When I first needed a wheelchair I knew very little about them. So little, in fact, that when I first rented a used wheelchair (that I later purchased at a reduced amount) I selected mine by the color. I figured that they were all the same…
The Invacare Tracer Heavy Duty Wheelchair is a portable, folding wheelchair with a sling back and sling seat.
Mine is blue.
The back and seat are made of vinyl, which does hold up very well, but if used in the hot sun without properly treating the vinyl it could crack. Any cracking of the vinyl does not seem to affect the usability of the chair unless the crack travels to the seat studs, which could cause a sag in the chair. A crack in any part of the vinyl travels like a crack in glass, so beware of this.
The chair itself is quite heavy, at 42 pounds, so it is something that isn’t very portable friendly. Even for the muscle bound, I would suspect that maneuvering the folded up chair would seem to be quite awkward as when the chair is folded up and lying flat the distribution of weight is not even. Any heavy duty wheelchair is going to be on the heavier side, and a low cost one is not going to be made with lighter materials. Just keep this in mind when purchasing one.
One of the more important parts of the wheelchair is the foot/leg rests. I am on the taller side and found that my foot rests do not adjust as long as I would like. I do not use the foot rests when in the home, however when I have used the chair outside of the home I really wish that I had tested the chair first… or at least known to ask for a specific length. I had mistakenly thought that everything was adjustable….
The seat of the chair I selected is 24” wide and 18” long. The width of the chair is fine. It is very comfortable, yet not so wide that it does not fit through standard door openings. I had not thought of this myself until after the fact… and having used a wheelchair I have become more observant of them and have seen ones that will not fit through a standard door. Who knew? Also, the length of the seat is important, especially if you plan on using your wheelchair a lot. If I used mine more I would want a longer seat as the length of my seat to thigh is on the longer side… so 18” is not as comfortable as it could be. But for short to medium periods, it is fine.
The arms of the Invacare Tracer are removable. I leave mine on as the chair feels odd without them. The arms are padded at the top and the sides are closed in what appears to be aluminum. I have not had a problem with the sides getting too hot in the sun, however I do have some minor vinyl cracking on the padding of one of the arms.
The chair itself really is not meant to be maneuvered by oneself. The height of the wheels in comparison to the seat makes it incredibly difficult to move by oneself…
For my personal use the chair has really met it needs for the money. Yes, even though the chair is not a perfect fit for me and I wish that I had known more when I first selected it.
The only real problem that I ever had with this chair is that one day while out the chair was pushed over a lip on the floor that was not visible to my “chauffeur. “ The lip knocked the rubber of one of the smaller front wheels off of the rim. Luckily there was someone who was able to get us a screwdriver to pop the rubber back on. Unfortunately once the rubber came off once it seemed to not sit as nice as it once did. This was not noticeable on a flat surface, but it did come off a couple of more times when driving over smaller “lips” on the floor that it seemed the chair should have been able to handle.
The frame of the chair has a lifetime warranty.