The Most Affordable Quality Wheelchairs

When I am asked how much my wheelchair costs and I answer, most people are surprised.

Usually quality wheelchairs cost between Euro 2000-3000 and in my country you can buy

a used car for that amount. But if you are disabled you do not have a lot of choice, you need a

wheelchair. In many countries (such as mine), the cost of the wheelchair is not always fully

reimbursed. For example, in Lithuania, the government will pay up to 1200 euros and the

disabled person has to pay the amount left over. This can be very difficult for many people.

So, finding a quality affordable wheelchair is very important.

We have created a list of quality lightweight, adjustable, affordable wheelchairs, together

with Pros and Cons (advantages and disadvantages). The list includes both rigid and

folding wheelchairs. But what do these terms mean and why are they important?


Weight: does it really matter? YES! Lightweight wheelchairs are easier to lift and are

easier to push. Be very careful when comparing weights of wheelchairs. Some companies list weights

without wheels, footrests, armrest, etc. It can be very difficult to compare the weight of one

wheelchair to another. Even the weights given below may not be truly comparable. So,

please double check with manufacturers before buying. Another word of caution: Some

wheelchairs achieve very low weights by sacrificing adjustability. Be very careful of this

trick. As noted below, adjustability is a key feature of a wheelchair unless you are a very

experienced wheelchair user.


Adjustiblity why is it necessary?: If you are going to use the wheelchair for a long time,

you should he “fitted” by a professional, just like you would be measured by a tailor before

buying an expensive suit. The wheelchair should “fit your body” and be built for that fit.

But bodies and needs can change over time and even the best professional can make a

mistake in the measurements. This is where after market adjustability comes in. Being able

to adjust the seat height, camber, center of gravity, backrest, front caster heights, are very

important. Why? Lets take center of gravity for example. When you are new to a

wheelchair, you do not want it to tip very easily because you can fall backwards and injure

yourself. But as you get used to pushing the chair, you will want to make it “tippier” so you

can more easily go over bumps and cracks. Adjusting center of gravity will allow you to do

that. If you chair does not adjust easily, you will be stuck with the chair even if it no

longer fits your needs.


Folding vs Rigid: Which is better? Usually if a wheelchair user selects a wheelchair, they

will prefer a rigid wheelchair. If a carer (parent, spouse) selects the wheelchair, they will

prefer a folding wheelchair. Why? A rigid wheelchair performs better, requires less

maintenance and is usually lighter. It can fold for storage in a car, but you need to remove

the wheels and fold the backrest. This can be easily done in less than a minute. But a

folding wheelchair, folds up quicker for transporting simply by pulling up on the seat sling.


Below are a selection of some of the best low cost, quality, adjustible wheelchairs on the market.

Rigid Wheelchairs

Spazz G;

Weight 9 kg

Adjustibility rating 5/5

Best Base Price: $1,014.95 (Bike-on)


Pros: This is probably the most adjustable, ultralight weight wheelchair on the

market. Even seat width is adjustable, if you buy a “growth package”. Why is

this important? You want to buy the smallest seat width that will fit you. The slimmer

the wheelchair the easier it will fit through narrow doorways and shopping aisles. But what

happens when you gain weight? You can outgrow your wheelchair. To my knowledge only

Colours Spazz-G has the option to grow seat width. But the growth package is not

cheap. Contact the manufacturer for more information.


Cons: The name. Yes, many people are shocked by the name “Spazz-G” and

think that this must have been done by mistake, since “Spazz” is a

derogatory word. But trust me, Colours knew what they were doing when

they chose this name.

Much of the adjustability is achieved by buying and exchanging parts as can

be seen in the video below. They may be expensive, but a lot less expensive

than buying a new wheelchair

This low price may not be available outside of the USA. Colours does not

have many international dealers. And if you find one, they will probably

charge a higher price than in the USA. But it is worth asking about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3RL93O23Pk


Quickie GP/GPV

Best Base Price $1245 (Spinlife)

Weight 11kg

Adustibility rating 4/5

Pros: This is a classic wheelchair, on the market for 30 years. The manufacturer Sunrise Medical

is one of the biggest wheelchair companies and offers good support. A sturdy and reliable

wheelchair.

Cons: Old fashioned, “box frame” design, looks a bit clunky and is a bit heavier than other

wheelchairs



Quickie QRI

Best Base Price: $1231 (1800 Wheelchair and others)

Weight 22lbs

Adjustability rating 4/5

Pros: More modern than the GP/GPV, the Qri is lighter and nicer looking.

Cons: A bit less range of adjustability compared to the GP/GPV. For example camber

adjusts only from 0-3 degrees. But most people will not notice the difference.


Folding Wheelchairs

Quickie Qxi

Best Base Price $1212 (Spinlife)

Weight 28.8 lbs

Adjustability rating 4/5

Pros “One of the best features of the QXI is that almost all adjustments can be

made with one 10 mm hex head wrench…Each adjustment can be made in less

than a minute.”

Cons: Weight


Karmen Flexi

Folding Wheelchair

Best Base Price: $1099 (Karmenhealthcare.com)

Weight 28.5lbs

Adjustability rating 4/5


Featherweight Wheelchair

Price: $499 (1800Wheelchair)

Weight 19 lbs with wheels

Adjustability rating 0/5

Pros: Superlight weight, Super low price

Cons: Not only is nothing adjustable, but there are no options to choose from. For example, the

seat is 18 inches wide. Do you want a 16 inch wide seat? Too bad, it is not available. Cheap

chair, but you get what they got. There is a 22 inch wide chair with 350lbs capacity

available at a higher price


RoughRider

Price: Currently $450 discounted from the usual $900 (Whirlwind.com)

Weight 45 lbs with wheels

Adjustability rating 3/5 (Camber appears to be non-adjustable)

Pros: This is meant to be used primarily as an outdoor, rough terrain wheelchair. It was

initially created for undeveloped countries, where people needed a low cost, highly durable

wheelchair. It glides over bumps, grass and gravel, and other obstacles which could make

an everyday wheelchair flip. It is strong, durable and easily repaired when damaged.

Cons: It is very heavy, at least twice the weight of a typical wheelchair, which may make it

difficult to lift into a car. It may also be more difficult to push up a steep incline.

Due to the extended front caster wheels, it will may be more difficult to get things off of

counters and tables, or to reach anything in front of you.

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