K3 wheelchair is a good, technically competent model that falls short of greatness.
Recommended For: Users on a budget, who weigh 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.
Is money tight at your house? Are you in the market for a decent, value-priced wheelchair that has the basics covered and is light enough to take with you on the road? If so, then the ProBasics Lightweight Wheelchair by Roscoe Medical might be what you’re looking for.
Haven’t heard of Roscoe Medical? We’d be surprised if you had. Although the company has been in the business for more than twenty years, they’re not one of the major brands in the industry. They mostly make pain management technologies, though they do offer a small selection of wheelchairs.
The ProBasics Lightweight is a good example of their work. We admit here in our ProBasics K3 review that none of its features truly stand out, but it’s a well-priced, perfectly functional little chair. Naturally, when you start looking at budget wheelchair options, you’ll find limitations, and this chair certainly has them.
Is it good enough for your purposes? It might be. In the sections that follow, we’ll give you full details on the chair so you can make an informed purchasing decision. Let’s dive right in and take a closer look at this model!
An Overview of Roscoe Medical’s K3 ProBasics Lightweight Wheelchair
Yep. It’s a wheelchair. That’s the first impression you’re likely to have when you see the K3 for the first time. It’s designed along purely conventional lines, and there’s nothing that jumps out at you about it. That’s not a bad thing. By design, wheelchairs are more concerned with function over form. As long as the basics are covered, most folks don’t care that a particular design lacks flash and flair.
That’s a good thing because this model isn’t flashy. It’s a basic all-black wheelchair with a few essential features. Before we say more than that here in this section of our ProBasics K3 review, let’s take a quick look at the basic stats that define the model:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 24” (W) x 28” (D) x 34” (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: 35 pounds
- Maximum Supported Weight: 300 pounds
These numbers are about what you’d expect from a smallish, conventionally designed wheelchair.
It is narrow enough to fit comfortably through a standard-width doorframe, and the company managed to shave a few pounds off of the design by making it a bit shorter than many other models on the market today.
The weight is good.
At 35 pounds, it’s light enough to maneuver it easily. It also folds down to a width of just 11,” which makes it a breeze to collapse it down and toss it in the trunk of your car to hit the road.
It can also easily be taken aboard a plane if you have a longer trip in mind.
Be aware, though, that different airlines have different policies, so it pays to check with the airline you plan on using just to be sure there won’t be an issue. In most cases, though, you’ll find it to be smooth sailing.
Finally, this model supports up to 300 pounds of user weight, which is the informal industry standard. That makes this chair useful to some 95% of the market, but of course, if you happen to weigh more than 300 pounds, then this model is simply not going to work for you.
Adjustability and Comfort of ProBasics K3 Wheelchair
There are only two adjustable features on the K3 ProBasics chair. The seat to floor height can be adjusted to a low of 17” or a high of 20,” and the leg rests are length adjustable. This combination gives most people enough flexibility to tweak the chair for optimal comfort.
That’s not bad. Given that this is a budget-priced chair, it’s also not surprising. You don’t typically find a wealth of adjustable features on a value-priced chair.
Note that although the armrests are not adjustable in any way, they are padded and they do swing away, which makes transferring into and out of the chair an easier proposition.
Also, be aware that this chair does not come with anti-tippers as a standard feature!
We think this was purely a cost-saving move on the part of the company and in our view, it was a poor decision. We feel that anti-tippers should come standard on all chairs, but we understand that opinions will differ on this point. If you want them, you’ll need to contact the company and order them separately.
If you can live without them, you don’t need to do a thing. They’re simply not present.
Comfort-wise, the chair is slightly below average, in our view. The chair is upholstered in breathable, sturdy nylon, which is more breathable than nylon and fine for shorter periods of sitting. Note, however, that the leg rests do not have calf pads. The lack of calf pads means that the more time you spend in the chair, the less comfortable it’s apt to become.
While there’s nothing you can do about the poor leg rests, you can enhance the comfort of the chair by investing in third-party seat and seatback cushions. If you plan on spending several hours a day in the chair, we recommend doing so.
Another limitation worth mentioning here is the fact that when you place your order for this chair, you can specify either swing-away or elevating leg rests, but you can’t have both.
You have to pick one or the other.
Ultimately, which one you pick is going to be a function of how you plan to use the chair. In our view, elevating leg rests are a relatively poor option without calf pads.
Extras and Options of K3 Lightweight Wheelchair
The ProBasics K3 lightweight wheelchair doesn’t come with any extras, and honestly, we didn’t expect it, too. Budget-priced wheelchairs tend to focus on the basics.
Of course, if you want extras like better padding and storage, there are plenty of third-party companies offering a broad range of things like that, so you’ve got plenty to choose from.
About the only ‘extra’ you’ll find on offer from Roscoe Medical, though, are the anti-tippers that we feel should come standard on the chair. Since they’re absent, if you want them, you could technically count that as an extra.
Portability & Ease of Use
Other than its delightfully modest price, this is probably the area where the ProBasics K3 wheelchair shines the brightest. Since it’s not loaded with tons of features, it’s super simple to use. Even better, it’s light enough that even if you don’t have a lot of upper body strength, you won’t have any trouble moving around in it. Of course, things get even easier if you’ve got a trusty assistant to lend a hand and give you a push.
As we mentioned at the start, it folds down into a delightfully small footprint too and is small and light enough that it will fit without any difficulty into the trunk space available in most full-sized sedans. Naturally, it’s even easier to find a place for it in any full-sized SUV or van, so taking it with you on trips is a pretty simple proposition.
The good news about that is that if you’re on a tight budget, you probably can’t afford a chair for day-to-day use and a separate chair for traveling. This one can pull double duty if you need it to.
Be aware, though, that this model only has a one-year warranty, which means that you’ll be several years out of warranty before your insurance will approve you for a replacement chair.
That’s a fairly common occurrence in the world of value-priced wheelchairs, but you can probably get a few years of reliable service out of it with sensible care and maintenance.
Worst case, if you have to replace it on your own and without help from the insurance company, it’s priced low enough that that’s a possibility for most folks.
The final thing to talk about here is the wheels. They have no tread at all. If you’re planning to use this chair on open or uneven ground, you’re definitely going to want to upgrade them. You’ll be fine if you only plan to use the chair on sidewalks, inside shopping centers, and places like that, though. It does reasonably well on flat, level surfaces.
Pros & Cons of K3 ProBasics Wheelchair
Price is the main reason to consider the ProBasics lightweight wheelchair. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, this model has the basics covered, and all of its features are competently implemented. While the chair doesn’t offer any standout features, it doesn’t get anything horribly wrong, either, which is pretty good in its own right.
ProBasics K3 Review Conclusion
We like this little chair, but we don’t love it, and we believe here in our ProBasics K3 review that most people who buy one of these will wind up feeling the same way. There’s nothing wrong with it, and it will certainly get the job done. Be aware that you’ll need to spend money to buy anti-tippers, better padding, and probably some type of storage if you want to really get the most out of it.
The good news is that given the chair’s modest price tag, you’ll probably be able to find the money to do those things.
References & Resources:
- Compass Health, Official Brand Website.
- Top 7: The Best Films With Wheelchair Users in the Leading Roles, scewo.
- Wheeled Mobility (Wheelchair) Service Delivery: Scope of the Evidence, PubMed.gov.
- Wheelchair Safety on Fixed Route Public Transportation: Riding With Security, Wheelchair Transportation Safety.
- Tips For Working With Students in Wheelchairs, ThoughtCo.