The 10 Best Stair Climbing Carts

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This wiki has been updated 33 times since it was first published in April of 2016. If trudging up and down stairs with tons of groceries, luggage or laundry isn't your idea of a good time, try using one of these handy climbing carts. Whether you're returning home from a busy day of shopping or moving furniture into a third-floor apartment, you'll find something in our selection to get the job done right. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the proper use to avoid injuries. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Zuca Sport

2. DBest Bigger Trolley Dolly

3. Winkeep Cart

This item has been flagged for editorial review and is not available.

Editor's Notes

October 29, 2020:

We decided to replace some items of questionable quality and reliability with better performing options. The Nicely Neat Sturdy Birdy doesn’t offer the capacity to be useful for many applications, and the Luckup Blue’s lack of stability tends to be a problem when it’s full. We removed both items.

We learned that although the Helping Hand Shopper glides smoothly when traveling in a straight line, it doesn’t handle corners very well, especially when it’s fully loaded. We dropped this item slightly in the rankings as a result. Whereas some models struggle with steep stairs or ledges, we highlighted the ability of the DBest Bigger Trolley Dolly to handle those situations with ease. We also added a useful feature — removable hooks for attaching extra bags to the cart — to the listing for the Beebeerun Utility (though we did downgrade this item a tad because it’s smaller than many users expect).

Added the AmazonBasics 01-841 as a simple, affordable cart for basic grocery runs and similar uses. It’s compact and foldable with a mid-size removable bag, making it a good choice for urban apartment dwellers who regularly walk to and from the store. The Fullwatt All Terrain, on the other hand, can handle somewhat bulky items, like boxes and small appliances.

November 11, 2019:

The Supenice Deluxe was no longer available, which is why it has been dropped from the list. Upon learning that the BestEquip Hand Truck is nowhere near capable of handling its advertised load capacity of 330 pounds, we eliminated that item as well, as it seems to be a potential safety hazard. The bag that comes with the DBest Laundry Trolley is very prone to tearing, so we also removed that from the list.

The models we added vary in size and style — they’re able to accommodate a load of about 60 pounds at the low end and more than 300 pounds at the high end. Several of them fold up, which is quite useful for storage purposes.

The Winkeep Cart is the most well-rounded of the bunch, as it features a sturdy, reliable frame, a spacious waterproof bag with numerous pockets, and even includes a bungee cord for strapping bulky items in place. Reports also suggest that smoothly rotating wheels make the Beebeerun Utility an easy model to maneuver into tight spaces.

October 22, 2018:

Updated to ensure all items are properly equipped for stair-climbing, emphasizing range of uses and weight limits on different types of carts.

Special Honors

Walter Drake Trolley Dolly One-part utility cart and one-part mobile seat, the Trolley Dolly from Walter Drake even contains a beverage holder for those who want to take a break from their shopping pursuits to enjoy a cold drink. Thanks to its collapsible design, it won’t take up much space in the car or the closet.

Zonzini Buddy Though it’s not built for hauling super-heavy loads, the battery-powered Buddy is ideal for medium to light cargo. Its weight sensor detects whether you’re moving up or down the stairs, automatically positioning the casters accordingly. It can traverse steps up to about 10 inches in height.

PowerMate Hand Trucks They’re probably too heavy duty for grocery trips, but when you need to move massive objects like refrigerators, water heaters or other household appliances, PowerMate’s line of motorized stair climbing carts will do the trick. These are ideal for contractors and property managers, with various models that can support anything from 200 to 1,500 pounds.

4. Fullwatt All Terrain

5. BLTPress Portable

6. AmazonBasics 01-841

7. Beebeerun Utility

8. Leadallway Crystal

9. Shzond Aluminum

10. Helping Hand Shopper

Who Needs A Stair Climbing Cart?

Bringing a car full of groceries home to a third-story walk-up apartment can require several trips up and down the stairs.

Stair climbing carts have special wheels designed to cling onto and roll up the front of a step, so their user doesn't need to do any lifting while going up stairs. People of all ages can benefit from using a stair climbing cart. While they are often associated with senior citizens, these carts can replace backpacks for students and young children.

