10 Best Retractable Garden Hose Reels: A Complete Buying Guide

Last Updated on June 11, 2022 by Gary Stephen

I cannot imagine a garden without a hose. I mean, this tool just makes all the watering and washing a simple breeze. However, the fun can easily turn into a bummer when you see those long winding topsy turvy tubings. You know that it takes so much time and effort to manually gather and tidy that entire meter’s length of a hose. Now that really is a downer, right? Thank goodness the retractable garden hose reel was invented by some genius, though. 

Yes, you heard that right, retractable! That means that the hose rolls up into its container all on its own. So, no more arm-wrestling and back bending moves. Woot woot!

Sounds pretty amazing, huh?

So, in this article allow me to share with you everything you need to know about retractable garden hose reels. How does it work? What makes them better than other hose reels? And most importantly, what do you need to consider when buying such a product. 

All these questions and more will be discussed in this article. So, let’s jump right into it!

What is a retractable hose reel?What is a retractable hose reel

Well, this is just like your typical hose reel but made even better. That is because this tool comes with an internal spring-loaded mechanism. The system then allows for the automatic retraction of the hose into the drum reel. 

In that sense, the retractable hose reels are also called self-retracting, spring-driven, or spring-rewind. Either way, they all refer to the same type of garden hose reel.

How does a retractable hose reel work?

How does a retractable hose reel work
source: https://www.aliexpress.com/

There are two main components that make the retractable hose reel work. That is the spring and the ratchet mechanisms. 

Let us first talk about the internal spring. Basically, the spring stretches whenever you pull out the hose. This expansion is what then creates tension within the spring. So, the more the length of hose is being pulled out, the more tension there is too. 

This spring tension is the key to which enables the hose to reel in by itself. As you release this tension, it triggers the spring to recoil back to its default state. This very action of the spring is what prompts the retraction of the hose into the drum reel.

Meanwhile, the ratchet is the one responsible for the locking mechanism of the reel. This device allows you to keep your hose in place at any length you desired. To unlock, you simply have to give the hose a little bit of tug. This will then release the latch from the ratchet and facilitate the rewinding of the hose back into the drum reel.

What are the advantages of a retractable hose reel compared to other types?What are the advantages of a retractable hose reel compared to other types

No power source? No problem

Retractable hose reels are equipped with an internal spring mechanism. It does not need to be plugged into a power source to operate. This feature essentially makes it more advantageous over motor-driven hose reels.

All good in all location

In the same sense that it does not require electricity to operate, this makes it suitable to be used anywhere you please. You can utilize it in all sorts of locations including off-grid areas. So, you don’t have to worry about power interruptions and even the additional cost to operate it.

Fuss-free and low maintenance

Retractable hose reels come with a simple mechanism with minimal moving parts. Thus, it won’t likely need much system maintenance. It can get by just fine with regular cleaning and a bit of greasing to keep the components running smoothly. 

However, there will come a time when some of its parts may worn out and require replacement. This is not a problem though as spare parts are pretty much affordable and readily available in the market.

What are the disadvantages of retractable hose reel compared to other types?disadvantages of retractable hose reel

Internal spring limitations

There is only so much tension the spring can handle. The longer you pull the hose, the higher the tension and the harder it is to pull further. Hence, the length and internal diameter of the hose will vary depending on the capacity of the spring too. On average, a 25-millimeter hose with a full length of 30 meters is the maximum size a typical retractable hose reel can accommodate.

Still requires a bit of elbow grease

As convenient as it may be, the retractable hose reel may still call for some labor at certain points. In particular, you would still need to manually pull out the hose off of the reel. Although it may not be that rigorous, it can be a problem for some people with physical restrictions. In that case, they may be better off with a fully-automatic motor-driven hose reel. 

What to consider when buying a retractable hose reel?

a retractable hose reel
source: https://www.aliexpress.com/

Hose length

Hose length is one of the primary parameters you should first look into when buying a retractable hose reel. The length will tell you how far your hose can go. And so, this will basically depend on the size of your garden. 

