Why buy a folding shopping cart?
Shopping carts are a convenient way to store and transport groceries around the store, to the checkout aisle, and out to your car. However, shopping carts provided by the store can’t leave the store’s parking lot. Buying your own shopping cart means you can take it with you wherever you want, not only grocery shopping but to the laundromat or for any other errands you might need to run. And you get to bring the shopping cart home to unload your purchases in an easy and quick trip rather than make several trips to and from your car.
If you live in a city where parking is scarce or you don’t own a car, a personal shopping cart also makes it easier to contain and transport your purchases home, whether you’re walking or taking public transportation. Buying a personal shopping cart also allows you to buy a cart in the size of your choosing, with any extra bonus features you often don’t find in store shopping carts.
Folding shopping carts are especially useful since they’re often smaller than a full-sized store shopping cart, so they’re a lot easier to maneuver. This makes them a superior choice for walking and weaving through crowded city foot traffic and taking on public transit. And since they’re foldable, they can collapse or bunch up compactly for easier, space-saving storage.
What should you look for in a folding shopping cart?
- Material: While most folding shopping carts have metal handles, the main body of the cart can be metal, plastic, or cloth stretched across a more solid frame. Metal frames are the strongest and most durable option and will thus generally be the longest-lasting and have the highest weight capacity. That said, they’ll also be heavier and harder to maneuver. Just ensure that an entirely metal model is made from a rustproof metal like stainless steel or has been treated to resist corrosion if you plan to frequently walk long distances outside with it. If you prefer a more lightweight, naturally waterproof plastic cart, be sure that it’s made of thick, high-quality plastic for longer service life. Cloth shopping carts are nice because the cloth section often has handles and is removable for use as a separate tote or shopping bag, though they also come with the risk of staining and ripping. Make sure the fabric is waterproof or at least water-resistant too.
- Design: For such a straightforward purchase, there are more design and shape options for a folding shopping cart than you might think. Cloth models will generally be closed-sided, while metal and plastic ones are more likely to have slots or a wire cage-like build similar to classic shopping carts. Most are rectangular or square in shape, but there are a few cylindrical or oval-shaped options, too, namely shopping carts that are backpack-shaped. Rectangular carts can be tall and slim or short and long. Some have one long, single handle; others have a shorter, U-shaped handle or double handles like a stroller, both of which you can grip or push with two hands.
- Features: There’s a decent number of useful features to keep an eye on in folding shopping carts. As mentioned, some cloth models allow you to remove the cloth bag section from the frame for use as a tote, shopping bag, or backpack even when you’re not pushing the cart itself around. Some models will have a lower-level shelf below the main cart, similar to those of traditional shopping carts, for big bulky items like sets of bottled water or bulk toilet paper. Others have hooks that you can use to attach them to bigger, traditional store shopping carts. Some have lids or covers; some don’t. There are models with side pouches or rear baskets attached for more room, wheels that lock in place, bottom racks for balance when you’re not holding the cart upright, spots to hang a purse or stash an umbrella, and more.
Are there other features worth looking for in folding shopping carts?
Consider the wheels on any folding shopping cart you want to buy. Two-wheelers are generally much easier to control and maneuver and are often attached to taller, slimmer folding shopping carts. They’re more effective at fitting into tight spaces and weaving through heavy foot traffic. On the other hand, four-wheelers will often have much larger back wheels than front wheels, increasing stability and letting the cart roll more smoothly over uneven or bumpy ground.
You’ll also want to think about a folding shopping cart’s overall size, bulkiness, and heaviness. The bigger the cart, the more items it’ll be able to hold, but also the more challenging to maneuver it will be. Even though it’ll fold down when not in use, a bulkier shopping cart will be more of a hassle on public transit or in crowded spaces. Try to strike a balance between a folding shopping cart’s capacity, compactness, and weight. Also be sure to check its weight capacity; not all carts will list this feature, but it’s a useful metric to know, especially when running lots of errands or buying heavy items.
winkeep Double Basket Folding Shopping Cart
This classic folding shopping cart has an extremely high weight capacity and a bonus compartment for extra items.
Pros: You won’t have to worry about this cart breaking under even heavy loads of groceries or laundry. It’s got a nice wide basket and a weight capacity of up to 330 pounds. This cart also features a bonus basket attached to the back, equally useful for smaller extra items or for stashing personal items like your purse, jacket, or umbrella in a secure, easily accessible location as you shop. If this model is larger and bulkier than you’d like, there’s a smaller version available. And if you’ve never owned a folding shopping cart before or are nervous you won’t be able to figure out how to collapse it, never fear; easy-to-follow instructions come included with your purchase.
Cons: Quite a few buyers noted that the front wheels of this cart aren’t the strongest. And as is common with big metal shopping carts, this model is on the heavier side, especially if you fill it up completely. It’s also a bit on the pricey side for a personal folding shopping cart.
Bottom Line: Many people find the built-in basket section of in-store shopping carts to be an extremely convenient place to stash personal items as they shop. If you want your folding shopping cart to have this handy extra compartment, you’ll love this sturdy folding model.
dbest products Collapsible Rolling Shopping Cart
This collapsible fabric model is a tote bag and a shopping cart in one.
