Expandable Garden Hoses Galore

When it's time to water your yard, does your hose drive you crazy? It's heavy. It gets tangled. It's hard to move.

Now there are several new As-Seen-On-TV garden hoses that sound like they make watering your garden a snap.

Consumer Reports put them to the test.

"Introducing the Pocket Hose. The hose so small, it fits in your pocket."

As-Seen-On-TV expandable garden hoses are popping up all over the place.

Consumer Reports tested three-all 50 feet in length. The DAP XHose, the FlexAbleHose, and the Pocket Hose.

First they were weighed. They all came in about a pound, a lot lighter than a regular hose. Then it was time to go to work. Testers measured the length, flow rate, and water volume, comparing the results to regular garden hoses.

Bernie Dietrick of Consumer Reports says, "Their length increased by three times, as claimed. And their flow was good, just like a regular hose."

But if you go to do something like fill up a kiddie pool with the valve fully open, the hoses may shrink...a lot...because of lower water pressure. And using these hoses with sprinklers also poses a challenge.

Deitrick says, "To use it with a sprinkler, you need to turn the water on first before you put the sprinkler in place. When you turn the water off, the hose will contract, and it may pull the sprinkler through your garden."

Consumer Reports also folded, twisted...and even knotted all three expandable hoses!

Deitrick says, "No matter what we did, the water kept flowing."

And after the water drained out, all three shrank back to their original size-as promised.

So all three lived up to their claims. But it was the Pocket Hose that came out on top.

Consumer Reports says the advantage of the Pocket Hose-it doesn't shrink quite as much when the pressure drops. With any of the hoses be aware that they can't be patched, so you have to be careful with the outer covering.

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