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10 Green Thumb-Worthy Garden Hose Reel Reviews — Keep Your Yard Hydrated in 2018

Home & Garden

Say good riddance to coiling hoses the hard way! Keep your hands clean and your backyard tidy with the best garden hose reel for the job.

Last updateAugust 11, 2018
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Helen Mao
Today’s expert
Helen Mao
10 Green Thumb-Worthy Garden Hose Reel Reviews — Keep Your Yard Hydrated in 2018

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Pros

Easy to mount

Smooth cranking for winding and unwinding hose

Cons

No hose guide when winding hose

Expensive

Learn more
Pros

Stable and sturdy

Smooth cranking for winding and unwinding hose

Cons

Cam-lever brake can be improved

No hose guide when winding hose

Learn more
Pros

Beautiful yet functional

Smooth operation

Cons

This product can expose you to lead

Too small to hold 125 feet of 5/8”-diameter hosing

Learn more
Pros

Easy to mount and use

Retraction feature is convenient–no need to wind up hose by hand!

Cons

Some users noticed low water pressure/flow

Spring and retraction eventually fail

Learn more
Runners up

Also good products

4 / 5

This stand-alone garden hose reel discreetly conceals the hose and has a handy but small storage compartment.

4 / 5

Easy to install and use, this mounted garden hose reel is not large enough to fit 150’ of hose.

3.5 / 5

This unique portable garden hose reel features a convenient foot pedal crank that could stop working or break.

3.5 / 5

Heavy duty and fast, this mounted retractable garden hose reel sometimes leaks.

3.5 / 5

Easy to mount and use, this retractable garden hose reel sometimes leaks.

3 / 5

Strong like Hercules and easy to store on its reel, this stand-alone hose has a small diameter and thus yields low water pressure.

How we decided

46Products
Tested
54Hours
Spent
03Experts
Interviewed
12Consumers
Consulted
Helen Mao
Today’s expert
Helen Mao

A writer, standardized patient, and former high school teacher, Helen loves learning and telling others about ideas, news, and everyday items and their uses. Helen also enjoys reading, knitting, seeing movies and theater, acting, dancing, and spending time outdoors.

General shopping guide

best garden hose reelAvoid sore backs and dirty, wet clothes from hoisting around the garden hose. Say goodbye to winding up the hose by hand. Read on and learn how to choose the best garden hose reel for using and storing the hose–an essential hydration tool for plants.

Autumn is over, so there’s no need to worry about clearing leaves. With spring coming, flowers are budding and gardeners are getting busy. Gardening should be relaxing and not too taxing. A watering may be sufficient for a small garden but for a large garden plot, yard or estate, you’ll need the big guns­–a hose. When hauling the hose out of the shed and moving it around the yard, don’t become a “human reel” (i.e., winding the hose around your elbows and hands). Read on to find the best garden hose reel for your needs.
If not, here’s good news:
Avoid sore backs and dirty, wet clothes from hoisting around the garden hose. Say goodbye to winding up the hose by hand. Read on and learn how to choose the best garden hose reel for using and storing the hose–an essential hydration tool for plants.

Considerations

The 30-Second Review

giphy downsized large - 10 Green Thumb-Worthy Garden Hose Reel  — Keep Your Yard Hydrated in 2018A garden hose reel should

  • reel in and wind up a hose easily
  • make winding and extending a hose simple
  • store the hose neatly and conveniently

Garden hose reels come in various sizes, shapes, and materials with different functionalities. You can choose among many different models depending on how much you use your hose, how large an area you want to water, and more.

So, what’s the bottom line?

Think about specific factors when selecting a garden reel hose, such as size, durability, portability (if needed), and winding mechanism (by hand or auto-retraction). The following reviews should help you decide which kind of garden hose reel you need and are willing to pay for.

Why Buy a Garden Hose Reel?