Hose diameter

The hose diameter is equally important when choosing a hose reel. Again, both the length and the diameter will matter on how much hose the reel can store. Furthermore, the internal diameter will also determine the amount of water flow. Of course, the wider the hose is, the more water it will be able to deliver.

Quality of materials

The quality of the materials used will determine the durability of the hose reel. This device can be often made with metal, plastic, or a hybrid of both. Again, how you intend to use the reel will help you decide which material to look for. 

If you wish to use your retractable hose reel for heavy-duty tasks, then it is best to go for solid metal. This will give your more assurance in terms of sturdiness and longevity. On the other hand, plastic hose reels are lightweight and so great in terms of portability.

Another thing to look into is the material’s ability to be weather-proof and corrosion-proof. This is important to note as hose reels are mostly kept outdoors. Thus, it must be able to endure harsh environmental conditions. 

Durability of construction

What good is a high-quality material if it is poorly built, right? 

The efficiency of the construction also dictates the longevity of the product. Is the internal spring mechanism made with precision? Are the components adjustable? If it gets worn out, are the replacement parts readily available? These are just a few of the questions you should ask when trying to figure out the durability of the reel’s construction.


Retractable hose reels may or may not come with connectors. Nonetheless, you should make sure that the fittings are compatible to use with the hose. The correct size and fit will give you a leak-proof connection.

Moreover, it is also important to consider the quality of the fittings. The material must at least be able to withstand high water pressure and resist corrosion. Otherwise, an inferior quality connector will render inefficient performance too. 


Retractable hose reels are available in various designs. Some are created for wall mounting while others are built with wheels, or as a stand-alone structure. How you intend to use the hose reel will tell you which design is most suitable for your needs.

For example, the wall-mounted retractable hose reels are ideal for users with limited storage spaces. On the other hand, the cart-like structures are the best option to go when you have a bigger lawn to cover. 

There are also hose reel designs that are meant to be stylish and at the same time multi-purpose. Often, the hose reel mechanism is concealed within the decorative structure. Thus, enabling you to safely store and hide the entire hose. 


This factor may not always be necessary if you simply prefer to keep your retractable hose reel in a single spot in your garden. However, this is very helpful if you wish to have more mobility and flexibility. 

Portable retractable hose reels are practical for users with large ground areas. This allows you to transfer between water sources without the need for a very long length of hose. Furthermore, a portable hose reel is perfect for on-the-go uses too. Like if you plan to use it from one place to another.


Money may not be an issue for some, but most people prefer to work around a certain budget when buying. The retractable hose reels come in a wide array of price points. Depending on the material used, the style, and other prevailing features it can offer. 

Most often, plastic retractable hose reels are the cheapest. However, they tend to have shorter service life too. The high-quality ones are foreseeably the most expensive. But, considering its quality and longevity, you can also expect it to give you a good run for your money.

I cannot tell you which price range you should choose.  But all I can suggest is to set the amount of money you are willing to spend. From there, do your research and look for the best hose reels that will give you the most value for your money.

Manufacturer’s warranty

It is always a big plus if your retractable hose reel comes with a good warranty. This somehow serves as the manufacturer’s commitment to maintaining the quality and the durability of their product. The longer the validity period, the more advantageous it is on your part. 

Moreover, make it a habit as well to read and understand the terms and conditions of the warranty. That way, you will exactly know the coverage of the manufacturer’s liability.

You might be interested to read also: Best Hose Stands for Your Garden

Our Top 10 Picks for Retractable Garden Hose Reel Products



  • Can accommodate 130 feet of 1/2-inch hose size
  • Spring-loaded auto rewind system
  • Locking ratchet mechanism to lock the hose in place at any length
  • With hose guide system
  • 180-degree rotation swivel bracket
  • Wall-mounted with 4-screw bracket
  • Quick-release wall-mount attachment for an easy storage option
  • UV stabilized polypropylene casing
  • With collapsible mobile handle
  • With inspection hatch for quick maintenance
  • 300 psi working pressure
  • 1000 kPa hose burst pressure
  • Zero-tangle hose layering
  • Includes a 9 function hose nozzle
  • With 6-feet leader hose
  • Other inclusions: 4x tapping screws, 4x expandable bolts, and user manual
  • 2 years manufacturer’s warranty

Why we love it?

