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Mobility Aids

Best Travel and Mobility Scooters

Introduction

Travel scooters are a great alternative to motorized wheelchairs and work well for senior citizens as well as people with disabilities. Motorized aka power wheelchairs cab be very expensive, making them more suitable for people with permanent disabilities or certain medical conditions. We have already discussed power wheelchairs as well as some of the best electric wheelchairs (link to best power wheelchairs) so you might want to have a look at these posts for more details.

On the other hand, travel scooters usually cost less than power wheelchairs while many models can be easily folded for easier transportation. Many of these scooters can also be used indoors, while some are specifically designed for outdoor use. Mobility scooters are suitable for senior citizens and provides them the freedom to conveniently move around. People who are planning on buying a power wheelchair can also consider scooters provided the users can operate it himself/herself.

Things to Consider When Buying a Travel Scooter

Travel scooters are available in different shapes and come with varying features and specifications, which sometimes makes choosing the perfect one a daunting task. However, considering are a few things can help make a more informed decision. Here are some important things to consider and features to look for when buying a travel scooter.

Terrain

The type of terrain on which you plan on using a travel scooter helps decides the type of scooter you should buy. Some models are only designed for indoor use, while some are made for the sidewalks and can be used outside. Scooters labeled as highway-ready (more on that in the scooter class) come with turn signal and lights and can be used on the road. More powerful or heavy-duty scooters are suitable for traveling up and down the hills (and come with a matching price).

Top Speed

Top speed is another factor that differentiates scooters from power wheelchairs. Power wheelchairs usually have a top speed of around 5 MPH, while scooters can reach a max speed of 8 MPH, which makes them more suitable for use on the roads and highways.

Scooters designed for indoors and sidewalks have a top speed of around 4 MPH, which is more than enough considering the intended use. However, more speed does not work well for everyone as some users are frailer and can become nervous when traveling faster than 4 MPH on a travel scooter.

Travel Range

Travel scooters can cover a distance between 6 to 30 miles on a single charge. A higher battery capacity (Ah) translates into more mileage, but also means more weight and cost. Users who have to travel a lot on a daily basis should opt for a travel scooter with the maximum travel range. For example, people who have to cover large areas of a university campus or visit a mall on a regular basis should opt for high capacity batterie. This ensures that they don’t run out of charge in the middle of a journey.

Portability and Transportation

Travel scooters are also available in different designs like power wheelchairs. Foldable scooters are transport-friendly, lightweight and work well for frequent travelers. These scooters can weigh as little as 80 pounds and can be fitted inside the trunk of a car. Lightweight models are recommended for people who need a caretaker/loved one to stow the scooter in car’s trunk.

Heavy-duty scooters weigh more, but allow you to travel on roads and are suitable for long-distance traveling. Since these scooters already have large batteries and can cover large distances, users usually don’t need to lift and transport them on other vehicles.

Maneuverability and Size

The size of a travel scooter is proportional to its maneuverability and the turning radius. Three-wheeler scooters have a smaller turning radius compared to larger models, which are primarily designed for outdoor use. As a general rule of thumb, small travel scooters are more suitable for indoor use, while you need a heavy-duty or large scooter for outdoors and long-distance traveling.

Safety and Comfort

Safety is another important aspect to consider when buying something you want to take outdoors and drive on the road. Features such as anti-tip wheels, single-hand controller, easy-to-use brakes and clearly visible battery level indicator make the ride safer. Highway-ready scooters must have hazard lights, turn signals, horn, rearview mirror and of course front and rear lights.

Comfort related features vary by model and directly impact the price. While most standard scooters are good enough for light use, you need to put more money into buying a scooter you plan on using for extended periods of time. Comfort becomes more important when talking about senior citizens or people with disabilities or certain medical conditions. Features such as adjustable armrests and seat backs, extra-padded seats and wider seats make traveling more comfortable.

Max Weight Capacity

Travel scooters have varying weight capacities. Foldable and lightweight scooters can support up to 250 lbs. / 114 KG, while heavy-duty models can accommodate people weighing up to 500 lbs. 228 Kgs. Its recommended to keep a reasonable gap between the maximum weight capacity and user’s weight i.e. user’s weight should be less than the specified weight capacity. Putting more weight than the specified capacity can be dangerous and affects performance.

3-Wheel vs 4-Wheel Scooters

The main difference between the two is the turning radius and stability. 3-wheelers have a shorter turning radius, which means they work better in confined spaces. 3-wheelers take less space than 4-wheelers to make turns. Although many 3-wheel scooters come with anti-tip wheels, 4-wheelers still offer better stability, especially when traveling outdoors. That’s why it’s better to avoid 3-wheel scooters on uneven pavements and grass and stick to smooth sidewalks and parking lots when outside.

Scooter Class

Travel scooters can be broadly categorized into Class 2 and Class 3 scooters. Class 2 travel scooters are designed for indoor use or on smooth sidewalks and are licensed for a max speed of 4 MPH. These scooters are considered as ‘pedestrian’ and are allowed anywhere a normal pedestrian could walk. This essentially means you cannot drive them on roads and highways. 

