What We Like
Large-diameter wheels cover ground quickly
Great on flat roads
What We Don't Like
Poorly made wheels
Low weight capacity
Not as sturdy as other models
Polar Trailer is a North American company that specializes in tow-behind off-road utility carts. To see if the brand’s promise of rugged performance translated from its heavy-duty carts to a more entry-level wheelbarrow cart, the Trailer Utility Cart, we tested it for two weeks at our Colorado home as we worked on our garden beds. We assessed its durability, stability, and maneuverability, as well as the overall value compared to similar products.
Performance: Works best on flat ground
The Polar Trailer Utility Cart stands out for its capacity. While most carts and wheelbarrows fall in the 4- to 6-cubic-foot range, the Polar Cart has a capacity of 10 cubic feet. Its long, whale-jaw style PVC bed can hold a lot. However, its weight limit is only 400 pounds, while other smaller carts have a limit that’s twice that or more.
We thought that the Polar Utility Cart was most useful when schlepping tools and soil back and forth between our garage and the end of our driveway while working on a new house number sign and planter box. The cart’s large capacity meant we could load it up with plants and tools, while its large-diameter wheels rolled smoothly and covered more ground faster than other carts with smaller wheels.
The solid rubber tires provide next to no shock absorption, so you feel every rock and rut.
Off-road, however, the Polar Utility Cart struggled. First of all, it’s a wheelbarrow, which in our experience is not an ideal solution for moving things around our rocky, hilly yard space. When the going gets rough or steep, the legs tend to drag or catch on rocks and make for a generally miserable pushing experience. Also, the solid rubber tires provide next to no shock absorption, so you feel every rock and rut. They’re also relatively thin—maybe an inch and a half wide—so it’s easy to get them wedged between rocks.
A few days into testing, while pushing a full cart from one spot to another on a hillside, we bent the wheel going over some rocks. We’re relatively sure the contents of the cart didn’t weigh more than its 400-pound weight max, but it was enough to damage the seemingly flimsy wheel without much resistance. For insight, I took the cart to a specialist who works on my mountain bike, and he was shocked at how poorly its wheels were assembled. In other words, their spokes weren’t very taut, which inhibits their ability to support large amounts of weight.
A few days into testing, while pushing a full cart from one spot to another on a hillside, we bent the wheel going over some rocks.
While the specialist was able to get the tire fixed enough for us to continue testing, we weren’t comfortable giving the cart any more heavy-duty jobs and relegated it only to the lightest tasks, such as carting weeds—not much of an assignment for a $200 product.
Design: Utilitarian all-black
Outside of the extra-large bed, nothing much stands out about the Polar Utility Cart. The design doesn’t look like your average wheelbarrow, but it operates more or less just like one.
Setup: Pretty simple to build
Unless you can find the Polar Utility Cart assembled at a brick-and-mortar dealer (which are listed on Polar’s website), you’ll need to do some assembly when you open up the box. The build is relatively straightforward using the included instructions. You can complete it with a screwdriver and crescent wrench, though you’ll be happier if you have a cordless driver and ratcheting socket set.
Price: On the high side for the build quality
This cart has an MSRP of $199, but you can often find it for about $180 from most online retailers. Overall, we vote that its price is slightly too high for its quality. For $100 less at a big box home improvement store, you can get a decent wheelbarrow with inflatable tires that can handle a rougher road. Polar itself even sells a large-capacity wheelbarrow with pneumatic tires for $129.99. You might not get the capacity of this cart, but that capacity isn’t useful if the tires can’t handle heavy items in different settings.
Polar Trailer Utility Cart vs. Gorilla Carts GOR6PS (-C) Poly Dump Cart
While this cart from Gorilla Carts allows up 6 cubic feet of volume—compared to Polar’s 10 cubic feet of volume—it’s more durable, easier to maneuver, and has a weight capacity of 1,200 pounds. Gorilla’s price is also significantly lower, making this a win-win option.
We’d also like to note that, while the larger volume of the Polar cart sounds nice, actually filling a cart of that size with heavy material makes it difficult to move in any direction besides downhill. If you really need to move larger loads, it might be time to look for something that pulls behind a small tractor or ATV to ensure that you can actually move it after you load it.
Need some help finding what you’re looking for? Read our list of the best wheelbarrows.
You can do so much better for the price.
It’s hard for us to recommend the Polar Trailer Utility Cart given how quickly it was damaged. Though we liked the extra-large capacity and how well the large wheels covered flat ground, it struggled off-road, and its price is high considering the quality.
- Product Name Trailer Utility Cart
- Product Brand Polar
- SKU 8376
- Price $199.00
- Weight 49 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 52 x 26 x 15 in.
- Weight Capacity 500 lbs.
- Materials PVC, steel
- Warranty 5 years