Large, tall wheelchair with rear-wheel drive and good suspension.
Battery Life: Not even enough for a long walk!
Source of Wheelchair: NHS Wheelchair Services
Diagnosis: Spinal Cord Injury
I got this chair as a replacement for my 11-year-old Storm 3 and it is significantly more stable that the older model. Like the Storm 3, the storm 4 is bulky and very heavy. The chair is too long and too tall to fit in a taxi, which limits my options when wanting to use public transport. Only the largest WAVs [currently using a lowered-floor] like the Peugeot independence, have successfully got my wheelchair onboard. However, this is only in a VW maxi caddy with the rear seats folded flat, otherwise, you don’t have any legroom! Sadly the only drive-from-wheelchair vehicle at the moment is the Mercedes Sprinter, so I find this wheelchair is really limiting. There have also been some issues with the Storm and Q-Straint Docking System; so if you consider driving from the chair, I would advise checking the compatibility before you order your chair and/or vehicle. However the Storm is compatible with the alternative Dahl Docking System, but it requires a special plate fitted underneath that cannot be retrofitted, it has to be modified at the point of manufacture.
From the very beginning, I have had problems with the Storm 4. The Storm 4 also provides 25 degrees of manual or powered seat tilt, which allows for excellent pressure redistribution. However, the chair is equipped with a safety feature that prevents it from being driven at decent speed when reclined. This is really not helpful when I need the seat in a tilted position to maintain balance. Because of this, I have had the actuator disabled, but now the tilt mechanism only works intermittently! The batteries are ok for light to moderate use; if I want to venture further afield, I have to use some form of transport for at least one part of the journey, otherwise, I risk my chair dying during my journey home. Annoyingly if this happens, the chair is impossible to push. The literature states it weighs 170kg, but I believe it’s more like 180kg+!
I have been using Storm wheelchairs for the best part of 20 years [this one being my 4th one] and have always found them to be good, sturdy workhorses. However, the Storm 4 is a complete opposite in terms of upholding the same standard. I’m not sure if it’s the manufacturers fault, or if I have simply been unfortunate with this particular unit. But either way it is very disappointing!