When differently-abled adventurers with a passion for the outdoors want to get outside they may find their options limited. Here we review some of the best all terrain wheelchairs that we have seen make some big differences to peoples lives.
As a lawyer representing the differently-abled, and with a love of adventure myself, I often contemplate imaginative ways for those with restricted mobility to get outdoors. This is because I need to be able to restore or protect someones quality of life following an incident. Through talking to them and their family, I often find the common theme that mobility and independence are closely linked, as well as being very important.
Recently, an extraordinary video came up on my Facebook feed introducing an “ultimate off-road wheelchair” and it inspired me to look into a few of the different all-terrain wheelchairs on the market.
Firstly, I’d like to introduce the Sandpiper. This little manual wheelchair has been designed as a beach and all-terrain wheelchair for children and its large balloon like tyres make it perfect for gliding over soft sand, mud and even snow.
One family who reviewed the Sandpiper described how it has transformed trips to the beach with their 8 year old little boy with cerebral palsy. The Sandpiper is described by the manufacturers as lightweight and easy to transport. A brand new Sandpiper currently costs around £3,900.
The Mountain Trike is described as an all-terrain, self propelled, sleek and versatile all-terrain wheelchair. This wheelchair can be driven with just one hand and features hydraulic disc brakes. In terms of transportability, the chair can be folded up into a cube and easily transported in the boot of a car. Another advantage is that it looks particularly chic: One lady going out in her Mountain Trike for the first time described how her new wheels gave her “street cred” and that she didn’t feel disabled when using it. I have to agree, it does look pretty cool.
I think the limitations to this chair are that there are still some places that I wouldn’t take it. However, as long as you are on something that vaguely resembles path then, depending on the trail’s width and stability you are probably ok. Having said that, one man managed a 1,000ft ascent in the Lake District with his Mountain Trike, something that certain people would struggle to do on foot! A Mountain Trike will currently set you back £4,395.
And then came the Hexhog! The tank of the wheelchair world and the inspiration for this blog. A cool £18,000 will buy you this ultimate off-road wheelchair. Its specially designed chassis ensuring that all six wheels remain in contact with the ground makes it possible to travel across extreme terrain and I would happily take this machine across heather covered moorland. Another advantage of the Hexhog is that the designers have put a lot of thought into easy transfers from a day chair. The down side to this wheelchair however, beside the price tag, is that you would also need a trailer to transport it!
As a lawyer working with differently-abled adults and children, with the ultimate aim of restoring quality of life, it is great to see how these all-terrain wheelchairs are expanding horizons.