Best Heavy-Duty Manual Wheelchairs in 2021

Heavy-duty or biometric wheelchairs are designed with strength in mind.  These types of wheelchairs are able to support larger weight capacities and often have wider seats and components.  The best heavy-duty manual wheelchairs allow users that need extra support to easily and comfortably get around. 

What are the best heavy-duty wheelchairs?   The best heavy-duty manual wheelchairs provide excellent support for extra weight.  Have a wide enough seat that is comfortable, swing-out leg rests so users can easily get in and out of the wheelchair without the extra risk of falling. 

Heavy-duty wheelchairs offer a lot to their users.  Some come with solid carbon steel frames that help to prevent rising and chipping and offer plants of padding on the armrests, back, and buttock areas

Unlike a standard manual chair, these heavy-duty manual wheelchairs offer additional padded leg rests and removable footrests at the bottom.  With the ability to have a 500-pound weight capacity for some models these wheelchairs can support most people. 

What is a heavy-duty (Bariatric) manual wheelchair?

A heavy-duty or bariatric manual wheelchair is simply a wheelchair that is meant to support heavier weights than a normal wheelchair.  These wheelchairs are built using stronger components, cross braces, wider seats, and are generally heavier than a typically manual wheelchair. 

The benefit is these types of wheelchairs are strong enough to safely handle higher weights while making the person using them feel more comfortable because of the padded armrests and wider seats.

The drawbacks are these wheelchairs are typically heavier and larger making storage and transport not as easy as a lightweight manual transport chair

Who should you use a heavy-duty wheelchair?

Anyone who requires a wheelchair that needs to support the extra weight above what safely a standard wheelchair can offer should think about using a heavy-duty wheelchair.  Simply put you should always error on the side of caution when it comes to what safely a wheelchair can handle.  

This will make you safer while using the chair and it will make you feel more comfortable.  Choosing the best heavy-duty manual wheelchair is not difficult when you know what to look for.

Our list of the best Heavy-Duty Manual Wheelchairs

Our RankHeavy-Duty Manual WheelchairOur Score
1.Excel Extra Wide Manual Wheelchair4.7/5
2.Heavy-Duty 15 Pound Extra Wide Featherweight Wheelchair4.7/5
3.Everest & Jennings Traveler Wheelchair4.5/5
4.Invacare TraceHeavy-Duty Extra Wide Featherweight Wheelchair I Wheelchair4.6/5
5.Sentra EC Heavy Duty Dual Axle Wheelchair4.7/5

Top 5 Best Heavy-Duty Manual Wheelchairs Comparison Table

Key SpecsExcel Extra Wide Manual WheelchairEverest & Jennings Traveler HD WheelchairEverest & Jennings Traveler WheelchairInvacare Tracer I WheelchairSentra EC Heavy Duty Dual Axle Wheelchair
Weight Capacity:500 lbs.350 lbs.500 lbs. 350 – 450 lbs.450 lbs.
Product weight:60 – 80 lbs.22 lbs. (With Wheels)57 lbs.42 lbs.56-58 lbs.
Seat Width:20″ – 24″22″18″ – 24″20″ -24″20″ -24″
Seat-to-floor Height:20″19″17.5″ – 19.5″17.5″ – 19.5″17.5″ – 19.5″
Seat Depth:18″16″18″ – 20″18″18″

1. Excel Extra Wide Manual Wheelchair

The Excel Xtra Wide Manual wheelchair ranks at the top of the list in our review.

The Excel extra wide manual wheelchair is our top choice for the best heavy-duty manual wheelchairs.  This model has a 500-pound capacity and has a heavy-duty welded fork that reduces wobbling.  The extra-strength aluminum footplates give extra support when needed. 

The seats are available in 20″ 22″ and 24″ seat widths.

The product weight for this particular model will run from 60 lbs, 88 lbs depending on the configuration.   This model has a desk-lenght removable armrest for extra comfort and can be removed when needed. 

