Utilizing specialized materials, the featherweight wheelchair boasts such low-weight characteristics that it can be lifted into a vehicle for transport by almost anyone; case in point: while a number of wheelchairs can weigh upwards of 35 pounds, the featherweight clocks in at a mere 19 pounds fully assembled (and an impressive 13.5 pounds when removing the optional pop-off wheels).
Whether the wheelchair is being operated by yourself or with a caregiver’s assistance, the feather chair is simple to use and takes less than a minute to fold or unfold. What’s more, the leg rests come in either an elevating or swing-away configuration, with optional “anti-tipper” wheels often available to prevent the chair from falling backward.
Our Own Featherweight Wheelchair Story
For 1800Wheelchair’s part, our founders determined, quite accurately, that wheelchairs are ultimately ugly, heavy and expensive, and as such decided to build a brand that offers beautiful, lightweight and affordable variants. In late 2018, we launched our flagship product which ended up becoming the world’s lightest wheelchair at 13 pounds, dubbed the Feather Chair (and named after the alternative reference to featherweight wheelchairs).
Let’s be honest: a lightweight wheelchair is essential for traveling, especially when it comes to lifting a chair in and out of a car – to say nothing of maneuvering it on a plane or bus – so the lighter the chair, the easier for a caregiver to push or for the user to self-propel.
Hassle-Free Travel: One of the Most Important Aspects
Since we touched on travel in the previous paragraph, this would be a great time to dive into greater detail about this vital aspect of featherweight wheelchairs. This product folds easily into a simple-to-lift, compact package in the blink of an eye, requiring the user to fold down the backrest, pull the middle section of the seat upwards and prepare for storage or transport. For additional convenience, quick-release wheels are available, this optional upgrade allowing the rear wheels to be removed simply and with little haste – this, in turn, allows for more convenient storage and reduces the weight of the Feather Chair from an already super-light 19 pounds to an astonishing 13.5 pounds.
Traveling with a family member suffering with mobility issues has never been so streamlined.
Light as a Feather…and Safe
Featherweight wheelchairs usually include, as a standard safety protocol, dual sets of brakes, with wheel locks at the front of the frame preventing the wheelchair from unintentionally moving forward or backward – and which can be reached easily by the user. Handbrakes, meanwhile, are located in the push handles at the rear of the featherweight chair for use by a caregiver, the integrated brake system itself operating similarly to the brakes of a bicycle – a mere squeeze is all that’s required to stop the chair.
By pushing them toward the ground, the handbrakes can also be locked into place, while the optional and aforementioned anti-tippers provide an additional layer of safety by keeping the wheelchair from tipping backward.
Additional Information About Wheelchairs in General
A standard wheelchair – or manual wheelchair – can best be described as a chair for mobility featuring rear wheels that are large and front wheels that are smaller, intended to be manually propelled by the user or pushed by a caregiver. This design enables the user to reach the wheels in the rear and, while seated, push themselves; standard wheelchairs are also transportable, collapsible and easy to use by both a patient and caregiver.
If you cannot mobilize without assistance and find yourself being able to take only a few steps before having to catch your breath, you may be a candidate for a wheelchair. You may also require a chair if walking long distances is challenging, even with help (whether that constitutes a family member, friend or another assistive device like a cane). Further, if you find yourself struggling to walk on your own and believe you would benefit from a wheelchair, your mobility limitations should first be discussed with your primary caregiver; during your scheduled appointment, your needs will be analyzed by your doctor and a wheelchair may indeed be prescribed for use.
When it comes to “qualifying for a wheelchair,” this determination will be decided by your doctor as well, and if you fulfill the requirements as laid forth by your insurance provider to cover the chair’s costs. Indeed, to “qualify” for a wheelchair, your doctor needs to be convinced that you exhibit limited mobility while at the same time are physically capable of pushing a wheelchair on your own. If daily tasks are interfered with by your limited mobility – whether it’s merely getting around your home or completing essential everyday functions like putting clothes on – you may qualify for a wheelchair.
Consequently, you will need to be able to sit and support yourself without assistance in order to operate a wheelchair, as well as be able to physically operate the controls and navigate appropriately, all while being able to solely get in and out of the chair. Your medical necessity for a wheelchair can be determined by your primary caregiver by analyzing your mobility limitations as well as evaluating how you’d possibly benefit from such a device.
What’s Best for You?
Here at 1800Wheelchair, we want nothing but the best for our customers, and this is why we’re constantly looking out for advancements in the wheelchair sector as well as ways to recommend the best chairs for specific needs. The “best” wheelchair is the one that suits these needs, lands within your budget and integrates into your daily life the most efficiently, but with so many chairs on the market, it can be an overwhelming prospect to select the right model – especially if this is your first time purchasing a wheelchair.
If the ultimate in simple mobility is on the top of your priority roster, featherweight wheelchairs are definitely the way to do. Lightweight frames make these chairs easy to travel with, and many of them come in interesting upholstery colors – such as blue plaid and black plaid – for a custom look.
Get in contact with 1800Wheelchair today to get all the wheelchair buying assistance you need.