All-terrain wheelchair with three-wheel drive. A multi-speed joystick, adjustable footplate, folding push handles flip-up armrests and a bucket style seat which has the ability to recline.
3-5 Hours Depending On Terrain
Source of Wheelchair:
Loaned From Beyond The Boundary Wheelchairs
* This experience was kindly gifted by Beyond The Boundary in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own. *
Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
I was fortunate enough to be asked by Beyond The Boundary (a trusted Trekinetic supplier) to trial the Trekinetic GTE in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own!
Unlike other wheelchair manufacturers, Trekinetic recognise the challenges associated with needing and having multiple wheelchairs that have different functions, something that is not physically/financially feasible for most people! Because of this, they worked with former Formula 1 engineer Mike Spindle to create a unique three-wheel drive system and carbon fibre chassis that can tackle all terrains, as opposed to only being useable off-road.
It is comfortable enough to use all day and capable of handling pretty much any terrain on the planet, including mud, sand, snow and gravel. It‘s versatile enough tackle gravel, split pavements and curbs; whilst the Nickel Metal Hydride battery makes it suitable for air travel. (You can also opt for a manual version, which is called the Trekinetic K2.) It is surprisingly light in weight for a powered wheelchair (34kg) with varying wheel camber, rear shock absorber and retractable armrests; making it easy to transport!
When it comes to using the Trekinetic GTE, it is worth noting that the centre of gravity is slightly different, but it is certainly not something you won’t quickly get used to. This feature then provides the wheelchair with optimal stability when going over uneven terrain. The carbon fibre seating is surprisingly very comfy and really supportive, which is a major selling point for me due to the instability in my spine. However, the seat can be customised further with various forms of cushioning, lining and other support options such as a headrest. (Please see the blog post listed below for more information on the various customisation options!) The seat is typically slightly reclined, but it has the ability to recline further depending on the terrain/user preferences etc; which can be activated by flicking a switch on the back of the seat. (Trekinetic can modify this for users that are unable to operate this feature independently!) Together with the tilt in space mechanism and raising footplate, you can comfortably drive over the endless bumps that come with uneven terrain!
The controller has five-speed options, a USB charging point and an easy to use a joystick that doesn’t require much force to operate. The battery can be charged with or without being removed from the chair and can last between 3 and 5 hours depending on the terrain. Finally, there is a special system underneath the seat that changes the wheel camber! Due to the location of this feature, I needed some assistance, but found once I’d found my optimal position there was no need to continue altering the camber!
Using The Trekinetic:
Before creating this review, I wanted to test out the Trekinetic’s every day and off-road capabilities, so decided to take the wheelchair to London for a busy weekend of socialising, hospital appointments and dog walks! I began by visiting a restaurant that normally has difficulty accommodating large powered equipment due to the limited turning space. However, I had no issues taking the Trekinetic as you can practically turn on the spot! I was also able to sit at the table alongside my partner, as opposed to being plonked on the end of the table and/or being unable to get my knees underneath. I then visited Hyde Parks Winter Wonderland, where I tackled flat, muddy, slippery walkways, steep inclines, busy crowds etc; all of which resulted in our previous visits being cut short, due to the fact my manual wheelchair couldn’t cope with the terrain. But this time I was safe and secure in a chair that could roll over everything! I was able to hang shopping bags from the handlebars, along with my BundleBean Wheelchair Organiser designed specifically to hold essential items, such as my water bottle, dog treats and emergency medication; all of which stayed perfectly in place whilst moving due to the excellent suspension system.
The following day I took a stroll/roll through the rest of Hyde Park, which has poorly maintained pavements, large grassy areas and gravel. While at times it felt a little bumpy, the Trekinetic handled everything with ease, particularly when transitioning between surfaces! Sadly due to the cold weather, my Dystonia kicked in and prevented me from being able to control the joystick during our walk back to the hotel, but thankfully my partner was able to flick the chair into manual mode and push me back! Making this is a perfect chair for people with unpredictable needs, whilst also providing you with peace of mind should the battery run out!
Our final destination was the beach! A place I used to visit on a regular basis prior to my health declining, as I live near the northeast coastline. But has since become impossible to access, forcing me to watch from afar as my family walk my assistance dog around her favourite place. Therefore, this experience was extremely overwhelming, liberating and exciting, as I independently navigated the beach for the first time with my assistance dog. The chair had no problems tackling the hard sand, wet puddle areas, and only slowed down slightly in the thicker areas!
I cannot praise this chair enough! Everything from the design, functionality and endless customisation options are fantastic! It is a huge investment, but I personally think that it’s worth paying extra to ensure you have a chair that perfectly meets for your needs, wants and lifestyle!
When using the Trekinetic GTE, there are no limitations with regards to where you can take it. It is also EXTREMELY easy to transport in comparison to most powered wheelchairs, as it can be folded down with the wheels removed. Allowing my partner to lift the chair in the boot of my car, which is pretty standard in size as opposed to being confined to a wheelchair accessible vehicle. However, you would probably need to install a hoist if you wanted to transport the chair by yourself!
For more information about my experience with the Trekinetic GTE, simply click the links below!