purchased 3 of these 20M hose reels from Bunnings over the last 2 years and each time the winding handle snaps off. You cannot get a replacement and have to buy a whole new system. I have a
Types of garden hoses
Most garden hoses are categorised by whether they’re retractable or manual, however expandable hoses are an up-and-comer that might make their mark in the gardening world in the future.
Retractable hose reels
Retractable garden hoses are stored in a plastic casing or housing, and can be triggered to draw the hose back in.
- Quicker and easier to unwind and rewind.
- Reels back in the storage unit more neatly, making it more sightly.
- More kink-resistant due to the neater coil, making it the type of garden hose that lasts the longest.
- More expensive than manual hose reels.
- Often have slightly lower water pressure, as the hose is coiled up and water has further to travel.
Manual hose reels
Manual reels require you to gather the hose and loop it continuously over the reel by hand.
- Cheaper than retractable garden hose reels.
- Have a higher water pressure than retractable hoses.
- Take more time and effort to unwind and rewind the reel.
- More messy than retractable hose reels, which also makes them more likely to kink, tangle, and sustain more wear and tear.
You can also find semi-manual hose reels, which you guide into the reel, while turning a handle that pulls the hose over the reel. Like manual hoses, these also take more effort to use.
A soaker hose is another type of hose that's made of a porous material, letting water seep out of the tubing slowly and steadily. They’re placed around the base of plants, and are used to get water down to their roots.
Are expandable hoses any good?
Expandable hoses are a relatively new type of hose that expand to 3 times their normal length when water pressure is turned on, and contract to their original length when off. This makes them self-draining, and highly resistant to kinks, twists, and tangles.
They’re not as popular and are more difficult to find, so you may have trouble finding a high-grade model.
What to look for in a garden hose
To determine how much hose you need, measure the farthest distance in your yard from the tap which you’ll connect your hose to, and look for a hose 1 or 2 metres longer than that length.
Hoses usually come in lengths ranging from around 15m to 30m; 15m is usually suitable for smaller yards, while you’ll often find a 25m hose does the job for most Aussie backyards.
Longer doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to hose length - if you have too much length for your yard, the cord might keep kinking and getting tangled.
A longer hose will also cost more, require more storage space, and be heavier to drag around your yard.
The larger the diameter of your hose, the more water it can carry. Most people will find that a diameter of 12mm is sufficient for typical gardening duties, as it’s a good balance between water flow and pressure while still being relatively lightweight.
For those in need of a higher water pressure, consider opting for a 14mm hose. You can even find 18mm garden hoses (and wider), however these are generally only suited for use in rural areas or for commercial purposes.
A good garden hose is flexible enough to easily store and move around your yard, however isn’t so flexible that it kinks easily. Kinking can slow or stop water flow, and can also cause the hose to split, shortening its lifespan.
Garden hoses will generally kink when you twist them, however reinforced and rubber hoses are less likely to.
When shopping around, bend a hose into a U shape - if it kinks, you may want to keep looking. Some manufacturers will also advertise their hoses as being ‘kink-resistant’ (take these claims with a grain of salt) or having a high kink-resistance rating - this may be useful when comparing different models.
There are some features that make using your garden hose easier and safer.
- Automatic rewind system: An auto-rewind function on a retractable hose neatly coils the hose back into the storage unit, meaning less time spent carefully arranging it.
- 180° swivel: A mounting bracket with 180° of swivel lets the hose easily follow the direction you walk in as you water your garden.
- Locking mechanism: This lets you secure the hose at a length that’s convenient for you, so you don’t have annoying excess that leads to more kinks, more tangles, and more safety hazards.
- Slow rewind: Hoses with slow rewind retract themselves at a slow speed if you accidentally let go of it, making it more safe, especially for the elderly.
- Spring-loaded: A spring-loaded hose snaps back into the casing when you trigger the rewind function, so you can quickly finish up your gardening.
- Child lock: This stops curious little fingers from drawing the hose out of the casing when activated, so you’re not slapped with a hefty water bill and a drenched kid.
- Lockable: Some hose reels can be padlocked to the mounting, giving you extra peace of mind, particularly if you’ve forked out quite a bit of money for an expensive model.
Water is precious, particularly in a place as dry as Australia, which is why looking for durable, leak-proof garden hose fittings is important.
Solid brass hose fittings are generally the norm for most high-quality garden hoses, as well as some stainless steel fittings. Your fittings will go through a lot - they’ll be twisted, pulled, and exposed to the elements, so opting for metal fittings over plastic will likely let you enjoy your hose for years to come.
Read reviews to see how long a certain hose has lasted for other people, and whether parts have been easy to repair or replace when something goes wrong.
Ease of use
Look for ergonomic, easy to twist (yet still secure) fittings that can be used by people of all ages and abilities, particularly if your hose will be used by someone with mobility difficulties.
You should also consider how easy a water hose reel is to install - look for easy to read instructions that make doing it yourself a breeze, even if you don’t consider yourself much of a handyperson.
Check for easy handling by doing a lift test.
When shopping for a hose, do a “lift test” by lifting up equal lengths of hoses to compare how easy they are to handle. Keep in mind that they’ll be heavier when they’re full of water, and that you may not want to always hold it close to your body (such as when you’re watering muddy spots).
You can find wall-mounted hose reels or portable hose reels. While wall-mounted models are generally preferred, you may want a portable model if you want to store the hose in a different place to where your tap is located, or if you want to take it between different yards.
Garden hoses can cost anywhere from $50 to $250 and upwards. You should expect to pay more the more durable you want your fittings to be, and the more features you want your hose to have. Retractable hoses are also pricier than their manual counterparts.
Look for a healthy warranty for your hose - the longer the warranty, the more faith a manufacturer has in the lifespan of their product. Some hoses also come with money-back guarantees, so you can return your hose within a short period of time (usually a month) if it’s not a right fit for you.
The bottom line
There isn’t a single garden hose that’s perfect for everyone and all kinds of yards. The size of the area you need your hose to reach, how you’ll use it, where you’ll store your hose, and your budget will determine what’s well-suited for you.