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You might ask, “Why should I bother buying a garden hose reel?” What’s wrong with coiling up the hose and leaving it on the ground by the house, in a shed, or the garage until the next time you need it? Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but using a garden hose reel may make your life easier for several reasons:

  • Convenience: instead of untangling a jumble of hose, you are ready to use the hose right away whenever you need it. Just unfurl the hose, turn on the spigot, and spray. Furthermore, a rolled hose has no kinks or bend, so you’ll enjoy steady pressure when watering your plants or yard.
  • Appearance: After spending time organizing the garden and cleaning up the yard, don’t spoil your handiwork with a stray hose scattered around on the ground. Enjoy your garden and yard’s beauty by neatly rolling up the hose on a reel.
  • Safety: Have you ever tripped over a hose left lying on the ground? Have you ever slipped on a wet hose? Have you ever stepped on it, a bike rolled over it, or a car parked on it during use and then cut off the water supply? Even scarier, have you ever mistaken a hose lying in the grass for a snake? A garden hose reel should prevent these mishaps.
  • Hose longevity: When hoses become knotted and kinked, they are more likely to develop splits and cracks. By winding a hose back onto a reel for storage, you can keep it smooth and unbent. Our research has found that when stored properly, a garden hose may last five times longer. The type of reels (which you’ll read more about under Types of Garden Hose Reels) house the hose within a casing that protects it from natural elements like UV rays, moist, frost, and more.
  • Keeps hose off the ground: According to gardening.tip.net, hoses should never be stored the ground because “they can develop fungus and then eventually rot.”
  • Keeps hose off grass: Don’t you just hate those yellow dead spots where you forgot about the hose and left it lying in the yard? The best garden hose reels will eliminate this issue.
  • Portability: Mobile garden hose reels (which you’ll read more about under Types of Garden Hose Reels) allow you to move the hose to wherever to need to use without breaking your back and/or getting you wet and dirty. Easily deliver the water to the farthest reaches of the yard conveniently if you have a mobile garden hose reel.

Convinced you need a garden hose reel, yet?

If so, here are some things to consider.

Garden Hose Reel Features

  • Size: Garden hose reels vary in the length and diameter of thehose they can hold. In order to find out how much hose you’ll need, measure from the point in your yard or garden that’s farthest from the tap or water source. For people that need a hose for only a balcony or small rooftop garden, 25 feet of garden hose may be enough. For a small urban yard, 50 feet of garden hose may suffice. Obviously, for larger, more sprawling properties, people may need 100 feet or more of garden hose. In any case, make sure the garden hose reel you chose can accommodate the amount of hose (total hose length and diameter) you plan to use for watering your space.

 

Expert Tip

Of course you’ll want a reel large enough to fit the hose long enough for your needs. To make life easier, think about choosing a hose reel that can hold a hose about 50 feet longer than your hose. This way, you’ll have room to spare if case the hose is not wound up evenly/perfectly flat on the reel. Also, the reel has extra room for the hose to expand in the heat.

Of course you’ll want a reel large enough to fit the hose long enough for your needs. To make life easier, think about choosing a hose reel that can hold a hose about 50 feet longer than your hose. This way, you’ll have room to spare if case the hose is not wound up evenly/perfectly flat on the reel. Also, the reel has extra room for the hose to expand in the heat.

  • Durability: Whether you leave the garden hose reel outside or in a shed/garage, make sure you chose one that will last depending on climate conditions and use. Many users we talked to suggested the best garden hose reels are made of rustproof metal, like stainless steel. Heavily used garden hose reels for longer growing seasons are best made with stainless steel or brass. An aluminum-alloy garden hose reel is good for lighter use. For those who want to avoid possible rusting, garden hose reels made from tough plastic resin may be more appropriate. We recommend high-quality plastic resin because less expensive plastic tends to crack in higher temperatures.
  • Portable or Fixed: If you plan to move the garden hose reel around the yard or garden, you’ll want a portable one. Portable garden hose reels can be made of plastic or metal and be mounted on two or four wheels. On the other hand, if you need only a stationary model, look for a stand-alone model or a model that mounts onto the wall. Whether portable or mounted, garden hose reels will bear more weight once the hose is rolled up on it, so keep in mind how heavy it will be to move or hang on the wall.
  • Retractable or manual winding: You can either crank a handle to rewind the hose or use the garden hose reel’s automatic retraction system. A garden hose reel with a retraction mechanism is quick, easy to use, and requires little energy of a tired gardener (except the strength to tug on the length of the hose to activate retraction). If you have a very long hose, look forward to less labor during clean-up, and/or are willing to spend more, a retractable garden hose reel may be worth it. If your hose is not too long, you don’t mind the extra exercise, and/or you want to avoid the possibility of moving parts breaking, stick with a manual garden hose reel.

