For those who are considering purchasing a wheelchair the weight of that wheelchair should be a factor, especially for active people who plan on using that chair while traveling and who require a portable option. The best lightweight wheelchairs give you a portable, easy-to-fold, and self-propel option. Unlike some other types of wheelchairs, lightweight and ultralights are built using very lightweight materials that offer comfort for both the user and caregiver.
The top lightweight wheelchairs offer both excellent storage and transport capabilities but still offer a stable and comfortable ride inside and outdoors. Let’s take a look at what makes the best options in lightweight and ultralight wheelchairs.
- What is a lightweight wheelchair?
- Difference between a lightweight wheelchair and a transport chair?
- Who is the best fit for a lightweight or ultralightweight wheelchair?
- Top Lightweight Wheelchairs
- Top lightweight wheelchairs Comparison Chart
- 1. (Best Overall) Featherweight 13.5 lbs. Wheelchair
- 2. Quickie 2 Foldable Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair
- 3. Karman S-115 Ergonomic Wheelchair
- 4. TiLite Aero X Foldable Ultralight Wheelchair
- 5. Karman Flexx Lightweight Fully Adjustable Wheelchair
- Best lightweight wheelchair buying guide
- Wheelchair weight
- Folding your wheelchair for travel
- Weight Capacity of the wheelchair
- Customizable Options
- Maneuverability in a lightweight wheelchair
- What are Wheelchair Anti-Tippers?
- Questions and answers on lightweight wheelchairs
- Our final thoughts on the best lightweight wheelchairs
What is a lightweight wheelchair?
While a lightweight wheelchair looks just like a standard wheelchair in most regards. The weight is what sets them apart.
Standard manual wheelchairs typically will weigh over 36 pounds and for the most part, are considered to be a standard type of wheelchair. Lightweight wheelchairs typically weigh in at 34 pounds to 36 pounds.
Ultralight wheelchairs are considered by most to weigh under 30 pounds.
|Standard Wheelchair||Lightweight Wheelchair||Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchair|
|Typical Wheelchair Weight:||Over 36 pounds||34 – 36 pounds||Under 30 Pounds|
|Best For:||Someone that does not spend a lot of time in a wheelchair. Does not need to transport the chair constantly||More active person. Someone that wants to travel more than the standard wheelchair user.||Excellent choice for the most active person. Someone who travels the most and needs the lightest, easiest way to transport a wheelchair.|
Difference between a lightweight wheelchair and a transport chair?
Even though there are lightweight transport wheelchairs they are different than your typical lightweight manual or ultralight wheelchair. The main difference is that transport wheelchairs are used for transporting a patient from a bed to the shower or vehicle and cannot be self-propelled. These types of wheelchairs are lightweight but lack the ability for the user to manual properly themselves.
They are also not as comfortable as a manual lightweight wheelchair and typically are not as stable, especially when it comes to outdoor use or over anything but smooth surfaces. This brings us to our other difference. Wheels. Transport wheelchairs usually have smaller wheels on both the back and front making it not as smooth a ride. This is because transport wheelchairs are usually used for very short distances to move a patient.
Who is the best fit for a lightweight or ultralightweight wheelchair?
While a lightweight or ultralightweight wheelchair can be suitable for just about anyone they are used by a lot of people who are active in a wheelchair, spend a lot of time in the chair, and who travel and need an easy way to fold and carry the wheelchair on trips, vacations, and other places more often than not.
Benefits of a lightweight wheelchair:
Having a lightweight wheelchair has many benefits. They can be:
- The ability to lift the chair by yourself
- Easy storage and folding
- Easy to travel with
- Easy to propel manually
- Easy for the caregiver to push
Top Lightweight Wheelchairs
|Our Rank||Lightweight Wheelchair||Our Score|
|1.||Featherweight 13.5 Lbs. Wheelchair||4.8/5|
|2.||Quickie 2 Foldable Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair||4.6/5|
|3.||Karman S-115 Ergonomic Wheelchair||4.5/5|
|4.||TiLite Aero X Foldable Ultralight Wheelchair||4.6/6|
|5.||Karman Flexx Lightweight Fully Adjustable Wheelchair||4.5/5|
Top lightweight wheelchairs Comparison Chart
|Key Specs||Featherweight 13.5 lbs. Wheelchair||Quickie 2 Foldable Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair||Karman S-115 Ergonomic Wheelchair||TiLite Aero X Foldable Ultralight Wheelchair||Karman Flexx Lightweight Fully Adjustable Wheelchair|
|Weight Capacity:||250 lbs.||300 lbs.||250 lbs.||265 – 350 lbs.||286 lbs.|
|Product Weight:||13.5 lbs.||25.4 lbs.||25 lbs.||18.4 lbs.||28.5 lbs.|
|Seat Width:||68″||12″ – 22″||16″ – 20″||12″ – 22″||16″ – 20″|
|Seat Depth:||16″||12″ – 20″”||17″||12″ – 20″||16″ – 18″|
|Overall Width||27.5″||20″ – 29″||23″ – 27″||20″ – 30″||23″ – 27″|
1. (Best Overall) Featherweight 13.5 lbs. Wheelchair
The Featherweight chair is the latest and greatest in wheelchair design. This chair has been designed with new materials, making it a lightweight and easy to transport option. The Featherweight can be easily lifted into your car, truck, or SUV by almost anyone. It’s super easy to push around when you’re out too, which makes it perfect for those who are on the go.
