CategoriesResearch Articles

Vippamat Hippocampe vs Extreme Motus X3 Off-road Wheelchair

Hippocampe

Extreme Motus X3

The Vipamat Hippocampe (Hippocampe = Seahorse in French) is manufactured in France. It is a versatile off-road wheelchair that can be equipped with dual bike tires, balloon tires, and even a set of skis. 

The chair can be self-propelled by the user by gripping the wheels and pushing forward. Your hands may get dirty depending on the terrain you are exploring but it’s a nice option to have. 

The Extreme Motus Off-road wheelchair is designed for people who need a caretaker to help them go exploring. The powerful disk brakes make hiking back down the mountain safe and easy.

Many of our customers purchase an X3 for their children who have grown too big to be transported in a backpack. These families want to continue exploring and enjoying the outdoors with the entire family and the X3 allows them to do just that.

Specifications

Specifications

Weight: 37.5 pounds

Cost: $3,280 – $3,964

Self propelled: yes

Contact Info:

832-516-8125

contact-usa@vipamat.com

3 Rue Gustave

Eiffel 56270 PLOEMEUR

www.vipamat.us

Weight: 52 pounds

Cost: $3,999

Self propelled: no

Contact Info:

801-683-9191

Ryan@extrememotus.com

1819 N Main St #9

Spanish Fork, UT 84660

www.extrememotus.com

Hippocampe off road wheelchair
Off road wheelchair goblin valley

Pros

Pros

Ski Kit – If you live somewhere cold be sure to check out the available ski kit.

Self propelled  Many people want the option to be able to push themselves in off-road situations, or to at least be able to help the person pushing them. With the Vipamat Hippocampe users can push themselves. 

Float – This chair floats in water. It’s really cool to watch videos of wheelchair users pushing themselves into the water and go for a swim while the chair floats nearby, swim back to the chair and wheel themselves back to dry land.

Brakes – One of the main advantages of the X3 is the brakes. Each wheel is equipped with independent disk brakes. Wheelchair hiking without brakes is dangerous.

Supportive Seat  The X3 uses a racecar seat which gives additional support on the sides. Wheelchair users who can’t push themselves often need this additional support to stay sitting up straight. 

Frame – The anodized aluminum frame of the X3 has been torture tested by Ryan and Sam everywhere from Skate Parks to National Parks. They have taken it off jumps and done everything. This chair is bulletproof.

Hippocampe off road wheelchair
Extreme Motus off road wheelchair

Cons

Cons

Self propelled – Yes this is both a pro and a con. Unlike a standard wheelchair, there isn’t a push ring on the side of the wheel. Your hands will be directly on the tire. This means the mud, sand, snow, etc. you are rolling through is going to be on your hands too.

Order Process – While researching the Hippocampe I found the buying process to be confusing. There are 40 different options a buyer needs to decide on ranging in price from $63 all the way up to $1315, and they often aren’t explained very well.

Brakes – The optional brakes on this wheelchair are a parking brake system. They aren’t meant to help control the chair while descending a hill.

Care Taker Assist – The X3 is not designed to be self-propelled. A caretaker must push the rider in the chair. This may not be the best choice for a wheelchair user with good upper body strength. 

Interchangeable Wheels – Unlike the Hippocampe the X3 only has one option for wheels. The large low-pressure, durable, Wheeleez tires give the rider a comfortable ride.

Supply Chain – The X3 is often on backorder because of supply chain issues. If you’re interested in purchasing an X3 be sure to reach out to see what Extreme Motus has in stock.

Hippocampe off road wheelchair
Extreme Motus off road wheelchair

Conclusion

The X3 from Extreme Motus is the ultimate hiking wheelchair. Its large low-pressure tires, powerful disc brakes, a super durable frame, and optional luggage systems make the X3 the perfect adventure chair. If you are looking for a wheelchair that will allow you and your family to adventure outdoors then the X3 is the right choice for you.

The Hippocampe from Vippamat is a great beach wheelchair. The ability of the user to push themselves in this wheelchair is a big advantage for people with a disability that doesn’t affect their arms. If you have the upper body strength to push yourself the Hippocampe is a great option for you. 

