Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s best garden carts and trolleys tested: heavy duty and small professional garden carts compared and tested
This article was last updated on March 7th, 2023 at 11:15 am
Update since testing this year: I now really quite like the Vevor that I have tested. I really put that garden cart through it’s paces and can confirm that it is well built and I absolutely loved that it only needed pulling open to setup the main body as you can see in the test video – no fitting wheels etc. If I needed to drag anything over uneven ground or dirt it would be worth a look and I’m bumping that up the ranks. You can see how I tested this garden cart on the link provided or if you prefer a very comparable model, the DURHAND Folding Trolley Cart which is almost identical if you’re looking for an option or the item goes out of stock. Here’s me lugging the thing about over uneven dirt with just under 100kg loaded 😀
Whenever you are gardening, there is stuff to lug around. It could be things that you are planting or adding to your garden, or it could simply be organic material that you want to dispose of. In any situation, a good garden cart is indispensable and will really help to lighten the load, both figuratively and literally. When compared to a wheelbarrow, you have to say, they are a real leg up because four wheels is always easier to handle and manoeuvre than two!
Garden carts were traditionally made from wood and metal, but in recent times there have been some very good products hitting the market that are made from other materials such as plastic and even strengthened fabrics that allow for the carts to be folded up after use for easy storage.
Garden carts are vehicles that have handles and at least one wheel that can be used to transport tools and materials around your garden. The most well-known variant is the single wheeled wheelbarrow but there are carts with 2, 3, and 4 wheels available. With that said, the most common are four wheels and this is our focus for the review. Before I get into some of the detail and what to look for when buying a garden cart, here’s a look at my top picks:
My pick for the best garden cart in the UK:
LIFE CARVER Garden Cart Foldable Pull Wagon Hand Cart – best garden cart [personally tested and proven] but I really like the VonHaus too whilst it’s cheaper.
Deuba Wagon Cart Up To 550 kg Loadable Garden Cart – Must have if you want the best heavy duty garden cart
VonHaus 75L Garden Tipping Cart – best garden cart for green waste and top alternative pick [this will be my next test]
Draper Garden Tipper Cart – top small garden cart for a budget
The size, material, and style of the garden cart you go for will all depend on what purpose you intend to use it for, and also personal preference, but we have put together a shortlist of the garden carts that we consider the best value out there in the UK.
Testing garden carts
I have been giving the Vevor garden cart a real working over (it’s the same as the DURHAND Folding Trolley Cart) . It claims to have a 100kg load capacity and therefore I loaded it to the hilt with 100kg 🙂 And to be fair it held up really well. I even prefer it to my top pick on grass and uneven ground. Here I loaded it to it’s max with weight and gave it a good dragging about:
What I really liked though was the ease of setup – for the main body (roof aside) it literally folds open from the packet. A very pleasant and fresh surprise compared to some models that require the wheels attaching and therefore over time the nuts and bolts work their way loose 😀 Anyway. A video is far more helpful for this so let me put it all together for you here and then we can come back and talk about it:
As you can see it remarkably held up well when being pulled over soft ground with a full limit load. In fact, you can just about make out the tracks – if this was a thinner wheel it would have dug right in:
I wasn’t fussed by the roof. Let’s be honest at that height any kind of sideways rain offers no protection at all. I think it’s part of the garden cart that’ll get slung in the shed and forgotten 😀 But I suppose you may find a use for it in the garden?
So what we looked for was ease of movement over uneven ground, ability to carry the weight claimed, and build quality. To be fair so far it’s stood up to all these tests and I will update back when I fidn out how well the metal holds up (rust etc) but here’s a fuller list below:
What to look for when buying a garden cart?
Knowing what to look out for when buying a good garden cart is very helpful, so we decided to put together these few tips to lend you a hand. Rushing in and picking one with tiny wheels on a gravelled area (or uneven for that matter) would leave you high and dry. So before making a decision please consider these handy tips:
Make sure you know the maximum load of the garden cart before you buy it. Some carts, such as the foldable type can only take about 60kg, whereas other, heavier duty carts can be in excess of 550kg. It may be that you only need a cart for lighter lifting and can therefore probably save money or get something that is easier to store, or you might need to shift a lot of material at once. Whichever it is, make sure you get the tool that fits the job.
