Beach trolleys are a bit of a new kid on the block when it comes to parenting equipment and gadgetry but now they’re here we’re not quite sure how our parents coped before us without them.
Gone are the days of limping down to the beach carrying two picnic hampers, a windbreak squashed under one arm and a picnic blanket slung over your head; now you can arrive in style (and less cross and sweaty).
They really come into their own for times when a buggy won’t cut it in terms of storage (or won’t roll over the sand), so they’re a great buy for beach days, festivals and camping. But - trust us - once you’ve invested, you’ll find you can’t do without it for many a picnic and day out, and it’s enormously useful around the garden, both for lugging bits of trimmed hedge about the place and for letting the kids give each other ‘rides’ on the lawn.
Beach trolleys (or wagons or carts if you prefer) come in a range of sizes and with various purposes in mind, so you’ll want to do a bit of research before you buy. To save you the legwork, we’ve put together a list of what we think are the best beach trolleys on the market.
What is the best beach trolley?
- Best overall beach trolley: Radio Flyer 3-in-1 Camo Wagon
- Best budget beach trolley: Goki Pull-Along Cart
- Best beach trolley for couples: Timber Ridge Collapsible Trolley
- Best beach trolley for families: Whitsunday Collapsible Folding Outdoor Utility Wagon
- Best trolley for picnics: Nasscarts Foldable Beach Cart with Cooler
1. Best overall beach trolley: Radio Flyer 3-in-1 Camo Wagon
Price: £245 | Buy now from Amazon
“You need a radio flyer wagon. I think you can get them here now on Amazon.” babysharkah
The Radio Flyer is a very popular buy among Mumsnetters and, though it doesn’t come cheap, it does tick all the boxes. Firstly, it’s a sturdy trolley for carrying all your beach kit, festival gear or camping equipment but (secondly) it also has seatbelts and can be used for transporting children, and then (thirdly) the sides unzip and fold down to make it into a comfy bench, perfect for eating their picnic on at the seaside or catching a few acts at a festival, even when their legs get tired.
Off-road tyres give you a smooth ride on any terrain and make the wagon easy to pull across sandy or pebbly beaches. Each end of the wagon has handy pockets for carrying drinks bottles, toys, books and the like.
We like the wipe-clean material and reviews say the seat cushions are nice and thick so are really comfy to sit on. Some customers have reported that the side fabric isn’t quite as durable as they have come to expect from this brand but all in all, it’s a great buy that does everything you need and will see you easily through all the outdoor adventures you’ll want to enjoy during the ‘little kid’ years.
- Size: 100D x 47W x 78H cm
- Weight: 26.23lb
- Capacity: 150lb
2. Best budget beach trolley: GoKi Pull-Along Cart
Price: £60 | Buy now from Amazon
“We've done UK holidays this year and are planning on it for the next few years so we'll use it a fair bit.” JustMarriedBecca
This very reasonably priced trolley is great for beach days, with enough room for your towels, picnic bag, sunscreen and more. As you’d expect at this price, it’s not as sturdy as the Radio Flyer and some of the other pricier models, but it’s a great basic. The sides aren’t really high enough to transport a child safely and that’s not what it’s meant for but young children would probably enjoy being carefully pulled around the garden in it.
Customer reviews report that it’s really easy to put together, is more lightweight than some and it’s smaller, too, so will squeeze into the boot of the car easily.
We’d recommend this if you want to see what all the fuss is about, use a wagon occasionally for transporting beach or camping stuff and then maybe retire it to the garden (it would actually be really useful for gardening as well as playing). But if you’re looking for a beach trolley to carry kids in or to use frequently, you might be better off spending a bit more to get something bigger and sturdier.
- Size: 50L x 25.5W x 21Hcm
- Weight: 2kg
- Capacity: Not listed
3. Best beach trolley for couples: Timber Ridge Collap
Price: £105 | Buy now from Amazon
“Festivals are quite different from regular camping, mainly because the place where you pitch your tent is usually a significant walk away from the car park. So everything you take has to be carried from the car, which can be a complete nightmare, especially if it’s raining. See if you can borrow a trolley from someone to make this easier.” JustABigDisco
At around £100, this Trolley from Timber Ridge is a brilliant option. It’s not designed for carting kids about but would happily take a small-to-medium-sized dog, along with a host of other bits and bobs you might need for outdoor activities from camping to beach days.
The trolley seems well made and robust so should last a lifetime, and has some nice design features, too, such as the zipped side pockets and cup holders for your coffees.
It collapses down easily and stores upright on its wheels so it doesn’t take up a huge amount of storage space back home and stows easily in the boot of your car, making it useful for unexpected shopping trips, too.
