Top 5 Best Wheelchairs for Veterans

From hospitals and physical therapy clinics to retirement communities and handicap insignias, there is perhaps no more familiar and ubiquitous piece of medical equipment than the wheelchair. 

Wheelchairs can make life smoother and easier for a massively diverse field of people. They help people with injuries that limit their movement, people with physical or developmental handicaps that impede their ability to move freely, and people who have difficulty maintaining their balance for any number of reasons. 

Of the many groups of people represented within the field of wheelchair users, one of the largest and most diverse are veterans. 

Military veterans are a unique and broad group of wheelchair users, due in large part due to the diversity amongst veterans themselves, as veterans include people of all ages, genders, races, and backgrounds. 

In fact, the commonplace use of wheelchairs amongst veterans has prompted the formation of non-profit organizations and groups such as Wheelchairs for Warriors that serve to support and assist wheelchair-bound veterans.

Therefore, when it comes to veterans using wheelchairs, they may require them for a number of reasons, such as injuries caused in the line of duty, aging amongst older veterans, or many others.

Given the unique and numerous reasons why veterans might require a wheelchair, finding the best products may feel like a daunting task. With that in mind, we’ll break it down for you and outline the top five wheelchairs from our catalog that best suit veterans. 

These wheelchairs have been reviewed and ranked in among the top five based on their utility, reliability, cost-effectiveness, and most importantly, the feedback of customers for each product.

Wheelchair Ranking Overview

The Top 5:

Vision Sport Elevated Power Wheelchair by Merits5) Vision Sport Elevated Power Wheelchair by Merits

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Freedom Chair A06 Portable Lightweight Folding Electric Wheelchair4) Freedom Chair A06 Portable Lightweight Folding Electric Wheelchair

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Liberator Solar Power Assisted Wheelchair3) Liberator Solar Power Assisted Wheelchair

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Power Wheelchair LiteRider Envy by Golden Technologies2) Power Wheelchair LiteRider Envy by Golden Technologies

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Karman Tranzit Go Foldable Lightweight Power Wheelchair by Karman Healthcare1) Karman Tranzit Go Foldable Lightweight Power Wheelchair by Karman Healthcare

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How to Choose?

Before we begin our top five list, let’s review a few of the important features to keep an eye out for in each of the wheelchairs. Depending on the veteran’s needs, these features may be crucial in a wheelchair. 

Electric vs. Manual

Whether a wheelchair is manually operated or moved using electric power at the push of a control stick is crucial to recognize in a product. As we will see in the top five wheelchairs presented in this article, the majority of wheelchairs that are recommended for veterans are operated electrically. This makes them easier and safer to use, as it significantly reduces the potential for injury or strain while using the wheelchair. 

Portability

Some wheelchairs are specially designed to be lightweight and collapsible, thus allowing them to be transported more easily than traditional wheelchairs. Because many veterans maintain active lifestyles, having the ability to quickly and efficiently fold up and transport the wheelchair can be a great benefit.

Ergonomic Designs

As time goes on, more and more wheelchairs are featuring ergonomic designs that promote airflow, as well as leg, hip, and spine support. These ergonomic designs are particularly popular for patients who spend extended amounts of time in the wheelchair, as they are able to help prevent common discomforts associated with that level of use.

5. Vision Sport Elevated Power Wheelchair

Elevate your accessibility and enrich your life with the Vision Sport Elevated Power Wheelchair. This elevating wheelchair brings freedom, versatility, and stability combined into one amazing power wheelchair. The elevated seat helps you regain your freedom with eye-level conversations with friends and loved ones. Additionally, the elevated seat allows you to reach countertops, cabinets, high-top tables, shelves, and so much more. 

Mid-wheel drives are the most maneuverable out of all the wheel set-ups in wheelchairs. This is due to the tight turning radius, which is great for small spaces and walkways. Another benefit to a mid-wheel drive is that it offers the most natural-feeling center of gravity. The Vision Sport Elevated Power Wheelchair showcases its exceptional design through its sturdy base. It can absorb 250-lbs on the footplate without tipping forward. This makes getting in and out of the chair much easier, knowing that the footplate is trustworthy to bear your weight on.

Not only can the seat elevate, but it can also recline. The seatback can stand at an erect 90-degrees or recline into a relaxed 135-degrees, and it can stop anywhere in between. This chair can come with a variety of optional accessories, such as: an oxygen tank holder, cane & crutch holder, walker holder, foldable rear basket, canopy and variety of color fenders, swing away joystick, and a height-adjustable armrest.

