The 6 Best Lightweight Electric Wheelchairs in 2019

For those with disabilities, freedom, or lack thereof, can be life changing. For disabilities that prevent the use of manual wheelchairs, electric or power wheelchairs can offer a solution to get you back out and about.

These days there are several portable, lightweight, electric wheelchair options that can fit in your car, be lifted by one person, fly on airplanes, and be driven for miles on a charge.

Contents

1 Sentire Med: FCX - Heavy Duty Lightweight Electric Wheelchair

Sentire Med has a motto: Do one thing, and do it well. They only sell one product, but it is the best lightweight electric wheelchair on the market. Yes, it has room for improvement, but no other product on the market succeeds in so many important categories. Made in the USA by a small, family-owned business, the FCX is built from quality components, with an elegant design, at a price that is very competetive with similar wheelchairs.

FCX Lightweight Motorized Wheelchair

The FCX is one of the best lightweight electric wheelchairs available.

The FCX is the next generation redesign of the Forza D09, Amazon's best selling folding motorized wheelchair. This model has more powerful motors, a higher top speed, and batteries that last longer than ever. After listening to their customers, they also decided to make the chair slightly wider and include several convenient accessories like a cup holder, arm bag, rear carrying pouch, and an under-seat basket.

Weight

At 67 lbs (31.5 kg) including batteries and accessories it is 7 lbs heavier than the previous model and about 20 lbs heavier than the lightest electric wheelchair on the market.

The extra weight is mostly due to a stronger frame that can hold up to 352 lbs (162 kg). If you need the capacity, this is an easy trade-off.

Folding Mechanism

Folding mechanism of the Ranger D09The FCX can be folded in 5 seconds.

One of the things that's really difficult to design into a lightweight, folding electric wheelchair is the folding mechanism itself. The original collapsible wheelchair, the KD Smart Chair, has several steps involved in closing it. Even though it is not a huge inconvenience for most people, for a limited mobility adult, it might be.

In other models that are imported from Asia, like Wheelchair88's PW-999UL, they dramatically reduced the effort and steps required to fold the wheelchair. One of the problems I have seen with some of the foreign-designed folding wheelchairs, though, is the lack of a latch to stop the chair from folding over on itself when someone is pushing from behind.

The FCX latches open, so that when someone is pushing the chair from behind, it doesn't try to fold closed. It could be improved, though if the wheelchair also latched closed. In order to easily wheel it around while closed, you need to put its travel case on. The case will hold it closed, but it is inconvenient to use for short distances.

Disability Accommodations

Folding wheelchairs are usuallly not very accommodating for individuals with disabilities. They have a low back with no headrest, no recline option, non-adjustable footrests, and poor suspension at best. That being said, the FCX does attempt to accommodate where they can.

The footrest is still stationary, and the backrest does not recline, but the chair does have suspension, the armrests fold up for side entry, and when I called the company, they said they could include an attachable headrest. The push bar on the back of the wheelchair does extend out to accommodate taller individuals.

In the end, if you want a wheelchair that caters to disabilities, folding wheelchairs are not the best option, but Sentire Med's FCX does its best.

Sentire Med is releasing another option, only available on their website, called the FCXL (L for Lift) that is a folding electric wheelchair designed to accommodate disabilities. This is the first folding electric wheelchair of its kind. It has not been released yet. Updates will be forthcoming.

Options

Although it is not advertised explicitly, Sentire Med can add a number of custom options to your purchase upon request. In talking with their customer service, I found out that they can include options like an attachable headrest or different paint jobs in colors like blue, red, and pink. Custom options, especially colors, may take up to 2 weeks to ship.

They can also add and switch padding on the back and seat according to your needs and preferences.

In fact, they even call you and customize every chair before shipping, even when bought through Amazon. As the manufacturer, they can really do a lot to personalize the wheelchair to your individual needs and body type.

Overall, I was impressed at how willing and able they are to accommodate specific requests. If you want something extra, it doesn't hurt to ask.

