Best Lightweight Garden Hose Picks For Your Watering Needs
But, I live on a hobby farm where having a simple, expandable hose isn’t feasible in certain areas around my house since the sun is rather too intense in Southeastern New Mexico for a hose of this type left laying out all day. Yet I still need something that is less than what amounts to a 100 foot length of a million pounds filled with water (at least that is what it feels like to my kids), and this seems a daunting task- or is it?
Surprisingly enough, there are quite a few traditional hose options that are both durable and lightweight available, of which my top picks are described below. Read on to determine which of the following are the best, and lightest, garden hose pick for you.
- Rubber tubes
- Thermoplastic elastomer
- Vinyl cores
- Polyurethane resins
- Water Right 400 Series Slim & Light Hose
- Zero-G 4001 Lightweight Garden Hose
- Legacy Flexzilla Lightweight Garden Hose
- Tuff-Guard Garden Hose
- Gilmour Flexogen Super Duty Hose
Water Right 400 Series
|25, 50, 75, 100 foot options||3 lbs (50 foot length)||Brass or Stainless Steel Fitting Options||Polyurethane||7/16th - 3/8th inch choices|
Zero-G 4001-50 Hose
|50 feet||4.7 lbs||Aluminum||Polymer and Nylon fiber covering||5.8th inch|
|3, 5, 10, 50, 75, 100 foot lengths||8.0 lbs (50 foot)||Aluminum||Polymer||5.8th inch|
|25, 50, 100 foot lengths||6.3 lbs (50 foot)||Brass||Thermoplastic elastomer tube and polyester core||5.8th inch|
|25, 50, 75, 100 foot lengths||5.4 lbs (50 foot)||Unspecified metal||Rubber, foam, nylon combination layers||1/2 inch|
Manufacturers certainly had to get creative to produce a lightweight, yet durable traditional hose for the average backyard enthusiast. Materials normally found in your standard hose, such as rubber, vinyl, and nylon, are still often used- but in much more creative ways, and in interesting combinations, in order to use less of certain heavy materials.
Rubber tubes layered with foam, and protected by woven and wrapped nylons, help provide durability against the elements, and flexibility for the user without sacrificing the hose to kinks and twists.
Polyurethane resins are often used as fiber reinforcements with other materials, but when cast as a hose, can provide a slim, sleek, flexible, and strong design.
Although brass fittings are the most commonly found fittings due to its durability and popularity of not ‘grabbing’ and sticking to connections, brass can be quite heavy and in some cases have been replaced with lighter metal alloys, and unique patented fitting ends to help alleviate weight.
Most commonly found are aluminium ends, occasionally plated in nickel to help provide less friction upon connection. Aluminum is a tough, lightweight alloy that can withstand quite a bit of pressure. Aluminum can occasionally bind to other metals when wet, and be difficult to disengage from faucet ends.
Stainless steel fittings
Stainless steel fittings, although rare, can be occasionally found with molded hoses and are both crush resistant and long lasting.
Hoses generally come in a standard 5/8th size for universal fittings and pressure, even though they may be offered in other sizes with a little bit of research on the buyer’s part. Lightweight hoses seem to have a bit more of a variety, offering the sizes more often in a 5/8th inch size, 3/8th inch size, or a ½ inch size, which decreases the amount of water that can pass through it through a given time due to the smaller diameter. You may often even find 7/16th inch choices as well. This is commonly used to offset the weight of the hose in relation to the amount of materials being used.
How to Choose the Best and Lightest Garden Hose for Your Yard
A lightweight garden hose might not be the best pick for you depending on your needs. Depending on the materials being used, they might not hold up to extreme temperatures, or shouldn’t be used where they might get run over by a vehicle.
Other considerations surround why you are looking for a lightweight hose in the first place. If you have long distances to cover, or are physically unable to drag or lift heavy hoses, you’ll want to consider the lengths and weight choices that you’re comfortable with.
Complaints mentioned in the best lightweight garden hose reviews almost all have something to do with how they kink due to the material lightness and flexibility when emptied of water, although they generally seem to have no issues with kinks during water use. Not all are equal, however, so you’ll want to consider your needs, and the hose that best fits those needs before you make your purchase.
What are you using your hose for?
Do you have simple garden watering needs, or are you looking for a more all around hose that can handle a higher amount of pressure and more vigorous yard work? How you use your hose will help you determine what sizes, lengths, and materials should be considered.
Is the weight considerations do to physical ailments?
