In a Nutshell:
The Culver 6009 is an above-average, travel-friendly scooter, that falls slightly short of greatness. Recommended for anyone weighing up to 300 pounds who isn’t brand conscious, plans to use it mostly in urban (paved/indoor) environments and who loves the aesthetic this scooter brings to the table.
- Moderately priced
- Decent range, ground clearance, and turn radius
- Includes good safety-oriented extras
- Affordable for customization
- Not very fast
- Heavy for travel
- Disappointing weight limit
Is your mobility issue cramping your style? Are you in the market for an electric wheelchair that’s cheap enough to give you your freedom back without breaking the bank and versatile enough to be genuinely useful on a variety of different terrains? If you answered yes to either (or both) of those questions, then you’re going to be intrigued by what you read here in our detailed Culver 6009 powerchair review.
If you haven’t heard of Culver Mobility, you’re not alone. They’re not one of the major players in the industry, and they don’t have a very large footprint. However, they have been in the business for a long while, and they clearly know a thing or two about building a good mobility aid.
In the sections that follow, we’ll step you through everything the Culver power chair has to offer, and we won’t be bashful when it comes to highlighting the chair’s shortcomings and limitations. That way, you’ll have all the details you need to decide for yourself if this is the right chair for you.
Sounds good? If so, read on, and let’s take a closer look!
An Overview of the Culver 6009 Electric Power Chair
Although this is a power wheelchair, it is designed along purely conventional lines. At first glance, it doesn’t look that much different from a manual wheelchair. It’s not ugly, but conventionally designed wheelchairs are certainly never going to win any beauty contests, either. We’d say here in our Culver 6009 powerchair review that this model isn’t going to wow you with its exceptional looks.
Assuming you’re okay with that and are willing to give a less well-known brand a closer look, you’ll find a lot to like. Let’s move beyond simple aesthetics and take a closer look at the raw numbers that define this model. Here are the basics:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 38” x 27” x 38”
- Seat Dimensions: 17” x 17”
- Turning Radius: 33”
- Seat to Floor Height: 20”
- Top Speed: 4 miles per hour
- Range: 13 miles
- Wheel Size: 8” front casters and 16” rear wheels
- Ground Clearance: 4”
- Chair Weight: 75 pounds
- Maximum Supported Weight: 265 pounds
There are a number of things that jump out at us about these numbers, some good, some not so good.
One of the strongest points of the Culver 6009 electric power chair is that the turning radius is quite good, making it possible to use this model even in smaller homes and apartments. If you don’t mind having to execute multi-point turns to change direction, you could even use the Culver 6009 in an RV with a bit of patience.
While the top speed isn’t great, using this chair is still faster than walking, and the total range is slightly above average. The ground clearance is decent, meaning you can use this model on more than flat, paved, or indoor surfaces. As long as there are no major obstructions in your yard, you should be able to navigate all-around your property with minimal difficulty. Kudos to Culver for designing a chair that manages to thread the needle and be genuinely useful in so many places!
Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and roses. While the numbers we’ve talked about so far range from fairly to very good, there are a couple of glaring points of weakness.
First, this isn’t a lightweight chair, which means that it’s somewhat less travel-friendly than many of the other models on the market today. If you enjoy hitting the road on a regular basis, that could be a dealbreaker for you. Even if it isn’t, then the smallish seat dimensions and the relatively modest supported weight may make it a nonstarter.
Most of the wheelchairs on the market today support 300 pounds or more. This one doesn’t quite rise to that challenge, and as such, it appeals to a somewhat smaller segment of the market. That’s unfortunate because it really is a good design. We’d love to see this model with a ruggedized frame, capable of supporting 300 or even 400 pounds or more.
Adjustability and Comfort
This isn’t a strong point of our Culver 6009 electric power wheelchair review and will be a relatively short section because nothing about this chair is adjustable. It’s strictly “what you see is what you get.” You’ll want to take careful measurements of yourself and compare them to those of the chair before committing to a purchase to be sure it will be a good fit for you.
The Culver 6009 fares a bit better where comfort is concerned. Although the leg rests don’t elevate, they do swing away, which makes transfers into and out of the chair an easier proposition. You’ll also find a support brace stretched across the two legrests, which provide calf support.