The perfect Wheelchair?

At Extreme Motus we want to help you find your perfect wheelchair. Getting outside is important to our mental and physical health. Wheelchair users tend to spend more time inside than non-wheelchair users because they don’t have the right equipment to get out into nature. 

Choose the right equipment and you’ll have one less excuse to sit inside and miss out on the beauty our planet is waiting to share with you.

CategoriesResearch Articles

RazorBlade All Terrain Wheelchair Review

At A Glance

Weight: 17.5 pounds

Cost: $1680.00

Self propelled: yes

Contact Info:

800-892-8998

2061 Cecilia Circle

Corona, CA 92881

www.colourswheelchair.com

Not Your Grandmas Wheelchair

The RazorBlade all terrain wheelchair has taken the traditional wheelchair design and made it better for offroading by adding mountain bike tires to the rear, larger front wheels to roll over bumps, and suspension for both the front and back wheels. 

People like this wheelchair because of the many great customizable options it offers. The chair comes standard with 0 to 6 degrees of camber and height adjustable and angle adjustable backrest and footrest. And an endless amount of other custom options you must choose during the ordering process.  So many in fact you may need a professional wheelchair fitting expert to help you through the process. Do it right and you will be comfortable and safe in your wheelchair because you will be able to tweak this chair to your liking.

While the RazorBlade all terrain wheelchair does have off-road capabilities I feel this wheelchair would be better suited for the streets of a major urban city where wheelchair users face uneven sidewalks and gaps from subway station platform to train. 

RazorBlade All Terrain Wheelchair

With larger tires and suspension the RazorBlade all terrain wheelchair is certainly capable of handling some bumps on dirt roads. Large rocks, logs, sand or other obstacles will present a problem for this chair. The RazorBlade was designed for light off-road use and for some users that is exactly what they are looking for. 

But if you are looking for serious about off-roading should also consider the GRIT Freedom chair or Mountain Trike off-road wheelchairs. The lever drive of those wheelchairs allow for more force to be sent to the wheels. Meaning you don’t have to be as strong to push them in off-road situations, and you can travel farther before getting worn out. The lever drive also keeps your hands off the tires and out of the mud, sand, water, etc. you are rolling through. Dirty hands is a problem for people people using the Vipamat Hippocampe off-road.

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Pros

Price – Priced at $1680.00 the RazorBlade all terrain wheelchair is one of the most affordable off-road wheelchairs we have reviewed.

Suspension – This wheelchair has suspension on both the front and rear tires. Smoothing out the bumps and making for a more comfortable and in control ride.

Weight – At 17.5 pounds the RazorBlade is the lightest all terrain wheelchair we have reviewed.

Cons

Tires – With mountain bike tires users will find it difficult to push themselves in the sand.

No Levers – Doesn’t use levers for extra power like the Grit and Mountain Trike.

Off-road – People who really want to get off road should look at other wheelchairs that are longer and have 3 wheels for added stability off road.

Who it’s for

Wheelchair users with strong a strong core and arms who want a more robust and comfortable daily use wheelchair with larger tires and suspension so they don’t feel every bump and pothole while rolling through the city. 

Competition

GRIT Freedom Chair – Grit uses levers to propell the chair. These same levers act as brakes. There is a third wheel out in front for added stability.

Moutain Trike – Moutain Trike also uses levers to move forward, but has a thrid wheel behind the chair and a steering joystick on one of the levers so that you don’t have to brake in order to change directions.

CategoriesResearch Articles

GRIT Freedom Wheelchair Review

At A Glance

Weight: 45 pounds

Cost: $2,995 – $5,495

Self propelled: yes

Contact Info:

877-345-4748

info@gogrit.us

Grit 10 Cabot Road Suite 103

Medford, MA 02155

www.gogrit.com

GRIT Freedom Wheelchair

The Grit Freedom wheelchair was engineered at MIT. Rather than placing your hands on the wheels of the chair and pushing the operator uses levers that attach to a chain drive to propel themselves. Not only does this method of propulsion keep your hands clean during off-road adventures it’s also a better way to push.

