In a Nutshell:
Healthline Trading Bariatric Wheelchair is an excellent, sturdy, durable chair, optimized for bigger, taller, heavier folk. It is recommended for anyone on a budget, weighing up to 500 pounds.
- Solid Design
- Value Priced
- Fairly Adjustable
- Capable of Daily Use
- Skimps on Extras
- Relies on User Customization
- Limited Features
Are you a bigger, taller, heavier person who has to spend at least part of each day in a wheelchair due to a mobility issue? Are you looking for a good, versatile chair that won’t break the bank and is maybe even light enough that you can pack it in the car and take it with you on trips?
If you answered yes to the questions above, then you’re going to enjoy this Healthline Trading Bariatric Wheelchair review. Healthline isn’t the company most people think of first when they need a wheelchair. Although the company has been making medical devices for decades, they tend to focus on things like walkers, rollators, shower chairs, and the like.
What few people realize, though, is that they also offer a modest selection of wheelchairs, and as this model proves, they know how to make a good one.
While it’s true that this chair isn’t perfect, given the incredible price the company is offering this chair for, its limitations are generally easy to overlook.
In the sections that follow, we’ll tell you everything this hidden gem of a chair has to offer and why it belongs on your shortlist of options to consider. If that sounds good to you, read on, and let’s take a closer look.
An Overview of the Healthline Heavy Duty Bariatric Wheelchair
The first thing you’ll notice about this model is that the designers didn’t take any chances where aesthetics were concerned. It’s designed along purely conventional lines, with the only nod to style being that the company saw fit to include mag wheels.
They look good, but by themselves, they aren’t enough to give this chair a truly sporty look. It’s not ugly, it’s just functional. It’s clear that the design team that worked on the chair spent most of their effort on function and only a bit on form. Most people are totally fine with that, but if you’re specifically looking for a sporty wheelchair, know upfront that this isn’t the model you want.
Before we move beyond talking about simple aesthetics in this section of our Healthline Trading Bariatric Wheelchair review, let’s take a moment to check this chair out by the numbers. Here are the basics:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 32” (W) x 42” (D) x 36” (H)
- Seat Dimensions: 22” (W) x 18” (D) or 24” (W) x 18” (D)
- Chair Weight: 22” seat variant is 57 pounds, 24” seat is 58 pounds
- Maximum Supported Weight: 22” wide seat supports 400 pounds. 24” seat supports 500 pounds
There are a few things to draw your attention to here. This is a bariatric chair, and just like every bariatric chair ever made, it’s too wide to fit through a standard-width door frame. That’s unfortunate, but it’s not the fault of this model. That is just the reality of the design of chairs like these.
Most budget-priced chairs are “what you see is what you get.” You don’t get any options or choices at the point of sale. This chair, however, is a happy exception to that rule of thumb. If you decide you want one of these, you can specify either a 22” or a 24” at the point of sale.
The choice you make here will have a few ramifications that ripple through the rest of the design.
The wider seat can also support more weight and is a pound heavier than the narrower variant. Just be sure you take a quick measurement of yourself before you buy, so you know you’re getting the chair that’s the best fit for you.
We love the generous amount of weight that this model supports and that it manages to do so without being excessively heavy.
Bariatric chairs are naturally heavier than their conventional counterparts, but this one isn’t bad, really. We’ve certainly seen other bariatric models that are significantly heavier, so kudos to Healthline for making this model as light as they could reasonably be expected to!
Adjustability and Comfort
The Heavy Duty Bariatric wheelchair has the two most basic adjustability options available to you. It’s a Hemi-Height chair, allowing you to set the seat height to either 17.5” or 19.5” depending on which is more comfortable for you.
Also note that depending on the length of your legs, setting the seat height on the low end may make it possible for you to move around on it with your feet.
In addition to that, the leg rests can be adjusted for length. Combined with the two-seat height options, this gives you a fair amount of flexibility in terms of tweaking the chair for optimal comfort.
The chair features padded, desk-length armrests and elevating, swing-away leg rests that include calf pads, which augment the durable, breathable nylon fabric that serves as the chair’s upholstery.
