X-Hose — Great Idea, but . . .

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2013 • all rights reserved

X-hose

At the Annapolis Boat Shows, Dave and I saw these nifty expandable hoses, called the X-Hose.  Way lighter weight, smaller size and far more flexible to coil than a standard hose, Dave was particularly enthralled by them.

The basic idea is that the hose has a very stretchy inside core that expands to about 3 times its original size — both diameter and length — as water passes through.  On the outside is a tough fabric sleeve to protect the hose itself from chafe.  They come in 25′, 50′ and 75′ lengths; the regular hose is 1/2″ diameter and has plastic fittings while the X-Hose Pro has 3/4″ diameter and brass fittings.

Dealing with the hose on Que Tal was a job that just always irritated Dave.  Whether it was for the salt water washdown, or filling the tanks/washing the boat when at a marina, it seemed the hose had a mind of its own.  It was a pain to get the hose in and out of the lazarette, took up a lot of room, and it inevitably got tangled and caught on numerous other items.  Dave considered it a necessary evil and tamed it as best he could with Velcro straps.

We talked to the gentleman who was selling them and he explained the difference between their hose and other “look alikes” — in the photo below, the cross section of the X-Hose is on the left, a competitor in the middle, and the X-Hose Pro on the right.

s-hose-s-section

Unfortunately (or so we thought), we saw the hose booth after they had sold out of their stock of the 75′ Pro model, which was what we wanted.  So we wrote down “X-Hose Pro” and that it was the 3/4″ diameter with brass fittings that we wanted (they were even out of cards and promo materials).  A couple weeks ago I finally got around to looking them up online to order a couple for us.

But I decided against it.  Why?  When I had Googled “X-Hose” to find their web site, I noted that they were also sold on Amazon.  So, out of curiosity, I took a look at the reviews.  Oh my — out of 75 reviews, 42 were 1 star, the lowest possible rating.  Two points were repeatedly brought up:  the hoses “exploded” or split under pressure within the first month (sometimes the first day) of use, and customer service was nil.

I looked at the reviews for both the X-Hose and the X-Hose Pro — they were listed variously for different lengths and so on, but none had particularly good reviews. Many of the poor reviews were Amazon verified purchasers, so I think they were legitimate problems.

Since the guy at the boat show hadn’t seemed like a snake oil salesman, I Googled some more and found more reviews and complaints.  On the Ace Hardware site, the hoses had a 1-star rating out of 5.  I’ve also found some places that say that the real, true X-Hose made by DAP and particularly their X-Hose Pro are good products and that there are many imitators, some even using the X-Hose name, that are bad.

My bottom line:  I absolutely love the idea of an expandable hose, both for use on a boat and at home.  But I’m going to wait until one has consistently better reviews before spending nearly $100.

UPDATE:  Somehow, the company read this article and wrote to me, saying there were problems with counterfeit XHoses and competitors, and they wanted a chance to show me that a real Xhose Pro was a quality product. They gave me one to use — read my review of how it’s held up in the first four months of use (and where to buy the real ones).

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Comments

  1. Kirsi Uotila says:

    I saw one of these on my neighbor’s boat. He had left it on and it had split. Luckily he had large scuppers because it would have filled and sunk the boat quickly. I heard the noise and ran over and shut it off. I do not know if it was the real one or the fake one, but take care to always shut it off when not in use.

  2. Susan Leaf says:

    We had several friends buy different brands of the expandable hoses and would up returning them. They either split or leaked. Great idea, but poor materials.

  3. Carolyn – I had purchased one of these expandable hoses for use on our dock, however, I went with one of the other brands and bought the BunnyK 50′ Expandable Garden Hose on Amazon and I believe the price was in the $15-$20 range. We used it for the entire season without a hitch. It was great for washing the boat without scratching the gelcoat and other assorted tasks which required a garden hose.

    Now there are a few precautions you need to take. The hose can not be left out in the sun for prolonged periods and I do not recommend this hose if you are at a dock which may splinter and rip the hose. We have very good water pressure and the hose held up to the pressure without any leaks.

    I too had read numerous unfavorable reviews but decided for $15 or $20 it was worth a shot.

    • Diana Patrick says:

      I’ve had two DAP xhoses for boat use, have a conrete and splinter free dock, stored them in the dock box when not in use, and both split within about ten hours of use. Great concept. Waste of money.