Common features to look pout for are garden carts that can be folded up to make them compact and easy to carry and store, or wheel bases that adjust when tipping the cart to help lift the load. Again, if you have an idea of what you are going to be suing the cart for, you will be in a better position to decide on which features your garden cart will need to have.
Some carts have solid rubber wheels, others have plastic like the LIFE CARVER, and then there are models with pneumatic wheels such as the Deuba Wagon. Each type have their pros and cons, such as pneumatic tyres which provide good stability but can be prone to puncturing if rolling over something sharp.
You also want tyres that have a good tread and are not too thin if you are going to pull the cart over soft terrain.
Personally, I prefer carts that have the front axle connected to the handle as it makes me feel more in control of the wheels, but some people like the free turning wheels that can spin 360 degrees and handle a bit like a shopping trolley (only better – again like the LIFE CARVER). This is all down to personal preference but you might want to go to a garden centre and try both types out to see which you like better.
Once again your intended purpose for your cart will determine which material you go for. If you are going to be putting sharper, heavier objects in your garden cart, polypropylene plastic or metal is probably better for the inner tub, whereas materials like oxford cloth are good for keeping the weight down and being foldable and easy to clean.
1. LIFE CARVER Garden Cart Foldable Pull Wagon Hand Cart
Update: I’m keeping this top on value for money and quality of build – that and it setups up easy too. but I just want to point out after I’ve been dragging around a vastly larger wheel in the garden I am not as keen on using this as I once was. I actually now would rather drag about the DURHAND Folding Trolley Cart over uneven ground. The wheels being wider and larger make a real difference. You’ll notice in the original review I was already not excited by dragging this over dirt. I can now confirm fully loaded with 100kg the wheels dig in too much.
However, if I am on flat ground I still prefer to use this and it is still holding up strong. I can load this to the limit with logs two years later with no fuss at all. As time has progressed I think my next test would be the Vonhaus garden cart as it really is stacking up against this with similar opinions elsewhere.
Life Carver’s foldable garden cart has turned into a best seller, pleasing a host of customers who are using it for very varied purposes, so it just goes to show the quality and versatility of this product.
One of the main pros that customers have been pointing out is that it is so convenient to use, with absolutely no assembly required, and very little effort to get it set up. All you have to do is unfold it, concertina style, pull up the handle, and you’re ready to go.
When folded up, the Life carver garden cart is only 8 inches thick and weighs around 10kg so it’s not hard to carry it around if you are of average strength and fitness.
Despite only weighing 10kg, this hardy little trolley can handle loads of up to 150kg. This thanks to the heavy duty metal frame and the strong Oxford cloth fabric. One thing to consider though when loading up this cart with 100kg+ is that you are still the one who has to pull it! Over uneven ground it could be a hell of a workout.
Once unfolded this garden cart measures 90cm(L) x 50cm(W) x 25cm9H), and is perfect for carrying stuff from the car to the garden or camp sites. I’ve even seen photos of people using these carts to take their elderly dogs for a walk in the park, and teachers carrying large stacks of books in their cart.
There’s nothing stopping you from transporting soil and other ‘messy’ materials either. One of the benefits of Oxford cloth, apart from its strength, is that it is easy to clean.
The Life Carver garden cart features an adjustable handle but getting it to stay fully extended was a bit of a challenge as the mechanism to keep it in place didn’t always want to play ball. This was only a minor annoyance though and didn’t happen all the time. On either side of the handle, on the front of the cart, you will find two handy mesh holders were you can store your drinks, which I thought was a nice touch even if I don’t really use it.
Getting around on this carts plastic wheels was easy enough on slightly uneven ground and the solid rubber wheels did a decent job of keeping the cart stable. The wheels aren’t the widest though at only 4.5cm, so I wouldn’t attempt to drag this through any less than solid ground while loaded up, but that can be said for most garden carts. If you intend on transporting loads across soft, muddy areas, you might be better off with a wheelbarrow instead.
The front wheels can rotate 360 degrees and this makes it easier to manoeuvre while pulling it behind you, however the back wheels do not rotate and are fixed in place, so reversing takes a little more thought but it’s not too difficult.
