Titanium, fixed frame with fairly high push handles (my husband is very tall), a fixed carbon fibre footplate, brakes with extensions (to make it possible for me to pull them back and forth), detachable swing-away arms, carbon fibre side-guards and a seat belt. Along with a Jay backrest, to give good back support and a Vicair cushion for pressure-relief. The chair itself is 58cm wide and 80cm long, and very light.
Source of Wheelchair: RGK
Diagnosis: Paraplegia & Neurosarcoidosis
This is by far the best manual chair I have had in over 40 years! It is well-balanced, extremely easy to push and very good in confined spaces. This is partly because there is no slack in the frame. Because of the vehicles we use, we are perfectly happy with having a chair that does not fold or has a folding backrest. However, we were nearly caught out when scheduled to travel in someone else’s saloon car, after discovering it could not be put directly into the boot via the main door. Luckily there was an alternative route to the luggage compartment once we folded down the back seats, before positioned the chair from inside and putting the seat back up again! So maybe in retrospect, maybe a folding backrest would have been better!
The swing-away armrests are of a relatively crude design used by several manufacturers (a pipe shape with hard foam sleeves). Even though I only use them to lean on while I’m getting dressed, the hardness was causing hard skin pressure problems, so I have additional Kerrapro pads on top to give pressure relief. I also use Kerrapro pads on the footplates if I’m not wearing shoes.
The brake extensions work really well, as they allow me to independently use the brakes and they can be flapped down out of the way when necessary. They would have been better (as would ones without extensions) if they were set a bit lower, so they didn’t in the way during sideways transfers. Although I know scissor brakes would be a suitable option for some people, but my fingers are not strong enough to operate them.
I wouldn’t hang a bag on the back because it would affect the balance, but I have a small pouch under my knees and there is the option of a bigger bag that fixes under the chair for anyone who needs it.
After falling out of my chair a few times in the early days, due to incompetent pushers tipping me forwards or a front-wheel catching, I decided to always wear a seat belt. It enables me to pick things up safely without potentially falling out. I have had 2 paraplegic friends break both legs by falling out of their wheelchairs, and don’t want to join their club!