If yes, no matter how light your hose it, it still will weigh more when filled with water. If dragging out a traditional hose is difficult, you may want to consider a different option surrounding collapsible hose products that expand when filled and can be pulled into the location you need it before turning the water on.
Where do you want to store your hose?
Most polymers begin to wear in extreme temperatures and direct sunlight over time. It might take a few years, or it might only take a season or two for your hose to show cracks and wear from how it is stored. I’m a leave it out and leave it alone type girl, so I generally look for a VERY durable material, but if you don’t have a problem reeling up your hose after each use, and better yet, have a nice shady spot for it to be stored in – you will have more of a choice of materials to choose from.
When are you using your hose?
Which seasons do you need your hose for? Will you need it for winter work, such as filling up livestock tanks in freezing temperatures, or will it be saved only for seasonal waterings? A good rule of thumb is to make sure you drain ANY hose once temperatures drop below freezing, but will your hose materials be able to withstand a drop below freezing even if it is drained? And if not, do you have a place you can store it to avoid this?
Again, consider the materials your choices are made of in order to make sure you not only get a useful product, but one that will last you years to come. Think of it as an investment.
- Height: 25, 50, 75, 100 foot options
- Weight: 3 lbs (50 foot length)
- Fittings: Brass or Stainless Steel Fitting Options
- Materials: Polyurethane
- Size: 7/16th – 3/8th inch choices
Drinking water safe and boosting up to 4.5 gallons per minute flow, this is a hose to get your watering needs taken care of in a flash. It’s also super lightweight and is the lightest of any hose I was able to find in my search for perfect lightweight hoses. It is super slim and easy to move around, a definite perk when you have to bring water any distance for watering purposes.
The Water Right series of hoses are also meant to be extremely flexible, and come in quite the selection of colors as well if you like that sort of thing. I have no shame: complementing my house siding with a hose is right up my alley. Plus I like that there is a wide variety of both lengths and hose diameters to choose from.
The biggest complaints surrounding this product is that is does, in fact, kink at times – which it’s not supposed to do. Personally I find almost every manufacturer of hoses say their hose isn’t supposed to kink, and almost every rating site has a review that complains of kinking. I feel that surviving extreme temperatures and having a decent durability to last outweighs this issue.
This particular hose is best suited for somebody looking for a good, all-around hose that can hold up to weather and multiple tasks through the year.
- Very flexible in sub-zero to 140 degree weather
- Drinking water safe
- Simple to wind and store easily
- Easy to move around
- Kinks easily when not filled with water
- Does not ‘free’ coil easily on the ground
- Weak flow rate
- Height: 50 feet
- Weight: 4.7 lbs
- Fittings: Aluminum
- Materials: Polymer and Nylon fiber covering
- Size: 5.8th inch
This new design provides a inner polymer tube covered by a woven fiber, non-snag covering that provides both protection and durability. When not filled with water it collapses completely for simple folding storage, although you can also wind it onto a reel and it will still allow water to flow while not fully extended.
Patented couplings are considered crush proof, and they certainly look to be as they are thick and durable in design, but still fit a universal nozzle. Mentioned multiple times is how easy it is to combine multiple hoses without sacrificing much in the way of weight or overall water pressure. I actually am intrigued by the design and overall positive ratings surrounding this hose and believe it would be fn to try out around my place during the summer months.
This is not a choice, however, for temperatures that drop below freezing, as the materials will not stand up to cold extremes, and freezing water can damage and strain the materials rendering them useless.
This is a great pick for temperate climate users, or those who put up their hoses once temperatures begin to drop towards freezing.
- 5 year warranty
- Fittings are well made
- Easy to grip
- Lightweight and easy to pull
- Difficult to roll up
- Is not kink free
- Leaks easily, although covered by warranty
- Height: 3, 5, 10, 50, 75, 100 foot lengths
- Weight: 8.0 lbs (50 foot)
- Fittings: Aluminum
- Materials: Polymer
- Size: 5.8th inch
This thing can hold up to some seriously extreme weather and is supposed to be able to handle up to -40 degree temperatures without any damage to materials. And once again, this is another hose that is promised not to kink, but it seems it holds up to its promise AS LONG AS you keep water in it. Since you should be using it with water in it, that seems reasonable, and is a favorite with consumers because of it.
To me this is just a fun looking hose that I think I might like to try out eventually despite being on the heavier side of lightweight hoses. The cold factor has me hooked despite living in a desert simply because it DOES get into the single digits here and I really hate having to put up my hoses when I know I have to drag them back out to fill up stock tanks.
