Walkers that convert to wheelchairs are essential tools for seniors with limited mobility. They give the elderly the freedom to walk around as they please. But, when the senior needs the extra support or needs pushed, these rollator walkers quickly convert to transport chairs.
The best rollator transport chair combos have comfortable seats, storage areas like baskets for personal belongings, hand brakes, and adjustable handle height with soft padded handles. They should also convert quickly and easily.
Ready to learn more these helpful walking aids? Let’s get started.
Rollator Transport Chairs: A Buying Guide
These wheelchair rollator combos are one of my favorite pieces of medical equipment (yes, I do have favorites) because they are handy for both the user and the caregiver. Here are some tips for you when shopping for a combination walker wheelchair.
How Can a Rollator Transport Chair Combo Help?
Here is a common scenario. You take your grandmother, Mary, to the doctor’s office for her monthly follow up and to pick up a few prescription refills. Now, Mary is fairly independent and likes to get around by herself so she walks beside you with the help of her rollator.
But she gets about half-way there and suddenly need to rest. Because she has on of the best rollator walkers, you have a seat available for her to rest on.
The problem now is that you are going to be late. You were already running late but now it’s worse. What can you do?
Can you just use the rollator as a wheelchair and push her? No, it is unsafe to push a person in a normal rollator. They have a high center of gravity and will tip over quite easily.
You can’t make her walk because she could possibly fall. If there was only a way you could magically turn this rollator walker into a wheelchair and push her.
The good news is that a rollator transport chair product is exactly what you need in that situation.
Important Hybrid Rollator Transport Chair Features to Consider
1. Choose a Lightweight Model That Folds for Easy Portability
All of these products are foldable so that they can travel with you easily about everywhere you go. Look for one that is lightweight too. This makes them portable and easy to lift and place in the trunk of a car. If you are looking for the best wheelchair for travel, these are definitely worth considering.
This is especially important if the caregiver has any medical issues to that prevent them from lifting heavier objects. My recommendation is to find one that weighs 25 lbs or less.
2. Look for a Comfortable Padded Seat
All of these combo chairs have seats as well since the person will need a place to rest. Look for a chair with a soft, comfortable seat.
Standard nylon upholstery is ok for short rides but not for longer ones. I recommend investing in a good cushion if the senior will ride in it for long periods of time.
3. A Convenient Place to Rest the Legs Is a Must
Because these products double as wheelchairs, it is important that they have a place to rest the legs and feet when the elderly person is riding. Otherwise, their feet can get caught in the wheels or drag along the ground. This is both uncomfortable and unsafe.
But, these legrests and footrests also need to be out of the way when the senior is walking with it in “rollator mode.”
Fortunately, the models I will recommend below have legrests that fold out of the way when they aren’t being used.
4. Adjustable Handle Height Fit Taller and Shorter People Better
Choose a model with adjustable handle height. This allows them to be raised or lowered so that the user isn’t bent over or putting too much stress on their upper body. The proper handle height is when the handles are the same level as the wrist with a slight bend in the elbow.
5. Choose a Front Facing Seat When in Wheelchair Mode
Note that, for safety, these products are designed to be used with the senior facing forward. Occasionally, I see these being used backward with the patient facing towards the rear. This is unsafe and, even, a little awkward looking.
When comparing, think about where the user will be while you are changing it over. Most of these do require the patient to be standing or sitting somewhere else. This is because a part needs to be moved or accessory parts like footrests need to be installed.
The Best Walkers That Convert to Wheelchairs
Here are my recommended combination walker wheelchairs based on my work experience and mobility training.
Key Specs: Seat Width: 19″ | Product Weight: 19.5 lbs | Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
- Comfortable seat that is wider than most at 19″
- Seat is accessible from either side due to removable back
- Footrests swing out of the way,remove completely, and are adjustable
- Handles adjust from 32″ to 36.5″
- Includes storage pouch and cup holder
- Casters are a bit narrow – best suited for indoor or flat surfaces
The Medline Translator is one of my favorite mobility products, period. It is a well built product with many helpful features that make it one of the best.
