Do you find that you can walk short distances but realise that sometimes you could do with some help with day trips and holidays, such as a trip to the zoo or a day out in town, at the airport (SmartScoot can be ridden all the way to the airplane) and generally getting around on holiday. Therein lies a problem, as almost every scooter on the market is exceedingly heavy and would require a hoist in your car and extra space in your garage. As a full time scooter is overkill, all you need is a scooter that is light enough for you to physically manage and keep in the boot of your car.

Smartscoot compact foldable mobility scooterSo what is available that is compact and light enough for one person to lift into the car without completely dismantling it or causing serious physical damage to their back. There are only a few scooters on the market that fit the bill, e.g. The TravelScoot (35lbs with Lithium Ion battery), SmartScoot (39.5lbs with Lithium Ion battery) and the Luggie (57lbs with Lithium Ion battery). The scooter should be good looking comfortable, quick when required and tries hard not to look like a Mobility Scooter.

The Luggie was quickly discounted because of its weight (when dismantled for storing one piece weighs 51lbs). The TravelScoot was also discounted even though it’s the lightest because it lacks comfort and is slow at 3.7mph which is slower than a quick walking pace. That leaves the SmartScoot which was designed by an MS patient and ticks most of the boxes.

Having had the SmartScoot for a while I found the seat to be comfortable and light. The braking system is well designed and for safety, when the parking brake is applied, the power is disconnected. The SmartScoot has a single centre tube which makes it easy to get on and off unlike the TravelScoot which has 2 bars in a triangular formation. The SmartScoot has a reverse gear to avoid having to do U turns in tight places (lifts in stores and hotels) but it does make an annoying and irritating “beep beep” noise when in reverse gear although this will be missing on newer models.

The SmartScoot is perfectly comfortable for a Travel Mobility Scooter but shouldn’t be compared with the comfort provided by a full size scooter. But portability is the main requirement here and the seating position is upright to make sure that the weight is evenly distributed and to avoid tipping backwards. The cushioned seat is very comfortable and the seat backrest supports the body to avoid side to side rolling. One recent purchaser of the SmartScoot commented that “My husband was able to sit and ride on the scooter for more than 2 hours without getting extremely tired. It supported his back and is far more comfortable than the Zinger Wheelchair and the TravelScoot which he had previously”. The footpads are large compared to the TravelScoot which helps considerably if you are on the scooter for any length of time.

The SmartScoot is so versatile that it can be used when walking with family and friends, in an amusement park on a day out or in an art gallery or museum. The scooter has disc brakes on the front wheel which enables it to stop quickly even on wet surfaces. Sometimes disc brakes need adjustment but this a job you can usually do yourself, but if not your local bicycle engineer can do it very quickly. SmartScoot has adjustable rear wheels so they can be set in the widest position to assist when riding on side slopes where you need to take extra care, or narrow if you are in a store, lift or on a cruise ship. The handlebars are also adjustable but the release can sometimes be a bit fiddly. The SmartScoot can be simply folded by tilting the seat to fit into the car boot but if space is at a premium the seat can be easily removed. When split the heaviest piece only weighs 27lbs.

The scooter has been everywhere with me now – to the airport, on holiday to the Disney Parks in Florida, on a cruise, (its narrow enough to fit through the cabin door) to the Zoo with my grandson, to Stately Homes and Gardens and on day trips to a variety of towns. It has dealt with all the conditions it has encountered. It will travel 10-12 miles on one charge depending on the terrain and only takes about an hour to recharge the lithium ion battery. It is an excellent travel scooter with lots of extras including a collapsable and removable front basket and a removable luggage bar. It has a convenient place for your stick or crutches and an LED light. The scooter attracts attention wherever it goes and I’m constantly stopped and asked questions about it – mostly, ” how good is that” and “where did I get it”.

When you are shopping around for a truly versatile Foldable Travel Mobility Scooter the SmartScoot should be high on your list

When I was asked to trial and review these crutches I couldn’t sleep being so excited about them. I was racking my brain as to how I would keep myself occupied today waiting for the delivery tomorrow. Then I received you email saying the delivery was a day early…..

There is one word to describe these crutches, and that word is”WOW!!!”

They build upon the great concept employed by the Smartcrutch but address all the areas where I’d wished they were slightly different. These new crutches are the embodiment of those wishes – they are literally a dream come true! The stability that they give me over other types of walking aid that I’ve tried is almost incomprehensible. Even over their closest rival, the Smartcrutch, the fact that they are attached securely to the forearm gives them a massive advantage. They also do not rattle when striking the ground.

You have my deepest gratitude for helping this equipment become an integral part of my new found potential mobility. Thank you.

Some further observations after using them today.

They feel like an extension of my body and as such inspire my confidence in their ability to support me. It’s the little things that make such a big difference, all the thought that’s gone into this innovation that creates possibility.

As of the close of play today, I have nothing but good things to say about them. Apart from the fact that maybe they are TOO good!

These Crutches are absolutely gorgeous to use. Although I’m still not feeling 100% and wouldn’t dare using the crutches under normal circumstances, I have not had any problems today. Since my attack in 2009 I have taken many chances and risks with my rehabilitation. This has not been one of those instances!  They offer unparalleled support.

One of the “joys” associated with my brain injury (one which I’m not alone in I might add), is my Hemiparesis, or weakness down one side. Although I have done everything in my power to get strength in most of  muscles affected, holding any sort of Crutch stably with my weaker side has until recently been impossible.

My goal of walking unaided again has been described by NHS physio’s as “unrealistic”. For almost the last decade I have been working hard to prove them wrong. I have not been able to find a walking aid which maximises my potential and brings me closer to my “unrealistic” goal. It seemed that I had reached my limit in having to use a light walking frame, which has it’s own restrictions and encourages bad posture. Any chance of future mobility improvements had become slim and I all but resigned to defeat.

Then I tried the Smartcrutch which certainly held more potential than the walking frame. But something was lacking – the necessary stability from the Crutch wielded by my weaker side. Although it was massively improved over any Crutch I’d tried before, it still wasn’t quite what I needed. If only there were a Crutch out there that held the Crutch securely to my forearm..

Enter TravelMobility with the M&D crutches. As well as answering this prayer, M&D had perfected the weight distribution so that there are no more welts on my good hand which holds on for dear life. Add to this the enhanced shock absorption and the ability to position the crutches more easily, then maybe now you can see why I called these a dream come true.

I wholeheartedly believe that any person undertaking mobility related rehabilitation would benefit tremendously from these epitomes of innovation. They could bring hope to people like myself who strive for normality, who have so much potential just waiting to be unlocked with the right tools.

Nick Verron, February 2018