Innovations: Traveling Mobility Technology

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Mark E. SmithWhen it comes to traveling with complex mobility needs, it can be, well, complex. After all, power chairs and shower chairs can be exceptionally cumbersome when it comes to destination travel. How do we transport such necessities, and how do they fit into the logistics of where we’re traveling?

Fortunately, companies are making sophisticated travel products for those with more complex needs — and at reasonable prices.

Power Chair Performance in a Portable Package
The KD Smart Chair is revolutionizing travel mobility for many, including complex rehab power chair users. No, it doesn’t have power seating or such, but it’s a remarkably highly-adaptable, well-performing power chair specifically made for travel.

KD-smart-chair-wheelchair-folding

At just 50 pounds, the KD Smart Chair offers meaningful positioning and power, making it a game changer for many travelers.

The key to the 50-pound KD Smart Chair is its integration of state-of-the-art technology to create a balance of portability without sacrificing performance. The power chair begins with an ultralight aluminum frame that folds like a lawn chair. From there, an impressively supportive integrated seat — which accepts a rehab cushion — and a supportive footplate provide meaningful positioning for a range of needs. Also, a conventional joystick is used.

Now, here’s where the real technology to the KD Smart Chair comes in. Instead of heavy, conventional batteries, it uses 10 amp-hour lithium ion battery technology, offering compact, ultralight power up to 15 miles. To complement the lithium ion technology, small but powerful brushless motors are used on the drive wheels, allowing impressive torque and a top speed of 5 mph.

KDWhen you add it all up, the KD Smart Chair offers phenomenal travel power mobility. In certain situations where one might be limited to using a manual chair, the KD Smart chair may be used instead, which then becomes an independence-game changer for many power chair users.

FDA-approved, the KD Smart Chair meets the safety, operation, and durability standards of conventional power chairs and is available in two models. The standard 50-pound model features a 16.75-inch by 15.25-inch seat size with a weight capacity of 265 pounds and a price of $1,995. Ordered online and delivered to your door, the KD Smart Chair is well within the budget of most travelers. The HD model features a 17.25-inch by 17.25-inch seat size with a weight capacity of 396 pounds. Weighing just 9 pounds more than the standard model, the sturdier HD comes at a higher price point.

The MULTICHAIR 4000Tilt shower/ commode chair has up to 45 degress of tilt.

The MULTICHAIR 4000Tilt shower/ commode chair has up to 45 degress of tilt.

Taking the Convenience of Home with You
Nuprodx is renowned for its ingenious, super-high-quality portable shower-commode chairs. Via an extremely quick, sturdy assembly process, you can click together a shower-commode chair from a travel bag in minutes.

For those with more complex needs, Nuprodx has introduced its tilt series, including the MULTICHAIR 4000Tilt. Like all others in the series, the 4000Tilt serves as both a portable shower and commode chair, but with the extraordinary feature of up to 45 degrees of tilt. Complete with user-adjustable positioning components — including leg rests, headrest, and seat-to-floor height — the entire chair weighs a scant 38 pounds and has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. Caster wheels allow for easy maneuvering.

With an MSRP of $2,495, the MULTICHAIR 4000Tilt is expensive, but it is so well built that for some it’s a good investment for both home and travel.

Have Ramp, Will Travel
There’s nothing new about folding, portable aluminum ramps. And if you’ve used one, you know that while they’re effective, there’s also nothing new about their drawbacks — they can be heavy, cumbersome and noisy.

The Suitcase Singlefold GF series uses graphite fiber to make very sturdy ramps that are lighter than aluminum.

The Suitcase Singlefold GF series uses graphite fiber to make very sturdy ramps that are lighter than aluminum.

EZ-Access, a leader in aluminum portable ramps, recently introduced its Suitcase Singlefold GF series. The Suitcase Singlefold GF is short for “graphite fiber,” a super-strong, ultralight composite material. The result is a ramp that’s half the weight of most aluminum ramps, along with equal or greater strength. For example, the 34.75-inch long ramp weighs only 9 pounds and has a weight capacity of 660 pounds.

The Suitcase Singlefold GF ramp is ergonomically designed, featuring a non-protruding hinge, sleek carrying handle, and smooth edges. The grip-textured surface provides excellent traction. The Suitcase Singlefold GF ramp is available in five sizes ranging from lengths from 29 inches to 81.75 inches, all with the impressive 660-pound weight capacity.

Where the Suitcase Singlefold GF ramps become especially useful for travelers is in the smaller sizes. The 29-inch version folds to 29 by 14.5 inches by 2 inches and weighs only 7.75 pounds. Both the 29 and 34.75-inch long versions can easily stow on the back of a power chair. Often when traveling, it’s a single step or two that prevents access, so having such a portable, compact ramp is a vital tool.

The Suitcase Singlefold GF ramps aren’t inexpensive, and the price increases with length. However, through reputable online sites, you can get the smaller sizes for around $500.

Ready to Go!
With a portable power chair, a shower-commode chair and a handy ramp, you’re ready to hit the friendly skies — off to your dream destination. However, I do have one last tip: if you’re going somewhere tropical, take me with you!

Resources
• EZ-Access, 800/451-1903; www.ezaccess.com
• KD Healthcare, 877/827-6278; www.kdsmartchair.com
• Nuprodx, 707/934-8266; www.nuprodx.com

By | 2017-01-13T20:41:30+00:00 April 1st, 2016|