I have finally been out and about in my new Freedom Chair. It is just such a brilliant power chair. We have finally mastered splitting and joining the chair and have no problems fitting it into the boot of our little Yaris – with room to spare – that’s how compact it is when split. I love that it is so simple and quick to set up and be off and about.
I took it to a local botanical gardens to put it through its paces and gain confidence in using it. These gardens have a range of different surfaces and grades and so was perfect for me to gain confidence and skill in navigating it. The chair feels so stable and secure when traversing all different kinds of surfaces from cobbles, to paving, asphalt, cement, wooden bridges, gravel, dirt and rough grassy areas. It effortlessly surmounted road speed bumps and I found that I simply needed to just trust the chair. The chair has the capacity to move at speeds up to 7km/hr – I only had it up to 3km/hr and felt like I was flying – so amazing capacity in a chair that feels so secure.
I stopped on a downhill slope and the brakes are amazing. The chair comes to an instant stop the second my hand is removed from the joystick control and you can actually feel the electromagnetic braking system hold the chair in place – it feels very much like engaging the hand brake when driving, but with the Freedom Chair, it just does it automatically.
Climbing back up a lengthy slope of around 8 to 11 degrees and 100plus metres, was just so effortless for this chair. It has an incredible amount of grunt and there was not an instant of strain or difficulty for this chair to literally zoom effortlessly up this slope. It is recommended that the maximum grade for use with the chair is 12 degrees even though it has been tested and found safe at 15 degrees. I surmounted a very short but steep slope up onto a bridge that measured 14 degrees and the chair didn’t falter or have any difficulties at all. The anti-tip wheels are so easy and fast to slide on for added safety, but not once on any surface or any slope did I feel that the chair might tip – I really felt safe in this chair and quickly learned to trust its many and amazing capabilities.
The joystick control is amazingly intuitive and instantly responsive to minimal pressure. This is ideal for anyone with limited finger and hand mobility or difficulties with fine motor control as you can literally navigate the chair with just a fingertip.
However, I would recommend practising using the joystick before attempting to go through tight spaces just to get used to the minimal amount of pressure needed for the chair to respond, as it is easy to over exert the pressure until you get used to using it. It is fabulous that there is the choice of mounting on either left or right with the turn of a screw. The displays on the joystick like speed and battery charge remaining are bright and super easy to read.
The large footplate is brilliant. It is so much better and more comfortable than the twin pedal style footrests found on traditional wheelchairs. I found that the large footplate enables you to assume better posture for a more comfortable journey than the traditional twin rests. The double jointed design is also incredibly functional for moving out of the way and folding more compactly.
I love that the armrests can so easily be unlocked with the turn of a handle and lifted out of the way for ease of getting on and off and also to fit right up to tables. The usb hub in the armrest is an added safety feature to ensure your phone can stay charged when out and about and I think this is a great feature.
Both the pouch at the back of the chair and the zipped carry bag under the seat are really large and useful. I also found that I could clip a drink bottle to the push bar at the back which was very handy.
It is really easy to flick the red levers to change the chair from power driven to push along. This is great for me so that I can walk as much as I am able, then flick the levers and be back in control seated in the freedom chair.
The batteries are super easy to remove and replace back into the chair. Charging the chair is also incredibly simple and the batteries have a really huge capacity of up to 15km with the ability to just add 1 or 2 more batteries. This is a feature many other power chairs do not have. It makes me feel a whole lot safer too have a back up battery on board. I used the chair for around 2 hours and the battery charge indicator was still reading fully charged – amazing capacity.
Already – on my first day out in it – I have been able to access areas of the community that have been inaccessible to me for over 15 years. I am just so utterly thrilled that this chair is giving me the freedom to get out and about and enjoy participating in areas of the community that I have been unable to enjoy for such a long time.
The overall design of the chair is very contemporary and sleek – not at all like traditional wheelchairs – the silver and black colouring give it a really modern, sporty appearance that invite you to get out and about in it. The mud guards on the back wheels are great and very functional.
This is a really brilliant, value for money power chair that more than lives up to its name – Freedom Chair!
Thank you so much for all your help and support.
