If you’ve ever struggled with a messy, tangled garden hose, it’s time to get your hose game in order with a retractable hose reel. Retractable reels make storing your hose neat and simple – just give it a tug and it recoils back into place, ready for the next use.
Whether you need to water plants, wash your car, or tackle outdoor cleaning jobs, having your hose easily accessible on a reel is a game changer. But with so many different reel models on the market, how do you choose?
In this blog, we’ll cover the top five retractable garden hose reels to make your hose maintenance easier. We’ll also provide tips on how to select the right reel for your needs and yard. You’ll learn all about key features, pros and cons, and things to consider when buying a retractable hose reel.
Let’s roll out the best options for keeping your hose neat, organized, and tangle-free!
The Best Retractable Garden Hose Reels
When evaluating retractable hose reels, you want to look for durability, capacity, ease of use, and extra convenient features. The right reel for you depends on your yard size, hose length, and any mobility issues.
Here are the top retractable garden hose reels on the market today:
1. Flexzilla HFZG550YW Wall Mount Hose Reel
For superior strength and flexibility, the Flexzilla hose reel is an excellent choice. This wall-mounted model holds 50 feet of 5/8 inch hose and has a durable powder coat finish.
- Holds 50ft Flexzilla hose
- Durable powder coat finish over steel
- 180° swivel bracket for easy access
- Sliding lock mechanism
- Includes leader hose and mounting hardware
- Very durable steel construction
- Lightweight Flexzilla hose won’t kink or tangle
- Smooth retraction with internal spring
- Easy to mount on wall
- Only includes basic 50ft hose
- No hose guide for neat retraction
- Not as decorative as some models
Overall, the Flexzilla reel provides superior strength and ease of use. Just be prepared to purchase your desired hose separately.
2. Liberty Garden Decorative Wall Mount Hose Reel
With its charming vintage design, the Liberty Garden hose reel adds style while keeping your hose tidy. The basket-weave pattern looks great with any exterior.
- Holds 125ft of 5/8 inch hose
- Decorative bracket with basket weave pattern
- 7-way hose guide prevents tangles
- 90° brass swivel connections
- Durable powder coat finish
- Attractive decorative design
- Generous 125ft hose capacity
- Multiple hose guide options
- Easy to mount and swivel
- Plastic is not as durable as metal
- Hose not included
- No slow rewind feature
For a retractable reel that looks as good as it functions, the Liberty Garden model is a winner. Just add your favorite hose and get ready to wow your neighbors.
3. RL Flo-Master 65HR8 Retractable Hose Reel
Need an extra heavy duty reel for large properties? The RL Flo-Master is made of durable steel and holds up to 150 feet of hose.
- Holds 150ft of 5/8 inch hose
- All steel cart construction
- 8-way hose guide prevents kinks
- Slow spring retraction for safety
- Convenient fold-down carry handle
- Very sturdy and stable steel cart
- Huge capacity for large yards
- Auto-guide system prevents kinks
- Closed case protects hose
- Easy to transport on built-in wheels
- On the expensive side
- Very heavy when full
- Assembly required
- No decorative options
If you need to wrangle a lot of hose across a large property, the RL Flo-Master reel has the durability and capacity to handle the job. Just be ready to put some muscle into moving this steel tank around your yard.
4. Suncast CPLSSM200B Swivel Hose Hideaway
For the simplest retractable reel setup, choose the Suncast Swivel Hose Hideaway. This affordable model provides reliable function without complex mounting.
- Holds 200ft 5/8 inch hose
- Resin construction with bronze fixtures
- Built-in hose connector and shutoff valve
- 180° swivel for access to all sides
- Neutral brown color
- Huge 200ft capacity
- Swivels for easy access
- Built-in shutoff valve
- Very easy to set up
- Budget-friendly price
- Plastic isn’t as durable
- No hose guide
- Can tip over if over-pulled
- No decorative styles
For a simple retractable reel at a great price, the Suncast Hideaway is the way to go. Just be gentle with the plastic casing and stabilize it well for maximum longevity.
5. Giraffe Retractable Garden Hose Reel
If you want the Cadillac of retractable hose reels, check out the Giraffe garden hose reel. This premium reel has a sleek design and high-end features for limitless convenience.
- Holds 130ft of 5/8 inch hose
- Sleek patent-pending design
- 180° rotation and 45° pivot arm
- Slow, gentle retraction system
- Easy installation on any surface
- Beautiful modern aesthetic
- Smooth, kink-free retraction
- Rotates and pivots for max flexibility
- Simple installation with no drilling
- High-quality durable materials
- Very expensive
- Wall mounting hardware sold separately
- Hose not included
- Limited color/style options
With smart design flourishes like an easy pivot arm and gentle rewind, the Giraffe reel aims to make hose maintenance practically effortless. If budget is no concern, this is the ultimate retractable hose reel!
How to Choose the Right Retractable Hose Reel
Now that you’ve seen the top-rated retractable hose reel options, it’s time to figure out the best choice for your own yard and needs. Here are the key factors to consider:
First, determine how much hose length you need to comfortably reach all areas of your yard. Standard retractable reels hold anywhere from 50 feet up to 250 feet of hose. Measure your garden area to pick the right capacity.
For small to medium yards, 50-100 feet is usually sufficient. Larger properties will benefit from 100+ foot capacities to reach every corner with ease.
If you’ll need to move your reel around frequently to access all sides of your yard, choose a portable cart-style reel with built-in wheels. These are very easy to maneuver.
Wall-mounted reels work best if you have a fixed water source and don’t need mobility. Go for a swivel bracket to access both sides.
Consider your mobility and strength when choosing between portable and fixed reels.