This wheelchair is easy to push and well made for years of use.  

Best Heavy Duty Wheelchairs

Key Specifications

  • Weight capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Wheelchair weight: 60., 88 lbs
  • Seat width: 20″ -24″
  • Seat-to-floor height; 20″
  • Seat depth: 18″

Score: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • 500-pound weight capacity
  • Removable armrest
  • Carbon steel frame
  • Die-cast aluminum footplates
  • Heavy-duty forks

Cons

  • Heavy for some to transport

2. Heavy-Duty 15 Pound Extra Wide Featherweight Wheelchair

This is considered to be the lightest heavy-duty wheelchair you can purchase.  It only weighs 22 pounds and 15 pounds with the wheels off.  But can still hold an incredible 350-pound weight capacity. 

This model has a 22″ seat width and padding handles that make this a very comfortable wheelchair. 

What we love:

This wheelchair has swing-away footrests making getting in and out of the chair easier.  It has 24″ rear tires and a 1″ thick seat cushion this really is one of the best heavy-duty wheelchairs in the lightest package you can find.

Heavy Duty Extra Wide Featherweight Wheelchair

Key Specifications

  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Wheelchair weight: 22 lbs.
  • Seat width: 22″
  • Seat-to-floor height; 19″
  • Seat depth: 16″

Score: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Only weights 22 pounds
  • Padded armrest
  • Can easily lift and put into a vehicle
  • loop-hand brakes for those who need to push

Cons

  • At the lower ends of weight capacity for heavy-duty

3. Everest and Jennings Traveler HD Wheelchair

This is an excellent heavy-duty wheelchair that is able to support up to 500 pounds.  The weight capacity is high because of the double-cross braces and the heavy-duty 5/8″ diameter axles. 

Before purchase users can choose a desk-lenght or full-length armrests and can come with swing-away footrests or elevating leg rests.  

Three different seat widths are also available.

This is a great bariatric wheelchair for anyone looking for a chair that is able to support the heavier weight more than just a regular wheelchair.

Best strong wheelchairs

Key Specifications

  • Weight capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Wheelchair weight: 57 lbs.
  • Seat width: 18″ – 24″
  • Seat-to-floor height; 17.5″ -19.5″
  • Seat depth: 18″, 20″

Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Made from 100% leather
  • Double padded palm for real comfort
  • Velcro straps
  • Well made and look great

Cons

  • May take some time to break them in

4. Invacare Tracer IV Wheelchair

An excellent choice for those who need extra strength and a heavy-duty frame.  This wheelchair is used in many hospitals, malls, and airports. 

This is a basic wheelchair that offers low-maintenance, full-lenght or desk-lenght removable armrest, urethane rear tires, and mounted on no flex wheels.

users can aspect to many ears of use out of this top bariatric wheelchair.

Depending on the confirmation and model choosing you can have a weight capacity of 350 pounds up to 450 pounds and product weight of 42 pounds. 

top wheelchair Invacare

Key Specifications

  • Weight capacity: 350 – 450 lbs.
  • Wheelchair weight: 42 lbs.
  • Seat width: 20″ – 24″
  • Seat-to-floor height; 17.5″ -19.5″
  • Seat depth: 18″

Score: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Excellent starter heavy-duty wheelchair
  • Weight capacity of 350 to 450 pounds depending on configuration
  • Almost Maintenance Free
  • Well made and look great

Cons

  • At 42 pounds it may be to heavy for some to lift without help

5. Sentra EC Heavy-Duty Dual Axle Wheelchair

This wheelchair is a great combination of super-strong carbon steel with a weight capacity of 450 pounds at a really great price for those who want to get into a heavy-duty type manual wheelchair. 

The seat width is 20″ – 24″ with a seat depth of 18″.  The swing-away footrests making getting in and out of this chair much easier than the ones that do not have this as a feature.  

This wheelchair offers a very stable and smooth ride for anyone looking for a heavy-duty wheelchair that can handle more weight.

