When it comes to hoses, it’s hard to tell the difference between them from the outside. An inexpensive, plain vinyl hose will move water, but it might kink easily or even burst under strong pressure. You can see illustrated cross sections of some good ones at left. When you’re buying a new hose, look at the labels for some of the terms here.
A multi-chambered hose (A) allows water to flow through it even if it’s kinked. But it still may not take high water pressure. Choose a belted hose (B), and it’ll remain flexible even when the weather turns cold. Spiraled nylon and knit belts also make the hose strong under pressure. A hose with additional layers of rubber or vinyl (C) is one of the most durable and long-lasting. Even with all of the layers, it’s still easy to coil.
Three other ways to tell the quality of a hose — fittings, weight and price. Solid brass ends are often a good sign of a durable, long-lasting hose. A heavyweight hose indicates several layers of rubber or vinyl belting for strength. And finally, high-quality hoses are more expensive, but you probably won’t need to replace them as often as you would cheap ones.