In a Nutshell:

The Medline Excel Extra Wide Bariatric Wheelchair is a rock-solid design offered by one of the finest companies in the industry, and capable of supporting an impressive 500 pounds of user weight. Recommended for big and tall users up to 500 pounds. This chair is mostly for indoor use but can handle relatively flat, even outdoor terrains.

Customization options
Ease of Use
Comfort
Performance

Overall Rating

4.1/5

Benefits

  • Sporty looking design
  • Good wheel locking system
  • Option for elevating leg rests
  • Has onboard storage
  • Carbon frame

Drawbacks

  • Rear wheels aren’t very wide
  • No handbrakes for assistant
  • Underwhelming padding
  • A bit heavy
Medline Excel Extra Wide Bariatric Wheelchair
4.1

Recommended For: Big and tall users up to 500 pounds. This chair is mostly for indoor use but can handle relatively flat, even outdoor terrains.

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Are you a bigger or taller person with a mobility issue? Have you been struggling to find a chair that’s big enough to be comfortable for you yet agile enough to be easy to use?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, then Medline’s Bariatric Wheelchair might be what you’ve been looking for!

This chair isn’t for everyone. One of the dangers of buying a chair that’s “too big” for you is that propelling it yourself becomes a punishing exercise that will leave your forearms aching and bruised in short order.

One of the keys to a comfortable ride is to ensure you get a chair that’s just big enough to fit comfortably into, with little room to spare. Get one too small, and you won’t be able to use it at all. Get one too big, and you’ll only be able to use it with help.

Medline is one of the major players in the mobility industry and the maker of a wide range of high-quality products, which you can read about in our Medline wheelchair reviews. This brute, constructed of solid steel, is no exception and a real workhorse of a chair for the right user.

The design is quite strong, but it’s not a perfect chair. In the sections that follow in our Medline Bariatric Wheelchair review, we’ll go over everything: the good, the bad, and the in-between, so you’ve got all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

Ready to take a closer look? Let’s jump right in!

Key Features of the Medline Bariatric Wheelchair

While no wheelchair ever made can claim to be truly stylish, you can tell the design team put some thought into this model’s aesthetic.  

Its chrome-coated carbon steel frame gives it a gleam that complements its padded Navy seating and sleek black mag wheels. It still won’t win any beauty contests, but as wheelchairs go, it’s a bit of a looker.

Chair Specifications

With regards to stats, here are the basics:

An Image Sample of Medline Bariatric Wheelchair Right Angle View
  • Seat Width:  Available in three options – 20”, 22”, and 24” (specify at point of sale)
  • Seat Height: 20”
  • Seat Depth: 18” (regardless of width selected)
  • Overall Dimensions (unfolded and ready for use): 32.5” x 31.5” x 36.5”
  • Overall Dimensions (folded and ready for transport): 32.5” x 15.75” x 36.5”
  • Chair Weight: 59 pounds
  • Maximum Weight Capacity: 500 pounds

The carbon frame is a mixed blessing here. On the one hand, most wheelchairs sold today are made from high-grade aluminum. The carbon steel upgrade allows this model to support such an impressive weight.

On the flip side, it’s also what makes this wheelchair heavier. At 59 pounds, it may be too heavy for you to load and unload into a vehicle without assistance, and it’s big enough that it will be a tight fit, even in big, roomy trunks. However, if you have an SUV, truck, or van, transporting it won’t present any difficulties.

Adjustability & Comfort

The Medline Bariatric Wheelchair is only somewhat above average in both categories.

An Image Sample of Medline Bariatric Wheelchair Easy Adjustability

Seat Width & Footrests

Regarding adjustability, aside from being able to specify your preferred seat width at the point of sale, the only thing you can adjust on this model is the length of the footrests

That does give you some flexibility, but there are other chairs on the market with much more to offer in terms of tweaks to provide the perfect fit.

Seat Padding

The padded vinyl seat cushion and seat back are adequate but underwhelming in terms of comfort. The Medline Excel Extra Wide Wheelchair’s default configuration is excellent for short—to medium-duration seating, but if you spend the bulk of each day in the chair, you’ll almost certainly want to buy an extra cushion for both the seat and the seat back.

