A trusty wheelbarrow is an essential for a huge variety of different outdoor jobs, from pruning flowers to building a treehouse and just general garden tidying. Handy for use both in allotments and larger gardens, it’s a versatile piece of kit and makes quick work of otherwise difficult tasks.
How to choose your wheelbarrow
While we’re probably all familiar with the standard steel wheelbarrow you can find in most garden centres, there’s actually a huge variety of options out there. With so many different models on offer, you’re sure to find one to suit your needs.
A single-wheel pushcart will have a good level of maneuverability, ideal for small spaces, but less stability with heavy loads or on uneven ground than an option with two or three. You’ll also find garden wheelbarrows with a closed handlebar, as opposed to two straight handles, which makes pulling heavy loads much easier.
Choosing the material of the tray is probably the most significant decision you’ll need to make. Most of the best wheelbarrows are constructed from steel, for heavy-duty jobs, or plastic, for light work and easy transportation. But these days there are a few eco-friendly options around too.
Then, of course, there are your own personal requirements to consider: any mobility problems you have, where you’ll store your wheelbarrow and how much you value aesthetics. We’ve selected a range of options to tick all the different boxes.
The best wheelbarrows for your garden or allotment
County Compact Clipper Wheelbarrow, 90L
Made from a mixture of polypropylene and rust-resistant zinc-plating, and fitted with a pneumatic tube for quick puncture repairs, the Clipper Wheelbarrow is a practical choice. Despite being lightweight, it can carry a load of up to 90 litres, thanks in part to its double-bearing wheels and high-grade wheel bracket.
You’ll need to assemble this garden wheelbarrow on arrival, but the process is quick and simple.
Chillington County Galvanised Wheelbarrow, 120L
- Buy now from Wickes (£64.00)
If you’re after a reliable option within an affordable price bracket, this is one of the best wheelbarrows on the market. Whether you need to transport heavy building materials or just take your lawnmower cuttings to the wheelie bin, its galvanised steel tray and pneumatic, puncture-resistant tyres should be up to the job.
You’ll be able to transport loads of up to 200kg, and easy-grip handles lend added comfort.
VonHaus Wheelbarrow, 78L
For smart design, try this compact wheelbarrow from Vonhaus. The frame is made from robust steel and the 78L plastic tray has enough space to transport medium-sized loads weighing up to 100kg.
Plus, the two wheels give it extra stability; ideal for sloped gardens or rough terrain.
Lasher Ecobarrow, 70L
An innovative, sustainable solution, this option from Harrod Horticultural is made from 100% recyclable material and as such is resistant to rust and corrosion. In fact, it’s one of the best wheelbarrows for anyone interested in sustainability and reducing plastic use in the garden.
The pan has a 70-litre, 200kg capacity and an ergonomic handle for good grip and easy manoeuvring. Plus, the Ecobarrow is easy to clean and comes with a five-year manufacturer's guarantee for peace of mind.
Outsunny Heavy Duty 4 Wheel Trolley, 125L
This option is one of the best wheelbarrows for anyone who has trouble lifting things or just wants to take the hassle out of their gardening projects. Its four wheels, powder-coated steel frame and pneumatic, steel-rimmed tyres make it a stable and sturdy piece of kit, unlikely to tip to the side and drop the load in transit.
When you need to empty the wheelbarrow, you can set the tub to tip by 75 degrees.
Bullbarrow Bronco Duo Wheelbarrow, 110L
The Bullbarrow Bronco Duo makes a great all-rounder. It comes with a steel frame, 110L capacity and two pneumatic tyres for stability. Plus, you can choose from a range of fun colours, including red, orange and blue, so it’ll add a cheerful touch to your garden.
Sherpa Tools Power Barrow, 170L
Far from your average garden wheelbarrow, this unusual model is battery powered and moves heavy loads for you. Just squeeze the trigger to control the speed and use the brake lever to stop. When you’re ready to empty out the contents, you can use the tipping mechanism to upturn the powder-coated steel tray without having to lift the frame.
