Watering the garden is one of life’s little pleasures as it keeps our plants healthy and happy, but using a hose can be a messy business. A hose reel makes for an easy solution: many gardeners swear by them as a convenient and hassle-free way of storing and using your garden hose.

You can choose retractable, hand-wound, and swivel varieties, and whatever shape of garden you have, there is a hose reel to suit your needs, but how do you pick just the right one for your purposes? In this article we look at three of the best hose reels that money can buy to give you the lowdown of which is the best.

  • 180-degree swivel action
  • Includes no-leak, easy connectors
  • Spring-loaded retraction
  • Self-locking
  • 2-year warranty

  • Anti-slip handle
  • Includes a 45-foot PVC hose
  • No tangle or kink with rewind mechanism
  • 6-function spray head
  • 2-year warranty

  • Holds up to 150-feet of hose
  • Includes 6-foot rubber connector hose
  • Crush-proof brass connectors
  • Diecast aluminum construction
  • 10-year warranty


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Hoselink Retractable Hose Reel

This Hoselink hose reel comes with an 82-foot long hose and a 7-function spray gun to enable you to select the correct jet to meet your needs. It includes no-leak, easy connectors to take the hassle out of connecting the hose reel to the outside faucet, and because the hose box swivels 180 degrees, it is highly directional, delivering the water that you need to the places you need.

It removes from the wall bracket so it can become a portable reel and is easily carried with an ergonomic handle. The material used is UV protected, and the hardware that comes with the set is stainless steel to prevent rusting. Moreover, the retracting mechanism prevents any kinks or knots in the hose and is activated by pulling it towards you to release the locking feature. The hose will then coil evenly in the hose box until you decide when to stop.

On the downside, some have reported faults with the automatic retracting feature that results in the hose left coiled on the ground. Some have also said that the automatic locking mechanism is temperamental and causes them to keep having to pull on the hose to stop it retracting.

Pros

  • 180-degree swivel
  • Automatic retracting feature
  • Self-locking
  • Carry handle
  • No leak connectors

Cons

  • Locking mechanism fails
  • Retracting mechanism fails


This Livekey hose reel is lightweight and transportable, weighing in at just 4.7 lbs. When you compare that to the Hoselink Retractable Hose Reel, which weighs 32 lbs, you will see what we mean by lightweight.

It comes complete with a 45-foot PVC hose and a 6-way spray gun to enable you to choose the intensity of the water jet that best suits your purposes. Also, this unit has a rotating shaker, which when deployed by the winding handle reels in the hose in a way that prevents tangle and overlaps.

Unlike the others, this reel is free-standing and doesn’t come with a wall bracket for permanent mounting. The upside of this is that it is portable and can go anywhere, but the downside is that it doesn’t have an anchor point. This aspect makes it awkward to wind and means you will need additional storage space. Some have also reported that the hose leaks and feels cheaply made.

Pros

  • Great price
  • 6-way spray gun
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Weighs just 4.7 lbs

Cons

  • Feels cheaply made
  • Prone to leaking

This is the first product to feature as a dedicated hose reel without a hose included, but we included this Eley Rapid hose reel nevertheless because it is extremely popular with the buyers on Amazon.

The beauty of buying a dedicated reel minus the hose is that you get to choose which hose you attach to the reel. It doesn’t restrict you like the Hoselink Retractable Hose Reel, especially if you have a hose diameter and quality in mind. Imagine spending all that money on a retractable hose reel with hose included only to find that the hose is not good quality. Sure, it may be expensive in the short term, but when both the hose and reel are still going strong years down the line, that extra investment will have been worth it.

Constructed of diecast aluminum, it won’t rust and should be robust enough to outlast some of the plastic varieties featured, and it has heavy-duty brass connectors that are guaranteed crush-proof, so there is no danger of your hose leaking.

This hose reel is capable of holding a 150-foot hose with a ⅝-inch diameter, or a 100-foot hose if the width is as much as ¾ of an inch. It also includes a 6-foot rubber connecting hose, and all the hardware to permanently fix this hose reel to the wall. Moreover, despite the fact that this reel requires the additional purchase of a hose, it does come with a 10-year warranty, which eclipses anything else featured in this review.

