In a Nutshell:
The Hi-Fortune Magnesium is a conventionally designed wheelchair that utilizes a magnesium alloy in its construction, making it incredibly lightweight and durable. Recommended for anyone who travels frequently, provided that you weigh no more than 220 pounds.
- Lightweight and travel-friendly
- Comfortable for short periods
- Unique design with exotic materials
- Modest 220-pound weight support
Has your mobility issue cramped your style, causing you not to travel as much as you once did? Have you been on the lookout for a good-looking, lightweight wheelchair that will restore that freedom? If you answered yes to those questions, then you’re going to like what you read in this, our Hi Fortune wheelchair review.
Haven’t heard of Hi-Fortune? We’d be surprised if you had.
They’re a small brand with a limited footprint in the US. Their chairs were designed here but are manufactured in China, though the company maintains warehouses and technical support staff here in the US.
We’ll be quick to admit that this chair has a couple of limitations that make it less than ideal for everyone. That, combined with the fact that some people just don’t like taking a chance on off-brand products, means that this one might not be a good fit for you.
If you’re willing to consider an off-brand, however, you’ll find quite a lot to like here. In the sections that follow, we’ll do a deep dive into the HM303D’s capabilities, and we won’t pull any punches when it comes to describing its shortcomings and limitations.
That way, you’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips to decide 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 Hi-Fortune Magnesium Folding Wheelchair
Although the Hi-Fortune wheelchair is designed along conventional lines, it makes a memorable first impression. The vast majority of wheelchairs sold today are mostly black, with about half of those having chrome highlights and accents.
This chair’s frame is white, and it’s upholstered in a bold red mesh fabric, with grey and black accents.
While it’s true that aesthetics aren’t the most important aspect of selecting a wheelchair, they do matter. This one sports a look that’s just different enough to be memorable. If that’s one of the things you’re looking for in your dream wheelchair, then this one definitely belongs on your shortlist.
Before we move beyond simple aesthetics in this section of our Hi Fortune wheelchair review, we need to press pause and take a closer look at the specs of the chair, so we can get a better sense of it. Here’s a quick overview:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 37″ H x 25″ W x 34″ L (Folded dimensions: 37″ H x 13″ W x 26″ L)
- Seat Dimensions: 17.5″ W x 16.5″ D
- Seat to Floor Height: 18.5″
- Wheel Size: 22″ rear wheels, 6″ casters
- Seatback Height: 16.3″
- Leg Rests: Swing away, removable
- Armrests: Flip-up, removable
- Chair Weight: 21 pounds
- Maximum Supported Weight: 220 pounds
These numbers are generally good, but they do reveal the obvious limitations of the chair. Those limitations may be outright dealbreakers for some potential buyers.
The overall dimensions of the model are excellent. It presents a small footprint, especially when folded, and it is incredibly lightweight. In fact, we’ve seen transport chairs that weigh less than this one, to say nothing, of the vast majority of the wheelchair market.
Most wheelchairs weigh in the neighborhood of 40 pounds, with specialty models like bariatric and reclining wheelchairs often weighing 70 pounds or more. This one is truly a featherweight by comparison, and that, combined with its smallish footprint, makes it a simple matter to load and unload it when you want to go somewhere.
On the minus side, though, check out the seat dimensions and the maximum supported weight. With a seat depth of just 16.5″ and a recommended weight limit of 220 pounds, this model was clearly designed for smaller folk with lighter builds.
Most of the wheelchairs on the market today will support around 300 pounds, with many models supporting significantly more than that. This one falls well short of that informal standard, and as such, it winds up being a nonstarter for a significant minority of the market.
Adjustability and Comfort
Although we regard the HM303D as being a very good wheelchair for certain purposes, it doesn’t do so well in terms of adjustability. We consider this as being a relatively weak point in our Hi Fortune wheelchair review.
Unfortunately, this wheelchair is strictly “what you see is what you get.” There are no adjustable features. It’s a single axel design, so the seat height is stationary. Though the armrests flip up, they are not height adjustable.
Similarly, the leg rests swing away, which, when combined with the flip-up desk length armrests, make transfers into and out of the chair a simple matter. Again, none of those features are adjustable.
In terms of comfort, the chair fares somewhat better, being upholstered in a breathable mesh-like fabric, stretched over a modest amount of block foam padding. This makes the chair surprisingly comfortable for relatively short periods of up to four hours, but it’s definitely not a chair designed to spend all day in.
The good news there is that padding is easy to acquire on the aftermarket, so you can enhance the comfort to whatever level you desire. The downside is that this is already a fairly pricey chair. So depending on your budget, extras of any kind may strain your budget.