  4. Having been working in RV campgrounds this past year, I can say that I have found several of these hoses in the dumpsters. I have not talked to anyone that actually used one but the ones found appeared to be new..I think one of the problems is controlling the expansion of them in tight spaces.

  5. I bought one in Newport Rhode Island at the boat show. The 75 foot one and can not be happier for the 3 months I used it under what I would call normal wear and tear. I paid the cash price of $70.00 for it. Storage is certainly the best part of the product. Hope this helps.

    • Great to hear it worked for you.

      • Jacque Rauch says:

        I would be interested to know the brand you purchased John? We are looking to purchase these for our boat, but certainly don’t want to be hosed on the deal! I have purchased 2 of the cheaper brands for our home . They did not last. Plastic is not the wat to go… Brass is what we’re looking for. If you could provide the brand purchase info it would be appreciated! Thx!

    • l have 3 or 4 of the original blue X Hoses with the black plastic fittings purchased 2 or 3 years ago and have had no quality issues with any of them. The only issue I have had was my own fault as I caught one of the 25′ hoses on a sharp piece of metal, piercing it, thus ruining the hose. Even at that, I returned it to the company and they replaced it with 2 additional 25′ hoses at no cost to me. Maybe some of these folks had a bad batch or something reading some of the bad experiences. Just can’t relate and I am wondering if they had an inferior copycat hose. The X Hoses are particularly great for using in confined areas where a heavy vinyl or rubber hose would be an awkward wrestling match and possibly leave unsightly scuff marks as it makes contact with the boat surface or some other surface. Everything is a tradeoff. An X Hose may not be able to withstand as much abuse or rugged use as a vinyl or rubber hose would but then again the X Hose does not weigh a ton, is not awkward, and is not a huge pain to coil up and store somewhere. There’s the tradeoff. I am planning on buying one of the black 3/4″ 75′ X Hose Pros with the brass fittings in order to extend the distance from the water supply with a light weight easy to use single hose versus some other combination of X Hoses connected together or worse, a 75′ heavy vinyl or rubber hose.

      • I bought the 20.00 green pocket hose three times. They all leaked after a short time. I love the idea and would pay any price if they worked. I then bought two DAP brass fitting pro hoses $90.00 for two. They WERE wonderfull and then they burst!flooded my yard.The little green ones I got at Wallgeens so I just returned them.They were not suprised. The brass ones, I am looking to replace. Warentee is to expensive, shipping and they want like $15.00 fee each.So $30.00 a hose,to much! I did leave them on 24/7 and one in the sun which they do not recomend. If can not use then like my old vinyl what the use? If I could find them at home depo I would just keep returning them. They are a back saver!

  6. had one, didn’t last.

  7. We bought two about eight months ago at the Annapolis spring show and I have to say that we wouldn’t buy them again. We’ve already had the nozzel pop off of one. For the price they have not held up well at all. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it wasn’t the best $50 we ever spent.

  8. We bought two 50′ hoses about seven months ago at the Annapolis spring show. I would not buy them again. We’ve already had the nozzel pop off of one. They don’t seem to be holding up well at all. They do store well.

  9. We have a TORO collapsible hose on a reel. It’s not super sturdy, but it stows in its own protective case and works fairly well. Here’s a pic:
    http://thumbs3.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/m3yzBONtKlJoI4zGuJl68_w.jpg

    We inherited ours and I don’t know whether they can be found else eBay or on the used markets. I do think, though, this is the best boat-hose solution we’ve found thus far. Light, goes in the case for protection, fairly easy to use, more so than conventional hoses if you ask us

  10. During our 15 years of cruising we bought a lot of fancy “boat” hoses. None of them lasted over a year. The best and longest lasting (6 years and still going)) was the top-of-the-line construction-grade hose we bought at Lowe’s. We made a canvas bag for it and stored it on the rail. A tip: remove the pistol sprayer before storing the hose so it will not corrode to the hose fitting.

    • The hose sold at Lowes is called NeverKink.It is very flexible more like tubing.It has good adhesion so it stays put.It is difficult to pull across a surface because of the stretch.The value is far better than the X Hose.
      http://www.teknorapex.com/division/hose/apex-hoses/never-kink-hose

      • Neverkink hose is the way to go. A 3/4 inch 75 foot commercial grade at Home Depot sells for around $35.00 and should last many years. The only time I will ever buy another expandable hose is if Neverkink makes it. Of the 8 expandable hoses I purchased last year only one is still serviceable and probably not for long.

