The best beach cart
When you're spending the day at the beach with the family, lugging your belongings from the car across the sand can be quite a trek, especially if you have little ones in tow. To save yourself from having to make multiple trips, try using a beach cart. A beach cart can haul coolers, beach chairs, umbrellas, and other beach paraphernalia in one fell swoop. Their wagon-like design is easy to push over sand and collapses to fit in the trunk of your car.
Read our handy guide to learn more about the best beach cart for your needs. We've also included our top recommendations, our top pick being the heavy-duty cart by Mac Sports -- it fits up to 150 pounds of your beach gear.
What is a beach cart?
Beach carts are pushcarts with four wheels and a handle that hold a large capacity of beach supplies. Some models are designed to be attached to bicycles. These carts are lightweight for easy maneuvering over sand, and many are collapsible to fit easily into the trunk of your car.
Considerations when choosing beach carts
One of the most important considerations when buying a beach cart is how much of your stuff fits in it. For families of four to six, an interior with 36 x 21 x 24 inches should comfortably stow your belongings. If you've got less people in your household, opt for one with smaller dimensions.
Make sure you're not overloading your cart with more weight than it can manage. Choose a beach cart with a weight capacity of 100 to 150 pounds if you plan to transport heavier items, like a cooler packed with ice and bottles.
Beach carts are usually constructed out of lightweight materials to keep the overall weight low. The frame is typically metal or plastic and the body of the cart is fabric. We recommend carts with washable mesh or open-weave fabrics that allow sand to fall through.
Most beach carts can be both pushed and pulled using the handle. Choose a model with a height-adjustable handle and an ergonomic grip.
Having wheels that can handle sandy and bumpy terrain is key when choosing a beach cart. Large, wide wheels tend to move easier over sand. Look for ones with thick rubber or polyurethane treads that keep the cart from sinking into the sand.
Foldable/collapsible: Most beach carts are designed to be foldable so you can store them in the trunk of your car or elsewhere when not in use.
Canopy: Some beach carts have a fabric canopy over the top of the cart to protect contents from the elements. This also provides shade, which is nice if you're transporting food.
Cup holders/cooler area: Cup holders are a great feature if you want to secure your iced coffee or beverage as you hike across the sand. Some carts also have designated cooler areas that prevent coolers from being jostled during the ride.
Beach cart prices
Beach carts range in price from $22 to $165. Smaller-capacity carts that hold up to 50 pounds range from $22 to $50, while the largest-capacity carts that can hold over 100 pounds range from $100 to $165.
Q. What types of frames are used in beach carts and which are best?
A. Beach carts with metal frames are more durable than ones with plastic frames. We recommend frames made from either steel or aluminum composite.
Q. Should I choose a cart with fixed back wheels?
A. Yes. Carts that come with back wheels that are locked (or fixed) while the front wheels can rotate 360° enables the cart to roll better over rough terrain without getting stuck. Select wheels with a deep tread to keep them from sinking into sand.
Beach carts we recommend
Best of the best: Mac Sports Heavy-Duty Collapsible Cart
Our take: Top-of-the-line beach cart with a high capacity and impressive durability.
What we like: Can handle rugged terrain. Spacious interior. 150 pound weight capacity. Bonus fold-out table feature with drink holders.
What we dislike: Expensive. May be challenged by soft sand.
Best bang for your buck: Rio Brands Deluxe Wonder Wheeler
Our take: An upright model at a mid-price point and mid-weight capacity.
What we like: Holds up to 100 pounds. Comes with removable tote bag. Foldable.
What we dislike: No room for a cooler.
Choice 3: REDCAMP Folding Beach Wagon Cart
Our take: Quality cart with a canopy and versatile uses.
What we like: Can handle many types of terrain. Great for gardens or for picnics. Removable canopy protects your belongings. Foldable.
What we dislike: Some users experience difficulty maneuvering over sand.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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