man using an ultralightweight wheelchairUltralightweight manual chairs are chairs that are extremely lightweight and easy to propel and maneuver.  These chairs are typically used by paraplegics with good upper body strength and who are independent in their mobility and most of their care.  These chairs come in folding and rigid styles.

Ultralightweight manual wheelchairs are much more custom in nature and have a wider range of options than standard manual wheelchairs. These chairs are the “sportier” looking chairs that you may have seen. Most are custom built to the patient’s measurements and designed around their individual needs.

Chairs in this category must weight less than 31 lbs (without front riggings) and many chairs in the category are around 20 lbs. The defining characteristic of these chairs is the adjustable axle plate. Being able to move the location of the axle allows the wheel to be placed in the optimal location for the most efficient propulsion. This leads to increased endurance and reduced chance of injury for the user.

To be a candidate for an ultralightweight wheelchair, the patient needs to be an active, full-time wheelchair user. The patient also should be unable to propel a standard weight chair or require an adjustable axle plate for all-day self-propulsion.

Typical users of ultralight chairs are spinal cord injury patients and other paraplegics who have use of their arms and shoulders. The user should be mostly independent in their care. These chairs are the best choice for users who use their chairs all day – both inside and outside the home – on varying terrain.