What Makes a Garden Hose Kink-Resistant?
by Steve Glor on Jan 13, 2023
A garden hose is one of the most crucial tools you can invest in for your yard. Chances are, even the least experienced of gardeners will have a hose kept in storage. Because it has many great uses that reach far beyond tending to your yard, and because quality hoses last a long time with proper maintenance, you would most likely notice it harden over the years, develop a few kinks, or even start to leak in some areas.
If this is the case with your hose, it is always best to see if you can salvage it while still making the most out of its quality. However, if it is beyond repair, then we suggest purchasing a new hose that is much more kink-resistant.
Below, we’ve prepared a handy guide as to what makes the best garden hoses more kink-resistant and the qualities you need to keep an eye out for to ensure that your next investment lasts longer!
What is a kink-resistant hose?
Whether a hose is kink resistant can be determined based on the material it is made from and how it is constructed.
The material of the hose has 3 factors that fall under it, namely:
#1 The Kink Memory
Garden hoses from around the world are produced with a multitude of materials, with one of the most common being a rubber hose. Aside from the typical rubber garden hose, some are made with plasticized PVC, vinyl, stainless steel, silicone, and the least common of the bunch made of polyurethane. All of these materials can be affected by compression sets, also known as kink memory.
This basically pertains to the percent of the material that is unable to fully recover from being compressed for a specific amount of time and at a given temperature. Studies show that the smaller the percentage of the compression set, the less kink-memory the material has, which means the hose itself is better at resisting a kink.
#2 Its Resilience
The resilience of the material refers to its ability to quickly spring back into shape after a temporary shift in form. In other words, resilience pertains to the speed of recovery, while its kink memory refers to the degree of recovery.
It is important to get a hose with a higher resistance.
#3 Its Hardness
We often think that because softer material makes the hose more flexible, that it would be better. However, since softer materials tend to fold easily, they are generally less resistant to kinking. Because each of the materials used in producing garden hoses come in varying degrees of hardness, it can be difficult to pinpoint which one is better than the other. The important thing to keep in mind is that the more flexible the hose, the more susceptible it is to kinking.
Apart from the materials used in making the hose, how it was constructed in the first place also plays a huge role in its vulnerability to kinking.
Traditional garden hoses are produced by extruding a round tube of flexible material in a continuous length, and then reinforced with textile thread wrapped over it - similar to the concept of a compression sock. This helps in resisting the water pressure that would otherwise make the tube expand. However the textile thread layer is not enough to secure the material, which is why a protective cover layer is then wrapped over to finalize the hose.
These 3 layers are the components of constructing a heavy duty hose and the quality of each can help determine the kink resistance level.
Total Wall Thickness
The three layers sum up to a total wall thickness and the outside diameter of the garden hose. If the wall is thin, the hose will be lighter, more affordable, more flexible, yet also more susceptible to kinking.
On the other hand, the thicker the wall, the more durable material there is to help in resisting kinks and deformities.
This refers to the quality of the three circular layers acquiring the same center. It is crucial for all sides of the tube to have an equal amount of wall thickness. If these are not properly addressed, one part of the hose may end up being thinner than the other, which makes it more vulnerable to flatten and kink.
There are two reinforcement patterns used in most garden hoses, and one of them creates a more durable structure to resist kinking.
Spiral Wrap – This is produced by wrapping multiple textile threads in a singular direction around the tube, and then an equal amount in the opposite direction. The strands that overlap provide excellent flexibility but greatly lack in support once the hose is looped. This is usually constructed within less expensive hoses, and while it is excellent at handling water pressure, it is more prone to kink.
Circular Knit – This is produced by interweaving multiple threads continuously around the inner tube and forming interlocking loops. The links still offer flexibility, but they also provide much better support once the hose needs to be looped up. Because it takes longer to produce this, they are only made on more premium priced hoses.
What material is least susceptible to kink?
Now that we’ve discussed all the components that go into a kink-resistance hose, how can you narrow down what to look for? As mentioned, each material comes in varying degrees of hardness, flexibility, and the like, so we cannot dismiss one over the other completely. However, studies show that the most durable hose, and least likely to kink materials are Polyurethane and Stainless Steel Hose.
Does having a garden hose nozzle prevent kink?
A nozzle affects the water pressure coming out of the hose, which can directly affect how frequently a hose may have to deal with kinks.
What is a soaker hose?
Soaker hoses are porous versions of a traditional quality garden hose, and allow water to seep out throughout its entire length.
Are expandable garden hoses better?
Expandable garden hoses can stretch up to 3 times their original size when fully pressurized. While they do not kink, twist, or get tangled up, they are much more prone to tearing than the traditional heavy duty garden hoses.
Best practices so that your garden hose does not kink
Understandably, you must be wondering if you are storing the hose correctly or if you are doing something that is making it kink as we speak. Below is a list of best practices to keep kinks out of your garden hose for good!
Stretch it out
No matter the material your hose is made of, it can greatly benefit from getting a little stretched out straight after use.
Properly rolling it
After stretching it out, roll it in large 2 feet to 3 feet loops before securing it for storage. Having a hose reel can minimize this step and greatly help in keeping your hose kink-free and looped tight.
One of the most common reasons for kinking is storing your garden hoses in tight coils for a long time.
Do not leave it outside
No matter how good of quality your hose is made of, its material can weaken faster when left out in harsh environments. The best way to lengthen its lifespan is by storing it in the garage, shed, or basement.
What is the best way to store a garden hose?
In order to prevent kinking and knotting, the storage part of your hose maintenance is crucial. While rolling them in large loops is a great way to store it, an even better solution is to invest in a hose reel, hose reel carts or a hose hanger.
Check our selection of hose reels here: Yard Butler Hose Reels
Check our selection of hose hangers here: Yard Butler Hose Hangers
Check our selection of hose reel carts here: Yard Butler Hose Reel Carts