What are transport wheelchairs
- 1 What are transport wheelchairs
- 2 What are transport wheelchairs used for
- 3 How to choose a transport wheelchair
- 4 Features of transport wheelchairs
- 5 Design versus portability in transport wheelchairs
- 6 What is the difference between transport wheelchairs and standard wheelchairs?
- 7 How to fold a transport wheelchair
- 8 How much does a transport wheelchair weigh
- 9 How wide is a transport wheelchair
- 10 How to use a transport wheelchair
- 11 What are the best transport wheelchairs
- 12 Conclusion
A transport wheelchair is, for many users, a tremendous part of staying active and getting around. It is a wheelchair that is pushed by an assistant or companion, and it is lighter in total weight and has smaller wheels than a standard wheelchair. These basic differences make the transport wheelchair much easier to travel with and to lift into vehicles.
Varieties of lightweight mobility chairs, transport wheelchairs combine the portability of a rollator and the function of a wheelchair. Their smaller wheels make them impractical for solo use, but they offer a distinct advantage in many settings: they are not only light, but nimble, with narrow turning radii and very agile handling for even the most crowded buildings or populated urban settings.
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to transport chairs. Choosing the model that’s just right for you can be a challenge. However, if you consider all of the facts and your own situation carefully, you’ll come to the right decision—and you’re sure to find the transport chair that meets your needs and makes you happy.
What are transport wheelchairs used for
There are so many things that transport wheelchairs are used for. That jaunt around the neighborhood, quick trips to the doctor, a special meal in a restaurant, or a day of shopping at the mall are all served well by a transport wheelchair. Naturally, medical centers, doctors’ offices, and hospitals also make good use of transport wheelchairs. From day-to-day errands to global jaunts, transport wheelchairs are a practical solution for getting places and staying active with a little help from a companion.
How to choose a transport wheelchair
Although there are multiple factors at work, there are two primary factors to consider when shopping for a transport wheelchair:
- Transport wheelchair weight: remember, the lighter the weight of the wheelchair, the easier it is for your companion to push you around, and to lift the chair itself into a car. Some transport wheelchair models are as lightweight as 15 pounds and can be carried in a shoulder bag.
- Transport wheelchair size: Choosing the best seat size is the other major factor to consider. Check the specifications, and balance your need for comfort with the desire for more flexibility and less weight.
Fortunately, all transport wheelchairs are already completely assembled when they are delivered, so this isn’t something to worry about. You don’t need any special expertise or tools to get started and rolling right away. Just open up your package, take your new transport wheelchair out of the box, and you can get moving.
It is a major purchase and a big decision. As you shop for a transport wheelchair you want to be sure that you can enjoy each of the benefits of the chair without any trouble. Look for a lightweight transport wheelchair with wheels large enough for your comfort and terrain needs, a width that works for your body and target locations, and a comfortable design.
Features of transport wheelchairs
- All transport chairs come with leg rests that are removable and hook on and off.
- All transport wheelchairs have rear wheels with either foot locking brakes or handbrakes like those that come on bicycles.
- On most transport wheelchairs the armrests on are fixed; however, some transport wheelchairs have removable armrests. Removable armrests can make transferring in and out of the wheelchair easier.
- Most transport wheelchairs have a seat belt, if you need additional safety see our safety and fall prevention products
- If extra comfort is on your mind—and it probably should be if you anticipate being a frequent user of your transport wheelchair—you can look for a model with a seat cushion and back cushion you like, or you can shop for extra cushions you can add.
Remember to shop for the accessories that matter to you. Transport wheelchairs can be much more pleasant to use with cup holders, bags, and other useful accessories.
Remember, as you shop, think about comfort as you consider each feature. This issue is never more important than when you’re examining the backrest and the seat. Be certain to inspect both the shape and design of the backrest and seat.
What materials are they made of? Do they seem to be flexible? Are the materials good in extreme weather? Do the seat and backrest have large, bumpy seams on them that could be uncomfortable to you as you use the transport wheelchair? How much padding is in the seat, and what kind is it?
A seat without adequate padding or a poor design can and will become uncomfortable rapidly. Remember how much you hope to be using your transport chair before you make your selection. Be certain that your choice of a transport chair is one that you will want to travel, work, and sit in for hours at a time. If you can find the best balance of utility and comfort, your time using your transport wheelchair will be far more pleasant.
