Whether you’re watering the lawn, washing the car, or cleaning the patio, the fact remains that when you’re done, you’ll face the task of rolling your hose back up. If you’ve ever rolled up a hose by hand before, you already know the results are rarely pretty.
Fortunately, a hose reel makes it easy for you to organize and store your hose when it isn’t in use. But, how do you shop for one? Which features do you need and how much should you spend? Our guide to the best hose reel options on the market has all the answers you’ll need, read on.
Let’s jump right in and cover five of the top options that are available now. Each of these hose reels stores easily and organizes your hose while providing the clean look that your yard deserves.
Liberty Garden Products Model 709
With the 709 hose reel, Liberty Garden Products offers a premium hose reel that’s built to last at an affordable price.
The first thing you’ll notice is the heavy-duty steel construction of this hose reel, which has been powder coated in an attractive neutral tan color. This model is made from 13-gauge steel, so it should have no problem standing up to hot summers and cold winters.
While most people choose to mount this hose reel on an exterior wall, it can also be left on the floor as well. Rubber feet are included to ensure non-skid operation should you choose not to wall mount the hose reel.
The unit is fully assembled right out of the box, and all you’ll need to do is attach the crank handle to the side of the reel. Also included is 5’ of leader hose, which connects to any standard garden hose.
The 709 can corral an impressive 200’ of ⅝” garden hose. It can also accommodate ¾” hose as well.
With its classic look and solid steel construction, the Liberty Garden Products Model 709 can compete with reels that are over twice its price, and at under $100, this is one of the best value buys in the category.
- 13 gauge steel construction
- Heavy industrial powder coating
- No assembly required
- Doesn’t include hose
- Doesn’t include mounting hardware
Suncast Smart Trak SMW200
Suncast has long been known as one of the biggest and most reliable manufacturers of affordable hose reels. This Smart Trak model adds attractive decorative touches, so you can corral your garden hose without detracting from the beauty of your yard.
Unlike wall-mounted models, the SMW200 stores the hose inside of a UV resistant resin box with an attractive wicker-like finish, which some may argue is much nicer aesthetically. This model is also available in several other finish options, each designed to blend seamlessly into your yard.
This hose reel also features Suncast’s Smart Trak system, which guides the hose neatly onto the reel, preventing tangles and kinks. Since the hose reel is covered, it also protects your hose from harmful UV rays, which extends the life of your hose.
This model arrives fully assembled, so all you’ll need to do is add your hose to the reel and position it in your yard. While this reel measures in at only 22” long by 21” wide and 21.5” high, it manages to store an impressive 225 feet of ⅝” garden hose.
Unlike some other models, the SMW200 can’t accommodate larger diameter hoses.
While the resin hose box is built to last and made from weather-resistant materials, it’s best to store this away for the winter in a shed or basement as extremely cold temperatures can cause this hose reel to warp or crack.
- High capacity
- Attractive look
- Smart Trak hose guide
- Doesn’t accept larger diameter hoses
- Resin material can warp or crack over time
If the models from Eley and Liberty Garden seem to be a bit too large or heavy-duty for your needs, you may love this model from Yardfitter.
Unlike the other models we’ve covered which are higher capacity and rewind manually, the AutoReel is lower capacity, and it rewinds automatically. This hose reel corrals 60’ of standard ⅝” garden hose, which is ideal for small and medium-sized yards.
This model includes everything you’ll need right out of the box, including the hose. The kit includes the hose reel with AutoReel technology, 60’ of quality ⅝” garden hose, and all applicable mounting hardware. As a bonus, it also includes an 8-way deluxe spray nozzle.
If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest hose reel to use, this may be the best choice for you.
While the AutoReel is made from high-density plastic, it’s easy to see this model deteriorating with regular use in extremely hot or cold climates, so it may be best to remove the reel and store it away each winter if you live somewhere with harsh winters. A one-year warranty is included, so you’ll be covered should anything go wrong within the first 12 months.
- Includes everything you need right out of the box
- AutoReel self-winding technology
- Reel is made of plastic
- Short warranty
HOSELINK Automatic Retractable Garden Hose Reel
For those who are looking for the convenience of an automatic hose reel with a little extra length for larger yards, the HOSELINK system may be a good choice for you.
Similar to the model above from Yardfitter, this HOSELINK model provides everything you’ll need to get started in one attractive package. This model includes 82 feet of hose plus a six-foot leader hose, the automatic hose reel, a seven-function spray nozzle and all appropriate mounting hardware and brackets.
The hose reel is fully automatic, and it can be locked at any time once you’ve reached your desired length. Like the Yardfitter above, the case comes in an attractive, neutral grey and white color that should blend nicely with the look of your home.
One strange feature of this reel is that the provided hose is 9/16”, which is smaller than a standard garden hose. Should something go wrong with the hose that’s provided, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to replace it with a standard diameter hose.
While all of the included components are high-quality, the reel is also made from plastic, leaving it susceptible to breakage or warping when exposed to extreme temperatures.
