Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Autoreel Hose: Product Review

When I blogged about Testing Times way back in April, little did I realise it'd be this long until I revealed the results of testing my autoreel hose. But I've been uncharacteristically girly and patiently waited for NAH to fix it up. A minor tantrum from me when we got back off holiday means at last I've been able to try it out.

What's really great about being offered this for review is we actually needed a new hose as our old one (at least 20 years old) was a winter casualty. It's now more suitable for porous pipe duties rather than watering ones. You can just see it looking rather forlorn and lost at the back of the photograph.

I was really fed up with my old hose. Winding it up after watering was such a faff: the hose would constantly get kinked; the winding mechanism often got stuck and I had to do a lot of bending down. Consequently it would spend most of the summer in an unreeled state lying in wait for the unwary to trip over it - usually NAH - when venturing outside.

Those problems are no more. I now have a hose which doesn't kink, is soooooo much longer than the other one (because this one's 40 metres long I can now water all of the back garden and the front in one go - yay) and thanks to that nifty little ball mechanism you can see in the photo, it smoothly reels itself back in when I give the hose a little tug.

You may have spotted the reel isn't fixed to the wall, which means I haven't tested how the reel can be turned to best advantage depending on where I want to water. NAH thought the hose may be too heavy for the rubbish building of our modern house, hence his reluctance to fix it up. He worried it might fall off, especially if it gets yanked in various directions.

I'm sure the guys at Hozelock* will have something to say about that. However, by not fixing it up properly I've found this has two distinct advantages**. Firstly, the reel fits in a slot between a load of pots on the patio just like the old one did, so I haven't had to shift about 15 heavy pots out of the way.

Secondly, it's portable, so I've been able to take it up the allotment for tree watering duties. My plot is equidistant from 2 taps on the site and previously I've struggled to water the lowest part of the plot where some of the trees are. My apples are now all plump and rosy cheeked in appreciation ;)

NAH thinks the downside to not fixing the reel up is that it topples over when used. That used to happen with the old one anyway, so it's not a problem as far as I'm concerned. Overall, it's a massive thumbs up from me :)

* = thanks for taking the music off your website, it's so much nicer to visit now :)

** = there might be a third as I can store the hose inside over winter, which will help keep it in good condition. Only time will tell...

7 comments:

  1. Personally I think the retractable hose should have featured in the top ten of Stephen Fry's 100 greatest gadgets!! We affixed ours to the wall of our house and given that some of the interior walls are made with horsehair and lattice you can imagine that it is not perhaps the most solid of structures. It has happily stayed on the wall though.

    For some reason The Bedsock has this idea that it needs to be bought indoors over the winter in case the water freezes in the pipes or something like that. I didn't bother last year and it was fine but I suppose its something to consider.

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  2. My brother has one like yours and swears by it. I use a German wheelie thing which is brilliant for winding hose in, but hopeless for pulling out. It offers Teutonic stubbornness unless you turn it upside down and run with it, having first tied the end of the hose to a tree.

    Arabella - I don't think the Bedsock need worry with modern hoses. The good quality ones, reinforced with nylon mesh, seem to withstand everything.

    Hose pipes, with me, always seem to become animated and then turn malevolent. if I drop the end, it always turns on me and more often than not, I find myself doing an impersonation of Laocoon and become hideously enmeshed with coils of cold, wet plastic.

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  3. Speaking as someone who has to stand on the hosereel frame to wind it up, assuming that it's already been turned off without soaking me, I'm extremely envious. I'm sure though that the sheer effort involved in watering with my old 3-part hose ensures that it never gets nicked so it's quite safe to leave it outside in the communal garden.

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  4. That looks brilliant. I just hate hose pipes. Such a tedium, always get into knots, blocking water flow by masses of kinks in the pipe, always look awful unless rolled up or taken away.... We also have a reel, but winding it is pretty tough and it also gets into knots. This looks so much better... Thanks for the review.

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  5. Hose pipes drive me mad, its so darn amazing the amount of things that can grab on to as you drag them around. They also have this special ability to prune great chunks out of prized plants far easier than I can do with proper pruners the down side being they usually prune the plants that you least want pruning. Anyway I think your reel is very good, anything that can get a hose pipe under control has to be good.

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  6. Will investigate further having read your review - have been playing a dangerous game of hopscotch over my unravelled hose for far too long.

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  7. Arabella - it does make life a lot easier :)

    PMN - you should see me up at the allotment - I've literally hosed myself down so many times ;)

    Caro - lots of people up at the plot have adopted your strategy!

    Petra - it is so much better :)

    Shayla - welcome :)

    Anna - NAH's been playing hopscotch too. He's on a tidying up mission at the moment, so I'm relieved there's one less thing for him to get grumpy about whilst he's in that kind of mood ;)

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