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If you’re hauling bags of soil, potted plants, and other bulky items, a sturdy garden cart can help lighten the load. "They are an invaluable tool in the garden!” says McKenzy Winkler, a master gardener and herb farmer based in Pennsylvania. We consulted with McKenzy while researching the best garden carts and evaluating products on their material, weight capacity, and assembly requirements.
Our top pick, the Worx Aerocart 8-in-1 Yard Cart, has a versatile design that can be adjusted to perform a variety of tasks.
Here are the best garden carts for all types of hauling.
Best Overall: WORX Aerocart
Can be used in eight configurations
Lifts heavy loads with ease
Sits upright for compact storage
Mixed performance on uneven terrain
With an impressive load capacity of 300 pounds, the Worx Aerocart is a powerhouse when it comes to heavy-duty jobs. The Turbo Lift design provides leverage and shifts the center of gravity, making 200 pounds feel more like 17. Thanks to its versatile configuration, this wheelbarrow can transform into a yard cart, bag holder, dolly, extended dolly, cylinder carrier, or trailer tote. It comes with plenty of convenient features to help haul large loads, including a bag holder, plant mover strap, and rock mover mesh. You can also purchase additional accessories to increase its functionality.
The flat-free tires never need to be inflated—which is a big plus—and they provide a reasonably smooth ride, though some say the cart struggles on uneven terrain. Some assembly is required, but the process is straightforward and requires no extra tools. On average, it takes about 15 minutes to put it together. When not in use, the Aerocart can be stored upright, taking up a minimal amount of floor space.
Best Budget: AMES Lawn Buddy Rolling Garden Cart
Lightweight and easy to maneuver
Transforms into a seat
Removable tray holds tools
Comes fully assembled
Plastic isn’t the most durable option
Parts may break over time
For light-duty gardening tasks, the Ames Lawn Buddy Rolling Garden Cart is a solid choice. It offers 2 cubic feet of storage, which is ample room for plants, a few bags of soil, and other gardening tools. Thanks to a fold-down handle, this cart easily transforms into a seat, so you can garden without having to bend or crouch down. The removable tray comes in handy for storing tools, and it has two designated slots that can be used as beverage holders. Four solid wheels and steel axles provide a smooth, sturdy ride.
This rolling garden cart comes fully assembled, which is a major bonus. Weighing just under 13 pounds, it is lightweight and easy to maneuver. Since this unit is made of plastic, it is considerably less durable than metal-framed garden carts. We found some reports of parts breaking over time. To prevent it from warping or cracking in extreme temperatures, it would be best to store the cart in a garage or shed when not in use.
Best with Seat: Best Choice Products 4-Wheel Garden Cart Mobile Rolling Work Seat
Heavy-duty, all-terrain design
Built-in storage basket and tray
Adjustable swivel seat
Too heavy for some to handle
This versatile, heavy-duty garden cart from Best Choice Products allows you to remain seated while performing your yard duties–eliminating back and other bodily strain. With an adjustable seat that swivels 360 degrees, you can access hard-to-reach places with ease. Thanks to a turn bar that swings 90 degrees, the cart is very easy to maneuver. You can push, pull, or steer it from one location to another with minimal effort. That said, we found a few complaints about the cart being too heavy for some users to move on their own. It features a built-in tray and basket, providing ample space to store all of your gardening tools.
The seat is made from heavy-duty metal and sits atop an equally durable steel frame. A powder coating protects the frame from rust, corrosion, and other outdoor elements. Thanks to 10-inch rubber wheels, this sturdy garden cart rolls smoothly over all types of terrain. This unit does require assembly, but the process is simple and straightforward.
Best Heavy-Duty: Brinly-Hardy Tow-Behind Poly Utility Cart
Effectively hauls hefty loads
Hands-free dumping release via foot pedal
Steep dumping angle
Limited to tow-use only
This tow-behind utility cart has a universal hitch pin, so it can be attached to lawn tractors, ATVs, and UTVs. With a whopping 650-pound weight capacity, it’s ideal for hauling heavy items such as rocks, firewood, and everything in between. A Rust-proof, heavy-duty polypropylene bed, combined with a powder-coated steel frame, means this unit is built to last. Note that this cart can hold up to 10 cubic feet of material, which can be extremely heavy when loaded. It doesn’t come with a handle, nor is it recommended for manual use.
