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10 Best Folding Wheelchairs

by Jessica Hegg August 20, 2018 0 Comments

Man folding wheelchair in a car

Folding wheelchairs provide all the strength and support of your daily chair in a smaller, more portable package. With a folding wheelchair, you can get from the car to a chair and back again with less effort and strain. Most folding wheelchairs feature the same basic features of their larger counterparts without all the bulk.

Top 10 Folding Wheelchairs

Model Brand Lowest Price
1. Blue Streak Wheelchair Drive Medical
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2. Adult Folding Transport Wheelchair Medline
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3. Cruiser III Drive Medical
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4. Folding Wheelchair Medline
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5. Ultra Lightweight Folding Wheelchair Karman Healthcare
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6. Lightweight Folding Wheelchair Best Choice Products
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7. Super Lightweight Folding Transport Travel Wheelchair Elite Care
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8. Self-Propelled Wheelchair Hi-Fortune
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9. Fly Lite Ultra Transport Wheelchair Drive Medical
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10. Deluxe Folding Transport Travel Wheelchair Elite Care
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1. Blue Streak Wheelchair by Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair by Drive Medical


This sleekly-designed wheelchair features swing-away footrests, a padded seat, detachable arms, and a calf strap. The rear wheels are large and durable, made of solid rubber, and allow for users to negotiate travels on their own or get a helping hand from behind via the grippy handles. The smaller front wheels swivel easily, negotiating tight corners and sharp turns without issue. The cross brace and nylon seat upholstery are comfortable, sharp looking, and easy to clean. This chair is available in two colors and three seat sizes.

Pros:
  • Folds up easily to be used as a daily chair
  • Push-to-lock wheels
  • Easy to clean and maintain
Cons:
  • Weighs 41.5 lbs

2. Adult Folding Transport Wheelchair by Medline Adult Folding Transport Wheelchair by Medline


Weighing in at only 22 lbs, this aluminum transport chair is the ideal assistive aid for those who need to travel light. Billed as a transport model, this folding wheelchair has twelve-inch rear wheels that glide smoothly over indoor and outdoor surfaces, and lock with manual hand brakes. The ultralight frame is durable, supports up to 300 lbs, and comes with detachable footrests, padded armrests, a nylon upholstered seat and backrest, a push bar with foam grips, and a seat belt. The back of this chair folds down, and the entire unit folds inward into a small package for storage during travel.

Pros:
  • Weighs just 22 lbs
  • A cinch to fold and unfold
  • Push-to-lock hand brakes
Cons:
  • It’s a transport chair so it cannot be operated by the person sitting in it

3. Cruiser III by Drive Medical Cruiser III by Drive Medical


This lightweight foldable wheelchair is available in four sizes and six styles, and weighs approximately 36 lbs. It features a carbon steel frame, nylon upholstery seat and backrest, adjustable footrests, and padded armrests. The large composite rear wheels are mag-style and maintenance-free, and the eight-inch front casters adjust to three different positions. The brakes are push-to-lock and can be operated by the person sitting in the chair. This unit is easy to maneuver, comfortable to use, and folds in half for storage and travel.

Pros:
  • Push-to-lock wheels
  • Comfortable seat
  • Supports many accessories
Cons:
  • The footrests are made of plastic but can be replaced with metal footrests

4. Folding Wheelchair by Medline Folding Wheelchair by Medline


Desk-length arms and elevating leg rests provide a comfortable experience with this folding wheelchair. The seat and backrest are made of breathable nylon upholstery that is both durable and temperature-regulating. The rear mag wheels are oversized and smooth rolling, featuring low-maintenance flat-free tires. This chair folds by flipping the seat up and pushing the rear wheels together. This folding wheelchair comes in three sizes and is compact enough when folded down to fit in most standard car trunks. Without leg rests attached, this chair weighs 33 lbs.

Pros:
  • Easy-to-operate braking system
  • Flat-free tires never require maintenance
  • Adjustable foot and leg rests
Cons:
  • Can be difficult to maneuver on uneven terrain

5. Ultra Lightweight Folding Wheelchair by Karman Healthcare Ultra Lightweight Folding Wheelchair by Karman Healthcare


Weighing under twenty lbs, this is an ultra lightweight wheelchair designed for ease of use and independence. Large twenty-inch rear wheels with a flat-free design can be operated by the user if desired, or the chair can be pushed from behind. The frame of this chair is designed with aircraft grade metal, so it's as durable as it is lightweight. The S-shape seating has been proven to aid in preventing pressure sores and promote posture when sitting for extended periods. The backrest folds down into the seat, and the entire frame folds together for a compact chair that can really take you places.

Pros:
  • Weighs less than 20 lbs
  • Narrow enough to fit through most doors
  • Many advanced features that provide superior comfort in a portable package
Cons:
  • On the pricier side

6. Lightweight Folding Wheelchair by Best Choice Products Lightweight Folding Wheelchair by Best Choice Products


Designed with a sturdy steel frame, this folding wheelchair is the perfect balance of weight and durability. The adjustable footrests can accommodate users of different heights without trouble, and flip up and out of the way when not needed. Large rear wheels and swiveling front casters show their worth when rolling over smooth indoor floors or outside on uneven ground. The armrests on this chair are padded and comfortable, and this chair folds down quickly for storage or trunk travel.

