The 10 Best Folding Shopping Carts

Updated September 07, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Folding Shopping Carts
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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. City dwellers will love the convenience that these folding shopping carts bring to their grocery shopping excursions. Of course, they can also serve in a myriad of other ways, like toting laundry, carrying firewood or hauling gear to a campsite. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best folding shopping cart on Amazon.

10. Sandusky FSC3012

The Sandusky FSC3012 features a durable non-woven liner that comes in a 66 lb. or 110 lb. capacity to help contain items. It can also easily be removed if you need more space for bulkier items. The stationary front wheels make it a bit hard to make tight turns, though.
  • velcro-secured upper flap
  • powder coated finish
  • assembly can be frustrating
Brand Sandusky
Model FSC3012
Weight 8.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Whitmor Deluxe

Easily carry your groceries, laundry, toys and sports equipment in the Whitmor Deluxe. It's the perfect rolling cart for the elderly, students or city dwellers, as it cuts down on multiple trips. But it doesn't fold down as compactly as other brands.
  • made of durable epoxy coated steel
  • clasps close securely
  • won't stand on its own when folded
Brand Whitmor
Model 6318-2678
Weight 10.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. WalterDrake Deluxe

Made of a heavy gauge canvas on a steel frame, the WalterDrake Deluxe is a well-built carry-all for those on the go. Also, thanks to its protective rain flap, inclement weather can't keep you from getting your errands done around town.
  • quick and easy assembly
  • extremely compact when folded
  • smaller capacity than other brands
Brand WalterDrake
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Polder STO-3022-92

The Polder STO-3022-92 sports a very functional aluminum design that is super lightweight, yet incredibly strong. It's a great size for short trips to the grocery store and it's a breeze to fold up with a simple lift-to-close motion.
  • stores nicely in a closet
  • great for apartment stairs
  • handle may be short for tall people
Brand Polder
Model STO-3022-92
Weight 6.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Hook and Go Portable

The Hook and Go Portable is a versatile solution to all of your carrying needs. It can haul 10 times its weight using 8 convenient hooks and can fold down like a tripod, which makes it a snap to place in your trunk or back seat, with plenty of room to spare.
  • well-balanced ergonomic tilt design
  • weighs just seven pounds
  • tires are not super durable
Brand Hook and Go
Model HOK-Hook
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Picnic Time Cart

The Picnic Time Cart is an insulated 25-quart cooler on wheels that will keep your food items cold on your way to a picnic or back home from the farmer's market. There are large storage pockets on each side and a zippered opening for easy accessibility at any time.
  • adjustable split-level handlebar
  • removable pvc liner is easy to clean
  • wheels are a bit wobbly
Brand Picnic Time
Model 545-00-100-000-0
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Wellmax WM99017S

With its front swiveling wheels and double basket design, the Wellmax WM99017S can get you to and from the store in total control. Its high-quality, rustproof metal construction will stay looking new for years and can hold up to 150 lbs. without bending or bowing.
  • durable rubber tread on the wheels
  • smooth rolling bearings
  • easy to navigate in tight spaces
Brand Wellmax WM99017S
Model WM99017S
Weight 14.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Trolley Dolly

Whether you tote items for work or pleasure, the Trolley Dolly is an ideal solution to simplify your life. Its standout features include a multitude of compartments and hefty oversize wheels that can take on any terrain, plus it folds in half for compact storage.
  • available in 4 attractive colors
  • comfort cushion handle
  • doubles as a dolly for large items
Brand dbest products
Model 01-060
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Olympia Tools 85-404

The Olympia Tools 85-404 offers a simple way to cart anything around without straining your back. This durable polypropylene plastic bin design has 4 smooth rolling wheels and a sturdy handle that can lock at various heights for easy transportation.
  • no assembly required
  • folds down to only 3 inches thick
  • integrated grip handles on all sides
Brand Olympia Tools
Model 85-404
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Versacart Utility

The deluxe Versacart Utility can handle all of your grocery shopping, laundry and camping needs with ease and comfort. It features a rugged steel frame that can support up to 120 lbs. of cargo, yet only weighs in at 9 lbs. itself, for effortless mobility.
  • thick ergonomic handles
  • double rear wheels for stability
  • water-resistant fitted cover
Brand Versacart
Model 112691
Weight 10.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

A Brief History Of The Shopping Cart

The first shopping cart was introduced in 1937 by a man named Sylvan Goldman, who owned a supermarket chain in Oklahoma called Humpty Dumpty. He developed it in an effort to allow people to buy more groceries, as the size of a purchase at the time was typically limited by the amount a shopper could carry.

