There are a lot of different transport wheelchairs available for people which range from light-weight to heavy-duty for people who have various needs. These products have changed the lives of millions of people around the world.
However, with many different options, it can be a little bit overwhelming. Which chair is going to be right for you? From construction and transport chair parts to budget and comfort, there are so many different factors that need to be taken into account!
Your first decision, though, is what type of chair to purchase. Do you need a standard wheelchair? Or, would a medical transport chair be more suitable?
In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about transport chairs, including who they are suitable for, the best transport chairs on the market today, and much more.
Table of contents
What is a transport chair?
A transport chair is a type of lightweight mobility chair, which combines the portability of rollator and the function of a wheelchair. This is why you will often see them referred to as a rollator transport chair.
These chairs are supposed to be pushed by a caregiver or member, as their small wheels mean that the user will not be able to propel him- or herself.
Transport chair vs. wheelchair
You may be wondering what the difference is between a transport chair and a wheelchair. Both have been designed to increase convenience and mobility for disabled and elderly individuals. However, it is vital to know the key differences between both so you can select one over the other.
What is the difference between a transport chair and a wheelchair?
Let’s take a look at the table below to get a better understanding:
Transport chairs come with four wheels, which are all small in size. The rear wheels do not swivel; they are fixed. Brakes are present, which you can engage when the user exits or enters the chair.
A wheelchair is fitted with four wheels, with two big rear tires that have rotating handrails and two small front wheels.
Another person is required to push the chair from behind.
Wheelchairs are self-propelling. The user can push themselves forward by using the hand rims on the rear wheels.
Transport chairs are lightweight and easy-to-store. They are designed so that they can be folded compactly in size.
The chair is constructed using heavy-duty reinforced steel construction, ensuring longevity and prolonged use.
The frame is narrow, which means the chair can pass through most aisles and doors with ease. As a consequence, it is not designed for use with many accessories.
A number of different accessories are available with the wheelchairs on the market today. This includes oxygen attachments, cushions, bags, cup holders, and trays.
This table should help you to get a better understanding of the key differences between transport chairs and wheelchairs. One place to begin when choosing between both options is the rear wheels. Wheelchairs are built with big wheels, typically between 18 and 24 inches, which are topped with a rotating, easy-to-grip handrail so that users can propel themselves forward. Transport chairs have much smaller rear wheels, which tend to be between eight and 12 inches in size. This is why the help of another individual is needed to purchase the transport chair.
The braking systems also differ considerably. Transport chairs come with brakes on the handles that are located at the back of the chair. This helps the person pushing the chair to easily apply the brakes. Wheelchairs, on the other hand, have a push-lock wheel mechanism, which will lock the chair in place so that the user can exit or enter the chair in a safe manner.
Also, a lightweight rollator transport chair will be travel-friendly. They have a compact and lightweight design, which means they can be folded to fit in your car trunk with ease. Wheelchairs are bulkier because they have been designed for longer-duration sitting, and this is why they are often ripped with comfortable extras, such as padded seats, backrests, and armrests.
Is a transport chair right for you?
Now that you have a good understanding regarding what a transport chair is, it is vital to figure out whether this is the right mobility aid for you.
A transport chair is designed for someone who wants to get around with ease. They are often used in hospitals, transporting patients from one ward to another.
In terms of personal use, they are ideal when taking day trips, as you should find it much easier to get into restaurants and move around in other public places because of the narrow profile of the chair.
Transport chairs are also compatible with use on public transport, as you should be able to fit them onto a bus or train without difficulty. They can also be folded into the boot of all vehicles as well.
You can also get transport chairs that are designed for specific purposes, such as shower transport chairs. These chairs are designed for safe transportation to the shower and from it.
Shower transport chairs
As indicated, shower transport chairs are designed to transport the user safely to and from the shower. They will be made from a non-corrosive, anodized metal frame - typically aluminum - to ensure that it does not rust when it comes into contact with water.
The shower chairs that are available will make it easy for the user’s full body to be accessed so they can clean themselves effectively while bathing. A lot of the designs also roll easily over most toilets as well.
These chairs are important because they enable users to retain some independence when it comes to washing themselves and going to the toilet.
The Graham Field: Deluxe Shower Transport Chair With Footrests is a good example of the sort of shower transport chairs that are available today. This can help you to understand what these chairs look like, as well as the useful features that come with them.
What is a bariatric transport chair?
A bariatric transport chair is a type of heavy duty transport chair that has been designed for people that require more space for the ultimate comfort. These seats tend to be larger, accommodating those who are overweight.
These types of transport chairs tend to be made from durable, robust materials, such as reinforced steel, and their construction is designed with heavier individuals in mind.
If you or someone you love is overweight, these bariatric wheelchairs can give you the peace of mind that you will be able to travel in comfort. As is the case with all mobility aids of this nature, they will indicate the maximum weight that can be handled.
How to choose a transport chair
With so many different transport chairs available, it can be a bit overwhelming to find the best transport chair! So, what should you consider when looking for the best rollator transport chair for you?
