Children with special needs can greatly benefit from having the right special needs stroller. Mobility issues can greatly reduce a child and caregiver from getting them out in the world. Because of this, a child’s quality of life can significantly be impacted. Special need strollers are designed to be very maneuverable, portable, lightweight, and durable for a safer and greater experience both indoors and out.
This in-depth guide and review will explore some of the top special needs strollers and what to look for in your next purchase. We explain the differences in models, accessories, and overall value of special needs strollers. Let’s go.
- What is a special needs stroller?
- Special needs stroller over a wheelchair
- What types of adaptive strollers are there?
- The 5 best special needs strollers
- Special Needs Stroller Comparison Chart
- Best Special Needs Strollers
- 1. Axiom 2 Improv Push Chair
- 2. Special Tomato Jogging Stroller
- 3. Axiom 3 Improv Push Chair
- 4. Axiom Lassen 4 Push Chair
- 5. Kid Kart Mighty Lite Stroller
- Other Adaptive Strollers that we reviewed
- Special Tomato EIO Special Needs Pushchair
- Zippie Voyage Stroller
- Special Needs Stroller buying Guide
- Design Style
- Weight limit
- Push handles are important in Strollers
- Wheel size matters
- The ability to grow into the stroller
- Measurement you need
- Traveling with the stroller
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final thoughts on special needs strollers
What is a special needs stroller?
Special needs strollers are a lightweight stripped-down version of a wheelchair. These strollers can easily transport children and adults and are very lightweight, extremely easy to transport, and are simple to fold up and become very compact.
These types of strollers come in both 3 and 4 wheel models and can support weights up to 200 plus pounds making them much easier to transport over a wheelchair.
Special needs strollers are designed to give more postural support keeping the users aligned in the proper position. They can also be built with extra safety features and be customized more towards the person’s needs.
Special needs stroller over a wheelchair
Unlike a standard manual wheelchair or transport chairs, a special needs stroller is lighter and easy to push. They also are a little easier to travel with than even some of the ultra-light wheelchairs.
Special need stroller excel is the ability to travel and the ease to push them over a lot of today wheelchairs, especially for children. Even some pediatric wheelchairs are specifically designed for children.
What types of adaptive strollers are there?
3-wheeled Adaptive Strollers
You will find 2 types of adaptive strollers. 3 wheeled and 4 wheeled strollers. 3-wheeled strollers are most used for children with moderate disabilities and are designed more for the caregiver who is active. 3-wheeled strollers are much more agile and can move much easier than the 4-wheel models in terms of maneuverability.
4 Wheeled Adaptive Strollers
4-wheeled models are more stable and can help those with more disabilities that require medical equipment that would need to be brought along when using the stroller. While those strollers provide better stability they do not maneuver as well as three-wheel models and are not as good for active loved ones or caregivers.
The 5 best special needs strollers
|Our Rank||Special Needs Stroller||Our Score|
|1.||Axiom 2 Improv Push Chair||4.8/5|
|2.||Special Tomato Jogger Stroller||4.7/5|
|3.||Axiom 3 Improv Push Chair||4.7/5|
|4.||Axiom Lassen 4 Push Chair||4.6/5|
|5.||Kid Kart Mighty Lite Stroller||4.6/5|
Special Needs Stroller Comparison Chart
|Key Specifications||Axiom 2 Improv Push Chair||Special Tomato Jogger Stroller||Axiom 3 Improv Push Chair||Axiom Lassen 4 Push Chair||Kid Kart Mighty Lite Stroller|
|Weight capacity:||100 lbs.||110 lbs.||200 lbs.||250 lbs.||150 lbs.|
|Product weight:||30 lbs.||27 lbs.||35 lbs.||38 lbs.||29 lbs.|
|Seat width:||15″||14″||18″||21″||11.75″ to 17.5″|
|Seat depth:||12″||12″||15″||18″||11.5″ to 17″|
|Wheel size:||16″ mag wheels||12″||N/A||16″ rear, 8″ front||10″ rear, 8″ caster (front)|
|Reclining angle:||30°||100° – 140°||18°||30°||45°|
|The number of wheels:||3||3||3||4||4|
Best Special Needs Strollers
Axiom 2 Improv Push Chair
Our top choice in 3 wheel special-need strollers is the Axiom 2 Improv Push Chair for a bevy of reasons. This pushchair is great for both indoor and outdoor use and is great for all-terrain like gravel, grass, and even sand.
