May 22, 2024 | Terry Smith

Bristol Maid Portering Chair vs TransitFlow Portering Chair – An Honest Comparison

In this article, we compare the TransitFlow Portering Chair with the Bristol Maid Portering Chair, taking a deep dive into their differences, similarities, and pros & cons. Hopefully, this will help you get a good understanding of the chairs and help in your decision-making process.

Comparison Table

  Bristol Maid Portering Chair TransitFlow Portering Chair
Safe working load 190kg 200kg
Footrest style Folding or Sliding Sliding
Armrest style Drop-down Folding
Padded seating as standard? Yes Yes
Stackable design? Yes Yes
Central braking? No Yes
Rear wheel size 200mm 300mm


What is the Bristol Maid Portering Chair?

The Bristol Maid is a basic, heavy-duty portering chair, which can be supplied as rear or front steer, and with an option of sliding footrest or folding footrests. 


Pros of the Bristol Maid

  • Heavy-duty construction – The simple, robust design of the Bristol Maid means there are fewer things to go wrong with it, and maintenance costs are likely to be lower. 
  • Variety of configurations available – Depending on your requirements, the Bristol Maid can be supplied as a front or rear steering chair, and with a sliding one-piece footrest or folding footrests. 
  • Nesting feature – Reduces floor space and encourages tidy storage
  • Drop-down armrests – This feature allows side access and easy transfers for patients, porters, and nursing staff. 
  • Document holder as standard – A handy feature, allowing the storage of any notes and patient records.

Cons of the Bristol Maid

  • Outdated design – Some customers don’t like the outdated, ‘clinical’ look of the Bristol Maid chair, making them go with a more modern-looking option like the TransitFlow
  • Small rear wheels – At 200mm, the fixed castors are smaller than the TransitFlow’s, which can make the chair harder for porters to push, particularly when pushing heavier patients. 
  • Upright seat – The seat angle is rather upright on the Bristol Maid, which some patients may find uncomfortable, particularly if they are being pushed over long distances. 
  • No integrated storage for patient belongings
  • Independent braking – Each of the rear wheels on the Bristol Maid has its own brake, making braking the chair slower when compared to a chair with dual braking, such as the TransitFlow
  • No fixed IV pole – The IV pole on the Bristol Maid is secured with a thumb screw, making it susceptible to being removed and lost.

Is there a bariatric version of the Bristol Maid Chair?

Yes, there is a bariatric Bristol Maid Portering Chair, which has a safe working load of 380kg. 

What options are available for the Bristol Maid Portering Chair?

  • Calf leg support
  • IV pole holder
  • Card/coin lock
  • Lap-belt
  • Cylinder holder


What is the TransitFlow Portering Chair?

Designed for hospital use, the TransitFlow Portering Chair blends modern design with robust functionality and enables patients to be transported safely and comfortably in situations where a patient stretcher is unnecessary.

Pros of the TransitFlow Chair

  • Modern & attractive design – The attractive design of the TransitFlow will bring a touch of modernity to your hospital
  • Folding armrests – This feature allows side access and easy transfers for patients, porters, and nursing staff, and the folding design is easier and quicker to use compared to drop-down rests 
  • Sliding footrest – The auto-locking sliding footrest is an easier alternative to folding footrests and can be stood on with the chair tipping, allowing easy transfers.
  • Large rear wheels – 300mm rear wheels allow the chair to be more easily pushed compared to chairs with small wheels and castors.
  • Integrated document and belongings holders
  • Nesting feature – Encourages tidy storage and maximises storage space.
  • Integrated bumpers – To protect the chair from dents or scratches in the event of a collision.

Cons of the TransitFlow Chair

  • IV Pole isn’t fixed – This could lead to the IV pole going missing or being displaced easily. There is also an option of purchasing the TransitFlow with a fixed IV pole to remedy this issue.

Is there a bariatric version of the TransitFlow Portering Chair?

Yes, the TransitFlow Bariatric has a safe working load of 250kg.

What options are available for the TransitFlow Portering Chair?

  • IV pole (removable or fixed)
  • Anti-static system
  • Anti-theft system
  • Accessory basket
  • Cylinder holder
  • Leg rest
  • Coin lock (for coin or specific token)
  • Wall fixation
  • Bag hooks


Which portering chair should you choose?

Which chair you decide to go for will depend on your specific needs and requirements, but hopefully, this article has served to explain some of the key differences between each portering chair and educate you as to what to look for.  Ultimately the best judge for this is you though, and there’s no better way to form a judgement than to try the equipment in your hospital.

Felgains are exclusive suppliers of the TransitFlow Portering Chair, and we offer the option for you to trial it in your hospital – please get in touch with us to arrange. 



Related articles

A complete comparison of the most popular hospital Portering Chairs of 2024

How much does the TransitFlow Portering Chair cost?

4 Tips To Avoid Porter Injury When Moving Hospital Beds And Stretchers



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Terry Smith

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