5 Best Portable Sprinkler Systems For Lawns

Portable sprinkler systems offer the best way to maintain a beautiful and lush lawn. However, getting a reliable sprinkler system can be overwhelming, given the numerous models in the market.

With 20 years of experience in lawn care and maintenance, I’ve used and thrown out dozens of sprinklers. So I wanted to share with you my thoughts and I seek out the best portable sprinkler systems on the market right now.

Best Portable Sprinkler Systems

If you are in a hurry, then you can check out the two fantastic portable sprinklers I have below. Both are very well made and offer great performance and features.  

Orbit Zinc Impact Sprinkler

Best Impact Sprinkler

Orbit Zinc Impact Sprinkler

Adjustable distance, spray pattern, and pressure. Covers up to 5,670 square feet—robust adjustable tripod base.

Melnor 3-Way Turbo Oscillator

Best Oscillating Sprinkler

Melnor 3-Way Turbo Oscillator

3-way adjustments for watering range, width, and flow control Durable metal construction Covers 4,500 square feet.

Types of Portable Lawn Sprinkler Systems

Sprinklers come in all manner of shapes and sizes and offer various spray options. So before we get into the detail of which products are better than others. Let’s, first of all, explain each sprinkler design and when they are best used.

Fan Oscillating Sprinkler

oscillating sprinkler

Fan oscillating sprinklers have an integrated metal arm that moves back and forth to spray water in a fan-like pattern. They spray in a rectangular pattern and are ideal for watering large lawns.

However, you can still adjust them to fit medium and some small lawns.

A very popular design as you can easily achieve a square or rectangular spray pattern with this design of portable sprinkler. 

Impact Pulsating Sprinkler

impact sprinkler

An impact sprinkler relies on the force of the flowing water to rotate and spray water. Its head is pivoted on a bearing, which rests on an attachment nut. 

The term pulsating means that the sprinkler would maintain the same watering rhythm (watering pattern, diameter, and coverage area) until you change its settings. An excellent example of the pulsating impact sprinkler is the Zinc Impact Sprinkler by Orbit.

Rotary Sprinkler

rotary sprinkler

A rotary sprinkler features one or multiple rounded heads fitted into the lawn using metal spikes.  Each head is customized to spray the water at any angle between zero to 360 degrees.

Like the pulsating impact sprinkler, the rotary sprinkler depends on water pressure to move the turbines, which in turn rotates the sprinkler gears.

Traveling Lawn Sprinkler

Traveling Lawn Sprinkler

As the name suggests, the traveling lawn sprinkler utilizes the water pressure to move around your lawn while watering.  They are ideal for watering leveled lawns.

This type of sprinkler is a very practical option for large lawns or long lawns. However, the lawn does need to be relatively flat to allow for uninterrupted movement.

Sprinkler Hose

sprinkler hose.

A Sprinkler Hose is a perforated device attached to a hose and is used to water lawns and gardens.

To use it, you should lay the hose across the watering area and then connect it to the water source to spray around two feet into either side of the hose.

Choosing a Portable Sprinkler System for Your Lawn or Garden

Now that you understand the different types of sprinklers, the next step is to learn how to choose a sprinkler that will keep your lawn, flower bed, and your raised vegetable bed hydrated. Below are the factors to consider:

The Sprinkler Area Coverage

Considering the sprinkler area coverage will help you determine the type of sprinkler you need to water your entire lawn. For instance, if your lawn area does not exceed 5,000 square feet, Orbit Zinc Impact Sprinkler or Eden Metal Adjustable 6-Pattern Mobile Rotary Sprinkler can be your go-to option.  

Spray Patterns

When shopping around for a sprinkler, you should focus on the ones whose spray patterns marry well with the shape of your lawn or borders. 

The oscillating sprinklers, for instance, would fit well for rectangular and square yards, while the rotary and impact sprinklers are ideal for yards with circular patterns or edges or where you wish to spray flower borders or crops. 

I generally recommend sprinklers with adjustable spray patterns as they help save water when watering small lawn areas.

Water Timer

An automatic timer in the sprinkler allows you to set the operating time for the sprinkler, after which the sprinkler goes off and of course saves water. 

In-built timers are not essential, as you can purchase a water timer that fits directly onto your outdoor water faucet. I have a couple of them working on different irrigation systems in my backyard. They are a godsend for watering in the early morning before the sun rises and gets too hot. 

Is It Suited to Your Water Pressure?

Almost all sprinklers depend on water pressure to spray water on the lawn. Rotary sprinklers, for instance, rely on water pressure to turn the turbines, which activates the sprinkler gears to rotate and spray water simultaneously. 

On the other hand, traveling sprinklers rely on water to simultaneously turn the axle and spray water. That said, it’s crucial to ensure that your water pressure is powerful enough to make your watering project a success.

