What is the heaviest load the Pack Wheel can carry?

29er Pack Wheel Hauling Moose Quarters

Hauling moose quarters on the ultra-light single wheeled Pack Wheel game cart

Learn more about our customer hauling these moose quarters off the mountain.


The strong v-frame construction and wheel can carry a lot of weight. How much the Pack Wheel can carry really depends on how rough the trail is, how low you position the weight, how well you secure the load and how strong you are.

Some may market their carts as carrying astronomical weights with much weaker products. Sure, a Pack Wheel could easily carry 250 pounds or more, downhill, on flat ground or on a smooth trail, however, for a lightweight cart system operated by a single person in an all-terrain environment 150 pounds is a lot of weight. We have many years of experience hauling big game animals off the mountain with Pack Wheel carts (see Pack Wheel history). 

If you are strong enough to handle the weight, the Pack Wheel can carry 150 - 200 lbs (roughly the boned out weight of a young bull elk or very large cow elk). When you exceed 150+ pounds make sure to use the brake to ease the Pack Wheel over obstacles and keep weight positioned as low as possible. The ability to carry this much weight is pretty amazing for a lightweight aluminum collapsible hiking/game cart. Remember that the bulk of the weight needs to be positioned on the sides of the Pack Wheel to give a lower center of gravity, making it easier to manage the load. Pack Wheel Panniers available on the Purchase Page will hold 100 lbs of meat per pannier for 200 lbs total. Do not overload the Pack Wheel. We do not recommend carrying more than 200 lbs. total or more than 50 lbs. above the wheel. Only load an amount of weight that you are strong enough to manage. DO NOT TRY TO FORCE THE PACK WHEEL THROUGH HEAVY BRUSH OR OVER LARGE OBSTACLES. TURN AROUND AND WHILE FACING THE PACK WHEEL PULL THE PACK WHEEL THROUGH OR OVER THE OBSTACLE.

We have hauled many elk in the 150-200 pound range of boned out meat on the Pack Wheel. We have never had a problem with weights tested up to 200 lbs. however, we have been wise in not trying to force the Pack Wheel through an obstacle, opting to turn around and pull the Pack Wheel through the obstacle. We have not had any issue with the structural integrity of the Pack Wheel.

When carrying a backpack on top of the Pack Wheel we recommend that no more than 50 pounds should be carried in this high position above the frame. If your pack exceeds 50 lbs. we recommend taking the heavier items out of your backpack and placing them in panniers. A good system for flexibility in hiking with the Pack Wheel is to use our Gear Pannier along with a frame pack. Then load most of your gear in the panniers and strap the frame pack with a sleeping bag, pad, and tent on top of the Pack Wheel. If you decide to go off trail or come to an impassible section of the trail you can load the collapsed Pack Wheel along with the panniers and the rest of your gear on the frame pack.

The Pack Wheel is made almost entirely out of aluminum. Aluminum is 2 1/2 times stronger than steel when rated pound per pound, however, it can be bent if you try to bend it. We have gone to great lengths to design and manufacture the Pack Wheel to be light enough to easily carry, yet strong enough to haul an amazing amount of weight. Please use common sense in how you use the Pack Wheel. Take an extra trip if needed and a little extra time to make sure all your gear is tied securely to the cart.

If you encounter brush and other tough obstacles that the Pack Wheel will not easily roll over turn around and while facing the Pack Wheel pull it towards yourself, then take a couple steps backward and pull it towards yourself again. This is the best technique to prevent stress on the handle when encountering rough terrain.

Below is a photo of a  small 24" Pack Wheel carrying 185 lbs of boned out elk meat in 2013 and you can read about this hunt on The DIY Hunter's blog. This Pack Wheel worked very well with no stress cracks, breaks or bends in the aluminum of any kind and this Pack Wheel was still being used by The DIY Hunter's youngest son on pack trips and hunts as of 2016. We have continually made improvements to the strength to further improve the product with the Pack Wheels we have now being even stronger.

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