Large pneumatic tires ensure a stable and smooth ride, even across rough terrain. The dumping bed tilts to a steep 56-degree angle, making it easy to empty. A quick-release foot pedal activates the dumping mechanism, allowing for convenient hands-free operation. Once it’s been emptied, the bed locks back into trailering position. Assembly is required, but the process is straightforward, thanks to clear instructions. We found a few reports of broken parts, but this product is backed by a 2-year warranty against defects.
Best Folding: VIVOSUN Heavy Duty Collapsible Folding Wagon
Large-capacity canvas bed
Folds up for easy storage
Rotating handle and smooth steering
Limited to light-duty use
Reports of handle breaking over time
Thanks to its collapsible design, this garden cart from VIVOSUN can be easily stored away in a small space. Even though it folds up compactly—small enough to fit in one hand—it has a large storage capacity when unfolded. Measuring 36.22 x 21.65 x 14.96 inches, it has ample room for gardening tools, plants, and other supplies. The bed is made of 600D Oxford fabric, but it has a heavy-duty metal frame that can carry up to 176 pounds. Note that this is a light-duty garden cart, which means it’s not ideal for sharp tools, such as chainsaws and pitchforks, which might tear the canvas.
Equipped with 360-degree rotating front wheels, this cart rolls along smoothly, even over rough terrain. An adjustable rotating handle makes it easy to maneuver. However, the handle is flimsy and could use some improvement; we found a few reports of it breaking after several uses. The VIVOSUN comes fully assembled, which is another big plus. To expand the wagon, all you need to do is pull on the front and back of the steel frame. In addition to yard work, this cart comes in handy for transporting small children, pets, and groceries. It’s available in four colors: black, blue, red, and gray.
Best Electric: SuperHandy Utility Service Cart
Moves heavy loads with minimal effort
Long battery life
Extremely durable steel construction
Instructions could use some improvement
“If you have a physical disability or find that you could use extra support while transporting heavy materials, then an electric cart may be perfect for you,” says McKenzy Winkler, a master gardener and herb farmer based in Pennsylvania. With a 500-pound load capacity, this electric cart from SuperHandy is ideal for transporting heavy-duty loads. Since this model is self-propelled, it requires minimal physical effort from the user. The brushless motor system is powered by one or two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which can last from two to five hours per charge. Also, when compared with gasoline-powered models, a battery-powered cart is a more eco-friendly option because it’s much quieter, and it doesn’t produce any exhaust.
All the controls—the power switch and two-speed control, forward and reverse—are conveniently located at the base of the handle, within easy reach. A release lever tilts the bed forward to empty its contents. Four pneumatic 13-inch wheels give a smooth ride over uneven terrain and improve maneuverability. The side panels are removable, allowing you to use the wagon as a flatbed, and it's durable enough to withstand the harshest weather conditions. Considering the advanced technology, it’s no big surprise that this model costs significantly more than our other picks.
Even though the instructions are somewhat lacking, assembly is simple enough and fairly intuitive. The cart arrives in a box that weighs about 122 pounds. It might help to have two people on hand to lift it.
Best for Plants: Gardener's Medium Supply Cart
Ideal for plants and gardening supplies
Easy to push and pull
Features a sliding dump door
Durable, rust-proof construction
Assembly can be tricky
Expensive for a manual garden cart
This cart is best suited for carrying plants, soil, and other supplies because it’s specifically designed for gardeners. It can hold up to 400 pounds in its bed, which is equivalent to eight wheelbarrows. Thanks to pneumatic wheels and a long foam handle, you can push and pull it with ease. Since the cart sits on two wheels, it can be tilted backward and emptied out. The end also slides open, making it easy to load, unload, and dump out.
This cart has a durable, rust-proof aluminum frame, which can hold up well to various weather conditions and everyday wear and tear. The high sides prevent loose materials, such as mulch and soil, from falling out. Made out of 4-ply plywood, the side panels add to this cart’s classic appeal. It’s available in two sizes—medium and large—and three solid colors to suit a variety of needs. The assembly process is somewhat complex, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
Best Dump Cart: Gorilla Carts Heavy-Duty Poly Yard Dump Cart, GOR6PS
Quick-release dumping system
2-in-1 handle converts to a hitch
Durable, rust-proof bed
13-inch tires for stability
1,200-pound load capacity is questionable
300-pound load capacity is more realistic
This dump cart from Gorilla features a 2-in-1 handle that easily converts to a hitch, allowing it to be pulled by hand or towed behind a tractor or ATV. It likely lives up to its 1,200-pound capacity claim when towed; in handheld mode, the weight capacity is probably closer to about 300 pounds, especially if you’re using it on uneven ground. That said, the Gorilla cart is still a solid performer when it comes to hauling rocks, soil, mulch, and more. The bed is made of durable polyethylene, which shouldn't rust, warp, or crack, and it sits atop a rigid steel frame. A quick-release lever easily unloads the bed.
