Last fall, we saw the XHose — a lightweight, easily coiled, expandable hose — at the Annapolis Boat Show. Unfortunately, they were sold out of the size we wanted, and when we got home I went to buy one and Amazon and saw that it had not-so-good reviews. I wrote this post explaining why we decided not to get one.
To summarize the complaints, people had problems with the hoses splitting, fittings popping off and poor customer service. But a number of the reviews did give high marks to the Pro model hoses that were bought straight from the company. Still, the hoses were expensive and there were enough poor reviews to make us leery.
A month or so later, a representative of the company wrote me and said that they’d had problems with not just “knock off” competitors, but counterfeiters as well. He wanted to send me a true XHose Pro and let me use it and see if “the real thing” was good. Sure, we’d be happy to try it — I mean, it looked so perfect for the boat, why not?
We’ve now been using the XHose Pro as our primary hose for a little over 4 months at our house and at our sailing club. During that time, it’s had almost daily use and has been left outside in a semi-shady place that whole time. And it’s working wonderfully! We plan to get a 75′ one for Barefoot Gal this fall.
Since my first post was fairly negative and only based on what others were saying, I wanted to tell how positive our experience has been so far. Two points to be clear on here: this is a genuine DAP XHose Pro, directly from the company (no chance of a counterfeit); I can’t say anything other brands, either, as I haven’t tried them. Second, we’ve had it for 4 months, so I can’t say how it holds up over a period of years.
In many ways, this is a hard post for me to write. So far, this is a product that I love. It’s really working well and so much better than a traditional hose. I can’t begin to say how much easier it is to get out and use. However, given the negative reviews, it’s hard for me to encourage someone else to buy it, particularly when it’s not cheap. I can’t guarantee it, but I think that getting the hose directly from the company — and getting the beefier Pro model — are the two key things.
The XHose is much lighter weight than a conventional hose, and takes up far, far less space — in that photo at the top, I’m holding a 50′ hose in just one hand. It also never kinks. Probably the best way to describe it is that I never fight it.
To get the hose to expand, there has to be back pressure, either from some sort of flow reducing implement you’re attached — a sprayer, sprinkler, filter housing, whatever — or you have to use the ball valve at the end and keep it partially closed — it makes the hose end into a sprayer. If there is nothing attached and the ball valve wide open, the hose will contract back to its unstretched size.
In the time we’ve had the XHose Pro, we’ve used it with nothing on the end (just the ball valve acting as a sprayer), as well as with a sprayer nozzle, Miracle Gro hose-end sprayer, sprinkers (several different types) and even used it from our Honda 20 GPM water pump to a pressure washer at the sailing club. That day of pressure washing probably put the highest water pressure through it, and I know the guys were not one bit “tender” with it as they cleaned the docks after a nasty winter and subsequent spring flooding. Here at our house, it’s been dragged all around the yard, including around a number of concrete corners.
The only “special care” that I’ve given it is to never pull the hose around by just the brass end fitting (I grab the hose itself as in the photo below) and I always depressurize the hose if I’m not going to be using it for more than just a couple minutes.
The “Pro” in “XHose Pro” refers to the fact that it has brass fittings on both ends, instead of plastic ones, and is supposedly made from tougher materials both in the inner tubing and the fabric covering. It doesn’t cost a lot more than the plain XHose (although both are on the expensive side, I admit) and just seems tougher.
In the photo below, the hose on the left is a cross section of the tubing in a regular XHose, the center is from a competitor, and the right is the XHose Pro. The Pro has an extra layer of “tough stuff” around the outside of the tubing which makes it more resistant to splitting.
One important thing to know for using the XHose on a boat: it’s clearly labelled as “not for drinking water” . . . and that’s one of the big things we use a hose for when we’re at a dock. But to be honest, we used to use a regular garden hose to fill our boat tanks (not to mention all those drinks from the hose as a kid). I honestly didn’t know that there were special “drinking water” hoses until I began researching this post. (See them here on Amazon — apparently some hoses have bad chemicals in them; other hoses just don’t want to go through the FDA approval process and just say “not for drinking water”.) I’m not suggesting that others use the XHose for filling their water tanks — and how you feel about this could influence whether this would be a good hose for you. If you do want to use it to fill your water tanks, putting a filter housing (with filter) on the end of it and then a short bit of regular hose to go into the deck fill will create the necessary back pressure for the hose to expand.
Second, this is not a “lifetime” hose. I don’t know how long it will last but I’m sure by its very nature that it won’t be as long as a traditional hoses. I’m willing to have to replace it periodically — say every 3 or 4 years — in exchange for it being so much easier to store and use. But yes, there’s still the unanswered question of whether it’ll last 3 years — we’ve only had it four months so far, and while it’s doing fine, who knows? The XHose Pro has a 90-day money-back guarantee.
There are numerous hoses calling themselves “XHose” or having other similar names in almost every home improvement, big box and discount store, as well as on Amazon and thousands of other online retailers. I think this is one product where — if you decide to get one — it’s best to buy directly from the manufacturer’s site:
I’ll periodically update this post and would love to hear from anyone else who has purchased their XHose Pro directly from the company.
UPDATE: It’s been two years now, and the hose is still working well. However, because of where we are currently cruiser we only use it about once a month . . . and between uses it’s stored out of the sun.