In a Nutshell:
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.
Ease of Use
Do you consider yourself “fairly mobile” even with your mobility issues? Can you sometimes get around on a walker? Have you ever been using your walker, gotten tired, and wished you had a more versatile mobility device?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’ll love our in-depth look at the ProBasics Transport Rollator. Consider this to be the “Transformer” (like the movie) of transport chairs. A few quick and easy adjustments and it can be turned from a transport chair into a rollator (wheeled walker) and back again!
If you’re not sure whether you need something like this or not, we’ll cover everything this incredibly handy little device can do, and let you know about its various limitations (and it has them) so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Ready to take a closer look? Let’s get right to it!
An Overview of ProBasics Transport Rollator
We’ll say right off the bat that this mobility device isn’t for everyone. If you can’t make use of a walker (wheeled or otherwise), then you don’t need this. But if you are mobile enough that a walker is often your preferred choice, and you don’t want to have to buy a transport chair separately for when you need one, then this splendid product could be exactly what you’ve been looking for. The ProBasics Rollator pulls double duty as both an occasional-use transport chair and a wheeled walker.
ProBasics isn’t one of the best-known companies in the industry, but they do make excellent, well-designed products targeted at the value segment of the market. What this means from a practical perspective is that aside from the fact that it can serve in two different capacities, you won’t find a lot in the way of extras and creature comforts here.
Visually, it’s not much to look at. It’s by no means ugly, but it’s clear that the designers placed the bulk of their emphasis on form over function. We don’t have a problem with that, and besides, honestly, given the multi-function nature of the device, it would be difficult to make it stylish and attractive without also making it more complicated to reconfigure.
It’s reasonably well-made and sturdy, being crafted of lightweight aluminum and capable of supporting up to 250 pounds. Note that ProBasics Transport Rollator somewhat heavier than conventional walkers, weighing in at 22 pounds. That’s about middle-of-the-pack where transport chairs are concerned, but it is notably heavier than a standard walker, which is something to keep in mind if you plan on using it primarily as a walker.
Here are some of the device’s other relevant dimensions:
Features of ProBasics Transport Rollator
Obviously, the biggest “adjustability” feature to talk about where this device is concerned is the fact that it can serve either as a rollator or a transport chair. That alone makes it a wonder of versatility, and we’ll add that although it has some limitations and shortcomings when serving as a transport chair, it’s quite acceptable for occasional, short-duration sitting.
One of the things we like best about the design of the ProBasics Aluminum Transport Rollator is that it comes with fold-down footrests you can make use of when in its transport chair configuration.
A close second for us is the fact that the height of the handles is somewhat adjustable. Although we’d love to have seen a broader range here (you can only move them up or down a total of 4.25,” and while any adjustment capability is better than none at all, this does mean that the device will appeal to a somewhat narrower slice of the market.
Adjustability-wise, there’s nothing else to talk about here, but we don’t regard that as a negative. Quite to the contrary, given this model’s modest price, we’re impressed with the adjustability features on offer!
Let’s talk about comfort though, as this is a bit of a limitation for the model, and it may give you pause.
For starters, note that the width of the seat is relatively narrow (14.25”) and not especially deep either (just 13.25”), which means that you’ve got to be fairly trim to sit comfortably in it. Since neither of these can be customized at point of sale, it further limits the number of people who will be able to make good use of the transport chair function.
While the seat itself is padded, the padding isn’t very thick, and when in transport chair mode, it’s only got a bare minimum of back support. Where other, single-function transport chairs have a proper seat back, this one only has a padded roll-bar for back support.
That means two things. First, there’s no practical way to affix an aftermarket seat back cushion to this chair, so there’s nothing you can do to improve the back support or comfort on that front.
Because of that, you probably won’t want to bother with an aftermarket seat cushion, which leads us to our second observation: This transport chair is not designed for regular use as a transport chair. Its primary function is as a wheeled walker but can serve in the role of a transport chair for short periods if and as needed.
When using it as a rollator, comfort really doesn’t enter into the equation, so nothing to add on that front.
On-Board Storage & Extras
There are two major things to talk about here, and both are points in favor of the model.
