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For people with severe mobility impairments, the use of an all-terrain electric wheelchair can prove immensely beneficial, and in many cases, life-changing. These powered mobility aids can provide users with the joy of being independent and not reliant on others.
The all-terrain electric wheelchair does what it says. It can tackle challenging areas, whether that be parks, forests, and other outdoor places with rugged terrain. It expands the reach of your journey, giving you the freedom to navigate areas that may have proved inaccessible previously, whether that be at home or the great outdoors.
With the varied choice of electric wheelchairs that are available, choosing the right one for your unique needs can be somewhat confusing. With electric wheelchairs costing on average more than $2000, choosing the wrong one can prove a costly mistake.
In this guide, we explore the important factors that you should take into account before purchasing an all-terrain electric wheelchair. We will also take a closer look at some of the best all-terrain electric wheelchairs that are suitable for a range of needs and budgets.
All-Terrain Electric Wheelchairs Comparison Chart
Drive Cirrus Plus Power Wheelchair
WHILL Model Ci Powerchair
Pride Jazzy 600 ES Powerchair
Golden Compass Sport Powerchair
Merits Vision Sport Powerchair
300 lbs, 400 lbs
Dimensions (W x L)
24" – 28" x 42.5"
21.5", 23.5" x 38.8"
24.5" x 35.5"
25.4" x 39"
24" x 34"
Seat Size (W x D)
18" – 22" x 16"
16", 18" x 16", 18"
18", 20" x 18" – 20"
16" – 24" x 16" – 20"
18" – 22" x 18" – 22"
30" – 33"
8" (front), 12.5" (rear)
9.8" (front), 10.5" (rear)
6" (front), 14" (mid), 6" (rear)
6" (front), 10" (mid), 6" (rear)
6" (front), 10" (mid), 6" (rear)
Max Incline Angle
What is an All-Terrain Electric Wheelchair?
It goes without saying that an all-terrain electric wheelchair is primarily designed with outdoor use in mind.
When you are indoors, you will not have the need to navigate rougher terrain. However, when you spend a lot of time outside, this can be an issue. Powerchairs that have been designed for use outside have much wider and more durable wheels that make them easily able to go across uneven ground. Not only does this prevent damage to the wheelchair itself, but it will also give you a smoother and more comfortable ride.
These motorized mobility aids allow the user to move about more freely. They are ideally suited to people who are unable to walk at all, or for those who cannot walk more than a very short distance in one go.
How to Choose the Right All-Terrain Electric Wheelchair
Electric wheelchair manufacturers produce a variety of wheelchairs to address varying needs. However, if you have never purchased an electric wheelchair before, it can be somewhat confusing when you are confronted with the wide array of models.
Choosing the right type of all-terrain wheelchair will bring you the best benefits, so it is important to understand the differences between them all.
Here are some important factors you may want to consider before deciding on the best all-terrain electric wheelchair for your particular needs:
In the main, electric wheelchairs come in three types of drive – front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and mid-wheel drive. Which you choose will be highly dependent on your needs, and it can make a significant difference to your overall experience.
Here are the main differences between each drive system:
- Front-wheel drive chairs are good for use indoors since they are much more easily able to work around obstacles and through tight spaces. That being said, they can be used outdoors too.
- Mid-wheel drive powerchairs have a very good turning radius, which makes them ideal for use indoors and in confined spaces. They also offer good stability, as mid-wheel drive powerchairs feature six wheels (two drive wheels and four smaller casters located in the back and front), which helps to reduce the risk of the chair tipping over when going up and down inclines or over uneven terrain.
- Rear-wheel drive chairs offer an excellent solution to wheeling over rougher ground, making them perfect for outdoor use. However, owing to their bigger turning radius, they may not be suitable for indoor use.
Electric wheelchairs are powerful and for the most part, will easily be able to navigate whatever ground is underfoot. However, there are some models that harbor a lot more power and maybe better suited if you regularly have to tackle steeper inclines.
A gentle ramp is one thing, but something steeper may not be safe with a powerchair that does not have the capacity to manage it.
It pays to think about the area in which you live – are there a lot of slopes and hills? Check what the advertised maximum incline rating for the powerchair is, particularly if you live in an area with steep inclines, to ensure it is suitable. If the incline rating is exceeded, it could pose a serious safety risk as the wheelchair may tip over.
While most powerchairs can handle sidewalks, carpeted, tiled and other level surfaces without any issues, you should ensure that the chair you choose has sufficient ground clearance, so that it can safely tackle rougher terrain.
If the wheelchair has insufficient ground clearance, it could potentially catch on curbs, ramps, grass verges, and other obstacles, which may cause damage to the chair.