With a weight limit of 100 pounds and a chair weight of 30 pounds, this chair can easily be brought wherever you need to go.
This pushchair also has an optional front swivel wheel that allows for excellent turning and maneuverability for those that love being outdoor. With a great harness system aid and canopy shield for the sun, this chair will make the user and caregiver feel at ease in most conditions.
There are also a lot of stroller accessories that can be chosen with this model From hip abductor, harness extensions, bug canopy, rain canopy, swivel wheel axis kits, travel bags, and more that make this an excellent special needs stroller.
Pricing is also very competitive in this class stroller making it our top choice.
- Weight capacity: 100 lbs.
- Product weight: 30 lbs.
- Seat width: 15″
- Seat depth: 12″
- Back height: 28″
- Handle height: 32″ -20″
- Seat recline: 18 degrees
- Wheel size: 16″
Score: (4.8 / 5)
- Excellent for outdoors
- Great for indoors
- Easy to travel with
- Optional front swivel kit
- Customization can add up quickly in price
Special Tomato Jogging Stroller
Looking for a strong but lightweight stroller that is perfect for jogging while keeping your loved one safe and secure? If so, take a look at the Special Tomato Jogger Stroller. Built from a lightweight yet strong aluminum frame this Jogger has 12″ pneumatic tires that make rolling over even rugged terrain easier.
The front disc brakes make stopping simple while the 5-point harness keeps your child safe.
Both are lightweight at 27 pounds and with a nice weight capacity of 110 lbs, you can get a lot of use out of this special needs jogging stroller.
- Weight capacity: 110 lbs.
- Product weight: 27 lbs.
- Seat width: 14″
- Seat depth: 12″
- Back height: 25″
- Handle height: 35″ – 43″ (Adjustable)
- Seat recline: 100° – 140°
- Wheel size: 12″
Score: (4.7 / 5)
- Great for active lifestyle
- 5-point harness
- Front disc brakes
- No cup holders
- Could be a little large when folded compared to some models
Axiom 3 Improv Push Chair
The Axiom 3 Improv Push Chair has been redesigned with even better features. For one Axiom has a lower product weight at only 35 pounds it’s light enough for almost anyone to lift the chair into a car or truck to take with you.
The Pushchair also closes smaller allowing for easier storage when not in use. It also has an excellent weight capacity at 200 pounds and like other Axiom, models can easily be pushed on flat and off-road surfaces with ease.
This model comes with a fixed front wheel and a great harness system to keep your loved one secure while in the stroller.
- Weight capacity: 200 lbs.
- Product weight: 35 lbs.
- Seat width: 18″
- Seat depth: 15″
- Back height: 31″
- Handle height: 37″ – 45″
- Seat recline: 18 degrees
- Wheel size: 16″
Score: (4.7 / 5)
- Quick release 16″ wheels
- Compact single fold
- Goes through almost any type of surface
- Great weight limit
- Height adjustable handle
- Spring loaded rear foot brake
- Little heavier than some other models
Axiom Lassen 4 Push Chair
Coming in number 4 is the Axiom Lassen 4-push chair because of the stability, options, and excellent weight capacity that can support up to 250 pounds.
This 4-wheel pushchair has a great weight capacity that allows the users to easily travel both indoors and out with ease. We love the large rear wheels and front swivel 2 wheels up front that make turning in tight situations much easier.
Available in 3 different sizes and 2 colors this chair is an excellent device that can get your loved one around in comfort and style. The height-adjustable handle makes pushing much easier for the caregiver once they find the optimal height for pushing.
The rear footbrake makes stoping the stroller a breeze as well. This is a great 4-wheel special needs stroller that most caregivers will find extremely useful.
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs.
- Product weight: 38 lbs.