As a rollator, the handle height has a wide adjustment range to fit shorter and taller seniors alike. The 19″ wide seat is a bit wider than most of the competition and is nicely padded and comfortable. Plus, the backrest is removable and can be installed on either side. This means you can sit down from any direction.
The footrests are another area where the Translator stands out. They are removable or swing out of the way so that they don’t get in the way. They are also adjustable in length to fit legs of all different lengths. Features like this add to the comfort of the chair.
The armrest are sturdy, durable and padded well but they do not adjust or flip back.
For transportation, this rollator chair is very lightweight – it weighs only 18 pounds. This makes it easy to lift and load into the car. The folding mechanism is easy to use and most any caregiver should be able to handle it without problems.
You get some nice extras with this one too including a side mounted storage bag and a cup holder. It is also available in red or blue.
If there is a downside, it’s the casters. While they are a standard size, they are a bit narrow. They work just fine for indoor use or flat outdoor surfaces. But they won’t work well on gravel or uneven terrain.
How to Convert the Medline Translator
This is for sure the easiest product to convert. The simple process is only 2 steps. First, push the back strap fabric towards the handles of the rollator. Then flip the legrests around from their locked position towards the front of the chair. That’s it. All accessories you need stay mounted to the chair with no need to carry around any extra parts.
This video walks through the converting this rollator into a transport chair:
Key Specs: Seat Width: 18″ | Product Weight: 22 pounds | Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
- 18″ wide seat is strong and comfortable but only 11″ deep
- Front casters are removable for easier loading
- Includes removable, swing away footrests with heel loops to keep your feet on them
- Handles adjust from 30″ to 37″
- Handles double as the armrests and aren’t padded and too high
The Hybrid LX is a highly versatile product which can serve both as a rollator and as a transport chair. It’s light weight but also very sturdy with the maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs. It’s also easy to fold and take on the road with you!
The Hybrid LX has a nice, wide 18″ seat but it’s not very deep. Larger people may find this set up uncomfortable. The backrest is flexible, soft, and made from polyester. It’s fairly wide to give you good support and posture too.
The wheels are the standard 8 inch size like the others here. But, the front wheels on this model are removable for easier loading and storage.
I also like the footrests on this one too. They swing out of the way or come off completely to make it easier to get in and out of the chair. There are heel loops too that help keep your feet in place while you are moving.
The rollator handles double as the wheelchair armrests and they aren’t particularly special. First, they are covered in foam but lack any real padding. Also, they are positioned too high when the person riding in the chair places their elbows on them.
Converting the Lumex Hybrid
The Lumex Hybrid is one of the easiest to change for transport. First, you simply push the back support fabric to the other side of the rollator. Then you attach and lock the leg rests. The side supports become the armrests.
There are a few drawbacks to consider here. First, I think this puts the senior in an awkward riding position. Especially if they are shorter or short-bodied. They will end up in a position where their arms are unnaturally high.
This is probably ok for short rides from the car to an office. But, not for a day spent shopping at the mall.
The drawback here is that you have to carry the legrests with you. They do not stay attached to the rollator. But you can store them in the under seat pouch so that they will be readily available.
Here is a short video from the manufacturer highlighting these options:
Key Specs: Seat Width: 13.5 inches | Product Weight: 20 pounds | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
- Handles are contoured, padded, and adjustable from 31.5″ to 37″
- Locking mechanism to keep it from unfolding while being carried
- Built-on footrest flips down quickly when used as a wheelchair
- 3 color choices: black, blue, and burgundy
- Seat is comfortable but narrow – only 13.5 inches wide
- Complaints of forward tipping on uneven terrain
The Duet from Drive Medical is easily transformed from rollator to a wheelchair. It’s also extremely lightweight so anyone can lift it. Plus, the build is sturdy and very good. However, there have been some complaints about the stability and balance when used as a transport chair.
