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The Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs of 2021


A wheelchair is the standard device used to assist people that may be suffering from movement-impairing conditions due to illness, age-related problems, injury or disability. They come in a wide variety of different formats and sizes, and often utilize a large feature set to provide convenience and comfort for the user. Some wheelchairs are designed for extra comfort, while others are made with portability in mind.

Everyone has different needs when it comes to purchasing a lightweight manual wheelchair. Some may require an ultralight wheelchair that is easy to transport, while others may prefer a lightweight manual wheelchair that offers extra creature comforts such as adjustable armrests and custom seat depth. Scooters ‘N Chairs is an expert in assistive technologies that offers a wide range of different manual wheelchair choices. So if you’re tired of your standard wheelchair or are looking for something to upgrade to, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you make the right decision.

What is a lightweight manual wheelchair?

A manual wheelchair is an assistive technology that helps with movement impairments and disabilities. It consists of a chair and wheels at the side with rails or handles known as handrims that can be used to turn the wheels, thus propelling the wheelchair. Most wheelchairs also have handles on the back of the seat that allows a companion to move you instead. Depending on the user and their needs, it may be possible to remove or add the handles which allow a companion to help you.

As a manual wheelchair requires the user to move with their limbs, it can be quite tiring or frustrating to go long distances or over difficult terrain. For this, it’s usually ideal for a companion to assist you. In addition, wheelchairs can be relatively heavy in order to make the device sturdy and rigid. This gives the user peace of mind that their wheelchair won’t collapse or break under stress. While this adds to the safety of the wheelchair, it makes it difficult to transport.

The Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs

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This is where lightweight manual wheelchairs come in handy. The Compass Health ProBasics K3 is one of our best-selling options thanks to the affordable price and great set of features. One of the biggest draws to the ProBasics K3 is that it only weighs around 35 to 38 pounds depending on the riggings. Despite this, the frame is made from steel and it offers conveniences such as a flip-up desk for working and precision-sealed wheel bearings for long-lasting performance and reliability.

A lightweight manual wheelchair can also often be folded for storage or transportation reasons. If there are days where you don’t need your wheelchair or would like to transport it to another location, you can do so with ease thanks to their foldable nature. Some lightweight manual wheelchairs can also come in unique designs that allow the user to express their personality or design preferences. A great example of this is the Colours: Zephyr, a lightweight manual wheelchair with a unique floral design on the seating and orange accents. In addition to the seat’s unique appearance, the seat depth can also be tailored to the user’s needs to provide an exceedingly comfortable experience.

Why buy a lightweight manual wheelchair?

A lightweight manual wheelchair is fantastic for anyone that has trouble propelling themselves on a heavier wheelchair. This could be due to your arm strength or potentially an arm injury that makes it hard for you to rotate the wheels to move. Lightwheel manual wheelchairs are also fantastic for people that travel on a regular basis. Since they’re light, they can easily be transported or moved around without much trouble. A light wheelchair is easy to lift onto a vehicle such as a pickup truck, and they can often be folded for ease of storage and transport.

A light weight wheelchair such as the Colours: Acti-Fold is a great example of a high-quality aluminum wheelchair that offers excellent comfort and features while still being light and easy to transport. In fact, the Acti-Fold weighs just 22 lbs. That’s extremely light compared to some other options available on the market. Though the Acti-Fold comes at a premium price, it’s also one of the most reliable manual wheelchairs available on the market due to its design. The wheel lock is welded so that it’s less likely to become damaged or break, and the wheelchair can be adjusted to suit the user’s height, size, and preferences for maximum comfort.

The Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs

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As such, a lightweight manual wheelchair is highly recommended for anyone that’s looking for a convenient wheelchair option. Wheelchairs are an integral part of someone’s life when they have a movement impairing disability or injury. Having the convenience of a folding manual wheelchair that is sturdy and reliable will offer peace of mind and make a lot of things easier in your life.

What are the benefits of a lightweight manual wheelchair?

A lightweight manual wheelchair comes with numerous benefits.

