KD Smart Chair – Electric Powered Wheelchair
The KD Smart Chair is part of an exciting new generation of lightweight, foldable wheelchairs, that are easy to store in the trunk of a car or the back of an SUV. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies this chair as a medical device.
Eight features of the KD Smart Chair:
1. Weighing just 50 lbs. (57 lbs. with the batteries installed), it can accommodate up to a 265 lbs. and has a top speed of 4 mph, which is about average for these chairs. And its driving range of 15+ miles per charge is much better than most chairs in the same catergory.
2. The KD Smart Chair comes with two 10Ah Lithium-ion batteries, each weighing 3.7 lbs. It can be taken to the door of an airplane, folded and parked at the end of the ramp, to be taken down to the hold of the airplane by the baggage handlers.
3. The batteries, which can be charged in 2-4 hours, are held in the diagonal support beams between the rear wheels and the seat, making it very convenient to install or remove them.
4. This well designed chair is strongly built of a lightweight aluminum alloy and is great looking. The turning radius of 31.5” makes it possible to turn in tight spaces like elevators or bathrooms. It folds down to a mere 13” so you can assure a friend or cabdriver that, “Yes, my chair will fit in your trunk.” The KD Smartchair is so compact it will fit in even a small closet.
5. The joystick can be mounted on either of the two armrests and thus can be adjusted to suit personal needs.
6. The four 8” solid wheels are made of a mixture of polyurethane and rubber which makes for better shock absorption, which I know from my own experience, makes traveling any distance in a wheelchair much more comfortable which helps me get beyond some psychological barriers. I’ve sometimes hesitated to go out, put off by the thought of New York City’s potholes and broken sidewalks but the thought of a cushioned ride would encourage me to go for it.
7. The chair comes with an expandable seatbelt. It’s also helpful to have the supplied text and DVD version of the owner’s manual.
8. One thing you should consider before buying is that sitting in this wheelchair can be difficult. However, the back rest reclines to four preset positions which makes for added comfort.
There is a 5-year warranty on the frame and a 1-year warranty on the electronic components and batteries. They offer a 60 day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee, BUT there is a 10% restocking fee on ALL returns.
Now there are a few things that do bug me a little about this wheelchair. First, the rear wheels can wear out really quickly and having them replaced is costly. Because the company doesn’t make the wheels separately they only come as an assembly with motors attached. Therefore, you can’t just change the wheels, so the whole assembly, including the motor, must be replaced.
The ground clearance is just 1.2” which makes it easy to get hung up when trying to cross grass or uneven ground.
Strangely, a headrest is not an available accessory. The KD Smart Chair does not come with a travel bag as standard but it is possible to order a rather expensive travel case!
Also, the wheelchair comes with a 110v charger, necessitating the use of a voltage converter when charging outside the US.
So, all in all, this KD Smart Chair may be a great lightweight, transportable wheelchair but there is still room for improvement. If these improvements are made I believe this could be one of the best wheelchairs around.
(A Heavy Duty model of the KD Smart Chair is available with a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds, weighs 59 lbs. [66 lbs. with the batteries installed] and has a top speed of 6 mph.)