Getting a wheelchair that can combine strength and lightweight is golden and we have decided to give you the review of the best lightweight wheelchair.
Before looking for a lightweight wheelchair, you must have been sure about the type of wheelchair you wish to get. If you are not sure about that, our article on the best wheelchair gives all-round information on it. You will understand the difference between wheelchair types, their mode of operation and uses.
In this article, we limit a lightweight wheelchair to manual standard self-propelled wheelchair and transport wheelchair alone because electric power wheelchair should not be referred to as lightweight as they are most time heavy due to their extra features and weight of the battery used in powering them
In this article, we reviewed some ultra-lightweight wheelchairs – both manual standard wheelchair and transport wheelchair. We understand how important it is to get something you can conveniently carry when there is a need for such, so we researched to get you the best lightweight wheelchairs that are also sturdy and durable.
Quick View Table – Top Lightweight Wheelchairs
Overall Best lightweight self-propelled wheelchairs
This is one of the best self-propel wheelchairs and a suitable one for adults and seniors. It weighs just 33 pounds making it easy to propel yourself or easy for your caregiver.
Medline Lightweight wheelchair has gained a lot of positive feedback from users and also one of the most purchased wheelchairs on Amazon.
Its ergonomic features make it standouts among others with various parts that can easily relate with by the user, from the adjustable seat, removable desk arm, sideway flipping to leg rests.
It also comes with an affordable price without compromising quality. The frame of the wheelchair is strong, durable, reliable and sturdily built.
With Medline’s good warranty program, you get to purchase with assurance. 3 years warranty on the frame and 1 year on non-durable components such as handgrips and push-buttons.
Overall Best lightweight Transport wheelchair
The frame is made in X-Shape to facilitate easy folding of the wheelchair into a compact size making it a good choice for traveling and easy to store. It will easily fit into any car truck and suitable for an airplane.
Its hand brake is easy to engage by the caregiver for controlling the speed. The transport wheelchair also has an added secondary wheel locks and removable anti-tippers, and seat belt for added safety.
It has removable footrests that are easy to remove and lock back into position. The strong canister wheels also make it an easy to maneuver device on all floor types.
You also get to store your personal belongings safely in the added safety pouch with 9” W x 6.25” H dimension. We find it to be among the best lightweight wheelchair and we recommend the product.
See also: Best rollator transport chair combo
What is the standard weight of a lightweight wheelchair?
Wheelchairs are made with different materials and also might have different added accessories that will ultimately determine the weight of the product.
In this article, we select all the chosen products to revolve around 33 pounds which happens to be the standard weight of any lightweight self-propelled or transport wheelchair.
How to select the best lightweight wheelchair
A wheelchair is an essential mobility aid and getting a lightweight one is a vital factor in your mobility and comfort. Nevertheless, there are some other factors that needed to be taken into proper consideration before selecting any wheelchair.
Self-propelled Wheelchair vs. Transport wheelchair
Be specific and clear about your needs. There are various factors that guide you on which to go for between the two types of a manual wheelchair – self-propelled and transport wheelchair:
- If you need it for a short time, you might want to consider transport wheelchair over self-propelled.
- You need to consider if there is someone that can be your caregiver before you go for a transport wheelchair.
- A transport wheelchair is perfect if you wish to go on a walk with family and friends to spend quality time.
- Your personal preference is also a factor. Some like the big wheel, self-propelled wheelchair while it is not appealing to some.
- Upper body strength is also a big factor. Is your arm strong enough for a self-propelled wheelchair? Would you need someone to be your caregiver due to weak arm/upper body strength?
Weight of the Wheelchair
You need a lightweight wheelchair, it is only sensible you go for something light in weight. You need to check the weight of the product when the leg rests are not fixed and when they are fixed.
When you are traveling, it is likely you remove the leg rests before packing into your car truck, so, it is important to know the difference in this weight.
Ensure that the weight is not too heavy when the leg rests are fixed as this will determine a lot about your comfort while moving the mobility aid.
