The 10 Best Folding Wagons
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in April of 2015. Whether you're hauling the kids, groceries, sporting equipment, or a cooler full of beer, one of these collapsible wagons will help lighten the load and get you to and from your car or home with ease. All of these models can be folded, which makes for convenient transportation and storage when you aren't using them, even if you don't have tons of space in your trunk, closet, or garage. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 30, 2020:
When selecting our foldable wagons, we understood that some individuals will use these just to transport goods, while others will need them to contain children and pets, so we looked for models that could do both. Durable materials were essential since these might support heavy cargo and go through a lot of use. Finally, features that make the carts comfortable and easy to maneuver were also important.
For those needing a place to put little ones or furry friends when they're tired, or want a break from the hot sun, there is the Radio Flyer Ultimate EZ 3900, the Best Choice Products Utility, and the Hauck Eco T93108, each of which has a canopy to provide shade, and a spacious main compartment.
If your daily chores or adventures might take you over all sorts of terrain, you might like the large tires of the Mac Sports Beachcomber or the large, pneumatic ties on the Sunnydaze Utility Garden Cart, which make it easy to drag either of these over sand, gravel, and other types of rough ground. The WonderFold Multi-Purpose could be a good option for this too, as it has an integrated steering mechanism that provides better maneuverability than many others.
Should you occasionally want a way to transport unusually long items like golf clubs or folded up tents, you might want the Sunnydaze Utility Garden Cart, the sides of which come off to form a flatbed, or the Mac Sports Double Decker, which has an expandable bottom shelf.
April 15, 2019:
Thanks to a combination of usability and durability, we still think the WonderFold Outdoor and the Mac Sports DD-100 are top choices for hauling anything heavy or cumbersome, including luggage, coolers, rocks, and more. Although they are roughly equal when it comes to price, the DD-100 comes in a wider variety of color choices, something to consider if you hate being mismatched. For a slightly lower-cost alternative, you might consider the Timber Ridge Trolley; it's got robust wheels but a short handle, so be aware that if you're on the taller side, you may end up stooping a little. For choices made specifically for children, we kept the Radio Flyer Ultimate EZ and added the Hauck Eco Mobil. The former seems to store away better than the latter, and it's got that classic, eye-catching Radio Flyer style, giving it a slight edge. And speaking of kids, do note that not every option is made to securely accommodate squirming little ones, so heed safety warnings carefully.
West Marine Folding Wagon The West Marine Folding Wagon has wheels that move effortlessly over most types of ground, including soft sand, and a tailgate with cupholders that folds down to make room for long items. It can support 180 pounds, and in its collapsed form, fits into most trunks or the included carrying bag. The double-layer fabric should last a long time, too. westmarine.com
Jeep Wrangler Stroller Wagon The Jeep Wrangler Stroller Wagon will be a helpful item for busy parents because it can be used in several ways. It is equipped with a five-point safety harnesses to secure young passengers and even comes with a car seat adapter for tots. Plus, it is tough enough to be loaded up with a lot of gear, and, thanks to two adjustable handlebars, it can be pushed or pulled. target.com
Why A Folding Wagon (As Opposed To A Regular One)?
Maybe you're transporting your kids, a dog, your groceries, or a chest full of tools.
Most people associate wagons with transport. Maybe you're transporting your kids, a dog, your groceries, or a chest full of tools. Maybe you're transporting loose items, or gardening supplies. The bottom line is that you need something with wheels so you can ease the burden of getting from point A to point B.
The key to folding wagons is that they are compact. Unlike the traditional Radio Flyer wagons, these collapsible models can fit into a back seat, a trunk, the corner of a closet, or the confines of a crawlspace. A lot of people prefer to use folding wagons whenever they are heading to the beach. This is especially true in the case of folding models that have been built with polyurethane wheels (AKA "balloon wheels"), allowing people to transport more than 150 lbs. worth of cargo across dunes and sand.
The lining of most folding wagons is constructed out of polyester. These liners may be machine washable and won't rust or splinter. The liner's pouch should be deep, which means there's little risk of items spilling out whenever you hit a bump or make a turn. A few of the upscale wagons also come with some type of canopy for keeping food, beverages, or cosmetics out of the sun.
The point being, a folding wagon offers all of the benefits of a traditional wagon without any of the drawbacks. All of which begs the question: Why buy a regular wagon, when you could just as easily buy a folding one?
How To Find The Correct Folding Wagon for You
We've all heard that old saying: "A folding wagon is a folding wagon is a folding wagon." Actually, no one's ever heard that saying, and yet there is a prevailing sense that every folding wagon has been created equal. This is not true, as different folding wagons have been designed to meet a very specific set of needs.
This is, of course, a major selling point if there's any chance you might want to take that soil-heavy gardening wagon to the beach.
Consider, for example, that you need a folding wagon for the beach. That being the case, you'd want a wagon with deep tread, or polyurethane wheels. If, on the other hand, you need a folding wagon fit for transporting kids, you'd be well-served to find a model with cushioned seats and back rests on both ends. You'd probably also want any kid's wagon to feature a hood or a cover for keeping the little ones cool and in the shade.
If you need a folding wagon for carrying your tools, bags of concrete, or anything else that falls under the umbrella of heavy lifting, you probably want something with a steel cargo carrier that can support a significant amount of weight. On average, most folding wagons have a maximum weight capacity of 150 lbs. Certain models, however, are specifically designed to carry up to 400 lbs. If there is any major drawback to these models, it's that the steel frame will often make them considerably heavier and thereby harder to transport.
Some wagons may have a removable pouch, which fairly important for anyone who plans on using a folding wagon for gardening. Removable liners can generally be machine washed for easy stain removal and maintenance. This is, of course, a major selling point if there's any chance you might want to take that soil-heavy gardening wagon to the beach.
A Brief History Of The Folding Wagon
First came the wheel, then came the wagon. The craftsmanship has evolved, along with the shelf life and the durability, but the manual wagon is still very much the same as it was back in the days of the Ancient Aztecs and the Mayans - four wheels providing the foundation for a rectangular cargo holder.
Others were being used as dog strollers, or even all-purpose bins.
Wagons have always come in different shapes and sizes. The traditional toy cart which was made of wood began to emerge toward the end of the 19th Century. These wooden carts were generally resigned to carrying children and their belongings.
An Italian-born man named Antonio Pasin turned toy carts into an industry beginning in the 1920s. Pasin, who had emigrated to New York in 1900, named his first wagon The Liberty Coaster in honor the Statue of Liberty, which Pasin viewed a symbol of hope. Soon after, Pasin went into production on an entire line of sleek-looking metal wagons. Pasin called these wagons "Radio Flyers." Thousands of these models went flying off the shelves.
The popularity of Pasin's Radio Flyer led to a boom, one that grew to include companies like Northern Tool, Lowe's, and Tractor Supply Company (among others). Wagons were no longer resigned to being children's items. They were being marketed to the beach crowd, the camping crowd, to seasoned gardeners, and handymen, as well. Certain wagons were being used as beverage coolers. Others were being used as dog strollers, or even all-purpose bins. Select antique models have even become decorative, serving as unique conversation pieces either inside or outside of the house.