Design versus portability in transport wheelchairs
Design is a key element in shopping for transport wheelchairs. That’s because there is always a tension between comfort, functionality, and portability. For example, many transport wheelchairs have little or no padding in their seat and backrest; this makes them very lightweight and easy to fold. However, this can also make them uncomfortable!
Many transport wheelchairs exhibit a flexible sling design. These are the transport wheelchairs that have a fabric seat that is stretched between the chair’s two sides. When it folds, the seat simply folds down between the sides. On the other hand, some also have a bar that stretches across the seat’s front side. This bar is there to provide extra support, but for some users it is not desirable; for people with shorter legs it can feel uncomfortable, as it can hit the back of the knees repeatedly.
Now move on to check out the armrests and the design surrounding them. Armrests vary considerably; they can be stiff and hard, or padded soft; they can be flat or rounded, long and full or short. Be certain to choose a transport wheelchair with the type of armrests you prefer. You will need to be comfortable using them for hours at a stretch.
Next, check the footrest design, another critical element of the design of all transport wheelchairs. Ideally, footrests should be adjustable, because this allows them to provide the best possible fit. This will mean that despite longer periods of use your transport wheelchair will be optimally comfortable. Some transport wheelchair models feature one-piece, solid bar footrests, but most models provide separate, adjustable footrests. The wrong footrest can cause pain and abrasions, so examine the design of the footrest carefully. Avoid support bars and sizing mechanisms that could interfere with the ankle or foot.
One last thing that can render your transport wheelchair far more enjoyable to use is adding the right accessories. You can find carry-pouches, bags, cup holders, and a variety of other things that can work with your transport chair. As you shop, though, be aware that most wheelchair accessories are designed to clip onto 1-inch diameter aluminum tubing. If your model transport wheelchair does not feature this kind of tubing, it might not be able to accommodate the accessories you want. Transport wheelchairs with tubing that is wider than one and 1/8-inch in diameter will not work with most accessories.
Put careful deliberation into your selection of a transport wheelchair. Every model is at least a little different, and offers its own distinct strengths and benefits. Be certain to select a transport wheelchair that will satisfy your unique preferences and needs, and you can rest assured that you will be thrilled with your purchase.
What is the difference between transport wheelchairs and standard wheelchairs?
Although at first blush transport wheelchairs and standard wheelchairs may seem similar or even the same, in reality there are significant differences between the two types of wheelchairs. The most notable difference is the large wheels of the standard wheelchair which are designed to allow users to self-propel, whereas transport wheelchairs are designed for assisted propulsion with small wheels. Since you can’t reach them, they really only allow users to be pushed from behind.
The two smaller wheels of the transport wheelchair have some major benefits, so long as someone else is pushing; they allow a superior turning radius, and more control in the steering. Along with their typically narrower size, this makes transport wheelchairs perfect for all kinds of indoor use, including in hotels, on cruise ships, in museums, and in other places where space can be tight.
Past that first very obvious difference, things become more complex.
Since transport chairs are designed to be pushed by companions and assistants from behind, they are really intended for different groups of users—principally, people who are still able to walk and move by themselves, at least a little, but who experience pain and tire easily. In other words, transport wheelchairs are perfect for people who want to stay active but are worried about their ability to keep up with friends, family members, and colleagues on a day out and about. If having another person there to help you really isn’t a concern, a transport wheelchair is a great option for you.
Typically, transport wheelchairs are a bit smaller and more lightweight than standard wheelchairs are, although they can almost always carry about the same amount of weight. However, unlike standard wheelchairs, transport wheelchairs are nearly always designed to fold easily into a compact shape. This is why they lack the big rear wheels of the standard wheelchair; this allows them to be reduced much more significantly in size when they are folded, and stay extremely lightweight.
The design of transport wheelchairs makes them best-suited for use over shorter amounts of time. They are perfect for day trips away from home, for example. This means that the designs of transport wheelchairs usually center around portability rather than comfort. For the most part, the seats of transport chairs are not very supportive, since they are usually crafted of flexible fabric; this design allows for more ready folding. If a rigid seat or full- or almost full-time use are important for you, standard wheelchairs may be the variety you should shop for rather than transport wheelchairs.
