The Best 5 Automatic Garden Hose Reels – Comparison & Reviews

The Best 5 Automatic Garden Hose Reels – Comparison & Reviews

The Best 5 Automatic Garden Hose Reels – Comparison & Reviews

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It's a few years since we first had chance to review the Hozelock auto reel which was a reel game changer in hose pipe reel design, however with many new models from other brands hitting the market, we decided to see how they compare in terms of build quality, usability and price.

When it comes to watering your garden or maybe filling your inflatable hot tub if you're lucky enough to have one, a garden hose is such a handy tool. But, rolling it up after use can be a real pain. It's one of those jobs that can take like forever, especially if the hose is very long and tangled. An automatic garden hose reel solves this problem and is one of those items you didn't know you needed until you have one. It does all the work of winding up the hose without you breaking a sweat and keeps everything neat and tidy. Furthermore, it offers a safe storage for a garden hose and keeps it out of sight and most can easily be remove from the wall if needed. 

Now that you're tired of fighting with your garden hose every time you want to put it away and thought of an alternative, we have reviewed some decent options that are well worth considering. This post also includes a buyers guide to help first-timers choose the best automatic garden hose reel with ease. 

Our clear winner is the GARDENA 35m Wall-Mounted Auto Reel Hose. The model we reviewed had a 35m hose which is long enough to use in medium to large gardens but they do smaller 15 meter versions for smaller gardens. Most importantly, the tool swings 180 degrees on its wall bracket to increase your watering area. Supplied with a wall bracket with screws, walls plugs, and spray nozzle, this product is ready to use straight away, more importantly is probably the best model in terms of build quality and we think it beats all other models, however it is a little more expensive but it offers the best experience and want let you down.

Best Pick

Our clear winner is the GARDENA 35m Wall-Mounted Auto Reel Hose. Its 35m hose is long enough to use in medium to large gardens. Most importantly, the tool swings 180 degrees on its wall bracket to increase your watering area.
  • Wall-mounted hose reel that saves inconvenient bending and hose cranking.
  • Made from only the highest quality materials.
  • The box can swivel 180 degrees for flexible use.
  • Features a centrifugal brake and integrated hose guide that ensures even unwinding and roll-up without those annoying kinks.
  • Frost-resistant box protects the hose from extreme weather conditions for lon-lasting use.
  • Easy to remove the box from the wall bracket for winter storage.
  • Also available in 15, 25 and 30 meter hose lengths.
  • 5 years warranty for full peace of mind.

Our top 6 automatic garden hoses that we reviewed including our top picks


Buyers Guide

One of the most important reasons for a reel is to prevent the hose itself from becoming kinked or knotted. When that happens, splits tend to develop along the rubber and this can cause the hose to break.

Using a reel will ensure that the hose wounds back neatly after every use. This will increase the durability of the hose.

In fact, some of the best auto hose reels have a casing that offers further protection from excessive sun exposure and adverse conditions - elements that can cause quicker degradation of your hose because of the sunlight. 

Leaving the hose unwound all across your garden is not an option either. It can be dangerous as someone might trip over. Furthermore, garden hoses are usually green and so can be hard to see in dense grass. The rubber itself, when wet, is more likely to trip someone over if they step on it awkwardly. 

That said, below are the factors that can help you narrow down to your perfect auto hose reel. 

Runner-up

Complete with all mounting fittings, this tool covers incredible lengths up to 180 degree arc, making it perfect for large gardens. Integral to this tool is the child lock feature to prevent misuse by children. Its UV stabilised casing protects the hose and can be easily removed from wall bracket for indoor storage. An absolute value considering the price.

Top-rated auto hose reel

Complete with all mounting fittings, this tool covers incredible lengths up to 180 degree arc, making it perfect for large gardens. Integral to this tool is the child lock feature to prevent misuse by children which we really like and anyone with children will really appreciate. Its UV stabilised casing protects the hose and can be easily removed from wall bracket for indoor storage over winter. An absolute value considering the price and still one of the best models available. Also available in many different hose lengths from 10 meters to 40 meters. 

Choosing the best garden hose reel

Free-standing vs wall-mounted

Freestanding hose reels provide exceptional portability and allow you to move them around the garden wherever you want to use the hose. As they do not require any installation, they are an excellent choice for those who use a hose occasionally and don't want the hassle of fixing it to the wall.  

