Which Invacare wheelchairs are best?
Whether you have suffered a temporary injury that hinders your ability to walk or have a permanent disability, purchasing a high-quality wheelchair is an important choice that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Along with comfort, wheelchairs also need to be reliable and ideally, relatively easy to transport when not actively being used.
Invacare makes wheelchairs that meet all of these requirements, as evidenced by models like the Invacare Tracer SX5, which has a strong but lightweight carbon steel frame and a durable and breathable nylon seat. The company dates back to the 1970s in its current iteration, but its roots go back more than 100 years, so they definitely know a thing or two about making quality wheelchairs.
What to know before you buy an Invacare wheelchair
Types of wheelchairs
There are many types of wheelchairs, with each type being best suited for certain applications and users. Carefully consider what type of wheelchair you need before making any purchase. Folding wheelchairs are popular because they are lightweight and easily portable. However, those with limited upper-body strength or disabilities that make moving their arms difficult or impossible should consider opting for an electric wheelchair instead.
If you are a heavy individual, a bariatric wheelchair might be necessary, as these are made with stronger materials to handle the additional weight. There are also pediatric wheelchairs for kids and various sport and all-terrain models for recreational purposes. You can even find floating beach wheelchairs with oversized wheels to handle soft sand.
Wheelchairs come in many different sizes, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find one that perfectly fits every part of your body. For this reason, it is best to choose one that offers a lot of adjustability so you can customize it to your needs. Depending on the model, you may be able to adjust the height of the arm and footrests, the height and depth of the seat or even the angle of the recline.
Along with how comfortable a wheelchair is during use, you should also consider how convenient it is when not actively in use. Lightweight models and those that fold up compactly will be easier to pack into a vehicle for transport. Also take note of whether or not you need to disassemble parts of it, such as the leg rests, before folding it up.
Features to look for in a quality Invacare wheelchair
All wheelchairs have armrests, but they vary in their comfort and design, and both of these aspects should be a consideration. When it comes to padding, thicker is usually better, as these will be more comfortable. For the design, consider if you want full-length armrests, which will offer the maximum amount of support, or desk-length armrests, which will allow you to get closer to a table or desk.
Leg rests are optional on many wheelchairs and, like armrests, come in various designs. The most basic leg rests will be simple platforms for your feet. If you need a bit more support than that, choose leg rests that also have calve rests. Those that need to keep one or both legs elevated can purchase adjustable leg rests that can be raised and lowered as needed.
The upholstery of a wheelchair can affect how hot or cool it keeps you, and how well-positioned you are in the seat. A material like nylon is both breathable and durable. It also has some texture to prevent you from slipping out of position. Vinyl isn’t very breathable and can be slippery, but is easier to wipe clean.
Wheelchairs may incorporate some padding into their seats for added comfort. While this is nice to have, it should only be a deciding factor in your decision-making process if you do not plan on using a wheelchair cushion. More important will be how much, if any, padding there is in the backrest.
All wheelchairs have a maximum weight capacity that should not be exceeded for safe use. On standard wheelchairs, this is generally between 200-300 pounds. Heavier individuals may need to purchase a bariatric wheelchair, which can often support upwards of 400 pounds.
How much can you expect to spend on an Invacare wheelchair
Invacare wheelchairs cost between $200-$1,000 for standard models. For electric and specialized wheelchairs, you may spend up to $3,000.
Invacare wheelchair FAQs
Should I get fitted for a wheelchair?
A. While not necessary, it is recommended to get professionally fitted for a wheelchair. A professional can analyze your anatomy and posture to determine what kind of wheelchair will fit your body best, as well as help you choose a cushion that can compensate for any potential imbalances you may have.
Is it OK to purchase a used wheelchair?
A. If you are having trouble affording a new wheelchair and it is not covered by your insurance, you can consider purchasing a used model. When doing so, carefully inspect every aspect of the chair to make sure it is in good working order, including the tires, wheels and brakes.
What is the best Invacare wheelchair to buy?
Top Invacare wheelchair
What you need to know: Those who want something that balances both comfort and durability will be well served by the Tracer IV.
What you’ll love: It has a lightweight yet sturdy carbon steel frame and a tough embossed nylon seat that won’t stretch out with use. You can purchase it in several sizes too, and with desk-length or full-length arms.
What you should consider: Some heavy individuals may be able to feel the metal bars beneath the seat if used without a cushion.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
Top Invacare wheelchair for the money
What you need to know: This lightweight, foldable model is easy to travel with and comes in two seat widths.
What you’ll love: The vinyl upholstery can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and continues to look like new for a long time. Plus, you’ll be hard pressed to find another model as durable in this price range.
What you should consider: It is only rated to support users up to 250 pounds.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This wheelchair is a sporty and highly functional model that can compensate for some anatomical imbalances.
What you’ll love: The padded nylon seat is more comfortable and breathable than common vinyl options, especially in warm climates. Many will appreciate the attractive bright blue frame too, that gives it a more stylish look than many others.
What you should consider: It is one of the company’s more expensive models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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