Healthline Lightweight is a sturdy, surprisingly great wheelchair, offered by a company not known for its wheelchairs.
Recommended For: Anyone weighing up to 300 pounds, who doesn’t have a lot of money to spend and is in the market for a surprisingly great little wheelchair offered for a song.
*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 on a tight budget? Are you in the market for a very low-cost wheelchair that doesn’t cut corners when it comes to quality? Oh, and preferably one that’s also light enough to toss in the car and take on trips with you?
Finding that wheelchair can feel like questing for a unicorn. If that’s what you’ve been looking for, hold on. We may have found your unicorn, and you’re going to love this Healthline Lightweight wheelchair review.
Whether you’re looking for a low-cost primary chair or an inexpensive backup you can leave in your trunk till you need it, the Healthline Lightweight Wheelchair may be the model you’ve been searching for. It’s surprisingly awesome.
It’s not perfect, but then, if it was, it would probably cost five or six times for what it does.
That’s the thing, though; it’s incredibly inexpensive and surprisingly capable, all while being relatively lightweight.
That’s a tough combination to pull off, even for big, well-established brands, which Healthline isn’t when it comes to wheelchairs, which makes this model all the more remarkable.
Want to know more? Read on, and we’ll tell you all about it. You may have found your next wheelchair!
An Overview of the Healthline Wheelchair
The first thing to say where this chair is concerned is that Healthline isn’t an obvious choice in terms of companies to buy a wheelchair from.
They’ve been in the medical device business for years, but they mostly deal in walkers, rollators, shower chairs, and equipment like that. They do offer a small line of wheelchairs, though. As the design of this one reveals, they know the business well enough to craft a perfectly competent wheelchair.
It’s clear, though, that the Healthline design team responsible for this model placed the lion’s share of their emphasis on function rather than form. It’s not that the chair is ugly; it isn’t. It’s simply conventionally designed and functional.
There’s nothing wrong with that. We believe here in our Healthline Lightweight wheelchair review that if you’re looking for a model with a bit of zing or pizazz, this isn’t the one you want. In fact, the only nod to form that the team gave this chair was the inclusion of mag wheels.
They’re attractive, and they look pretty good on this all-black chair, but by themselves, they’re not enough to sway anyone to purchase this model over some other.
Before we talk about anything other than the aesthetics of the chair, let’s take a moment to do a quick stats review so we can see exactly what we’re dealing with here. Here’s the chair, by the numbers:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 25.5” (W) x 32” (D) x 36” (H)
- Seat Dimensions: 16” (W) x 16” (D) (also offered 18”(W) x 16”(D) seat size)
- Chair Weight: 37 pounds (the reinforced variant weighs 60 pounds)
- Maximum Supported Weight: 300 pounds
This is very much a “what you see is what you get” kind of chair. At the point of sale, there are two seat size options for you to choose from, which are 16” x 16” and 18” x “16.”. If those are too small (or too big) for you, then this isn’t your chair. Given that, it pays to measure yourself before you buy it!
In our view, an 18” x 16” seat is useful to a bigger slice of the market. Even so, we estimate that this chair will serve some 85% of the market well enough with the dimensions and supported weight limits as they are.
The rest of the dimensions are good and, in fact, fairly typical. The chair is relatively narrow and can easily slide through a standard-width doorframe with room to spare. There’s not too much spare space, though, so do watch those knuckles!
The maximum supported weight is strictly average. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we are impressed by the chair’s total weight and regard that as the standout number here.
In our book, anything under 40 pounds makes a good travel chair. The lighter the chair, the easier it is to tote around, after all.
While this one doesn’t come in too much under our (admittedly somewhat arbitrary) 40-pound limit, it does manage to do it, and that still counts. Besides, there are a tremendous number of chairs that don’t, so this is not an insignificant accomplishment. Kudos to Healthline for making a good product and making it light!
Adjustability and Comfort
We were pleasantly surprised to see that the Healthline wheelchair is a dual-axel, Hemi-Height chair, allowing you to set the height of the seat to either 19.5” or down to 17.5” at your option.
