Managing a classroom is no easy feat—and the younger the students are, the trickier it gets. A teacher needs to juggle different roles, including that of an expert organizer. Everything must be in its proper place on the day and time that it’s needed, such as books, lessons, materials, visual aids, printouts, supplies, and test papers, you name it.
For this reason, teachers find themselves constantly bringing stuff to and from school. Teachers like you know how backbreaking this routine can get if you don’t wise up. The results of a survey carried out by Backcare.org.uk show that 98% of the respondents, who were teachers, experienced work-related discomforts while 88% reported back pain.
This survey emphasizes how crucial it is for you to look after your health. It recommends, among other things, the use of back-friendly equipment, such as rolling carts or dolly, to save you countless trips from your house to your car, to your classroom, and back.
One of the important questions to ask is: will any cart do? The quick answer is no. A cart has to address your specific needs and situation. And although you cannot customize carts to your exact needs, you can choose the one that matches your requirements the most.
In this article, we’ll go through the basics of choosing the best rolling carts for teachers—the essential features, why these features are valuable for teachers, and the top rolling carts that made it onto our list.
|Name||VersaCart’s Utility Cart||ECR4Kids MemoryStor Universal Rolling Cart||Olympia Luggage Rolling Tote||Smart Cart Rolling Multipurpose Collapsible Cart||ROYI 2018 Latest Stair Climbing Cart|
|Max weight capacity||120 lb||65 lb||Users have safely loaded to 35 lb||110 lb||75 lb|
|Dimensions||21”H x 17”W x 18”D||16.5”H x 17.5”W x 15.25”D||20”H x 14”W x 8”D||18.8”H x 13”W x 4.5”D||24.8”H x 12.2”W x 10.2”D|
|Cubic capacity||3.72 cu ft||2.54 cu ft||1.3 cu ft||0.6 cu ft||1.78 cu ft|
|Wheels||Swivel double front wheels; double rear wheels||Pair of rear wheels and front support||A pair of rear wheels on one axle (one-directional) and front support||A pair of rear wheels and front support||Heavy-duty wheels; tri-wheel design|
|Weight||9 lb||10.5 lb||4.2 lb||3.0 lb||7.0 lb|
|Materials||Steel frame; nylon canvas bag; rubber wheels||Heavy-duty molded plastic frame; vinyl-coated nylon canvas bag; rubber wheels||Metal frame; plastic-lined polyester canvas bag; heavy-duty composite plastic wheels||Metal handle; thick weather-proof fabric canvas bag; plastic wheels||Stainless steel frame; water-proof canvas bag; rubber wheels|
|Handle description||Thick easy-grip double handles; a pair of fabric straps||Telescoping loop handle with hand holes on the front and back of the frame||Telescoping loop handle with two strap handles attached on the front and back of the bag||Extendable; with non-slip rubber grip||Extendable; with non-slip rubber grip; with three grip levels|
|Where to buy|
What makes the best rolling cart for teachers like you?
The cart’s features must match what a teacher needs, or more specifically—what you need. Ask yourself these questions:
- What stuff do I normally bring to and from the classroom?
- Do I mainly tow heavy textbooks and sheaves of paper?
- What supplies and instruments do I typically bring for my class?
- How heavy, thick, or large are these items?
- What’s the ground’s surface like along my usual route?
These questions will lead you to the relevant specs to look for in a cart, some of which we’ve listed below.
Carts are usually described by their length, width, and depth expressed in inches or centimeters. These dimensions will give you a rough idea about the suitability of a cart for your needs.
Not all cart manufacturers provide information as to their product’s maximum weight capacity, although they should. You have to look for this specification especially if you’re buying a cart for heavy stuff. It is expressed in pounds but should not be mistaken for the cart’s weight which is also in pounds. Be conservative and choose a cart with a capacity that’s twice the weight of your typical load. It will not only keep you from harm’s way but also extend the cart’s lifespan.
