The Best Outdoor Electric Wheelchairs of 2021
- 28 Sep, 2020
Table of Contents
Outdoor Power Wheelchairs
Those suffering from joint and mobility problems either due to age or a debilitating illness or accident often find walking sticks, canes and manual wheelchairs far too demanding to use. In this case, to say that an outdoor power wheelchair for such folks is a blessing, would be a bit of an understatement.
Outdoor power chairs, driven by a compact electric motor and battery system and controlled by a small joystick, has been the norm for years now – helping the elderly and people with disabilities move around freely over a variety of outdoor terrain. Time and time again, they have proven to be an incredibly valuable investment, restoring people’s freedom and helping them preserve their wellbeing.
If you happen to be in the market for a high quality electric wheelchair for the outdoors, then you’ve certainly come to the right place. At Scooters ’N Chairs, we offer a comprehensive range of outdoor mobility electric chairs from signature US brands including Merits, Golden Technologies and Pride Mobility.
Outdoor Power Wheelchairs – Why Buy One?
Buying an outdoor power chair for yourself or a loved one essentially means enhanced maneuverability and greater independence outdoors. Not only that, but also having the freedom to do everything that you love doing, all on your own.
Electric wheelchairs built specifically for outdoor use not only come handy when you’re traveling and don’t want to lose your freedom, but especially if you love exploring different places and prefer to travel by yourself, no matter what the terrain. The ample ground clearance means that you can effortlessly negotiation many kinds of outdoor surfaces without ever worrying about getting stuck, or your electric wheelchair not performing as intended.
An outdoor power chair can be a phenomenal upgrade from a manual wheelchair or an indoor power chair for that matter – the larger, rugged wheels and heavy-duty motor means you can travel at faster speeds and cover much longer travel distances, while also staying comfortable throughout your journey, thanks to a roomy ‘captain’s seat’, which many models offer as a standard feature.
However, we’re merely skimming the surface here as outdoor mobility electric chairs offer a plethora of benefits that any senior or someone with physical handicaps will certainly appreciate:
Greater degree of independence
Electric wheelchairs for the outdoors are a marvellous piece of engineering that have greatly helped seniors and people with disabilities enjoy a high degree of personal freedom and independence. As a result, they have become massively popular in this day and age, especially given the cutting-edge technology that continues to improve on an ongoing basis. Impressive travel distances, high performance over outdoor terrain and a complete set of accessories to make life even easier has made outdoor powerchairs a daily part of many folks’ lives.
Perhaps, one of the highest motivational factors that leads people to purchase outdoor power wheelchairs is the fact that they no longer have to rely on any ‘outside help’ to, say, go to the mall, visit a friend or even accompany the family on a trip to the beach. Outdoor electric wheelchairs can easily keep up with the needs and demands of those who love traveling outdoors with no assistance whatsoever.
The battery-assisted motor and other outdoor-specific features make them perfect for a variety of outdoor surfaces. Outdoor power wheelchairs also come in varying wheel configurations such as mid-wheel, front-wheel and rear-wheel powertrains, all of which can have an impact on how your electric wheelchair handles and performs outdoors, which we will discuss shortly.
The majority of outdoor power wheelchairs at Scooters ’N Chairs can cover a distance of anywhere between 9-32 miles, while reaching top speeds of 3.5-5 mph. Furthermore, depending on your requirements, we have electric wheelchairs for outdoors that can easily withstand anywhere between 250-600 lbs.
In addition, the outdoor electric wheelchairs we offer each have a reasonable amount of ground clearance, making them highly travel-efficient over all kinds of uneven and abrasive surfaces.
Traditional or manual wheelchairs cannot even come close to matching the comfort and ergonomic design of outdoor electric wheelchairs. In fact, the ability to adjust the seating position alone has helped many seniors steer clear of back issues and other joint/mobility related problems. Powered outdoor wheelchairs also offer users a number of options to change postures while traveling – keeping them active and overall, healthier, since being stuck in the same position all day indefinitely means suffering from joint and postural problems.
This ability to adjust posture in an outdoor electric wheelchair makes a very notable difference when it comes to achieving complete personal freedom – especially since enhanced seating stability through tilting and reclining can relieve a lot of undue pressure on the spine, neck, shoulders and hips – key areas where postural problems tend to occur with the onset of age.
Since many users need to stay seated in their power wheelchairs for the majority of the day, the seating arrangement can be adjusted in a number of ways, such as varying seat widths between 20-24”, fully adjustable armrests and headrests, the ability to mount the joystick on the right or left, etc. Similarly, the soft, adjustable footrests provide plenty of comfort as well.
Age can bring a number of physical limitations including muscular atrophy or dystrophy, spinal cord limitations and compromised range of motion, cerebral palsy, etc.
Fortunately, the gravity-aided positioning on outdoor electric wheelchairs can be invaluable when it comes to maintaining a neutral spine and performing everyday activities. And as such, people with aching joints and/or mobility issues as well as physical limitations can greatly improve their overall health while performing daily activities they love – all the while enjoying a desirable freedom of movement.
Earlier, we briefly discussed the importance of choosing powered wheelchairs over manual ones, when it comes to overcoming physical restrictions in the arms and hands – that traditional wheelchairs can cause major discomfort and even severe pain since you are required to continuously use upper body strength to move your chair. This can be the cause of many health problems in the long run.
With a power chair for outdoors, on the other hand, you’ve nothing to worry about – thanks to the ergonomic joystick which gives you full control at a fraction of the movement, along with a battery-powered motor which can take you several miles at a stretch. No longer do you have to exert laboriously just to get to your destination, and in fact, you can do so with great style and complete confidence.
