Home Health Best Lightweight Wheelchairs [Buying Guide] in 2019

Best Lightweight Wheelchairs [Buying Guide] in 2019

by Francesca Baptiste
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Karman Ergonomic Wheelchair Ergo Flight in 16 inch Seat, Pearl Silver Frame
Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair with Various Flip Back Arm Styles and Front Rigging Options, Flip Back Removable Full Arms/Swing Away Footrests, Black, 20 Inch
Hi-Fortune 21lbs Lightweight Medical Manual Wheelchair with Full Length Padded Armrests and Hand Brakes, Portable and Folding with Magnesium Alloy, 17.5” Seat, Blue
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Karman Ergo Flight Ergonomic Wheelchair
Drive Light Weight Medical Wheelchair Cruiser III
Hi-Fortune Lightweight Medical Manual Wheelchair
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Karman Ergonomic Wheelchair Ergo Flight in 16 inch Seat, Pearl Silver Frame
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Karman Ergo Flight Ergonomic Wheelchair
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Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair with Various Flip Back Arm Styles and Front Rigging Options, Flip Back Removable Full Arms/Swing Away Footrests, Black, 20 Inch
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Drive Light Weight Medical Wheelchair Cruiser III
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Hi-Fortune 21lbs Lightweight Medical Manual Wheelchair with Full Length Padded Armrests and Hand Brakes, Portable and Folding with Magnesium Alloy, 17.5” Seat, Blue
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Hi-Fortune Lightweight Medical Manual Wheelchair
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When you’re looking for a wheelchair, you’re looking for one that’s going to give you the most freedom with the least drawbacks. Many wheelchair users struggle with the high weights of standard models and this can make long-term use difficult, especially on inclines and uneven terrain. For those with smaller helpers or elderly caregivers, large and heavy wheelchairs can be difficult to manage, lift, and push. This is what makes lightweight manual wheelchairs an excellent option for those who are looking to self-propel with ease, or for a chair that a partner or carer can manage without an issue.

If your health issues have got you to the point of needing a wheelchair, don’t let heavy wheelchairs hold you back.  Take a look at Surf’n’Buy’s detailed guide on manual wheelchairs to find out all the in-depth information you need on mechanical wheelchairs. 

If your short on time, simply consider a lightweight model to regain your freedom with one of the three best lightweight wheelchairs on the market in 2019.

Top 3 Lightweight Wheelchairs

1. Karman Ergo Flight Ergonomic Wheelchair

Karman Ergonomic Wheelchair Ergo Flight in 16 inch Seat, Pearl Silver Frame
  • Weighs 19.8 pound
  • Removable footrest
  • Anti-bacterial upholstery
  • Seat Height - 18 1/2 inch. Armrest Height - 8 inch
  • 20” x 1 3/8” Rear Polyurethane, High Tread, Flat Free Wheels

FEATURES

The lightest wheelchair on our list is the Karman Ergo Flight Ergonomic Wheelchair coming in at only 19.8 pounds overall. This means it is incredibly easy to use for both independent wheelchair users and carers alike. This lightweight design makes self-propulsion so much easier, so you can reclaim your independence. Specialized S-Shape seating and ergonomic design ensures that you are as supported as you can be. This design is proven to be less likely to induce pressure sores and promote better posture and circulation, perfect for long-term users. 

The seat is available in 16” x 17 and 18” x 17”  measurements with an 18.5” seat back, ensuring that you are sure to find an option which offers you the highest level of comfort and support. It is also antibacterial, making this chair incredibly easy to clean.

The flat free polyurethane rear wheels are designed specifically to resist punctures so that you are much less likely to get caught out by punctures or flats. This model is also available with a fixed or quick release axle. This means that if you need quick release tires for easy travel and transport, this is an excellent option for you.

Removeable footrests allow you to pick how much support you need. You can tailor the Karman Ergo Flight Ergonomic Wheelchair to your own specifications so that you are the most comfortable you can be. Companion breaks allow for helpers to safely engage the brakes without the need to bend down. This makes this model much safer than most, especially in hilly or uneven terrains, and makes sure older couples are given the utmost security.

