Blue Streak is a technically competent wheelchair but not one of Drive’s best options. It is provisionally recommended for users up to 250 pounds, but Drive makes better models in the same price class.
* 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.
Are you looking for a sporty, decent-looking wheelchair, offered at a price you can afford? Do you want something that’s light enough that taking it with you on trips isn’t out of the question? If you answered yes to both of those questions, then your search may have led you to consider the Drive Medical Blue Streak.
In our view, this chair is proof positive that even when Drive swings and misses, they still wind up producing a pretty good wheelchair.
We admit early on here in our Drive Medical Blue Streak wheelchair review that this isn’t one of the company’s strongest models. The odds are that if you wind up buying one, you’ll be doing it mostly because of its somewhat sporty look. In terms of capabilities, Drive makes better models than this, offered for about the same money.
If you’re on the fence and haven’t quite decided which way you want to go, read on. We’ll tell you everything this chair gets right, and we won’t pull any punches when it comes to outlining why this isn’t one of Drive’s better options.
An Overview of the Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair
We’ll start by saying that the Blue Streakisa fairly conventional wheelchair. There are no massive departures in design here, but Drive did do two things in a bid to give this model a sportier look: They spruced it up with a snazzy blue coat of paint, and they installed black mag wheels on it, which look great with the blue paint job.
That said, this isn’t exactly the Ferrari of wheelchairs. It’s not hard to find models that are significantly better looking.
You’ll pay a premium for those designs, but it is certainly doable. Still, if you’re on a budget and looking for a sporty option, this one’s certainly good-looking enough to grab your attention.
Before we say more than that here in this section of our Drive Medical Blue Streak wheelchair review, let’s pause for a moment to look at the core stats that define the model.
After all, most people buy a wheelchair primarily for function, not form, so here are the basics:
Overall Product Dimensions: 24” (W) x 42” (D) x 36” (H)
Seat Dimensions: 18” (W) x 16” (D)
Chair Weight: 41.2 pounds
Maximum Supported Weight: 250 pounds
As you can see, this isn’t a huge chair. It’s narrow enough that you won’t have any difficulty navigating through a standard-width doorframe, but you won’t have a lot of room to spare either, so watch your knuckles.
The seat is well-sized, but note that you don’t get any options here unlike many of the models Drive makes. If an 18” wide seat won’t work for you, then this isn’t the chair you want. You won’t have an opportunity at the point of sale to specify some other seat size configuration.
The weight isn’t awful, but it’s heavier than we like to see, especially if you mean to take the chair with you on the road. We regard anything 40 pounds or less as being a good weight for a travel chair, and this model comes in a shade over that.
Granted, 1.2 pounds over the line isn’t the kiss of death, but the weight becomes a bit more of an issue when you consider that the chair only supports users up to 250 pounds.
It’s not at all difficult to find a good wheelchair that weighs less and supports more weight. If you happen to weigh more than 250 pounds, this model is a non-starter right out the gate.
Adjustability and Comfort
The leg rests stand as the only adjustable feature on the Drive Blue Streak wheelchair. They can be length adjusted, and they elevate, but that’s it. The desk-length arms offered on the chair are not height adjustable. They do flip back, though, which makes transferring into and out of the chair easier.
While we’d love to see the option of adding full-length arms here, we readily admit that desk-length arms are a good choice for this chair, allowing you to roll up to a desk to work or roll up to a dining table to enjoy a meal with family and friends without having to transfer out of the chair.
Note that the seat height is static on this model and sits 19.5” off the ground. That’s fine for most people, but again, it’s not at all difficult to find models (sold by Drive or their competitors) that offer at least some degree of adjustment here.
Comfort-wise, the chair is clad in durable, breathable nylon, which is comfortable for shorter periods of sitting. The longer you’re in the chair, though, the more uncomfortable you’re likely to get unless you invest in an additional seat or seatback pad. Fortunately, there are tons of great options available. The chair won’t cost you very much, so you’ll likely have the spare cash to make that investment.
Whether you buy additional padding for the seat and seatback or not, the padded armrests and calf pads on the leg rests both serve to enhance the overall comfort of the chair, making it better than average.
Extras and Options
This will be a very short section because the Blue Streak doesn’t have any extras or options available that are native to this model in particular.
Of course, there are plenty of things you can buy for the chair. Drive makes a number of accessories that fit all of the products they make. Although there’s no built-in storage, you can find plenty of storage options from third-party vendors. Of course, you’ll have an easy time finding seat or seatback pads to make the chair as comfortable as you’d like it to be.
Portability & Ease of Use
The chair is delightfully easy to use, but it doesn’t win high marks for portability. As we mentioned earlier, we regard anything under 40 pounds as being ideal for travel. Granted, this one doesn’t cross that line by much, but it does cross it, and it does so while supporting a below-average amount of user weight.
Pros & Cons of Drive Blue Streak Wheelchair
Honestly, we think the main reason someone will gravitate to this chair, preferring it over some other model, comes down to the aesthetic this one brings to the table.
While it’s not incredibly sporty, for the money, it does give you a sportier look and feel, and that has value. In terms of adjustability and functionality, though, it’s not hard to find a better option.
In fact, if you compare this one to Drive Medical’s Cruiser III, you’ll find that the Cruiser III beats this one handily across the board.
Blue Streak Wheelchair Review Conclusion
As mentioned in the previous section here in our Blue Streak wheelchair review, we don’t think it’s possible for Drive to make a wheelchair that’s just outright bad. Having said that, we do regard this one as a swing and a miss.
While the company did a reasonably good job at offering a good-looking, low-priced chair, this one just doesn’t have the capabilities and functionality that many of Drive’s comparably priced models have. On that basis, we can only provisionally recommend it, and only if your primary interest is the aesthetic.