These levers are about twice as efficient as pushing directly on the wheels allowing you to conquer more difficult terrain, and travel farther without before becoming tired. Depending on where you grip the levers you can maximize your effort for torque or high speed. Grip them up high for hill climbing torque or down low for higher speeds.

Riders can steer the Grit Freedom wheelchair by pushing harder on one drive train than the other. Pushing hard on the right lever will steer you left.

If you need to turn sharp to the left pulling back on the left lever to give some friction to the left wheel while continuing to push on the right lever will allow you to make a quick left turn.

Grit is manufactured from easy to find bicycle parts, if your chair ever breaks down or needs a replacement doohickey your local bike shop should be able to help you get back on the road. 

The Grit Freedom Wheelchair can also be disassembled in less than one minute and fit into the trunk of a small car.

GRIT comes in 3 different flavors. 3.0, Spartan, and Pro. All 3 levels have the name basic design. See the chart below for the differences in each chair. 

Pros

Cost – GRIT is less expensive than it’s direct competitors. 

Independence – If you want to explore dirt roads and don’t want to be pushed by someone else this could be the right chair for you.

Storage – Can quickly be disassembled for storage or transportation.

Cons 

Stability – According to some reviewers Grit Freedom Chair can be unstable at high speeds or over large bumps.

Strength – You need to have good upper body strength, and core strength to operate this chair.

Suspension  – Lack of suspension will make for a bumpy ride.

Who it’s for

The GRIT Freedom Wheelchair is best for independent, athletic wheelchair users who want to explore dirt roads and trails under their own power.

Competition

Moutain Trike – Also a 3 wheeled lever propelled off road wheelchair. The moutain Trike is more expensive, but if you are interested in the GRIT Freedom wheelchair you should at least take a look at the Mountain Trike. 

 

CategoriesResearch Articles

AdvenChair All Terrain Wheelchair Review

At A Glance

Cost: $9,950

Manufactured: USA

Weight: 60 pounds

Contact information:

www.AdvenChair.com

INFO@ADVENCHAIR.COM

20841 SE WESTVIEW DR.
BEND, OR 97702

The AdvenChair All Terrain Wheelchair

The Advenchair (cool name!) is new to the market and currently (April 2020) is waiting to secure 10 orders before going into production. It is a rugged off road manual wheelchair that is pushed or pulled by friends and family to allow wheelchair users to visit places they may have had a hard time getting to in a standard wheelchair. 

How Much Does It Cost?

This off road mobility device is more expensive than any other manual wheelchair we have reviewed for the All Terrain Wheelchair Research Center. At $9,950 it is closer in price to powered all terrain wheelchairs than the manual wheelchairs in this list.

Where Can It Go?

This all terrain wheelchair can conquer depends on how heavy the rider is, how many people are pushing/pulling and the type of terrain you encounter.

The build quality of this off road wheelchair makes us think it should be able to handle anything you throw it at it. If your team is strong enough it can get you where you want to be.

Transformer

One of my favorite features about this wheelchair is it’s ability to transform. It can do one thing competitors struggle with: go indoors. By removing its front wheel it is transformed into a more traditional wheelchair that can easily be maneuvered indoors. At 31″ wide it won’t be able to fit through most inteior doors, but it’s great for visiting your favorite restaurant after an adventure. Off road wheelchairs like the Extreme Motus Emma X3 or Vipamat Hippocampe are narrow enough to fit through a door but their length makes them somewhat impractical to maneuver indoors. 

It Has Brakes

Any good hiking wheelchair must have brakes. It wouldn’t be safe to attempt a proper adventure in a wheelchair designed for the beach that doesn’t have brakes.

Dual disk brakes on the rear wheels will allow you to safely descend your favorite hiking trails.

Dimensions

At its widest point Advenchair is 31” which is narrow enough to fit through the standard exterior door. In wheelchair mode (with the front wheel removed) it is 48 ½ inches long. Transformed into all terrain mode the wheelchair is 74 inches long. 

Folded up for transportation it shrinks down to 31” x 24” x 44”. Small enough to fit into the back of an SUV, but you may have difficulty fitting into the truck of a car.

What Size Does It Come In?

