Stable design with oversized rear wheels stays balanced when traversing sand, gravel, or mixed terrain. Convenient beach umbrella holder and several storage compartments means fewer trips to the car.
Expensive, and it's not the best option if you need to carry bulkier items.
Spacious interior holds bulky beach items, including coolers and inflatable toys. Handles 150 pounds of beach gear. Has a table with drink holders. Folds and opens easily compared to other heavy-duty carts.
While it accommodates several items, it may tip when full. Drags a bit in soft sand.
Roomy interior with several pockets for smaller items. Wheels are rugged and can handle most types of sand and different terrain. Cart fabric is removable for easy washing. Double brakes are a favorite feature for added stability.
Although durable, the 300-pound weight rating is questionable. Soft sand slows it down a bit.
Has a fold-down rear table with 2 cupholders for enjoying refreshments and snacks at the beach. Folds easily into a storage-friendly size that fits inside closets. Vertical compartment is suitable for carrying beach umbrellas.
A little difficult to pull in the sand. Not durable enough for very heavy loads.
Central folding mechanism is quick and easy to operate. Lightweight construction makes it easy to lift. Traction wheels grip most terrain well. Telescoping handle is long enough to accommodate taller users.
Not as durable as other beach carts, nor does it have a high weight capacity.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Who doesn’t love a day spent at the beach soaking up the sun and playing in the surf? For many of us, it’s the best way to spend a summer weekend – but if you’re traveling with a family, carting all the necessary supplies and accessories all the way out to the sand can be a real pain. Unless you want to make several trips between your car and blanket, a beach cart becomes a necessity.
But not all beach carts are created equal, so it’s important to choose the right one if you’re going to fit all your belongings. That means deciding on the right size and capacity, materials, design, and other features that will help make your beach day as enjoyable as possible. Considering how many beach cart options are on the market, finding the best one for your needs can be less than relaxing.
A beach cart is a wheeled cart that allows you to carry a large number of beach supplies from your car to the beach. Most beach carts are push models, though there are some that can be attached to a bicycle. Beach carts are typically designed to be lightweight, so they’re easy to move and maneuver. Many carts are also foldable or collapsible to allow for easier storage.
Beach carts are ideal for carrying towels, blankets, beach chairs, umbrellas, sunscreen, sun hats, sunglasses, beach toys like pails and shovels, and volleyballs or other game equipment, as well as coolers with food and beverages.
If you travel to the beach by yourself or only with one or two other people, a beach cart may not be a necessity. But if you have children or a large family, it can be a lifesaver because you can carry everyone’s belongings from your car in one trip.
A beach cart isn’t just for the beach either. You can use a beach cart to transport everything you need to picnics, barbecues, festivals, concerts, and other outdoor events where you’ll be spending a large part of the day.
Size and capacity
Beach carts are available in a variety of sizes, so you want to be sure that you choose one with enough capacity for all your family’s belongings. You should be able to comfortably fit the items inside the cart without having to jam or squeeze them in. A generously sized interior measures about 36 x 21 x 24 inches, which is usually large enough for a family of four to six.
Pay attention to the beach cart’s weight capacity, too. Look for a model with a capacity of around 100 to 150 pounds to make sure it can transport heavier items like a cooler full of ice and drinks.
Beach carts are typically made from lightweight materials that keep the overall weight of the cart down but are still durable enough to hold up to the elements. It’s a good idea to choose a model with an open-weave or mesh material, so any sand that gets in the cart will easily fall out. Make sure that the beach cart is made from a washable material, too. Many beach carts can be easily cleaned with soap and water.
You’ll be traveling with your cart to the beach or other outdoor areas, so it should be as portable and convenient as possible. That means choosing a beach cart that’s foldable or collapsible to be more compact for storage in the back of your car, as well as in your garage or shed when it’s not in use. Most beach carts are foldable, but be sure to select an option that collapses easily and isn’t difficult to unfold when it’s time to fill it up.
To make sure that a beach cart is easy to push or pull, look for a model with an adjustable handle. That means you can extend the handle if you’re taller or keep it shorter if you’re average height. It also helps to choose a handle with a molded or padded grip to allow for greater comfort when you’re moving the beach cart.
The wheels on a beach cart are a very important feature because they must be able to travel well over sand and other rough terrain. Beach carts with large, wide wheels tend to move the most smoothly over sand since the large surface area means the wheels hold up better to bumpy terrain.
It’s also a good idea to choose a beach cart with wheels that are reinforced with thick rubber or polyurethane treads to prevent the cart from sinking into the sand as you pull it across the beach.
Cooler area/cup holders
When you’re spending time at the beach or other outdoor location in warm weather, you usually want to bring cold beverages and snacks for your family. Some beach carts are equipped with a dedicated cooler area to make sure that your cooler isn’t jostled too much during transport. Other beach carts feature cup holders that allow you to place your iced coffee or tea securely in the cart as you travel to the beach.
Beach cart prices vary depending on the cart’s capacity and structure. However, in most cases, you can expect to pay between $22 and $165.
A small beach cart with a capacity of 50 pounds or less and an open structure usually ranges in price from $22 to $50.
A mid-size beach cart with a capacity of approximately 50 to 100 pounds and a durable, enclosed frame usually ranges in price from $50 to $100.
A large beach cart with a capacity of more than 100 pounds and a durable, enclosed frame usually ranges in price from $100 to $165.
When you’re packing a beach cart, add the heaviest items first to create a solid base. This will keep the cart from tipping over when you push or pull it.
If your beach cart has exterior pockets, place smaller items that you may need to grab quickly like sunscreen or sunglasses in them.
An exterior pocket or compartment is a good spot to put a beach umbrella so it doesn’t take up any interior space in the cart.
Q. What type of frame is best for a beach cart?
A. If you want to make sure that your beach cart lasts as long as possible, avoid models with a plastic frame. That’s because plastic is prone to cracking and splitting, particularly if you overload the cart. A metal frame, on the other hand, offers much greater durability and holds up better to heavy weight. In particular, look for a beach cart with a steel or aluminum composite frame.
Q. What features should I look for in the wheels to make sure a beach cart is stable?
A. In addition to looking for a beach cart with large, wide wheels, it’s a good idea to choose a cart with fixed back wheels. With this type of beach cart, the front wheels can rotate 360°, but the back wheels are locked to make sure the cart can make it over rough terrain like sand or gravel. Look for wheels that have a deep tread to provide better traction, too.
Q. What extra features can make a beach cart even more functional?
A. Some beach carts actually feature a folding table, which allows you to flip out a table surface that you can use to hold your beverages and snacks. Other beach carts offer a pull-out beach chair holder that keeps your chairs organized, so they don’t take up too much space inside the cart. You can also find beach carts that have detachable tote bags. If you’re running to the changing room or bathroom, you can easily bring just the items you need in the tote bag.