In a Nutshell:
The Strongback 24 Wheelchair is an expertly engineered, award-winning wheelchair design. Recommended for anyone weighing up to 300 pounds who has an eye for quality.
- Positive overall impression of the Strongback 24 wheelchair
- Offers many extras
- No major complaints mentioned
- Some features are charged extra that could be considered standard
Do you have a mobility issue? Do you refuse to accept the notion that it gets in the way of living a full life?
If you answered yes to those questions, then you will enjoy reading this Strongback 24 review. The next time you’re in the market for a wheelchair, either to replace the aging one you have now or because you’ve recently suffered some type of injury and suddenly find yourself needing one, the Strongback 2.0 belongs on your shortlist of options to consider.
Strongback Mobility isn’t an especially well-known brand in the United States, but their German-engineered wheelchair has won awards for its excellence in design, and it’s a great-looking machine, to boot.
While it’s certainly true that there are less expensive chairs out there, this is definitely a case of getting what you pay for. If you decide to invest in one of these, you’ll be surrounded by quality from the moment you settle into the seat.
In the sections that follow, we’ll tell you everything this model has to offer and show you why it’s well worth the investment. If your interest is piqued, read on, and let’s take a closer look together.
An Overview of the Strongback Mobility 24 Lightweight Wheelchair
Even at a glance, you can tell there’s something different about this chair. It’s not just the bold blue paint job and the black hardware, although those things do give the chair a sporty appearance. More than that, though, the chair just looks sleek and refined, if such terms can be used to describe any wheelchair.
It’s got graceful lines.
It actually looks…inviting. What you see there is German engineering in physical form. This chair won the German Design award in 2018, and it shows. Where most wheelchairs look clunky and a bit functional, this one looks like a precision machine.
Before we talk about more than how great the chair looks in this section of our Strongback 24 review, let’s take look at the core stats that define the model. Here’s a quick overview:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 25,” 27,” or 29” (W) x 40” (D) x 37” (H) (width depends on the seat size you select)
- Seat Dimensions: This chair is offered with the following seat configurations:
- 16” (W) x 18” (D)
- 18” (W) x 18” (D)
- Or 20” (W) x 18” (D)
- Folded Dimensions: 14” (W) x 29” (D) x 29.5” H (32” H if you select the 20” seat)
- Chair Weight: 25.8 pounds
- Maximum Supported Weight: 300 pounds
As you can see by the numbers, this is a big chair, but despite its impressive size, it’s also incredibly lightweight at less than 26 pounds!
It does have a fairly large folded footprint, which may make storing it a bit of a challenge depending on what type of vehicle you have. Also, it supports an average amount of weight with a 300-pound capacity.
We love the fact that this model is available in three different seat size configurations (select your preferred option when you place your order). This is one of the hallmarks of a truly versatile chair.
Adjustability and Comfort
Surprisingly, the Strongback Mobility 24 isn’t as adjustable as many others on the market. The seat height is static and sits 20” off the ground. The leg rests are length-adjustable, however, so you do get some customization options here.
Although the seat height can’t be modified, it does feature a curved seat frame that follows the natural curvature of your spine, which fosters better posture and provides a more comfortable seating experience.
There are only a handful of wheelchairs on the market today that pay any attention at all to ergonomic design, and this is one of them. You’ll feel the difference from the first time you take a seat in one.
That brings us naturally around to the subject of comfort. First and foremost, the ergonomic design of the seat enhances comfort. The stellar seat design is further enhanced by the presence of padded armrests and breathable nylon upholstery, but it gets even better.
Stitched into the nylon of the seatback, you’ll find a modest bit of padding. Taken together, you’ll find this chair to be delightfully comfortable with no additional padding needed.
Note, however, that if you plan to spend 6+ hours a day in the chair, you may want to invest in some additional seat padding. Surprisingly though, you may not need additional padding for the seatback.
Two final observations before we leave this section: First, the leg rests do not come with calf pads or a calf strap, so they don’t lend themselves well to extended periods of sitting in the chair. This is easy enough to fix in the aftermarket, but if you want some type of additional leg support, you’ll need to.
Also, be aware that the leg rests swing away and are removable, but they do not elevate.
