We Tried Two Of Walmart's Most Popular Hoses And Sometimes It's Worth It To Pay More

It is getting hot and dry in our part of the country. When the temperatures reach the 90s, we need to water our plants once or twice a day to keep them from wilting. This year we only have containers and a strawbale garden, so we get to skip the sprinkler and use a hose with a sprayer to keep our vegetables, herbs, and flowers watered. Since this is a daily task, we wanted the best hose for the job.

In over a decade of gardening, we have been through many hoses. For many years, we used the classic vinyl water hoses, wrestling to get them put away neatly. With new options on the market, it was time for an update, and we knew the features we wanted. The new hose had to be 25 feet long, lightweight, long-lasting, and never kink. It also needed to be budget-friendly. We shopped on Walmart.com for the most popular, affordable hoses that met our requirements. After reading the reviews, we selected a spiral hose and an expandable option to see which worked best.

About the Expert Gardener Spiral Hose

The first hose we tried out was the least expensive at around $17. The Expert Gardener 25-foot Spiral Garden Hose appealed to us because it should never kink and recoils back to its original shape — no wrestling required. Although we bought the standard green option, this hose comes in some fun colors, including peach, turquoise, and yellow.

According to the listing, this spiral hose only weighs 1 pound, which should make it easy for almost anyone to use. It comes with a 1-year warranty and features nickel-plated brass couplings. We are not really sure what that means, but it sounds good. The most appealing part of the spiral hose is that the design means it should never be able to kink, and we expected it to easily expand and retract as we watered different areas of our garden. This hose does not come with a flow cut-off — a feature we like but isn't a deal-breaker.

About the HytroTech Expandable Garden hose

The second hose we wanted to try was the HydroTech Burst Proof Expandable Garden Hose. We got the 25-foot option for about $30, making it almost twice the cost of the spiral option. This hose only comes in one color, but it is available in a 100-foot length. For 25 feet of hose length, this expandable hose is surprisingly compact. We have used expandible hoses before and like how they function. Unfortunately, there is a seemingly consistent issue — the connections always break after one season. This hose appealed to us because it claims to be burst-proof to over 250 PSI.

To back up their "burst-proof" claim, they offer a 10-year warranty, which is not bad for a $30 hose. At the end of the expandable hose is a heavy-duty brass valve with a flow control shut-off, so you can use it with or without a hose-end sprayer. Although it is not featured in the product listing, this option comes in a sturdy plastic storage case to make it easy for traveling or just to put it away neatly for winter.

Comparing the hoses

To test both hoses, we used our basic hose-end sprayer. Since each option expands in different ways, we wanted to see how their lengths compared when they were in use. We were surprised that the Garden Expert spiral hose only extended to about 23 feet when we were pulling pretty hard and just over 19 feet without tugging. Since we did not want to pull our spigot from the house, we could not get even 20 feet of length from this hose. Later, we noticed some small print on the box that states, "Usable length approximately 22.5 ft," which was not listed on the product page and is still more than we were able to get. Conversely, we were pleased to find the HytroTech expandable hose extended further than anticipated at 28.5 feet when the water was on, and there was no pulling required.

We also noticed a difference in pressure while using each hose. The spiral hose seemed to lose water pressure the more we extended it, while the HydroTech option kept consistent pressure even when fully expanded. Both hoses have some kind of protection near the faucet connection to keep them from kinking or breaking at that spot, although the HydroTech's protective encasement is more extensive. Both hoses connected well to our spigot without leaking.


Both options are better than the old vinyl hoses that easily kink and are difficult to use. If you don't need much length for your hose, the Garden Expert spiral option is still a good value. It's also great if you want something that matches your patio décor. However, if you are serious about gardening and want something that lasts a long time at an affordable price, we believe the HydroTech Expandable Garden Hose is the true winner.

Although the expandable garden hose costs almost twice as much, this is a situation where we felt we got what we paid for. The cheaper option was cute and functional but did not fulfill its claims. If we are paying for 25 feet of garden hose, that is what we expect to get. Overall, the HydroTech hose worked better, exceeded the promised length by a few feet, and each section, from the spigot to the end valve, is high quality. We expect this hose to last us many years. And, if it doesn't, we will be taking advantage of that 10-year warranty.