The original prototype Goldman built was made of a wooden folding chair, to which he affixed a set of wheels. He placed a basket on the seat, and a crude version of the shopping cart was born. He shared his invention with one of his employees named Fred Young, and the pair began collaborating on a more refined design.

Goldman and Young's initial attempt to refine the cart design consisted of a metal frame housing two of the wire baskets that the chain already provided for customers to carry their groceries around their stores. A mechanic named Arthur Kosted helped the pair develop an assembly line for mass-production. In 1940, the invention was awarded a patent titled "Folding Basket Carriage for Self-Service Stores."

At first, the shopping cart was slow to catch on. Women found them too reminiscent of baby carriages, and men in turn found their design effeminate. In an effort to combat these criticisms, Goldman hired models of both genders to push the carts around his stores and shop so that others might see their utility. It worked, and shopping carts of various designs have been ubiquitous ever since.

Goldman's original models closely resembled the folding carts presented here. It wasn't until later in the decade that carts began to look more like they do today. This was spurred on in part by the development of the nesting cart in 1946 by Kansas City inventor Orla Watson. Called the Telescope Cart, Watson's version included a hinged rear panel that could swing upwards to allow multiple carts to be stored in an interlocked position.

Watson presented his invention to several grocery store owners in the Kansas City area, one of whom was Fred Taylor, a business partner of Goldman's. Taylor saw the potential in the more space-efficient nesting carts and informed Goldman, who tried to patent the innovation himself. After a lengthy legal dispute, Watson was granted the patent in 1949 and gave Goldman an exclusive license to the technology.

In 1947, Goldman added a child's seat to his designs, which, along with Orla's nesting design, continues to be found on shopping carts around the world to this day.

The Many Benefits Of Folding Shopping Carts

There's no shortage of uses for folding carts, but those who live in urban areas can undoubtedly reap the most benefits from them. That's because they make it possible to carry your groceries (or just about anything else) over long distances on public transportation or on foot. While they may not be as useful to car owners or those who don't live within walking distance of retail stores, they might still be worth the purchase if you find yourself frequently struggling to move heavy loads around your home.

While the primary use for your cart may be hauling groceries, it's common to see people using them to push laundry around city streets. If you use a laundromat, foldable carts offer an extremely convenient means of transporting your clothes on laundry day. Note that it's a good idea to keep your detergent at the bottom, as placing heavy objects on top can throw-off your cart's balance, making it more likely to tip over.

Picnics and other outdoor ventures present another great opportunity to make use of your folding cart. Some models even come with insulated liners to help keep your food at the proper temperature while you make your way to your destination. Think of it like a cooler you don't have to carry. They're also great for the beach, as long as you get a model with tires that can maneuver on sand.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of these carts is the fact that they fold up for storage. In addition to saving your back and arms the strain of carrying a slew of heavy grocery bags, they also don't take up too much room in your home. Many models are lightweight enough to hang on a wall while not in use, so you don't even have to sacrifice floor space. And because of their size and weight, they're easy to carry with you when they're empty, even if you prefer not to roll them on your way to the store.

Contemporary Innovations in Shopping Cart Technology

While the tried and true style of shopping carts has served us quite well since the 1940s, there has been quite a bit of innovation since then. From updated materials to the inclusion of high-tech gadgetry, lots of developments have come along, but it's unclear which ones will stand the test of time.

In recent years, some retailers, including Target, have replaced their classic, all-metal carts with primarily plastic designs. The benefits of plastic carts include lighter weight, lower manufacturing costs, and a lower risk of damage to store shelves and cars. If you've ever inadvertently allowed a metal cart to roll itself into your vehicle while unloading groceries, you'll understand the value of this development.

Another notable innovation in the field is the self-driving cart. Various efforts have been made to this end since 2012 by retailers including Wal-Mart.

Theft-combatting advancements are also popular. Coin deposit systems have been in use worldwide at certain chains for decades. Some stores use specially designed tiles around their walls or parking lots to inhibit users from pushing the carts beyond their perimeters. Automatically locking, geo-fenced wheels are also gaining popularity. Given that cart-theft costs retailers up to $800 million annually, it's proven to be an important problem for the industry to solve.

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Last updated on September 07, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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