In a Nutshell:

The Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair is a fantastic design. It’s pricey but well worth it, and not to be missed!. Recommended for people with long-term mobility issues in mind. If you have a short-term need for a wheelchair, some other model will probably be a better overall “fit” despite this one’s quality.

Customization options
Ease of Use
Comfort
Performance

Overall Rating

4.5/5

Benefits

  • Highly configurable
  • Comfortable design
  • Easy to add on accessories
  • Customizable to fit user’s needs

Drawbacks

  • Lacks handbrakes for assistant
  • No storage pouch
  • Expensive
Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair
4.5

Recommended For: People with long-term mobility issues in mind. If your need is short-term, another model will probably be a better overall “fit” despite this one’s quality.

Check Latest Price

Do you have a long-term mobility issue? If you do, it changes what you want in a wheelchair. After all, if your needs are short-term, almost any decent chair will work. However,  if you know you’re going to need a mobility aid for months and years to come, then you start getting much more particular and asking hard questions about what you want in a wheelchair.

We understand, which is why if the above describes you, we think you’ll love our in-depth review of the Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair.

“Ergonomic” is more than just a buzzword. An ergonomically designed chair is just more comfortable to sit in and easier to use because everything is exactly where you’d expect to find it. It’s intuitive; if your needs are long-term, that’s pure gold.

There are many wheelchairs on the market—an almost overwhelming number of choices that can lead to analysis paralysis. To help you cut through the clutter, we wrote this series of Karman wheelchair reviews so you can make an informed purchasing decision.

By any measure, the S Ergo 305 is an exceptional model. In fact, it won top honors in our roundup review of the best wheelchairs being sold today. In the following sections, we’ll walk you through everything this fantastic chair can do and tell you about its (very few) limitations so you can decide if it’s the “right” model for you.

Sound good? Let’s get right to it!

Key Features of the Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair

The first thing you’ll notice about the Karman S-305 is the fact that it has a striking design. That’s not something we ever expected to say about a wheelchair, but we must admit, this one’s fairly attractive as wheelchairs go. Dressed in a combination of silver and black, it would be overselling to describe the chair as elegant, but it wouldn’t be overselling by much. It’s surprisingly handsome.

An Image Sample of Black Variants of Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair

Wheelchair Specifications

It’s more than just a (relatively) pretty chair, though. Here are the S-305’s relevant stats:

  • Seat width: 16” or 18”
  • Seat depth: 17”
  • Seat height: 19”
  • *Optional seat height adjustment (POS option)
  • Seat to floor height: 18,” 19,” or 20” (adjustable)
  • Weight: 29 pounds (22 pounds with footrests removed)
  • Rear wheel diameter: 24.”
  • Armrest height: 9” to 11” (adjustable)
  • Overall dimensions (unfolded and ready for use): 38” x 24” 43”
  • Folded dimensions: 33” x 12” x 28”

In additionit can support a maximum of 250 pounds of user weight, making it useful to a broad market.

As to Karman itself, they’re one of the more prominent companies in the mobility industry and the makers of a whole line of exceptional products. Wheelchairs by Karman are well-built and reliable. The Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair ranks as among the best of the best.

Adjustability & Comfort

Versatility and adjustability are among our favorite aspects of the Karman 305’s design. Everything on this chair can be adjusted to taste, and many “extras” can be ordered if you want or need them.

An Image Sample of Side View of Black Variants of Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair

Here’s a quick overview of the Point of Sale Options:

  • You can specify the seat width, selecting from either 16” or 18,” whichever is a better fit for you.
  • You can order your chair with a seat height adjustment lever.
  • You can purchase anti-tipping struts if you feel you need them
  • A seat belt can be added at your request
  • Extra upholstery can be added at your request
  • A memory foam cushion can be included at your request
  • An ergonomic, contoured cushion can be added at your request
  • Reflecting spoke guards can be added at your request
  • The chair can be ordered with frog leg suspension if needed
  • You can order your chair with either magnesium wheels or Vulcan grip wheels

In addition, once you get your chair, you can adjust the height of the footrests and change the headrest’s angle, height, and length. As we said, everything you can imagine can be adjusted or changed. If you’re not impressed yet, keep reading, and you will be!

Regarding comfort, the S Ergo 305 Karman Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair continues to shine, mostly thanks to its ergonomic design. The “S” in S-305 is a reference to the chair’s patented S-shaped seating, which is not only more comfortable than conventional wheelchair seating but also provides added stability if you’re being transported over sloping terrain. You just fit more snugly against the seat, which means you’re far less likely to slip forward and ultimately out of the chair. Combined with the optional safety belt, that is an ironclad slippage solution.

