Wheelbarrow Booster: Product Review
The Wheelbarrow Booster from GreanBase is a good idea that doesn’t quite live up to its potential.
The Booster is intended to expand the capacity of a wheelbarrow so that you can carry more at once. It consists of a 4.5”-wide elastic band attached to 14″ of plastic tarp-like material. Simply slip the elastic over the lip of your wheelbarrow and it’s ready to go. In theory, at least…
Installing the Wheelbarrow Booster is Harder than it Looks
The instructions say that the Booster can be installed easily within 20 seconds. We tried it – and tried … and tried … and we were unable to install it that quickly on any wheelbarrow, even after repeated attempts. You can see our efforts on the video.
So why isn’t it that simple to install?
The trick is in getting the elastic band properly seated around the lip of the wheelbarrow. The instructions say to place the seam between the elastic and the plastic just above the wheelbarrow lip. But that’s the hard part. It’s really a two person job – one to hold the elastic in place, the other to maneuver the seam over the lip of the wheelbarrow.
We tried using the Booster without pulling the seam over the wheelbarrow lip and it wasn’t a big success. The entire booster simply slipped down the side of the wheelbarrow and fell off the bottom.
The Wheelbarrow Booster won’t fit on all wheelbarrows. For example, one of ours was too small and one was too large (the elastic wouldn’t go over the wheelbarrow lip). The smaller size is fairly common so check your wheelbarrow before buying the Booster – you’ll want a wheelbarrow that’s about 5 or 6 cubic feet (the most common average size for a wheelbarrow in the US).
Problems with Quality
We wondered how sturdy the elastic and plastic would be when put to normal gardening use. We quickly found out that quality leaves something to be desired. The plastic tore easily. We made holes in it with our fingers while trying to install the Booster. Small branches quickly ripped gashes in the plastic as we filled the Booster. And the seam between the plastic and elastic started to tear during installation.
It’s unlikely that the plastic will tear completely as it’s reinforced with mesh. However, each hole is an opportunity for something to snag on the fabric and, over time, you could be left with nothing but a mesh Booster.
The elastic around the Booster is relatively lax and we felt that it would loosen further over time. We’d like to see tighter elastic plus some type of adjustable cord at the top and bottom of the elastic band to more securely fasten the Booster in place.
Loading the Wheelbarrow Booster
The Booster worked reasonably well in expanding wheelbarrow capacity. The plastic wasn’t quite stiff enough to stand upright on its own so we had to hold it in place as we loaded it. We were able to load up our wheelbarrow with 2 to 3 times more material than we’d normally be able to haul. Unfortunately, we constantly had to adjust the elastic band to keep the Booster in place. To be fair, this could be because we were loading the wheelbarrow with dried grasses, twigs, and long plant stems and so had to push the material down into the pan of the wheelbarrow as we loaded. This pushed the plastic downward as well. However, I think this would be fairly common practice among gardeners – what’s the point of having a wheelbarrow extender if you can’t actually load material into it? (Note: The manufacturer suggests using the Booster for grass clippings and leaves. We agree that this is probably the best use for the Booster, but it does limit the utility of the product as it would be used only infrequently for those purposes.)
Dumping the Wheelbarrow Booster
Dumping the contents of the wheelbarrow with the Booster attached was a little tricky. Because the Booster made the edges of the wheelbarrow higher than normal, it wasn’t possible to tilt the wheelbarrow forward far enough to dump the material out. Instead, it tipped sideways and the contents spilled out – with the Booster firmly wrapped around the contents. We then had to extricate the Booster from the pile of twigs, stems, and grasses and reinstall it on the wheelbarrow.
The Wheelbarrow Booster is best used for light-duty work, such as carrying leaves. However, it’s finicky to install, falls off easily, and may not stand up to repeated use. We’d suggest giving this one a miss.