Our review of the best base model wheelchair from Drive.
The "Drive Blue Streak" wheelchair is the base model wheelchair from the manufacturer "Drive." This is our favorite base model wheelchair. After 6 years in business and much trial and error, we found the Drive Blue Streak to be the best option. The Blue Streak is comfortable, durable, and provides excellent value for money.
So what's a base model wheelchair? Not to fear, "base model" does not mean "cheap." A base model wheelchair is another term for "standard." Over time manufacturers have figured out the most common features and dimensions to include to fit and benefit the most amount of people. This is why many wheelchairs that you look at all look basically the same. They all have standard features and sizes.
A "standard" wheelchair is 18" wide at the seat, holds up to 250lbs, is about 24" wide from wheel to wheel, has standard or elevating leg rests, collapse like an accordian, and weigh approximately 38lbs. These dimensions and features fit and benefit the most amount of people.
Standard Wheelchair Dimensions and Features
18" padded nylon wheelchair seat ensures lasting comfort and is easy to clean.
Blue Powder-coated frame, black cross brace; Weight Capacity 250 lbs
Nylon upholstery is durable, lightweight, attractive, and easy to clean
Flip-back, padded desk-length arm
Solid rubber tires mounted on composite wheels provide durability and low maintenance
Overall Dimensions: 42"(L) x 24"(W) x 36"(H). Closed Width: 12.5". Armrest Height: 8"
Seat to floor height is 19.5 inch and back height is 16 inch. Do not adjust foot rests any lower than 2.5 inch from floor. Comes with calf strap
Total unit weight: 37lbs.
A large number of people will fit into an 18" seat and will do fine with a 250lb weight capacity. And if not larger chairs are available. The 24'' width is important because most standard domestic doorways are 27" wide. In modern homes they are even wider which is always a benefit. Being collapsible makes them easy to store in a car trunk or closet. All standard wheelchairs, and most wheelchairs in general, have wheel lock brakes.
Standard Leg Rests
All standard wheelchairs will come with "standard" or "elevating" leg rests. Standard leg rests get there name because they are very basic. They are designed for simple seating and to rest the feet on. If you don't require your legs to be elevated then these will be your best and most comfortable option.
Elevating Leg Rests
Elevating leg rests get their name because they allow the leg rest to elevate to 90 degrees. This allows the leg to elevate straight out. This is important for patients who've had knee or lower leg injuries or surgeries. Having the leg elevated reduces pressure to the lower extremity allowing for more comfort. The foot rests extend out to different lengths. The pads are meant to rest under the calf for maximum support. Elevating leg rests are highly recommended for patients with knee, foot, and ankle injuries or surgeries.
Elevating Desk Arms
Elevating desk arms are the arms of the wheelchair that raise and rotate backwards. They get that name because the elevating arms allow the user to fit under a desk like a normal chair. The other advantage to elevating desk arms is they allow the user to slide sideways out of the wheelchair into another bed or chair.
The Drive Blue Streak Wheelchair
We chose the Drive Blue Streak wheelchair as our favorite base model because of all the features included as standard. It is high quality and comfortable. The seat is made of padded canvas. The arm rests are constructed of padded nylon. The chair also has many features included as standard that many don't. The elevating desk arms are an example of this. Many other manufactures charge for this feature.
The Blue Streak is made of high quality materials that are built to last. The tires are hard rubber and nylon. The frame is made from high quality aluminum and steel. It is definitely built to weather the ware and tear of every day living. And they always have the option of standard or elevating leg rests at no extra charge.
After years of trial and error and plenty of client feedback we have made the Blue Streak our base wheelchair of choice. We are confident it will serve your needs and you will be just as happy with it as we are. Thank you!