Most carts have two wheels, while some have three or four wheels. In a four-wheel design, the cart rolls on a horizontal plane. All four wheels bear the total weight. By comparison, the cart tilts toward the user in a two-wheel design. The wheels take most of the weight, but the user also has to exert force to bear some fraction of the total weight.
Two-wheel carts have a pair of rear wheels with front supports or feet to keep the cart balanced when not rolling. We do think, however, that a couple of front wheels is more useful for teachers than rigid front supports.
On the other hand, multidirectional wheels make turning curbs and corners much easier, while large wheels will be more maneuverable on grassy or uneven ground surfaces than small wheels. If your situation requires you to climb a few steps or a flight of stairs, then you should look for a cart with stair-climbing wheels.
Some carts have two separate handles with rubber grips. Most of the carts we’ve seen have continuous loop-style handles. A retractable or telescoping handle would be a good idea—one which accommodates different heights and reduces to a minimum for easy storage. Consider your height and how high the handle extends. If you’re very tall, a short handle will not be ergonomically suitable for you.
Pick a frame that’s sturdy enough for your stuff. You can choose between steel, aluminum, and heavy-duty composite plastic. Take note that steel, though more durable than aluminum or plastic, will also be significantly heavier. Choose a waterproof, or at least water-resistant, material for the sides and the lid.
There will be times when you’ll need to store your cart away or stash it in your car’s trunk. A cart that’s light enough to carry or lift will be easier on your spine. Better still, it should be foldable with a handle that’s retractable. Portability increases a cart’s usability. On the other hand, a cart with too many moving or folding parts will have issues with strength and stability. The key here is to keep that delicate balance between the cart’s stability and folding ability.
Our Picks for the Top 5 Best Rolling Carts for Teachers
We consulted customer reviews to find out their experiences and to help us review and compile our list of the best rolling carts for teachers.
1. VersaCart’s Utility Cart
- Max weight capacity: 120 lb
- Dimensions: 21”H x 17”W x 18”D
- Cubic capacity: 3.72 cu ft
- Wheels: Swivel double front wheels; double rear wheels
- Weight: 9 lb
- Foldable (Yes/No): Yes
- Materials: Steel frame; nylon canvas bag; rubber wheels
- Handle description: Thick easy-grip double handles; a pair of fabric straps
VersaCart’s multifunction rolling cart is the only cart in our list that has four wheels—and double wheels at that! This combination makes it highly stable and maneuverable. You must have already seen a good number of carts by now. If you look closely, VersaCart doesn’t appear to be particularly large. Looks can be deceiving, though, because it actually has a good-sized interior to accommodate the odds and ends that teachers routinely lug to school. It has the largest cubic capacity among all the carts that we’ve reviewed for this article. Find more about this cart’s specs below.
- Minimal assembly – simply snap on the front wheels, unfold the cart, and it’s good to go.
- Detachable bag – has extra straps and a lid – the bag is also waterproof
- Fast, compact storage – the cart unfolds in seconds. Once it’s empty, you can fold it like an umbrella and let it stand neatly in a corner. It hardly takes up any room, which is a big deal if your car’s trunk has limited space.
- Easy to push and pull – Users say it rolls smoothly and is easy to steer.
- Users say the rubber wheels roll quietly – this is a huge plus when carting along corridors while classes are going on.
- Wheels are a bit too close to each other – People with long strides will find their toes hitting the wheels if they walk behind the cart. Some users found a way around that though. Since the cart is easy to maneuver even when fully loaded, they steer it with one hand and walk beside it instead.
- Handles are not extendable – You may have to bend if you’re taller than average. An important detail to consider before buying this cart is the handle’s height from the ground, which is 37.5”.
- Users complain that the wheels broke within 6 months of use – It’s not surprising for wheels to be the first to give way because they bear all the weight.
- It has no compartments for organizing items – Obviously, this limitation is the tradeoff for its substantial interior space.
