Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair Review 2022


Do you suffer from mobility issues?  If so, you’ve probably spent some time sifting through mountains of reviews, trying to settle on the right wheelchair or transport chair for you.  The problem, of course, is that there are literally scores of different models to choose from, all claiming to be the “best,” so how do you know which one to pick?  For that matter, how do you know whether a wheelchair or a transport chair is the best fit for you?

Those are great questions, and if you’ve been scratching your head trying to arrive at the answers to them, then you’ve come to the right place because this roundup review was written with you in mind.

We’ve scoured the internet in our quest to find the best lightweight transport wheelchair on the market today, reviewing dozens of the bestselling models, and we’ve picked our winner.  We’ll reveal it, and the other top contenders in the sections that follow, but before we do that, Let’s start by taking a high-level view of our top four:

Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchairs 2022 Comparison Table

Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchairs 2022

A Small Image of Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair: Karman MVP 502

Karman MVP502

A Small Image of Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair: Elite Care’s Lightweight Deluxe

Elite Care’s Lightweight

A Small Image of Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair: Drive Medical’s FW19BL

Drive Medical’s FW19BL

A Small Image of Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair: ProBasics Rollator

ProBasics Rollator

Baseline Rating*

4.7

4.4

4.0

4.2

Price

$$$$$

$$

$$

$$

Seat Width

16”, 18”,or 20”

18”

19”

14.25”

Seat to Floor

20”

19”

19”

21.75”

Chair Weight/Max Weight

33 pounds.  Can support up to 250 pounds of weight

25 pounds.  Can support up to 250 pounds of weight

19 pounds.  Can support up to 300 pounds of weight

22 pounds.  Can support up to 250 pounds of weight

Extras

Flat-free tires, anti-bacterial upholstery, tension strap in the backrest, convertible from transport to wheelchair configurations, reclining!

Quick release footrests, multiple cross braces, comes with a convenient carry bag for easy transport

Seatbelt.  Offered by one of the best companies in the industry.  Quick-release footrests.

Basic functionality but can convert from a transport chair to a rollator

Pros

Generously padded, reclining, highly adjustable, can serve as both a transport chair or a wheelchair, thanks to quick release wheels

Very small folded footprint, incredibly lightweight and convenient.  Hand brakes and 12” wheels make it capable of navigating a variety of outdoor terrains

Incredibly lightweight. Very soft, comfortable upholstery.  Seat belt included.  Storage pocket on back.

The conversion from a transport chair to rollator is its best feature.  Very inexpensive.

Cons

Expensive.

None .

None.

Small seat makes it unsuitable for some users.

Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair - Top Pick

A Small Image of Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair: Karman MVP 502

Karman MVP502 Reclining Wheelchair

RATING

PRICE

$$$$$

PROS

Generously padded, reclining, highly adjustable, can serve as both a transport chair or a wheelchair, thanks to quick release wheels.

CONS

Expensive.

More Specifications...

Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair - 2nd Pick

A Small Image of Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair: Elite Care’s Lightweight Deluxe

Elite Care’s Lightweight Deluxe Wheelchair

RATING

PRICE

$$

PROS

Very small folded footprint, incredibly lightweight and convenient. Hand brakes and 12” wheels make it capable of navigating a variety of outdoor terrains.

CONS

None.

More Specifications...

Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair - 3rd Pick

A Small Image of Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair: Drive Medical’s FW19BL

Drive Medical’s FW19BL Wheelchair

RATING

PRICE

$$

PROS

Incredibly lightweight. Very soft, comfortable upholstery.  Seat belt included.  Storage pocket on back.

CONS

None.

More Specifications...

Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair - 4th Pick

A Small Image of Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair: ProBasics Rollator

ProBasics Rollator Wheelchair

RATING

PRICE

$$

PROS

The conversion from a transport chair to rollator is its best feature.  Very inexpensive.

CONS

Small seat makes it unsuitable for some users.

More Specifications...

Selection Criteria

Broadly speaking, you’ve got three wheelchair options to choose from, if you’re considering buying one:

  • Transport chairs
  • Wheelchairs
  • Rollators

At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be much of a difference between these three. But, although they do share a number of features in common, there are some important differences. 

Far and away, the biggest difference is this:  A wheelchair can be powered by either the person sitting on it or by an assistant pushing from behind. A transport chair’s rear wheels are too small for the person sitting on the chair to reach, and so, must be propelled by an assistant pushing from behind. On the other hand, a rollator is a “swing” device that can be configured to serve either as a transport chair or a “wheeled walker,” which is extremely versatile and convenient.

There are also hybrid units available with interchangeable back wheels, so you can quickly and easily convert a transport chair into a standard wheelchair.  These are obviously a bit more expensive, but depending on your needs, can be well worth the extra money.

