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Best Power Wheelchairs for Air Travel

Best Power Wheelchairs for Air Travel

Traveling with an electric wheelchair can be challenging and inconvenient, seeing as some wheelchairs might be too heavy, while others can't be compacted and might not be airline-approved.

What if we tell you, though, that there are power chairs that are designed specifically to be your travel companion? These wheelchairs are typically foldable, lightweight, easy to store, and airline-approved.

To help you find the perfect power chair for your travel needs, we’re going to shed light on seven of the best power wheelchairs for air travel on the market today.

We’ll also be highlighting the most important factors to take into consideration when in the market for an electric wheelchair so that you can get the best bang for your buck.

Let’s jump right into it! 

The 7 Best Electric Wheelchairs for Air Travel: Overview

  1. ComfyGo Patriot 10 – Best Overall

  2. ComfyGo Majestic IQ-8000 – Runner-Up

  3. Journey Health and Lifestyle Zinger – Most Lightweight Option

  4. ComfyGo Patriot 11 – Best Value for Money

  5. Journey Health and Lifestyle Zoomer – Highest Top Speed

  6. ComfyGo Patriot 12 – Best Mileage per Charge

  7. ComfyGo Majestic IQ-7000 – Best Weight Capacity

The 7 Best Power Wheelchairs for Air Travel: Reviews

The market is saturated and crowded with many power wheelchairs that claim to be airline-friendly. These bold claims aren’t always true, though, as you might expect.  

To spare you the hassle of sifting through countless products online, we’ve narrowed down your options to just seven high-quality, airline-friendly power chairs that are guaranteed to smoothen your traveling experience.

1. ComfyGo Patriot 10 – Best Overall

ComfyGo Patriot 10
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The Patriot 10 from ComfyGo is one of the most popular electric wheelchairs on the list, if not the most popular. This is because it strikes an excellent balance between convenience and affordability.

This sleek, cost-effective power wheelchair has an outstanding capacity of 330 pounds, so it can accommodate most people. What’s more, it can travel up to 14 miles on a single charge.

This chair can be folded with ease to fit into the trunk of your car. It also houses two robust batteries and two powerful brushless DC motors. Other convenient features include adjustable armrests, a narrow turning radius, and cruise-friendliness. It's no wonder many people consider it the best electric wheelchair for air travel.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 330 pounds

  • Motor: 2x 250W brushless DC motor

  • Battery Type: 2x 7AH lithium-ion battery (2*3 pounds)

  • Top Speed: 4 mph

  • Mileage/Charge: 14 miles

  • Charging Time: 6-8 hours

  • Weight: 55 pounds (without battery)

  • Turning Radius: ≤ 35.5 inches / 900 mm

Why We Like It:

  • Easy to maneuver in tight spaces

  • Equipped with two powerful motors

  • Cruise and airline-approved

  • Outstanding mileage per single charge

2. ComfyGo Majestic IQ-8000 – Runner-Up

ComfyGo Majestic IQ-8000 Electric Wheelchair

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Next up, we have the ComfyGo Majestic IQ-8000; a power wheelchair that’s designed to tackle the outdoors with grace. No matter the terrain condition, be it grassy, slopey, muddy, snowy, or bumpy, this lightweight wheelchair can handle it!

That’s not all there is to this chair, though. The IQ-8000 comes with two separate batteries. The 12-AH battery is capable of delivering up to 10 miles on a single charge and is airline-approved.

The 20-AH battery, on the other hand, is intended for extensive use, as it can deliver up to 17 miles on a single charge. Note, however, that the 20-AH battery isn’t airline-approved.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 286 pounds

  • Motor: 2x 250W brushless DC motor

  • Battery Type: 12AH or 20AH lithium-ion battery (6 pounds)

  • Top Speed: 4 mph

  • Mileage/Charge: 10-17 miles

  • Charging Time: 6-8 hours

  • Weight: 49 pounds (without battery)

  • Turning Radius: ≤ 47 inches / 1200 mm

Why We Like It:

  • Lightweight and easy to transport

  • Two batteries for different use cases

  • Handles moderate slopes with ease

  • Can handle different terrain conditions

3. Journey Health and Lifestyle Zinger – Most Lightweight Option

Journey Health and Lifestyle Zinger

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The Zinger power chair from Journey Health and Lifestyle is one of the lightest electric wheelchairs on the market, weighing about 47 pounds with the battery in place.