The material of the Frame
Your willingness to get a lightweight wheelchair should not blind you from looking into other vital factors like the strength of the frame. The best wheelchairs are mostly made with aluminum/aluminum alloys while some are made with steel. We recommend these two materials especially aluminum as it is a material that combines strength with lightness to give a durable, reliable and lightweight product.
It is also vital you check the weight carrying capacity of any mobility aid, be it wheelchair, rollator walker, crutch, knee scooters, and others. Ensure that your body weight does not exceed the weight carrying capacity of the device. We recommend you go for something that has weight capacity for greater than your body weight to ensure your safety.
These include the brake system and the seat belt. You don’t want to buy a wheelchair without a good brake system backed with a good warranty program. It also encompasses the lock system that holds the wheelchair in a position. The seat belt also holds you safe in the wheelchair.
Getting a product you can easily relate to its body part is also a good factor to look out for. Adjustable footrest, flip-up armrest, adjustable handles for transport wheelchair and so on. All these are essential as they enhance comfort to the user.
Dimensions of the wheelchair
A wheelchair can have all the best qualities but not a good fit for some individuals due to the dimensions of the wheelchair. We all have different body sizes and shapes and should go for a wheelchair that can accommodate our body size. The width between the handles and the dimension of the seat are very essential as they determine how you easily get in and out of the device. The wheel size is also important.
One of the reasons you will want a lightweight wheelchair is for traveling purposes. Lightweight wheelchairs are the best option for traveling but being light is not the only factor to consider but its foldable feature.
We recommend you go for a wheelchair that can be easily folded into a compact size. This will enable you to easily carry along, fit into a car truck or airplane cabinet.
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Top Self-Propel Manual Lightweight Wheelchairs
The downside about the wheelchair is the price which may not be affordable by everyone but it has a lot of features that enhance the comfort of the user and also last for a long time.
The seat and backrest are cushioned to enhance the comfort of the user; they are also built to mimic the contour of the back, according to the natural curve of the body thereby reducing the risk of developing pressure ulcers and scoliosis.
All its parts are relatable to and easy to operate. The cushion on the seat and backrest can be removed; armrest can be flipped backward for easy access while the leg rests can also be removed and the seat height adjustable. These ergonomic features ensure easy usage and customization to the user’s preference.
For the price, it is a good buy if you can afford it; its price is $591 on Amazon. It is one of the best lightweight wheelchairs and we recommend it.
When you are looking for the best lightweight wheelchair, this is one of the best self-propelled manual wheelchairs you can get in the market with its overall weight of 21 pounds.
The wheelchair has a solid and sturdy frame which is very light in weight due to the material used in making it. This makes it to perfectly combine strength with lightness, thereby, ensuring its place among the best lightweight manual wheelchair.
It can also be used as a transport wheelchair as there is an allowance for the caregiver. The handles are equipped with a brake that the caregiver can use in controlling the speed and locking the wheelchair for better safety. Front brake when used as a self-propelled chair.
The wheelchair maneuver easily and ergonomic design ensures easy usage for the user – swing-away leg rests, foldable feature for traveling purpose.
For a wheelchair with 350 pounds weight carrying capacity and a weight of 41 pounds, we can safely refer to it as a lightweight wheelchair. This is a wheelchair we can call a lightweight heavy-duty wheelchair.
To have such high weight capacity, it has to be made by a strong and lightweight material which happens to be carbon steel in this case. The frame is very strong and built to withstand high pressures.
It comes standard with, detachable flip back arms, swing away and elevating footrests, black nylon upholstery, composite Mag-style wheels and push to lock wheel locks. The seat is also properly cushioned for better comfort of the user.
It has an overall width of 28 inches that will easily pass through most standard doors; this makes it a good choice for indoor and outdoor use. The strong wheel makes it suitable for all types of floors.
Karman’s lightweight manual wheelchair by Karman Healthcare is also one of the best self-propelled wheelchairs. It is built to enhance the comfort of the user and strong enough to last for a long period.
It is not only light in weight but also very easy to fold. This makes it a great choice for traveling as it folds into a compact size that could easily fit into any travel suitcase and car truck.
