Best Expandable Hoses: Wash Your Car With Fewer Kinks & Tangles
The top expandable garden hoses that make washing your car much easier
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON July 3, 2019
When you're cleaning your car, convenience is key. It's best to have a flexible and dependable hose that isn't awkward to carry around and that won't twist or knot. Our expandable hose review will help you find the best expandable hose on the market without spending a lot of money.
- Best OverallTBI Pro Garden Hose ExpandableSummarySummaryThis hose features four layers of latex and expands from 17 feet to 100 feet. It has brass connectors, a shut-off valve, a zinc alloy sprayer, two-way splitter, and storage bag.ProsProsThe hose is flexible and lightweight. It's very supple yet feels rugged. The kink-free hose doesn't tangle, and the multi-functional nozzle can be set to nine different spray positions.ConsConsThe splitter may leak, and the connection to the faucet can break, blowing the hose out of the fitting. The hose may not work well with low water pressure.
- Best ValueJoeys Garden Expandable Garden HoseSummarySummaryThis hose has brass connectors and other parts are made of premium materials. It expands to a length of 50 feet and can sustain a maximum of eight bars (115 PSI).ProsProsThe hose is lightweight and does not kink. It expands and contracts exactly like it's supposed to and comes with a convenient multi-functional nozzle and storage bag.ConsConsThe hose may leak through the metal part that connects to the spigot. It may develop holes after a short period of use, and it doesn't produce really high pressure.
- Honorable MentionAlma Expandable Garden HoseSummarySummaryThis hose has leak-free fittings and is made of double latex pipe and polyester. It starts at 17 feet and extends to 50 feet. It has a metal nozzle and shut-off valve.ProsProsThis hose is durable, lightweight, flexible, and easy to handle. It doesn't kink, and it produces good water pressure. It's simple to collapse and store without tangles and empties quickly.ConsConsThe hose may develop holes after a short period of use, and it may start to leak. Also, the spray nozzle may malfunction over time or completely break.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Expandable Hoses
- They’re lightweight. Old-fashioned rubber garden hoses can be difficult to maneuver. The longer they are, the heavier they are. Expandable hoses are about five times lighter than conventional ones.
- They extend (a lot). When not in use, a garden hose that shrinks and expands takes up very little space. When you turn the water on, the best expandable water hose can grow up to three times its length. For example, a 25-foot expandable hose can become 75 feet long.
They're easy to store. The best expanding garden hose will return to its original length once you turn off the water, making it easier to store than a conventional rubber hose.
- They're less likely to kink. If you've ever used a rubber hose, you've probably had problems with it kinking, knotting, or tangling. Expandable hoses kink far less than their rubber hose counterparts because the latex inside them is much more flexible than hard rubber. Expandable hoses, however, can still get tangled when you fill them with water.
- They automatically drain water. With a conventional hose, you have to hold it at several angles to ensure that all the water drains out. When you turn off the water pressure to a collapsible hose, the water automatically releases. This occurs because the latex contracts and forces the water out.
Types of Expandable Hoses
Some expandable hoses are made of two and sometimes three or four layers of latex. You would think the strongest expandable garden hose would have at least a triple layer latex core, but that's not necessarily true. Sometimes, additional layers can adversely affect flexibility. However, triple-layer latex can handle higher water pressure. In general, a double latex core includes a thick polymer that covers a latex inner tube; one layer is durable latex, and the other is a PVC coating.
The other type of material used in the core of expandable hoses is thermoplastic copolyester (TPC). This material is common in industrial tubing, and it's very resistant to heat. It's also very durable even when used as a single layer. One downside is that TPC tends to be more expensive.
Natural Vs. Synthetic Latex
Natural latex comes from the rubber tree sap. It's extracted similarly to maple syrup. Synthetic latex is made in a laboratory and is very similar to natural latex, but it’s made of petrochemicals and petroleum byproducts. Synthetic latex tubing is much cheaper than it's the natural counterpart. Most hoses are made of synthetic materials and are covered in a nylon shell.
Expandable Hose Pricing
- $30-$50: The best expandable hose isn't cheap, but it will last for a while as long as you take care of it. Most good-quality, collapsible hoses fall in this price range.
Do you need a 75-foot expandable hose or a 100-foot expandable hose? Perhaps a smaller one is better? You don't need a really long hose if your water spigot is close to where you wash your vehicle. Choose one that is just the right length to maneuver around your vehicle comfortably and that isn’t too long that it gets in the way.
- Fittings: An expandable hose with brass fittings is intended to reduce corrosion and is quite durable. Hose fittings may also be aluminum or plastic. A collapsible hose with brass fittings is best because it holds up better when exposed to water. It can oxidize over time, but it resists rust, is more heat resistant than plastic and is stronger than aluminum.
- Purpose: Pocket hoses have a variety of uses. First, you need to decide what your needs are. If you want one that is practical for both the garden and car washing, be sure to check out the spray head. Some brands have nozzles with options such as mist, shower, jet, and angle.
- Storage: Before purchasing an expandable hose, figure out where you want to store it. Make sure it will fit in the space you have in mind. Expandable hoses come in a variety of sizes, and some brands even have storage bags included. Bigger pocket hoses will take up more space, so make sure to account for that.
