Affordability
Durability
Maneuverability
Brand Reliability*
Usability

Summary

MDS806900 is a rugged, basic, low-priced wheelchair capable of supporting an impressive amount of user weight.
Recommended For: Anyone on a budget, who weighs up to 500 pounds.

4.1

*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 heavier than the average person? Do you have some type of mobility issue that sees you confined to a wheelchair for at least part of the day? Do you enjoy traveling?

If you answered yes to those three questions, you’ve probably been looking for a wheelchair that’s cheap enough to serve as a secondary device, robust enough to properly support you, and light enough to collapse down, toss in the trunk and take it with you to an adventure!

That’s a tall order where wheelchairs are concerned, and your search may have left you feeling frustrated to this point. While there are tons of great wheelchair options out there on the market today, most of them are only designed to support up to 300 pounds of user weight. Also, the few that support more than that are usually too big and too heavy to make good traveling wheelchairs.

The good news is that they do exist. If you’re in the market for one, then you’re going to like what you read in this Medline MDS806900 review. We’ll be quick to admit that this isn’t a perfect chair, and as such, it won’t be for everyone. But for the right user, it might hit all the right notes and be exactly what you’ve been looking for. If your interest is piqued, read on, and let’s take a closer look!

An Overview of the Medline MDS806900 Wheelchair

This chair is part of Medline’s “Excel” product line, but surprisingly, it’s not the biggest or the most robust chair they offer. It should rightly be considered the big brother of their K1-Basic Wheelchair.

The Medline MDS806900 facing halfway to the left

Before we go any further in this section of our Medline MDS806900 review, let’s press pause for a moment to do a quick look at the core stats that define this model. Here are the basics:

  • Overall Product Dimensions: 32.5” (W) x 32” (D) x 36.5” (H)
  • Seat Dimensions: 24” (W) x 18” (D) (Note: the company has a few other options available – see below)
  • Chair Weight: 60 pounds
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 500 pounds

Let’s talk about these numbers. First, we like the overall dimensions of the chair. It’s possible to navigate this model through an open doorway of a standard-width door. If your home has narrow doorways, unfortunately, this one may give you some trouble on that front. If you’ve got standard (or wider) door frames, you’ll be fine. Even so, it’s a tight fit, so watch your fingers!

The seat dimensions listed above are the default setting for this wheelchair, but there are other seat size configurations available (20” or 22”). If you want one of these, though, you’ll have to contact the company directly.

In a similar vein, the chair can support an impressive amount of user weight. If 500 pounds isn’t enough for you, the company does make a model called the “Excel Shuttle Bariatric” chair, which features seat widths up to 30” wide and supports up to 850 pounds. 

The Medline Excel 24 wheelchair with nylon upholstery

Again, if you need this model, just reach out to the company directly, and they can walk you through its options. For most heavier folk, though, this model will work just fine.

If there’s one factor working against this model as a good travel chair, it is the weight. Where travel wheelchairs are concerned, lighter is always better because it makes it easier to pack and unpack the chair to get it ready for use.

Unfortunately, there’s an unavoidable tradeoff here. If you want a chair that can support more user weight, it’s also going to be heavier and more solidly built. There’s just no getting around that.

This chair is about as light as it possibly can be, while still managing to support a generous amount of weight. 

Even so, we readily admit that it’s on the high end where the total weight is concerned. You may find that you need a bit of assistance to lug it out of the trunk or get it secured on an airplane when you travel. Even if that’s the case, though, once the chair is set up and ready to use, you’ll be able to move around under your own power without difficulty.

Adjustability and Comfort

The Medline Excel 24 wheelchair’s seat is 18” off the ground, and the seat height can be adjusted by up to 2” (in 1” increments).

The Medline MDS806900 Excel extra-wide wheelchair facing to the front

Depending on the length of your legs, you may be able to set the seat to its lowest settings and propel yourself with your feet, then make adjustments as needed to the seat height and use the chair more conventionally and comfortably.

