In this guide we’ll take a look at the best automatic garden hose reels on the UK market.
I’ve compared rewind functionality, reliability, ease of use, safety and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best Garden Hose Reel?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Best automatic garden hose reel on the market
The Hozelock Auto Reel Hose makes watering easy. It smoothly unravels, giving you the exact amount of hose you’re after, and automatically winds back up when you’re done. A simple, tangle-free, hassle-free watering experience.
Things to Know Before Buying an Automatic Garden Hose Reel
We all know that a hose is an essential piece of kit for anyone wanting to water their garden.
But did you know that using a garden hose reel will make this job so much simpler? Gone are the days of having the hose trailing behind, getting frustratingly tangled and kinked every five minutes!
If you’re thinking about buying an automatic hose reel, take a look at the following tips to help you make an informed purchase.
The latest generation of hose reels make the watering process even easier by using auto-rewind technology:
Simply pull the hose out to the desired length and it will automatically lock in place.
When you want to extend the hose further, or wind it in a little, a simple tug unlocks it. This makes it much easier to move on to the next section of the garden. Once you have finished, simply tug again, unlocking it, and allow it to rewind evenly back into its casing with no kinks or tangles.
To auto-wind, or not to auto-wind?
Of course, it’s up to you whether you choose a garden reel with auto-wind technology or not.
Non-automatic reels may be cheaper and lighter than their automated equivalents, making them easier to install and pack away. However, without the automatic mechanism to help you, the task of hand-rolling your hose back on to the reel can be tedious.
Auto-wind reels make it easy to release exactly the right amount of hose you want for a job. No need to fuss about holding it taut while you use it! Packing the hose away is hassle free, and the auto-wind system generally ensures the hose is evenly distributed onto the reel. This can be harder to achieve when doing it manually.
You want a hose that will reach the end of your garden without stretching. However, you also don’t want to spend extra money on a hose which is much longer than you need. Measure your garden to find out which hose length will best suit your needs.
Another thing to consider is the size of the reel unit itself. You should make sure you have enough wall space to mount the hose reel that you want to buy, as some of them are quite large.
If the space you choose to mount your reel is some way from the garden tap, you may need to buy an extra piece of hose to join the reel to the water supply. All the hoses in this review come with a joiner piece but this may not always be enough for your purposes.
If you will be using your garden hose reel regularly, and plan to leave it outside, it is worth spending a bit more money on a good-quality reel to ensure it last for years.
Look for quality casing which has UV protection and is made from a durable material.
That said, you should still position your reel out of direct sunlight. High-quality casing will protect the hose from UV damage, but it will last longer if it is in a position where the temperature is more stable.
If you wish to store your hose in a frost-free environment over winter, then look for a product where the reel can be removed from the wall bracket.
In addition, the better quality the hose, the easier it will be to use and less likely to kink or fail to rewind. Superior hoses also come with better connectors meaning they are less likely to leak.
If you are mounting your garden hose reel somewhere that other people might be able to reach it, such as a front garden, make sure you secure the reel casing to the wall bracket. Whilst it might not seem like the most desirable item to steal, detachable hose reels can be a temptation to some. Better to be safe than sorry and secure your reel to prevent theft.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Garden Hose Reel Reviews
Hozelock Auto Reel Hose Review
I have been using the Hozelock Auto Reel Hose for several months. In my opinion, it is the best automatic garden hose reel available.
I have it attached to the wall at the side of my house, allowing me to water my front garden and wash my car with ease.
The hose itself is the Hozelock Ultramax – a premium, three-layer, anti-kink hose. It comes with a spray nozzle that has a variety of different settings – these have been invaluable when changing from general-plant-watering to cleaning jobs.
I found the wall bracket easy to fit, and the hose reel comes with all required fixings. The casing is very sturdy and will protect the hose from weather damage all year round. That said, it’s straightforward to remove the reel from the wall bracket if you want to store it away for winter.
The auto-reel works seamlessly. It effortlessly unwinds the hose to the length you want and locks so you don’t have to hold it taught. When finished, a little tug unlocks it and the hose is automatically reeled back in. The hose is evenly distributed on the wheel avoiding tangling or clogging. For me it’s been a huge time saver!
The bracket allows you to swing out the reel to a 180-degree angle from the wall; this makes it so much easier to use for a variety of tasks. The casing and bracket can be padlocked together for security if required.
It’s worth mentioning that this is a large garden hose reel that does take up quite a bit of space on the wall – something to bear in mind when considering if it’s the right product for your garden. The reel casing measures 27 x 66 x 55.5 cm. The unit is also quite heavy, approximately 16.4 kg, so you might need an extra pair of hands to help you install it.
The product does come in smaller sizes which are perfect for the more compact garden.
This may not be the cheapest product on the market, but it’s the best automatic garden hose reel available in my opinion. If you’re looking for a quality product that will last for years and really does make chores simpler. Unwinding and rewinding the hose is simple and it rarely kinks – no need to waste time straightening it in the middle of watering.
