Best Lightweight Travel Wheelchair: Buying Guide

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Best Lightweight Travel Wheelchairs

When it comes to choosing the best lightweight travel wheelchair you want to make sure that you have a product that is convenient to use and won’t hold you back from what you want to do most…TRAVEL.

You don’t want something that’s too thin or too flimsy or anything that’s uncomfortable, but you need to keep in mind that the more bells and whistles your wheelchair has, the heavier it gets.

You may have to sacrifice a few things (ex. comfort, extra accessories) in order to get a great wheelchair suited for traveling, but this sacrifice far out ways the thought of being stuck at home with dreams that can’t be realized. It might be a cruise around the world or simply a trip to the local movie theater; either way you’re free to do what you please and you aren’t confined to four walls.

What should you be looking for? Well, there are a few important aspects to look at.


First, you should look for something that works for what you want. That means you’re going to want a chair that’s designed to help you travel and one that is lightweight and easy to put into a vehicle. A chair that’s too heavy for you or your companion to lift is definitely not going to help you get to the store or the movies or your appointments or anywhere else that you want to go.


You should also be looking for something that you can use for an extended period of time. No matter how long you plan to be using the chair you want to make sure that it’s durable and built to last. For a lightweight chair you generally want it to be aluminum but steel components are a good match as well (just not as lightweight).


Finally, look for things like a cushion on the seat and backrest, padded arm rests, adjustable footrests, adjustable arm rests and even hand brakes. These can make it more convenient for your companion to move the chair around. You also want something that is going to fold down, and that also means looking at how it folds and whether it’s going to be a simple process.

If You’re In A Hurry…

The Drive Medical Flyweight Chair is our favorite because it embodies the majority of these things. It gives you a padded chair with a simple design but the footrests can be removed and adjusted and there’s a seat belt for added safety. You’ll have something lightweight and easy to maneuver as well as easy to fold down small enough to fit in your vehicle. On top of that, it’s a moderately priced unit so you don’t have to worry about the cost factor. All you need to do is pick one up and try it out and you’ll see why it’s our favorite of them all.

Are you looking for best lightweight travel wheelchair? If you are then we are going to jump right into everything you’re going to want to know and just what questions you should be asking about your wheelchair before you decide which one is the best. You might even be surprised what you find.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying

What Size Do You Need?

When it comes to the size of your chair there are only a few options. For the most part, wheelchairs come in a single standard size, though you can also find some for children and teens. They are typically able to hold up to 220 pounds and are approximately 33” in height, 15.75” wide and 19.3” from the seat to the floor.

Where Do You Plan To Use It?

You would use your travel wheelchair while you’re out or even to move around your home more easily as these chairs are less bulky and heavy for those pushing and those riding in them.

When Would You Use It?

You would use a lightweight chair whenever you travel or even to maneuver around your own home as these are convenient and comfortable for most users.

Best Lightweight Travel Wheelchair Options

Fly Lite Ultra Lightweight Transport Wheelchair

Fly Lite Ultra Light WheelchairThe Drive Medical Fly Transport Wheelchair is available in three different color combinations and features a fun, plaid pattern over the seat and armrests. There are 6” casters at the front as well as 8” at the rear to provide a little more balance and stability during movement.

The footrests are easy to swing out if they are not needed and can be adjusted even without tools. There’s even a seat belt and multiple pouches to store anything that you might need throughout the day. Made with aluminum, this unit even comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Seat Dimensions: 16” x 17” x 19”
  • Total Weight: 17 lbs.
What We Like What We Don't
Back folds down for transport

Very easy to push

Rolls easily on carpeting

Comfortable to sit in for extended periods

Durable and sturdy over bumps and hills
No carrying case included

No anti-tipping bar

Uncomfortable hand grips

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Bariatric Transport Chair by NOVA

Nova Bariatric Transport WheelchairThe NOVA Bariatric Transport Chair is designed to be a heavy-duty unit that you’ll want to use all the time. It actually has a range of features including flip up arms that make it easier to transport and anti-tippers built in so you don’t have to worry about your loved one moving wrong and tipping over.

There are locking hand brakes rather than having to lean over to lock the wheels and the wheels are 12” in the back, providing more durability in difficult terrain. Footrests can be removed, adjusted and locked in quickly and easily for comfort and the seat belt keeps the rider secure during transport.

  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Seat Dimensions: 15.5” x 21.25” x 20”
  • Total Weight: 27.7 lbs.
What We Like What We Don't
Extra-wide seat

Folds flat for storage

Arm rests are easy to remove

Easy ‘assembly’ only requires footrests added

Solid wheels require no filling
Not ideal for rougher terrain

Arm rests are only partial

Chair not designed for passenger to transport themselves

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Flyweight Lightweight Folding Transport Wheelchair (Our Top Pick)

Flyweight Lightweight Folding Transport WheelchairThe Drive Medical Flyweight Transport Wheelchair is simple in over all design, but definitely delivers in everything you’re looking for. It has a variety of options for colors to match your personal preferences but more importantly has features you’re going to need. The aluminum rear wheel locks are durable while the wheels themselves are solid and maintenance-free.

You’ll have a carry pouch included to bring along anything you may need and the foot rests can be elevated or swung out to fit your preference. When folded down it’s simple to maneuver and transport in a vehicle or it can be taken on a plane or elsewhere for travel.