First, there’s the fact that the ProBasics Transport Rollator has onboard storage, which takes the form of either a waterproof nylon compartment or a metal basket. Both are conveniently located under the seat when in transport chair mode, which we like very much because it means that the person sitting in the chair has easy access to the storage. You can specify your storage preference (nylon or metal basket) at the point of sale.
The second thing worth mentioning here, and something we definitely count as a nice extra is the fact that you can also use the device in a third function.
Just lock the brakes, and you’ve got an instant, mobile seat. If you’re using the rollator as a walker, and suddenly find your energy flagging, in a matter of seconds you can have a reasonably comfortable chair to sit in while you collect yourself and get your second wind.
The handbrakes are useful in both of the chair’s modes. It enables you to lock the wheels when you’ve got it in rollator mode, so the walker doesn’t slip away from you, and allowing an assistant to slow you down when headed down a slope. A nice touch that some more expensive models of transport chairs don’t offer, so we were quite pleased to see it here.
Normally, where transport chairs are concerned, we’d take off points if the chair didn’t include a travel bag for storage, but this model gets a pass on that front. Since it’s designed to be used primarily as a walker, and since none of the components have to be taken off for transport, the addition of a travel bag isn’t quite as much of a necessity in our view. Sure, we’d love to have seen one included, but we don’t consider that a deal breaker, by any means.
Only Useful on Smooth Surfaces
Another potential limitation of the chair is the fact that it’s got four equally sized, 8” wheels. These are excellent for indoor use, and you’ll find that they enable you to navigate smooth, level outdoor terrains too, but if you plan on using your mobility device outdoors much, this one is likely to leave you unimpressed.
Even cobblestones or a badly cracked sidewalk will make using this model a bit of a challenge, so if you’re buying primarily for outdoor use, look for a transport chair with larger rear wheels, as these are much more capable of handling a wider range of uneven terrains.
As we mentioned in the last section, the device does offer handbrakes, which are useful when in transport chair mode. It enables an assistant to more easily navigate sloping terrain (as long as it’s relatively smooth). Although, given the seat design and the absence of a safety belt, taking someone out for a walk over hilly terrain isn’t recommended. Even so, the brakes are a nice addition.
A Slight Learning Curve & Minimal Assembly Required
The single biggest thing to learn here is how to reconfigure the device so you can switch between its rollator and transport chair configurations. It’s not a complicated process, and you’ll be able to master it with just a few minutes of study. Once you have mastered it, it’ll take you under two minutes to switch from one configuration to the other.
Note that when you get the device, it does come mostly assembled, which is another plus. There are just a few nuts and bolts to tighten, but the process shouldn’t take more than ten minutes from unboxing to first use.
Pros & Cons of ProBasics Aluminum Transport Rollator
We like this model and regard it as an indispensable device – for the right user.
Far and away its biggest strength and selling point is the fact that it can serve as both a rollator and a transport chair in a pinch (and as an instant portable seat if you need one). We also love the under-seat storage and wish that more transport chairs offered this feature.
While both of those are undeniably good things, the fact remains that no matter how much we like this model, it is kind of a niche product. To make full use of it, you have to be:
In addition to that, while no transport chair on the market today can truly say it offers a blissful, comfortable seating experience, the thinly padded seat on this model, coupled with the lack of a proper seat back really does make this device useful only as an occasional use transport chair. Even then, it’s not something you’re going to want to sit in for more than an hour or two.
Conclusion for ProBasics Transport Rollator Review
We love the ProBasics Transport Rollator, but readily admit that it’s not for everyone. If the conditions above, in the Pros and Cons section, describe you as a user and how you plan on using the device, then you’ll find it an indispensable addition to your mobility arsenal.
If those conditions don’t apply to you, then take a pass on this one. Some other model is bound to be a better fit for you.
For the “right” user, this one comes highly recommended, especially given its modest price.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Compass Health Brands, Official Brand Website.
- ProBasics Transport Rollator User Manual.
- You Belong Outside – Health Benefits of the Great Outdoors, The National Benefit Authority.
- Benefits of Adaptive Seating Beyond the Wheelchair, Rifton.
- Width + Depth + Height, Mobility Management.