Juggling armfuls of cumbersome gear from the car all the way to the picnic blanket is no way to start a fun outing. A folding wagon can help carry the load and be easily stowed away when not in use. The best folding wagons collapse with ease into a small footprint that won’t get in the way at the beach, park, or campsite and can be stored in a closet, a garage, or the trunk of a car. For a long, useful life, these wagons are typically made with steel or aluminum frames and rugged nylon or polyester fabric. They should also feature a secure cargo area, durable wheels, and a sturdy handle.
We assembled and tested several of the most popular folding wagons on the market to see how they perform. Ahead, learn about the criteria we used to sort through more than three dozen highly rated products and scores of customer reviews in search of the best folding wagons.
- BEST OVERALL: MacSports Wagon Classic
- RUNNER-UP: Veer Cruiser
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Seina Compact Folding Utility Cart
- BEST MIDRANGE: Beau Jardin Folding Beach Wagon Cart
- BEST FOR KIDS: Keenz 7S Ultimate Adventure Stroller Wagon
- BEST FOR GARDENING: Gorilla Carts 7 Cu. Ft. Folding Utility Wagon
- BEST FOR THE BEACH: MacSports All-Terrain Beach Wagon
- BEST DOUBLE-DECKER: MacSports Double-Decker Wagon
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Folding Wagon
Sure, many are eager to conquer their sunny-day carting issues with the best folding wagon, but rather than purchasing one at random, take a few minutes to learn what factors and features make for a superior model. Keep in mind how a folding wagon steers, how much it can hold, and a few other considerations to help make the right choice.
How well a wagon steers has a lot to do with its functionality, especially when navigating crowded areas such as a grocery store or busy parking lot. Many manufacturers of the best folding wagons make maneuverability a top priority.
Traditionally, users pull a wagon behind them, and the wheels closest to the tow handle do the steering. In some cases, the wheels are part of the handle, making the wagon easier to maneuver in tight spots. In other cases, the wheels attach to the wagon’s frame and swivel independently, which improves leverage when pulling heavy loads.
Some modern wagons, particularly those meant for shuffling kids to-and-fro, also feature push handles. These modern versions operate in the same way traditional strollers do and can make moving a pair of little ones and all their toys a simple proposition.
If a wagon can’t carry the full load, the user will be making several trips back and forth—exactly what one hopes to avoid. But don’t go by the size of the cargo area alone. A folding wagon’s fabric, axles, and pivot points can be areas of weakness, so it’s vital to check the vehicle’s weight capacity to ensure it can transport gear safely.
Many of the best folding wagons can handle more than 100 pounds, and some can even carry in excess of 150 pounds. Although that might be too much weight to push or pull comfortably, it’s a good indication that the wagon can hold its own with a full cooler, some beach toys, and a bunch of towels.
All the best folding wagons have durable wheels, but the size of those wheels can make a difference, depending on the terrain the user is tackling.
- Smaller wheels make the wagon lightweight, easier to pack, and generally less expensive. But though they roll just fine on smooth surfaces such as parking lots and store interiors, they don’t do as well on bumpy surfaces.
- Larger wheels, both in height and width, do better on rough terrains. As with wheelbarrows, large wagon wheels can roll over obstructions such as rocks, roots, and even curbs. They’ll also lift the cargo area higher off the ground, keeping the bottom from hanging up on obstacles. Larger, wider wheels also distribute weight better on softer surfaces such as sand, snow, and mud. But they do add weight and bulk to a wagon.
Ease of Folding
The best folding wagons should collapse easily into a compact package without requiring a 10-step process. Almost all models feature pull tabs on the bottom of the wagon. A simple tug should allow the user to fold up the wagon, clearing fabric from pinch points along the way. Then, from the folded position, simply spread the ends apart and push down on the center of the floor to assemble the wagon for use.
However, the more heavy-duty or feature rich a wagon is, the more complicated it may be to fold. Wagons with clip-on seats, for example, require additional steps for folding. Review a wagon’s folding process before purchasing to decide if the extra convenience of its features is worth a little extra setup and collapse time.
Depth and Storage
Roughing it can be fun, but most folks tend to enjoy having creature comforts during day outings—that’s one reason why beach tents have become so popular. A folding wagon’s depth largely determines how much it can haul, so look for one that’s at least 9 inches deep. Wagons intended for use as strollers are often deeper to support a sleepy child as well as a good amount of gear safely and comfortably.