Speaking of comfort, the upholstery is sturdy nylon, which is more breathable than leather or PU, which is a good thing. 

Note, however, that there’s no padding on offer here. If you plan to spend extended periods of time in this chair, you’ll almost certainly want a seat pad (and possibly a back pad) for added comfort. The good news on that front is the fact that this one sports a delightfully modest price tag, so you’ll have money left over to buy extras like seat pads and storage (which this chair also lacks).

Extras and Options

As mentioned in the last section, the MDS806900 wheelchair doesn’t feature any padding, and it doesn’t come with any built-in, onboard storage. Fortunately, since Medline isn’t charging much for this chair, you’ll probably have enough money left over to get a good seat pad or storage solution if you like.

The Medline MDS806900 without armrests

If money is especially tight, you can get the chair and start using it, adding those elements on as you’re able to afford them, giving you the best of both worlds, and ultimately ending up with the chair you want.

In its default configuration, the Excel Extra Wide sports removable, desk-length armrests and detachable, swing-away footrests. We love both of these features, but the footrests are of particular interest.

The fact that they swing away makes it easier to transfer into and out of the chair. Depending on the table in question, it may even be possible for you to wheel up to a dining or restaurant table and share a meal with friends and family without having to transfer to a dining chair, which is very handy!

This model can be ordered in a variety of configurations on that front, however. If you’re looking for something else, you can get this model outfitted as follows:

  • Removable desk-length arms swing away footrest
  • Removable full-length arms swing away footrest
  • Removable desk-length arms, elevating leg rest
  • Removable full-length arms, elevating leg rest
  • Removable desk-length arms swing away footrest
  • Removable full-length arms swing away footrest
  • Removable desk-length arms, elevating leg rest
  • Removable full-length arms, elevating leg rest
  • Removable desk-length arms swing away footrest
  • Removable desk-length arms, elevating leg rest

The elevating leg rest options are good for people who suffer from poor circulation. If you have trouble with your legs, ankles, and feet swelling significantly at the end of a day sitting in your chair, the ability to put your legs up will help mitigate the issue. Even if you don’t have that problem, being able to kick back and relax is always a good thing!

Portability & Ease of Use

As we’ve mentioned, this is a chair designed for heavier users. It’s heavier than regular-sized wheelchairs that don’t support as much weight. So, it’s not fair to compare a wheelchair like this to other wheelchairs built to support just 300-pounds of user weight.

Two folded Medline Excel 24 wheelchairs

While it’s certainly true that this model is heavier than many of the wheelchairs on the market today, in its class, it’s got a pretty good weight to supported weight ratio. While it is on the heavy side, and getting it into and out of a vehicle or an airplane might pose a few challenges, you’ll find nothing but smooth sailing once it is ready to use.

Pros & Cons of Medline Excel 24 Wheelchair

Structurally and functionally speaking, there’s nothing wrong with the Medline Excel extra wide chair. Every weakness it has arises from one of two design decisions.

First, as we’ve talked about, it’s heavier. That can’t really be helped. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be able to support nearly as much weight.

Second, it doesn’t sport many fun “extras.” You won’t find any built-in storage or any padding at all. That’s a feature, not a bug. You won’t find any value-priced wheelchairs that offer those kinds of extras. The idea here is that you save money on the initial purchase of the chair, and can then add third-party “enhancements” as you like to flesh the chair out and make it more useful to you personally.

On the whole, we like that approach because it gives users the best of both worlds. You can get the basic chair for a very low price, allowing you to start using it right away. Then, you can add as many extras as you like, customizing each one to your specific needs.

Medline MDS806900 Review Conclusion

While this is not a perfect chair, it is a very good one, especially given its low price. As mentioned in the previous section here in our Medline MDS806900 review, it will likely last far beyond the included 1-year warranty with proper care and regular maintenance. If it doesn’t, it’s cheap enough that most people can afford to replace it even if their health insurance won’t cover the cost. Given that, we recommend it.


Official Manufacturer Support

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