Choices, choices, choices!
Garden hose reels are a must have to store your garden hoses out of harms way. They can neatly store your hose off the ground preventing damage from lawn mowers and vehicles and the damaging ultraviolet light from the sun. They also eliminate a tripping hazard, especially at night.
There are basically three styles of hose reels: wall mount, portable and stationary cabinet. Most are made of either metal (usually non rusting aluminum) or plastic. A metal garden hose reels are generally very sturdy and won’t flex under load. In my opinion the quality of plastics being manufactured these days is far superior to the plastics of yesteryear. I think the biggest improvement is in its resistance to damage from ultraviolet light. Plastic doesn’t crack and become brittle like it use to and it feels as much like rubber as plastic.
Wall Mount: Wall mount reels can be attached to just about any flat surface as long as it is solid enough to handle the weight and torque of winding in a large heavy garden hose. This includes house, shop or shed walls or the end of a potting bench, or a fence. They can be right or left hand crank and mount parallel or perpendicular to the wall.
Portable: A garden hose reel cart usually comes with a large handle that allows it be wheeled around the yard and attached to any number of hose bibs. My only problem with them is that they aren’t heavy enough to stay put when winding in a heavy hose that’s full of water. You need one hand to crank, one to make sure the hose is winding evenly across the reel and usually a foot on the cart so that it doesn’t move around. Having said all that this is the type of hose reel I use because I have three different bibs around my yard. One of these days I’ll get another reel and water hose. Some reels are available with a device that moves back and forth on its own ensuring a nice even hose winding.
Stationary Cabinet: These are usually meant to be parked in one place and often incorporate some form of storage cabinet built in with the reel.
A forth type of storage that isn’t a reel, but is worth mentioning, are hose hangers. Although you have to coil the hose by hand it is much easier to do with a hanger and some of the hangers are very attractive.