Best Power Wheelchair for Outdoor Use

People with mobility issues face numerous challenges and restrictions in everyday life. Conventional manual wheelchairs limit outdoor use, relying on the upper body strength of the user. It’s a significant limitation for some people.

There’s a new option: power wheelchairs. The best power wheelchair for outdoor use provide greater freedom and independence. Also known as all-terrain wheelchairs, they can handle hills, grass, rough ground, and even gravel.

Let’s explore the factors to consider when choosing the right wheelchair and the 5 best power wheelchair for outdoor use currently available.

What Do You Need in a Power Wheelchair for Outdoor Use?

1. Terrain Compatibility

What terrain do you struggle with in everyday life? Some familiar challenging terrains include gravel paths, rugged trails, sand, snow, and uneven surfaces. Manual wheelchairs struggle to gain traction on this ground, requiring immense upper-body effort from the user.

All-terrain wheelchairs, on the other hand, feature robust tires, durable frames, capable suspension systems, and a powerful motor to provide the power, grip, and stability to handle whatever you find outside. Some models will still struggle with the most rigorous terrain. However, they’re perfect for most outdoor usage.

2. Drive System

Drive systems refer to which wheel is powered – i.e., where the power comes from. There are three types:

  • Drive systems refer to which wheel is powered – i.e., where the power comes from. There are three types.
  • Mid-Wheel Drive. Powered by a central wheel, you can rotate on the spot. Such maneuverability makes it ideal for indoor use but does limit its stability at high speeds and on uneven surfaces, increasing the risk of tipping.
  • Front-Wheel Drive. Pulled by the front wheels, these systems excel in climbing over obstacles and handling uneven terrain. The downside is a loss of stability at high speeds or on declines.

3. Comfort

Whether you’re going off-trail or taking your dog to the park, comfort is key. After all, you’re going to be sitting in the chair for several hours. The best power wheelchair for outdoor use have larger tyres and an excellent suspension system to cushion uneven surfaces and difficult terrain.

4. Battery Life

The last thing you want is for the battery to run out just as you reach the top of a hill or get deep into some woodland. Battery performance is a major deciding factor.

Battery life is primarily determined by the motor size, user weight, environmental conditions, and terrain. For example, driving uphill with a small motor or speeding over sand increases the resistance and drains your battery.

To maximize your wheelchair’s battery life, remember to fully charge the chair before using it. You should also perform regular maintenance and store the chair correctly so you don’t impair the battery’s function. Store in a cool, dry environment, protected from the elements.

5. Safety Technology System

Choosing the best power wheelchair for outdoor use isn’t just about battery life or comfort. Clever additions such as anti-tip wheels, self-balancing systems, and seat belts reduce accidents and injuries when you head into the great outdoors.

Take the XSTO Mobility Robot M4, for example. The front wheels are capable of 360° steering movement, while the larger, stronger rear wheel contains a natural rubber outer tire for strong grip, greater wear resistance, and non-slip. Best of all, the anti-tipping wheel prevents equipment from tipping over.

Best Power Wheelchair for Outdoor Use

1. Permobil M3 Corpus Power Wheelchair $20299

Permobil M3 Corpus Power Wheelchair

Permobil is renowned for its customizable, sturdy chairs. The Permobil M3 Corpus is no different. With advanced suspension systems and ActiveReach, you can handle more challenging terrains.

Range & SpeedThe 85-ah batteries allow for a maximum range of 40 m and a top speed of 10 km/h.
Terrain CompatibilityThe wheels have good grip, and the six-wheel design provides greater stability. However, the mid-wheel drive design can make hills and other terrain more challenging.
Drive SystemMid-wheel drive
ComfortAdvanced suspension systems keep the 6 wheels in contact with the ground, guaranteeing a smooth ride on all but the most difficult terrains.
Technology SystemIntelligent suspension system.
AdditionActiveReach and ActiveHeight allow you to tilt and raise the chair while moving to boost accessibility.

2. XSTO Mobility Robot M4 $3399

best power wheelchair for outdoor use

XSTO is a newer powered wheelchair company. But, in just a few years, their high-quality, advanced chairs have got everyone’s attention. The M4, in particular, is one of the best power wheelchair for outdoor use thanks to its sturdy, lightweight frame and innovative features.

Range & SpeedCapable of reaching a top speed of 6 km/h and managing a maximum range of 15 km.
Terrain CompatibilityThe rear-wheel drive design ensures it can handle stairs, slopes, and uneven surfaces.
Drive SystemRear-wheel drive
ComfortAll-wheel suspension, memory foam cushioning, and ergonomic backrest provide optimal comfort.
Technology SystemSelf-balancing safety system reduces the risk of tipping.
AdditionSupport APP remote control.

3. Invacare TDX SP2 Power Wheelchair $7595

electric wheelchair for outdoor use

Renowned for their high-quality chairs, which are designed for optimum comfort and support, Invacare has built yet another functional and capable powered wheelchair. With six wheels and an advanced suspension system, it provides greater stability on uneven surfaces.

Range & SpeedReaches top speeds of 10 km/h and has a maximum driving range of up to 26 km.
Terrain CompatibilityDespite being mid-wheel drive, the LiNX G-Trac system corrects for the smallest changes in uneven surfaces.
Drive SystemMid-wheel drive
ComfortSureStep suspension technology guarantees a smooth ride while moving over challenging surfaces.
Technology SystemSureStep suspension and LiNX control system
AdditionTouchscreen, secondary remotes, and built-in Bluetooth.

4. Pride Mobility Jazzy Air 2 Power Wheelchair $4259

electric wheelchair for outdoor use pride

Pride is an experienced manufacturer of mobility products. The Jazzy Air 2 provides comfort, stability, and its raised seat allows users to see over crowds or join standing conversations. It’s among the best power wheelchair for outdoor use.

Range & SpeedAchieves max speeds of 6.4 km/h and has a maximum range of 21 km.
Terrain CompatibilityThe six-wheel design and advanced suspension system provide greater stability outdoors. However, it is not suitable for more challenging terrain.
Drive SystemMid-wheel drive
ComfortActive-Trac Suspension system and cushioned seating create a comfortable ride.
Technology SystemSeat elevates 300 mm in just 11 seconds.
AdditionIntegrated foot platform, rearview mirror, basket, and more

5. Sunrise Medical Quickie QM-710 Power Wheelchair $10999

electric wheelchair for outdoor use sunrise

Sunrise manufactures some of the best power wheelchair for outdoor use. The QM-170 is designed to operate with just the use of your chin, providing unrivaled freedom and independence.

Range & SpeedHas an impressive top speed of 9.65 km/h and a maximum range of 24 km.
Terrain CompatibilityCan handle some outdoor use on gravel or uneven paths. May struggle with anything more rugged.
Drive SystemMid-wheel drive
ComfortAdvanced suspension systems and altered chair positioning provide greater comfort.
Technology SystemChin Drive controls and chair functions (Seat Elevate, Tilt, Recline, Power Legs, Power Extending Legs).

Final Thoughts of Best Power Wheelchair for Outdoor Use

Let’s recap:

  • The best power wheelchair for outdoor use are equipped with robust tires and advanced suspension systems for navigating challenging terrains like hills and gravel.
  • Include rear-wheel drive for stability, mid-wheel drive for tight maneuverability, and front-wheel drive for overcoming obstacles, each with unique advantages and limitations.
  • Key considerations for outdoor wheelchairs are terrain compatibility, comfort, and long-lasting battery life to ensure extended and reliable mobility.

Remember, when choosing the best power wheelchair for outdoor use, consider mobility, independence, and overall quality of life. Which specific features will most benefit you?

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