Wheelchairs are used by millions of people in the United States, and there are hundreds of different models to choose from.
The Cruiser III, from Drive Medical, is one option that seniors should keep in mind. It’s versatile, easy to maneuver, and includes excellent leg support and stability.
Review of: Drive Cruiser III Wheelchair
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What We Like:
- Removable armrests
- Thick, padded leg supports
- Comfortable seat
- Easy maneuverability
- High weight capacity
What We Don’t Like:
- Wheels may break with rough use
- 28 inches wide, may not fit through some doorways
Our Conclusion: The Drive Cruiser III is one of the best and most affordable wheelchair options with padded leg rests. People who need extra leg support and stabilization will appreciate the comfort and security the chair offers, all without breaking the bank.
Features of Drive Cruiser III Wheelchair
Removable Flip-Back Arms
For seniors and other wheelchair users who need to be lifted into and out of the chair, this is a hugely beneficial feature. The armrests can be flipped backward or removed altogether, giving your caretaker the access they need to safely lift the user in and out of the chair. This increased access makes it more comfortable for both parties and lowers the risk of an accident.
Accidents in wheelchairs typically happen in two scenarios: on unlevel, rough terrain, or entering/exiting the wheelchair. Being able to be securely placed into or taken out of the chair allows seniors with severe mobility limitations to use their wheelchairs.
Padded Leg Supports
Have you had a surgery or recent injury that is your reason for needing a wheelchair? Or, do you have a permanent disability or physical limitation that requires more intensive leg support than a basic wheelchair footbed provides? The padded, durable leg supports on the Cruiser III will be a breath of fresh air! They are adjustable and removable, so you can use them on either one or both legs. They provide solid cushion and stability for your calves, stabilizing the entire leg.
Adjustable Seat Height
The Cruiser III has a dual-axle body that allows you to adjust the seat height to a hemi level. Hemi-level wheelchairs are slightly lower than traditional manual wheelchairs; this allows users to propel themselves in the wheelchair using their feet. This is a good option for people who have more severe limitations in their arms or torso than their legs.
Adjustable seats are also helpful for users who are more petite; whereas a senior shorter than 5’2” might feel much too small for a standard height, but a hemi-level wheelchair feels just right. The Drive Cruiser III is perfect for seniors of any height, and users who need to propel themselves with their feet rather than their hands!
Foldable and Portable
This is a common feature in manual wheelchairs, but a beneficial one nonetheless. The Drive Cruiser III folds up and locks in place, becoming only 12 inches wide. This makes it great for transportation and storage. You can toss the wheelchair in the trunk of a car, on an airplane, or the aisle of a bus, without getting in people’s way.
Being able to fold up your wheelchair is also ideal when you’re indoors. If you’re sitting at a restaurant table, seated in a movie theater or church pew, or at a doctor’s office, it helps to be able to tuck your wheelchair out of the way. No more dealing with a clunky wheelchair sitting in everyone else’s footpath, just enjoying your time out and about!
It’s no secret that the backrest of a wheelchair isn’t always the most comfortable piece of the device. The backrest on the Cruiser III is high-quality and made of breathable fabric, but that won’t be enough to satisfy every user. People with neck and spine issues might need more support; heavier users, too, may need a bit more padding to sit comfortably. Any senior who spends more time in their wheelchair than out of it knows that comfort and posture are key to wheelchair health.
The Drive Cruiser III allows for seniors to replace the backrest or upgrade it with different inserts. This can transform the wheelchair from a standard, comfortable wheelchair to one that is almost a pleasure to use despite limited mobility! If you have more serious needs in a wheelchair, it may be worthwhile to upgrade this affordable wheelchair rather than purchase one that costs several hundred dollars more!
Additionally, this wheelchair and accommodate several attachments that will upgrade its safety, comfort, and convenience. These attachments can range from neck supports to anti-tip wheels, and from cupholders to cane hooks. Being able to attach accessories to your wheelchair makes using it that much better for your quality of life!