Gardena Wall-Mounted Hose Reel Review
This Gardena Wall-Mounted Hose Reel is another product with auto-wind technology. You’ll be amazed by how much time it saves you; this reel will alleviate the hard labour of manually rewinding the hose, while avoiding uneven winding and kinks.
It comes with all the necessary fixings for wall mounting, and swivels by 180 degrees for ease of use – this feature helps prevent kinking and means it can be folded back against the wall neatly to save space. The casing provides frost protection and prevents UV damage.
This is a lighter, smaller option than some other products on this list. The garden hose reel measures 27.9 x 68.6 x 55.9 cm and the total weight is 9.07 kg. Ultimately, this means the unit is a little easier to handle than some others. By all accounts it’s really very light considering the hose is 35 m metres long!
The hose itself is very high quality. One of the ways the manufactures have made it less likely to kink is by ensuring optimal water flow. It also comes with a spray nozzle to improve accuracy and general easy-of-use!
Although this garden hose reel is at the high end of the price range, the build quality is excellent and I think it’s fair to say that it’s not as bulky as some other products on the market.
Kärcher CR5.220 Auto Reel Garden Hose Review
This Kärcher CR5.220 Auto Reel Garden Hose has a lot going for it: a practical wall bracket that can be rotated by 180 degrees, the ability to be easily removed and stored, and a controlled auto-wind system. Say goodbye to spending hours trying to smooth out an unruly, tangled hose!
The hose itself is ½” thick, of very good quality, and phthalate-free. It is shorter than the previous two products, resulting in a more compact unit that is ideal for small to medium gardens. Additionally, the reel is extremely simple to fit, and easy to unwind and rewind.
The garden hose reel measures 20.6 x 18.9 x 30 cm and the whole product weighs approximately 11.5 kg.
It comes with a spray nozzle, and represents the Karcher brand with their signature colours of black and yellow.
Again, this is a product at the higher end of the price range; it might be considered quite pricey for a 20 m hose. However, it has all the quality you would expect from a Karcher product and I suspect it will give years of trouble free use.
Tacklife Automatic Hose Reel Review
This Tacklife Automatic Hose Reel contains a 30 m hose and offers everything you would expect from a quality garden hose reel. It unwinds easily, then rewinds gently and evenly when you’re done – no snags, kinks or tangles! It takes 12-15 seconds to rewind the hose, saving you a lot of time and freeing you up to tackle your next task!
This product is a little lighter than some of the other products featured on this list, though it is still well made. The casing measures 51.5 x 30 x 45.5 cm and the overall weight is around 12.4 kg.
The ½” hose is of good quality and the reel casing is well made and durable. Helpfully, the reel can swing out at 180 degrees from the wall to help avoid kinking in the hose.
The wall bracket is easy to install, though the fixings are quite hefty – I advise using a powerful drill to help make the installation go smoothly. Another handy feature is that the whole reel is removable for winter storage – you won’t have to worry about your hose getting damaged in the frosty weather!
This garden hose reel has a contemporary, stylish, black-and-orange design which gives it more of a modern look compared to traditional green hoses.
This is the best automatic garden hose reel if you are looking for a lighter-weight product that’s easy to use. Not forgetting its fast re-wind time! It is also slightly lower in cost than some of the heftier hose reels. It’s ideal for small to fairly large gardens.
VonHaus Auto Rewind Wall-Mounted Hose Reel Review
This VonHaus Auto Rewind Wall-Mounted Hose Reel has all the same excellent features as many of the best automatic garden house reels on this list.
I was expecting the build quality to be low, but it’s durable and well made while still being lightweight and easy to sue. The hose is 20 m long making it perfect for small to medium gardens.
The retraction is powerful and works pretty smoothly, though it does slow down a little towards the end as it begins to fill up the casing. That said, it winds up neatly and fairly evenly with no twists or kinks. As with all of the best automatic hose reels, the whole reel swings out to 180 degrees, making it easy to use and avoiding causing kinks as you pull out the hose.
The wall bracket was easy to install using a drill, but the fixings that come with it are only just up to the job; you might want to consider buying stronger bolts. The unit measures 41 x 40 x 20 cm.
This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something which is great value and perfect for a small to medium garden.
Automatic Garden Hose Reel FAQs
Yes, most garden hose reels can be used with a variety of fittings including spray guns.
However, hoses come in a range of diameters so check that the spray nozzle is suitable for the size of your hose.
You can leave your hose out all year round if it is on a reel with a protective casing.
Most casings protect your hose from UV damage and frost. However, your hose may well last longer if you store it in a frost-free environment over winter.
You might want to consider buying a reel that can be removed from the wall bracket, allowing you to store it in winter or when you are away from home during hot spells. Many garden hose reels allow you to do this simply and easily.