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Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair Review: Affordable & Foldable

Among all the manual wheelchairs in the marketplace, the Drive Medical Cruiser III wheelchair is definitely one of the most popular models. 

Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair Review

Want to buy it but don’t know if it fits you well? We got you covered. In this Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair Review, we will analyze every detail you need to know about this chair and assist you to make the right decision.

In short, it is an affordable and foldable wheelchair with flip-up armrests. The seat height is adjustable and you have the option to customize different parts of the chair. However, it is not so lightweight that lifting it could be problematic for some wheelchair users or caretakers.

Affordable Manual Wheelchair With Adjustable Seat Height
Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair

Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair


You may also like to read our post about the best manual wheelchairs in the market.

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable. With the features, it includes, it is a great option for cost-conscious shoppers.
  • Best for patient transfer. The flip-up armrests make transferring the user much easier.
  • Foldable. The chair can be folded into small sizes easily
  • High weight capacity. This chair can bear up to 300 lbs.
  • Adjustable. You can change the floor-to-seat height from 17.5" to 19.5" so that you can propel the chair by feet. It is also possible to replace the backrest.
  • Heavy. The 36 lbs product weight makes a hard lifting for some people.
  • Stiff hand brake. The hand brake is too stiff to operate for people with weak hands or who suffer from arthritis.
  • No back pocket for convenient storage
  • The armrest is easy to break.
  • No fold-down backrest.
  • No companion brakes.

Specifications of Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair

Weight Capacity300 lbs
Product Weight:36 lbs
Seat Width16″, 18″, 20″
Floor To Seat Height17.5″ to 19.5
Footrest TypeSwing-Away
Armrest TypeFlip-Up
Frame MaterialCarbon Steel
Assembly RequiredNo

Features and Benefits of Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair

Convenient flip-up armrest

Cruiser III Flip-Up armrest

One thing that every wheelchair user will do daily is getting in and out of the chair. While it would not be a big issue for people who have reasonably strong strength, it can be a hassle for people with less body control and caregivers.

The Drive Medical Cruiser III wheelchair features flip-up armrests which offer enough space for transfer from the chair to bed or couch. Even though the armrest of this chair is a bit hard to operate but it gets the job done anyway.

Another advantage of using flip-up armrests is that you or your loved one can enjoy the dinner at the restaurant more as you can get close to the table just like others do.  

Dual axle

The dual axle mechanism allows you to adjust the seat height into hemi-height. Some wheelchair users lack upper body strength or have other mobility issues, making propel the wheel by hand hard. 

Instead of using a transport chair, Drive Medical Cruiser III wheelchair is able to lower the seat, ensuring your feet can touch the ground and you can propel the wheelchair by feet.

This is great for seniors or others who want to maintain some independence and take some pressure and tiredness off caregivers’ shoulders.

The lower seat also benefits people with lower body height by preventing their legs from hanging in the air.


Cruiser III Portable

Where portability is concerned, we think Drive Medical Cruiser III wheelchair is portable in general.  Featuring a folding design, you can collapse it into a relatively small size. It will fit most trunks of a car.

However, we can’t deny that the 36 lbs product weight is too heavy somewhat for seniors or women with weak hands or who have some specific health conditions. Lifting it into the car would take a lot of effort for those people. If this is the case, you should look for a more lightweight model such as Karman Ergo Flight or Feather Chair.

Some manual wheelchairs include fold-down backrests. Not so with this Cruiser III wheelchair. Therefore, it will take up a little more space than certain competitors.

Low maintenance

In most cases, you don’t need to feel apprehensive about maintaining this chair. The carbon steel frame with a silver vein finish is sturdy and easy to clean. The composite Mag-style wheels are durable and cheap to replace. Plus, the nylon upholstery is breathable and firm.

The only thing you should watch out for is the armrest. The padding is easy to get tears and wears to some extent.

Good maneuverability

Thanks to the 24″ rear wheels and 8″ front wheels, the Drive Medical Cruiser III wheelchair has good performance on most surfaces. Even though the mag-style wheel is a bit stiff, but you can’t feel much while going through the flooring indoors.

Easy to use and assemble

The chair will arrive almost fully assembled and the only thing you need to do is putting the footrests and leg rests on.

Using it is also straightforward. Start by propelling the rear wheels and stop by pulling the hand brake on the hand side.

Note that operating the hand brake could be an issue for someone with arthritis. It will take some effort to get it to work.


Drive Medical Cruiser III Custom

Honestly, it is almost impossible to get a “perfect” wheelchair at such a price point. Luckily, the Drive Medical Cruiser III wheelchair allows you to customize it.

You can add anti-tippers and a seat belt for added safety and insert a back cushion and a pair of calf pads for additional comfort.

There are 3 seat widths available: 16″, 18″ and 20″, with the 300 lbs weight limit, it should be able to accommodate most people.

Who Should Buy The Drive Medical Cruiser III wheelchair?

Drive Medical Cruiser III wheelchair is a functional and affordable wheelchair. Hence, for those who are on a budget but need to get a wheelchair to serve their daily transfer purposes, this one would be a good choice.

You don’t often see a cheap wheelchair that also comes with removable flip-up armrests. Drive Medical Cruiser III wheelchair is exactly that. Once again, this feature makes transferring much easier as they can enter or exit the chair from different directions. For those who have difficulty in this regard, it could be a suitable option.

For those who want to propel the chair by feet, Cruiser III is also a good fit. Your feet will be able to touch the ground by adjusting the seat height into hemi-height. 

As the chair is not as lightweight as some models, we also recommend it to those who have reasonably strong upper body strength. Lifting it may not be as effortless as you expected.

Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair Alternatives

1. Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair

Affordable Manual Wheelchair With Flip-up Armrests
Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair

Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair


This is another affordable manual wheelchair from Drive Medical. The same to Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair, it is made out of carbon steel, making it a sturdy wheelchair to go. Plus, It also comes with a flip-up armrest for easy transfer.

However, they share the same disadvantage: heavy. The product weight of this product is 41.25 lbs and the weight capacity is only 250 lbs.

Different from Cruiser III, you can’t change the seat height into hemi-height but you will get an extra punch to carry personal items.

This model is even cheaper than Cruiser III Wheelchair.

2. Invacare Tracer SX5 Wheelchair

Dual Axle & Long-lasting Wheelchair
Invacare Tracer XS5 Wheelchair

Invacare Tracer XS5 Wheelchair


Tracer SX5 is a popular model from Invacare and the company is known for building solid products. 

Also featuring a dual axle mechanism, the seat height is adjustable and good for propulsion by feet. It also comes with flip-up armrests and the upholstery is heavy-duty and easy to clean.

The manufacturer offers a few options for you to tailor it according to your needs and the maximum seat width is 22″ which is great for people with a broad body frame.

This chair will cost you more than Drive Medical Cruiser III but it could be a most long-lasting option.

When you look at the workmanship, you will understand you get what you paid for. 


Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair is a great option for people who are on a budget or just want to use a manual wheelchair occasionally.

Affordable Manual Wheelchair With Adjustable Seat Height
Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair

Drive Medical Cruiser III Wheelchair


We like the flip-up armrests, adjustable seat height, and the options to add calf pads, anti-tippers, and backrests. While it is not as durable and safe as some high-end products, but it gets the job done.

The carbon steel frame is sturdy but heavy so that it is not a suitable choice for people with weak hands.

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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