Easy to Push and Turn
The wheels on the Cruiser III are made of composite plastic rather than aluminum or steel. This helps you out by keeping the total weight low and making it easier to propel yourself. Wheelchairs are great, but they can potentially strain and injure your arm muscles if they’re too hard to push. Having lightweight, 24-inch drive wheels lets you push yourself around for longer periods without getting as tired!
Specifications of Drive Cruiser III Wheelchair
drive cruiser iii wheelchair
Length (with riggings)
Width of Wheelchair
12 inches (closed), 28 inches (open)
16 – 18 inches
17.5 – 19.5 inches
Backrest Height (seat to top)
8 inches high (from seat), 14 inches long
24 inches high, 1 inch wide
Video Overview of Drive Lightweight Cruiser III Wheelchair
Pros and Cons of Drive Cruiser III Wheelchair
- Removable armrests make it easy for caregivers to safely lift wheelchair users in and out
- Thick, padded leg supports help stabilize seniors with more serious physical limitations
- Using a manual wheelchair can improve respiratory health
- Comfortable seat and upgradable backrest
- Easy maneuverability thanks to wide wheelbase and lightweight wheels
- High weight capacity, can support 350 pounds
- Wheels may break with rough use
- 28 inches wide, may not fit through some doorways
Who the Drive Cruiser III is Best For?
This is an excellent wheelchair for rehabilitation and recovery. It has the padded leg rests needed to keep you supported and, most importantly, still after a surgery or accident. It’s an affordable choice for short-term use and comfortable enough to sit in for hours at a time. Plus, it’s easy to upgrade the chair to more fully suit your needs with back inserts, cupholders, and more! For any senior who needs to use a wheelchair for a few weeks or even months as they recover, the Cruiser III is a wonderful and affordable option!
This wheelchair is also a great choice as a backup for seniors who typically use a motorized mobility aid. Electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters are great, but they don’t work everywhere. Some places are too narrow or crowded for your electric wheelchair to fit, so it’s good to have a backup on hand. Similarly, having a backup wheelchair is a huge relief if there are any battery failures or mechanical issues with your electric wheelchair; you don’t have to worry about being stranded if you have a backup!
For long-term, permanent use of a manual wheelchair, the Cruiser III is passable but perhaps not ideal. You can make upgrades to the chair so that it can be used all day, every day, but as it comes in the box it isn’t ideal for sitting in 10+ hours each day. It will work, but you may become more uncomfortable over time. If you need a permanent wheelchair, it’s best to either upgrade the Cruiser III with attachments or look for a more high-end model!
Helpful Links for The Drive Cruiser III
- Click here to access the Cruiser III Owner’s Manual
- Click here to find replacement parts for your Drive Cruiser III
- Click here to troubleshoot issues with the Drive Cruiser III (parts diagram to locate problem areas)
Top Competitor Product: Invacare Tracer SX5
This scooter offers many of the same advantages as the Drive Bobcat but has a bit more juice. It can travel 16 miles on a single charge and has a top speed of 5 MPH. If you plan to use your mobility scooter to travel a few miles from home to run errands, you’ll enjoy the quicker trips.
It features a similar swivel seat, the same weight capacity, and thick tires that can also handle light-medium grass. One advantage it has is a bright LED headlight that makes it safe for seniors with low vision and those who want to ride at night. The Bobcat is missing that feature, and although you can attach headlights to it, it should be a standard across all scooters!
On the downside, you’ll have to spend a bit more money to get this scooter than you would for the Bobcat. But, if you consider the upgraded range and speed, this might be worth it for you! Additionally, it has a higher deck, making it difficult for seniors with limited leg movement to use.
- Very comfortable seat and backrest
- Multiple options for seat width and footrests
- Desk-lengths armrests make it easy to sit at tables
- More expensive than other manual wheelchairs
- Lower weight capacity (250-300 pounds max depending on seat width option)
Murray Jammal’s Drive Cruiser III Wheelchair Review
For seniors who need a permanent wheelchair, the Cruiser III is easy to push and upgradable with different attachments and extra padding. If you’re looking for a versatile and affordable wheelchair, put the Cruiser III from Drive Medical at the top of your list!
Drive Cruiser III Wheelchair (Click image for more info)