The Best Outdoor Bar Carts of 2022 - Picks from Bob Vila

2022-07-30 08:35:34 By : Mr. Barry Woo

By Robin Plaskoff Horton | Updated Jul 29, 2022 1:30 PM and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

The bar is fully stocked, the ice bucket is filled, and something delicious is sizzling on the grill. Get the alfresco party rolling poolside or on the patio or deck by serving guests beverages and bites in style from an outdoor bar cart. You can’t beat the convenience of these portable pieces for wheeling out a movable feast or mixing up some wicked craft cocktails.

A well-equipped outdoor bar cart also multitasks as a meal-prepping station and a place to stash everything needed for setting the perfect outdoor table. Placing it next to a sun lounger, patio chair, or bar outdoor seating keeps beverages within easy reach and saves trips to the kitchen. And when not in use, the bar cart becomes an ideal spot for displaying pots of shade-loving plants.

Shoppers have many styles, sizes, and material choices to consider, from heavy-duty workhorses to lightweight folding models. Moreover, some units have extra features like coolers, wine racks, and removable serving trays. We’ve rounded up the best outdoor bar carts, so all you’ll have to do is get the party going.

When shopping for an outdoor bar cart, first think about the size of the space and the cart’s intended use. Consider size and portability, durability, style, storage options, and additional features when choosing from among the best outdoor bar carts.

A large outdoor bar cart works well on a sprawling patio, but a small space-saving or folding style might be a better option for a tiny balcony. Also evaluate the surface over which the cart will travel. A lightweight cart can glide smoothly over a deck, but a heavy-duty model with more substantial wheels or casters performs better on rough and uneven surfaces.

Most outdoor bar carts have two to four wheels, and some have locking casters, a good safety feature for outdoor spaces with bumpy or slanting surfaces. While lightweight models are easier to move, they can’t support as much weight and may be less stable than a heavy-duty cart for an outside bar.

Look for an outdoor bar cart in a style that will complement the existing outdoor furniture and decor. Give some thought to the cart’s intended use when deciding on features. For just mixing up a few cocktails, a simple bar cart should do the trick. For prepping meals or serving platters of hors d’oeuvres, look for a cart with a larger surface for chopping and slicing.

Some carts are equipped with cupboards and extras such as wine racks and stemware slots to hold bottles and wine glasses securely in place. Others have ice buckets and coolers for chilling beverages, drawers for utensils, removable serving trays, and racks or hooks for hanging dish towels.

To brave the elements, an outdoor bar cart must be durable. Choose carts made from rust-resistant or powder-coated metals, weather-resistant resin wicker, or woods such as teak or acacia. Acacia is a sustainable, durable wood that offers the high-end appearance of teak at a more affordable price point. It naturally weathers to a soft gray patina, but oiling the wood helps maintain its color.

A tough outdoor cart doesn’t mind being pushed around. It should have sturdy wheels or casters that can handle uneven outdoor surfaces and be heavy enough to keep from toppling over in a brisk wind.

The top outdoor bar carts are stylish, durable, and the right size for the space. We scoured the marketplace to find the best outdoor bar carts that factor in all these considerations.

This Best Choice Products wicker bar cart offers the look of natural wicker but is impervious to the elements. Made from an all-weather synthetic woven material, it resists mold, mildew, rust, and stains; it also holds its shape and color after unlimited hours of baking in the sun. At 43.5 inches long, it might be a bit large for a tiny balcony, but this cart would fit well in most outdoor spaces. It’s loaded with features, including an integrated ice bucket to keep beverages chilled, holders to keep six bottles and 12 glasses in place while in transit, and two handles that double as towel racks.

The cart’s solid steel frame supports up to 80 pounds of weight, while two sturdy wheels enable it to glide smoothly over uneven surfaces. The tempered glass top offers plenty of space for mixing and serving cocktails and wipes easily to make cleaning up a cinch.

Get the Best Choice Products outdoor bar cart on Amazon or at Target.

