Lightweight Folding Power Wheelchair Reviews for Portable Mobility!

Power wheelchairs are very helpful to people with serious mobility challenges. The problem is though that they generally aren't easy to transport. However, lightweight folding power wheelchairs like these solve that problem!

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
man using a portable power chair at an atm
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Product recommendations are based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. 

A power wheelchair can make a huge, positive impact on the quality of life for the elderly and disabled. I see it every day in my job providing mobility aids for the elderly and disabled at a home medical equipment company. It is exciting to see a bed-bound patient get up and move about the house on their own.

Wouldn’t it be nice if this experience could be portable and used out in public? But, aren’t power wheelchairs heavy and hard to transport?

Some are…. but some are lightweight and some even fold up! Here are some lightweight folding power wheelchair reviews that will make mobility portable for you or a loved one!

Lightweight Folding Power Wheelchair Reviews

EZ Lite Cruiser

In many ways, the EZ Lite Cruiser is the gold standard for lightweight folding electric wheelchairs. It is one of the lightest at 50 lb total weight including the battery. This makes it easy to load and unload in the car. It can be loaded without the battery to make it even lighter.

The EZ Lite Cruiser folds up into a very small package without having to take it apart. Folding it becomes simple after a little practice. Be sure to watch the video instructions that come with the chair for folding tips.

Other nice features are an available extra battery to increase the range, flip back arms for easy transfers to bed or your comfort height toilet, a handle to help carry it, and a removable seat cushion and cover for cleaning. The weight capacity is higher than some other folding chairs which is nice for larger sized people.

Check out this video that shows how easy this chair is to fold, unfold, and use on different terrains:

EZ Lite Cruiser - Lightweight Folding Electric Wheelchair

Important features:

  • Extremely lightweight with total weight of 50 lb including battery
  • Folds up easily into a very compact package
  • 10+ miles on a single battery charge
  • Second battery available to increase range
  • Weight Capacity 264 lbs*

Foldawheel Portable Power Wheelchair (PW-999UL)

Foldawheel Portable Power Wheelchair

The Foldawheel PW-999UL weighs only 42 lbs (including the battery) and claims to be the world’s lightest power wheelchair! At that weight, nearly anyone can fold and load this chair. This will really open up travel options for elderly people and people with disabilities. (See my guide to the Best Travel Wheelchairs too!)

This model also comes with some nice extras like an extendable footplate to accommodate long legs and travel bag that protects the chair from rain and during travel.

The distance this chair will travel between charges is lower than some of the other chairs. Consider the second battery if you choose this chair because of the lower weight. The battery will add some weight to the overall package, but the batteries can be taken off before loading too. This lightens the loading weight of the chair.

This video shows the Foldawheel in motion, folded up, and loaded in the car:

Foldawheel PW-999UL - World's Lightest Power Chair

Important features:

  • Claims to be the world’s lightest power wheelchair at only 42 lbs including the battery
  • Folds up in 5 seconds into a very compact size
  • 8 miles on a single battery charge – second battery can be added to double the range
  • Includes extendable footrests that offer 4″ of adjustment in the length to accommodate longer legs.
  • Weight Capacity 220 lbs*
  • Includes a travel bag for protection while traveling

Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair

Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Wheelchair

This folding electric wheelchair from Drive Medical is the heaviest of the chairs I have reviewed. If you take the batteries out, the chair itself still weighs 90 lbs. This is nearly double the weight of the other chairs. It would be difficult for elderly to load by their self but a younger caretaker or family member could probably manage it. Because the batteries have to be removed before folding, this chair takes a bit longer than the others to load.

BUT, this chair has features the other chairs do not. First, it comes with 2 batteries which give it a longer range right out of the box. Second, it includes lots of adjustments like arm height, leg rest length, and upholstery tension for a custom fit and feel. This chair is the better choice for someone with more profound medical problems or more severe disabilities. It offers more support for these types of patients.

Unfortunately, as far as looks go, this chair looks more like medical equipment than the other. It is a throwback to the electric wheelchairs of the 90’s. But it is nearly a $1,000 less than the other options too – so it is still worth considering.

Important features:

  • Total weight with batteries is 146 lbs and 90 lbs without batteries
  • Adjustable features include arm height, leg rest length, upholstery tension and joystick location
  • Includes 2 batteries for longer range
  • best folding power wheelchair for more severe disabilities and medical problems.
  • Weight Capacity 300 lbs

Why Would You Want a Folding Power Wheelchair?

As I stated above, the common problem with most power chairs is that they are heavy and do not travel well. Lightweight fold-up electric wheelchairs though are lighter in weight and fold to a compact size. This makes them ideal for local travel in a car because they fit easily in the trunk. Even air travel becomes more possible and easier with a wheelchair that folds.

