Have you ever felt like you’re on a strangling match with a garden hose? Does it frustrate you when it bends or won’t roll in your desired way?
Well, I haven’t had that dilemma ever since I switched to an automatic hose reel.
No bending over.
Sounds familiar? If not, it’s time to get a retractable garden hose reel.
We all want to be free from the hassle of dragging and untangling hose reels. Fortunately, an self winding hose reel does all the winding up and storage work for you.
If you want your hose’s lifespan to drastically extend, go for this tool that reels itself back, ensuring proper storage to prevent damage.
A hose left exposed to outdoor conditions, such as excessive sunlight, will become brittle, which may result in breakage.
But of course, we won’t let this happen to you. This is why we’ve come up with tests to deliver the 5 best retractable hoses for all your gardening needs.
In this article, we’re going to discuss how to choose the best automatic rewind garden hose reel. Likewise, our FAQ section has all the answers to your inquiries about the equipment.
retractable hose reel Top Picks: Overall Best and Best Budget
Now, let us present the output of a month of research and trials, scrutiny of reviews from other uses, and a long debate from our team.
Our Top Pick: GARDENA Retractable Hose Reel
We have determined that the GARDENA Retractable Hose Reel is definitely the best self-winding garden hose. It’s a complete package-- construction, quality, design, durability, and functionality.
This model guarantees hassle-free hose rewinding process. It has a solid steel spring retracting mechanism, which means there’s no need for electricity nor batteries.
The package includes a spray nozzle and a garden hose, which won’t let you see bunch-ups nor kinks.
Budget pick: Suncast Automatic Hose with Storage
This automatic garden hose reel from Gardena is rather expensive, but if you’re working on a tight budget, the Suncast Automatic Hose with Storage got you covered.
This hideaway retractable hose reel features a Slide-Trak Hose Guide, which makes coiling and undoing a garden hose easy and kink-free.
It also has a 360-degree swiveling base that is perfect for multidirectional reeling. For assurance, there are stakes that clamp the unit firmly to the ground.
Best automatic garden hose reel Comparison Chart 2019
However, if you think you require a different feature, check out this comparison table for the three other efficient auto rewind hose reels.
Suncast Resin Swivel
Power Retractable Hose
How We Selected the Top Auto Rewind Garden Hose Reels
There’s a wide range of available hose reels in the market. We tried and tested 12 of them.
However, only 5 stood out and proved they are better than the rest.
For instance, with the brand itself, the GARDENA Retractable Hose Reel is enough to entice you. It didn’t disappoint, making it our top pick for this category.
On the other hand, Suncast is a powerhouse name when it comes to lawn maintenance equipment. Its products are truly remarkable, we had to include both the Resin Swivel Hose and the Powerwind 12 Volt Automatic Hose Reel.
Similarly, TACKLIFE and Power are offering what gardeners are after – retraction mechanism, coverage, portability, and convenience.
How We Tested Self-Winding Hose Reels: Factors to Consider and Buyer’s Guide
Regardless whether you have a small, medium, or large-sized lawn, it is important your auto rewind garden hose reel has the ability to easily retract to save you energy and time.
Hence, we’ve considered how a hose length impacts the rewinding ability of the equipment. The type and power source of the tool are also contributing factors.
We placed mounted-type models on walls to test their strength. On the other hand, hose box units were assessed whether they have the stability to remain standing on the ground.
Hose Length and Reel Size
Did you know that the shorter the hose you have, the longer the auto rewind gears will last?
This is why the actual length of the hose is the most crucial thing you should determine before purchasing a retractable garden hose.
A 50 feet hose is the standard starting size. Therefore, an ideal reel should be able to cover at least 50 feet more of the hose.
Remember, the hose expands and shrinks when it’s cold or in the heat. Thus, extra space is necessary.
Portability and durability will rely on the type of auto rewind garden hose reel you choose. You could select between a hose box or a mounted unit.
If your hose is a bit short on length, it’s a wise option to use a hideaway unit or a hose box.
However, if your hose is long enough, a fixed or mounted self-winding hose reel would be a better choice.
Power Source and Winding Mechanism
Retractable hose reels have the power to withdraw the hose without having to crank a handle.
This is made possible if the winding mechanism is simple to operate. Thus, a model should be powered by one of these three sources:
Automatic hose reels powered by spring mechanisms are typically more durable than battery or electricity powered units.
A battery or electrical current is required to power the equipment. Battery-powered models are normally the most accurate and quickest ones, but they require more maintenance and are more prone to breaking.
This type simply uses power and water pressure for the winding process.
Complete Product Review of the 5 Best Automatic Hose Reels
This list is composed of mounted units and hose boxes. First, consider the features necessary to your lawn needs.
Afterward, study the pros and cons to make the right decision in buying the best self-winding hose reel.
1: Our Pick For The Best Retractable Hose: GARDENA 82-Feet With Convenient Hose Guide
The GARDENA Swivel Wall-Mounted Automatic Hose Box 35 Roll-Up can be withdrawn with minimal effort and stopped at a short interval.
