How a Grocery Cart Has Forever Changed How I Shop (for the Better)

This is the best cart for groceries, according to a professional recipe developer.

Clax Buggy Love letter
Serious Eats / Alli Waataja

Even as someone who grocery shops at a professional level (as a recipe developer and mom of two), I never considered owning a grocery cart—almost every store has them readily available. But when a food stylist friend showed off her Clax Trolley on TikTok, I immediately bought it. I assumed I’d mostly use it for the occasional on-location recipe shoot, but I find myself keeping my Clax Trolley in my car at all times; it gets unfolded and loaded all the time for regular grocery shopping and much more. I pull it out for the farmer’s market, for bulky Costco runs, and for grabbing plants and soil at the nursery. I once even used it for getting bulky winter blankets to and from the laundromat.

What Is the Clax Trolley? 

Clax Trolley bills itself as “a collapsible cart designed for a sustainable and functional lifestyle.” Created by the German Clax company, the cart was engineered as a tool for transporting goods through large, walkable cities. While Clax prides itself on versatility and “sturdy aluminum and Polypropylene-Copolymer construction,” the company’s ultimate goal is reducing its consumer’s carbon footprint by reducing the use of plastic bags and making shopping a task that doesn’t require a car. 

It has two platform trays that can each hold one of Clax’s collapsible crates. (Only one crate is included with the cart, but additional Clax crates are available for purchase.) The lower tray can hold up to 88 pounds, making it perfect for large bags of flour and sugar or garden soil. The upper tray can accommodate a fully loaded crate (up to 44 pounds). It has a bungee cord locking system for holding the crate or large bulky items in place. If you need to move tall houseplants or long-handled paint supplies, the top tray even folds back to create an L-shaped cart with unlimited overhead room. 

Rolling the cart around is a breeze even in tight places (looking at you, Target grocery aisles). It has two larger back wheels which makes it rugged and sturdy on gravel walkways like at the farmer’s market or the garden center. The wheels can be detached to make the folded cart even slimmer for storage—though I’ve never bothered. 

Folding and unfolding the cart requires just the push of a button and one arm (great if you have a toddler on your hip). Even with the crate the Clax Trolley weighs under 20 pounds, and it's easy to lift into my trunk. The folded footprint of the cart is similar to a collapsed beach chair (about 22 x 28 inches) and, because it lays flat, you can stack other items on top of it. 

How the Clax Trolley Has Changed My Grocery Shopping

The folded up Clax cart in the trunk of a car.
Serious Eats / Meghan Splawn

The ability to skip bagging completely is one of my favorite features of the Clax Trolley; I can unload my groceries onto the checkout belt and reload them back into the Clax crate, remove the crate to transport it in my truck (folded cart beside it) and then trolley or carry the crate into my house. I love the crate so much that I bought a second one for the bottom tray. 

I truly underestimated how much I’d love having a personal cart in general. On a particularly busy Sunday morning, I heard two other shoppers “oh” and “ah” over the Clax as I passed the empty cart stall inside the store. As a bonus, I don’t have to worry about sanitizing cart handles during cold and flu season. 

I live in the suburbs now, but I wish I had the Clax Trolley when I resided in a more walkable city; it would have been ideal for walking to get groceries or going to the laundromat. For now, I’ll enjoy the simple ease of keeping it at the ready in my car's trunk.

FAQs 

What size is the Clax Trolley? 

The unfolded Clax Trolley is 22 inches wide and 40 inches tall. Folded with the wheels in place it measures 22 x 28 x 7 inches. Detaching the wheels will save you four inches in width and height. 

Where is the Clax Trolley made? 

The Clax Trolley is made in Germany from “sturdy aluminum and Polypropylene-Copolymer construction.”

Does the Clax fit in the trunk of a car? 

It fits well in SUV, compact, and wagon-style car trunks. I have not tested the Clax Trolley in the trunk of something much smaller, like a Fiat. 

Why We’re the Experts

  • Meghan Splawn is a freelance food writer and recipe developer who has worked in food media since 2006. 
  • Her work includes 10 years in the test kitchen with Alton Brown as well as sites like Simply Recipes, TheKitchn.com, and Serious Eats.