A powerchair’s ground clearance generally ranges anywhere from 2″ up to 5″. If you regularly take your powerchair to the park or you need to take it off-road, opt for one that has sufficient ground clearance for your particular needs. Many all-terrain powerchairs are also fitted with a suspension system that can help to dampen any shocks and vibrations when going over obstacles, which can help to improve the ride.
The type of tires that the powerchair is fitted with, as well as their size, can have an impact on both the smoothness of the ride, and it can also determine its suitability of being able to tackle rougher terrain.
Powerchairs are normally fitted with either one of two types of tires, pneumatic or solid tires.
Pneumatic tires have an air-filled inner tube, and resemble ones that you would find on a regular bicycle. They provide the occupant with a softer ride, and they are also more effective at absorbing shocks and impacts when going over uneven ground. The downside, however, is they can puncture, and they also require regular maintenance to ensure that they are inflated sufficiently.
Solid tires, on the other hand, do not run the risk of puncturing or deflating, so they are therefore virtually maintenance-free. The downside, however, is they do provide a slightly firmer ride.
Larger sized tires are better at handling uneven and rough terrain. If you’re looking for a powerchair that you can take over uneven outdoor ground, opt for a model that is fitted with larger tires, as they will offer better traction and stability.
The powerchair’s driving range is an important factor to keep in mind, as it will determine how far you will be able to travel on a single charge. The driving range can vary greatly depending on the model of powerchair that you choose, this can be anywhere between 8 – 20 miles.
Factors such as the occupant’s weight, the wheelchair’s speed, or the type of terrain that the wheelchair is traveling over, can all have an impact on how quickly the battery drains, therefore reducing the chair’s range.
Choosing a powerchair that can travel further on a single charge is preferable, as it will allow you to operate it throughout the day without needing to worry about it running out of power, therefore reducing the risk of becoming stranded while you are out. If you need to use your powerchair for extended periods, or you plan on taking it over uneven terrain regularly, choose one that has at least a 10-mile range or more.
Depending on the powerchair model, some offer the option of upgrading the battery to a higher capacity version, which will extend its range further.
Most electric wheelchairs are able to hold up to 300 lbs. There are many heavy-duty wheelchairs that can accommodate patients weighing up to 1000 lbs. Each manufacturer will have its own selection of bariatric powerchairs, so it is important to check this before you buy.
Most electric wheelchairs come with a safety belt, but there are some users who will require a more detailed solution. For those who struggle with maintaining balance whilst sitting, a chest harness is essential, especially if the wheelchair will need to be used over uneven terrain. Not only will this keep them from falling out of the wheelchair, but it will also help them to keep a good posture, which can assist with improving the passenger’s comfort.
Many electric wheelchairs also come with anti-tippers. This will ensure that the chair will not topple over when going up or down inclines. Before making a purchase, look at whether your chosen model has these fitted items.
If you plan on using the wheelchair in the evening outdoors, choose one that is fitted with LED lights. It will improve your visibility and assist with your safety. Ensure the chair is also fitted with reflectors. These will help you to remain visible to other motorists.
For people who need to take their powerchair with them in their vehicle but do not want to opt for a travel electric wheelchair, there is another option – the folding electric wheelchair. These are great for people who perhaps do not have the time to disassemble and reassemble their wheelchair, since this type can simply be folded and unfolded as needed.
In some cases, a folding wheelchair will come with a travel case that can protect it from being damaged in transit. Furthermore, their lightweight design makes them easier to maneuver, as well as lift into and out of a vehicle. It is a simple case of folding it down and back up again, whilst the wheelchair remains in one piece.
Alternatively, a powerchair that disassembles is another option for those looking for one that is portable. This type of powered wheelchair breaks down into smaller lightweight pieces. Thus usually includes the base, battery pack, and seat. The separate parts can then be conveniently carried into and out of the trunk more easily. Powerchairs that disassemble are better suited for users who have relatively good upper body strength and dexterity.
Best All-Terrain Powerchairs
1. Drive Cirrus Plus Power Wheelchair
With its wide array of features and exceptional build quality, you may be surprised to hear that the Drive Cirrus Plus powerchair costs just under $1,500.00, making it an extremely affordable option.
With the Drive Cirrus Plus powerchair, there is no need to waste time having to disassemble and reassemble it every time that you need to transport it in the car with you, as it is foldable. To fold it, you simply remove the batteries from underneath the seat, and the frame then folds with minimal effort. Due to the lightweight carbon steel frame and compact size when folded, the powerchair is easily portable and will fit in the trunk of most sized vehicles.