The best folding wagons are both rugged and lightweight, enabling most users to lift them in and out of a vehicle without strain. Some weigh less than 25 pounds thanks to lightweight materials used for the frame, fabric interiors, and wheels.
Aluminum is a great choice for the frame, as it’s strong enough to haul around heavy items in the backyard garden but light enough for portability to the park. Steel frames, though more durable than aluminum, are slightly heavier.
Nylon and polyester are the most common fabrics for folding-wagon interiors. These materials are lightweight, extremely durable, and easy to clean.
Wheels come in a variety of materials, including ABS plastic, polyurethane, rubber, and hard nylon—all long lasting and suitable for wagon use.
To help products stand out from competitors, many folding-wagon manufacturers invest in innovative features, such as locking wheels, adjustable handles, cupholders, seat belts, and canopies.
- Locking wheels prevent foldable wagons from rolling away when on a slope. They are an important safety feature when children climb in and out of the wagon. Although a heavy-duty steel frame and oversize wheels help move a beach wagon across difficult terrain, their extra heft can cause the wagon to roll away, so locking wheels are a true asset.
- Adjustable handles can improve the maneuverability and functionality of even the best folding wagon. By adjusting the length or position of the handle, the user can gain better control, making the wagon easier to pull.
- Cupholders are included on some collapsible wagons to add convenience and minimize spills. Most models typically have two mesh cupholders, one on either side of the wagon.
- Seat belts are an excellent addition to any collapsible utility wagon that will be toting tots. The extra protection helps prevent little ones from falling or climbing out while the wagon is in motion.
- Canopies often are not often included with folding wagons, but some heavy-duty sports wagons do feature canopies to help protect the contents from exposure to sun and rain.
Our Top Picks
We ordered, assembled, and tested these folding wagons in our own multisurface course. Read on for individual product specs and performance details to help choose the ideal model for you.
Finding a folding wagon that can do it all is a tall order, but the MacSports Wagon Classic is filled with features and functions. This folding wagon sets up and breaks down in seconds, and its large capacity can handle most hauling tasks easily. The cargo bed measures 31.5 inches long by 17.5 inches wide by 10 inches deep.
The MacSports Wagon Classic’s steel frame and nylon fabric haul up to 150 pounds of gear while weighing just 24.5 pounds. It features rubber wheels that attach directly to the frame as well as a telescoping handle for easy maneuvering. A tug on the pull tab in the center of the wagon collapses it quickly, and it folds up to just 8 inches thick. The included storage cover makes it easy to pack away cleanly.
We appreciated the combination of simplicity and strength built into this wagon. There was plenty of cargo space for our 45-quart cooler and loaded beach bag. The heavy-duty fabric also held up perfectly while hauling a load of firewood. The 8-inch wheels maneuvered smoothly on pavement and firm unpaved/uneven ground, but they did not move well over sand. Although both the direct-attached wheel configuration and narrow wheel width make this an excellent general-purpose wagon for home, garden, camping, and shopping, its struggles on sand proved that it’s not ideal for the beach.
- Material: Steel frame and nylon fabric
- Weight capacity: 150 pounds
- Weight: 24.5 pounds
- Simple design
- Durable construction
- Easy to set up and fold away
- Folds down to just 8 inches thick
- Not made for carrying kids
- Narrow wheels struggle on sand
Get the MacSports Classic folding wagon at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Target.
Families that enjoy off-road adventures may want a wagon that can keep up. The Veer Cruiser provides the storage, safety, and capability needed to transport little ones without leaving toys and conveniences behind. It also meets several safety certifications for transporting small children. The Veer Cruiser is all about capability; it can easily carry two small kids while also accommodating an infant seat (with an adapter sold separately). The passenger and cargo bed measures 33 inches long by 18 inches wide by and 12 inches deep, with a recessed footwell in the midsection.
This wagon has a robotically welded aluminum frame, large rubber wheels, and an adjustable handle that can be used to push or pull. It also sets up and collapses easily, with flip-up side walls and a locking handle. And users can build on this modular wagon to adapt to their needs with lots of options for accessories, such as cupholders, baskets, sun shades, and other items that really improve the Veer’s versatility.
The Veer Cruiser proved to be both the sturdiest and most restricted wagon we tested. The material construction is strong enough to give it the highest weight capacity of our test group. The 12-inch rear wheels and 8-inch front wheels allowed it to roll easily over most terrain except for deep, dry sand, where it struggled.
