Buying a specialist wheelchair shopping bag to use when you’re out and about will make your life a lot easier. This article will look at the different options available in terms of style and practicality.
Having a wheelchair shopping bag that is both attractive and useful, will help you to move around with ease while carrying items such as shopping, extra equipment, or even just your house keys. Being able to carry your own things, without anyone else’s help, can feel very liberating. Plus, wheelchair shopping bags can be attractive, and a symbol of an individual’s personal taste and style.
How to choose the most suitable wheelchair shopping bag
Just as when you purchase any bag, your main consideration will be what you plan to use it for. In particular, what are the items you will want to carry in the bag? And how much access to the bag will you need when it’s on your wheelchair?
The answers to these two questions will help you to identify the best bag for your needs.
1) What will you carry in your wheelchair bag?
The size, shape and weight of the items you are likely to be carrying will inevitably have an impact on the best choice of bag for your wheelchair.
If you simply need a small space for your purse and keys while visiting your family nearby, the bag you might choose will be very different to that of a college student who needs to carry multiple textbooks and a laptop, for instance.
2) How much access will you need to the bag?
If you want to carry a bottle of water to drink throughout the day, you will need a bag that you can access easily and without straining. On the other hand, if you need to carry a spare battery pack for your electric wheelchair and a spare raincoat, in case of a downpour, you most likely don’t need a bag you can access instantly.
So, let’s look at some examples:
- You need to carry heavy textbooks to college, and you won’t need to access them until you get there: a wheelchair backpack could be the perfect solution. You can carry the bulky books and just get them out and put them back in as and when you need them
- You want to carry your purse, keys and phone and access them numerous times throughout the day (after all, Facebook won’t check itself!): a small bag that attaches onto the armrest of your wheelchair could be the perfect solution in this scenario. You can feel safe that your money and phone are within reach, and you can access your possessions quickly and easily.
- You do your weekly shop and need to carry bulky and heavy goods without impeding the way your wheelchair moves. An underseat shopping bag could be a great way to get your shopping out of the way and get it home safely
- You have a range of goods to carry, of differing sizes and weights. Consider a saddle bag, which is constructed to offer small bags at either side of the wheelchair or scooter’s seat, and one behind the seat. These types of bags are designed to let the equipment carry the weight of any belongings you carry, so can be great for shopping trips or holidays.
- Do you have heavy shopping or goods to transport? Selecting a shopping bag that is supported behind or underneath the wheelchair’s seat is probably a better option than one that attaches to the arm rests. You don’t want to destabilise your chair and cause problems with balance.
- How much flexibility and dexterity do you have? Do you have support to access a bag you cannot reach? Always choose a bag that fits within your physical capabilities, or that your carer or assistant can help you to access.
A final thing to consider, when choosing a wheelchair shopping bag, is how sturdy its construction is. The last thing you want to do is invest in an item that is poorly constructed and will fray, tear or come apart at the seams within weeks or months of use. When a bag is attached to a wheelchair, a bag can be subject to more wear and tear than a more standard bag, so examine the quality of the bag before you make your final decision.