3 out of 5 stars
- large capacity for transporting things
- wheels roll smoothly
- can be condensed (when empty) to be compact
- retractable handle
- relatively inexpensive
- awkward to move when not rolling i.e. when you need to pick it up
- large and can get heavy when filled
- pieces for holding the shape don’t attach the best, along the top
- wheels are noisy (no sneaking up on anyone with this in tow!)
Once a month I volunteer for the CCFA (Crohn’s Colitis Foundation of America) where I facilitate a support group. I bring brochures and handouts/articles for the attendees to take as needed. When I started, I loaded everything into a large bag. I created a binder with tabbed pockets for the handouts. My shoulder would ache after a meeting from lugging it around that day, and then the bag strap started to tear. I knew I wanted something rolling to lug the papers around in – it would just make things easier. I considered many options and decided on this portable folding cart from Office Max.
Let me be blunt, I liked the price – at $20.99 it was affordable, unlike the roller and catalog cases which most often were over $100.00. The folding cart also inspired an idea about changing how I would organize the articles I brought to each meeting, which has turned out to be quite successful. The size allows me to have 2 smaller desktop hanging file organizers inside the folding cart organizing the paperwork for the meetings (one of which is pictured here).
The larger of the desktop hanging file organizers is pulled out completely for each meeting and then sits on the table (more fitting for it’s name than living inside the cart most of each month). The size of the cart of the file organizer makes it relatively easy to pull out and put back in. Since the size of the cart is large, I also have room for a smaller file organizer that holds the brochures and sign-in sheets, this is also easy to pull out and put away as necessary.
I was admittedly surprised by the noise of the wheels. You definitely will not be able to sneak up on anyone, yet the wheels seem to work on every surface you’d likely encounter. The handle retracts and extends as needed. There is a slight flimsy feel to it, though I have encountered no problems in the 6 months I have been using it.
As soon as I had filled it, I knew there would some areas that it would bother me. Our home has stairs at both entrances – which means I have to pick the whole cart up and carry it up or down those stairs. (Yes, I considered leaving it in the garage, but this isn’t feasible.) Since the cart is large, it is bulky and not convenient for carrying around, even short distances. This applies to lifting it into and out of the trunk of the car. Once I accidentally caught one corner as I was putting it down and cracked the plastic. Fortunately the cart still functions as it had before this accident.
Another aspect of needing to pick it up and carry it however briefly – is that it gets heavy when you have things inside it. This is rather intuitive – of course it’s heavy when it’s loaded with stuff. The other aspect is that there are these little pieces of plastic that you attach to 2 sides of the top to help keep the square shape. They live close to the handles you use for picking the cart up. They don’t attach the best – most every time I pick it up, I need to push these pieces back down (wondering when I will forget to do that and they will fall off, unnoticed).
If you find yourself needing a portable folding cart, this is something to consider. Although there are several aspects I struggle with, overall it is serving me well. It continues to provide the benefits that matter most to me – portability and consistency. It’s still working as well as it was over 6 months ago when it was brand new and considering the price – I am satisfied (not thrilled, yet how often can be thrilled by products?).
* There is a similar one offered by Office Depot as well.
** As usual, I have not received anything for this review. 🙂