7 Best Beach Carts | March 2017
- removable wheels for compact storage
- weighs just 13 pounds
- tubular steel frame
- folds to less than 10 inches thick
- 150-pound weight capacity
- dual mesh cupholders
- comfortable neoprene handle padding
- dedicated umbrella holder
- easy to maneuver
- handles awkward loads easily
- corrosion-resistant powder coating
- heavy-duty mesh bag
What Exactly Are Beach Carts?
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.
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.