The Flexzilla is also drinking water safe, which I like because, as mentioned, living things will drink from it (things include my children). Complaints about the hose have almost everything to do with how easily it can kink due to it’s flexibility when the water is not on.
This is a good choice for year round use, and since it is drinking water safe, is also a good consideration for those who needs to be filling water for animals or who have children.
- Handles freezing weather well
- Very flexible
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Holds up well in sun and heat
- Has a curvature memory
- Will kink if not filled with water
- Heavier than other lightweight brands, but very durable
- Height: 25, 50, 100 foot lengths
- Weight: 6.3 lbs (50 foot)
- Fittings: Brass
- Materials: Thermoplastic elastomer tube and polyester core
- Size: 5.8th inch
Probably the most unique design on the market concerning any hose is the Tuff-guard garden hose. I’ll admit, this thing intrigues me to no end, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how it holds up to what it claims, yet reviews indicate it very much can in the correct conditions.
Weather tolerant (down to -20 degrees), and incredibly lightweight at 3.3 lbs/25 feet, this hose seriously looks like nothing I’ve ever seen outside my children’s toys. Yet, despite it’s one major flaw (described below) it seems to be loved by the consumer for every job imaginable while it is working. Multiple colors, and lengths, are available as a 5/8th inch diameter hose with sturdy, brass fittings.
The only complaint it seems to have, and this can be a deal breaker, is that the hose couplings separate from the hose itself causing an un-fixable leak. Although completely covered under warranty, and well documented by the manufacturer, one can only hope this is something that has been, or is being corrected.
Due to the issue with the fitting separation, this is not a pick for somebody who is going to use this heavily until that issue is corrected. However, it seems to be a favorite regardless of the problem as long as you don’t mind taking advantage of the return policy.
- 1 year warranty
- Very durable, can buried and withstands temperatures to below freezing
- Survives high temperatures
- Kink proof
- Fitting to hose connection can tear easily (covered under warranty)
- Leaked fittings within a few months (replaced under warranty)
- Height: 25, 50, 75, 100 foot lengths
- Weight: 5.4 lbs (50 foot)
- Fittings: Unspecified metal
- Materials: Rubber, foam, nylon combination layers
- Size: 1/2 inch
The lifetime warranty on this model is a great selling point, as is it’s all weather performance rating. Despite only being available as a ½ inch diameter, consumers haven’t reported any issues with water pressure and regularly use it for a variety of jobs around the yard and garden. In fact, the ½ inch diameter helps keep the weight low, and provides an easy to grip design to drag around your yard area.
This is a pretty simple layered creation that takes less amounts of durable rubber than a traditional all rubber hose combined with thin layers of foam and woven nylon for extra durability. And for the most part the hose seems to hold up to cold and heat, simple watering, and heavy duty work with a pressure head without any problems.
Complaints surround a design flaw that causes an inner rupture and resulting bulging of the hose despite it being able to still work. However, over time this causes the hose to kink and fold more easily, and break down the material further until it is rendered unusable. The perk of the company is that they will replace it if this happens.
This is a great pick for general use around the yard for watering and other light chores. Longtime use (such as hooked to a sprinkler) seems to result in an internal issue that causes bulges and eventual leaks.
- Lifetime warranty, good customer service
- Good water pressure comparable to a 5/8th diameter
- Rolls up easily for storage
- Begins to bulge with heavy uses
- Kinks easily after bulges begin even with water on
- Sun deteriorates it quickly
The lightweight hose market is certainly larger than I expected, and it even has a variety of choices that seem to stand up to some heavy duty work. Durable fittings, unique materials and polymer combinations, and a variety of diameter sizes and lengths certainly make them competitive in the garden hose market. Plus, most manufacturing companies provide a healthy warranty to back up their claims and provide replacements if you have any trouble with the design.
Consider, however, that lightweight hoses are not supposed to last as long as the heavy duty, rubber and reinforced vinyl hoses. The use of varied lightweight materials often don’t hold up to extreme temperatures, or long term use as well- although recent ratings show that there are many on the market that are approaching the more expensive, heavier alternatives in comparison to overall life expectancy of the product.
Even with the variety of choices I provided, only one really stood out to me that I considered acceptable for my needs: Water Right 400 Series Slim & Light Hose provides the durability, weather resistance, and bang for your buck that I’m looking for. Plus it’s colorful, and seriously slim and lightweight. I also really like the fact that there are so many choices in size, length, and diameter in order to get the right hose for the job I’m thinking of.