Both reel and hose are made of strong, quality materials. Wall-mountable, and doesn't take up an excessive amount of space. Comes with a spray nozzle that has multiple settings to suit various needs.
Although the retracting mechanism works smoothly most of the time, it sometimes jams.
Comes in 25, 50, 75 or 100 foot lengths. Light. Easy to use. Hose performs well. Comes with a sprayer that works great. Brass fittings are good quality and last a long time. Saves space when not in use. Total weight less than 6 pounds.
This hose retracts when not in use, which may be a problem if you want to water something with it extended.
Device retracts the hose with a pull and roll, doing the work so you don't have to. Lasts for several years without leaks. Heavy-duty hose. Plastic enclosure works well and as intended. Comes with a nozzle. After installation, this hose is easy to use.
At 30 pounds, this model is quite heavy.
Sports a compact, transportable design with a contoured handle, so it's perfect for watering plants throughout your property. Includes a hose nozzle with eight jet options. Affordable.
Comes with some quality concerns, including flimsy hose connectors. Hose doesn't always retract smoothly.
Retracts with a hand-cranked mechanism that's straightforward to use. Attractive. Can hold as much as 225 feet of hose and includes several feet of connection hose. Comes assembled.
While it looks good, it's large and takes up quite a bit of space. Swivel base isn't very stable and tends to wobble.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
From watering flowers to washing your driveway, hoses are incredibly useful for a range of outdoor tasks, but they can be a pain to store, especially extra-long models. If you choose a retractable water hose, however, you can neatly wind up the hose when it’s not in use.
But how do you find the best retractable water hose? There are a couple of varieties of retractable hoses available. Pair that with all the features to pick between, and you might end up more confused than when you started. Our guide will tell you all you need to know about retractable water hoses, so you’ll wind up with the right model to fit your needs.
Retractable reel hoses
Retractable reel hoses are models that retract onto a reel. This reel normally needs to be mounted onto an exterior wall, but you can find freestanding options, which are great for renters who might not have permission from their landlord to make holes in the wall. What we like about retractable reel hoses is that they’re no different from standard hoses apart from their ability to retract, so you can expect the same quality and performance. You can find them in various lengths, diameters, and materials to best suit you.
They might be called expandable hoses, but in order to expand every time you use them, they must be able to retract when not in use. Expandable hoses have a concertina design. When water is running through the hose, the water pressure causes the hose to expand. When you turn off the water, the hose retracts back into its original shape. These hoses are less expensive and less bulky than retractable reel hoses, but they’re more prone to leaks.
Manual vs. automatic retraction
Some retractable water hoses retract automatically, whereas others require a little input from you. Expandable water hoses automatically retract to their original size as soon as you turn the tap off, but you do need to coil them up by hand if you want to pack them away neatly. Some retractable reel hoses wind back onto the reel automatically when you press a button or pull the hose a particular way, but inexpensive models usually require you to retract the hose manually by cranking a lever.
The diameter of your chosen retractable water hose dictates the amount of water flow. The larger the diameter of your hose, the more water comes out per second, but the heavier the hose is when full of water. The most common hose diameters are 1/2-inch, 5/8-inch, and ¾-inch, though you can find slightly smaller and larger options. The most popular option is usually 5/8-inch because it’s a good compromise between weight and water flow.
Not all hoses are created equal. Check the material of any retractable water hose you’re considering as it can mean the difference between a hose that will last you decades and one that will need replacing within a couple of years.
Vinyl hoses are inexpensive and lightweight, but they’re not the most durable options. They’re prone to splitting and cracking, especially when left outside between uses.
Rubber hoses are much more durable, able to stand up to sun exposure and cold temperatures without splitting. However, they are more expensive and heavier than vinyl options.
Hoses made from a rubber/vinyl composite are a good middle ground. They’re stronger and more durable than vinyl hoses and lighter and cheaper than pure rubber models.
The length of hose you need depends on the size of your outdoor area. If your yard measures 20 feet end to end, a 100-foot hose will be overkill. Conversely, if you buy a 50-foot hose for a 100-foot yard, nothing farther than halfway down is going to get watered. Think about the size of your yard and choose a hose length accordingly.
How much should you expect to pay for a retractable water hose? Basic retractable water hoses, such as expandable models, start at around $20 to $40.
If you want a retractable reel hose, you’ll need to spend at least $60 to $100 for a mid-range option.
High-end retractable hoses can cost as much as $150 to $250, depending on the hose length
and material and the overall quality of the unit.
We considered a huge number of retractable water hoses on our mission to discover the best. Some were extremely close to making our top five and are worth your consideration. The Flexzilla Retractable Enclosed Plastic Air Hose Reel includes the excellent Flexzilla hose, which is flexible in all weathers, kink-resistant, and drinking water-safe. The reel it comes on is also highly durable and makes it easy to retract the hose. Another notable option is the TACKLIFE Wall-Mounted Retractable Garden Hose Reel. The 65-foot hose retracts automatically into its sturdy housing. It comes with an eight-function spray gun for tackling a multitude of outdoor tasks. Let’s not overlook the RL Flo-Master 65HR8 Retractable Hose Reel, which features a slow automatic retraction function and hose guide to prevent tangles when retracting. The hose itself is 65 feet long and has an eight-function nozzle.
Q. Is it safe to drink from my retractable water hose?
A. Whether it’s safe to drink from a hose depends on two factors: the water source the hose is linked to and the materials the hose is made from. Assuming the hose is connected to a safe source of water, check whether your chosen hose is listed as drinking water-safe. If it’s not, it may be made from materials that can leach harmful substances into the water, so you should avoid drinking from it and make sure kids and pets don’t drink from it either.
Q. Can I buy a reel to turn a standard hose into a retractable hose?
A. While you can buy hose reels separately, it usually works out far cheaper to buy a retractable hose that’s already on a reel. Plus, you know that the hose is compatible with the reel, which isn’t always the case when you buy the hose and reel separately.
Q. How do I attach my retractable water hose to my outdoor tap?
A. Outdoor taps are generally a standard size, so the coupling should screw straight onto the tap. If it’s not the correct size, you can buy an adapter to make your hose fit the tap.
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