Wheelchairs are an essential part of life for people with mobility issues. They provide users with more freedom and mobility than they would have on crutches or a walking stick. According to Physiopedia, there are about 3.3 million people who use wheelchairs in the US. Over half of them are 65 years and over.
More people are becoming disabled as a result of diseases or accidents. As a result, the use of wheelchairs has been on the rise. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 75 million people worldwide use a wheelchair daily.
By design, transport wheelchairs are lightweight, maneuverable, and low-maintenance. This guide will show you the best transport wheelchairs in the market based on reviews, user feedback, and other factors to help you make the right choice when purchasing a new wheelchair.
What Is the Difference Between a Transport Wheelchair and Other Wheelchairs?
Transport wheelchairs are meant for people who need to get around but cannot walk. They combine the function of a wheelchair with the convenience of a rollator or walker.
Transport chairs are lightweight, narrow mobility chairs pushed by a caregiver. Unlike other types of wheelchairs, they have small wheels meaning the wheelchair user cannot propel themselves.
10 Best Transport Wheelchairs
Finding the best transport wheelchair for the physically challenged can be a daunting process. There are many different types of wheelchairs, with lots of sellers claiming to have the best of them.
Here are some of the best transport wheelchairs on the market that can help you or a loved one get back their mobility.
Carex Transport Wheelchair
This handy transport wheelchair is the perfect solution for anyone who has difficulty moving around on their own or who travels frequently. The Carex transport chair is foldable and lightweight- making it easy to take on the go.
It has adjustable swing-away footrests and a sturdy steel frame. Therefore, this versatile wheelchair is perfect for everyday life or big trips.
The transport wheelchair comes equipped with a 19-inch seat cushion. It is also equipped with a secure belt to provide a safer ride. It is perfect for anyone recovering from surgery or with a chronic medical condition.
This is a wheelchair that folds up to fit into the trunk. It is perfect for those on the go or those who need a folding wheelchair for occasional use. The steel frame of the transport chair will keep you comfy during your daily transport. Plus, it is easy to fold up for storage or transfer. It also comes ready to use – so, no assembly is required.
Features and Benefits
- It has 8″ wheels to make it easy to ride.
- The swing-away footrests and folding feature make it easy to store and transport.
- It is a safe, sturdy, and comfortable means of transportation.
- It does not require assembly.
- The swing-away footrests on this chair are removable.
- Its large seating area offers maximum comfort.
- The steel frame is both durable and foldable for easy storage.
- Brand – Carex
- Weight – 25 lbs
- Material – Alloy steel
- Supports up to 300 lbs
- Measures (LxWxH) 33.5 x 22.4 x 35.4 inches
- Easy to fold and store away
- Quite lightweight
- Easy to maneuver
- It does not come with fixed wheels – you have to do it yourself
- Wheels need replacing after a short time
Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair
This wheelchair is designed to be easy and safe to use and is compact when folded. The loop-lock handbrakes are easy to operate when locking the rear wheels during transfers. It also has a seatbelt that ensures the passenger stays securely in place.
Weighing just 23.5 pounds, this lightweight chair is perfect for those looking to pack light. The aluminum frame is lightweight and available in two exciting colors. The seat has a durable fabric made from nylon upholstery.
Its black composite wheels are durable and have sealed precision bearings. They also have loop brakes for assistance in stopping the chair. The armrests are padded and standardized for maximum comfort.
Features and Benefits
- Features a steel frame that supports up to 300 pounds.
- The loop-lock handbrakes ensure safe transfers to and from the chair.
- It has a wide seat (19″ wide and 16″ deep), is comfortable, and includes layers of reinforced upholstery.
- Its large 12″ wheels make for better performance.
- Manufacturer: Medline
- Weight: 23.5 lbs
- Carrying capacity: 300 lbs
- Seat size: 19″ Width x 16″ Depth
- Frame material: aluminum – available in red or blue
- Front-wheel size: 8 inches
- Back wheel size: 12 inches
- Arm style: full length
- Leg style: swing-away/detachable
- Warranty: lifetime on frame
- Easy to maneuver
- Easy to adjust and fold
- Handbrakes easily accessible by the caregiver
- The seat does not have padding
- Front wheels tend to bend
- The seatbelt is not ideal for more petite users
Drive Medical Lightweight Expedition Wheelchair
This transport chair weighs only 19 lbs. It is made of lightweight aluminum and is perfect for seniors and adults. It collapses just like a regular folding chair for easy storage and transportation. It features a lever on the back of the chair. Pulling this lever makes it easy to fold it back down.
