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Best Lightweight Wheelchairs

Compared to heavy-duty wheelchairs, lightweight wheelchairs are easy to transport and store. That’s why lightweight ones seem more popular in the market now.

best lightweight wheelchair

We know you need a lightweight one but not a flimsy one. Therefore we come up with this lightweight wheelchair buying guide to tell you how to choose the best one that caters to your needs.

Our Top Picks

There are a few types of wheelchairs in the market, we try to pick the best lightweight wheelchairs according to those types. You can check it directly if you are in a hurry.

Best Overall
Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with...
Best High Quality Lightweight Wheelchair
Karman Healthcare 19.8 lbs Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight...
Lightweight Reclining Wheelchair
Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining...
Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with...
Karman Healthcare 19.8 lbs Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight...
Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining...

Wegiht: 23.5 lbs

Support up to 300 lbs

Good for outdoor use

Wegiht: 19.8 lbs

Support up to 300 lbs

Ergonomic designs

Wegiht: 61 lbs

Very safe and comfortable to use it

The angle of back can be set to 180 degrees
Best Overall
Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with...
Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with...

Wegiht: 23.5 lbs

Support up to 300 lbs

Good for outdoor use
Best High Quality Lightweight Wheelchair
Karman Healthcare 19.8 lbs Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight...
Karman Healthcare 19.8 lbs Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight...

Wegiht: 19.8 lbs

Support up to 300 lbs

Ergonomic designs
Lightweight Reclining Wheelchair
Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining...
Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining...

Wegiht: 61 lbs

Very safe and comfortable to use it

The angle of back can be set to 180 degrees

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-08-04 at 04:05

Best Lightweight Wheelchairs: Reviews

1. Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair – Best Overall

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-08-04 at 04:05

Medline lightweight transport wheelchair is overall the best lightweight wheelchair on our list. If you are looking for a transport chair instead of a manual one, this one will not let you down.

Weighing only 23.5lbs, this chair is made with ultralight aluminum. You could fold, push and lift it with a breeze.

What we like is that it comes with 12″ big rear wheels. This is not commonly seen in the market and offers better maneuverability than other models.

As for safety, it features loop-lock handbrakes, allowing you to control and stop the rear wheels easily. The seatbelt makes you feel more secured while sitting on it.

Its seat dimensions are 19 X 16 inches which fits most users and the breathable nylon upholstery is comfortable to sit in.

While it is not the lightest model in the market, given the cost, features, and durability, it is one of the best lightweight transport wheelchairs to buy.

Pros

  • Has safety seat belt
  • Permanent armrests and removable footrests
  • Easily folds for transport
  • Holds weight of 300 pounds
  • The 12″ rear wheels can operate on uneven outdoor surfaces

Cons

  • A caregiver or a helper must be available to push it
  • Taller people may not be comfortable on the chair is close to the ground

2. Karman Healthcare Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair – Best Premium Lightweight Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-08-03 at 23:14

For seniors who don’t mind investing a bit more money, we advise you to go for this Karman wheelchair.

Weighing only 19.8lbs, this chair is one of the lightest wheelchairs in the market. The reason why it could be so lightweight is that it is made with Aircraft Grade T6 Aluminum and uses geometry creatively.

We also like that the S shape frame could effectively reduce the happens of ulcers. This is a great feature for patients who need to stay in a wheelchair for a long time.

The 20″ big rear wheels provide enough maneuverability and when you fold it, this chair would bend into a small size. Plus, the footrest and rear wheels are removable.

This is a self-propelled wheelchair, but the companion brake is still very easy to control, making it a comfortable wheelchair for caregivers as well.

All in all, the manufacturer takes into account all the details and you will feel very happy and relaxed while using it.

Pros

  • Ultra lightweight: 19.8lbs in total.
  • Ergonomic designs.
  • Can be folded into small size.
  • AEGIS Upholstery is breathable.
  • The S shape frame helps to reduce ulcers.

Cons

  • Expensive.

3. Medline MDS806550E Lightweight Wheelchair – Best User-Friendly Chair

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While it is not the lightest model in the market, we still want to include it in our list due to the fact that it is very user-friendly.