If you have never experienced any problems with your water pressure at home, then it’s most likely you will be fine and don’t need to worry. However, if you have a known low-pressure system then check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the pressure requirement of your preferred sprinkler. 

Product Material Durability

In simple terms cheap plastic sprinklers are prone to break, through general wear and tear, being trodden on, or with cold or heat degradation. 

All of the products on my list are high-quality plastic composite or metal, meaning they will last a long time so long as they are treated with basic care. 

Quality Of Hose Connectors

Look for brass or aluminum connectors for a solid and long-lasting fitting. But having said that you should expect to replace rubber seals and washers periodically, as they degrade with age. 

If you live in an area that suffers from frost then it’s always recommended to store your sprinkler in a sheltered location as the frost can damage the rubber seals and create leaks leading to reduced water pressure. In fact the same applies to direct sunlight, this can also damage rubber seals. 

Best Portable Sprinkler for Lawns Reviews

This section provides a detailed review of the best portable sprinkler systems. Please keep reading to learn about their ease of use features, pros, cons, and other aspects.

1. Melnor Metal Turbo Oscillator with 3-Way
  • Sprinkler Type: Oscillating
  • Material: Acrylonitrile Styrene, Metal
  • Area covered: 4,500 square feet
  • Connectors: Quick Connect
  • Size: 17.2 x 6.65 x 3.46 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds

Pros

  • Easy to control the watering length, width, and the area
  • Wide area coverage
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to connect to the garden hose

Cons

  • Lacks Quick Connect Product End Connector 

Water your small, medium, and large lawn using the 65055-AMZ XT Metal Turbo Oscillator with 3-Way Adjustment by Melnor. It offers 20 precision nozzles and 3-way adjustments to let you cover your lawn efficiently. 

The 3-D adjustments comprise:

  • Range adjustment (1D): For changing the length of the watering pattern
  • Twin touch width adjustment (2D): Allows for independent side adjustment of the watering pattern
  • Zoom flow control (3D): For adjusting the coverage area. You can zoom it in to help water a small lawn, or zoom it out to water a large yard of up to 4,500 square feet

Another notable feature of this sprinkler is the integrated Quick Connect Product Adapter, which allows you to connect the sprinkler to the hose easily.

If you live in cold areas, this sprinkler is built to overcome the weather extremes, including rusting. 

Another attraction of this sprinkler is its ease of use, given its lightweight nature, and 3-D adjustment.

2. Orbit Zinc Impact Sprinkler

Best Impact Sprinkler

2. Orbit Zinc Impact Sprinkler
  • Sprinkler Type: Impact sprinkler
  • Material: Zinc tripod, brass head
  • Area covered: 5,670 square feet 
  • Size: 4.5 x 4.6 x 16.75 inches
  • Weight: 4.02 pounds

Pros

  • Clog-free sprinkler with excellent watering height and reach
  • Durable Zinc Tripod bass and a heavy duty-brass head
  • Capable of reaching up to 80 ft. spray distance

Cons

  • Not ideal for use on very sloped lawns, despite the adjustable tripod base. 

The 56667Z Zinc Impact Sprinkler by orbit features a sturdy zinc construction on the impact head to allow all-weather application. 

Another notable attribute of this sprinkler is its wide area coverage. The sprinkler could sufficiently water my 4,600 square feet lawn. According to the manufacturer, it can cover up to 5,670 square feet.

The impact head of the sprinkler features:

  • A deflector shield to let you adjust the spray distance
  • An anti-backsplash arm to allow you to tailor the spray arc and the watering area
  • Diffuser screw for controlling the water pressure

An adjustable aluminum tripod stand supports the sprinkler head.  You can adjust the tripod base to your preferred height between 16-37 ½ inches. You can also retract it for compact storage.

The impact head is very reliable and ideal for watering large areas. When using it, I could go for months without experiencing any clog or interrupted water flow in the sprinkler head, despite using reclaimed water from a canal.

Eden Metal Adjustable 6-Pattern Mobile Rotary Sprinkler
  • Sprinkler Type: Rotary sprinkler
  • Material: Metal
  • Connectors: HD plastic
  • Area covered: 5,026 square feet 
  • Size: 9.84 x 9.84 x 7.48 inches
  • Weight: 1.81 pounds

Pros

  • Extremely useful variety of spray patterns (6 patterns flat, fan, large, jet, full and mini)
  • Adjustable watering range 
  • Very stable given the H-shaped metal base

Cons

  • Nothing at under $40

Eden’s metal adjustable 6-pattern mobile rotary sprinkler is your go-to option if you are looking for a powerful yet quiet sprinkler for hydrating your large lawn. 

It offers you 6 watering patterns to let you tailor your spray angles to fit your landscape design and save water.

Using this sprinkler is a breeze. Adjust your watering distance and the spray angle using the sprinkler’s upper tab range adjustment control and the sliding adjustment tabs respectively.

