We have reviewed the best wheelchairs for Hajj. If you are in a hurry, the table below gives a quick snapshot. Or you can scroll down for detailed product reviews.
Last update 2021-05-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Shariah law obligates physically able Muslims to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. However, even if you are wheelchair-bound or mobility challenged and are not obligated to make the pilgrimage, chances are that you still may have a strong desire to perform Hajj.
Few years before this would have been an arduous task. I mean, even able-bodied pilgrims find the rigor of Hajj pilgrimage quite overwhelming. However, since 2016-2017, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has taken the necessary steps to facilitate the mobility challenged to take the pilgrimage. Wheelchair accessible infrastructure has been installed everywhere or improved wherever the need be, including exclusive faster lanes for the disabled and their attendants.
It is no longer a far fetched dream for people bound to wheelchairs to take the Hajj pilgrimage now. So, what are you thinking? Read on and start planning your trip.
Things to Consider Before Making Hajj Pilgrimage
Pilgrims should get a thorough health check-up done before embarking on the pilgrimage and consult their physician on the best health practices to be followed during the visit. Certain diseases like diarrhea are common during Hajj and safe oral hydration habits have to be followed rigorously to protect against such diseases. Similarly, the government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has prescribed some mandatory vaccinations for preventable diseases like the meningococcal vaccine, for which you will have to show evidence of vaccination for issuance of visas to Saudi Arabia.
Further, there are certain recommendations for vaccinations, for example, for Hepatitis A & B, depending on your source country. Polio vaccination is administered as ports of entry for most travelers. In short, your physician should be able to guide you comprehensively on the health and vaccination requirements before making Hajj and it is imperative that you consult him.
Also, you must already be aware that it is best to be accompanied by a caregiver if you are wheelchair-bound. The person can either be a family member or a professional caregiver. Although there are travel agencies that offer full support for travelers in a wheelchair, it is best to arrange for your own full-time personal assistance.
Level of Facilities at Different Touch-Points during Hajj Pilgrimage
Airport: There are two international airports – one at Jeddah and the other one at Madinah, with the Madinah one nearer to your final destination. Both the airports are fully equipped for wheelchair bound travelers with flight service attendants to guide your wheelchair through the arrival process.
Hotel – The majority of hotels in and around the place of pilgrimage should have wheelchair-friendly facilities. However, you will do yourself a favor by checking the arrangements before arrival to avoid last-minute surprises.
Transport within Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Public transport system in the kingdom, mostly buses, will not be equipped to allow automatic access to wheelchairs through ramps. Therefore, you must make your own arrangements for private cars or renting taxis for travel.
Grand Mosque in Mecca – The actual place of pilgrimage and the surrounding infrastructure is well equipped to handle wheelchairs, with thoughtfully placed ramps and escalators along the way.
Wheelchair Considerations Before Buying & During Trip
- The most important consideration for a power wheelchair is its battery life on full charge. If you are using an electric device, make sure it runs a long distance on full charge and you must always keep both batteries active or be able to switch to the back up battery when the first battery runs low.
- Whether power or manual, your wheelchair must be sturdy enough to endure the rigor of Hajj. You would not want to be in a situation with a broken wheelchair. Although the ministry of Hajj pilgrimage keeps wheelchairs arranged, those can be taken on rent, there is nothing like enjoying the pilgrimage on your own seat.
- Comfortable seat or cushions for long periods of use (10-12 hours a day) that you would, most likely, be not used to.
- Get your wheelchair serviced and cleaned just before starting, especially if its a power wheelchair. It will significantly reduce the chances of a breakdown during your trip.
- Finally, as a matter of abundant caution, either you or your attendant should disinfect the wheelchair at regular intervals. You should keep a disinfectant handy even when you are outdoors.
Most hotels will be able to rent out a wheelchair to you (you may have to deposit a piece of identification along with a small deposit). But if you wish to take along your own wheelchair, you should understand the pros and cons of some of the best wheelchairs for Hajj.
Reviews of the Best Wheelchairs for Hajj
A Hajj pilgrimage requires long walks. You are best off taking, an electric or powered wheelchair with you. The best wheelchairs for Hajj should have a decent range on a single charge. They should also be comfortable enough for you to use for long periods of time. And equally importantly, you should be able to easily take the wheelchair on flights and through airports.
You should go for a manual wheelchair only if you have an attendant. Manual wheelchairs require upper body strength to move around. If you get tired, getting yourself from one place to another, you might not be able to enjoy your pious trip. If you do end up taking a manual wheelchair for Hajj, you should definitely consider getting a wheelchair cushion to make your ride more comfortable.
Below, we have reviewed 6 best wheelchairs for hajj. 4 of them are power or electric wheelchairs and 2 are manual.
#1 Forcemech Power Wheelchair
One of the most lightweight power wheelchairs available in the market is the Forcemech Voyager R2 model. It weighs only 45 lbs including the batteries. The wheelchair is made to carry up to a maximum weight of 265 lbs.