Of course, there are many other small differences that make transport wheelchairs and standard wheelchairs two very distinct devices. Wheel size, weight, seat type, and material are all considerations for the transport wheelchair shopper. The extreme lightweight nature of most transport wheelchairs has to do with their pared down features and design. This is great for people who need to lift them in and out of vehicles! However, if you need more accessories, this can be a problem, so go over this carefully as you shop.
Transport wheelchairs also tend to be significantly more narrow than standard wheelchairs, for the same reasons discussed above with regard to the smaller wheels. This lets users and their companions make their way through more places, even narrow doorways and hallways of older structures. This coupled with the lighter weight lets you go further—without wearing out your companion—but make sure any transport wheelchair you choose is broad enough to be comfortable.
How to fold a transport wheelchair
Fortunately, all transport wheelchairs fold up until they are about 2.5 feet by 9 inches. That’s compact enough to fit into any vehicle. They all fold differently, but come with instructions—although in truth, they are intuitive and easy enough to use that instructions are generally not needed.
How much does a transport wheelchair weigh
Transport chairs vary in their weights, but even bariatric models weigh less than 35 pounds. They are intended to be flexible, travel-friendly mobility aids for people who want to stay active outside the home.
How wide is a transport wheelchair
In general, transport wheelchairs come in three sizes:
- Narrow transport wheelchairs have 17-inch wide seats and are designed for users that weigh under 120 pounds.
- Medium transport wheelchairs have 19-inch wide seats and are designed for users that weigh between 120 and 300 pounds.
- Wide transport wheelchairs have 22-inch wide seats, and sometimes even wider seats, for users that weigh over 300 pounds.
Just like with rollators and walkers, the width of a transport wheelchair is an important consideration. Think about the various environments in which you plan to be using your transport wheelchair. Will there be hallways that wind and twist around? Will you need to squeeze through have narrow doors? Will you run across lots of tight angles? If these are things you are very likely to encounter, you will need a transport wheelchair that is streamlined enough to successfully navigate these obstacles. Remember, a chair that is too wide is unusable—and that is even worse than having no chair at all.
How to use a transport wheelchair
It’s easy to use a transport wheelchair. All you really need is a willing companion. Transport wheelchairs are simple to fold and unfold, and they come already assembled. From there, you merely sit in the chair and allow yourself to be propelled by your companion.
What are the best transport wheelchairs
People frequently ask for recommendations on the best transport wheelchairs, but like other kinds of wheelchairs, the absolute truth is that the best model depends entirely on the user. Every single person is different, and needs something different from their chair. For that reason alone, there’s no way to choose a single best transport wheelchair.
Everyone has different priorities, so we do our best to offer a range of choices.
Drive transport wheelchairs
The Drive 22-inch bariatric aluminum transport wheelchair is perfect for bariatric patients who need a sturdy chair with a comfortable, roomy seat. The chair weighs only 33 pounds, but it can accommodate up to 450 pounds easily. It folds to a width of only 12 inches, so it can be easily stored away when you’re not using it. It can also be loaded into the back of a vehicle or a car trunk, so you can use it just about anywhere. With 12-inch flat free wheels in back, it also ensures you easy mobility over carpet, hard floors, and even more difficult terrain outside. This is a versatile chair that can easily accommodate most bariatric patients.
This Drive Poly-Fly Transforming Transport Wheelchair is the best of both worlds for many users, because it can be used just like a standard transport chair, but you also have the option to attach wheels and self-propel. The wheels attach and detach very easily, and you don’t need tools to take them on and off. However, they are still secure and safe to use. When you’re ready to get rid of the larger wheels, just use the quick-release design built right into the chair’s design for a quick change. The 8-inch transport chair rear wheels stay in place, while the 24-inch wheels attach outside them and allow the user to take control of the wheelchair.
The Medline Aluminum Transport Wheelchair offers a basic design and style plus a degree of comfort that works for most users. At only 21 pounds, it is extremely lightweight, yet its sturdy, durable design holds up to 300 pounds weight limit. The 19-inch seat width of this model can accommodate a range of patients, yet it can still navigate many obstacles in close quarters. The 16-inch seat depth offers sufficient comfort for most users during a variety of transport scenarios. The durable nylon upholstery is perfect for easy cleaning, and this transport wheelchair’s frame is powder coated aluminum, lightweight yet protected from the elements. Its appealing finish comes in either blue or red.
