I recently had to visit a patient in a rehabilitation center and noted several residents with an Apple iPad and other tablets on their laps. I suspect this isn’t the greatest arrangement for them and the tablet often gets lost or drops off their laps. So based on this, I decided to write this article to recommend some wheelchair Apple iPad mounts.
Although there are a few exceptions, most wheelchairs are built similarly. They are constructed of metal circular bars with padding added to the armrest. The diameter of the round bars are typically in the .75 to 1.25 inch range. You will see some mounts out there with a spring-loaded clamp to grip a flat surface. Avoid those as they can easily slip off of a round bar. The mount should either bolt over the round bar or clamp via a vice type of attachment.
There are few, if any, mounts that are actively marketed for wheelchair use so I need to use my experience in this area to fit the criteria of wheelchair Apple iPad mounts. Ironically, the diameter of the round bars that are used to construct a wheelchair are similar to that of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. So this is a good place to start. A lot of motorcycle mounts are made to fit flush to the handlebar. This is unlikely to work well on a wheelchair as the armrest will be in the way. You will need a mount that will attach just below the armrest and then extend so it can be viewed by the person seated in the wheelchair. Be sure to measure the diameter of the bars on the wheelchair as well as the width of your phone before shopping for a mount.
So let’s start with a mount that will fit any of the Apple iPad Mini devices. The RAM Mounts Handlebar Rail Mount for Small and Midsize Tablets is normally marketed for motorcycles, but it’s going to fit most wheelchair rails too. The included X-Grip cradle is one of my favorite cradles for ruggedness and usability and you can read all about them here. The included u-bolt attachment fits diameter up to 1.25 inches and the included metal arm spans three inches. There are adjustment points at the base and tip as the mount is built on a ball and socket concept. This mount comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
My favorite of all wheelchair Apple iPad mounts is the Arkon Table Desk or Wheelchair Tablet Clamp Mount. This mount has been available for several years and continues to serve the purpose better than anything else I have seen. It’s a very well made product and backed by the manufacturer’s two-year warranty. Let’s take a more detailed view and discuss practical application of this product as a wheelchair Apple iPad mount.
There is a 12″ gooseneck attached to a 2″ clamp so it will fit many locations on a wheelchair. The mount features a cradle with 8 support legs. You will use four of the legs to hold a tablet. The legs that are used are dependent upon the size of the tablet mounted. The cradle is spring-loaded so it opens to ten inches when using the largest support legs. This means that it fits tablets as small as an iPad Mini and as large as an Apple iPad Pro. Once installed onto the mount, the tablet cradle can swivel 360 degrees.
If your wheelchair has an unpadded area where a flush mount can be placed there is a Boat Helm Mount with Universal Tablet Cradle that will work real well. This mount is normally used on boat helms but is a good candidate a an Apple iPad wheelchair mount. It features a bolt on attachment that fits diameters to 1.25 inches. The included cradle opens to fit all Apple iPad models from the Mini right up tot he Apple iPad Pro. The cradle will also fit most other tablets including many from Samsung and other popular manufacturers. This mount also comes with a two year warranty.
These three recommendations will work reliably on a wheelchair.