These ultralight wheelchairs feature nylon upholstery that is durable and comfortable. They also have padded armrests and fold-down footrests, allowing them to provide dependable support.
It also features 12-inch rear flat tires, which are suitable for both indoors and outdoors use. You can adjust the length of the footrests and loosen the bolt (or knob) on the telescoping tube shaft.
After changing, make sure to tighten it back up securely. The bottom of the footrest should be at least 2.5 inches off the ground to give you enough clearance.
Features and Benefits
- Its detachable footrests make sitting or standing easier
- It has a durable and easy to clean nylon upholstery
- The wheel locks reduce sudden movements keeping the user safe
- The position of the handbrakes is easily accessible to the caregiver
- It has a seatbelt that provides extra security
- Very lightweight at 19lbs, only.
- The backrest folds easily for efficient transportation
- Manufacturer: Drive Medical
- Available colors: Blue or Red
- Width (when open): 23 Inches
- Width (when folded): 11 Inches
- Total weight: 23.5 lbs
- Carrying capacity: 300 Pounds
- Arm Style: Fixed and padded
- Footrests: Detachable
- Length: 32 Inches
- Height: 38 Inches
- Weight: 19 lbs
- Warranty: Limited lifetime
- Easy to maneuver
- Easily accessible handbrakes
- Perfect for both indoor and outdoor use
- There are no foot straps on the footrests to keep the user’s feet in position
- One may need to use a cushion on the seat
- Some users complained of weak casters that broke when in use
Drive Medical Silver Sport1 Folding Transport Wheelchair
Drive Medical’s Silver Sport 1 Wheelchair has a sleek design that is comfortable and easy to use. It features all the safety features you need for an active life. One can operate the wheelchair independently or with assistance.
The advanced urethane wheels are long-lasting, requiring low maintenance even if you are using the wheelchair daily. This wheelchair comes with your safety and comfort in mind.
To keep you safe, it has push-to-lock wheels, nylon upholstery, and padded arms for comfort. The backrest has a carry pocket to hold your belongings.
The chair has a durable, lightweight steel frame with an attractive coated finish. It weighs only 37.6 pounds, making it easy to clean and move. You can transport and store it by folding up the collapsible legs and collapsing the back canes.
Features and Benefits
- It has an easily foldable chair and backrest to make storage easier
- A seatbelt is available for additional safety
- Its nylon upholstery enhancement is easy to clean
- Wheel locks add to safety by preventing unintentional movements
- Its padded armrests provide more comfort
- Length: 43.5 inches.
- Width: 24 inches.
- Height: 36 inches.
- Weight: 37.6 lbs.
- Can support up to 250 lbs.
- Width when closed: 11 inches.
- Seat Width: 18 inches.
- Seat Depth: 15.75 inches.
- Armrest Length: 10 inches.
- Rear Wheels: 24 x 1 inch.
- Easy to fold for storage or transportation
- It comes with detachable footrests for efficient transportation
- Quite lightweight at 37.6lbs
- No handbrakes for the caregiver
- Slightly heavier compared to other versions by the same manufacturer
- The seat has no padding
- The 18″ chair is too narrow to accommodate big-bodied people
ProBasics Aluminum Transport Wheelchair
The ProBasics aluminum transport chair is excellent for those who need a lightweight and easily maintained design. It has flared handles, and the back release hinge makes it easy to fold the chair down for storage or transport.
This wheelchair is perfect for anyone who needs a little more room. It offers 19.75 inches of padded nylon upholstery seat with a seat belt and supports weight up to 250 pounds. What’s more, it has easy-to-use height-adjustable footrests with heel loops.
This chair has 8″ wheels that lock in the back, adding to the user’s safety. The wheels are solid rubber, lightweight, and maintenance-free, making them among the most durable. It has rear-wheel locks that are push-to-lock, making them easy to activate.
Features and Benefits
- Has durable 8-inch rubber tires
- Its locking wheels prevent unwanted movement
- Its blue metallic finish is chip-proof and easy to clean
- Swing-away footrests make standing and sitting easier
- The heel straps keep feet safely in place during transport
- Its nylon upholstery is durable and is easy to clean
- Can support up to 250 pounds
- Manufacturer: Roscoe Medical
- Product weight: 25lbs
- Carrying capacity: 250lbs
- Padded armrests
- Swing-away leg rests
- Has heel straps that keep the user’s feet safe.
- The seat has a safety belt for added security
- Back wheels locks prevent sudden movements when stationary
- It has a limited carrying capacity, unlike other versions, which carry more.