Now that you’ve thought about the features you may or may not want/need in a garden hose reel, you can decide on what kind to purchase.

Types of Garden Hose Reels

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  • Wall-mounted: This type of reel can be fixed either parallel or perpendicular to the wall. With a parallel wall-mounted model, you unwind and pull the hose out alongside or parallel to the wall. With a perpendicular model, you unroll and pull the hose straight out toward you and away from the wall. Some models can be mounted in either a parallel or a perpendicular position. Mounted garden hose reels are usually less expensive than other types of garden hose reels.
  • Freestanding: A freestanding or stand-alone garden hose reel is great for people that don’t want (or can’t, in the case of renters) to drill holes in their walls. If a user plans to move soon and doesn’t want to leave the hose and garden hose reel behind, this model is the answer.
  • Hideaway: If you want to protect your garden hose or hide out it of sight for aesthetic reasons, this type of reel may be just what you seek. These models encase the stored hose, shielding it from the sun, weather, and moisture. Overall, a hideaway reel looks tidy because the hose is neatly coiled up inside the case.
  • Mobile or Portable: Designed for mobility, this type of garden hose reel often looks like an upright hand dolly or a hand truck. Look for a lightweight model with an easy-grip handle to save your back. Two-wheel models do the job but some people prefer four-wheel cart-style garden hose reels for greater stability.

Now that you’re armed with plenty of information about garden hose reels, you can better understand the differences among specific models. More importantly, you’ll be able to decide how much you’re willing to spend on different features and types.

The Best Garden Hose Reel Reviews

01

Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel

Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel

81WdEIAZX3L. SL1500  e1531422058100 300x245 - Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose ReelFrom our research, we overwhelmingly found users praised the Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel. Holding up to 150-feet of 5/8”-diameter hose or 100-feet of ¾”-diameter hose (depending on hose brand and style), this tough metal garden hose reel is built to last.

With stainless steel mounting hardware and a brass and stainless steel swivel, this garden hose reel stands up to heavy use. Users find its aluminum alloy wall plate easy to mount but note that it must be mounted very solidly.

The Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel also includes a 6.5”-long polyurethane rubber inlet hose with crush-proof brass fittings. It unwinds and winds hoses smoothly with a hand crank that both left-handed and right-handed users appreciate.

It’s not called “rapid reel” for nothing.

Users found this garden hose reel quick and effortless in its winding action.

Guess what:

One reviewer who is a volunteer firefighter even bought an Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel to hold the heavy firehouse hoses used to wash firetrucks!

To match the heavy-duty Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel, attach the rugged Bon-Aire Original Ultimate Hose Nozzle at the end of your garden hose. Its firehose-nozzle construction turns any standard garden hose into powerful, multi-functional spraying hose.

To learn more about the  Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel, see this video.

Features

  • Can be mounted in the parallel or perpendicular positions
  • Maximum temperature: 140ºF
  • Maximum pressure capacity: 150 PSI (pounds per square inch)
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Hose not included
  • 10-year, no-leak warranty


Pros

Easy to mount

Smooth cranking for winding and unwinding hose

Cons

No hose guide when winding hose

Expensive


02

Eley/Rapid Reel Portable Garden Hose Reel Cart

Eley/Rapid Reel Portable Garden Hose Reel Cart

We found that users loved yet another Eley product: the Eley/Rapid Reel Portable Garden Hose Reel Cart. This portable model has the same solid construction as its wall-mount sibling with the added convenience of mobility. Holding up to 150-feet of 5/8”-diameter hose, this garden hose reel can haul around hose all over your yard, wherever you need to spray water. Its light yet tough 1.5” aluminum-alloy tubular frame on two rugged, flat-free rubber tires makes it portable and dependable.