  • Easy to transport - Since lightweight manual wheelchairs are made with lighter materials, they can easily weigh around 22 lbs. or even less depending on the features it has or the accessories you add. This makes it incredibly easy to transport in your car, pickup truck, or even on public transportation. In addition, most lightweight manual wheelchairs can be folded, meaning they can fit even on smaller vehicles.

  • Convenient features - A lightweight manual wheelchair offers many convenient features such as arm and leg rests that make your experience more comfortable. You can also customize many aspects of a manual wheelchair, such as changing the cushioning for more comfort or adjusting the seat depth. You’ll also find that a lightweight wheelchair can also offer safety features that protect your posture and mobility. For example, you can add anti-tip guards to prevent the wheelchair from tipping to the side or flipping if you accidentally pass over an object like a stone or pothole.

  • Ability to propel yourself - Not all wheelchairs are designed for self-propulsion. Many wheelchairs are only designed to be used with a companion’s help. These are often much heavier and the wheels don’t handrims that you can use to turn yourself. While cheaper, they don’t allow you to propel yourself, unlike a lightweight wheelchair.

  • Offers more independence - And because you can propel yourself, a lightweight manual wheelchair offers much more independence than a typical wheelchair. You’ll have the ability to move wherever you go so you’ll become less reliant on other people. In addition, the lightweight design allows you to personally load the device into a car or truck by yourself without assistance from other people. All these benefits combined make a lightweight manual wheelchair one of the better options for people that want independence despite their mobility-impairing condition or injury.

  • Ease of storage - Thanks to the lightweight foldable design of a manual wheelchair, it’s actually surprisingly easy to store them. If you don’t need the wheelchair for some time or want to transport it in a small vehicle, you can easily fold and move the wheelchair somewhere else.

  • Increases confidence - Since a manual lightweight wheelchair can improve your independence, it actually helps you regain your confidence when going outside on your own. This can be a huge benefit for someone that has suffered an injury and is anxious about going outside in a wheelchair. Many people find it difficult to travel again because they don’t want to trouble strangers or rely on others to help them. With a lightweight manual wheelchair, you can regain both your independence and your confidence.

  • Improves fitness - A lightweight manual wheelchair requires you to use your muscles to propel yourself. This can make it a surprisingly effective method of exercise, especially if you need to do it on a regular basis. It’ll help keep your arms active and will gradually tone them due to the repetitive movements involved.

  • Affordability - While there are many unique mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs to consider, it’s important to remember that a lightweight manual wheelchair is far cheaper than those alternatives. While an entry-level mobility scooter or electric wheelchair costs around $1,500, you can purchase a brand-new lightweight manual wheelchair such as the Graham Field: Everest & Jennings Traveler for as little as $207.

  • Aids in recovery - Lastly, the use of a manual lightweight wheelchair can certainly help you recover faster if you’ve suffered a temporary injury. For example, if your foot or leg was injured in a sport, then using a lightweight manual wheelchair makes it convenient for you to continue with your life and get around despite the injury. This will aid in the recovery process since you won’t be hindered by your condition.

  • As you can see, there are plenty of great benefits to using a lightweight manual wheelchair. A lot of people underestimate just how effective a lightweight manual wheelchair can be at helping them adjust to their life with a movement-impairing condition. But if you adopt the use of a lightweight wheelchair early on, it can help you regain your confidence and independence with ease.

    The Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs

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    How much does a lightweight manual wheelchair cost?

    As mentioned already, a lightweight manual wheelchair can be incredibly affordable. If you’re just looking for a temporary solution to aid in your recovery, then you can purchase a brand-new manual wheelchair for as little as $207. However, if you’re willing to purchase something with a bit more comfort, and a few more features, then you can pick a mid-range model such as the Karman Healthcare: Star Two - Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair for just $569. It’s a lot more sturdy and built with higher-quality materials, and offers numerous customization options which can personalize your experience. For example, you can pick two different seat width options and six different seat cushions. You also have the option of additional supports that can help with your calves, or add a personal safety alarm for more peace of mind.

    The Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs

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    The entry-level to a lightweight manual wheelchair is very low. However, there are also high-end options that can go into the thousands.