Keep in mind, though, that its midfloor footwell, harness system, and low scooping sides proved to us that the Veer is primarily designed for transporting children. Hauling our test gear was no problem, but the locked-in-position handle and footwell in the cargo bed made it less convenient than that of conventional wagons. Also, it bears mentioning that although the fold-down process is fast and easy, the wheel configuration makes the Veer comparatively bulky, even when folded. This is an outstanding kid carrier, but when the toddlers outgrow it, users will want to move on to a different wagon.
- Material: Welded aluminum frame and nylon fabric
- Weight capacity: 350 pounds
- Weight: 32.5 pounds
- Combination stroller and wagon
- Certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
- Meets ASTM safety standards
- Cupholders and a snack and drink tray for kids
- 3-point harness system for added safety
- Premium price
- Not as compact or lightweight
- Purpose-built for carrying kids
Get the Veer folding wagon at Amazon, REI, or Nordstrom.
Good things come in small packages, and the Seina Compact Folding Utility Cart makes the case. It is strong yet lightweight and fits in the trunk of a car without hogging all the space. Plus it comes at a bargain price.
This cart features a durable-steel frame, heavy-duty polyester fabric, and 7-inch wheels with hard rubber tires. It boasts a maximum carrying capacity of 150 pounds and holds up to 4,781 cubic inches of cargo. The cargo bed measures 30.5 inches long by 16.5 inches wide by 9.5 inches deep. At 12.1 pounds, this wagon was by far the lightest one we tested, offering an excellent weight-to-strength ratio.
The Seina folding wagon performed much like our Best Overall pick yet weighs about half as much and costs less. It offers the same 150-pound carrying capacity as the MacSports Wagon Classic, but with 732 fewer cubic inches of cargo area, we were easily able to fit our 45-quart cooler, but not our loaded beach bag.
Traveling over paved and firm unpaved surfaces was no problem, but the 7-inch wheels quickly got bogged down in sand. The feature of this wagon that really stood out was storage. It was noticeably flatter and smaller than the rest of the carts, and it fit easily behind the rear seat of our van with plenty of room to spare. Those seeking a wagon to keep in the trunk of the car for help with errands should find the Seina an excellent choice.
- Material: Steel frame, polyester fabric
- Weight capacity: 150 pounds
- Weight: 12.1 pounds
- Lightweight but strong
- Compact; easy to store and carry
- Less cargo space
- No storage cover
Get the Seina folding wagon on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
For those who are looking for high-end features and durability but are within a budget, the Beau Jardin Folding Beach Wagon Cart is a nice meet-in-the-middle wagon. Though its design is simple, it boasts robust parts to improve durability, use, and longevity.
This wagon has a few stand-out features. Wide rubber wheels help distribute the weight over softer surfaces such as sand and dirt, making it easier to pull along for any adventure. Stand brackets behind the rear wheels allow it to stand freely in the folded position. It also has a telescoping handle as well as a collapsible push handle on the other end.
The cargo bed measures 31 inches long by 17.5 inches wide by 10 inches deep. It sets up easily and can carry up to 176 pounds of gear without issue, all while weighing just over 30 pounds.
Thanks to its nearly 3-inch-wide wheels, the Beau Jardin folding wagon moved extremely well on both firm and soft ground in our tests. Large lock levers on the front wheels were easily foot activated to secure the wagon on slopes. A folding U handle on the rear of the wagon made it easy for a helper to push when the load was extra heavy or the ground was quite steep. We also liked the added storage pockets on the exterior of the wagon for keeping track of small items.
We did detect two downsides: The metal stand brackets occasionally got caught on debris or dug into sand, and the swivel wheels had to be positioned just so in order to fold the wagon completely. But overall, this was one of the best carts we tested for off-road adventures, at a fairly reasonable price.
- Material: Steel frame and polyester fabric
- Weight capacity: 176 pounds
- Weight: 30.14 pounds
- Extra-wide wheels for improved control
- Built-in storage pockets and cupholders
- Telescoping pull handle and collapsible push handle
- Wheel locks
- Swivel wheels have problems turning in deep sand
- Stand brackets sometimes snag debris
Get the Beau Jardin folding wagon on Amazon.
Toting kids and their stuff is less of a slog with the Keenz Stroller Wagon. Most importantly, this stroller wagon has been safety tested and includes five-point seat belts plus a canopy for keeping small passengers protected on hot, sunny days.
The Keenz features a strong aluminum frame and durable polyester fabric, allowing it to transport up to 110 pounds of kids and gear. The passenger area measures 31 inches long by 18 inches wide by 14 inches deep. It has multipositional push handles on both ends of the wagon for a choice of steering from either end, and pivoting front wheels improve maneuverability. There’s even a soft-sided cooler and a storage cubby with pockets for phones, bottles, snacks, and other necessities.
