What Is the Difference Between a Transport Chair and a Wheelchair?

Selecting the right mobility chair can be a daunting task. Especially when there are many options with varying features available in the market to choose from. The differences in size, weight, seat type, and wheel size impact the user’s utility, comfort, and mobility.

Understanding the user’s needs can help you pick out between wheelchairs and transport chairs. This guide will help you determine which mobility product is the right one for you!

Difference in Functionality

The biggest difference between a wheelchair and a transport chair lies in their functionality. A transport chair is aptly named because it’s made for the caretaker to transport the user. The chair has smaller wheels that can’t be reached, so a caretaker moves the user.  

In comparison, a standard wheelchair grants the user the ability to self-propel. This allows the user a lot of independence to move around as they please. However, ample arm strength is needed to maneuver a standard wheelchair. Transport chairs are better for users who get tired easily or don’t have the arm strength to move a wheelchair for a longer period.

Difference in Wheels

A transport wheelchair comes with four wheels at the bottom of its legs. These wheels are small in size and the rear ones don't rotate. The rear wheels are too small to reach when you're sitting down.

When it comes to standard wheelchairs, reaching the rear wheels is crucial because that’s how the user moves themselves. These chairs also come with four wheels, but the rear ones are much larger than the front ones. The rear wheels have rotating handrails that help the user maneuver themselves.

Difference in Weight

Transport wheelchairs are designed to be a lot lighter than standard wheelchairs. They weigh slightly over 20 pounds, while standard weigh ten pounds more. Transport chairs are designed to be lighter to push and efficient for travel. They are also easily foldable, and some are even narrow enough to fit through tight and narrow spaces.

The Brakes

Transport chairs have brakes built-in on the handles so that the attendant can easily and swiftly apply the brakes when needed or when steering on steep slopes. In comparison, standard wheelchairs have a push-lock mechanism users can apply when they need to get in or get out of the chair.

An attendant and wheelchair user looking at the twilight sky

Support and Comfort

Transport chairs are designed with travel in mind, so these chairs aren't as comfortable. They're smaller because they are made to be foldable for traveling needs. The fabric on the seat and backrest is basic and doesn't address any sitting needs.

Standard wheelchairs, however, are designed for comfort and long-term use. That’s why they have comfy seats, footrests, armrests, and backrests.

Both options are good for their purpose. The transport chair is designed for traveling needs, and a standard wheelchair is the perfect mobility device for long-term use and comfort. You can also buy lightweight wheelchairs from us to get the best of both worlds.

We have a large range of mobility products on sale at extremely affordable prices. These include heavy-duty wheelchairs, flight ultra-lightweight wheelchairs, foldable lightweight power wheelchairs, lightweight rollators, rollz motion rollators, and escape rollators.

Get in touch with us online to find out more.