One of the first things that you need to consider is the weight of the chair. After all, transport chairs are designed to be flexible. You want a chair that is lightweight and can be easily carried up the stairs or lifted into the trunk of a car. Heavier transport chairs are not as convenient to transport.
As with choosing any other type of wheelchair or chair for that matter, comfort is a vital choice. Make sure that you look at the shape and the design of the backrest and the seat. Does it look flexible? What is it made from? Does it have big seams that could cause irritation while you sit? These are all of the different factors you should keep in mind.
You can get uncomfortable very quickly if you have a seat without padding. Reading transport chair reviews that have been left by past customers is an effective way to find out whether the chair is considered comfortable or not.
Another factor to consider is the width of the transport wheelchair. Think about the environment that you will be using the chair in. Do you need to navigate tight angles and twisting hallways? What about narrow doors? If so, you are going to need to choose a transport chair that is narrow enough to navigate these challenges. If your chair is too wide, it is only going to end up causing frustration.
Some of the transport chairs on the market today give you the option of choosing from two or three widths so that you can get one that is right for you.
Finally, you should consider the size of the wheels. When compared with wheelchairs, transport chairs have smaller wheels, yet this does not mean that their size does not matter. In fact, the size of the wheels can make a considerable difference.
Smaller wheels will not be able to handle rough terrain as effectively, resulting in an uneven or bumpy ride. You will find a much smoother experience if you opt for larger wheels. This can result in you benefitting from a durable transport chair that will be able to take you anywhere.
So, what counts as a large wheel? We’d say anything that is above seven inches is on the large side for a transport chair.
What is the lightest transport chair?
As mentioned, weight is one of the key factors that needs to be considered when looking for a transport chair. This is because these chairs are designed to be as convenient as possible. However, they cannot be as light as a feather, as they need to be sturdy and robust too. It is a balancing act.
The lightest transport chair you will be able to find on the market is around 13 lbs. However, most tend to be in the range of 20 lbs. Anything below this is considered an ultra light transport chair.
When you are looking at the weight of the transport chair, always make sure that you look at the maximum weight capacity as well. The lightweightness of the chair may come at a compromise of the amount of weight that it can carry, so do always make sure you check out both measurements when making your decision.
What sort of transport chairs are easiest to push?
The rear wheels and the handlebars are two of the main components you will want to look at when it comes to how easy a wheelchair transport chair is going to be to push.
Most of the transport chairs for sale today have ergonomic handles that are made from materials such as foam that lower the risk of blisters or skin pressure sores.
To determine whether a wheelchair has been made with easy-to-push handlebars, some of the features you will want are as follows:
- You should be able to push the wheelchair with one hand should you use
- The handlebars should be designed so that they fit over the handles of a manual wheelchair
- Helps lower fatigue and pain from pushing a wheelchair
As mentioned, it is not only the handlebars that you should be looking at when determining whether or not a transport chair is going to be easy to push. You also need to look at the wheels too.
The wheels on a wheelchair that is easy to push should be constructed using a lightweight material that lowers the amount of energy that is going to be required to push the wheelchair.
How wide is a transport chair?
Another factor that was mentioned as being important is the width of the transport chair. This is imperative because you want to make sure that the chair can easily get through doors and narrow hallways. At the same time, the width matters because it impacts the comfort of the user as well.
So, what is the right sort of width for a transport chair? Well, the standard doorway has a width between 23 and 27 inches, so you will definitely want to make sure the wheelchair width is less than this. The good thing about a transport chair is that someone will be pushing it from behind. With a wheelchair, you need to allow room for the user to propel it, but this is not something you need to worry about. Because of this, you will find that the vast majority of transport chairs on the market will fit through standard doorways with ease.
It is always best to make sure that the transport chair you choose has a width that is less than 22 inches. This should not be a problem, though, considering that most are around the 19-inch mark, with some narrower.
Does medicare cover transport chairs?
Another factor that you will need to consider when looking for a transport chair is your budget. A lot of people will want to know whether transport wheels are covered under Medicare, and we’re pleased to tell you that they are. They are covered under Medicare Part B as DME. This means that under the Medicare guidelines, only specific medical issues are going to require a transport chair.
If you are not sure whether or not the medical condition that you have merits the use of an in-home transport chair, you should get in contact with your plan administrator or regular physician to talk with them in more detail about the options that are going to be the best for you and your personal wellness.
If you are not entitled to a transport chair under Medicare, you will be pleased to know that we have a great range of transport chairs for sale at low prices. We offer some of the best prices in the industry, so we are sure that you will be able to find something that is right for you and fits in with your budget.
The Best Transport Chairs of 2020
There are a lot of great transport chairs on the market today. If you’re struggling to narrow down your search, don’t worry, as we have done the hard work for you. Let’s take a look at five of the best transport chairs of 2020.
Drive Medical: Poly Fly Light Weight Transport Chair Wheelchair with Swing Away Footrests
If you have been struggling to decide between a transport chair and a wheelchair, this product is the perfect solution for you. This Drive transport chair can be utilized as either a transport chair or a self-propelled wheelchair, offering a convenient, all-in-one solution.
The quick released 24-inch wheels can be removed with ease, creating a transport chair. The plush back release can be folded down for convenient and easy transportation and storage.