The sprinkler features a flow-through base, which lets you connect up to 3 sprinklers to expand your watering area up to 15,000 square feet.  

Better still, the sprinkler comes with a connector kit to allow you to connect hoses of all sizes.

The other efficiency-enhancing features of this sprinkler include:

  • A quick-connect starter kit to allow you to connect the sprinkler to other garden tools easily
  • A water filter prevents sediments that would otherwise block the filter from entering it
  • A locking feature secures the sprinkler to avoid any accidental detachment. It also allows you to change the watering systems without turning the water off
4. Orbit Self-Propelled Traveling Sprinkler
  • Sprinkler Type: Traveling sprinkler
  • Material: Metal
  • Connectors: Brass
  • Area Covered: 13,500 square feet
  • Weight: 15.84 pounds

Pros

  • A self-propelled sprinkler that moves across your lawn
  • Better water management has given the three watering speeds and the adjustable whirl arms
  • Covers an extensive area (up to 13,500 square feet)

Cons 

  • Not suited to uneven ground

Water up to 13,500 square feet along a 200 feet hose using the self-propelled traveling sprinkler by orbit. 

The self-propelled sprinkler features durable gears and spiked rear wheels to facilitate efficient movement within the lawn for an even watering.  

Use the three-position speed controls to tailor your favorite watering speed and control the water consumption.  Essentially low speeds would mean more water and more efficient watering. The opposite is true for high speeds.

The mobility of this sprinkler is further enhanced by its heavy cast iron construction, as it holds the sprinkler down for better traction and stability. 

Also, the cast iron body protects the internal components from weather extremes, adapting the machine for the all-weather application.

The machines’ whirling arms are adjustable within 15 and 55 feet to let you match the watering diameter to that of your lawn.

5. Element Soaker Hose Sprinkler +50 Ft
  • Sprinkler Type: Sprinkler Hose
  • Material: Rubber
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds

Pros

  • A perfect option for laying out amongst flower beds, where overhead water spray may damage foliage or flowers
  • Ideal for watering a long narrow strip of grass
  • It comes with a 7-year warranty
  • Kink free hose 

Cons

  • Limited coverage for large lawns, but brilliant for flower beds

The 50 feet element soaker hose sprinkler by swan products offers the best way to keep your gardens, flower beds, and narrow lawn areas watered. It features six perforations per foot to form a wall of soaking mist. 

You can place the stripes down to form a soak hose or up to create a sprinkler that generates a wall of mist.

The hose is made of rubber, making it free from kinks that may otherwise interfere with the efficient flow of water.

Unrolling the hose for use and rolling it up for storage is a breeze. The capped male end of the pipe makes it easy to drain the hose. It also inhibits the entry of dust and other contaminants into the hose.

Finally, the element soaker hose sprinkler comes with a 7-year manufacturer warranty to assure you of quality. If you’re looking for a soaker hose that will wind in and around delicate plants this is by far the best option you will find.

Verdict: Best Portable Sprinkler System for Lawns

Now that you know the best portable sprinklers you can find on the market, the next step is to pick a sprinkler system that meets your watering needs. I would recommend the metal turbo oscillator with 3-D adjustments by Melnor if you want to water your large and uneven lawn efficiently. 

Orbit Zinc Impact Sprinkler

Best Impact Sprinkler

Orbit Zinc Impact Sprinkler

Adjustable distance, spray pattern, and pressure. Covers up to 5,670 square feet—robust adjustable tripod base.

Melnor 3-Way Turbo Oscillator

Best Oscillating Sprinkler

Melnor 3-Way Turbo Oscillator

3-way adjustments for watering range, width, and flow control Durable metal construction Covers 4,500 square feet.

Secondly, I advocate for the Orbit’s self-propelled sprinkler if you have a leveled lawn and want to save yourself the burden of walking on the lawn. 

The Element Soaker Hose Sprinkler, Eden Metal Adjustable 6-Pattern Mobile Rotary Sprinkler, and the Orbit Zinc Impact Sprinkler would efficiently work on any lawn. But, you have to place the latter on level ground to prevent it from tipping over.

Benefits of Portable Sprinklers

Watering your lawn with portable sprinklers comes with the following benefits:

Easy to Use, No Installation

Most sprinklers come fully assembled. Also, most of them don’t need installation to the ground, but only a connection to the garden hose, and they are ready for use.

Time-Saving

Portable sprinklers are way too fast compared to manual watering. All you need is to work from a reliable water supply to maintain the water pressure. Remember, most sprinklers won’t work on low water pressure.

Spray Pattern Control

The portable sprinklers on my list offer adjustable spray patterns to let you water all the sections of your lawn without wasting water.

Add On a Water Timer

The portable timers on my list are compatible with a water timer. You can add this feature to automate your sprinkler.

FAQ Portable Sprinklers

Below is the most frequent question that people have asked about portable sprinklers.