Updated onJun. 01, 2022

Best Lightweight Wheelchairs

Your wheelchair is what sets you in motion if you can’t get there yourself, so it is an incredibly valuable tool in your quality of life. Whether it be for you or a loved one, you want to make sure you have the right wheelchair for all of life’s moments.

You need one that is not only safe but also comfortable. For some, having a lightweight wheelchair could be vital because it affects the way you get around. We’re reviewing the best lightweight wheelchairs currently on the market.

How We Found the Best Lightweight Wheelchairs

8 Reviewers
35 Products Considered
9 Hours of Research
7 Products Reviewed
3 Top Picks
BEST OVERALL

BEST OVERALL

Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair
$159.99

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Features and Specifications

  • Medline transport lightweight wheelchair has large 12 inch rear wheels for better performance on uneven outdoor surfaces | Loop-style manual handbrakes are ideal for locking the rear wheels during transfers
  • Transport chair with powder coated aluminum ultralight frame is durable and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs
  • Folding transport wheelchair is portable, making it perfect for easy storage, transport and travel | Back folds down to make the chair more compact
  • Full length permanent armrests | Detachable footrests | Seat belt for safety | Comfortable nylon upholstery
  • Transport wheel chair seat dimensions are 18 x 16 inches | Weighs 23.5 lbs | Color: Red
Pros
  • Great for transporting

  • Supports up to 300 pounds

  • Wheels provide good traction outdoors

  • Powder coated frame prevents rust

  • Hand brakes work well

Cons
  • Not very comfortable

  • Hard for user to roll themselves

This best selling transport wheelchair is a great option for older adults who typically have a caregiver else push them rather than manually rolling themselves around. It has 12-inch wheels on the back for outdoor traction and manual hand brakes for added protection.

The frame is solid and powder-coated to prevent rust, and the chair has an overall weight capacity of 300 pounds.

This chair doesn’t provide much in terms of comfort since it’s not intended for long-term sitting. However, we did appreciate the wide seat, which should accommodate most users.

Our Verdict

This transport wheelchair is a great option for temporary transport from place to place but is not a long-term solution.

Best For Travel

Best For Travel

ProBasics – KTA1916SA-BG Aluminum Transport Wheelchair
$141.16

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Features and Specifications

  • LIGHTWEIGHT WHEELCHAIR. Lightweight aluminum construction, weight only 20 lbs. Very durable, perfect wheelchairs for adults weighing up to 250lbs. Ultra lightweight design makes this chair a perfect transport wheelchair.
  • FOLDING WHEELCHAIR. Flared handles handy back-release hinge and removable tool-free swing-away composite footrests with heel loops allow the back to fold down flat and compact for easy storage and transport.
  • COMFORTABLE. Wheel chair has padded full-length permanent armrests with nylon upholstery. Wheelchair is very comfortable, ultra lightweight and easy to clean.
  • DURABLE WHEELCHAIR. Composite 8” wheels that lock in the back. Wheels are solid rubber and are lightweight and maintenance free. Rear wheel locks are push-to-lock and easy to activate. Durability makes it one of the leaders in transport chairs.
  • FOLDING WHEELCHAIR. Going on a long drive? This portable wheelchair is a perfect travel wheelchair because it is easily foldable and fits easily in the trunk of your car.
Pros
  • Great option for someone transporting the user

  • Comfortable and well padded

  • Comes with a lot of features

  • Weight capacity of 300 pounds

  • Folds up easily for transport

  • Easy to use brakes

Cons
  • The chair is too close to the ground so it could be uncomfortable for taller people

  • Users can’t roll themselves

This wheelchair only weighs twenty pounds and easily folds up for transport or traveling purposes. It also features 12-inch wheels which help create dependable traction outdoors and on uneven surfaces.

Two of our favorite features on this chair are the seat belt and push-lock brakes, which give seniors an added sense of security when riding in it. The handles on the top comfortable for caregivers pushing a loved one, and the seat has a little more padding than you typically see in a lightweight wheelchair.