This is the pinnacle of portability and convenience. If you need the most lightweight transport wheelchair, this is an ideal option. This transport wheelchair weighs a mere 18 pounds, yet has a generous 250 pound weight limit. The Super Light Foldable Transport Wheelchair folds to a compact size of only 16 inches by 23 inches by 21 inches, and comes with a bag for carrying so your companion can throw it over their shoulder and easily travel wherever you both want to go. The size and weight of the wheelchair, and the carry bag make easy storage a snap, and provide you with every opportunity to load your transport wheelchair into the back of a vehicle or the trunk to bring it along with you. Furthermore, the chair’s folded width is a mere 16 inches, so just store the wheelchair out of the way when you’re not using it.
This Karman reclining transport wheelchair gives you so many comfortable options along with all of the convenience and portability of a lightweight transport chair. Its 250 pound weight capacity and ability to recline lets you go anywhere and rest or change positions as needed. The reclining feature is among this transport wheelchair’s most unique benefits, setting it apart from all other options when it comes to the transport wheelchair market. Karman’s patented “V-Seat” design is ergonomically styled, preventing users from sliding while reclining for safety and comfort. This of course offers you comfort, but it also relieves pressure and lowers your risk of developing pressure sores.
This lightweight reclining transport wheelchair from Karman features the style and comfort you want in a design with a super lightweight structure that makes traveling and moving it around so convenient and easy. For even more comfort, this model features an adjustable height pillow. The reclining back can be set anywhere from 90 to 163 degrees, which means you stay comfortable anywhere, anytime. At only 33 pounds, this transport wheelchair holds up to 250 pounds, and you’ll find passing time in this chair is a snap. You’ll love the sturdy, lightweight frame of this transport wheelchair, which is made from aircraft aluminum and is hands-down one of the very lightest available for its size and features.
Transport wheelchairs with headrests
When using a transport wheelchair for two hours or more in a day, back cushions and wheelchair cushions can improve your comfort. However, there’s no substitute for transport wheelchairs with headrests for those who experience neck pain or who have conditions that require neck support. The two reclining transport wheelchairs described above both have headrests.
Transport wheelchairs almost always have smaller wheels than do standard wheelchairs, and no matter where you are, wheel size has a significant impact on how your transport wheelchair operates. If you might be going over rougher terrain, smaller wheels may not fare as well, making for an uneven or bumpy ride. Larger wheels, on the other hand, can offer both extra width and significantly more smoothness, not to mention extra ruggedness that makes going more places possible.
Of course, the Drive Poly-Fly Transforming Transport Wheelchair described above has large wheels. However, we offer other choices with large rear wheels.
This model can convert between being a self-propelled wheelchair and a lightweight transport wheelchair with its quick-release axle and rear wheels design. This makes transforming the E&J transport wheelchair from one type of chair to the other no more trouble than pushing a single button. It’s also very safe and sturdy because there are two separate sets of locks for the wheels. This means in transport mode your companion can lock the front, and you can when you’re self-propelling. You’ll also love the quick and easy transfer in and out of this transport wheelchair, thanks to its arms that flip back and swing away foot rests that quickly and easily get out of the way.
The Karman S115 Ergonomic Transport Wheelchair provides both comfort and ergonomic design, all at a great price. With a weight of only 22 pounds and extra wide pads on the arms, this transport wheelchair is among the options that are best in class in terms of meeting and exceeding patient needs. Choose from seat widths of 16, 18, and 20 inches, all of which hold up to 250 pounds. The ergonomic design and shape of this transport wheelchair are designed to relieve pressure and avoid sores. You can avoid breaking down your skin while spending more time on the go in this transport wheelchair which will cradle your body properly.
The Karman S-Ergo Lite Transport Wheelchair has a total weight of only 19 pounds, despite its weight capacity of 250 pounds and a seat and back pocket that are ergonomically designed. Choose your seat width of either 16 inches or 18 inches, and the standard 17-inch seat depth. This means the total width of your transport chair will be either 23 inches or 25 inches, depending on your seat width, and with a folded width of only 13 inches, you get maximum comfort and portability. You’ll love the convenience of this model which is one of the most comfortable chairs on the market today, despite its portability.
We hope this exploration of transport wheelchairs has been useful to you. If you still have questions, reach out to us at any time for answers. Happy shopping!