In the medical world, wheelchairs are the most common aid used by people with mobility issues. If you are having problems in walking, a wheelchair can be a worthy investment in your life. When it comes to mobility, having the right wheelchair can help you move smoothly and safely from one place to another.
Which would you prefer to have for an active lifestyle, a bulky wheelchair or an ultralight wheelchair? While the former is difficult to lift and carry, the latter is easy to fold, easy to lift, and easy to carry. Lightweight wheelchairs are built to provide maximum comfort and mobility to the user. Having a wheelchair can positively impact the way you move around.
Lightweight wheelchairs are specifically designed for disabled people, the elderly, or people who are recovering from physical and psychological injuries. We have tested different models of wheelchairs and reviewed them in terms of their features, performance, maneuverability, safety, support, and a handful of other factors. Here are the best lightweight wheelchairs currently on the market.
Best Lightweight Wheelchairs Compared
Overall Best Lightweight Wheelchair
The Featherweight Wheelchair is the lightest wheelchair in the world. At 13.5 lbs. (with accessories), it is 35% lighter than its nearest competitor and 5 lbs lighter than any other ultra-lightweight folding wheelchair on the market today. This transporter folds to fit within an airline-checked luggage compartment, making it ideal for air travel or ground transportation. It is also a reliable mobility vehicle for active adults of all ages who require a lightweight, compact, and durable wheelchair that can be used outdoors.
Best Durable Lightweight Wheelchair
The Medline Lightweight & User-Friendly Wheelchair is the right choice for users who want to maintain an active lifestyle but need a wheelchair for occasional use or for travel. This durable and lightweight wheelchair features an attractive design and comfortable contoured ergonomic backrest reduces fatigue and makes transporting patients more efficient.
Best Budget Lightweight Wheelchair
The Invacare TRSX58FBP Tracer SX5 wheelchair features a lightweight and strong frame that allows maximum stability when at the highest speed. The intuitive design of the TRSX58FBP Tracer SX5 wheelchair provides easy entry, improved durability, adjustability, and increased safety. With the lightweight and stylish design of the TRSX58FBP Tracer SX5 wheelchair, you will get a lot of comfort with user control at an affordable price that fits your budget.
Best Comfortable Lightweight Wheelchair
The S-115 Ultra Light Ergonomic Wheelchair by Karman is the lightest wheelchair in its class weighing just 25 lbs so your loved one can be mobile and still live independently. It also has several convenient features that improve your life of users like its fully reclining backrest, adjustable leg rest, reclining seat, super-comfortable gel cushion seat, and 24″ rear wheels & 7″ front casters that are perfect for indoor and outdoor use.
Best Sleek & Portable Lightweight Wheelchair
The Karman 24 pounds LT-980 is a great wheelchair for all users looking for a lightweight product. It’s strong, durable, and comfortable. Weighing only 24 lbs, the lightweight wheelchair is great for daily use and traveling. It has a detachable footrest, with height-adjustable armrests, five-star wheels, and non-marking tires that are easier on floors and carpets.
Best Electric Lightweight Wheelchair
The Innuovo Lightweight Electric Wheelchair is specially designed for those customers who are looking for a folding wheelchair that is lightweight and made from high-quality materials. With its racing style, it has a sporty look that will be your perfect assistant when you go camping, travel, or shopping. Designed to fit a wide range of users and budgets, this rugged and reliable wheelchair offers true mobility for active people.
Best Lightweight Chair For Maintainance-Free Use
The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair with Locking Hand Brakes is the perfect solution for active families. With easy-to-maneuver independent tilt-in-space swivel front wheels, reclining seats and adjustable leg rests, this chair is ideal for all ages. It’s lightweight, with a durable aluminum frame and a weight capacity of 300 pounds, providing maximum safety and comfort as needed.
Best Lightweight Chair For Kids
Field-tested for durability, Medline Kids Pediatric Wheelchair combines lightweight maneuverability with rugged construction to provide your growing child with a safe and comfortable wheelchair. The adjustable padded shoulder harness, padded seat with ventilation holes for air circulation, and supportive rear axle pads help the chair accommodate children of various sizes.
Best Lightweight Wheelchair For Plus-Sized Users
Hi-Fortune is pleased to introduce to you their new innovative design wheelchair, 21 lbs Lightweight Magnesium Wheelchair. This lightweight wheelchair was designed from the ground up to provide maximum maneuverability with minimum weight. It lightweight design makes it an excellent choice for elderlies and persons with limited mobility or strength.
