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Picking a hose reel should be simple right? How complicated can it be to store a hose? Just head down to your local big box and pick up the cheapest one they have?
That’s what I thought and exactly what I did for a few years.
Then I got sick and tired and having to do the same thing year after year and dealing with a cheaply made product.
The hose reels below aren’t the cheapest, but they will last you YEARS. A quality hose reel will all you to store your hoses simply and neatly. They also make winding and unwinding in your hose simple.
Quick look: 8 of the best hose reels on the market in 2019
- Eley Model 1041 Wall Mount: best wall-mounted model, unquestionably the best on the market
- Eley Wheeled Cart Model 1043: the best wheeled garden hose cart, 10 year warranty
- Suncast Hose Hideaway Box: my favorite hose storage box, holds 225 feet of hose, very durable resin
- HOSELINK Retractable 3025: fantastic wall mount retractable hose reel, 180 degree swivel, 82 feet of hose
- Liberty Garden Wall Mount 704: my favorite decorative hose reel, solid construction, rust-proof aluminum
- Ames Estate Hose Wagon: top-notch hose wagon, holds up to 400 feet of hose, pneumatic tires for easy transport
- RL Flo-Master 65HR8 Retractable: budget friendly retractable hose reel, quailty company and warranty
- Suncast CPLSSM200B Hose Box: inexpensive (but still high quality) hose storage box, ideal size, holds 225 feet of hose
Types of Garden Hose Reels
There are four basic types of garden hose reels – wall mounted, cart, retractable and stand alone.
Before you buy a new hose reel, consider where you will keep it, how much hose you have, how often will you use it and how strong it needs to be.
All those factors (and more) will play into your decision of which type of reel you should buy.
Wall mounted garden hose reels can be either parallel or perpendicular, or both. A parallel mount will pull the garden hose out along the side of a wall, and the perpendicular mount will pull the garden hose straight out and away from a wall.
If you don’t need to take a reel with you to different locations, a wall mounted unit may be the best choice for you.
Keep in mind that you will have to mount this style to a wall, so if you aren’t comfortable or capable of doing that, you may want to consider a different style.
A cart hose reel holder offers the convenience of being able to move your hose reel to different locations.
Carts are perfect for users that don’t want to leave their hoses outside – they can easily use the cart holder to roll their hoses inside a garage or shed.
They are particularly useful for a larger yard. Many carts can hold up to 400 feet (or more) of hose.
Professional landscapers and those people who work in plant nurseries and commercial gardens tend to prefer garden hose carts. A good cart reel has pneumatic tires which make it simple to move over moderately rough terrain.
Stand Alone (Box)
A stand-alone hose reel box is a perfect choice for the person that doesn’t want to attach a reel to a wall of their house, but is looking for a storage system that can hold a lot of hose.
Another advantage of the storage box style is they can be designed to blend into your landscaping to keep them out of sight and hide the hose.
Also, because your hose is stored in a container, it will be protected from the elements.
I’m a big fan of the retractable hose reels. They typically come with their own hose, nozzle, swivel mount and some are even portable.
You pull the hose out and then you can auto rewind it back in without having to crank a handle.
I wouldn’t recommend retractable style hoses for heavy duty jobs, but they are great for light, quick work. The hoses are usually around 85 feet and lightweight.
Hose Reel Features & Benefits
In my opinion, the most important feature of a hose reel is that it doesn’t leak.
Below are some additional features that I consider important as well.
The more you plan to use your garden hose reel, the stronger you will want it to be.
People that live in areas with a 12-month growing season and have very large yards will want a more durable product than those people who have smaller yards and a 3 or 4-month growing season.
Aluminum is great for homeowners because it is lightweight and won’t rust. Stainless steel is good for heavy-duty commercial applications.
Portability is important for most gardeners, especially for seniors or those people who suffer from back or neck problems.
Look for a reel cart that has flat-free, rugged rubber tires.
Plastic vs. Metal (Steel)
Most garden hose reels are made of either plastic or metal (usually brass, aluminum or steel).
Rusting is a problem for equipment that spends a lot of time outdoors. It’s important to buy a reel that has rust resistant parts.
