The worst part of any beach day? Lugging a beach chair or your favorite beach game across the sand. That’s where the best beach carts can come in handy, as they’re designed with sturdy wheels and can usually hold anywhere from 100 to 350 pounds worth of beach gear and accessories.
But, what makes a beach cart worth the investment? It’s all in the tires. You definitely want a beach cart with all-terrain tires so it can gain traction in the sand. If the cart you’re considering doesn’t specify the type of tires it has, take a look at the images and reviews. The tires should feature deep treads that support the weight in your cart. And, reviewers are always quick to call out a sub-par purchase, so that can be a great place to look to find out exactly how worth your money any beach cart is. (I have you covered here.)
You also want to consider the design, shape, and capacity. A wagon beach cart is great for hauling everything from kids to coolers, but it can get cumbersome and heavy, and because they’re designed with four wheels as opposed to two, they are sometimes more prone to getting tripped up by sand (more wheels equals more opportunities to get caught). If you know you don’t have that much gear you want to bring, you could opt for a smaller cart, or even a dolly-style cart.
Capacity is also important especially if you’re planning on lugging a lot of heavy items. Most of the carts on this list are capable of carrying 100 or more pounds worth of beach gear. (The notable exception to this is the cooler cart on this list, which has a smaller capacity designed to hold mostly beverages and snacks.)
To zero in on the best beach carts, here’s a roundup to help you find the one that best suits your needs.
1. The Overall Best, All Things Considered
- Capacity: 100 pounds
This versatile beach cart features durable all-terrain wheels, and a stroller style which makes it really easy to push or pull across the sand. And, while there are other carts on this list with greater weight limits, they come with higher price tags and, for most people, 100 pounds should be enough. Plus, the mesh insert allows you to place damp items inside while still allowing for plenty of airflow to help them dry out. There’s even a pocket in the back to keep your smaller items safe. You can easily slide your beach chairs over the front handle to carry those with you. And, when dragging it through tough sand, you can pull it back on its two thick wheels, which’ll likely make it easier to maneuver. This model also collapses so it can easily be stowed in a car or stored in a shed or garage.
Positive Amazon review: “This cart was wonderful! It was easy to put together, folded easily for putting in the car, carried so many things to the beach, and was sturdy and easy to roll. Having this cart made our beach trip so nice.”
2. The Best Budget Trolley
- Capacity: 150 pounds
This foldable beach dolly works as a cart and a dolly without the included bag, and it can hold up to 150 pounds with ease. The bag that it comes with is made from all-weather material, so you don’t have to worry about getting it wet, and it features eight pockets of different shapes. It even has a beverage and an umbrella pocket, which beachgoers might find especially helpful. Plus, the oversize, textured wheels make it easy to push or pull it across the beach. One drawback to this design compared to others is that there’s no great place to store your chairs, however.
Positive Amazon review: “I love that I can fit absolutely everything I need for a beach day (except of course the chairs). I even have my beach umbrella poking out. The bag itself feels very durable and has lots of pockets. The wheels make it through the sand ok, and they seem to be holding up well after a few uses. [...] I've even used just the dolly to move things around the house and yard.”
3. The Best Beach Wagon
- Capacity: 300 pounds
This all-terrain wagon is the priciest on this list, but its also the only one with a sun shield you can attach to the top of the design and it has the largest weight limit. The shell is made from a 600-denier polyester that’s water-repellent and strong, and the durable canopy is made of the same to help protect all of the contents from any type of weather. On top of that, the oversize all-terrain wheels make it super easy to push or pull this wagon onto the beach. They even rotate a full 360 degrees so you can turn it in any direction. This wagon also collapses down for easy storage.
Positive Amazon review: “We used this for the beach and it worked perfect! I have a 17 month old and it was convenient putting him in the wagon along with everything else. It worked great in the sand!”
4. A Budget Beach Wagon
- Capacity: 150 pounds
With a middle-of-the-road capacity and a more affordable price than other wagons on this list, this collapsible cart is a great pick for anyone looking for a wagon-style cart. The four wheels aren’t as thick as the wheels on other carts on this list, but they are designed with high treads that still allow for strong grip on sandy ground. The shell is made from anti-mildew fabric and this wagon collapses into itself and has a convenient handle you can use to lift it when its empty so you can slide it into a shed or car.
Positive Amazon review: “I can't say enough about this utility wagon. I use it to bring the groceries/heavy bundles up to my condo unit or bring it to the beach! Super easy to handle and very smooth running wheels.”
Also Great: A Cooler Cart For Food & Drinks
- Capacity: 45 cans of your beverage of choice
Unlike the rest of the carts on this list, this beach cart cooler is designed to keep your beverages and food chilled. While the wheels aren’t consider “all-terrain,” this cart weighs less than 5 pounds when it’s empty, making it easy to pull or push through sand. The highlight of this cart, though, and the reason it might be right for you, is the soft-shell cooler. It can hold up to 45 cans with ice cubes and keeps them cool for hours, making this great for the hottest days. Like others, this collapses down for easy storage.
Positive Amazon review: “We used the cooler to bring snacks and drinks with us on our beach vacation. Easy to assemble and transport.”