Specs

  • Gross Weight with 2 Batteries: 67 lbs (31.5 kg)
  • Net Weight without = Excluding Batteries and Accessories: 60 lbs (27 kg)
  • Maximum Weight Capacity: 352 lbs (162 kg)
  • Seat Dimensions: 19” x 17.5” (49 cm x 44 cm)
  • Speed: 4 mph standard, 6 mph maximum
  • Unfolded Size (L*W*H): 40” x 24.5” x 35.5” (102 x 62 x 90 cm)
  • Folded Size (L*W*H): 25” x 13” x 29” (64 x 33 x 74 cm)
  • Battery: 2 x Lithium 24V/10AH
  • Charge Time: 5 hours/battery (i.e. 10hrs for 2 batteries)
  • Driving Range:
    • 1 battery: 10mi (16km)
    • 2 batteries: 20mi (32km)
    • 3 batteries: 30mi (48km)
  • Rear Wheels: 12” Flat Free Solid Rubber TireFront Wheels: 8” Flat Free Solid Rubber Tires
  • Two Brushless Motors: 250W/motor with electromagnetic brakes
  • Battery Charge: 24V/2A
  • Suspension: Front and Rear Spring Coil
  • Max Slope: 15 degrees

 

In the Package

A travel bag is included with the Ranger D09A travel bag is included with the Forza FCX.
  • Travel bag that goes over the electric wheelchair when it is folded.
  • Warranty information and user manual.
  • FCX electric wheelchair
  • Lithium ion batteries (x2)
  • Electronic controller
  • Charging adapter
  • Tool kit (x2)
  • Cup holder
  • Arm bag
  • Under-seat basket

Warranty

The FCX comes with a:

  1. 2 year limited warranty on the frame
  2. 6 month limited warranty on wearable parts
  3. 3 month limited warranty on the batteries

As a small, family-run company, Sentire Med is also willing and able to work with borderline warranty issues. If your chair breaks the day after the warranty expires, they won't pull out the fine print (according to my conversation with their customer service). They are a company that stands by their product.

Other Thoughts

  • Considering the weight, quality, and the fact that Sentire Med is an American company, the FCX has a lot of utility for the money you spend.
  • Although Sentire Med is a new company in the wheelchair space, it was evaluated by the Better Business Bureau and received an A score.
  • This is the only electric wheelchair that Sentire Med sells, they clearly thought it was good enough to be the cornerstone of their company.
  • Sentire Med has accommodated for people up to 6'8", but if you are over 6'4", you should talk to the company before purchase.
  • The controller can be attached to either armrest. Almost every lightweight electric wheelchair I have seen can easily switch the controller from one armrest to another.
  • There is no universal hitch for attachments like oxygen tank holders or rear baskets.

Price

Electric wheelchairs are expensive no matter what, but different wheelchairs will get you more for your money than others. The FCX is more expensive than lightweight models like the KD Smart Chair, but you do get a lot of added benefit if you need the increased weight capacity, size, shock absorbers etc.

The Bottom Line

The FCX is a comfortable ride for larger individuals or those who need extra comfort. That along with fast shipping, excellent customer support, and competitive pricing makes the FCX our top pick for a lightweight, portable electric wheelchair.

How to Buy the Forza D09

2 Forcemech Voyager R2

Age and disability both make it difficult to transport your electric wheelchair, and sometimes just a few more pounds can be the difference between dependence and independence.

The Forcemech Voyager R2 is the lightest electric wheelchair on the market at 43 lbs. Forcemech really put time into the design to cut as many pounds as possible while keeping price, durability, and range on the level with other electric wheelchairs of its class.

Forcemech Voyager R2 Portable Power WheelchairThe Voyager R2 is the lightest electric wheelchair in the market.

Specifications

  • Weight capacity: 265 lbs
  • Weight: 43 lbs
  • Range: 16 miles on full charge
  • Time to fully charge batteries: 6 hours
  • Dimensions: 35" x 23" x 35"
  • Dimensions (folded): 26" x 13" x 30"
  • Seat size/height: 17” x 17”, 20”

Price

The Voyager R2 is smaller than the Forza D09, has a lower weight capacity, and a bit less power. The price point reflects that to some extent, but you do pay for the extreme portability. It is slightly more expensive than other electric wheelchairs with similar specs but not by much.

Features

Alloy wheels for durability Shock-absorbing springs for a smooth ride Folding kickstand, for stability when stopped Rear reflectors for safety

Why the Forcemech Voyager R2?

The biggest selling point of this electric wheelchair is how portable it is- the Voyager can be folded flat in just seconds. At just 43 pounds, the compact and lightweight frame can be transported just about anywhere.

Folded view of the Forcemech Voyager R2 WheelchairThe Voyager R2 is cleared for US airline travel.

