Metal vs Retractable Hoses
Although retractable hoses have been the darling of As Seen on TV marketers for years, 2017 has given the category renewed life with the arrival of a metal variety of garden hoses. So today I’m taking a look at the 2017 class of As Seen on TV garden hoses.
Metal Garden Hose
First up out of the gate in 2017 was Metal Garden Hose, which I noticed advertised right after the new year. What was perhaps surprising to me was how fast Metal Garden Hose arrived on store shelves, which was only a matter of weeks after its initial advertising push, a far cry from the usual six months or more.
This may not have been mere chance, as I assume these marketers all keep a close eye on each other. If the powers behind Metal Garden Hose knew that a line of competing products was poised to hit the airwaves, they probably rushed it to store shelves to establish credibility.
Fortunately, I’ve had a chance to evaluate Metal Garden Hose, after purchasing it at a local Target here in Las Vegas. So far I’ve had a rather positive experience with it. At 5 pounds, my 50 foot hose is lightweight, yet quite durable. You can see my full review below.
In April, two more metal garden hoses hit the airwaves, with Hercules Hose being the most prominent. In fact, it appears by my calculation that Hercules Hose may have surpassed the marketing push carried out by the marketers behind Metal Garden Hose a few months earlier.
Hercules Hose is marketed very similarly to Metal Garden Hose, in that it is said to be kink-free, tangle-free, and lightweight. It can also withstand the elements and about any other durability test you throw at it, although as you can see in the video below, light hammering on it did flatten the hose a bit.
There seems to be little difference between these two hoses.
Pocket Hose Top Brass Bullet
Quick: How many variants of Pocket Hose can you name? I know of 8! Pocket Hose, Pocket Hose Ultra, Pocket Hose Dura Rib, Pocket Hose Dura Rib II, Pocket Hose Top Brass, Pocket Hose Top Brass II, a test-marketed Pocket Hose Bungee, and now Pocket Hose Brass Bullet (also called Pocket Hose Top Brass Bullet).
I’m almost exhausted typing that out.
When the original Pocket Hose came out, the advertising was compelling. The idea of a lightweight hose that would automatically retract when not in use seemed irresistible to consumers who snapped it up in droves.
The problem was that it didn’t really work very well. Consumers posted scathing reviews, and the makers went back to the drawing board over and over. Eventually a class action suit was filed and settled, but the hoses kept coming. I own the Pocket Hose Brass Bullet, and so far it has held up, although I’ve only had it for a brief amount of time. I’ll update this space if something changes. The primary difference between Brass Bullet and all of the previous models is a supposedly tougher material (don’t they always say that?) and a larger diameter.
Flex Steel Hose
This was the second metal hose I ran across back in January, marketed by As Seen on TV giant Tristar Products, Inc. Billed as “The World’s Most Durable Hose,” it doesn’t appear that the advertising was as compelling as Metal Garden Hose, as I haven’t seen much of Flex Steel Hose since then, despite being pitched by Brian Hyder.
As TV marketers jump on the bandwagon, I’m seeing a slew of other hoses join the party. You may have seen ads for Forever Steel Hose, with virtually the same marketing claims as the others. Or how about Bionic Steel Hose that I first spotted back in February? Same pricing, same claims.
Pricing and Similarities
One thing I have noticed in my years of evaluating As Seen on TV products is just how similar two or more competing As Seen on TV products can be.
Have you seen those spin scrubbers? How do you decide between the Hurricane Spin Scrubber, Turbo Scrub, and Clorox Scrubtastic? I own all three and they’re so similar that the brushes between two of them are interchangeable.
What about spin brooms? Take your pick between Easy Edge, Hurricane Spin Broom, Roto Sweep, Clorox Insta Sweep, and Turbo Tiger Sweeper. Easy Edge was clearly the first by almost a year, but all of the As Seen on TV marketers have jumped on the bandwagon.
Crisping Trays? I defy you to tell the difference between Copper Crisper and Gotham Crisper Tray. There are two small differences, but it’s still hard for me to tell them apart.
And let’s not even get into all of those copper pans being peddled every weekend.
So as similar as all of these hoses are, their pricing is usually just as similar. Almost every TV hose comes in sizes of 25, 50, 75, and 100 feet. Almost all of them cost $20, $40, $60, and $80, respectively.
Do They Work?
The two hoses I’ve been testing in 2017 is Metal Garden Hose and Pocket Hose Brass Bullet. So far both have held up pretty well. When I ran over both with my car, Metal Garden Hose continued to spray, while the Brass Bullet was reduced to a trickle.
Metal Garden Hose can be left outside, while Brass Bullet has to be drained and brought inside after each use.
Pocket Hose Brass Bullet boasts a slightly larger diameter than Metal Garden Hose, and water seemed to spray a bit farther. I may post a video comparing the two once I’ve used them significantly. That is unless one of them breaks before I have a chance.
As I write this in mid-April, I have a feeling we will see even more hoses being advertised before the end of Summer. The slew of metal hoses tells me that consumer interest is driving fringe marketers to offer their own versions, although it seems that all of these hoses are practically the same. An industry friend of mine suggested they may be all made in the same factory, but that is merely speculation.
Who will win the battle of garden hose superiority in 2017? The early contenders are Metal Garden Hose, Hercules Hose, and Pocket Hose Brass Bullet. Only time will tell if that holds, or if a new player will enter the fray and challenge the current leaders.