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Spex Manta BackRest

Lauren is facing the sea she is sat in her pink wheelchair a black backrest is the focus of the photo. she has blonde hair.

"Why didn't I get a firm backrest sooner?"

It’s about time I reviewed my Spex Manta BackRest from Celtic Therapy & Rehab via Access Your Life!

Product Name:

Spex Manta BackRest

Why you should trust my review:

I’m not paid to talk about this product, I’m just a girl who is definitely a wheelchair geek and am here offering my genuine opinion :)


Contact AYL or Celtic Therapy and Rehab for a quote specific to you and your needs - let them know Lauren Perry (aticcersguidetolife) sent you (there’s two Lauren’s it’s confusing sorry!) :)

Also Available from: Spex seating here

Length of Time owned:

Approx: 5.5 Months.

As always when I review a product, I’m always cautious to allow at least three months before I do a review… the reason for this being I don’t personally feel as someone with an ever-changing chronic illness, I could really give you a full review of a product without having tested it in multiple scenarios across a period of time where my health is likely to change.

I like to test the product in multiple weather conditions, in different terrains, on bad health days, good health days, trips to London, quick trips to the doctors, exhibitions, without care, independently and everything in between!

Having a trial period means I’m able to fully test a product- trying a product for an hour or a day doesn’t always give me an opportunity to give a full review… Sometimes admittedly, I can be too quick to form an opinion.

I specifically chose to go for the Spex Back over similar- styled competitors as I liked the support of the adjustable ‘wings’. On days I am unable to hold myself up - with a floppy backrest, this was proving very problematic and resulting in a lot of injury particularly when falling sideways out of my chair- I now am much more supported and PA’s only have to focus on supporting my head and neck rather than my whole body!

Why I’m using it:

I have multiple complex health conditions, I needed a backrest that was strong due to my tics and that also heals my posture well for my eds and pots, I was struggling with a soft back a lot and by the end of the day, I was in agony.

A pink and white wheelchair with front wheel attachment on a board walk with a pebble beach in the back. a black back rest is the main focus of the photo.

overall thoughts:

When I first used the backrest I must admit I was a bit disappointed- I thought I’d magically be cured of all pain! I didn’t notice a massive difference - I actually began to notice I had really lumbar back pain and was gutted that I may have chosen the wrong seating… It wasn’t until a week later that I really noticed the difference. My pain subsided and my spine had got used to being in a new position. Celtic were exceptional at checking in regularly to see how I was getting on particularly as they were aware I had an existing back injury.

With this particular backrest, the lower back doesn’t offer as much support and for days I am struggling with my coccyx I do sometimes feel it could offer more but in terms of side support and thoracic & cervical support it does the job and more- it is great. Although it definitely took some getting used to, I’m glad I pushed through the first few days as I now feel I am actually being held and supported in place for once.


Floppy back vs solid back? Is that even a question? If I had a firm backrest for the past ?? years of my life I probably wouldn’t have half the back problems I have now! The support it gives is incredible. It’s a nice amount of firm to squish ratio. I wish there was a way for you all to feel it through the screen! I’m sorry! My posture has improved massively. I feel like I’m sitting on a throne ha! I feel much more confident in my chair too which is interesting! I feel as if I’ve grown a few inches & sit so much straighter - I’ve just got to work on those muscles!


Sleek & tidy & it’s also available in colours (pink ofcourse hehehe). It makes my chair look like a completely different chair.

Use/ Installation:

It didn't take long for Celtic to install the brackets at all. I had new adjustable height push handles added to my chair at the same time too. As someone who struggles with fiddly things I find the backrest super easy to get on and off. We tend to leave it on most days but for when it needs to fold for a smaller car or door frame it’s very quick and easy!

Comparison to others on the market:

I don’t feel I could compare myself yet but shortly I will be comparing this to other backrests I know are popular for people with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome in particular the Jay 3 and the Axiom back. I have only trialled these for short periods of time.

A pink and white wheelchair with front wheel attachment on a board walk with a pebble beach in the back. a black back rest is the main focus of the photo.

What problems does it solve?

Posture, support, pain, risk of injury.

Who is this product best for:

Good for side support, not so much lumbar, can add a head/ neck rest. Always seek a prescribed backrest. As someone who is hypermobile I would recommend it.

See my reel here:

Is it worth buying?

The comfort is a game changer. I am struggling with thoracic back pain when I use it for long periods of time however I believe this is because my muscles have become so weak from not being used to sitting up properly! My posture is not great so I think in time working on my core and back muscles this will help a lot. The difference from using a soft back is definitely noticeable.

Faff factor?

I thought it was going to be really faffy but it’s almost made getting my chair in and out my car easier as I’ve had to change my push handles to adjustable height too. I now have a WAV which means we leave my chair in one piece.

Revisited thoughts/ updated review:

Pending yearly review…


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