The folded chair fits easily in a car’s trunk. Additionally, Forcemech wheelchairs are cleared for US airline travel (NOTE: the policies of individual airlines or foreign countries may differ).

Maintenance & Warranty

  • Forcemech highly recommends annual maintenance, however most folding electric wheelchairs are worry/maintenance free. In my opinion, this is a money making tactic and can be disregarded. If it ain't broke, don't pay a technician a bunch of money to tell you what you already know.
  • Per Forcemech policy, wheelchairs can be returned within 60 days for a full refund.
  • Warranty: 5 years on frame, 2 years on motor

Before you buy

  • In order to use Medicare, you must purchase at a physical location. You cannot purchase this online.
  • Make sure that the wheelchair specifications are right for you (seat height and width, weight capacity, etc.).

Bottom Line

If wheelchair weight and portability are your prime concerns, this is the wheelchair you want. It sacrifices in some areas for larger/taller people in order to make it the easiest wheelchair to transport. Built for both comfort and easy travel, you can take it anywhere, and it can do the same for you.

3 Pride Mobility: Jazzy Passport

When we compare the best lightweight electric wheelchairs across the industry, we don’t just look at what they can do; we look at value added for the price paid.

Considerations for choosing an electric wheelchairThe Jazzy Passport from Pride Mobility is comfortable and affordable.

The Jazzy passport has a lot of great specs, but it also comes in as one of the most affordable quality wheelchairs.

Besides affordability, Pride also puts in extra effort to ensure that the Jazzy Passport is as comfortable as possible considering its foldable, portable nature.

Specs

  • Weight: 27.2 kg (60 lbs)
  • Max Speed: 5.6 km/hr (3.5 miles/hr)
  • Maximum Capacity: 113.4 kg (250 lbs)
  • Max Distance: 9.6 mi (15.5 km)
  • Motor Power: 180W x 2

Weight

At 60 lbs (27.2 kg) with battery the Jazzy Passport is about 25% heavier than the lightest wheelchair (45 lbs), the PW-999UL from Wheelchair 88. You could lighten the wheelchair a bit by removing the battery, but the weight is not a problem in my opinion. If you cannot lift 60 lbs safely, you probably cannot lift 50 lbs safely.

Capacity

If you are 6’2” (188 cm) or shorter, you will fit easily in the Jazzy Passport, but over 6’2” and you might notice it getting a little cramped. At 250 lbs capacity the Passport is not meant for large individuals or heavy loads.

If you weigh over 250 lbs and want a folding wheelchair, check out the Forza D09 from Sentire Med.

Comfort

One of the things I like most about the Jazzy Passport is the steps they took to improve the comfort. Most lightweight electric wheelchair designs assume that you will only use it for short periods, so they do not emphasize comfort. The Jazzy Passport has very nice seats, though. They use breathable material, so you do not get that sticky, sweaty feeling from sitting too long.

The other built-in features are the cup holder and the rotating joystick. Both are pretty unique among lightweight electric wheelchairs, and they make using it for longer periods easier.

The joystick can be left straight, but you can also rotate it out of the way or in closer to yourself. This caters to personal preference, but it can also help with flexibility issues and joint deformities that make it difficult to hold your hands in certain positions.

The cup holder is a nice bonus, and it works like most other cup holders. You can swap the joystick and the cup holder to either arm depending on how you want it.

Ease of Use

Lightweight electric wheelchairs should be user-friendly for those with limited mobility. Easy setup and maintenance is especially important for these wheelchairs. The Jazzy Passport comes mostly assembled in one box.

You have to attach the joystick, joystick wire, cup holder, and battery. The initial setup may be too difficult for the user, so it is a good idea to have help for that part. Once the wheelchair is set up, there is almost no maintenance at all. You can charge the battery off the wheelchair directly or on the wheelchair through the joystick.

The Jazzy Passport locks both open and closed, so that it does not pop open when you are moving it or try to eat you when you are sitting in it.

Distance

The distance on the Jazzy Passport could honestly be better. At 9.6 miles, it is on the lower end of lightweight electric wheelchairs we looked at. Most other folding wheelchairs have a max distance of around 15 miles, or they offer the option to upgrade the battery.

Reputation

Pride Mobility has been a well-respected American brand for over 30 years, and their Jazzy line is well-known for its quality. Pride has good customer service and aftermarket care. Their support lines are open from Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.