There’s more:

The Eley/Rapid Reel Portable Garden Hose Reel Cart has a brass and stainless steel swivel (or rotary union) and a 6.5-foot long polyurethane rubber inlet hose for no-leak plumbing. It unwinds and winds hose smoothly with a hand crank that both left-handed and right-handed users appreciate. Again, it’s called “rapid reel” for good reason–our focus group found this garden hose reel quick and effortless in its winding action.

To learn more about this reel and see it in action, watch this video.

Features

  • Two 10” tough tread tires
  • Maximum temperature: 140ºF
  • Maximum pressure capacity: 150 PSI (pounds per square inch)
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Hose not included
  • 10-year, no-leak warranty


Pros

Stable and sturdy

Smooth cranking for winding and unwinding hose

Cons

Cam-lever brake can be improved

No hose guide when winding hose


03

Liberty Garden Products Steel Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel

Liberty Garden Products Steel Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel

Who says beauty and utility can’t go together? Hoses bring vital water to growing flowers. The hoses themselves deserve to be stored with a bit of beauty! The Liberty Garden Products Steel Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel adds a lovely touch to any gardening or storage area.

This heavy-gauge steel garden hose reel holds up to 125 feet of 5/8”-diameter hose. Its steel frame has a durable powder coat finish that resists rust and weather. Although the garden hose reel does not come with a hose, it does include a 5’-long leader hose.

During our research, we found that users really liked the ease with which they pulled out the hose and wound it back up again using the padded hand crank.

91tTZ7b77wL. SL1500  258x300 - Liberty Garden Products Steel Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose ReelWhat’s more:

The Liberty Garden Products Steel Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel has a shelf for holding garden tools, nozzles, and even small potted plants. The mounting hardware isn’t included, but the garden hose reel comes fully assembled. Not having to assemble the reel made a big difference to a lot of the consumers we spoke with about this hose reel—they loved the convenience.

Take a look:

To learn more about the Liberty Garden Products Steel Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel, watch this video.

To learn about installing this garden hose reel, watch this helpful tutorial.

Need a hose for this garden hose reel? Many users purchased the Teknor Apex Neverkink Water Hose.

Features

  • Hose and mounting hardware not included
  • Dimensions: 15.70” x 21” x 15”
  • Weight: 12 pounds

 


Pros

Beautiful yet functional

Smooth operation

Cons

This product can expose you to lead

Too small to hold 125 feet of 5/8”-diameter hosing


04

RL Flo-Master Retractable Hose Reel

RL Flo-Master Retractable Hose Reel

For users who want a hideaway-style reel that includes a retractable hose, the RL Flo-Master Retractable Hose Reel is a neat-looking, convenient solution.

This reel has a heavy-duty spring that slowly retracts all 65 feet of 5/8”-diameter hose with an automatic guide that prevents the hose from overlapping during winding. A stopper near the end of the hose keeps it from entering the case completely. We discovered in our research that, although many users praised this garden hose reel’s retraction mechanism’s smooth action, some users observed that the retraction device grew faulty over time.

On a better note:

We noticed other convenient features on this model. Although the RL Flo-Master Retractable Hose Reel is mounted, its bracket allows for a 180° swivel, so you can turn the hose reel in different directions for a better reach. The garden hose reel can be removed from the mounting bracket when needed, like for winter storage. Finally, the case has a handy carrying handle for transporting it when needed (either in the yard or to storage).

This video provides a clear demonstration of how the RL Flo-Master Retractable Hose Reel is mounted and functions.

For even more versatility, look into the 2wayz All Metal Body Hose Splitter. This hose splitter can expand spraying options for anyone watering plants.

Features

  • Dimensions: 20” x 13” x 23”
  • Weight: 6 pounds
  • Includes 65 feet of reinforced 5/8"-diameter hose
  • Includes hose with eight-pattern nozzle
  • Mounting hardware included

 


Pros

Easy to mount and use

Retraction feature is convenient–no need to wind up hose by hand!

Cons

Some users noticed low water pressure/flow

Spring and retraction eventually fail


05

Suncast Hose Hideaway with Smart Trak

Suncast Hose Hideaway with Smart Trak

81 RDMvD3EL. SL1500  300x300 - Suncast Hose Hideaway with Smart TrakThe Suncast Hose Hideaway with Smart Trak is a freestanding garden hose reel that discreetly conceals up to 225 feet of 5/8”-diameter standard vinyl garden hosing.