All things being said, this is an excellent product. The Life Carver garden cart is well priced, versatile, convenient, and durable.
- Very well priced for an all rounder – still the best garden cart even after 2 years since my last update
- 360 wheels – super easy to move around the garden
- 150kg is ample for anyone in the garden at a time!
- Wheels are narrow to make the turning of the 360 wheels easy – maybe its only weakness
2. DURHAND Folding Trolley Cart
This is exactly the same model as the one tested by Vevor and if you prefer Amazon for purchase then you can rely on this. I’ve given the Vevor a good working over and when I compared them directly as the same unit I also would say purchasing directly from Vevor is a pretty safe thing to do too it just comes down to who is supplying this cheaper in my opinion as they are direct competitors.
What you’re going to absolutely love about this model is the sheer ease with which the main section will setup – it is literally undo the packet and unfold it. What you’re going to very much dislike and notice straight away is how rubbish the instructions are. I know it’s a simple setup but a few words or better pictures would make a big difference. Seems really annoying to design a decent garden cart to skimp on an hour of demo and setup manual….anyway, here’s a quick demo from the Vevor video:
https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxsWDgSx-3WH1aCSJwbWby0IIoiUWfh22A?feature=shares or the full video started at the right point:
What I really liked about this model and I can’t stress it enough, is how superior it is over uneven ground. I since tested this on shingle and it’s the same thing. The wider wheels provide a much better spread of load and overall I think I can see other models following suit and widening their wheels to compete with this model over time.
Talking of load, of all the models this is at the lower end of weight distribution and ability. With a rating of 100kg I loaded it right up and I feel like I could have gone heavier. They have clearly set the limit well within the units capability which is refreshingly nice, rather than claiming vastly inflated numbers.
The wheels more than handled the weight as you can see from the demos. Another hand little addition was the handle that tucks in and clips on to the frame so you don’t have it laying on ground (as I did in the test demo 😀 )
Like I say, apart from the roof which I wasn’t fond of, this is remarkably easy to pull on soft ground with a fair amount of weight, loaded with light stuff it will be even better and I am pretty pleased with it.
3. Deuba Wagon Cart Up To 550 kg Loadable Garden Cart
Don’t be fooled by the weight rating – the Deuba Wagon Cart will easily handle 550kg but that’s not why it’s superb for heavy duty use. In my mind its super for pulling logs about the garden, full loads or green garden waste – the thing is VERY big and absolutely a must have for someone with a fair old bit of waste and materials to cart about and ideal for anyone with a garden in the UK.
For a start, with logs, you really have no issue getting on a decent load whatever substrate you find yourself working on. This is down to the big pneumatic tyres. And whilst mainly complain about the pump up tyres being just another job, I have to say a lovely bit of tread with a fully inflated tyre is hands down the best way to move over a garden with minimal effort. The side panels drop out so pulling off heavy stuff much easier than a lift too!
Realistically you’re going to be limited by what you can pull on uneven and soft ground more than the actual weight this unit can take. Refreshing to find a tool totally up to the job isn’t it? 🙂
There’s one more nice touch – the canvas material removes easily undoing a few clip buttons, but more than that, it’s equipped with some decent handles. Absolutely ideal if you’ve been loading up leaves or similar and pulling this around the garden until full. Just drop it in your compost bin and away you go!
Overall it’s a great buy for heavier work.
- Super weight rating, will work heavier loads than you can handle
- Nice big wheels – easy for the garden
- Well priced for what it is, one of the best value in the UK at the moment.
- Maybe too big? – Not needed for everyone
- Couple of complaints a few welds have given up.
4. VonHaus 75L Garden Tipping Cart
If you’re in the market for a garden cart that is more suited to dealing with garden waste, or transporting sand, soil, and other such materials, then this VonHaus 75L garden tipping cart might be the thing for you.
Featuring a powder coated steel frame that houses a heavy duty plastic tub, the VonHaus garden cart can handle static loads of 250kg and tip loads of 180kg. Both the frame and tub are made of sturdy materials and are well put together, like the rest of the cart.
