How to Choose the 5 Best Garden Cart: Outdoor Garden Cart Buying Guide & Recommendations

An evolution of the traditional wheelbarrow, garden carts are extremely versatile.

Whether you need to move soil, fertilizer, bricks, or heavy tools, a garden cart makes the process so much easier, while saving you lots of backaches too! Here’s how to go about choosing the best garden cart for your needs…

The Best Garden Cart is…

Sale
Gorilla Carts GOR4PS Poly Garden Dump Cart with Steel Frame...
7,697 Reviews
Gorilla Carts GOR4PS Poly Garden Dump Cart with Steel Frame...
  • Patented quick-release dump feature makes unloading quick...
  • New frame design reduces assembly time while offering...
  • Durable 38.7-inch x 20-inch rust-proof poly bed and 10-inch...

There are so many different options out there when it comes to garden carts, so if you want to cut to the chase and discover which is the best, the answer is the Gorilla Carts GOR4PS Poly Garden Dump Cart.

It’s sturdy and well-made, with a large enough load capacity to make it suitable for heavy duty tasks. Its tipping mechanism is extremely useful, making it so easy to unload.

Unlike most of the other garden carts out there, this one also comes with a one year warranty, giving you the peace of mind that you’re investing in quality.

Garden Cart Buying Guide

How to Choose the Best Garden Cart: Outdoor Garden Cart Buying Guide & Recommendations

The Different Types of Garden Carts

Garden carts come in a few different styles. The more technical the cart, the more expensive it will be, which is why it’s best to know exactly what you need before you begin browsing.

Utility Carts

Utility carts tend to be the most versatile of all garden carts. They have 4 sides, which are often removable, and are designed to be able to carry even the most awkward-shaped of loads.

Utility carts are usually made from metal. While you will find fabric options too, these won’t have the advantage of removable sides, which is the main benefit that utility carts provide.

You can use a utility cart to carry just about anything, from bags of compost and fertilizer to mulch. However, the downside to these is that they don’t have a tipping mechanism – you’ll need to unload by hand.

Tipper Carts

Tipper carts are quite varied in design – some look similar to wheelbarrows, while others look just like utility garden carts. However, the one feature they all share is the ability to tip its load, whether this may be by tilting its body or by opening up at the bottom.

This makes a tipper cart fantastic for bringing materials such as soil and manure into a garden, since you won’t need to shovel it all out. However, tipper carts are known for being difficult to manoeuvre, especially in tight spaces, so make sure you pick one that has solid steering.

How to Choose the Best Garden Cart: Outdoor Garden Cart Buying Guide & Recommendations

Flatbed Carts

Flatbed carts don’t have any sides, which gives you the ability to carry larger loads. However, if this is a feature that you are looking for, you would be best off going with a utility cart that has removable sides – this will give you the option of either using it with sides or without, making your cart so much more versatile.

Foldable Carts

Foldable carts are exactly what they sound like – garden carts that can easily be folded away for convenient storage. The bed of the cart is usually made from fabric in order to allow this, with a stainless steel frame that collapses down.

Foldable carts are the perfect solution for people who don’t have the space to store a garden cart. However, they aren’t usually as strong as carts made from a more rigid material.

You also won’t have the option to remove any sides, making them more restrictive when it comes to the type of load you’ll be able to carry.

Scooter Carts

Scooter carts are a hybrid between mobility scooters and basic garden carts. The “carts” are storage containers that are attached to the sides, and sometimes the front and back too, of a scooter.

These are great for people with mobility issues, but can be a little restrictive in terms of capacity. The storage containers are much smaller than a conventional garden cart, making them unsuitable for large loads.

How to Choose the Best Garden Cart: Outdoor Garden Cart Buying Guide & Recommendations

Size and Capacity

One of the most important points to consider when shopping for a garden cart is size and capacity. You will find that this varies hugely, from a mere 120 pounds to 1500 pounds.

The bigger the capacity, the larger the cart, meaning the heavier and more cumbersome it will be to move around your garden. A large cart also requires more storage space, which is a waste if you aren’t actually using the cart’s full capacity.

Have a think about what you’re going to be using the cart for. If you’ll be carting around weighty objects, such as bricks or rocks, then you’ll need a large, heavy duty cart.

However, if your loads are going to be much lighter, then something smaller that still has a deep bed may be better suited for you. This is also the better option for those who aren’t as physically strong, or for people with small gardens.

Construction and Material

You want a garden cart that’s high quality and well-made – anything less than this will only fall apart after a few uses, leaving you right back at square one.