There are a lot of handy features that come with this wheelchair to ensure that you have a safe and smooth ride over the majority of surfaces. This includes heel loops, composite crack-proof footplates, swing away footrests, and easy-to-clean nylon upholstery.
The great thing about this product being an all-in-one solution is that you get the convenience and portability of the transport chair, yet there are added comfort elements, such as the armrests.
When purchasing this model from Scooters N Chairs, you will also receive a limited lifetime warranty for your peace of mind.
Price: $384.00 (save $192.00 - 30% discount)
Graham Field: Everest & Jennings Lightweight Aluminum Transport Wheelchair
If you are looking for a conventional aluminum transport chair that does everything it says on the tin, this product from Graham Field is certainly a good choice. It is lightweight and boasts a compact size, ensuring it can be moved with ease.
You can choose from two different seat widths if you decide that this is the right transport chair for you: 17 inches and 19 inches. The maximum weight capacity for this transport chair is 250 lbs.
You can tinker with the style of the chair, as the aluminum frame also comes in an array of stylish colors, including black, aqua, pink, green, silver, blue, and red.
There are also a number of useful features that help to enhance the comfort, manoeuvrability, and stability of this folding transport chair. This includes the wheel locks for the attendant found on the pair of rear casters for improved access and control by the companion.
Other features that are worth pointing out include the three-inch webbing black nylon leg strap with adjustable velcro loops, tool-free adjustable and detachable swingaway footrests, carry straps for easy folding and lifting, and full-length padded arms for optimal comfort.
Compass Health: ProBasics Aluminum Transport Chair With Footrests (Available in Blue and Pink)
Available in a vibrant blue or pink frame, this compact transport chair represents excellent value-for-money. It has the ability to hold weights up to 300 lbs, and it comes with a number of unique features that ensure convenience and safety for the user.
The handy-back release hinge and flared handles enable the back of the chair to be folded down flat with ease. It is compact enough for easy transportation and storage.
It also comes with push-to-lock rear wheel locks, a nylon seat strap for ease of lifting and folding, and a seat belt for added safety.
Not only are safety and ease of use prioritized with this transport chair, but safety is a major factor as well. A seat belt has been added, and the aluminum frame is sturdy, durable, and strong, with the permanent rear axle playing a vital role in this.
This transport chair is also very comfortable. It features padded nylon upholstery, which not only makes sure the user feels relaxed while in the chair but is very easy-to-clean as well.
Carex: Classics Transport Chair
If you have a limited budget, this Classic Transport Chair from Carex is definitely one that is worth considering. It will only set you back $167.58, making it one of the cheapest transport chairs on the market today. While the price may be low, the quality isn’t!
Like the previous chair, it supports as much as 300 lb in weight. It is highly durable and it has been constructed with daily use in mind. So, if you are looking for a heavy duty transport chair, this is certainly a great option.
Leg support is offered by the adjustable swing-away footrests, which can easily be removed for transport or storage.
The seat is wide as well, measuring at 19 inches. This means that you can get comfortable in this Carex transport chair, which is critical with any mobility aid.
This Carex chair is also very easy to move, with the eight-inch wheels providing smooth gliding. It can be used on a number of different terrains, as well as being able to turn tight, making it perfect for hallways and other confined spaces.
There is also a seat belt provided for added safety. This helps the user to keep in place, ensuring they are comfortable while they are seated.
Drive Medical: Super Light Folding Transport Wheelchair With Carry Bag
Last but not least, we have this extremely lightweight chair from Drive Medical. To give you a better understanding of just how lightweight this chair is, it only weighs 19 lbs, which makes it six lbs lighter than the previous transport chair. It probably comes as no surprise to hear that it is one of the lightest models on the market!
This Drive Medical transport chair comes with maintenance-free, composite wheels, as well as padded flip bark arms. These armrests provide comfort to the user, but they can easily be moved out of the way for tight spaces, storage, and transportation.
There are a number of other standout features you can get from this transport chair with removable arms, including the free carry bag that comes with the transport wheelchair. This ensures you do not have to purchase one yourself.
The construction of this wheelchair is impeccable. The composite wheels are lightweight and maintenance-free. The aluminum frame is also strong and lightweight. The user’s companion should not have any difficulty transporting or pushing this chair.
The comfortable upholstery is made from lightweight nylon, and when you purchase this chair from Scooters N Chairs, you can have the peace of mind of a limited lifetime warranty.
Price: $299.00 (save $149.50 - 33% discount)
Why buy your transport chair from Scooters N Chairs?
While there may be many places selling transport chairs, the importance of choosing a company with care cannot be overlooked. You want to be safe in the knowledge that the transport chair you purchase is going to be affordable, fit for purpose, and designed with longevity in mind. You can be confident that this is the case when you shop with Scooters N Chairs.
Here are some of the benefits of using our service:
Contact us today for more information
As you can see, we have worked hard to become the leading provider of mobility products in the United States. If you have any queries about any of the products we have for sale, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
You can send an email to [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can give us a call on 1-800-674-8395 to speak to one of our friendly and experienced advisors.