Best Travel Wheelchairs – Reviews & Analysis
If you are looking for the best travel wheelchair, researching this topic can be very time consuming as it means going through many alternatives available out there. After carefully examining the quality and value offered by some of the acclaimed products in this line, we reached the conclusion that the NOVA’s Heavy Duty model is the one you should consider. We chose this one among all of the others because it features patented Feather Touch locking hand brakes, which make it ideal for inclined or bumpy terrains. Moreover, although it is constructed for heavy-duty use, the chair is easily foldable and compact, thus ideal for traveling. The flip-up desk arms are another very useful addition which helps during transfer and can also be used as tables. If by any chance, NOVA’s Heavy Duty Wheelchair is unavailable, you may want to keep Drive Medical’s Deluxe model in mind, as it offers similar features and benefits.
Products in Demand – In-Depth Reviews
Finding a good travel wheelchair is always time-consuming, given all the things you need to consider when looking at all of the alternatives available these days. Below you’ll find some of the most popular products on the market, chosen based on expert recommendations, so you can find the one that suits your every need.
NOVA Heavy Duty (B0016JHC28)
If you are in the market for a heavy duty wheelchair, then take a look at this NOVA model we added to our selection. There are many reasons for which we stopped and looked at this chair. Its durable construction gives it a weight capacity of 400 lbs, while the extra wide seat provides comfort for the person using it.
This versatile and durable, yet lightweight design comes with NOVA’s patented Feather Touch locking hand brakes, which make it ideal for inclined and bumpy terrain. This also allows the caregiver to control speed and stability, as well as to lock it for parking.
Although it was built for heavy duty, the chair is compact and folds easily which makes it ideal for travel and transportation. In order to ensure full comfort, the flip-up desk arms help during transferring in and out, and they can also be used as a table or desk.
Drive Medical Deluxe (B002VWK1SQ)
If you are looking through travel wheelchairs reviews in order to find the most suitable one for sale, then take a look at this Drive Medical Deluxe lightweight model. The aluminum frame makes it durable, yet very easy to handle, so that the caregiver can quickly transport it anywhere it is needed.
Suitable for both men and women, it was designed keeping the user’s comfort in mind. For this reason, nylon upholstery and padded armrests were made part of the design. Safety is equally important, and for this reason, a seat belt was added, which ensures that everything stays securely in place.
In terms of maintenance, the nylon seat is easy to clean, while the 8” composite wheels are lightweight and sturdy, meaning that you will be using it for quite some time. Transportation needs were also kept in mind, and the aluminum casted back-release hinge allows folding for an easy handling.
Drive Medical 19” Seat (B000TW0CQ6)
This model is a very good option if you are looking for a high-quality, durable, but cheap travel wheelchair. The steel frame construction provides reliable stability, whether used independently or with assistance, which makes this product suitable for a wide range of conditions.
Given that it can be used inside the home as much as outdoors, this model provides superior maneuverability in narrow indoor layouts. The composite 8 inch wheels are lightweight and maintenance free, which means that you can safely use it in any environment.
The cushioned armrests ensure a protective layer for your skin, so there’s reduced friction, while the swing-away footrests ensure full comfort for the person using it.
Another key element of a travel wheelchair is being easily foldable. With its chair and backrest that can fold flat, Drive Medical’s model is an item you can easily carry around wherever you might need it.
Drive Medical Blue Streak (B002VWK1TA)
Drive Medical’s Blue Streak Wheelchair has a cutting-edge design which makes independent mobility simple. If you are looking for a model which folds easily, then you are in the right place. The wheelchair’s premium swing-away legs and detachable desk arms flip back, providing customizable support and facilitating transportation.
The 18” padded nylon seat is easy to clean, and given that it is ergonomically crafted, it provides full comfort when used. In case you are wondering about the tires, then it’s good to know that they are made of solid rubber and mounted on composite wheels, ensuring a smooth ride.
For full safety, the product has push-to-lock functionality and calf straps, while the blue-powered frame is finished with steel in order to ensure its resistance, especially to cracks and chipping. Sturdiness is also provided by the black cross brace and nylon seat. At the same time, the model is an easy to maintain and lightweight one.