This cart has some noteworthy features for optimal maneuverability. Four 13-inch pneumatic tires roll smoothly over rough terrain, while the padded handle provides a comfortable, sturdy grip when pulling. You can purchase additional accessories to expand its functionality. The cart is easy and quick to assemble, but you need a Phillips screwdriver, pliers, and an adjustable wrench for the job.
The Worx Aerocart earns our top spot thanks to its versatile design, which can be configured in eight positions to perform various tasks. For example, you can use it as a yard cart, dolly, or rock and plant mover. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Ames Lawn Buddy Rolling Garden Cart is ideal for pulling around standard gardening tools, plants, and supplies. For your convenience, this affordable wagon also transforms into a seat.
What to Look For in a Garden Cart
Most garden carts are manually operated, which means you can push and pull them around by hand. To make them easier to move, manual carts are usually equipped with two or more wheels and a handle at the front or back.
Equipped with a motor that runs on rechargeable batteries, an electric cart is self-propelled and requires little effort on the part of the user. “If you have a physical disability or find that you could use extra support while transporting heavy materials, then an electric cart may be perfect for you,” says McKenzy Winkler, a master gardener and herb farmer based in Pennsylvania.
If you’re short on storage space, a garden cart with a collapsible or folding frame is a great option. When expanded, the bed provides an ample amount of storage space, but the unit folds up compactly for easy storage and transport. Since folding carts typically have canvas beds, their weight capacity is much lower than carts made out of steel.
Dump carts sit on four wheels and feature hinged beds that tilt forward to empty their contents. These types of carts are especially handy if you’re unloading large quantities of bulk materials such as leaves, soil, and mulch.
A hand trolley, also known as a hand truck, is an upright two-wheel cart that is used for moving heavy or cumbersome items. The wheels take the brunt of the weight and mitigate it, allowing you to move heavy loads with very little physical effort. Gardeners often use hand trolleys to move trees, firewood, and landscape boulders.
Light-duty garden carts are often composed entirely of plastic or a combination of plastic and metal. Since plastic is more prone to cracking and warping in extreme temperatures, it’s best to store plastic carts in a garage or shed when they’re not in use. A higher-density plastic, such as polypropylene, holds up better to the elements. Heavy-duty garden carts usually have solid steel frames and rubber tires. Although steel is a lot more durable than plastic, it can rust. Look for a powder coating on a steel frame, as it helps resist rust and corrosion.
Light-duty garden carts typically have weight capacities of 200 pounds or less, which makes them best suited for hauling plants, soil, and other gardening tools. Heavy-duty garden carts, with a weight capacity of 350 to 500 pounds, are ideal for hauling heavy loads such as rocks, bricks, and bags of concrete.
What is a garden cart used for?
Garden carts come in handy for moving plants, tools, and other gardening supplies. According to master gardener McKenzy Winkler, they are “an invaluable tool in the garden.” A garden cart allows you to keep essential items on hand as you move around the yard, creating a convenient mobile workstation.
What is the difference between a garden cart and a wheelbarrow?
Wheelbarrows have sloping sides and one to two wheels in the front. The user walks behind a wheelbarrow and uses the two handles on the back to maneuver it. Garden carts, on the other hand, have flat bottoms and straight sides. They often feature two or more large wheels, and a single handle at the front to pull them along.
Since garden carts have lower centers of gravity, they tend to be more stable than wheelbarrows. They also have lower beds, which makes them easier to load and unload. Another advantage of a garden cart versus a wheelbarrow: “They are designed to be more ergonomic on the back and provide better support for lifting and dumping,” says master gardener McKenzy Winkler. In general, garden carts, especially heavy-duty models, are also better at handling heavier loads.
Why Trust The Spruce
This article was written by Sage McHugh, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce who specializes in the home and garden sector. For expert insight, she interviewed McKenzy Winkler, a master gardener and herb farmer based in Pennsylvania. To select the best garden carts for this roundup, she considered dozens of products, carefully evaluating their material, weight capacity, and assembly requirements. Sage also took hundreds of customer reviews, as well as write-ups from third-party websites into consideration.