The wheelbarrow has a 170L capacity and can hold loads weighing up to 150kg, so it should be able to cope with most gardening jobs.
Plus, topping up the power is simple, thanks to the removable 24v battery pack, which you can take indoors to charge.
Bucketbarrow Wheelbarrow Kit, 88L/130L
For maximum convenience, try this ‘bucketbarrow’ with individual compartments to help you separate different materials. In the smaller, green design, you get four 15L containers and a metal-edged scoop pan, and you can lift them all out to collect materials and tip them into the wheelie bin.
If you don’t want to use a combination of the buckets, you can remove them completely to make full use of the 88L tray underneath. It can hold a total weight of 150kg, while each of the four containers have handy litre markings on both the inside and outside to help you measure their contents.
There’s also a bigger version of the Bucketbarrow available, with a 130L and 200kg load capacity; perfect for large gardens.
Haemmerlin Vibrante Pick Up, 110L
Have you ever become frustrated by long-handled tools sliding around in your wheelbarrow? This clever design removes the problem with small grooves to keep spades, rakes and other implements in place as you travel.
You can choose between a pneumatic or puncture-resistant wheel. And there’s even a measuring scale inside the tray to help you when mixing formulas.
Take a look at our list of the best water butts for more garden equipment.
Handy Large Garden Trolley THLGT
While not strictly a garden wheelbarrow, this trolley-style carrier is a great alternative if you have particularly large quantities to move. The tray has 119cm x 58cm of space inside, but all four walls are removable, making it easy to transport awkwardly-shaped loads.
With steel construction and puncture-proof tyres, it’s able to carry up to 350kg in weight, while the ball bearing wheels and turntable steering boost its maneuverability.
Walsall Barrow In A Box Galvanised Duraball Wheelbarrow, 85L
One of the more unusual garden wheelbarrows, this alternative product swaps wheels for a single puncture-proof ball, designed to boost maneuverability in confined spaces. According to existing users, it’s more suited to transporting lighter loads than heavier materials like gravel and stone, but copes well on tricky surfaces.
Walsall Black Metal Heavy Duty Wheelbarrow, 85L
If you need to transport fairly heavy loads or have a big gardening project coming up, this heavy-duty wheelbarrow should meet your needs. A reliable and sturdy option, it has a maximum capacity of 85 litres or 150kg. Plus, it comes with a puncture-resistant wheel for added durability and peace of mind.
Walsall Multi-Purpose Wheelbarrow, 90L
- Buy in green from Wilko (£45.00), Argos (£65.00) and VioVet (£88.99)
- Buy in lilac from Mano Mano (£69.75), Cherry Lane (£79.99)
- Buy in burgundy, green or lime green from Equus (£90.00)
Here’s a garden wheelbarrow you may not have seen before. If you’re bored of investing in dark-coloured products for your outdoor tasks, why not jazz up your space with this lilac number? It may not be the most sophisticated model on the market, but it’s a great everyday option for those who want to inject a sense of fun into their jobs.
And if lilac’s not your colour of choice, don’t worry - this wheelbarrow also comes in burgundy and both lime and racing green. For extra durability, opt for the version with a puncture-proof wheel.
If you’ve got a small outdoor area or need a carrier to take between different sites, this collapsible garden wheelbarrow could be just what you need. Thanks to its easy-to-use design, you can fold it up and pop it in the car boot, and hang it from its handy loop when you’re done for the day.
With a strong metal frame, the wheelbarrow can hold loads of up to 20kg, and the PVC-backed polyester bag should be easy to clean.
Short on space? You can find the best kit for small gardens in our dedicated article.
If you've already got a wheelbarrow or you want to maximise space in your new one, why not buy a clever 'booster' which increases capacity by up to 300%? It's ideal for loose materials like grass clippings, leaves and compost, and it should attach to most wheelbarrows. Just stretch the elasticated section over the rim of your tray to set it in place.
If the carrier gets mucky, you can wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
Katie is Editorial & Digital Assistant on Gardens Illustrated
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