Stainless steel or aluminum alloys are the best choices for metal garden hose reels.
Eley Hose Reels are among the finest in the business and come with a 10-year no-break, no-leak, and no-rust warranty.
There are also some hard plastic resin hose reels that won’t rust either. But generally they aren’t as strong as the metal reels.
Mechanism & Capacity
Look for a winding mechanism that is simple to operate and features a steel retraction spring.
Auto rewind is a pretty cool feature too. Most of the retractable reels are spring loaded so you don’t have to manually wind the hose back in.
Using water power to do the work of winding is also an excellent option. There are a few plastic models that do this…but I haven’t tried any yet.
Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Models
Lower priced models will almost certainly be made with flimsy plastic parts and will break easily – especially in cooler weather.
You should also consider a hose reel that has an aluminum water-system, which is found on most higher-end metal hose reels.
Aluminum water systems eliminate leaking much better since they are much stronger than cheaper plastic water systems. Aluminum systems will help to prevent cracking caused by accidental freezing.
How Much Should I Expect To Pay?
Inexpensive hose reels are everywhere.
I’ve seen them as cheap as $20 at some of the big box stores.
They are usually made of cheap plastic which frequently only lasts about a season or so, if that.
Second, there is usually not a watertight connection between the hose and the hose reel, and leakage is constantly present.
Third, the rubber components may crack.
From my personal experience, you really need to spend at least $60 for a decent quality plastic hose storage reel and around $200 for a cart of wall mounted model.
How To Maintain Your Hose Reel
When attaching the garden hose to your spigot or your leader hose, make sure to avoid cross threading.
If you do cross thread, the hose coupling’s metal threads may cut plastic water-system threads and cause a permanent leak.
Check for any defective O-rings. Check your manual or manufacturer website to confirm the correct size of replacement O-ring you will need. Detach the reel from the hose, use a screwdriver to remove any bolts, remove the shield, and then install the new O-ring.
Oil the bushings by smearing degreaser on a paper or fabric towel and spread it over the knob, shaft, bushings, or any other part.
Let it seal and air dry before adding a final coat of lubricant.
If the garden hose reel has spent the winter in storage, make sure to put a small bit of silicone grease on the rubber gaskets. If there are any dried out or missing gaskets, they should be replaced.
If you’re preparing for winter, drain all the water out of your garden hose and reel and store it inside.
If you can’t bring it inside, make sure you disconnect the reel from the spigot, remove any attachments or nozzles and remove any remaining water.
Most manufacturers recommend disassembling the garden reel at this point and spraying it with a finish-protecting clear coat.
I personally recommend that after each season you thoroughly clean and paint it using transparent acrylic paint to avoid rust and keep it protected.
Garden Hose Reel Reviews
1) Eley Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel Model 1041
- EXTREMELY Smooth operation
- Reel can be set up for either perpendicular or parallel use
- Industry best 10-year full warranty
The Eley wall mount hose reel is superbly constructed.
This reel is constructed of rustproof aluminum alloy and is equipped with the highest grade stainless steel mounting hardware available in the industry.
It has an easy-to-mount wall plate and is coated with a high-grade powder coat finish and comes with a solid 10 year No-Rust and No-Brake warranty.
Leaking is virtually non-existent due to this hose reel’s 2 super-strong components – a 6 1/2 ft. polyurethane inlet hose (sometimes called a jumper hose) and a stainless steel and solid brass swivel (sometimes referred to as a rotary union).
This Eley garden hose reel also comes with an unsurpassed 10 year “No Leak Guarantee“.
It can be configured to mount for either perpendicular or parallel use, as well as for either right hand or left-hand rewinding.
It also features a state-of-the-art cam lever brake, a comfortable-grip crank handle, smooth spinning axle bushings and a cutting-edge hose strap, which all work together to make this reel the one finest pieces of equipment in your garden.
The Eley Model 1041 comes equipped with a 3/4 in. full-flow gooseneck swivel and a 5/8 in. inlet hose.
If you wish to convert this hose reel to a full 3/4 in. flow reel you can upgrade the supplied inlet hose for a 3/4 in. inlet hose.
