10 Tips on How to Choose Your Mobility Scooter
Posted by Shelley Zander on
Mobility scooters can improve your quality of life and give you a renewed sense of independence. They are an excellent investment for older adults or those with limited mobility. These scooters cater to individuals that can still walk but struggle for long distances, such as those with arthritis. Opposed to a manual wheelchair, mobility scooters don't require somebody else to push it. This allows you to get out on your own.
There are many options for mobility scooters on the market. These products vary in speed capabilities, comfort features, and steering mechanisms. This article will provide tips on choosing a travel scooter that is right for you.
Choosing a Mobility Scooter
There's no doubt that mobility scooters are a splurge. Because of this, it's important to find the right option for you before purchasing. With so many different products on the market, it can be tough to narrow it down. We will provide insight into the perfect mobility scooter. This will protect your investment and make you feel good about your new way of traveling!
1. Determine the Size
Mobility scooters vary in size. Many different factors go into this. You can find scooters that have various sizes of seats and wheels. This will cater to the size of your body and how far you plan to travel with it. It will also determine how smooth and comfortable the ride is.
You will benefit from a larger scooter if you are a heavyweight or tall person. This may mean that the chair is broader or has more legroom. This will improve the comfort of your ride.
Another thing to consider is the number of wheels. Scooters with small wheels will be more convenient if you take short trips. It is important to note that small wheels will result in a bumpy ride. You'll want to stay on smooth pavement if you purchase a scooter with smaller wheels.
If you live in a rural community with no paved roads, you may opt for a larger scooter with larger wheels. This typically will result in a faster speed and a smoother ride. It will also allow you to store more in it.
2. Indoor or Outdoor Use
Do you plan to use your scooter inside or outside? There may be a sharper turning radius and three wheels for a scooter that will primarily be used inside. The three-wheel scooter will also allow you to maneuver better in hallways. Having a narrower scooter for indoor use is helpful as well. This will let you go through doorways easier than wider scooters.
If you plan to use your scooter outdoors, we typically recommend a four-wheel scooter. This will provide more comfort and a smoother ride over bumps. The mechanics of the scooter will often be different as well. This will keep the scooter working well in harsh weather conditions like rain and snow.
Another thing to consider for outdoor use is how tall the bottom of the scooter is. You may have to travel over speed bumps or cracks in the pavement. Having good ground clearance will help your scooter not get damaged.
Comfort is imperative, especially if you spend most of the day riding your scooter. Luckily, many mobility scooters have comfortable seating. However, some options on the market aren't designed for constant use. This may mean that the seating will be less comfortable.
One popular type of seat is a captain's seat. It offers quite a bit of support and cushioning for longer trips. It’s important to note that travel scooters may not have the same comfort. In order to fold these scooters up and make them more portable, you sacrifice comfort.
Look at each scooter's different features and determine your priorities.
Being able to control your scooter efficiently is essential. Most scooters come equipped with a T-shaped tiller. This mechanism requires your hands to control the speed and direction of the scooter. To power the scooter, you must constantly have your hand on the T-shaped tiller. This can be difficult if you have arthritis in your hands or fingers. If this is a concern, you may consider a delta tiller. These are better options for those who have limited mobility and hand strength.
It's important to consider the ease of control when shopping. It isn't a worthwhile purchase if you can't efficiently power your scooter. Shop different control options to find the best choice for you.
Storage may not be significant if you live in a large home with an oversized garage. However, that isn't realistic for many people. You'll likely have limited storage if you live in a condo or an assisted living complex. Buying a scooter that you can easily store and that takes up minimal space is important. If this is your situation, you may consider a lightweight travel scooter or a folding travel scooter.
These scooters will conveniently fold up and can be tucked away. This will minimize the amount of space that it takes up. They are also great for individuals that ride on public transit or in vehicles. Opposed to a traditional travel scooter, you can conveniently take these models with you wherever you go.
Mobility scooters aren't necessarily meant for speed. They are meant for convenience. However, their maximum speed can be an important factor. Travel scooters often don't have the same power that full-size scooters have. A portable mobility scooter typically has a full speed of only 8 kilometers per hour, whereas a full-sized scooter can get up to 13 kilometers per hour. This doesn't sound like a big difference, but it will feel like it when you use it.
The efficiency of turning corners with speed can also be of concern. When you turn a corner, slow down. This will keep you safe. Both three and four-wheel scooters can tip.
The incline is difficult for just about any motorized vehicle. Inclines can quickly take a toll on a mobility scooter. You'll want to pay attention to the maximum recommended incline if you live in a place with hills.
A maximum recommended incline is the maximum angle the scooter can travel. By ignoring this, you can minimize the lifespan of the scooter and cause damage to it. Full-sized scooters often have a maximum recommended incline of 12 degrees. However, travel scooters may only offer 6 degrees.
This is another thing to consider if you have an exceptionally steep driveway. If you were traveling up a hill and your scooter began sliding down, this would be cause for concern.
Similar to storage, portability is something to consider. To determine how portable your scooter is, look at whether it can fold up and how heavy it is. A super heavy scooter will be difficult to maneuver. This is especially true if you have limited mobility.
Portability is a huge factor if you often plan on traveling on public transit or by car. If you need to take your scooter with you, having it compact and easy to travel with is essential. Portability will also be important if you plan on traveling by airplane often.
Full-size scooters aren’t meant to be portable. However, folding scooters typically are. Unfortunately, you may sacrifice some comfort and speed for portability. It’s important to understand what your priorities are before buying.
Many different brands manufacture mobility scooters. Some of them have better reputations than others. Getting a brand that has good reviews, impressive longevity, and a satisfactory warranty is essential. This is something you'll want to do your research about before purchasing. This is a large investment, so the brand that you purchase from should back up its product and ensure that everything is working for years.
To determine what brands are good, look at different top-rated lists online or ask your doctor. We recommend opting for a brand that has been in the market for several years. Research how other customers have rated their customer service. This minor consideration can make a huge difference in your overall satisfaction.
Mobility scooters can come with many different options. Look into competitors and consider what is most important to you. Some options you may appreciate include storage for groceries, adjustable armrests, and adjustable seat height. If you plan on riding to the grocery store, you may want a scooter that has a storage basket at the front of it. This will allow you to keep your groceries as you go throughout the store.
Mobility scooters can be a pricey investment. However, they can improve your quality of life and make traveling much more manageable. For many, this investment is worth it. Having a sense of freedom will make a big difference in your daily life. With so many mobility scooters on the market, it's essential to find the perfect one for you. To do this, you'll want to consider all factors, such as size, control, storage, portability, and speed. By looking at this list, you'll be able to find a scooter that fits your needs and works for you.