- Does not have handbrakes for the caregiver
Nova Lightweight Transport Chair
This wheelchair is perfect for transporting, traveling, and safety. Its lightweight design is simple to maneuver and folds easily. It has removable anti-tippers which keep you safe from accidental falls.
With this wheelchair, safety comes first. It has a patented handbrake lock and 12-inch rugged rear wheels. This makes it possible for the caregiver to control the speed and manage the brake.
This is essential when climbing hills, bumps, or uneven terrain. It also comes with an adjustable seatbelt and a small pocket for your keys and cell phone.
The flip-up desk arms make transferring from a vehicle, bed, or chair easier. Its desk arms allow the user to “ride up” to a desk or dining table, as you can flip them up or remove them.
The footrests on this chair are easy to remove, adjust, and lock back into place. They come with heel loops so that you can rest your feet on them while sitting. The height of the footrests on the chair is 5″- 9″ from the floor.
Features and Benefits
- Lightweight folds quickly and compactly
- Has secondary wheel locks for added safety
- It comes with locking handbrakes allowing the caregiver to control speed and movement
- Storage pouch for small items like cellphones
- The flip-up desk arms make it easy to transfer in and out and use at a table or desk.
- Manufacturer: Nova medical
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
- Seat dimensions: 18.5”w x 15.75”d
- Seat height: 20″
- Opened overall width: 25.75″
- Product weight: 27 lbs.
- Back height from seat: 17.75″
- Arm height from seat: 10.5″.
- The large 12″ wheels on the rear of this wheelchair allow it to go anywhere
- It has an adjustable seatbelt for added safety
- The swing-away footrest gives the user space to stand with no interference
- Flip-up desk arms make it easy to transfer the user
- The angle of the back seat rest is not comfortable for sitting for prolonged periods
- The user has to keep bending to reach the rear wheels locks
Drive Medical Bariatric Heavy Duty Transport Wheelchair
The bariatric steel transport wheelchair by Drive Medical is perfect for people who weigh up to 450 pounds. With reinforced steel cross braces and a reinforced steel frame, the chair can support heavyweights.
Its heavy-duty nylon reinforced upholstery is comfortable and durable. It also has a back carry pouch, where the user can keep their items safely and securely.
This chair has a roomy, comfy 22-inch width seat. The padded armrests provide additional comfort. It also has 12-inch rear flat free-wheeled wheels and wheel locks, which the caregiver can activate.
Features and benefits
- Reinforced steel frames for extra strength
- Has padded armrests for extra comfort
- Features a durable and robust nylon upholstery
- The 12″ rear wheels have wheel locks to prevent sudden movements and provide security
- It has a back pouch that can carry small items such as cell phones and glasses
- Manufacturer: Drive Medical
- Length: 38 inches
- Width: 26.5 inches
- Height: 37 inches
- Total weight of wheelchair: 48 lbs
- Carrying capacity: 450 lbs
- Armrest Length: 10 inches
- Folded Dimensions: 38 inches x 11.5 inches x 37 inches
- Overall Length w/ Riggings: 38 inches
- Width Between Armrest Pads: 22.5″
- Width Between Posts: 22.5″
- Width of Seat: 22″
- Depth of Seat: 18″
- It has a reinforced steel frame that can support heavy users up to 450lbs.
- The 22″ seat is wide enough for all users
- It comes with a back pouch to carry some items such as a phone
- Easy to maneuver
- Padded armrests provide more comfort
- Does not have a safety belt on the seat
- The seat is not comfortable enough to be used for long periods
NOVA Medical Ultra Lightweight Red Transport Wheelchair
This lightweight wheelchair is so easy to transport and does not take up much space. This means that the passenger can quickly go anywhere (even places like offices or dining halls). The padded arms make the wheelchair very comfortable and easy to wheel up to a desk or dinner table.
At 18.75lbs, this transport wheelchair is among the lightest. It is compact when folded, solid and durable. This wheelchair folds and unfolds in just seconds. Press the quick release, fold down the back, and that is it. The fold is so simple that you can do it in just a few seconds.
The 8″ wheels make for a smooth and easy ride. This wheelchair is ideal for people who do a lot of traveling. It has padded arms that allow you to roll up to a desk or dining table easily.
It also features rear wheel locks and an adjustable seat belt. Swingaway footrests are easy to remove and lock back into place with the push of a button. They are also adjustable.
Features and Benefits
- Padded armrests provide extra comfort
- Swing-away footrests provide extra space for standing
- It comes with an adjustable seatbelt for extra security
- Highly maneuverable
- It can be folded quickly and for storage or transport in a car
- Manufacturer: NOVA Medical
- Carrying capacity – 300 lbs.