Best Heavy-Duty Lightweight Wheelchair
The ALCO 22″ Heavy Duty Chrome Wheelchair (500 lb. Weight Capacity) is constructed to easily propel plus-sized users to any destination of their choice regardless of the terrain. This stylish, comfortable wheelchair features a contoured seat to help with pressure relief, independent adjustable dual-position footrests, and a removable backrest for added flexibility.
Are Lightweight Wheelchairs Convenient For Traveling?
Lightweight wheelchairs are good for traveling. This is because they provide the user with comfort and a plethora of other safety features. They also fold up for convenience, which makes them excellent for travel on buses, trains, boats, and planes.
How Heavy Can A Lightweight Wheelchair Be?
Lightweight wheelchairs aren’t created to be heavy. The heaviest ones weigh between 29 and 35 pounds.
How Much Does A Lightweight Wheelchair Cost?
Averagely, a lightweight wheelchair could cost anywhere from $150 to $3,500.
What Is The Highest Speed For Motorized Wheelchairs?
Motorized wheelchairs offer a maximum speed of 4 mph.
What Is The Main Benefit Of A Lightweight Wheelchair?
The advantage of this type of wheelchair is that it is constructed with lighter materials. They are also easy to fold and transport and users find it easy to store them in smaller vehicles and spaces.
Furthermore, a lightweight wheelchair is not as bulky and heavy as standard wheelchairs. Therefore, users can fully enjoy the freedom and independence they crave during self-propulsion. Lightweight wheelchairs remain the most affordable option for disabled people or individuals with mobility issues.
Top 10 Best Transport Wheelchair In 2022
Top 10 Best Electric Wheelchair In 2022
Top 10 Best Manual Wheelchairs In 2022
Overall Best Lightweight Wheelchairs
Lighter wheelchairs are considered to be a better choice because they’re easier to move. If a wheelchair is too heavy, it will be hard for both you and your loved one to use. If it is lightweight though, it can be ideal for everyday use.
There are things you need to consider first before making your decision. In this article, I am going to share some of the best lightweight wheelchairs that guarantee easy movement regardless of the injury or extent of your disability.
1. Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair
Medline’s lightweight transport wheelchair remains the best option for seniors and elderly who need a caregiver to help them rather than manually propelling themselves. Owing to this comfort and performance, this wheelchair remains reliable for older adults who want a more active lifestyle. The seat of the chair features nylon upholstery made from soft and breathable material for comfort. This is a better choice than vinyl material because it is easy to clean.
On the back of this chair is a 12-inch wheel for outdoor traction coupled with manual hand brakes for extra protection and safety. The chair provides support for weights of up to 300 pounds. It is worth notable that this chair itself weighs 22lbs, which is incredible considering the list of useful features incorporated in it. Also, it has a sturdy and powder-coated frame that prevents rust.
Furthermore, it comes with removable elevating footrests to improve the user’s comfort. The elevating leg rests is particularly useful as it helps prevent leg symptoms that older adults may face. It is equipped with desk-length armrests, which can be flipped back when not needed. This chair doesn’t provide much comfort as it is not designed for long-term sitting. However, we noticed that it has a wide seat that should accommodate most users.
2. Drive Medical Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair
This wheelchair is designed with a durable steel frame and it has a weight-bearing capacity of 250 pounds. It provides great stability, which makes it an ideal option for many disabled individuals. It can be used independently or can be driven by an assistant or caregiver.
It provides excellent maneuverability in tight and narrow indoor spaces. This Drive Medical Transport Wheelchair is designed with swing-away footrests and cushioned armrests that offer increased comfort to users. The chair and backrest fold flat for easy transport and storage.
Most importantly, this chair has a comfortable seat and the nylon upholstery is so easy to clean. Occupants of this wheelchair will have a comfortable experience even if they sit on it for prolonged periods.
3. NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair
The NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair is built to provide easy transport for patients or users. It is lightweight, foldable, and offers easy maneuverability. One of the major features of this chair is the secondary wheel locks coupled with the detachable anti-tippers, which add an extra layer of safety to this product.
Furthermore, it comes with an adjustable seat belt alongside a small storage pouch for storing items such as your smartphone, keys, or purse. The patented locking handbrakes and the 12-inch rear wheel help to control the speed of the chair.