We like how much hose this reel can accommodate. Despite that, it is still quite compact and portable. It even has a quick-release wall-mounting mechanism to allow easy removal of the hose reel for storage. This is especially helpful for keeping your reel frost-safe during the wintertime.




  • Can accommodate up to 82 feet of 1/2-inch size hose
  • Integrated with a steel spring mechanism
  • With hose guide system
  • Wall-mounted attachment
  • 180-degree rotation swivel bracket
  • Hose reel is detachable from the wall bracket
  • With ergonomically-shaped handle for easy transport
  • Allows hanging of accessories such as nozzle, sprayers, and wash brushes
  • With anti-drip device
  • Package inclusion: connecting hose, wall bracket, screws, and wall plugs
  • Frost-proof
  • 2 years manufacturer’s warranty

Why we love it?

The Gardena retractable hose reel is very convenient and easy to use. The package already contains everything you need right off the box. Hence, you can immediately install and use the product without a fuss. 



  • Auto retract/rewind system
  • 180-degree flexible rotation
  • Automatic double lock mechanism
  • Standard 5/8-inch connector size
  • High-quality brass fittings
  • Includes an 8-pattern hose nozzle (mist, shower, cone, angle, full, soaker, flat, center)
  • Includes 82 feet new polymer rubber hose 
  • Designed with safe retraction speed
  • Detachable hose leader
  • Replaceable hose
  • Pressure-resistant housing
  • Integrated carry handle
  •  2 years warranty

Why do we love it?

The Tacklife retractable hose reel is not just convenient to use. But, it also considers the safety of its users. Its well-regulated auto-rewind system is designed to reel in the entire 82 feet main hose within 12 to 15 seconds. This pace is considerable enough not to cause harm to young children, the elderly, and even your pets.



  • US standard tap thread
  • Internal spring-rewind mechanism
  • With automatic locking mechanism
  • 180-degree rotation swivel
  • Wall-mounted attachment
  • Mounting hardware included
  • Includes a 1/2-inch PVC braided hose
  • Available in 25 feet, 50 feet, and 75 feet hose lengths
  • Includes a 6-pattern plastic pistol hose nozzle
  • 1-year warranty

Why do we love it?

The Wasser Vela retractable hose reel is perfect for household use. It comes in varying hose lengths that are practical for day-to-day chores. This can well include watering your garden, washing the car,  and bathing your pets. 



  • Automatic spring-retraction mechanism
  • Effective layering system
  • Includes premium three-layer anti-kink hose
  • Available in either 10, 20, 30, and 40 meters hose lengths
  • Compact housing design
  • 180-degree swivel wall hanger
  • Suitable to be attached to brick, concrete, and stone walls
  • Hose reel is removable from the wall bracket
  • Integrated with child lock
  • Integrated with padlock
  • Package includes all necessary accessories including wall brackets, screws, and wall plugs
  • 5 years product guarantee

Why do we love it?

I like how Hozelock Auto Reel incorporated security into its hose reels. It comes with a child lock feature to ensure the safety of children. Once activated, there is no way for the hose to be pulled out of the reel. Furthermore, it also comes with a padlock feature to prevent theft.



  • Patented slow-rewind technology
  • Full-locking system
  • Access panel
  • Quick-release wall-mount attachment
  • 180-degree swivel
  • With collapsible handle for easy transport
  • Includes an Italian imported FITT hose
  • Available in either 1/2-inch or 5/8-inch hose diameter
  • Available in 50, 75, 100, and 130 feet hose lengths
  • Includes 6-feet lead line hose
  • Hoses are replaceable
  • Comes with a multi-function plastic hose nozzle 
  • Hose nozzle is adjustable between 8 different patterns
  • Available in 4 color combinations
  • Package already includes hose reel, mounting kit, pre-fitted connector, screws, and hose.