- Seat Width between arms – 18″
- Seat dimensions: 18″w x 16”d
- Seat height – 20″
- Opened overall width – 22.5″
- Overall dimensions folded – 24″D x 8.75″W x 30.25″H
- Wheelchair weight – 18.75 lbs.
- Easy to transport due to its foldability
- The seatbelt provides added security to the user
- Able to maneuver easily into tight spaces
- Seat made of sturdy and long-lasting fabric
- Its swing-away and detachable footrests can create room for standing
- It does not come with a pouch on the seat to carry your small items such as the cellphone
- Lacks handbrakes for the caregiver
Yuwell’s Ultra Lightweight Transport Wheelchair for the Elderly and Children
This lightweight aluminum alloy transport wheelchair weighs only 15 pounds. It is also durable and rust-resistant, which means it won’t fall apart.
The chair can hold 165 pounds, which is lower than most lightweight travel wheelchairs. However, it is perfect for narrow doorways and tight spaces. It can also fit close to tables or desks.
This lightweight wheelchair is great for travel. It comes with a bag for protection, so you do not have to worry about carrying your chair with you on the trip. The armrests are also soft, and the hand brakes are easy to use.
It is light but even better for travel because it is easy to get in and out of the chair. This makes it safer for you in different environments like airports or crowded places like hotels. In addition, the wheelchair folds into a small, compact shape that you can carry onto a plane.
Features and Benefits
- It comes with a handbrake which the caregiver can control
- The transport chair is light with a carrier pouch at the back
- Easy to fold, which makes it easy to carry on board a car or plane
- Its aluminum alloy makes it durable and rust-resistant
- Padded armrests and footrests for extra comfort
- Manufacturer: Yuwell
- Product weight: 15.5 lbs
- Product carrying capacity: 165 lbs
- Seat width: 12.5 inches
- Seat depth: 13.5 inches
- Back of Chair Height: 15 inches
- Width Between Armrest Pads: 17.5 inches
- Front wheels diameter: 4 inches
- Rear wheels diameter: 6 inches
- Passable door width: 18 inches
- Made of durable frame
- It is pretty lightweight, compact, and foldable
- Easy to maneuver through tight spaces and narrow doors
- The seat is uncomfortable to use for extended periods
- It tends to be out of stock now and then
- Some users complained that the brakes are hard to lock
Karman 23lbs Transport Wheelchair with Companion Brakes
This Karman wheelchair is lightweight and foldable, making it easy to transport from place to place. It features hand brakes as well as a fold-down backrest. The aluminum frame is light, and the wheels are polyurethane. The chair can support users weighing up to 250 lbs.
With its detachable footrests and easy folding backrest, this chair is both comfortable and convenient. The aluminum frame is durable, so you will never have to worry about the chair breaking. The 3-stage handle brake lets you switch between light and firm grip mode.
Features and Benefits
- Has strong companion brakes allowing the caregiver to control movement
- Its detachable footrests are good for ease of transfer
- Easy to fold for transport and storage
- The backrest is easy to fold for ease of travel
- It has a hardy aluminum frame making it durable
- Brand: Karman Healthcare
- Item Weight: 23 lbs
- Item measurements: LxWxH – 28 x 19 x 40”
- Seat Width:19 inches
- Seat Depth: 16″
- Overall Height: 40″
- Overall Width: 21.5″
- Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
- It comes equipped with polyurethane tires which provide smooth rides indoors and outdoors
- Its padded armrests add to the comfort
- It has a robust braking system that the caregiver controls
- The chair comes with a safety belt for extra security
- One user complained of a lack of clear setup instructions
- Large rear wheels may be inappropriate for tight spaces
Pros and Cons of Transport Wheelchairs
Transport Wheelchairs are used to provide mobility to users in various situations. They can fit in the back of a vehicle, making them convenient for transport.
Transport wheelchairs are designed with durability in mind so that they can withstand the conditions of outdoor travel. Just like other wheelchairs, they have their advantages and drawbacks, as discussed below.
- Most are lightweight, and you can easily maneuver them in tight spaces
- They help the user move conveniently without having to use crutches or walking sticks
- Transport wheelchairs are easy to fold for travel or storage
- With their small wheels, they are easy to turn compared to larger wheelchairs
- They are affordable compared to their electric counterparts
- The user cannot operate the transport wheelchair on their own. They require assistance from the caregivers
- Due to their lightweight nature, transport wheelchairs are unsuitable for rough terrains
- Unlike manual or electric wheelchairs, they are unsuitable for use over long distances
- Their light frame and small wheels offer less stability
Buying Guide: What to Consider Before Buying a Transport Wheelchair
If you plan to purchase a wheelchair for your loved one, you need to ensure that you are getting the right one for them. While most wheelchairs provide comfort, safety, and convenience for their users, not all wheelchairs perform equally.