Features and Benefits

  • Elevating seat brings you up for eye-level conversations
  • Elevating seat also allows you to reach higher-placed objects
  • If you spend a lot of time in a wheelchair, its reclining seat will help you rest and redistribute your body pressure
  • Mid-wheel drive is very maneuverable

Customer Feedback: Pros and Cons

Pro

  • "I enjoy being at eye level when I speak to people now, instead of people looking down on me."
  • “I am pleased with the features and ease of operation. It has the ability to access small spaces; it can make tight turns.”
  • “Worth every penny spent. My husband now has more mobility around the house, especially with the lift seat!”

Con

  • “There is not a place to put anything. I got a 'wheelchair backpack' and it works great. I also bought a 'saddle bag' to go over the arms.”

4. Freedom Chair Portable Lightweight Folding Electric Wheelchair by Freedomedi Technology

Taking the number four rank in our top five list is Freedomedi Technology’s Freedom Chair. This wheelchair earns its place among the top five in large part because of its dynamic portability. As we discussed in the introduction, wheelchairs with the ability to be folded up and transported are extremely popular for groups who often lead active lifestyles—such as veterans. 

The Freedom Chair’s design enables it to be easily folded in just a matter of seconds, at which point it can be stored or transported. The chair comes with a waterproof travel bag, which protects it from the elements when being transported. Additionally, the chair features a car power inverter, which allows the battery to be charged in the car. This significant ability to be transported and powered on-the-go is without question one of the most frequently praised features of the chair.

Joining its impressive portability, the Freedom Chair also offers customers a wide range of optional features. These include options such as backup chargers and batteries, specialized headrests, and cup/phone holders, among many others. These options allow customers to design the wheelchair to their exact needs. 

Features and Benefits

  • One of the most easily transported powered wheelchairs available (easily packed and moved)
  • Large selection of optional features for customizing the wheelchair to your needs
  • Car adapter allows for battery charging in the car

Customer Feedback: Pros and Cons

Pro

  • “Folding up the wheelchair takes just a couple of seconds, and the chair is so sturdy when unfolded.”
  • “The chair has three big things going for it: long-distance range, lightweight design, and easy to fold and transport.”
  • “The Freedom Chair is well made, sturdy, and has great battery range, particularly with the optional backup battery.”

Con

  • “Asphalt slows down the chair—possibly due to the front tires’ material. The chair seems like it is mainly designed for surfaces like concrete and tile.”
  • “I regret not ordering the optional second battery. With just one battery, I feel limited in my range.”

3. Liberator Solar Power-Assisted Wheelchair by Solar Mobility

Perhaps one of the most unique wheelchairs in our top five, Solar Mobility’s Liberator Solar Power-Assisted Wheelchair claims the number three position. As its name implies, the Liberator Solar Power wheelchair uses a solar panel canopy that harnesses the sun’s energy to constantly charge the wheelchair’s battery. This consistent charging means that the Liberator wheelchair has one of the longest battery run times of any powered wheelchair on the market. 

Beyond the obvious benefit of supplying power to the wheelchair, the solar panel canopy also provides the wheelchair user protection from the elements, as it is held as a canopy above the chair that offers shelter from poor weather. 

Another benefit of the Liberator chair is its active seat ventilation. This innovative technology provides consistent air circulation through the seat, which helps to prevent moisture buildup and reduces the risk of developing sores from extended periods of sitting. Given the Liberator’s long battery life, this is particularly important, as people can spend more time in the wheelchair than they can with other products. 

Features and Benefits

  • Solar panel hood consistently charges batteries and provides protection from the elements
  • Seat ventilation promotes airflow to reduce moisture buildup and seat sore risk
  • LED lights on wheelchair make it easy to spot in lower visibility

Customer Feedback: Pros and Cons

Pro

  • “The solar-powered charging of the Liberator’s batteries extends its battery life longer than any other wheelchair I’ve used.” 
  • “The Liberator is perfect for people who don’t want their wheelchair’s battery to slow them down.”
  • “This chair is comfortable, sturdy, and lets air flow nicely through the cushion.”

Con

  • “While the wheelchair is an outstanding product, its solar-powered features mean it costs significantly more than most standard powered wheelchairs.”
  • “The wheelchair’s design makes it heavier and less portable than most other products.”