The 1041 Garden Hose Reel can handle a maximum temperature of 140º F (60º C) and a maximum pressure of 150 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch).
It can be mounted directly on a brick face or the mortar joints, and it can also be mounted to stucco or concrete. The wall plate can be mounted either horizontally or vertically, which is a boon for customers with unusual workspaces.
It is not recommended to mount this reel to pressure-treated lumber since pressure treatments CA (Copper Azole), and ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quaternary) are extremely corrosive, and any contact with aluminum must be avoided.
This is by far and away my choice for the best wall mounted hose reel.
2) Eley Garden Hose Reel Cart Model 1043
- Alloy-aluminum rustproof garden hose reel cart is the highest rated reel in the marketplace today
- Solid 10″ tires won’t go flat while using it
- Reel comes with
brassswivel and can accommodate both 5/8″ and 3/4″ hoses
The Eley hose cart is a super high-quality product, but expensive. It could possibly be the last hose reel cart you ever own though.
It features flat-free, rugged all-rubber tires and is backed up by an incredible 10-year warranty.
It is an excellent choice for both residential and commercial use, this garden hose reel features stainless steel hardware, a 1 1/2″ oversized tubular frame, and rustproof, sturdy metal construction.
It also has a top-grade powder coat finish and will give you years of reliable performance and industrial-duty strength.
Leakage is a thing of the past with Eley. The hose reel has two super-strong components – a 6 1/2″ polyurethane inlet hose and a stainless steel and brass swivel (also called a rotary union) which comes with a no-leak guarantee for 10 years!
It has a unique cam-lever break, an easy-grip crank handle, a state-of-the-art hose strap, grab and pull/push handlebars, and very smooth-spinning axle bushings. This proprietary design is perfect for both right-handed or left-handed rewinding.
The Eley Quad-Wheel Kit can transform this 2-wheeled garden cart-reel into a 4-wheeled reel and also replace the 2-wheeled cart’s front foot stand with a brand new wheeled bumper.
The Eley Extra-Capacity Kit widens the center drum of the reel with a simple-to-install spacer, increases the 5/8″ hose capacity 75 feet (150′ to 225′) or Increases the 3/4″ hose capacity 75 feet (100′ to 175′).
This is my favorite garden hose care on the market.
3) Suncast PTW175 Resin Hose Hideaway
- Durable for this type of hose storage container
- Holds 225 feet of hose
- Clean look – helps to disguise itself as hose storage
- I’ve heard of a few users complaining of leakage issues
- Too many plastic components
The Suncast Hose Hideaway is a good solution for gardeners looking to “hide” their hose.
It holds about 250 feet of hose which is plenty for most yards. You may have a tough time winding that much hose in though. The plastic crank doesn’t feel extremely durable.
I like the wicker design and color – it blends in nicely with shrubs and other greenery.
I think for a product at this price point, it does a decent job preventing water leakage but could be better in my opinion with more metal parts. If you use a lightweight hose and don’t put too much length on it, you will be fine.
The hose guide is a nice feature that helps to wind the hose neatly and keep it from kinking.
Overall, this is one of the better hose storage boxes on the market and it’s available at a great price point.
4) HOSELINK 3025 Automatic Retractable Garden Hose Reel
- Very simple and smooth operation
- Wall swivel works great
- High-quality feel and materials
- Fairly expensive compared to competitors
- Would prefer a longer hose
The HOSELINK 3025 is my favorite retractable hose reel on the market.
It is definitely more expensive than it’s competitors, but it’s worth the added cost. It is extremely well built – you can tell it’s going to last a long time.
The swivel feature works great and the hose retracts with ease. The fittings are all high quality and feel leak proof…and the quick disconnects are awesome!
I do wish the hose was a bit longer for my use, but it’s probably fine for most people.
If you are looking for a retractable hose reel, be sure to consider this one!
5) Liberty Garden Products 704 Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel
- Built of non-rusting cast aluminum and has aluminum and brass fixtures with a weather resistant powder coat finish
- Includes a shelf perfect for garden tools, nozzles, or 5 ft. of leader hose
- Perfect for areas where you can’t hide your reel and want a decorative look
- Harder to crank compared to other models
- I would like to see a more durable finish
The Liberty Garden 704 wall mount hose reel allows you to wind and store garden hoses in style.