The powerchair is suited for both indoor and outdoor use alike. Powered by two 24V motors, the powerchair has a top speed of 5 mph, and it has a good travel range of up to 15 miles, making it suitable for all-day use. Due to its 4″ ground clearance and large 12.5″ rear flat-free tires, the rear-drive chair can comfortably handle both smooth and uneven terrain.
The padded 2″ foam seat cushion and padded backrest provide exceptional comfort. The armrests are also padded, and they are adjustable in terms of width and height, allowing the occupant to adjust them to suit their particular needs. To assist with transfers on and off the chair, the armrests flip-up and the footrests also swing away. If you prefer elevating leg rests instead of swing-away footrests, these can be upgraded for an additional charge.
To help keep the user safe, the chair is fitted with several safety features, including, a seat belt, calf-straps, and anti-tip wheels. Convienetely it can also be operated as a manual wheelchair. Place the chair into neutral, and it can then be propelled by a caregiver, perfect when you want to conserve its charge, or when you want to take it out for just a short trip.
The chair is available in 3 different sizes, making it is suitable for a range of users. There is a choice of an 18″ or 20″ wide seat with a 300 lbs weight capacity, or for larger individuals, there is a heavy-duty version with a 22″ wide seat and a 400 lbs weight capacity.
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs, 400 lbs
- Dimensions (W x L): 24″ – 28″ x 42.5″
- Max speed: 5 mph
- Driving range: 15 miles
- Turning radius: 30″ – 33″
- Ground clearance: 4″
- Max incline angle: 6°
- Product weight: 146 lbs
>> See full Cirrus Plus folding power wheelchair review
2. WHILL Model Ci Powerchair
With its futuristic and sleek design, the WHILL Model Ci powerchair certainly looks a lot different from other powerchairs that are currently on the market.
One of the stand-out features of this powered wheelchair is how portable it is. It disassembles into three smaller lightweight pieces in less than 10 seconds. The heaviest piece weighs just 45 lbs, so it can easily be carried into and out of your vehicle. Due to its compact size, it should be able to fit in the trunk of most sized vehicles. When not in use, it can also be stowed conveniently away in a closet.
This chair features a palm guided ergonomically designed joystick, which is easy to operate and is particularly suited for users with poor finger dexterity. An easy to read digital display shows the remaining charge. You can choose between four-speed settings by pressing the corresponding up and down arrow buttons.
The WHILL Model Ci has a narrower frame and shorter wheelbase than a regular powerchair. This means the wheelchair can easily be maneuvered through compact spaces.
The powerchair provides excellent handling outdoors as well. Fitted with independent suspension, it can comfortably travel over uneven terrain, providing a smooth ride. It can also tackle inclines of up to 10 degrees, and it can climb over obstacles of up to 2″ in height. The lithium-ion battery provides a range of up to 10 miles, and it has a top speed of 5 miles.
A useful feature is it can be controlled via your smartphone. Using either the Android or iPhone app, you can remotely drive the powerchair, even when you are not seated on it. You can also perform a range of other useful tasks simply by using your phone.
Many powerchairs lack storage space. This one, however, features an under-seat storage bin that allows you to conveniently store your personal belongings or groceries. There is also a built-in USB port that allows you to charge your phone when you are out and about.
The chair comes with a range of safety features fitted as standard. The anti-sway feature enhances its stability, allowing the chair to safely travel up and down inclines, helping to reduce the risk of it tipping over. The electromagnetic brakes allow the occupant to stop the chair smoothly in an instant, even on inclines. The horn can be used to warn others of your presence, and the rear LED lighting ensures you’re visible to others, even when it’s dark. The wheelchair also has an anti-theft device that allows you to lock it while it’s unattended, so that it cannot be stolen.
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs
- Dimensions (W x L): 21.5″, 23.5″ x 38.8″
- Max speed: 5 mph
- Driving range: 10 miles
- Turning radius: 29.9″
- Ground clearance: 2.25″
- Max incline angle: 10°
- Product weight: 115 lbs
3. Pride Jazzy 600 ES Powerchair
If you’re looking for a quality built powerchair that can comfortably handle outdoor terrain, you may want to check out the Jazzy 600 ES powerchair from Pride Mobility.
This mid-wheel drive powerchair features large 14″ solid drive wheels that provide excellent traction. The front suspension offers good shock absorption so you won’t feel all those bumps and vibrations when traveling over uneven surfaces.
As the Pride Jazzy 600 ES is fitted with six wheels (2 drive wheels and 4 casters), this helps to provide the chair with better stability. So, whether you’re trying to transition curbs or you’re maneuvering over grass or off-road surfaces, you can be confident that you will be in full control of the chair in every situation. The suspension on the powerchair is adjustable, allowing you to alter the firmness of the ride to your exact needs and comfort requirements.