Second, the armrests are fixed in their position and desk-length. Although they aren’t height-adjustable, you can order your chair with armrests that flip back, which makes transferring into and out of the chair easier.
The combination of the shorter arms and swing-away leg rests make it possible to roll right up to your desk and work from your chair, without having to transfer to an office chair to get stuff done.
Similarly, you won’t have to transfer from your wheelchair to a dining chair if you want to have dinner with family and friends. Just roll up to the table and dig in!
Extras and Options
The big thing to talk about here is that the Strongback24 comes with anti-tippers as a standard feature.
We feel that every chair sold should offer these as a standard, but sadly, they don’t, so we’re very pleased to see them included here.
Honestly, given how rare it is, the ergonomic seat frame should be counted as an extra too, as should the built-in padding sewn into the seatback. All that to say, the Strongback design team really went the extra mile in terms of providing extras and finishing touches.
On the other hand, there were some missed opportunities here. We feel that attendant handbrakes should have been a standard feature, but they’re not. You’ll have to pay extra if you want them.
In a similar vein, you can find dozens of chairs on the market that offer flip-back armrests as a standard feature. There’s no reason, in our view, why you should have to pay extra for them here, but sure enough, you do.
Finally, it would have been incredibly easy to offer a storage pocket on the back of the seat, but sadly, you won’t find one here. You’ll probably want some type of storage for the chair, and if you do, you’ll need to venture into the aftermarket to get it.
Even with these few oversights, however, it’s fair to say that this chair has plenty of extras on offer, and you’ll be impressed.
Portability & Ease of Use
The Strongback 24 Mobility is a bit of a mixed bag on this front, but the news is mostly positive. As we mentioned early on, it has a fairly large folded profile. If you drive a full-sized sedan, you’ll want to measure your available trunk space to be sure that there’s enough to accommodate the chair.
If you drive a truck, SUV, van, or hatchback, though, you won’t have any problems at all.
Also, remember that this chair weighs less than 26 pounds. We’ve seen transport chairs that weigh that much, so this definitely counts as a delightfully lightweight wheelchair. Assuming the storage space isn’t an issue, you won’t have any problems at all pulling it out of storage and getting it ready to use.
Air travel shouldn’t be much of an issue either but remember: Every airline has its own policy about what’s allowed and what isn’t, so your best bet is to give the airline you’re flying with a quick call to make sure you understand their policies. Nobody likes surprises at the airport itself!
One thing that’s true across the board, though, is that airlines charge by weight, and given how light this chair is, you’ll come out ahead in that department.
In terms of day-to-day use, the chair handles like a dream. Even if you order the widest seat available, the chair will just fit through a standard-sized doorway. Of course, if you order one of the smaller seats, you’ll have more room to spare.
Since it’s so light, it doesn’t take a lot of strength to use, and you’ll feel the effects of that German engineering as you’re maneuvering in the chair. Even though it’s a fairly sizeable machine, you won’t have any problems at all getting around in this chair.
Note, though, that the wheels that come standard with the chair are optimized for flat, level terrain and hard surfaces. If you’re planning to take this chair to the park or on a hiking trail for a nature adventure, one thing you’ll want to do first is swap out the wheels to something optimized to handle that type of terrain.
Pros & Cons of Strongback 24 Mobility
We like everything about the Strongback 24 wheelchair. Our only gripes are the few things we mentioned that the company charges extra for that we feel should come standard (and free). Given how many extras this chair offers, that pretty well balances out.
Strongback 24 Review Conclusion
As mentioned early on here in our Strongback 24 review, this wheelchair is superb. It’s expertly engineered, well-appointed, comfortable, and incredibly light.
While it’s certainly possible and fairly easy to find cheaper options out there, you’ll be hard-pressed to match the overall quality of this chair at any price. We love it, and we think you will too. We highly recommend this model. Strongback knocked it out of the park.
References & Resources:
- Strongback Mobility, Official Brand Website.
- Strongback Mobility 24 Wheelchair User Manual.
- Manual Wheelchairs: Research and Innovation in Rehabilitation, Sports, Daily Life and Health, PubMed.gov.
- Modeling Manual Wheelchair Propulsion Cost During Straight and Curvilinear Trajectories, PLOS.
- Manual Wheelchair Propulsion Patterns on Natural Surfaces, RESNA.