While we would love to say you can enjoy the beach with just a bottle of sunscreen and a pair of shades, sometimes that just doesn’t cut it. A truly luxurious day at the beach involves fluffy towels, cool beverages, your favorite snacks, a good book, a change of clothes, sweet treats, a beach umbrella, and the list goes on. Sure, you may not need all of those things, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared with a few extra beach accessories to make your seaside day more enjoyable.
Instead of juggling all these things in your hands or weighing your bag down, a great beach wagon can make transporting all your belongings hassle-free. We’ve gathered some reliable sand-traversing options, as well as a compilation of helpful questions, so you can snag the best beach wagon for your next trip.
- Best all-terrain beach wagon: MacSports Heavy Duty All-Terrain Beach Wagon
- Best vertical beach wagon: Rio Deluxe Wonder Wheeler
- Best double-decker beach wagon: MacSports Double Decker Utility Cart
- Best soft-sand beach wagon: Big Kahuna Beach Wagon
- Best kids beach wagon: Radio Flyer Beach and Boardwalk Wagon
- Best budget beach wagon: Seina Folding Wagon
Factors to consider when shopping for the best beach wagon
The trick to purchasing the best beach wagon is to carefully consider what you intend to bring, where you’re going, and who is coming with you. You don’t want to gather a bunch of beach accessories only to realize they won’t all fit. Nor do you want to make it all the way to the sand before realizing the wheels are going to get stuck. And you certainly don’t want to traverse the shoreline with hot, cranky kids trailing behind you when you could seat them comfortably in the right wagon. So, before buying, go over your beach checklist and consider which cart has the features you need for a successful day of seaside relaxation.
How much weight do you need to carry?
While some may be satisfied with a few towels and a small selection of drinks, others need to bring much more to the beach. Do you need to carry enough clean towels for the whole family? Will you be bringing lounge chairs? Aquatic equipment? A cooler that’s full to the brim? It’s important to check out the specs on any wagon you’re considering in order to make sure it can bear the load of your beachy belongings. While most wagons are equipped to handle upwards of 150 pounds, it doesn’t hurt to double-check. You should also keep in mind that the heavier your cargo, the harder it will be to pull your beach wagon through the sand.
Do you need any special features?
Not all beach wagons come with additional features, like cup holders or compartments, but there are plenty of specialized models suited to your needs if you know what you’re looking for. Do you need a particular container to store fishing poles? Do you want an extra shelf underneath the main cabin for boogie boards? Take the time to think about what your dream beach wagon would include. Once you begin your real-world search, you might be surprised by what you find.
Would you rather have a push cart?
Typically, a beach wagon will need to be pulled along by a handle, an action that is comfortable for some but challenging for others, especially if you’re carrying a heavy load. Pulled wagons are often rectangular and low to the ground, which can also present a challenge if you need to move long items like beach umbrellas. If pulling a wagon like this might be difficult for you, consider looking for a vertical beach utility cart. These models are designed to be pushed, which may be a more comfortable way for you to make your way across the sand.
Where will you be pulling your beach wagon?
Not every beach features the same sandy terrain, and not every beach wagon can smoothly glide over any surface. It’s easier to navigate super-soft sand with a smaller wagon that has large, hollow wheels (and carries a light load). A denser, rocky shore might necessitate more traction carved into the tires. You can even investigate a garden wagon for ultimate versatility on dirt and gravel.
Do you need to pull your little ones along, too?
If your most crucial beach accessory happens to be your tiny tots, make sure to look at a beach wagon that can comfortably accommodate them. Whether you need to transport a sleepy toddler or protect their little feet from super-hot sand, a wagon made for kids with built-in seats or bench support and some extra room for additional belongings can save you a lot of grief during your trip to the beach. You can even find a wagon with a canopy overhead to keep your kids out of the sun while you stake out the perfect spot.
How much do you want to spend?
Many of the best beach wagons retail between $80 and $100, which can seem a bit pricey at first. But once you consider the detail and design that goes into navigating various types of terrain, the cost starts to make a little more sense. Luckily, there are a few budget-friendly options out there that will get you where you need to go without emptying your wallet. While you may sacrifice some special features like kids’ seats or a canopy, you’ll still be getting the best bang for your buck.
The best beach wagon
The best beach wagon offers convenient portability and space for you to transport everything on your list, even your kids. As long as you consider what you’ll be bringing with you and where you want to go, you shouldn’t have any problem finding a great option for your next aquatic adventure.
Best pick overall: MacSports Heavy Duty All-Terrain Beach Wagon
MacSports Heavy Duty All-Terrain Beach Wagon
This option features a roomy interior that can carry 150 pounds of essentials. MacSports
This bright blue wagon from MacSports will help you make a statement while you claim the best lounge spot on the beach. It’s super easy to set up and even easier to collapse. Folded together, it’s only 9.7 inches thick. It even comes with a carrying case you can slide over the top for simple handling and storage. The outdoor wagon measures 31.8 by 21.5 inches when fully expanded, which is certainly enough room to hold a few beach chairs, towels, a cooler, and more. Extra-large wheels help tackle many terrain types, while adjustable handles and mesh cup holders keep you comfortable and your beverages secure.
