The garden cart is an essential piece of equipment for any hobbyist gardener, home landscaper, or landscaping professional. Sometimes referred to as yard carts, garden carts are designed to haul heavy items like dirt, mulch, rocks, roots, potted plants, and other gardening equipment. The best garden carts are designed with various features to serve multiple uses, ensuring you get more bang for your buck.
With so many options on the market, how can you be sure you’re choosing the best garden cart for your needs? This handy guide will help you narrow down your options. Read on to learn more!
Why You Need a Garden Cart
Garden carts feature two or more wheels and straight sides, making it easier to wheel around heavy loads. Unlike wheelbarrows, garden carts are designed for maximum stability and load capacity. Although you can easily maneuver a wheelbarrow around tight spaces, a wheelbarrow isn’t meant to replace a heavy-duty garden cart.
There are several reasons for investing in a garden cart, and with so many options available, you’re sure to find one best suited to your hauling needs. A garden cart will:
- Save your back and knees
- Allow you to garden longer without pain
- Help you accomplish more in less time, with less effort
- Help keep you and your clothes clean
Moreover, certain garden carts are designed for purposes beyond gardening, such as hauling in groceries. With so many benefits on offer, why wouldn’t you want a garden cart in your tool arsenal?
Without further ado, let’s dive into our top nine recommendations for the best garden carts in 2022.
The 9 Best Garden Carts
Best Garden Cart Overall
Yardsam Utility Steel Lawn Wagon Cart
The heavy-duty wagon cart from Yardsom is an indispensable workhorse capable of hauling up to 400 pounds. One of the best garden carts on the market, this utility steel lawn wagon cart boasts a long handle, removable sides, and a PVC-coated liner that keeps dirt and debris from falling out. Best of all, it turns into a flatbed in minutes!
- Convertible design transforms from a cart to a flatbed
- Removable liner
- High weight capacity
- Constructed from steel mesh and powder coated for weather-resistance
- One-year Yardsam warranty
- The snap-on canvas piece isn’t as effective as using a traditional tarp when transporting dirt or mulch
Best Garden Cart on a Budget
Seina Heavy-Duty Compact Folding Outdoor Utility Cart
One of the best garden carts for users on a budget is the Seina Heavy-Duty Compact Folding Outdoor Utility Cart. Despite its compact size, this utility cart can hold up to 150 pounds thanks to its heavy-duty steel frame and durable polyester fabric lining. It also folds away for easy storage. When you’re not using it for backyard projects, make use of it at sporting events, the beach, or the park.
- Multipurpose (can use it to haul in groceries or transport lightweight gardening equipment and potted plants)
- Not meant for heavy-duty gardening jobs or transporting dirt or mulch
Best Handheld Garden Cart
AMES Rolling Lawn & Garden Storage Cart
When you need a convenient, handheld garden caddy that doubles as a garden stool, look no further than the AMES Rolling Lawn & Garden Storage Cart. This small but mighty garden cart is perfect for storing and transporting garden hand tools, gloves, seed packets, and other small items. You can even scoot it along as you pull weeds while sitting on it!
- Doubles as a stool
- Much smaller than a traditional garden cart
- Not designed for hauling large loads or equipment
Best Two-Wheel Garden Cart
WROX Aerocart 8-in-1 Yard Cart
In your search for the best garden carts, consider an upright, two-wheeled option like the WROX Aerocart 8-in-1 Yard Cart. This innovative design ensures that 200-pound loads feel less than 20 pounds. Its 8-in-1 design means this yard cart can transform into a dolly, extended dolly, bag holder, rock mover, cylinder carrier, trailer tote, and lightweight wheelbarrow, giving you every kind of cart you could possibly need in one!
