Keep your home’s landscaping looking fantastic by using using a garden hose reel. Keep your hose handy for quick watering of thirsty plants, keeping your lawn furniture or vehicles clean, washing the dog, or hosing dirt off of driveways and walkways.
The best way to protect your hose from damage and have it right where you need it is to store it in any of the best garden hose reels I review in this guide.
I also explain the benefits of using a garden hose reel and what features are important, so let’s jump right in!
Important Specifications To Look For:
|Minimal Parts That Can Get Broken
|Doesn’t Distract From House Or Landscape
Detailed List Of The Best Garden Hose Reels
GARDENA Retractable Hose Reel (115-Feet)
Reasons To Buy
- Wall mount prevents stooping and keeps the hose off the ground
- Strong steel spring inside the retractor pulls the hose in fully, with no looseness or kinks
- Entire reel can be lifted from wall-mount for winter storage without removing hose
- The wall mount can swivel 180-degrees so your hose deploys easily and the reel can lay flat against the mount to save space
- Space to store accessory brushes or nozzles on the wall mount
Reasons To Avoid
- Mounting the reel can be troublesome, especially on concrete or brick
- Some issues with the retraction spring or quick-connections failing
- Higher price point may be out of budget for some
The GARDENA Retractable Hose Reel is built with rugged materials yet functions smoothly and without strain when pulling out or automatically retracting the hose.
I like the design that lets you quickly release the hose and then, with a short, fast pull, opens the locking mechanism. The hose guide allows the hose to retract back into the housing without twists or kinks. The wall mount keeps you from having to bend over to put the hose away.
On the downside, the reel only mounts on a wall or post. While this keeps the hose and your hands clean and off the ground, it does make it challenging to change positions of the hose reel around your property.
The GARDENA Retractable Hose Reel is a top pick for its attractive and ergonomic design features that make using this wall or post-mount reel very efficient. This model is ideal for homeowners who want a durable, one-and-done purchase since the reel kit includes all components, including the hose and nozzles.
Best Minimalistic Hose Reel
Liberty Garden Multi-Directional Garden Hose Reel (125-Feet)
Reasons To Buy
- Smooth gears and large handle make cranking in the hose much easier on hand and arms
- Built-in storage basket holds extra nozzles or adapters for convenient access while avoiding misplacement
- Quality construction and powder-coating finish should hold up to years of regular use
- Knob moves up or down for quick lock and unlock in eight positions of the reel for easy hose use
- Reel can swivel 90-degrees to prevent bends in the hose while reeling in or out
Reasons To Avoid
- Does not include the hose, or mounting hardware
- Manual hose crank may be too difficult for older or weaker persons
- Brass fitting for feeder hose may not seal correctly, causing a leaking issue
The Liberty Garden Single Arm Navigator Multi-Directional Garden Hose Reel is a simple, yet highly-functional and attractive garden tool that corrals and dispenses your hose quickly.
I like the heavy-duty steel construction and weather-resistant bronze powder coat finish with a basket to hold extra nozzles. The wall-mount reel rotates 90-degrees and can lock in place, which helps keep your hose free from damage during use and storage.
On the downside, the hose reel is a manual crank, which can be hard for those with physical impairments to operate easily, especially if you attach a full 125-foot hose.
I put the Liberty Garden 712 Single Arm Navigator Multi-Directional Garden Hose Reel on the list for the sturdy build, large hose capacity, and reasonable price point. This reel is best for homeowners who don’t mind a manual crank and like the bronze finish and tidy look this model brings to their yard.
Best Budget Hose Reel
VEVOR Retractable Hose Reel (65-Feet)
Reasons To Buy
- Complete kit-in-one with hose, reel, nozzle, and mounting parts
- Entire reel lifts off of mount for easy movement and winter storage
- 180-degree swivel lets you pull hose out without kinks and stores flat for more space
- Hose nozzle features eight spray patterns to water plants or wash cars with precision
- Attractive design blends in to any home landscaping and color scheme
- Enclosed reel keeps your hose protected from dirt and UV rays so it lasts longer
Reasons To Avoid
- Poor or weak design with the interior hose connector can cause leakage
- Hose retractor mechanism can break after months of hard use
- Locking gear may randomly open and retract the hose while in use
The VEVOR Retractable Hose Reel is the more affordable choice for those looking for a wall mount option that also swivels 180-degrees for ease of use and storage.
I like the retracting action that uses a spring-load to slowly bring in the hose along with the guide that keeps the hose in neat rows on the spindle, with no overlap. I also am a fan of receiving the hose, nozzle, housing, mounting bracket, and hardware all in one kit, which means you can use it right away.
On the downside, the 65-foot length of the hose is shorter than other hose reels and may not work for people with large yards. Another point of concern is the interior hose connection tends to leak if you’re too rough and pull all the hose from the reel without leaving a foot or so of slack.
I make the Vevor Retractable Hose Reel a top suggestion because it provides the same features as more expensive hose reels. This model is ideal for homeowners with smaller yards who still desire a fully-enclosed hose reel.
Best Portable Hose Reel
IRIS USA All-in-One With Hose And Nozzle (48-Feet)
Reasons To Buy
- Complete kit (hose, reel, nozzle) in a conveniently compact housing that isn’t an eyesore
- Top handle is easy to grip and lift when moving or storing away the reel
- Affordable way to have a hose kept out of the elements but at-the-ready when you need it
- Manual crank means no retraction springs to worry about failing
- Nozzle lock lets you keep the water flowing without needing to squeeze the handle which reduces hand strain
Reasons To Avoid
- Short hose length may be unsuitable for some needs
- The manual crank requires more arm strength and bending to operate
- Nozzle is permanent, which means no other accessories can attach
These IRIS USA FHEX-15 All-in-One Retractable Hose Reel is ideal for those looking for a basic hose reel kit to handle light-duty watering or clean-up needs.
