Comparing the Different Types of Manual Wheelchairs

February 15, 2016 | 8:00 am | By Pants Up Easy

What makes up a wheelchair? Obviously a seat of some kind, along with two sets of wheels to propel you forward and backward. There are usually some handles in the back, so others can push you, and probably some armrests as well. Pretty straightforward.

But we live in America – the land of opportunity. And savvy wheelchair manufacturers have created all sorts of new and adaptive wheelchairs to better serve their customers. I’m sure you know that there are both manual and power wheelchairs, but the specialization goes even further. There are many types of manual wheelchairs on the market, each with its own specific purpose and audience.

For the heavyset wheelchair user: The Heavy Duty Wheelchair

When you don’t have the use of your legs, it’s easy to put on a little weight. But these heavy duty wheelchairs aren’t meant for those with beer bellies; they’re reinforced with an extra-strength frame to support up to 650-700 lbs. They also come equipped with larger seats, to ensure comfort for the user.

For the active wheelchair user: The Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair

A regular lightweight chair can weigh around 30 lbs, but an ultra-lightweight chair can be a scant 14 lbs. Basically anything under 20 lbs is considered ultra lightweight, and these chairs are easily folded and thrown into trunks or backseats. Additionally, they are easier for the user to propel. Thus, they are ideal for the wheelchair user who is constantly on the go.

For the recreational wheelchair user: The Sport Wheelchair

Sports wheelchairs come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the type of activity you want to engage in. For instance, if you like wheelchair racing, those chairs are often pointed with a single wheel in the front, and special angled wheels in the back. Or, if you’re more of a wheelchair basketball player, your rear wheels will still be angled while the front casters will be tiny.

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