Have you ever found yourself struggling to lift or move heavy pots or containers, landscaping rocks, bags of mulch or soil, stacks of firewood, tree root balls, or other large gardening items? Yeah, me too. There’s often no way to get a good grip on the item and while it’s too heavy to lift by myself, it’s too unwieldy to lift it even with someone else’s help.
The PotLifter was developed to solve that problem and it does it very well.
The PotLifter comes in a handy storage bag that can be easily hung in the garage, basement, gardening shed or wherever it’s convenient. The whole thing weighs only about 1.5 lbs so it’s easy to carry and doesn’t take up much space when stuffed into the bag.
It’s made with high quality polyurethane, acetal, nylon and PVC and is built to last. Even after leaving it lying in the intense Tucson sun for almost 5 months (which I don’t recommend!), there has been very little fading and no visible signs of deterioration.
When you first take the PotLifter out of its storage bag it’s not immediately clear how it works – it looks like a tangle of black and red straps, two red bars, and two squiggly pieces of flexible plastic all joined together. But once you figure it out, it’s very simple.
Here’s how the PotLifter works –
1. Wrap the plastic parts around the item you want to carry.
Each end of the plastic bands has a clip that unfastens by pulling up on the part of the clip attached to the strap. Unfasten one or more clips and wrap the bands around the pot, rock, bag, etc. Fasten the clips and pull the straps to tighten the bands snuggly around the item.
The clips snap securely in place (you’ll hear a snapping sound) yet are easy to unfasten when needed.
Be sure that the bands are placed below the widest part of the item or they’ll slip off when you lift it.
The PotLifter adjusts to fit around items 12 to 30 inches in diameter or up to 7 feet in circumference. That’s probably bigger than most things you’ll want to lift as larger items tend to weigh more and can be heavier than the 200lb maximum capacity for the PotLifter. Don’t lift anything that weighs more than that or you risk having it break in mid-lift – and who wants a 200+lb rock crashing down on their foot?
2. Adjust the straps
Once the bands are tightened around the object you want to lift, adjust the remaining length of the straps so that the object will be at least a few inches above the ground when you stand up. The nice thing is that each person can adjust the straps to the length that’s best for them – so it doesn’t matter if one person is 6’ tall and the other is 5’.
To adjust the length of the straps, pull on the D-rings that stick out of the handle. This will pull the strap through the handle to form a loop. Simply pull whichever end of the loop you need through the other side of the handle to lengthen or shorten the length of strap between the handle and the bands. Make sure that the D-ring is snuggly in place before you lift.
3. 1 – 2 – 3 – Lift!
Each person squats down, grabs both ends of one red bar and stands up. If the straps are adjusted to the right length, the object will lift off the ground. It’s that simple.
Don’t forget to use proper lifting technique – keep your back and arms straight, bend at the knees and hips, and use your legs to lift.
Once you get the hang of fastening the PotLifter around items and adjusting the straps, it’s a snap to use.
We tested it by moving large potted plants and carrying heavy rocks over rough terrain and up a hill – areas where a wheelbarrow or cart couldn’t have gone. Moving the containers was a cinch – the PotLifter made quick work of a task that would’ve taken a lot of effort otherwise. When it came to moving the rocks, Kathy and I had no trouble lifting them or maneuvering them up the hill, although we found that we had to shorten the straps more than we’d expected to get the rocks over all the obstacles.
The only limiting factor was grip strength. 200lbs is a lot of weight to hold and we found that our fingers and hands gave out after a while. So if you have grip strength issues or arthritic hands and want to lift very heavy items, the PotLifter wouldn’t be a good option for you. You might want to try the ProLifter instead – it lifts up to 400lbs and has straps that wrap around your wrist instead of handles.
If for some reason the PotLifter breaks, it’s covered under a lifetime warranty. It’s not possible to repair it in a safe way so you’ll need a new one. The lifetime warranty means that if you are the original owner and it breaks from normal use, you send it back and the company sends you a new one. Of course, the warranty doesn’t cover things like you cutting the webbing with a lawnmower, lifting 1000 lbs with it or commercial use.
The PotLifter is definitely one of those “I didn’t know I needed this but now that I have it I can’t imagine how I managed without it” products. It’s incredibly well-engineered, made with quality materials, and makes a difficult job easy. If you find yourself trying to move containers or other heavy gardening items, the PotLifter is a must-have.
Where to Buy
The PotLifter is available on Amazon, as well as on Potlifter.com (for $29.95 plus shipping) and in various garden centers, flowerpot retailers and hardware stores.
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Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank Pale Trading Company for giving us a free PotLifter to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.
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