Maintenance and gear

Reviewed & Rated: The best hose reels 2021

by Tom Barnard
8 October 2021 5 min read
Reviewed & Rated: The best hose reels 2021
Photo: Hugo B., Unsplash

A hose is one of the basic essentials of cleaning your car, watering the garden and running a pressure washer (here are nine we tested) but too many of us make life difficult for ourselves by leaving tangles of pipe on the ground or loosely wrapped around a tap. It will inevitably lead to leaks, kinks and a few choice expletives muttered under the breath.

If you’re still not getting with the flow, it could be time to treat yourself to a proper hose reel. These store the pipe neatly and keep it safe from damage, making it far easier to tidy up after a washing session. With built-in connectors they should keep you safe from an unplanned shoe drenching too.

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We gathered eight hose reels and tested how they fared in a typical car washing session, both when used on their own and with a pressure washer. The hose was pulled in and out to see how easy it is to use and the water flow rate was measured to check to see how much precious pressure is lost. Extra points were awarded for reels which could be mounted on a wall and used on the ground. Finally we judged the value for money after searching online for the best deals.

Which of our seven sample hoses is the reel winner?

Flopro + Cube – Best buy

Flopro + Cube hose reel is the best buy in 2021_Hagerty reviews hose reels

Price: £69.95
Score: 10
Hose length: 20m
Mountings: Wall and ground hooks
Contact: Mytoolshed

It might look like one of those children’s’ suitcases which can be seen at airports around the world, but the colourful Flopro+ Cube is packed with useful features that will make car washing feel like a holiday.

Firstly it comes ready assembled, which saves at least half an hour of fiddling compared to some other reels here. It’s also usefully compact and can either be wall-mounted or unhooked and used on the ground. You can even peg it in place on the lawn so you don’t drag it around as you try to unreel the pipe.

The connectors will match the most common types of outdoor taps and will also fit pressure washers without having to crack out the jubilee clips. The flow rate was one of the highest tested too.

What really sealed the win was the price. At less than £70 it seems like great value compared to most of the rivals here.

Hozelock Autoreel – Runner Up

Hozelock Autoreel – Runner Up

Price: £84
Score: 9
Hose length: 25m
Mountings: Wall only
Contact: Hozelock

As befits a product made by one of the best known names in hoses, the Autoreel has a real quality feel – although you’re expected to do some of the assembly yourself and it’s easy to get it wrong – as our damp trousers proved.

Once built, we appreciated the ability to lock the release and rewind mechanism, so an accidental tug won’t make the hose rewind. There’s also a neat dummy coupling to keep accessories such as different hose heads neatly out of the way and safe.

It’s efficient too. The Autoreel is available with several lengths of hose; we tested the version with 25 metres and found the flow rate was better than some others here which were five metres shorter.

It’s not perfect though. The reel is far bigger than the others tested here and battling against the spring to pull out the hose is hard work.

Claber Kiros – Runner up

Claber Kiros is runner up of the best hose reels 2021

Price: £34.99
Score: 8
Hose length: 30m
Mountings: Wall or freestanding
Contact: Claber

The self-winding hose reels like the FloPro and Hozelock Autoreel are undoubtably convenient but even the best value examples are hardly cheap. If you are happy to wind the hose back yourself, we really rated the Claber Kiros. At less than £35 it is simply great value too.

The Kiros arrives mostly pre-assembled, and the kit includes four connectors, a standard tap fitting and an adjustable spray nozzle – everything you need to get washing straight away. The hose is a huge 30m too which makes it easy to reach all the way around a car or stretch to water the far corners of your garden.

Winding the hose up using the handle obviously takes a little more effort than the self-winders but the mechanism is smooth, especially if the Claber is mounted to the wall using its sturdy bracket. This can be quickly unclipped if you want to move around. The flow rate was also among the best.

