In our view, K0004 Lightweight wheelchair is the best choice in Roscoe Medical’s lineup. It’s a surprisingly capable, versatile little chair offered for a song.
Recommended For: Anyone on a budget, who weighs 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.
Are you on a budget? Have you been searching for a capable wheelchair that you can use everyday and that’s also light enough to toss in the car, which would allow you to take the occasional trip? If you answered yes to those questions, then you’re going to like reading about the ProBasics Ultralight Wheelchair.
Roscoe Medical isn’t one of the giants in the wheelchair industry, but they’ve been in the business for more than two decades, and they’re quite competent when it comes to buildings good wheelchairs. While their designs lack flash and flair, they are offered at incredibly modest prices, and there’s certainly something to be said for that.
This, as you might have already guessed, is a budget wheelchair. We admit here in our ProBasics K0004 Lightweight wheelchair review that it doesn’t have a lot to offer in terms of extras. If that’s more or less what you’re looking for, we think you’ll be impressed.
There’s actually quite a lot to like about this model, and we consider it to be the strongest chair in Roscoe Medical’s ProBasics lineup.
In the sections that follow, we’ll tell you everything this model gets right, and we won’t pull any punches when it comes time to talk about this chair’s limitations. That way, you’ll have all the information you need to decide if this is the chair you’ve been looking for. If that sounds good to you, read on, and let’s take a closer look!
An Overview of Roscoe Medical’s ProBasics High Performance Lightweight K0004 Wheelchair
The first thing to draw your attention to is the fact that the K0004 chair bears a number of similarities to the ProBasics Lightweight Wheelchair. They are two distinct models, and there are some important differences, but they also have a great deal in common.
One big thing they have in common is the fact that they’re almost entirely designed around function rather than form. You won’t find any clever design flourishes here. This chair is about as conventional as it gets.
Before we go into the details in this section of our ProBasics K0004 Lightweight wheelchair review, let’s take a moment to quickly look at the basic stats the chair was built around. Here they are:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 23.5” (W) x 32” (D) x 36.5 (H)
- Seat Dimensions: 20” (W) x 16” (D) (This chair can also be ordered with a 16” or an 18” wide seat if you prefer)
- Chair Weight: 32 pounds
- Maximum Supported Weight: 300 pounds
The core numbers aren’t all that different than those found on the ProBasics Lightweight Wheelchair. They’re generally good numbers and about what you’d expect in a conventionally designed wheelchair.
One thing that jumps out here, though, is the weight. At 32 pounds, this is one of the lighter wheelchairs in its class, making it easy to travel with. In our book, any wheelchair that weighs less than 40 pounds is a good “on the go” wheelchair. This one comes in significantly below that threshold.
Kudos to Roscoe for keeping the weight down!
Adjustability and Comfort
Most budget products tend to skimp on adjustable features, and the ProBasics High Performance Lightweight K0004 wheelchair is no exception. You’ll find exactly two adjustment options here:
The seat height, which can be set as low as 17” or as high as 20” at your preference, and the length of the leg rests.
Playing with both of those offers most people enough adjustability options to give them a comfortable experience when sitting in the chair, even for longer periods of time.
Although the armrests are not adjustable in any way, they do swing away, allowing for easier transfers into and out of the chair. Note, however, that like the ProBasics Lightweight, this model does not come with anti-tippers as a standard feature! We highly recommend contacting Roscoe Medical and ordering them so you can add them later if you decide you want one of these.
We more or less understand the company’s reasoning here. Not everyone will find themselves in a position where anti-tippers are necessary, and they can keep the price lower by leaving them off. It’s one of the most basic safety features in a wheelchair, and in our book, every model should have them as a standard feature.
Comfort-wise, there’s good news and bad. On the plus side, the chair is upholstered in nylon, which is durable and breathable. Nylon upholstery makes the chair surprisingly comfortable for short periods, especially when you factor in the padded armrests.
