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7 Best Garden Hose Reels That Are Easily Retractable (2021 Review)

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The best garden hose reel should automatically retract without getting tangled or kinked and should not leak. Wall-mounted options should provide a solid anchor point, 180 degree swivel and neat storage after use. It’s also important to choose a hose length that’s aligned to your garden size. I’ve considerably researched the best options and tested how effective they are in action. Here is what I found…

What is the Best Garden Hose Reel For You?

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Comparing The Best Garden Hose Reels

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Type
  • Retraction
  • Hose Length
  • Weight
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  

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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Hose Reels

Gardena Wall-Mounted Hose ReelGardena Wall-Mounted Hose Reel

Best quality hose reel

Design
Installation Ease
Value For Money
Overall
4.4666666666667
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Gardena Wall-Mounted Hose Reel Review

Specifications

  • Type: Wall Mounted
  • Retraction: Automatic
  • Hose Length: 35m
  • Weight: 9.07kg

The Gardena Wall-Mounted Hose Reel is a lighter unit than some other models, making for slightly easier installation. It weighs just over 9 kg which, for reference, is significantly lighter than Hozelock’s 16 kg hose reel. It still measures roughly the same, at 55.9 x 68.6 x 27.9 cm, and contains a marginally shorter 35 m hose.

Seeing as these hoses should be stored away in winter to prevent damage from freezing, a lighter unit like this may appeal to some, making the notion of that bi-yearly job a bit less daunting.

Where the Gardena hose reel really comes into its own is with its high-quality fixings, these hold the bracket on the wall safely and firmly, easily supporting the reel.

Like most auto-reel hoses, it swivels through 180° which helps prevent kinking and damage to the hose. It also means the unit can be folded back against the wall neatly to save space.

The included Gardena hose features a spray nozzle and an on/off valve – this makes it infinitely easier to connect the hose to a sprinkler system and adjust pressure from the hose end rather than returning to the tap.

A final thing to note: unlike some other auto-reel hoses, this Gardena model has pre-set intervals where the hose will lock. This means that as you are extending the hose, you need to pull it out to one of these intervals before it will lock in place. You may occasionally, therefore, have to pull out more length than you need.

Pros

  • Users have been impressed with how infrequently it leaks.
  • The fixings supplied are of very good quality.
  • It is not prone to kinking.
  • Recoils back smoothly into drum.
  • Stop valve allows you to change attachments without turning off hose at faucet.

Cons

  • The hose may be heavy to pull out for some people.
  • Set locking points only - you may need to pull more hose than you want before it will lock.
  • Installation instructions may be a bit too basic, but the process is not too complicated.
  • May need to occasionally assist the reeling-in mechanism.
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VonHaus Auto Rewind Wall-Mounted Hose ReelVonHaus Auto Rewind Wall-Mounted Hose Reel

Best for small/med gardens

Design
Installation Ease
Value For Money
Overall
4.5
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VonHaus Auto Rewind Wall-Mounted Hose Reel Review

Specifications

  • Type: Wall Mounted
  • Retraction: Automatic
  • Hose Length: 20m
  • Weight: 8.1kg

If you’re working with limited space, you might be wondering if there are more compact units available. The VonHaus Auto Rewind Wall-Mounted Hose Reel measures 41 x 40 x 20 cm which is significantly smaller than some other models.

It also doesn’t cost as much, possessing many of the same features as some of the best automatic garden hose reels on this list, without the eyewatering price tag.

The hose is 20 m long, which accounts for the smaller unit, yet still offers sufficient reach for small to medium gardens. Less force is required to pull out the hose than with longer models, and it extends smoothly. It retracts neatly into the drum after use, sometimes requiring a little more coaxing as it begins to fill up the casing.

Emptying the hose fully can help encourage it back into the drum – the small unit size works wonders for being discreet in the garden, but can be a snug fit for the hose. That said, it’s more than capable of winding up neatly and fairly evenly with no twists or kinks.

Weighing 8.1 kg, installation is relatively straight forward; however, the fixings that come provided are only just up to the job. To avoid any future disasters, it might be an idea to use stronger bolts.

Pros

  • Smoothly pulls out and retracts with limited assistance required.
  • Folds neatly flat against the wall.
  • Re-winding guide does a good job to avoid tangling.
  • Good value for money compared to more expensive brands - offers very similar quality product.
  • Unit can be removed from bracket to store and protect it over winter.

Cons

  • May require some persuasion to get the final metres reeled into the casing.
  • Basic spray head only without changeable settings (but can be swapped out for a different one).
  • May jam in the casing unless water is turned off when reeling in.
  • Some users found they needed to provide stronger screws to affix unit.
  • Feed hose that runs from tap to unit isn't very long.
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Hozelock Auto Reel HoseHozelock Auto Reel Hose

Best for large gardens

Design
Installation Ease
Value For Money
Overall
4.4666666666667
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Hozelock Auto Reel Hose Review

Specifications

  • Type: Wall Mounted
  • Retraction: Automatic
  • Hose Length: 40m
  • Weight: 16.4kg

Anything that helps a gardener save time is a valuable asset in the garden, and the Hozelock Auto Reel Hose certainly makes light work of what can otherwise be a frustrating and time-consuming task.

