Old age, accidents and even unexpected conditions like stroke happen to the best of us. The latter two can catch us off-guard and leave us feeling out of our depth. This is especially so when you suddenly have to take care of a loved one who cannot walk anymore. Any little help to make the work easier for us and them is welcomed.
||Fushida Patient Lifting Sling||9.5|
||PLCEO Moving Assist Gait Belt||9.4|
||Sammons Preston Padded Gait Belt with Handles||9.2|
||Kitchen Krush Gait Belt with Quick Release Lifts||9.2|
||Vive Transfer Belt with Leg Loops||9.1|
||Secure Transfer and Walking Gait Belt||9.1|
||Vive Transfer Belt with Handles||9.0|
||BESTPACK Gait Transfer Walking Belt||9.0|
||L.E.D. STEP Gait Belt||9.0|
Caregivers in nursing homes and recovery facilities also encounter the same situation. Physical therapists often need to support individuals who are having difficulties with their motor skills. Gait transfer belts are designed to help you lift a patient from a seating position. They are useful for people who are using wheelchairs, or disabled people who need help getting up from bed, a chair or a toilet. In this article, we will review some of the best transfer belts available out there. But first, let us look at why you need a gait transfer belt.
Benefits of a gait transfer belt
Gait transfer belts help you easily stabilize a patient who has difficulty in walking. This is because they have handles placed in different positions. The handles are easy to grab when needed, e.g. when a person doing physical therapy starts falling over. They are also equipped with buckles that tie the belts into place depending on the size of your patient. These buckles are strong. They do not loosen when you are helping your patients become steady on their feet, leading to injuries that can be disastrous.
You could lift someone who needs help getting on their feet with your bare hands. However, this is a painful process for all involved. Not only will you strain your muscles, but you will also hurt the patient. Lifting below the arms can strain someone who is already in pain. You will also not be able to provide the needed support to all body parts all at once e.g. to the back and lumbar region. Gait belts do all that for you. Lifting becomes a simple, almost pain-free process when you use a gait belt.
Makes work easier
Gait belts go around the patient to help you lift them up. Instead of pulling with your weight, it helps you pull using your feet. This makes it more efficient to help a patient stand up. It also reduces the strain on your back that can be caused by a bad lifting posture. Gait belts protect you and your patient from injury.
Type of material
You do not want a gait belt that cannot adequately support your patient. A gait belt made from poor materials will snap or break apart when you are using it. This is dangerous for both you and your patient. Most gait belts are made from nylon material and are stitched in a webbed pattern. This pattern reduces the chances of the seams of the belt breaking away. Be on the lookout for this when looking for a gait transfer belt.
A belt that is too thin can dig into your patient’s flesh, causing them further injury. The best gait belts have at least 3 inches of width. The inner side is made of a smooth material that will not rub against your patient, causing chafing. Furthermore, look for a gait belt with non-slip construction on the inside. This prevents the belt from sliding up when you try to lift your patient. Your comfort is also important. When lifting a patient, your hands are mainly at play. Transfer belts with handles are your best bet for comfort. It is important to look for handles that are padded. These exert less pressure on your hands, making it easier to lift a patient.
Loops and buckles are the main methods of securing gait belts. Several loops come together and are held that way using strong buckles. Buckles can be made from either plastic or metal. The most important thing is that your buckle has teeth to hold it together after it is locked. This makes it harder for the buckle to come loose, causing you to drop your patient. Some transfer belts for patients come with added leg loops. These go around your patient’s legs to reinforce the hold on the waist. Chances of the belt slipping are greatly reduced.
A good gait belt will give you a lot of use, maybe even several years’ worth. To make sure of this, get one that has good stitching as mentioned earlier. Furthermore, get one that is breathable and can be machine washed. The longer you can keep a gait belt clean without it becoming frayed, the longer the use you will get from it.
Best Gait Transfer/Walking Belts 2023
#1 Fushida Patient Lifting Sling
This is a heavy-duty belt, made from polyester material reinforced by nylon fabric. It also has mesh fabric with in-built pearl cotton. This makes the belt breathable and less prone to stuffiness even with multiple uses. The pear cotton feels smooth against the skin and does not cause abrasions. The Fushida Lifting Sling is padded around the lumbar area and also under the armpits. This ensures that you get the support you need without being overly pressed by the belt. It can comfortably withstand up to 400 pounds of weight, making it a bariatric transfer belt. The padding distributes the weight uniformly across the belt for better support.
This is a transfer belt for the elderly and people with limited movement ability. A cross-over strap goes around your waist area. The in-built non-slip pad keeps the belt in place and stops it from riding up. This increases the safety of using this lifting sling.
