eFOLDi Mk1.5 – Mobility Scooter

USERS RATING:
(Based on the users needs, lifestyle and preferences.)

Wheelchair Description:
The MK1.5 is a multi-award-winning road-legal mobility scooter, weighing only 17kg (without the battery). It is lightweight, safe, and able to fold/unfold in seconds.

Battery Life:
Travels Up To 8mph With A Range Of 14 Miles

Source of Wheelchair:
Loaned From eFOLDi

* The opportunity to trial this product was kindly gifted by eFOLDi in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own. *

Diagnosis:
Not Disclosed

Personal Opinion:
After lots of online research, I was drawn to the company because their products were so easy to transport, yet I remained unsure about which one was right for my circumstances.

Specification:
The eFOLDi MK1.5 has a low centre of gravity, pneumatic tyres, and an immensely strong rigid aluminium alloy frame that promotes strength and stability. A four-point floating seat to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride. Along with a near silent integrated motor that can climb 1:6 gradients with ease!

Assessment:
Along with another member of the AYL team, I visited the eFOLDi centre in Surrey to try out their full range of products in the hope of figuring out which of the three would best suit my needs. It can be very hard to truly evaluate if a product is right for you when shopping online, which is why eFOLDi also offers free home demonstrations nationwide with zero obligation! Since I don’t drive, I knew I needed something that could tackle cobbles and hills, whilst also keeping me comfortable. Otherwise, I had no preferences, so really appreciated the opportunity to thoroughly test each product before finalising my decision.

Using The Product:
Whilst this product is suitable for most day-to-day activities, it is also safe for road travel despite being very compact and lightweight. Making it very versatile when compared to other road-legal mobility scooters.

You have to step over the scooter to use it, as the individual footrests are situated on either side of the frame. I didn’t have any issues doing this, but everyone’s body is different, so it’s worth assessing if you feel able to do this (another reason as to why it’s sensible to book a demo). I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable my feet felt on the footpegs, as I was initially concerned about feeling unstable, or that I may have difficulties with my knees since they often stiffen up, but this wasn’t a problem. However, if you found this movement to be difficult or uncomfortable, you may get on better with the eFOLDi Lite which has a centralised footplate for you to place both of your feet on.

The handlebars have both a twist throttle like the type you’d find on a motorbike, and a manual brake like on a bicycle. The steering was really intuitive, and I really liked how easy it is to control my speed, increasing and decreasing as needed by using the accelerator and brake in combination. It meant I could take advantage of the 8mph max speed, but also slow right down when navigating much busier areas. I had some difficulties with particularly steep hills but seeing as Brighton is known for being ridiculously hilly, I was very impressed! Alternatively, the Lite model has a throttle that you push with your thumb and automatic electromagnetic braking that stops the scooter once you let go.

The seat is comfortable, even after sitting on it for 2 hours. The backrest was okay on its own for shorter journeys, but for longer outings, I prefer using the additional L-shaped memory foam cushion. Sometimes comfort is sacrificed when using lightweight aids, so this cushion is perfect for anyone who may need a little extra comfort. 

The scooter’s three-wheel design is integral to its clever folding mechanism and keeping its weight down, although it does mean your body plays a part in maintaining your centre of gravity whilst riding. For me and the way I experience fatigue and pain, it meant I felt the effects in my mid-region such as around my ribs. But despite this, it is great for going around shops and being able to take my time whilst browsing, rather than feeling like I only had limited time due to pain or fatigue. The fact that it’s so compact meant I could also navigate tight spaces better would have been able to in a bulkier scooter, especially in shops with quite narrow and therefore inaccessible aisles.

Folding and unfolding the scooter took me a few tries to get the hang of it but once I did, I felt comfortable setting it up and down in less than 10 seconds. Although it’s quite tiring, which is something to bear in mind if you have limited energy. Also, if like me your disability causes weakness in your upper body, I recommend having somebody to help you lift the scooter not only for safety but to avoid increased pain. Those who have helped me, such as my dad or a taxi driver, have been able to lift it in and out of a car boot with ease. That being said, in a pinch I can independently lift it which is reassuring in emergencies.

Conclusion & Recommendation:
This is a great product for anyone needing a bit of independence, to take off the strain from walking around, perhaps due to pain or weakness, particularly in your lower body, then this could be a great solution for you. Also if you are limited on storage space, are a frequent traveller, or require a road-legal mobility aid.

As mentioned above, if this product doesn’t quite meet your needs/preferences then I highly recommend checking out the eFOLDi Lite Scooter or eFOLDi Power Chair, which are also reasonably priced when compared to similar products within the folding mobility equipment market.

Features

HOW COMFORTABLE IS THIS WHEELCHAIR TO USE?
HOW EASY IS THIS WHEELCHAIR TO TAKE APART?
HOW EASY IS THIS WHEELCHAIR TO TRANSPORT?
HOW DOES THIS WHEELCHAIR COPE OFF-ROAD?

TOTAL RATING

(Based on an automatic calculation of the individual results above.)

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