You need a wheelbarrow to move more than a handful of leaves, mulch, plant flats, or cinder blocks about your yard. Best wheelbarrows and carts can be pieces of crucial gardening equipment since they enable you to transport larger and heavier loads than you can with your hands. Wheelbarrows can make small batches of concrete to repair low walls and pavement and mix your potting soil, compost, and screening compost.
A good wheelbarrow will carry whatever you need to transport without swaying or lurching while you navigate turns, stairways, or other minor obstructions. Even when fully laden, the greatest wheelbarrows have tires that turn easily and can go through sand and gravel without becoming stuck.
What You Need to Know When Purchasing a Wheelbarrow
The best wheelbarrow for your yard will depend on how and where you plan to use it. The number of wheels, the substance of the tires, the size and kind of the tray, and the handles are important considerations.
Wheels come in single or pair configurations. (We also tested garden carts, which are four-wheeled models with flat beds.) The trade-off is between stability and maneuverability. When carrying big goods or on soft ground, a single-wheel wheelbarrow can rotate around tight turns but can feel awkward.
While stable, four-wheel carts can be difficult to maneuver around turns, most of which are difficult to dump. Two-wheel wheelbarrows are a compromise that offers greater stability than single-wheel wheelbarrows while providing more maneuverability than four-wheel carts.
Tires can be rubber, plastic, or air-filled (also known as pneumatic) tires. Air-filled tires are ideal for hauling loads up or down stairs or on uneven terrain. By acting as a cushion, the air allows the wheelbarrow to bounce over obstacles and requires less effort to move forward. Be careful when inflating air-filled gas station air pumps because they tend to overinflate tiny tires easily. Unfortunately, air-filled tires can go flat and must be inflated at home.
You will feel every rock or branch in your path as you push them around because they can’t flatten or bounce over obstacles, and it will require more effort to push them than wheelbarrows with air-filled or flat-free tires.
Most “flat-free” tires are constructed from solid, slightly pliable rubber. They provide most of the advantages of air-filled tires without the hassle of maintenance—tires made of solid plastic offer no benefits.
Capacity of Trays
Wheelbarrow trays aren’t square; therefore, determining tray capacity is challenging. The cubic feet of capacity is not square due to the slant at the “nose” end. You won’t be able to use the entire amount of space in the tray if you’re transporting something squat, like hay bales, and you’ll only be able to fit as many flats of seedlings from the garden center as fit in the flat bottom of the tray, not the entire length of the tray with the nose.
If you’re worried that a specific type of object won’t fit in your wheelbarrow, pay attention to its base size and side height rather than how many cubic feet it can contain.
Trays for wheelbarrows are often constructed of painted steel or plastic. Although larger steel wheelbarrow trays are preferable if you intend to carry your wheelbarrow into a car or onto a wall hanger for storage, this only really matters if you want to do so.
Steel construction rusts when exposed to the elements because regular use readily scrapes off the paint. However, trays with a steel frame are strong and won’t bend when carrying high loads. For domestic use, our example contained stamped steel trays.
Look for folding steel trays if you need a heavy-duty wheelbarrow for contractors because they are thicker, heavier, and more resilient.
Although plastic wheelbarrow trays are more lightweight and rust-proof, customers have complained that they buckle and collapse when loaded with gravel or other thick, heavy materials.
Some garden carts and foldable wheelbarrows feature trays made of nylon or canvas. They are not at all strong but relatively light. Only choose one of these carts if you have a limited storage capacity or only intend to utilize it for light loads.
Typically, wheelbarrows feature a loop handle made of metal, two handles made of wood, or both. Models with two handles are simpler to use for users of various heights.
Although lighter-weight barrows can be stored by hanging them up, their loop handles may be more uncomfortable for particularly short or tall individuals. If made of unfinished wood, wood handles can feel rough and like they’ll splinter when handled.
True Temper R6STSP25 Never Flat Tire Steel Wheelbarrow, 6 Cubic Foot
The True Temper 6 cu. ft. Wheelbarrow won Best Overall for combining a solid metal tray, plush handles, and easy rolling. It is a superb conventional wheelbarrow since it has outstanding control for pushing big loads up and down slopes.
It has a large tray and can contain up to 6 cu. ft. of mulch, when mounded, can move over most yard obstacles and steps.
It simplifies everything. Buyers don’t need to look around for extra screwdrivers or ratchet wrenches because this model is already constructed when purchased. Smooth and sturdy coated metal handles are used. In our tests, it traversed the obstacle course’s smaller branches with ease and, although fully loaded, pushed through sand.
The ease of maneuverability of this wheelbarrow is by far its best feature. The True Temper never felt like it was falling or “running away” downhill, even when it was completely loaded with bricks. The one rubber tire with no flats is strong and filled with a soft substance that offers exceptional cushioning for rolling over uneven terrain, pebbles, and branches.
The wheelbarrow’s single-wheel design enables it to swivel around a 1-foot-diameter turn.
However, this wheelbarrow is substantial and weighs over 46 pounds. Store this wheelbarrow inside, even if it can be placed standing on its nose end and still takes up a lot of room.