Runner up: Rio Deluxe Wonder Wheeler
Rio Deluxe Wonder Wheeler
This model is a versatile, vertical carrier that can transport four beach chairs in one trip and folds for easy storage.
The Wonder Wheeler from Rio is chock full of special features and helpful tools to make your trip to the beach as smooth as possible. This vertical cart can be pushed or pulled through the sand with two 10-inch wheels to help wade through softer sand. It can hold up to 100 pounds, support a 48-quart cooler, and fits four beach chairs. This wagon also features an extra rear storage compartment, dedicated umbrella holder, removable tote bag, and storage compartment for a bodyboard. It’s collapsible, too, with a steel frame and mesh fabric which is well suited for wet environments.
Premium pick: MacSports Double Decker Utility Cart
MacSports Double Decker Utility Cart
This reliable carrier provides two storage levels, so there’s no limit to what you can bring on your outing. MacSports
Another great wagon from MacSports, the double-decker cart does the most when it comes to storage. It’s a little bigger than other models, measuring roughly 40 by 28 inches, though it’s still able to fold for easy, ergonomic storage. The extended bottom shelf forgoes side rails, so you can transport objects both big and small, including beach umbrellas, hammocks, tents, and more. This cart can hold 150 pounds and includes the same adjustable handle and mesh cup holders found in the all-terrain model listed above. Available in five colors, this wagon will help you set up camp for a full day of fun. However, it should be noted that this utility cart is designed for a multitude of terrains and does not feature the large wheels that are great for deep, soft sand. It is better suited for rockier beaches, wet sand, and natural gravel.
Best for soft sand: Big Kahuna Beach Wagon
Big Kahuna Beach Wagon
This lightweight cart is designed to make hauling your gear across the sand a breeze.
The Big Kahuna Beach Wagon only weighs in at 75 pounds, but with its 12-inch-wide wheels specifically designed for use on sand, it’s capable of carrying up to 350 pounds of fishing equipment, beach gear, even a Yeti Tundra. At 33.5 inches wide, this wagon fits easily through standard doors. Plus, its ergonomic design and pull handle allow for easy maneuverability. It’s perfect for families or a day of fishing and can perform double-duty transporting equipment when it’s not a beach day.
Best for kids: Radio Flyer Beach and Boardwalk Wagon
Radio Flyer Beach and Boardwalk Wagon
A fun take on a classic red carrier, this is the perfect model for your child’s vacation.
This beach wagon from Radio Flyer is specifically designed to support your little ones while carrying your beach gear. It features child safety belts, a removable canopy, and two-rider seating that can easily be converted to a bench seat by unzipping one wagon panel. A rear storage bar can hold up to two beach chairs, and built-in cup holders can keep sippy cups out of the sand. Extra-wide beach tires help you navigate with ease, and one-hand folding makes storage a snap. This wagon can hold 150 pounds and is suitable for children 18 months and older.
Best budget beach wagon: Seina Folding Wagon
Seina Folding Wagon
This model is flexible, suitable for your home and yard as well as a day by the ocean.
While this Seina Wagon is listed for garden use, it has many of the same features found in the beach wagons above, with all-terrain rubber wheels to boot. As long as you don’t overload it, you should be able to pull this wagon through the sand without too much trouble. The Seina cart features a foldable steel frame, two cup holders, and durable polyester fabric. It can hold up to 150 pounds and measures 40 by 39 by 27.5 inches.
If you’re looking for a cheaper beach wagon, we recommend setting your sights on a smaller folding cart, like this one from Gorilla. It may not be able to carry as much, and you might have a little more trouble pulling it through the sand. But as long as you’re not going far, you should still be able to bring all the basic necessities.
Generally speaking, the bigger, the better when it comes to wheel size for sand. If you’re heading for a more gravelly, rocky, or dense area, you should be fine with small tires, so long as they provide a little bit of traction. If you can find a wheel that measures close to 10 inches in diameter, you should have much more success traversing sand.
The best beach wagons for soft sand will have wide wheels that can gather traction while gliding over the malleable surface. Perhaps the title of “best” belongs to the Big Kahuna Beach Wagon, which features balloon tires almost 12 inches in diameter. However, you may be better off with the less expensive MacSports Heavy Duty All-Terrain Beach Wagon or Rio Deluxe Wonder Wheeler models.
Yes, you can definitely carry your kids on a beach wagon, so long as it’s specifically designed to support little ones. Make sure you check the specs to ensure the cart is safe before plopping them in. Look for built-in seats, a reinforced bottom, safety belts, and locks on foldable frames. And, of course, pay attention to weight limits and additional restrictions before trying to pile everyone in at once.
A final note on finding the best beach wagon
Whether you’re fixing to throw a beach party, ready for a day of tanning, or looking to ride the waves, the best beach wagon will keep you supplied with all your seaside needs. Simply gather a list of everything you want to have by your side and look for a wagon that can accommodate your belongings. From kids to surfboards, coolers to umbrellas, there is a beach wagon out there, ready and waiting to carry all your beach essentials through the sand.>