Medline Lightweight with Handbrakes (B007WA1ZG4)
With a weight capacity of 300 lbs, Medline’s Handbrakes model is part of the best wheelchairs for travel category. The large 12-inch rear wheels ensure good performance and a smooth ride on even floors, so you don’t need to worry about the comfort of the passenger.
Despite being able to sustain an impressive weight, the chair’s powder-coated frame is ultralight, made of aluminum, which means that you will be able to handle it with ease and use it for a long period.
In terms of transportation, this design has many important features. The portable back folds down making it easy to handle, while the detachable footrests mean you can transport it to wherever you might need it.
When it comes to safety, this model is equipped with loop-lock handbrakes that are easy to operate, making it ideal for wheels-locking during transfers. Moreover, the seatbelt helps keep the person using it securely in place.
Drive Medical Scout (B00GPGKN4G)
In case you are looking for the best travel electric wheelchair, then we found something you might be interested in, so keep on reading. Drive Medical’s travel scooter is a compact and lightweight design, powered by batteries, which combines mobility with a customizable exterior.
The design makes it easy to disassemble into five different and manageable pieces, which means that is can be used for both daily activities and for travels. The four wheels ensure stability on rough outdoor grounds, and the adjustable padded seat, backrest, and armrests provide full comfort for the person using it.
The delta-shaped steering wheel makes driving effortless, even with limited dexterity or strength. This feature, combined with an advanced quick-connect battery means this scooter is suitable for a wide range of situations. Moreover, this model features stylish, interchangeable panels, coming in both red and blue, that also provide a layer of protection against scuffs and scratches.
Drive Medical Fly Lite (B002VWK2FI)
If you’re in the market for a nice granddad gift, you could consider getting him a new senior cell phone. However, if you are looking for a recommendation on what the best lightweight travel wheelchair would be, then we might have found something of interest for you.
Drive Medical’s Fly Lite’s stylish design and ultralight frame definitely make this an option to consider when looking for the model that suits your needs.
The durable aluminum frame provides strength even if the item has an impressively low weight of 17 pounds. This means that the user’s family and caretakers will be able to easily lift and handle it.
The chair folds compactly, its 19” seat width provides enough space to be comfortable, and the narrow construction provides good maneuverability indoors. Last but not least, the model features a handy pocket on the back, which can be used to store a great number of useful things.
Medline Ultralight Mobility (B001MBCS6K)
Medline’s ultralight transport wheelchair makes outings and healthcare easier. The model withstands weights going up to 300 lbs, while the chair itself weighs only 15 lbs. The convenient design is great for travel, as it is compact and can be easily folded.
The footrests are equipped with clips for locking them to the side of the chair when it is not being used. Other features that provide comfort include a padded 16-inch deep seat with a 19-inch width, and a cup holder was also added to the design.
Another feature that makes this a good alternative is that it fits a wide range of activities given that it has restaurant-style permanent armrests. These allow the person using it to sit closer to tables and desks, allowing more task to be easily accomplished.
In terms of safety, the chair also comes with a seat belt which helps ensure that the person using it is fully protected.
Drive Medical Travelite (B00ER2TI5A)
This sturdy yet lightweight aluminum transport chair is a very good alternative if you are looking for something both comfortable and easy to maneuver. The gunmetal gray design makes this a stylish option, while the 8” solid tires and wheel locks provide stability when used, making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
The product comes with a compact carry bag which makes it an excellent choice for traveling, especially in and around airports and shuttles. This comes as an addition to all the other features which enable easy storage and transportation. The item’s weight is 20.5 lbs, while its capacity goes up to 250 lbs.
Drive Medical’s Travelite model comes with padded, flip-up desk arms, adjustable footrests and a seat equipped with lift-up straps. However, this model is not suitable for sliding transfers, as the compact folding means it doesn’t have a solid bar running from front to back along each side.
