Reviews and User Comments
If you’re shopping online, pay attention to what the current users of a hose reel or garden hose have to say about it. These comments are often more interesting than movie reviews. Plenty of spoilers there but they are all spoilers that you’d want to know beforehand.
Here are a handful of reviews to get you started.
KingTop Magic Hose with 9-Function Spray Gun (100ft) Review
This 100ft expandable water hose marketed by KingTop is called the Magic Hose. How is it magic? How else would you describe Pinocchio’s nose or Bruce Banner expanding into the Incredible Hulk? Magic!
First thing you’ll notice is how light it is, several times lighter than 100 foot of a regular garden hose. This is because the Magic Hose is nowhere near 100 foot long in its dry/shrunken shape. This hose doesn’t kink or tangle. It’s easy to store and a breeze to tote around.
The way it works is by having an elastic inner tube (made of natural/synthetic rubber latex or plastic such as PPC or PVC) that would expand when filled with water. When the water is turned off, the tubeautomatically contracts to its original size, expellingthe excess water in it.There’s an outer layer of strong fabric to protect this unhardened inner tube. The durability of an expandable hose would depend on the quality of materials used.
According to KingTop, this Magic Hose is an updated and improved version with leak- and crush-resistant metal fittings and much stronger dual-layer natural latex inner tube construction. The stronger inner tube design is aimed at the known problem of expandable hoses losing elasticity and failing to contract over time.
This Magic Hose is more expensive than other 100ft or 50m garden hoses but you won’t need a hose reel for it. According to KingTop, this hose has a rated burst cycle of 1000-1500 at 6 kg/cm2 of water pressure, which is double the reliability of regular garden hoses rated at 500-600 cycles.
- Improved design with dual-layer latex core and stronger external knitted fabric.
- Light and neat space-saving design.
- Equipped with durable brass fittings.
- Premium quality 9-function spray gun.
- More expensive than regular garden hoses.
- Expandable hoses are not drinking water safe.
- Not suitable for hot water so water must be drained in hot weather.
- Must turn off the water spigot if not in use or risk over-pressuring and bursting the elastic inner tube.
Hozelock 2-in-1 Compact Hose Reel with 25m Hose Review
This is a popular and best-rated garden hose reel in the compact division. It comes with a 25m garden hose. Both hose and reel are enclosed in an attractive grey or green plastic contraption. It’s a 2-in-1 design for wall-mounting or hand-carry portability. The enclosure has provision for mounting and a foldable carry handle.
The thinking behind the enclosure is to protect the hose from the environment first and to make the hose and reel look attractive second. The drum has a manual layering system with integral hose guide to make winding the hose a breeze, complete with a viewing window with which to monitor the progress.
- Unbeatable value for an enclosed hose reel including a 25m reinforced vinyl hose.
- Sturdy enclosure
- Smooth winding mechanism but have to go slow and guide some.
- Comes with wall-mounting bracket and accessories.
- Assembly required.
- The included hose is of average quality.
- Harder to get the hose out than to rewind.
- If the hose is kinked inside the enclosure, must pull out the entire length to straighten.
- All fittings are plastic, which isn’t the most durable material.
Kärcher HR4.525 Hose Reel with 25m PrimoFlex Hose Review
Kärcher is a leader in home and industrial cleaning technology which includes watering systems. The HR4.525 is Kärcher’s compact hose reel that comes with 25m of KärcherPrimoFlex garden hose.
This HR4.525 hose reel is designed to mount on a wall with an easy-access wall hanger. If and whenever you need to take the hose reel with you, just lift it off the hanger and off you go. This hose reel has metal stands and heavy-duty plasticdrumand handle.
For an affordable hose reel, it’s refreshing to see that the garden hose that comes with it isn’t an afterthought. The 25m PrimoFlex is a woven reinforced garden hose rated at a burst pressure of 24 bars and temperature range of -20 to 65 degrees C. This hose is robust enough for gardening in any weather and for use with a pressure washer.
- Tidy and compact.
- Includes a high quality kink-resistant 25m hose.
- The hose is free of harmful chemicals and has a UV-proof outer layer and an opaque interlayer that prevents algae formations inside.
- Fittings are to be installed by users.
- Poor quality wall-mounting screws.
- Comes with thick plastic fittings that look better in picture than they feel. Ditto for the plastic drum and handle.
Hozelock Retractable Hose Reel with 40m Hose Review
If the seat belts of a car can be retractable, and the AC power cord of a vacuum cleaner, and even the head of a snapping turtle, why not the garden hose?
There’s no reason why not and this Hozelock retractable hose reel is the answer. This enclosed hose reel is handsome and solidly built and comes with a high quality 40m garden hose. The unit automatically rewinds the hose into orderly layers and without kinks every time. It’s a wall-mounted design with heavy duty wall mount connectors that allow the hose reel the freedom of 180-degree turns.
The auto-rewind mechanism has an auto-lock feature so you can let the hose go slack when watering. Just tugat the hose to reengage the auto-rewind mechanism. The hose reel can be quite effortlessly removed from the mount for safe storage in the winter.