If you want a permanent fixture in your garden, a wall-mounted reel is the way to go. All you have to do is find a convenient spot and install the hose reel. The installation instructions are often included in the box and some include the tools you need to do the job. Some top hose reels are designed to pivot 180 degrees so that you to direct the hose where you need it. Having used many wall-mounted models like the ones in this review, we highly recommend using them as they are much easier to use and some are still just a portable, the only real added work involved is fastening it to the wall which for most people who are just slightly DIY savvy with be able to do within a few minutes.

Hose length

Though longer is better, you may still want to look at the size of your garden and get a perfectly sized garden hose. Ideally you should measure the length from the outside water tap to the furthest point in your garden and by this length or longer. If you purchase a longer hose, for example 40 meter when a 20 meter hose is suitable, this could almost double the price of the hose and sometimes it can mean less water pressure too.

Lock feature

If security is an issue or if you have curious kids around, consider a garden hose reel with a lock. You may as well buy a separate locking facility and ensure that no one tampers with your hose.

Stopper

A pre-installed hose stopper will allow you to control the length of your hose as it retracts. You can also use the stopper to find the ideal length for watering. The stopper will maintain your set hose length until you are done or you decide to change it.

Plastic vs Metal reels

Garden hose reels are crafted from either plastic or metal (usually aluminium, steel or brass). Any equipment that spends most of the time outdoors is susceptible to rust and so it’s important to buy a reel that’s made of rust-resistant parts.

Aluminium alloys and stainless steel are the best choices for metal garden hose reels. Reels made from hard plastic resin won’t rust either though they are not as strong as metal.

Durability

Durability is also important with both the reel and hose. Whilst you may end up paying a lot more for a top-rated garden hose, it will be well worth it if you plan to use it more often and leave it out for most of the year. If the tool has to be dragged across a rough surface on a daily basis, then it has to be hard-wearing. 

Accessories

Many automatic hose reels come with a number of fittings to connect the reel to a water outlet. Apart from these, you should consider an adjustable nozzle for the end of the reel so you can always control not just the flow of water but also the spray pattern. A powerful jet is perfect for car washing, for instance, whilst a cone spray is okay for lawn watering. If you plan to use your auto hose reel for such varying tasks, then a rotatable nozzle will be a reasonable purchase. A lock facility is another useful accessory you can buy to minimise the risk of theft. 

Having said that, there are a plethora of auto hose reels available on the market, but the following are the standout models that we would highly recommend:


Top 5 Automatic Garden Hose Reels Reviews


Gardena 35m Wall-Mounted Auto Reel Hose - Our 'Best Pick'

Our ultimate best auto hose reel is this GARDENA 35m Wall-Mounted Auto Reel Hose. It provides the greatest convenience of watering gardens thanks to its 35m long hose. Out of the box, this tool is incredibly easy to mount as it comes with everything you need, including a wall bracket, assembly aid, wall plugs, screws, and spray nozzle. Simply fix it and start using.

Pros

  • Manufactured from only the best materials to ensure it last for many years.
  • Perfect or gardens of all sizes with different hose lengths to choose from.
  • Comes with all the necessary fixings for easy wall mounting. 
  • High quality hose that delivers optimal water flow and kink resistance. 
  • The hose box offers frost protection and prevents UV damage from the sun. 
  • Swivels 180° for increased convenience and to prevent kinking. 
  • Easy to remove the box from bracket for storage when winter comes.
  • Comes with a practical anti-drip accessory.
  • 5 years warranty for full peace of mind.

Our ultimate best auto hose reel is this Gardena Wall-Mounted Auto Reel Hose. It provides the greatest convenience of watering gardens thanks to its 35m long hose but its worth mentioning is also available with shorter hoses which will also save you some money. Out of the box, this tool is incredibly easy to mount as it comes with everything you need, including a wall bracket, assembly aid, wall plugs, screws, and spray nozzle. Simply fix it and start using. 

The quality of the hose is by far superior to cheap hoses and it ensures high water flow and maximum durability and no kinks. The hose is ready to go anytime and there's an integrated stopper that's designed to stop the hose at given points, meaning you'll always work with your desired hose length. After you are done, a tug of the hose will be enough to automatically get it rolling back in again without bending or cranking, owing to an integrated hose guide. 

