In this article, disabled journalist Ian Cook reviews four powered wheelchairs that our currently available on the Motability Scheme.
Up till now, you may have thought of the Motability Scheme in terms of cars and mobility scooters, but the Scheme can also supply powerchairs, also known as powered wheelchairs. A powered wheelchair uses a simple joystick located on the end of the powered wheelchair arm, rather than handlebars or a “tiller”. Powered wheelchairs are popular with those who have more complex disabilities and are easy to use and super manoeuvrable.
They are particularly suited to those who will be spending most of their time seated in them and for this reason, powered wheelchairs often have modified seating and controls that allow for hand, chin, or mouth use, making them a highly versatile mobility product. Here are four of the best Class 2 and 3 powered wheelchairs that are currently on offer on the Motability Scheme and which are definitely worth a look.
1. Quantum Rehab Edge 3 Stretto
The Edge3 Stretto TB3 is a class 2 mid-wheel drive six-wheeler indoor/outdoor chair featuring a narrow width for outstanding manoeuvrability. The Stretto has special Smooth Ride Suspension (SRS) which was noticeable the moment I got moving, making the Stretto the perfect chair for a smooth comfortable ride with an excellent feeling of stability.
Among the other features, I particularly liked were the LED lights which offered great benefits for increased visibility. With lighting mounted above the drive tyre on each side, you can be sure that you will see and be seen. “Stretto” is Italian for narrow, but this powered wheelchair is far more than being good just for tight spaces. Edge perhaps says more about it because, for me, it had the edge over many similar slim powered wheelchairs I have tried. With a range of 20 miles and a maximum user weight of 136 kg, it’s 82.55 cm long and just 52 cm wide and weighs 148 kg. It’s a slim chair, but one which I think will have broad appeal.
2. Invacare Kite Standard M23
The Kite Standard M23 is the perfect powered wheelchair if you are looking for something versatile, capable, and practical. It’s a class 3 four-wheel outdoor-indoor rear-wheel drive chair for active people who love outdoor activities yet who still want a compact chair for their everyday life.
The Kite’s large front and rear wheels and its compact base are just some of the features which I found made this a very versatile chair. The configurable seating system was superb. Indoors, the incredibly narrow wheelbase of the Kite allowed me to manoeuvre it through tighter spaces than I would have expected from an average rear-wheel-drive powered wheelchair. The balance was good too with the Kite absorbing shock, reducing vibration, and giving an ultra-smooth ride.
Overall, I found the Kite performed well outdoors and was surprisingly nimble indoors. Its narrow size didn’t compromise the range of the Kite, and I found the range of up to 31 miles impressive.
The manually settable tilt and recline were good and Invacare’s configurable Modulite seating can be set up to your exact size and needs, and can accommodate larger people with a maximum user weight of 160 kg. At 114 cm long and 117 cm high and weighing in at 125 kg this is definitely a Class 3 powered wheelchair to look out for. You will really feel yourself flying when you get a Kite.
3. Electric Mobility Rascal Rio
The Rascal Rio is one of the best products I have tried out in the popular Rascal range. The Class 2 powered wheelchair easily dismantles making it the perfect transportable choice. It’s small, light, modern, and stylish and I found it great to ride. Getting the seat position right was simple and I liked the fully adjustable armrests, which I found good for a tall man of 5’11” like me.
Other features of the Rascal Rio I particularly liked included the padded seat with a folded back, the adjustable arm height, angle, and width. The product weight is just 45 kg and the maximum user weight is 113 kg. It’s 88 cm long, 90 cm high, and 55 cm wide. Overall, I found the Rascal Rio a great choice for anyone looking for a durable and compact powered wheelchair. With a range of 8 miles and a tiny turning circle, it can take you on shorter journeys – indoors or out. It may not take you all the way to Rio, but it’s a nice little runaround. Highly recommended!
4. Sunrise Quickie Q100 R
The Sunrise Q100 R is an ultra-compact, Class 2, four-wheeler powered wheelchair offering true indoor agility with the stability and performance for both indoor and outdoor travel. The Q100R’s ultra-small footprint and tiny compact turning circle, make it ideal for navigating tight spaces without sacrificing stability. I found navigating even the tightest of spaces a breeze and something I could manage with a feeling of total control.
I also found the Q100 R’s capabilities just as comfortable outdoors as indoors. The way it handled gradients was particularly impressive and I was able to get up some quite steep inclines. The Q100R has a range of 22 miles, is 101 cm long, 90 cm high, 54 cm wide, and it weighs 95kg. Maximum user weight is 140kg. I think the Q100R is another great product in the Quickie range. Make sure you’re quick to check it out.
For more details on Motability Scheme scooters and powered wheelchairs, click here.