Wrangling a hose can be messy business unless you have a quality hose reel. An unwound hose can look horrible, present a tripping hazard, or fall prey to the frenetic spinning of a lawn mower blade.
But trying to wrap it while holding it can also be a huge annoyance. A hose – especially a heavy-duty or long one – can weigh a good bit. And you might end up splashing yourself with excess water draining out the end!
A hose reel is a great addition to your yard. A free-standing one lets you decide where you want to hang the hose and can even make it simpler to wind it up. You aren’t dependent on a wall and you don’t have to worry about installation; just place it and off you go!
We’ve picked out a few of our favorite free-standing hose reels and gladly recommend them to you. But first, let’s have a look at the most important qualities you should consider.
What To Look For In A Free-standing Hose Reel
Ease of Use
For us, the most important thing about a hose reel is how easy it is to use. We’re partial to ones that let you turn a handle and it reels in the hose on its own. But other good ones make you pull the hose itself, but they still provide a convenient place to hang it while you’re wrapping it and after.
Anything that makes life easier is always welcome around our yard, and that was a priority for us when making this list.
Of course, you want your hose reel to be stable. It should be able to hold the hose without tipping or leaning. That includes while you’re wrapping or unwrapping the hose! It should be able to remain upright at all times.
A hose reel ends up supporting a decent amount of weight and can take a little bit of a beating, as well. Or at least that’s what we expect!
Be sure that your choice is durable enough to hold the hose. If it has a winding mechanism, that also should be tough enough to withstand regular use.
Finally, your free-standing hose reel should also look nice. One of the reasons you’re getting it, after all, is to keep your hose from looking slopping in the yard. Since it doesn’t have to be connected to a wall, you can have it out in the open, too.
So the reel should look good, as if it’s part of the decorations rather than a bit of slop cluttering your yard.
Some hose reels hide the hose completely and can blend in with your outdoor furniture. Others leave the hose exposed, but at least they’re not ugly in themselves.
Our Recommended Free-standing Hose Reels
If you’re in the market for a free-standing hose reel, you should check these out!
If you want to make your hose simply disappear but still be handy, you’ll love this reel from Suncast. And it’s available with a 100-foot hose or without.
The unit measures 22.4 x 21 x 21.5 inches and sits squarely on any flat surface. It keeps your hose sheltered from the sun, although we suppose the heat trapped inside could, over a long time, be bad for your hose. So we do recommend storing it in an area that’s mostly shaded.
One of the best features of this unit is the hose guide at the window where the hose enters. This does a great job preventing tangles and “lumps” of hose on the reel.
This isn’t a “pass-through” unit – that is, it doesn’t have a connection for the water to flow through. Instead, you remove the hose completely. When it’s time to wind it up, you connect an end to the reel to get started.
It’ll make a fantastic addition to your yard – it protects your hose and looks good at the same time!
This reel from Gardena gets high marks for functionality, durability, and stability, but doesn’t do so great when it comes to appearance. But if you’re interested in function and don’t care so much about form, it’s a great choice!
Gardena does pretty well in this area, and this is the first of two hose reels from them that we’ve included here.
This includes a 33-foot, ½” hose, too.
You can connect your hose directly to this unit. It has a 5-foot leader hose that connects to the spigot. That means you don’t have to remove your hose completely from the reel, which makes it a lot more convenient.
The handle on the side turns easily to help you retract the hose after use. The biggest difficulty is that this model sits low to the ground. However, they also offer a model that comes with a higher frame – you can find it at the same link.
The low stature and durable polypropylene construction make it very stable; it’s virtually impossible to tip over!
This unit is simple, but it lets you hang your hose almost anywhere. And it looks good to boot!
This steel hanger has a nice design. You have to wind up the hose yourself, but you can hang it on the reel as you go so that you don’t have to support the weight.
You just need some hard soil to plant it in and you’re ready to go. It weighs just 3.8 pounds so when you need to move it, it’s no hassle at all. And the three-prong base helps keep it stable.
It measures just over 44 inches tall altogether, but 37.3 of that is the “above ground” section.
If your soil is very loose, this is not the tool for you; it will barely stand up on its own, let alone with the hose on it. However, with solid, hard soil it’s effective.
It’s available in two styles – volcano (pictured) or crown.
Another hose holder that plants in the ground, this offers a simple option for hanging your hose anywhere you have dirt to plant it.
Overall it measures 43 ½” tall, with about 36” above the soil line. That means it has a good grasp of the soil while also standing at a decent height above it.
It comes in two pieces and you simply insert screws to hold them together.
The hanger itself is sturdy. It’s also big enough to keep the hose from falling off, but not so big that it feels like it’s in your way.
It’s also durable and seems weather-resistant as well – the manufacturer claims it is, and we saw no signs of weathering over the time we had it.
Simple and easy to use, it’s great for supporting the hose. There are no frills, but it does what it’s meant to do quite well.
Our second entry from Gardena lets you easily take your hose with you or leave it just where you’d like.
This unit includes a 54-foot, ⅜” hose and a 5-foot lead hose. It can stand on any flat surface but also has a handle so you can pick it up with one hand to move to the shed, garage, or to any other spigot you’d like to connect it to.
The unit – including the hose – weighs 11 ½ pounds, and measures 17 ½” by 16” by 7”.
It has an easy-to-use handle, and since you can pick it up with one hand, you’ll also be able to easily manipulate the handle with the other.
It’s not decorative or fancy, but it does a great job and lets you wrap your hose and stow it quickly and easily.
A free-standing hose holding should make your life easier and your yard neater. As long as it’s durable, stable, and simple to use, it will be a great addition to your yard. You’ll soon appreciate what it can do for you!