Consumers love two things about how this item works:

  • the hand crank that reels in yards of hose easily
  • the Smart Trak guide that ensures that the hose is neatly and evenly wound back onto the reel.

But there’s more:

Another feature users praise is the storage bin (over the garden hose reel itself), which is convenient for storing nozzles, sprayers, sprinklers, etc. Made of sturdy resin construction, the Suncast Hose Hideaway with Smart Trak also earned kudos for its toughness and ability to withstand sunlight (UV rays) and heat. However, we also noticed the plastic construction and handle were a bit flimsy.

Love those earth tones!

The Suncast Hose Hideaway with Smart Trak has a light taupe body and mocha lid that makes it inconspicuous in the yard or garage. It fits into any landscape well.

Features

  • Patented Easylink system for watertight connection between hose reel and hose
  • Dimensions: 26” (including crank handle) x 21" x 27.5”
  • Includes leader hose
  • Hose not included
  • Comes fully assembled

Pros

Smooth reeling with little effort

Easy to use

Cons

Storage bin not large for some users

Tips over easily some users pull out the hose


06

Strongway Parallel or Perpendicular Wall-Mount Garden Hose Reel

Strongway Parallel or Perpendicular Wall-Mount Garden Hose Reel

The Strongway Parallel or Perpendicular Wall-Mount Garden Hose Reel is described as “heavy duty” by most consumers who used this reel. It holds up to 150 feet of 5/8”-diameter hose. This garden hose reel is constructed with a durable steel frame with a corrosion-resistant industrial powder-coat finish, brass fittings, and a tough welded handle. The Strongway Parallel or Perpendicular Wall-Mount Garden Hose Reel is versatile and can be mounted parallel or perpendicular to the wall. In fact, several users praised the multiple mounting options.

81oZIzEIoAL. SL1500  300x300 - Strongway Parallel or Perpendicular Wall-Mount Garden Hose ReelWhat’s more:

The Strongway Parallel or Perpendicular Wall-Mount Garden Hose Reel has a swivel grip for easy winding and unwinding and can be set up for both left-handed and right-handed users. Although we did not find the handle very “heavy duty” , it is the only plastic part of this garden hose reel.

To learn more about this garden hose reel, watch this video.

A recommended hose to use with the Strongway Parallel or Perpendicular Wall-Mount Garden Hose Reel is the Teknor Apex Neverkink Water Hose.

Features

  • Includes connection hose, brass fittings, and mounting hardware
  • Includes 6’-long rubber connection/leader hose
  • Hose not included
  • Maximum pressure capacity: 100 PSI (pounds per square inch)
  • Dimensions: 18” x 16” x 19”
  • Weight: 22 pounds


Pros

Easy to install and use

Heavy-duty construction and parts

Cons

Capacity not large enough to fit 150’ of 5/8”-diameter hose

Paint chips off easily


07

Garden Power Foot Crank Powered Hose Reel

Garden Power Foot Crank Powered Hose Reel

After working in the garden or yard, do you ever wish you could roll up and put away the hose without bending, kneeling, or cranking a handle? People have tried the Garden Power Foot Crank Powered Hose Reel with mixed results. Some love the foot crank and find it easy to use. Simply step on a pedal to start the retraction of the included 75’-long 5/8”-diameter garden hose. A power track facilitates even hose retraction.

41odmqNW0WL 253x300 - Garden Power Foot Crank Powered Hose ReelOn the other hand…

Other users thought the foot crank did not work as well as expected.

The Garden Power Foot Crank Powered Hose Reel is balanced on two sturdy wheels and has a bronze base with a low center of gravity to prevent tipping. Even more convenient, this reel folds for easy storage. One user commented that this garden hose reel unit does not take up too much room during use or in storage. We certainly agree.

Take a quick peek:

This video shows how easy this garden hose reel is to move and use.