- Size: 90.1 x 46.7 x 30 cm
- Weight: 9.6kg
- Capacity: 80kg
4. Best beach trolley for families: Whitsunday Collapsible Folding Outdoor Utility Wagon
Price: £214 | Buy now from Amazon
“I've been looking at parents with wagons with envy for the past four years. My kids are too big for them, but I'm fed up of feeling like a pit pony, so this year I've invested in one from Germany, it was cheaper than ones in the UK and has big chunky wheels so won't get stuck if there's mud and I can take it to the beach too.” AwkwardAnnie
This black canvas and steel wagon is super robust and has lots of places to put everything you need for a day at the beach.
We like the extra basket on the front for storing smaller items, like beach balls and water bottles and there’s plenty of space for all you need in the main compartments. While this has lots of ‘space’, however, some reviews suggest it’s not quite as sturdy as one would expect, so while it totally does the job for a day at the beach with a picnic, you might want something sturdier if you’re using it for camping equipment or heavy shopping.
The large wheels are great for sand, though and the black canvas is a sensible option for a piece of outdoorsy equipment like this.
- Size: 91.44 x 48.26 x 66.04 cm
- Weight: 9.07kg
- Capacity: 68kg
5. Best trolley for picnics: Nasscarts Foldable Beach Cart with Cooler
Price: £90 | Buy now from Amazon
“If you want a picnic with salads etc you will need crockery/cutlery which will need to be carried. We use a folding trolley to go to the beach, in which our picnic bag goes.” APurpleSquirrel
Forget hampers and trudging uphill with blankets over your shoulders, this collapsible beach cart is picnic perfect - it even comes with its own coolbag.
This is a really robust trolley, with a reinforced metal frame, robust canvas fabric and big, plastic wheels that can cope with all terrains, from sand to long grass, but will never go flat. The wheels also rotate 360 degrees, so manoeuvring the trolley is really easy.
With a large size and capacity, you’ll never be a sandwich short of a picnic and there’s plenty of room for blankets, bottles and plastic crockery, too.
When you head home, the Nasscarts Beach Cart collapses easily for storage to a footprint of just 17 x 50 cm.
- Size: 89D x 49W x 35H cm
- Weight: 12kg
- Capacity: 60kg
6. Best trolley for soft sand: MacSports Collapsible Beach Wagon
Price: £92 | Buy now from Amazon
“Saw someone dragging a huge trolley full of stuff with small narrow wheels across Holkham beach last year that looked like really hard work as it needed two of them eventually. If you get a trolley, make it one with wide, big wheels!” BillysBoy
Make short work of a trek down to the beach with this Beach Wagon with some of the chunkiest wheels we’ve seen. While it doesn’t have the 360-degree turn on the wheels of the Nasscarts model, the huge wheels on the MacSports cart really make all the difference at the beach.
The cart itself is roomy enough for your beach tent, coolbox, towels, flippers and more and the wipe-clean fabric is also mildew- and UV-resistant, making it ideal for outdoor adventures. Two mesh cup holders on the front of the cart provide somewhere for your water bottles, too.
It folds up quickly and easily into its own bag to a nice, narrow footprint that makes it easy to store, and when you want to get it out again it opens up in just seconds.
- Size: 91.9D x 54.4W x 62.5H cm
- Weight: 11.1kg
- Capacity: 68kg
7. Best foldable beach trolley: TMZ Folding Beach Wagon
Price: £120 | Buy now from Amazon
“Elderflower Fields was brilliant. Our only regret was not being able to stay up in the evening because DD needed to go to bed and we didn't bring a buggy or trolley for her to sleep in.” TheFutureSupremeRulersMum
Lots of beach trolleys or wagons collapse for storage but this one stands out as being both super easy to put up and fold down, and very small in its collapsed state considering its excellent capacity. The wagon carries 120kg, which is around double what many beach trolleys will hold, so if you know you pack heavy for camping, fishing or beach days, this would be the buy for you.
The large wheels (10 inches in diameter and 4 inches wide) are really sturdy and robust and the two front tyres turn together to make taking corners easier. There’s also a break on the back to stop your wagon rolling away when you reach your destination.
To collapse the empty trolley, you just grab the loop in the middle of the wagon and pull upwards and the whole thing folds like an umbrella.
At less than £120 we think this is a bit of a bargain. It’s certainly not the cheapest model on the market but in terms of value for money, it’s a really good buy.
- Size: 105D x 63W x 80H cm
- Weight: 12kg
- Capacity: 120kg
8. Best all-terrain beach trolley: Sekey All-Terrain Folding Wagon
Price: £140 | Buy now from Amazon
“Beach wagon. Best money ever spent for beach equipment.” TheyWereTheWorstofTimes
Made with an aluminium frame, which makes it less susceptible to sun and water damage, as well as much lighter, this folding wagon from Sekey is a great buy for the beach.