By short pulling on the hose, the lock releases and the hose is automatically pulled back into the box.
This is because of a powerful retraction triggered by an integrated steel spring. Additionally, the hose guide prevents hose tangling and twisting.
This model retracts in more or less 30 seconds using string power, but there’s an optional battery powered system.
- Dimensions: 20 x 11 x 20 inches
- Weight: 18 lbs
- Hose Diameter: ½ inch
- Hose Length: 82 feet
- Power Source: Integrated steel spring
- Type: Wall mounted unit
- Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
- Package Inclusion: 82-feet retractable hose, hose reel, hose guide, wall bracket, wall plugs, screws, instruction manual
There’s also a hose guide bracket that allows you to mount it on the wall or corner.
This retractable garden hose provides nozzles, sprayers, and wash brushes that can all be stored on the wall bracket.
However, the spray nozzle doesn’t have an on/off button. If necessary, buy a different nozzle.
The "GARDENA" Swivel Wall-Mounted Automatic Hose Box has an ergonomically-shaped handle, which can be effortlessly detached from the wall bracket for frost-protected storage.
No kinks, no leaking at the connection, and no need for electricity—it’s a gift to every lawn owner!
Why We Love It
2: Best Budget Auto Rewind Hose Reel: Suncast Resin 225' Swivel Hose Hideaway with Hose Guide
With a swivel base, crank handle, lid, and hose guide, the Suncast Resin Swivel Hose Hideaway is certainly designed to be one of the best auto rewind hose reels.
A large capacity hose storage of 225 feet—need I say more?
As seen by our very eyes, the swivel base effectively wrangles up unsightly lose hose. Meanwhile, the unique base gives a convenient way to untangle hose in your garden or lawn.
Moreover, the model features a 360-degree swiveling base for multi-directional reeling and stakes that clamp the hideaway firmly to the ground. As a result, you get a smooth unrolling motion.
The manufacturer built the Suncast Resin Swivel Hose Hideaway with a durable resin design. This means the hose reel will last throughout different seasons, as well as UV rays.
What’s more, this auto rewind garden hose reel is equipped with a Patented Easy-link System, which ensures a water-tight connection between hose and reel.
As a result, the hideaway loops the hose in a uniform fashion, keeping the hose from twisting while turning the handle.
We got delighted when the package arrived fully assembled, which means there are no tools needed to set it up. We recommend using a 5/8-inch vinyl hose.
Why We Love It
3: Most Flexible Self-Winding Garden Hose Reel: Tacklife Hose Reel, 65+7 Ft Wall Mounted
The TACKLIFE Wall Mounted Retractable Garden Hose Reel didn’t disappoint with its creation to withdraw the hose automatically.
A simple tug unlatches the drum, and the equipment’s patented auto rewind system takes over. This means you can simply stop at any distance and automatically rewind the hose.
In addition, various angle rotations give you the flexibility to reach several directions. The water flow rate is even powerful enough to wash out dirt and soil.
We discovered that the braking mechanism guarantees a controlled rewind while the layering system tidily loops the hose. Also, it only takes 8 to 10 seconds to safely retract the 65-feet hose back.
- Dimensions: 20.47 x 11.81 x 18.11 inches
- Weight: 26.1 pounds
- Hose Diameter: 5/8 inches
- Hose Length: 65 feet
- Power Source: Spring
- Type: Mounted unit
- Warranty: 3-year warranty
- Package Inclusion: (1) Tacklife Reel with 65FT hose and 7FT lead pipe, (1) 8-pattern hose nozzle, (2) hose connector, (4) wall mounting screws, (4) expansion tube, (1) PP bolt, user manual, warranty card
This self-winding garden hose reel has the essential fittings to connect to your tap for peak watering experience.
The wall bracket even has an auto reel that pivots 180 degrees, enabling you to cover every part of your lawn.
Furthermore, the TACKLIFE Wall Mounted Retractable Garden Hose Reel boasts 8-pattern hose nozzles and replaceable hose. This gives you more freedom to choose the pattern you want.
It’s worth mentioning that the provided wall plugs and screws are suitable for stone, concrete, and brick.
What we also like about this model is its auto reel that can be detached from the wall bracket, which allows you to store away the unit during cold days.
If you’re a fan of versatility, this automatic garden hose reel can also support your car washing needs.
Why We Love It
4: Most Compact And Lightweight : Power Retractable Hose Reel 5/8” x 50 + 6 FT
The POWER Retractable Hose Reel has a sweet deal—a fully retractable, slow return system of a 50 ft, 5/8-inch hose. This supports up to a maximum 500 PSI.
It has a unique patent nozzle protector, which prevents the hose from harming someone or damaging something when retracting.
The self-winding hose reel keeps the excess hose out of your working area by locking it in place at various intervals.
It also stops at any length, giving you the freedom to work in any direction you want.
Moreover, the mounting bracket creates a 180-degree swivel. Hence, you can place it on the ceiling or a wall.
The POWER Retractable Hose Reel is spring powered, which means the unit remains durable despite countless rewinding.