Other Thoughts

  • I really like the folding mechanism because it locks open AND closed unlike the PW-999UL and the PW-1000XL. It also folds in one smooth motion without extra steps, unlike the KD Smart Chair.
The Jazzy Passport folded viewThe Jazzy Passport can be folded fast and easily.
  • The armrests fold up, so that the chair can fit under tables.
  • Pride really pushes the idea that the removable battery can lighten the weight from 60 lbs to 53, but it does not seem practical. In order to take the battery out, you need to crouch down behind the chair, reach underneath, and pull the battery out. If 7 lbs of battery is really going to be the breaking point for getting your wheelchair into a vehicle, crouching down on your hands and knees to take the battery out and put it back in again is probably not any easier.

Price

At around $2,000, the Jazzy Passport is one of the most affordable lightweight electric wheelchairs with a quality reputation. Other wheelchairs with similar specs sell for upwards of $2,600 (Wheelchair88’s PW-999UL), and even the KD Smart Chair can be more expensive even though it is usually one of the more affordable chairs.

Disclaimer: Prices do vary. We get our information from historical data, but we cannot predict how the price will change in the future.

The Bottom Line

Pride Mobility's Jazzy Passport is an affordable, comfortable, well-rounded electric wheelchair for those under 6'2" and 250 lbs. The maximum distance is not as good as other wheelchairs, and there is no option to upgrade the battery.

How to Buy the Jazzy Passport

4 Golden Technologies: LiteRider Envy - Adjustable Electric Wheelchair

The LiteRider Envy is a compact travel chair that breaks into four lightweight, easy-to-manage pieces, with the heaviest piece weighing only 37 lbs. Although it does not have the sleek fold-and-roll capability of the Forza D09, it does offer more adjustability than a folding wheelchair can.

Specs:

Golden Technologies: LiteRider EnvyThe LiteRider Envy by Golden Technologies
  • Weight: 55.8 kg (123 lbs) with battery
  • Max Speed: 5.6 km/hr (3.5 miles/hr)
  • Maximum Capacity: 136 kg (300 lbs)
  • Max Distance: 25 km (15.5 mi)
  • Charge Time: 8 hours
  • Off-Board Charger
  • Sealed Lead Acid battery
  • Slope Capability: 6˚

Pros and Cons:

The Literider Envy PriceThe Literider Envy is the least expensive electric wheelchair in the market.
  • Easy Breakdown - Breaks into four managable pieces for easy transport.
  • Adjustable - The seat can be set at 2 different heights, and the armrests's widths can be adjusted.
  • Airplane Ready - Lead acid batteries are safe to take on all boats and airplanes.
  • Universal Hitch - Has a universal rear hitch for a basket or other accessories.
  • Hills - With a maximum grade of 6 degrees, it lags behind some of its competitors.
  • No Suspension - Door stops and off-road bumps will be felt.

Warranty

  1. Frame - 5 years
  2. Drive Train - 13 months
  3. Electronics - 13 months
  4. Batteries - 12 months

The Bottom Line

The LiteRider Envy uses slightly dated technology (lead acid batteries) and design (break apart vs folding), but it comes with perks like adjustable armrests and a universal accessory hitch that you just do not see on the folding style wheelchairs. Golden Technologies is also a well-respected brand in the mobility products world, so you know the product is reliable.

The LiteRider Envy is a comfortable ride with a several size adjustments and a universal rear hitch for accessories like a basket or oxygen tank.

How to Buy a LiteRider Envy

5 KD Smart Chair - Lightweight Electric Wheelchair

Quite a few new power wheelchair companies have been popping up recently, but one of the first lightweight, foldable electric wheelchairs was the KD Smart Chair.

The KD Smart Lightweight Electric WheelchairThe KD Smart Chair

The Smart Chair started production in 2012 and has been featured in reviews, on Youtube channels, on CBS, and through several celebrity endorsements.

That doesn't necessarily mean that the chair is good, but the company is at least well-known and respected enough to have survived for over 6 years in a highly competetive industry. It is still one of the highest-rated lightweight electric wheelchairs on the market despite the competition.

Weight

The KD Smart Chair is no longer the lightest electric wheelchair available, but the difference between the Smart Chair's weight and that of its competitors is almost negligible. The Smart Chair weighs in at 50 lbs (22.6 kg) in total with the batteries and electronics.