While this model is one of the most attractive and convenient to use hose reels on the market, the plastic construction and non-standard hose diameter may steer you towards one of the other models we’ve covered above.
- Includes everything you need right out of the box
- Automatic hose retrieval
- Short warranty
- Included hose is a non-standard diameter
Whether you opt for one of the great options we’ve reviewed above, or you’re considering a hose reel from beyond our list, there are some important facts you’ll need to know about hose reels and how to select the best one for your needs.
While they all serve the same basic purpose, there are many types of reels on the market, and depending on your needs, one may be a better fit than the others.
One of the most popular configurations is the wall-mounted reel. These are among the most popular types of hose reels because they’re usually heavy-duty, attractive, and convenient.
Some models even feature decorative flourishes which add to the look of your home’s exterior instead of detracting from it.
Some wall-mounted hose reels can also be mounted on the floor as well, and these are popular for certain industrial applications and use on boats.
Hose carts are popular for homes with large yards or big gardens where it’s helpful to be able to move the hose with you as you work.
Most carts feature organizers for your hose fittings and any nozzles or attachments you may have as well, so you’ll be able to carry them with the cart.
Hose carts come in a variety of materials. On the lower end of the price spectrum, resin carts are popular and are often available for less than $100. Heavy-duty carts are also available and can cost several hundred dollars or more, especially if they have pneumatic wheels.
Hideaway hose reels are among the most attractive designs and are a favorite of people who don’t want 200 feet of garden hose to retract from the beauty of their yard.
With these reels, the reel itself is usually enclosed within a decorative box which is often made from resin or plastic. When the hose is reeled up, it’s easy to mistake the box for a piece of patio storage furniture or an outdoor ottoman.
Beyond the type of hose reel you want, there are also some key features to consider which will make it easier for you to use and enjoy your new hose reel.
While manual reels dominate much of the market, automatic reels are becoming more popular, especially for people with smaller yards.
As the name implies, automatic hose reels take the work out of rewinding your hose and automatically rewind the hose for you when you’re finished. Many of them also include a lock function so you can lock the hose in place once you’ve reached the area you need to water.
These models are typically more expensive, and they usually come with plastic cases, which are susceptible to weather damage.
You’ll find hose reels made from many materials. Metal, resin, and plastic are the most popular.
A metal hose reel is usually the most durable, and they’re often made from steel or aluminum and then powder coated to prevent rust or premature wear.
Resin is the next most durable material, and they tend to be more durable and weather resistant than plastic reels, but still not as durable as metal.
Resin and plastic are also lightweight, which is an essential consideration if you’re looking for a hose reel cart that’s easy to maneuver.
The fittings are what separate the best hose reel options from cheaper and less durable models. Fittings can be made from brass or aluminum, resin or plastic.
If you’re looking for a hose reel that’s going to last a long time, shop for one with brass or aluminum fittings that are crush proof. More expensive models include fittings that are so high quality you can drink from them if you had to.
Keep in mind that when a hose reel starts to leak, poor quality fittings are usually to blame. So, in your search for the best hose reel, this is one feature to focus on.
Q: How long does the hose need to be?
A: This will depend on the size of your yard. Most people need somewhere in the realm of 100-200 feet of hose for their various projects around the yard. However, if you have a more expansive piece of property, you’ll want a longer hose, especially if your hose reel is stationary.
For people with smaller yards, somewhere in the 50-100-foot range is typically best.
Q: Does it come with a hose?
Many hose reels come with an included hose. These reels tend to fall on the cheaper or average side of the price spectrum. The hoses that are included are usually medium-duty and are suitable for most projects around the yard.
That said, if you already own a quality hose, or if you’re in the market for a new hose, you may be better suited with a model from a brand such as Liberty Garden or Eley, which rarely include a hose.
Q: How do I take care of my hose reel?
For many hose reels, there’s nothing more you need to do to take care of your reel. Models made out of steel or aluminum are mostly maintenance free.
For hose reels made of plastic or resin, it’s best to store them away from the elements during the offseason to prevent against premature wear or breakage.
Q: How important is the warranty?
A: While a hose reel may seem like a product you wouldn’t need a warranty on, the fact is a great warranty is an important feature to have.
Even cheaper hose reels typically cost around $100, and a good warranty ensures that you’ll be covered in the event of premature breakage. Eley offers the longest and most comprehensive warranty, but they’re also among the most expensive brands on the market.
When it comes to selecting the best hose reel, there are several key considerations to make. Ease of use, durability, and looks are all significant concerns during the buying process.
Overall, our choice for the best hose reel is the Liberty Garden Products Model 709. While there are higher-end models available, none of them offer the same blend of quality, ease of use, looks and affordability that Liberty Garden brings to the table with the Model 709.
If you’re willing to shell out several hundreds of dollars on a hose reel, you may be better suited with a model from Eley.
Which hose reel will you use to make your spring and summer yard work a breeze? Let us know in the comments.