A useful characteristic of the wall bracket is that it can pivot 180° left and right, allowing the hose to follow your watering direction. This operation also prevents the hose from kinking during watering which is also helped by the quality hose material. You can even fold the case to the wall when you're not using it and as well remove it from the bracket and store it indoors, especially in the winter to avoid winter damage. In winter, as with all hoses we recommend draining all the hose of water as this can damage the hose and box if still connected to the wall with water inside it.

So all things considered, this is a pretty auto hose reel featuring a well-thought out design. Should be easy to use and serve you for many years to come.

Once you remove the hose from the tap, there is an anti-drip device that you can insert to stop water from running out. The wall bracket can actually be used for storing your spray nozzles, washing brushes and pulse sprayers. An integrated handle makes it easy to transport and the tool itself is quite light with an overall weight of 9kg.

This hose reel also benefits from frost protection and theft protection features. You can expect it to last for years and perhaps that is evident from the 5-year warranty on this product. The tool measures 59.3 x 25 x 54.2 cm so as with all hose reels is fairly large so make sure you have enough space for it.

So all things considered, this is a pretty auto hose reel featuring a well-thought out design and the build quality is simply exceptional.. Should be easy to use and serve you for many years to come, if we had to recommend just one auto hose reel, this would have to be it, Gardena may not have invested the auto hose, however it well ahead of the competition.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Hozelock Auto Reel with 40m Hose - Runner-up model

The Hozelock Auto Reel with 40m Hose is an incredibly easy to use tool, let alone an affordable one. This comes with a 40m hose that smoothly unwinds itself and stops at any desired point for watering. An integrated mechanism automatically locks the hose so that you don't have to hold it taut. Unwinding more of it is not a problem either; simply pull the hose and the mechanism will unlock to extend your watering distance.

Pros

  • Very easy to use and get setup and started, probably the best selling hose reels available helped by its well known and trusted brand - Hozelock 
  • Supplied with all necessary fittings to connect to your garden water tap. 
  • Comes with a premium anti-kink, tough, and durable 40m hose, perfect for covering large areas. 
  • Wall mounted with 180 degree pivot allows you to reach even wider areas. 
  • Integrated child lock prevents misuse.
  • Integrated padlock reduces the risk of theft. 
  • UV stablised casing protects the hose and is removable from its wall bracket for winter storage.
  • Includes a powerful spring that automatically retracts the hose without any kinks or tangles.

The Hozelock Auto Reel with 40m Hose is an incredibly easy to use hose, let alone an affordable one. This comes with a 40m hose that smoothly unwinds itself and stops at any desired point for watering, it's worth noting it also available in a 10, 20 and 30 meter hose lengths which are more affordable the smaller the hose. As with all this auto hoses, an integrated mechanism automatically locks the hose so that you don't have to hold it taut. Unwinding more of it is not a problem either; simply pull the hose and the mechanism will unlock to extend your watering distance. 

When you are done watering, the hose puts itself away neatly which is the standout feature which saves so much stress trying to rewind a hose. Just give it a simple tug to unlatch the drum and then Hozelock's patented auto rewind system will take over to rewind the hose. There is a handy braking mechanism that ensures a controlled rewind whilst a layering system smartly coils the hose with no tangles, kinks or effort. The premium quality hose boasts a three-layer construction to maximise durability too. Its certainly one of the best when it comes to hose quality, this is where manufactured often cut corners to keep the cost down but we think the hose is one of the most important factors to consider. 

The hose is stored inside a tough UV stabilised plastic case that ensures protection from the sun and therefore extends its longevity. What we really love about the case is that it can pivot 180 degrees on its base to allow for a wider reach in your garden just like the Gardena model does.

Mounting the tool itself is a no-brainer since it comes complete with all the fittings you need to get watering straight away. The box includes wall fixings, tap connector (1'', 3/4" and 1/2"), hose connector, water stop, nozzle, 2m feeder hose, 40m premium hose, and the Auto Reel. Screws and wall plugs are also supplied and they are perfect for concrete, brick and stone. 

This model is easily removable from its wall bracket and that's something you will appreciate during winter as you'll need to store it away from frost. An important feature integrated onto the bracket is the padlock function, which prevents the chance of theft. In addition, there is a child lock function that prevents the hose from being pulled out by kids which some will find super handy. 