This model is built with a heavy-duty twist collar and brass fittings. It is designed to be durable using a 3 layer-hybrid material.
Yet, this is recommendable even for older users because the hose is lighter compared to other models.
Why We Love It
5: Most Easy-To-Use Automatic Garden Hose Reel: Suncast Powerwind 12 Volt Rechargeable Automatic Hose Reel
We all love hassle-free lawn equipment. The Suncast Powerwind Automatic and Rechargeable Garden Hose Reel is a suitable example.
By using a 12V rechargeable battery to pull back the hose, the unit works well while ensuring no water goes to waste.
The model is equipped with a motor-driven hose reel, which permits a convenient reeling by using a foot pedal.
The Suncast Powerwind Automatic and Rechargeable Garden Hose Reel has a Smart-Trak Hose Guide that makes coiling and unraveling of the hose kink-free.
With a 100-feet hose capacity and a rechargeable battery that can last up to 20 uses, this truly competes as one of the best retractable hoses.
- Dimensions: 18 x 20 x 22 inches
- Weight: 27.8 pounds
- Hose Diameter: 5/8 inches
- Hose Length: 100 feet
- Power Source: 12V SLA rechargeable battery
- Type: Hose Box
- Warranty: 3-year limited warranty
- Package Inclusion: (1) Powerwind 100-feet hose reel, tilt out storage bin, handle, foot pedal, (1) 12V SLA rechargeable battery, (1), charger, user manual
In addition, the hose reel includes a weather resistant tilt-out storage bin for keeping small gardening supplies.
This self-winding hose reel has a 5/8-inch standard vinyl hose capacity that can be easily concealed inside the cabinet.
Our trial showed us that the hose must be properly drained when winding to avoid any difficulties.
Lastly, since this model is freestanding, it can be moved across your lawn. It could also be relocated into a storage shed or garage during winter months.
Why We Love It
Answers to the Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Advantages of Using a Retractable Garden Hose?
There are two things to keep in mind when you have an uncoiled hose: increased risk for damage to the tool, and possible injury to humans and animals.
But you can prevent these situations when you have a self-winding garden hose reel.
This automatic equipment protects the hose from excessive sun exposure. Even soil can eat away at your hose until it deteriorates.
Therefore, using a reel not only stores your hose, but it also saves your tool from becoming brittle.
When you use a retractable hose with a reel, you lengthen the life of your equipment by preventing premature leakage.
And it gets better—you don’t have to waste time untangling and finding the end of the hose.
What About the Drawbacks?
If not properly secured, strong winds could send your retractable hose reel across your lawn.
This can cause damage to your hose reel, spigot, and other nearby things.
The Proper Way of Operating an Auto Rewind Garden Hose Reel
Various kinds of automatic garden hoses and reel demand different uses.
Some models only require minimal set-up. For instance, you only have to put small pieces of tools together or connect the reel to its outer shell.
Once the whole reel is put together, you simply then have to link the hose to the spigot, and then place it on the reel.
When you own a battery-operated hose reel, make sure to charge the batteries first.
Afterward, look for a pedal or button to push that spin and wind the hose to the reel.
The same goes for water-operated hose reels. Friendly tip: keep a pail handy to catch the water being released as the hose is drawn in.
Bear in mind that hose reels should be safely stored during the winter months. This is to avoid any damage to the equipment.
Since you are using an automatic garden hose reel, it’s imperative to keep your hands away from the reel.
Do not try to stop a moving reel since this can either harm you or break the reel.
Likewise, always fully withdraw the hose when you are done watering to prevent kinking or damage. Remember, do not let the hose go when retracting because this can damage the reel.
Cleaning and Maintenance
- Periodic cleaning of your self-winding garden hose reel ensures the equipment operates smoothly.
- Hold a wet cloth over the hose as it rewinds.
- You can spray water inside a dirty hose box since water will come out of the drainage.
- Do not loosen the water pipe when rewinding.
- Drain the water left in the water pipe if the hose reel is not in use.
- A word of caution about cross threading: the metal threads of the hose couplings may cut plastic water-system threads, leading to a permanent leak.
- Most casings are UV-stabilized, but you may use hose reel covers for extra protection.
- Spread degreaser over the brushings, shaft, and knob.
Time to Snag the Best Self-Winding Garden Hose Reel
An auto rewind hose reel makes lawn watering simple and safe.
When you pick the best automatic garden hose reel, you reap results such as tidiness, pristine condition, and secured storage.
If high quality components and superb design are your top factors, then the GARDENA Retractable Hose Reel will surely pass your criteria.
Of course, the Suncast Resin Swivel Hose Hideaway with Hose Guide is the solution to your budget needs.
All of the retractable garden hoses we’ve reviewed are capable of serving your gardening needs anytime, all while ensuring keeping your hose organized.
I operate a seasonal lawn maintenance business and have 20 years of experience with cool season grasses and coordinating labour for residential yards. I do a lot of work outside as well as writing, making films, equity investing, and overseas travel during the cold winter. Previous life as an architectural design intern.