Heavy wheelchairs are fine for home use, but if you enjoy traveling, a lightweight chair will make it easy to get around.
Lightweight (or transport) wheelchairs typically have a folding design for easy transport, and their ease of use makes it a breeze to get where you need to go.
If you want a lighter chair, you may not know which model to choose. We’re going to share our top four picks for lightweight wheelchairs.
1. Medline Folding Transport Wheelchair
Medline’s folding wheelchair makes it easy to take your wheelchair on the go. Technically, this model is a transport chair, which means someone will need to push you around. The good news? Transport chairs are much lighter than conventional wheelchairs, and are more compact, too.
- 12″ rear wheels
- Loop-style hand brakes
- Aluminum, powder-coated frame
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
- WC Arm
- Folding design
- Detachable foot rests
- Seat belt
- Weight: 22lbs
With a weight of just 22 pounds, this chair is easy to throw in the trunk and go. It folds up, too, so you can easily store it in a closet in between uses. The folding design and detachable foot rests also makes it easier to put this chair in your vehicle.
Twelve-inch rear wheels allow you to ride over just about any type of terrain. Uneven surfaces are no big deal, and the loop-lock hand brakes allow for added safety during operation. There’s also a seat belt to keep you in place.
The nylon upholstery and full-length armrests make this chair very comfortable. The seat is 19″ wide and 16″ deep, and the chair can accommodate users up to 300 pounds.
- Folding design for easy storage
- Footrests are detachable
- Seat belt and hand brakes adds safety
- Can accommodate heavy users
- Durable frame
- Large rear wheels make it easy to tackle any terrain
- Does not allow for independent operation
The main complaint with this wheelchair is that it’s not designed for independent operation. This is considered a transfer chair, so the back wheels are not large enough to allow the user to push themselves.
That being said, if your caregiver will be pushing you around, this is a very lightweight transport wheelchair with a durable and portable design.
2. Medline Wheelchair with Flip-Back Arms
This Medline chair does allow for independent operation, but it’s still lightweight enough for easy transport. This user-friendly chair has a flip-back design with desk-length arms and leg rests that can be elevated.
This is the best lightweight wheelchair in our opinion.
- Desk-length arms with flip-back design
- Weight capacity: 300-pounds
- Mag wheels are smooth rolling
- 2″ seat height adjustments
- Foot-powered movement
- Nylon upholstery
- Chair Weight: 43 pounds
Lightweight (43 pounds) and easy to use, this Medline wheelchair is durable, sturdy and able to support users up to 300 pounds.
One of the most convenient features of this chair is the flip-back armrests, which are desk-length. Flipping back the armrests makes it easy to eat at a restaurant table or work at the desk in your office.
The leg rests can be elevated to alleviate pressure and improve blood circulation. The seat back can also be raised and lowered to your preferred position for optimal comfort and support. The fabric components of the chair are made of nylon, which is more breathable than vinyl.
- Allows for independent operation
- Elevating leg rests alleviate pressure
- Seat back is adjustable for added comfort
- Nylon upholstery is breathable to prevent overheating and discomfort
- Arm rests can be flipped back, so the chair can be pushed underneath a table or desk
- Can accommodate heavier users
- Can be folded for easy storage in the car
- Detachable foot rests can be difficult to reattach
The detachable foot rests are convenient, but they can sometimes be difficult to reattach. Thankfully, the company is happy to help with replacement parts.
This Medline wheelchair manages to be lightweight while still offering independent operation. If you don’t want a caregiver pushing you around at all times, this model is a great option.
3. Best Choice 24″ Lightweight Folding Wheelchair
- PVC mats
- Steel frame
- 2-wheel steering
- Padded armrests
- Adjustable footrests
- Carry pockets
- Folding design
- Weight capacity: 350 pounds
- Chair weight: 37.7 pounds
Best Choice’s wheelchair has a simple design with a durable frame and comfortable seats. The chair has high-quality PVC mats, with a steel frame that will provide years of use.
The chair boasts two-wheel steering and padded armrests for added comfort. The adjustable footrests also allow you to find a comfortable position for your feet and will accommodate users of different heights.
One nice feature that this chair offers is pocket storage on the back of the chair. There’s also a folding mechanism, so you can store this chair in a closet or place it in the trunk of your vehicle.
- Folding design for easy storage and transport
- Pocket storage is convenient
- Adjustable footrests accommodate people of different heights
- Steel frame is highly durable
- Padded armrests are comfortable
- Material isn’t breathable
The main issue with this wheelchair is that the fabric isn’t breathable. If you’re sweating, your skin may stick to the seat. Nylon is a better option, but this chair comes at a price that’s hard to beat.
4. Karman 24-lb Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair
Karman’s 24-pound wheelchair is one of the lightest on the list, and it offers independent operation. Easy to operate and comfortable to ride in, this chair is a great option for people who are always on-the-go.
- 18″ x 16″ seat
- Chair weight: 24-pounds
- Swing-away footrest
- 22″ rear wheels
- 6″ front caster wheels
- Adjustable seat height
- Soft-touch brake tip
Karman’s wheelchair is both comfortable and functional. The 18″ x 16″ seat is just the right size to accommodate most users. A seatbelt is included, too, for added safety. You can also buy anti-tipper accessories to maximize safety.
The footrests are removable, which makes it easy to get in and out of this chair. They can also be adjusted to accommodate users between five and six feet tall. The seat height is adjustable, so you can find just the right position for your height. Natural armrests allow for a more natural position when sitting in the chair.
The nylon padded upholstery is breathable, comfortable and easy to maintain. The armrests are desk-length for easy use while sitting at a table or desk.
- Very lightweight
- Independent operation
- Seatbelt makes the wheelchair safer
- Adjustable seat height and footrest for added comfort
- Armrests are comfortable and just the right length for use at a desk or table
- Nylon upholstery is breathable and comfortable
- Maximum weight capacity is unknown
It’s difficult to find out the maximum weight capacity of this wheelchair. The guesstimate is 250-300 pounds, but no concrete answer is available.
Still, the Karman wheelchair is one of the lightest chairs you can find that offers independent operation. And its large wheels make it easy to tackle tough terrain, like gravel.