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A reclining wheelchair offers the benefit of extra comfort for those who may need to use a mobility aid like this for prolonged periods throughout the day. Instead of being confined to one position, the user is able to tilt back which can go a long way in relieving pressure. However, when it comes to choosing the right reclining wheelchair for your needs, there are a few things you should consider.
In this guide, we will be covering the features of the Invacare Tracer SX5 which is a durable, well-made, and versatile reclining wheelchair that would suit a wide range of users.
Invacare Tracer SX5 Recliner Wheelchair Specs
Padding & Comfort
The Invacare Tracer SX5 features an extremely well-made seat that boasts a number of features that make it incredibly comfortable for long-term wheelchair users. It benefits from internal foam padding which ensures excellent pressure relief. This is important for people who are prone to pressure sores.
With this type of padding, the seat will contour to the shape of the body, which also provides the user with greater stability. If the user has problems with balance or trunk stability, this is a welcome feature that will go some way in preventing them from slipping whilst seated.
When choosing a reclining wheelchair, you must be mindful of the type of fabric that the seat is upholstered in. The Invacare Tracer SX5 features a vinyl cover that is superbly easy to clean, and since it is waterproof, there aren’t concerns about spills or incontinence.
However, where the Invacare Tracer SX5 really excels is that dual embossed seat design which is able to resist mildew, UV damage, cold cracking, and bacteria. If you’re looking for a durable seat that remains sanitary then this is a worthwhile consideration.
With all of that in mind, you should remember that vinyl does not offer the best breathability, so there will be a risk of sweating which can lead to chafing and discomfort. Perhaps this wheelchair might not be as useful in very warm conditions.
Weight Capacity & Size
The Invacare Tracer SX5 has a weight capacity of 250lbs if you choose the smaller seat size of 14 x 16 inches. This is suitable for more petite users, but there is an option to upgrade the seat size to 22 x 18 inches which also boosts the weight capacity to 300lbs. This limit is ideal for most adult users but would not be suitable for bariatric patients.
Where weight capacity is concerned, it is essential to choose a wheelchair that matches the weight of the patient as not doing so can result in unsafe use or injury.
Footrests/Leg rests & Armrests
Type of Leg/Footrest
One of the great things about the Invacare Tracer SX5 is that the leg and footrests are incredibly versatile. They will swing away, which will make transferring in and out of the wheelchair much safer and easier. However, the elevated leg rests also provide the user with several health benefits.
These leg rests are ideal for people who suffer from conditions such as swelling or pain from arthritis. Having the legs in an elevated position will allow for improved circulation, which will reduce swelling and lessen pain. We would usually advise choosing elevated leg rests when purchasing a reclining wheelchair since it will go a long way in improving your comfort when seated. If the back were to be reclined without the presence of elevated leg rests, you would find yourself in a position that would be likely to cause discomfort.
The angled footplates are strong and durable being made from aluminum so offer a very generous amount of support for the user.
If you suffer with sensitive skin, you may find that non-padded leg rests cause you pain and irritation. The good news is that the Invacare Tracer SX5 is fitted with padded calf rests offering superior comfort. This feature is especially useful if you will be spending long hours in the wheelchair.
We were very impressed by how versatile the armrests are on the Invacare Tracer SX5. They are set at desk height, so the user is easily able to work or sit at a table when socializing without the need to be further back.
Moreover, the armrests can be removed if necessary, allowing the user more freedom of movement when in their wheelchair. Being able to remove the armrests may also make transfers easier.
Reclining wheelchairs are great for improving comfort for the user in that they will tilt back without the need to move the seat base. This will help to relieve pressure and is something important for people who use a wheelchair for long periods. Without this reclining feature, pressure would not be evenly distributed and pain would shortly follow.
However, you need to make sure that the wheelchair you choose offers reclining adjustments that meet your needs. The Invacare Tracer SX5 can be adjusted between 90º and 180º which allows the patient to move between a fully upright and a fully reclined position. If you suffer with a musculoskeletal condition that causes you pain, this will be a very welcome feature.
