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How do I Choose the Best Wheelchair Bag?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 17, 2024
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One of the most important criteria when choosing a wheelchair bag is the chair occupant's mobility level. Weight capacity is also crucial as a lightweight bag shouldn't be used to hold heavy items. Ease of use and convenience should also be considered with the wheelchair bag you choose.

Straps that slip or fussy details such as strings to tie and buttons to fasten should be avoided when selecting a convenient storage bag for a wheelchair. The best wheelchair bag should offer the most convenience possible, such as a tote designed with adjustable straps to carry oxygen both on the chair and by hand. Elasticized pouches that expand easily are often versatile in the amount they hold. Velcro closures often work best on bags made for wheelchairs. Such easy to use features on a wheelchair bag can make it ideal for shopping trips.

There are three basic types of wheelchair bags: those that fit onto the back handles, those made to utilize the space at the bottom of the chair, and those made to fit onto the sides under the armrests. The side and bottom types are usually the best for people in wheelchairs to access themselves, while the back fastening kind is often the most convenient for a person who pushes the chair.

Be sure to choose a wheelchair bag that doesn't hinder the chair's movement in any way. It's a good idea to first check to make sure the bag is returnable if it doesn't end up fitting your wheelchair properly. Look for a bag that doesn't move around a lot or bang against the backrest, which could be uncomfortable. Water-resistant nylon is typically the best choice for a strong, weather-friendly wheelchair tote bag that will adequately hold most items.

A bag with compartments rather than one space tends to be the easiest in terms of accessibility as long as the fasteners are simple to use. In the case of a large wheelchair tote bag with only one compartment, it can be difficult to find an item if a lot of different things, including a light jacket and snacks, are jammed together into it. A backpack style wheelchair bag may be best for you if you'll need various smaller or thinner items during an outing, but also want to store larger belongings in the main, zippered section.

A single compartment bag may work when you're carrying just a few things such as books and a lunch. To keep important small items handy, consider adding smaller pouches under your wheelchair's armrests. When buying a wheelchair bag of any type, make sure the label notes whether its capacity is for light, medium or heavy items.

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