A hose reel is an extremely simple piece of equipment, used to store garden hose in a neat way – usually by coiling it around a central spooling system. Even given the relative simplicity of this form of technology, hose reels vary a great deal in terms of the technology they use and the aesthetic design available. Whatever the overall approach and budget for your yard, there’s a hose reel that fits it.
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As mentioned above, a hose reel is a piece of garden equipment that fulfills an extremely specific task. However, there’s a wide variety of possibilities within that area. Although you don’t often think of technology playing a role in hose reels, there’s a great deal of engineering that goes on, meaning you can have rudimentary hose reels all the way through to ones that are quite elaborate.
In order to create our shortlist of the best options available on the market, we considered the models with the best reviews, attempting to cultivate a set that reflected the different prices and styles available. That said, there were certain standout features that indicated overall quality. We judged based on the following criteria: build quality, length of hose contained, weight, materials used, smoothness of operation, and reel mechanism.
We filtered the models on the market through the above criteria to make a shortlist of five, giving a range of different budget and design options. We selected our best pick, our top budget option, and the best budget pick. Finally, we finished the guide by listing the key information every buyer needs to know in our Hose Reel Buyer’s Guide (below). This guide should give you all the information you require to make the best decision for your needs.
If it’s possible to get excited about a retractable hose reel, this is the model to get excited about. The design may look simple but it’s really anything but. The smoothness of the operation means that you can retract 50-feet of hose without having to wind a crank, or even bend over.
With a simple pull on the hose, the lock is deactivated, and the mechanism inside begins reeling it in. In one fell swoop, Gardena has taken all of the trickiness out of coiling and uncoiling a garden hose. Really great design always seems simple, and this is no exception. This was our standout choice.
Generally, when reviewing these products, the price differential between the top pick and the budget pick is roughly 50% to 200%. Remarkably, the Yard Butler model comes in at 10% of the cost of the top pick.
This is a major difference. However, the Yard Butler hose hanger is of comparable design quality to the dramatically more expensive options available. This truly represents great value for money. It may lack some of the ancillary features of the pricier options, but at its core, it does its job extremely effectively.
If you’re going to spend money on a product that makes reeling in your garden hose a breeze, do it properly. Our luxury pick is from Liberty Garden and is one of the few models on the market that has its own aesthetic with its wrought-iron-style design. It’s a rare example of a piece of utilitarian garden gear that you don’t need to hide away. As well as all the functions and features, this is what truly makes it a pleasure to own.
This design has a beautiful vintage feel to it. Like the Liberty Garden model, it has the same sense of a statement piece to it – this is built to look like a piece of garden furniture. It’s got a sturdy design and can handle up to 200 feet of garden hose.
It’s also discrete in the way that it hides the hose out of sight. Once you roll everything up in there, it stays unobtrusively hidden. This is a piece of equipment that won’t be an eyesore in your yard.
If you’re looking for a blend of function, design, and cost-effectiveness, the AMES NeverLeak might just tick all of those boxes. Holding up to 150 feet of hose, it’s ideal for people with large yards and gardens who need that extra reach.
It comes with a leader hose that makes the setup process easy, while also reducing connection or tangling issues that can occur in other models. Made of sleek black (or a nearly-black, dark chocolate brown) aluminum, the AMES NeverLeak is also an aesthetically pleasing addition to your garden.
If you do decide that it’s time to get yourself a hose reel – or simply replace the one you already have, then we’re not talking a massive outlay of money. Even the most expensive options come in at less than $200. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it right.
When buying a new hose reel, there are three key factors you should consider, regardless of what design or budget you’re going for. These are: