Garden Gear - Accessories

Garden wheelbarrows reviewed

By
Judith Adam and Stephen Westcott-Gratton
Photography by
Mark Burstyn and Roger Yip

Our contributors test drive the latest gardening pickups

Wheelbarrow-3.jpg

Allsop 27649 WheelEasy Garden Cart

Representing a radical departure in wheelbarrow construction, the WheelEasy was designed to be lightweight and easy to store while performing all the functions of a traditional wheelbarrow, without requiring a bodybuilder to operate. And by and large, the engineers have succeeded.

Weighing just 9.5 kilograms, the WheelEasy has just one tire, but instead of a metal or plastic tray, its body is made of water-repellent fabric capable of carrying loads up to 160 kilograms. Although it's designed with a low centre of gravity to help stabilize loads, Judith and I found that the more weight we piled into it, the less stable it became. Two metal cotter pins can be removed when the cart is not in use, allowing the frame to collapse and the barrow to be rolled up like a large patio umbrella for compact storage. $129

Wheelbarrow-4.jpgLee Valley Low Rider Cart (right)
Virtually identical to the WheelEasy cart above, the Low Rider comes with the same heavy-gauge steel handles, tear-resistant fabric and 33-centimetre tire. But make no mistake: while these modified wheelbarrows are good for light- to medium-sized gardening chores, they will never completely replace the conventional wheelbarrow. As Judith observed, “I wouldn't suggest mixing cement in them!”

Nevertheless, we both agreed that the Low Rider was marvellous for raking up leaves, with cart and rake mimicking a giant dustpan and broom. Because the sling rests at ground level, we gave it full marks for weeding convenience. $129

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