- Flat-free tires never need inflating
- Easy to maneuver
- Lightweight, ergonomic design
- Smaller than most traditional garden carts
Best Collapsible Garden Cart
Moon Lence Collapsible Outdoor Utility Wagon
With its 360-degree rotating front wheels, the Moon Lence Collapsible Outdoor Utility Wagon moves wherever you need with ease. It’s an all-terrain outdoor garden cart with an internal pull rope that allows you to fold it for storage within seconds. You’ll also love the convenient handle and integrated beverage holders!
- Durable, waterproof insert won’t tear with use
- Easy to fold and store
- Multiple uses beyond gardening
- No brake to keep it parked in place
Best Electric Garden Cart
SuperHandy Wheelbarrow Utility Cart
Serious gardeners need a serious garden cart. The motorized SuperHandy Wheelbarrow Utility Cart boasts a 24V electric motor and 330-pound max load to create a durable, eco-friendly machine that never quits. Best of all, its rubber-covered handle, ergonomic lever switch, and all-terrain tires let you work in all weather conditions.
- 24V electric motor
- 13″ pneumatic all-terrain wheels
- Fast charge time
- Spill-proof design
- More expensive than manual garden carts
- Requires some assembly
Best Garden Cart for Seniors
Sunnydaze Utility Steel Garden Cart
Offering a large, padded handle that makes it easier to pull by hand, the Sunnydaze Utility Steel Garden Cart is a great option for users with arthritis, weakness, or chronic pain. The ergonomic handle boasts a 180-degree turn range that makes it a breeze to maneuver. It even features pneumatic tires, removable sides, and powder-coated steel metal mesh for added durability and function.
- Easy to handle
- 400-pound weight capacity
- Convertible design transforms into a flatbed
- Comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Difficult to assemble due to unclear instructions
- May tip with heavy loads
Best Gas-Powered Garden Cart
XtremepowerUS Track Wheelbarrow
If you’re ready to make a major investment in your gardening and landscaping equipment, consider the XtremepowerUS Track Wheelbarrow. This motorized, gas-powered utility wagon can haul up to 850 pounds through tight spaces thanks to its compact design and steel construction. It also features all-terrain traction with a zero-turn radius, allowing you to pivot the cart without tearing up terrain.
- Capable of the heaviest loads
- Balanced to prevent tipping
- Gas-powered, multi-speed motor
- Compact design fits in tight spaces
- Cable steering is harder to operate in low gears
- Some assembly required
Best Garden Cart for Homesteaders
SuperHandy Utility Service Cart Power Wagon
If you have a hobby farm or homestead that requires some serious hauling capabilities, the SuperHandy Utility Service Cart Power Wagon is a no-brainer. Boasting a 1,000-pound hauling capacity and max working load capacity of 500 pounds, this 48V electric wagon is one of the best garden carts on the market. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to five hours of heavy-duty use to help you get the job done.
- Transforms from a utility wagon to a flatbed
- Large pneumatic wheels power through all types of terrain
- Capable of hauling over 1,000 pounds
- Returns are difficult due to item’s excessive weight
How to Choose the Best Garden Cart
So, now that you know our recommendations for the best garden carts in 2022, how can you choose the one that meets your needs? Well, there are a few factors to consider.
How will you actually use your garden cart? Do you plan on transporting firewood, mulch, or heavy bags of potting soil? What about gardening equipment? Would you prefer a multi-purpose cart for toting groceries from the car to the kitchen?
In most cases, serious gardeners and landscapers will need a traditional wheelbarrow- or dolly-style garden cart, while hobbyists can often benefit from a compact, convertible model.
Load and Weight Capacity
The maximum load and weight capacity are often deciding factors when narrowing down the best garden carts. Since these carts are designed to assist with pretty much any type of gardening or yard work, their max loads vary widely. In fact, you can find some heavy-duty options capable of hauling up to 1,400 pounds!
There’s a trade-off, however. Carts that can haul several hundred pounds tend to lack maneuverability, which means you can’t get them into tight spaces. They’re also heavier and take more effort to transport.
Tire Size and Type
Understanding the differences in tire size and type can help you narrow down the best garden carts. Smaller yard carts tend to have tires made from solid rubber. These tires require little to no maintenance and rarely wear out because they don’t ever need to be inflated.