Automatically reeling in 40 m of hose, and winding it on to the wall unit without tangling or kinking, this popular auto-reel saves time and effort. The result: a neatly stored hose in minutes.

It also automatically locks as you pull the hose out, meaning you can extend as much or as little as required.

When positioned on the side of the house, the long Hozelock Ultramax hose is well equipped to reach both the back garden and front driveway. Perfectly suited to both watering plants and washing the car.

The quality hosepipe is a three-layer, anti-kink hose that comes with a spray nozzle with a variety of different settings making it easy to change between jobs

It’s worth mentioning that this is a large hose reel that does take up quite a bit of space – certainly 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, which is bigger than some other models.

Installation can be a bit of a challenge; at 16.4 kg it’s not the lightest of units and it needs to be fixed to a very hard wall to make sure it stays in securely.

Pros

  • Automatically locks as you pull it out - can be used at any length.
  • Good length that can reach from most back gardens to driveways.
  • Hose is evenly distributed on reel as it winds in.
  • Neat and tidy appearance storing 40 m hose out of sight.
  • Unit can easily detach from wall bracket for easy winter storage.

Cons

  • Installation can be tricky and require a long screwdriver.
  • Screws provided may not be long enough, replacing with longer screws may secure the unit better.
  • It's a little bulky so ensure you have enough space.
  • Installation may require two people as it's quite heavy.
  • You need to take care when feeding the hose back in, to avoid damaging the mechanism.
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Umi Auto Rewind Garden Hose ReelUmi Auto Rewind Garden Hose Reel

Best newcomer

Design
Installation Ease
Value For Money
Overall
4.4666666666667
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Umi Auto Rewind Garden Hose Reel Review

Specifications

  • Type: Wall Mounted
  • Retraction: Automatic
  • Hose Length: 25m
  • Weight: 10.37kg

The Umi Auto Rewind Garden Hose Reel comes from a lesser known brand, yet it’s a reliable hose with a surprising number of attachments included for such a reasonably priced item.

It comes with both a spray nozzle and spray gun, leaving you with plenty of options. Whether you’re washing the car, watering the plants, or even cleaning your dog,  there’s a spray setting for the job. In fact, there are 9 to choose from, including flat, centre, cone, full, fog and jet.

When it comes to the hose itself, the manufacturing is of noticeably good quality; the 25 m hose consists of 3 wear-resistant layers which help protect it from the elements and high pressure.

The automatic rewind system works well, neatly storing the hose in black, understated casing. Occasionally, there may be some resistance when pulling the hose out, but a little bit of coaxing easily does the trick.

Whereas many hoses have more durable metal fittings, the Umi features plastic connectors for the tap, hose and spray guns. However, overall, the price-to-quality ratio for this Umi hose reel seems well matched.

Pros

  • Compatible with all standard attachments - can be used with a sprinkler, different head, etc.
  • Easy to remove from the wall bracket for storage.
  • Multiple spray patterns make it suitable for a range of different jobs.
  • Installation is straight forward and quick.
  • Neat looking casing which easily stores hose.

Cons

  • Some users have commented that the hose diameter is a little small.
  • There can be some resistance when unrolling the hose.
  • The plastic spray head connectors may be weaker than metal alternatives.
  • Plastic tap connectors may not last as long as metal ones.
  • Large unit needs to be positioned somewhere with enough space.
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Tresko Auto Garden Hose ReelTresko Auto Garden Hose Reel

Best for easy setup

Design
Installation Ease
Value For Money
Overall
4.4333333333333
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Tresko Auto Garden Hose Reel Review

Specifications

  • Type: Wall Mounted
  • Retraction: Automatic
  • Hose Length: 30m
  • Weight: 12.94kg

Whilst some people love the bright colours of gardening equipment, there are others who cry out for something a little more understated. If you find yourself in the latter category, you’ll be pleased to know the TRESKO Auto Garden Hose Reel has got you covered.

It’s a 30 m black hose tastefully stored in modern, light grey casing. Whether you have light garden furniture, white-painted walls, or just a desire to keep things more contemporary, this auto garden hose reel has a refreshing design that will do the trick.

With a strong reel mechanism, the 30 m hose retracts easily and is quickly stored out of sight. The integrated hose guide helps keep things tidy as the hose rewinds and it’s best to keep hold of the hose to walk it in – the reel is powerful! There is some resistance when extending the hose, so the only thing is to make sure that you’re prepared for a bit of an upper-body workout.

Also handy for those who want something hassle-free to assemble, the TRESKO reel is simple to get up and running in minutes. The instructions could be clearer, but the process is straight forward. It comes with wall brackets and an adjustable spray nozzle included so you can get watering straight away.