Features

  • Includes 75’-long 5/8”-diameter hose
  • Dimensions: 15” x 37” x 22
  • Weight: 24.5 pounds
  • One-year limited warranty (new); three-month limited warranty (refurbished)
  • Assembly required


Pros

Easy to transport and use

Sleek design

Cons
Foot pedal crank can get stuck or stop working

08

RAINWAVE Retractable Swivel Wall Mounted Hose Reel

RAINWAVE Retractable Swivel Wall Mounted Hose Reel

We particularly like how the RAINWAVE Retractable Swivel Wall Mounted Hose Reel conveniently pivots despite it being a fixed, not mobile, garden hose reel. With its swiveling heavy duty metal wall mounting bracket, this garden hose reel allows you to turn and extend the hose in different directions for a better reach.

What’s more:

91capS9BG9L. SL1500  300x229 - RAINWAVE Retractable Swivel Wall Mounted Hose ReelThe RAINWAVE Retractable Swivel Wall Mounted Hose Reel automatically recoils the included 80’-long, 5/8”-diameter hose with a spring-driven mechanism. To use the hose, just extend it to the length you need and gently release tension on it until you feel it locks into place. When you’re finished using the hose, tug it slightly to activate a spring-driven mechanism that retracts it back into the box.

Don’t worry!

A stopper near the end of the hose keeps the hose from being disappearing into the box.

Expert Tip

Before retracting hose, make sure water is drained. Store the hose and garden hose reel indoors during winter months to extend the RAINWAVE Retractable Swivel Wall Mounted Hose Reel’s life and function.

By the way:

This enclosed reel has a convenient carrying handle for transporting between indoor storage and its outdoor position.

Features

  • Includes 80’-long 5/8”-diameter hose
  • Dimensions: 20” x 10” x 18”
  • Two-year limited warranty
  • Includes mounting hardware

Pros

Heavy duty

Retracts quickly

Cons
Leaked for some users

09

Power Products Retractable Power Hose Reel

Power Products Retractable Power Hose Reel

The Power Products Retractable Power Hose Reel has a unique slow-return, spring-loaded retraction system as well as a nozzle protector on the end of the hose. These caring touches can prevent the hose from damaging itself and other objects (or hurt people) when retracting. No more jumping out of the way because of 50’-long, 5/8”-diameter hose whipping back to its case!

81NWTJO2kDL. SL1500  300x231 - Power Products Retractable Power Hose ReelWe really liked (as did the focus group) that the garden hose reel’s 180° swiveling action that allows you to turn and extend the garden hose in different directions for a better reach. An interesting fact that we learned is that the mounting brackets can go on the wall or ceiling.

Tougher than others:

Users also appreciated the sturdy quality, strong twist collar, and brass fittings of the Power Products Retractable Power Hose Reel kit. Constructed of three layers, this hybrid hose’s 500 maximum PSI is an average of 50% more than competitors’ PSI ratings. It can handle 500 PSI bursts!

Finally, the Power Products Retractable Power Hose Reel is easily removed for storage and portability.

Features

  • Includes 50’-long 5/8”-diameter hose
  • Includes nozzle protector
  • Dimensions: 19.5” x 10” x 17”
  • Weight: 23.4 pounds
  • Maximum burst strength: 500 PSI (pounds per square inch)
  • Mounting hardware included

Pros

Easy to mount and use

Hose retracts easily and smoothly

Cons
Leaked for some users

10

Hercules Hose and Reel by Bulbhead

Hercules Hose and Reel by Bulbhead

Hercules was the god of strength and the Hercules Hose and Reel by Bulbhead takes after its namesake. This kink-proof, tear-proof, and leak-proof 75’-long, 1/2'”-diameter hose has an interlocking armor design and steel casing for toughness and strength.

71aSRehPSBL. SL1440  300x200 - Hercules Hose and Reel by BulbheadIt also has industrial strength anti-leak connectors. During our research, the Bestazy team and consumers alike tested the hose’s durability and strength by parking a car on it, dragging it over rocks, using it among thorns, etc. and found that it indeed is Herculean! This garden hose and reel also withstand extreme weather conditions, like beating sunlight and intense heat.