This power chair features two-handed throttle steering for ease of control and maneuvering, and it comes with a convenient travel basket for storage purposes.

This lightweight electric wheelchair may not offer the highest mileage per charge, but it does offer the highest top speed out of all the options on our list. It also has a tight turning radius that makes it ideal for indoor use.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 275 pounds

  • Motor: 250W DC motor

  • Battery Type: 6.6AH lithium-ion battery (5 pounds)

  • Top Speed: 6 mph

  • Mileage/Charge: 8 miles

  • Charging Time: 4 hours

  • Weight: 42 pounds (without battery)

  • Turning Radius: ≤ 24 inches / 610mm

Why We Like It:

  • The power chair comes fully assembled

  • Fastest wheelchair on the list

  • Narrow turning radius for easy indoor use

  • Comes with a travel basket for storage

4. ComfyGo Patriot 11 – Best Value for Money

ComfyGo Patriot 11

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The ComfyGo Patriot 11 is the younger brother of the popular Patriot 10, offering a lot of the same features as its predecessor at a more affordable price.

Like the Patriot 10, this lightweight power wheelchair features two DC motors, two lithium-ion batteries, and a maximum speed of 4 miles per hour. It also has the same turning radius.

The main difference is that the Patriot 11 has a slightly lower weight capacity and is a single mile short of offering the same mileage/charge as its bigger brother.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 265 pounds

  • Motor: 2x 250W brushless DC motor

  • Battery Type: 2x 7AH lithium-ion battery (2*3 pounds)

  • Top Speed: 4 mph

  • Mileage/Charge: 13 miles

  • Charging Time: 6-8 hours

  • Weight: 55 pounds (without battery)

  • Turning Radius: ≤ 35.5 inches / 900 mm

Why We Like It:

  • Equipped with two powerful motors

  • FDA-approved and airline-friendly

  • Easy to maneuver in tight spaces

  • Excellent mileage per single charge

5. Journey Health and Lifestyle Zoomer – Highest Top Speed

Journey Health and Lifestyle Zoomer

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The Journey Health and Lifestyle Zoomer is pretty much a one-handed version of the Zinger model. Both models share the same top speed, maximum weight capacity, and mileage/charge.

The wheels on this lightweight folding power chair are a bit more robust than the ones on the Zinger. And with a slightly wider turning radius, we’d say that the Zoomer is better suited for outdoor use.

This power chair is only a few pounds heavier than the Zinger. Both models are highly portable and can be folded for ease of storage with the aid of a single-pull release cable.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 275 pounds

  • Motor: 220W Brushless DC motor

  • Battery Type: 8.76AH lithium-ion battery (4 pounds)

  • Top Speed: 6 mph

  • Mileage/Charge: 8 miles

  • Charging Time: 4.5 hours

  • Weight: 45.8 pounds (without battery)

  • Turning Radius: ≤ 33.4 inches / 850mm

Why We Like It:

  • Narrow turning radius for easy indoor use

  • Easy folding with a pull-release cable

  • The wheelchair comes fully assembled

  • One-handed control mechanism

6. ComfyGo Patriot 12 – Best Mileage per Charge

ComfyGo Patriot 12

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Another high-quality power wheelchair from ComfyGo is the Patriot 12, which is basically a long-range version of the popular Patriot 10. This is because it can travel up to 18 miles on a single charge.

The Patriot 12 is a few pounds heavier than the Patriot 10. Nonetheless, it doesn’t exceed the 60-pound mark, which makes it lightweight compared to traditional electric wheelchairs.

This folding power chair has a fantastic maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds, a maximum speed of 4 miles per hour, and a narrow turning radius for navigating tight indoor spaces.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 330 pounds

  • Motor: 2x 250W brushless DC motor

  • Battery Type: 2x 7AH lithium-ion battery (2*5 pounds)

  • Top Speed: 4 mph

  • Mileage/Charge: 18 miles

  • Charging Time: 6-8 hours

  • Weight: 56 pounds (without battery)

  • Turning Radius: ≤ 35.5 inches / 900 mm

Why We Like It:

  • Equipped with two powerful motors

  • Travels as far as 18 miles on one charge

  • Airline and cruise-approved

  • Easy maneuverability in confined spaces

7. ComfyGo Majestic IQ-7000 – Best Weight Capacity

ComfyGo Majestic IQ-7000

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If you’re a large individual and you’re looking for a sturdy, airline-friendly power chair with a high weight capacity, the Majestic IQ-7000 from ComfyGo is your best bet.

The Majestic IQ-7000 has the highest weight capacity out of all the options on the list. It’s a little heavier than its competitors, but that’s to be expected from such a sturdy wheelchair.

This power wheelchair houses a 12AH lithium-ion battery that can provide enough juice for you to travel 13 miles without having to recharge it. To add, this is a chair that’s designed to handle the outdoors regardless of terrain conditions.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 365 pounds

  • Motor: 2x 250W brushless DC motor

  • Battery Type: 12AH lithium-ion battery (7 pounds)

  • Top Speed: 4 mph

  • Mileage/Charge: 13 miles

  • Charging Time: 6-8 hours

  • Weight: 60 pounds (without battery)

  • Turning Radius: ≤ 47 inches / 1200 mm

Why We Like It:

  • Handles different terrain conditions

  • The battery can be charged separately

  • Easily controllable with an armrest joystick

  • Boasts the highest weight capacity

Factors to Consider in a Travel Power Wheelchair

There are several factors that you need to take into consideration before buying an electric wheelchair to ensure the most value for your money. Here's a brief list of them.

Battery Life

The first factor to consider in a power wheelchair is its battery life. How many miles can it travel on a single charge? And how long does it take to fully charge the battery?

Most lightweight electric wheelchairs can travel 5-15 miles, though there are options that can go as far as 20 miles! Obviously, the more you use your power chair, the greater the battery life needs to be.

This is also the case if you don’t want to charge your chair frequently.

Portability

One of the key differences between a regular power wheelchair and a travel-intended chair is that the latter is more portable than the former.

Travel power chairs are lightweight compared to their traditional counterparts and even some mobility scooters and manual wheelchairs. They usually weigh anywhere between 40 and 60 pounds with the battery in place.

Also, most travel-friendly wheelchairs tend to be foldable so that they can fit inside the trunk of your car or in their dedicated place inside an airplane.

Travel-friendly wheelchairs that aren’t foldable can usually be disassembled into lightweight components. Such chairs tend to weigh a lot more than their foldable counterparts, though.

Type of Tires

Since we’re talking about airline-friendly electric wheelchairs, one of the factors you need to take into consideration is the terrain conditions at your travel destination.

Not all lightweight power wheelchairs are designed for all-terrain use. Some feature rubber rear wheels that are suitable for sidewalk use, while others are equipped with flat-free wheels that can handle the outdoors with ease.

Turning Radius

Another important factor to consider is the chair’s turning radius, which is the minimum diameter with which your chair can turn in a circle.

The turning radius isn’t all that important when it comes to outdoor use. For indoor use, however, the tighter the chair’s turning radius, the better it will be at navigating tight spaces.

Storage Space

If you usually carry a lot of belongings with you when you’re out and about in your chair, you should consider buying a wheelchair that offers ample storage space.

Wheelchair storage spaces come in several forms, including baskets, pouches, and cup holders. Generally, the more storage space the chair offers, the more convenient it will be.

We recommend opting for a wheelchair that features an under-seat storage space where you can store your valuable belongings (i.e., purse, briefcase, smartphone, and so forth). 

In Conclusion

There you have it; the seven best electric wheelchairs for air travel! Depending on what you prioritize the most, one of the above-reviewed wheelchairs is guaranteed to meet your needs.

If we had to choose only one wheelchair, we’d have to go with the ComfyGo Patriot 10, seeing as it’s the most well-rounded of the bunch. This folding power wheelchair is fairly lightweight, easy to compact, has two engines and two batteries, and can travel long distances without the need for a recharge.

Be sure to consider the factors discussed in our buying guide in order to ensure the most bang for your money. And remember, not all of the best power wheelchairs on the market today are airline-approved, so be sure to choose carefully!

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