Tri walkers are three-wheeled walking aids that provide stability and support. Tri walkers (or three-wheeled rollators) are usually lighter in weight and are more manoeuvrable as compared to the four-wheeled rollators. Three wheel walkers are produced in both heavy-duty steel and lightweight aluminium. The general design consists of a swivel front wheel that provides easy manoeuvrability. The walkers also fold easily, hence easy to store and transport. These wheeled walking aids, or wheeled walking frames, are usually designed for both outdoor and indoor use.
There are various types of 3 wheel walkers from various companies, but they all have similar functions. These walkers are generally designed to help the user move around and carry small objects when shopping. There are optional special shopping bags designed specifically to fit a tri-walker of your choice. However, you can only use bags and baskets designed and supplied by your walker provider. It is advisable not to use or combine baskets or bags from a manufacturer different from your walker provider.
Tri-walkers also have some unique features that provide more independence to the user. This is what makes them one of the most desired product. A three wheel walker can be useful if you do not want the bulk that a full walker comes with.
How to use a tri-walker
When using a three-wheel walker normally, that is when all your hands are on the handles, you should ensure that the walker is fully opened and locked in position. You should ensure that both your hands are always on the tri-walker. You should also avoid putting full pressure on one side because this can cause tipping. On average, the maximum weight a common tri-walker can carry is about 114kg.
Tri-walkers mostly come with side locking levers which should always be properly tightened to keep the tube from slipping down when the normal height is applied on the walker`s handles. When a tri-walker is not in use, it should always be folded and stored safely until its next use. When closing your tri-walker, always keep your fingers off the locking mechanism to minimise the risk of entrapment.
Are there drawbacks to Using 3 Wheel Walkers
There are no many disadvantages to using the 3-wheeled rollators. However, they may not be suitable for some situations or people. Three-wheeled walkers generally have less support and lower weight capacity. These walkers are basically designed to help provide support and balance. Therefore, you cannot place a huge amount of your weight on them as this would make it hard to manoeuvre.
The the other major drawback to the tri-wheeled walker is that it does not have a seat. These walkers are designed with a triangular shape and this does not allow a good space for a seat or a backseat.
Alternatives to tri-walkers
There are plenty of walking aids besides the tri-walkers. In case you may need a wider and a more stable base, then you can use a 4 wheel rollator. This style of a walker is ideal for the bariatric users, and also for those with extremely limited balance. A tri-walker might fail to offer the necessary support, hence a 4 wheel rollator can be used instead.
A transport walker/chair is another ideal alternative for those who are still able to move but cannot walk for long periods without needing to sit down for a moment. These walkers are also recommended for people who experience long-term mobility problems.
Another alternative is the Zimmer frame or walking frame. If you have an injury to the knees or legs and expect it to heal in a short while, then this walker is ideal. This walker is not expensive and is perfect for people who need it for short periods. They are also light and, therefore easy to manoeuvre. Despite this, they do not have wheels on all the four supports, so they cannot be used for long walks. These walkers are basically designed to bear a lot of weight.
Lastly, the walking trolley. Walking trolleys are equipped with wheels and most of the time, a tray or a basket. These walkers help the user move around while carrying around small items. Most of them are designed for indoor use, but some can be used outdoors.
What to consider when looking for a tri-walker.
There are plenty of key features that you should always consider when shopping for a suitable 3 wheel walker. Here is a list of some of the major things to consider.
Light Frame Material
The major benefit of the 3 wheel walkers is their light weight and small size. You should always consider a frame that can support this; a frame made of a stable but lightweight material such as aluminium. The lighter material makes travelling and transportation easy.
Easy Brake Locking System
The three-wheel rollators enable flexible and fast movement, but sometimes you might need to use the breaks. You have to ensure that the model you pick has a brake lock system that you are comfortable using. Most rollators consist of a hand brake system that is similar to those of bicycles. Loop locks are common and easy to use.
Adjustable Handle Height
The distance from the floor to your wrists will help you determine the perfect handle height for you. It is, however, a better to have some flexibility. You might have variations in height due to the kind of shoes you wear. Apart from this, you may need to adjust the height in order to put your wrists at comfortable angles while using the walker.
You do not have to worry about carrying your bag or purse. Most walkers these days are designed with a huge range of storage options. There are baskets, trays, zippered pouches and bags. All these are designed to help you carry items especially when shopping. If you need to carry more stuff, there are models that offer enough space to hold your personal belongings that you regularly need.
Below, you can go through some of the top rated tri walkers available in the market today.