This chair also folds down into a compact package for easy storage when you are not using it. Transporting the Feather Chair could not be easier. There’s no need for any extra tools – fold down the backrest and pull up on the middle of the seat. Quick-release wheels make it easy for a caregiver to remove wheels if needed. Once you arrive at your destination, unfolding and attaching the wheels takes less than a minute.
The Featherweight features wheel locks that are easily accessible by the user to prevent the wheelchair from rolling forward or backward. The Featherweight has an easy-to-operate braking system for caregivers. It is controlled by a bike-style brake lever and can be operated from the push handles. These hand brakes make it easier and more straightforward for a caregiver to manage when stoping is required quickly.
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs.
- Product weight: 13.5 lbs.
- Folded Width: 14″
- Turning Radius: 31.5″
- Back Height: 16″
- Footrests: Swingaway
Score: (4.8 / 5)
- Lightest Wheelchair in the world
- Almost anyone can lift it
- Easy travel wheelchair
- Excellent design
- Easy for caregivers to push this lightweight chair
- Only supports up to 250 pounds
- Some reviews state it could use a wider chair
The Quickie 2 manual wheelchair series is a lightweight folding wheelchair that offers modern aesthetics and technology. It’s not just versatile – it’s light, too! This chair is made out of 7000 Series Aerospace Aluminum, which makes the redesigned cross-brace more rigid, stronger, and lighter. The Quickie 2 also has an increased weight capacity of 300 pounds while the overall chair weight is reduced by up to 2.2 pounds.
Folding wheelchairs are becoming increasingly popular with people who need to transport them. This is because they not only allow you to fold the chair into a compact size but also will allow you to store it in your trunk or under your seat when on public transportation. The Quickie 2 wheelchair offers versatile and modular design features that make it one of the best folding wheelchairs available today.
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
- Product weight: 25.4 lbs.
- Folded Width: 13″
- Back Height: 9″ -21″
- Footrests: Swingaway, Elevating
Score: (4.6 / 5)
- Good weight capacity
- Aluminum frame
- one-time free parts allow you to modify the size of the chair within five years of ownership
- Options can add up quick
- Push handles may be too low making it uncomfortable to push
The Karman S-115 Ergo Wheelchair features a contoured seat that is research-backed for comfort and stability. The chair’s design and engineering help relieve pressure, increase stabilization, weight distribution, and lower the risk of pressure sores or scoliosis. This is especially important for individuals who are in a wheelchair for extended periods of time.
Another great feature about this chair is it is equipped with AEGIS anti-biotic technology. And stain, deterioration, and odor control.
Please note that the 16″ and 18″ seat widths are best suited for someone who is 160 pounds or less, while the 20″ wide seat is best suited for those over 160 pounds.
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs.
- Product weight: 25 lbs.
- Folded Width: 12″
- Back Height: 17″
- Footrest: Swingaway, Elevating
Score: (4.5 / 5)
- Washable upholstery
- Comfortable arm pads
- Lightweight and easy to travel with
- Folding backrest
- AEGIS anti-biotic technology upholstery
- Some reviews state the seat as not as comfortable as they would like
The TiLite Aero X folding chair is not your average folding chair. The one-piece side frames are made from durable aluminum and increase performance by reducing flex and increasing durability.
This new Aero X features an Easy-Fold design that makes it easier to transport your chair, reduces stress on the frame, and provides infinite adjustability for different users or occasions.
TiLite’s one-piece side frames give the chair an amazingly narrow fold. Which allows you to take it anywhere with no trouble at all! The Aero X’s cross tubes lock into place with snap-in seat saddles that allow the folding chair to accomplish rigid chair performance.
- Weight capacity: 265 – 350 lbs.
- Product weight: 18.4 lbs.
- Folded Width: 12″
- Back Height: 11″ – 20″
- Footrest: Swingaway, Elevating
Score: (4.6 / 5)
- Very lightweight
- Holds a high weight capacity for the weight of the chair
- Easy-folding mechanism
- Fru-fit system
- Options can add up quick
- Taller caregivers may find they have to bend down to push this chair making it uncomfortable
Karman is now introducing the Flexx. A wheelchair that allows for much more customization than regular wheelchairs. Custom-made prescription wheelchairs are usually the only option for people that need to adjust their chairs. The Karma Flex is a great alternative as the ultimate adjustable off-the-shelf wheelchair.
It can be adjusted in many different ways, including backrest angle, axle plate height, armrest height, and seat depth. Plus, you don’t have to worry about waiting weeks or months for a custom-ordered chair.
The Flexx comes standard with swing away and removable legrests. And because it’s easy to fold and transport, you avoid many problems going on vacation or taking public transportation while using your Flexx.
