In this article, we have reviewed the 12 best lightweight transport wheelchairs below. If you are in a hurry, have a look at the table below for a quick snapshot of our top 6. Or you can also scroll down for detailed reviews of all the 12.
Last update 2020-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
If you are new to the world of wheelchairs, you might not know that not all wheelchairs are created equal. For example, there are differences between standard wheelchairs and transport wheelchairs.
As their name suggests, transport wheelchairs are lightweight and easier to travel with, as compared to a standard wheelchair. These manual wheelchairs trade off some of the durability of a heavy-duty construction in exchange for increased mobility. They are handy for quick transport needs like movement within a building or a quick trip outdoors to a park.
Below is our curated list of the best lightweight transport wheelchairs.
|Best Transport Wheelchairs||Category|
|1||Nova Lightweight Transport Wheelchair||Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair|
|2||Nova Bariatric Heavy-Duty Transport Wheelchair||Best Bariatric|
|3||Karman S-2512 Transport Wheelchair||Best Luxury|
|4||Drive Medical Lightweight Transport Wheelchair||Best Priced|
|5||yuwell Child Transport Wheelchair||Best for Children|
|6||Elenker 2-in-1 Wheelchair & Rollator||2 devices in 1|
|7||Everest & Jennings Lightweight Transport Wheelchair||Best Aesthetics|
|8||ProBasics Lightweight Transport Wheelchair|
|9||Medline Aluminium Lightweight Transport Wheelchair|
|10||Carex Lightweight Transport Wheelchair|
|11||Medline Steel Transport Wheelchair|
|12||Drive Medical Bariatric Transport Wheelchair|
Features of a Lightweight Transport Wheelchair
Lightweight transport wheelchairs are mostly propelled with the help of a caregiver. Consequently, the brakes of a transport wheelchair are located on the handles used by the caregiver. As against this, manual wheelchairs are self-propelled. Manual wheelchair users can slow down their wheelchair using the large propeller rear wheels.
They help transport a patient as comfortably and easily as possible. Being lightweight and easy to maneuver, transport wheelchairs can help move patients of all sizes. Their size ranges from being suitable for children (pediatric transport wheelchairs) to heavy patients (bariatric transport wheelchairs).
Here are some important features to look for in a transport wheelchair:
- Lightweight – Of course, first and foremost, transport wheelchairs should be lightweight. They are meant for indoor transport. Being lightweight makes them easy to handle for the caregiver. Standard manual (or self-propelled) wheelchairs weigh around 35 pounds, with heavier models going upwards of 40 pounds. On the other hand, lightweight transport wheelchairs weigh as less as 25 pounds with the lightest one on our list coming in at a mere 19 pounds.
- Compact – Lightweight transport wheelchairs are not bulky like typical wheelchairs. Oftentimes they can conveniently fold up to fit into tight storage spaces, like in a vehicle.
- Maneuverable – Typically with larger rear wheels as compared to front wheels, transport wheelchairs tend to be quite maneuverable. They have a tighter turning radius as compared to an equivalent manual wheelchair. Because they do not have propeller wheels, they are also narrower to allow them to pass through tight spaces and passages.
- Portable – Portability is a crucial element in transport wheelchairs, which is one reason why they are so handy. The seat and elevating leg rests in transport chairs typically fold up into a compact size, so they are easily stored in a car trunk, back of a van, or a tight storage area.
Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchairs Reviewed
People have varied expectations and require different levels of performance from their devices. When it comes to the best transport wheelchairs, we have reviewed them on the basis of the 4 factors above – lightweight, compactness, maneuverability, and portability.
But we have also taken specific use cases into consideration. According to us, the following transport wheelchairs top their individual category:
- Overall Best Transport Wheelchair – In our opinion, NOVA Lightweight Transport Wheelchair comes out as the overall best lightweight transport wheelchair for its performance and features.
- Best Priced Transport Wheelchair – Drive Medical Lightweight Transport Wheelchair is the least priced on our list, while it can perform all the functions you will expect from a transport wheelchair.