Larger garden carts are usually designed with air-filled or pneumatic tires, which do require maintenance. On the plus side, pneumatic tires roll easier than solid rubber tires, making the cart easier to handle.
Another factor to consider is the tread pattern. If you frequently work on sloped ground or in wet conditions, you’ll want a garden cart with tires designed for maximum grip and traction, so look for a ribbed or knotty all-weather tread.
If you’re comparing the best garden carts on the market, you’re making an investment. As such, it’s important to buy a quality garden cart that’s constructed with well-made materials and built to last.
Garden carts are made with a variety of materials, including high-density polyethylene, wood, and steel. Some mesh carts are even lined with polyester sheeting, which is a material that stands up to sharp rocks, dirt, and other debris.
Steel is the go-to option for most avid gardeners and landscapers because it’s the most durable. Galvanized steel is even better, but it’s the most expensive. If you’re on a tighter budget, consider powder-coated steel as a durable alternative.
Handheld vs. Quad
Be sure to ask yourself how you intend to transport your garden cart. Handheld options are compact and lightweight, allowing you to carry or maneuver them just about anywhere, but they don’t have the load-bearing capacity of a quad garden cart.
If you’re in the market for a heavy-duty quad cart, do you need one with a tractor attachment? Or does an ergonomic handle suit your needs? The best garden carts will be easy to transport regardless.
Manual vs. Powered
While most garden carts are manual, an electric or gas-powered option may suit your needs better. Electric motorized carts typically feature a manual mode for freewheel operation.
Gas-powered carts are top-of-the-line pieces of equipment, meaning they’re the most expensive. Electric models will cost at least a few hundred bucks but are priced lower than their gas-powered counterparts.
When narrowing down the best garden carts, consider the brake design. Having a model with a solid braking system or brake bar is a must if you’ll be using the cart on an incline or uneven terrain.
Once you’ve determined your needs regarding your gardening habits and anticipated equipment use, you can focus on suitable options and start comparing prices.
Different Types of Garden Carts
When comparing the best garden carts available, it’s important to note the different types you’ll encounter.
Utility wagons are heavy-duty, general-purpose garden carts. They’re designed to serve a wide variety of functions, including hauling stone, bricks, firewood, soil, mulch, garden debris, and tools.
Dump carts are similar to wheelbarrows in that they allow you to transport loads and dump them, but they can be pulled manually or behind a riding lawnmower. Motorized models also typically have a dump feature.
Some of the best garden carts feature foldable sides, transforming your utility wagon into a flatbed in seconds. Collapsible designs are also great when your storage space is limited.
A flatbed garden cart is essentially a utility wagon without the sides. These are great for hauling long branches and other large items that may not otherwise fit in a sided cart.
How to Care for Your Garden Cart
You’ve invested a lot of time and money in researching the best garden carts and determining which one suits your needs. The last thing you want is for your purchase to wear out or break down before its anticipated life expectancy is up.
When it comes to garden cart maintenance, there are a few things you can do to ensure your investment remains functional for years to come.
- Only use the cart for its intended purpose
- Don’t overload the cart
- Check the tires regularly (and inflate them, if necessary)
- Make repairs as needed
- Don’t exceed the cart’s speed limit
- Store it properly
- Keep it clean
- Refer to the cart manual for specific maintenance instructions
Choosing the Best Garden Cart
Now that you know everything there is to know about the best garden carts and their many uses, you can make an informed decision when it’s time to buy your own. Remember to note the cart’s overall construction, materials, tires, functionality, maximum load capacity, and other design aspects before making a purchase. With options ranging from handheld totes to motorized utility wagons, the perfect garden cart comes down to your budget and personal preference.
Ready to learn more about which garden tools we recommend for every backyard gardener and home landscaper? Shopping for your garden can get overwhelming, fast. So if you’re looking for advice on tools and supplies, then you’re in the right place!