Why do we love it?

The Gartenkraft retractable hose reel features a patented slow-rewind system. This safely reels in the hose at a comfortable speed thus avoiding accidents. To further add security, it also comes with a locking mechanism. This provides double protection against malfunctions when working with the hose. 



  • Integrated steel-spring mechanism
  • Locks in place at different intervals
  • 180-degree swivel design
  • Durable polyresin housing construction
  • Rust-resistant molded plastic material
  • Hose reel is removable from wall bracket for safe storage during wintertime
  • PVC main hose and leader hose included
  • Can accommodate 1/2-inch diameter hose
  • Available in 65 feet or 100 feet hose lengths
  • With nozzle protector

Why do we love it?

Liberty Garden is a well-established brand that has been creating high-quality garden equipment for years. Unlike other hose reels, this particular product comes with a nozzle protector. This barrier prevents the nozzle from getting damaged as the hose is being reeled in. 



  • Durable aluminum NeverLeak water system
  • Suitable to use with 1/2-inch hose size
  • It can store up to 100 feet of hose length
  • 180-degree swivel design
  • Reel can be detached from the wall bracket for storage
  • Adjustable internal spring tension
  • Mounting hardware included
  • Hose nozzle not included 
  • 2 years warranty

Why do we love it?

AMES NeverLeak product line is a great choice for reliable garden equipment. The auto winder retractable wall mount hose reel is no exemption. It features an aluminum water system that makes it weatherproof and rust-resistant. Unlike plastics, aluminum connectors are more capable of withstanding extreme temperatures. Moreover, it is also strong enough to prevent cross-threading from occurring.



  • Slow, retractable spring-loaded mechanism
  • Wall-mount attachment
  • Mounting hardware included
  • 180-degree swivel
  • Can be detached from the wall bracket
  • With fixed carrying handle
  • With automatic hose guide
  • With hose stopper
  • Suitable for standard 5/8-inch hose diameter
  • Includes 65 feet of reinforced hose
  • Threaded brass end fittings
  • Comes with an adjustable 8-pattern hose nozzle

Why do we love it?

The RL Flo-Master retractable hose reel features an automatic hose guide. This allows overlapping while the hose is being reeled in the drum. Hence, creating a neatly layered hose without kinks and loops. Furthermore, it also comes with a stopper device. This hose attachment helps to protect your nozzle by preventing the hose from getting reeled through and through.



  • Slow-return auto-retraction system
  • Locks in place at different intervals
  • 180-degree swivel
  • Steel mounting bracket
  • Mounting hardware included in the kit 
  • With quick disconnect pin for portability
  • Suitable to use on brick, concrete, and stone wall types 
  • Includes a three-layer hybrid hose
  • Available in either 75 feet or 100 feet length of 1/2-inch hose diameter
  • 500 psi burst hose
  • Includes 6-feet leader hose with twist collar
  • Patented nozzle protector
  • With trigger spray guard
  • Reinforced UV protected casing
  • Durable steel carrying handle
  • 3 years warranty

Why do we love it?

The Power retractable hose reel is a feature-packed tool perfect for anyone who craves convenience. It comes with a twist collar, trigger spray guard, nozzle protector, and more. All of these work together to make your watering task way easier than ever. 

Wrapping Up

Garden hoses are great, right? But what makes it even more awesome is if it comes with a retractable hose reel. Yup, this cool tool can indeed make your watering and washing chores easy as pie. 

So, whenever you decide to buy one, always keep these tips we have here in mind. Let this article be your guide so you won’t ever get fried reeling in hoses anymore.

Gary Stephen
Gary Stephen

Hi, I am Gary Stephen. I have been gardening for a long time. Gardening gives us much benefits and pleasure. Many of us desire to have a garden, but it cannot fulfill the desire for the proper guide or instruction of gardening. So, I am eager to help them. For this purpose, I have developed the MyGardenPlant.com website to make a garden with the proper guide. So, you will get me beside you if you want to know anything about gardening.