Extras and Options
Although the Hi-Fortune Magnesium wheelchair isn’t brimming with extras, the two that are present are both excellent and high value. We regard this as a surprisingly strong point of our Hi Fortune wheelchair review. It comes equipped with a safety belt and anti-tippers as standard features. We regard both of these as essential, especially in a chair designed for use while traveling.
In addition to that, the chair does sport one cunning little design flourish that we’d count as an extra.
When you fold it for travel, you’ll find two nylon handles at the top that make it super easy to pick the folded chair up and carry it to your car, truck, or SUV. It’s a small thing but a very nice touch that adds to the convenience of the chair.
Sadly, the company does not sell any other accessories. If you want anything else, you’ll need to shop the aftermarket to customize your ride. At a minimum, we suspect that most people will want to invest in some additional padding and some type of onboard storage solution, which will increase its utility markedly.
Portability & Ease of Use
This is the central reason people will gravitate to the Hi-Fortune lightweight wheelchair, and the company did an excellent job on this front. We’ve already mentioned the small footprint, and scant weight of the chair, both of which make this an excellent option for frequent travelers. Also, the carrying handles only add to the convenience here.
Additionally, this model is superb for RV owners because it can be stored just about anywhere. If you’re a frequent flier, you’ll love the fact that you won’t have to pay a premium to take the Hi-Fortune lightweight wheelchair on a flight with you.
The magnesium alloy may be pricey, but then this is probably the model you want if reducing the weight to an absolute minimum is important to you.
In terms of ease of use, it doesn’t get much easier. As a conventionally designed manual wheelchair, it works exactly as you’d expect and will only take a few minutes to master.
Pros & Cons of Hi-Fortune Magnesium Wheelchair
This is a very interesting chair, with extremely compelling pros and potentially devastating cons.
Here’s how it breaks down in our view:
- Extremely lightweight chair with a small footprint, which makes it exceptionally travel friendly
- Reasonably comfortable for shorter seating periods, owing mostly to the breathable mesh-like fabric
- Cool aesthetic and made of an exotic material that is sure to get noticed
- That exotic alloy isn’t cheap.
- Not adjustable.
- And only capable of supporting a modest 220 pounds
Hi Fortune Wheelchair Review Conclusion
Given all of the above, we’d have to classify this as a niche product. The magnesium alloy used in the chair’s construction is cool, and that, combined with the aesthetic of the chair, certainly gives it a distinctive look and feel that some people will love.
In addition to that, it’s absolutely optimized to be a travel-friendly chair. If you’re looking for the lightest wheelchair you can get, either because you do a lot of traveling and don’t want to be bogged down with any extra weight or because you don’t have a lot of upper body strength and want to make your life easier, then this is a fantastic option.
As mentioned in the previous section here in our Hi Fortune wheelchair review, the modest weight limit and steep price, combined with the fact that there’s nothing adjustable about the chair, means that this model probably isn’t going to work for you at all unless you are a shorter or lightly built individual. On that basis, we can only give it a provisional recommendation.
You May Also Want to Consider
We want to stress that this is a relatively expensive wheelchair. It’s not at all difficult to find a reasonably lightweight, full-featured wheelchair for about half of what you’ll spend on this model.
For instance, the Medline MDS806550E has all the basics covered, weighs in at 33 pounds, and will save you several hundred dollars.
Of course, its weight is a significant increase from the 21 pounds of tHM303D. Medline’s offering isn’t made of a magnesium alloy, but with all the money you’ll save, you may not care. Also, the Medline chair supports 300 pounds of user weight to boot.
In a similar vein, the Invacare Tracer SX5 only costs about half as much as the Hi-Fortune magnesium folding wheelchair. Sure, it weighs twice as much, but even at 40 pounds is still fairly travel-friendly. It also comes in a broader assortment of seat sizes, and offers more leg and armrest options to boot. You can find it here.
We’re definitely not trying to talk you out of getting this chair if you’re interested in it, simply pointing out that if you’re on a budget, you can get something comparable for a whole lot less money if you’re willing to live with a somewhat heavier chair.
References & Resources:
- Hi-Fortune, Official Brand Website.
- Folding and Unfolding Manual Wheelchairs: An Ergonomic Evaluation of Health-Care Workers, PubMed.gov.
- Comparing the Performance of Ultralight Folding Manual Wheelchairs Using Standardized Tests, Taylor & Francis Online.
- Exploring the Impact of Wheelchair Design on User Function in a Rural South African Setting, AJOD.
- Transporting a Manual Wheelchair in a Vehicle, Motion Composites.