With one frame size and 3 different seat sizes. They come in 13”, 15”, and 17” sizes. These seats can be swapped out over time so that children can switch their seat as they get older.

Who It’s For

Not designed to be propelled forward by the person riding in the seat. Some wheelchair users with strong arms may be more interested in seeing where they can get in the Grit Freedom Chair or Mountain Trike than being pushed or pulled down a trail.

This wheelchair is best for people with a disability that has affected the strength or development of their arms.

Pros

Brakes – Rear disk brakes will allow you to safely descend steep terrain.

Transformer – Being able to remove the front wheel to turn the all terrain wheelchair into a regular wheelchair is a cool feature.

Rugged – Solid design will allow it to take a beating as you and your friends explore your favorite trails

The Competition

Extreme Motus Emma X3 – Solid hiking wheelchair with 3 wheels, brakes , and large low pressure low tires.

Vipamat Hippocampe – 3 wheeled chair that can be pushed by the rider, floats in water.

Cons:

Price – With a price of $9,950 this the most expensive manual all terrain wheelchair we have reviewed.

Weight – This wheelchair tips the scale at 60 pounds which puts it on the heavier side of the chairs in this category. It weighs 55 pounds with the front wheel removed.

Suspension – Advenchair only has suspension on the front wheel. Without suspension under the rider it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

CategoriesResearch Articles

TERRAIN HOPPER OVERLAND 4ZS Review

TERRAIN HOPPER OVERLAND 4ZS

At A Glance

Weight: 450 lbs without batteries

Speed: 4mph or 12mph

Range: Up to 34 miles

Cost: $17,995

Manufactured: USA

Contact info:

833-846-7737

info@terrainhopperusa.com

8270 S Kyrene Road, Suite B-106 • Tempe, AZ 85284

Overview

 Overland 4ZS stands out as an off-road power wheelchair because it has four wheels, rather than tracks like the Action Trackchair and TracFab. While tracks certainly look cool and provide more traction in mud and snow, wheels give this chair an edge over its tracked competitors in a few important areas.

Ground Clearance

One of the most important factors in an all-terrain power chair is its ability to clear obstacles in your path. Tracked wheelchairs tend to have ground clearance between three and six inches. That doesn’t leave a lot of room to roll over ruts, rocks, and roots on your adventure.

Becoming high centered can complicate your adventure quickly. Murphy’s Law means that it will never happen in a convenient location, and tracked wheelchairs can weigh 400 to 600 pounds, so it might not be easy to free yourself.

What? No Tracks?

TerrainHopper’s Overland 4ZS gives the operator a more comfortable ride because it has not only air-filled tires, but also independent suspension.

If a tire has air in it, that means there is a chance of getting a flat tire on your trip, so be sure to carry a repair kit to prevent getting stranded.

Speed

This off-road power wheelchair’s speed options are a nice touch, too. When building your 4ZS, you can choose from three different speeds. Remember that if you plan to ride your 4ZS with friends or family members who don’t use a wheelchair, the average walking speed of a human is 3 MPH.

4 MPH – This option is for extreme off-roading. It may be moving slow but it has gobs of torque to keep the wheels moving through any terrain.

8 MPH – This option is faster than the tracked wheelchairs and is a good balance of power and speed. A good all-around choice for a mixture of off- and on-road adventures.

12 MPH – With a higher top end but less torque this is a good choice for wheelchair users who want to keep up with friends as they jog along the beach.

Because you must choose this option when building your Overland 4ZS I believe this is permanent and cannot be easily changed later. You may want to choose the 4 MPH option because you plan to do a lot of off-roading, or maybe because you know your child well enough and don’t want to give them the option of going any faster.

Pros:

Accessibility – Can travel on pedestrian trails, walking paths, and even indoors.

Clearance – With 10” of ground clearance the 4ZS can go places that would leave the tracked competition high centered.

Suspension – The Terrain Hopper offers four-wheel independent suspension, giving the operator a smooth ride over the bumps.

Cons:

Expensive – Starting at $17,995 this is an expensive ride. There are many options to choose from. The price for each option was not listed on the website at the time of writing.

Heavy – This rig weighs 450 pounds before you choose which battery you want. This will require owning a truck or trailer to transport it to the trails you want to explore.