You need to check that the wheelchair you purchase has all of the features that your loved one needs. Doing so will ensure that they are safe and secure when using it. Below are some of the things to look out for before you purchase the transport wheelchair.
Size of the Seat
The first step of selecting a suitable transport wheelchair is making sure that the seat size is correct. This is because the seat size plays a significant role in how comfortable one will be while using the wheelchair.
There are three critical things to consider when choosing a seat – the seat’s depth, the seat’s width, and the seat’s length.
Weight of the User
Because of its lightweight features, the patient’s weight is one of the primary factors to consider when choosing a transport wheelchair.
A weight capacity between 300 and 500 pounds is optimal for most people. You should ensure that the transport wheelchair can support your loved one’s weight so as not to compromise on their safety.
The Braking System
Wheelchair brakes are critical for ensuring that you can maintain stability and control while using the device. Without proper brakes, your loved one may be in danger of falling and suffering injuries.
Size of the Wheels
You should consider the size of the wheels before buying a transport wheelchair. The size of the wheel will depend on the weight of the person who will be using it and where that person will be using it.
The wheels should cover various distances or indoor and outdoor surfaces like grass, dirt, or gravel. The wheels on the transport wheelchair are the central part of the chair that makes it easy to move over all different types of terrain.
Foldability of the Wheelchair
The “foldability” of a transport wheelchair makes it possible for people to transfer from one place to another with ease. When it comes to getting the best wheelchair, consider buying a wheelchair that you can fold easily, as this will help you carry it from one place to the other.
Weight of the Wheelchair
Transport wheelchairs help people with mobility problems move around more easily. It would be best if you considered the weight of the wheelchair so that it is not too heavy for the caregiver to push around.
Another reason you should think about the weight is for portability reasons. A lighter transport wheelchair is easy to move around.
Cost of the Wheelchair
The cost of a wheelchair is very crucial, especially to those who have a limited budget. It would help if you considered the cost of a wheelchair before buying one.
A wheelchair’s cost will vary depending on the type that you will purchase. The price can also vary depending on the features you need and where you will buy your wheelchair.
The safety features of a wheelchair provide the highest degree of protection from any potential accidents. These features play a crucial role in the overall safety of the individual using the chair. Some of the safety features to look out for are braking systems, safety belts, etc.
FAQs about Transport Wheelchairs
Answer: Transport wheelchairs focus primarily on the ease of mobility. They should allow you to transfer in and out of the chair in the safest, most efficient way possible.
The best transport wheelchair will have a lightweight design, with adjustable footrests that you can push in when transferring into the chair, then pulled out again when it comes time to stand up.
In addition, the safety features of the wheelchair are another most important aspect to consider. People who are using wheelchairs require a safe way to get around.
Answer: Transport wheelchairs range from 15 to 30 pounds depending on the type of wheelchair and the manufacturer. Most manufacturers make them lightweight, collapsible, and easy to use.
They are commonly used when going to the mall, the restaurant, or going out over short distances. Weight is vital because lighter chairs are easier to carry into a car.
Answer: Transport chairs move people around who cannot propel themselves. Compared to regular wheelchairs, transport chairs are usually compact and lightweight. If you find a wheelchair too heavy or oversized, then a transport chair is your best option. Using a transport wheelchair as a regular wheelchair can be a challenge.
Both wheelchairs are different in structure and intended use. Transport wheelchairs are best used for short-distance travel and are unsuitable for all terrains like a regular wheelchair.
Answer: Transport wheelchairs are often made more accessible by features such as brakes on the handles on the chair’s back. This makes it easier for the person pushing the chair to stop it. Push-lock wheel mechanisms also make it possible for someone using the wheelchair to sit or exit safely.
Transport wheelchairs are best for people who require them for short periods. For instance, during air travel, while on vacation, or when traveling within their city.
Wheelchairs come in many styles and sizes, and each type is perfect for specific purposes. Those who rely on wheelchairs for their mobility must use one that will suit both their lifestyle and their home.
Before buying a transport chair, you must consider the size of the seat, wheels, and the user’s weight. Other factors to consider are its safety features, ease of folding for storage or transport, and the chair’s weight. Lastly, ensure that you go for a wheelchair that is within your budget.
Our top pick is the: Carex Transport Wheelchair