Even then, given that the seat is not angled sitting for extended periods will be increasingly uncomfortable as the day wears on. With extra padding, you’ll probably be able to manage 6-7 hours at a stretch in reasonable comfort, which is decent but not outstanding.

On-Board Storage & Extras

The Medline Bariatric Transport Wheelchair boasts a moderately roomy storage pocket located at the back of the seat. Most companies put storage there if and where it’s offered, so we can’t fault the company for including it there. However, we’ll note that we vastly prefer chairs with storage located under the seat so the person sitting in the chair can easily access it.

That’s the only extra, but the company does offer some accessories that can be purchased at the point of sale, including a safety belt and elevating leg rests.

The leg rests that come on the default model swing away, which allows the person sitting in the chair to wheel right up to the family (or restaurant) dinner table and enjoy a meal without having to go through the process of being transferred out of the wheelchair and into a dining chair. 

An Image Sample of Medline Bariatric Wheelchair BackSide View

The optional leg rests do that, too, but they also elevate. This is not a feature that every user will want, but if you do, be sure to pick up the optional leg rest accessory.

We regard the safety belt as a must-have and would have preferred it if the company had made it standard, but again, if it’s something you don’t feel you’ll need, don’t bother with it. If you want it, don’t forget to add it when you place your order.

Splendid Indoors, Average Outdoors

Medline’s Excel Transport Wheelchair sports 22” rear wheels and 8” casters. On paper, it looks like it would handle outdoor terrains with ease, but two things work against it. 

An Image Sample of Medline Bariatric Wheelchair Full Side View

First, the rear wheels aren’t very wide and don’t have tread, which will cause it to sink into soft earth more often than it rides over it.

Second, since it’s a heavier chair, navigating over rough terrain can prove challenging, even without someone sitting in it.

If you don’t plan on spending much time outdoors, and when you do, if you mostly stick to flat, level terrain, you’ll be fine. Indoors, it handles like a dream, and even a plush, thick carpet won’t present too much of a challenge.

No Real Learning Curve and Almost No Assembly Required

Medline is very good about this aspect of all the chairs they make. The vast majority come almost entirely assembled. In this case, the only thing you have to do to get ready for your first ride is to pop the leg rests into position, a process that takes less than two minutes.

Since there’s not a lot to adjust on the Excel Extra Wide Manual Wheelchair, there’s no learning curve to speak of, apart from spending a minute or two getting used to the way she handles it. After that, you’re off to the races!

Pros & Cons of the Medline Bariatric Transport Wheelchair

This is a good model, but we don’t consider it great. In no particular order, here are the things we like best about the design:

  • It’s relatively sporty looking. While aesthetics don’t matter to many, they matter to some, and we were pleased with how good-looking the chair was.
  • Excellent, easy-access wheel locking system that the user can reach without difficulty while seated in the chair.
  • The option to include elevating leg rests is fantastic. Not many models offer it, and we’re always glad to see it.

Regarding negatives, in a perfect world, we’d love to see the following changes made to the model:

  • Wider rear wheels would make it more capable when it comes to handling outdoor terrains
  • Handbrakes for an assistant pushing the chair
  • Angled, or even better, ergonomic seating for added comfort and more stability when traversing downhill slopes
  • Make the safety belt a standard feature!

We don’t regard any negatives as deal breakers, but they are things to consider as you weigh your purchase options.

Final Thoughts on Medline Bariatric Wheelchair Review

There’s a lot to like about Medline’s Bariatric Wheelchair, and given its few negatives (mostly small things anyway), we think it would make an awesome chair for the right user.

If you are…

  • 6’ or taller
  • Weigh more than 250 pounds but less than 500 pounds
  • Planning to use the chair mostly indoors, and when you take it outdoors, plan to stick to mostly flat, level terrain

Then you are the right user.  

If those things don’t apply, you will likely find a better fit with another model. For the people who fit the description we gave just above, we highly recommend it.

Recommended Reading

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