    The Colours: Zephyr Sport is a great example of what a high-end manual wheelchair is like. The entire frame is completely welded to create a sturdy and durable wheelchair. A unique feature to the Zephyr Sport is the camber of the wheels. Camber is a term used to describe the angling of the back wheels that brings them closer to each other. In the picture below, you can see that the Zephyr Sport has wheels at an angle instead of being perpendicular to the ground like previous models that we’ve discussed. Additional wheel camber gives the wheelchair a wider footprint, meaning it’s more stable especially when it comes to rough surfaces or faster speeds.

    It also redirects forces to make for a smoother experience and protects your hands when attempting to squeeze into tighter spaces. For some wheelchair users, they can often find their hands hitting into walls or doors because the wheels, and thus the handrims, are perpendicular to the floor. With angled wheels, the bottom side of the wheel touches the walls or doors first, meaning your hand is away from it and thus protected. Lastly, some people much prefer the sporty look of cambered wheels.

    The Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs

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    In short, there is a huge range of price differences when it comes to purchasing the best lightweight manual wheelchair for your needs. Everyone has a different budget and different needs, so we highly recommend that you contact us if you’re unsure about the type of wheelchair you want to purchase We understand that the process of picking a lightweight manual wheelchair can be difficult, which is why we’re here to help you every step of the way and assist with your purchase.

    What features should I look for in a lightweight manual wheelchair?

    Manual wheelchairs don’t differ much in terms of features, but there are certainly a couple of considerations that you want to keep in mind before you put your money down.

  • Consider how comfortable the wheelchair is. Since you’ll be using your wheelchair on a daily basis, it should be comfortable enough for you to treat it as a regular chair. Many seats are made with just a thin piece of material like a camping chair. This is to assist in the lightweight construction and also makes it easy to fold. If you’re comfortable in those types of seats then you won’t need to consider much. However, if you experience pain or aches when using a wheelchair, you’ll want to consider a wheelchair that has a customizable seat with more options.

  • Consider what size the seat needs to be. Everyone prefers a different seat size. Some like to have a bit more space while others prefer to feel comfortable and well-fitted to their seat. Many mid-range manual wheelchairs offer customizable seating options that’ll help you feel more comfortable, so it’s a good idea to look at the different measurements and seating options.

  • Consider if you want cambered wheels. Cambered wheels can offer a number of advantages. Some people prefer the sporty look, others enjoy the added stability, and many like the idea of having your hands away from surfaces that you could potentially knock into by accident. However, cambered wheels do add to the cost of the wheelchair, so it’s a good idea to look around for different options.

  • Consider if you need your lightweight wheelchair to be foldable. While many lightweight wheelchairs are foldable, you might want to consider buying one that’s not foldable because it does come with a few benefits. For example, the seat is usually made from a more comfortable and durable material since it doesn’t need to be folded, and it could offer a bit more stability and durability because the frame is rigid.

  • Consider if you need extra leg supports. Many lightweight manual wheelchairs also add options for leg supports. This usually comes in the form of a band that supports your calves which is great if you’ve suffered a leg injury. There are higher-end options available for this as well, such as padded supports instead of just a single band that runs across the width of the wheelchair.

  • Consider color options and accessories. If you want your wheelchair to be a reflection of your personality and tastes, then you may want to consider getting a colored wheelchair or one with unique designs on the seat or frame. The Colours range of lightweight manual wheelchairs, such as the Colours: Saber, is a great example of a unique wheelchair design that is sure to turn heads. Alternatively, you can attempt to paint your own frame or replace the upholstery yourself.
  • The Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs

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    Hopefully, this section has helped you decide on how to pick the ideal lightweight wheelchair for your needs. We understand that picking a wheelchair can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time using one. We’re always available to help if you need assistance, so don’t hesitate to phone us or contact us via live online chat so we can help you make an informed decision.

    What are the best lightweight manual wheelchair brands?

    There are many different brands that stand out in the world of manual wheelchairs, but here are the most popular ones that have products available on Scooters ‘N Chairs.


     The Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs

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    Colours is a high-end lightweight manual wheelchair brand that focuses on personalized wheelchairs with unique designs. The Colours: Shockblade manual wheelchair is a fine example of the approach that Colours takes to wheelchair design. They’re well-known for their eccentric and colorful patterns on their seats, and some of their models even have painted frames with patterns and bold hues.