If you look at other lightweight power wheelchairs, the lightest you can get is 45 lbs (the PW-999UL). On the other end of the "lightweight" spectrum is the Drive Cirrus Plus that weighs in at an unliftable 146 lbs, but most fall between 50 and 65 lbs.

Capacity

Back view of the KD Smart ChairThe KD Smart Chair delivers good overall specifications at a very competitive price.

The capacity refers to the maximum capacity that the wheelchair can safely carry. At 265 lbs max weight, the KD Smart Chair won't win any deadlifting competitions, but it does alright.

It beats out the weakest at 220 lbs (the PW-999UL), but some of the heavy duty folding wheelchairs can hold up to 400 lbs. If you need more than that, it is best to look in the non-folding models.

The KD Smart Chair does very average here, but if capacity is something you are looking for, check out the KD Smart Chair Heavy Duty coming up next.

Distance

We all want more distance, but adding batteries adds to the weight. Some electric wheelchairs have the option to add batteries for increased range, but the KD Smart Chair does not. The good news is that the battery weight problem mostly only applies to the heavy lead-acid batteries in some of the older models.

The KD Smart Chair has a very competitive 15 mile range that is comparable with some of the other wheelchairs AFTER you buy their range extending battery. The max distance for lightweight electric wheelchairs varies from 8 miles all the way to 20 miles.

Reputation

Any product can claim to have the best specs, but the real quality is only as good as the company that makes it.

As I mentioned earlier, KD Smart Chair has a well-tested reputation that stretches back to 2012, along with consistently great reviews. The company is also based in America, which makes aftermarket care much easier than it is for Asian-based companies.

KD Smart Chair has replacement parts available online.

Specs

How to fold a KD Smart Electric WheelchairThe KD Smart Chair folding mechanism.
  • Weight: 20.5kg (45 lbs)
  • Max Speed: 6 km/hr (3.75 miles/hr)
  • Maximum Capacity: 120kg (265 lbs)
  • Max Distance: 15 mi (24.1 km)
  • Slope Capability: 12˚

Other Thoughts

  • It takes more time to break down the KD Smart Chair than some of the newer models from other companies. Newer folding designs just fold and clip, so it takes about 2 seconds. The Smart Chair does have a few extra steps like folding back the arm and foot rests, but it is not a deal-breaker. The Smart Chair is still very simple to handle.
  • The joystick can be mounted on either armrest or to the back if a caretaker will be using it.
  • The reclining back does not seem very useful. The pivot point is about half-way up your back, so leaning back would be pretty uncomfortable for any length of time.
  • There is no suspension, but it handles grass, bumps, and uneven ground no problem.
  • There is no universal hitch for attachments like oxygen tank holders or rear baskets.

The Bottom Line

The KD Smart Chair has built a great reputation for itself as one of the most trusted names in lightweight folding electric wheelchairs. Weighing 50 lbs it is easy to manage and transport. The design is not quite as streamlined as newer models from other companies.

How to Buy a KD Smart Wheelchair

6 Foldawheel PW-1000XL - Electric Folding Wheelchair

The PW-1000XL, by the company Wheelchair88, is a more rugged version of the PW-999UL that gives the user more power, range, and comfort without sacrificing its portability. It works well for use outdoors, on grass, or traveling long distances.

The Foldawheel PW 1000XLThe Foldawheel PW-1000XL by Wheelchair88

Specs:

  • Weight: 26 kg (57 lbs)
  • Max Speed: 8 kph ( 5 mph)
  • Max Capacity: 150 kg (330 lbs)
  • Seat Dimensions: 48.25 x 45.5 cm (19 x 18”)
  • Folded Size (L x H x W) 36 x 67 x 60 cm (14.2 x 26.4 x 23.6”)
  • Turning Radius 80cm (31.5”)
  • Max Distance: 1 battery: ~13 km (8 mi), 2 batteries: ~26 km (16 mi), 3 batteries: ~45km (24 mi)
  • Charge Time (for 1 battery): 4 hours
  • Slope Capability (with anti-tilt support): 13˚
  • Motor Power 250W x 2 units

Pros:

Lightweight and Compact PW 1000XLThe PW-1000XL can fit easily in the trunk of a car and can be checked on an airplane.
  • Lightweight - Despite power and carrying capacity upgrades, it is only 12 lbs heavier than the PW 999UL model.
  • Foldable - The chair easily folds down on itself into a compact bundle.
  • Powerful - 1000XL motors: 250 W x2 compared to 999UL motors: 150 W x2
  • Upgradeable battery - The base unit comes with 1 lithium ion battery, but it can use up to 3 batteries to extend the max range.
  • Airplane ready - Just like the 999UL, this can be checked on an airplane, although, some flights may require you to remove the batteries and take them as carry-on.
  • Suspension - 4 spring suspension makes this power wheelchair a comfortable option for bumpy terrain.