Constructed with sustainable, weather-resistant acacia wood, this Tangkula cart fits well in almost any setting. Each of the top and bottom shelves can support up to 100 pounds, while the slatted construction ensures the surfaces keep water from accumulating. Users have ample space for mixing up cocktails, and the shelf guardrails help prevent glasses and bottles from falling off in transit.

Two front wheels provide mobility, and the tall handle, which doubles as a towel bar, makes the cart easy to push and maneuver. A good choice for the budget-minded shopper, this cart won’t break the bank but has the look and feel of some pricier wooden models.

Get the Tangkula outdoor bar cart on Amazon.

Made of nearly indestructible steel, this multifunctional and versatile Royal Gourmet cart doubles as a cooking prep station: Its heat-resistant black steel top can hold a hot portable grill or griddle. The cart’s durable top can support up to 100 pounds, and the entire cart is a workhorse. The bottom shelf offers extra space for organizing and storing large items or a heavy bag of charcoal briquettes.

Placed next to a barbecue grill, the Royal Gourmet is a grill master’s best friend. It’s fitted with a bracket for mounting gas cylinders of up to 20 pounds and has a middle bar with three multifunctional hooks for hanging grilling tools. This portable cart on wheels never rests—when it’s not in use, it can do double duty as an easy-to-clean potting table.

Get the Royal Gourmet outdoor bar cart at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Tractor Supply Co.

This Cosco folding cart is fashionable and functional eye candy. It’s lightweight, yet each of its two shelves can support up to 75 pounds. When the party’s over, the cart folds flat for storage.

Handles on both sides enable users to push the cart from either side, and four durable wheels provide maneuverability. Two locking casters keep the cart firmly in place while pouring drinks. The Cosco requires no assembly, so it’s ready right out of the box to get the party and the beverages started.

Get the Cosco outdoor bar cart on Amazon.

Serving everyone a cold beverage at a large gathering is no problem with this vintage-style 80-quart rolling cooler cart from Permasteel. Its insulated basin can keep ice and 110 12-ounce cans chilled for up to 36 hours. The dual-hinged removable lid allows easy access, so guests can help themselves without lifting the lid.

A bottle opener with a cap catcher is attached to the front. Two handles double as towel bars, and the attached bottom shelf offers storage for cups, bar mixers, and other accessories to minimize trips to the kitchen. Four casters make rolling and maneuvering easy, and parking it in place is a snap with its two locking wheels.

When the party’s over, cleaning up is a breeze with a drainage plug on the back for removing excess water. As it’s made of durable powder-coated steel, this all-weather cart can hold up to the elements in style.

Get the Permasteel outdoor bar cart at Amazon, Wayfair, or Target.

For a compact cart, this one from Sand & Stable packs a lot of functionality and can hold up to 110 pounds. For optimizing limited footprints on balconies or other tight spaces, the Amagansett small bar cart has four durable casters that make it easy to maneuver, while two locking casters keep it stable while serving.

Despite its small stature, this mini bar cart is loaded with storage space, including a cabinet with adjustable shelves for stashing glasses and bottles, an open shelf for stacking dishes and napkins, and a spice rack. Prepping and cleanup are a breeze on the white galvanized steel surface with two handles that also keep towels within easy reach. Made from weather-resistant acacia hardwood in a distressed golden teak finish, this cart can live outdoors throughout the seasons and then tuck discreetly out of the way when not in use.

Get the Sand & Stable Amagansett outdoor bar cart on Wayfair.

Constructed of sustainable, weather-resistant solid acacia wood, the Lena Bar Cart isn’t afraid to show off its curves. Two shelves offer generous storage space to tuck away items and keep everything organized.

The rims on the cart’s shelves help keep glasses from falling off, and the lower shelf features three slots for holding bottles in place during transit. The cart has a wide handle and two front wheels for easy maneuvering over a variety of surfaces. When the festivities end and it’s time to park it, the cart’s flat backside fits neatly against a wall to save space.

Get the Sand & Stable Lena outdoor bar cart on Wayfair.