Storage – Does not fold or breakdown into a smaller size for storage or transportation.

Range

How far your Overland 4ZS can travel depends on factors like; weight of the rider, if they are traveling up or downhill, and ambient temperature lithium ion batteries lose range when it is cold. Terrain Hopper gives 3 choices of batteries. Each choice will add range, weight, and cost to your ride.

– Lithium 60AH – 12 mile range

– Lithium 100AH – 17 mile range

– Lithium 200AH – 34 mile range

Who it’s for:

The Terrain Hopper is built like a four-wheeler but classified as an off-road power wheelchair. This means it can be driven on walking paths and other places a four-wheeler wouldn’t be allowed to go.

If you plan to do most of your traveling on walking paths then the Overland 4ZS is a great option. If that isn’t important to you, and if your disability allows you to operate a four-wheeler, then you should spend some time researching them. They weigh about the same, are more powerful, and less expensive than a specialty device like the Terrain Hopper Overland 4ZS.

CategoriesResearch Articles

MOUNTAIN TRIKE ALL TERRAIN WHEELCHAIR REVIEW

At A Glance

Weight: 44 pounds

Cost: 5873

Self propelled: yes

Contact Info:

+44 (0) 1270 842616

Info@mountaintrike.co.uk

www.mountaintrike.com

Wybunbury Road, Walgherton, Cheshire,

CW5 7NG, United Kingdom

 

Mountain Trike All Terrain Wheelchair

The first Mountain Trike was developed in 2007 by inventor Time Morgan. Several revsions later the company has grown and now produces 3 different models.

Mountain Trike is a 3 wheeled wheelchair manufactured in the United Kingdom. The 3rd smaller wheel in the back of the chair can be controlled by the operator with a sort of “steering wheel” on one of the push levers.

Lever Power

Similar to the Grit Freedom chair the Mountain Trike is propelled by levers. The biggest difference between the 2 chairs is that in order to turn the Grit chair you use the levers to brake one wheel while pushing the other. This means you will lose some momentum each time you need to make a turn. 

Steering Made Easy

With the Mountain Trike you can coast along a trail and make turns with the steering mechanism without losing any speed. Using levers to push yourself is more efficient than pushing on directly on the tires, but it still takes a lot of energy. With the Freedom wheelchair you will lose some of that hard earned energy each time you make a turn.

The Mountain Trike is not built for speed. It’s standard gear ratio is better for climbing a hill than for going fast. The sprocket can be swapped out for stronger people or those who live in flat areas. But for most off-road applications operators will want an easy gear ratio.

The Mountain Trike all terrain wheelchair is available in 3 different models.

  • Self propelled
  • Caretaker propelled
  • Electric Assist

The self propelled version can be upgraded to the electric assist if you decide you need the extra help later.

Pros

Electric assist – Propelling yourself over the type of terrain this chair is designed for will be a serious workout for your arms. Having a little help from the battery is a great option.

Steering – Steering the chair with one hand allows operators to hold hands with someone as they go for a walk together.

Air Suspension – Equipped with suspension to smooth out the bumps on your adventure.

Cons 

Mountain bike tires – Depending on the terrain a standard mountain bike tire may have difficulty in loose sand, mud, or snow.

Price – The base model of the Mountain Trike is $5873. Add a battery and a motor the price can climb to $8885.00

Steering – Steering the wheelchair like a boat rudder can take some getting used to.

Who it’s for

Wheelchair users who have a strong upper body, and want the independence to explore on under their own power. Also not so strong users who opt for the battery assisted model will enjoy the Mountain Trike all terrain wheelchair.

Competition

GRIT Freedom Chair – Also powered by levers and with its third wheel in the front this wheelchair is the Moutain Trikes main competition.

 

CategoriesResearch Articles

TracFab All Terrain Wheelchairs Review

TracFab All Terrain Wheelchairs

At A Glance

Gas Model

Weight: 600 pounds
Range on 5 gallon tank: 35 miles
Cost: $11,995.00 & Up
Speed: 5-6mph
Weight limit: 350 lbs
Manufactured: USA

Electric Model

Weight: 485 pounds
Range: 8-9 miles
Cost: $13,995.00
Speed: 3-4mph
Weight limit: 350 lbs
Manufactured: USA

Meet the TracFab

TracFab manufactures 3 different models of tracked wheelchairs in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. It’s difficult to look at TracFab without comparing them to the Action Trackchair. But there are a few key differences between the 2 competitors.