- Nozzle: The best expandable water hose will include a free hose nozzle and sometimes a free storage bag and storage hook. If your pocket hose comes with a nozzle, be aware that it may not be very high quality. Free nozzles aren't usually as good as nozzles that you purchase separately. The free nozzle may also have limited spray options.
- Water Pressure: If you don't have very strong water flow, an expandable hose may not work very well. If you have very high water pressure, you need to be careful or the hose can burst. One option is putting a pressure regulator on the faucet before you use the hose.
Best Expandable Hose Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: TBI Pro Garden Hose Expandable
This hose features four layers of latex and expands from 17 feet to 100 feet in just seconds. The hose is designed with top-quality brass connectors, a shut-off valve, and advanced connector protectors to prevent leaking. It comes with a zinc alloy sprayer, two-way splitter, storage bag, and hanger.
The hose is flexible, lightweight, easy to store, and produces good pressure. It retracts well when you turn the water off, and it expands quickly when you turn the water on. It doesn't get caught under your car tires when you move around it. It's also very supple yet feels rugged compared to other expandable water hoses. The hose is convenient to pick up and move due to its weight, and it doesn't tangle or kink. In addition, it comes with a multi-functional nozzle that can be set to nine different spray positions. Finally, it shrinks up to almost nothing after use.
One problem is the rubber stopper above the handle may pop off during use. There have also been some complaints that the splitter leaks, and that the connection to the faucet can easily break, blowing the hose out of the fitting. Also, the hose doesn't work very well if you have low water pressure.
Best Value: Joeys Garden Expandable Garden Hose
This heavy-duty expanding hose has solid brass fittings and a valve, nozzle, and spray made of premium materials that will not rust, leak, tear, rip or crack. It expands to a length of 50 feet and shrinks to its original size when the water is turned off. It can sustain a minimum water pressure of four bars (60 PSI) and a maximum of eight bars (115 PSI). It comes with a storage bag and hanger.
The hose is well designed, light and easy to move around, and it does not kink. It expands and contracts exactly like it's supposed to, and it maintains decent water pressure. It also comes with a nice, multi-functional spray nozzle, and it's convenient to toss into a storage space instead of having to roll it up.
One problem is the hose may leak through the metal part that connects to the spigot. In addition, it doesn't produce really high pressure and flow, so it won’t work with a pressure washer. There have also been some complaints that it develops holes after a short period of use.
Honorable Mention: Alma Expandable Garden Hose
This hose comes with nickel-plated, 3/4 USA standard leak-free fittings and is made of double latex pipe and stretch polyester fabric. It starts at 17 feet in length and extends to 50 feet with the water pressure set at three to 12 Bar. The heavy-duty nozzle sprayer is made of metal and has eight different modes as well as a shut-off valve. It also comes with a storage bag and hanger.
This hose is durable, lightweight, flexible, and easy to handle. The hose has solid connections on both sides, it is well constructed, it doesn't kink, and it produces good water pressure. In addition, it's simple to collapse and store without tangles, and it takes up a fraction of the space of rubber hoses. It also empties quickly when you turn off the water supply.
One problem is the hose may develop holes after a short period of use, and it may start to leak. If you brush it against something sharp such as thorns, it may also tear. In addition, the spray nozzle may malfunction over time or completely break. The hose material may also fray.
- Stretch out an expandable hose before you use it for the first time. Close the shut-off valve, fill the hose with water, and let it expand to its full length. Next, release the water and let the hose drain itself. Repeat the process one time. This will stretch out the hose, allow you to see any defects or leaks, and ensure that the hose is working to the best of its abilities.
- When you're not using an expandable hose, avoid leaving it in direct sunlight or in frigid temperatures. Sun and inclement weather can reduce the hose's lifespan by damaging the inner tubing.
- One way to store your expandable hose is by hanging it on a storage hook. This will keep it out of the way of animals, who may damage it, or people who may accidentally step on it.
Q: Do expandable hoses work?
A: Absolutely. Rubber hoses can kink up or knot, and you need to coil them back into shape when you're finished with them. Expandable hoses are self-draining, and they coil up on their own when you turn off the water. They are just as useful as conventional rubber hoses, and they’re designed not to tear or tangle.
Q: What is the best expandable garden hose?
A: The best expandable hose is one that fits your budget, does what it claims to do, is easy to store, and is long-lasting.
Q: How long do expandable hoses last?
A: A collapsible hose should last just as long or longer than a traditional rubber hose. If you take care of it and store it properly, you may not need to replace it for 10 years.
Q: Are expandable hoses difficult to repair?
A: While you can't patch them up like you can with rubber hoses, you can repair the best expandable hose. If the leak is next to the fittings, purchase a flexible hose repair kit, which should include an extra connector. Or you can just remove the connection, cut two inches off the hose, and put the existing connection back on. If there's a hole in the middle of the hose, you’ll need an extra connector to make a repair.
Our top pick for the best expandable hose is TBI Pro Garden Hose Expandable. It's made of four layers of latex, expands to 100 feet, and is flexible and lightweight. It's supple yet rugged and doesn't tangle or kink. It also comes with a nozzle that features nine different spray positions.
If you’re on a budget, consider the Joeys Garden Expandable Garden Hose.