Dr Michelle Morgan, PhD
Associate Editor of The International Journal of Disability, Development and Education School of Education | The University of Queensland St Lucia Q 4072 Orcid ID: 0000-0002-0443-7635
Below is a testimonial including beautiful pictures from Kevin and his wife who did a world cruise with a Freedom Chair DE08 Premium Lite:
“Great chair to travel the world, especially the ability to split in two to carry into our standard balcony cabin on the 107 day 2019 World Cruise with Princess, Sydney to Sydney. The chair coped with everything we put it through, steep gangplanks, cobblestone streets, hills, grass, trains, buses, taxis and we never got anywhere near running out of battery power. My wife finds it very comfortable to sit in and easy to control.
I have a condition that over time has, and I gather, will continue to weaken my leg muscles. I have used sticks, crutches and a wheelie, but that doesn’t help with long distances. I am then dependent on friends and family to push me in a wheelchair, which is not always practical, so I often miss out on the outing or walk.
Enough of this…I am only 59 and with an overseas trip to Greece looming, my husband and I went looking for a foldable mobility scooter.
After looking, and trying many that were too heavy or had to be pulled apart, I found my Luggie Elite.
It is red which is most important.. but it is also light enough for me to fit into the boot of my car, light enough for my husband to carry up stairs if need be, easy and quick to fold. It is as easy to pull on the support wheels as pulling a suitcase and the various coach drivers and taxi drivers we encountered, were very impressed, asking lots of questions.
Off we went to Greece, which is known for mountains and lots of steps. A good place to test out Luggie.
It was easy and quick to load into bus holds, plane holds, on and off cruise ships, onto and off ship tenders.
It was narrow enough to fit into small lifts, into any size hotel room or through the narrow cruise ship cabin doorway, the narrow paths of Mykonos, the narrow corridors of the cruise ship, narrow aisles in shops in Rhodes, Crete and the many walkways of Santorini. Luggie got me to top of the Acropolis, around the huge National Archaeological Museum and the Plaka district in Athens, around most of the ancient ruins of Olympia, Knossos on Crete, and down to John’s Grotto on Patmos. It exceeded our expectations and I did more than I thought I would have been able to. Obviously it can’t do steps, so I still need my husband with me when travelling especially so it develops teamwork.
I have a freedom and independence, I thought I would never feel again.
Luggie and I are going to have lots of adventures together.
Pennant Hills, NSW
The Luggie Elite (22.9.14) has flown and sailed all over the world with us without any problems. I have had absolutely no problem booking it onto aircraft except when they want to translate the stated 10.5 ah to Wattage hours (Wh) to check against their limits. We discovered that this is becoming more critical because of regulations concerning carriage of Lithium batteries and airlines require that those batteries for mobility scooters must not exceed 300 Wh for one battery vehicles. ( The actual Wattage of the battery may be calculated by multiplying the Voltage 24V by the wattage, 10.5 Ah in my case). Anyway, the Watt hours of the Luggie battery is specified under the battery and also on the side of the luggie battery box, which is good as the airlines may need to be convinced when you check in. Passengers must carry the battery as carry-on luggage. We found that some airline office staff may not read the Special Assistance ” Mobility Scooter” limit and instead get stuck on the lower maximum limit of 160 Wh allowed for other electrical equipment. We found the Luggie was just great onboard cruise ships, on tour buses (get prior agreement that the 25 Kg is OK – like a heavy suitcase- to be loaded by the driver into the cargo hold due to possible Workplace Health and Safety doubts) and to take on aircraft, provided you get prior clearance – best in an email as proof. We get lots of favourable comments especially on ships and also when the the ease of collapsing and stowing the Luggie scooter is seen. Theo, QLD.
We would like to thank Portable Mobility, for all their help and kindness, helping us select the right chair for Robert. It has made such a great difference to his lifestyle, having something to get him out and about again. Robert has no difficulty in getting the chair in and out of our car and assembling it.
We have been shopping and were amazed that the chair could go up the moving walkway with Robert in it.
Once again thank you for all your assistance.
As a Post Polio Syndrome sufferer my legs have been getting weaker every year and completely failed me on several occasions. If I have to walk for any distance my legs become very weak, especially if I am tired. I also have a problem with balance.
I am not one to let anything beat me and for the past few years, knowing my legs would only get worse, I have been looking for a suitable mobility scooter. I needed something that was easily transportable and would go anywhere. I also needed to be able to handle it myself.
I had tried two scooters that I thought might work. The first needed ramps to get it in the car and the other was a mobile chair which had to be taken apart into four pieces to transport. Neither of these worked for me.
