In a beach wagon it is easy to transport your belongings or children on the beach, but what should you pay attention to when buying a beach wagon?
Do you also have memories from the old days on the beach or at the campsite, when you were in a beach wagon and your father dragged you around? A fantastic vacation that you will remember with great pleasure. Maybe you’d like to buy a wagon yourself now, so I’m going to tell you what to pay attention to when you buy one and what differences there are between wagons.
There is nothing more relaxing than a day at the beach with your girlfriend, your beach tent / umbrella, cool box with drinks, snorkel mask, beach tennis set, towels, water shoes, underwater camera and your vessel of choice (SUP – Kayak / Canoe – Rubber Boat) to enjoy the water together. I can see myself doing this later on together with my daughter or son and preferably also a dog.
But taking all this with you, including a child, is a lot of work, a beach wagon is perfect for that. Those models I used to sit in were quite heavy and completely made out of wood, but nowadays they are fortunately also made of lighter materials, which are still just as sturdy.
Differences in Beach Wagons
As said, I used to sit in the back of the wagon with my father. The cart had high wooden sides and a metal frame, it was quite heavy. We took it with us in the caravan to the campsite, such a big solid thing really doesn’t fit in the car (unless you have a transporter or something like that).
A modern beach wagon is very light, with a foldable metal base, a plastic base plate and a polyester storage compartment. The beach wagon I took as an example above can carry about 70kg despite the weight of 10 kg, which is more than enough for most purposes.
Moreover, the possibility to fold the wagon is ideal, so that it can easily be carried in the trunk of the car. In this way it can also be taken along for a day out and not only for the annual vacation at the campsite at the North Sea. So a foldable beach wagon is definitely a good idea and something to take into account when purchasing.
If you go with a child you even have beach wagons with a roof on top and a front rack, an ideal invention! So you can take what you want and your children (or possibly your dog) stay in the shade, so they are not sunburned at the end of the day. I didn’t have that luxury before, I got a hat and a towel to protect me from the sun.
This type of wagon, like the one above, is also foldable and can still carry a lot, the ones above for example up to 70 kg (and itself weighs 11.5 kg). I must honestly say that it surprises me how cheap these carts are, for under a $100 you already have one. That can never be a bad investment, can it?
The size is 81 x 27 x 50 cm, so it can hold enough and is high enough for children to sit comfortably in. On a rainy day on the beach you could crawl in it yourself to stay dry and watch the other fleeing beach visitors. 😇
Which Wheels on a Beach Wagon?
You may have noticed that in the previous examples the beach wagons have different types of wheels. Where the first example had inflatable and thicker wheels, the second (with roof) had solid wheels. What is the difference between them and what is the best way to use them?
This depends on where you want to use the beach wagon. If you go on the beach with your wagon, thicker wheels will have a better grip and will sink less quickly, so on the beach you want inflatable wheels. This also applies to other soft surfaces, such as muddy woods and banks where you know you can sink.
Do you only go on the street and around the campsite on harder surfaces? Then solid wheels are better again. After all, you can never get a flat tire (sharp stones are everywhere on the campsite!) and you don’t need the extra grip there. It’s also not impossible to use it on the beach, it’s only heavier to pull it forward.
Think carefully about the locations where you want to use the beach wagon in the future and make a choice for inflatable wheels or solid wheels.
What can you use a Beach Wagon for?
Of course you can use a wagon on the beach and on the campsite, but what else can it be used for? There are several purposes for it, such as doing groceries that are a bit heavier. We all carry heavier groceries (six-packs one and a half liter bottles, crates of beer, etc. 😉) which can be exhausting and bad for your back.
A beach wagon is an ideal solution, provided you have a supermarket within walking distance. This makes it a lot easier to take things with you and saves you a lot of towing. Or did you used to have to take away old paper or bottles for your parents? My sister and I did that together with the wagon, which made it an easy job!
The nice thing about modern beach wagons is that the polyester is water resistant, where a wooden wagon obviously had a protective layer, but splinters slowly formed when used intensively. The influences of the elements will therefore be a lot less with a modern wagon, which makes them suitable for more conditions.
You will notice that there are many more situations where you have to drag something and a wagon is handy. Just put it in the back of the car or in the closet and you’ll find that you’ll use it more often than you’d think!
Another fine feature of many of the newer beach wagon is that the bar can no longer smack on the ground. You used to accidentally let it go and hit it hard to the ground, but now it clicks into place and doesn’t hit the ground when you let it go.
Storing a Beach Wagon
Another thing that is important is the way the wheels are attached to the car. Can they get off easily or not? With some models you can see that they use a butterfly screw, which makes it very easy to take them off. With other models you are expected to leave them on, then you will need a little more storage space.
In terms of design, there are many different options and we’ve only talked about the foldable variants. So there are variants with and without roofs, but this can also have a completely different, more luxurious look. A good example of a wagon with a roof with a nicely finished design is shown below.