Goplus Dual Wheel Wheelbarrow
Goplus Dual Wheel Wheelbarrow, Heavy Duty Garden Cart, 330 lbs Capacity Utility Cart with Two 13 inches Pneumatic Tires for Outdoor Lawn Yard Farm Ranch
This compact wheelbarrow with loop handles can easily transport most garden supplies. Since the broad tray is a little squarer than the Marathon, it is simpler to arrange more bricks flatly on it. Additionally, most yard obstacles are easily navigated thanks to the pneumatic tire.
Steep climbing steps can be challenging due to its wide, low undercarriage.
Rubbermaid Commercial Products
Rubbermaid Commercial Products FG564200BLA Plastic Yard Cart, 7.5 cu. Feet
The Rubbermaid Commercial Big Wheel Cart has a durable, rust-free tray that is less prone to flex than the standard plastic-tray wheelbarrows if you need to push big stuff in rainy weather without worrying about your cart tipping over.
It is stable to use the Rubbermaid cart. Its sturdy, rigid, high-density polyethylene plastic tray is significantly less likely to buckle under heavy loads than other plastic-tray wheelbarrows. Its huge plastic tires run over gravel and sand with ease.
However, shoddy production left big globs of jagged plastic at numerous locations on the test model, making it challenging to assemble the cart tightly. A flathead and Phillips screwdriver, together with a wrench—ideally a ratchet wrench—are required for assembly.
Additionally, because of the large bottom stabilizing structure, there is no way to drag this cart backward up a step if you are unable to push it forward.
WORX WG050 Aerocart
WORX WG050 Aerocart 8-in-1 Yard Cart / Wheelbarrow / Dolly
The Worx Aerocart works best when moving a range of large or unusually shaped objects over level ground. It assembles in seconds and transforms into a dolly for moving heavy objects like pots or cartons. Additionally, it has several extras for transferring unusual items like bulky bags and potted plants.
The Worx Aerocart is bulky and uncomfortable compared to a traditional wheelbarrow, especially while moving uphill. It also has small flat-free wheels that have trouble navigating gravel and minor obstacles. Carrying bricks and cinder blocks are challenging due to the tray’s tiny size, shallow depth, and uneven surface.
In its cart position, the Aerocart tilts so far that it can only take a small amount of loose material, such as mulch or soil—about 1.5 cu. ft. if you’re careful.
Gorilla Carts GOR4PS Poly Garden Dump Cart
Mulch and soil can be dumped out with the Gorilla Cart is excellent for moving light to medium-weight goods over flat areas.
For hauling a range of products, the Gorilla offers a sturdy, flat surface, and the pneumatic tires readily navigate most obstacles. As an added plus, it has a quick-release dump mechanism that makes emptying your cart simple and hassle-free.
Allsop Home and Garden WheelEasy LE
Allsop Home and Garden WheelEasy LE, Folding Yard Cart/Ground Load Wheelbarrow, Lightweight with 150 lbs Capacity, Ultra-Thick Vinyl-Coated Nylon, Large 10″ Pneumatic Tire
If you want to utilize a tarp with wheels, get the Allsop Home and Garden WheelEasy LE. The Allsop Wheeleasy can be easily loaded with dirt, mulch, leaves, or even big rocks by collapsing onto the ground. It may be folded and stowed in the space occupied by a stick vacuum when not in use.
The Allsop WheelEasy features a remarkably wide turning radius for a single-wheel garden cart because of its wide handles. The Allsop WheelEasy has a relatively low capacity, making it difficult to load piles of mulch or leaves since loads sit quite erect when the cart is being moved. Mulch fragments frequently leak out of the cart’s back where there is a space between the wheel and the cover.
MAC SPORTS WTC-111 Outdoor Utility Wagon, Solid Blue
The MacSports wagon is excellent for moving light objects over flat ground, and you can store it after you’re done in a car trunk or a closet.
It weighs only 22 pounds and requires no assembly. The wagon collapses fast and is simple for storage, and the flat rectangular bed is simple to load and stack. There are even two cup holders!
The MacSports wagon has the widest turning radius out of all the models we evaluated, so it is not the best design if you need to carry things into narrow spaces. This MacSports wagon, like all wagon designs, is heavy and difficult to handle while traveling up and down hills, and it lacks brakes to keep it steady during loading. Small, all-plastic tires make climbing stairs difficult.
Garden Star 70019 Garden Barrow Dual
Garden Star 70019 Garden Barrow Dual-Wheel Wheelbarrow/Garden Cart
A lightweight wheelbarrow with a plastic tray called the Garden Star Garden Barrow would have been ideal for carrying small to medium loads if it hadn’t suffered a flat tire during the testing process.
The assembly is simple, and since the bolts are all the same size, mixing them up is impossible. But during the second test, one of the Garden Star’s pneumatic tires disintegrated when the wheelbarrow was loaded with mulch. However, a valve core removal tool might be used to patch the flat.
Whether you get a wheelbarrow, a cart or a wagon, you will have a tool that can make your garden project easier.