Shoulder Dolly
Product Review Summary
Remember your childhood dreams of having super hero powers that defy human explanation? Well....welcome to your dreams, adult you. Moving huge, heavy objects is your new super power, and Shoulder Dolly is your radioactive spider.

What’s that? You didn’t know two scrawny runners could load a 300lb. workbench onto a moving truck with EASE?! Or a sectional couch? Or a washer/dryer? Or a queen mattress? Guys…I’m here to tell you that this, and more, is possible in the very world that you and I live in. My wife an I moved an entire 3bd/2ba, 1450 sqft home into a storage unit, then again into our new home….and there wasn’t a single appliance, not a single piece of furniture, that we had to get help with. This is the power…the magic…of the Shoulder Dolly.

What Is It?

The Shoulder Dolly is one of the most simple, straightforward, elegant products that I have on my list. And because of that, it’s one of my absolutely favorites. It epitomizes all the qualities I look for in a great product.

It’s essentially one huge strap that connects two people via a harness of sorts that each of them wears. You slide the strap underneath the object you want to lift, then each person squats, locks the strap into place, and stands up. Then, through the magic of leverage and distributed weight, you lift items that were previously impossible with just two people, and you easily walk them to their new destination. I’m not over-simplifying it. That’s how it works. It’s a bit hard to picture. And honestly the best way to actually explain how you use it in practice is to see it in action. The video below will help give you more context:

It’s essentially a two person lift assist that magnifies your cumulative strength to a level that would be completely impossible without it. You can lift heavy objects, awkwardly shaped objects, long objects, tall objects…none of it is any match for the Shoulder Dolly.

Competition Comparison

There are a few others out there making lifting straps that work via a harness, like Shoulder Dolly. But Shoulder Dolly remains the most used, most relied upon option.

I want to focus here on really what is the only other “lifting assister” product that is widely used.

Forearm Straps

Let me caveat this by mentioning I haven’t tried these for myself. But I’ve done a ton of research on the experience that others have had with them, and I think I have a pretty good feel for what these offer and what they don’t. The primary shortfall for the Forearm Strap is that it doesn’t take advantage of the strength in your legs or your back…something that the Shoulder Dolly has perfected. The beauty of the Shoulder Dolly is that you are taking your arms out of the equation! You distribute all the weight into your back and into your legs, which are far stronger than your arms and will tire less quickly.

Yes, you can absolutely lift heavier items with the Forearm Straps than if you were to pick something up traditionally. But the Shoulder Dolly’s limit of what you can lift is far higher, and all while tasking much stronger parts of the body.

Also, does anyone else get grossed out by them 😂 ? I’m serious! When I look at the picture I just imagine my arms getting pulled clean out of my sockets at a 90 degree angle and it freaks me out! I digress.

5 Fav Features

  • Extendable Strap
    • There is an optional strap you can purchase that is quite a bit longer than the one it comes with. I would highly recommend this. It allows you to carry things like large couches, or mattresses. Mattresses in particular is a place that Shoulder Dolly can shine! No one likes moving a mattress! But Shoulder Dolly transforms that awful experience into a pleasure. But the extended strap will be needed to experience that beautiful moment for yourself.
  • Simple Design
    • They just did such an awesome job of giving this as few moving parts as possible. The design couldn’t be simpler. And as a result it’s extremely easy to use, and it’s rock-solid reliable.
  • Durable Build
    • The straps are extremely well made, and in years of owning and using them, I haven’t had one fray, rip, or break on me. They honestly look like they day I got them. Same thing goes for the harnesses. They’ve held up amazingly well.
  • Saves Your Arms/Hands
    • The day after a big move, you inevitably wake to torn up hands and sore arms. With the Shoulder Dolly, all your hands and arms do is balance the item on the strap as you walk. You all but remove them from the entire process. I know this seems small, but saving your hands to be in good shape for the more delicate parts of moving (packing, unpacking, setting up in your new space) is actually extremely helpful!
  • Allows You to Squeeze Through Smaller Spaces
    • That moment when you’re trying to squeeze a large item through a doorway and can’t get through becuase your hands are jamming the door frame 😖. For the Shoulder Dolley owner, this is a thing of the past! All your hands do is guide the item through to doorway, so you can place them anywhere! With both hands out of the way you can typically save 4-6 inches for the wider items to fit through!

Let’s Get Practical

All of the above describes the product itself, what it does, and how it differentiates itself from others like it.

But let’s talk about what it all comes back to. What does using this product actually look like in day-to-day use? Awesome…it has a bunch of cool features…but in practice, are they actually helpful?

I can answer that question only with my experience. With how I put this product to use in my own life to make it easier, more efficient, more consistent, more fun, whatever the case may be. Your experience will, of course, be different. But this should give you a place to start. You can at least read on with the knowledge that no products make it on this site without being a thoroughly tested, tried-and-true part of some area of my life!


A few tips to make the Shoulder Dolly more practically helpful during a move.

Go as low as you can when you and your partner are pulling through the strap and preparing to stand/lift. Generally speaking, the higher you get the item the more control you’ll have and the easier you’ll be able to maneuver. There are definitely exceptions to this that you’ll want to keep lower…but as a rule of thumb, get underneath whatever you’re lifting as much as possible.

Keep the harness on as you move. It may feel a bit in the way at first, but honestly you eventually forget it’s even on. When I first started using the Shoulder Dolly I’d remove the harness every time and that got so inconvenient. Just keep the harness on, that way all you need to do when you need to lift a new item is put the strap in place.

A mistake I almost always make is saying, “ehh…the strap is all the way over there, let’s just lift this one on our own this time.” I regret it 100% of the time. Walk the 20 feet, get the strap, and use the Shoulder Dolly. The one-off times you lift with your arms eventually add up, and you’ll start feeling it towards the end of the day.


  • Pros
    • You can boil it all down to saving your arms/hands from certain battle wounds when you need them for other tasks in the move, distributing weight into far stronger muscles, and freeing up your hands during the actual lift to give more clearance in tight spaces as well as open doors, move things out of the way, etc. 
  • Cons
    • For smaller items, you’ll have quite a bit of extra strap that will dangle between your legs. This can be a bit of a tripping hazard, so be careful. Yet another reason to buy the pack of extra straps, as it not only includes longer straps, but shorter ones too.
Brandon Reed

Brandon Reed

Nullam quis risus eget urna mollis ornare vel eu leo. Donec ullamcorper nulla non metus auctor fringilla. Vestibulum id ligula porta felis euismod semper. Vestibulum id ligula porta felis euismod semper.
Brandon Reed

Brandon Reed

Nullam quis risus eget urna mollis ornare vel eu leo. Donec ullamcorper nulla non metus auctor fringilla. Vestibulum id ligula porta felis euismod semper. Vestibulum id ligula porta felis euismod semper.

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