Other Thoughts

  1. Wheelchair88 is a Malaysian company. Their electric wheelchairs are manufactured in and shipped from Malaysia. We recommend purchasing through Amazon, so that you can use Amazon’s arbitration system to settle disputes if anything goes wrong.
  2. This wheelchair does not have a universal hitch for accessories like a rear basket or an oxygen tank holder
  3. Those 6’2” and taller may not be comfortable with the size of the chair.
  4. The weight limit is usually less of a problem than the size of the seat. If you are close to the weight limit for the wheelchair measure the width of your hips and compare it to the width of the seat. Add 1 inch on either side to account for clothing and wiggle room.

The Bottom Line

For tall people up to about 6 feet 2 inches, the PW-1000XL offers a better fit while still keeping the wheelchair's weight under control.

How to Buy the PW-1000XL

Additional Resources

  1. The 4 Best Electric Mobility Scooters for Adults
  2. Mobility Training and Public Safety
  3. The Power Wheelchair
  4. Useful Tips for Electric Wheelchair Users
  5. Transitioning from a Manual to a Power Wheelchair
  6. Forcemech Voyager R2 Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Jazzy Passport User Manual
  8. KD Smart Chair Manual
  9. PW-1000XL User Manual
  10. The Benefits of a Tilt-in-Space Wheelchair

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Comments

Cirrus

If I'd take the battery off do u think I could pick up from drivers side and pass Infront of me over to drivers side

Cirrus

I am a bit confused about the question, but I think I can help. The total weight of the Drive Cirrus Plus is 146 lbs. The batteries weigh 56 lbs, so the rest of the wheelchair weighs 90 lbs (41 kg). The wheelchair is not very light and it's also an awkward shape, so picking it up is rather difficult without help.

segways

The information you provide in invaluable. I hope you get paid for doing this kind of research.

My question; have you researched segways ? One has to stand on them, so that limits a lot of handicaps. For Parkinson's people, they may be ideal.

Segways

Ellyn,

Thank you for the kind words!

I have not heard of Segways for use by people with Parkinson's, but a with a quick search online, I found that they may be useful in a variety of balance disorders. I will do some research on the topic and see what I can find out about them.

Thank you for letting me know!

Bigger seat

Just read your review of the Jazzy Passport and other portable electric wheelchairs.

My father weighs 235 lbs and he is 5’10. He is wide across the girth. I think the Jazzy will be too narrow for him. He probably needs a seat that is at least 19” wide. Otherwise I like the features of the Jazzy. Easy fold, lightweight but sturdy and wide is what we are looking for. He also would like to travel across grass, so a more rugged chair would be great. Which chair would you recommend?

Thanks for any help or insights.

Try the Forza D09

If you're looking for something a bit bigger and more rugged than the Jazzy Passport, I would recommend the Forza D09. It has a 19 inch seat width, and it uses more powerful drive motors (250 Watt vs 180 Watt) than the Passport. It is also built more ruggedly with a capacity up to 400lbs, so your dad won't even be close to the max weight like with the 250 lb Jazzy Passport limit. If you need something wider, Sentire Med can sometimes customize individual lightweight electric wheelchairs to fit specific needs. That is done on a case-by-case basis though.

Back Handles

My father’s aide is concerned that most of the portable wheelchairs don’t have handles or bars in the rear (or joysticks) to push and/or control the chair easily from behind in the event my father gets stuck, say, in the grass. I understand we would be able to push the wheelchair manually if the motor is disengaged, but up or down a ramp for instance seems like it would be challenging without better handles or a good padded bar in the rear. Any suggestions?

The Forza D09 does have a bar in the back for pushing manually

When the wheelchair folds closed, the bar doubles as a handle to drag it around. One of the nice design features of the Forza is that they have a locking clasp that holds the chair in the open position.

Some other folding models don't lock open, so when you push on the back the whole wheelchair will try to fold closed on the person sitting in it. It does not come with the back handles for pushing. Some people prefer that over the bar, but I think it might get in the way of the folding mechanism because none of the power chairs seem to have it.