PROS

  • The brakes available to helpers makes this chair an excellent option for both independent users and older couples alike.
  • The easy to fold design and lightweight structure ensures that this chair is incredibly easy to use for travel purposes, even for lighter carers.
  • The flat proof wheels make this wheelchair perfect for indoor use.
  • The lightweight design makes the Karman Ergo Flight Ergonomic Wheelchair perfect for those who want to propel themselves, or for smaller carers.

CONS

  • This chair is not suitable for taller users, as it is built for the average size in comparison to the weight limit. Therefore, if you are of taller stature, this may be an uncomfortable chair for you.
  • The plastic wheels on this chair mean that is it better designed for inside use. If you were to use this chair outdoors, it would struggle with uneven terrain and loose ground.
  • The light gray material which constructs the back of the chair can sometimes become stained and this can be difficult to remove.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

If you’re looking for a lightweight wheelchair that’s perfect for self-propulsion, the Karman Ergo Flight Ergonomic Wheelchair is the wheelchair for you.  At only 20 pounds, you won’t struggle to use this chair and transport is a breeze.  The flat-proof wheels make sure that you won’t get caught out, making this chair the ideal option for individual users without a carer.

2. Drive Light Weight Medical Wheelchair Cruiser III

Drive Medical Cruiser III Light Weight Wheelchair with Various Flip Back Arm Styles and Front Rigging Options, Flip Back Removable Full Arms/Swing Away Footrests, Black, 20 Inch
  • Carbon steel frame with silver vein finish; Nylon upholstery is durable, lightweight, attractive, and easy to clean; Weighs under 36 lbs (excluding front riggings)
  • Built-in seat rail extensions and extendable upholstery easily adjust seat depth from 16" to 18"; Padded armrests provide additional comfort
  • Composite, Mag-style wheels are lightweight and maintenance free; 8" front casters are adjustable in three positions
  • New frame style eliminates seat guides and allows for custom back inserts and accessories; Dual axle provides easy transition of seat height to hemi-level
  • Precision sealed wheel bearings in front and rear ensure long-lasting performance and reliability; Comes with push-to-lock wheel locks

If you’re looking for a lightweight wheelchair that’s built to last, the Drive Light Weight Medical Wheelchair Cruiser III is one of the best options out there without breaking the bank. Built with a carbon steel frame and nylon upholstery is durable, comfortable and easy to clean. The mag-style wheels reduce weight and reduce the risk of punctures and flats, so you won’t get caught short.

Push to lock wheels and a high weight capacity of 350 pounds ensures the highest level of safety, no matter what the size of the patient. The seat depth goes up to 18 inches, making this chair much more comfortable so that you can maintain your balance even when reaching and bending. Available in three different sizes, this wheelchair has an option for all heights and all weights. 

The design of the chair fits all kinds of accessories and add ons, so you can create the chair you need and receive the support you require. Removeable flip back arms make it easier to transfer in and out of the chair, as well as making it easy to slide underneath tables and chairs.

PROS

  • Three different sizes means that you are guaranteed to find a wheelchair that fits you perfectly.
  • The innovative frame eliminates the needs for seat guides and leaves plenty of room for custom back inserts and fits all accessories.
  • All riggings are totally adjustable so that you can make this chair fit all of your requirements and provide the support you need.
  • The lightweight design of the Drive Light Weight Medical Wheelchair Cruiser III and fold down feature allows it to fit in the trunk of most cars and vehicles, so transport is incredibly easy.

CONS

  • This is the heaviest chair on this guide. This can make it harder to propel the chair as it will take more work, and smaller helpers may struggle with the weight of the chair and patient.
  • The Drive Light Weight Medical Wheelchair Cruiser III is also one of the wider chairs on the market, making it difficult to navigate narrow spaces and tighter corners.
  • Nylon requires more replacements as it is more absorbent than vinyl upholstery options.
  • The legs of this wheelchair stick out a little further than most, making it a little cumbersome in enclosed spaces.
  • The wheel bearings have been said to loosen quickly, so may require a little more upkeep and tightening than other models on the market.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

For those who are looking for a lightweight wheelchair but still one that’s a little on the heavy side for durability, this chair is a great option. The slightly higher weight makes it better for those who need the stability to reach and bend, whilst still being light enough to make self-propulsion much easier. Simple to fold and transport, you don’t have to worry about transporting this chair to get from A to B. With a brand new design, you have the ability to customize and add exactly what you need so that you can make the most of your lightweight mechanical wheelchair.