It was immediately evident to us that Keenz approaches kid comfort and safety from a unique expansive perspective: safety harnesses, locking wheels, shade canopy, privacy screens, comfort grips, generous capacity, and the list goes on. The passenger area securely assembles by lifting the sides to the upright position and pushing out the ends until they latch. The cart maneuvered well over most types of terrain, except dry sand. The front and rear handles made it easy to push and maneuver from either end, but it lacks a conventional wagon-style pull handle. The only disappointment was in the relatively small 110-pound weight capacity.
- Material: Aluminum frame and nylon fabric
- Weight capacity: 110 pounds
- Weight: 32 pounds
- 2 adjustable 5-point harnesses
- Removable canopy
- Built-in cooler bag and cupholder
- 2 handles at opposite ends for pushing or pulling
- Low weight capacity
- Bulky when folded
Get the Keenz folding wagon at Amazon, Target, or Kohl’s.
Got gardening grunt work? Rely on the Gorilla Carts Folding Utility Wagon to move bagged soil, potted plants, bulky garden debris, and other hefty yard-related items. Its heavy-duty fabric bed measures 36 inches long by 20.5 inches wide by 15 inches deep—about twice the volume of many other folding carts—and carries up to 150 pounds. The cushioned handle, 7-inch wheels with solid rubber tires, and robust wheel locks make for easy navigation on firm ground. Interior zipper pockets provide a place to store smaller items, plus the exterior sides expand to accommodate garden tools, a folding chair, or other bulky equipment.
The Gorilla Carts Folding Utility Wagon easily accommodated our test equipment with ample room left over, so we strapped on an umbrella and a couple of folding chairs to the expandable sides. However, though it holds a lot of bulk, we wished it had a higher weight capacity to match. We had excellent results maneuvering the cart on pavement and grass, but like the other models with smaller, narrow wheels, this one could not traverse dry sand without significant effort.
We really liked the generous amount of storage capability. The giant bed holds a lot, and the expandable sides secured our add-ons nicely. Another unique feature was the space-saving way this cart folds for storage, taking up about half the space of any other cart we tested, and it neatly stands up on its own. Simply remove the rigid floorboard and pull a tab in the center of the base to fold the wagon. The folding floorboard strapped neatly to the folded wagon for convenient, secure storage. All in all, it’s a solid choice for gardening and beyond.
- Material: Steel frame and heavy-duty sport fabric
- Weight capacity: 150 pounds
- Weight: 21 pounds
- Huge cargo volume
- Requires half the storage space compared to other folding carts
- Lightweight but durable construction
- Small wheels do not work well on soft ground
- Limited weight capacity does not match the big volume
Get the Gorilla Carts folding wagon at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Wayfair.
For a wagon that can roll fully loaded across a sandy beach, check out the MacSports All-Terrain Beach Wagon. This wagon features 4-inch-wide, 10-inch-tall wheels to help distribute the weight over softer surfaces while also allowing it to clear tall obstructions such as parking-lot curbs and rocks. With the wheels attached to the handle, this wagon is ultraeasy to maneuver in tight places.
The aluminum frame and durable polyester fabric allow this wagon to carry up to 150 pounds while weighing only about 22 pounds itself. The cargo bed measures 32 inches long by 17.5 inches wide by 10 inches deep. It also features a telescoping handle and a center-mounted pull tab for easy fold up and storage, packing down to about 10 inches thick. The MacSports All-Terrain Beach Wagon offered plenty of cargo capacity for our cooler and beach bag, with enough extra space for an umbrella and a couple of chairs.
As we put the wagon through its paces, what really stood out was the articulating front axle. This was the only folding wagon we tested that did not rely on swivel casters fixed-mounted to the frame. The axle configuration gave us significantly more control for stability and maneuverability on uneven terrain and soft surfaces. This was easily the best cart for sand, including the soft, dry sand at the beach.
Unfortunately, we didn’t like the way the hard plastic wheels rolled on pavement. They tended to grind and slip whenever they encountered stray sticks or gravel.
- Material: Steel frame and nylon fabric
- Weight capacity: 150 pounds
- Weight: 22 pounds
- Articulating front axle
- Adjustable wide-loop handle
- Extra-large wheels manage difficult terrain with ease
- Ultraviolet- and mildew-resistant 600D fabric
- Smooth plastic wheels slip on paved surfaces
- Wheels do not lock
Get the MacSports all-terrain folding wagon at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Target.