I looked everywhere to find what I wanted without success until I found an article about the “Luggie” I was excited! My search was over.
The “Luggie” is a lightweight mobility scooter which can be easily folded but best of all I can get in and out of the car easily without assistance. This means I can take my “Luggie” and go anywhere on my own without assistance from anyone. My “Luggie” has given me back my freedom and I love it.
The Luggie is the best scooter that we have bought, my wife finds it so maneuverable especially when shopping in super markets. It folds up so easy to transport, we have taken it on cruises and a five week trip to the UK. My wife finds it comfortable enough to sit on when we go to concerts we would recommend it to anyone.
Sally & Bryan
I purposely looked for a small, compact, foldable scooter, which was also lightweight. The Luggie fits the bill. It can be folded up without removing parts so it all stays together when being transported. Very simple to use, and will fit into very small aisles in shops, turns easily, just about on itself. It has been an excellent purchase, and I would seriously recommend the Luggie to anyone needing a lightweight, compact mobility scooter.
Barbara Gregory, Brisbane
I’ve had my Luggie mobility scooter for about 15 months now and I absolutely love it. I’ve named it Zippy, it’s a red one and everyone knows that red ones go faster! The battery lasts really well and on particularly long days I take the charger and someone will always let me plug it in while I have a meal or a coffee.
Before I got Zippy my life was becoming more and more restricted, I felt like my horizons were shrinking, but Zippy has given me the most marvellous freedom. I feel like I’ve got my life back.
I can easily manage getting it in and out of the car by myself, it not very heavy, but it’s wonderful how often someone will come to help me, I’ve had some lovely encounters that way. I go on trains and ferries into the city to meet friends, I no longer dread going somewhere new or to big places like shopping centres or hospitals because I know I can get around. Last year I went on a cruise to New Zealand and shore excursions were such fun because I was only restricted by steps. The staff on every kind of transport I’ve been on have been so helpful and a lot of other people are friendly and kind instead of just being self absorbed and in a rush.
I did a lot of looking around before I chose the Luggie. The way it folds up, the size, weight and manoeuvrability were major factors in my choice. I then priced them everywhere I could and Steve at Ezy Commuter was the best. As well as that he was so helpful and everything went so smoothly that I am happy to recommend this company.
Tonia Scott, Epping, NSW.
My wife suffers from Motor Neurone Disease (MND). She has a manual wheelchair but finds it difficult at times to get out of the house into the garden, and to go shopping at the Mall or wherever. So she had lost her independence to some extent.
We then discovered through a fellow MND sufferer the Ezy2GO electric wheelchair supplied by Steve O’Connell through Portable Mobility. Steve was most helpful in determining which wheelchair would suit my wife’s weight and size. In two days Steve had arranged delivery with no cost for freight.
I would definitely recommend talking to Steve to work out the best options. The Ezy2GO electric wheelchair can fold in no time to fit into a car boot. And to make it even lighter, you can easily release the back wheels and also the battery (ies). It is the best portable electric wheelchair I have seen on the market. 5 out of 5 for quality service and product!
Paul van Belkom
My new chair is great, didn’t knock over one person on my 1st day out – only on No. 4 speed ……… wait till I am on full speed …. eeeek they will all eat my dust ha ha ha.
My name is Lisa, I have had MS for 16 years and the disease has predominantly affected my walking and balance so I have needed to use walkers and wheelchairs for many years. I have had a Luggie for about 2 years and it has been great. I have always wanted to remain as independent as possible and not let the MS slow me down.
The Luggie has given me more freedom and quality of life. Even with my balance difficulties I have come up with ways to get the Luggie in and out of my car by myself. I would highly recommend the Luggie to anyone. It is the most compact and portable scooter that I have seen.
Lisa R, Mitchelton Brisbane
“My husband and I are huge Luggie fans! We purchased our Luggie Elite to facilitate our ability to attend a very special 50 year reunion in the UK. We couldn’t have managed without it and it posed no problems on any flights and made all the difference to our enjoyment of our 6 weeks away in the UK and Queensland.
Our Luggie lives in our car, to be ready to use whenever my husband feels he can’t manage a situation, walking. We charge it in the car, from a power point in our carport. In every way, it really couldn’t be easier and is of huge assistance to our lifestyle!
Angela – Mosman NSW