The Flat Hose

Want an easier way to water your garden or wash your car, without fighting with the hose all the time? The Flat Hose promises no more kinks. And it stores in less than half the space of a regular, rubber hose.

When you first see the Flat Hose, you're immediately reminded of a fire truck. And you should be. The Flat hose is based on fire hose technology. Amy Jacquin tests this one herself, and shows how it slides out easily. The hose is very flexible and light. And it's ready to use in about 30 seconds. She attaches it to the faucet, and notices the head is made of plastic. Amy asks if it would crack if it were dropped on concrete, or stepped on. Most hoses have metal heads.

The hose is piled-up and doubled over from when Amy first unrolled it. As she turns the water on, you can see the hose squirm as it feels up. She pulls the hose about 15 feet, to some roses. The Flat Hose pulls easily, and it stretches out of the pile without getting any kinks. Amy squeezes the nozzle, and the water pressure is normal. However, the nozzle that's included doesn't make it easy to spray lightly. She continues to change locations, to test its flexibility and maneuverability.

"Oh! See the kink?" Amy asks as the hose twists around on itself. "It says it's not supposed to kink like a regular hose, but it sure did." Though that's the only problem Amy had. "My rubber hoses at home definitely have more kinking problems."

"The hose itself almost feel like fabric," Amy describes. " I can't say whether it will snag or rip or tear. I can only test whether it works... not the durability." The Flat Hose only comes as a 50-foot hose. And at $30, it's considerably more expensive.

Now for the big test, to see if it rolls up as flat as it started. Amy empties the water from the hose, and removes the spray nozzle. She squeezes the hose and says it feels empty, though it's not flat. But when she unscrews the hose from the faucet, there's a lot of water standing inside.

Amy locks the hose onto the wheel, and begins cranking the wheel to reel the hose in. "Look at this, it's not rolling up flat," she says, pointing to a mess inside the spool. "It says you do have to empty all the water before rolling it up. It says the hose will not roll up if there's still water in the hose."

So Amy painstakingly squeezes the water out by hand, and tries again. The hose is in a bundle on the ground, and that causes kinks that need to be fiddled with while she rolls it up. "Okay, I see it would make a lot of difference if I had the sucker straightened out," she grumbles in the hot sun.

So that's what she does. She hooks it back up, and turns-on the water just long enough to fill the hose. The Flat Hose rolls right up this time... quickly and easily. "I didn't have a bit of trouble that time," Amy summarizes. "So that's the key, having it all straight before you roll it up."

Once it's rolled, the 50-foot hose does take up less than half the space of a regular hose. But be prepared to pay for the convenience. Plus, it only comes in one length... it will kink occasionally... and you must fully straighten the hose before rolling it up. So, all in all, the $30 Flat Hose tops out at a B-minus.