    However, that doesn’t mean that their focus is on form alone. Function is a huge component of what makes Colours a high-end manual wheelchair brand. The Shockblade is a great testament to this with its independent suspension system that has been unmatchable in the industry for over 13 years. It has been clinically proven to reduce back pain and spasticity which offers instant pressure relief. It’s able to help fight body fatigue when using a manual wheelchair and relieves joints when traversing extreme terrain.


    Compass Health


     The Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs

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    Compass Health is known for its no-nonsense approach to assistive technologies. They offer fantastic entry-level wheelchairs that are built for durability and reliability in mind. If you’re getting your first manual wheelchair and aren’t sure what features are important to you, then an affordable lightweight wheelchair from Compass Health is perhaps the best option.


    The most expensive manual wheelchair in the range is just $287.98 with models starting at $233.98. The Compass Health: ProBasics K3 Lightweight Wheelchair is a great example of an entry-level lightweight wheelchair that comes with all the benefits of their standard K3 wheelchair but with added flip back height adjustable arms. It’s also one of the few manual wheelchairs with padded leg supports and elevated leg rests that are completely customizable to your needs.


    Karman Healthcare

     The Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs

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    Karman Healthcare is a popular manual wheelchair brand that offers entry-level, mid-range, and high-end options on Scooters ‘N Chairs. Their focus is on creating multiple different value levels that add and remove features based on the user’s budget. For instance, the Karman Healthcare: Lightweight Wheelchair is one of our best-selling options at just $224. Unlike many options around this price point, it features customizable seat size, leg rest, seat cushion, back cushion, and accessory options. This allows you to tailor the wheelchair to your exact needs to provide a comfortable and durable assistive device.


    But perhaps the most interesting options by Karman Healthcare are the mid-range options such as the Karman Healthcare: ERGO. At $429.00, we’d consider this a mid-range option that offers a surprising number of additional features that you won’t find on an entry-level model. For instance, the seat width, frame color, padding color, seat cushions, back cushions, and suspension can all be customized to your liking. This echoes the lower-end Lightweight Wheelchair option from Karman Healthcare that also offers a wide range of customization options. The most intriguing difference with the ERGO is the unique S-Ergo (intelligent S-shaped ergonomic seating) feature. This is a unique seat padding design that helps to enhance the overall strength of the wheelchair while providing a more rigid feel when propelling yourself. This provides added comfort and makes the overall experience much more pleasant. It’s also easy to maintain and comes in a range of different frame color options to pick from.


    Keen Healthcare

     The Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs

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    Keen Healthcare offers many different entry-level lightweight manual wheelchairs that are loaded with extra features. Starting from just $291, Keen Healthcare offers some simple but meaningful customization options such as adding elevating leg rests or changing the overall size of the wheelchair. The limited number of options can be a selling point for many people that prefer not to think too much about the options available to them and would prefer to pick something that is already tuned to be comfortable and durable.


    Pictured is the Keen Healthcare: Keen Freelander 2.0 Hemi-Height Deluxe Lightweight Wheelchair. This design is made specifically for people that often like to foot propel instead of using the handrims. As such, the chair sits a bit lower to the floor but can also accommodate taller residents with different positioning needs. It also offers quick-release wheels that are easy to maintain and anti-tippers to prevent the entire wheelchair from rocking side to side. It also weighs just 30 lbs. Which is perfect for people that are looking for a lightweight manual wheelchair that can be transported or stored away with ease.

    Summary of the best lightweight manual wheelchairs

    A lightweight manual wheelchair is a simple and affordable option that can get surprisingly complicated once you add all the custom features. It’s a fantastic way to assist in your recovery if you’ve suffered a mobility-impairing injury, and it’s also a convenient option for people that already own a motorized scooter or wheelchair. It’s easy to pack away when it’s not needed, and the lightweight construction makes it simple to transport when needed.

    A lightweight manual wheelchair is the ultimate assistive device if you’re looking for comfort, convenience, and affordability. If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We’d be happy to answer any questions and concerns that you might have or help guide you to pick the right lightweight wheelchair for your needs.

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