Outdoor Manual Wheelchairs / Manual Wheelchairs for Outdoor Use
If you’re looking for a wheelchair for recreational or regular outdoor use, AvaCare Medical’s outdoor manual wheelchairs are just what you need. Read more...
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Are All Wheelchairs Designed for Outdoor Use?
While some users take their wheelchairs outdoors, many motorized models are not specifically designed for consistent use on uneven surfaces. Fortunately, almost all manual wheelchairs are designed for outdoor use, and this is why they have specific features that help one to navigate them while outside. Some easy-propel wheelchairs are built to provide better off-road capabilities than others, but nevertheless, manual wheelchairs can be easily used on almost any surface.
Best Features on Outdoor Manual Wheelchairs
As mentioned briefly above, there are some crucial details which every wheelchair that is intended for outdoor use should feature. These are as follows:
Large Rear Wheels
Rear wheels are often larger on easy-propel wheelchairs, in order to help the user or caregiver maneuver the chair easily. While some manual wheelchairs (such as a few manual bariatric and reclining wheelchairs) have smaller wheels, these wheels are still larger than the front casting wheels, due to thicker construction in most cases.
Adjustable Foot Rests
Nobody likes to have their foot drag on the ground when in a wheelchair, as this can cause not only discomfort, but also a number of injuries. Therefore, it is important for a manual wheelchair to have footrests, which can usually be adjusted high enough to hold a person’s feet. In some cases these can be detached, swung out, or simply flipped up for convenience, or to make the wheelchair more portable. Another benefit of detachable rests is that they allow for a person to use his feet to propel the wheelchair.
The most popular wheelchairs are constructed of carbon steel, stainless steel, or aluminum. Some manual outdoor wheelchairs are designed with a titanium frame, but these are not as common since titanium is a rather expensive metal and is primarily used to hold higher weight capacities.
Padded armrests help outdoor manual wheelchair users feel more comfortable, and therefore more confident when traveling. Most importantly, however, is that they also serve to keep the user safe by providing extra stability. They further maximize the benefit of rest breaks by increasing user comfort.
Collapsible Seat Back for Convenience and Travel
Some outdoor wheelchairs are designed with a collapsible seat, backrest, and even frame. These portable wheelchairs are excellent for stowing during travel and are able to be used in almost any situation. These particular models prove useful in outdoor and recreational applications.
This major safety feature is almost universally necessary. Even though some chairs may not feature anti-tipping mechanisms, such implements are widely recognized as imperative for many users. Falling is one of the leading causes of injury for seniors and the disabled, so it is important that such safety features that prevent the wheelchair from tipping backward are available as options.
Seat Widths May Differ
The average seat width in most wheelchairs depends on the user. As such, the seat should be chosen with the individual user’s size, comfort, and safety in mind. Most seats range from 16 to 18 inches in width, but there are some pediatric and adult small wheelchairs with a seat that ranges in width anywhere from 12 to 20 inches.
Differences in Weight Capacity
Many factors affect the weight capacity of a wheelchair. Most are able to accommodate weights of up to 300 lbs. However, varying frame materials, seat widths, and wheel materials can combine to hold weights of up to 700 lbs.
How to Choose the Best Outdoor Manual Wheelchair
When choosing the right manual wheelchair for outdoor use, one will want to consider the primary setting in which the chair will be used. If users anticipate that a caregiver will primarily be pushing the chair, they may want to consider a transport wheelchair as opposed to a regular manual wheelchair. The difference between these two is that transport chairs intended specifically for caregiver use don’t always feature self-propelling wheel rails or handles.
It is quite important to consider the height of a wheelchair when making a purchase. This is due to the fact that while most chairs are about the same height, not every wheelchair will be, so it is necessary to confirm the wheelchair is the right height. Some wheelchairs may not even have adjustable leg rests that can help the user keep their feet off of the ground.
AvaCare Medical is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of outdoor manual wheelchairs, and we want to help you find the best wheelchair for your needs! If you are looking for a specific model, simply give us a call at our toll-free number 1-877-813-7799, send us an email, or chat with us onsite. Don’t forget that all orders of $50 will be shipped nationwide to the 48 contiguous U.S. states absolutely free, as per our shipping policy!