Retractable hose reels come in three main mounting styles:
- Wall-mounted: Attaches to home exterior or garage wall. Offers fixed access point.
- Ceiling-mounted: Installs on ceiling of carport or overhang. Gets hose up and out of the way.
- Freestanding: These portable cart-style models have a base allowing you to move them anywhere needed.
Figure out the best location that fits your space and needs, then look for reels suited to wall, ceiling or freestanding installation.
For maximum longevity, look for heavy duty reels made of steel or powder coated metal. Metal holds up better than plastic overtime.
Plastic/resin reels are more affordable but not as hardy, especially in extreme climates. They may become brittle and crack over time.
Pay close attention to reel materials if durability is one of your top concerns.
Beyond function, retractable hose reels can also add a decorative touch to your home’s exterior. Some models come in fun colors or woven patterns to accent your landscape design.
If curb appeal is important, browse reels with styles that complement your home rather than utilitarian metal models. Or look for neutral colors like black, brown, or beige.
Quality reels use an internal spring retraction system for smooth, hands-free hose retrieval simply by releasing the lock and giving the hose a gentle tug.
Crank handles provide manual retraction if you prefer active control. This avoids unpredictable spring-powered snapback.
Figure out whether spring or manual retraction aligns best with your use. And look for reels with slow retraction to avoid damage and kinking.
Consider convenient extras that may be important based on your needs:
- Auto-guide system: Prevents kinking during retraction
- Nozzle holsters: Keep spray attachments always handy
- Cord minders: Hold electrical cords neatly in place
- Hose included: Saves you buying separate
- Decorative styles: Match your exterior decor
Think about which additional features would improve your specific hose reel experience.
Retractable hose reel prices range widely based on size, materials, extras, and durability.
- Basic plastic models: $50 – $100
- Decorative mid-range reels: $100-$200
- Heavy duty steel carts: $200+
- Premium designs with all the bells and whistles: $300+
Set a budget that fits with how much use the reel will get and how long you want it to last.
By keeping all these factors in mind as you shop, you can zero in on the ideal retractable hose reel for your yard!
Tips for Using and Maintaining Your Reel
Installing your shiny new retractable hose reel is exciting. But don’t stop there – keep it functioning smoothly for years with proper care and usage. Here are handy tips:
Carefully follow the product directions to install your reel securely. This usually involves screwing strong brackets into wall studs for mounted models.
When first retracting the hose, be sure to leave some slack rather than pulling it taut. This prevents hose kinking under too much tension.
- Drain and store the hose during freezing temps to prevent weather damage.
- Check for leaks, cracks or blockages. Replace worn washers, O-rings, etc.
- Lubricate wheel mechanisms, hose guides, and pivot points yearly.
- Inspect for damage and make any minor repairs immediately to avoid bigger issues.
- Avoid excessive yanking or force during use. This strains the reel and hose.
- Support hose when extended for long distances to reduce risk of detachment.
- Don’t over-pull the hose all the way out. Leave a few feet coiled for ease of recoil.
- Keep accessible – don’t block the reel’s path of motion or let plants overgrow it.
- Always fully retract hose after each use so it’s ready to go next time.
With proper installation care, your quality hose reel should provide many years of durable service and organized, tangle-free hose access!
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have some questions about retractable hose reels? Here are answers to some common FAQs:
What length of hose should I get for my retractable reel?
The average range is 50-100 feet for most households. Measure the farthest distance you need to reach in your yard and add some extra. Don’t buy more hose than your reel can hold.
How do I install a wall-mounted hose reel?
Wall-mounted reels attach using heavy duty brackets secured into studs or masonry, not just drywall. Always use the hardware included with the reel. You may need two people to safely install it.
Can I leave the hose hooked up to a spigot full time?
Yes, most retractable reels allow keeping your hose permanently attached to a spigot or outdoor faucet. Just remember to drain out any excess water before recoiling the hose.
Should I buy plastic or metal?
For maximum durability, metal is the way to go, but often at a higher price. Plastic reels are usually cheaper but not as hardy over time. Resin is a good middle ground.
How does auto-retract work?
Auto-retract reels contain a pre-wound spring that kicks in when releasing the brake or lock mechanism. This pulls the hose back in automatically vs. having to crank it.
What maintenance is required?
Drain hoses before winter storage. Yearly lubricate moving parts and check for leaks/damage. Replace worn gaskets, washers, etc. as needed to maintain performance.
Do they resist kinking?
Quality reels provide an auto-guide or channel system to prevent kinking as the hose retracts. Make sure to leave some slack rather than over-pulling.
Can it hold a heavy duty rubber hose?
Most standard reels accommodate 5/8 inch hoses. Compare dimensions. Rubber hoses are very flexible but limited in length.
Is a slow rewind feature important?
Look for reels with controlled, slow retraction. This is safer and protects the hose from snapping back too violently, causing whip damage.
What’s the best way to store the hose nozzle?
Some reels have handy holsters to securely hold spray nozzles when not in use. If not, your best bet is to detach and store the nozzle separately.
Say goodbye to hose hassles for good and enjoy orderly, tangle-free hose maintenance with a quality retractable hose reel. Whether you choose a decorative wall-mounted model or heavy duty cart design, finding the right reel can vastly improve your outdoor experience.
Take the time to assess your personal needs – yard size, mobility, style, and budget. Use our detailed top five recommendations and buying considerations to zero in on the perfect retractable reel option for you. With proper installation and care, it will provide many years of reliable service.
The right reel keeps your hose neatly coiled, protected, and instantly accessible when you turn on the spigot. Ditch hose disasters for good and upgrade your yard with a retractable reel designed to make watering, washing, and outdoor cleaning chores easy and slick as can be. Coil it, don’t toil it!