What to Think About When Shopping for a Folding Electric Wheelchair

Shopping for and buying a power wheelchair is not something you do every day. Many people go their whole lives and (fortunately!) don’t have to go through this process. To help you out though, here are some important tips about foldable electric wheelchairs.

Assembly & Disassembly

When using the term “lightweight” about a power wheelchair, know that is a relative term. None of these lightweight motorized chairs are light as a feather. So, it is important to make sure you or a caretaker can easily assemble and reassemble the chair as needed. Make sure you understand these instructions and can repeat them easily.

Some of these chairs break down into smaller pieces that are easier to handle. Make sure you know what the weight of the heaviest piece is and make sure it is a weight that the person loading it can handle.

Weight Capacity

Know the maximum weight that the chair will hold. Because these power chairs are lighter weight and foldable, they may not hold as much weight. Compare the weight of the person who will be riding in the chair with the maximum weight the chair will hold. I recommend a 10% cushion between the figures.

close up of the joystick of a folding power wheelchair

Available Seat Sizes

Look up the width and depth of the seating surface and compare that to the user of the wheelchair. Have the person who will use the electric wheelchair sit in a firm chair like a dining chair and measure them. Measure across their hips (the seat width) and from the back of their rear end to the back of the knee (the seat depth). Make sure the user’s measurements do not exceed the seat size. Also, make sure you are looking at the width and depth of the seat – not the size of the full wheelchair.

Overall Chair Width

Measure the doorways at home that the chair will need to go through and make sure the power wheelchair will fit. I suggest a chair width that is at least 2″ narrower than the smallest doorway.

Foot Supports

Make sure the folding motorized chair you choose has proper support for the feet. I recommend swing away leg rests with footrests that also fold up. That way, the user can move the leg and footrests out of the way so they can get in and out of it easier. It is also good if the length of the leg rests are adjustable so that they fit the wheelchair rider.

Arm Supports

Look for a chair with arm supports that are sturdy. Armrests that flip back may help with getting in and out of the chair because the user will be able to use the side to get out in addition to the front. Ones that are adjustable in height are even better. This keeps the user from having to hump their back to reach the armrests and will result in better posture.

Joystick Location

Make sure the joystick mounts to either the right or the left side of the chair. It is also nice if it adjusts in and out to match the arm length of the user.

Battery Charging and Limits

Battery size varies in these models. Make sure you know how far the power wheelchair will travel (“the range”)between charges and make sure that fit your needs. The chargers are portable also for on the go charging if needed.

Important Accessories :

  • Seatbelts are important for user safety by reducing the chance of them falling out.
  • Adjustable upholstery allows the tightness of the back or seat upholstery to be adjusted for the user comfort.
  • Cushions improve comfort especially for those who will be seated in the chair for long periods of time.

Who Should Not Use a Folding Power Wheelchair

While these chairs are very convenient, they are not suitable for everyone. People with congenital orthopedic deformities or progressive neurological disorders probably should not use one. The problem is these chairs do not offer options for positioning support for elderly or disabled people who are not able to sit upright on their own. Mounting support devices like lateral pads, custom contoured backs, etc is difficult at best and would prevent the chairs from folding up.

Wrapping Up

It is hard to beat a lightweight folding power wheelchair in terms of convenience, portability, and improving mobility. These mobility aids go almost anywhere and open up travel options for people with difficulty walking.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any experience with folding power wheelchairs! Do you have a model you are happy with and recommend?

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Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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4 thoughts on “Lightweight Folding Power Wheelchair Reviews for Portable Mobility!”

  1. Are you familiar with the power chair known as The Zinger?

    • Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I haven’t seen that one. There is another manufacturer that makes one with a similar driving mechanism. At first viewing, love how portable it is. But, its use may be a little limited. Many of the patients I work with wouldn’t be able to use both hands to drive. However, it may be a good choice for people who are unable to walk but have good upper body control and strength. I have added this to my list of future topics.

  2. Are you familiar with the fold & go wheelchair ( I am heavier (320 lbs) and need a larger size wheelchair which this brand provides. My insurance has pre-certified for a folding power travel wheelchair but I’m not sure if it covers this one.

    • Hi Nettie! – I haven’t personally driven a Fold and Go Power Wheelchair, but I know there was a lot of interest in this product once it hit the market. I did some quick research and could not find a HCPCS code on this item which would tell me it is coded for insurance (especially Medicare). BUT, their website says they will help people get it covered by insurance. Just make sure you understand the process – you may be on the hook for the item until the insurance company pays. Please check back in and let me know what happens.

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