Best 3 wheel Vs 4 Wheel mobility scooters
Different Types of 3 and 4 Wheel Mobility Scooters
There are in fact, several types of mobility scooters. In essence, these scooters are:
Small and portable travel scooters which break down easily and are carried in most cars.
Three-wheeled mobility scooters with two wheels at the back base and one in the front. Four-wheeled models with two wheels in the front and two in the back.
In addition, depending upon how you count, there are two subcategories of models, those intended for indoor/gentle use – areas such as grocery stores and of course shopping at the mall. There are also those built more rugged which are good for outdoors and longer ranges.
Which Mobility Scooter is For You
A mobility scooter has several elements to them which which must be considered.
First you would want to consider the terrain the scooter will be used in. Do live in or frequent hilly areas where you would have to deal with inclines?
What about uneven surfaces such as sand or dirt. It is important to find a mobility scooter that has the functionality and power to handle areas like that.
Do you need more power? Then you would be looking at a larger scooter but then there might be issues of maneuverability. So consider the space you would be primarily using the mobility device.
Another thing is how much weight the scooter can carry. If you are a larger person you would probably have to give up some of the maneuverability of a smaller scooter to safely accommodate you. All scooters come with weight restrictions. Don’t worry there are plenty of styles to fit all of us.
Speaking of weight, there is also the actual weight of the scooter. Will you be traveling alone? How much weight can you safely lift? Not to worry there are many compact versions that can even fold up and fit into the trunk of your car.
If the scooter weighs 375 pounds, it may go 13 miles per hour on the street and hold a 400-pound person, but try to fit this beast into your car unless you have some kind of ramp and a pick-up truck to move it.
Speed is another factor we need to consider. What speed do you feel safe with? Generally the faster the mobility scooter, the higher the price tag and usually a heavier model.
Next feature to consider is the turning radius of the scooters. The 3-wheel mobility scooters tend to turn more tightly but are usually less stable than the 4-wheel models.
One feature that we found very beneficial is the type of wheels. Many of the designs have no-flat wheels. This gives piece of mind when you are out and about the town. It’s not a car, there is no spare tire and I don’t think AAA will come get you.
Last thing to consider is the battery life. This is in direct coorelation to the range of the vehicle. Longer battery life usually reflects a more expensive scooter. There is always the option of buying a spare battery to get more life out of it.
Comparing 3 wheel and 4-wheel mobility scooters
Three-wheeled scooters tend to be lighter, less expensive, and have a smaller turning radius. This makes them ideal for ease of handling and better manerverability.
4-wheel mobility scooters tend to be more stable and can generally handle a heavier rider. They also usually faster with better battery life. In addition, 4-wheel scooters can have larger tires and may do better on uneven surfaces.
Here is a decent YouTube video comparing 3-wheel vs 4-wheel scooters
Our Suggestions For the Best Mobility Scooter
We have shown that mobility scooters have so many different types of options from turning radius, wheel types, and power. All scooters are not built the same so we thought we would offer a few suggestions of our favorite models. Here are a few with a variety of different features worth considering.
1. The Drive Medical Scout Spitfire 4 Wheel Travel Power Scooter
First on the list is the Scout Spitfire which weighs in at 94 lbs. This means, for most adults, this scooter can be lifted into the trunk of a car. A feature worthy of note is the Spitfire breaks down into 4 separate parts.
Do you want to go shopping at the mall, or go to an outdoor event such as an amusement park with your grandkids? No problem. The 4 Spitfire’s portability and ability to breakdown will make these adventures more feasible.
The Scout Spirit is the number one mobility scooter on Amazon, which shows its amazing popularity.
This 42.5″ x 21.25″ mobility scooter is relatively slim, meaning that it can be easily used indoors, at work or school. Also a single battery charge will last for up to 15 miles of cruising before charging again.
The Spitfire isn’t exactly a speed demon. Top speed is 4.5 miles per hour, which is about the speed of a good, swift walk. But it is steady and quite reasonably priced and should be plenty fast for most people.
As one purchaser of the Spitfire mentioned, she spent over $220 just renting a mobility scooter when she went to Disneyworld, so a Spitfire will quickly pay for itself.
The best selling point about the Spitfire Scout is its price, which is far below the cost of other mobility scooters. The second-best feature being its lightweight and portability.
A drawback to this scooter is that it is meant for smoother surfaces. You can’t really use it on the grass, in the snow, or other rougher terrain.
One feature that we like is the wheels are made of hard rubber which are neither adjustable nor interchangeable for inflatable wheels. This gives piece of mind when traveling about.
The motor is powered by a 12-volt battery. This is fine for general use but is not one of the more powerful models.
A great feature of the Scout 4 is it being a lightweight and transportable scooter. This will help the user in getting around.
The Scout Spitfire has a general range of 9 miles, If you choose to buy the optional 20-volt battery, the Spitfire’s range can be extended to up to 15 miles which might be a worthy investment.
Another feature of the Scout Spitfire is a swiveling seat. You can roll your Spitfire to a dining table at a restaurant or at your desk in the office. This will help in the ease of transition from the scooter to the seat. You simple swivel the seat and you are there.
There are three charging lights colored green, orange and red which will give you plenty of warning if your batteries are running low. Many people elect to buy a spare set of batteries to be sure they always have a charged scooter.
The Spitfire Scout Scooter comes with a decent manufactures warranty. 6-month warranty for the batteries, a 12-month warranty on all electrical components and a 36-month warranty on the frame. Additional warranties may be purchased if you want to be more comfortable with your purchase.
The scooter comes with a small shopping cart located on the front, for those who need oxygen tanks. There are also optional holders you can buy to attach the oxygen tanks.
All in all, for a light, versatile scooter you will have difficulty getting a better portable scooter for the price.