I like the compact design that keeps the 48-foot hose neatly stashed away when not in use and the nozzle that has five spray settings. Another bonus is the built-in top handle that makes moving the hose reel a breeze.
On the downside, the reel is lightweight and can move about during use if not held down securely. Another issue is that there are no standard threaded attachments, which means if the hose connections leak or break, there is no easy fix.
The IRIS USA, FHEX-15 All-in-One Retractable Hose Reel is on the list because it offers just the right size and price point for anyone not looking for a heavy-duty hose and reel combo. This model is best for homeowners with light to minimal need for outdoor watering but still want a handy way to store their hose safely and neatly.
Best Multi-Purpose Hose Reel
GOODYEAR Air Or Water Hose Reel (50-Feet)
Reasons To Buy
- Strong hose allows you to use it for both water or air delivery, which provides more usage flexibility
- The multi-position ratchet spring release locks the hose where you want it for safe use with no pull-back
- High-grade drive spring retracts the hose fully and tightly which prevents sags
- Certified approval for safety standards and is ideal for both DIY and industrial use indoors or out
- The hose holds up through a wider range of temperatures than standard hoses and has no memory which means no worry about kinks
Reasons To Avoid
- The retractable mechanism is prone to coming loose
- Not an actual “garden hose” reel, which may confuse some buyers
These GOODYEAR Air-Hose-Reel Retractable unit can deliver water or air 50-feet and offers a wall, floor, or ceiling mount option for maximum flexibility.
I like the colorful look of this reel, especially if mounted in a garage space. The industrial-grade steel and powder-coat finish will stand up to the elements and years of use without corrosion. The guide arm helps the hose retract neatly, which reduces the chance of damage.
On the downside, the brass fittings on the hose are unusually soft, which can lead to stripping them down with your wrench during tightening. You will need to take care when using tools in the fittings to avoid damage.
The GOODYEAR Retractable Air-Hose-Reel makes our list for its ability to do double-duty with both air or water delivery. This model is perfect for homeowners who like the ability to expand their DIY projects by also using the hose for air-compression tools.
Do You Really Need A Garden Hose Reel?
I think that yes, all homeowners really do need a garden hose reel, and here are the reasons why:
- Keeps hose organized so your yard looks tidy
- Keeps hose off the ground, which prevents tripping accidents
- Saves time when watering by making it easy to transport, unwind and rewind, and store the hose
- Saves money by protecting the hose from damage from getting stepped on, UV rays, dirt, or from sitting in puddles
- Keeps hose from getting kinks that cause leaks
- It’s easier on the body to wind the hose up than to lift, coil, and carry a loose hose. An auto-retract hose reel is even less-stressful on your arms
While I appreciate all of the above reasons, the most significant benefit of using a garden hose reel is the ability to store my hose exactly where I use it most.
There is no need to keep hauling a hose out from the shed or garage and attaching it to the spigot. Set up your garden hose reel kit once, and you’re ready for the season!
Things To Watch Out For When Buying A Garden Hose Reel
Let’s look at the things you need to consider before making a final decision on which model garden hose reel best suits your needs.
While I am a fan of the wall or post mount hose reel, there are good reasons a more portable stand-alone version may be best for your gardening needs.
Will you always use the hose in the same space? If so, a wall mount is a one-and-done solution. Many wall-mount styles also feature the ability to swivel, which increases convenience during use.
If you have a large yard that requires multiple connections to other water sources to reach every corner, you may opt for a portable hose reel. Get a garden reel with a handle and wheels to make transporting it around your property even more effortless.
Capacity Of Reel
If you have a large yard, you’ll most likely need a reel that can handle 100 to 150-foot of hose, to reduce using and storing multiple hoses.
If your property is on the small side, or you only plan to pull out the hose to wash the car, a reel that holds a 50-foot hose may work perfectly.
Remember that most hose reels may state they hold a certain length of hose, but in reality, you should always expect to leave several feet on the reel when extended, which reduces damage to internal connections and helps the hose retract more smoothly.
Figure out if your yard requires one or more hose reels, and measure out how long of a hose you need to reach the areas that need water from each location and buy a reel capacity accordingly.
Open Or Solid Housing
Many hose reels have an open spindle that will still expose your hose to the elements. The benefit of an open-style reel is that it’s easier to connect or exchange hoses as necessary, and you can often squeeze on an extra 15-20 feet of hose length.
Hose reels that offer a solid outer housing around the central spindle look much neater in your yard and also keep the hose protected from the elements that cause deterioration of the rubber.
If you love a specific hose that is also an annoyingly bright color, you may wish to hide the hose inside a solid hose reel when not in use so as not to detract from your home’s curb appeal.
A good-quality hose reel should be easy to wind in, even if the model has a manual crank.
If you have decent physical strength and don’t mind a bit of extra effort, you can choose a manual-crank garden hose reel. Look for a large spindle and handle for the best cranking results.
For those who like the ease of using an automatically-retractable hose spindle, there are many models available. Most models typically have the action of retraction by giving the hose a quick yank and release, which unlocks the gear that was keeping the hose extended.
Auto-retract hose reels do have some issues, such as the hose not feeding back on the spindle evenly or the mechanism breaking completely, which then requires repair or replacement.
No matter which hose reel style or model you choose, always look for durable steel parts and brass fittings. Plastic components should be thick, weather-resistant material that will not quickly break, crack, or fade.
Garden hose reels are a homeowner’s friend. From keeping your lawn looking neat to preventing accidents to protecting your hose from wear and tear, having a hose ready to go any time you need it is super convenient.