- Padding prevents skin abrasion and cutting
- It can support weights of up to 400 pounds
- It has color-coded straps for better lifting positions
- It does not ride up when lifting
- It is compatible with most lifts designed to help patients stand up
- The nylon can slide and cause serious bruising to the skin during lifting
- The belt buckle is plastic and requires careful handling so as not to break
2. PLCEO Moving Assist Gait Belt
This lifting belt is designed for the comfort of both the patient and the caregiver. It is made from strong reinforced materials. This gives it the ability to lift up to 300 pounds of weight without breaking. It comes with multiple thick and longer loops that enable lifting in various positions. The PLCEO Gait Belt is padded around the waist and under the armpits. It only exerts a little pressure against the patient when lifting. It also does not ride up the patient’s skin. This way you are protected from skin cuts and burns. For the comfort of the caregiver, this gait belt comes with handles. These handles are also padded so that they do not pinch or burn the palms. It is one of the gait belts most recommended by caregivers for elderly people.
- Anti Slip properties prevent it from riding up when lifting
- Can handle up to 300 pounds in weight
- Multiple straps enable lifting in different positions for comfort
- Padding around sensitive areas to prevent skin abrasion
- Ergonomic handles give the caregiver comfort when lifting
- Slipping is possible when lifting heavier patients
- Works best for people who can stand
#3 Sammons Preston Padded Gait Belt with Handles
This is a medium-sized belt, able to go around waists of up to 48 inches. The Sammons Preston Gait Belt is made from strong, soft material. The material does not react with the patient’s skin when moving them. There is also a soft mesh that is breathable and does not chafe the patient.
Designed for security, this gait belt comes with 4 strong straps. The extra support makes this one of the best transfer belts for the elderly. These go under the arms of the person you are assisting and are held in place with the help of a hook and loop closure. The closure can be quickly released using the side buckle so that you can settle the patient down.
The straps are color-coded so that you know which belts correspond. This transfer belt with handles has 4 handles so that you have different positions to lift the patient with. The versatility helps you lift elderly patients, disabled people and people undergoing physical therapy.
- Quick-release buckle lets you unwound the patient quickly
- Color-coded straps are easy to handle
- 4 different handles give you multiple lifting positions
- Soft, breathable material does not chafe the patient during lifting
- It can be securely closed using hook and loop
- The side buckle can be difficult to access
- The handles are not padded and can be uncomfortable to hold
#4 Kitchen Krush Gait Belt with Quick Release Lifts
The Kitchen Krush Gait Belt is constructed from strong nylon material. The nylon is soft and does not react with the patient’s skin when moving. It also does not cause chafing around the waist and under the arms. The construction of the belt is reinforced with careful, high-quality stitching. The stitching makes the belt stronger and less prone to breaking when being used. The nylon material is breathable and less prone to bacteria growth. It is also machine washable. This belt will serve you for a long time. The Kitchen Krush Gait Belt can fit around waists of up to 55 inches in diameter. You can easily fasten the belt in place and quickly unfasten it using the quick-release button. The belt is equipped with 6 handles to facilitate ease of use. 4 handles are vertical and 2 handles are horizontal. This gives the caregiver more positions to lift the patient in without straining themselves.
- 6 handles allow for more versatile lifting positions
- Reduced risk of skin infection through contact with nylon material
- High-quality stitching keeps the belt together even when lifting large weights
- Easy to clean using a washing machine
- The quick-release button enables quick fastening and unfastening
- The inner side does not have a non-slip material
- Buckle opens with little pressure, putting the patient at risk of falling
5. Vive Transfer Belt with Leg Loops
This gait belt is made from strong nylon. Nylon is soft against the skin and reduces the growth of bacteria. You do not need to worry about skin infections when using this belt. It is reinforced with high-quality stitching that is webbed for extra strength and durability of the belt. The belt securely fits around waists of up to 55 inches in diameter. You can hold it in place using the metal buckle that has teeth to keep it in place. You can quickly release the belt using the quick release latch after you are done using the belt.
The handles of this belt are padded so as to make it comfortable for you to handle it. It also features leg straps that go around the patient’s legs, making it one of the best transfer belts for physical therapy. These leg straps reduce the chances of the belt riding up when you are doing the lifting. They also distribute the patient’s weight to facilitate easier lifting.