Pros:
  • Large rear wheels move freely inside or out
  • No assembly required
  • Folds down small enough to fit in most car trunks
Cons:
  • Footrests are not removable

7. Super Lightweight Folding Transport Travel Wheelchair by Elite Care Super Lightweight Folding Transport Travel Wheelchair by Elite Care


This ultra-compact travel chair is small enough to fold down and fit inside a travel bag. Folding to just one-third the size of a typical wheelchair, this folding chair weighs 20.5 lbs and supports up to 255 lbs. Perfect for day trips and airline travel, this chair's features include flip-up padded desk arms, four puncture proof solid tires, and detachable footrests. This chair is quick to set up and easy to tear down. It's also light and small enough to fit in the backseat of a car or an airplane.

Pros:
  • Weighs just 20.5 lbs
  • Folds down small enough to fit in included carry case
  • Detachable footrests and padded desk arms
Cons:
  • Not for prolonged use

8. Self-Propelled Wheelchair by Hi-Fortune Self-Propelled Wheelchair by Hi-Fortune


At only 21 lbs, this ultra-lightweight magnesium alloy wheelchair is the ideal companion for days out, road trips, or airline travel. A quick-release hinge is tripped to fold this chair down for storage or transport. This folding wheelchair comes with padded armrests, swing away leg rests, large rear wheels, and top hand brakes that lock in place when needed. This chair is light enough to be operated and moved about the user, and comfortable enough to sit in for extended periods.

Pros:
  • Weights only 21 lbs
  • Easy to fold, unfold, and lift into a vehicle
  • Well-made
Cons:
  • Only supports up to 220 lbs

9. Fly Lite Ultra Transport Wheelchair by Drive Medical Fly Lite Ultra Transport Wheelchair by Drive Medical


This folding transport wheelchair comes with six-inch casters in front and eight-inch casters in the rear. Aluminum wheel locks are located on the rear wheels and can put in place by the person pushing the chair. This wheelchair's back folds down, and the wheels come together so you can take this chair wherever you go. Additional features include storage pouches for personal belongings, a durable nineteen-inch breathable nylon upholstery seat, adjustable swing-away footrests, and a seat belt.

Pros:
  • Weighs 23.8 lbs
  • Simple to fold and unfold
  • Storage pouches for personal belongings built-in to the chair
Cons:
  • Requires assistance to use

10. Deluxe Folding Transport Travel Wheelchair by Elite Care Deluxe Folding Transport Travel Wheelchair by Elite Care


Ideal for day trips and travel, this folding wheelchair is compact enough to fit in a small travel bag. This unit has twelve-inch rear wheels and eight-inch front wheels that are guaranteed never to go flat. The padded desk arms on this chair fit nicely under tables for trips to restaurants or joining the family at the table at home. Rear attendant handbrakes allow the chair to stop slowly or quickly, and the brakes lock the chair in place with a quick flip downward. This travel folding wheelchair weighs 25 lbs and can support a maximum weight of 250 lbs.

Pros:
  • Folds down to one-third the size of a traditional wheelchair
  • Weighs just 25 lbs
  • Removable footrests
Cons:
  • Narrow seat is best for those smaller in stature

 

Types of Folding Wheelchairs

Folding wheelchairs are valued for their portability and ease of use, especially during travel. Despite their similar feature sets, not all folding wheelchairs are the same. There are three basic folding wheelchairs styles:

  • Traditional Folding Wheelchair

This type of chair looks similar to a standard weight wheelchair in that it has two oversized wheels under the seat and two smaller wheels in front, in addition to footrests and handles. The familiar design allows the user to propel himself or move about without any assistance but doesn't share the added bulk and weight of a standard chair.

  • Transport chairs

Transport chairs are equipped with four small wheels, a seat, footrests, and handles. These chairs are made to move someone from one location to another. They're lightweight and smaller in size than traditional folding wheelchairs and designed to be pushed by a companion.

  • Travel wheelchairs

Made exclusively for trips outside the house, this assistive aid excels in getting you from point A to point B quickly and easily, and with minimal weight. Travel wheelchairs don't all look the same but do have two things in common: they're lightweight and fold down small.

Folding Wheelchair Accessories

You can outfit a folding wheelchair with accessories just as you do with your everyday chair. These additions can make your experience more comfortable and your necessities more accessible.

  • Seat cushions

Wheelchair seat cushions add a little height and a lot of cushioning. These seat pillows put a buffer between you and your chair, helping to prevent pressure sores, regulate body temperature, and keep you comfortable.

  • Folding-reacher grabber

Folding reacher grabbers are specialized tools that give you the extra reach needed to pick dropped items up off the floor, grab food boxes from cupboards, or move things from one spot to another.

  • Wheelchair bags

Wheelchair bags keep essential items organized and within easy reach. These storage totes often hang over the back of your wheelchair, attach to the inside of armrests, or hang under the seat. Wheelchair bags come in many sizes, some being large enough to hold a purse, necessary medical supplies, snacks, glasses, phones, and house keys, while other small pouches are designed to keep your keys, phone, and wallet safe and close at hand.

You can customize your folding wheelchair for convenience or the cool factor. See this list of cool wheelchair accessories for more ideas.

Regain Your Independence With a Folding Wheelchair

Accessibility devices like folding wheelchairs keep long-distance travel and short trips around town hassle-free. Thanks to lightweight, portable chairs that are smaller in size and less rigid than your daily chair, you can keep your comfort level high while increasing your sense of independence.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4019578/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3560642/

Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg

Jessica Hegg is the content manager and at ViveHealth.com. With vast product knowledge and understanding of individual needs, she aims to share valuable information on making smart buying choices, overcoming obstacles and overall improving the quality of life for others. Avid gym-rat and nutrition enthusiast, she’s interested in all things related to staying active and living healthy lifestyle.



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