Power chairs offer the elderly and disabled the convenience of moving around with ease. One of the primary benefits of owning one is that they typically offer a tighter turning radius and it geared towards people have limited mobility in their hands. There are traditional models and there are models.
The variety of electric wheelchairs available can make it quite a challenge for you to pinpoint the most optimal chair for you, and that’s where we come in. In this article, We're going to shed light on some of the best folding electric wheelchairs on the market today, so stick around.
So How Much Does It Cost to Take a Power Wheelchair on an Airplane?
According to the ADA and FAA, taking your power chair along with you on an airplane is completely free. However, it’s highly advised to reach out to the airline of your preference before actually heading to the airport with your mobility wheelchair in order to make sure.
Another reason why you want to double-check with your airline is that all airlines tend to have a different procedure when it comes to traveling with electric powered wheelchairs. The typical process will have you go through security and when you reach the boarding gate, you’ll be checking your unit.
One thing we advise you to do before handing your mobility unit off to the airline employee is to take several pictures of the unit from different angles. This is going to help you retrieve your unit in the event of any mixup or in the event of it getting damaged in any way during the flight.
What Are the Different Types of Portable Power Chairs?
Portable power wheelchairs are available in 2 primary types. The first type is basically a folding electric wheelchair that can easily be folded into one piece, whereas the second type is a chair is a transportable power chair that can be broken down into 4 or 5 manageable and lightweight pieces for ease of transport. However, in this article we are going to be discussing the more popular type, the units that fold into one piece.
What Makes a Power Chair Airline Approved?
The factor that decides whether a mobility chair is airline-approved or not is the type of battery that it houses for its operation. Lucky for you, most of the folding wheelchairs featured on our list are approved for airline travel, so you won’t have to worry about a thing.
To further elaborate, the type of batteries that’s in question when it comes to airline approval is lithium batteries. Lithium batteries need to not exceed the 300AH mark in order to be approved for flight. All other battery types are airline-approved as long as they’re sealed.
Which Folding Power Chairs Are The Best?
Like we’ve already mentioned, the variety of motorized wheelchairs is quite impressive, but can be quite overwhelming as well. To make the selection process easier for you, here are the top-rated fold up portable power wheelchairs on the market today.
1. EWheels EW-M45
Weighing at only 59 pounds, the EWheels EW-M45 is one of the lightest folding wheelchairs on the market This is a unit that can be folded into one piece that measures in at 23x13x31 inches, which is quite compact compared to others. It’s perfect for people who are always on the go.
Folding this chair can be done in a matter of mere seconds. And considering how petite it is when folded, it can be easily stored in the trunk of your car or in other tight places. The capacity of this wheelchair is quite impressive as well, as it can withstand up to 400 pounds.
It also has a great turning radius of 31 inches, so it works well in tight spaces and going around corners. It’s worth noting that it’s equipped with 8-inch front wheels and 12-inch rear wheels, providing you with a great deal of traction.
With the aid of the traction provided by the EW-M45’s wheels, you’ll be able to tackle indoor and outdoor terrain, even if it’s uneven terrain, without facing any problems. The top speed is about 3.7 mph, which is the typical speed with most wheelchairs of this type.
However, the strongest selling point is its excellent battery range of 15.5 miles, which is almost double the battery range of other comparable portable wheelchairs. This model boasts a 19-inch wide seat, ensuring ideal comfort. It’s also backed by EWheels’ warranty and dedicated technical support team in case any questions may arise.
To elaborate a little bit more on what the chair’s warranty has to offer, it offers you 3 years on all frame components, including the frame, platform, and seat post. Moreover, you get 1 year on all of its electronic components. And lastly, it offers you 6 months on the batteries.
2. iLiving USA ILG-255
The ILG-255 by iLiving USA is another lightweight foldable electric wheelchair that is approved for cruise or airline travel, and weighs just 58 lbs once the 6 lbs batteries are removed.
iLiving USA designed this unit to have the ability to be folded and unfolded in just seconds. It even offers a kickstand to use once its folded and in the upright position, so you can store it in your closet allowing it to take up minimal space.
The weight capacity on this chair is 255 lbs, offers a battery range of up to 10 miles per charge, which is more than enough to get through a whole day of riding.
Perhaps one of the most appealing features about this chair is that the batteries are installed on each side of the chair under the armrests. This is different than other power chairs as the batteries are typically stored under the seat on the floorboard.
This feature allows the user to have more room under the seat for storing their belongings and makes it easier to access the batteries.
The warranty on this chair is also worth noting. It includes 3 years on the frame, 1 year of parts on the electrical components, and 6 months of the batteries as well.
3. EWheels EW-M43
If you are looking for the most budget-friendly folding electric wheelchair on the market today, the EWheels EW-M43 is it. This unit is brand new and just came out this year and is already making waves in the industry. It is also designed one of the up and coming brands in the mobility industry, EWheels.
This chair comes with flat-free tires so there is no need to worry about having flat tires while out and about. It also offers a 9.7 mile drive range and a 300 pound weight capacity, which ranks this power chair one of the best values on the folding power chair market today priced at $1899.
The EW-M43 also comes with large 12" rear tires which help you navigate terrains that most other models would have a difficult time riding over. This foldable power chair offers plenty of storage with an under the seat storage compartment and a storage pocket on the back of the seat as well.
It's also worth noting that this chair comes with one of the better warranties in the industry and you will receive support for any technical questions or concerns by dealing with EWheels technical support directly. The warranty includes 3 years on the structural frame components, 1 year on the electrical components, and 6 months on the batteries.