  11. Margaret s/v Rocking B says:

    We bought the 25′ and 50′ X-Hose (black with brass fittings) at The Annapolis Boat Show. We’ve used it about 10 times and have had no problems. We store it out of the sun and in a non-pressurized state.

    • Margaret s/v Rocking B says:

      UPDATE: our 25′ sprang a leak (internal tubing burst) after about the 25th use. It was never in the sun or pressurized except when being used for minutes at a time. We contacted the company who sold us the product at The Annapolis Boat Show and they will replace it at no cost to us. They also claim that the new hose has been improved over what we had purchased. We will see.

  12. I bought a cheapy one at Wal-Mart without high expectations. Its very light and takes up hardly any room. It has never retracted to as tiny as when first purchased but no biggie. It doesn’t leak and has survived one summer so far. I wouldnt spend big money but it’s been worth the $20 I spent to be able to give the boat a wash, fill the water tank and then shove it down in one corner of the dock box or lazarette.

  13. We had two on the boat last year. Both broke after a few weeks use. I had loved it when we first bought it. It is so lightweight, compared to regular hoses. They were used for anchor washing and one broke where there was a slight kink.the other just started to leak. They were stored in the sun on deck.

  14. Yeah, my dock neighbor has one, and it doesn’t seem to be holding up too well.

  15. Great idea unfortunately coupled with bad materials & manufacturing. It ended up in the trash

  16. I bought the green $20 one you can find at Walmart. Used it once and due the ease of it and space saving, I decided it was a good thing. I know that it has the potential for bursting, so I actually bought a 2nd one in case that happens. Ya know, spare parts on a boat. The 2 hoses take less space than the one regular hose we had. My mother in law has gone thru 3 of the hoses in her garden, but since Walmart has such a good return policy she has only paid $20 once. We decided for the space saving it was worth a try…I have saved my reciept!

  17. Bed, Bath and Beyond: 50 ft hose, $19.99 and then used a 20% off coupon. Ours is green, been using it for 7 months so far and it works great.

  18. Vicki Shumaker says:

    Same 50ft green hose from B,B and Beyond. I’ve used it for 9 months and am always careful to use minimal water pressure with it. A nozzle helps to strengthen the flow of water. It is always emptied and stored in the dock box. I love it.

  19. Like John Ahern, we bought one at the Newport Boat Show and it has been working great! We do keep it out of the sun after use, do drain it well after use, and do store it where it is not jammed in with a ton of other things. We’re not perfectionists, just careful types – generally – and so don’t know if that is what’s keeping the thing going or not. Thought I’d give my testimony here……..Believe it is an X-Hose Pro.

  20. The wife give me one of the green “as seen on TV” version (50ft) from the drug store. I used it as a dock hose to wash down the boat after fishing offshore. It didn’t get any special treatment, it was left in the sun on the dock (not under pressure) and the dock water pressure is at 60psi. It lasted a 18 months at which time one of the plastic ends blew off. Since it did everything it said in the ads (except last forever) plus did not leave any marks on the gelcoat, I purchased another one for less than $20. From the internet reviews, they all seem to last the same, so don’t spend a lot on them and you will not be too disappointed when it fails.

  21. Bought one with the plastic ends and it broke the first time we used it. I was checking too see if anyone has used the ones with the brass ends to see if they are better made. A lot of money to spend for a one time use. Not a happy customer. Like the idea but too cheaply made.

  22. Bought blue 50′. End blue off first time I turned the water on. Didn’t even get to try it. Stores well though – in the trash can.

  23. In 2013, I purchased 2 blue, 2 light green, 2 dark green and 2 black expandable hoses. All but one went in the trash and I’m sure the remaining light green one is not long for this world. They are a great idea but they simply just don’t hold up. Maybe someday they will come up with one that does what they claim. I don’t know why I keep looking at them and buying them…. Wish full thinking I guess. They are just so convenient and easy to use. If they would only last.

  24. Bought 2 in Sep 2013 and both sprung leaks from brass fitting by December. We used maybe 20 times. Lousy product.

  25. Have used Xhoses for a couple of years now. Bought the blue one first (50 foot) and it worked great for a long time. Now it has a small leak at the nozzle, which I cover with a towel when I use it. Bought two of the green imitation hose and they both broke after the second time I used them. They went in the trash with the comment “I guess you do get what you pay for”. I was happy to see the Xhose Pro 75′ with brass fittings advertised on television. Will never buy off one of those ads again (got hoodwinked into a “free” second of something and ended up paying exorbitant shipping and handling fees), so found it on Amazon, but reviews are terrible, so I may wait awhile and hope the manufacturer gets setter batch in next time. I do love the blue hose though, for the same reasons cited above.

