Elenker Electric Wheelchair is not the most attractive chair on the market, but it wins high marks where it counts! Recommended For: Anyone weighing up to 280 pounds, who’s in the market for a chair primarily for indoor use, or use in urban environments.
* Note regarding Brand Reliability: This metric is a measure of the strength and longevity of the brand, which by extension, is a measure of the level of support you can expect.
Are you struggling against the constraints that your mobility issue has placed on you? Are you in the market for a scooter or an electric wheelchair to help you get around those constraints, start enjoying life to the fullest, and regain a measure of your independence? Are you the kind of person who places much more value on function over form?
If you answered yes to the three questions above, then odds are, you’re going to love what you read in our Elenker power wheelchair review.
Elenker is a company you may not have heard of before. They’re not a big name in the world of mobility devices, but they do have a solid reputation, and they know how to build a great chair. The model is not perfect, of course, but it might be the perfect chair for you.
In the sections that follow, we’ll step you through everything this model can do, and we won’t pull any punches when it comes to outlining the chair’s limitations. That way, you’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips to decide for yourself if this is the model you’ve been searching for. If that sounds good to you, let’s take a closer look.
An Overview of the Elenker Electric Wheelchair
Most wheelchairs aren’t stunning pieces of equipment. They don’t have to be. They’ve got an important job to do, and the design teams behind almost every model on the market today put the majority of their effort into making sure the chair they build can get you where you want to go. Style rarely enters into the equation.
Even so, the Elenker wheelchair is kind of an ugly duckling. It definitely won’t win any beauty contests. Again, if your main concern is function over form, that won’t matter much. Just know upfront that you’re not getting a sporty, flashy electric wheelchair if you choose this one. You’re getting a workhorse.
As we said in the introduction, though, looks will only take you so far. The thing that most people who are in the market for a mobility aid care about is effectiveness. Does this machine help me get where I want to go? Is it convenient to use? Is it easy to travel with? That kind of thing, and on those fronts, the ugly duckling turns into a swan.
To fully appreciate the pros and cons of this model, we have to look at the raw numbers that define it in this section of our Elenke Power Wheelchair review.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 36.6” x 22.8” x 33.43” (best seller – the company makes a few variants of this chair, each with marginally different dimensions).
- Seat Dimensions: 15” W x 14” D
- Seat to Floor Height: 19.5”
- Top Speed: 3.75 mph
- Range: 9.3 miles
- Wheel Size: 8” Rear, 6” Front
- Ground Clearance: 2”
- Maximum Slope: 8 degrees
- Chair Weight: 41 pounds
- Maximum Supported Weight: 280 pounds
Some of these numbers are exceptional, and others leave us scratching our heads a bit.
First, we love the overall footprint of the chair. It’s big enough to be useful and supports enough weight to appeal to the majority of the market, but it’s not so big that it’s ungainly or hard to use inside most homes.
Even if you live in a smaller home or apartment, you shouldn’t have too much trouble making use of this little chair.
Unfortunately, the weight limit is a bit low. Most chairs support at least 300 pounds, with the models designed for big and tall folk often supporting more than double that. This one doesn’t quite rise to the 300-pound average, but it comes pretty close. So, its weight limit is not much of a disappointment. Even so, the small seat size definitely marks this as a chair designed for average-sized to smaller framed folks. Larger people simply won’t fit in the seat.
That fact makes the seat to floor height a bit of a curiosity. At 19.5”, the seat height would be a better fit on a chair designed for big and tall people. But as we just mentioned, the weight limit and small seat size don’t support that idea, which then changes the picture of the ideal user for this chair:
Someone who is of light to medium build and who has relatively long legs.
The top speed is about average. Most of the chairs and scooters on the market today average between 3.5 to 4 miles per hour, which isn’t zippy. As long as you’re not in a big hurry to get where you’re going, the model’s speed shouldn’t be a big deal.
The ground clearance is again about average, but it marks this chair as one that is most effective on flat, paved surfaces or traveling across indoor flooring. It can clear a door jamb with ease but struggle to get over even modest curbs, so you will need to plan your outdoor routes accordingly.
With a relatively low ground clearance, you can use it in your yard if the grass is cut short and fairly level. Though you’ll want to keep a watchful eye out for roots and rocks as it won’t take much of an obstruction to hang yourself up.
The slope handling is above average, with most chairs handling slopes of up to six degrees. This is a good pick if you live in a hilly area but note the range. Of all the numbers above, that’s the one that’s a genuine disappointment to us.
Most chairs average about 12 miles to a charge. This one falls well short of that. When you use it, you’ll definitely want to be aware of the location of the nearest power outlet and not stray too far from a handy place to plug in when it’s time to add some juice to the battery.
This might not be a huge deal if the company sold extra batteries on their website, but they don’t. It means that if you want to extend the range of the chair, you’ll have to head to the aftermarket to find a matching battery for sale and figure out how you want to store it. It’s a bit of a hassle, but doing so would effectively double your range. Given the relatively low price of this model, those hoops may well be worth jumping through.
