In a Nutshell:
A sturdy, robust chair, ergonomically-designed for added comfort, but better suited for indoor use. Foshan Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchair is recommended for anyone looking for a mostly-indoor use chair.
Ease of Use
Unfortunately, this product has been discontinued. Check some of the best wheelchairs for elderly we’ve reviewed.
Are you suffering from a mobility issue?
If so, it’s almost certain to be impacting your quality of life, but it doesn’t have to! The “right” wheelchair can make a huge difference, not only in terms of dramatically increasing your mobility but also in that it will allow you to get back out there and start enjoying many of the things you may have thought were lost to you forever.
If you’ve never heard of Foshan, you’re not alone. It’s an off-brand, and the company doesn’t have anything close to the market presence of the industry’s major players, which is why we were pleasantly surprised that it ranked so highly in our roundup review, placing a solid second.
The Foshan Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchair is sturdy and well-designed, with ergonomic features similar to the overall winner in our roundup review but offered at a significantly lower price.
While it’s got its limitations, for the right user, it’s an excellent choice and will change your life for the better.
In the sections that follow, we’ll go over everything the Foshan wheelchair can do, and let you know what it’s not so good at so you’ll have all the information you need to decide if it’s the chair you’ve been looking for. If that sounds good to you, read on!
An Overview of the Foshan Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchair
The first thing you’ll notice about the Foshan Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchair is the fact that it’s got an all-business, utilitarian design.
It’s not that it’s ugly, it’s just…functional. That’s not a bad thing, and let’s face it, there’s not a wheelchair in existence that can genuinely be described as beautiful anyway.
The second thing that you’ll notice is that it’s got a relatively low back, just 16.2” high.
Again, that’s not (necessarily) a bad thing, but if you’re a taller person, and you know you’ll be spending lots of time in the chair, this one may not be a good fit for you.
Here are the relevant stats for the chair:
The wheelchair weighs in at a hefty 37.5 pounds, making it the second-heaviest chair that placed in our roundup review. That makes transporting it a bit more of a workout than you’ll get if you buy some other model, but the flip side of that is that it’s capable of supporting more weight than other chairs, at a hefty 285 pounds.
Foshan Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchair Features
Adjustability is one thing that the Foshan Aluminum Lightweight Manual Wheel Chair doesn’t do so well. You can’t make any customizations at the point of sale, and the only two adjustment options on the chair are:
Note that the footrests also swing away (but do not move up or down), so you can pull the chair quite close to a table, which allows you to enjoy a nice dinner with your family (at home or at a restaurant) without having to transfer from the wheelchair to a dining chair.
Comfort-wise, the Foshan chair fares a little better. While this model isn’t well-suited to all-day sitting, and thanks to its low back, you certainly couldn’t take a nap in it, both the seat and the seat back are fairly well padded and covered with Oxford fabric. This is a plush, soft type of nylon that’s a nice touch that gives it a touch of class and is quite unexpected from an off-brand.
While it’s true that the presence of Oxford fabric makes the Foshan wheelchair more comfortable than the average wheelchair, you may still want an after-market seat cushion or back pad, but these are trivial expenses and easy to add.
Let’s’ talk about ergonomics here in our Foshan Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchair review, since that’s one of the major selling points of the model. There are two primary areas where this manifest.
First, in the slightly curved, desk-length arms, and second, in the design of the footrests, which also include a nylon support strap for the back of your legs, which comes in two sections, attached via Velcro. These are small touches, but they do make a surprising difference in the overall comfort of the chair.
While not strictly an ergonomic design function, it should also be noted that the front brakes can be easily accessed and locked by the person sitting in the chair, which is highly convenient, and a feature we really like. Other manufacturers should take note of this. We’d love for it to become an industry standard. Kudos to Foshan!
The first “extra,” to talk about here are the anti-tipping struts. This is a big deal, and something not often offered on even much more expensive chairs by better-known brands. It’s important because it increases the stability of the chair, and when you need to tip it back to get over a curb or something, it makes it far less likely that it’ll tip over and cause a spill.
The only other extra the Foshan chair offers is a small pouch for the storage on incidentals on the back of the chair. Unfortunately, it’s too small to be of much use, so you’ll probably want to add an aftermarket storage solution.
Safety Belt Add-On
Note that the default chair doesn’t come with a safety belt, but the company does offer one as an add-on, and we recommend getting it. The reason is that the Foshan’s seat isn’t angled, so it’s a bit like sitting in a straight-backed chair.
A good many wheelchairs are configured this way, so we can’t count it as a strike against the model, but from a practical standpoint, it means that if you’re traversing sloping terrain, sans safety belt, there is a risk of slipping forward and possibly sliding right out of the chair. Unfortunately, the ergonomic design doesn’t apply to the shape of the seat itself!
Not Great on Outdoor Terrains
This is a definite limitation of the chair, and something you’ll want to carefully consider before buying. The wheels, both front and back are smaller than average, with the rear wheels measuring 20” and the front wheels measuring just 6” in diameter.
Most chairs have 22” rear wheels (or larger) and use 8” casters on the front. What this means for you is that this chair is somewhat less capable of handling a wide range of terrains than other models. That’s not a deal breaker if you plan on using the chair mostly indoors, but it will struggle on uneven, challenging outdoor terrains. The 6” casters on the front may even have trouble if you have thick, plush carpet in your home, but should be fine on most other indoor surfaces.
No Learning Curve & (Almost) Ready to Roll Out of the Box
There’s no learning curve to speak of where the Foshan Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchair is concerned, and the chair comes almost fully assembled when you get it. About all you have to do is put the footrests on and Velcro the support strap in place, and it’s ready to roll.
Foshan Aluminum Lightweight Manual Wheel Chair Pros & Cons
As you can see here in our Foshan Aluminum Lightweight Manual Wheel Chair review, there’s a lot to like about the wheelchair. It offers a few finishing touches like that of many other wheelchairs by more well-established brands, which is one of the primary reasons it ranked so highly in our roundup review.
In no particular order, our favorite aspects of the design are:
We’d like to see these become industry standards and think highly of Foshan for including them in their product.
Having said that though, this isn’t a perfect chair, and it has some important shortcomings you should be aware of that may influence your purchasing decision. Again, in no particular order, these are:
Unfortunately, depending on how tall you are and how you plan on using the chair, some of these might be deal breakers for you, so it bears careful consideration, and comes down to asking yourself some hard questions about exactly what your needs are.
Foshan Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchair Review Conclusion
We love the Foshan Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchair even more than its overall ranking would indicate, and regard it as an exceptional model. True, it’s not without its flaws, but its greatness shines through in spite of them.
While it’s not for everyone, we highly recommend this chair for most users, with the following exceptions:
If any of those describe you, this isn’t the chair you want. For everyone else, it’s incredible.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Foshan Dongfang Medical Equipment Manufactory, Official Brand Website.
- Wheelchair Cushion Considerations, Mobility Advisor.
- The Importance of Helping Seniors Practice Wheelchair Safety, LifeCare Mobility.
- Understanding Wheelchair Sizes and How to Ensure It’s Right for You, Invacare.