6 Best Garden Carts of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

These wagons and carts will make your life easier, whether you need to tote around your tools on a low-key gardening day or transport rocks and soil for some heavier landscape work.

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April 26, 2024

Photo by: Amy Marturana Winderl

Amy Marturana Winderl

Tested by Amy Marturana Winderl

Spring has sprung, which means we’re putting on our gardening gloves and spending every vaguely warm day outside getting our beds ready for primetime. If you, too, like to spend your free time tending to your plants and getting your hands dirty, you know that having the right tools on hand can make all the difference in your gardening experience. One important one that we've decided is a must-have? A garden cart. These vessels make it simple to lug your tools, equipment and materials around the yard, whether you've got a micro garden in an urban setting or a behemoth of a plot sitting on multiple acres. Let's be honest: Gardening has utility. It gives us food, and it gives us beautiful landscaping, but it's also something that many people do as a hobby. Any convenience you can add just makes it that much more enjoyable and fulfilling. We tested a wide array of different garden cart styles to find the ones that really optimize the gardening experience.

Photo by: Amy Marturana Winderl

Amy Marturana Winderl

How We Tested

To find the best garden carts on the market, we started by thoroughly researching, reading reviews and ordering top-rated carts and wagons available for purchase online. We then tested these garden carts and wagons using them to do what they were made for: gardening. First, we assembled each one according to the instructions, taking note of how easy or complex it was. We then loaded them up with our gardening tools and took them for a spin across the yard, through the garden plot and back. We pulled them along with us all day as we did yard work. We also used them to haul compost from the driveway to the garden, across a large (and at points, muddy) yard. The carts and wagons below are the ones that we liked the most for all of our gardening transportation needs.

What We Like
  1. Holds up on all terrains
  2. Easy to steer
  3. Heavy duty
What We Don't Like
  1. Dump feature doesn't work perfectly

We found this cart to be the most versatile of the bunch, while also being one of the easiest to pull and maneuver around the yard. The shape of the basin, with its flat bottom and sloped sides, makes it useful for carrying around both hard items, like tools and pots, and loose items, like a load of compost. The steering system, wheel size and quality, and high clearance made it easy to maneuver around the yard and back it into the exact spots where we needed it. It handles really well over humps of dirt, grassy areas and even muddy spots in the yard. Its high weight capacity also makes it great for moving very dense items such as rocks. The dump feature is really useful, though we did have some trouble with the wheels moving and getting tangled in one another when using it. (The whole bottom moves and basically gets shorter as the basin tilts to dump.) After a few times, though, we got better at dumping more efficiently and preventing that from happening. A quick note on assembly: Two people are better than one. The instructions weren't complex, but we found some steps to be difficult without a second set of hands.

  1. Material Alloy steel
  2. Dimensions 38.7" x 20" x 19.5"
  3. Weight Capacity 600 pounds
  4. Special Features Quick-release dump system
What We Like
  1. Budget-friendly
  2. Deep bucket
  3. Lightweight
What We Don't Like
  1. Wheels aren’t great on different terrains

This no-frills cart is essentially a 15.5-gallon bucket on wheels. While it doesn't have any special features, it's an affordable option to store and transport all of your gardening items from your garage or shed to your yard. It's also very quick and easy to assemble: All we had to do was attach the handles with a screwdriver. The biggest thing you will sacrifice for the price is the smooth handling that many of the other more expensive carts offer. Since the wheels are small and plastic, it doesn't handle very well and there's really no shock absorption. We sometimes had to just force the cart over mounds of dirt or even quickly lift it up over the tough spot and swing it to where we wanted it to be. If you have a very large garden or yard and need something that can travel a distance, it's probably not the best choice, but for anyone with a smaller yard and garden, it certainly gets the job done for a budget-friendly price.

  1. Material Plastic
  2. Dimensions 22" x 34" x 7"
  3. Weight Capacity Not listed; 15.5 gallons
  4. Special Features Adjustable handle
What We Like
  1. Folds up really compact
  2. Brakes on wheels
  3. Easy to steer
What We Don't Like
  1. Fabric is not removable

This wagon is so spacious that we were able to load it up with three five-gallon buckets, a shovel, a pitchfork, hedge trimmers, a hand saw, an extension cord and other small tools — with room to spare. It also makes for a great mode of transportation for your toddler (in a separate trip from the sharp tools, of course). The handle is responsive, making it easy to steer, and we appreciated the lock feature on the wheels when parking it on the sloped part of a yard. The best part about this cart? It unfolds and folds very easily and packs down quite small, which is ideal if your storage space is limited or you need to transport it in your car. (It could certainly double as a beach wagon in the summer, too!) Our only gripe is that you can't remove the fabric and toss it in the washing machine, so it'll need to be hosed down as best as possible once it gets really dirty.

