Hand carts offer a convenient way to lug your gear into the wild, but what the perfect cart looks like is open for debate. Interesting modular creations are popping up everywhere at the moment, and the team at Polymule thinks it has nailed the formula with its collapsible, rugged new trailer.
When we say collapsible, we really mean it. The frame, wheels and axle can all be taken off and stowed without any tools. The whole process takes around five minutes, making the cart easy to slot into the back of a regular car. The ability to compress it into a small package gives the Polymule a practical edge on some of the other offerings out there like, say, the Real Wheel.
In the wild, you're likely to appreciate the 20-in (51-cm) of ground clearance afforded by those 26-in (66-cm) wheels. They roll on sealed bearings, designed to make heavy loads feel light when the cart gets rolling. They should also hold up well when faced with dust, water and any of the other stuff thrown at the cart when you're exploring the wilderness.
The tray itself is made of polyethylene, and measures 46-in (117-cm) long and 32-in (81-cm) wide. Total luggage space is pegged at 15 cu.ft (425 liters), and peak payload is 300 lb (136 kg). Made of thermoplastic polyethylene, the company says the load area will stand up to daily abuse without complaint – not only is it strong, the material can survive extreme cold and won't suffer UV damage.
The rugged load area is hooked up to folding handles with a textured, padded grip, designed to ensure you don't need gloves for comfortable hauling. When you reach base camp, the handle folds to act like a giant kickstand for the tray. The folding handle also makes it easier for users to step into the driving position, or pick up heavy loads without bending over and straining their backs.
If you're carting something that you don't wan to get wet, or simply like keeping your load out of view, the Polymule can be coupled with a bespoke weatherproof cover. It's held up by acetal poles and nylon straps, with reinforced zippers to keep out the rain. Depending on the success of its crowdfunding campaign, the trailer might also be available with an LED lighting add-on or an ATV trailer hitch.
Polymule is seeking funding on Kickstarter at the moment, where it has raised more than US$6,000 of its $250,000 goal with 19 days remaining. Early birds can reserve a cart for $319, or $419 including the weatherproof cover. Should it make the market, the Idaho-based team behind Polymule says the cart will cost $710.
No matter how cool the design – and there are definitely some good ideas baked into the Polymule – that seems exorbitant. As we pointed out when covering the Kyboka, there are plenty of hand carts on sale for around $100. Although they won't go nearly as far off-road, there are lots of ways to haul heavy loads around rough terrain already. Kickstarter will have the final say.
Check it out in the video below.