The 10 Best Beach Carts
This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in March of 2015. You've got the cooler, the chairs, a good book, towels and sunscreen. But how are you going to carry all that to the beach? With one of these specially designed carts, of course. They have been built with large wheels that won't bog down in the sand, and can serve double-duty around the home as all-purpose carriers. We've included models for fisherman, families, and everyone else. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 26, 2019:
Beach carts can make short work of lugging all your gear to the seaside. We highly recommend fisherman check out the Fish-N-Mate 310, Berkley Fishing BAFC48, and Sea Striker Beach Runner. They all feature dedicated rod holders, are large enough to accommodate everything you could possibly need for a day of angling, and have a stabilizing leg stand. If you often like to bring some wine and cheese to the beach, or any kind of picnic food for that matter, the JGRC Table Cart is a smart choice. It doubles as a table when not being used as a transport device. While we are on the subject of dual-purpose models, you may want to take a look at the Mac Sports 2-in-1 Beach Day or Catalina Island Combo, which both double as seats. If you need to carry and extra-large cooler, there is no better option that the Wheeleez Folding, since its open sides mean there are no size restraints. The Mac Sports SPK-100 and Timber Ridge Collapsible also work great as all-purpose utility carts around the garden.
What Exactly Are Beach Carts?
A cart needs to be collapsible if you plan on tossing it in the trunk and storing it in a closet or crawlspace when it isn't being used.
There are three things that separate a beach cart from a luggage cart, a food cart, or any other cart, for that matter. The first is that a beach cart needs to be capable of traveling over sand. This means that the back wheels are very often very thick with large tread, using substances like reinforced rubber or polyurethane to avoid sinking down or plowing soil.
The second thing that separates a beach cart from an everyday cart is its size. A beach cart needs to be capable of carrying some big-ticket items, like metal chairs, boogie boards, coolers, umbrellas, and more. In order to facilitate these items, a beach cart needs to be designed with open bins, metal racks, and reliable straps, so that nothing falls off (or hangs loose).
The third thing that separates a beach cart from an everyday cart is that the majority of beach carts can be taken apart. Often, the racks detach, the handles fold in, and the storage bins can be removed. This is all a matter of necessity, of course. A cart needs to be collapsible if you plan on tossing it in the trunk and storing it in a closet or crawlspace when it isn't being used.
What Do I Need to Know About a Beach Cart Before I Buy?
The first order of business when considering a beach cart is knowing how much gear you'll need it to hold. Different carts offer different weight capacities), and they offer different storage options, as well.
Are the wheels built for negotiating not only sand, but asphalt?
Packing too much cargo can result in a cart plowing sand, or its wheels sinking low into the ground. In addition to the amount of gear, you'll want to consider what type of gear you'd like a beach cart to hold. Certain carts come fully equipped with metal straps and racks, while others aim to be intentionally scaled down for more portability.
The second order of business when considering a beach cart is the wheels. Are the wheels wide? Do they have deep tread? What are they made out of? Will the sand beat them up? Will it cause them to break? Are the wheels built for negotiating not only sand, but asphalt? These are all important factors.
The final order of business is whether a beach cart is collapsible. This is especially important if you have a small car as the average cart will spend a lot of time in a car trunk. Nearly all will spend a few months out of the year crammed into a basement or a garage. Are the wheels and straps detachable? How about the storage bin, or the tote bag? Can you fold the handle down? The bottom rack?
A Brief History of the Beach Cart in America
Theoretically speaking, the concept of a beach cart has been around for centuries. And yet, despite that, the first official U.S. patent for a foldable beach cart was awarded to a man named - get this - Donald Sands back in 1959.
The timing of Sands' invention was not coincidental. A west coast surfing craze was underway, and Sands was likely trying to capitalize on all that buzz. Beach carts remained a viable product throughout the next three decades, reaching their peak - in terms of updated patents - during the mid-to-late nineties.
The most recent breakthrough in the beach-cart industry occurred during 2007, when the first electric-powered beach carts were introduced. These new electric carts were - and are - operated via a battery-powered motor and a remote control. A tremendous innovation, sure, and yet it has failed to catch on as a result of its high price.