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Rehasense PAWS – Powered Attachment

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

Item Description:
The PAWS is a bike style front power add-on for a manual wheelchair by Rehasense that allows you to go off-road with your wheelchair. I personally tried out the City model with a 14-inch wheel, but there are larger Cruiser and Tourer models available for those who want to go over rougher terrain.

Battery Life:
25 Miles

Source of Item:
Loaned From Rehasense UK

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

Not Disclosed

Personal Opinion:
Using the PAWS for the last month has been awesome. It has allowed me to go places and do things that I haven’t been able to since I became disabled. I may have tried the City model, but it held its own in the countryside much better than the name might suggest.

Using the PAWS brought a smile to my face every time – it makes movement easy and allows you to effortlessly feel the wind in your hair. It has been great for my mental health to be able to get out and about without being reliant on others, even on bad days, I simply dock and go! I wasn’t expecting it to be so amazing, but the joy and freedom of movement it gave me was unlike anything else I have tried.

The PAWS has allowed me to go on many walks around my local neighbourhood, being small enough to fit easily around tight corners and narrow pavements, whilst also allowing me to go across grass and footpaths that were previously completely inaccessible to me, even with a trackwheel. It can handle reasonably uneven terrain and took me over along a footpath with lots of tree roots perfectly happily. While the ride is smooth at low speeds, I would highly recommend pairing it with a set of off-road wheels if you intend to go at more than about 4mph or over rougher terrain – take it from me the ride can get pretty bouncy!

It can cope with a reasonable gradient as long as the ground is solid – I never found a pavement that it couldn’t cope with. However, it struggles when the ground becomes loose such as shingle, and if you stop on an incline you may not get going again despite it having traction control. I found myself having gone down a hill that I couldn’t get back up and needed the help of a passing stranger to push me a little way until the surface got more solid again – less than ideal. The 16-inch model copes a little better here and the 20-inch might cope perfectly, but I haven’t tried it.

It has several speed modes, no.1 has a max of 2mph, no.2 has a max of 4mph, and no.3 has a max of 8mph out of the box. No.4 and no.5 do exist and can take you up to 12mph/18mph, but you have to be given special access to them. I tried both of these modes for a few hours and while they were great fun, they aren’t that practical day to day. These different modes make it easy to limit your speed while on the pavement and help prevent the wheel from spinning when you set off. You also have reverse which is surprisingly not a feature found on all bike attachments but one I wouldn’t want to be without, how you get out of the small space in which you’ve “parked” your wheelchair without it I don’t know! All the speeds are customisable to your preferences, and this is something the rep will discuss with you when they come to set it up.

It has an easy to read LCD screen that tells you your speed, the mode you are in, how far you’ve been etc as well as any other piece of information you could possibly want!

Cruise control is easily engaged at the touch of a button and was a feature I found myself using frequently. It meant I could give my hand a break on open trails and could focus on the view rather than my speed. It also has a “walk” feature that keeps the PAWS at 3 mph – my family found this a comfortable walking pace and it was nice not to have to think about my speed too much.

It has a mechanical lever brake on each handlebar, as well as an electronic brake that is much sharper. I found they stopped me fast enough, but I found myself skidding back down a hill at one point, even though I had both brakes on which was a worrying moment.

The PAWS is easy to attach to a wheelchair. You line yourself up with the brackets, pull the handles up, then push a lever on the handlebar and push away from yourself to lift up the casters and engage the PAWS. The handles you need to pull up to secure the clamps can be tricky, but the tension on them can be adjusted to make it easier. There is also the option for auto clamp and lifting if you cannot manage to attach the PAWS manually. I tried this multiple times as I was worried you would have to be very accurate with how you placed your wheelchair relative to the PAWS, but I never had it not work. Additionally, this option does not add too much weight to the product – it’s a great option if you need it and opens up the world of front attachments to those who might otherwise not be able to manage them.

The brackets that attach the PAWS to the wheelchair have lots of adjustability built into them, meaning that if you change wheelchairs you will unlikely need to buy new ones, which is particularly useful for growing teens! You can also get it with brackets that fit wheelchairs with non-standard shape tubing, which often can’t be used with other bike style add-ons (e.g. the Kuschall K-series has angular tubing and the Panthera has very thin tubes). Another great thing is that once the PAWS is undocked, there are no brackets left on your chair – this is a feature I really like as I don’t like brackets cluttering my frame and getting caught on my clothes.

One of the best parts of the PAWS is its large battery life. It has a range of around 25 miles (less if you are doing a lot of hills) so you don’t have to worry about only using it sparingly or making sure you have a full charge before you leave the house. You can change your plans halfway through the day and not have to worry about it. The battery easily slots in and out of the main unit meaning you don’t have to take the whole unit inside to charge it, alongside helping to reduce the overall weight of the unit if it needs lifting. However, the charger can be difficult to plug in – it has to be in the correct orientation, is stiff to get in and a collar has to be tightened over the join. If you have limited hand dexterity this will be a challenge.

The PAWS is quite heavy as this style of attachment all are. The battery and the brackets can be easily detached from the main unit to reduce its weight, but I still found lifting it into the car a big challenge. This was made worse by the fact that there is nowhere to easily lift it from, so you end up lifting it from the light which is not designed for that. If it had 2 small handles that were designed to help you lift it, getting it into the car would be much easier.

Overall, the PAWS is an awesome product that has given me freedom unlike anything else. I’ve had a lot of fun trying it out and briefly considered refusing to give it back! Like any bike style add-on, it is heavy and bulky, so not ideal for pottering around the shops but outside it comes into its own, whether you are doing the school run or going on a countryside ramble. The City model balances size and ability well, though those who are capable of lifting and storing a larger model may want to consider the Cruiser or Tourer instead. As with other Rehasense products, the PAWS comes with a lot of standard features that are premium features in other brands. This includes cruise control, electronic braking, and a stand, but it would benefit from a dedicated handle to lift the item and the charger connection being redesigned. If you are interested in a front power assisted wheelchair system that enables you to access more terrain, I would wholeheartedly recommend the Rehasense PAWS.

For more information about this attachment along with other Rehasense reviews, simply click the links below!

Rehasense PAWS Video Guide

Rehasense ICON 60 Review

Rehasense Trackwheel Review

Rehasense Introductory Blog




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

How useful was this review? 3.53 ( 1 votes)