Finding the best power scooter
Aging is a fact of life, and with aging can come mobility issues. One day — and possibly sooner than you think or are ready for — walking will start to become very painful or impossible and purchasing a device to help you get around will become very, very necessary. If your situation involves a disability, it may not even be a choice you gradually come to as much as one you are forced to make.
Power scooters help many people retain a certain amount of mobility and autonomy when they get older and, in fact, can be the single greatest difference between maintaining an active social life — and not. Because there are so many different kinds of people with so many different kinds of needs, there are, accordingly, many different kinds of power scooters, including those which are best used indoors, those best used outdoors, and those for smaller and more humble budgets.
Read on to see more!
Strictly speaking, if you’re in the market for an indoor scooter, you’re likely planning on spending the majority of your time in the home. While models good for home use aren’t recommended for outdoor use, they come with their advantages. They’re generally lighter and what they may lack in versatility they make up for with maneuverability. Most indoor scooters have narrower and lighter bases which allow them to function in tight spaces, of which most homes have many. Being able to make tight turns is a must in an indoor scooter, which is why most indoor scooters are of the 3-wheel variety.
A great (and surprisingly affordable) model on the market is the Shoprider Dasher 9, which offers a great blend of style and substance.
The Dasher 9 retails for around $1300, and for an indoor scooter, that’s not cheap. That said, it’s not that expensive either, especially when you consider the versatile vehicle you’re getting when you invest in the Dasher 9.
First, the brass tacks. The Dasher 9’s top speed is about 3.8 miles/hour. That’s not that fast, but if you’re investing in an indoor scooter, you likely don’t have that much terrain to cover to begin with, and so speed isn’t necessarily the most important thing. The trade-off is that the Dasher 9 is really good with ramps and angles, with the ability to climb up to 12 degrees of incline.
Battery life and comfort are two of this model’s real strengths. The scooter can handle a standard 300 pounds of weight and hold a charge for up to 11.2 hours. This likely means fewer charges per month, which in turn leads to a lot of savings.
Because it’s a 3-wheel indoor scooter, the Dasher 9 is quite adept at making tight turns, boasting a 31.5 inch turning radius.
To be fair, it’s not the most portable scooter (weighing in at about 110 pounds), it merits mention that it can handle certain outdoor terrains with ease. Just make sure you’re not driving over terrain that would be affected by the small 1.5 inch ground clearance.
Obviously, if you’re in the market for an outdoor scooter, you’re looking for a machine that can comfortably and effortlessly navigate a variety of terrains because, well, everyday life takes place on a variety of terrains. Outdoor scooters are generally heavier, 4-wheel vehicles which look and feel sturder and most all-purpose. While they don’t turn in tight areas as well as 3-wheel indoor models, one generally has more room to move and maneuver outdoors, so the point is relatively moot.
A great model currently on the market is the EV RiderXpress, which beats a lot of its competitors in the areas most commonly scrutinized. The EV RiderXpress retails for around $1400, which makes it relatively affordable and well worth the price.
The EV RiderXpress supports 300 pounds of weight and can hit a top speed of 5 mph with a range of 12.5 miles on a full battery charge. Its wide seat and deep cushioning ensure that it will be comfortable for most people, while its armrests ensure even more comfort, and its ground clearance — 2.8 inches — ensures a smooth ride. For those who routinely need to use ramps, the RiderXpress can manage inclines up to 12 degrees, which should make short work of most wheelchair ramps as well as everyday sidewalk and pavement.
Best of all, despite being a 4-wheel, outdoor-oriented mobility scooter, it doesn’t a have terrible turn radius. Rather, like an indoor scooter, the RiderXpress has a turn radius of 38.6 inches.