  1. Material Metal
  2. Dimensions 36" x 22" x 38"
  3. Weight Capacity 330 pounds
  4. Special Features Zip cover, carry handle
Photo By: Amy Marturana Winderl
What We Like
  1. Extremely versatile
  2. Makes the load feel lighter
  3. Quick and easy assembly
What We Don't Like
  1. Expensive
  2. Small basin

It may be called a yard cart, but this workhorse does so much more than tote around your gloves and trowel. It's got two wheels and eight functions, including a bag holder to make yard waste cleanup a breeze, a dolly for lifting and moving heavy items, a cylinder carrier, a potted plant strap and a netted strap for carrying large rocks. And you can buy additional add-ons separately, including a snowplow and a firewood carrier. It wasn't our top choice for moving and dumping soil, and the basin slope isn't as helpful as a flatter wagon for carrying things upright, but it can do both of those things sufficiently and so much more. (There's also a tub organizer you can buy for it, which would help optimize it further.) Its versatility is what makes it well worth the splurge, especially if you're someone who likes to do a lot of yard work and landscaping yourself but need a little help in the strength department. It was engineered to make heavy loads feel lighter, and we definitely experienced that while carting around heavy materials. Plus, assembling it took all of five minutes, requiring no tools, so you definitely get the convenience that you'd expect for the price tag.

  1. Material Powder-coated steel
  2. Dimensions 42" x 12" x 18"
  3. Weight Capacity 300 pounds
  4. Special Features Strap for carrying, netted strap, dolly and extended dolly, bag holder, cylinder holder
Photo By: Amy Marturana Winderl
What We Like
  1. Handles well on all terrains
  2. Easy to dump
  3. Can push or pull
What We Don't Like
  1. Doesn’t fold

A cross between a garden cart and a traditional wheelbarrow, this two-wheeled option is versatile and very easy to both push and pull. It's a great option if you want to buy one item that you can use for both equipment and soil or rock transportation. We appreciated that the handle was long enough to be comfortable for taller testers and that the shape of the cart kept it from hitting our heels when pulling it behind. The large rubber wheels make it easy to move over various terrains, including going up and down mounds of soil, even when it's fully loaded up. We also loved how easy it was to dump over and completely empty.

  1. Material Plastic bin, powder-coated steel frame
  2. Dimensions 25" x 36" x 20"
  3. Weight Capacity 330 pounds
  4. Special Features Large rubber wheels
What We Like
  1. Easy to steer
  2. Good on all terrains
  3. Collapsible sides
What We Don't Like
  1. Complex assembly

Sturdy metal construction and collapsible sides let this garden cart moonlight as a flatbed, making it all around a great pick for moving large materials like pieces of wood, bags of soil, landscaping rocks and edging, and garden fence posts. We used it to transport chopped firewood and large, Costco-sized bags of soil; we also loaded it up with a large shovel and spade and a bucket of smaller tools for some light-duty gardening work. Thanks to its large rubber wheels and solid turn radius, this cart utility wagon was easy to steer throughout the yard and garden. One thing to note on assembly: It took about 45 minutes, which was the longest of all the carts we tested. We found that using the tools listed in the directions (a screwdriver and wrench) made it quite challenging to put together; using a drill and a ratchet instead made assembly easier. But once it's together, it is very useful, so it's worth putting in the time upfront.

  1. Material Alloy steel
  2. Dimensions 40" x 18" x 37"
  3. Weight Capacity 400 pounds
  4. Special Features Collapsible sides

What to Consider When Buying a Garden Cart

  • Type: The garden cart category is actually quite vast and includes different subtypes, like utility wagons, dump carts, two-wheeled wheelbarrows, collapsible fabric wagons and more. Some types are suited to carry tools and supplies in bags or containers, whereas others make it possible to move loose items like compost, soil and leaves.
  • Material: Most of the carts we tested had a plastic body and metal handles, though a few were either completely metal or completely plastic. Each has its pros and cons. Plastic may not be as durable over the long term as sun exposure and extreme temperatures can degrade it and make it more prone to cracking, but you also don't need to worry about it rusting. Metal (like steel) is usually more durable and can take more of a beating but can rust when left out in the rain. You'll want to consider the wheel material, too. Some garden carts have rubber wheels that inflate and deflate like car tires; others have all-plastic wheels. We found both handle well for basic gardening needs, but the larger rubber tires are a little better at navigating bumpy and muddy terrain.
  • Weight Capacity: The best weight capacity will depend on how you plan to use your garden cart and how much you can realistically push or pull. Unless you are going to drag 400+ pounds around, you don't need a wagon that has that high of a capacity. For most hobby gardeners, a lower weight capacity (200-300 pounds) should be more than sufficient.
  • Special Features: Some garden carts are no-frills, while others have special features like a dump lever, collapsible construction for limited storage space, a more advanced steering system, and attachments for carrying things like plastic bags or large pots. All of these are worth considering to make sure you buy the garden cart that best fits your needs.

Photo by: Amy Marturana Winderl

Amy Marturana Winderl

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a garden cart used for?

A garden cart is used for transporting gardening supplies, tools, plants, and soil around your yard and garden. It makes for a great "home base" to keep your items organized as you work outside and move from one location to another.

What's the difference between a garden cart and wheelbarrow?

A typical wheelbarrow consists of a deep, sloped basin with one wheel and two handles and is meant to move heavy loads of dirt, rock or other landscaping material. A garden cart, on the other hand, has two or more wheels and may have a sloped basin or a shallower flat body, making it ideal for holding buckets, nursery pots, shovels and other gardening tools. Wheelbarrows are meant to move and dump; a standard garden cart is more for transporting and storing versus dumping, though some may have dumping features that allow them to work well for both carrying tools and loads of dirt.

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