Pros

  • Fittings are compatible with standard hose connectors for sprinklers etc.
  • Guide on the reel works well to retract hose evenly.
  • Assembly is easy and simple, taking only a few minutes.
  • Light colour is aesthetically modern and blends well with pale walls.
  • Robust casing stands up to weather well.

Cons

  • Resistance of mechanism can make it quite heavy to pull the hose out.
  • Some people do not find the instruction manual to be sufficiently informative.
  • Retraction is fast and needs to be walked in slowly.
  • Some users have found that the hose is thinner than standard.
  • Two people may be required for installation as the unit is heavy.
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Gardena Classic Wall-Fixed Hose ReelGardena Classic Wall-Fixed Hose Reel

Best manual wall mounted reel

Design
Installation Ease
Value For Money
Overall
4.4333333333333
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Gardena Classic Wall-Fixed Hose Reel Review

Specifications

  • Type: Wall Mounted
  • Retraction: Manual
  • Hose Length: 60m
  • Weight: 4.58kg

Traditional designs often stand the test of time; even when more modern technology is invented, people keep going back to the tried-and-tested. Gardena’s Classic Wall Fixed Hose is no exception; it’s a popular manual-reel hose with a traditional hand-crank mechanism and reliably robust construction.

With a large, comfortable handle, the unit winds in easily after use, requiring limited intervention to guide the 20 m hose back on to the wheel.

Coming with a strong Gardena hose with standard fittings, this wall-fixed reel extends freely without demanding too much effort. Whether you’re watering flower beds near the house, or borders further down the garden, you won’t need to pull out more hose than necessary.

Easy to store, simple to use, and with quality connectors provided, there’s a lot working in this reel’s favour. Just one main thing to be aware of: it doesn’t come with a hose to connect the unit to the tap – you will have to provide your own, or cut some of the hosepipe and make one using the included fittings.

Pros

  • Free-running winding mechanism makes it easy to pull out hose without resistance.
  • Easy to remove from the wall for winter storage.
  • The winding handle folds in to stop it getting in the way and catching people as they pass.
  • Standard hose adaptors (push fit) are suitable for the vast majority of garden taps and accessories.

Cons

  • Connecting hose, joining unit to tap, not included - needs to be made by cutting hose and using provided fittings.
  • Unit may jam if used with a hose longer than 20 m, even if you buy the 50 m capacity model.
  • With the 'set 50' the hose provided is still 20 m long, the '50' refers to how much hose could fit on the unit.
  • On the more expensive side for 20 m of hose.
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Alfresia Auto Hose ReelAlfresia Auto Hose Reel

Best small hose reel

Design
Installation Ease
Value For Money
Overall
4.4333333333333
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Alfresia Auto Hose Reel Review

Specifications

  • Type: Wall Mounted
  • Retraction: Automatic
  • Hose Length: 15m
  • Weight: 7kg

With a 15 m and 30 m option, Alfresia’s Auto Hose Reel is a great option for smaller gardens.

The reel has a reliable, and fairly powerful, winding mechanism, making it well suited to use in small spaces and on terraces; it cleanly stores the garden hose away in a neat casing that measures approximately 55 cm in diameter.

Of course, non-drip fittings are a must-have when it comes to hoses – keeping water bills down and generally making watering jobs easier. The Alfresia hose reel and hose features all brass connectors; on the hand gun, hose end and tap fitting. These are robust and durable, much like the hand gun itself which is also made from metal.

Storing the reel away over winter is as simple as lifting it from the wall bracket, and both size options are relatively light, with the 15 m design weighing around 7 kg.

This is one of the cheapest hose reels on the list, and as a result it may not be quite as smooth in operation as some of the more expensive models. The hose can sometimes require a bit of persuasion to get it to unravel, and to avoid damaging the unit or surrounding objects the hose should be walked in as the reel winds when putting it away.

One further thing to note: the hose that connects the reel unit to the tap is a little short – measuring only around 2 m instead of the advertised 3 m. Just something to bear in mind whilst considering where to place your garden reel.

Pros

  • Comes with brass fittings which are stronger and more durable than plastic.
  • The metal spray gun is tough and won't crack easily.
  • Can be easily removed from bracket to store away and protect hose over winter.
  • Reliable rewinding mechanism.
  • Comes with clear assembly instructions and is simple to install.

Cons

  • Hose which connects to tap may be a little short.
  • The recoil is very powerful and needs to be walked in carefully to avoid damage.
  • The colour is not as subtle as some other models.
  • Some users find it a little difficult to extend due to resistance.
  • You may need to learn the 'knack' of persuading it to wind in, but works well once mastered.
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Things to Know Before Buying a 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.

Auto-Rewind Technology

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.

Choosing the Best Size Hose Reel

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.

The Importance of Quality

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.

Security

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.

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Garden Hose Reel FAQs

Most hose reels come with a simple spray nozzle. Can I change this to a spray gun?

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.

Can I leave my hose reel out all year round?

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.

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