- Webbed stitching reinforces the nylon material for durable use
- Nylon reduces the growth of bacteria and protects the patient from infections
- Leg straps make sure that the belt stays in place when lifting
- A metal buckle with teeth secures the straps around the waist until released
- The padded handles make it easy for you to lift the patient
- Getting the leg straps on might be difficult
- Using the handles may be uncomfortable if you have big hands
#6 Secure Transfer and Walking Gait Belt
The Secure Transfer gait belt is designed for easier ambulation and walking, making it a good transfer belt for seniors. It is made from nylon material. Nylon is soft and durable. It is reinforced by strong stitching so that it does not come apart when using it to lift a patient. It can fit waists of up to 48 inches in diameter. The gait belt is wider around the back compared to other gait belts. This makes the patient more comfortable and gives them better back support for lifting. The nylon material sees to it that the patient does not chafe when being lifted as it is smooth against the skin.
To facilitate easier lifting, the gait belt features 6 handles. There are 4 vertical handles and 2 horizontal ones. These give you more positions to use when lifting and helping your patient. The durability of the belt is improved by the fact that it is machine washable.
- Strong nylon and stitching combination gives it durability
- Better back support due to being wider around the back
- Has padding to protect the patient from chafing
- 6 handles give you more positions to use when lifting
- Machine washable so that it remains fresh for longer
- Hangs loose around slimmer patients
- The buckle is difficult to adjust when the patient is standing
#7 Vive Transfer Belt with Handles
This nylon is constructed from webbed nylon. This makes it durable and strong. It can comfortably handle weights of up to 400 pounds. It can go around waists of up to 51 inches without tearing at the seams. Your mind will be at ease when using the belt. The locking buckle has teeth that hold the waist adjustment in place. Your patient is thus less likely to slip and fall when you lift them. However, you can release the belt using the quick release buckle once you are done using it.
The belt is constructed to be wider around the back. This gives your patient better back support for easier lifting. The width also reduces the pressure on your patient’s skin by evenly distributing the weight. For your comfort, the belt comes with 6 handles that are padded. You will not hurt yourself even when lifting a heavier patient.
- Distributes patient’s weight, reducing the pressure exerted on the skin
- Buckle has teeth that lock together for secure lifting
- Stitched webbed nylon makes the construction sturdy and durable
- 6 handles give you more lifting positions
- Padded handles make it comfortable for you to lift a patient.
- Teeth can come undone, putting the patient at risk of falling.
- The off-center buckle is difficult to access when standing.
#8 BESTPACK Gait Transfer Walking Belt
This gait belt is optimized for versatility. It is made from nylon, which is strong. It is reinforced by webbed stitching. These make it easier to handle large weights without coming apart at the seams and putting the patient at risk of falling. The belt is 3.5 inches wide around the waist. This gives better back support to the patient. It also aids in even distribution of the weight. This reduces the chances of the belt digging into your patient’s skin when you lift them.
The belt can fit waists of up to 56 inches in diameter. You can adjust the width of the belt using the plastic buckle that also has a quick-release feature. To reduce the strain on your hands, the belt comes with 7 grips so that you can find the best position to use when lifting your patient.
- Can handle up to 400 pounds of weight without breaking
- Stitched webbing makes it long-lasting
- Reduces pressure on a patient by redistributing weight on the belt
- Securely holds the patient using the plastic buckle
- 7 handles give you more versatility when lifting
- It is too big to carry around comfortably all the time
- Difficult to adjust the loops
#9 L.E.D. STEP Gait Belt
The last item on our list is the gait belt from L.E.D Step. This one is made from nylon like the others. The high-quality stitching gives it the strength to hold up to 400 pounds of weight comfortably without falling apart. The gait belt has 4 inches wide support at the back. This reduces the strain on your patient when you lift. It protects the patient from further injury and makes it easier to lift them. The diameter is easy to adjust using a plastic buckle. The diameter can be adjusted up to 52 inches wide.
The belt is designed for versatility. It has 6 handles for you to use when lifting. These handles are made from plastic and are padded. This makes them easy to adjust and also more comfortable for you to use. You can easily lift 400 pounds using the buckles without feeling the strain on your hands.
- Wide back support protects the patient from injury
- Padded plastic handles make it easy for you to lift larger weights
- 6 handles give you more positions to lift with
- The plastic buckle is easy to adjust and release
- Durable and easy to clean using a washing machine
- The thick waistline is not suitable for slimmer patients
- The plastic buckle is easy to break
Taking care of someone who has difficulty or is unable to walk does not have to be such a hard thing. Not anymore anyway. You have a lot of options that will help you make the process easier for both you and your patient.
It is important that the gait belt you choose is able to handle the weight of your client. Bariatric transfer belts are the best for this because they can handle large weights with no problem. Also, get one with a lot of handles because this will give you more carrying positions. If you pick one of the belts reviewed in this article, you are sure to have an easier time taking care of your patient, guiding them back to wellness.