Gas power

To cure off-road wheelchair users of any range anxiety Tracfab offers a gas powered tracked wheelchair. This chair tips the scale at a whopping 600 pounds.  but so long as you have a few jerry cans of fuel around you don’t need to worry about running out of power and being stuck in the woods.

 

Floating Seat

TracFab all terrain wheelchairs don’t have any suspension on the tracks, but does smooth out the bumps with a floating seat. We like this seat not just because of the added comfort factor, but also becuase it comes with a 5 point harness to keep from falling forward when when desending a hill.

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Chain Drive

TracFab chairs are chain driven rather than direct drive like the Action Trackchair. This means that the gear ratio on the chair can be adjusted to suit the user. It isn’t a transmission that can be shifted on the fly, but removing the chain and swapping out the sprockets for a different size can be done. 

If you plan on towing heavy loads having a lower gear ratio will slow you down a little, but it will also give your chair more torque while putting less strain on your motor. This is important with the electric version of the chair because having the proper gear ratio keeps the batteries and motors from doing more work than they need to. Overheated batteries and motors will drain quickly and could leave you stranded.

Pros

Range – Gas version has an impressive range of 35 miles on a single tank.

Clearance – With 6” of ground clearance the gas model can clear obstacles twice as high as any Action Trackchair model.

Suspension – Floating seat suspension helps smooth out the bumps.

Cons

Weight – At 485 pounds for the electric and 600 pounds for the gas model, both versions are heavier than competitors.

Transportation – Requires a truck or trailer in order to move the chair. Some people may find driving a TracFab up a ramp into a truck to be a little unnerving.

Who it’s for

The gas powered model really sets TracFab apart from the other tracked mobility devices on the market. If you are the kind of person who wants to go for a week long camping or hunting trip you won’t be able to plug a battery powered chair in every 10 miles and let it charge for 10 hours. 

Weight – 600 lbs

Width – 36″

Length – 61″

Height 61″

Seat Height – 23″

Ground Clearance – 6″

Range – 45+ miles

Speed – 5 – 6 mph

 

The Competition

Action Trackchair – Similar to the TracFab uses tank treads. Many different models including a standing version, but they don’t make a gas powered wheelchair.

Overland 4ZS – An electric off road wheelchair with wheels rather than tracks. There both advantages and disavatages to using wheels over tracks so it’s worth a look.

– HexHog – A 6 wheel drive all terrain wheelchair with suspension, great traction, and a 9.5 mph top speed. Made in the United Kingdom.

Contact Information –

Trac Fabrication Inc.

111 Arrowhead Drive

Unit D

Slippery Rock, PA 16057
Tel: (717) 862-8722

 

CategoriesRaces Stories

Can A Wheelchair User Complete the Dirty Dash 5k?

Sam Durst has Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair, but that didn’t stop him from completing a 5k Dirty Dash mud run last summer in Solder Hollow, UT. I was there to video Sam and his parents Roger and Christine as they tackled each obstacle.

Roger and Christine had participated in the Dirty Dash before. Sam was there too. He sat in his wheelchair near the bleachers with a caretaker and watched all the athletes pass by. This time was different. Sam was sitting in an off-road wheelchair at the starting line ready to run in the race just like everyone else.

We had no idea if we would make it

The Dursts and I had used this wheelchair only once before the Dirty Dash. It was at a park with rolling grassy hills. This was a whole different ball game and we all felt like we were in over our heads.

When the horn sounded for our heat to begin we made our way up a hill to our first mud filled obstacle. It was a long hole in the ground filled with mud and water. To enter the pit there was a steep 3 foot drop into the water.

The Emma X3 floats through a mud obstacle.

Roger said, “There’s no way we can do that.” He wanted to skip the very first obstacle. It did feel dangerous for the 3 of us to try and lower Sam and his chair into the pit. “Why are we doing this if we’re just going to skip all the muddy parts? I asked. I stopped some fellow racers who were about to jump in the water and asked, “Can you guys help us get this wheelchair though?”