A caregiver can also push the user as there are handles to allow this. The only care should be taken with brake system as there is no rear brake the caregiver can engage to control the speed but a front brake.
It comes with a pocket-friendly price and has enjoyed positive comments from previous users of the wheelchair. it is no doubt among the best lightweight manual self-propelled wheelchair.
Having a weight of just 15kg, Invacare Tracer wheelchair is definitely one of the best wheelchairs with lightweight. It is made in different styles of footrests and seat dimensions to allow buyers to have more than one option.
Invacare is made with carbon steel, thereby giving the frame the strength to withhold high pressure. The joints are also properly weld and screwed appropriately to make the frame sturdy and robust.
It can also be used as a transport wheelchair with the handles that a caregiver can use to push the user from behind. There is also a heavy-duty liner to keep the seat and the back from stretching.
The wheelchair also folds into a compact size for easy storage and transport. Its armrest can be flipped backward to allow the user conveniently make use of tables and desk and also allow the user get in and out of the wheelchair easily.
Karman Healthcare is known for making the lightest wheelchair. All their products have the characteristics of being an ultra-lightweight wheelchair and this product is not an exception with an overall weight of 19.8 pounds (9kg).
This brand is also known for giving a product with the best comfort, from well-cushioned seat and backrest to other ergonomic features that put the user in control. The lightweight wheelchair is very easy to engage and has adjustable features that enhance the comfort of the user.
Though very costly but the products come with the best warranty scheme. You will get a lifetime warranty on the frame and other components of the wheelchair.
There are two styles available – fixed axle and quick release axle which a buyer can choose the style more suitable to him/her.
It only has a weight capacity of 220 pounds (100kg). Apart from the high price, we find no other downside of the product and we recommend it if you can afford it.
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Top Lightweight Transport Wheelchairs
Medline produces a great transport wheelchair in this product and so became the top purchased product and Amazon choice for transport wheelchair category. It is light in weight thereby making it cement its spot as our overall best lightweight wheelchair.
It only weighs 23.5 pounds with a weight carrying capacity of 300 pounds. The frame is made with ultra-light and durable aluminum, robustly constructed for stability and strength.
The wheels are also durable with 12 inches rear wheel and 8inches front wheel. They can perform well on all floor surfaces – indoor and outdoor, making it a great selection for all-terrain.
Also included are safety accessories like the seat belt to prevent fall, detachable footrests, easily engaged hand brake, and comfortable nylon upholstery – all working to give the user a perfect safety and comfort.
If you are in search of a portable, lightweight transport wheelchair, you might stop your search here and go for this device. It is one of the best portable and lightweight wheelchairs out there and one of Amazon’s top products.
It is a product proudly made in the United States with a lot of features that make it buyers’ choice. Apart from being light in weight, it has a strong and sturdy frame that can support a user’s weight of 250 pounds.
It is also a portable device that also folds into a compact size for traveling and storage purposes. The frame is made with aluminum with and seat with nylon upholstery for better comfort of the user.
We recommend you consider this wheelchair for traveling purposes. Its ability to fold into a very portable size with its lightness in weight makes it our number one choice for traveling.
This is also one of the few ultra-light transport wheelchairs and one of the best in qualities, durable features, comfortable and easy to fold for traveling purposes.
The frame of the wheelchair is made in X-shape to facilitate easy folding, together with lightness in weight makes it a great choice for traveling purposes. It fits into any car truck and can be carried on an airplane.
It has a weight carrying capacity of 300 pounds despite weighing as little as 16.5 pounds. This shows how it conveniently combines strength with lightness due to the quality of the material used in making the frame.
It is also a good one for the price and the only downside of the product is the handgrip which some users find it uncomfortable. It has an overall great customer’s review and no doubt one of the best you can try.
With a weight of 29 pounds and having every other feature that should be found in a good wheelchair removes any doubt about the product. Apart from being the Amazon choice for the transport wheelchair category, it has also enjoyed wide acceptance among users and accrue large positive feedback over time.