The joystick control may be a bit sensitive to begin with, but it can be adjusted from the panel. You will do well to adjust it to a less sensitive mode before moving around during your Hajj. The device takes about 6 – 8 hours to fully charge its 2 rechargeable lithium ion batteries. The batteries do not run together, when one runs low, the wheelchair has the option to run on the second battery.
- Long range on a full charge of up to 16 miles, including both batteries, suitable for travelling long distances during Hajj
- Lightweight and easy to fold and travel with
- Good ride quality
- Rear reflective lights for extra visibility during night time
- Solid wheels with metal alloy rim gives good support to the entire structure
- Good 24×7 customer support
- Height of the wheelchair is comparably lower, may be inconvenient to get into wheelchair, depending upon type of mobility challenge
- Might be slow to start and pick up pace with heavier weights
#2 Horizon Mobility Electric Wheelchair
The device comes fully assembled and you will have to install the joystick and the battery and it will be ready to use after you fully charge the battery. The wheelchair weight is around 61 lbs with battery and carrying capacity is 365 lbs.No products found.
- Good battery power of 13 miles on full charge. You may get close to 25 miles including the backup battery, which is very helpful during Hajj.
- Anti-tipper tires provide you with more safety
- Remote control option to control your wheelchair from a distance, which makes moving into your wheelchair easier
- Bigger rear wheels for more stability
- Good suspension on the front and rear wheels add to ride quality and comfort on rough terrains
- Comes with only one battery. You will have to increase your budget to accommodate your back up battery
- Inflatable rear wheels require regular maintenance and air pressure checks. You may consider carrying a tire inflating device along with you.
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#3 Majestic Lightweight Power Wheelchair
This power device is lightweight, just about 55 lbs with batteries and is suitable for occupants with maximum carrying capacity of 300 lbs. The power is also scaled to 2 motors (total 500 W).
- 13 miles (20.9 km) on full charge
- Lightweight and easy to fold and unfold
- Comfortable seating with cushion
- Some complaints of a loose armrest
#4 ComfyGO Electric Wheelchair
This wheelchair is dual motor power (250 W each) with comprehensive long term warranty coverage: 3 year for wheelchair frame, warranty of 1 year for the motors and 6 months for the battery. The device weighs 64 lbs with battery and a maximum weight capacity of 265 lbs.
- Remote control option to interact with your wheelchair from a distance
- Comes with a deluxe model as well with more weight and wider seating capacity
- Good warranty relative to comparable products
- Good customer support
- Wheelchair comes with only one battery, you have to buy another battery as back up. Please include the cost of a battery in your budget
- Maneuverability and quality of ride on rough surfaces can be improved. Improved suspension on the wheels can go a long way to improve these.
#5 Drive Medical Cruiser Manual Wheelchair
This manual wheelchair comes with adjustable armrests for easy access to the seat and swing-away footrests for greater freedom. If you are over 6 feet in height and weight anywhere over 250 lbs, you may want to order the variant with the 20 inch seating capacity. The maximum weight capacity is 350 lbs.
- Carbon steel frame adds lot to durability and stability of the chair
- Lightweight model just under 38 lbs, makes it easy for manual use
- Adjustable seat depth will allow addition of extra seat cushioning and still maintain comfortable height for armrests
- Available options for seating capacity of 16, 18 and 20 inches to exactly suit your needs. You should take the perfect size for you, otherwise, on longer Hajj trips, you may find it uncomfortable
- Good value for money
- Wheelchair allows for back inserts for better back support
- Comes with a calf muscle support in higher-end models, for better leg support
- Built in seat cushioning may not be sufficient for long-ride comfort. You may think of buying additional cushions for your Hajj trip.
#6 Invacare Tracer Manual Wheelchair
This wheelchair is one of the lightest at around 34 lbs with a carrying capacity of 250 lbs. There are versions with up to 22 inch seating capacity, however, use should know that these models (20 and 22 inch seat) will not go through standard bathroom doorways.
- Strong and durable, extremely important traits for your upcoming pilgrimage
- Easy to fold and unfold and lightweight
- Adjustable seat depth will allow the addition of an extra backrest cushioning or will be helpful in maintaining proper posture if you are taller than six feet
- More expensive models have calf muscle support.
- Seating may not be comfortable for long use. You may budget for extra cushions
- Ride quality may not be great on very rough surfaces, due to lack of good suspension
If you are wheelchair-bound, a good wheelchair will make your life easier and your pilgrimage more fulfilling. Our top choices for wheelchairs for Hajj are Forcemech Power Wheelchair (electric wheelchair) and Drive Medical Cruiser (manual wheelchair).
If you are looking for wheelchairs, you might find our review on best transport wheelchairs and power wheelchairs for outdoors useful. We have also covered wheelchair accessories. You can read more about wheelchair bags and gloves for wheelchair users. Lastly, if you are looking for a rollator walker to take on your Hajj pilgrimage, you can read more about the best rollator walkers for rough surfaces.
- CDC website advice for Hajj pilgrimage: Follow the below link for a detailed advisory on what to expect and general precautions to take before the pilgrimage.
- The Disabled Hajj Mission for the UK & Europe