If registered online, your Auto Reel will benefit from a 5-year guarantee so matches up to Gardena as they also include 5 years warranty, providing maximum assurance that your tool will be watering your garden for many years to come. And if you think it's a bit expensive for you or may be the hose is longer than you need, you can get smaller versions of the same from 10m to 20m and 30m Auto Reels. 

Overall, the Hozelock Auto Reel with 40m Hose is a fantastic product for the job. It's even hard to point out any flaws with it. With over 2,000 reviews on Amazon UK, anyone buying this particular auto hose reel will be in good company. 

Now when compared to the Gardena model, its doesn't seem as well made, I believe the Gardena is new so have improved upon the design and used better quality parts, however this comes at an extra cost. If you're looking for a model that is a little more affordable, we think the Hozelock model is a great alternative and more affordable, its also 5 meters longer even though though its more affordable.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


TACKLIFE 30+2m Wall-Mounted Automatic Auto Hose

The TACKLIFE 30+2m Wall-Mounted Automatic Auto Hose is another cheaper alternative to our best pick. This one is marketed as suitable for multiple uses including garden watering, car washing, ground cleaning, pet shower and more.

Pros

  • The 30m hose locks at any point for frictionless use. 
  • A slower retraction system makes it safe to use around children and pets.
  • Adjustable watering nozzle means you can always match spray pattern to task.
  • Includes a handle for when it needs to be carried.
  • 180 degree coverage allows you to cover wider areas.
  • Perfect for a wide range of uses.

The TACKLIFE 30+2m Wall-Mounted Automatic Auto Hose is another cheaper alternative to our best pick. We have reviewed a few products from Tacklife before including the weed puller and they have all proved to be good quality products and this auto hose is no different. 

It comes with a 30m hose plus a 2m feeder hose ensuring a pretty decent reach to anywhere that needs to be watered or cleaned. A spray gun is provided particularly for cleaning jobs along with 1/2'' and 3/4'' faucet connectors that suit standard sized taps. Even the nozzle is adjustable to change the spray pattern, allowing you to match the spray to the job at hand. 

The hose diameter is only 13mm, which ensures high pressure output. Other supplied accessories for convenient use include 2 hose connectors, wall mounting screws, 4 expansion tubes, and a PP bolt. You should find it easy to mount following the provided manual. 

After completing your job, you only have to tug the hose a bit to get it rewinding back into the case. It also features a braking mechanism that ensures a controlled rewind with not kinks or tangles. The speed of rewind is pretty safe - it takes around 15 seconds for the entire 30m hose to roll back in. This makes it safe to rewind with children and pets around. There is also a locking mechanism that locks the hose at any length during use just like the Gardena and Hozelock model. 

Its wall bracket can swivel 180 degrees to allow more for more ground coverage. Easy to remove the wall bracket, this TACKLIFE hose can be stored indoors during winter in order to help extend its life.

All in all, this auto hose reel is a great choice if you are looking for a lighter tool that still has the ease of application of other similar models. It is also a lot more affordable, making it perfect for small to relatively large gardens and makes it a great budget pick when compared against more well-known branded models. it also has well over 100 reviews on Amazon which make for interesting reading.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Woodside 20m Auto Rewind Garden Water Hose Reel

This Woodside 20m Auto Rewind Garden Water Hose Reel is one of the cheapest tools on the market, going for around £50. Even at that price, this hose reel has got all the features you see in other expensive models. The hose is only 20 metres long but that's perfect for small to medium gardens. It measures 33 x 17 x 42cm and it's pretty lightweight and simple to use.

Pros

  • Smooth hose retraction initiated by a simple tug.  
  • Swings out 180 degrees to allow larger coverage. 
  • Includes a click-lock mechanism that automatically locks the hose at the desired length. 
  • Very much affordable. 

This Woodside 20m Auto Rewind Garden Hose Reel is one of the cheapest models on the market, going for around £50 at most online retailers. Even at that price, this hose reel has got all the features you see in other expensive models. The hose is only 20 metres long but that's perfect for small to medium gardens. It measures 33 x 17 x 42cm and it's pretty lightweight and simple to use.