What makes it apart from other wheelchairs is its adjustability. It features comfortable desk-length arms which you could flip back while navigating under the table. If you like to go out for dinner, it is a must-have.

Both the seat and backrest are also adjustable, allowing you to find a perfect position for your body. The removable elevating leg rests add more comfort for you.

Moreover, the flat-free tires of these chairs roll smoothly and require little maintenance, but they may not be able to maneuver on all types of surfaces.

This wheelchair is well-made and can accommodate a weight of 300 pounds. However, it weighs 33lbs without leg rests which may not be the ideal “lightweight wheelchair” in your mind.

Pros

  • Soft nylon upholstery
  • Elevating leg and armrests for comfort
  • Flat-free tires that roll smoothly without the help of a caregiver
  • Reliable and durable design
  • 300 lbs weight capacity.
  • Breathable and comfortable upholystery
  • It is user-friendly

Cons

  • Upholstery may overstretch.
  • Heavier than other models.
  • Not perfect for uneven surfaces

4. Innuovo Electric Power Wheelchair – Best Lightweight Electric Wheelchair

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As you know, electric wheelchairs are heavier than manual wheelchairs because they include motors and batteries.

However, the weight of this Innuovo wheelchair is only 43 lbs without batteries, making it one of the lightweight electric wheelchairs in the market.

You can rest assured of the quality. This chair is FDA approved and has a 5-year warranty for the frame and a 1-year warranty for the motor and battery.

Using it is pretty straightforward. By putting the controller on to either side of your armrest, installing the batteries and you are good to go. The armrest also has a flip-up design, allowing you to get out of the chair on the side or navigate under the table easily.

It comes with 2 batteries, but you only need to use one at once and the other is for backup. The motor is powerful and quiet, which allows you to climb the slope with a breeze.

The portability is impressive. It could be folded into the truck or the middle-size suitcase. You will also enjoy sitting in the chair as the thick cushions offer good support for your back and hip.

Pros

  • Quick to stop and control
  • Has a supporting and bark up battery
  • Easy to fold
  • Thick seat cushion for comfort
  • Has seat belt for safety
  • 360-degrees joystick

Cons

  • The price is very high compared to other lightweight wheelchairs.

5. Medline Ultralight Transport Wheelchair – Best Lightweight Folding Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-08-04 at 04:05

For seniors who are looking for the lightest transport wheelchair, this one is the best.

The 14.8 lbs weight is the main reason why it is so popular in the market. It also features a compact folding design, making it a great mobility aid for travel.

Even though it is ultralightweight, the frame is strong enough to support up to 300 lbs. In addition, the seat width is 19″ which is suitable for most users.

When you look at this lightweight wheelchair carefully, you will be impressed by these details. The low armrest is designed for using it at restaurants and the cupholder and back bag is good for storing personal items.

However, the front and rear wheel sizes are 6″ and 8″, which is not an ideal choice for outdoor use.

Pros

  • Weight only 14.8 lbs.
  • Easy to fold and store.
  • Back pocket and cup holder included.

Cons

  • Small wheels make it not a good choice for some terrians.
  • It is easy to tip backward.

6. Drive Medical SSP20RBDDA Silver Sport Reclining Wheelchair – Best Lightweight Reclining Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-08-04 at 02:05

Generally, reclining wheelchairs are heavier than other chairs due to the different constructions. This Drive Medical reclining wheelchair weighs 61 pounds which is the lightweight option in this category.

Made with carbon steel, the frame is sturdy and lightweight. This product can support up to 300 lbs to 350 lbs. The wider the seat width you choose, the higher the weight capacity it has.

You will feel comfortable while sitting or sleeping in it. The angle of the back can be adjusted to 180 degrees with a head cushion located on the head extension. The swing-away footrest helps to relieve pressure and swelling. It also comes with an armrest extension to add more safety and confidence for the user.

What makes this product even safer is its anti-tippers. It works with push-to-lock brakes together to ensure the chair will never tilt backward.

However, it is not foldable and the overall size is bigger than other models.

