It makes sense to opt for a manual wheelchair when you have a caregiver to help you out all the time or you need an ultra-compact unit that will fit easily in the trunk of a car. While it won’t give you the kind of independence which you can expect from an electric model, it will still be useful to have. After some extensive research, I was able to identify the best manual wheelchairs right now. Read my reviews of these models and get some essential buying tips to help you make the right decision when you go shopping.
- 1 1. Karman 24 pounds LT-980 Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair
- 2 2. Medline Lightweight and User-Friendly Wheelchair
- 3 3. NOVA Medical Products 22″ Heavy Duty Transport Wheelchair
- 4 Deciding on the Best of the Best Manual Wheelchairs
1. Karman 24 pounds LT-980 Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair
For many users, the best manual wheelchairs are also the lightest. Karman LT-980 boasts of an incredibly small weight of 24 pounds without the footrest. Its capacity is 250 pounds. While this number isn’t very high, you have to keep in mind that it corresponds to the small weight of the wheelchair itself. The model could work for people who are big. Another thing which you should know is that this wheelchair folds easily and quickly. It’s compact when folded and easy to carry around too.
You will discover a bunch of practical features and ones which are designed to give the user great comfort:
Aluminum made – This material is strong and durable in addition to being lightweight. You can expect this one of the best manual wheelchairs to last for a long time to come.
Padded seat – It measures 18 by 16 inches, so it’s comparable to those found in the best electric wheelchairs. The padding is easy to clean which is also an advantage.
Adjustable footrests – I love how large they are and that they have a loop for supporting the heels. Naturally, the best part is that they can be adjustable to the user’s height which is the most important benefit for me.
Seatbelt – This is an important safety and support feature. It works well together with the backrest, which provides proper lumbar support.
22-inch rear wheels – They are large and allow for reliable operation.
It’s easy to push Karman LT-980 boasts because the large wheels support most of the user’s weight. The wheelchair is quite maneuverable too, thanks to the six-inch front casters which are well-made. The handles have an ergonomic design and don’t get slippery which also helps for proper operation.
- Exceptionally light
- Comfortable seat
- Adjustable footrests
- Smooth performance
- Very durable
- Adjusting the footrest height requires a bit of effort
If you want to move around and travel light, you should consider getting this one of the best manual wheelchairs.
2. Medline Lightweight and User-Friendly Wheelchair
With a weight of just 33 pounds without the leg rests, this wheelchair is among the lightest and easiest to take with you when you travel. It folds flat with ease and can be conveniently transported in a car. One of the reasons why it is among the best manual wheelchairs is that it has a capacity of 300 pounds, despite its small weight. This is surely fantastic news for bigger people like me.
This Medline wheelchair is packed with features which are worth your attention. Here are the most important ones:
Desk-length armrests – They enable you to sit at a table directly with the wheelchair. Besides, they can be flipped back for convenient mounting. I like the padding very much.
18×16-inch seat with nylon upholstery – The seat is sufficiently wide and deep to make sitting comfortably even for taller people. The upholstery is strong and easy to maintain.
Leg rests that can be elevated – I appreciate how well they support the calves. When the leg rests are elevated, your legs can truly rest.
Adjustable backrest and arms – This is particularly convenient for people who are taller or shorter than the average. It certainly helps make the model one of the best manual wheelchairs.
Mag wheels with flat-free tires – They allow you to achieve considerable acceleration on a smooth flat surface.
The large rear wheels make propelling easy, no matter whether the wheelchair is operated by the user or a caregiver. The front ones work well to make the unit maneuverable. Caregivers will find the pushing of this one of the best manual wheelchairs quite easy, especially given the ergonomically designed handles.
- Folds compactly
- Superb comfort features
- Great performance
- Strong build
- Easy maintenance
- Lacks seat cushion
This Medline lightweight wheelchair is extremely functional, comfortable and convenient to use. It is undoubtedly one of the best manual wheelchairs available in the market right now.
3. NOVA Medical Products 22″ Heavy Duty Transport Wheelchair
This model is one of the best manual wheelchairs because it has the most impressive weight to capacity ratio. It weighs just 27 pounds which is awesome even for a manual model. At the same time, it has a capacity of 400 pounds. This is greater than what some of the best power wheelchairs have to offer. Another great advantage of this NOVA transport wheelchair is that it is extremely compact when folded. Its width is just 11 inches, while its depth is 30.5 inches.
Take a closer look at the features of this model and you will discover that there is a lot more to it than the lightweight and huge capacity. Here they are:
Wide seat – The seat’s width is 21.5 inches, while the distance between the armrests is 22 inches. Heavier people will appreciate the kind of comfort which this size provides.
Desk arms – They eliminate the need for using a separate chair when dining. Additionally, they can be easily flipped up for the quickest and most convenient mounting.
Footrests with heel loops – These are very useful.
Feather Touch brakes – These patented locking hand brakes are incredibly useful for caregivers when the terrain isn’t particularly flat and/or smooth.
12-inch rear wheels – They are sufficiently large for proper caregiver operation. I like how rugged the tires are.
It’s easy to push this NOVA wheelchair around. The front wheels make it quite maneuverable. The brakes perform superbly and this makes the model one of the best manual wheelchairs for outdoor use. Even a caregiver who is not particularly strong should be able to operate these wheelchairs without much effort.
- Exceptionally large capacity
- Weighs very little
- Extremely compact when folded
- Extra wide seat
- Reliably working brakes
- The footrests are a bit small
This NOVA wheelchair is sturdy and performs excellently. It could be the best choice for a big person who wants to enjoy a high level of mobility and a good level of comfort and convenience too.
Deciding on the Best of the Best Manual Wheelchairs
There are several factors which you should base your decision on. The main factor to base your choice on is whether you plan to operate the wheelchair mostly yourself. Consider how strong you are and the availability of help throughout the day. You should naturally look at the capacity when comparing individual models. The weight is next on the list. The comfort features are extremely important, given that you will be using the wheelchair daily. To get more information and read more reviews on the best manual wheelchairs, check out Amazon.