The Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair is a chair that bills itself as a lightweight wheelchair with heavy-duty wheelchair qualities. It is a chair built to last, but also built to save your back. Is such a wheelchair even possible? Invacare seems to think so.
If their claims are true, the Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair has the potential to be a top wheelchair on the market. So does it live up to those claims? Let’s find out in our Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair review!
Features of Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair
Large no-flex wheels
The Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair includes very large wheels that give it a smooth ride all of the time. Wheelchair wheels can run anywhere from 12” to 24” and this chair includes the largest available size at 24” in diameter. The large wheels cover lots of ground per push making it much easier to propel versus smaller sized wheels.
In addition, the wheels are made of Invacare’s no-flex technology. The tires themselves are made from modern, lasting, urethane that is then mounted over no-flex wheels. These wheel frames are light and are made to resist warping and bending over time. Normally, large wheels have an issue of getting bent out of shape over time making them uneven and hard to maintain. That is where the no-flex tech comes into play.
Carbon steel frame
Many wheelchairs are made from standard steel or aluminum but the Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair is made from carbon steel. Carbon steel is an alloy that mixes some of the best building materials into a new and strong metal that is superior to both aluminum and steel. Carbon steel has the lightness of aluminum but retains the quality strength of steel. That means you get a lightweight wheelchair without the endurance concerns that come with aluminum.
Many times, you get a lightweight wheelchair and the weight saving measures have compromised the durability. Inversely, you can also get a super durable and strong wheelchair but it weighs a ton. Carbon steel blends those two together in a way that is unique among most wheelchairs on the market.
One of the best parts of this wheelchair is the adjustable seat. Honestly, it is one of those things that after you use it you wonder why more chairs do not include a similar function. The seat on the Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair can have the height adjusted so that the distance from the seat to the floor can be incrementally changed. The heights can be adjusted from 17.5” to 19.5”.
That might not seem like much but if you have ever used a wheelchair where your feet drag on the floor or your feet are just a little too short for the included footrests then you know that couple of inches can be the difference between super comfortable and uncomfortable.
Specifications of Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair
Seat to floor height
17.5” to 19.5”
Video Overview of Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair
Pros and Cons of Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair
The Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair was built with durability in mind. Many of the key features of this wheelchair are all designed around making a chair that will hold up to extended usage over a long period of time. The carbon steel frame is a step up over aluminum and standard steel frames. The wheels are built to keep their shape after hours and hours of use. The seat is built to be both adjustable but also functional for the duration. You will not use up this wheelchair like you can with other wheelchairs that do not have all of these durability features.
Despite all of the characteristics pointing to a lasting chair, this wheelchair is not rigid. It is actually quite versatile. With an adjustable seat, large wheels, the ability to fold down, and the lightness of the frame this wheelchair is actually very versatile. All of these things combine to ensure that this chair will work for a large variety of people.
People with different heights will love the adjustable seat. Bad drivers will like the no-flex wheels. On the go wheelchair, users will love the folding feature. People who aren’t as strong as they used to be will love how light it feels.
Any wheelchair that is designed to be a consistent use chair needs to be comfortable. We have said that time and time again. You will not get the full durability out of your chair if you find it unbearable to ride in. Thankfully, the Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair is quite comfortable. Bolstered by the adjustable seat, this chair also features nylon upholstery with heavy-duty inner liners that keeps the seat breathable and rigid over time. Other chairs have upholstery that wears out and begins to droop after many uses which makes it less comfortable and supportive.
In terms of a lightweight self propelled wheelchair that is designed for everyday use, this chair has a low weight capacity. The average weight capacity for similar wheelchairs is normally 300lbs but this chair only has a capacity of 250lbs. That eliminates a good chunk of the population from using this chair and it also cuts down on the number of extra things you can carry or store in the wheelchair while you are using it.
It would have been nice to see this chair at 300lbs of capacity rather than 250lbs, especially at this price. While 50lbs different does not seem like a lot, it can make a big difference in the long run.
The other downside is that the Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair is on the higher end of the price range. Most of the standard manual wheelchairs we have reviewed run between $120 and $200. This wheelchair starts at $300. That is a significant step up from other similar wheelchairs in terms of price and this chair does not add enough extras in order to fully justify the asking price.
If you are on a budget or are looking for something with a ton of quality of life upgrades you might be turned off by the price.
Who is the Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair best for?
This wheelchair is going to appeal to anyone who buys products that last. Someone who has been burned by an “affordable” wheelchair that claimed to be long lasting for cheap only to have it break down sooner than expected is going to really appreciate the attention to detail that went into this wheelchair. The Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair is not the sturdiest chair on the market in terms of capacity and it is not the cheapest but it is built to be one of the longest lasting wheelchairs. If you are going to be using a wheelchair on a regular basis, are sick of shopping for substandard quality materials, and want something that you can be confident is going to last for years with little upkeep required you are going to love this wheelchair.
Technical Support Resources
Top Similar Product Available: Karman LT-980 Wheelchair
It was hard to find another wheelchair that ticks all of the same boxes that the Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair checks but we did find one that was similar. If you want a wheelchair that offers a similar array of lightweight and durable features the Karman LT-980 Wheelchair does a good job of measuring up.
Both of these wheelchairs are similarly priced, are both lightweight and both offer adjustable and durable characteristics that other chairs do not have. The Karman LT-980 Wheelchair also features an adjustable height seat, large sturdy wheels, and only weighs 24lbs - which is actually considerably lighter than the Invacare Lightweight Chair.
However, the Karman LT-980 Wheelchair is not made from durable carbon steel but is made from ultralight aluminum. They both feature weight ratings of only 250lbs. So if you are looking for something similar, in the same price range but maybe want something a little lighter and a little different the Karman LT-980 Wheelchair is an excellent chair for consideration.
Elly Christina's Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair Review
Verdict - Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair
The Invacare Lightweight Wheelchair falls just short of being truly great. It is a good chair with some awesome design choices but is held back by the drawbacks. If it cost a little less and could compete with the wheelchairs under $200 it would probably be a top three chair on the market but the price puts it out of reach for many people. If it had a 300lbs or greater weight capacity it could really lean into their heavy duty design but they are stuck at 250lbs capacity.
Invacare is onto something special here and if they can refine it, this would be a top choice chair on the market. As it is now, it is still a good chair, especially for someone who appreciates durability and long lasting value. However, if you are looking for a standard self propelled wheelchair for regular use, you can find similar products for less money on the market right now.