A hose reel is one of those items that you don’t really know you need until you start tripping over the hose that is just randomly laying on the ground. Having a hose reel is more than just about garden aesthetics: it helps preserve the integrity of the hose and helps avoid a bunch of tripping accidents, so let’s talk a little bit more about one of the most underestimated gardening items.
Best value: Suncast Hideaway Resin Hose Reel
This hose is designed to offer practical housing for garden hoses at a really reasonable price.
Best for long hoses: Suncast Plastic Hose Reel
Compatible with hoses of up to 150 feet in length, this reel helps conceal the hose in elegant fashion.
Versatile color option: Charlton Home® Demonte Garden Plastic Hose Pot
Available in four different color options, this hose cabinet can find its way into many types of landscape setups.
Easiest setup: Suncast Plastic Hose Reel Cart
This Suncast plastic hose reel cart requires no setup, as it is delivered fully assembled and ready to be used out of the box.
Most durable: Suncast Metal Hose Reel Cart
When it’s durability you’re after, few products can beat the sturdiness of this metal hose reel cart.
Easier to store: Suncast Plastic Wall Mounted Hose Reel
This Suncast wall-mounted reel is designed with a mechanism that allow you to dismount the reel with ease and store it for the winter.
Most elegant wall-mounted unit: Liberty Garden 707 Decorative Wall Mount Garden Guide Hose Reel
If you want a really elegant wall-mounted hose reel, the Libery GArded 707 will meets the demands of the most pretentious homeowners.
Budget pick: Liberty Basics 510 Wall Mount Hose Reel
If you don’t mind the simple design of this wall-mounted reel, it surely is a product that can help you save some money.
Original design: Artigarden Freestanding Garden Hose Holder Hanger
If you want a more original way to store the hose when you’re not using it, this ground-mounted hanger is one option worth considering.
Best automatic reel: TACKLIFE Garden Retractable Hose Reel
With less headaches and more ease of operation, the TACKLIFE hose reel with an included hose is literally the product you need if you love stress-free operation.
Why You Need a Hose Reel
Hoses are usually left lying on the ground after they’ve been used, which leads to a series of problems, including the fact that you can easily trip over the hose while you’re outside. Hose reels can help solve that problem, as they are cylindrical reels made from materials such as plastic or metal, and which help store a hose in a convenient way, by wrapping it around the reel.
Hose reels are manual (you have to wrap the hose around the reel by using a manual crank located on one of the side), automatic (uses the power of a spring to wind the hose automatically), and electric (powered by an electric motor that helps roll and uncoil the hose).
But what makes a hose reel a must have item for hose-owners?
- A hose reel can increase your productivity because it dispenses fluids quick and easy.
- It helps reduce the wear of a hose. Since most quality hoses are made from rubber, this material tends to wear out over time, especially if you leave it out in the yard exposed to the weather elements or have vehicles roll over the hose. With a hose reel, you can quickly get the hose out of the way and keep it safe for a longer period of time.
- We can’t deny that there are actual safety hazards when leaving the hose lying on the ground, especially if you have children that like to run around and play in the yard.
- It just helps the yard/garden look better compared to what it looks like when there’s a hose randomly thrown on the ground.
Where to Place Your Hose Reel
There are lots of spots suitable for placing a hose reel, so let’s go over some of the ones that people tend to choose more often:
- Over/next to a water spout. If you place a hose here, you can have your hose always close to the spout and connect it in a matter of seconds when you plan on using it. Placing the reel over the water spout also avoids having to bend over too much, which could be something important for people with limited mobility or back pain. When you place the hose reel next to a water spout, you won’t have any problems with the clearance above the spout itself.
- You can also choose to place the hose reel directly on the ground. Considering the fact that reels also come in models that are stand-alone units, you don’t have to actually hang it anywhere. If you live in a rented property and want to avoid drilling holes in exterior walls to place the hose reel there, this is a really viable option. It also makes it really easy to move the reel from one spot to another, which is important for those of you that appreciate the versatile role of a garden hose and use it both to water the lawn and wash the car in the driveway.
- Some people choose to place their hose reel on one of the exterior walls of the house. This, of course, means that you’re going to need to drill some holes into the wall, and there people who aren’t fond of messing around with the structure of the house.
- Another common place for storing the hose reel is in the tool shed or the garage. These two locations are perfect for winter months, when leaving the hose outside would lead to diminishing its lifespan. Even high-quality hoses need to be protected from weather’s elements (it can’t really hurt to take all safety precautions to prolong its lifespan). Make sure that whenever you store your hose for the winter, you also drain the fluids inside to prevent any spills or freezing.
How to Choose a Hose Reel for Your Needs
A hose reel might seem like a trivial item, but there’s actually an entire science behind choosing one for yourself. Here are some things that you need to consider before shopping for a hose reel:
- First of all, consider the main types of existing reels and think about which type would suit you best. Self-retracting reels have a spring mechanism, while hand-crank reels require a little bit of elbow grease to reel in the hose. There’s always the option of auto-winding reels, which are of two varieties: motor-driven reels that come with rechargeable batteries to power the motor and a switch or a foot pedal to activate it, and water pressure-driven hose retractors that use a water piston to push water out of the hose to power up the retractor mechanism.
- If you choose the ornamental version of a hose reel, the one that’s in the shape of a cabinet, you are going to have to look at the materials used in its construction. These include plastic (isn’t very aesthetic but usually comes with a flat top so you can place something like flower pots on it), resin (similar to plastic in the sense that it’s light and durable, but it can be molded into more shapes), wrought iron (usually a very decorative option as it comes with ornamental details), and steel (suitable with many landscaping options and can be available in a lot of cool shapes).
