Source of the article: The 9 Best Beach Wagons of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
By Sara Gaynes Levy and Alyssa Brascia
Beach days are an amazing part of summer. But to truly enjoy a day on the sand, you need a lot of stuff. Sunscreen, chairs, umbrellas, books, drinks, snacks — it can all be way too much to carry.
Luckily, that’s why beach wagons were invented. A good, sturdy beach wagon will transport everything you need from your car to your seaside spot, wheel easily over sand and rocky terrain, and fold up for convenient storage in your car when you’re not using it. But there are a lot of beach wagons out there, so to help you choose the one that will make your beach day the absolute best, PEOPLE tested nearly 20 wagons, and these nine options came out on top.
Here are the best beach wagons for your upcoming adventures, recommended by PEOPLE Tested.
Ease of Use 5/5, Performance 5/5, Quality 4/5, Value 5/5
Weight: 25.8 lbs. | Dimensions: 35.4 x 19 x 22.4 inches | Weight limit for cargo: 225 lbs. | Assembly required: No
600D Oxford fabric makes the storage bin super strong
Powder-coated steel frame that can support up to 225 lbs., which is the highest weight capacity on this list
We were able to fit a surprising amount of beach essentials in this wagon without hindering its performance
We don't have anything major we would improve with this wagon!
If you’re looking for a beach wagon that’s in it for the long haul (literally), then this one could be your next best friend. What really stood out about this wagon was its undeniable durability — with 600D Oxford fabric, reinforced steel frame, and 360-degree rotating wheels, we could tell that this one was going to impress us. And impress it did when we ran our tests, loading up more than we could have imagined (think several beach chairs, toys, and more) in its sizable storage bin. It then proceeded to glide effortlessly through the sand while we trekked across the beach.
We can be tough critics, so usually we find something to gripe about when we test out new products. But we had no complaints when it came to the Portal Collapsible, scoring high marks for its ease of transportation, setup and takedown, and overall durability throughout our testing period. We definitely can see this one sticking around for a few years — and we’re interested to see how it holds up over time.
Our PEOPLE Tested team tried out 18 beach wagons to see which ones were the best for taking our stuff to the sand. After researching the very best (and most popular) on the market, we got these wagons out to our testers so they can start bringing them along on their beach adventures.
We began by assembling the wagons (if they needed to be assembled at all), and took note of how easily, or not, that process was. They were loaded up with towels, umbrellas, coolers, sand toys, drinks, and other essentials. Throughout this process, testers recorded if it was difficult or not to load up these baskets, while watching the weight and making sure they stayed within its capacity limits.
The next step was the main show: the transport to the beach. We made sure to push them over both paved surfaces and a stretch of sand, evaluating the maneuverability as well as the quality of the material. But don’t worry, we didn’t just do one test and call it quits — our testers brought it on several visits over the course of a few weeks, watching how it continued to hold up over multiple beach trips.
From there, we then rated each wagon on a scale of one to five (one being the lowest-performing and five being the highest) on the parameters of assembly ease, performance on the sand, design, and whether it was a good value.
We compiled our findings and research here, comparing and contrasting our testers’ insights to see which beach wagons stood out as winners. From there, we decided on these nine — picked by our writers, but tested by real beachgoers.
Alyssa Brascia is commerce writer for PEOPLE with a background in lifestyle writing — spanning everything from beauty to home. She has previously contributed to Real Simple, where she researched and wrote home content, and she currently covers household items for PEOPLE over a wide variety of products.
For this piece, she analyzed the insights given by our testers as they tried several beach wagons at their respective shorelines over the course of a month. She also researched the effects of different materials on sand to better understand the science behind wheel grip, citing a study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.
We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.
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