  • Weight Capacity: 300 lb
  • Seat Dimensions: 17” x 18” x 20”
  • Total Weight: 22 lbs.
What We Like What We Don't
Foot rests can be removed

Moves easily on deep pile carpeting

No assembly needed

Extra padding on arms
Arm rests permanently attached

No carry bag

No anti-tip features

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Poly Fly Light Weight Transport Chair Wheelchair

Drive Medical Poly Fly Lightweight Wheelchair (1)The Poly Fly Light Weight Transport Wheelchair is available in three different sizes to get the right fit for your needs. It features swing-away footrests as well as a simple overall design. The wheelchair itself folds down in the back with a quick release and the wheels even quick-release so they can be swapped out for self-propelled use. As a result, this chair has two different sets of wheel locks to secure the user.

The material itself s a nylon upholstery that’s designed to be easy to clean and the footplates are made with a heavy-duty composite so they won’t crack under general use.

  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Seat Dimensions: 16” x 18” x 18”
  • Total Weight: 5.81 lbs.
What We Like What We Don't
Comes with large back wheels and small transport

Easy to maneuver outdoors

Works as transport or self-propelled chair

Folds up compact

Two easy fold options
No seat belt attached or available

One seat level

Arm rests can come off too easily

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Elite Care Super Lightweight Folding Travel Wheelchair

Elite Care Super Lightweight Travel WheelchairThe Elite Care Super Lightweight Wheelchair is exactly what it says. It’s a lightweight chair that offers puncture proof solid tires for difficult terrain. It can also be pushed under a table further than most wheelchairs due to the desk arm design.

Footrests are included and can be removed or swung out as needed and the entire thing can be stored in a travel bag that makes it easy to take with you wherever you go. It has a sturdy frame that makes it easier to push and even though there is no seat belt it feels secure for those who are riding in it. The footrest adjusts easily as well and customer support is quick and easy.

  • Weight Capacity: 255 lbs.
  • Seat Dimensions: 19” x 18” x 16”
  • Total Weight: 20.5 lbs.
What We Like What We Don't
Large rear wheels for more durability

Includes a carry bag for transport

Handbrakes are easy to use for anyone

Heavy duty frame design

Removable foot rests as needed
Not ideal for taller users

Learning curve on how to fold

No seat belt included

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Aluminum Transport Chair Lightweight Wheelchair

The Medical Supply Team Aluminum Transport Chair comes in three different color combinations and provides a simple and comfortable transport for anyone. It has a quick-release to fold down the back and a quick-pull handle to fold down the middle so it’s ready to go in no time.

There are standard rear brakes and padded armrests to provide even more comfort for the rider. All of this makes it simple for anyone to transport a loved one or patient as needed and for general needs.

  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Seat Dimensions: 19” x 18” x 19”
  • Total Weight: 20.25 lbs.
What We Like What We Don't
Adjustable foot rests

No assembly required

Fits under/at tables at restaurants

Comfortable for rider over extended periods

Easy to lift and move chair
Not ideal for outdoor use

No carry pouch included

Does not lock when closed

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Karman Transport Wheelchair

Karman Transport WheelchairKarman Transport Wheelchair is a unique chair because it combines additional comfort with a bit of style as well. This chair has a padded, antibacterial seat and back in a sleek silver and even has oversized rear wheels to provide better durability over rough terrain. The footrests are thicker and feature a back support to keep your feet secure while riding.

There are even handbrakes that make stopping or slowing the chair easier and the armrests extend further than a standard chair to provide more support. Even more, the seat is designed to be ergonomic to relieve pressure and reduce risk of scoliosis.

  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Seat Dimensions: 18” x 17” x 18”
  • Total Weight: 22 lbs.
What We Like What We Don't
Comfortable for continued use

Ergonomic seat design

Easy to push overall

Great for outdoor/rougher terrain

Rigid stress points
Assembly required

Not ideal for tall pushers

Back is short

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Lightweight Travel Wheelchair?

These chairs are just what they sound like, lightweight options that are easier to use in most cases and allow an individual to get from one place to another, both in the chair and through transporting the person and the chair.

What Makes it Different From a Normal Wheelchair?

A lightweight wheelchair is something that is a little bit lower in weight than a standard chair, making it easier for someone to push around as needed. These chairs generally have fewer frills than the standard chairs and are made with aluminum vs. steel.

Why Use a Lightweight Travel Wheelchair?

Finding the best lightweight travel wheelchair is a great option to use because they are so much easier to maneuver than a standard chair. Not only that but the light weight and the ease of folding them as well makes them convenient for anyone.

Lightweight vs. Ultra-Lightweight, What’s the Difference?

Lightweight chairs weigh approximately 13-16 kg while ultralightweight will weigh approximately 6-14 kg. On top of this, lightweight chairs are made with aluminum or steel alloy and ultralightweight with aero-grade aluminum. You’ll have more customization and features to an ultralightweight chair

Can I Bring it On a Plane?

Yes, in general you will be able to take your lightweight wheelchair on the plane with you. These are easy to fold out of the way and to bring back out as needed for you to get back off of the plane.

Who Would Use It?

Anyone who has mobility problems would be able to use this type of wheelchair. These types of chairs are generally not intended for those with paralysis as there is limited support given in these lightweight chairs.

How Do You Use It?

The chair itself is easy to use because you can sit directly into the seat and then can be pushed by someone using the handles behind.

How Does it Fold for Transport?

Folding your chair is generally going to be a little different for each chair that you look at, but it’s usually a simple process of pulling the arms of the chair together and allowing the seat to fold into the middle. You may also be able to fold the chair further and the leg rests will generally fold or remove as well for storage.

How Much Do They Weigh?

Lightweight wheelchairs generally weigh between 13 and 16 kg, which is definitely light and there is very little actually variance between different types of chairs.

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