- Seat width: 21″
- Seat depth: 18″
- Seat back height: 33″
- Lower leg lenght: 18″
- Rear wheels: 16″
- Front wheels: 8″
Score: (4.8 / 5)
- Large rear wheels
- Front swivel wheels
- Rear footbrake
- Handles are height adjustable
- Single fold
- 5-point harness
- Seat storage behind seat
- Sun canopy
- Expensive, but still comes with a lot of features
Kid Kart Mighty Lite Stroller
For those how are looking for a pushchair that can handle more complete posting but still have a device that can fold into a smaller size for transporting or storing when not in use, you need to take a look at the Kid Kart Mighty Lite Stroller. This chair has a transit tie-down option for those who need to stay in charge when being transported.
With removable fabric and a 15 percent fixed-tilt seat angle, this chair will provide comfort, easy cleaning options, and plenty of mobility in tight spaces because of the swivel front wheels.
Seat options come in a wide range of options from 15 degrees to 22 degrees and also have a seat-to-back angle that can be chosen from 85 degrees, 90 degrees, and 95 degrees.
There are other options like trunk positioning, pelvic positioning, wheels, and head support that can customize the stroller more to the user’s needs.
Those looking for a lightweight transport chair that can be taken with you wherever you go should check out this special needs chair.
- Weight capacity: 150 lbs.
- Product weight: 29 lbs.
- Seat width: 11.75″ to 17.5″
- Seat depth: 11.5″ to 17″
- Wheels: 10″
- Casters: 8″
Score: (4.6 / 5)
- Compact folding
- Adjustable trunk support
- Swivel front wheels
- Removable fabric
- Not many complaints on this chair
Other Adaptive Strollers that we reviewed
While we did not put these in our top 5 list they are still excellent choices when it comes to Special needs strollers.
This chair is a great model 4-wheel style pushchair that includes a 5-point comfort wrap harness and padded headrest.
This chair comes highly rated and recommended for anyone from infancy all the way up through elementary age. It also has a great weight capacity of up to 90 pounds. But only has a product weight of 22 pounds making it really easy to travel with.
This pushchair comes with head-to-toe padding making it exceptionally comfortable for texted periods in the chair. Made from a durable aluminum frame keeps the Chair light but strong and it can be used over a multitude of surfaces.
Pricing is nice also with this model as well compared to other special needs strollers.
- Adjustable backrest angles
- Padded head rest
- 5-point comfort wrap harness with chest strap
- Swivel-front wheels
- Not many negatives with this model
Zippie Voyage Stroller
This Stroller option uses a really fast folding technology that has been patented and folds into a really compact size in one simple step making it really convenient for travel and storage. This troller uses swivel front wheels making it maneuver really well both indoors and out.
This stroller uses puncture-resistant rear wheels making it convenient and safe to travel over a lot of different terrains. Some other features that you will love are the telescoping stroller handles, storage basket, and quick-access wheel locks.
Some other great features of this stroller are adjustable seating shell, front caster suspension, forward and rear-facing seating capability, airless wheels, and more.
- Quick release front and rear wheels
- Transit approved
- Foot-operated wheel locks
- Airless wheels
- Customization can really make the price go up
Special Needs Stroller buying Guide
Below outlines some of the important aspects to look for when making a purchase on a special needs stroller.
One of the first deciding factors when making a purchase of a special needs stroller for your child is knowing what design will best suit your needs. Keep in mind the most common designs you will be looking at will be jogging strollers, umbrella strollers, and wheelchair-style strollers.
For those that live an active lifestyle and like to jog or go for a long walk outdoors then a jogger-style stroller will be best for you. Know what your lifestyle is and work around the best choice in design for you and your child.
The weight limit of a special needs stroller will range from 75 pounds up to 250 pounds on most strollers. Just like any mobility aid matching the appropriate sizing will make for a safer and more comfortable experience when using the stroller. However, if you have a little one with a lot of growing left you may want to look for a stroller that you can grow into by having adjustable seat widths.
Push handles are important in Strollers
A push stroller will either have two handles to push or a single push bar. typically single push bars are much easier to push for the caregiver and some come with the ability to change positions making pushing much easier when you find the right push bar height.