The Novogratz Penelope indoor/outdoor cart makes a fashionable statement with several color options. It’s lightweight but sturdy and strong enough to hold 50 pounds per shelf while gliding on four wheels with two locking casters to park it in place.

When rolling out for morning coffee, afternoon tea, or evening cocktails, this cart travels lightly, but its steel frame provides heft. Though the Penelope lacks the extra features of some other models, its two shelves provide plenty of space for glasses, bottles, an ice bucket, and more.

Get the Novogratz outdoor bar cart on Amazon, Wayfair, or Overstock.

For storage and versatility, this weather-resistant wood-and-aluminum bar cart from Christopher Knight Home delivers. Pull up some chairs; with the two leaves up, this cart does a quick change to become a sturdy 35.5-inch drop-leaf table that can support a hefty 200 pounds. With both leaves down, the bar cart becomes a slim 18-inch-wide space-saver that sits out of the way against a wall when not in use.

A middle shelf has two removable serving trays. The bottom one provides storage for three bottles; an aluminum guardrail keeps items from toppling in transit. Hang towels over the shiny aluminum curved handles on both sides or use them to move the cart from either direction.

With all-weather materials and extra features, this sturdy cart is a hard-working piece of furniture for entertaining outdoors.

Get the Christopher Knight Home outdoor bar cart on Amazon.

Ooh la la—the French bistro-style Domenica bar cart has the authentic look and feel of traditional Parisian outdoor cafe furniture. Like the elegant pieces that line French cafe terraces, this synthetic woven rattan cart can sit outside all day, impervious to the elements.

With its fashionable patterned weave, this small bar cart mixes style with functionality. Lightweight and sturdy, this cart’s solid wood frame supports 70 pounds, and it rolls smoothly on four metal casters. Along with two wide handles on each side, the Domenica has a removable serving tray, and the bottom shelf provides storage for six bottles of wine or spirits.

The Domenica comes in three color options, ready to roll out for an aperitif at a rendezvous á la Parisienne.

Get the Joss & Main outdoor cart on Wayfair or Joss & Main.

For its all-around functionality, ample storage capacity, and an integrated ice bucket, the Best Choice Products outdoor bar cart hits the mark for our top pick. The Tangkula outdoor bar cart is a budget-friendly alternative with a streamlined design and quality wood construction. Buyers who want a cart that can double for other duties might prefer our multifunctional choice, the Royal Gourmet outdoor bar cart.

A well-equipped and quality outdoor bar cart elevates the alfresco entertaining experience while simplifying prep work and serving.

We focused our search on the most sought-after outdoor bar carts, factoring in size and portability, durability, style, and storage. We also considered any additional features, such as wine-bottle and stemware storage, movable trays, or locking casters.

We selected carts made from materials rated for their weather resistance and overall strength, including synthetic wicker and rattan, rust-resistant or powder-coated metals, and woods such as teak or acacia.

Our choices include a selection of styles in sizes and designs appropriate for a variety of outdoor spaces.

Take a look at these frequently asked questions to learn more about outdoor bar carts and their uses.

Like an indoor drink trolley, the outdoor bar cart holds everything necessary for making and serving drinks and bites outdoors. Many also double as grill tables or indoor carts, and options such as a bar cart with wine rack are a matter of personal preference.

Depending on the size of the cart, it might hold bottles of wine and spirits, sodas, and mixers as well as barware like shakers, glassware, an ice bucket, napkins, and plates of limes, along with essential bar tools like tongs and jiggers. Larger carts can hold platters of food, tableware, and utensils.

Some outdoor bar carts multitask as meal-prepping stations or even potting tables.

Bar-cart height depends on the number of shelves. A two-shelf cart may be 29 or 30 inches tall, while a cart with three shelves might be as tall as 37 inches.

To thrive, plants need sunlight, water and the right-size container. Place taller sun-loving potted plants on the top shelf and smaller shade plants on the bottom. Make sure to place a pot saucer or cork pad under planters to prevent damage to the surface of the cart.

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