Foldawheel PW-999UL (2016) Travel Wheelchair
Here’s some breaking news – an electric wheelchair that weighs just 48.3 lbs. with the battery installed! The Foldawheel PW-999UL (2016) is purportedly the lightest and most compact power wheelchair in the world and opens/folds in five seconds. Its Soft Pack Polymer Lithium-ion battery pack weighs 3.3 lbs. and is the same type as an iPad battery which makes it longer-lasting and less likely to malfunction than the regular cylinder Lithium-ion cells used in many other wheelchairs.
(One thing I would like to mention here is that the Foldawheel PW-999UL is very similar in looks and design to the EZ Lite Cruiser and the KD Smart Chair, both of which are very popular wheelchairs. However, the Foldawheel Electric Wheelchair, even with some drawbacks, has a few features that I feel outsmart the other two.)
Ten features of the Foldawheel PW-999UL (2016) Electric Wheelchair:
1. The Foldawheel PW-999UL 2016 is made from aircraft-quality aluminium alloy, so, while lightweight it’s tremendously strong and takes just five seconds to fold or unfold. The chair collapses to 13.8”, the same height as a baby stroller and fits in the trunk of even the smallest car or home closet.
2. The width between the armrests is 17.7” which might be tight for some but there’s a heavy-duty version of this wheelchair, the PW-1000XL, which still weighs just 55 lbs. (with one battery installed) and is a little wider than the PW-999UL (1.3” wider = 19” between armrests). Surprisingly, the extra width actually allows for folding and unfolding in two seconds!
3. The Foldawheel Electric Wheelchair PW-999UL has a tight turning radius of 29.5”, a top speed of four mph, a suggested weight bearing capacity of 220 lbs. and can travel up to eight miles on a single battery, and up to 16 miles with the optional second battery installed. The battery charge time is four hours.
4. The battery packs are very accessible as they actually slide into the side support beams (ie. the diagonal beams between the wheels and the seat) and should have to be replaced only about every four years.
5. The footrest can be extended by up to 4”, allowing more leg room, if necessary, and it can be flipped inwards so you can position nearer to the chair, making it easier to stand up and sit down.
6. The joystick/controller can easily be switched from the left to right side and can be detached easily to avoid damage when you want to check-in your wheelchair as luggage when traveling by air.
7. It can stand upright on its own when folded.
8. An anti-tilt hydraulic system reduces the risk of the wheelchair falling backwards.
9. There is a convenient large, zippered, storage bag under the seat and an adjustable headrest is available as an accessory.
10. Built in Malaysia, with a service centre in Brea, California, the Foldawheel PW-999UL comes with one Lithium-ion battery, a fully padded travel bag and a world-wide (100-230V) usable charger.
A one-year global support warranty as standard – should you need a replacement part Wheelchair88 will ship it overnight to anywhere in the world by DHL with a video of how to replace, at no cost to the user.
There are some negatives though. The Foldawheel PW-999UL comes with rigid polyurethane rear tyres on 8” wheels and may lose traction on wet surfaces.
Also this company’s return/refund policy is quite stringent. If you feel that the wheelchair doesn’t fit your needs it is your responsibility to notify the company within ten days of delivery and pack and return to the company (who will arrange for a pickup.) Upon checking the item is in good condition after arrival at the service center they will refund only 85% of the purchase price, charging a 15% re-stocking fee.
And the fact that it comes with only a one-year warranty!
That said, the Foldawheel PW-999UL really is a well-built, good-looking wheelchair and at $2000-$2500 offers very good value with many features not available in many of its competitors. If you travel quite a bit by plane or always seem to be packing and unpacking your wheelchair into the trunk of a car then you will really appreciate the Foldawheel!