A garden hose is basically one of the most convenient outdoor tools out there. Convenient in outdoor pavement washing, cleaning, and in gardening, it is indeed a multipurpose tool.
To make its performance long-lasting, it has to be kept well and one way to do this and to make it more accessible when used, you should consider buying a garden hose reel.
From hand driven, to automatic, to motorized, there are different types of garden hose reels to choose from. In this post, we shall look at some of the best garden hose reels in the market today. If you are looking for one, you have come to the right post so, read on.
Our top picks
- Best Freestanding: EVEAGE Upgraded Water Hose Holder
- Best Wall mount: Giraffe Retractable Garden Hose Reel
- Best Decorative: Liberty Garden Cast Iron Reel
- Best Retractable: Giraffe Retractable Hose Reel
- Best Heavy-duty: Giraffe Metal Hose Reel Box
- Best budget: Yard Butler Deluxe Heavy Duty Reel
- Best Cart: Ironton Garden Reel Cart
- Best Overall: Liberty Garden Single Arm Navigator
Types of garden hose reels
Before we present and select the best garden hose reels out there, it would be beneficial to know first the different types of garden hose reels. Here are the most common types of garden hose reels that you should be aware of:
1. Wall Mounted
As the name suggests, this one is mounted on the wall and is made specifically for garden hoses with superior length. This one is the traditional type of garden hose reel.
2. Spring-Loaded Hose Reels
This one is a retractable hose reel using, well, a spring-loaded system. With its inherent operation, it allows quicker rewinding and retraction when it is on the go. However, it is quite pricey.
3. Portable Hose Reels
As the term implies, this is a compact type of garden hose reel, designed like a hand truck. It is operated through a crank and manual rewind and it can be pushed either through casters or rubber wheels.
As the term implies, this one relies very much on its aesthetic appeal as it comes with various designs which match different home exteriors and landscapes.
They are especially designed for lightweight hoses and are chosen for their appearance instead of their functional side.
5. Hose Reel Carts
This one is quite similar to the portable hose reels since they are also pushed through wheels. They are usually horizontal in built and come with a table-like design. It also comes with shelving and various compartments to connect different types of nozzles at once.
6. Stationary Hose Reels
This one is the simplest type of garden or water hose reel which works on a manual rewind operation. They are very basic in design and they are made using different materials including stainless steel, plastic, and more.
Most of the time, the defining factor in the price of stationary hose reels would be the material used in its construction.
7. Hideaway Hose Reels
This one can either be installed by wall-mounting it or as a freestanding hose reel. It comes with this box type structure which hides the garden hose.
It also comes with a detachable hand crank operated through rewind movement. The benefit of this is that it is very easy to tuck in and store.
8 Best Garden Hose Reels
In this section, we shall look at some of the best garden hose reels across various categories. Like all else, garden hose reels are not made the same so it would be best to look at them in terms of their sets of pros and cons.
1. EVEAGE Upgraded Water Hose Holder: Best Freestanding
|What we like||Pros||Cons|
|Nice Water Hose Storage Partner||Freestanding.||Durability is questionable.|
|Space saving.||Stable and relatively durable.||Requires flat surfaces.|
|Affordable.||Built for space saving.|
|Cheap and ergonomic.|
|Upgrade Double-Sided Suspension|
|Four Corners Stabilization Design|
|Heavy Duty Thickened Steel Frame|
|Wide Application Quality Warranty|
This one is a standout in this list because it looks like a coat hanger. It is a good use for space, as it is a freestanding water hose holder featuring two hose hangers side by side.
This means that you can coil two different sized hoses at once. Construction-wise, it is fairly durable as it is made of thick coated steel.
One of its upsides is that you can also attach storage baskets along its length. Other than this, it is also very easy to install since you just have to stake it on the ground or just leave it freestanding on a flat surface.
2. Giraffe Retractable Garden Hose Reel: Best Wall mount
|What we like||Pros||Cons|
|Build is phenomenal.||It comes with a 124-ft hose.||Heavy and a bit bulky.|
|Comes with a free hose.||It comes with an automatic retracting hose guide.||An expensive option.|
|Easy to mount.||Hose has nine spray modes.|
|Durable.||Comes with mounting hardware.|
If you are looking for a garden hose reel which would give you a multi-angled watering experience with no hassle, this is the perfect choice. It is a wall mounted garden hose reel, coming with a 180-degree rotation bracket, providing vast coverage for the lawn.
It also features a 124-ft garden hose which you can lock at any length to ensure convenient watering, avoiding tripping over the excess hose along the way.
One upside of this one is that the hose it comes with does not kink while it is being retracted. It also comes in nine different spray modes. Its operation is manual crank and rewind.
The casing is also very durable since its color does not fade and it can be easily transferred, mounting-wise, if you feel like it has to be stored in during the winter. Overall, this is one of the best finds out there when it comes to garden hose reels.