  26. Carol Slabinski says:

    Sailing friends,
    Call me cantankerous….especially right at this time of year when winter is so stubborn about turning the stage over to Spring! But it just seems to me that the X-Hose discussion should maybe go the same way as winter, already?? There are so many, many exciting topics to discuss, here on this wonderful Boat Galley blog, as sailing season sparkles and beckons on the horizon. Am I wrong? You will tell me, please, if I am.

  27. Jamie Hall says:

    The idea of a collapsible hose is great, but they either don’t have the technology to make them correctly, or they are just making them very cheaply, because I’ve gone through four of them already in two months. The first time it happened I called to get my money back, but I was talked in to receiving two more hoses directly in the mail, so I said ok. Big mistake. When it happens again, which it will no matter how careful you are, they now want you to pay to ship it back to them, and charge you a fee to accept the broken ones.

    I don’t know why anyone would ever carry a product from this company.

  28. I had a green one, it blew at the black plastic fitting. I was going to order a 50 ft black Xhose pro, (the one with brass fittings) but after reading all of these posts, that’s not gonna happen.

  29. Michael T says:

    Bought one XHOSEPRO and received another free (had to pay shipping). The first I used split down the middle, became real large and blew up making a loud noise! They replaced it and I was told they have few failures – BUT now I hear the warranty is only 90 days and not lifetime! So the hose was supposed to be improved but now it only comes with a 90 day warranty. I wonder how long they will replace mine for?
    The 2nd replacement hose sprung a leak today and I have only used it 3 – 4 times:( Now I have to use my backup). STAY AWAY from these XHOSEPROS!!!

  30. james hepfer says:

    like others i have a (broken) dap x hose. it is way too bad the company does not think enough of their product to 1. put better quality into the ends. and 2. put replacement ends on the market in big box stores like lowes, menards, home depot. etc. there are a lot of these products filling land fills needlessly. it is a good idea, but bad quality. the way they are built, it would be easy to replace the end if you could get one…

  31. JOHN SHEPPARD says:

    I have bought 2 x hoses in the last two years one double and one single and my neighbour bought one also. we were very careful how we handled them. result …. all three burst after a short time. verdict …. nice idea, but product is rubbish

  32. JOHN SHEPPARD says:

    RE my comment above 24/04/2014 I mean in my opinion the x hose is rubbish

  33. I manage a barn and use an Expandable hose at least once a day.

    We are in Quebec, Canada and our winters are very cold. So keeping the buckets filled in the winter can be a real pain since we do not have underground water pipes for our pastures.

    Trying to coil a 75′ garden hose in sub-zero temperatures is a real pain. So when I saw this product, I figured why not give it a try.

    Pros: It is light weight, expands great, does what it advertises.

    Cons: this cannot be treated like an ordinary garden hose.

    We make sure to empty the hose after each use… We always store it inside out of the sun… We never step on the hose… We have learned not to pull the hose around while holding just the water pistol as well. We take the time to lay the hose out first to minimize dragging.

    We have had a few break on us… The plastic fittings are a disappointment as they do break very easily… which is why we avoid stepping on the hose at all costs. We also had one hose come off the plastic fitting, which is why we minimize dragging. To be honest I now buy my expandable hoses direct from China and a 75′ one runs around $20.00 shipping included.

    I currently have 2 back up hoses… but when they die, I will try the new PRO. I believe with better fittings the troubles I experienced should disappear.

    Definitely a great idea, but you have to treat it gently.

  34. I had two of the new version of X-hose Pro with the brass fittings…they’re junk. Both popped like bicycle innertubes in a month. And I babied them. Never again! Sent them back for a refund, which took 8 weeks.

  35. After only 4 times using this piece of crap it started leaking like a sieve! Of course there is no phone number on the instructions for a person to call! I will write consumer reports about this piece of crap!!!!

  36. I recently bought the 50′ Pocket Hose “Ultra” at Bed Bath and Beyond for $19.95 less 20% with my coupon…..which is a lot less than sold through both Ebay and Amazon. I used to be a boat owner but bought this for around the house watering and car washing. I read the negative comments but for $16, decided to chance it. It works fine and for only $16, a great deal. Just went out and bought another one.

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