Nova 327 is a very good, lightweight transport chair that makes a good alternative to a pediatric wheelchair if you can’t settle on one.
Recommended For: Anyone weighing 300 pounds or less.
*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.
Do you have a child who suffers from some type of mobility issue and spends at least part of each day in a wheelchair? Have you been searching in vain for a good, lightweight pediatric chair you can keep around as a spare to take with you while you’re traveling?
If you answered yes to the questions above, and you’re tired of the search, this Nova 327 transport chair review may hold the answer.
Transport chairs aren’t quite as versatile as wheelchairs, but the simple truth is that there aren’t many truly awesome, affordable pediatric chairs on the market today. If you can’t settle on one, then this handy transport chair might be the perfect solution.
If you’re willing to entertain the idea, in the sections that follow, we’ll step you through everything this chair has to offer, and we won’t pull any punches when it comes time to describe this chair’s limitations. That way, you’ll have all the information you need, right at your fingertips, to make an informed purchasing decision. Sounds good? If so, then read on, and let’s take a closer look!
An Overview of the Nova Transport Chair
If you haven’t spent much time looking at transport chairs because you’ve spent the bulk of your time looking at wheelchairs, this will look like an odd little bird. The attractive paint job helps, but can’t really hide the spindly nature of the chair.
Don’t let its fragile looks fool you, though; this is a solidly constructed piece of equipment, capable of supporting an impressive amount of user weight.
Before we go any further than simple aesthetics in this section of our Nova 327 transport chair review, let’s take a moment to have a close look at the core stats that define this model. Here are the basics:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 20.75 (W) x 16” (D) x 39.5” (H)
- Seat Dimensions: 16.75” (W) x 15.75” (D)
- Chair Weight: 19 pounds
- Maximum Supported Weight: 300 pounds
As you can see, aside from its surprising height, this is not a big chair. Given that it’s fairly narrow and has a smallish seat, it’s perfect for kids and can sail through a standard-width doorway with ease.
It’s also incredibly lightweight. At just 19 pounds, almost anyone can fold this chair up and stash it in the trunk of a car or hatchback, and of course, if you’re driving a truck, SUV, or van, storing this smallish chair won’t be an issue at all.
Adjustability and Comfort
This will be a short section because there’s nothing about the 327 Nova transport chair that’s adjustable. The seat sits 19.5” off the ground, and the leg rests are fixed in their positions. This isn’t a chair designed for all-day, everyday use, but rather for transporting a smaller individual from place to place.
Even so, with breathable nylon upholstery and padded armrests, it’s reasonably comfortable for shorter periods sitting it (say, up to about 4 hours). You’ll almost certainly want to invest in some additional padding for the seat and seatback as well if the plan is to spend longer than that sitting in the chair.
Extras and Options
Although this is a fairly bare-bones transport chair, it does come with one high-value extra; a safety belt! We love any model that includes safety features, especially where children are involved, which makes the safety belt here a welcome addition.
Kudos to Nova for including it!
Unfortunately, that’s the only extra you get. If you’re buying this with an eye toward travel, you’ll almost certainly want to pick up some kind of aftermarket storage solution in addition to the padding mentioned above.
The good news here takes two forms: First, the chair is relatively inexpensive, so you should have funds left over to play in the aftermarket, and second, there are tons of great aftermarket products available so you can customize to your heart’s content!
Portability & Ease of Use
Portability is where the Nova Lightweight transport chair really shines. When folded, it presents a profile that’s just 9” wide, and it only weighs 19 pounds.
Taken together, those two things make an almost unbeatable combination where portability is concerned.
Since it’s so light, it’s also incredibly easy to push and maneuver. The big thing to bear in mind, though, is that your child will be unable to move this chair on their own. That’s one of the limitations of transport chairs. Without the large rear wheels, an assistant is required for pushing in order to actually go anywhere.
Pros & Cons of 327 Nova Transport Chair
For what the Nova 19 inch transport chair is, it really doesn’t have any shortcomings. If the company had seen fit to load the chair up with extras, then it would have increased the price dramatically, and it wouldn’t be such a stellar deal.
Honestly, transport chairs can’t compete head to head with ‘regular’ wheelchairs, but they weren’t meant to. If you look at this chair as a 1:1 replacement for a pediatric wheelchair, it’s bound to disappoint.
If, on the other hand, you look at it as a spare, a backup designed specifically for short duration seating and convenient to take with you on the road, then you’ll find that this little transport chair shines and serves you very well indeed.
Nova 327 Transport Chair Review Conclusion
As we said in the last section here in our Nova 327 transport chair review, it’s not really fair to compare a chair like this to a wheelchair. Transport chairs weren’t meant to take the place of wheelchairs, but rather, to play a supporting role. In that, the Nova 327 really shines.
While it might not be for everyone, it has a role to play in busy, on the go households where parents have a big, comfortable, robust pediatric wheelchair at home for their child’s day to day use and something like this standing by in the trunk of the car for short trips. On that basis and in that spirit, we provisionally recommend this model.
References & Resources:
- Nova, Official Brand Website.
- Transport Accessibility For Wheelchair Users: A Qualitative Analysis of Inclusion and Health, ScienceDirect.
- Manual Standing Wheelchair, Shirley Ryan Abilitylab.
- Types of Wheelchairs – A Virtual Tour, United Spinal Association.
- Propulsive Work Cost and Shoulder Movement During Lightweight and Ultra Lightweight Manual Wheelchair Propulsion in Pediatrics, RESNA.