I don't think that the joystick would reach all the way up to the back of the wheelchair. It is designed to attach to the chair arms, and the wiring is attached to the frame. Assuming your dad can operate the joystick by himself, I don't think that will be a problem though, since it is easily accessible to him. This lightweight electric wheelchair can handle ramps up to 8 - 12 degrees in slope by itself.

Using the Jazzy Passport for Outdoors

I am shopping for a folding power wheelchair, and came across your Inside First Aid review of the Jazzy Passport. Wondered if you had an opportunity to experience its use outdoors.

We're looking for a chair that works well on grass (attending soccer games), gravel (down paths leading to baseball fields), and rough payment or cobblestones (future trip to Europe).

I'm leaning toward models such as the Jazzy Passport, the Forza D09, or the EZ Lite DX12 because of the larger 12" rear drive wheels.

Would really like to hear your recommendations.

Consider wheel and motor size for outdoors

When it comes to outdoor use, most of the folding electric wheelchairs are pretty similar because the design limitations of lightweight folding wheelchairs are going to prevent you from having it all. They all have special branded dura-extreme-whatever suspension and the premium tires etc, but none of the tires are going to grip well on things like deep, loose gravel or wet grass because they're designed to cut weight and fold easily.

The most important attributes are wheel size (like you said) and motor size. The wheel size determines how large of bumps you can roll over and the motor power determines how steep of a grade you can go up. The nice thing about choosing a folding power chair, though, is that they are truly built for what they can do.

For example, the Jazzy Passport can hold a maximum of 6'2" 250lbs. The 180W motors on the Passport are smaller than the 250W Forza D09, but the Forza D09 can hold up to 400lbs. Unless you exceed the 250lbs of the Jazzy, you're not going to need the larger motors. The Forza is also wider because someone over 250lbs won't fit in the Passport.

As for cobblestones, I bet you can do them with any lightweight electric wheelchair as long as they're dry, but I also bet it's going to be a bit uncomfortable. The suspensions in these chairs are limited even though they try.

If you are larger than 6'2" 250lbs, I suggest the Forza D09. Otherwise, you might save money and buy the Jazzy Passport.

brakes

I am interested in the Forza D09 but am concerned about braking for both the rider and pushing person, when in that mode, as to slowing or stopping on steep grades. Does the unit have a hand brake? Also, does the unit have a cane holder? Thank you for your reply.

Brakes

The brakes are electromagnetic, and they will stop you even on steep slopes. If for some reason the brakes don't quite cut it, you can always pull gently back on the joystick to engage the motors in the uphill direction. If a person is pushing the electric wheelchair, you will need to have it in freewheel mode, so the electromagnetic brakes will not work. It does not have a separate hand brake. I recommend that if you are going down a hill, and you are afraid that the person pushing you might lose control or let go, you put it in power mode. That will prevent any accidents from happening.

As for cane holders, no this wheelchair does not come with one, but you can buy one separately on Amazon. I looked through the options, and I like this cane holder because it can attach to a range of tubing sizes (many holders need specific tube diameters on your lightweight electric wheelchair or specific cane diameters. The other nice thing about this cane holder is that it can turn in any direction to attach to vertical, horizontal, or angled tubes without making your cane point in weird directions.

Lightweight Folding Electric Wheelchairs

Danyell,
None of the lightweight electric wheelchairs in this review are specifically weatherproof, although they are typically good enough for most activities. For example, driving through puddles, when it's raining and you have an umbrella or rain poncho, they will be fine. Check out https://www.foldandgowheelchairs.com/ for several designs that are specifically weatherproof.

Best chair for apartment living

Thank you so much for your reviews, they are so well done as to give the general reader all the info necessary to making an educated decision about their purchase. I do have one question, as I'm dimensionally challenged. I am living in an apartment with narrow hallways and a tight squeeze to get into my bedroom and bathroom with my manual chair. Which chair would you suggest for my situation?

Missing Review Items

The reviews, although reasonably comprehensive lack information on three vital questions.

1. Is it suitable for fitness of purpose? The chair is to provide mobility, and here in Minnesota that means operation off of paved surfaces and in less than ideal winter conditions. Sometimes their disclaimers on this subject are hidden all the way back in the owner's manual, generally not available until after purchase, or not specified at all. Their return policies can cost 20% of the cost of a chair,and they don't seem to care that the return is because the chair doesn't provide what you need.

