Balancing Indoor and Outdoor Mobility Scooter NeedsSaturday, March 02, 2013 Mary Anne Velasco
Every mobility scooter has a unique story to tell. The owner of a scooter might be an outdoor explorer, an annual cruise ship vacationer, an office worker, a sightseer, a parent, a grandparent, etc – all of these roles will put a scooter to the test in unique ways.
● Turning Radius and Stability
A tight turning radius is helpful for indoor scooters that need the ability to navigate sharp corners and narrow doorways. Scooters with tight turning radiuses are great for office workplaces and navigating commercial outlets. The scooters best equipped to handle these delicate demands are the streamlined three-wheel varieties with highly adjustable tillers.
Those narrow, nimble machines are typically built for indoor use only. Indoor/outdoor scooters can come with wide three-wheel configurations or slim four-wheel arrangements, sacrificing a bit of versatility to gain the necessary stability. This is a smart compromise for mobility scooter owners who need the best of both worlds.
The most stable scooters are four wheel outdoor models. They have the widest turning radiuses of all, not suitable for tight spaces or use in residential buildings. Four wheels and a wide frame is a winning combination that ensures you can go over cracks in the sidewalk with ease, and in some cases it might even be possible to climb curbs. Most outdoor scooters still work well in large indoor spaces, like shopping malls, provided they are equipped with non-marking tires.
● Power versus Portability
Indoor and indoor/outdoor scooters are powerful but they cannot compare to the sheer horsepower that a true outdoor scooter can crank out. Those big batteries and heavy frames can make the outdoor scooters much more difficult and expensive to transport. They often require trailers or external lifts.
Travel scooters, on the other hand, provide a reliable indoor and urban navigation experience with portability in mind. Take some time to check out the Ameriglide scooters built with portability and ease of use in mind. Lightweight scooters like these make perfect small vehicle companions and some can even fit in the trunk.
● Looking at the Big Picture
Every scooter has its strong points but we tend to suggest balanced indoor/outdoor configurations for the everyday mobility scooter user, much like the lightweight travel scooters linked above. Most day to day activities do not call for minute turning radiuses or incredible hill-climbing capabilities – then again, if your lifestyle does match one of these descriptions, don't be afraid to seek the most fine-tuned features you can find.
Take some time to contact your physical therapist to find out what types of scooters other owners in your area are using. Even mobility supplies stores, local or online, are often happy to make recommendations based on the experiences of previous customers with similar needs.
There is no universal scooter solution for everyone, you'll have to take some time to demo the features demanded by your lifestyle. With a little patience and research, you'll be able to find a scooter that suits your lifestyle at a reasonable price and with a workable feature set.