An Image Sample of Side View of Red Variants of Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair

The padded armrests are also ergonomically designed and more comfortable than expected. In addition to being height adjustable, they flip up and out of the way if needed, making transferring into or out of the chair easier.

Even the hand rims on the wheels are ergonomically designed, making them easier to reach and use to propel yourself forward. Speaking of the wheels, the large rear wheels feature a quick-release design, so if you need to take them off when you’re transporting the chair, doing so is a simple, painless process.

As a final note on this topic, the footrests swing away, enabling the person sitting in the chair to pull up quite close to a dining table and enjoy dinner with the family, whether at home or a restaurant, without having to transfer out of the wheelchair and into a dining chair. This is a very nice touch.

On-Board Storage & Extras

With so many adjustable features, at first glance, you might be surprised to learn that the Karman S-305 doesn’t come with any extras, except for a storage pouch on the back of the seat, which is a fairly standard feature on many wheelchairs.

On closer look, you’ll realize that the extras aren’t part of the core design because you can order them at the point of sale.

You might be inclined to think that this is a gimmick designed to get you to spend more money, but the truth is, if all those extras come standard on the chair, they’d charge more for it. By doing it this way, you can choose the ones you want and only pay for those, skipping the ones that aren’t of value to you. We like that approach, even if it leaves us slightly light on things to say in this section.

Better Than Average Outdoor Handling

While this model isn’t an “all-terrain” wheelchair, its big rear wheels have sufficient tread to make the 305 capable of navigating a fairly broad range of uneven terrain types. Of course, it will have no difficulty navigating any indoor surface. While we can’t promise the most comfortable ride imaginable over a cobblestone street, the 305 will have no difficulty handling it and get you from Point A to Point B.

Pros & Cons of S Ergo 305 Karman Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair

As you can see, there’s much to like about the Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair. It’s comfortable and highly configurable, so you can tweak and adjust it until it fits perfectly. Even better, with so many extras and add-ons available at the point of sale, you can customize it to your heart’s content until the chair becomes perfect for your use.

An Image Sample of Karman Logo for Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair Review

Having said that, the chair does fall short of perfection, and there are a few small things we’d ask the designers to change if we could. In no particular order, these are:

  • While the braking and wheel locking systems are fine, and both can be easily accessed by the person sitting in the chair, wheelchairs were also designed so that a caregiver can push if needed. We’d love to see the addition of handbrakes that the caregiver could use on those occasions, making the chair even better at handling sloping terrain.
  • We wish they included a small, removable storage basket under the seat. That way, the person sitting in the chair could easily access it without getting up.
  • We’d love to see the option to order 12” rear wheels at the point of sale so that this chair could be converted to a transport chair if and as the need arose. Not many models do this, but given this one’s price, it would be a superb addition.

The only other thing left to talk about, then, is the price.

Even if you don’t order any of the point-of-sale “extras,” this is still one of the more expensive manual wheelchairs you can buy. If you add on all the bells and whistles, the total price will be predicted to be even higher.

While it’s true that this is a case of getting what you pay for, it’s also true that the hefty price tag puts this model out of the reach of a good market segment. That’s unfortunate but also unavoidable. Any time you place such a high emphasis on quality, the price is bound to rise, and that is precisely the case here.

We don’t regard any of these things as deal breakers (except for the price), but they are limitations to be aware of before making a final purchase decision.

S Ergo 305 Karman Wheelchair Reviews Conclusion

And there you have it! Even if you ultimately decide that the Karman S-305 Ergonomic Wheelchair isn’t right for you, we think you’ll agree it is a superb (and a superbly capable) model that sets the standard for the other chairs in the industry.

Quality and comfort matter if you suffer from a long-term mobility issue. In our view, it’s well worth spending a little extra on a chair that will last you years (if not decades) and enable you to get around in comfort and style. For people in this category, we recommend this model without reservation.

If your wheelchair needs are short-term, we recommend looking at another model. There’s not much point in spending this kind of money on a chair you don’t plan to use for very long anyway, so a less expensive model would probably meet your needs without severely denting your bank account the way this one will.

Recommended Reading

Foshan Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchair Review

Discover the Foshan Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchair, a sturdy, indoor comfort designed for anyone.


Official Manufacturer Support

References & Resources