In our view, this is slightly inferior to calf pads, but we understand why the decision was made. It was simply a bid to keep the cost of the chair as low as possible. The desk-length arms are stationary, but they are padded and upholstered with vinyl. That’s pretty standard in the world of wheelchairs, and it does add somewhat to the overall comfort level of the design.
You’ll find a modest amount of block foam padding with a mesh-like fabric stretched over it in the seat and seatback. There’s not enough padding to make the chair comfortable for extended periods of sitting, but it is delightfully breathable and will be fine for up to four hours or so of use. Even better, since this isn’t a wildly expensive chair, if you want to take its comfort to the next level, it’s easy enough to invest in some additional padding for the seat and/or the seatback.
Extras and Options
This is a fairly strong portion of our Culver Mobility 6009 review. Although the chair isn’t brimming with extras, it does have two very high-value ones that come offered as standard equipment on the chair. You’ll find both anti-tippers and a safety belt here.
Honestly, we wish every manufacturer offered these two as standard equipment, but it’s a bit of a rarity on the market. Culver deserves major kudos for offering both. Sadly, that’s all there is, and the only “extra” the company sells on their website are spare batteries. So if you want to do any customizing or personalizing, you’ll need to venture into the aftermarket for that. We feel certain that this was a conscious design decision. Not only did it serve to keep the price of the chair as low as possible, but it also guarantees that you’re not saddled with any “extras” you won’t use on a regular basis.
Portability & Ease of Use
While it’s true that the Culver 6009 wheelchair has a footprint that’s small enough to make it travel-friendly, check out the weight of the chair. At seventy-five pounds, it certainly can’t be classed as a featherweight. In fact, if you do a lot of traveling, it’s easy to find scooters or electric wheelchairs that weigh in the neighborhood of 40 pounds that would be much better suited to road trips, RV, and air travel.
Even though it’s not an especially travel-friendly model, the 6009 gets high marks for its ease of use. Not only does it have a relatively tight turn radius, but using the joystick controller is about as simple as it gets. Expect to spend no more than 10 minutes familiarizing yourself with the controls. It’s that simple.
Pros & Cons of Culver 6009 Wheelchair
In our view, these are the strongest points of the design of the Culver 6009 power chair, listed in no particular order:
- It’s fairly modestly priced
- It has a decent range and a good ground clearance and turn radius, making it useful in a wide range of settings
- It comes with two very good safety-oriented extras
- And is cheap enough that most people will be able to customize to their heart’s content via the aftermarket.
On the other hand, it does have some negatives you should be aware of. These include:
- It’s not terribly fast
- It’s too heavy to be considered exceptionally travel friendly
- And it is saddled with a disappointing weight limit.
Culver 6009 Powerchair Review Conclusion
Of the chair’s negatives, the only one that’s a potential deal-breaker on its own is the weight limit. If you weigh more than 265 pounds, then we believe here in our Culver 6009 powerchair review that it’s simply going to be a nonstarter for you no matter how much you may like this model. Overall, it’s a good design, offered by a smaller but respected company in the industry.
Given its modest weight limit, we can only give it a provisional recommendation. Assuming the chair’s measurements are a match for your own and the weight limit isn’t an issue for you, if you decide to get one, we think you’ll probably like it, and it will serve you very well.
You May Also Want to Consider
If the 6009 isn’t to your liking for whatever reason, here are a couple of alternatives you may want to consider:
This Pride Mobility Go Go model is proof positive that you don’t have to stick with a conventional design.
For about the same money, you can get a good-looking four-wheeled scooter design that’s brimming with extras and offered by one of the best and most respected companies in the industry.
Recommended For: Anyone. The company makes a few variants of this model that are capable of supporting up to 550 pounds, making it a good fit for more than 99% of the market.
Or, if you do want to stick with the same basic design, you could consider the Porto Mobility Ranger Quattro Ultra. This one does cost more than the Culver model, but it supports up to 400 pounds of user weight, features similar styling, and is a more robust design overall. Either of these models would serve you very well indeed.
References & Resources:
- Culver Mobility, Official Brand Website.
- Quadriplegics Can Operate Powered Wheelchair With Tongue Drive System, ScienceDaily.
- Feature Determination From Powered Wheelchair User Joystick Input Characteristics For Adapting Driving Assistance, Wellcome Open Research.
- Innovative Power Wheelchair Control Interface: A Proof-of-Concept Study, AOTA.
- The Impact and Effectiveness of Power Wheelchairs and Scooters, eOrthopod.