The reel itself is portable, easy to carry, and compact. Made of tough green plastic, the reel has four small feet to keep itself (and the hose) upright during use. It winds up the hose easily with a bright orange crank that spins the green reel smoothly around an orange center piece.

A study in contrasts:

Despite its rugged construction, the Hercules Hose and Reel by Bulbhead is lightweight. Users love those qualities as well as the fact the garden hose rolls up and stores easily on its reel for storage.

This is crazy:

Watch this garden hose withstand a lawnmower and a shark in this video.

Features

  • Dimensions: 5.75” x 13.75” x 11”
  • Includes both 75’-long, ½”-diameter hose and reel
  • Stainless steel casing


Pros

Lightweight

Easy to transport, use, and roll up

Cons

Small (1/2”) diameter

Low water pressure and volume


What’s The Best Garden Hose Reel For You?

What’s The Best Garden Hose Reel For You?

pexels photo 280222 300x199 - 10 Green Thumb-Worthy Garden Hose Reel  — Keep Your Yard Hydrated in 2018As you can see, garden hose reels come in many different shapes and sizes to fit any kind of situation. Thus, we’ve broken down the above list into the best models for various situations.

When size matters:

The best garden hose reel for people who need to store very long hoses is the Suncast Hose Hideaway with Smart Trak. This model can hold up to 225’ of 5/8”-diameter standard vinyl hose. People who have to stretch the hose across large yards or garden plots would find this model most convenient.

The best garden hose reel for people with little storage space is a tie between the Hercules Hose and Reel by Bulbhead and the Garden Power Foot Crank Powered Hose Reel. Simple and compact, the Hercules Hose and Reel by Bulbhead has no extras, like wheels, a hand crank, or mounting hardware. Although larger, the Garden Power Foot Crank Powered Hose Reel does have a handle that folds down for easy storage. We think people who live in apartments (perhaps with balcony gardens) or townhouses would benefit from these models.

The best garden hose reel for people who don’t want to sacrifice aesthetics for practicality is the Liberty Garden Products Steel Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel. This lovely model adds style and elegance to any area but is still functional. The Liberty Garden Products Steel Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel serves as a wall ornament while neatly storing a garden hose and providing a shelf for small tools or plants.

Speaking of aesthetics:

The best garden hose reel for hiding the hose is the Suncast Hose Hideaway with Smart Trak. Encased in a tidy box, this reel keeps the hose neat and out of sight. In fact, we have a Suncast Hose Hideaway with Smart Trak, and I even forgot what was inside! Even better, this model–with its lid closed–multitasks as a storage space for small tools and a stand for holding light objects.

Treat yourself to convenience:

The best garden hose for reel for people who want quick and effortless clean-up is the RL Flo-Master Retractable Hose Reel. Simply tug on the hose to activate retraction and voilà! Your hose is neatly wound up with little work on your part.

The best garden hose for people who want hands-free clean-up is the Garden Power Foot Crank Powered Hose Reel. No more touching a wet hose or turning a dirty hand crank: just step on the pedal to activate retraction.

The best garden hose reel for people who want or need something lightweight is the Hercules Hose and Reel by Bulbhead. We found in our research that elderly gardeners found using this model easy. It is small and easy to carry.

A Fun History

Did you know today’s garden hose reel has origins in firefighting? In 1673, Dutch firefighters, Jan and Nicholaas van der Heyden invented the fire hose to replace buckets of water and hand pumps. People realized they needed to find a way to store these hard-to-fold fire hoses that could split, crack and rot in storage.

Eventually, firefighters began to wrap hoses around large cylinders. Attached hand cranks made wrapping and unwrapping hoses quicker. By the twentieth century, hand cranks became motorized and reels were attached to wheels and carts for mobility.

Hopefully today you won’t need your hose to put out a fire, just this handy descendant of the original fire hose reel for storing your garden hose.

Important Garden Hose Maintenance Tips

Now that you’ve finally decided on, bought, and brought home the best garden hose reel for you, keep the hose and reel in great shape by following some maintenance tips:

  • After every use put the hose away: don’t leave it lying around.
  • Get all of the kinks out of the hose.
  • Wrap the hose around the reel.
  • Store the hose out of the sun and off the ground. You don’t want rot from soil moisture or chances of a person, car, or lawnmower running over it!
  • At the end of the gardening season and before frost arrives, get your hose ready for winter storage:
    • drain/empty the hose of all water
    • remove all attachments
    • keep the hose ends open to allow for expansion and contraction of any remaining freezing water (which hopefully will be almost none)
    • find a storage place with moderate temperatures: freezing and thawing can weaken the hose’s fabric
  • In the spring before gardening season begins, take out the hose and examine it for splits, cracks, or rotting.
  • Be careful of any creatures that took up residence in an enclosed or hideaway-style reel. This garden hose reel owner found a surprise–watch!

  • Replace washers at the slightest sign of a leak or dripping where the hose joins the leader hose. A proactive, precautionary measure may be to install in new washers every spring.

Bonus Clever Garden Hose Reel Hacks

When your garden hose reel finally reaches the end of its useful life (i.e., starts to leak, parts break), don’t throw it out right away! See if you can repurpose it. Old garden hose reels are handy for winding up and storing other cords, like ropes, extension cords, air hoses, holiday lights, and more.

Here’s a nifty trick for winding up, storing, and using long cords. Cut winding and unwinding time and effort in half by not starting from one end of the cord. Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Find the middle of the cord’s length, mark it, and then make a loop at that spot.
  2. Hook the loop around the water coupling (where the garden hose joins the reel) on the reel’s inner drum.
  3. Wind up the cord, which is now in two parallel sections–half of each length.
  4. When you’ve wound the cord’s full length around the reel’s drum, you now have convenient access to both ends of the cord.
  5. When you need to use the cord, simply pull out both ends the amount you need.

You can avoid pulling out one long strand that can tangle or kink because you now have two shorter sections of equal length that add up the total length you need.

For a demonstration, watch this video from This Old House.

And we don’t stop there

Other creative repurposing ideas we’ve found in our research include removing the reel from its frame/holder and:

  • placing it near the faucet for propping up the end of the garden hose
  • creating a handwashing station: hang from the reel a knotted nylon stocking with a bar of soap inside and a small washcloth or towel
  • hanging small garden tools on it
  • using it as a base for hanging outdoor decorations, like holiday lights, vines, etc.

With maintenance, hopefully your garden hose reel will last for many years. Take care of this important hydration tool­–it’s just as important as a spade, a rake, a trowel or any gardening implement.

giphy downsized large - 10 Green Thumb-Worthy Garden Hose Reel  — Keep Your Yard Hydrated in 2018

Leaders comparison
The winners

Best products from range

Best of the best

Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel

At the end of our testing, we declared the Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel as the best all-around reel that will fit the needs of most consumers. Users couldn’t praise this garden hose reel enough. From its incomparable heavy-duty construction to its smooth hand-crank winding and unwinding action, this mounted garden hose reel is worth its expense.

Best for the money

Liberty Garden Products Steel Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel

Who says beauty and utility can’t go together? Hoses bring vital water to growing flowers. The hoses themselves deserve to be stored with a bit of beauty! The Liberty Garden Products Steel Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel adds a lovely touch to any gardening or storage area.

Tell us what you think. Do you agree with our choices and reviews for the best garden hose reels? Do you have any favorites already on this list? Do you know any recommendations not found on this list? If so, we’d love to hear about them. Please submit any comments or questions.

Runner-up

FAQ
Faq

Frequently asked questions

Q:

Do mobile garden hose reels tip over easily?

Most mobile garden hose reels are built to be balanced under any weight. Obviously, models with four wheels are more stable than two-wheeled models.

Q:

Do I really need a garden hose reel?

No, you do not have to use one, but if you want to keep your hose neat and for a long time, you’ll want a garden hose reel.

Q:

Do all garden hose reels hold all different types of hoses?

This is a great question–definitely check the garden hose reel’s manufacturer specifications to see exactly what size (length and diameter) and type (material, flat, garden, heavy duty, etc.) hose the specific reel can accommodate.


The team
The team

We made this review

Helen Mao
Writer Helen Mao
Tiffany Mueller
Editorial Director Tiffany Mueller
Valeria Garcia
Graphic Editor Valeria Garcia
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