We do wish that the footplates were more adjustable, especially for taller seniors. If you are over six feet tall, you most likely will not be able to use the footplates.

Our Verdict

This chair is a great choice if you do not plan on transporting yourself around. It is more comfortable than most transport chairs but it is a bit small.

Best With Elevated Rests

Best With Elevated Rests

Medline Lightweight & User-Friendly Wheelchair
$220.91

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Features and Specifications

  • Flip-back, desk-length arms make it easy to navigate under tables | elevating leg rests enhance comfort and remove easily
  • Breathable nylon upholstery is soft and comfortable
  • Premium welds ensure reliability and durability
  • Smooth-rolling Mag wheels with low-maintenance flat-free tires; foot-powered movement with 2” seat-height adjustments (hemi-height)
  • 300-Lb. Weight capacity | 33-lb. Product weight, without leg rests. Latex free; Not MRI safe
Pros
  • You can move around when sitting in this chair

  • Durable and sturdy design

  • 300-pound weight capacity

  • Extra weight on chair provides more stability

  • Comfortable and breathable fabric

Cons
  • The chair is heavy and hard to transport

  • Soft upholstery may stretch out over time

This lightweight option is easy to operate and fits nicely under tables thanks to its height. One unqiue thing we noticed about this chair is its upholstery. It is nylon like most models, but it is more stretchy, breathable, and comfortable than most materials we’ve encountered.

The chair also has armrests and elevated leg rests which promote overall comfort for the senior using it. The Medline chair has large mag wheels to allow users to roll themselves, as well as a two-inch height adjustment to accommodate users who are shorter or taller than average.

This model is heavier than the previous at 33 pounds, but it can also carry more. Its standard weight capacity is 300 pounds.

Our Verdict

This chair is the perfect size for transportation to places like restaurants because the chair fits nicely under tables.

Best High End

Best High End

Karman Healthcare 19.8 lbs Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair

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Pros
  • Comfortable upholstery

  • Antibacterial

  • You can move the chair on your own

  • The chair only weighs 19.8 pounds

  • Large seat for being so light

Cons
  • Not for long-term sitting

This high-end chair will be a favorite for seniors who prioritize comfort. The padding is incredibly plush and hugs the body of the user. There is also padding on the back and the rear area, plus padded armrests and elevated leg rests.

The chair features a seatbelt and heel loops to help secure the user as well.While this chair is a bit more difficult than the previous for the user to roll manually, it does come with hand grips on the wheels to make it possible when necessary.

Overall, it’s probably a better option for seniors who plan to be pushed more than they plan to roll themselves. We were also impressed with the size of this chair compared to its weight. It is light at only 19.8 pounds, but features a wide 18-inch seat.

Our Verdict

This lightweight chair is one of the lightest on the market and it folds up to almost nothing.

Best On A Budget

Best On A Budget

Drive Medical TR39E-SV Lightweight Folding Transport Wheelchair

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Pros
  • Durable frame

  • Stable chair puts confidence in the user

  • Quite comfortable for the price

  • Maneuvers well through tight areas

  • Large seat

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Composite wheels are not that great outside

  • User cannot roll themselves

  • Not customizable

This chair is for seniors looking for all the features of a reliable and durable transport chair on a budget. Despite its low price, the Drive Medical chair comes with a durable frame and enough weight to keep the user firmly grounded.

The armrests, chair, and back are all cushioned for the user’s comfort, and the upholstery is easy to clean without having to remove the padding.

We were also very impressed with this chair’s maneuverability. It rolls everywhere you need it to go without having to adjust the direction and reset constantly.

Our Verdict

For the price you get a lot with this option. You get a chair that has a nice comfortable nylon upholstery and is easy to clean. You also get a durable chair that serves its purpose.

