/ Home & Energy

Has an expandable garden hose caused you problems?

Watering the garden? It can be a real pain using an old-style hosepipe that can be heavy, gets tangled, kinks, leaks or even splits. Which is why I bought an XHose – one of the whizzy stretchy, expandable hoses.

The XHose promises no kinks and tangles, and was shortlisted for the Chelsea Flower Show Garden Product of the Year 2013. But having heard about poor experiences with these and other expandable hoses from our members I’m now wondering if I’ve bought a leaky sieve.

There are a range of stretchy, expandable hoses available to buy at the moment and they all look really good. They’re basically a soft, inflatable inner-tube surrounded by tough fabric shell that crinkles up when the inner-tube isn’t expanded. They promise never to tangle or kink up and are much lighter than a traditional hose – so what’s not to like?

Reports of problems with the XHose and other expandable hoses

Unfortunately, I’m worried that my new XHose may not be as trouble-free as I’d hoped. A colleague who’d tried one out told me that the hose needs water pressure to expand so as you reduce the pressure when you start using it, it shrinks, pulling you back noticeably towards the tap. This sounds irritating but not a deal-breaker.

But our members have told us that they’d had other problems with their expandable hoses too, such as the inner tube splitting and filling the outer tube with water or even exploding! We’ve also heard about leaking joints, poor connections and irreparable faults.

So have I found myself a neat solution to a gardening problem or am I in for a drenching?

We will be carrying out a test of these in future and are interested in hearing your experiences.

Have you tried out an expandable hose? Have you been impressed or left disappointed? Have you found that some brands are better than others?


Having to wrestle with a 30 mtr python every time I wanted to water the front garden I was contemplating buying an Xhose so I am interested to see what people think of it. A year or two ago we bought a shorter hose that was flat, rolled up tightly when not in use, and was much lighter than a rubber hose. It was cheap, and the quality was commensurate, with poor threads on the fittings so that water leaked at the tap and the nozzle. It unrolled OK when the water was turned on but it did tend to kink. Overall it was no more satisfactory than an identical length of rubber hose and it soon went in the bin. The beauty of a rubber hose is that with the modern water-stop fittings it is easy to snap on extension lengths without having to keep going back to the tap to turn the water on and off. Another advantage is that if a rubber hose ruptures or gets a kink that becomes a permanent constriction it is easy to cut out a section and join the ends together again with a connector fitting. There are dozens of rubber hoses on the market at various price points which generally reflect their quality. We have a 15 mtr Hozelock hose which is good as well as a 30 mtr Gardena hose which is superior, far less prone to kinking, and in over ten years has never sprung a leak or suffered significant damage even after being dragged across gravel or stone paving. It was relatively expensive and it is heavy but it is my preference every time.

Hi John
I’m interested to hear that you’ve found the traditional hoses easy to repair. It hadn’t occurred to me that the stretchable hoses would be unrepairable! I’m also concerned about the damage that could occur to the fabric outer shell when it gets dragged across the ground. I’d be interested to hear what problems others have had before I ditch my traditional rubber hose.

Rubber hoses can certainly be repaired easily with a connector fitting, and another advantage in view of their weight is that you can cut the hose to just the length you need [transferring the end fitting] and keep the surplus which can be used in the event that you do have to cut out a section because it is damaged, or be used as an extension length if you need a bit more [to wash the car, for example]. I have always found Hozelock fittings very durable and convenient [other makes are not always compatible with existing fittings, taps, sprayers, etc].

We used to repair hoses with connectors regularly as the squirrels liked taking a bite out of them. But then it got a bit ridiculous with so many connectors plus they got caught on things.

So we invested in a heavy duty hose on a cart, one that does not kink easily and can be stored in the garage. It is still going strong after about 15 years.

Xhose says:
10 July 2015

I’m at a loss which hose to use now I’ve had three so called x hoses all burst, the first one an xhose lasted just over a year, I left it out over winter not a good move

David Russell says:
9 September 2015

Hi / I was given an X hose for fathers Day in June this year………x3 months later the inner tube (inside the outer blue case) sorry best explanation I could come up with……..has burst!!!! I won’t be buying a second one.😤

Nicky says:
13 April 2016

The inner tube of my Xhose has come away from the fitting at the tap end. OfficialXhose say they will not replace (3 years old) and it cannot be repaired. They refuse to give contact details of the manufacturer so that I could find out how to repair it. All they rudely suggested was to buy a new one. As if anyone in their right mind would do that after such a short time. My old, heavy hoses are 40 years old and in perfect condition. Just so heavy to move about.