Pros

  • Made from diecast aluminum
  • Crush-proof connectors
  • Holds a 150-feet hose
  • Will never rust
  • 10-year warranty

Cons

  • Have to buy a separate hose
  • Expensive

Comparison Chart

Hoselink Retractable Hose ReelLivekey Retractable Hose ReelEley Rapid Hose Reel
180-degree swivelXX
Length of hose82 ft45 ftN/A
Carry handleX
Wall bracketX
RemovableX
Price$$$$$
Dimensions24 x 10 x 19.310.9 x 5.7 x 12.820 x 9 x 19
Weight (lbs)324.720
Warranty2-year2-year10-year

Buyer’s Guide:

Hose Reels

Hose reels are convenient for those gardeners who regularly water their plants and want the most convenient way to deploy an uncoiled garden hose. Moreover, reels are the best way of storing away your awkward hose and are ready to deploy when you want, which makes watering the garden an easy task. Plus, if you are less able but want to retain as much independence as you can, then the simplicity of a retractable hose reel means that even the frailest person can water the garden without too much assistance. Reels also decrease the chances of an accidental tripping accident in the garden less likely.

Wall mounted hose reels are the best way to store away your hose so that it is ready to be deployed when you want it. They are clean, safe, and above all convenient, but they may not be the most portable option if you want full access to all the corners of your garden or you want to hose down the SUV.

Portable hose reels are lightweight and easy to carry around. They are great for both front and rear yard work, especially washing the car on the driveway, where the wall bracket reel makes it hard for the hose to reach. Not everyone has the strength, though, to hand-wind an 80-foot hose without it tangling or kinking, so in this instance a fixed bracket hose reel would be more convenient.

PROSCONS
Wall mounted reels
  • Better for storage
  • Keeps the hose in a central location
  • Spring-loaded retraction
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t reach everywhere
  • Restricted usage
Portable reels
  • Cheaper to buy
  • Can be carried anywhere
  • Keeps the hose neatly coiled
  • Can be heavy for some people
  • Harder to wind away
  • Needs additional storage after use

  • How does the retracting mechanism work on a hose reel?
  • First, you have to pull the hose out of the hose box to the desired length and then stop. The self-locking feature should kick in and prevent the hose from rewinding into the box while you are watering. When you are done, pull the hose reel sharply towards you by about a foot to release the lock, and when you release the tension on the hose, the retracting mechanism should kick in and wind up the hose. Inside the hose box, there is a guard or feeder that reels the hose from left to right to ensure that it gets wound evenly with no overlaps to cause a blockage.

  • Does my hose reel need to be stored away in the winter?
  • As long as you ensure that all the water has drained from the coiled hose, there shouldn’t be any need to worry about winterization. The problem comes with hoses that are left out in the elements and start to perish and crack, but because your hose box protects the contents, it should survive a winter comfortably.

  • Is it better to buy a hose reel with hose included?
  • Hose reels with hoses included tend to be more expensive, and while they are more commonplace and convenient, you also don’t get to choose the quality of the hose material. On the other hand, if you buy a reel without a hose included, then it will cost you the price of the hose as well as a reel. Most people opt for the reels with the hose included for convenience sake only, and they tend to be more compact, which makes a difference when mounting it to your wall or a post.

Final Thoughts

Hose reels are a gardeners dream, especially when it saves you having to uncoil a hose pipe and fight to get it straightened out while at the same time trying to trail it around your prize plants without causing a trip hazard.

If you choose the Hoselink Retractable Hose Reel, we know you won’t be disappointed, especially when it has a spring-loaded retracting mechanism and an automatic locking feature. That’s why we made it our HowToHome pick.

If you want the best but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars, then our budget pick has to be the Livekey Retractable Hose Reel . It retails at less than half the cost of the Hoselink yet offers almost all of the same features. It may not be the same high quality, but you can forgive it for that when you see the saving you make in the purchase price.

The beauty of buying a dedicated reel minus the hose, like the Eley Rapid Hose Reel, is that you get to choose which hose you attach to the reel. It doesn’t restrict you like the Hoselink Retractable Hose Reel, especially if you have a hose diameter and quality in mind.

Whatever style and type you want, and regardless of the cost, choosing a hose reel will revolutionize the way you water your garden, and that has to be a good thing.

Further Reading