Best mid-wheel drive wheelchairs

Midwheel drive wheelchairOne can only imagine the tough times and hardships people with mobility issues face while trying to move from one place to another, indoors or outside the house. Things only get more challenging when these people travel through uneven terrain due to their inability to walk. This causes them to be dependent on their family and friends to reach any nearby place they want to be at.

Hence, it becomes important to buy an electric wheelchair for such disadvantaged people to give them independence and the ability to move around on their own. Mid-wheel drive wheelchairs are one of the most sought-after electric wheelchairs to serve this purpose due to their easier maneuverability, comfortable seating and stability.

Mid-wheel drive wheelchairs

The drive wheels for a mid-wheel drive wheelchair are in the middle of the power wheelchair. Hence, the center of gravity of the user is aligned with that of the drive wheels in this design creating the tightest turning radius. These wheelchairs can achieve a complete 360 degree turn in position which is immensely helpful when using the chair inside the house in small spaces like kitchen and hallways. The maneuverability requirements are much less than their front-wheel and rear-wheel counterparts.

These electric wheelchairs also have 6 wheels on the ground – 2 drive wheels and remaining 4 caster wheels, providing more stability to the base. The caster wheels on the front and back of the wheelchair prevent forward or backward tipping of the chair.

Benefits of mid wheel drive wheelchairs

A  major advantage of mid wheel drive wheelchairs is their intuitive design offering a shorter learning curve for new users. They also offer good traction on inclines, side slopes and can climb obstacles well such as curbs, small bumps. Upgraded features like Smooth Ride Suspension (SRS) further enhance the stability and comfort of these chairs for users

Choosing the right wheelchair

The best way to decide the right mid wheel drive wheelchair for oneself is to test drive it and consult with one’s healthcare professional before purchasing. A quality wheelchair is an investment in oneself, maybe a big one, especially if one has a tight budget. The following are some additional factors one can consider when deciding on the right wheelchair to acquire:

  • Where and how will one use the wheelchair (indoor and outdoor)?
  • Does the wheelchair have lots of padding (typically required if one uses an electric wheelchair a lot)?
  • Does one have special seating needs (like poor sitting balance, susceptibility to pressure sores, inability to use standard seating controls like joystick or tiller – evaluated by a therapist)?
  • What is the desired weight capacity of the wheelchair?
  • Is transportability of wheelchair important (folding feature and weight of wheelchair)?
  • What is the wheelchair top speed and maximum range after single charge one is looking for?
  • Is there a preferred price range?
  • Can one live with the wheelchair until the next allowable replacement date by the insurance provider?

The best mid wheel drive wheelchairs

The selection of mid wheel drive wheelchair for oneself or one’s family member is dependent on many factors, some of which were listed above. Below are some of the best options on the market for different needs considering key wheelchair aspects like price, stability, in-home service, seat adjustability and turn radius.

1. CTM Mobility Scooter Compact Mid-Wheel Power Chair

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This is one of the popular options for seniors combining stability with lower prices as compared to its peers. The center of gravity of the user is placed over the drive wheels which is preferred by older adults with conditions like arthritis.

The thick treads on the mid drive wheels offer an excellent feeling of stability. The anti-tip wheel design ensures one is always safely on course. This med wheel drive chair handles turns very naturally given the extra-tight turning radius of 22.4-inches. There is a reclining option in the comfortable back, and arms can be flipped back and out of the way so that users can easily get in and out of the chair.

The standard model is accompanied by a shark controller joystick, a seat belt, adjustable headrest and footrest. The battery allows a maximum range of 14 miles on a single charge. This electric wheelchair can easily handle inclines up to 8-degree slope. Its top speed is 4 miles per hour and it has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.