Tipping the cart is a simple process, you simply pull out the handle on the front of the cart to release the locking mechanism, then lift the handle and tub as one, tipping out the contents. One small niggle about the tipping is that the edge of the tub makes contact with the ground leaving a little bit of material inside, so you can’t completely empty it without lifting and tilting the whole cart or scooping it out with a shovel.
I was impressed by how good the steering worked on this model, with the large handle acting as the controls and operating the rotating of the front wheels. The whole system feels nicely connected and never feels like the cart has a mind of its own.
The wheels themselves are large enough (10 inches) with wide and thick Pneumatic tyres that have a good grip. The fact that the wheels are pneumatic is a big plus for me as I’ve always found them better for getting over bumpy ground than solid rubber or plastic ones. I also think they spread the weight more evenly allowing for more stability in the cart. Agin, though the back wheels do not move so you always have to pull the cart around if you want it to manoeuvre properly.
VonHaus have also cleverly fitted a towing hitch to the cart so you can use other methods to pull it to your desired destination. Again, I’d probably not use it, but it’s always nice to have the option and little touches like this are why Vonhaus are a very popular brand.
This garden cart arrives flat pack so you will have to follow the instructions to assemble it. The instructions aren’t the best, and there are also no tools included to actually complete the assembly, but it only requires a spanner and screwdriver and a bit of common sense to get set up and ready to shift and tip.
The VonHaus 75L garden tipping cart is a great all round product available at a very reasonable price, and one that I feel very comfortable recommending despite a few very minor flaws.
- Huge big wheels perfect for gardening
- Decent Vonhaus quality for the price – a good deal compared to what’s available in the UK
- Nice towing hitch idea
- Pretty easy setup – easier than the Draper (worth considering if these two smaller units were in mind).
- Couple of quality issues from new otherwise a super unit.
The name Draper is almost synonymous with hard wearing quality when it comes to gardening tools. The UK brand have been around for close to a century and they don’t look like they are in any danger of slowing down or becoming obsolete with products like this garden cart.
When compared to the VonHaus model we just reviewed, this is a tipping cart comprised of an extremely solid steel frame and a heavy duty plastic tipping tub. At first glance they appear very similar, and in some ways they are, but there are a couple of differences. Before I really get into it though, this isn’t a bad video:
The first difference is the price, with this Draper being more expensive by around 30 pounds or so. What do you get for the extra money?
For one the overall build quality is just a step up from the already excellent Vonhaus, so that should really tell you something about how durable this garden cart really is. Draper tools are made here in the UK and so go through strict quality control processes, which isn’t something you can say about a lot of products these days with many brands getting their tools made in China to cut costs.
Another feature of the Draper garden tipper cart are the moving wheels. I don’t mean that they turn, as all wheels do that, nor am I talking about the steering mechanism which works in much the same way as the VonHaus garden cart.
What I’m talking about is the way the wheel base (the distance between the front and rear wheels) gets shorter as you tip the tub. It’s such a smooth action and it really helps to make tipping the tub out of all its contents so much easier. When you tilt the tub back down, the wheels return to their original distance, worth the paying the extra for in my opinion.
Able to carry a volume of 75 litres and loads up to 200kg, this 93cm x 50cm garden cart should be enough for most everyday gardening tasks such as moving bags of soil or material to your compost bin, loading up with trimmings and weeds, and moving heavy garden ornaments around.
The pneumatic wheels, while not being the largest or widest, still do a good job of providing mobility and stability and will get you over bumps and small steps should you need them to.
Another nice little touch on this particular garden cart is the soft rubber foam grip on top of the handle whose grip assistance I was thankful for when trying to pull a particularly heavy load of large plant pots up an inclined lawn.
To sum up the Draper Garden Tipper cart, I would have to say that it is an incredibly well made and durable product with features such as the self-adjusting wheels that really justify the little bit extra you have to pay.
- Super durable as you’d expect from Draper
- Very well priced for quality – our top pick for a budget
- Nice adjustable wheels – nice features for lower end money wise
- A few have noted the flat pack requires a fair bit of tooling – You’ll need a few different sized spanners and a big flat head screwdriver.