A lesser, but still significant difference between a transport chair and a wheelchair is the fact that transport chairs are designed to be very light and extremely portable.  As such, they’re not optimized for long-duration sitting, but quite well suited for short trips.  Obviously, the big advantage of the rollator is that you get the best of both worlds, but you’ll pay a premium for the versatility.

In looking at transport chairs, in particular, the most important features are:

  • The “right” seat height, width and depth for the person who will be using the chair
  • Total weight, because these chairs are designed first and foremost to be highly portable
  • Relative comfort (although these chairs aren’t designed to maximize comfort, that is important, so the more comfortable, the better)
  • A smooth ride (in general, transport wheelchairs with large wheels will offer a smoother ride than transport wheelchairs with smaller wheels)
  • Good brakes (while most chairs have this down pat, the one distinction you want to look for is that if you live in a hilly or mountainous region, you’ll want a transport chair that has handbrakes)

Those are the features we kept at the forefront of our minds when evaluating the various options available.

Top 4 Lightweight Transport Wheelchair in More Detail

Karman MVP 502 Wheelchair & Transport Chair

Adjustability and Customization

Overall Comfort Level

Versatility

Ease of Use

4.7

Summary


The Karman MVP502 is expensive for a manual chair, but the quality is incredible, and the comfort and vast array of customization options makes it hard to say no to. Due to its high price, this one is designed specifically for people with long-term mobility issues.

The Karman MVP502 is a true masterpiece and was featured prominently in our wheelchair roundup review as the best reclining wheelchair on the market today.  Note that we said “wheelchair” and not “transport chair,” which may make you wonder how on earth it wound up as our top pick for the best transport wheelchair.

In the introduction, we talked about hybrid mobility devices that can be converted from a wheelchair to a transport chair, simply by swapping out the rear wheels.  This is one such device.  In its standard configuration, it sports 14” wheels and is considered a transport chair, but you can buy 22” wheels that are fully compatible with the model, which transforms it into a wheelchair in a matter of minutes, giving you the best of both worlds.

That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg where the MVP502 is concerned.

Neither transport or wheelchairs are known for their comfort, but the MVP502 is a notable exception to this rule.  While it’s not as comfortable as a regular recliner, it offers far more comfort than you might expect, and is ideal for long-duration sitting

The recline feature even makes it possible to take a decent nap in the chair, so if you have to spend most of your day confined to a chair, this is the one you want. 

It gives you the best of all worlds, and almost every aspect of the model is either adjustable or customizable on order. Here are just a few of its features:

  • You can order the chair with either a 16”, 18” or 20” seat width
  • The arms are height-adjustable
  • There’s a tension strap in both the seat and the backrest so you can customize the chair to maximize your comfort
  • The chair’s maximum angle of recline is an impressive 125-degrees
  • The seating itself is well-designed and engineered with the company’s patented “V-shaped” seating, which helps keep you from slipping
  • The upholstery is quite comfortable and anti-bacterial, making cleanup a snap

Best of all, it weighs just 33 pounds, which makes it easy to collapse and load it into your vehicle to take it with you wherever you go.  The rear wheels have enough tread on them to allow it to handle most outdoor terrains, making this one of the most versatile chairs on the market today, and in our view, the best lightweight transport wheelchair being sold today.

There’s a catch though.  This is far and away the most expensive chair on our list, costing several times more than our other top contenders.  As such, it’s not for everyone.  If you only need a wheelchair or transport chair for occasional use, this model simply offers more features than you need.  On the other hand, if you know you’re going to need a chair for the long term, why not get one that maximizes your comfort?


Elite Care Lightweight Deluxe Transport Chair

Adjustability and Customization

Overall Comfort Level

Versatility

Ease of Use

4.4

Summary


The Elite Care Lightweight Deluxe Transport Chair is an incredibly well-priced and capable transport chair. Best value for the money in its class!. Recommended for anyone – given its modest price, it’s just hard to say no to this model.

Elite Care isn’t as well known as the major players in the industry, so its inclusion in our list of finalists came as a bit of a surprise to us. But, it really is an outstanding chair and offered at such an attractive price that it’s all but irresistible.

With a seat height of 19”, a seat width of 18” a seat depth of 16”, and supporting up to 250 pounds in weight, the Elite Care's Lightweight Deluxe is a good fit for a high percentage of users.  While not the lightest chair on our list of finalists, it only weighs 25 pounds, and has an extraordinarily small footprint when collapsed, making it very easy to transport.

What we like best about this model though is the combination of the good-sized rear wheels (12”), and the handbrakes make it capable of navigating even the roughest of outdoor terrains.  The brakes are ingeniously designed, too, and can be used to both slow the chair, and lock the wheels in place.

Given how easily it can handle challenging terrains, it should come as no surprise that it handles like a dream indoors too, even when moving from one surface to another.  A superbly designed chair you’ll be happy to own.  A top-notch, lightweight transport wheelchair.


