There are a variety of lightweight travel wheelchair options on the current market, all of which offer a flexible and lightweight option to make travel a bit easier. When shopping for a travel wheelchair, it can be difficult to decide which lightweight wheelchair for travel will deliver functionality that meets your needs while also being easy to use through an airport and while on vacation.
These travel wheelchair reviews will help uncover the 10 best travel wheelchairs by first understanding what makes a great travel wheelchair and then highlighting some of the best options currently available to the public.
This top 10 list will include both manual and electric wheelchairs, all of which are marketed as travel wheelchairs. These will all have some form of lightweight frame and a collapsible or adjustable feature that makes them easy to transport and include as luggage.
What is a travel wheelchair?
A travel wheelchair is basically a lightweight wheelchair for travel. These wheelchairs are designed to be lighter than daily use wheelchairs and can fold to have a smaller profile. This makes these wheelchairs ideal for travel because they can collapse and store like luggage, but can also be useful for moving through an airport, traveling to a hotel, and visiting any location while on a trip.
An ideal travel wheelchair is one that provides all the functions you use on a daily basis, but in a smaller profile wheelchair designed for travel. Anyone can purchase a lightweight travel wheelchair, which makes it easy to have before the trip. Carrying your own travel wheelchair makes your trip easier, as you don’t have to reserve or rent a wheelchair for when you arrive and spend time borrowing wheelchairs at every point along the trip, from the airport to the hotel and at each destination.
Types of travel wheelchairs
There are several types of lightweight wheelchairs for travel, but the most popular types are manual and electric. Manual wheelchairs are propelled by the user or pushed by a companion. These are very straightforward to use and are the most similar to wheelchairs available to borrow at many destinations. Using a manual travel wheelchair means that you have a smaller profile wheelchair that you can easily transport with you at each stop throughout your trip.
The most lightweight option in terms of travel wheelchairs are transport wheelchairs. These are wheelchairs that have smaller wheels, compared to the traditional manual wheelchair with large back wheels. The smaller wheel design allows for the wheelchair to have a slimmer frame and reduces the overall wheelchair weight. These wheelchairs are very portable due to their light weight, and deliver in terms of weight capacity, but are meant to be pushed by a companion and cannot be used independently.
Electric wheelchairs offer the power of a smaller electric daily use wheelchair with the convenience of a travel wheelchair. These wheelchairs have a smaller profile, but are sturdy enough to be self-powered by the wheelchair user. This is a good option for those that use an electric wheelchair or power scooter in their daily life, as it can offer the same independence and speed all in a lightweight travel wheelchair.
Lightweight wheelchair for travel must-haves
The best approach when shopping for a travel wheelchair is to look for the key features you use and enjoy with your current wheelchair and try to replicate that in your travel wheelchair. Beyond specific functions, the following are a few travel wheelchair must-haves:
- Lightweight: a travel wheelchair needs to be light enough to be moved from a car, bus, or any other transportation throughout your trip
- Sturdy: travel wheelchairs are great because of their weight, size and function, but you’ll want to make sure your travel wheelchair is sturdy and reliable while you’re away from home
- Easy to use: any travel wheelchair should be easy to set up, collapse, and use while on the go. You should test your wheelchair before traveling to ensure it meets your needs and is easy to use for your trip
- Easy to transport: a key feature of any travel wheelchair is that it’s easy to transport. This partially comes from the lightweight, yet sturdy frame, another is due to its design that allows it to collapse or become easy to stow away or carry
The following top 10 travel wheelchairs are broken up into two top 5 lists, 5 manual wheelchairs and 5 electric wheelchairs. Each wheelchair is readily available to the public and is specifically designed to be used as a travel wheelchair.
Top 10 best travel wheelchairs:
The Blue Streak manual wheelchair by Drive Medical is one of the go-to travel wheelchairs currently available. The bright blue frame helps it stand out among other travel wheelchairs and the quick fold design makes it easy to transport. Another great feature is how customizable this wheelchair is. There are two different leg rest options, elevating leg rests or swing away footrests, which can make a huge difference while on vacation or during travel. The armrests are also detachable to help the wheelchair fit under desks and tables.