Metal carts, meaning both the frame and the bed are made of metal, are usually the strongest. They are also difficult to damage if you happen to crash or overload your cart.

However, their strength comes from their weight and a more solid construction technique, making them much heavier to cart around. Metal carts can also be prone to rusting, not only from water but also from the compounds in alkaline soil.

Polyethylene carts are more lightweight and therefore much easier to manoeuvre. They also won’t rust or dent in the same way that metal carts will, but won’t have as long a lifespan either, especially if left outside and constantly exposed to UV rays.

Both metal and poly carts can be left outdoors, but will last for much longer if stored under cover, away from the elements.

Fabric is another material used for garden carts. These are useful for foldable designs, but are too lightweight for heavier loads.

You may also see a few wooden carts out there. These may look good, but are usually very heavy and therefore less functional, which is why many tend to use these as a decorative garden feature instead.

Tire Type

Tires will vary depending on the type of cart you’re going for.

If your chosen garden cart is small and lightweight, then solid plastic tires may be all you need. These are great for moving over smooth surfaces and are very low maintenance, but may end up breaking if you overload your cart.

Heavy duty carts require something a little more substantial, which is where pneumatic tires come in. These are reinforced rubber tires with a good tread that are able to easily glide over bumpy surfaces, even with heavy loads, absorbing the shock to keep its load stable.

Although they require more maintenance when it comes to being pumped up, as well as patches when punctures happen, pneumatic tires are able to carry a much stronger weight than plastic tires.

Steering

You need your garden cart to be easy to steer, especially when it contains a heavy load.

Some carts will have their front axel connected to the handle itself, which gives you good control over the cart. However, there are also carts out there with free-turning wheels and handles that are similar to shopping trolleys, which some may find easier to steer.

Both types of steering have their benefits, so pick whichever you feel most comfortable with.

Ground Clearance

Some garden carts will be built so that the bed sits quite high up off the ground, whereas others will be much lower. If you plan on using your cart on relatively flat terrain, then this won’t matter too much to you.

However, if you’re going to be taking your cart over bumpy and rough ground, such as areas with large rocks or tree stumps, then you need a cart that has a high ground clearance. Otherwise, the bottom of your cart’s bed will keep catching on objects below, which will not only damage your cart, but could also be disastrous for whatever you may be carrying in it.

Warranty

If you’re investing in a high-quality, heavy duty garden cart, then look for a brand that provides a warranty.

This will not only give you the peace of mind that you’ll be covered if anything goes wrong, but it also shows that the manufacturer is confident that their product actually does what it has been designed to do.

Let’s see the review of this guy:

Best Garden Cart Reviews

Gorilla Carts GOR4PS Poly Garden Dump Cart

Sale
Gorilla Carts GOR4PS Poly Garden Dump Cart with Steel Frame...
7,697 Reviews
Gorilla Carts GOR4PS Poly Garden Dump Cart with Steel Frame...
  • Patented quick-release dump feature makes unloading quick...
  • New frame design reduces assembly time while offering...
  • Durable 38.7-inch x 20-inch rust-proof poly bed and 10-inch...

Features:

  • Has a 600 pound load capacity
  • Cart bed made from rust-proof poly
  • 10 inch pneumatic tires
  • A quick-release dump feature for easy unloading
  • Comes with a one year limited warranty

What We Like

This is a strong and sturdy garden cart, heavy duty enough to be very versatile. It has a good load capacity for the average home gardener, while the cart itself isn’t too big to be cumbersome.

Handling and steering is also excellent, with the pneumatic tires ensuring a smooth journey each time.

What Could Be Improved?

Although this cart comes with clear instructions, assembling it can take time, and may require a second person’s help.

There are several nuts and bolts of different sizes that will need to be tightened – use a universal nut and bolt gripper combined with an electric screwdriver to make assembly easier.

Landworks 2103Q044A Heavy Duty Lawn/Garden Utility Cart/Wagon

Landworks 2103Q044A Heavy Duty Lawn/Garden Utility...
423 Reviews
Landworks 2103Q044A Heavy Duty Lawn/Garden Utility...
  • HEAVY DUTY; This product has a 400-lbs load capacity. With...
  • CONVENIENCE; The foldable frame design allows one to...
  • DURABILITY; This product comes with durable 10-inches...

Features:

  • Has a 400 pound load capacity
  • Made from heavy duty gauge stainless steel, with heat treatment and a powder coating to prevent rusting
  • 10 inch pneumatic tires
  • Has removable steel mesh sides

What We Like

This cart is a good size, and the well-made tires keep everything running smoothly. The removable sides are a huge plus point to this cart, as it enables you to carry awkward loads that wouldn’t fit in a standard cart.