Helping Hands

Happy to help they paused their race and ensured we made it safely to the other side. One person held my camera and the other helped to lower the chair to me in the pit.

At every major obstacle in the course we found people were happy to help. I noticed that being able to help Sam was making the race more memorable for the strangers stopping to lend a hand.

In fact on every adventure I have been on with Sam we always find people who want to help. When we hiked Delicate Arch there were helpers. When we went sledding strangers jumped into help push us up the hill.

As we plan future adventures and wonder, will we be strong enough to get Sam and his wheelchair through all this? We know that if we aren’t we will meet someone eager to help.

Surprised at how much fun I had

In the Army we did obstacle courses like this as part of our training. Most Army training doubles as punishment so when Dirty Dashes and Tough Mudder’s became popular I was little confused why people were paying money for punishment.

Having done one now I can say, I get it. Our little group had so much fun. A big part of it was seeing Sam go bananas with excitement each time we celebrated after clearing another hurdle on the way to the finish line.

Sam was able to have so many new experiences that day and he was on cloud 9 the entire day. Later when I was editing the video I came across a shot of Sam laughing like a mad scientist and saying “I’m having the time of my life!” I couldn’t help but tear up a little seeing how much joy this event had brought to him and everyone who helped him get through that course.

Future Races

Sam and I joined Extreme Motus towards the end of summer 2019. Many of the fun events like this had already happened and now we are stuck enjoying snow adventures. But when the snow melts we will be back out there making the most of every opportunity and exploring new places.

CategoriesNational Park Adventures Off-road Adventures

Is Delicate Arch Wheelchair Accessible?

Is Delicate Arch Wheelchair Accessible?

Is Delicate Arch wheelchair accessible? Yes, with the right wheelchair, and group of friends you can visit one of Utah’s most iconic destinations in a wheelchair. You will also need some planning and some muscle.

Delicate Arch is one of the most iconic hikes in Utah. It quickly became the first destination I wanted to visit with Sam in the Emma X3. When I heard that Sam had been to the trail-head of Delicate Arch before and sat with his mother in the van while the other half of his family went on the hike it seemed like a perfect opportunity for an adventure.

Sam has Cerebral Palsy and has used a wheelchair his entire life. He’s also an instant friend to everyone he meets. His infectious laugh, and unbridled enthusiasm for life make him one of the most fun people you will ever spend time with.

Sam Durst ready to roll.

Don’t Chicken Out

The evening before the hike we sat in our room at the Expedition Lodge in Moab, UT. Sam’s parents had heard from friends that the trail to Delicate Arch was too steep for a wheelchair and they thought it might be a good idea to pick something easier.

I suggested we start the hike and see how far we could get. Sam’s cousin Grace was appointed “Safety Police” for the hike. If Grace felt the trail was too dangerous we would turn around no questions asked.

Sam’s family being nervous is completely understandable. This special off-road wheelchair had just opened doors to many places on our planet that were previously off limits to them.

Lets Roll

The trail to Delicate Arch is steep and because the Emma X3 is a manual wheelchair we tied 2 ropes to the front of the chair so that more people could help pull in difficult sections.

Taking a break on the trail.

Be Open to Help

During our trek a couple of hikers noticed us bracing ourselves for the upcoming steep section of the hike. They walked passed us, turned around and asked, “Do y’all need some help?” We quickly accepted and the strangers began to push Sam up the trail.

There are a few technical sections of the trail where the chair will need to be lifted over some large uneven rocks. If you don’t have enough muscle in your group don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some people might want to jump in but feel awkward offering.

Our new friend pushes Sam up the trail.

We became friends along the way and later that evening we all went for pizza together. Similar to our Dirty Dash experience this hike was suddenly more memorable for the young couple because they could provide service on the trail.

Travel Safe

As we pushed the wheelchair along the trail we always had at least 3 people with hands on the chair. In the steep sections there would be 4 people. Two pushing and 2 pulling. We didn’t want anything to happen to Sam, and we didn’t want the Safety Police turning us all around.