An integrated click-lock mechanism automatically stops the hose when you stop pulling, allowing you to work without interruptions. It also has a powerful, smooth retraction that ensures no kinks and knots in the process. As with all the models that made it onto our review, the entire reel pivots 180 degrees to allow you to reach all angles of your garden and also avoid kinks as you extend it out.  

The wall bracket is easy to install and there's a 2m inlet hose that gives you options as to where to mount the box. Considering the price and hose length, this hose reel is good value and a great option for small gardens and a good model to consider.

Regarding the hose hose length, the main hose is not quiet 20 meters but with the feeder hose you do get 20 meters, however it will reach about 18 meters from the hose box so bare this in mind when considering it.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Karcher 20m Auto Reel

Karcher is a famous brand when it comes to all things watering and cleaning. In this Kärcher CR5.220 Auto Reel (20 meters), they have a pretty compact and easy to use hose reel. The first thing you notice are the Karcher colours of black and yellow. The product is a doddle to fit and its 20m hose unwinds and rewinds smoothly without knotting. Featuring a controlled auto-wind system, the tool allows you to extend your hose to where you need it. It also stops and locks in place any point.

Pros

  • Fast and easy winding and rewinding without knotting or tangling. 
  • Comes ready to use with all the fittings you need to get watering. 
  • Rotatable bracket allows for wider coverage. 
  • Includes a hose brake for controlled retraction. 
  • The hose can be locked at any point during unwinding. 

Karcher is a famous brand when it comes to all things watering and cleaning. In this Kärcher CR5.220 Auto Reel, they have a pretty compact and easy to use hose reel. The first thing you notice are the Karcher colours of black and yellow. The product is a doddle to fit and its 20m hose unwinds and rewinds smoothly without knotting. Featuring a controlled auto-wind system, the tool allows you to extend your hose to where you need it. It also stops and locks in place at any point which most model don't most models lock every 50cm for example, not really an issue but its nice to pull hose the where you want it without having to pull that extra foot.

A simple pull of the hose will get it rolling back into the storage box. Like all models, this box also gives 180 degrees swing, allowing you to water all corners of your garden. The hose reel can also be locked on the wall with a padlock to prevent theft. The product is ready to use out of the box and comes with an adjustable nozzle for both cone and power jets. You will also find two hose connectors and G3/4 and G1/2 tap adaptor. 

This hose box measures 487 x 285 x 402mm and weighs just 8.7kg so is fairly light weight, remember though  this is expected as the hose is only 20 meters and an extra 20 meters of hose would weight a fair bit. It is suitable for a wide range of applications including watering small to medium gardens, watering ornamental plants, and cleaning garden tools and furniture. For some reason this hose reel is super expensive for a 20m hose, though it has all the quality you expect from Karcher. Maybe the price puts a lot of people off but if your a Karcher guy or gal, then this model is everything you will expect it to be. No issues at all, just a little on the expensive side. 

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Our Final Conclusion

Ultimately, an automatic hose reel makes life a lot easier for anyone who uses a hose. It is additionally a practical way to store your hose neatly and away from the sun and frost. 

The five auto hose reels we have reviewed above are all worthy of the title 'the best auto rewind hose' and we feel your choice will always come down to personal preference and perhaps your loyalty to brands.

Products from renowned brands like Gardena, Hozelock and Karcher tick all the right boxes and some of us are inclined to go for brand names regardless of the budget. But to arrive at your ultimate best automatic garden hose, things like hose length, pivoting bracket, and ease of mounting and transport should be considered. 

We hope you enjoyed reading our auto hose reels and that you found the best auto hose reel to use in your garden. Let us know your stories by commenting below. 

Best Pick

Our clear winner is the GARDENA 35m Wall-Mounted Auto Reel Hose. Its 35m hose is long enough to use in medium to large gardens. Most importantly, the tool swings 180 degrees on its wall bracket to increase your watering area.
  • Wall-mounted hose reel that saves inconvenient bending and hose cranking.
  • Made from only the highest quality materials.
  • The box can swivel 180 degrees for flexible use.
  • Features a centrifugal brake and integrated hose guide that ensures even unwinding and roll-up without those annoying kinks.
  • Frost-resistant box protects the hose from extreme weather conditions for lon-lasting use.
  • Easy to remove the box from the wall bracket for winter storage.
  • Also available in 15, 25 and 30 meter hose lengths.
  • 5 years warranty for full peace of mind.

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