3. Hi-Fortune Lightweight Medical Manual Wheelchair

Hi-Fortune 21lbs Lightweight Medical Manual Wheelchair with Full Length Padded Armrests and Hand Brakes, Portable and Folding with Magnesium Alloy, 17.5” Seat, Blue
  • Super strong ultra-lightweight magnesium alloy frame features a quick release hinge to fold down for easy storage and transport. Great for all kinds of travel, it can be easily checked on the airplane and loaded aboard in the cargo compartment
  • Stay even more comfortable with padded arm rests and swing-away leg rests. Larger rear wheels provide better performance on uneven outdoor surfaces while the convenient top handbrakes make it easier to control speed. Use self-propelled or with assistance
  • No tools and virtually no assembly required. Simply attach the footrests and back safety rollers and you are done. Quick release wheels and removable foot rests make transporting the chair in any size vehicle simple
  • SIZE & WEIGHT: Seat width is 17.5” with a weight capacity of 220lbs. 13.5 lbs are frame only. Overall weight with wheels and footrests are 21 lbs. NOTE: The width from the outer edge of one wheel to the outer edge of the other side is 28 inches. Before you order this wheelchair, please make sure the chair will fit through your home doors and hallways
  • SAFETY: Rear and hand brakes to not only make the riders times safer but also to make the assistant's job easier. The anti-tippers also enhance your safety. Overall, the chair includes a 1-year frame and components warranty against defects. Any problem, please free to contact us via Amazon e-mail

FETURES

The ultra-light magnesium alloy frame makes the Hi-Fortune Lightweight Medical Manual Wheelchair the perfect travel wheelchair for self-propulsion or for those with carers. The quick release hinge folds down the chair in seconds so that it can easily fit into standard sized trunks. This wheelchair is one of the safest on the market. Anti-dump brakes make this wheelchair one of the most secure on the market, tackling up to a 30-degree incline without budging.

Padded swing-away arms enhance comfort and make it easy to slip under chairs and tables, so there’s no need for extra accommodations. Anti-tippers at the rear of the chair also increase safety when the user is reaching or bending. The vinyl material seat is layered to allow better airflow during hotter months and insulate when it’s colder, keeping the user as comfortable as possible, making this wheelchair great for long-term use.

PROS

  • The modern seating design is comfortable and supportive to ensure users maintain a steady temperature and stay secure.
  • Anti-dump brakes are the safest on the market to keep the user stable at higher inclines.
  • The slim design of the Hi-Fortune Lightweight Medical Manual Wheelchair makes it suitable for narrower spaces and easy to navigate tight corners, making it ideal for younger users.
  • The lightweight design allows for easy self-propulsion, giving independence to younger users and those with more upper body mobility.
  • This wheelchair is designed so that no assembly is needed. Quick release wheels and quick folding design is simple to pull up when it’s needed.
  • The X-shaped structure provides better stability and a higher load capacity than other models of a similar weight.
  • Rear handle brakes allow helpers to quickly stop the chair in an emergency.

CONS

  • The weight limit of the Hi-Fortune Lightweight Medical Manual Wheelchair is the lowest in this guide at only 220 pounds. This makes this chair unsuitable for larger users.
  • The back rest of this model is lower than other models and this can make it unsupportive for taller users and therefore unsuitable.
  • The attachable cushions have to be removed to properly fold down the chair and this can be cumbersome for individual users.
  • The seat of the chair sits quite low to the ground and this can be uncomfortable for users with longer legs.
  • The body of the wheelchair can sometimes flex or wobble during use and this makes it inappropriate for outdoor use as it could become damaged.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

If you are looking for a wheelchair that’s the best value and suits individual users for long-term use, look no further than the Hi-Fortune Lightweight Medical Manual Wheelchair. This lightweight wheelchair is built for durability and stability without sacrificing comfort and style. The specialist safety features keep the user protected and stable during use, and the breathable fabrics allow adequate airflow to maintain the optimum temperature. With the quick release wheels and easy to use fold function, travel is easy with this wheelchair, so you can get out and about in no time at all.

