Wheelchairs are one of the market’s most widely traded items. So how do businesses stand apart in such a competitive sector? Here, leading suppliers outline their top products.
The foldable and lightweight Strongback is a Swiss-designed chair that incorporates an ergonomically supportive backrest which mimics the natural curvature of the spine. Its unique shape moulds around the occupant to provide greater comfort through effective lumbar support. As up to 89% of wheelchair users experience back pain in wheelchairs with traditional upright backrests, the Strongback has been specifically designed to improve posture so that users are more comfortable.
In terms of aesthetics, the Strongback is designed to be attractive and from a practical point of view, it requires little or no adjustment to fit the majority of users who do not require complex postural support. This is important to dealers so that supply is efficient and product suitability is strengthened across a wider range of customers.
Karma Mobility Ergo Lite 2
The Ergo Lite 2 is the lightest standard wheelchair available to Karma’s knowledge but still comes with a sturdy double cross brace for durability. The transit model starts from 8.5kg complete and the self-propel model breaks down from 10.5kg to 6kg with the detachable parts removed. The Ergo Lite 2 benefits from the patented ergonomic seating which makes it comfortable as well as very light.
Flexel Mobility Greencare Easy 1
The Easy 1 self-propelled “Black Edition” wheelchair is a crash tested lightweight aluminium folding wheelchair ideal for occasional use. The 24” wheels with puncture proof tyres are quick release and the back cushion is tension adjustable. The chair has many features found on higher-end wheelchairs. The stable and strong folding frame means the wheelchair is easy to handle, giving good rolling performance in all conditions. It is made from lightweight aluminium, and with removable wheels and footrests, it is easy to transport. The cushioned seat and air-flow high comfort tension adjustable back make it a comfortable chair to be seated in.
Etac Cross 5
The Etac Cross 5 medium active wheelchair combines comfort, optimum positioning and functionality. Its multi-adjustable back, unique frame design and a wide range of options and accessories ensure each user has good seating and propulsion opportunities. With a wide range of seat widths and a 135kg maximum user weight, it will meet the needs of most users.
There is also an XL version with seat widths up to 60cm and maximum user weight of 160kg. Unique 3A back support combines angle, height and contour adjustments to create good positions for trunk support and stability. Adjustments can be made quickly and easily with minimal tools. The cross folding frame still delivers the stability of a rigid design so that durability and easy propulsion are provided. This strength is enhanced by a moulded frame with no weld points.
The Avantgarde is one of the lightest folding manual wheelchairs on the market. Weighing from just 8.7kg and folding to a depth of just 27cm, Ottobock says the Avantgarde is easier to manoeuvre and can be pushed for far longer than its counterparts thanks to its low rolling resistance. It is ideal for those who travel a lot as it goes into a car with ease, or for those who use a wheelchair and do not have much storage space at home.
Progeo Noir 2.0 & Joker Energy
The Progeo Noir 2.0 is, alongside the Joker Energy, Progeo’s flagship wheelchair. They are the same wheelchair concept but made with two different materials. They are both made-to-measure wheelchairs with a fully custom-made frame around the user measures. What makes the chairs unique is the materials and the technology the manufacturer uses, Progeo says. The Noir 2.0 is one of the only made-to-measure carbon fibre chairs and the Joker Energy is the only made-to-measure wheelchair made in 70-20 aircraft aluminium, made with hydroforming technology, Progeo says.
wheelAIR is an innovative solution for wheelchair users experiencing the common, yet overlooked, issues of over-heating and over-sweating. From sweat rashes to pressure sores, heat exhaustion to heatstroke, getting too hot can pose a risk to health and have an impact on a person’s ability to participate in daily activities. The product is a wheelchair backrest that distributes non-intrusive, adjustable, and silent airflow across key heat-generating areas of the back and guides heat and moisture away from the body, leaving users feeling dry and fresh. Through convection, conduction and evaporative heat loss, wheelAIR helps regulate core body temperature and assist with microclimate management. The product operates with battery-powered fan technology, which users can increase or decrease intensity through different settings, to suit their needs. For retailers, this is an opportunity to provide customers with a product that is complementary to their current manual wheelchair offering, which fits on any and all canvas backrests. Offering wheelAIR in-store can motivate customers to return to the retail shop after the initial purchase of their wheelchair.
MyWren Flexi Mobility Bag
The Flexi Mobility bag is specifically designed by MyWren to be used on most wheelchairs, powerchairs and scooters. Available in three sizes, the bags suit most wheelchairs and their user’s storage needs. MyWren uses a premium weight fabric that is heavy duty and waterproof. It is a durable, multipurpose solution with easy grip zip pulls; suitable for arthritic fingers.
There is plenty of storage including side pockets and two removable crutch/walking stick holders as standard. The Flexi has reflective trims for those dark nights and easy-to-use handles. The Flexi bag is suitable for many wheelchairs, powerchairs and scooters so retailers do not need to stock multiple bags. MyWren can also embroider the bags to promote the retailer’s name and logo.