The best feature of a Flex wheelchair is how easy it is to use and adjust. With the Karman Flexx, adjustments are made by using two Allen key tools and one wrench. A tool kit comes with each order of this chair. This chair is easy to customize and adjust, for the perfect fit in no time at all. The Flexx, Karman’s newest ultra-lightweight folding wheelchair, is perfect for those on the go.
- Weight capacity: 286 lbs.
- Product weight: 28.5 lbs.
- Folded Width: 15″
- Back Height: 17″
- Footrest: Swingaway
Score: (4.6 / 5)
- Well built
- Adjustable backrest height
- Comfortable armrest
- The footrest can not be adjusted
- Little heavier than some other models
Best lightweight wheelchair buying guide
The below guide will explain some of the most important things to look at when purchasing a lightweight manual wheelchair.
As we explained above you can purchase all types of wheelchairs. From heavy-duty to ultralightweight chairs. The chair weight is what has brought you to this page. Looking for the best lightweight wheelchairs that will combine lightweight under 35 pounds with the ability to hold at least 250 pounds or more in a manual lightweight or ultralight chair.
These weights allow for easy travel because they have the ability to fold, anyone, for the most part, can pick them up, and they are easy to push for the caregiver or manual propel for the person sitting in the chair.
Folding your wheelchair for travel
Most of us who want a lightweight wheelchair also want the ability to travel with it. Because of this the top ultralight and lightweight wheelchairs should fold easily.
In some cases, there is just one button that will fold the wheelchair in half. Some models even allow for the wheelchair wheels to be taken off with a push of the button.
Look for wheelchairs that offer quick and easy folding, especially if travel and bringing your wheelchair on vacation are at the top of the list for you.
Weight Capacity of the wheelchair
Even though you are looking at a very light wheelchair because of technology you do not have to sacrifice that much difference in weight capacity. This is because the materials used are lighter and stronger than ever before.
You can expect to see weight capacities from 250 pounds to up to 350 pounds on these types of ultralight and lightweight wheelchairs. That is incredible.
It is important to note that if you are pushing the limit of the wheelchair we recommend finding a chair that can hold more weight. It can be dangerous to be at the maximum weight limit of a mobility device.
You will have a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your new wheelchair. You can expect to be able for the most part to customize:
- Seat size
- Front set to floor heights
- Rear set to floor height
- Front casters
- Rear wheels
- Center of gravity
- Backrest angles
- Wheelchair accessories like bags, drink holders, and more
- Oxegen holders
- And more…
Maneuverability in a lightweight wheelchair
A great advantage to a lightweight and ultralight wheelchair is the ability to easily propel the wheelchair yourself or for a caregiver to push the chair when needed. Because these chairs are lighter they move easier.
Another great advantage to some of these chairs is they are not incredibly wide and in fact, some are considered to be narrow chairs that can easily get around in tight and narrow places.
What are Wheelchair Anti-Tippers?
Anti-tippers for a wheelchair are used to prevent the wheelchair from tipping over backward. This is a danger for those who are really active and push the limits of a chair. These attachments typically have a fitting that is universal and can be put onto most manual wheelchairs where the wheelchair user prefers to have them.
Questions and answers on lightweight wheelchairs
What is the lightest wheelchair on the market? The lightest manual wheelchair on the market currently is the Featherweight 13.5 lb wheelchair. This chair without the wheels on weighs only 13.5 pounds. It’s an ultralight wheelchair and ranks as our top choice among ultralight wheelchairs.
What does a lightweight wheelchair weigh? Lightweight wheelchairs can have a weight from 29 to 34 pounds. Ultralights can weigh as little as 13.5 pounds. These wheelchairs achieve these weights because of materials like aluminum and a mix of steel components.
Are lightweight wheelchairs safe? Yes. These wheelchairs provide excellent support, filing convenience, proper support, and comfort just like a standard wheelchair. These chairs also have multiple safety features and can come with anti-tippers and more.
Are lightweight wheelchairs good to travel with? Yes! Lightweight wheelchairs can fold smaller, are easier to lift, and provide support and comfort for users when they travel. They are excellent for automobiles, airplanes, and trains.
Will all lightweight wheelchairs fold?
Yes. all wheelchairs will fold. Almost all wheelchairs fold buy you pulling up no the center of the seat and then pressing down on the armrest. Sport chairs or rigid chairs take a slightly different approach. They will fold down by the back of the seat and the tires pop off.
Our final thoughts on the best lightweight wheelchairs
Those looking for a great lightweight or ultralight wheelchair should have no issues in today’s wheelchair market. There are some excellent chooses by a few top manufactures that allow you to get a wheelchair that is under 20 pounds, extremely strong, easy to propel, and comfortable to sit in.
The list we provided in our opinion are some of the top ultralight and lightweight wheelchairs on the market today and should provide excellent results when used.
Our top choice for the best lightweight or ultralight wheelchair is the Featherweight 13.5 wheelchair. This wheelchair is ultralight and strong, can be folded quickly and taken with you, and comes in at a great price. This ultralight wheelchair will surely make propelling the wheelchair easier and more enjoyable for most.