Can I pull the Pack Wheel?

A very common question. The answer is yes you can, but in most situations, you will prefer operating it in front of you.

The original thought (see Pack Wheel History) when we first started designing the Pack Wheel was to have a cart that you pull. After all, isn't it easier to pull than to push?

After using the first prototype in 2007 within the first five minutes we realized that pulling a cart with the weight balanced over the wheel was nowhere near as comfortable as pushing it in front of you. Pulling the Pack Wheel behind you makes it a little harder to balance as you can not see exactly what the wheel is going to confront. Walking behind the wheel gives the operator the ability to anticipate the obstacles and have the full strength of your arms to keep it balanced, creating a very smooth and enjoyable experience, similar to riding a bike but even easier as your feet are on the ground.

Pulling the Pack Wheel you will find that you may get a little annoyed with the wheel hitting things and wanting to tip to the side. It is much easier to balance the load when you are always facing the Pack Wheel. It is practically effortless to keep the Pack Wheel balanced and upright when you are "pushing" it from behind.

There may be times where pulling is a better option. Some of those include really deep wet snow, a long section of really steep and rough terrain. 

Pulling any cart behind you also requires really wide turns whereas with the Pack Wheel you can easily maneuver and turn completely around on a dime.

If you really want a pull behind system there are a number of products on the market that are designed for pulling. These pull behind systems use a smaller wheel spaced further away from your body and then have the weight of the load roughly halfway between the wheel and the operator. Designs like this have about half of the weight being carried by the operator at all times making it much easier to manage to keep the cart upright when the wheel hits an obstacle you were not anticipating.

It is very common for people who have never tried the Pack Wheel to say that it is wrong to be pushing it. No one who has ever used the Pack Wheel has complained about pushing and everyone we have talked with thoroughly loves how easy carrying gear is with the Pack Wheel.


FAQ pulling example with three @davescaddenpaddlesports boats on a 24” Pack Wheel in Alaska. One of our most asked questions we get regards pulling the Pack Wheel instead of walking behind. The Pack Wheel is designed to have the weight balanced on the wheel with little to no weight on the operator. With this design having the Pack Wheel in front of you gives you the ability to anticipate the obstacle so you know how to react given the path you are taking. With the Pack Wheel in front, you also comfortably have the full strength of your arms available to easily steer and keep the load balanced with little to no effort, similar to riding a bike except much easier. Typical times where pulling the Pack Wheel are of greatest benefit are in deep, heavy, wet, snow or where you might have a stretch of really rough steep terrain. In heavy deep snow the Pack Wheel is less likely to tip in the first place because the wheel and panniers are being held up by the heavy snow. Notice in this video clip that the Pack Wheel will tip somewhat to the side from time to time. You still are able to move the load with ease like is shown here, but there is a little annoyance factor with the Pack Wheel tipping to it’s side from time to time. #packwheel #opporatortip #pullvspush #fishingfriday #whatgetsyououtdoors #hiking #alaska #fullpackfriday #getoutdoors #outdoorlife #outdoors

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