Campers, traveling sports families, and festivalgoers have one thing in common: They tote a lot of gear. The MacSports Double-Decker Wagon not only carries a large load but also keeps it well organized and accessible, too. The heavy-duty nylon upper compartment measures 29.5 inches long by 17.5 inches wide by 10 inches deep, while the lower compartment measures 37 inches long (with the 12-inch tailgate lowered) by 16.5 inches wide by 7.5 inches deep. The 8-inch rubber-tread wheels roll easily across paved and unpaved, uneven terrain.
The MacSports Double-Decker Wagon offered more than enough space to store our testing gear. The cooler and beach bag easily fit into the upper compartment, and the lower compartment held two folding chairs and an umbrella with no problem. We especially liked having the elevated upper deck to load a heavy cooler with less bending.
A few issues kept this model from taking our top spot. As with many of the others we tested, the wheels are simply too narrow to navigate soft sand easily. Plus, the cart itself is about 5 pounds heavier than most of the others, so loading and unloading it into a vehicle is more cumbersome. But if you carry piles of stuff and stick to firm ground, this wagon would be a big help.
- Material: Steel frame and nylon fabric
- Weight capacity: 150 pounds
- Weight: 27 pounds
- Hauls more cargo than other wagons
- Upper basket reduces bending
- Folding tailgate supports longer items
- Keeps items organized
- No storage cover
- Heavier than other folding wagons
Get the MacSports double-decker folding wagon at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Camping World.
Those in the market for a folding wagon typically want one that’s easy to operate and has ample capacity to haul their stuff. Specialty features and over-the-top heavy-duty construction don’t seem to move the needle that much. Going into the testing process, we were of the opinion that a well-made lightweight wagon with basic functionality would win the day. To that end, the MacSports Classic folding wagon is an all-purpose carrier that offers durable functionality at a fair price.
However, we also understood that some folks are specifically interested in a rugged and safe all-terrain carrier for children. We found that the Veer folding wagon offers superior safety and outstanding craftsmanship to keep little ones safe and comfortable during long days exploring the wilds or visiting the city.
How We Tested the Best Folding Wagons
To gauge the usefulness of folding wagons, we assembled, loaded, and tested each one and scored them based on a testing rubric. The first part of the rubric compared measurable physical features such as cargo volume, weight capacity, wheel size, and handle length. The second part of the rubric scored performance based on subjective observations, such as ease of use.
We unfolded and loaded each cart with a 45-quart cooler filled with ice, a beach bag full of towels and toys, and—where space allowed—an umbrella and two folding chairs. Then we pulled the wagon through a course that included a sidewalk, flat lawn, sloped lawn, and dry sand. After running the course, we folded the wagons again for storage. We noted subjective observations such as ease of assembly and folding, perceived durability, and whether we felt the product represented a fair value for the price. All the wagons included in this guide performed adequately or better in every category, with the exception of operating on sand. As noted in the detailed reviews, only two performed adequately on sand.
Even if you have your eye on one of the best folding wagons we tested, you might still want more info. Below is a collection of some of the most commonly asked questions about folding wagons, so see if our answers tell you what you need to know.
Q. How much do folding wagons weigh?
The weight of a folding wagon depends on the specific model. Typically, a folding wagon will weigh about 20 to 40 pounds. Wagons made of aluminum tend to be lighter than steel models but may sacrifice some overall durability.
Q. Is a folding wagon good for the beach?
Traditional wagons fail terribly at the beach, but the lightweight nature of a folding wagon paired with oversize tires will allow you to haul a cooler, towels, sunscreen, and other gear across dry sand with relative ease.
Q. Can kids sit in a folding wagon?
It depends on the specific product, but yes, most folding wagons have a high enough weight capacity to allow a child to sit in the wagon. However, only some products have safety features, such as seat belts, to help keep kids safe, so if toting tots will be the wagon’s primary purpose, look for a stroller-wagon hybrid specifically designed for the job.
Q. How do you open a folding wagon?
Most folding wagons come with instructions from the manufacturer. If the wagon you’re considering offers a video about opening and collapsing the wagon, watch that to get an idea. Opening might require moving and locking wheels, handles, or other parts in place.
Q. How do you fold up a wagon?
For most wagons, just reverse the opening procedure. Typically, wagons have a pull tab on the bottom of the wagon. A gentle tug will unlock the frame, allowing you to easily collapse it down to a tight package.