Class 3 travel scooters come fitted with essentials needed to travel on a highway/road such as lights and indicators. If you plan on driving your travel scooter on the road or highway, you need a Class 3 scooter. However, make sure to read and understand the local laws governing the use of these scooters on main roads and highways.

3-Wheel Scooter Pros

  • More suitable for indoor use/smooth surfaces
  • Sharp turning radius allows users to easily maneuver in tight spaces
  • Work well for tall people who need leg room

4-wheel Scooter Pros

  • Even weight distribution, better overall stability, work well for heavier users
  • Less likely to tip over
  • More suitable for outdoor use and even rough terrains
  • Broader wheelbase, more space for feet

Best Travel Scooters

Here are out top picks for travel scooters that have been selected keeping the price vs. value ratio in mind. It’s highly recommended to consult a professional for proper need assessment, which ensures that you are buying the right product according to your unique requirements, environment and medical condition.

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

4-wheeler Drive Medical Scout

3-wheeler Drive Medical Scout Spitfire 3

4-wheel Heavy Duty Buzzaround EX Extreme

3-Wheeler Pride Travel Pro Premium

4-wheeler Solax Transformer Automatic Folding (Black)

4-wheeler Drive Medical Scout

Key features and specifications

  • Affordable 4-wheel option
  • Can be disassembled into smaller pieces for transportation
  • Adjustable, padded armrests
  • Non-marking tires
  • Anti-tip wheels
  • Maximum speed 4.25 MPH
  • Travel range 9 miles
  • 24V 270W motor @ 4700 rpm
  • Weight capacity 300 lbs.
  • Turning radius 53.75 inches

3-wheeler Drive Medical Scout Spitfire 3

Key features and specifications

  • Turning radius 45.5 inches
  • Adjustable, padded armrests
  • Swivel seat, adjustable height
  • Plastic carry basket
  • Anti-tip wheels
  • 270W motor
  • Weight capacity 300 lbs.
  • Max speed 4.25 MPH
  • Max range 9 miles

4-wheel Heavy Duty Buzzaround EX Extreme

Key features and specifications

  • Extended travel range, up to 16 miles on a single charge
  • Maximum speed 5 MPH
  • Front/rear suspension
  • Adjustable seat (stadium style)
  • Bright head and tail lights
  • Weight capacity 330 pounds
  • Dual U1 batteries

3-Wheeler Pride Travel Pro Premium

Key features and specifications

  • Affordable 3-wheel option
  • Excellent maneuverability
  • Max speed 4 MPH
  • Travel range 6.3 miles
  • Weight capacity 275 lbs.
  • Can be disassembled into 5 pieces for transportation (heaviest piece weighs 27.5 lbs.)
  • Faux leather padded seat
  • Adjustable height
  • Padded armrests
  • Cup holder and saddle bag

4-wheeler Solax Transformer Automatic Folding (Black)

Key features and specifications

  • Automatic folding function for effortless transportation and storage
  • Weight capacity 300 lbs.
  • Max speed 3.75 MPH
  • Airline approved battery
  • Up to 13.7 miles travel distance on a single charge

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

4-wheeler EV Rider Transport Plus Foldable Scooter

4-Wheel Tzora Classic Lexis Light Foldable Scooter

3-wheeler Heartway EvRider Easy Move Automatic Folding

4-wheeler Solax Transformer Foldable Travel Scooter (Blue)

3-wheeler Go-Go Ultra X

4-wheeler EV Rider Transport Plus Foldable Scooter

Key features and specifications

  • Foldable, transport-friendly
  • Lightweight @ 70 lbs. weight without seat and battery 46 lbs.
  • 270W motor
  • Travel distance 10-15 miles on a single charge
  • Front and rear lights
  • Removable seat
  • Digital display
  • Weight capacity 250 lbs.
  • Top speed 4 MPH
  • Speed control dial

4-Wheel Tzora Classic Lexis Light Foldable Scooter

Key features and specifications

  • Weight capacity 250 lbs.
  • Max speed 3.7 MPH
  • Travel range 8 miles
  • Total weight 64 lbs.
  • 4-wheels, better stability
  • Easy to fold and unfold) no latches, connectors and complex mechanisms)
  • Detachable battery pack (12Ah)
  • Turning radius 30-inches

3-wheeler Heartway EvRider Easy Move Automatic Folding

Key features and specifications

  • Automatic folding/unfolding
  • Lightweight @ 44 lbs
  • Weight capacity 250 lbs.
  • Turning radius 30.7 inches
  • Plane travel certificate
  • FDA certified

4-wheeler Solax Transformer Foldable Travel Scooter (Blue)

Key features and specifications

  • Automatic folding/unfolding
  • Weight capacity 300 lbs.
  • Top speed 3.75 MPH
  • Airline-approved battery pack
  • Up t0 13.7 miles travel distance
  • Compact and portable

3-wheeler Go-Go Ultra X

Key features and specifications

  • Weight capacity 260 lbs.
  • Max speed 4 MPH
  • Max travel range 6.9 miles
  • Easy frame separation using one hand
  • Can be disassembled into five pieces for easier transportation
  • Onboard/offboard charging

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