This travel wheelchair weighs 40 pounds with a weight capacity of 250 pounds, and comes in three different seat widths for another custom fit. This is a good travel wheelchair option for those looking for something easy enough to transport in a car or while flying with durability and the option for independent use. There are shorter rear handles for a companion to push or for storing a bag, but this lightweight travel wheelchair offers a lot of functionality while on the road.
For a lighter travel wheelchair option with a higher weight capacity, try the Cruiser III by Drive Medical. This travel wheelchair has a solid black frame for a sleek look along with all black seating. The design of this specific frame allows for the seat and back to be customized which is great for those that want something adjustable for comfort and function. The customization continues with options for removable armrests, desk armrests, and several footrests which helps this travel wheelchair deliver exactly what you need and what you use on a daily basis.
This travel wheelchair weighs 39 pounds with a weight capacity of 300 pounds, and three different seat depth options. The frame is a quick fold design to make it easy to transport without a lot of moving parts of pieces. This lightweight travel wheelchair was built to be durable and uses quality parts from the wheels and the frame to the customizable seat and back to give you solid and reliable equipment while traveling.
Transport wheelchairs are a great lightweight option to use when traveling with a companion. These chairs are designed to be lighter than standard manual travel wheelchairs and are often referred to as ultralight for this reason. This ultralight transport wheelchair by Medline has a unique deep red frame with black accents. The footrests are removable and without them this wheelchair has a very slim profile. This wheelchair collapses at two points for a smaller unit to store.
This travel wheelchair weighs 28 pounds with a weight capacity of 300 pounds, and is designed to fold down smaller than a standard wheelchair to make it an ideal travel wheelchair option. The armrests are permanent with removable footrests and a seatbelt for added safety. The larger rear wheels provide a smooth ride and the loop-style hand brakes make it easy to keep this wheelchair secure.
Another great option from Medline is this lightweight transport wheelchair, which only weighs 24 pounds. This design is very similar to the previous Medline transport wheelchair but the larger wheels are narrower seat makes this transport wheelchair perfect for travel. The sharp signature red frame gives it personality and makes it easy to spot among other luggage. The loop-style hand brakes make it easy to control and the swing-away footrests make transferring easy.
This travel wheelchair weighs 24 pounds with a weight capacity of 300 pounds, and is designed to fold in two places for a slimmer transport profile. The full length armrests and swing-away detachable footrests deliver all the comforts of a manual wheelchair in a transport wheelchair. The larger wheels provide more stability and traction on uneven ground, perfect for trips and travel that are busy outdoors as well as inside.
The last manual wheelchair on the list is also a lightweight transport wheelchair, this time by NOVA. This lightweight wheelchair for travel takes all the best features of a manual wheelchair that can be used for independent use and puts it in a sturdy transport wheelchair. The frame is a durable yet lightweight material and comes in two colors, red or blue. The design includes larger rugged wheels, hand brakes, and footrests that all folds into a 13 inch unit, perfect for easy storage.
This travel wheelchair weighs 27 pounds with a weight capacity of 300 pounds, making this a great wheelchair for travel. Between the rugged design with larger wheels, a durable frame, and removable footrests, this lightweight travel wheelchair also was designed for travel. Transferring to this wheelchair is easy and the compact storage feature of this specific wheelchair makes it a great transport wheelchair for frequent travel.
Electric travel wheelchairs merge the independence of a power wheelchair with the lightweight and simple design of a transport wheelchair to create an excellent mobility device suitable for travel. The Porto Mobility Ranger D09 is the perfect example of this with a wheelchair that looks a lot like a transfer wheelchair with the independence of a manual wheelchair and the power of an electric wheelchair. This lightweight wheelchair for travel folds into a 13 inch stand up unit with large rear wheels and plenty of durability and power.