- Best Bariatric Transport Wheelchair – For heavier users, the NOVA Heavy Duty Transport Wheelchair (weight capacity of 400 pounds) is the best bariatric transport wheelchair on our list.
- Best Luxury Transport Wheelchair – Karman S-2512 Transport Wheelchair presents the best option among luxury transport wheelchairs. This wheelchair also tops our list of lightweight transport wheelchairs for being the absolute lightest weight (only 18 pounds).
- Best Transport Wheelchair for Children – If you are looking for a transport wheelchair for children, or young adults, the yuwell Child Transport Wheelchair comes out on the top.
- Best 2-in-1 Transport Wheelchair – Elenker 2-in-1 Wheelchair & Rollator combines 2 devices in 1 – it is both, a rollator walker and a transport wheelchair.
- Best Transport Wheelchair (Aesthetics) – Most people seek functionality when it comes to transport wheelchairs. But for the more discerning users, Everest & Jennings Lightweight Transport Wheelchair scores the highest on aesthetics in our list of the best transport wheelchairs.
Determining the best lightweight transport wheelchair can take some time because there are so many great options available, but we hope this list will help you narrow things down.
#1 Nova Lightweight Transport Wheelchair
The NOVA Medical Lightweight Transport Wheelchair has a sleek black design with a colored frame that comes in blue or red. It weighs 27.5 pounds in all and has an impressive weight capacity of 300 pounds.
The seat itself is quite comfortable with padded upholstery and reinforced arm pads that are designed to protect the wheelchair from any potential ripping or stretching. NOVA Lightweight Transport Wheelchair is our Editor’s Choice among our list of the best lightweight transport wheelchairs.
- 12-inch rear wheels
- Removable footrests
- Removable seat belt
- A weight capacity of 300 pounds
- Patented NOVA Feather Touch hand brakes
- Incredibly Safe – With the NOVA Feather Touch hand brakes, the brakes can be conveniently locked whenever you need to, allowing the wheelchair to be safely parked or transported over inclines and even bumpy terrain.
- Foldable – This NOVA wheelchair comes with a quick-release fold-down back, making it perfect for efficiently folding up and placing in and out of a vehicle.
- Portable – All the features of this transport wheelchair enhance its high level of portability.
- Extremely Durable – This wheelchair is almost 30 pounds, but that means it isn’t a flimsy wheelchair that will fall apart after just a few uses. Users are thrilled with the durability of this wheelchair, and it feels sturdy while in use, which is very important.
With the wheelchair weighing 27.5 pounds, some people found it a little tough to lift easily. It definitely is on the heavier side among the transport wheelchairs on our list. Fortunately, the removable footrests come in handy here – by removing them, the chair becomes much easier to lift and place in the back of your car. This chair is very easy to push yourself or someone else in, and it provides a very smooth ride.
Overall, the Nova Lightweight Transport Wheelchair is, in our opinion, the best lightweight transport wheelchair.
#2 Nova Bariatric Heavy-Duty Transport Wheelchair
The NOVA Medical 22” Heavy Duty Transport Wheelchair sports an impressive weight capacity of up to 400 pounds. With its width and weight capacity, it is an ideal transport wheelchair for bariatric (or heavier) users.
- 12-inch rear wheels
- Patented NOVA Feather Touch locking hand brakes
- Flip-up desk arms
- Extra Wide – The additional seat width provided by this NOVA chair gives the user additional comfort, especially if narrower chairs have proven to be too confining.
- Lightweight Frame – While the frame of this chair is made of durable aluminum, it is still lightweight, offering the best of both worlds.
Users of this wheelchair tend to really enjoy the unique armrest design of this chair. The specially designed desk arms are shorter than normal armrests and are positioned at an angle to allow the user to roll directly up to a dining table, desk, or any other surface table, which may prove impossible with normal wheelchair arm designs. The convenient flip-up desk arms also allow you to use the wheelchair as a table or as a desk.
#3 Karman S-2512 Transport Wheelchair
Weighing in at only 18 pounds, the Karman Healthcare S-2512 is the most lightweight transport wheelchair (for adults) on our list. It is truly state of the art with the frame made of aircraft grade T6 aluminum. It comes in both, self-propelled (weighing 19.8 pounds), and transport (weighing 18 pounds) options. With a weight capacity of 220 pounds, this lightweight transport wheelchair is suitable for most adults.