Drive Medical FW19BL Fly-Weight Transport Chair

Adjustability and Customization

Overall Comfort Level

Versatility

Ease of Use

4.0

Summary


The Drive Medical’s FW19BL is a great indoor-use chair. Can only handle flat, smooth outdoor terrains though. Recommended for Anyone looking for a solid mostly indoor-use transport chair.

Drive Medical is an industry powerhouse, offering some of the best-rated transport wheelchairs on the market today.  As you’ll see as you continue reading this review, they utterly dominate our list of best chairs, with the Fly-Weight 19BL being one of a number of superb models the company offers.

Despite weighing in at just 19 pounds (which makes it the lightest transport wheelchair on our short list), it can support up to three hundred pounds of weight.  No other chair we reviewed is easier or more convenient to move from one location to another, and it’s small enough that it can fit inside the trunk of most full-sized cars.

In terms of functionality, it’s a fairly basic design, so you don’t get a lot in the way of extras or creature comforts, but it offers a smooth ride over indoors and can handle flat terrain outside. 

It’s not as versatile as the Elite Care model that ranked higher, but if you’re just looking for a simple, convenient transport chair for occasional use and short-duration sitting, then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better model than this one.


ProBasics Transport Rollator

Adjustability and Customization

Overall Comfort Level

Versatility

Ease of Use

4.2

Summary


A nice, multi-function mobility device, though a little on the small side, so not a good fit for all users. ProBasics Transport Rollator is recommended for average to small-sized people who are looking for a versatile, occasional-use mobility aid.

Our transport wheelchair review list wouldn’t be complete, and we’d be doing you, the reader, a disservice if we didn’t include the ProBasics lightweight aluminum transport wheelchair for your consideration.

If you’re on a budget, this chair is amazing because it’s so versatile.  You can configure it to serve as a “wheeled walker” (rollator) for those times when you don’t need a transport chair, and with a few minutes to reconfigure it, it becomes a fully functional hospital transport wheelchair too.

The only potential drawback to this particular design is that the seat width is a bit on the small side, so it caters to a somewhat smaller group of potential customers than the other chairs on our list. But if the 15” seat width and 250-pound weight limit aren’t deal breakers for you, then you’ll find that this sturdy little device is incredibly handy to have around, and is very easy on the budget too! 

One of the most affordable transport wheelchairs on the market today.  Recommended.


Other “Bests”

Our overall winner and the finalists we’ve talked about above are all that we’d consider “general purpose transport wheelchairs,” but some people’s needs are a bit more specific.  Given that, and the fact that we wanted to make this roundup as complete as possible, we’ve listed a few other “bests” that meet more specific needs.  Here they are:

NOVA Medical Products Transport Wheelchair 

Adjustability and Customization

Overall Comfort Level

Versatility

Ease of Use

4.5

Summary


The NOVA Medical Products Transport Wheelchair is an outstanding all-purpose transport chair, supports an impressive 400 pounds of user weight, and handles well on a variety of terrains. Recommended for anyone looking for a great “all-terrain” transport chair and bigger, taller, or heavier patients.

If you’re looking for an awesome, reasonably-priced transport chair that will allow you to enjoy the great outdoors, while still handling like a dream inside, then look no further than the Nova HD.

With a seat height of 20”, seat width of 21.5” and a seat depth of 15.5” it can accommodate most users and body types. Even better, despite its relatively light weight (27.75 pounds), it can support an impressive 400 pounds.

While all of that is outstanding, the things that make this such a great transport chair for outdoor use are:

  • It’s somewhat wider than most transport chairs, making it significantly less prone to tipping
  • It has an impressive, proprietary “feather touch” hand braking system, which makes handling slopes and uneven terrain easy
  • Sporting 8” front wheels and 12” rear wheels, it offers a smooth ride, even over rough, uneven ground
  • It offers an adjustable seat belt for added safety and stability

In addition to all that, it’s crafted from high-grade aluminum and boasts a swing away footrest that makes it a simple matter to get into and out of the chair.  While not, strictly speaking, a bariatric model, its extra-wide seat and impressive carriage capacity make it suitable for a wide range of users.

Best of all?  It won’t cost you an arm and a leg.  If you don’t need or don’t want to spend a ton of time outside, then this one isn’t for you, but if you find yourself missing the sunshine, this one’s not to be missed.


Drive Medical Bariatric Transport Chair

Adjustability and Customization

Overall Comfort Level

Versatility

Ease of Use

4.5

Summary


The Drive Medical Bariatric Transport Chair is a great chair, offered by one of the giants in the industry. Easy to use, versatile, and easy to transport. Exactly what you want in a high-quality transport chair. Recommended for Heavier people who have mobility issues, regardless of age.