2. Will parts be readily available at a reasonable price for a long period of time? This is an expensive purchase of a supposedly durable item with a supposedly long life. Especially batteries, which as I understand it are custom built by the wheelchair company for their own specific design. The cost of batteries should be
known as a part of the purchase decision. Yet most companies don't publish their battery prices, and most don't show available parts on their website either.

3. You show no indicator of the financial stability of the wheelchair company. You are in a position to ask and publish specifically items like how long they have been in business, how many units of that model have been sold, and what their Dun and Bradstreet ratings are..

It also bothers me that there is no independent blogger site where electric wheelchair users can share their experiences.

Missing Review Items

Trvthseeker,
Thank you for pointing out areas that will make our review more comprehensive. We will look into your questions and post what we find. I will update this comment as well when we have that information.

As for the independent blogger site, we have been working on something similar to that idea, but we do not have any information on the release date yet.

KD chair

I heard customer service is terrible for KD chairs. Rarely return calls, parts unavailable, inability to get replacement tires, promises not fulfilled etc...
What company has the best customer service in case a oart breaks or you need a new tire of joy stick?

KD Chair

Sentire Med (Forza D09) has the best customer service in my opinion. They are a small American, family-owned business, and I have a good working relationship with them. The only slight inconvenience with them is that, since they are small, they do not have a dedicated staff for answering the phone and taking customer service requests. This only means that you have to leave a message via phone or email and they will get back to you, usually same day or within 1 business day. Otherwise they are very responsive and take great care of their customers post-sale.

https://insidefirstaid.com/mobility-products/the-best-lightweight-electr...

Rough terrain?

Hello, I need a power chair to get around and I go to places where I need fairly extensive range and go over some fairly rough terrain that is both rocky and sometimes muddy. Are there any of these Lithium powered folding chairs that can be used for rough terrain or modified for that use? The Forza with its swappable batteries looks about perfect for everything except offroad capacity.

Rough Terrain?

Nick,
The Forza is a great chair and our most highly recommended lightweight electric folding wheelchair, but no folding electric wheelchair will be great for rocks and mud. They do their best to design for those things, but in the end you have to make design sacrifices so that the wheelchair will be light and portable. I will say that the Forza has some of the most powerful motors of any lightweight folding wheelchair and larger wheels (12") than many. Of our top picks, I would recommend it over the others.

If you really want a wheelchair designed for off-road, mud, rocks, and all that other stuff, there are some really cool, niche electric wheelchairs out there. They do get expensive very quickly though. Mountain Trike is a UK-based company that makes an awesome electric-assist, hand-powered wheelchair called the e-Trike (https://www.mountaintrike.com/products/etrike). They do sell in the US through distributors, but one of these is going to cost 3 - 4 times as much as a Forza D09 (~$8,000+).

In comparing folding electric wheelchairs to other, more traditional power chairs, the only benefits you'll really get are larger tires, better suspension, and better traction. The ground clearance on non-folding power wheelchairs is in the ballpark of 2 inches compared to the Forza's 4.5 inches, though, so you won't be mudding in anything deeper than a puddle anyway.

All this to say that unless you spend a lot more money, you have to make trade-offs. Hope this helps!

Another lightweight product...

Thanks for all your recommendations.

I found this lightweight product online called the Air Hawk.
Are you aware of this product, and how would you rate it?

Thank you!

Another Lightweight Product...

Krish,
I took a look at the Air Hawk, and I would not recommend it. The company doesn't have a professional look to it, and they get poor reviews. A few things I noticed:

1) In the pictures of their wheelchair, they photoshopped their logo on instead of taking a picture of their product. This could indicate a knockoff of someone else's product.

2) Several reviews said that the user manual was in broken English which indicates a non-USA business. Aftermarket support could be a problem.

3) The company selling this product on Amazon is called "Phillips" which is a blatant attempt to copy the name of the very reputable brand name "Philips" in the hopes that people won't know how it's spelled.

4) The company who supposedly manufactures this wheelchair is called both "Discover My Mobility" and "Discover Your Mobility" depending on where you look.

5) The Better Business Bureau has 40 complaints as to the poor quality of this business. The complaints are mostly about rude, poor, or unresponsive customer service and disputes where the company won't honor the warranty on the chair.

I do not recommend this chair or the company that sells it. There are far better options out there.

Thank you!

Hi Peter, I appreciate your quick and detailed response. Very helpful. Thank you!