A transport wheel chair is a lightweight mobility chair that provides greater convenience and flexibility for the user and caregiver during short outings. Transport chairs are easier than standard wheelchairs to carry, store, and move in and out of vehicles. Most car trunks are large enough to accommodate these collapsible models.
Transport wheel chairs are designed with small rear wheels, which are much smaller than those found on standard manual wheel chairs. Since the size of the rear wheels is reduced, someone must push the chair to propel it forward for the user. For this reason, these lightweight chairs are sometimes called companion wheelchairs.
The biggest advantage of transport chairs is their weight. Typically, they weigh only about 15 to 20 pounds, which is much less than a standard manual wheelchair.
Most models are made from lightweight aluminum or steel tubing to make them light enough to be easily lifted and stored.
Many models come with straps to easy for a companion to carry the chair from one location to the next. Some manufacturers include a carrying bag with the wheel chair purchase. The transport chair is simply folded and placed into the bag – and then flung over the shoulder to carry.
Transport chairs are less expensive than standard or electric wheelchairs. They offer a variety of features, including seat belts, padding, pockets, cup holders and colors. Some models come with handbrakes and/or a tilting back rest.
Armrests on transport chairs can be fixed, removable and of varying length. Some are even adjustable. Look for armrest padding to enhance comfort during use. Footrests vary by model, as well. Some can elevate, swing away, remain stationary, or detach.
Before making a purchase, make sure you are satisfied with the comfort and feel, as well as the carry weight.
While transport chairs are not designed for use all the time, a comfort ride is still important. Check the seat width, cushion and padding, including arm padding, prior to purchase.
Lastly, be sure the chair can comfortably carry the weight of the individual it is supporting. Most models can handle 250 pounds but some sturdier ones can carry up to 300 pounds. Check weight capacity prior to purchase and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
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