The powerchair can travel up to 17 miles on a single charge and it has a top speed of 4 mph. Due to the fact it is a mid-wheel drive, it has a tight turning radius (20.5″) so maneuvering it in confined spaces is hassle-free.
Weighing 240 lbs, the Jazzy 600 ES is slightly heavier than the other all-terrain powerchairs that we have reviewed. While the wheelchair does disassemble, with the lightest piece weighing 124 lbs, you may want to consider investing in a wheelchair car lift if you regularly need to transport it with you to save the time and the effort with loading and unloading it from your vehicle.
The electric wheelchair is fully customizable. You can choose between an 18″ or a 20″ wide padded seat. There’s the option to choose between a standard foot platform, swing-away leg rests, or elevating leg rests. The joystick can either be mounted on the left or right to suit the user’s particular needs. If you prefer, you can also opt for a swing-away joystick instead.
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs
- Dimensions (W x L): 24.5″ x 35.5″
- Max speed: 4 mph
- Driving range: 17 miles
- Turning radius: 20.5″
- Ground clearance: 2.7″
- Max incline angle: 7.5°
- Product weight: 240 lbs
4. Golden Compass Sport Powerchair
For those leading busy lives who are looking for a powerchair that they can use throughout the day without having to regularly check the battery gauge, they may want to consider the Golden Compass Sport electric wheelchair.
With its impressive 19.5-mile travel range, having to cut a trip short to return back home to recharge your powerchair is a thing of the past with this chair. No matter how short or long your journey is, you can be confident that this electric wheelchair will get you there and back safely without needing to worry about it running out of juice.
Being a mid-wheel drive, the powerchair provides excellent maneuverability. It has a tight 19.5″ turning radius, which makes it suitable for indoor and confined spaces. The chair features dynamic load technology, which simply put means the onboard electronics automatically make minor speed adjustments, depending on the environment and the type of terrain that the wheelchair is operating on. This clever technology makes handling the wheelchair easier, and it also provides a better ride experience.
The powerchair is fitted with a comfortable captain’s seat that comes in several different sizes, ranging from 16″ up to 24″ wide. The armrests are fully adjustable, and the seat depth and the height of the headrest can be adjusted too to maximize comfort. To accommodate users of differing heights, the footrests can also be adjusted from 3″ to 7″ off the ground, and their angle can be altered from 0 to 35 degrees.
For users who are particularly unsteady on their feet, trying to transfer on and off a powerchair can often prove problematic. This electric wheelchair, however, features a swivel seat as well as flip-armrests that can make transfers much easier and safer.
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs
- Dimensions (W x L): 25.4″ x 39″
- Max speed: 4.5 mph
- Driving range: 19.5 miles
- Turning radius: 19.5″
- Ground clearance: 3.2″
- Max incline angle: 6°
- Product weight: 185 lbs
>> See full Golden Compass Sport powerchair review
5. Merits Vision Sport Powerchair
The Vision Sport powerchair from Merirs is a great all-rounder suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
With this powerchair, you won’t need to worry about turning around in confined places, as the smaller chassis (24″ x 34″) and tight 20″ turning radius means navigating it indoors will be a breeze. If you’re looking for a powerchair that you can easily take into shops, or one that you can comfortably maneuver around your smaller bathroom at home, the Merirs Vision Sport powerchair will be able to safely handle all these situations.
Not only does this powerchair provide good maneuverability, it also provides a smooth and stable ride. The chair is fitted with front and rear suspension. This helps to cushion any jolts or bumps when going over uneven terrain.
The powerful dual in-line motors provide a maximum speed of 5 mph, and it can travel up to 18 miles allowing you to travel further on just a single charge.
Available in a choice of three different sizes, including an 18″, 20″, or 22″ wide seat that can accommodate users up to 300 lbs. The seat features a semi-reclining back that can recline to 135 degrees. This allows the user to adjust the chair’s positioning, which can help to relieve pressure, which is particularly important if you are going to be using the wheelchair for prolonged periods throughout the day. The armrests on the chair are width and height adjustable. They also flip up, which can assist with transfers. It also allows the powerchair to be positioned closer to a table during meal times.
The powerchair is also available with an optional elevating seat, allowing the seat to be raised 7.5″ in total using the battery-powered control.
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs
- Dimensions (W x L): 24″ x 34″
- Max speed: 5 mph
- Driving range: 18 miles
- Turning radius: 20″
- Ground clearance: 2″
- Max incline angle: 6°
- Product weight: 184 lbs
>> See full Merits Vision Sport powerchair review