Unfortunately, the chair doesn’t come with calf pads built into the leg rests. If your mobility issue is such that you spend the better part of each day in the chair, then this one is going to be underwhelming. The longer you plan on sitting in it, the more important those calf pads become because they provide extra support for your legs.
Also, since the chair has no actual padding, the less comfortable it becomes, the longer you sit in it.
The good news is the fact that padding is cheap and easy to come by, offered by dozens of third-party vendors. You can pick out something you like for either the seat, the seatback, or both, and really enhance the comfort of the chair.
In a similar vein, if you need something for most of each day, you’ll almost certainly want to invest in better leg rests with calf pads. Sadly, you can’t get them from Roscoe when you purchase this chair, and in our view, that’s a real failure.
Extras and Options
Although most budget chairs don’t come with a ton of options and extras, we were pleasantly surprised here.
First, there is a tiny amount of storage built into the ProBasics Lightweight wheelchair! You’ll find a “map pocket” behind the seat. It’s not huge, and you’ll still probably want to invest in some additional storage. The fact that it’s present at all is a huge win.
If you decide you want one of these, you’ll also have a couple of decisions to make at the point of sale. You can select this chair with either a 16,” 18,” or 20” wide seat, elevating or swing-away footrests, and full- or desk-length armrests at your option.
Your decisions will mostly come down to how you plan to use the chair. In terms of the seat width, just be sure to take a quick measurement of yourself before you order so you can get the model variant that’s the best overall fit for you.
It’s also worth mentioning that this chair comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and a one-year warranty on the other components. That’s better than we were expecting, especially given the modest price this chair is being sold at. Any time you get a lifetime warranty on the frame, that’s a very good thing and a huge win for you.
Portability & Ease of Use
Portability and ease of use are the areas where the K0004 manual wheelchair shines the brightest. It collapses down into a barely 12” wide footprint, making it easy to store in the trunks of most full-sized sedans. Of course, you’ll have no trouble at all finding a place to put it in a truck, van, or SUV.
If you’re planning to travel by air, you will, of course, want to double-check the policies of whatever airline you’re flying with. A chair this small, though, will almost never present any difficulties in terms of air travel.
In addition to that, since the chair is so lightweight and has a relatively small footprint, you won’t have any difficulty navigating through tight spaces. As long as you stick to flat, even terrain (sidewalks, parking lots, shopping centers, etc.), it will handle very well.
Note, however, the absence of tread on the wheels. If you want to use this on uneven terrain, you’ll definitely need to upgrade the wheels to something with tread. Even with that limitation, though, kudos to the folks at Roscoe Medical for really getting it right on this front.
Pros & Cons of Probasics K0004 Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair
We actually kind of love the ProBasics K0004 wheelchair. It’s got more options than we expected to see on a chair in the value segment of the market, and the lifetime warranty on the frame is a testament to its overall quality.
The main reason we see people buying this chair is its attractive price point and its extreme portability. Those are strong selling points.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t have issues and limitations, though. It does, and the biggest limitations are:
Depending on your needs and how you plan on using the chair, those issues could range from minor annoyances to serious flaws that might be dealbreakers for you.
ProBasics K0004 Lightweight Wheelchair Review Conclusion
We almost love this chair (but not quite). Even so, it’s one of the most capable products in its class. We highly suggest here in our ProBasics K0004 Lightweight wheelchair review that if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, this little chair belongs on your shortlist of options to consider. You still might wind up going with a different wheelchair, but this one will definitely impress. We recommend it.
References & Resources:
- Compass Health, Official Brand Website.
- How My Wheelchair Changed My Life, Wellcome Collection.
- Extra Precautions Wheelchair Users Can Take During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Hollister.
- Prevalence of Wheelchair and Scooter Use Among Community-Dwelling Canadians, Oxford University Press.
- Measure It: Proper Wheelchair Fit is Key to Ensuring Function While Protecting Skin Integrity, Nursing Center.