Features & Specs

  • Flip-away arms and footrests
  • The seat can be 16 inches or 18 inches from the ground
  • Tool-free adjustment
  • Foot-propelled
  • Varying seat width options available
  • Chair weighs 36 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
Pros
  • Comfortable and gets the job done

  • Adjustable in many ways

  • Smooth ride

  • Rides nice outdoors

  • Wheels absorb a lot of shock

Cons
  • Does not collapse

  • Too heavy

  • Few “extras”

This standard chair accomodates most seniors’ needs without a lot of extra features. It comes with swing-away footrests which move quickly out of place as well as an adjustable seat and adjustable armrests to accommodate different body types.

This flexible model allows seniors to roll themselves manually or be pushed by a caregiver. The ride is smooth, and the tires also work nicely outdoors.

Our Verdict

This basic chair provides a lot of comfort and stability to the user. It is a little heavy though.

Best Customizable

Best Customizable

Karmin Healthcare Lightweight S-Ergo

Features & Specs

  • Chair folds up
  • Seat width options: 16, 18, 20 inches
  • Seat depth: 17 inches
  • Wheel size: 24 inches
  • Removable Legrests
  • Removable, anti-bacterial seat cushions
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Chair weight: 25 pounds
Pros
  • Comfortable with extra padding

  • Leg rests, and footrests

  • Back of chair is designed to prevent the user from sliding down

  • Highly customizable

  • Many options available

Cons
  • Issues with screws coming loose

  • Lack of durability

The Karmin chair comes with soft padding on the back and the bottom area, which make it one of the most comfortable lightweight wheelchairs on the market. It comes with added armrests as well, plus a strap that covers the legs, so that seniors will have extra support when using the leg rests.

The back of this chair forms an ‘S’, which serves an important purpose. It prevents the user from sliding down into the chair while they are sitting. Instead, it corrects their posture and keeps them in an upright position. This could be helpful for seniors who are recovering from an illness or injury and haven’t regained their full strength yet, or for older adults with back issues.

Our Verdict

The Karmin chair comes with soft padding on the back and the bottom area, which make it one of the most comfortable lightweight wheelchairs on the marke

Opting for a lightweight transport wheelchair doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice things like comfort and “extras”. As the market changes, manufactures are able to incorporate more of these special features into even their lightweight models.

Of course the most important feature to look for in a lightweight transport wheelchair is its ability to get from place to place. Here are a few other things to consider.

Weight

If you are choosing a chair to help transport your loved one, it’s important to think about weight – both the weight of the chair and of the user. The chair must be light enough to carry, but sturdy enough to accommodate the person sitting in it.

Transport chairs typically weigh between 25-35 pounds, and they should always be collapsible. Chairs in this range do not add too much weight, so it’s easy to push someone around in them. They should also ideally allow the user to roll themselves, too, if necessary.

Maneuverability

Transport wheelchairs are made to move, so you want something that gets around easily. Look for a chair that’s agile in tight areas and has good traction on grass, gravel, and other non-solid surfaces.

Pay close attention to the way the chair moves, both for the caregiver and the senior. You want to make sure it’s easy to maneuver for both of them.

Safety Features

Make sure to think about the needs of the user when thinking through safety features. If you’re buying for a senior who struggles to hold themselves up, you’ll need to look for features like seat belts and calf loops.

These extras can help ensure the user stays securely in the wheelchair at all times.

Comfort

Like we said earlier, lightweight transport chairs should still be comfortable for the user. Some lightweight chairs today come with quite a bit of padding to make the transport process more manageable.

While these chairs are not intended for long-term sitting, manufacturers are still improving the amount of comfort they provide. Before purchasing, check to see that the chair offers ample padding for the back and buttocks, plus padded armrests and leg rests for extra cushion.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a great lightweight transport wheelchair, there’s good news. Because manufacturers have substantially improved their offerings for this type of chair, with better comfort and convenience across the board. Seniors looking for a back-up or short-term wheelchair should have no trouble picking one from these options.