Whether you need a chair to quickly get around or simply just want an easy to transport power wheelchair for your everyday needs, this unit is the perfect choice.
4. Pride Jazzy Passport
The Jazzy Passport Folding Power Wheelchair from Pride Mobility is a lightweight unit that has the option to be airline approved. This is an excellent portable unit for those who are constantly on the go. It took quite a while to engineer this mobility chair, but it finally made its appearance.
Without the battery, this chair weighs only 53 pounds, which is quite astonishing. With the batteries included, the total weight of the chair is about 60 pounds, so it is comparable to the EW-M45.
Thanks to this chair’s slim and compact construction, you can easily fit it in the back of your car. The turning radius on this brilliant piece of machinery is an impressive 24.5 inches, meaning that you’ll be able to maneuver your way around closed spaces fairly easily.
The Jazzy Passport is equipped with standard 12-inch pneumatic rear drive wheels that allow you to navigate uneven surfaces with ease, whether indoor or outdoor. It also features a backrest pocket that provides you with ample space for storage.
This wheelchair has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds, so it is perfect for the average size person. Also, it has a top speed of 3.6 mph and comes with foam seat cushion and backrest to ensure maximum comfort for the rider.
That’s not all this fold-up power chair has to offer! The unit includes a mesh cup holder and a 40-inch lap belt for convenience. The battery range on this chair is quite ample as well at 11 miles. All in all, the Pride Jazzy Passport is an excellent pick for avid travelers.
5. Merits P101
The Merits Health Products P101 is a folding power chair that is more of a traditional chair than the first two we presented on this list. This unit has a design similar to a manual wheelchair, which is why it is appealing to many people.
It offers 2 different seat widths of 16" and 18" and the controller can be placed on either armrest for the user. Speaking of armrests, they also flip up for easy transitioning and also the footrests swing away, so getting out of the seat is a breeze.
The weight capacity on this chair is 300 pounds, so it is the perfect size for a user with an above average weight. It also boasts an 18 mile battery range and a top speed of 4 mph, so it can be used all day without needing to recharge your batteries.
In order to fold up this unit, you simply remove both batteries and fold the chair inward, essentially "scrunching" the chair into a compact size. This is great for storage and transport.
One of the greatest benefits of owning the P101, is that it comes with a best in class warranty which includes 5 years on the frame, one year on the batteries, one year on the motor and breaks, and one year on the electronic components.
6. EWheels EW-M49
The EW-M49 Folding Power Wheelchair is another portable option from EWheels. This state of the art power chair offers over 25 features which propels it into a category all its own. Starting with a powerful motor and full sized 12" rear wheels. Comfort is king when it comes to this power chair.
This versatile electric wheelchair comes with dual adjustable armrests and a reclining backrest. The adjustable headrest is easy to set or remove and the front shock absorbers allow for a much smoother ride when traveling on rough surfaces.
Another special feature with the EW-M49 is its interactive digital screen, which allows the rider to quickly and easily change wheelchair settings with the simple push of a button. This unit also comes with a removable lithium ion battery for long lasting and reliable run time.
Traveling with this folding power chair is made even more convenient with its foldable footrest and easy fold release that locks everything securely into place. The EW-M49 also has the ability to switch into freewheel mode by simply releasing the rear hub lock or the freeroll lever.
Another one of this unit’s strongest selling points is its impressive 10-mile battery range and 330 lbs weight capacity.
7. Drive Medical Cirrus Plus
This fold-up power chair is similar to the Merits P101 in that it is designed just like a manual wheelchair. This durable unit comes in 5 different seat widths to accommodate a weight capacity ranging from 300-450 pounds.
This unit disassembled into 3 pieces in a just few easy steps. You simply remove both batteries and fold up the chair inward making it compact for storage or travel. There is a convenient back storage pocket on this unit and it also comes with a free arm bag for additional storage of your belongings.
Because this unit operates off of rear wheel drive, it makes this folding power wheelchair easy to maneuver, and it offers an impressive 4” ground clearance to boot. A few other great standard features include footrests that are swing away, flip-up armrests, a 2” padded seat cushion and a padded backrest.
The Cirrus Plus is one of the faster power chairs on the market today with a top speed of 5 mph. It also offers a 15 mile battery range and the programmable controller can easily be mounted on the left or right side.
It’s also worth noting that Drive Medical offers one of the best warranties in the mobility industry. It’s backed by a limited lifetime warranty on the frame, 2 year warranty on the electronic components and drive train, and a 1-year warranty on the batteries as well. Not only that, but this product also comes with a 1 year of in-home service for the first year of owning this device.
Hopefully, the information shared in this article has provided you with the insight you needed to select the right portable folding electric wheelchair for you. Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions or if you feel another chair should be added to this list.
We also have a special offer you can benefit from by taking 6% of your order. Simply enter coupon code EW6 at checkout and it will apply the discount. This offer won't be around long, so act soon! See product pages for details and if you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 800-682-9444 and one of our agents will be happy to assist you. We are open every day from 8AM - 8PM est!
If you are more interested in looking for a mobility scooter that folds, our staff compiled a great list of the Top Folding Mobility Scooters of 2021 and have had some great feedback on that article as well.
Feel free to write me anytime at email@example.com if you have any questions or comments. At Electric Wheelchairs USA, we truly love helping our customers make the best choice for their needs whether it is a power chair, mobility scooter, or lift chair.