What Could Be Improved?

To start with, this cart takes a while to assemble, mostly because the instructions are very unclear.

Even once assembled properly, the front axel is a little unstable, which makes steering and manoeuvring difficult, especially around tight corners. It may look heavy duty, but this cart does best with lighter loads.

Gorilla Carts GCR-4

Gorilla Carts GCR-4 4 Cu. Ft, 300-pound Capacity, Poly Yard...
237 Reviews
Gorilla Carts GCR-4 4 Cu. Ft, 300-pound Capacity, Poly Yard...
  • 30 in. x 24 in. impact-resistant poly bed is built to handle...
  • 10 in. pneumatic tires to easily roll over any terrain
  • Unique push or pull design for easy movement and...

Features:

  • Has a 300 pound load capacity
  • A hybrid between a cart and a wheelbarrow, with a cart bed but just two wheels
  • A unique design that makes it easy to both push and pull
  • Cart bed made from high quality poly
  • 10 inch pneumatic tires
  • Has a foldable handle for easier storage

What We Like

Easy to put together, this small cart is surprisingly sturdy. It is much more convenient to use than a wheelbarrow, but not as cumbersome as a larger cart, making it ideal for gardeners who want something in the middle of the two.

What Could Be Improved?

This cart has quite a low ground clearance, making it unsuitable for use on rough terrain. However, this can make loading and unloading much easier in many situations, as you won’t have to lift your load quite as high.

Mac Sports WTC-111 Outdoor Utility Wagon

Mac Sports WTC-111 Outdoor Utility Wagon, Solid Blue
  • LARGE CAPACITY - Sets up in seconds, No assembly required!...
  • CONVENIENT COMPACT STORAGE - Wagon folds to only 8" thick!...
  • LIGHTEN THE LOAD! - The heavy duty frame allows loads up to...

Features:

  • Has a load capacity of 150 pounds
  • A foldable cart made from heavy duty fabric
  • Folds to just 8 inches thick, making storage easy
  • Has an adjustable handle and 2 mesh cup holders

What We Like

This is a durable and well-made cart with a capacity that makes it suitable for lightweight loads. Its main selling point is its foldable design, which means that you don’t need much space to store it. The telescopic handle rod is also useful for adjusting the handle length to better suit different tasks, as well as different people.

What Could Be Improved?

The wheels of this cart let it down. They’re made from a synthetic rubber material, which wouldn’t be an issue if they were a little stronger. Although large enough to handle a variety of terrains, dodgy wheel braces can throw these wheels out of alignment when they’re used on rough surfaces, making them best suited for smooth ground.

Suncast 2-Wheel Resin Multi-Purpose Cart with Handle

Suncast Resin 15.5 Gallon Multi-Purpose Cart with Wheels,...
  • 2-WHEEL ROLLING CART: Lightweight rolling lawn cart with a...
  • VERSATILE USE: Use both indoors and outdoors to transport...
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Constructed from heavy-duty resin...

Features:

  • A 2 wheel multi-purpose cart
  • Can hold 15.5 gallons, which equals to about 30 pounds
  • Lightweight enough for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Made from heavy duty resin plastic
  • Has a telescopic handle that can easily be adjusted

What We Like

If you only need to cart around small loads, then this lightweight cart is ideal. It’s easy to assemble – all you need to do is secure the handle and then it’s ready to be used. Its compact design means that it can easily be brought indoors too, making it convenient for a number of tasks.

What Could Be Improved?

This cart isn’t designed for heavy loads, meaning that if you accidentally overload it, it will quickly tip over. The wheels are made from plastic, which adds to the cart’s lightweight quality, but makes the cart difficult to handle on rough ground.

Conclusion

It’s worth investing in a quality garden cart, as chances are that you’ll use it for a number of other non-gardening jobs too.

This makes it worth spending some time exploring your options, so that you can make the right decision when it comes to the best garden cart for what you need.

Last update on 2021-04-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jill Sandy

Jill Sandy

Jill is a sustainable focus gardener. She loves decorating her home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques she develops herself. You can reach her at jill.sandy@constantdelights.com

Chanh Ho (MD, MPH)

Chanh Ho (MD, MPH)

Chanh is our Head of Medical Review. He is a research physician at Oxford University Clinical Research Unit. After accomplishing the program of level 1 sub-specialty in Pediatrics, he was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for his Master’s degree of Public Health in the University of Edinburgh in 2019

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