- Aircraft-grade aluminum frame
- Removable footrests and quick-fold
- 20-inch polyurethane rear wheels in manual option
- Ultralight- even the manual option is very light.
- Compact – only 25 inches wide so it can act as both, a manual wheelchair and a transport wheelchair
Karman Healthcare S-2512 Ergo is truly a luxury transport wheelchair. It is lightweight, ergonomic, and really liked by its users. Although, we must add a word of caution here. The wheelchair is priced as per the features it offers. It is the most expensive wheelchair on this list of best lightweight transport wheelchairs.
#4 Drive Medical Lightweight Transport Wheelchair
The Drive Medical Lightweight Transport Wheelchair, unlike the other transport wheelchairs on this list, has the same size wheels in both the front and rear of the chair. It requires little maintenance while still performing just as well as any other transport wheelchair. Indeed, larger rear wheels (of other wheelchairs) do mean a better ride quality, But as long as this wheelchair is being used within a building on smooth surfaces, the difference will not be noticeable.
This wheelchair has fixed arms and its narrow version is 21.5″ wide. Drive Medical Lightweight Transport Wheelchair is the least expensive on our list of best lightweight transport wheelchairs.
- Steel frame
- Superior maneuverability
- Cushioned armrests
- Easy to Clean – The nylon upholstery is simple to clean, so you don’t have to work up a sweat if any accidental spills occur during transportation.
- Durable – The steel frame of this wheelchair offers reliable stability while still being lightweight and easy to maneuver.
- Comfortable – The cushioned armrests prevent any potential arm pain for the user.
The swing-away footrests are an incredibly handy feature of this transport wheelchair, allowing the user to sit down and get up without worrying about tripping over the footrests. This durable wheelchair travels well over rough terrain, and it packs away in a car without any hassle. It has a sturdy steel frame.
#5 yuwell Child Transport Wheelchair
The yuwell Ultra Lightweight Transport Wheelchair for Children is a great transport wheelchair designed keeping children and young adults in mind. With a seat width of 12.5 inches, it will also work very well for people with a smaller body frame. It is suitable for up to 165 pounds of weight. The wheelchair itself weighs just 15.5 pounds and can pass through an 18″ doorway.
- Comes with a carry bag and folds to a compact size to be carried on your shoulder
- Aluminium-alloy frame is durable and corrosion-resistant
- Standard handbrake and footrest features
- Ultra-lightweight – only weighs 15.5 pounds
- Perfect for children and small adults
If you are looking for a transport wheelchair for a child or a small framed adult, this is an ideal choice. It is very compact and maneuverable in tight spaces. It also folds into a size small enough to be carried on one’s shoulder. This transport wheelchair comes with a carry bag that the wheelchair can be folded and put into. This makes it easy to carry the wheelchair around.
#6 Elenker 2-in-1 Wheelchair & Rollator
The Elenker 2-in-1’s unique design allows it to act as both – a transport wheelchair and a rollator walker. While this device is primarily a rollator walker, it comes with a mountable set of footrests and an attachable back to convert it into a transport wheelchair. When you want to change over from using a rollator walker into a wheelchair, all you need to do is mount the footrests and attach the backrest.
- The product weighs 22 pounds and is 24.4 inches wide
- Hand brake allows good control
- Can support up to 400 pounds
- 2-in-1 design gives you 2 products, for the price of one
The Elenker 2-in-1 is really a rollator walker, retrofitted to also act as a transport wheelchair. If you are looking for a real transport wheelchair, we will not recommend this product. It is not as comfortable in the seated position, for both, the user and the caregiver (it does not have flared handles). But if you need the wheelchair only occasionally, this can be a good option, giving you two devices for the price of one.
#7 Everest & Jennings Lightweight Transport Wheelchair
This wheelchair from Everest & Jennings features on our list of the best lightweight transport wheelchairs because of its aesthetics. Its lightweight aluminum frame comes in 7 colors, including the standard black, blue and red, and the more interesting green, silver, aqua, and pink.