Enjoy Your Moment

I love the trail to Delicate Arch because you can’t see the arch in the distance. You don’t realize you are there until you round the last corner and boom. You are greeted with the reward for all your efforts. As we rounded the last corner and saw the Delicate Arch the crowd of people hanging out there began clapping and cheering our efforts.

Our happy moment.

When Sam’s mom began to cry while explaining how they had never been able to do anything like that as a family. We all cried. Even the strangers we had met on the trail were crying. It was such a special moment for everyone.

So is Delicate Arch Wheelchair accessible? You bet it is. You’ll need a crew of helpers and a special off-road wheelchair.

CategoriesResearch Articles

VIPAMAT HIPPOCAMPE ALL TERRAIN WHEELCHAIR REVIEW

At A Glance

Weight: 37.5 pounds

Cost: $3,280 – $3,964

Self propelled: yes

Contact Info:

832-516-8125

contact-usa@vipamat.com

3 Rue Gustave

Eiffel 56270 PLOEMEUR

www.vipamat.us

Vipamat Hippocampe Beach Wheelchair

The Vipamat Hippocampe is manufactured in France. And if you’re asking yourself, “What’s with the strange name?” Then you probably don’t speak French. Translate Hippocampe to English and you’ll learn that it means “Seahorse” and that name actually makes a lot of sense for this all terrain wheelchair. One of it’s best features is its ability to allow wheelchair users to roll themselves into the water.

Unlike the Emma X3 from Extreme Motus the Hippocampe can be propelled by the user. By placing your hands on the tires and pushing you can explore on your own.

It’s really cool to see the man in this video push himself into the water, go for a swim while his chair floats nearby, then swim back to the chair and wheel himself out of the water. It’s a form of independence not many wheelchairs can offer to people.

The front wheel of this wheelchair is fixed. In order to turn in this chair you will need to have the strength and coordination to pull a wheelie to change directions. And pushing on the tires means that whatever terrain you are rolling through is going to end up on your hands so be sure to bring gloves.

As of this writing the Hippocampe has a base price of $3,379.00. There are many options for this wheelchair, and I found the ordering process to be somewhat confusing. 

For example, the difference between a “fixed reclining back” and an “adjustable reclining back” is $132. But if they both recline doesn’t that mean they’re both adjustable? And despite visiting several different websites selling this chair I was never able to discover what the difference was between the 2 options. This makes it difficult to determine what you want or need to select when ordering.

The Vipamat Hippocampe comes standard with double wheels to allow you to roll over packed sand. For an extra $572 you can get the large inflatable balloon wheels that will do even better in the sand and absorb more of the bumps.

Another cool option for this wheelchair is the set of skis that replace the rear wheels and attach to the front wheel. The skis are an additional $813 but for people who love the snow it could be a great way to explore the outdoors in the winter.

Pros

Ski Kit – If you live somewhere cold be sure to check out the available ski kit.

Self propelled  Many people want the option to be able to push themselves in off-road situations, or to at least be able to help the person pushing them. With the Vipamat Hippocampe users can push themselves.

Float – This chair floats in water. It’s really cool to watch videos of wheelchair users pushing themselves into the water and go for a swim while the chair floats nearby, swim back to the chair and wheel themselves back to dry land.

 Cons

Self propelled – Yes this both a pro and a con. Unlike a standard wheelchair there isn’t a push ring on the side of the wheel. Your hands will be directly on the tire. This means the mud, sand, snow, etc. you are rolling through is going to be on your hands too.

Order Process – While researching the Hippocampe I found the buying process to be a confusing. There are 40 different options a buyer needs to decide on ranging in price from $63 all the way up to $1315.

Brakes – The brakes on this wheelchair are more of a parking brake system that locks into place. They aren’t meant to help control the chair while out on an adventure.

 

Who It’s For

The Vipamat Hippocampe all terrain wheelchair is best for people who have the strength and desire to push themselves on dirt roads or on the beach.

Competition

Emma X3 – Also a 3 wheeled all terrain wheelchair the X3 from Extreme Motus is a foldable, durable, floats in water and is easy for a caretaker to push over obstacles.

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