Outdoors

Collapsible cart rolls to the wilderness, acts as a waterproof basecamp

The big wheels on the Polymule give it a very handy ground clearance 
The big wheels on the Polymule give it a very handy ground clearance 
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The Polymule handle folds in half to hold the trailer up
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The Polymule handle folds in half to hold the trailer up
The Polymule is made of UV and cold-resistant polyethylene 
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The Polymule is made of UV and cold-resistant polyethylene 
The big wheels on the Polymule give it a very handy ground clearance 
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The big wheels on the Polymule give it a very handy ground clearance 
The dimensions of the Polymule 
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The dimensions of the Polymule 

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 Polymule handle folds in half to hold the trailer up
The Polymule handle folds in half to hold the trailer up

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.

The Polymule is made of UV and cold-resistant polyethylene 
The Polymule is made of UV and cold-resistant polyethylene 

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.

Source: Polymule

Polymule - a Handcart for Adventure, Work, and Survival.

7 comments
tomtoys
This concept could be developed for the homeless, a cart to lug belongings during the day, fold out to a 2x1metre platform for night with tented covering.
toyhouse
I wasn't too surprised to find out not long ago that wheels used this way in many parks aren't allowed. Ok to go from car to campsite - not on trails. Perhaps things have changed as groups with disabilities were looking for changes in the law. Some companies make rolling backpacks with a single wheel for those with bad knees etc., and even those didn't comply when I last checked. In some areas, I guess it's understandable, (erosion etc.?),. In other areas, it makes no sense. Again, maybe things have changed recently. Just throwing that out there.
Cwolf
The core problem in any cart intended for the woods is brakes. Try going downhill with 300 pounds.
chase
Now this is one of first ideas that one could consider useful in camping ice seen on New Atlas in a long time. That said, is been done. There are several out there. Several DIY versions more suited for true hiking. The 20" clearance, great! But in order to achieve the clearance and maintain balance when loaded. The wheel base had to be widened. Making it impractical for hiking trails. Roads maybe. Open terrain and fields... But not trails or through a dense forest. For that it's been found you need something about body width. Light weight, non puncture tires, and can handle a decent load. They are out there... In a variety of flavors. And pretty inexpensive.
ljaques
Oh, sure. That's at least SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS WORTH OF PLASTIC, isn't it, with a lifetime in the sun of maybe a couple years?
dennis
The plastic isn't the expensive part, that is about a dollar fifty a pound in pellets. It's the molds and the labor that goes into running them which piles on costs. It's a cost / benefit situation. How much quality are you willing to pay for? This is not a cheap plastic sled. It's made of the same UV stable material as commercial waterslides...They do just fine in the sun. For ultra-light hikers there are certainly better options. For people who want to bring their entire base-camp, young children, and use it for general labor and material hauling, there is no competition. We are in the works of developing an optional brake kit, for downhill scenarios. Thanks.
dennis
Also the price of the handcart is $319.