The removable desk arms are padded and can flip up, which makes it easier to transfer the person in the wheelchair from the chair, bed, or car. The adjustable footrests are designed with heel loops for the user to relax their feet. Also, the footrests can be removed and locked back into their position.
Benefits of Lightweight Wheelchairs
Lightweight wheelchairs are popular in the market because they offer more freedom and mobility to users. When juxtaposed side by side with standard wheelchairs, lightweight wheelchairs are easier to propel and maneuver.
Below are some of the advantages of getting a lightweight wheelchair:
- Suited for indoor and outdoor use: Lightweight wheelchairs are suitable for both outdoor and indoor use. You don’t have to switch from one wheelchair to another when you have a lightweight wheelchair in your home.
- Easy to Carry: Another benefit of lightweight wheelchairs is that they are portable and very easy to carry. They typically weigh around 14 lbs.
- Distributes Weight Evenly: Since this type of wheelchair is lighter, they won’t suppose those on the heavier side. If you weigh around 250 lbs or less, you can consider using a lightweight wheelchair. However, if you weigh above 250 pounds, a heavy-duty or bariatric wheelchair can be a good option. Lightweight wheelchairs are designed with a sturdy frame and they distribute the user’s weight evenly.
- Easy to Store: Since these chairs are collapsible, they can be easy to store. With their folding ability, you can fold and keep the wheelchair under your bed or in a tight corner of your home until further use. Lightweight wheelchairs will help you save some space.
- Easy to Maneuver: Most lightweight wheelchairs are designed with large wheels. This means that you don’t have to apply much force or effort in maneuvering the wheelchair. Even if you are manually propelling the movement, you can move around swiftly without straining your hands.
- Gives You Independence: Unlike traditional wheelchairs that can strain your hands or require the assistance of a caregiver, the lightweight models allow you to manually propel yourself. They are not bulky, so users can operate them with ease.
Important Features to Consider When Purchasing a Lightweight Wheelchair
Choosing a lightweight wheelchair shouldn’t make you compromise on comfort and other features that you should enjoy. From time to time, users’ tastes and preferences impact the market system and manufacturers integrate some special features into the newer models they create.
Although the most important feature to look out for in a lightweight wheelchair should be its lightness and portability. Notwithstanding, there are a few other variables to consider. Here’s a detailed buying guide on the factors to consider to choose the right lightweight wheelchair.
1. Personal Needs and Requirements
Individuals use different mobile devices for different reasons. For example, people who have amputations or are paralyzed have special needs compared to those who are not. Some users may need more safety features and a balancing system in the wheelchair to prevent accidental falls.
Before you purchase a wheelchair, you should know whether you rely on it as your main or supplementary form of mobility assistance. If you need a wheelchair for supplementary aid, you should go for a portable, economical, and lightweight chair. On the other hand, if you need a mobility aid for recovery after surgery, you can opt for a stand-up wheelchair. This type of wheelchair offers the basic function of a wheelchair and they also provide users with standing support for easy ups and downs.
In case you are fully reliant on wheelchairs for mobility, then having an ergonomic wheelchair will be perfect for you.
2. Weight-bearing capacity
If you are buying a chair to transport or propel your loved one, you should think about the weight of the user and the weight of the chair. The chair should not only be light but also strong enough to accommodate the weight of the person sitting in it. A lighter chair is easier to self-propel, push, fold and carry in the vehicle.
Transport wheelchairs generally weigh around 25 to 35 pounds and they are collapsible as well. Chairs that fall within this range do not have too much weight and this makes it easy for someone to push them.
3. Foldable design
A lightweight wheelchair improves the independence and mobility of the user. Apart from this, the foldable feature is one of the reasons why it is popular in the market. You should opt for foldable wheelchairs as they are portable and easy to carry while traveling. Even if this factor isn’t among your priorities, it can be a wise idea to include it. Getting a wheelchair with folding ability can save you the headache of having a bulky model.
If the manufacturer backs the product with a good warranty, it can be assumed that the product is of good quality. So, if there is an issue with the wheelchair, you can rely on them to get it solved.
5. User Body Type
Another factor to consider before you purchase a wheelchair is your body type or the physical build of the wheelchair user. Consider any aspect, ranging from your age, shape, height, weight, body build, composition, and shape to find the model that best fits you.
If you need upper body support, consider getting a high-back reclining wheelchair. People who would like to traverse different terrains should go for all-terrain wheelchairs.