We offer outdoor power wheelchairs for a broad range of users – from fairly ‘basic’ ones like the $1,999 Jazzy Passport by Pride Mobility (still a serious contender in its own right) to the mid-wheel driven $4,799 Compass Heavy-Duty Powerchair by Golden Technologies, a robust electric wheelchair with all the bells and whistles, built to withstand all kinds of outdoor terrain.
Another major benefit that outdoor power wheelchairs offer over traditional ones is the sheer number of features and accessories they offer. Most models are capable of housing larger bags and baskets, batteries and battery chargers, holders for your walker, cane, mug, mobile device and oxygen tank, etc. as well as canopies and covers that not only extend your electric wheelchair’s life but also keep you nice and comfortable during a rainy spell.
Elevated leg rests and larger chairs can help those suffering from edema, not to mention the ability to try more varied sitting positions, for the ultimate seating comfort.
Features and add-ons often improve the ergonomics of your outdoor electric wheelchair, giving you the ability to customize it according to your mobility needs and demands.
Well, not to point out the obvious, but after all, people do invest in powered outdoor wheelchairs because of their ability to easily negotiate different types of outdoor terrain. The larger tires and unique wheel configurations mean that they cater very well to the outdoor traveling demands of each user.
For instance, front-wheel driven electric wheelchairs – that is, models having larger drive-wheels at the front with supporting casters at the rear – provide improved stability, especially where you need to travel over uneven and/or inclined surfaces.
Center-drive electric wheelchairs or those with the drive-wheels right at the center with smaller supporting wheels at the front and rear provide enhanced maneuverability, even as you negotiate rough terrain at your wheelchair’s top speed. They also offer very tight turning radiuses of 20-24” typically, although you might require extra support if you need to load them up for transportation.
With the drive-wheels at the back, you still get fantastic maneuverability and great acceleration too. However, some models have wider turning radiuses than mid-wheel and front-wheel electric wheelchairs – so they may not be the best suited ones, even though they are still suitable for tight or narrow indoor spaces. A major benefit of rear-wheel driven electric wheelchairs though is that they are very easy to get used to, as they handle a lot like a traditional car or scooter – the control feels natural without the need to oversteer in order to make sharp turns.
Most models feature a ground clearance of 3-4” or more, making them highly suitable for a range of uneven and abrasive outdoor terrain.
Save space and carry on public transport
Many outdoor power wheelchairs like the Pride Mobility Jazzy Passport are custom-designed for easy transportation – they can be easily folded and loaded into the back of a car or taken with you on a train, subway or bus. In fact, the Jazzy Passport has a depth and width of just 16 x 23.5” and a height of 31” when folded. The 25” turning radius means you can easily maneuver it while getting on the bus or other mode of public transport.
With so many space saving and public transportation benefits, it’s easy to see why seniors today are investing in great quality electric wheelchairs for the outdoors and buying exclusively from Scooters ’N Chairs, as evidenced by all the positive customer reviews.
Traverse long distances with ease
Folks who want to travel long distances are often held back because they haven’t upgraded to an electric outdoor wheelchair – which offer very impressive travel distances after a single battery charge.
Even the entry-level outdoor power wheelchairs we offer are capable of travelling anywhere between 11-25 miles, while having the ability to easily support up to 450 lbs. On the higher end spectrum, we offer outdoor mobility wheelchairs that are capable of covering an astonishing 35 miles while maintaining a top speed of 5 mph.
And throughout your journey, you can tilt and recline your seat as you like, while interacting with your mobile device or sipping on a refreshing can of soda. The ability to carry battery chargers and larger batteries with you means you can effectively extend the total travel distance by a few extra miles.
In some cases, your outdoor power wheelchair’s advanced and independent suspension for each wheel and more than adequate ground clearance means you can easily hit the intended top speed, and never worry about losing control or getting bogged down due to uneven terrain.
Difficult terrain and inclined surfaces
We’re willing to bet that the majority of your electric wheelchair use is going to be outdoors, since you now have the freedom to move about wherever you want, and on your own terms too. The larger tires and more powerful motors that our top-of-the line models priced between $2,500 and $4,800 feature, mean that you can venture over virtually any terrain – be it a dirt trail, a rocky backroad, grass, gravel, abrasive or uneven tarmac, etc.
These outdoor power wheelchairs have suspensions that can easily absorb every bump effortlessly. In fact, many of the models that are featured under this category have enough torque and drive to let you go over 10° inclined surfaces.
Furthermore, with ground clearance ranging between 3-5”, you’ll never have to worry about your wheelchair getting stuck outdoors or slowing down as a result of the chassis scraping against uneven terrain.
Choosing an Electric Outdoor Wheelchair that’s Right for You
When it comes to hand picking an outdoor power wheelchair that meets your individual criteria, the sheer number of information available online can be overwhelming and, at times, even a little intimidating.
However, by narrowing it all down to certain factors, you can better decide on the best electric wheelchair for outdoors.
For instance, maximum weight capacity, dimensions, portability, travel distance, etc. are just some of the factors you should take into account when buying your outdoor mobility wheelchair.
Therefore, the kind of use you expect to get out of your specific model will largely play a deciding factor in your purchase. To make it all easy, we offer a detailed specifications sheet for each model to help you run some comparisons and how the features might be beneficial for the intended application.If you have any questions at all about picking the right electric outdoor wheelchair for yourself or a loved one, our friendly customer support team is only a click away.