Advantage Reclining Wheelchair is a versatile reclining wheelchair, and surprisingly lightweight, too! It is recommended for anyone on a budget, weighing up to 300 pounds (450 pounds, if you order the one with the 22” seat!) who’s in the market for a reclining wheelchair that’s light enough to travel with.
* Note regarding Brand Reliability: This metric is a measure of the strength and longevity of the brand, which by extension, is a measure of the level of support you can expect.
Do you love whiling away the afternoon in a good recliner? Have you been thinking about combining that functionality with that of a wheelchair and having the best of both worlds? Would you love to have a reclining wheelchair that is light enough to take with you on trips?
If you answered yes to the question above, then you’re going to enjoy this Everest & Jennings Advantage reclining wheelchair review.
We’ll be quick to admit that it’s not for everyone. For the right user, it could be just about perfect.
Are you the type of person the designers had in mind when they made this model? The short answer is, you may be.
In the sections that follow, we’ll tell you everything this chair has to offer, and we won’t pull any punches when describing its shortcomings and limitations. That way, you’ll have all the information at your fingertips to decide for yourself if this is the model you’ve been searching for.
If that sounds good to you, read on, and let’s take a closer look!
An Overview of the Everest Jennings Advantage Recliner Wheelchair
The Advantage chair has distinctive styling that gives it a vaguely sporty look. Jet black with mag wheels and the prominent Everest & Jennings logo on the side, it definitely catches the eye. It would be overselling it to describe this as a great-looking wheelchair, though. It’s not, but then, few wheelchairs are. Still, it’s clear the designers wanted to place some emphasis on form and not just on function, and we like that.
Before we say more on aesthetics in this section of our Advantage reclining wheelchair review, let’s take a moment to do a quick review of the core stats for this model to get a better handle on what we’re dealing with here. The basics are as follows:
Overall Product Dimensions: 30.5” (W) x 32” (D) x 51.5” (H)
Seat Dimensions: 20” (W) x 17” (D) (Note: The company also offers this chair with a 16,” an 18,” and a 22” wide seat. The width of the chair is the seat width selected, plus 10.5.” In the case of the 22” wide seat, the seat depth is 19.”)
Chair Weight: 53 pounds
Maximum Supported Weight: 300 pounds (450 pounds if you get the 22” wide seat variant)
These are mostly good numbers. One important thing to note here is that with the 20” wide seat, the chair is slightly too wide to fit through a standard-width doorway. However, the variant with the 16” or 18” wide seat will slide through a standard width doorway without a problem.
Unfortunately, that’s simply not an option for some. Be sure to take a quick measurement, so you know which seat size fits you best.
The thing that surprises us most about this model is the weight. Yes, it’s heavier than your average wheelchair, but then, reclining wheelchairs always are. That just comes with the territory. Even so, 53 pounds isn’t bad at all. If you have sufficient upper body strength or a bit of help (either from an assistant or from a bit of technology, like a lift), then traveling with a chair like this is certainly within the realm of possibility.
We also love that the variant with the wider seat features additional bracing, which ruggedizes the frame and makes it capable of supporting more user weight.
Too often, we’ve seen instances where a wheelchair is offered in a bigger size, but no changes are made to the frame, and the chair just can’t adequately support bigger, heavier users. That’s not the case here, and it speaks to the depth of experience that Everest & Jennings has in the market.
Adjustability and Comfort of Everest and Jennings Reclining Wheelchair
The Everest Jennings Advantage recliner wheelchair has the basics well covered. The seat’s default height is 19.5,” but this is a Hemi-height chair. If you like, you can lower the seat to as low as 17.5.” For some users, that means you’ll be able to maneuver with your feet if you wish.
Also, the elevating leg rests can be adjusted for length. Taken together with the seat height adjustment, it gives users plenty of options and flexibility in terms of customizing their seating experience and optimizing for comfort.
Of course, the big adjustable feature to talk about with a chair like this is the recline function itself.
This chair reclines from a fully upright 90 degrees to lay almost flat, at a 170-degree maximum recline angle.
That’s superb, and it’s plenty for most folks, but if you’re specifically in the market for a recliner that lays flat, this isn’t the one you want. It comes close, but it doesn’t quite get there.
Comfort-wise, the chair doesn’t fare quite as well, but that’s fixable! The company opted to clad this chair in leatherette, and we admit, it looks very pretty, but there are two problems.
The first is that leatherette isn’t breathable. The longer you sit in this chair, the hotter you’re going to get. That’s no big deal if you only occasionally need to use your chair. If you plan on spending the better part of each day in it, that leather is going to be miserable after about 4 hours.