Wheel size matters
Wheels can be looked at like this. The smaller the wheels the less likely they will be able to travel over rougher terrains like grass, gravel, and some harder sands. Larger wheels can navigate these types of terrain much easier and are preferred for outdoor aids. Smaller wheels can make it easier to maneuver indoors and having rating front casters can really make turning tight and easier.
The ability to grow into the stroller
There is no sought about it special needs strollers are expensive but they are also a vital piece of mobility equipment that is needed in order to transport a child safely and comfortably from one place to the next.
For those with children that still have to grow to do finding a special needs stroller that can adjust as he or she grows is easier on your wallet and it’s more convenient having to find a stroller forever growth spurt that happens.
Measurement you need
There are a few key measurements you need to look at and that should be taken. They are as follows:
- Hip width: This is across the lap where the body will be bent at an angle.
- Shoulder width: Across the chest or from shoulder to shoulder
- Seat to top of head: Measure along the spine. From the bottom of the user’s bottom to the top of the head.
- From shoulder to bottom of seat: From the top of shoulders to bottom of the seat.
- End of seat to inside of the knee: Take his measurement from the outside of the thigh where the back and bottom meet to inside where the user’s knee is bent.
- Back of heel to the back of knee: along the back of the calf to where the person’s knee is bent to the bottom of the user’s foot.
Traveling with the stroller
The good thing about special needs strollers is they are for the most part lighter than other mobility aids like electric wheelchairs, and even a lot of manual wheelchairs. Because of this, they are relatively easy to travel with. Most of these strollers will have a weight under 35 pounds and can fold up quickly and be smaller than other mobility aids. Because of this, they are a top choice for travel and transport.
There are some important accessories that you can add to a stroller. For example, a top accessory would be a canopy that will help the person in the stroller stay protected from direct sun. Some accessories to think about would be:
- Seat liners
- Safety harness extensions
- Positioning cushions
So, how much can you expect to pay for a top-of-the-line special needs stroller? This depends on the model and how you customize it with accessories. You can expect to pay anywhere from 750 upwards to over 4,000 plus with customization and accessories. While these prices may seem like a lot and they are they provide the necessary means to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while gaining mobility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover a special needs stroller? It’s is possible that insurance will cover the stroller if a doctor prescribes the stroller and puts it into the same durable medical equipment category as other mobility aids like walkers and wheelchairs then there is a good chance it will be covered.
Are gait walkers the same as special needs strollers? No, Gait walkers are d different types of mobility aids and are different than special needs strollers. You can read more about Gait walkers and what to look for when making a purchase.
What if the users cannot sit up on their own, what can I do? If the user of the stroller cannot sit up on their own they may need to utilize a shoulder harness or lateral support may be needed in order to provide better trunk support.
Can adults use a stroller? Yes. They have special needs strollers that have weight capacities that go up to 250 pounds that could accommodate an adult.
Are special needs strollers different than a regular stroller? They are different. For starters, a regular or conventional stroller is typically for kids 5 years and younger with a weight of no more than 70 pounds. Special needs strollers are used for people that weigh from 75 to 250 pounds. They are also feature-rich for physical conditions for those with mobility issues.
At what age should a child stop using a stroller? When it comes to a child with special needs there is no right answer to this question. These devices are in place to help maintain support and comfort for those children that cannot walk on their own for longer periods of time. There are options for your child regardless of age or how small or large they are.
Is a 5 point harness necessary? A 5 point harnesses are important. For those that plan on jogging or doing other outdoor activities, a sturdy harness is a necessity in our opinion. If you plan on keeping your child in a stroller for extended periods of time or heating on off-road jogs or adventures we would recommend at least a 5 point harness.
Final thoughts on special needs strollers
Our list of the best special needs strollers offers a wide range of benefits and needs for your child and their specific needs. These strollers are all leading industry devices that should last a long time bringing peace of mind to you as a caregiver. These devices can really help with a more comfortable and safe user experience that will get you and your child mobile again.
Overall, we recommend the Axiom 2 Improv Push Chair This chair is lightweight, can travel on a lot of different grounds and is easy to fold. IT can support up to a 100-pound child and works excellent for an active lifestyle.
We hope this guide has shed light on what to look for and what type of special needs strollers are needed for your child stations that will best fit your needs.