On the functional side, this transport wheelchair has 2 seat sizes, 17-inch and 19-inch seat widths. The product weighs 20 pounds and can support weights up to 250 pounds.
- Standard features include attendant wheel locks and seat belt
- Easy to fold
- Scores very high on the aesthetics
Everest & Jennings Lightweight Transport Wheelchair is lightweight, easy to maneuver, and foldable. Although this wheelchair is a great option for those users who want their ride to be of a particular color, it does not have hand brakes. Otherwise, it has all the standard features of a transport wheelchair.
#8 ProBasics Lightweight Transport Wheelchair
This lightweight transport wheelchair weighs only 22 pounds, making it perfect for those who struggle with lifting heavy objects. Don’t let the small weight of this chair fool you – it still features a 300-pound weight capacity.
- 12-inch rear wheels
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Convenient lever for back release
- Simple fold mechanism
- Padded nylon for comfort
- Built-in seat belt
- Go Anywhere – The ProBasics 19-Inch Lightweight Transport Wheelchair helps you travel anywhere thanks to the sturdy rear wheels.
- Packs Up Easily – This wheelchair is designed with an easy fold mechanism to allow it to be stored simply and efficiently as the handles can be strapped to the seat. The wheelchair’s flared handle design is both comfortable for the caregiver who is pushing the wheelchair and helps the easy back-release hinge for easy and compact folding for both transport and storage.
Despite how lightweight this wheelchair is, it still proves itself to be quite durable in transporting anyone weighing up to 300 pounds. It performs very well in narrow spaces, allowing the caregiver to easily maneuver the wheelchair in any home or business’s hallway.
#9 Medline Aluminium Lightweight Transport Wheelchair
The Medline Aluminium Lightweight Transport Wheelchair is designed to help caregivers transport people as safely, comfortably, and easily as possible. It is quite easily foldable and can carry a person weighing up to 300 pounds.
- Powder-coated aluminum frame
- 12 inch rear wheels
- Collapsible back
- Ultra-Durable – The metal frame of this wheelchair is made of durable aluminum that is supported by a powder coating to help protect it from any rust or general deterioration down the road.
- Great Outdoor Performance – The large rear wheels on this design ensure high-quality performance on even the most unsteady outdoor surfaces. This wheelchair can safely transport your loved one even when the sidewalk ends and they have to do a little off-roading.
- Breathable Material – The nylon upholstery of this wide seat is layered for additional support and reinforcement. It is also extremely breathable, ensuring that the occupant does not get overheated at all during their transportation.
- Easy Storage – This chair folds up nicely, and its ease of storage is only increased with the convenient detachable footrests.
This wheelchair really lives up to its other positive reviews. The loop-lock handbrakes are very easy to use, and they work with the seat belt to ensure maximum safety to the user. Both the handles and the footrest heights are adjustable, and the seat itself is quite comfortable.
This transport wheelchair can handle any kind of outing you need it to, whether you are traveling by car, up and down hills by foot, bumpy streets, uneven sidewalks, and even going across a lawn. Please note that while the frame of this transport wheelchair is made of aluminium, Medline also makes a steel counterpart. That wheelchair is also featured (#11) on our list of best lightweight transport wheelchairs.
#10 Carex Lightweight Transport Wheelchair
The Carex Lightweight Transport Wheelchair is another well-priced option in our list of lightweight transport wheelchairs. It comes with a 19-inch seating space and all standard features that one will need in a transport wheelchair.
- Steel frame
- Foldable footrests that swing away
- 19-inch seating space
- Easy to fold – folds into a compact 8″ wide position quickly and easily
- Maneuverable – easy maneuverability through tight spaces
Carex Lightweight Transport Wheelchair checks almost all boxes when it comes to transport wheelchairs. It is at a very “value-for-money” price point. This wheelchair routinely receives a fairly high rating from users. In our opinion, it is a transport wheelchair that does its job without much fanfare or bells and whistles.