3. Liberty Garden Cast Iron Reel: Best Decorative
|What we like||Pros||Cons|
|Vintage beauty.||Made with cast aluminum finish.||Does not come with mounting hardware.|
|Large hose storage.||Comes with a 5-ft leader hose and hose guide.||Does not provide rotation.|
|Durable.||Comes with a storage tray.||Not made for compact spaces.|
|Can hold 125ft of 5-8-inches hose.|
More than its distinct beauty this one is highly functional too. It can securely hold up to 125ft of 5-8-inches of hose. It is constructed using a heavy gauge and a rust-resistant aluminum.
Its overall look however, looks like it was made of wrought iron. On top of it would be a shelf-like space where you can place garden stuff and other accessories.
It comes with a brass swivel which coils as you turn around. The crank is at the side and it comes with a free leader hose.
The downside with this is that it does not come with the mounting accessories so you have to buy them separately. Nonetheless, it is easy to install so it should not really be a problem.
4. Giraffe Retractable Hose Reel: Best Retractable
|What we like||Pros||Cons|
|Automatic retracting.||Comes with a built-in hose with a 5ft lead.||It is not the best for harsh weather conditions.|
|Ease of use and operation.||Hose comes with nine different spray modes.||Relatively expensive.|
|Comes with a built-in hose.||Automatic retracting.|
|Offers ample reach.|
|Comes with a 180-degree swivel.|
This one is another commendable choice when it comes to automatic retractable hose reels. Its main upside would be the fact that it comes with a built-in 60ft hose accompanied by a 5ft hose lead.
Another upside is ease of use. You just have to pull out the hose from the casing and then slowly tug the hose a bit for storage. The motor shall simply retract the hose up until all the hose has been stored. A plastic stopper at the end shall ensure that it is in place.
When mounting it up, note that it also comes with a bracket with a 180-degree swivel. Like the other hose inclusions of Giraffe, this one also features a built-in hose with nine different spray options. During the cold months, you can store it in by easily detaching it from the mount.
5. Giraffe Metal Hose Reel Box: Best Heavy-duty
|What we like||Pros||Cons|
|Double seal water system.||Auto-track mechanism.||The hose has the tendency to get tangled in the box.|
|Comes fully assembled.||Stable and has durable construction.|
|Does not need installation.||Adds aesthetic value to the garden.|
|Large hose capacity.||Easy to use and comes with a large capacity.|
If you are looking for a compact, inconspicuous hose reel box which you can take anywhere but does a heavy-duty job, this one is the perfect choice for you.
First off, it has a hose capacity of 130ft of 5-8-inches or 200ft of 1-2-inches garden hose. Its main upside would be the strong metal housing where the hose is encased. The box is made of aluminum double seal so you are sure that no water shall leak.
It is very easy to assemble and very easy to operate too. It saves you all the effort of installation since you can tuck away the hose in a well-sealed box. It is also very stylish to look at so it does not fall short both in the functional and aesthetic side.
6. Yard Butler Deluxe Heavy Duty Reel: Best budget
|What we like||Pros||Cons|
|Simple look.||Made from 12-gauge powder coated finish for durability.||May not be that heavy duty.|
|Affordable and durable.||Can hold up to 100ft of 5-8-inches hose.||May not be mounted on some wall types.|
|Easy to install.||Comes in multiple designs.|
|Comes with the mounting hanger.|
This one is considered as the most reasonably priced garden hose reel in the market today. It is a wall mounted hose reel holding up to 100ft of 5-8-inch hose.
It is versatile, since it can be mounted at the regular height or higher for bigger hoses or depending on your preference. Its construction speaks of durability as it is made of 12-gauge powder-coated steel. It also comes with an extra bracing made from a patented design.
Aside from its immanent functionality, it also provides high aesthetic value. It has a unique verdigris look of blue, purple, and green hues. Floral designs are also available to spruce up your watering chores a bit. It does not come with a crank system. You literally have a hose storage for this one, coiling the hose manually after you use it.
7. Ironton Garden Reel Cart: Best cart
|What we like||Pros||Cons|
|Durable.||Price is reasonable.||Assembly can be challenging.|
|Comes at a reasonable price.||Stable and very easy to use.|
|Coil capacity is superb.||Does not rust.|
|Lightweight.||For heavy duty jobs.|
This one is a consistent top rated when it comes to garden reel carts. It can coil up hose of up to 300ft, which in itself is already a major plus. It is made for small to medium sized lawns.
Another plus is its integrated basket under the handle. This is very handy since you can store small items needed for the watering chore as you go along the lawn.
Construction wise, it is made with heavy-duty steel construction which gives it a reputation of longevity.
Its coating is also weather resistant so if you need a guaranteed rust proof garden hose reel cart, this is the one for you. Its pneumatic tires also offer great stability so you do not have to worry about bumpy lawns and uneven terrains.