- Not a stair-climbing cart – If you need something to help you get past a flight of stairs, then it’s not the ideal cart for you. If it’s only a few steps, however, say three or four steps, you can safely pull this cart from behind.
2. ECR4Kids MemoryStor Universal Rolling Cart
- Max weight capacity: 65 lb
- Dimensions: 16.5”H x 17.5”W x 15.25”D
- Cubic capacity: 2.54 cu ft
- Wheels: Pair of rear wheels and front support
- Weight: 10.5 lb
- Foldable (Yes/No): Yes
- Materials: Heavy-duty molded plastic frame; vinyl-coated nylon canvas bag; rubber wheels
- Handle description: Telescoping loop handle with hand holes on the front and back of the frame
Capacity and maneuverability are not the only factors to consider. If keeping your stuff organized is of prime importance, then you shouldn’t miss ECR4Kids’ MemoryStor rolling cart. It has a saddle-style bag with multiple pockets of various sizes. This feature helps you not only move stuff around but also arrange items in a systematic way.
- Very easy to assemble – It entails snapping the molded plastic panels together, attaching the plastic rails, slipping the organizer bag on, and that’s about it.
- Easy to load and sort – With an assortment of over 30 pockets, loading becomes synonymous with organizing. It’s easier to retrieve items this way than piling them on top of each other. Tubes and bottles will remain upright inside the long pockets, while a small laptop or other flat gadgets will be safe inside the zipped front compartment.
- Adjustable handle – The handle adjusts and locks in three different positions to a maximum length of 23”. At this extended length, it will be higher from the ground than the VersaCart by 2”.
- Flat storage – The bottom of the ECR4Kids MemoryStor cart is flat and hard, so books and stacks of paper will keep their shape better in this cart than in soft-based models.
- Plenty of room – The bag’s interior crate area is spacious and can accommodate legal-sized documents laid flat or upright.
- Not as quick to fold as the VersaCart – If you need to constantly fold your cart, this may not be the perfect one for you.
- Can’t climb stairs – There’s no way to make this box cart climb stairs because of its fabric-covered back. The only way to bring it up or down some steps is to lift it using the hand holes.
- It’s heavier than the VersaCart and most carts
- Not all compartments have flaps, fastenings or zippers – although there’s a lid on top and some outer pockets have coverings.
3. Olympia Luggage Rolling Tote
- Max weight capacity: Users have safely loaded to 35 lb
- Dimensions: 20”H x 14”W x 8”D
- Cubic capacity: 1.3 cu ft
- Wheels: A pair of rear wheels on one axle (one-directional) and front support
- Weight: 4.2 lb
- Foldable (Yes/No): No
- Materials: Metal frame; plastic-lined polyester canvas bag; heavy-duty composite plastic wheels
- Handle description: Telescoping loop handle with two strap handles attached on the front and back of the bag
If basket-style carts and square utility boxes don’t appeal to you, why don’t you take a look at Olympia’s luggage-style tote? Many teachers prefer this cart for its slim, lightweight, and elegant form.
- Delivered fully assembled – This rolling tote is usable right out of the box.
- Carries only roughly a third of what the VersaCart does – Though, it has exterior front and side pockets for organizing items.
- Cart’s bottom is made of rigid heavy-duty plastic – This provides adequate support for irregularly-shaped items.
- Lightweight – The Olympia rolling cart is one of the few light carts out there. You can alternately lift and roll it with relative ease.
- Users report that wheels are solid and quiet
- Wheels are small and single-directional – If you’re thinking about rolling your cart on uneven ground or snow, find one with bigger wheels.
- Non-compact storage – Except for the handle that retracts to a minimum length, the rest of the cart does not collapse to a compact storage size.
- Handle doesn’t lock when extended – This is fine when you’re pulling the cart but far from ideal when you’re pushing it.
- Bag droops forward when loaded – though it looks quite structured in the photo.
- Cannot climb stairs or steps – You’ll have to lift it, and it has fabric straps for that purpose.