Claber Rotoroll

Claber Rotoroll_Best hose reels of 2021 tested and rated

Price: £89.95
Score: 7
Hose length: 20m
Mountings: Wall
Contact: Claber

The main attraction of the self-winding Rotoroll is its looks. Call us shallow, but this stylish silver pod is the reel we would want on show if we had them bolted to the house.

It has other attractions though. Firstly, it arrives already assembled, which saves a half hour or so but also means there is no risk of leaks from a ham-fisted assembly.

The Rotoroll also has a softer rewind speed, meaning the hose retracts back into the housing in a more controlled fashion rather than whipping back into the casing or leaving you to fight against a strong spring.

The whole package feels well-made too. But you have to pay for it and, at £90, it doesn’t seem like as good value for money when compared to the FloPro and Hozelock Autoreel.

Hozelock 2-in-1 25m

Hozelock 2-in-1 hose reel tested and rated

Price: £47.99
Score: 6
Hose length: 25m
Mountings: Wall or floor
Contact: Screwfix

Like the other Hozelock product in this test, we ended up with damp trousers and a sense of frustration after getting this 2-in-1 out of the box and attempting assembly. It requires some fiddly plumbing in the bowels of the reel which needs concentration and strength to get right. We didn’t get it first time, and your reviewer is savvy enough to rebuild engines.

The tribulations of assembly are soon forgotten once the skinned knuckles have healed, and the Hozelock performs well, combining the enclosed protection of a self-winding reel with the cost effectiveness of manual retractor.

It can be mounted securely on the wall or quickly unlatched to use freestanding, with a nifty handle to help move it around.

Our stopwatch showed it also had our second-best flow score too, but it doesn’t do anything else better than the cheaper, longer and ready assembled Claber Kiros.

Kärcher Premium Hose Reel

Kärcher Premium Hose Reel scored 6 out of 10 in our 2021 best hose reels test

Price: £58.99
Score: 6
Hose length: 20m
Mountings: Wall and ground
Contact: Karcher

We really liked this manual winding hose, which is made by the biggest name in pressure washers. It certainly connected perfectly with our Kärcher pressure washer, with a solid click to the fittings.

Unlike the cheaper reels, the Premium uses what is described as a ‘docking station’. This is permanently fixed to your wall, but if you want to take the hose out and about, the reel part can be quickly unlatched. The wall-mounted base even has a nifty drawer to store the commonly mislaid hose nozzle attachments – this is really useful if you switch between pressure washing and garden watering.

The Kärcher’s other claim to fame was the fastest flow rate in the test. But it’s expensive and we’re not sure if we could justify the extra you’d need to spend compared to other wind-up reels.

Kärcher 20m Auto Reel

Kärcher 20m Auto Reel scored 6 out of 10 in our 2021 best hose reels test

Price: £134.49
Score: 6
Hose length: 20m
Mounting: Wall
Contact: Karcher

Kärcher’s Auto Reel is beautifully-made and works as well as you’d expect from the brand – especially at this price. The hose resists kinks, has decent flow and the connectors snap together satisfyingly.

There’s no need to fish out an instruction book as it all comes ready assembled, and you only need to drill the holes in your wall to mount the attachment. You can even put a padlock on to secure it, which might be a good idea considering the price and how easy it is to remove using the sturdy handle. 

We also appreciated how much less effort it was to pull out the hose compared to other reels here and the rewind was well controlled too. But it is huge, and has a price tag to match. We couldn’t justify it unless you’re a professional user.


The FloPro + Cube was our surprise winner in this test, thanks to a combination of useful features, compact size, and sheer value for money. The toy-like looks might not be to your taste though, especially if you want to leave the reel attached to the front of your house.

So, we’d not blame you if the Hozelock Auto Reel was more to your taste. It might cost a little more than the FloPro and not have the same features, but it works nicely and feels slightly better made.

If these look a little expensive you don’t mind reeling in the hose manually, then the Claber Kiros is simply great value and performs well across our tests.

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