Medline is one of the most respected companies in the industry, and they consistently get great transport wheelchair reviews from their customers.  Although they offer a wide range of products, we view this model in particular as a standout for a couple of reasons.  First, it’s surprisingly lightweight, at 33 pounds, especially given that it can support an impressive 450 pounds of weight.

With 12” “no-flat” wheels, swing-away footrests, surprisingly comfortable padded armrests and a breathable nylon seat, it’s the perfect transport wheelchair with large wheels for short trips and short-duration sitting.

The folding mechanism is easy to use so you won’t spend time fretting with getting it into your vehicle, and it’s got generously-sized storage space, with an easy-access lever on the back of the chair.

If you don’t need the maximum weight capacity that this model offers, then a great second choice (and slightly lighter model) would be the Nova HD, which we mentioned above as the best all-terrain transport chair. 

Both are incredibly rugged and durable, and either would make an exceptional choice.


Drive Medical Deluxe Lightweight Aluminum Transport Wheelchair

Adjustability and Customization

Overall Comfort Level

Versatility

Ease of Use

4.2

Summary


The Drive Medical Deluxe Lightweight Aluminum Transport Wheelchair is a high-quality, lightweight transport chair designed for children and smaller adults, offered by one of the giants in the mobility industry. Recommended for Children and smaller adults who need a solid, light-duty transport chair.

This model is every bit as good as all of Drive Medical’s other products.  Its small, 17” wide seat makes it ideal for children and youngsters, and yet it’s sturdy and durable enough to support up to 300 pounds of weight, so this one will serve you (and them) well into their teen years and beyond.

The Trailblazer Drive aluminum transport wheelchair is a low-cost, bare-bones design, but you’re getting a quality piece of equipment. It’s extremely lightweight (just 19-pounds), which makes it exceptionally easy to transport, and the locking wheels and built-in nylon safety belt will provide safety, security, and peace of mind. 

Even better, the swing-away leg rests make getting your child into and out of the chair, and the breathable nylon seating is comfortable enough to make short-duration sitting fairly comfortable, although, as with any transport chair, it’s less than ideal for long-duration sitting.

Its 8” wheels are big enough to give the passenger a fairly comfortable ride, even over uneven terrain, although it’s not especially well suited to handle the great outdoors (the wheels being slightly too small, and the fact that it lacks handbrakes combine to make it less than optimal in this regard).

Still, if you’re looking for an inexpensive, durable transport chair that will keep your child safe and last for years, and you mostly need it for indoor use, this is the one you want.


Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Electric Wheelchair

Adjustability and Customization

Overall Comfort Level

Versatility

Ease of Use

4.5

Summary


A superb, rugged design, offered by one of the best companies in the industry. In our view, this is the best value on the electric wheelchair market today. Drive Medical Cirrus Plus is recommended for anyone, but especially anyone with a long-term mobility issue. This chair is a game changer.

What we’re really talking about here are electric wheelchairs, since, by definition, a transport chair requires someone standing behind it to push it.  Obviously, if there’s an electric motor involved, having an assistant becomes wholly unnecessary.

In that case, then, our top pick for this category would be our second-place winner for the best electric wheelchair in our wheelchair roundup review.

Not only is the Drive Medical Cirrus Plus the best value we’ve found in this category, but it’s also an incredibly robust, versatile, and long-lasting machine, with some users boasting that their chair is still in service after more than a decade.  If that’s not an endorsement for reliability, we’re really not sure what is.

Even better, it’s extremely simple to operate, offers an adequate fifteen-mile range on a single battery charge, and is highly customizable, so you’ll be able to make adjustments as-needed to maximize your comfort.

As motorized wheelchairs go, it’s not terribly heavy, but it does weigh on the high side of a hundred pounds, so it’s probably not something you’re going to be able to load in your car, truck, or SUV for transport without help.  Even so, given its modest price tag, this tremendously capable machine is hard to top.  We regard it as the best general purpose transportable electric wheelchair being sold today.  Highly recommended.


So, What's the Best Lightweight Transport Wheelchair in 2022?

As you can see, there’s no one “right” answer to the question, “What is the best lightweight transport wheelchair?”  While some common factors tie into answering the question, ultimately, finding the right transport chair for you is going to come down to working out what your specific needs are, what your budget is, and finding a model that most closely aligns with both of those things.

While we stand by our overall top pick, we recognize that it may not be the optimal choice for everyone, which is why we went to such lengths to be as thorough as possible, and present as many top-rated transport wheelchair options as we could while avoiding overwhelming you with too many choices.

If our overall top pick isn’t a perfect fit for you, we feel confident that one of the others we’ve mentioned here will be. We hope you’ve found this article helpful and informative, and we hope that the perfect transport chair for you is somewhere on this page!


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