How to Choose a Manual Wheelchair
If you find yourself or a loved one in need of a manual wheelchair, you will find the best selection here at Spinlife! There are many types of specialized wheelchairs available and our most popular categories are - Basic Wheelchairs, Lightweight Wheelchairs, Ultralightweight Wheelchairs and Heavy-Duty Wheelchairs.
Will a companion be pushing the chair?
Will the wheelchair be self-propelled?
If so, SpinLife recommends a Basic, Lightweight, or Ultralightweight wheelchair. If you are looking at self-propelled models you will need an idea of your own strength and how much weight you can propel.
Those shorter in stature or who "foot propel" may require a lower seat-to-floor height.
What is your weight and height?
How much time will you spend using the chair?
For short durations or simple transporting, SpinLife recommends a Transport Chair. For all-day or extended use options, we recommend a Basic Wheelchair which is designed for longer seating time. Remember, if you are heavy or tall you may need a wheelchair with extended seat lengths or widths or models with Heavy Duty (HD) construction.
Will you be transporting the manual wheelchair often?
If this is the case, you will want a manual wheelchair that can be disassembled and folded. You will need assistance if you are unable to lift 35 to 45 pounds yourself, or you can utilize a vehicle lift to transport your wheelchair.
Also nicknamed "companion chairs" or "rollabouts", transport wheelchairs consist of a folding frame and 4 caster wheels. They are designed to be pushed by an attendant or companion. Brake controls are located within the attendant's reach and depending on the manufacturer and model may be located on or near the push handles, or controlled at the rear wheel by foot. These wheelchairs are an excellent choice to transport patients who may not need a wheelchair fulltime.
Basic wheelchairs are some of the most affordable wheelchairs sized to fit average people up to 300 pounds. These chairs are made of sturdy materials for durability, generally weigh between 38 and 42 pounds and fold when they are not in use. A Basic Wheelchair can be self-propelled when your energy level is high, or be pushed by an attendant when energy is low. This is a good basic chair solidly constructed with common components meeting federal regulations.
Lightweight wheelchairs can accommodate a person up to 300 pounds, but the chairs weigh between 27 and 37 pounds making it easy to push and transport. Customizable options like quick-release tires, upholstery, colors and more. Ideal for fulltime use because they are lighter than standard chairs alleviating stress and discomfort while self-propelling. This category of wheelchair provides more options in seating sizes and features to accommodate your specific needs.
Ultralightweight wheelchairs are sleek, profiled chairs designed to fit your body and offer the highest performance and customization. They are the lightest chairs on the market and are available in both folding and ridged frames. These chairs are perfect for fulltime use starting at only 14 pounds and cover a wide range of needs and uses.
Heavy Duty Wheelchairs
Ranging from a 300 lb capacity up to 700 pounds, these chairs have heavy-duty reinforced frames and all the component parts are tested for the maximum durability. You can choose your seat width on Heavy Duty chairs, with models offering from a 20 inch seat all the way up to 30 inches wide. Heavy Duty chairs weigh between 38 and 98 pounds.