- Keep in mind that the hose reel needs to be compatible with the length of your hose if you truly want it to be efficient. Most garden hoses measure between 25 and 250 feet in length, and reels are designed to support a specific length, so be on the lookout for this bit of information on the product’s feature page.
- Hose reels can also be classified depending on where they are mounted, and your options include wall-mounted units, cart-mounted ones (with spools set on a frame placed on wheels, so easier movement), and hose cabinets (like the ones we talked about earlier, they resemble a box that conceals the hose inside it and is considered to be a more decorative option).
The Best Hose Reels
Coming in strong at 16” H x 21” W x 15.5” D, we wanted to show how a simple hose reel can be quite an aesthetic piece of outdoor furniture. This gem right here is basically a resin container that looks like a miniature nightstand and offers an attractive solution to reels that actually leave the hose exposed. You are given the option to select between two different hose lengths but also between an off-white and a tan finish. This is a system that’s operated by a crank to help roll in the hose without you putting in too much effort. The system is delivered assembled for your commodity and the resin surface is pretty easy to maintain.
Next up, we have yet another Suncast hose reel with a design that’s a little bit different compared to the previous one, but maintains the same specifications that make this a really good product. Measuring 20” H x 24” W x 18” D and with a total weight of 6 pounds, this is a lightweight product that you can easily move around whenever needed. It is a crank-operate reel that conceals the hose in a plastic container with a basket-like pattern to it. It’s compatible with hoses of up to 150 feet and it helps keep the yard nice and organized.
What appears to be a very simple plastic box is actually a hose reel designed to conceal as much of the hose as possible with its minimal design and cool features. It measures 18” H x 17” W x 17” D and weighs 8 pounds, so it’s the kind of reel that you could mode around the yard if you ever want to switch its position. It is compatible with hoses up to 100 feet and has a removable lid that exposes the hose whenever you’re ready to use it. There is a 2” hole located on one of the sides so that the hose can be connected to a water source without having to keep the lid off.
Another suggestion brought to you by the nice folks over at Suncart is this plastic hose reel carat that measures 19.8” H x 18” W x 11.5” D and weighs a little over 6 pounds. This beige cart is compatible with hoses of a maximum 100 feet in length and is operated by a manual crank. The product is delivered fully-assembled, saving you the trouble of having to grab your tools and figure out how to put this thing together. It mounts to 16 to 24 stud centers, and there are replacement parts available if you’re willing to give the manufacturer a call whenever you have a warranty claim or want to replace a part of the reel.
This Suncast metal cart is an absolute gem, with ornamental details that are simply astonishing. It measures 21.5” H x 22.95” W x 17.65” D and weighs 24.4 pounds, which is a lot, but it’s to be expected considering its construction. There are a couple of wheels mounted on it, so it should be easy to move around, but it still requires a little bit of elbow grease so it’s not really something an 8-year-old could just move around the garden. It has a matte black finish and a manual hand crank to help reel the hose onto the spool.
If you’re looking for a reel that will never get in the way, this one by Suncast is a wall-mounted unit that you’re never going to trip over. It measures 17.5” H x 10.5” W x 20” D and weighs a little under 6 pounds, so it’s not heavy enough for you to worry that it might not last mounted on the wall because of exacerbated weight. It’s compatible with hoses that have a maximum length of 125 feet and it’s made with a manual hand crank to help reel the hose in.
While we’re on the topic of hose reel that look amazing, check this one out. It’s designed with cast aluminum and a bunch of intricate details that almost make this seem rather like a decorative yard piece than a hose cart. The powder-coated finish is there to ensure more resistance. The cart is equipped with a shelf that you can use to place your gardening tools. It doesn’t come with the mounting hardware, which is kind of a drawback. It’s compatible with hoses of up 125 feet in length. This wall-mounted piece is, however, one of the most beautiful one we’ve ever seen, and it comes fully assembled.
Looking for a more basil wall-mounted hose reel? Then you’re going to appreciate the simple design of this Liberty Basics model. It is compatible with hoses of up to 500 feet in length and is made from durable polyresin. It does require some assembly, but it comes with the wood mounting screws and anchors needed to put everything together. It also includes a 6-foot black leader hose and comes in a keyhole design that allows you to mount and dismount the reel for winter storage.
This product suggestion is a little more unconventional compared to the others. It is a free-standing hanger that allows you to place the hose around the top rack. It has a heavy-gauge steel construction and a black lacquer coated finish to ensure the long-term durability of the reel. It measures 43.5 inches in height and comes with three stakes located on the bottom side, to make sure that you can stick this into the ground for added stability.
Our last suggestion for today is this retractable hose reel that’s more expensive than the others, but comes with updated technology to justify its price. It has an automatic rewind system that simply requires you to tug the hose and let the machine do its job. It has a 180-degree flexible rotation mechanism so you won’t have to worry about not being able to pull the hose to the angle of your choice. The system also includes the hose itself, measuring 82 feet in length and being equipped with an 8-pattern spray nozzle. The reel has a mechanism that allows you to lock the hose at any length.
We love the fact that manufacturers were able to come up with so many different variations for a product as basic as a hose reel. There are literally dozens of types to choose from, so you decide if you’re focused on aesthetics, practicality, or ease of maneuvering. Knowing about the many different types of hose reels will help you identify which of them is most likely to meet your needs and can then spend money on a product that’s suitable for you.