2. Literider Envy Power Mobility Chair by Golden Technologies

Claiming the number two rank in our top five list is the Literider Envy Power Mobility Chair by Golden Technologies. This wheelchair earns its place thanks in large part to its ability to provide high-quality features at a lower price than most of its competition. This makes it distinctly the most cost-effective wheelchair in the top five.

The Literider Envy is a rear-wheel drive wheelchair that features a vinyl-covered seat that is designed for comfort and breathability. Its 22 amp battery is capable of traveling up to 15.5 miles between charges—a respectable range that is competitive with many other wheelchairs. 

One of the unique features of the Literider is its portability. Where many portable wheelchairs are able to be folded up, the Literider is designed to be broken down into four easy to carry pieces. This four-piece arrangement means that the wheelchair can maintain a dense, heavyweight when assembled, which provides stability. However, when broken down, the heaviest piece is just 35 pounds. This makes the Literider easily portable while remaining sturdy when fully assembled. 

Features and Benefits

  • The most cost-effective wheelchair in the top five
  • Sturdy and durable frame
  • Easily disassembled into four lightweight parts for transport

Customer Feedback: Pros and Cons

Pro

  • “The Literider wheelchair is a high-quality product at an affordable price. There aren’t many wheelchairs that can match its cost-effectiveness.”
  • “The wheelchair is easy to break down and take with you.”
  • “Not many wheelchairs let you pick the wheelchair’s color like the Literider does. It’s a nice little touch of personality to the chair.”

Con

  • “Being able to break down the chair for storage and transport is great, but it’s not quite as fast as being able to fold it up like other wheelchairs.”
  • “The wheelchair’s battery range isn’t as large as other products.”

1. Karman Tranzit Go Foldable Lightweight Power Wheelchair by Karman Healthcare

Earning the title of number one wheelchair for veterans in our top five is the Karman Tranzit Go Foldable Lightweight Power Wheelchair by Karman Healthcare. It earns the title due to its ability to combine the noted benefits of almost every other product in the top five into a single unit. 

One of the most frequently praised features of the Karman Tranzit is its lightweight design. With the batteries included, the wheelchair weighs just 51 pounds—significantly less than most other wheelchairs on the market. Joining this, the wheelchair’s frame is quickly and easily folded up for quick, efficient transport.

The wheelchair is fully padded and designed to provide support and stability to the patient. Additionally, the Karman Tranzit’s design allows it to operate both indoors and outdoors with ease. This supportive and adaptable design is another of the wheelchair’s popular features in the eyes of customers.

Features and Benefits

  • One of the most lightweight powered wheelchairs available
  • Supportive, comfortable design
  • Able to be quickly and easily folded up for transport

Customer Feedback: Pros and Cons

Pro

  • “The portable power wheelchair is light and easy for me to use. It makes trips out quick and easy.”
  • “This powered mobility chair is so lightweight and easy to fold that putting it in my trunk takes little effort at all.”
  • “Not only is the Karman Tranzit chair lightweight and portable, but it’s also extremely comfortable.”

Cons

  • “The lightweight design of the wheelchair is great, but the chair is only able to support up to 264 pounds because of it.”

Conclusion

Karman Healthcare’s Karman Tranzit Go Foldable Lightweight Wheelchair clearly earns its place as the number one wheelchair for veterans available from Rehabmart.com through its ability to accommodate an active veteran lifestyle through its portability, comfort, and innovative design. 

The wheelchairs in our list were ranked with significant consideration given to the customer feedback on each product. When it comes to the Karman Tranzit, there was an overwhelmingly large amount of positive feedback from customers with almost no negative notes at all. 

With its features and its ratings by customers all considered, the Karman Tranzit clearly earns its place as the number one wheelchair for veterans.  

To learn more about the wheelchairs featured in this top five article or to browse other high-quality products, visit Rehabmart’s full selection of wheelchairs. And, for more helpful product reviews, buying guides, and helpful caregiving tips, be sure to check out our full library of articles on Caregiver University.

Author:

Co-Founder of Rehabmart and an Occupational Therapist since 1993. Mike has spent his professional career working in multiple areas of Occupational Therapy, including pediatrics, geriatrics, hand therapy, ergonomics and inpatient / outpatient rehabilitation. Mike enjoys writing articles that help people solve complex therapeutic problems and make better product choices.

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