Taken together, this combination of features and materials make for a comfortable short-duration seating experience of say, 1-4 hours.
If your plan is to spend longer than at a stretch in the chair, then you’ll almost certainly want to invest in additional padding for the seat and the seatback.
Before we leave this section, we need to say a few additional words about the leg rests. We love that they both swing away and elevate because that maximizes the versatility of the chair.
We also love the desk-length arms. Although they are not height adjustable, they do flip back to get them out of the way, making transfers into and out of the chair a simpler proposition.
Desk-length arms are an excellent option because even if you give up a bit of comfort compared to full-length arms, you can work right from your chair without having to transfer to your office chair. You can also enjoy a meal with family and friends simply by rolling up to the dinner table. Again, kudos to Healthline all around here!
Extras and Options
Although you could technically count the excellent leg rests as an extra, we’re calling that standard equipment. Aside from that, this model does offer one small extra that we were thrilled to see.
You’ll find a chart pocket behind the seat.
Storage is always a good thing, and, unfortunately, most of the chairs on the market today don’t offer any, so we were thrilled to find it included here. Sure, you’ll probably want to augment the storage further, but again, the fact that there’s built-in storage in any form is a very good thing.
If you want any other fun extras, though, you’ll have to venture into the aftermarket to get them.
That’s not a bad thing, and not at all unexpected when it comes to chairs offered at the budget end of the price spectrum. There are tons of great options available that enable you to customize to your heart’s content.
Portability & Ease of Use
Make no mistake; this is a big, burly chair. It’s not exactly portable. Having said that, though, it’s not really fair to compare a bariatric chair to a regular-sized one. When you compare this model to others of its kind, the Healthline Bariatric fares pretty well.
While it is by no means a lightweight chair, it’s not bad for a heavy-duty model. At 57-58 pounds, you should be able to load it and unload it from your truck, van, SUV or hatchback with relatively little difficulty. If you have a full-sized sedan, it may or may not fit.
Bear in mind that when folded, it’s 12.5” wide, so just take a quick measurement of your available trunk space and go from there.
Air travel is another matter entirely, and it can be a challenge to get an airline to allow this model (or any other bariatric chair) onto a plane. Even if they do, you can expect to pay a premium for the pleasure because airlines charge by weight.
The best option is to call ahead before you fly because every airline has different policies about what they do and don’t allow, and you don’t want any surprises when you’re trying to actually board the plane!
If you’re already accustomed to maneuvering in a bariatric chair, you’ll find that this one handles very well indeed and it’s probably a bit lighter than other models you’ve used in the past.
Note, however, that the wheels here have no tread. They’re optimized for use on flat, level surfaces like inside shopping centers, on sidewalks, and parking lots. Also, this chair will do well on most home flooring surfaces.
If you want to take this chair onto a hiking trail or other rough terrain, you’ll definitely want to upgrade the wheels to something that’s optimized for that type of terrain.
Ultimately, this comes down to having a good understanding of how you intend to use the chair.
Pros & Cons of Heavy Duty Bariatric Wheelchair
We don’t have any real complaints where this model is concerned. It’s a solid design and a well-put-together chair. Sure, it skimps on extras, but that’s true of literally every value-priced chair on the market, and we can’t very well fault Healthline for that.
The bottom line is that this is a supremely capable, well-priced chair that’s essentially a blank canvas. Fairly adjustable and capable of standing up to the rigors of daily use.
Healthline Trading Bariatric Wheelchair Review Conclusion
As mentioned in the previous section here in our Healthline Trading Bariatric Wheelchair review, we consider this model to be something of a hidden gem in the bariatric wheelchair market. It’s a great model that will serve any heavier person very well indeed. We highly recommend it.
References & Resources:
- Healthline, Official Brand Website.
- The Potential Impact of Intelligent Power Wheelchair Use on Social Participation: Perspectives of Users, Caregivers and Clinicians, PubMed.gov
- Wheelchairs and Seating Systems, clinicalgate.com
- Wheelchair Maintenance, Physiopedia.
- The Anatomy of Bariatric Mobility, Mobility Management.