This lightweight travel wheelchair weighs 50 pounds without the batteries with a weight capacity of 396 pounds and a travel friendly seat width of 18.5 inches, perfect for navigating tight spaces with enough seat to still be comfortable. The design, materials, and structure makes this wheelchair perfect for air travel as well with ground transportation. The tight turn radius and large wheels makes this the perfect travel wheelchair for indoor and outdoor use and the speed is adjustable with a maximum of 5 miles per hour.
If you’re looking for an air travel compliant electric wheelchair with some style, check out the Voyager R2. This lightweight wheelchair for travel has a very futuristic or sporty look with a bright yellow frame and a minimal design that sets this wheelchair apart from others on the market. This wheelchair folds in half, very similarly to how a large stroller folds, and comes complete with a kickstand to allow the wheelchair to stand up unassisted. This is perfect for all sorts of travel as it folds easily and compactly, but also can stand on its own.
This lightweight travel wheelchair weighs 43 pounds with a weight capacity of 265 pounds and can travel at a maximum speed of 4 miles per hour. The ergonomic design, alloy wheels, and shock-absorption springs allow this wheelchair to deliver a smooth ride on any surface, indoors or out. The rear reflective lights and bright yellow frame makes it highly visible and delivers a very durable and sturdy wheelchair for reliable support while traveling.
The Innuovo intelligent lightweight foldable travel wheelchair has a design that’s very similar to the Forcemech but with a silver frame and black accents. This electric wheelchair is FDA approved and has several safety features that make it a reliable travel wheelchair that is also airline approved. The wheelchair folds in half and has a kickstand to keep it upright after its been collapsed. This makes it easy to transport and store just like luggage in any vehicle or at the gate in an airport. The durable construction and innovative joystick gives the user complete control.
This lightweight travel wheelchair weighs 43 pounds without batteries with a weight capacity of 265 pounds and folds in 3 seconds. The unique design makes this wheelchair ultralight and completely portable, perfect for air travel, cruises, and ground transportation. The small turn radius gives you complete control and the lightweight wheelchair for travel was designed to be safe, comfortable, and reliable throughout your trip.
The Go Chair by Pride Mobility is a great electric wheelchair option for those that may use a scooter or other mobility device at home and are looking for something similar for travel. This electric wheelchair is a lightweight, travel friendly wheelchair with a very similar look and feel to a mobility scooter. The seat has more padding than a manual wheelchair with thicker armrests and a foot running board instead of footrests. This electric wheelchair also comes in a range of colors for an opportunity to customize.
This lightweight travel wheelchair weighs 67 pounds with a weight capacity of 300 pounds and a feather-touch disassembly to help make the wheelchair more portable or travel friendly. This lightweight wheelchair for travel is a great option for those looking for all the luxuries of a scooter but in a more travel friendly design. There are several accessories that may make this electric wheelchair a good option, from the cup holder, cane holder, and oxygen tank holder in the base to the storage options including the saddlebag.
The last travel wheelchair on the list is a lightweight motorized electric wheelchair that has a sharp silver frame and elegant black accents, perfect for travel. The back support and seat are plush for extra cushion and the wide armrests provide a comfortable seat. The large rear wheels offer more stability and the modern design creates a uniquely comfortable yet durable wheelchair that sets itself apart from the rest of the market.
This lightweight travel wheelchair weighs 55 pounds with a weight capacity of 365 pounds, due to the narrower 16.9 inch seat and durable aluminum alloy frame. The long range batteries on this wheelchair gives you up to 12 miles of driving distance per charge which is ideal for traveling. The waterproof intelligent joystick gives you plenty of control and a smooth ride.
What is your favorite lightweight travel wheelchair ?
Now that you’re familiar with the best 10 travel wheelchairs currently available on the market you can see the value of choosing a travel wheelchair. Both the manual and the electric lightweight wheelchair for travel options provide lightweight units that are both sturdy and reliable while being travel friendly. Selecting a lightweight wheelchair for travel that delivers all the necessities of your home wheelchair while being lighter and more travel equipped makes these travel wheelchairs the best option for your next trip.
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