It’s not a commuter vehicle. The range is limited and you want to generally use it on smooth surfaces. However, as long as you weigh under 300 lbs, this is one great mobility scooter for the price.
2. Pride Mobility Go-Go Ultra X 3 Wheel SC40X
Go-Go 3 Wheel SC40X
There are many brands of three-wheeled portability scooters and there is but the Pride Ultra has many features we really enjoy.
The first is the dimensions. This ultra-slim scooter is 21 inches from one rear wheel to another. There is also 20 inch spacing for the armrests. This is helpful if you need to get around close spaces.
The previously mentioned 4-wheeled Spit Fire Scout had a turning radius of over 50 inches compared to the Pride Ultra can maneuver into the tightest spaces with a turning radius of only 33 inches.
For many people, that 17+ inches can make all of the difference in where they can and cannot use their mobility scooter.
Now let’s talk about power. The Pride Ultra can handle a 325-pound rider, which is significantly more than many other travel scooters, so if you or your loved ones are on the heavier side, this is the travel scooter to consider.
In addition, if you have a regular incline to traverse, the Pride Ultra will handle an 8-degree incline, a significant incline rate compared to other mobility scooters.
The Pride Ultra X3 weighs only 94 pounds including the battery pack. For the size of this scooter, this is a very reasonable weight.
One of the nice features of this model is that the entire unit breaks down into 5 parts. This means, within a few minutes, your Pride Ultra is broken down and can fit into the smallest trunks. The heaviest of the five pieces weighs only 28 lbs. This is a weight many of us can handle.
The Pride Ultra can bring total independence. Being able to disassemble and assemble the scooter without anyone elses assistance is a fantastic feature which most 4-wheeled scooters cannot replicate.
Many dealers, for an optional fee, will not only deliver your mobility scooter to your door but will unpack it and set it up for you. While assembly is actually fairly easy, many people prefer to see an expert assemble the unit the first time so they know exactly how it is done.
That being said, inclines are probably the biggest barrier to their use, and as said earlier, the Pride Ultra has one of the best incline-rates in the business.
By far, one of the best features of the Pride Ultra is its battery charging arrangement. Many scooters can only be charged by removing the battery and putting it on the charger.
Naturally, you can do this with the Pride Ultra two, but there are two convenient places to charge the battery, beneath the seat and the mid-point on the tiller of the steering wheel that lets you charge without removing the battery.
Let’s say you come back from shopping and want to charge up your Pride Ultra scooter for a couple of hours because you will be using it later. If the scooter is outside, in your back patio for example, just leave it there fully assembled and charge it.
Another unique feature of this model it the headlamp. Although it is not as powerful as a car headlight it is a good safety feature for visibility and seeing the sidewalk in the evening hours.
A further list of accessories available are:
3. Pride Mobility Go-Go Elite Traveler 4 Wheel
Go-Go 4 Wheel Travel Scooter
The Pride Go-GO Elite Mobility Scooter is essentially the same as a Pride Ultra only in a four-wheel model. It weighs about the same as the 3-wheel version at 115 pounds.
Like the Pride Ultra, the Go-Go Elite breaks down into 5 feather-touch disassembly pieces, which can be done within around a minute. You can then load everything into your car, and most people should be able to do this themselves.
The biggest difference is the turning radius. It takes 44 inches to turn the G0-G0 Elite compared to 33 inches for the Pride Ultra. This can become an issue in tight places. The Go-Go Elite has the same slim width profile or around 22 inches.
The weight limit is at 300 lbs which is a pretty good capacity compared to other model scooters.
Most 4-wheeled scooters tend to be higher priced. If they are in your budget then it could be a good option.
The Pride Go-go also has the same onboard charging features, so there is no need to remove the batteries and bring them into the house to be replenished.
Pride offers the same optional features such as oxygen tank holders or walker holders, and each unit comes with an LED light on the front.
It should be mentioned, and this is an important feature of the Pride Ultra as well, is that the GO-GO Elite has sealed lead batteries, not lithium batteries which the majority of the airlines ban.
As a consequence, while you might have to pay a small fee for overweight or oversized baggage, you can easily take the Go-Go Elite on airlines although you should contact the airline first to double-check all the requirements.
All in all, the Go-Go Elite is a great travel mobility scooter and well worth the investment.
4. EV Rider Transport Plus Folding Scooter
EV Rider Transport Electric Scooter
The EV rider looks more like a piece of folding luggage than a mobility scooter. To disassemble it you merely remove the seat, remove the battery, then fold up the scooter like a piece of origami and put it into your trunk.
If you travel frequently this is a fantastic option. The entire scooter weighs 53 lbs if you remove the batteries. This is a very manageable weight and allows you to fit it conveniently in your trunk. Keep in mind that it is one unit and not broken down into pieces.
The EV Rider can travel up to 15 miles on a battery charge and will go up to 4 miles per hour. However, there are some sacrifices that have to be made for the convenience of just folding everything up and going.
There is a weight limitation of 250 lbs, which is the most restrictive of the scooters on our list. It is also carries the highest price tag on our list.
One feature that we didn’t like is that the seat does not swivel as many mobility scooters do. This could be a bit more of a challenge getting in and out. Keep this in mind depending on your mobility restrictions.
Unfortunately the seat does not adjustable so what you see is what you get. It comes with a seat cushion that is an 1″ thick so you might want to add some extra padding.
The majority of the EV rider is made out of strong aluminum which is light yet sturdy. It is durable as well and should last you quite a long time.
Overall the EV Rider is a great overall choice for a mobility scooter and would be a great choice.
Review of Considerations:
Think about these things and figure out which scooter best fits YOUR needs.
We encourage you to get your scooter now. It could change your life.