6. VonHaus Garden Trolley/Cart - 350kg Load Capacity
If tipping isn’t your biggest priority but shifting very heavy loads around is, look no further than this VonHaus garden trolley/cart.
Measuring 91cm long, 44cm wide, and having a basket height of 20cm, this steel cage like construction can be loaded up with anything you like up to a maximum weight of 350kg!
The ‘cage’ comes with a waterproof lining that is also removable to make it easier to keep clean. This lining does have a strong odour when it first arrives so I washed it down and left it hanging to dry for a while before I used it.
Loading and unloading is made easier thanks to this garden cart fold down sides which are easier to operate via handles situated at the front and rear of the cart.
The long handle of the VonHaus garden trolley is very sturdy and acts as the steering controls just like its sibling, the 75L model we reviewed earlier. Manoeuvrability is on point as long as you are pulling it and not pushing for the same reasons as nearly all over garden carts of this type- the rear wheels don’t turn. It doesn’t take long to get used to this though and is just the way garden carts steer.
This model has been given the same pneumatic wheels as the VonHaus tipping cart so they are more than up to getting around a garden with a few bumps and lumps here and there or moving over gravel. Just be careful moving downhill with a heavy load though as it might try to run over you!
As we already mentioned earlier though, if you plan on moving things through thick freshly dug up mud, sand, or other very soft surfaces, a garden trolley might not be suitable, but it all depends on how heavy the load is and the surface itself.
One thing I will say about these wheels though is actually a bit of advice I saw someone give online, and that is replacing the supplied nuts with any lock nuts to make the wheels more secure. I didn’t do this as I was only testing for a few days, but it certainly makes sense. Often the weakest link on products like these are the fittings, and it’s an easy and inexpensive thing to fix.
Assembly is required with this garden trolley and you will need something to pump up the tyres as well as a socket set and some spanners. Instructions were ok, but not great but that’s the par for the course these days unfortunately. Still, it doesn’t take much to figure out how to put it together.
Except for a few little faults, the VonHaus garden trolley/cart is yet another well-made product worthy of serious consideration.
- Nice big wheels work well in the garden and wonky pathways
- The simple front pivot axel is easy to control
- Priced very well considering what else is available in the UK
- Some few complaints about quality and missing parts
- Long assembly for some
7. BEAU JARDIN Folding Wagon Garden Cart
BEAU JARDIN have brought us this amazing little garden trolley for sensible money if you don’t mind buying quality…
If I was looking for a garden cart that I could take to the beach with me to help transport my cool box from the car, I would choose this one. The reason being when compared to all other garden cart models, is the wheels. These PU (a type of synthetic leather) wheels are not the largest, but they are much wider than average and have deep treads like mini tractor wheels that make them perfect for negotiating sand, mud, and other terrains that most average garden carts would struggle with – 100mm wide and 175mm diameter gives awesome manoeuvrability over uneven and soft ground even with a decent load on.
However, I have to note that if you are pulling it across sand, the wheels might lock from time to time up due to not having bearings. A quick clean out sorts this issue though.
Unlike some of our other reviewed products, the wheels on this model are not connected to the handle for steering purposes and are free to rotate 360 degrees. Although I prefer to have control through the handle directly to the wheels, I can’t fault this garden cart for its manoeuvrability.
This garden cart has an aesthetic that is pleasing to the eye and I’m sure that’s one of the reasons that this has become such a popular product and getting awarded the ‘Amazon choice’ moniker.
The steel frame is of good quality and folds/unfolds smoothly and neatly. Hard wearing rip-stop 600D polyester has been used for the inner lining and it provides both strength and UV protection and has the important factor of being easy to clean. There are mesh drink holders in the front of the cart either side of the handle base and also another mesh pocket in the inner wall of the interior, perfect for storing smaller objects like mobile phones.
This cart can handle loads of 100kg but I would probably err on the side of caution and stick to around 90kg so as to not damage the wheels through excessive weight.
Stylish, practical, and easy to fold away once you’re done with it, this garden cart is another one to add to your list of possibilities as long as you only intend to use it for lighter loads.
- Super wheels for uneven ground.
- Full wheel rotation on a dime for easy manoeuvrability.
- Proven online sales history
- Price is well up there
- Not the most powerful for the money