There is no flimsy part that could add any dead weight to the weight of the product. The wheelchair is built to be straight and concise with all its parts having their specific work.
It is also easy to use with an easy to engage handbrake which the caregiver can easily engage to control the speed of the wheelchair. An added seat belt also gives more safety to the user by limiting the risk of falling.
You can also easily fold it into a compact size for traveling and storage purposes. Its overall width us 22 inches and will easily pass across any standard door without inconvenience.
With its ultra-lightweight design, ProBasics Transport wheelchair is one of the best lightweight wheelchairs we recommend among several products in the market. The product weighs just 20 pounds and can carry users with a weight of 250 pounds.
For better comfort of the user, the armrest of the wheelchair is well padded and nylon upholstery. Also added is composite leg rests and safety belt to prevent falls. The handgrip is evenly contoured to relieve pressure on the palm of the caregiver.
It is equipped with 8 inches canister wheel with lock in the back to hold it in a stationary position when it is so desired. Added to the lightness, the wheelchair is very portable, making it a good choice for traveling.
There is no tool required as it comes complete with 19.75 inches wide padded nylon upholstery seat and back, seat belt, tool-free height-adjustable swing-away composite footrests with heel loops.
This is also one among NOVA’s product, the wheelchair is among our top pick for the best lightweight wheelchair because of its qualities, added to the lightness in weight.
It is one of the most versatile wheelchairs suitable for transport. The wheel is very rugged, thereby making it maneuvers well on all ground. It has 12 inches rear wheel and 8 inches front wheel.
NOVA’s patented hand brake allows the caregiver to easily control the speed and put into locking position. This enhances safety on incline surfaces, bumps, and all-terrain.
It has a back pocket with Velcro cover and contoured rear push handles for added comfort. The comfortable padded upholstery and arm pads are reinforced to prevent stretching or ripping.
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Why you should get a lightweight wheelchair
Wheelchairs, as the name implies, are equipped with sturdy and durable wheels, thereby, you need little effort in propelling them forward. The weight of the wheelchair actually does not make any difference when you are making use of it for movement from one place to another.
So, why do you need to get a lightweight wheelchair? A lightweight wheelchair is mostly needed because there are some situations that might require you to carry the wheelchair. For example, when you are going on a journey and you need the wheelchair along with you, I’m sure you do not need something too heavy that would make your journey a stressful one.
Also, in the home, there will always be a need to move it from one place to the other; peradventure you needed to change the storage space or whatever reason it might be. Getting a heavy one might not be too comfortable for the user, thereby making a lightweight wheelchair a good option to opt for when shopping for this mobility aid.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a lightweight wheelchair cost?
There is no standard cost of a wheelchair as the price ranges from the affordable ones to the more expensive. A buyer should get a good wheelchair from $100 – $600.
What is the difference between a wheelchair and a transfer chair?
A transfer chair/ Transport wheelchair is another type of manual wheelchair that will require a caregiver to push the user from behind. A standard wheelchair will have a big wheel that the user can use for self-propelling. The transfer chair has smaller wheels while standard wheelchair has a big wheel and does not require a caregiver.
Can a wheelchair fit through a 30-inch door?
Most lightweight wheelchairs have an overall width lesser than 30 inches. Therefore, the wheelchair should pass through any standard door, including a 30-inch door.
What is the best brand for wheelchairs?
There are a lot of brands available, they make good wheelchairs and out top 14 products are selected from these brands. They include Medline, NOVA, and Drive Medical among others.
Lightweight wheelchair, either transports wheelchair or self-propelled are very essential for mobility among patients that cannot stand on their two feet.
We recommend Medline Lightweight & User-Friendly Wheelchair as the overall best choice for a self-propelled wheelchair because it has every feature that enhances its durability, comfort of the user and positive feedback from past users.
NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair is our top choice in the transport wheelchair category. It has good features that ensure the comfort of the user and the caregiver. Also, its safety features are top-notch especially the brake system.
We, however, encourage you to read about other products as we ensure that all our reviewed wheelchairs are not only light in weight but also equipped with features that should be found in the best lightweight wheelchair.