The extra-large, all-terrain wheels tackle sand, grass and pebbles with ease and each wheel has two low-noise-bearings to reduce noise when the wagon is in motion. It has one of the most generous volume capacities of the beach trolleys we shortlisted, so you can squeeze in absolutely everything you need for a day at the seaside.
A one-second fold allows you to collapse it quickly and it folds down to a very neat footprint which can stand alone in any cupboard or the car boot.
9. Best festival wagon: HappyBuy
Price: £140 | Buy now from Amazon
“Google festival wagons. You can usually hire these at the festival, or buy in advance and take with you. You see them full of children and cushions and fairy lights and whatnot.” CleanHouseWastedLife
A canvas canopy to keep the rain off your stuff makes this a brilliant buy for festivals, which are not known for their fine weather. And if you get lucky, the shade will keep the sun off, too.
While this wagon doesn’t specify that it’s for carrying children, it does have a safety belt in it and it seems sturdy enough to carry smaller children if you’re careful. If it’s specifically for transporting the kids, though, you might be better off with the Radio Flyer instead.
What it’s definitely good for is lugging all your stuff around festival fields, with a generous storage space, additional basket and two mesh bags to keep any smaller bits and pieces from getting lost.
It’s worth being aware that this is quite a large model, though it does fold down, but do be sure you have the space for it before you buy. Its size does make it very robust, however, with 360-degree rotating off-road wheels and a tough steel frame. It’s definitely a wagon that can stand up to everything you throw at it.
- Size: 101.6D x 101.6W x 99.1Hcm
- Weight: 12.25kg
- Capacity: 100kg
10. Best beach trolley for pets: Redcamp Folding Wagon Cart
Price: £106 | Buy now from Amazon
“I'd get one of those pull along trolleys/carts for a dog rather than a pram ... or a cargo bike like James Middleton !” StEvalNameChanger
You don’t want to leave your best friend behind on a daytrip to the beach and this wagon allows you to bring your fur kid as well as your human kids along for the ride. Maybe don’t put your picnic in it at the same time as the dog, unless you’re keeping a careful eye on things.
Of course, it’s also good for all the usual beach trolley moments, from days out to camping to gardening and an extendable rear means you can fit in longer, more unwieldy items. The fabric is sturdy and wipes clean so it’s ideal for muddy paws and all manner of outdoor adventures.
A flexible handle makes it easier to pull behind you and when it’s time to put it away, the wagon folds down to only 12cm wide, so it can be easily slid into the side of a cupboard or left flat in the boot of your car.
- Size: 81 x 51 x 102 cm
- Weight: 7.8kg
- Capacity: 70kg
Before you buy and stroll down the sand with your beach wagon, think carefully about how and how much you will use it in order to make the best purchase.
Are beach trolleys any good?
They’re definitely not a must by any means but most proud beach trolley owners will tell you that, like a dishwasher, once you’ve had one you can no longer live without one. They are really good if you do a lot of day tripping and tend to be lugging a lot of ‘stuff’ with you, whether that’s pop-up tents and picnics for the beach or a ton of camping equipment. Not all beach trolleys are created equal though and some cheaper models can be a bit rickety, making them difficult to drag across rough terrain, so do your research before you buy.
Which beach cart works best on sand?
The key to rough terrains and soft sand is big wheels - the bigger the better. Some carts come with rubber tyres you pump up, which are great but obviously can get a puncture, while others have large hard plastic wheels. We thought the Sekey All Terrain Beach Wagon would be the best for sandy beaches of the wagons we’ve recommended here.
What should I look for in a beach trolley?
Obviously this depends a bit on what you want to use it for but here are a few things to look out for that we think make for a great beach wagon.
- Large, all-terrain tyres
- Adjustable height handle
- Easy assembly
- 360-degree turn on the wheels
- Wipe-clean materials
- A sturdy frame
Is a beach wagon worth it?
The most fancy beach wagons can cost up to £300. They are amazing but you don’t have to spend that much - there are plenty of great models for around the £100 mark and less. As long as you know you’ll get the use out of it and it won’t just sit in the shed for most of the year, we’d say they’re a good buy and are worth it. Plus they’re not just for beach days and camping trips - they can also do double duty for shopping, gardening and the like, so they aren’t a one-week wonder by any means.
What is the best beach cart?
If we had to pick one model we know would offer something for everyone, we’d pick the Radio Flyer 3-in-1 because it’s good for so many scenarios, carrying everything from kids to camping equipment with aplomb.
How we chose our recommendations
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