26/05/2024

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The 6 Best Beach Wagons for Hauling Gear and Kids

7 min read
The 6 Best Beach Wagons for Hauling Gear and Kids

When you’re packing up your gear and family for a trip to the beach, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with how many items you need to bring for the day. You’ll probably have a cooler; a beach bag with towels, sunscreen and other accessories; beach chairs; and an umbrella or beach tent for shade from the sun. You also might bring toys for playing in the sand, floaties or life jackets, and other items to keep the little ones busy. That’s a lot of stuff to haul, especially with kids in tow – and maybe even the family pet.

If you’ve seen people schlepping all their stuff to the beach, it’s not a pretty sight – and almost impossible to handle in one trip, unless you invest in a beach cart or wagon. Beach wagons are especially handy when you travel a long distance from your car to the beach, or even to walk to the ocean from your home, resort or rental vacation property.

U.S. News editors researched dozens of review sites, including Amazon, online retailers, travel industry review sites and more, to come up with this selection of the best beach wagons.

The Top Beach Wagons for 2023

When shopping, keep in mind all the wagons ride smoothly over hard sand, but deep soft sand can be trickier. That’s when the large all-terrain wheels typically perform better. You’ll also want to pack a lighter load when riding over powdery sand, and plan to put the heavier items at the back of the wagon.

(Note: Prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication; they may fluctuate due to supply chain issues. All beach wagon dimensions are listed in order of length by width by height.)

Best Overall: Beau Jardin Folding Beach Wagon

  • Dimensions: 34.3 x 20 x 26.4 inches
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds

What sets this wagon apart: This collapsible wagon features a heavy-duty steel frame, removable 600 denier polyester fabric and an adjustable telescoping pull handle. The large solid wheels, which are 4 x 7 inches, create excellent traction and stability in the sand and on other types of terrain. There are also two mesh beverage holders in the front of the cart. When you’re done for the day, it takes just seconds to fold the cart back into a convenient size for storing it away in the garage or the trunk of a car. The total weight is 28.9 pounds, and the wagon comes in three colors: blue, red and black.

Beachgoers appreciate: This top-rated pick on Amazon is a favorite among buyers for its ease in setup, sturdy design and ability to carry a lot of gear. Reviewers also say it’s one of the best beach wagons for sand, noting it works best on hard sand, though you can pull it through softer sand as well. Given its 300-pound loading capacity, though, some users said they would prefer brakes on the wheels.

Price: $170.99 or less
Shop now: Amazon

Best Budget: Whitsunday Collapsible Folding Cart

  • Dimensions: 28 x 16.9 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight capacity: 120 pounds

What sets this wagon apart: With a lower price point and a choice of 10 colors of canvas fabric like ocean blue, purple and rainbow, the Whitsunday cart offers a great value. The compact wagon has a capacity of more than 3.5 cubic feet of space – and it’s lightweight at around 18 pounds. The metal frame is easy to pop open for use and to close for storage. This budget-friendly beach wagon has an adjustable 20- to 30-inch telescopic handle and heavy-duty 5-inch rubber wheels that swivel 360 degrees for easy maneuvering. There are also two fabric and mesh holders for cups or bottles. What’s more, Whitsunday is a small business located in California that offers U.S.-based customer service support.

Beachgoers appreciate: Reviewers say this beach cart is one of the best purchases they have made, because it holds more beach gear than you think it will. They say it is lightweight, folds easily and travels well, and that it can be used for a variety of items including groceries, dogs, children, laundry and more.

Price: $89.99 or less
Shop now: Amazon

Best for Kids: Radio Flyer 3-in-1 EZ Fold Wagon

Radio Flyer 3-in-1 EZ Fold Wagon red

(Courtesy of Radio Flyer)

  • Dimensions: 39.37 x 21.26 x 32.68 inches
  • Weight capacity: 150 pounds

What sets this wagon apart: This 22-pound wagon, which can handle both beach gear and little ones, is fun for kids of all ages and reminiscent of Radio Flyer’s iconic red metal wagons. The convertible fabric wagon has three riding options: rider seating, bench seating and hauling. Specifically designed for children 18 months to 5 years old, it passes the ASTM standard for toy safety and comes with a padded seat and seat belts. There are two front cup holders and rear storage loops. When you’re home from the beach, fold it up with just one hand for easy storage.