#11 Medline Steel Transport Wheelchair
The Medline Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair is a well rated, steel-framed wheelchair that most users have found useful and satisfactory. It has a lever that allows its backrest to fold into half to make it quite compact when folded. This transport wheelchair also comes with a convenient storage bag that can be mounted on the armrest. This thoughtful addition can be used to carry small items and can come in very handy. Since this transport wheelchair has a steel frame, it is heavier than its Medline aluminium counterpart featured on this list (#9).
- 19-inch wide seat supports up to 300 pounds of body weight
- Standard, foldable footrests
- Weighs only 23 pounds and can be assembled without using tools
- A convenient storage bag is included
- Standard transport wheelchair, suitable for usage over short periods of time
The Medline Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair is good for most uses. The one thing this wheelchair lacks is handbrakes. Instead, it has a foot wheel lock.
#12 Drive Medical Bariatric Transport Wheelchair
The Drive Medical Bariatric Transport Wheelchair is a bariatric workhorse. It can support weights up to 450 pounds and is 30 inches wide, ideal for bigger sized patients. It comes with the standard features of transport wheelchairs – hand brakes, seat belts, wheel lock, footrest, etc.
- Bariatric – can support 450 pounds weight
- 30-inch wide chair with a 20-inch wide seat
- Heavy-duty, sturdy design – 33-pound product weight
- This is a great transport wheelchair for bariatric users
This transport wheelchair offers a great option for heavier users. It is a sturdy and reliable wheelchair, well-liked by its users.
How much do transport wheelchairs weigh?
Most transport wheelchairs weigh between 22 and 28 pounds. The lightest transport wheelchair on our list is the Karman S-2512 Transport Wheelchair, which weighs only 18 pounds.
What is the difference between a wheelchair and a transport wheelchair?
The biggest difference between a transport wheelchair and a standard wheelchair is that a transport wheelchair needs a caregiver to push it. A standard wheelchair comes with drive wheels and the user can self propel herself using those. Transport wheelchairs weigh around 25 pounds and tend to be lighter than standard wheelchairs which weigh around 35 pounds.
We hope that with the help of this compilation, you were able to find the best lightweight transport wheelchair according to your specific needs. Everybody’s individual situation is different. We have tried to bring you the best products across different use cases.
While many of the wheelchairs on this list are great options for standard users, we highly recommend that you discuss your situation with your doctor and caregiver to select the ideal product.
As a user’s physical condition changes, their mobility needs also might change. There are many other mobility aids available that can help ease the lives of people needing mobility assistance. Here are some additional home health-aids and medical supplies that may be useful for people needing a transport wheelchair:
- Wheelchair Accessories – Items like wheelchair headrests, bags and baskets, gloves and cup holders can make transporting basic items much easier.
- Wheelchair Ramps – When paired with a portable wheelchair ramp transport wheelchairs can make much easier to restore mobility to a loved one within the confines of a building.
- Power Wheelchair Batteries – Most power wheelchairs come with standard batteries. You can replace them with long lasting wheelchair batteries to enhance your range of movement on a single charge.
- Seat Cushion – Spending too much time in one position can lead to pressure sores and other problems. You can get cushions meant specifically for wheelchairs. For general use, getting a good coccyx cushion or Roho seat cushion can help alleviate pain and prevent chafing.
- Folding Canes and Crutches – For people who can walk short distances by themselves, having an easy to carry cane with them in their transport chair can make for easier mobility once they reach their destination. For longer term use, you will do well with crutches (forearm or underarm).
- Bed risers and stand assist devices – Bed risers and stand assist devices make it easier to get in and out of beds and other furniture.
- Hoyer Lifts – Hoyer lifts are used to safely transport those with mobility issues, short distances. They can be used to move patients in and out of beds or transfer them from a bed to a wheelchair.
- Rollator Walkers – Rollator walkers are walkers with wheels for those who find it difficult to lift traditional walkers. You can look at rollator walkers for tall people, rollator walkers for rough surfaces, or lightweight rollator walkers.
If you’d like to learn more about lightweight transport wheelchairs, here is a good video from Nova explaining some of the details: