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Finding the best beach wheelchair isn’t easy because they aren’t common. It takes some searching to find one that is practical, works well, and provides comfort.
Beach wheelchairs are an essential item to have at the beach and although not everyone will need a beach wheelchair, they will be useful for injuries sustained on the beach, for disabled persons visiting the beach, and for elderly or people recovering from injury.
Even though beach wheels chairs look bulky, most are lightweight and easy to push across the sand. People sitting in a beach wheelchair, however, will need assistance because the wheels are usually too wide for the individual to push themselves.
What To Look For In A Beach Wheelchair
The first thing you’ll notice about a beach wheelchair is the wheels. They are large. Large wheels are required to remain on top of loose sand.
The more surface area the wheels have, the better the wheelchair will move over uneven and deep sand.
It’s not just wheelchairs that require large wheels. Beach bikes, called “Fat Tire” bikes use wide wheels too. A standard wheelchair will definitely not work on soft beach sand.
At first glance, you might think the frame of a beach wheelchair looks cheap. Most beach wheelchairs are made of aluminum or PVC to keep the chair inexpensive and lightweight.
Premium wheelchairs, made for everyday use, are often made of carbon fiber and other materials, however, beach products tend to wear out quickly due to sand and saltwater. PVC is a great option because it won’t corrode (check out materials to avoid corrosion at the beach)!
The seat of beach wheelchairs is usually a plastic fabric made of polyurethane or another synthetic. It attaches to the frame and should have some give to it for a comfortable ride.
Beach wheelchairs are meant to be functional and shouldn’t be used for hours on end. The passenger should be able to comfortably sit on the wheelchair for an hour or two before needing a break.
In the reviews below, you’ll find a few different types of footrests. The first type is a firm platform – if the passenger doesn’t have good control of his/her feet, they may have a tendency to fall off.
The second type of footrest is a loose basket area where feet can comfortably rest. I tend to prefer the look and functionality of this option as opposed to a firm platform.
5 Best Beach Wheelchairs (With Big Wheels For Sand)
#1 Healthline Medical – Beach Wheelchair
Healthline is a well-known wheelchair maker based in the U.S. Their beach wheelchair offers a good looking chair and comes at a price that’s reasonable. I particularly like the extras including the umbrella, armrests, and storage area behind the chair.
As you would expect it features the extra large wheels that will easily glide over the sand whether it’s soft or hard. It also breaks down into 3 pieces but doesn’t fold (wheels removable) (check Healthline wheelchair price on Amazon).
- 41” H x 34.5” W x 41” Depth
- Seat height 25 inches
- Good looking blue, white, grey color
- Umbrella and storage area behind the seat
- Patented balloon style wheels
- Lightweight PVC that won’t corrode
- 250 lb capacity
There’s also a padded seat that is a nice touch. In my opinion, it would be better if the legs could be stretched out farther in front of the wheelchair but all-in-all this is a good option for anyone who wants to cruise on the sand, near the ocean.
There is no seatbelt.
#2 WaterWheels Floating Beach Wheelchair and Cart
This beach wheelchair also floats! The armrests float as do the balloon-style wheels.
This style of wheelchair has a more laidback design and the legs can be outstretched in front of the body. I like that the front wheel can turn in any direction.
The frame is aluminum and has a stainless steel fork – this may not be the best option for saltwater but it provides a strong, lightweight frame (check WaterWheels price on Amazon).
- Reclined-style wheelchair
- Floats in water
- 250 lbs capacity
- Can be disassembled in minutes (weighs 60 lbs)
- Seat width is 18 inches
People using this beach wheelchair like that it disassembles quickly and fits in the back of a car. I think this is a good option for people who frequently visit the beach because it has a few extra features (like turning, and storage) that help move it around.
The cost is one of the most expensive on this list, however, it’s higher price is justified for people who intend to use it for years.
It also comes with a beach cart which can be used to carry the wheelchair to and from the beach. The beach cart can also be used for other items like an ice chest and gear.
#3 MJM International All Terrain Chair
MJM makes a simple, affordable beach wheelchair that has the essential features you’ll need for a day at the beach. If you’re looking for a no-frills beach wheelchair this
It has 4 large tires, armrests, and a nylon seat area secured to a PVC frame. There’s also a firm footrest (check MJM beach wheelchair on Amazon).
- 38 x 36 x 34 inches
- 105 lbs
- 250 lbs weight limit
- Mesh sling seat
- Non-corrosive plastic bearings
- 42” all-terrain wheels
Customers say this beach wheelchair works great for seniors and others with limited mobility. It disassembles quickly with 4 clips into 2 pieces and will fit in the back of the trunk on most vehicles.
#4 Hippocampe Beach Wheelchair
The Hippocampe is the nicest beach wheelchair on our list. The only reason it’s not #1 is its hefty price.
If money is no object and you want to cruise on the beach in comfort and style, then this is your best bet. It’s beautiful and well made.
I like the blue frame and large white tires – sea-colored (check out the Hippocampe wheelchair on Amazon).
- Sleek design
- Large oversized tires and front tire turns
- Slight recline
- For larger people
- Basket and firm area for legs
- Aluminum, PVC, and stainless steel components
It’s marketed for larger people, over 5’9” inches, and has a weight capacity of 240 lbs.
It uses a slightly reclined position and has a helpful basket area for both feet (there’s also a platform for the feet. It can be pulled using straps or pushed from behind.
There are plenty of extras too, including a transport bag, backrest, adjustable armrest, brakes, and a ski kit.
Just make sure you check with the company first so you know what’s included with your purchase.
#5 Fields Outdoor Supplies – Beach Wheelchair
The last option on our list is very similar to the MJM beach wheelchair. This is another no-frills option and it looks great. I like the blue, grey, and white color scheme.
It doesn’t come with extras but it has everything you need to cruise the beach.
- PVC frame
- Nylon mesh chair covering
- Oversized balloon tires 12”
- Firm foot platform
- Disassembles to fit in the trunk of a car
I’d go with the #1 or #3 option over this wheelchair but all three are similar. This wheelchair has smaller tires – I’d prefer larger for more types of terrain (check out the Fields wheelchair on Amazon).
Finding the best beach wheelchair should be a chore. In fact, you’ll even find that some beaches offer complimentary wheelchairs for visitors, although finding them and finding parking in the summer may be a challenge.
Beach wheelchairs used oversized wheels to stay on top of the soft sand. They may look bulky and heavy, but the wheels are lightweight as it the frame.
Most wheels are a wide “balloon” style, while most frames use PCV, aluminum, or stainless steel.
The beach wheelchairs we covered offer a mix of style and functionality. I like the #1 wheelchair because it’s functional but also includes thoughtful extras like an umbrella, but your needs might require other features. Hopefully, you find one that’s right for you and your family.
Thanks for reading another Beach Life article. Be sure to check back with us for great reviews, tips, and recommendations.
Enjoy your time at the beach!