Adjustability and Comfort
Most readers will find this to be a relatively weak portion of our Elenker electric wheelchair review. Although there’s one adjustable feature on the chair, it’s not one that the person actually sitting in the chair will ever make use of.
Specifically, the handles on the back of the seat are height adjustable, which was meant to provide added comfort for an assistant who’s pushing you if you get stuck on something or if the battery dies on you.
It’s a nice feature and something that most of the electric wheelchairs on the market today don’t offer, so kudos to Elenker for its inclusion. Unfortunately, that’s it. There are no other adjustable features, though both the armrests and the footplate do lift up to make transferring into and out of the chair easier, which is a nice convenience feature, for sure.
Comfort-wise, the wheelchair fares a bit better. While there’s only a modest amount of conventional block foam padding present, the upholstery is very breathable, which means you won’t get hot and sweaty the longer you sit on the seat cushion.
That, combined with the fact that this is a relatively low-cost model, leaves most people in the position of being able to buy more padding if they want to make the chair more comfortable. Since there are so many padding options available, you can effectively make this chair as comfortable as you’d like it to be, and you won’t spend a ton of money to get it there.
Extras and Options of Elenker 2020 Electric Wheelchair
This is another relatively weak section of our Elenker 2020 electric wheelchair review because there’s only one extra to talk about, but it’s a good one. If you decide you want one of these, it comes with a built-in safety belt.
We wish that every wheelchair on the market today did, but sadly, that’s not the case. Since Elenker opted to include one, we give them high marks for that.
Unfortunately, there are no other extras built into the chair, and the company doesn’t offer any accessories on their website. That’s not the end of the world, really, and it’s not at all uncommon with smaller brands.
The good news is that since the chair sports a modest price tag, you should be able to pick up whatever goodies you want from the aftermarket. It’s a bustling, thriving place, and there are accessories to fit every taste, style, and budget, which makes this chair a bit of a blank slate that you can personalize to your heart’s content.
Portability and Ease of Use
This, in our view, is the strongest section of our Elenker power wheelchair review and will probably be the reason most people choose this model over some other models.
First, as we mentioned early on, it’s got a delightfully small footprint and is easy to maneuver, even in tight spaces. So if you live in an efficiency apartment or even a tiny home or live out of your RV, you won’t have much problem navigating through the relatively tight spaces.
It’s also one of the lightest electric wheelchairs on the market today, which makes it exceptionally travel-friendly. You won’t need to be a professional bodybuilder to heft the chair into your trunk when you’re going somewhere. It’s even light enough that you can take it on the plane with you the next time you fly, without having to pay through the nose for the pleasure.
Where air travel is concerned, the only caveat is that each airline sets its own policy about what’s allowed and what isn’t. Be sure to call the airline you’ll be flying with and let them know what you have so there aren’t any surprises when you hit the ticket counter.
This model also wins high marks for its ease of use. The simple joystick controller is about as straightforward as it gets. It can be mounted left or right, depending on your dominant hand, and you’ll have the basics mastered in five minutes or less. Kudos to Elenker for keeping it simple!
Pros & Cons of Elenker Electric Wheelchair
We don’t have any issue with any of the features on the Elenker power chair. Every weak point in the design is the consequence of a conscious design decision, and we get that. Granted, some users may take issue with some of the design decisions, which is why we’d rate this as a fairly self-selecting chair. In our view, the ideal user for this model is someone who:
- Could care less about aesthetics, preferring function over form.
- Doesn’t mind buying from a smaller company and a less well-known brand
- Is relatively tall or at least long-legged
- Is also of light to medium build
- Is looking for a chair designed for shorter trips either in town or at home
The more of those that apply to you, the happier you’ll be with this model. The fewer that apply, the less impressed you’ll be.
Elenker Power Wheelchair Review Conclusion
Pay close attention to the list of bullet points above and take them to heart. We will close our Elenker Power wheelchair review by saying that if you’re like most people, you’re either going to love this little chair or be utterly unimpressed by it and give it a pass without so much as a second thought. It is so self-selecting, we can only give it a provisional recommendation. However, we’ll note that if all of the bullet points above apply to you, you’ll probably wonder how you ever got along without it!
Comparable Products to Consider
If this particular model isn’t a good fit for you, regardless of the reason, but you like the brand, and what this chair has to offer, then you should know that Elenker makes a few variants of this model. You may want to consider these:
This is a slightly more expensive, high-tech variant with Bluetooth support and adds 20 pounds to the weight limit (300 instead of 280). It’s a few pounds heavier but still an exceptionally travel-friendly chair.
A longer-range variant that can go up to 15 miles between charges and sports a padded headrest for additional comfort. It, too, costs a bit more, weighs a bit more, and can handle up to 300 pounds of user weight.
References & Resources:
- Elenker, Official Brand Website