Beachgoers appreciate: Buyers appreciate the ease of use, foldability and sizable storage space. They say the wagon is quick to assemble, maneuvers well on all types of terrain and has a lot of room for beach gear, two toddlers or even a large dog. What’s more, kids love riding in the wagon.

Best With Big Wheels: Mac Sports All-Terrain Beach Wagon

  • Dimensions: 36.2 x 21.4 x 24.6 inches
  • Weight capacity: 150 pounds; 50 pounds in deep sand

What sets this wagon apart: This utility wagon is designed with a heavy-duty steel frame, 600 denier polyester fabric and four all-terrain wheels measuring 4 x 10 inches. Other features include a telescopic handle that extends to 34 inches and two exterior mesh bottle holders. There is no assembly needed, and the cart conveniently folds away into a carrying case after use. The roughly 24-pound wagon comes in blue fabric with black wheels and trim. Note that this wagon is designed to haul gear, and not intended for children of any age.

Beachgoers appreciate: Christine Sarkis, editor in chief at travel site FamilyVacationist.com, owns the Mac Sports All-Terrain Beach Wagon and says she loves its sturdy and foldable design as well as the pockets and separators in the cart that keep her family organized. “It’s easy to pull along the sand, and it holds everything we need for a day at the beach,” she says. “And it cuts down on the end-of-day whine factor from tired kids – we just all work together to pop everything back in the wagon and an adult pulls it back to the car.”

Best Collapsible: Sekey Collapsible Foldable Wagon with Brakes

  • Dimensions: 36.2 x 22.4 x 38.2 inches
  • Weight capacity: 220 pounds

What sets this wagon apart: This collapsible beach wagon is constructed with a heavy-duty steel frame, 600 denier Oxford fabric and a deep cargo space with more than 6 cubic feet of storage for all your beach essentials. Other features include 7-inch all-terrain wheels with silent bearings and brakes, a multi-angle adjustable handle and two mesh cup holders. Available in khaki, gray and black, this wagon requires no assembly. What’s more, it folds into a compact bundle and fits into a carrying case for easy storage.

Beachgoers appreciate: Selected as an Amazon’s Choice product, this beach cart satisfies buyers who like the durability of the wagon. They say that the interior is more spacious than in other wagons and the larger tires make it easy to maneuver. Reviewers also appreciate the quick setup and small size for storage.

Price: $149.99 or less
Shop now: Amazon

Best All-Terrain: Portal All Terrain Folding Wagon

Portal All Terrain Folding Wagon in dark blue

(Courtesy of Portal)

  • Dimensions: 35.4 x 19 x 22.4 inches
  • Weight capacity: 225 pounds

What sets this wagon apart: This highly rated wagon offers a lot of features, including a heavy-duty powder-coated steel frame, a 600 denier Oxford fabric and a mesh bottom design that comes clean when rinsed with water. The 8-inch all-terrain wheels rotate 360 degrees and have TPR tread in the middle that helps navigate a variety of surfaces like sand, landings, rubber mats and cement. The adjustable telescoping handle can move up to 90 degrees and extend from 26 to 32.5 inches. For added convenience, there are two cup holders, and the beach wagon quickly opens up and folds down after use. This cart weighs 26.1 pounds and comes in three colors: blue, black and gray.

Beachgoers appreciate: Reviewers of this Amazon’s Choice wagon say they were able to fit a large cooler, a beach bag with towels, beach chairs and even a toddler into the wagon. They like sturdy construction and the ease in setting up and storing the wagon. Buyers recommend loading the heavier items in the back of the cart, so the front wheels don’t sink into the sand.

Price: $129.99 or less
Shop now: Amazon

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Gwen Pratesi is an avid travel adventurer and beachgoer who lives less than a mile from the ocean in Amelia Island, Florida. With many years of experience testing travel products, including those that are beach-friendly, she curated this list of the top beach wagons that can haul all your gear and kids in style.

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