The durable aluminum frame has attractive brass / galvanized fittings and spiraled flourishes, and has a hose capacity of 125 feet. It has a convenient 7″ x 14″ storage shelf on top and includes 5 ft. of leader hose.
It comes fully assembled, simply attach the handle and mount on the wall of your choice. Its heavy-gauge cast-aluminum construction, complete with a strong powder-coated finish will provide you with years of use.
This model weighs 11.6 pounds and measures 15″ x 22.8″ x 15.4″. Its mounting holes measure 13 1/2″ vertically on-center and 16″ horizontally on-center.
Construction is top notch – leak free and solid metal. This reel glides effortlessly and rolling it back is just as easy. It also fits well into the most challenging of spaces.
This attractive hose reel looks good with any house color and adds some flair at the same time. Despite its attractive appearance, this hose reel is very solid and well built.
Other features include a brass swivel, very smooth winding capability, a clear online owner’s manual with easy instructions, and a receptive and helpful manufacturer. This unit should not be exposed to freezing temperatures.
6) Ames 2380500 Estate Hose Wagon
- Heavy duty all steel frame
- Pneumatic tires handle all sorts of terrain
- Easily handles 400 feet of hose
- Needs to be assembled
- More expensive than other models
The Ames 2380500 Estate Hose Wagon is an awesome hose reel!
Yes, it’s expensive, but in this case you definitely get what you pay for. If you have a large yard – or need to store a lot of hose – and be able to transport it easily, this model is for you.
It holds up to 400 feet of hose!
The durable steel frame is built to handle years of use and the 4 pneumatic tires make it easy to roll over all types of ground.
Be aware, that it does not come assembled. It will take a good hour to get it together properly. I would also advise spraying each part with clear acrylic paint to keep it protected from rust.
Holds water pressure well – meaning it doesn’t leak.
If you need a quality hose reel with a large capacity, be sure to include this model in your list to research.
7) RL Flo-Master 65HR8 Retractable Hose Reel
- Great price for high quality retractable reel
- 180 degree swivel design
- It can be removed from the wall and carried around
- Some of the plastic feels cheaper than competitors
- Connections could be better built
If you only need a small amount of hose, you may want to think about a retractable model. The RL Flo-Master 65HR8 is a good product to start out with and see if the retractable design is right for you.
It’s priced below its competitors, but is still a good quality product. You should be able to get a few years out of it – easily – with the proper care.
I really like how easy it is to detach from the wall and carry the hose around with you. A quick disconnect would make it even more convenient.
The included hose is only 65 feet long, so it won’t work for larger projects, but for every day watering, it should be fine. Also works well for washing vehicles. It also comes with an included nozzle which is a nice touch.
This model should last you a few seasons, but if you are looking for something more heavy duty, check out the HOSELINK model above.
8) Suncast SSM200B Resin Swivel Hose Hideaway
- Love the color scheme
- The swivel base works great – most competitors don’t swivel
- The seals feel very tight for a product at this price point
- When you get to the end of the hose, the base can slide unless it’s spiked down firmly
- The internal winding gears are plastic and can break in cold conditions
I really like the way this hose storage box looks. The contrasting colors add a bit of style to an otherwise un-exciting yard product.
The swivel base is really nice when trying to get around a corner or other object. Just be sure to stake it down or you will find the box slides especially when you get towards the end of the hose.
It holds about 225 feet of hose, which is good for most people. If you do put that much hose in it, I would recommend using a lighter weight hose. A heavy hose will put more stress on the plastic crank and gears which could cause premature failure and breakage.
The crank handle isn’t all that strong, but is sufficient for most people. I also like the hose guide which helps to keep everything wrapped neatly.
Overall, this is a good product at an even better price for people looking for a stylish hose box.
As I stated above, the Eley products are my favorite hose storage products. But they are expensive and not for all people.
I hope the other products I mentioned give you additional choices and make your search for the right hose reel easier.
Please leave a comment below or shoot me an email if you have any further questions or can add to the conversation.