These complaints say that if you hit an obstacle when the feet are extended in front of the chair and the front wheel swivels back, it’s really easy for the chair to tip to the front. Especially if you aren’t sitting all the way back in the chair seat. Almost like the chair “trips” if the casters get blocked. For this reason, you have to be very careful when pushing the chair and pay attention to the surface you are going on.
The seat is soft and padded but rather narrow – it’s only 13.5 inches between the handles. Larger people will have difficulty fitting on this seat. But the backrest is padded with a thick foam roll and there is a nice-sized storage pouch underneath the seat.
The casters and wheels are standard for this category: 8″ wheels with rubber tires. The armrests are standard as well except that they do flip down out of the way when the product is used as a rollator.
The footrest is a simple bar that flips down when needed in wheelchair mode. It’s nice that it is attached and always available. But this set up isn’t as comfortable if you have to be in the chair for longer periods of time.
The Duet will fit people of varying heights well because the handles adjust from 31.5 to 37 inches. They are also contoured and padded for comfort.
How to Convert the Drive Duet
This one does take a little bit of work to go from a walker to a rollator. First, you will have to move the backrest to the other side of the rollator using quick push pins. Next, fold the armrests up. Finally, fold the leg rests down from the main frame.
An advantage of the Duet is that all the parts needed are attached. There is no need to carry around extra parts.
The video below walks you through this process.
Key Specs: Seat Width: 14.2 inches | Product Weight: 22 pounds | Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
- Inexpensive but serviceable option
- Height adjustable handles to fit people of various heights
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Lifetime warranty on the frame
- Armrests are not padded and uncomfortable
- Seat is a bit small
This in an interesting combination of a rollator and a transport chair, with a different design compared to similar products. It has a lightweight aluminum frame which supports users of up to 250 lbs. It’s a nice combo which has some limitations, but overall works pretty good.
The seat is padded but narrow in width (only 14.25″ wide) but it is deeper than some of the other choices. Under the seat is a wire basket for storage of personal items. The drawback to a basket though is small items might fall through.
The armrests – or lack of them really – is disappointing. There are “armrests” integrated into the backrest frame. But they are tubular aluminum with no padding and not long enough to support adult arms. This might not matter though if you will be using it for short periods of time.
Footrests are simple footplates that are built on the frame. They flip down when needed for wheelchair mode. It is nice that they are built on and always available. But, they aren’t going to fit everyone well because they aren’t adjustable at all.
Other than that, this is a pretty basic rollator transport chair. If you are looking for a cheaper choice and aren’t too particular about adjustments or comfort features, take a look!
How to Convert the Pro Basics Transport Rollator
At first glance, it seems that the rider would face the rear once this rollator changes over for pushing, but that is not the case. This one is also very easy to change over because all you have to do is flip down the foot plates and you are ready to go. You can convert this one too while the patient is seated in the chair.
Here is the secret to this one: After converting the chair, the helper walks around to the other side and uses the top part of the backrest bar as the push handle. Kind of like pushing a shopping cart.
Summary and Final Recommendations
Rollator transport chairs like these should be considered by any senior who needs mobility assistance and is using a rollator. They really do present the best of both worlds for a user and a caregiver. Walk when you want to walk. Rest when you want to rest.
Choose a model that:
- is lightweight and easy to fold
- has a comfortable seat
- has a place to rest the feet
- has adjustable handles
- and has a front facing seat
If you ask which of these I think is the best rollator transport chair overall, I would say go with the Medline Translator. It has a great mix of features, is very lightweight, and has extras none of the others offer.
For heavier seniors, check out my list of bariatric rollators.
Buying one of these devices is an important step toward mobility and independence, so check them out today and let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.
Have you ever used one of these hybrid wheelchair walker products? If so, please share your experience and recommendations in the comments below. If you found this guide helpful. Please share with your friends on social media.