Pros: Rather than being a personal shopping cart with a removable bag that fits onto the metal frame, the tote bag itself is the cart—the wheels and handle are attached directly to the bag itself. It’s a shopping cart and bag in one rather than two separate pieces. This means that rather than removing the bag from the cart, all you have to do is retract the handle into the bag and use the tote straps to carry it like a regular shopping bag. Alternatively, you can use the single shoulder strap to sling it across your shoulders if you prefer. Between the fabric body and the handle retracting completely, this shopping cart also takes up even less storage space than most when it’s folded down. The fabric material is waterproof, and the bag has a lid to better protect your groceries from the elements. As a bonus, it’s available in 20 colors and six sizes depending on your needs and personal preferences.
Cons: Since this tote bag/shopping cart is made primarily out of fabric, it’s not as strong or durable as a more solid, metal-framed folding shopping cart. It also has a much lower weight capacity.
Bottom Line: Unlike with a lot of tote bag-style folding shopping carts, you won’t have to worry about the hassle of constantly removing and re-attaching the bag to the frame when the time comes to carry your groceries into the house. The tote bag is the cart and vice versa.
VersaCart Transit Folding Shopping and Utility Cart
Water-resistant and double-wheeled, this fabric folding shopping cart fits over a sturdy steel frame for greater durability.
Pros: Though fabric foldable shopping carts don’t have quite the same durability as pure metal ones, this particular fabric model is about as tough as you can get. The large, detachable bag is made of thick, water-resistant canvas, so it’s much less likely to rip or tear, even under heavy loads. Coupled with the rugged steel frame, you’ve got a nice and sturdy shopping cart. The bag is also outfitted with two carrying handles and a fitted cover to keep your purchases secure and protect them from inclement weather as needed. Folding it up is especially easy, too—similar to closing an umbrella.
Cons: If you’re taller than average, this may not be the most comfortable shopping cart for you as the handles are a bit on the short side; you’ll probably have to bend over while pushing it. The wheels are made of hard plastic rather than rubber, so they’re not as sturdy or shock-absorbent.
Bottom Line: Folding shopping carts with removable bags are a popular choice, and once you’ve used this particular model, you’ll understand why. It’s a great blend of durability, convenience, and ease of use.
dbest products Foldable Shopping Cart
This colorful, dolly-like folding shopping cart is slender and compact, an ideal option for public transit and weaving through crowds.
Pros: If compactness and maneuverability are key considerations in your hunt for a foldable shopping cart, this enclosed fabric model will be right up your alley. It’s both compact and slender, even when in use. If you’ll have to take your shopping cart on public transit or you often walk through crowded areas, this product will suit both these environments well. The bag itself not only has a closable flap to protect your groceries but features nine extra pockets of varying sizes, including a zippered one for items like keys or your phone. The large wheels absorb shocks and jolts and make it easier to move across uneven and bumpy surfaces like cobblestone. The removable bag is also available in 24 different colors. When the bag isn’t attached, the cart itself can be converted into a dolly for boxes, water cooler jugs, and even smaller pieces of furniture. And the price is quite low for a personal folding shopping cart to boot.
Cons: This isn’t the sturdiest fabric folding shopping cart since it doesn’t slot into a metal frame and the bag is regular polyester. It has a lower weight capacity than a pure metal cart will.
Bottom Line: This is another great option for someone who wants a folding shopping cart with a built-in, removable bag that will keep your purchases covered and protected, especially since it’s slimmer, more colorful, and more affordable than most.
CLAX Folding Shopping Cart With Storage Crate
This uniquely designed foldable shopping cart is highly functional and easily adjustable.
Pros: It’s easy to tell from even a quick glance that this model is quite different from the typical folding shopping cart. The unique design features a more traditional shopping cart-like shape plus two shelves for your items, one of which is equipped with a plastic basket. It’s also convertible, with the basket being removable and collapsible and the upper shelf’s ability to fold up and out of the way, making room for bigger, bulkier items to fit on the cart and wheel them around with ease. This cart also has built-in straps to secure your items in place so they won’t fall out or off the cart. Not only is this shopping cart uniquely designed and adjustable, but it’s incredibly easy to fold down once you’ve put your purchases away—all it takes is the touch of a button.
Cons: This cart may not be the best option for those who can’t lift a lot of weight, as it’s much heavier than most folding shopping carts. Its bulky size also makes it harder to take on public transit and maneuver. It’s also much more expensive than the average folding shopping cart.
Bottom Line: If you want a personal shopping cart that looks and feels a lot more like a standard in-store shopping cart, a model that’s more versatile or multifunctional than average, or one that’s capable of withstanding heavy, bulky loads, this will be the perfect folding shopping cart for you.
Personal shopping carts are useful purchases for people from all walks of life, and a folding shopping cart is one of the best types you can buy. Save yourself a lot of time, hassle, and back pain by investing in one today.