You can as well consult a medical professional or physiotherapist and request a wheelchair recommendation that suits your needs.
6. User Strength and Ability
If you are hunting for a lightweight wheelchair, your choice should also be influenced by your physical strength. If you do not have the power and capacity to push yourself on your weight, you may have to consider having power-assisted wheels or an electric wheelchair. Even though they are on the high side, they can provide to be a good investment for you in the long term.
Another thing is to consider the area or surface where you will be using the chair. Are you planning on taking it outside where the terrain may be rougher or strictly for home use? Most newer wheelchair models are built with a powerful set of wheels that provide more traction and stability. So, you look at the possibility of these wheelchairs if you intend to use them for outdoor use.
The place where you’ll spend most of your time can affect your choice, so you need to put your lifestyle into consideration. Different wheelchairs come with many features, components, properties, and specifications. Then, it is up to you to decide the ones to best fit your needs. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you may want to get a wheelchair that provides high traction and moves over rough terrains with ease. If you are the indoor type, getting a wheelchair that is easy to maneuver in tighter areas in your home should be your priority.
Pay attention that chairs that move around easily. Look for a transport chair that is responsive in tight areas and provides good traction on gravel, grass, and non-solid surfaces. You would want to make sure the chair is easy for the wheelchair occupant and caregiver to maneuver.
The right chair should be comfortable for the person sitting on it. Some chairs provide some level of padding to provide comfort. Others also come with removable armrests and footrests, and sweat-resistant seat material.
Although this type of chair isn’t designed for long-term sitting, wheelchair manufacturers are working tirelessly to enhance the level of comfort provided by their products. Before making your final purchase, ensure that the chair you want to buy has enough padding for the buttocks and back, and provide padded armrests and footrests for extra cushion.
10. Wheelchair Size and Weight
The wheelchair’s size and dimensions are important factors that come to mind when choosing a wheelchair. In the same vein, a wheelchair’s weight is directly proportional to the strength or effort required to move it manually.
Heavier wheelchairs will be burdensome to people who lack sufficient arm strength. So, if you want a lightweight wheelchair, opt for the ones made from lighter materials such as carbon steel or aluminum. Such materials help to minimize and optimize the overall weight of the wheelchair.
Also, wheelchairs with removable parts can lessen the load or weight significantly. Since lightweight wheelchairs come in a variety of different sizes and weights, you should take your time to measure the most suitable fit for a comfortable experience.
The seat is an important part of the wheelchair since this is where you sit. Wheelchair seats come in different sizes and dimensions, so you must pick a seat that supports your body type. The seat should provide good lumbar support and enough cushioning to keep you comfortable and relaxed for long periods.
Additionally, the cover material or the material used for covering the chair’s cushion is also essential. The chair material should be easy to maintain, clean, and resistant to dirt and bacteria.
12. Headrests, Armrests, and Footrests
The wheelchair should provide a headrest to support your neck. It should also have armrests and footrests, which should be adjustable and removable. With this feature, the user should be able to put away the footrests and armrests when they are not needed.
13. Weather Protection
Most high-end or modern wheelchairs provide useful features such as waterproof. Some are designed with leg warmers that keep you cozy during cold weather.
14. Safety Features
If you are buying a wheelchair for a senior or an elderly who struggles to hold himself up, you will need safety features such as calf loops and seat belts. This feature helps keeps the user secured always.
15. Customization and Additional Accessories
Various manufacturer provides lots of customization options to meet the needs and preferences of buyers. Some models are designed with a storage bag to aid transport. Contact your supplier or manufacturer to find out what accessories your model offer.
If you are searching for a lightweight wheelchair for yourself or a loved one, the good news is that there are lots of high-quality ones on the market. Lately, many manufacturers have improved their products and released new models with better maneuverability, comfort, support, and convenience.
Individuals who are looking for lightweight wheelchairs should experience no trouble in selecting from the options we listed here. Whether you are looking for a wheelchair for backup, short-term or temporal basis, our top picks will be perfect for your individual needs and condition.
When you’re trying to decide what’s the best wheelchair for you, you need to have a lot of criteria in mind. Will it fit through doorways? Does it weigh less than what you can currently lift onto your lap? Does it come in the right color? The list goes on and on.
What we’ve done is simplified that process for you by putting together this handy dandy piece of web content about lightweight wheelchairs that will help you make the right choice when buying one.