The other problem is that leatherette can’t stand up to the rigors of heavy daily use, which means it’s going to start peeling and cracking way before you think it will. This comes down to exactly how long and how often you use the chair every day. Under the strain of heavy daily use, you can expect the leatherette to start wearing badly after about 18 months.
The good news is that’s a fixable problem. It’s easy to add a seat and/or seat pad of whatever thickness you desire, and doing so has the added benefit of getting your skin off the leatherette, which will be cooler and help make it last longer.
Also, note that this chair features stationary padded armrests and calf pads on the leg rests for added comfort. Finally, as is the case with most reclining wheelchairs, this one offers a headrest pillow for those leisurely afternoons of reclining. The headrest is strapped into place and can be easily removed if you don’t want or need it.
Extras and Options of the Advantage Recliner
In addition to the headrest pillow we just mentioned, there are two other extras to talk about here.
First, this is one of a relatively small number of reclining wheelchairs on the market today to offer built-in storage!
You’ll find a small chart pocket located behind the seat.
Granted, it’s not enormous, and you’ll probably want to augment this by investing in some or other third-party storage solution. The fact that some storage was included is a very nice touch. We like that kind of attention to detail and wish it was more common in the industry.
The other big extra to talk about is the fact that the Everest Jennings Advantage reclining wheelchair comes standard with anti-tippers. That’s pretty common for reclining wheelchairs, but honestly, we wish it was standard equipment on every wheelchair sold. It’s just a critical safety feature.
Of course, in addition to that, there are a whole host of options and possibilities available from third-party vendors. If you want to trick your chair out, you’ve got tons of choices. But, those are the only things that come standard with this model.
One final note before we leave this section concerning the purchase of this chair. When you place your order, in addition to being asked to select the seat size you desire, you’ll have a decision to make regarding the armrests. You can order your chair with either desk-length or full-length armrests.
Mostly, this comes down to how you see yourself using the chair.
If you plan to use it for leisure and travel, and you want to optimize your comfort, go with the full-length arms.
If you envision yourself using this chair for work, get the desk-length arms, which will enable you to roll right up to your desk and start working without having to transfer out of this chair and into your office chair.
If you want to enjoy a meal with family and friends, desk-length arms are the way to go because they allow you to roll up to the dinner table and not have to transfer out of your chair for dining.
Portability & Ease of Use
Honestly, this is a surprisingly portable chair, given that it is also a recliner. Most of the reclining wheelchairs on the market today weigh in at something over sixty pounds. Normally, we regard anything over 40 pounds as being a poor choice for a traveling chair, but there are two exceptions to this rule of thumb:
Bariatric chairs and reclining wheelchairs.
In both cases, our thinking is that the people who buy these products already know going in that they’re getting a relatively heavier chair and have made peace with that fact. It’s just the tradeoff you make when you invest in one of these.
Having said that, the Everest and Jennings reclining wheelchair is light enough that overland travel shouldn’t prove to be too daunting a challenge. It also presents a 14” profile when folded. That’s not as narrow as some other chairs, but it should fit easily enough into any full-sized SUV, truck, van, or hatchback.
If you have a full-sized sedan, you’ll probably want to measure your available trunk space before you buy, though.
Airline travel is a bit trickier. Airlines charge by weight, and each company’s policy is different. If you’re traveling by air, your best bet is to call the company you’re flying with before you head to the airport, so you know what to expect.
As far as ease of use goes, this chair is rock solid. Yes, it’s heavier than average, but not excessively so. You won’t have any particular trouble on flat, open surfaces if you’ve got the upper body strength to handle the chair’s extra weight.
Remember, though, if you get the 20” seat, you won’t be able to slide through a standard width doorway, and you’ll need to plan for that. That fact also makes this chair less than optimal for people who live in smaller homes or apartments or visiting with people who do.
One final note before we leave this section: The default wheels on this chair have no treads. They’re optimized for travel over flat, level surfaces. Suppose you’re planning to use your wheelchair to enjoy parks and nature trails where you’ll regularly encounter rough, uneven ground. In that case, you’ll definitely want to upgrade the wheels to something better able to handle those challenges.
Pros & Cons of Advantage Recliner Wheelchair
Honestly, this is a great reclining wheelchair, offered by a well-respected company. Yes, travel with this model will have its challenges, but that’s true of any reclining wheelchair. Assuming you’ve already made peace with that, there’s a lot to like here.
It’s a well-priced, highly adjustable machine.
Advantage Reclining Wheelchair Review Conclusion
We note here in our Advantage reclining wheelchair review that reclining wheelchairs are almost entirely self-selecting. It is either this model will belong on your shortlist of options to consider or it wouldn’t matter to you how many bells and whistles this chair has.
If you are in the market for a reclining wheelchair and you don’t need one that lays perfectly flat, this is a great option to consider, especially if you want something you can take on the road with you. We recommend it.