8. Liberty Garden Single Arm Navigator: Best Overall
|What we like||Pros||Cons|
|Sleek, vintage look.||Large hose capacity.||Expensive.|
|Does not need mounting.||Easy to install; does not require mounting.||Heavy and quite bulky.|
|Side storage is a plus.||Durable and sleek looking.|
Aside from coming as a fully assembled garden hose reel, this one also speaks of beauty and functionality. Its build is of an 18-gauge, industrial grade steel, and then powder coated with bronze.
As such, you can expect it to be durable even in harsh climatic conditions. The main plus of this one is its pull-up knob which allows the reel to rotate at a 360-degree movement. The solid brass swivel is also a good feature.
It is also well-loved because of this small wire basket attached for side storage. It has the capacity to hold 125ft, 5-8-inches hose. You would not need a wall mounting hardware for this one since it is a freestanding type. Overall, it is one of the sleekest garden hose reels out there.
Things to consider when buying a garden hose reel
As what can be inferred in the list above, there are different types of garden hose reels and you need to be aware of how each works for you to make the best choice depending on the type of lawn that you have, its size and your overall preference.
Nonetheless, you still need a comprehensive buying guide to make the necessary garden hose reel, hence, these factors to consider.
1. Length of hose
The capacity of a garden hose reel is one of the most upfront factors to consider. It should be well-matched with the length of hose that you have.
Some brands come with built-in hose so you might not even worry about this thing. As soon as the hose hits above 100ft, you should opt for heavy-duty hose reels already. If you have shorter hoses, hangers or wall-mounted reels are the best choices.
2. Leader hose
Note that most garden hose reels need a leader hose so that it could be attached to the spigot. As such, it is important that you get a dependable leader hose. Always remember that your choice of leader hose length depends on how near or far it would be from the water source.
The expectation is that you should be able to take the hose with you, whenever, wherever, without the hose coiling in between. Thus, you need a garden hose reel with high maneuverability.
In this case, if you have a smaller garden, a freestanding hose reel is already a viable option. If it is a large lawn, go for the more portable ones.
Most garden hose reels are situated in outdoor locations. As such, make sure that you are choosing those with high tolerance to different climatic conditions. Those with industrial grade materials or durable coating are the perfect choices when it comes to durability and longevity.
5. Ease of assembly
There is a special place in the garden hose reel world for those that already come pre-assembled or those that only take 3-4 steps to be completely assembled.
They save time, and help you in figuring out the breadth of space that you need to properly position it outdoors. If these are the benefits you are looking for, you should start squaring your choices on the pre-assembled ones.
Even if they are just accessory equipment in gardens, the hose reel should still be in accordance with your budget.
You do not need to go for the bulky, heavyweight, automatic ones if there are freestanding alternatives which could deliver the same job and perform just as well. Nor would you need a portable, box type garden hose reel if you are only working on a small lawn patch.
How to use a garden hose reel
Generally, there is a user’s manual that comes with your purchase of garden hose reels. However, not all come with one and not all have an intelligible step-by-step guide for hose reel use. Hence, here is a guide on how to use a garden hose reel.
- Prepare the hose reel and the hose, side by side each other. Stretch the hose and locate the female end. Place it near the hose reel. Fully stretch the hose for it to soften a bit and to reduce bends in between.
- The next step is to feed and connect the hose. Connect the female end on the connector of the garden hose and then feed it on the opening on the reel. Have it screwed on the water wire on the drum. Install rubber washers at the bottom to make it more leak-free. Using pliers, tighten the fittings for a leak-free connection. However, be wary of super tight fittings since it could break the delicate materials inside the hose reel.
- As soon as the fittings are in place, start winding the hose onto the reel. Be patient and coil the hose in an even manner, back and forth the drum as you wind it. It would be best to have someone help you hold the rest of the host while you wind it in.
- Now connect the feeder hose to the closest spigot. Test it and refer to the user’s manual if something is suspected to not be in place.
Garden hose reel maintenance
To ensure that you can use this equipment for a long time, you have to give it the maintenance measures that it deserves. The following are some of the maintenance tips for garden hose reels.
Inspect the reel connections
At the end of the day, the main enemy that we are avoiding would be water leakage. Note that there are at least five reel connections around the foundation of the house.
It would be the leader hose, one inside the tube, another one outside the tube, in the faucet and in the garden hose itself. Regularly inspect them before your watering chores.
Replace O-rings if necessary
At some point, you would experience that the hose reel is no longer working. One of the main culprits would be busted O-rings. When this happens, make sure that you replace them immediately. You can always do this DIY but if you are not sure about the anatomy of your hose reels, just leave it to professionals.
Lubricate the bushings
For crank operated hose reels, the bushings ensure that the garden hose recoils effortlessly. In cases where it does not, check the bushings and coat it with sufficient lubrication.
