Pros: durable, reels hose in evenly, easy to use
Cons: color can fade over time if in direct sunlight
My yard is pretty big but I take great pains to make it , what I think of as, attractive. I like to have flowers edge my walkways, flower beds along the porch and some sort of blooming flowers encircling the bases of my non-flowering trees. It all takes a lot of watering and so like most people, I have a hosepipe. The problem is that I have always hated mine because it was so long and I had no reel for it so it was a bit of an eyesore. It would also kill the areas in the grass it was bunched up and lying on. I finally started looking around for a hose reel of some type, but found most of them to be a bit out of my budget. I found the Suncast 225ft. Capacity Hideaway Hose Reel at Walmart for $50 at the end of spring at that time and it looked to be everything I wanted, so I bought one.
The Suncast Hideaway Hose Reel is like a big plastic box, perhaps 20" tall. It is taupe (lightish brown/tan) in color and has a hunter green lid. It's made of a hard plastic resin and is waterproof. If blow-away trash (leaves, dirt, pollen, etc.) gets on mine, I just turn the hose on it and it washes right off. I have had a slight issue with the lid fading a bit in color (after 2 yrs), but am not surprised since it is in full sun out in the elements. It is still 100% more attractive than a coiled hose laying in the grass, in my opinion.
This is designed so that your hose pipe will "hide away" inside of the box, out of way and out of sight. There is a hard plastic crank handle on one side that allows you to crank the hose and wind itself into the box. It winds pretty evenly and the hose guide seems to work well. Instead of just winding it straight in, the guide coils the hose in a side-to-side movement (this way, it stays tight and even). I do find it is easier (and much faster) to get the hose wound if I straighten it out a bit first. Letting it lie all "willy-nilly" in my yard usually causes the pipe to get caught on a small stump (or "stob") as I reel it in and causes the unit itself to move (which then digs into the ground getting filthy). I end up having to walk over and unwrapping it from whatever it is stuck on anyway, so I find it is just easier to straighten it out in the first place.
Another neat thing about this hose reel is that it has a small storage compartment where you can store small items like gardening gloves. I put a couple of the smaller hose sprayer attachments I have in there and it's kind of nice to be able to keep everything together.
This will hold up to 225 feet of hose pipe. I have at least 200 feet in mine but I think it would be a tight fit to put the extra 25 feet in there. As it is, it coils pretty smoothly; I think space would be more of the problem. This is already assembled but you will have to hook your hose to it. There is a leader hose included which is close to 8 feet long. You use this to hook to your spigot and then to your hose pipe. It's a very simple process. It will also fit probably "any ol' garden hose" since the hose of mine this part is connected to is of a dollar store variety. I have another connected to that with a coupler and it doesn't cause any problems when winding the hoses up (doesn't get stuck or cause much unevenness)
The front end of your hose hangs out of a section of the (front) wall that is cut out. I have my main "sprayer" attached to the end of the hose, so I am not too bummed that the storage compartment wouldn't hold it. I don't bother unwinding my hose with the crank, I just pull and it comes out without me having to open the lid. This hose reel also has wheels on it but "I imagine carting it to one place from another would be a chore since it weighs a lot. I don't have a spigot close to my house since my spigot water is spring fed (saves on water bills). So, I placed this near the spigot I do have and there it has stayed since Day 1. It has been out in winds over 75 mph and hasn't fallen over. It outlasted the tree it was standing near. (Point being....it's heavy).
I think it's fairly cute. It was a lot more affordable than some of the others I have looked at and it seems to do what they do, or more. Now, we don't get any snow here, so I do not know how it would perform in the snow. We get a lot of sun and rain though. The rain rolls right off because of the angle of the lid, but the sun has (as I said) faded mine a bit. You may benefit from placing it in the shade somewhere if you want it to keep looking new. Other than that, it's been remarkably durable and does the job I wanted it to do when I first decided to buy it. These may even be cheaper now than they were then. If your hose is an eyesore or your house-attached hose reel is not to your liking, then this may be something you'd want to check out. 4 stars.