- The retractable feature works!
- If you’re going to go retractable, you might as well go with the best retractable garden hose.
- Premium quality hose of 3-ply, anti-kink construction.
- Very sturdy.
- It has a child lock feature.
- Pricey for a plastic hose reel.
- Plastic fittings may not be very durable.
- This contraption will drop water pressure quite a bit. Works best if your pipe has good pressure or if you have a water pump.
Hozelock 60m Hose Cart with 30m or 50m Hose Review
While this affordable 60m hose cart by Hozelock is not in the running for the best garden hose cart,it may well be for the best affordable hose cart. There are two purchasing options: with 30m or 50m hose.
It features metal handle and support and a robust plastic winding handle. Winding is very smooth for the 60m capacity drum though a bit awkward to layer the hose evenly. The whole cart is absolutely stable and it comes fully assembled. The plastic wheels are well-balanced and turn very smoothly.
- Light yet stable.
- Arrives fully assembled.
- Plastic wheels work way better expected.
- The plastic parts are very solid but the metal parts are flimsier.
- Low quality plastic hose fittings are prone to leaks and premature failure.
- A bit awkward to wind the hose evenly.
- Average quality reinforced vinyl hose is prone to kinking.
No discussion of the best-rated garden hose reels is complete without talking about the hoses, and vice versa. The first part is obvious – it’s because a hose reel is a jumble of useless metal or plastic by itself, unless it’s an artistic looking piece that you can use for decoration, or maybe if you have a dog that you wish to tie up once in a while. Many hose reels come with a hose and you’d want to be able to evaluate both.
The reverse is true because the only reason to have the best garden hose is to have some good length of it. Long garden hoses lying in tall grass in the summer is at risk of getting run over by the lawnmower, and worse, it could be a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria including ones as dangerous as legionella.
What is the Best Garden Hose?
The best garden hose is by very definition the one that fits your needs the best. For example, a garden hose that’s too long and too thick for your needs will not only cost more but results in lower water pressure and harder to maneuver, store and drain. In a way it’s worse than buying too much food, since at least you can eat more.
Garden hoses usually come in 5m increments up to 50m, and 10m increments beyond. The most common diameters are 1/2”, 5/8” and 3/4”(or 12mm, 16mm, 19mm) . A 3/4” hose can carry more than double the water flow of a 1/2” hose.
There are two main types of garden hose materials: vinyl and rubber (synthetic or natural). Vinyl is cheaper and lighter but rubber is stronger. In any event, many hoses are reinforced with vinyl or rubber braids for additional strength. If you plan on hooking a garden hose up to a pressure washer, pay attention to the hose’s rated burst pressure and compare it to the specification of your pressure washer.
Most vinyl and synthetic rubber hoses contain chemicals added to make them more flexible. These chemicals can leach into the water in the hose, making the water unsafe for drinking. If you have children or pets that might drink from the hose, look for one rated drinking water safe. These hoses either contain an inert inner core or are made of natural rubber or polyurethane.
There are two uncommon types of hoses that have become more popular. They are coiled hoses and expandable hoses. Coiled hoses can come in lengths as long as 25m. A coiled hose is coiled like a spring and it doesn’t kink. When in use you extend the coiled hose and when you’re done, it’ll snap back into shape. With a bit of care a coiled hose will never end up in a tangled mess but due to the coils it doesn’t extend all the way, so a 25m coiled hose will only extend up to less than 20m.
The first commercially viable expandable hose was the X-Hose which was all the rage a few years ago in TV infomercials and internet ads. Expandable hoses have been inevitably called “magic” and otherawesome descriptions. These hoses never kink. An expandable hose is lightweight and scrunched up until it is filled with water, at which time it expands up to 3 times in length.
Unless you go for something like a coiled or expandable hose, you’ll need a hose reel to organize your long garden hose, keep it in check, and actually improve its usability and usefulness.
What is the Best Hose Reel?
The best hose reel is, once again, the one that fits your needs the best. First you must decide its capacity or how many meters of hose it can hold.
The most popular and thus best-rated garden hose reels in the UK are the portable and wall-mounted types. Wall-mounted hose reels come in all sizes. Even for wood walls you can have a large wall-mounted hose reel if you go with lightweight hoses.
A portable hose reel is in the form of a cart or a smaller reel that can be easily carried by hand. Many of these carts are utilitarian and others were designed to look more visually appealing, especially those that are made of metal.
For garden hose carts, the capacity can be bigger than the length of the hose. This is not because you might choose to water your neighbor’s yard one day but for aesthetics – an oversized hose cart simply appears neater. That’s why you’ll find large-capacity hose reels that are sold with shorter hoses than they can hold.
The other common type of hose reels is the hideaway type. Hideaway hose reels come in an enclosure to make the hose look as if it’s not there. The enclosures can be plastic or wood of various sizes.
Before you settle on a hose reel, pay attention to its winding mechanism and the quality and suitability of its water hose connections. Having a hard-to-use hose reel with leaky connections can be worse than having none at all.