Pros

  • Can maneuver easily on outdoor surfaces
  • The wheels are sealed for long-lasting performance and reliability
  • Extendable upholstery
  • It’s comfortable

Cons

  • It is heavy hence hard to keep on traveling with it from place to place
  • Does not fold. Therefore it can be challenging when storing

7. Drive Medical TR39E-SV Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair – Cheap Lightweight Wheelchair

#Affiliate links.Last update on 2021-08-03 at 21:44

If you are on a budget or just looking for something that can get the job done, this lightweight wheelchair from Drive Medical can be a good choice.

The product weight is 26 lbs which is not as good as some chairs on our list but still not bad. The product comes with cushioned armrest, seat belt, and footrest. The nylon upholstery is comfortable and it features a folding design.

It fulfills all the basic features that a transport chair should have at an affordable price. However, it lacks some adjustability. You can’t adjust the seat height. Plus, it is not very stable on some uneven surfaces.

The weight capacity is 250 lbs which is suitable for small to middle size people.

Pros

  • Durable steel frame
  • The nylon upholstery is easy to maintain.
  • Foldable for easy transportation and storage

Cons

  • Cannot accommodate much weight.

What Makes A Wheelchair Lightweight?

The main factor that decides the wheelchair weight is the frame. Usually, a carbon fiber frame is the lightest type of material.

However, to make the chair more affordable, manufacturers choose to use aluminum. Not every aluminum material is equal. Some have higher durability and lighter weight.

In addition, the wheelchair accessories add more weight. The bag, cupholder, and footrest all play a role. Therefore, if you want a lightweight wheelchair, pay attention to both the material and accessories.

Benefits of Using a Lightweight Wheelchair

Lightweight wheelchairs are designed to maneuver and propel easily than standard wheelchairs. Additionally, these wheelchairs are easy to store and transport in a vehicle or tight spaces.

Easy to Maneuver and Propel

Unlike standard wheelchairs that may be hard to control along the road, lightweight wheelchairs can quickly be redirected from the path and avoid an accident. If you use a manual wheelchair, you don’t need to take too much effort while pushing it. For caregivers, a lightweight one could make their job much easier.

Convenience Transportation and Storage

Most lightweight wheelchairs have a folding feature that enables them to fit and store even in small spaces.

They can be lifted by anyone and place in the backseat or the trunk. Seniors may be demoralized to go out of the house wondering how to transport the wheelchair, but with a lightweight wheelchair, they can travel to any place.

Provide Comfort

They are sturdy and soft to allow one to travel long distances without discomfort. They also come with armrests and footrests to even make the wheelchairs more comfortable.

These footrests and armrests can be folded or removed to enable more compact designs.

What to Consider When Buying a Lightweight Wheelchair

Choosing the best wheelchair that meets your needs is tough. However, there are essential things that must be considered when buying a lightweight wheelchair.

It’s always important to carefully check all the wheelchair’s features before ordering because some manufacturers do not allow refunds or replacements.

Total Weight

Some models we mentioned above are less than 30 lbs, however, a 50 lbs electric wheelchair is considered to be ultralightweight.

You should make a decision according to the type of wheelchair and some manufacturers don’t count the footrest or batteries into the weight.

Design and Safety Features

If possible, choose a lightweight folding wheelchair. It is better for storage and you will feel so much easier while traveling. For the seniors who cannot maintain their stability, wheelchairs that feature calf loops and seatbelts hold them securely in the same position at all times.

Comfort

Wheelchairs having back cushions and seat cushions are more comfortable than those without cushions. The lightweight version shouldn’t sacrifice comfortability.

They allow the seniors to sit on the wheelchairs for an extended period at ease. Riding on such distances is not a problem and are also motivated to move around to help with some duties.

Ability to Maneuver

Some lightweight wheelchairs are equipped with small wheels. These chairs are only good for indoor use. If you want to go out often, try ones with bigger wheels. Test the maneuverability of the chair especially for seniors to ensure they can move on uneven surfaces.

Wrapping Up

Overall, Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair is the overall best lightweight wheelchair in this post. If you want something long-lasting, then Karman Healthcare Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair is the option you will never regret.

Don’t forget to check the frame weight, casters as well as adjustability as it is essential for getting a comfortable lightweight wheelchair.

Cherry is the editor-in-chief of Mobility With Love. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and a master's degree in Adapted Physical Activity. Her expertise includes biomechanics, biochemistry, nutrition, disability studies, and so on.

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