This only takes about a few minutes. Just get a paper cloth, apply a lubricant or degreaser and rub it on the bushings, shaft, knob, and other components surrounding the reel’s coil.
Always buy the right size connector
The wrong size connector is another reason behind water leakage in garden hoses affecting the reels, in general. It can also have an impact in the way the hose is coiled in. To prevent damage in the hose and the reel, make sure that you are buying the right size connector.
Repair malfunctioning main hoses
We have mentioned hose reels with built-in hoses. The immediate solution is not always to replace. Hence, it is recommended that you also buy hose repair kits so that you can do it DIY once it happens to you. It is essential that the main hose be repaired immediately to prevent bigger leaks.
With everything that we have covered so far, it is already affirmed how even a garden hose reel needs some degree of calculated choice. But aside from these, there are still FAQs which need to be put into perspective so that you could benefit well from your purchase of garden hose reels.
What are the common materials in garden hose reel build?
The material used in the construction of a garden hose reel is an important determinant of its durability and longevity. Hence, the following are considered as the most common materials used in hose reels.
- Plastic: This one is the most lightweight material for hose reels and are commonly used among wall mounted and portable types. They also come with the widest range of colors, designs, and styles, making them a popular choice for residential areas. They are not as durable as the others, however.
- Fiberglass: Like plastic hose reels, fiberglass hose reels are also well-loved for being lightweight and portable. Compared to plastic, they are considered as slightly more durable, perfect for household use and for compact gardens.
- Aluminum: This one is a heavier material compared to plastic and fiberglass but is more lightweight compared to steel. If you are looking for a rust and corrosion resistant material, this should be on top of your list. They are also perfect for longer hoses and are built for heavy duty watering chores even in changing climatic conditions.
- Steel: Although heavier than aluminum, steel is a more affordable choice. Like aluminum, it is also rust and corrosion resistant and is very good at holding longer and heavier hoses. Steel hose reels are those that can accommodate up to 300ft of garden hoses.
- Resin: This one is probably the most durable material for hose reels. Box hose reels or hideaway reels are usually made of resin because they protect them from wearing, keeping them intact for the long haul. However, they are vulnerable to excessive exposure to sunlight, but overall, compared to the materials in this list, they are still the most durable of all.
What height do you hang the garden hose reel?
There is no specific ruling when it comes to the height of mounting a garden hose reel. As long as it is mounted in an upright manner and on a flat, stable surface, there should be no problem as to the mounting height.
There is even no minimum height standard for this one. Just bear in mind that the ideal setup is that the opening should be where the user shall get it.
How does a garden hose reel work?
Basically, a garden hose reel works by attaching the garden hose on a spindle in the hose reel. With this, the hose is dispensed or retracted on the desired length of the user, depending on the size of the lawn.
The basic idea behind a garden hose reel is for the garden hose to be neatly coiled on the ground. Not all garden hose reels are automatic however. The crank and rewind models are still the most popular ones in the market because of their affordability, build, and ease of operation.
Why do you need a garden hose reel?
There are handy benefits which we can get from a garden hose reel and it would be the following:
- It is a safety mechanism to avoid tripping while you are on your watering chores.
- Prevents back strain from manual coiling.
- Provides storage to garden hoses.
- It ensures garden hose longevity since it keeps it from tangling, being stepped on, and safe from climatic changes.
Are hose reels worth it?
Overall, hose reels are worth every penny. Since garden hoses are indispensable in lawn care, you have to make sure that they are protected from elements. One of the ways in ensuring the longevity of hoses would be using hose reels.
In this aspect alone, it is already a good investment. The added storage that they offer and the ease of use for watering chores are also essential upsides in considering one.
Why should the garden hose be protected from the sun?
Constant exposure to the sun could produce kinks and cracks in the garden hose. If they have these, it is only a matter of time before you would experience water leakage. As have been mentioned, this is the reason why you need a hose reel to coil it in.
How long does a hose reel last?
This one still depends on how you take care of your hose reel. Note that your hose reel shall always outlive the garden hose. Garden hoses typically last for up to 10 years. Just do regular maintenance checks on your hose reels for you to get the most out of them for a long time.
What type of garden hose shall last the longest?
Rubber garden hoses are still the most durable type. However, it is also heavier when filled with water. For this, you need to have a heavy-duty garden hose reel to accommodate this type of garden hose.
When it comes to garden hose reels, the real verdict comes from ease of use and if it delivers the benefits expected of it. Since we have already categorized the hose reel brands in terms of their use, type, and function.
Aside from this, you should also base your decision on some notable factors and buying guides so that you can land on the best product choice.
With all things considered, a garden hose reel is a good investment. You should not limit yourself with what is just there. Explore the different types of garden hose reels and see what best fits your needs and preferences.