Which collapsible cart is best?
If you’ve ever struggled with armloads of bags after a shopping trip or with all that gear you take to the beach, you could use a collapsible cart. Many people find them indispensable because they can carry more stuff in fewer trips with less strain.
Collapsible carts conveniently store in a small space when not in use, too. The heavy-duty Mac Sports WTC-111 Outdoor Utility Wagon carries up to 150 pounds and sets up in only a few seconds.
What to know before you buy a collapsible cart
The greater a collapsible cart’s capacity, the more items and weight it can hold. Cart capacities range from as low as 30 pounds to as high as 200 pounds. If you’re grocery shopping, 30 pounds may be enough. If you want to take gear to the park or the beach, you will need a collapsible cart with greater capacity. Fully loaded carts are harder to push and pull.
Collapsible carts come in many different sizes. Choose the one that is big enough to safely and securely carry all your belongings. Bigger carts weigh more and require more storage space. Lightweight carts will be easier to push and pull but may be less durable.
Many people who use collapsible carts want a product that will handle weather and unpaved surfaces. Look for a sturdy cart with a rustproof metal frame and a basket that resists rips and tears. Baskets should either have sturdy metal mesh or fabrics that are resistant to water, mildew and UV rays.
Push vs. pull
Some collapsible carts work best when pulled and others work best when pushed. Pick a cart that works both ways.
Setup and take down
All good collapsible carts will fold, but some of them will do so more easily than others. The best carts fold flat to take up less storage space in your home or car. Avoid collapsible carts that require tools or more than a minute to set up and take down.
What to look for in a quality collapsible cart
The best collapsible carts have metal frames. Steel is the sturdiest material but aluminum is lighter and easier to maneuver. Whichever you choose, make sure the metal is rust-proof.
Most collapsible carts use either baskets or bags to hold items. Carts with metal cages are more durable, but may not secure smaller items from slipping out in transport.
The storage bags may be made of polyester or a similar fabric. They may also have storage compartments for smaller items.
Most carts have two or four wheels and a few stair climbers have six wheels. Some wheels are fixed in position while others swivel to provide greater maneuverability. Swivel wheels are not a good choice for unpaved or hilly surfaces.
Rubber wheels are quieter and more stable than plastic ones. They also provide more cushioning against bumps and curbs. A locking mechanism that keeps your cart in place when you are loading and unloading it is a nice feature to have.
How much you can expect to spend on a collapsible cart
Collapsible carts that cost less than $40 will be smaller, simpler and have lower capacities and load ratings. Carts that cost $40-$120 come in more shapes and sizes, and usually also can carry up to 150 pounds. High-end collapsible carts with lots of extras might be $200 or more.
Collapsible cart FAQ
Are collapsible carts safe for toting children?
A. Some manufacturers claim their carts are safe for children, while others warn against this practice. Generally speaking, using a collapsible cart that is not specifically designed for child safety is a bad idea.
How do I clean my collapsible cart?
A. The best way is to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. The short answer is to use mild soap, warm water and a soft cloth. Never use harsh chemicals. Avoid putting fabric bags in the washing machine. Let the cart dry before you put it away.
What’s the best collapsible cart to buy?
Top collapsible cart
What you need to know: This collapsible cart has a heavy-duty frame that easily totes 150 pounds of gear or groceries.
What you’ll love: The handle adjusts to your height to make it easy to pull. The no-rip 600D fabric mesh bag is strong, durable and holds more than 9 cubic feet of whatever you want to pack. This cart weighs 24 pounds and folds to 8 inches wide. When you take it along to sporting events, concerts and the beach, the two cup holders will be handy.
What you should consider: Wheels may shake or wobble.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top collapsible cart for the money
What you need to know: This compact budget cart is built to last.
What you’ll love: Its lightweight design is strong enough to hold more than 2 cubic feet of cargo that weighs up to 66 pounds. The swiveling front wheels give this cart unparalleled maneuverability and the long, soft handle makes it easy to push or pull.
What you should consider: This cart requires a bit of assembly and is less than ideal for use on bumpy surfaces.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This premium, collapsible cart with six wheels climbs stairs with ease.
What you’ll love: This cart quickly converts to a lightweight hand truck so you can easily transport large things that weigh up to 110 pounds while climbing curbs and stairs. The steel frame is solid and durable. It folds down to half its size and stores easily in your car. This multi-functional cart is essential for apartment dwellers. It has eight separate compartments, including front and back pockets, an inner pouch and a beverage holder.
What you should consider: The fabric is waterproof but tends to wear down quickly under heavy use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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