Sentra Heavy Duty Wheelchair

Key Specifications

  • Weight capacity: 450 lbs.
  • Wheelchair weight: 56 -58 lbs.
  • Seat width: 20″ – 24″
  • Seat-to-floor height; 17.5″ -19.5″
  • Seat depth: 18″

Score: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Very strong with a weight capacity of 450 pounds
  • Made with a combination of durable carbon steel
  • Comes in 20″ and 24″ seat widths

Cons

  • Traction on wheels may slip when wet

Best heavy-duty manual wheelchair Buying Guide

Before making your next purchase of a heavy-duty wheelchair there are a few things you should understand when it comes to the best heavy-duty wheelchairs.  Take a look at some of the most important features you should understand before you make a selection. 

What is the average weight capacity that a heavy-duty manual wheelchair can hold?

You will typically see on average a heavy-duty wheelchair rated for weight capacities that are from 350 pounds up to 700 pounds or more depending on the make and model. The ones we reviewed have a weight capacity of:

Seat width

Heavy-duty wheelchairs typically are larger and because of this have larger seat width to accommodate larger individuals.  Larger seat width is important because those of us who seat in wheelchairs for a significant amount of time needs to be as comfortable as possible.  Choose a seat width that is wide enough so it’s a comfortable fit but not too large where you will feel insecure.  To add an extra level of comfort you can always use a seat cushion

Frame and material

The fame and material of a heavy-duty wheelchair are stronger than your typical wheelchair in some cases simply because of the way the cross-beams and extra bars are designed on the wheelchair.  These are done to be able to support the extra weight and keep the user safe.  

The drawback is the extra weight the actual wheelchair will weigh.  Unlike featherweight chairs, the majority of heavy-duty chairs weigh a lot more and can be difficult for a single person with mobility issues or seniors to lift the chair for transport.  Keep this in mind. 

Removable or swing-out leg rests

Look for heavy-duty wheelchairs that have swing-out leg rests.  This is important because getting in and out of the wheelchair may be difficult without a clear path to the seat.  Swing legs give you the ability to move those rests out of the way while getting in and out making the transfer much safer. All of the models above have either the ability to swing out the legs or remove them all together depending on the models. 

Armrests on heavy-duty wheelchairs are important

Armrests may be an afterthought for some, but when it comes to comfort in your wheelchair, it is a crucial aspect to be aware of.  Most of the heavy-duty wheelchairs we suggest above all have padded armrests to make your time in the wheelchair more comfortable.   

It is also important to understand seat-to-floor height so you can make sure that your arms when on the armrest are a comfortable height. 

If you feel like you need more padding after you have your wheelchair then looking to purchase an accessory like an armrest pad may be something you need. 

Do wheelchairs have a weight limit?  Yes.  Regular manual wheelchairs typically have a weight limit of 250 pounds to 300 pounds.  Bariatric wheelchairs or heavy-duty wheelchairs typically have a weight limit of 350 pounds to as much as 700 pounds. 

What is the maximum weight you should push in a wheelchair?  According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health sets a limit at a little over 760 compression pounds of force.  This is 3,400 newtons to help prevent injury. 

So, what are the best heavy-duty wheelchairs?

The best heavy-duty wheelchairs provide support for extra weight while still providing a smooth, comfortable experience for the user.  After researching dozens of bariatric wheelchairs we have narrowed down our selections to the top 5 wheelchairs in this category. 

Our choice for the best heavy-duty wheelchair is…

Excel Extra Wide Manual Wheelchair

It provides excellent support, comfort, and has the accessories that are needed to make this a top choice for anyone looking for a wheelchair that needs a higher weight capacity. 

5/5 (2 Reviews)
About ASmith

Adam Smith is the main researcher and contributor at Mobility Medical Supply. Adam has many years of research in public data, and software security. With Mobility issues within Adam's family, he decided to dedicate in-depth guides on mobility products to anyone looking to improve movement and gain independence.