39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
The best of 3 in a confusing range?,
This review is from: Hozelock 30 Metre Ultra Flex Hose Starter Set (Garden & Outdoors)
Hozelock don't do themselves any favours with the confusing quality hierarchy that they adopt for their extensive hose range. If you go onto their UK website you will see that they do no fewer than 10 types of hosepipe, which are apparently gauged in quality by an arbitrary star system with a corresponding variable length of guarantee as follows:
Maxi.............2 stars 5 year guarantee
Maxi Plus......3 stars 10 year guarantee
Maxi Pro.......4 stars 15 year guarantee
Flexi.............3 stars 10 year guarantee
Flexi Plus......4 stars 15 year guarantee
Flexi Pro.......5 stars 20 year guarantee
Ultra Tough...4 stars 20 year guarantee
Ultra Flex......5 stars 20 year guarantee
Ultra Pro.......6 stars 20 year guarantee
Looking at the list you'd assume that the Maxi Pro and the Flexi Plus, or the Maxi Plus and Flexi, would be identical in terms of quality and function given their equal star rating and length of guarantee, but you'd be very wrong, as there is a very real difference in terms of their quality when you examine, or use them in practise.
But here's the rub, the Flexi Pro which only has 5 stars is actually BETTER than the Ultra Pro which has 6 stars and the same length of guarantee! Where is the sense in that Hozelock, especially as you classify both as the ULTIMATE in hoses? You really need to sort out this system of classification as it is extremely misleading and does your brand no favours. I also have serious doubt and concern over the validity of the stated guarantee and wonder if anyone has actually succeeded in ever making a claim? Especially as those 'original receipts' can be ever so elusive with the passing sands of time......
From my own experience in owning a hose from each group, I'd say that the maxi group are not worth bothering with at all, in terms of function and longevity of use. These are generally the ones that you get supplied with when you buy the 'all in one' carts or reels, and twist/kink more than Elvis on a wobble board.
If you are going to buy anything from this range, then the Flexi Pro or the Ultra Flex/ Ultra Pro are the only three choices that I'd recommend. The term 'anti-kink' used by Hozelock is a complete misnomer and should be replaced with a less ambiguous term like 'kink resistant with caveats'. The Flexi Pro has the slight edge in being slightly more crush/kink 'resistant' than the Ultra (NB neither hose is completely crush/kink 'proof') although the latter is the lighter of the three in use.
The plastic hose fittings included in this set make it better value for money, but they won't last as long as the new metal range that Hozelock are producing. A top-tip for improving their longevity is not to leave them exposed to strong sunlight in the Summer and don't leave them out in the freezing cold of Winter as the plastic will soon become brittle and crack.