In addition to that, the leg rests are length-adjustable, which, when combined with the height adjustment option, gives you a fair amount of flexibility in terms of optimizing your seating experience. Assuming the 16” wide seat doesn’t knock this one out of the running, of course.
On the comfort front, you’ll find breathable nylon upholstery, padded full-length armrests and calf pads on the leg rests. That’s about as good as it gets in the wheelchair world, and you’ll find the chair to be reasonably comfortable for shorter periods (1-4 hours) of sitting in it.
Beyond that, you’ll start to get increasingly uncomfortable, though. If your plan is to buy this chair for regular daily use, you’re probably going to want to invest in some additional padding for the seat and possibly the seatback too.
The good news on that front is there are tons of aftermarket options available. Since the chair doesn’t cost much, you’ll probably have enough money left over to buy the cushions you want.
Where the arms are concerned, we’re really torn. On the one hand, full-length arms are a good option if you plan to use the chair for several hours each day as they’re more comfortable than the shorter desk-length arms. On the other hand, full-length arms work better with elevating leg rests, which swing away and the type that are normally paired with desk-length arms.
This pairing isn’t the end of the world. Just know that if you want to work at your desk or enjoy dinner with family and friends, you’ll likely have to transfer out of the chair and into your office or dining chair, respectively.
Extras and Options
Shockingly, the Healthline Trading Lightweight Folding wheelchair does come with one small extra; onboard storage! You’ll find a chart pocket behind the seat.
We love chairs that feature built-in storage, and we’re very glad to see it is included here. It’s a small thing, but any storage is good.
You’ll still probably want to invest in some additional capacity, but kudos to Healthline for including it!
That’s all there is, though, so if you want to trick out your chair, you’ll have to turn to the aftermarket to do so. Again, this chair is incredibly inexpensive, which lends itself well to playing in the aftermarket and making it exactly the way you want it.
Portability & Ease of Use
When collapsed, the Healthline Lightweight manual wheelchair presents a profile just 12.5” wide, which, when combined with its modest weight, makes it pretty easy to stash in your trunk and even easier to store if you have an SUV, truck, van, or hatchback.
Air travel is a bit trickier. Every pound matters when traveling by air, and there are plenty of options that weigh less than this one. You won’t find many, though, that weigh less and cost about the same as this model.
Before you show up at the airport in your chair, it pays to contact the airline you’re flying with and make sure you understand their policy since each company’s policy is different where traveling with a wheelchair is concerned.
Since it’s not a huge chair and it’s not tremendously heavy, it handles well and doesn’t require a lot of strength to move around in. Note, however, that the wheels have no tread. As such, they’re optimized for flat-level surfaces (parking lots, shopping centers, sidewalks, indoor flooring, etc.). If you want to take this chair down a nature trail or into a park, you’ll want to upgrade the wheels before doing so.
Pros & Cons of Healthline Lightweight Manual Wheelchair
We were blown away by how good this chair is. It’s almost insanely inexpensive, and yet, it comes with a raft of high-value features.
It’s lightweight and, perhaps best of all, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the frame, which allows you to buy with confidence knowing that it’s as good as handled if a problem arises with the chair.
Sure, it’s light on extras, but that’s true of every budget-priced chair out there, and honestly, this model packs a tremendous amount of value into a modestly priced package.
That’s good stuff.
Healthline Lightweight Wheelchair Review Conclusion
We didn’t intend to, but we love this little chair. As mentioned early on here in our Healthline Lightweight wheelchair review, it’s one of the best values in the budget segment of the wheelchair market today. We also regard this one as kind of a hidden gem. We think you’ll love it too. This one comes highly recommended.
References & Resources:
- Healthline, Official Brand Website.
- 4 Tips For Navigating the World of Mobility Aids For Psoriatic Arthritis, Healthline.
- Exercise Intensity During Wheelchair Rugby Training, Taylor & Francis Online.
- Toyota Makes a Wheelchair Steered by Brain Waves, New Atlas.
- When Push Comes to Injury: What Pushing a Wheelchair Does to Your Back, Ohio State News.