Medline Transport (B0088N3BWA)
This is another very good option if you are looking for a durable and transportable wheelchair. The powder-coated aluminum frame provides strength, at the same time being lightweight and it is available in red or blue. This model is very easy to fold, maneuver and transport, fitting nicely into the back of any vehicle.
The seat is designed to be comfortable for the person using it and it is made of resistant nylon upholstery. A seatbelt is added for safety, while the padded armrests are part of the standard model. For extra comfort, you can purchase a good wheelchair cushion that might make a big difference.
When it comes to smooth rides, this chair has all that it needs to face different floors. The back composite wheels require no maintenance and have incorporated dual-seal precision bearings. Loop breaks are also included in the equipment for assistance in stopping the chair if needed.
Our Yearly Guide
If you started out by doing research on great walking sticks but reached the conclusion that you actually need a travel wheelchair, then there are several things that you need to take into account before making your choice. Who knows, maybe our guide will also bring inspiration for some thoughtful gifts for retired men.
Travel wheelchairs are specially designed to be smaller compared to standard ones. By definition, they are not meant to be extensively used everyday, and they can only be pushed by a companion or a caregiver.
Their main role is to provide short distance transportation to places such as the mall or the doctor’s office. For this reason, the most important aspects when choosing a travel wheelchair are its weight, size and comfort providing components.
For transport wheelchairs it is particularly important to be as lightweight as possible in order to be easily handled in various situations, with some models going as light as 15 lbs. Given that they can only be pushed by another person and not the user, they need to be easy to maneuver by anyone and in any situation, whether this means getting them into or out of a car or an airplane.
For this reason, you might want to take a look at the materials used to make the chair, for both the frame and the seat. One alternative which suits this purpose providing both light and durable construction is aluminum, so you can take this into account when making your choice. For the seat’s construction, nylon is a very good material as it very resistant but also foldable, therefore right for this type of items.
Of course, the weight becomes less important if you go for a self-propelled model. It still needs to be easily carried around, but the caregiver no longer needs to push it around. However, in this case, there are other things to consider such as battery usage time.
Choosing the correct size is the first step to getting a comfortable chair. Keep in mind that the seat width is one of the most common limiting factors, that can definitely make the user decide if the chair can be used for longer periods of time or not.
If you want to make sure that the size is the right one, then take a measurement from one hip to the other and compare that number with the size of the chair. Weight can also be a factor which helps establish the right size. As a general guideline, 17” wide seats are suitable for users of up to 120 lbs, 19” for those between 120 – 300 lbs, and wide 22” seats for users over 300 lbs.
Seat cushions are important when it comes to a wheelchair being comfortable or not. And given that a person is supposed to stay in the same seat for a considerable number of hours, then comfort is a top priority. What cushions help obtain is being able to stay in the chair for a considerable number of hours without fatigue.
There are three types of seat cushions, each serving a different purpose. Comfort cushions are made of foam or gel and their role is to make the chair more comfortable. Positioning ones are designed for adjusting the body’s posture so that it doesn’t get negatively affected by sitting in the chair.
The third type is represented by preventive cushions, which are made to ensure that the user doesn’t get sores or pains while sitting in the chair. This category is especially important for those sitting for long periods of time, without moving.
Armrests have different designs and purposes, being yet another determining factor when it comes to establishing a chair’s overall comfort and usefulness. Most armrests on transport chairs are fixed, and some are removable. The latter help with facilitating easier transportation, as well. You should think about how the chair is going to be used, in order to determine which one is more suitable.
There are two main armrest models for travel wheelchairs, namely full or desk ones. The full type is usually part of the standard travel wheelchairs, and it allows the user to sustain the entire arm on the rest. This can be rather useful if the upper body is larger.
However, desk armrests are equally useful but in a different way. They are much shorter, allowing an easier access to tables and desks. Although the desk arms obviously lack in comfort compared to full ones, they provide an enhanced mobility, which can be rather useful in a wide range of situations.
We hope this guide will help you choose the right wheelchair for your needs and in case you want to know more about several other types of products destined for seniors or disabled individuals, you might want to read our other articles, such as those on osteoporosis treatments or the post we’ve written about senior exercise equipment.