Wheelchair or Transport Chair?

Which is best for me and how to measure for the correct size.

Wheelchair or Transport Chair - Which is right for me? 

While transport chairs and lightweight wheelchairs might at first glance appear to be extremely similar, there are several distinct differences that set the two types of devices apart. Learning more about the similarities and differences between transport chairs and wheelchairs can help you make a more informed decision on what aid would best suit your individual needs or the needs of a loved one. 

Key Similarities & Things to Know

There are several major differences between lightweight wheelchairs and transport chairs that should be carefully considered before purchasing a new mobility device. Perhaps the most significant of these differences is in their designs and the ways they are intended to be used: while lightweight wheelchairs have hand rims on the rear wheels which allow users to self-propel and freely revolving front wheels, transport chairs have neither, meaning that users are required to have support from a caregiver or another person to propel forward. 

Our recent blog post: Differences Between a Transport Chair and a Lightweight Wheelchair lays out in more detail, the additional differences between these two mobility devices and will help you in this decision-making process.

Now that you have determined which mobility device is best, it's time to choose a size.


Helping someone choose the right wheelchair size is an important step in ensuring their comfort and mobility. Here are some steps you can follow to assist them in making the right decision:

Assess Mobility Needs:
  • Understand the person's mobility needs and lifestyle. Are they looking for a wheelchair for daily use, occasional use, or sports and recreational activities?
  • Determine whether the wheelchair will primarily be used indoors, outdoors, or both.

Consult a Healthcare Professional:
  • It's crucial to involve a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or occupational therapist, to assess the person's specific needs and provide guidance on wheelchair selection.

Measure for Size:
  • Measure the person's body to determine the right wheelchair size. Key measurements include:



Additional Measurements to Consider
Measure Heel-to-Knee Length:
  • Measure from the back of the user's heel to the back of their knee while they're sitting down.
  • If the person will use their arms to propel the wheelchair, add 2 inches (5.1 cm) to this measurement to determine the seat height. This allows space for footrest clearance.
  • If the person will use their feet for propulsion, use this measurement for the seat height. This helps them reach the ground comfortably. Accessibility Measurements
  • Keep in mind the dimensions of doorways, elevators, and ramps that the wheelchair will encounter. Measure these areas to make sure the wheelchair's size is compatible with these spaces.


It's crucial to be accurate while taking these measurements to ensure the wheelchair provides optimal comfort, support, and mobility for the user. If in doubt, consulting with a healthcare professional or occupational therapist can be very helpful to ensure the measurements are correct and the wheelchair is properly fitted. 

Once you have completed your measurements, use the table below to narrow down which STRONGBACK is the correct size for you.


Should you have additional questions about which STRONGBACK Wheelchair or Transport Chair is right for you or a family member, please reach out to us at usa@strongbackmobility.com or call 757-349-7790. We are happy to help!