What’s more relaxing than a day of sand and surf? The sea breeze, the warm sun, and best of all… the unimaginable amount of family stuff that needs to be hauled along: coolers, boogie boards, umbrellas, towels, sand toys, beach chairs, diaper bags, snorkel gear—plus a kid or three. Parents who don’t want to break their backs by dragging everything through heavy sand should invest in a sturdy beach wagon or cart.
Look for a lightweight, yet durable, high-capacity model that can hold at least 75 pounds. Ideally, be sure it’s a collapsible beach wagon that can easily slide into your vehicle’s trunk. Multiple mesh pockets are a beautiful thing for all the wet, sandy items you’ll be carting. Choose one that’s easy to maneuver, with an adjustable handle, and—we cannot stress this enough!—large, heavy-duty treaded wheels that are designed to navigate soft, deep sand. Here are our picks for the best beach wagons and carts for 2023.
1. MacSports XL Heavy Duty Collapsible Outdoor Folding Wagon
Coming in at roughly 12 pounds, the MacSports XL Folding Wagon is as lightweight as it is durable. Its alloy steel frame can handle up to 300 pounds and comes with a cargo net to keep your beach gear secure. When you return home, this wagon folds down in seconds to fit in your car or shed until your next beach day.
2. Mybeachcart Foldable Beach Cart
With 12-inch balloon tires that easily glide over heavy sand, Mybeachcart’s Foldable Beach Cart makes hauling beach gear a breeze. It has a wide telescopic handle with a comfortable grip so even the tallest parent won’t have to hunch over to pull it along. Constructed of marine-grade anodized aluminum, this cart is lightweight but rugged. A 15×21-inch cargo deck with a non-slip padded platform can handle up to 165 pounds without your things sliding out onto the sand. The included oversized zippered mesh bag and two seven-inch buckle straps allow you to store everything from sand toys to sunscreen securely. And when you’re ready to go home, the cart folds flat and has a Velcro strap to keep it closed, while the wheels quickly deflate when you pull out the pin. If your family spends lots of time at the beach, this beach wagon is worth the investment.
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3. Rio Brands Wonder Wheeler Deluxe
This foldable RIO Brands Wonder Wheeler Deluxe features a sturdy frame and rugged 10-inch back wheels to navigate rough terrain. Plus, it has two articulating front wheels for a smooth ride on hard ground. This beach cart can be loaded with 100 pounds of beach necessities and can be set up or broken down one-handed. You can hang up to four beach chairs on the extended top frame, and in the back, a smaller pocket can hold sunglasses, cameras, Frisbees, and snacks. There’s also a bottom tray and rack where you can slide a 48-quart cooler, a built-in insulated beverage compartment for snacks and drinks, plus a handy removable tote with a shoulder strap.
4. Moon Lence Collapsible Outdoor Utility Wagon
Measuring 36.6 x 22.4 x 23.6 inches and capable of holding up to 220 pounds, you can transport some serious beach gear in the Moon Lence Collapsible Outdoor Utility Wagon. The fabric is waterproof (always good for a day at the beach) and the telescoping handle can be adjusted to fit your height. At the end of the day, fold it up by pulling on the easy-access handle at the bottom of the wagon and store it in its convenient carrying case.
5. Rio Beach Wonder Wheeler Wide Beach Cart
Big families hauling a ton of beach supplies will love the foldable Rio Beach Wonder Wheeler Beach Cart, which can easily accommodate up to 100 pounds of gear, and has 15 cubit-feet of storage. The Wonder Wheeler includes a deluxe removable tote bag, side umbrella holder, and a bottom tray. The all-terrain wheels will make it easy to lug through the sand to find the perfect spot to set up your beach umbrellas and beach chairs.
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6. MacSports Folding Heavy Duty All Terrain Beach Wagon
Known for its range of rugged wagons and carts, Mac Sports Folding Heavy Duty All Terrain Beach Wagon is the model we recommend if you’ll be dragging a day’s worth of gear over deep sand. Featuring easy-clean fabric that’s UV- and mildew-resistant, this model’s all-terrain wheels can carry up to 150 pounds, although in very deep sand, you’re better off not making it too heavy. It has an adjustable handle and a spacious interior that easily fits an inflatable kiddie pool, chairs, umbrellas, food and beach toys. Two cup holders set into a collapsible side table keep beverages from toppling over on your way to the water. Folding down for easy storage, this beach wagon can quickly be popped into the trunk so you can head back home before tantrums begin.
7. Mighty Max Cart
Expanding their options beyond their rugged garden cart, Mighty Max Cart has introduced a cart made specifically for the beach. The Double Decker Outdoor Beach Wagon comes with a 2.5 cubic foot tub that can be used to store beach gear or removed to accommodate large items like coolers. The expandable frame can go from 31″ to 38″ and collapses for easy transportation and the inflatable beach wheels roll smoothly over sand.
8. Big Kahuna Beach Wagon
If you’re looking for a top-quality product that will last for many years, invest in Alumacart’s Big Kahuna Beach Wagon. Perfect for families that love to fish as well as ones who practically live at the beach, this model features a large, aluminum deck with drain holes for wet gear, oversized low-pressure balloon tires that navigate easily on deep sand, plus holders for four fishing poles. This beach wagon—which is designed for commercial use—can accommodate up to 350 pounds of gear, making it ideal for everything your family needs at the beach. A curved, ergonomic pull handle makes it easy for your kids to drag, too. The wagon’s walls are removable if you prefer to stack the deck with large items like camping gear and extra-large coolers.
All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.
Montreal-based Wendy Helfenbaum is a journalist, content strategist and TV producer who writes for dozens of digital and print magazines, as well as many brands. Wendy loves cruising, adventure travel and venturing off the beaten path with her husband and teenage son, and she can pack a carry-on bag like nobody’s business. Follow her @WendyHelfenbaum.
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