PROS:

  • Minimum assembly and setup required to get this chair up and running
  • Very convenient from an operating and plugging in for charging perspective
  • Rated high by past purchasers for very sensitive controls

CONS:

  • Not great on bumps due to minimal suspension
  • Seat / foot supports can be more adjustable

 

2. Pride Mobility’s JAZZY600ES

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The wheelchair boasts a 20.5-inch tight turning radius and a compact design making it suitable for small spaces in the house. It also has an ATX suspension system to better handle bumps like the threshold between tiled and carpeted rooms enabling a smoother ride.

This chair can be used on inclines up to 7.5 degrees and also has the battery box positioned so that batteries can be easily accessed from the front of the chair. The chair offers free in-house service for the first year. The maneuverability and in-house service makes it one of the favorite options for indoors. The leg rests can be elevated, swung away. The chair has a weight capacity of 300 pounds with a top speed of 4 miles per hour and maximum range of 17 miles on full charge.

PROS:

  • ATX suspension system for handling bumps for a smoother ride
  • Free in-house repair warranty for 1st year
  • Easily accessible battery from the front
  • Leg rests that can be elevated, swung away

CONS:

  • Higher price compared to counterparts in same category (non-lift)
  • Very heavy compared to counterparts in same category (non-lift)
  • No grabber accommodation on chair to aid picking up something that the rider drops off

 

3. Pride Jazzy 614 HD Midwheel drive Wheelchair

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ir?t=helpw01 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B001KENNCCThis power wheelchair has enhanced in-line motors to enable greater efficiency and torque allowing a higher top speed of up to 4.3 miles per hour. Hence, the weight capacity is also increased in this model going to 450 pounds.

However, it has a lower maximum range of 11 miles. The turning radius for this wheelchair is 22.75-inch which puts it in the middle of the range of turning radius of the midwheel drive wheelchairs on this list.

PROS:

  • Free in-house repair warranty for 1st year
  • Offer longevity and smooth run if maintained with care

CONS:

  • Higher price compared to counterparts in same category (non-lift)
  • Replacing parts can be expensive

 

4. Merits P327 Super Bariatric Power Wheelchair

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It is a bariatric power wheelchair, perfectly suited for bigger sized users. Its 243 pound sturdy design and hefty size allays all fears of tipping or wobbling. Hence, the user will stay grounded in terrains and circumstances where normal wheelchairs may tip. This extra weight on this electric wheelchair gives the user peace of mind in knowing one should not roll over or fall out. The chair has a weight capacity of 400 pounds and a top speed of 5 miles per hour

PROS:

  • The suspension absorbs shock well making the ride smooth
  • The construction is excellent so it can last a lifetime due to its sturdy build
  • It is a roomy bariatric chair, suitable for bigger sized people

CONS:

  • Arm rest elbow does not stay tight
  • A little uncomfortable seat

 

5. Pride Jazzy Air 2

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The major advantage offered by this midwheel drive wheelchair is that one can use the lift even while one is in motion. This is helpful in situations like when one wants to discreetly lift to reach a table in a restaurant.

It can be elevated to 12 inches and is best for both indoor and outdoor use. The turning radius is 22.5 inches allowing the user to navigate almost all spaces.

The chair is from a trusted and reputable brand, Jazzy. It has an attractive design which shows it was built keeping independent adults in mind. It successfully combines comfort with appearance to give one of the best looking chairs on the market.

PROS:

  • Can be elevated while in motion
  • Great appearance
  • Active-track suspension enables a smooth ride

CONS:

  • Small foot plate does not have sufficient space to keep both feet
  • Seat can be more comfortable

 

Conclusion

There are many mid-wheel drive wheelchairs available in the market. Everyone’s requirements are unique but the main criteria while choosing one is its battery life, range on full charge, weight capacity, turning radius etc. The products on this articles rate highly on more than one of our selection criteria and should be helpful to most users looking to buy a mid-wheel drive wheelchair.

I am lucky to be a father, a husband, a son and a grandson at the same time! This also means that I am constantly looking after the wellness needs of 4 generations! Being a post graduate and a health aficionado, HelpAndWellness.com became the perfect platform for me share my experience in managing the wellness of my family with the world.

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