hi nicky
I had one that didn’t last 12 months
I looked at the instruction it says don’t use warm water.
so I put that down to me. I bought another run cold water It did it again,
not happy. see what they say when I email them
steve (uk)
might go back to tried and trusted

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I have used an expandable hose about 2 years ago I only got to use it a couple of times as on the third occasion I was watering near a rose bush and the hose caught on a thorn which popped the hose!! It immediately deflated and was completely useless! So I would say don’t get an expandable hose if you have any roses or indeed anything with spikes , thorns or prickles! I have gone back to a normal hose now, it’s a shame asi loved the idea of the expanding hose , it was lovely and light weight, didn’t kink, was easy to store away, everything the manufacturer said. They are probably useful for car washing but not robust enough for gardening.

I suppose a class action in the US commenced October last year against Xhose might indicate a sense of unhappiness.

And looking at YouTube:
” THIS is why I discontinued my subscription to Consumer Reports. They have far too many very bad and inaccurate reports like this one. There are thousands of reports online by angry users of products like this. These hoses leak, pop and explode after minimal use. Users have stated it over and over again. But, Consumer Reports gives them a glowing report and even after their own customers tell them how wrong they are, they leave their inaccurate report online. Your as much of a ripoff Consumer Reports at these worthless hoses your recommending.”

I have old fashioned 100ft Hozelock attached to a dispenser on the house, and a aluminium holder fot a 50 foot Gardenia hose. Both over ten years old. I do not suffer from kinks.

Sue says:
29 June 2015

I recently bought an expandable hose but after using about 3 times it started leaking The hose became like a sieve at one point. We took it apart and shortened it to cut out the leaky bit but the first time I tried it the inner tube separated in to two pieces and became useless
Very little information on the box except the word OUTDOORS. No address or contact details
Made in China and distributed by D&P Sales
Bought at the local gardening club for £14.99 30metres long

Hobes says:
30 June 2015

I bought an expandable hose about a month ago and have encountered two problems. When attached to a lawn sprinkler when it retracts it pulls the sprinkler along with it. 2 it stopped retracting after about three uses and I was not sure why. However, having read other feedback, I think it might be that the inner tube is leaking and filing up the outer tube thus keeping it inflated. I liked the idea of inflatable hose and it may be I have a dud item but I might go for the more expensive regular hose as they seem to last for years with only occasional probs.

Expanding hose problems, YES. I purchased 3 expanding hoses Spring/Summer 2014 as their convenience of use out-shown traditional hoses… no tangles, minimal weight, reduced size without water. NONE of them lasted past Autumn 2014. It was like watching a medical drama as they would ballon out and literally explode. This was across more than one brand too. So in 2015 I did not purchase any of these and went back to traditional hoses with weight, kinks and the usual shortcomings! Such a great idea, too bad technically not resilient.

Guy says:
30 June 2015

Great in theory, look great on the adverts but………. Bought one last year lasted a few months without issue. Can’t remember what exactly happened but I think I stood on it accidentally and it ballooned up and exploded. Bought a second one, dragged it along the floor and it exploded.
Haven’t bothered a third time

Max W says:
30 June 2015

I’m now on my second Xhose and hoping for better luck this time. The first was a dead loss with the inner tube splitting almost immediately. I ended up wetter than the allotment! Also beware as there are a lot of curiously similar products out there.

Big John says:
7 July 2015

I know I’m now on my third hose, first was an xHose the other two were from Ebay all three split.
Very unhappy chappie.

On the question of watering and kinked hoses. I thought I would give some tips culled form my experience with cheap hoses and spiral hoses over the years.

A good quality hose made from one or a combination of materials including nylon, polyurethane, polyethylene, PVC, or synthetic or natural rubbers. The better quality hoses are kink resistant because of the way they are constructed.

Also when watering a garden think how best to plan it so that you avoid sharp angles with the hose. I use very heavy plant pots and even Rebar staked into the ground as guides to avoid potential kinking. I also pull the length of hose I am going to use from the hose dispenser so that I can make use of the guides I have and also lessen the pulling effort if I am thirty feet away and need more hose.

Rewinding onto a hose cart, a wall mounted dispenser tends to keep everything tangle free.

For a small garden or for car washing just having a hose coiled into a wash basket may be perfectly simple way to go. I did buy a spiral hose however the diameter and the odd fittings meant it was fiddly and did not deliver sufficient water for me. It still exists after over a decade but aiding plants to climb into trees : )

These are great tips and I would definitely agree with using a rewindable dispenser for longer hoses, it’s a really neat way of storing the hose.

