Traditionally, garden hoses are made of round materials. However, round hoses can take a lot of space to store. If you have a very large yard, the hose required to water distant areas may not easily fit on a single hose reel. By using flat hoses, the hose takes up less space on the reel. Flat versions are made for most types of garden hose.
Plain Flat Hoses
Plain, flat hoses work in the same way as rounded hoses. However, because they are flat, they can be rolled onto smaller reels or storage devices. Some flat hoses use stationary reels that mount on the side of a building. Other flat hoses use handheld reels. Hoses with handheld reels tend to be between 25 to 50 feet. Longer flat hoses are available with a wall mounted reel. Some flat hoses are available without a reel.
Flat Sprinkler Hoses
Flat sprinkler hoses are usually made of the same materials as plain flat hoses. However, they either have a sprinkler built in to one end of the hose or have a sprinkler that threads on the end of the hose mounted in the reel. Some hoses with built-in sprinkler heads are compact and store easily. Other types have larger heads that allow the sprinkling of larger areas.
Flat Soaker Hoses
Soaker hoses are hoses with tiny pores that allow water to weep from the hose. Unlike sprinklers, soaker hoses keep water close to the ground and off of plant leaves. This allows more water to penetrate the soil, because of less evaporation, and helps prevent fungal problems caused by water standing on leaves. Soaker hoses are sealed on one end to force the water out through the pores in the material. Flat soaker hoses take up less storage space than traditional round soaker hoses.
There are two types of flat garden hose. Higher quality hoses use a polyurethane liner fused to a polyester outer jacket. In lower quality hoses, the two are not fused. The other construction technique uses a more traditional reinforced vinyl that expands when water passes through and flattens when the flow of water stops. The reinforced vinyl hoses don't flatten as much as the polyurethane and polyester hoses, but they are still about half the thickness of conventional round hoses.