Of course the price is rather insane, but in return you get a beautiful and durable wagon that you can enjoy for a long time. At least, that also depends on the use. I sometimes use my wagon at festivals and that shortens the lifespan of the wagon quite a bit… 😉
Is budget irrelevant and do you want the best of the best, especially to take a child with you? Then the beach wagon above is absolutely the best one you can get, but for the rest of us this remains a dream unfortunately.
Old-fashioned wooden wagon
Would you rather have an old-fashioned wooden wagon made of metal and wood, because you have enough storage space and these modern constructions don’t appeal to you? Or perhaps out of nostalgia, like I have with these wooden wagons. (Though I would go for a foldable version with a roof nowadays due to lack of space).
They last a very long time, I even dragged my younger sister around the campsite and on the beach, we certainly had a lot of fun with them. The wooden wagon below resembles mine in the old days, although we had one made of clear wood and with a straight handle.
The wooden wagon can carry a load of up to 100 kg, so you can put in just a little more stuff than in a foldable one. The wagon also weighs 33.5 kg, but if you’re not planning on lifting it, it doesn’t really matter. It is therefore heavier to pull forward, but because of the pneumatic tires it is suitable for pulling through the sand.
With a size of 127 x 60 x 112 cm it is also a bit larger than the foldable variants I mentioned earlier. From my own experience I know that two children can easily fit in it, with enough towels, buckets and shovels to enjoy on the beach. Not forgetting the large scoop net, to catch crabs and shrimps (we did put them back in the water after checking them out!).
Different versions of the wagon
There are also a number of variants of the wagon that are less well known and have not retained the traditional shape of the wagon. I’ll tell you a little bit more about these variants and explain what’s useful about it.
Caddy Wagon / Luggage Wagon
For example, there is the caddy / luggage cart, which is also meant to carry groceries from the store to your home or to carry stuff to the beach.
If you want to use it for carrying bigger items or to transport crates or other big items that do not fit in a bag, a caddy like this might be more suitable for you than a standard beach wagon. The bag on top is optional and can be removed if you want to carry really big items along. With a maximum carrying capacity of about 70 kg you will be able to carry most items along.
Because this caddy is foldable, like other beach wagons I have mentioned before, it is very easy to store when you don’t need it. There will be unexpected situations in which a caddy or wagon will be very useful.
Or what about a beach wagon with a net where you can carry your stuff along, almost like a laundry bag with this look. This allows you to take a cooler and beach chairs, which can be very handy on the beach. It can carry up to 45 kg so it should be fine for most occasions.
If you are looking for something that can carry a lot more check out the next part about metal wagons, which can be very helpful with gardening and transporting even more heavy things.
The metal wagon still has the classic shape of a wagon, but is made entirely of metal and has pneumatic tires.
As you can see, it is less comfortable to let your children sit in it, especially without putting pillows or anything else in it. Moreover, the metal gets quite hot on a day at the beach, not the ideal combination. Of course it can be used for groceries or your newspaper district.
The big advantage of this metal trolley is that it can carry products up to 450 kg, where the trolley itself weighs only 28 kg. A very stable construction that can carry anything you want to move.
Personally I would especially recommend this wagon for use in the garden. It works perfectly for clearing leaves and transporting larger branches or even parts of trunks. A very fine wagon to use for all the heavier work.
Rambler Beach Wagons
Rambler is a very luxurious brand in terms of wagon trolleys that has a number of very solid but distinctive designs on the market of the highest quality.
To be honest, I also wanted to scare you a little bit with the Rambler, so you can see how expensive and how strong a good wagon can be. The model above costs no less than €1799, which I personally wouldn’t spend on a wagon.
Unless you would run a nursery, because the Rambler can carry as many as 10 children at the same time! That’s why there’s a pull bar at the front and a push bar at the back, so that two supervisors can move this 161 x 69 x 74 cm and 36 kg wagon at the same time including all children (maximum total weight 300 kg).
Rambler also has other wagons, such as the Daytrack or Explorer, that can carry up to 5 children at a time. Because of the high price, I only recommend all Rambler handcarts for large families with a high budget or for nurseries or extracurricular care.
Conclusion Beach Wagons
As you can see in this article, there are a lot of handcarts on the market in different price ranges and different materials. Think carefully where you want to go with the handcart, what you want to take with you (not all handcarts are ideal for children) and of course your own preference.
If you want a massive wagon, you also have to think about where you want to store it. With a foldable wagon, it can easily be placed in the back of the car and taken anywhere, at home it can also simply be placed in the storage cupboard.
Choose the right beach wagon that suits you and you can also transport what you want. When going to the beach I would recommend pneumatic tires because it is lighter to pull the cart forward. When taking children, I would always recommend a roof or enclosure to prevent them from getting sunburned or completely wet by the rain.
Clearly set a budget and what your minimum requirements are in advance and start looking for them. Hopefully you’ll find a nice wagon that suits you (and your family) and that you can enjoy for a long time to come!
Do you already have a beach wagon in your house? What do you use it for and which variant did you choose? Let me know in the comments, I am curious if more people share my nostalgic experiences with the wooden wagon!