I often drape my hose over the rotary washing-line to stop it tangling in the flower beds and it also rotates to follow me around the garden as I water.

I notice the XHose advises that it’s stored indoors when not in use.
I know it’s a smaller hose than a lot of others, but I want it on-hand, in the garden, where I need it.

Storing the hose indoors? What are they thinking of? Presumably the Xhose is prone to frost damage. Hoses get dirty and I don’t think many people would want to keep it indoors, although a 100 ft expandable hose would probably fit in a 1 ft x 1 ft plastic tub.

There are a large number of expandable hose products available at a wide range of prices from or through Amazon, and there are thousands of customer reviews. Unsuitability for use with a pressure washer is a common theme and the possibility of the hose exploding is mentioned frequently. With relatively high prices for some of the products it would be worth taking careful note of the reviews even though they go on forever.

Another little tip: After watering the garden, leave the hose on the ground with both ends open so the water can drain away – that reduces the weight dramatically. And in hot weather leave the hose out a little longer so that it can relax and become lovely and supple – it’ll then be much easier to coil up.

Patricia upton says:
2 July 2015

My mother brought one of these recently and we love it it much better than others we’ve used and doesn’t get caught round other plant pots. For us it’s really good

I have not encountered expandable garden hose. I have a hose reel with Gardena hose and that coils up easily without kinking. If I was replacing it, I would go for a hose cart on wheels because the hose and reel are quite heavy.

My 30 year old cassette hose recently failed and I was interested in the convenience an expandable one, which is easy to store after use.

After reading reviews, though, I was put off by many reports of leakage in early versions. I don’t know whether these were early teething problems but I was wary.

In the end I decided against one and bought a 10 metre small diameter cassette hose made by Karcher. It’s not as convenient, perhaps, but it has been satisfactory so far, and was on special offer at Homebase.

Rob says:
6 July 2015

Yes same story. Wife bought me one of these. within months I noticed that after i finished using the hose I was more wet than what I was watering. Loads of little leaks drwoning me. This item was not cheap (so the Mrs says)

Hubert says:
9 July 2015

Bought an XHose from Argos last year (2014 Spring), worked well till last week when the inner tube split. Tried repairing it but does not seem possible. There are no contact details, that would help in creating a work around, rather than having to bin it and buy a new one when one should be able to recycle or reuse, rather than waste and add to landfill.
Think will go back to the old style with kinks etc, at least it’s possible to repair and reuse.

If you buy decent quality hose and take care with it, you might never have a problem. Kinks are usually produced by pulling the end of a coiled hose or pulling it round the corner of a building. Inexpensive hose (often dark green) has a thin wall and kinks very easily.

BPSE18 says:
31 July 2015

Just bought the 75ft Xhose from Argos for £40, I can’t even get it on my tap, so will be returning it – having read the reviews above, seems I’ve had a lucky escape!


Looks like ConsumerReports responded to the unhappiness with its original report and it seems that they have changed their minds! : )

Inline James says:
16 August 2015

i bought a Savisto expanding hose. It was great for the first few uses. It got a small leak but rapidly developed a few more, making the hose useless!
I’m about to buy a traditional hose again

i bought one of these, 150ft Xhose, and within a month, it was in the bin. It first started haemorrhaging water from the handle joint, when I sorted that, the pipe started to unexpectedly rupture in several places, resulting in it totally being inoperable. A COMPLETE WASTE OF £40!!! Stick to the traditional hoses guys! I had my last one for 14years without a a problem! I will never buy one of these again!!! Nor would I recommend it!!!!!

do not buy or be persuaded to buy an xhose ours burst after being used less than 2 dozen times over a 13month period the “ideal world”whow we bought it from were non cooperative just said its out of guarantee,it was not a satisfactory purchase having paid £70 for 13 months use.

John Niven says:
17 September 2015

I received an XHose as our gift last August . I used it about eight or nine times in total. I also took it indoors during the winter. However this August when I was using it it inexplicably blew up. I contacted their customer services department but was informed that as it was four weeks beyond the warranty date no refund or replacement was possible . I was offered a 10% discount on our new hose. I was told that incidents where the hose exploded were highly unusual and complaints were” slim to none”. I suggested that this constituted a good reason for either replacing or certainly offering a better discount than that on offer but received no joy on this either. I won’t be buying another X hose And am no left with a number of unusable accessories which I purchased for it . Not impressed .