4. Smart Cart Rolling Multipurpose Collapsible Cart
- Max weight capacity: 110 lb
- Dimensions: 18.8”H x 13”W x 4.5”D
- Cubic capacity: 0.6 cu ft
- Wheels: A pair of rear wheels and front support
- Weight: 3.0 lb
- Foldable (Yes/No): Yes
- Materials: Metal handle; thick weather-proof fabric canvas bag; plastic wheels
- Handle description: Extendable; with non-slip rubber grip
We recommend the Smart Cart as one of the best rolling carts for teachers for its relative lightness. It is convenient to tug along, has a lid, and is weather-proof. It won’t disappoint if what you’re looking for is a handy cart for transporting and keeping supplies and multiple small items intact.
- Bag is sturdy and holds its shape – Users say it doesn’t droop or go limp.
- Users say it folds and opens with ease
- Ideal for travel by bus – It doesn’t get in the way and is apparently light enough to lift when you go up and down steps.
- Compact – You should have no problem fitting it in a small trunk.
- Users say the wheels roll smoothly even when fully loaded
- According to users, stated maximum weight capacity may be incorrect – We advise you to not fill it anywhere near half of 110lb.
- The wheels are not sturdy – Users say they will not take rough handling, so go easy with your steering!
- Noisy – Unlike the previous carts, users say the Smart Cart’s wheels are noisy.
- Only one fabric strap – Two straps would have been more functional.
- Cannot hang items – Users say the sides of the cart are not rigid enough to support the weight of hanging items, which is contrary to what’s shown in the photo. You won’t be able to use it for hanging files.
5. ROYI 2018 Latest Stair Climbing Cart
- Max weight capacity: 75 lb
- Dimensions: 24.8”H x 12.2”W x 10.2”D
- Cubic capacity: 1.78 cu ft
- Wheels: Heavy-duty wheels; tri-wheel design
- Weight: 7.0 lb
- Foldable (Yes/No): Yes
- Materials: Stainless steel frame; water-proof canvas bag; rubber wheels
- Handle description: Extendable; with non-slip rubber grip; with three grip levels
As you have seen, some carts may need to be lifted or carried on shoulders when going up or down a flight of stairs. If that’s not your idea of a useful and versatile cart, then perhaps what you need is ROYI’s latest stair climbing cart. Check out its other qualities which we believe make it one of the best rolling carts for teachers.
- Climbing cart – This ROYI cart is not only capable of taking a few steps; it is actually designed for climbing and going downstairs.
- Quick assembly – Assembling this cart typically takes only about a couple of minutes. Simply snap the parts into place, and it’s ready to work.
- Quiet – Users say the rubber wheels hardly make any sound.
- Versatile – You can use the cart as a dolly or hand truck without the bag. It has a platform where you can set boxes, suitcases, or other items that don’t fit inside the bag.
- The handle has three grip levels – The highest grip is 41.5” from the ground. A tall person will find carts with high handles more comfortable to steer than one with lower handles.
- Front support or kickstand tends to fold down on its own – Design upgrades must include a lock to prevent accidental folding.
- Plastic grip is not as durable as the rest of the cart – Some users have already complained that the plastic portion of the handle cracked after a few uses.
- You can’t trust the cart for loads beyond 30 pounds – Especially when climbing stairs. Doing so will be unsafe and will reduce the cart’s life.
- Users report that it’s somewhat tippy when empty – Also, the plastic handle’s design makes it difficult to hang. These are non-issues if you have room for storing the folded cart flat.
- Turning problems – Users say the wheels are not as great at turning tight corners as they are at climbing stairs. If your usual route has more sharp turns than steps to climb, then you’ll be better off with multidirectional wheels instead of tri-wheels.
The best rolling carts for teachers are a combination of many things. Like any other cart, these carts must be capable of carrying their intended load. That’s the basic requirement. The rest is about matching various features and specs to your own unique needs. The right cart will not only help you become an efficient teacher but also protect you from discomforts and musculoskeletal disorders.