Are you looking for a lightweight transport wheelchair for you or a loved one? There are so many to choose from that selecting the right one may seem like a daunting task. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best transport wheelchairs. We’ll also let you know which features you should consider to help you find the one that will best suit your needs.
Transport Wheelchair Features to Consider
How do you know if a transport chair is right for you or your loved one? Here are some of the features you should look at. Everybody will need different features, so pick the ones that are most important to you.
A transport wheelchair can be more of a hassle than it’s worth if it’s difficult to maneuver. Large rear wheels and a push bar on the back of the wheelchair are features that can make it easier to maneuver.
Most lightweight transport wheelchairs fold up, so they’re easier to store or transport. Some can still be quite large or heavy even when folded, though, so if portability is important to you, make sure to check out the dimensions.
The weight of the chair is an important factor. While many transport chairs weigh less than 25 pounds and are fairly easy to lift into a car trunk, some bariatric transport wheelchairs can weigh up to 50 pounds, which may be too difficult for some people to pick up.
Additionally, if the person using the chair weighs more than 200 pounds, you will need to pay close attention to the wheelchair’s weight capacity. Most transport wheelchairs have a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds, so if the user weighs more than that, you may need to buy a bariatric wheelchair.
On the one hand, you need to pay attention to the seat width and other interior dimensions to ensure it will be comfortable enough for the person using it. On the other hand, you need to consider the exterior width to make sure it can fit through doorways, especially if the transport chair is going to be used inside a home.
Always measure your doorways and keep those dimensions in mind when shopping for a lightweight transport chair. After all, it won’t be very useful if you can’t get it into the bathroom or other areas of the home.
While transport chairs are mostly used to move a person from one place to another and aren’t designed for prolonged use, the chair should still be comfortable. Many people find the sling seat of a transport wheelchair to be uncomfortable and feel better with a wheelchair cushion, sold separately.
Safety features may include things like seatbelts, anti-tippers, and brakes. The types of safety features you need may vary depending on the mobility level of the person using the transport chair.
Additional Features and Accessories
Other features that might be handy include quick-release footrests, storage pouches, flip-up armrests, and more. Consider which features are included and which you might need to purchase separately. The final cost may be more than you think if you need to buy accessories separately compared to a chair that includes them.
1. Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with Handbrakes
There are multiple reports of the wheels bending after as few as one use, with most users in the complaints weighing less than 200 pounds. There are also reports of many other parts of this transport chair breaking. Despite the numerous complaints, this chair is overall well-rated, with most people saying that it is comfortable, lightweight, and easy to transport.
This transport chair isn’t designed for heavy use, but it will probably work well for transporting people short distances over very smooth floors.
2. Expedition Lightweight 12" Rear Wheel Transport Chair
If you need a transport wheelchair that can handle small bumps and gravel and is relatively sturdy, the Expedition Lightweight 12" Rear Wheel Transport Chair should work well for you. It only weighs 19 pounds and has a 30-pound weight capacity. It’s available in blue or red.
Overall, most people had great things to say about this transport chair. It’s lightweight, easy to transport, and generally sturdy. It can handle small bumps and gravel better than some other transport wheelchairs, but it can be hard to control going up or downhill.
This transport chair should meet the needs of most people. It doesn’t include any fancy features, but it’s sturdy and should last a long time for most users.
3. NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair with Locking Hand Brakes
If you’re willing to pay a little extra for amazing features, the NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair with Locking Hand Brakes may be right for you. Not only do you have 4 color options to choose from, but it includes flip-up and removable padded desk arms, adjustable and removable footrests, a small storage pouch, and more.
There are multiple reports of the brakes breaking within a few uses. There are also many reports of other parts breaking, but the most common complaint was about the brakes. Most people, though, say this wheelchair is very sturdy, and most say it’s comfortable, especially when you add a seat cushion (sold separately).
You may need to add a seat cushion to make this chair more comfortable, and you could have an issue with the brakes. All in all, this is a sturdy transportation chair that should work well for most.