What Makes Lightweight Wheelchair a Better Option?

You might be wondering why a lightweight wheelchair is better than a standard weight wheelchair. They serve similar purposes and seem very alike. However, there are a few reasons why a lightweight wheelchair is a better option than a standard model.

First and foremost, as the name implies, it’s lighter. This makes lightweight models much easier to propel by yourself.  Lightweight options make it so that you won’t get tired as easily and ramps and inclines will be much easier to manage. Moreover, the ability to push yourself around will limit the needs for a helper or carer all the time. This can provide a lot of freedom for younger wheelchair users who don’t want to be chaperoned all the time.

Lightweight wheelchair options are also best for those with limited mobility, but still want to travel.  Their light design makes these chairs easy to load into the car and travel with, as they typically take up less space both in the car and in storage space. Most lightweight wheelchairs are suitable for use both inside and out, so you won’t be limited by usability of these chairs.  High quality breaks and anti-tippers are commonplace in these chairs, also, so safety won’t be a concern if you’ll be using the chair on inclines and uneven terrain.

The materials that go into crafting lightweight wheelchairs actually tend to be more durable and stronger than in standard models. Typical materials for the wheelchair frames are titanium and steel alloys.  These materials are incredibly light but come with the added benefit of increased stability. The combination of these materials with the lightweight design of the overall wheelchairs allows for these chairs to support much higher weight limits. This is great for patients who may be of larger stature but still want the independence of a chair they can propel by themselves. Of course, long-term users may prefer an electric model, but for those who want a little more freedom, lightweight models give you everything you need in terms of support whilst reducing the weight to make propulsion that much easier.

Lightweight wheelchairs are also highly customizable.  They are specially created so that all attachments and fixtures are detachable so that you can pick and choose the supports and accessories which suit your needs best. Lightweight wheelchair frames are therefore designed to fit all accessories rather than brand-specific materials and fixtures, which is not always an option with standard weight models. This gives the user much more room to be creative with their wheelchair and this is a great option for younger and long-term wheelchair users. The customizable support means that you get the chair to fit you, rather than you having to fit the chair.

The adaptability of lightweight wheelchairs makes them ideal for all kinds of user. So, no matter who you are and your level of mobility, these wheelchairs are an excellent option for your needs. If you’re in the market for a manual wheelchair, there will be a lightweight option out there for you.


Conclusion

Finding a wheelchair can be a complex and confusing process. There are so many options out there that it can make finding and understanding your needs a challenge at the best of times. You want a chair that will help you get around without getting in your way. The key is a quality purchase and understanding what’s on the market.  Surf’n’Buy have a detailed guide on everything you need to know about mechanical wheelchairs.

A wheelchair is a very personal purchase. Depending on your needs, you may be spending a lot of time in it.  This means that you should be careful to find a make and model that is going to suit you the best. The highly customizable nature and ergonomic, agile design makes these chairs perfect for users who want to get the most out of their purchase. Taking into account your needs, you can find a lightweight wheelchair that is your match made in heaven, letting you keep living with the highest level of mobility.

The Karman Ergo Flight Ergonomic Wheelchair is the lightest wheelchair currently on the market, making it ideal for those users who want the independence of self-propulsion.  Its ease of use and barely-there weight make it the best choice on the market right now. Our best value choice is the Drive Light Weight Medical Wheelchair Cruiser III, which offers excellent usage at an even better price.  Although a little heavier, this wheelchair gives you a balance between feature and cost.

However, if you’re looking for a chair you can’t beat, you can’t get any better than Surf’n’Buy’s premium pick: The Hi-Fortune Lightweight Medical Manual Wheelchair. This wheelchair is incredibly low weight and its incredible safety features make it the safest option of 2019.  With this chair, you’ll be out and about without a care.


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