Summer’s coming in hot, well, it was for at least HALF of last weekend! That gave me a chance to head to the beach with the kids, and in turn gave us a chance to load up the Vuly Play Beach Rover Wagon for a good solid weekend of real-world testing!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ‘that dad’ that doesn’t want to do 44 trips to the car, I want to load up as much as I can and do ONE trip! Reality with two boys dictates that rarely happens, or, if it does I’m sent back to the car when one or the other forgets something… Trips to the beach are no different! Can you get my towel? Where are my flippers? Can you grab those two bottles of drink!? All of these things for a solid beach day are on my list of things to bring and so, given the chance to take the Vuly Play Beach Rover Wagon for a spin around the proverbial block, load everything in and make just ONE trip, the crew didn’t need to ask me twice!

(No hate for my photos! I’m the ‘strong advocate’ for making sure I always have my memory cards and batteries for my Sony camera with me, yes, well, there’s a first time for everything!) The Vuly Play Beach Rover Wagon is a four-wheeler that you can easily unfold and extend into a very decent sized sand-happy cart, measuring in around 925mm long, 600mm deep and 500mm wide, it’s a roomy helper that will fit the most demanding beach-loads. I had two of my favourite beach chairs, four towels, a sun tent, two sets of snorkelling gear and a cooler bag of drinks on the second trip of the weekend and the cart had zero issues with the load, rated at 80kg I could have easily packed in more. The wide wheels kept the cart atop the sand in both my wet and dry sand tests.

This is what the Vuly Play Beach Rover Wagon looks like in its ‘compact’ mode, folded down slots into the back of my car, would go in the boot of most cars I’d say and weighing in at around 13 kg, it’s not super unwieldy either. It has a hook and loop strap that goes around the body of the wagon when folded, compressing the wheels up together nicely, then the canvas cover slips down over the top and another set of hook and loop straps hold the cover in place, a zipper on one side tightens it all in together as a nice compact package.

There is a handle on top of the canvas cover, I did lift it by that handle a couple of times, and I’m guessing that’s kinda what it’s for? But I preferred to pick it up in an awkward bearhug to put it in and out of the car. You can see in the photo above that there are a couple of funny looking posts sticking out the top like some loopy alien antenna! They’re not, I promise! The Vuly Play Beach Rover Wagon comes with a neat little “roof” four metal posts screw into the top of the main cart, a couple of rails pass across the top of those posts and an included canvas shade turns your wagon into a covered wagon! (If you’re as old as me, you’ll have seen a western film with a horse and covered wagon and you’ll be laughing at me – fine!) ..whatever you’d like to call the included canvas roof, it’s kinda handy if you want to keep you goods in the cart shielded from the sun – thanks to my drink cooling beach chair I didn’t need to use this feature, and so I packed it in the canvas case and left it at home.

In use the cart rolls fine and was easily pulled along by my better half, my 13 year old had no trouble turning it into some sort of race and my 9 year old needed a little help when he was trying to pull it up a small incline (That’s gravity, kid) but generally the Vuly Play Beach Rover Wagon is really easy to handle. It’s also very easy to setup and pack down, the hook and loop straps I mentioned earlier are undone, the opposing corner posts pushed apart, and then a hand in the middle of the floor sets the frame out to where it’s supposed to sit, you pop in the included semi-rigid floor panel, load up and roll out! When you’re done for the day, you unload back into the back of your car, slip the floor panel out (it folds up and slots into the canvas carry bag/cover) and then pull the middle of the cart’s floor up toward the sky, the wheels all come together effortlessly! Wrap the hook & loop strap around the folded cart, tighten it up and you’re all done.

I had a small handful of things I’d like to see (very easily) improved, and I’m guessing as this guy has only been on the market around a year that there maybe a V2 at some point?

  • I’m 6’3″ and so anything with a ‘regular length’ pull handle means the wheels/case hit me in the ankles! The handle mounting points are perfectly placed to get me right in the back of the ankle – I should grow less.
  • When the cart is less than loaded, it was a bit noisy (What’s that you say? You were at the beach, with waves and screeching kids!) But yes, a little rattler.
  •  The wheel bolts on the front wheels – I think – were put together wrong. (It’s assembled in factory, not by the user) and the end of the thread was sticking out the side ready to inflict a minor flesh-wound.
  • Last minor thing, for smaller people (aka my kids) when one needs to push, either through ‘racing car mode’ or just because it’s too heavy because dad put EVERYTHING in there, I feel like there could be a handle on back maybe. Not sure on this one.

But the function and form on this Vuly Play Beach Rover Wagon far outweigh the negatives that I found in my use, and to be fair – I’ll swap the wheel bolts around, add a canvas loop to the handle so that I’m 20 cm further away when pulling it and deal with the rattles – easy!

I really do rate this big-little cart and can’t wait to show it off to other dads lugging 65 different things 400 meters to the nearest car park in 38c Melbourne heat!