4. ProBasics - TCA1916BK Aluminum Transport Wheelchair
Several people reported that this chair is far too narrow for people anywhere near the maximum weight capacity. One user weighed only 130 pounds, and the caregiver felt the chair wouldn’t work for anybody much larger than that. Overall, most people are thrilled with this wheelchair, especially for short-term use.
This is one of the cheaper transport chairs on the market. While it doesn’t have a lot of features, it is an excellent basic transport wheelchair that should work for many users.
5. Carex Transport Wheelchair
For a basic, affordable transport chair, you should check out the Carex Transport Wheelchair. It’s one of the most affordable transportation wheelchairs on the market and includes swing-away footrests, push-to-lock wheel brakes, and a seatbelt. It weighs 25 pounds and has a 300-pound weight capacity.
There are many reports of people receiving defective products or it arriving with missing pieces. Many others also said the chair fell apart quickly. Others found the seat to be too low to be comfortable. However, most people found this chair met their needs.
If you just need a basic, affordable transport chair, this one may work well for you. It requires some assembly and there is a chance it will arrive damaged or break quickly, though.
6. Drive Medical Bariatric Heavy Duty Transport Wheelchair
One of the biggest complaints is about the footrests and armrests breaking. There are reports of other parts of the chair breaking, too, but the plastic armrests and footrests seem to break the most. The other complaint is about how heavy the chair is.
This is a generally sturdy bariatric wheelchair. The frame should hold up well, but the plastic armrests and footrests are prone to breaking. Overall, it’s still probably a good choice for people weighing more than 250 pounds.
7. NOVA Bariatric Transport Chair with Locking Hand Brakes
Do you need a bariatric transport wheelchair that is still light enough to pick up? You may appreciate the NOVA Bariatric Transport Chair with Locking Hand Brakes. It weighs less than 28 pounds, yet it supports up to 400 pounds. It includes flip-up desk arms, swing-away footrests, and anti-tippers.
The negative reviews are few and inconsistent, and no single complaint stood out as being more common than others. A few people had problems with the wheelchair breaking. A few people found it uncomfortable. A few had brake problems.
Overall, this is one of the best bariatric transport wheelchairs out there. Apart from some minor issues experienced by a few users, this is an excellent heavy duty wheelchair.
8. Karman 23 lbs Transport Wheelchair with Companion Brakes
The biggest complaint was about the non-adjustable footrests. Many people wound up either replacing the footrests or getting a new chair because of problems with the footrests. Others found the chair to be a bit wobbly. Overall, most people are happy with this wheelchair.
This is an excellent, sturdy transport chair that will work well for most people. It won’t fit everybody, especially tall people, but it is a good choice for many.
9. Graham-Field Lumex HybridLX Rollator & Transport Chair
The primary complaint is about the footrests. While they are detachable, they take up all the room in the storage pouch, and removing them is less convenient than fold-away footrests. Some also found this wheelchair to be uncomfortable.
As long as you don’t need fold-away footrests or the person using this product is on the larger side, it’s likely to work well. Most people love how easy it is to transport and how maneuverable it is.
What Is a Transport Wheelchair? Who Might Need One?
A transport wheelchair is used to move people from one place to another. Unlike manual wheelchairs, the person in the transport wheelchair can’t push themselves; a caretaker must push the transport wheelchair.
Lightweight transport wheelchairs can be a great option for people with some mobility, but who can’t walk long distances. They can also be a great option to use for traveling, where a larger wheelchair would be more difficult to transport or maneuver.
A manual wheelchair has large rear wheels that allow the person using the chair to self-propel, while a transport wheelchair has smaller rear wheels and needs somebody else to push it. Mostly, a person in a transport wheelchair will need to be pushed by somebody else, although they could propel themselves with their feet if the footrests aren’t in the way.
On average, lightweight transport wheelchairs weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. Some wheelchairs may weigh less than 20 pounds, while other transport wheelchairs may weigh as much as 50 pounds.
The majority of transport wheelchairs arrive mostly assembled. Often, a few additional pieces, such as the legrests, must be added to the transport wheelchair once it arrives.
We’ve listed some of the best transport wheelchair options, so hopefully you’ve found one that will suit your needs. Buying the wrong chair can be frustrating, so take the time now to consider all the features and dimensions before choosing a wheelchair you think will work.