Research has found that carrying heavy backpacks could lead to chronic back problems. Many children carry backpacks that weigh as much as 14 percent of their own body weight. While there may be little one can do to reduce the load that children must carry between textbooks, sports gear, and snacks, parents can give them a safer way to carry it in the form of a stair climbing cart.

Chronic lower back pain is something that people of all ages suffer from, but it can be especially impacting on the life quality of older adults. Those with chronic lower back pain typically cannot support a backpack or even a heavy bag and need to carry their belongings in a cart. Senior citizens in particular often need to carry several belongings with them, between medications, folding walkers, and chiropractic seat cushions. When they do not have a nurse to help them, a stair climbing cart can be of service. These carts also offer some independence to many senior citizens. While retirement communities and other places designed with the elderly in mind may have ramps for rolling carts, public areas like shopping malls and office buildings may not.

Anyone who lives in a building that does not have an elevator will greatly appreciate a stair climbing cart. Bringing a car full of groceries home to a third-story walk-up apartment can require several trips up and down the stairs. A stair climbing cart lets the user bring more items upstairs in one trip.

Additional Features That Enhance A Stair Climbing Cart

If musculoskeletal problems are one's reason for purchasing a stair climbing cart, they should look for one with an attached fold out chair. The elderly and those with chronic musculoskeletal problems regularly visit places like doctor's offices and pharmacies. Unfortunately, statistics show these businesses tend to keep patients waiting far too long. This can be especially problematic when they do not provide enough seating for their patients. A stair climbing cart with a built-in seat will ensure the user always has somewhere to sit.

Most stair climbing carts also have very roomy interiors, but one should always check the weight limit so they do not overload them. Those who plan on using their stair climbing cart around their home should look for one with non-marking wheels. Many also have locking wheels or a kickstand to make sure they stay in place when the user isn't holding them. Another important safety feature to look for is a reflective strip or patch. Statistics show that over 60 percent of pedestrian accidents happen in the dark, so a reflective strip on one's cart could save their life.

Individuals buying a stair climbing cart for a storage room, construction site, or other highly active area should look for one that has handles at two levels for easy maneuvering. Carts intended for heavy use should also be made from heavy duty aluminum, boast extra wide tires, and have a multi-hundred-pound carrying capacity.

Why A Rolling Cart Is Superior To Other Carriers

When carrying one's belongings in a backpack, if a person wants to retrieve something, they need to take off their backpack, put it on the ground and open it. With a rolling cart, an individual doesn't need to go through the trouble of finding a clean surface to put their bag down and unloading everything to find what they need. A rolling cart won't slow a person down, either. While carrying a heavy backpack can make it more difficult for a person to run to catch a bus, rolling carts usually sit on highly-responsive wheels that roll quickly, even under a large load.

Because stair climbing carts can be kept on the side or even front of one's body, the user can keep a better eye on them and deter pickpockets.

Carrying any type of bag on one's body, whether it be a backpack, purse or satchel puts pressure on their knees and legs. Over time, the individual will begin to walk differently to adapt to the pressure, but this can actually cause arthritis. Since a stair climbing cart is not worn on the body at all, it doesn't affect the way the user walks. Carrying a heavy purse also usually causes the wearer to strain their neck in the opposite direction of the bag, to balance their weight. This strain can cause neck pain.

Another concern with backpacks is that they sit behind a person, where the wearer cannot see them. This makes them an easy target for pickpockets. Because stair climbing carts can be kept on the side or even front of one's body, the user can keep a better eye on them and deter pickpockets.

Sam Kraft
Last updated by Sam Kraft

In addition to his corporate career as a marketing and communications professional in Chicago, Sam runs a popular blog that focuses on the city’s flourishing craft beer and brewery scene. He received his degree in journalism from DePaul University (which spurred his interest in freelance writing) and has since spent years developing expertise in copywriting, digital marketing and public relations. A lifetime of fishing, hiking and camping trips has left him well-versed in just about any outdoors-related topic, and over several years spent working in the trades during his youth, he accumulated a wealth of knowledge about tools and machinery. He’s a travel junkie, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an avid biker.

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