this thing's incredible

The Surprisingly Nice-Looking ‘Granny Cart’ That Saved My Shoulders

My Versacart works for groceries, shopping bags, and so much more. Photo: Alison Freer

Shopping for a living sounds like fun — until you find yourself dragging ten armloads of bags through the mall, shoulders drooping and elbows burning with pain. I powered through the pain for years until an entrapped nerve that runs from my shoulder to the tip of my middle finger caused me to be unable to carry any bags with my right arm. I limped along for a few months until a groovy grandma in the parking lot of Macy’s breezed past me, contentedly wheeling her purchases in her own personal shopping cart. I flagged her down and learned about the Versacart.

It’s basically a collapsible stroller, only one meant to carry your stuff instead of an infant. Unlike those old-school metal-grid carts that allow things to fall and are impossible to steer, the Versacart features a coated, water-resistant canvas liner, a cover to protect your goods from the rain (or to hide how many different kinds of beverages you bought), and front wheels that pivot a full 360 degrees—which means it’s easy to maneuver around obstacles like people, pets, and rocks.

I used to laugh at women pushing “granny carts,” but what a fool I was. While I initially got the cart to drag shopping bags through the mall, I found it works for groceries, dog stuff, gardening supplies, camping gear, unwanted stuff I’m taking to Goodwill, you name it. This little life-changer weighs about nine pounds, holds a load up to 120, and opens and closes in about three seconds flat: Unsnap the handle strap, press down on the sides of the cart, and it opens instantly. Lift the bottom bar with your toe and it collapses. Folded, it fits neatly in the corner of a hall closet or across the floor or backseat of your car. It’s quiet, rolls like a dream, and is easy to steer with one hand, and the curved handles allow you to hang even more bags and your purse from each side, effectively doubling its capacity. I was worried about looking like a dork pushing it, but the white wheels and navy bag give it a crisp, clean feeling. I’m constantly having to tell people where I got it.

Using the Versacart in car-crazy Los Angeles is great, but if you live somewhere that forces you to run all your errands on foot, it’s a real revelation. Pick up four loads of laundry and three 12-packs of La Croix? Don’t mind if I do.

VersaCart Transit Utility Cart

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The Nice-Looking ‘Granny Cart’ That Saved My Shoulders