As with most other reclining wheelchairs, the backrest on the Invacare Tracer SX5 is much higher than usual at 34 inches. This provides excellent support for users who may have limited trunk stability or problems with balance. Moreover, the addition of a padded headrest provides support for the head and neck as well as further improving the comfort of the user.
Tires & Safety Features
Your wheelchair tires are going to get a lot of use, so they need to be durable and resistant. It would appear that Invacare has put a lot of thought into the wheels on the Invacare Tracer SX5, and the result is a strong set of wheels that are designed for speed and durability.
They are made from urethane which is a material that is used for wheels in a lot of different applications owing to its resistance to abrasion. Moreover, this material gives excellent traction, so the Invacare Tracer SX5 won’t slip and slide regardless of the surface it is being used on.
The dual-sealed design of the wheels ensures maximum speed and durability, so you won’t need to worry about replacing them no matter how hard you work the wheelchair. This, among other features, is what makes the Invacare Tracer SX5 ideal for commercial use.
Before we talk about the safety feature that we find most important on the Invacare Tracer SX5, we should point out that the one thing this wheelchair is lacking is a safety belt. For users that are prone to slipping or who may not be able to fully support themselves, this could be a dealbreaker.
That said, in terms of stability, the Invacare Tracer SX5 has got it all. Not only does it have large rear wheels that make it very stable, but it also features anti-tipper wheels at the rear, so there’s no danger of the chair toppling, even when it is fully reclined.
This is an extremely durable wheelchair that boasts a carbon steel frame with a 14 gauge crossbar offering additional support. If you’re looking for something heavy-duty that won’t falter, then this wheelchair will likely meet your needs.
There is a padded push handle at the rear of the wheelchair which ensures that an assistant can comfortably push the wheelchair without the hands becoming sore.
One of the most important things to think about when choosing a wheelchair is whether it will be suitable for use in your home or care setting. The only way of knowing this is to take careful measurements of doorways, corridors, and any other confined spaces in your property. You’ll generally find that most wheelchairs are designed to fit through doors, but you must keep in mind that when self-propelling, you will need additional clearance.
The Invacare Tracer SX5 features a maximum width of 22.5 inches or 30.5 inches depending on the seat width you have chosen but both of these will be compatible with a standard door frame.
What we liked about the Invacare Tracer SX5 was that the seat to floor height can be adjusted from 19.5 inches to 17.5 inches according to the height of the user.
What We Like
The Invacare Tracer SX5 is a brilliantly versatile wheelchair that gives the user a lot in the way of comfort. With several reclined positions, you have the ability to relieve pressure and change position throughout the day to prevent sores and skin problems. Moreover, there are several adjustability options, such as removable armrests which allow you to alter the way you use the chair to suit your needs.
One of the most outstanding things about the Invacare Tracer SX5 is how durable and robust it is. It’s made from superior materials that are designed to withstand heavy use. This makes it perfect for long-term wheelchair users who need reliability.
What We Didn’t Like
The one thing that seriously lets the Invacare Tracer SX5 down is the lack of a safety belt. Many of the users of this wheelchair will have extremely limited mobility and may struggle with balance problems or being able to support themselves. These people would benefit from a safety belt, so it’s a shame that there isn’t one included.
Furthermore, the Invacare Tracer SX5 does not have the option to adjust the height of the armrests, which means that you may not be able to find a comfortable position. But while they are fixed height, there is the option to remove them.
We would recommend the Invacare Tracer SX5 for users who need to use a wheelchair for long periods. It’s ideal for those who require a position change throughout the day and for people who are prone to pressure sores.
The Invacare Tracer SX5 is a good option for people with more detailed needs as there are a lot of features that can benefit a range of conditions. For example, the leg elevation helps patients who suffer from swelling, while the easy to clean seat makes the Invacare Tracer SX5 suitable for those who struggle with incontinence.
This wheelchair would be great for a private user, but thanks to its durability, it’s also a wise choice for commercial situations as it’ll keep performing time and time again.