In a Nutshell:
Ranger Discovery D09 is a rugged, Spartan-looking electric wheelchair that’s incredibly versatile, with plenty of extras on offer. It is recommended for anyone. If you don’t need the XL version, the company makes two smaller variants and you may find that the Porto Mobility Ranger D09S is a better fit for you. Whichever variant is the best fit, this one belongs on your shortlist of options to consider.
- Terrific, Versatile, Rugged Design
- Limited Adjustable Features
- No Serious Complaints or Deal-Breaking Negatives
- Not a True Adventure Chair
- Limited Off-Road Capability
- Risk of Getting Hung Up
Is your mobility limited?
Are you on the hunt for an electric wheelchair or scooter that can take you just about anywhere you want to go and let you get back to enjoying life to the fullest?
If you answered yes to either or both of those questions, then you’re going to like our Porto Mobility Ranger D09 XL review.
Haven’t heard of Porto Mobility? We’d be surprised if you had. They’re not one of the titans of the mobility industry, but don’t let that fool you.
What the company lacks in brand recognition and industry footprint, they make up for in quality. The Ranger (offered in three different variants, each optimized for different body shapes and sizes) is a superb machine and incredibly capable.
That said, we’ll be the first to admit that it’s not perfect. It does have certain shortcomings and limitations. If you’re thinking of buying one, you should be aware of those too. That’s why, in the sections that follow, we’ll go over everything this model can and can’t do, giving you everything you need to decide for yourself whether this is the mobility aid you’ve been searching for.
Ready to take a closer look?
Let’s dive right in and do that!
Overview of the Porto Mobility Ranger Discovery D09 XL
Although it’s true that looks aren’t the most important feature to consider when shopping for a mobility aid, they do matter, and they play an important role in first impressions.
Right off the bat, we’ll say here in our Porto Mobility Ranger D09 XL review that the overall aesthetic of the model won’t be for everyone. It’s got a decidedly Spartan, minimalist/industrial look that won’t appeal to everyone.
If you’re a fan of the aesthetic, you’ll almost certainly love it. If not, and you can get past the look, then you’ll find a lot to like.
We won’t dwell on the aesthetics. It’s enough to draw your attention in that direction, and having done that, we’ll focus on the nuts and bolts. What really makes or breaks a design, after all, are the numbers that define it, so let’s take a closer look at them. Here’s a quick overview:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 38” L x 24” W x 37”
(Folded Dimensions: 26” L x 13” W x 31” H)
- Seat Dimensions: 20” W x 18” D
(Standard variant’s seat is 18.5” W x 17” D)
- Seat to Floor Height: 19”
- Turning Radius: 33”
- Top Speed: 5 MPH
- Range: 16 miles
- Ground Clearance: 3.7”
- Maximum Slope: 25 degrees
- Chair Weight: 50 pounds
- Maximum Supported Weight: 396 pounds
These are categorically good numbers that left us impressed on every front. The overall footprint of the Ranger is surprisingly small, and its folded footprint makes it easy to store the Ranger in the trunk space available in most mid-sized sedans and any larger vehicle. If you drive a truck, van, or SUV of any size, you won’t have any difficulties whatsoever.
While the Ranger Discovery D09 certainly isn’t the lightest electric wheelchair on the market, it’s certainly light enough to be considered travel-friendly, which is another point in this model’s favor.
The seat height and dimensions are good and an excellent pairing with the generous 396 pounds of supported user weight.
On top of that, it’s got decent ground clearance, incredible slope handling capabilities, and a good top speed. Most of the electric wheelchairs and scooters on the market today can handle a slope of about six degrees. The Ranger goes far, far beyond that. So if you live in a hilly area, this chair will be able to tackle the slopes with ease.
Most of the scooters you’ll find for sale these days have a top speed of about four miles per hour, with a good many models offering even less than that. Five miles per hour isn’t exactly a gallop, but it’s faster than average, and again, we count that as a very good thing and another point in this model’s favor.
The numbers keep getting better, though. The range is also above average (most of the chairs we’ve seen have a ~12-mile range), and that, combined with its decent ground clearance, means that you can wander quite far from the nearest power outlet, even over somewhat uneven terrain, with minimal worry.
Finally, check out the turning radius! At just 33,” even if you live in a smaller home or apartment, you should be able to use this chair inside your home without having to execute an endless array of three-point turns. That’s fantastic. The Ranger is built on very good bones, in our view.
Adjustability and Comfort of Ranger D09
This is admittedly not the strongest section of our Porto Mobility Ranger D09s XL review. Despite being built around some rock-solid numbers, there’s nothing about this chair that is adjustable. You’ll want to take a few careful measurements to make sure that the chair is a good fit for you.
Keep in mind that Porto Mobility offers a couple of different variants, too. For instance, the smaller Porto D09S can be found here. It’s essentially the same machine, just optimized for smaller, more lightly built people. So, gravitate to whichever model best meets your needs.
On the comfort front, the Ranger fares a bit better. It’s got enough padding to be reasonably comfortable, and the upholstery is breathable, so you won’t get hot and sweaty as you spend increasing amounts of time in it.
That said, the Ranger isn’t a chair built for lounging. If you plan on spending extended periods in it, you’ll probably want to invest in some aftermarket padding. You’ll find everything from gel seats to memory foam to conventional block foam pads covered with durable fabric. So ultimately, you can make the chair as comfortable as you’d like it to be, and you won’t spend a ton of money doing that.
Extras and Options of D09 XL
One thing that many of the other Porto Ranger D09 XL reviews we’ve seen on the web don’t talk much about are extras and optional accessories. While it’s true that this model doesn’t come with any built-in extras, Porto Mobility does deserve kudos on this front because most smaller companies don’t offer much, if anything, in the way of accessories. Porto is an exception to this rule of thumb.
If you order from their website, you can add an eight-pack accessories kit which includes:
- A cup holder
- A smartphone caddy
- A side arm storage bag
- A car charger
- LED running lights
- A safety flag
- A shopping basket
This is a superb list of high-value add-ons. The only thing we’d love to see added here is a safety belt, or better yet, including one as a standard feature. But if you decide you want one of those extras, you can pick it up at the aftermarket easily enough. The point, though, is that Porto Mobility has gone above and beyond what we’d expect from a smaller company, and that’s awesome.
Note: If you order from Amazon, the accessories option isn’t available at the point of sale, but you do get a free travel bag for the chair.
Portability and Ease of Use
We regard this as one of the strongest portions of our Porto D09s XL review and one of the main selling points of the chair. The folded footprint is surprisingly small, and the weight isn’t bad at all. Folding the chair for transport is a simple process, with smooth action, and if you’ve got some upper body strength, you won’t have any issues getting it into or out of the back of your vehicle.
It’s also light enough that you could fly with it. It’s still important to remember that airlines charge by the pound, so you will pay a bit of a premium for the pleasure.
It’s also important to remember that each airline sets its own policies about what it allows and doesn’t, so you’ll want to call whatever company you’re flying with to double-check and make sure that they’ll allow your Ranger on the plane. Taking that step will save you from a potentially nasty surprise at the ticket counter.
In terms of ease of use, the Porto Mobility Ranger XL is exceptional. The joystick controller is simple and intuitive and will only take you a matter of minutes to master. That, combined with its tight turning radius, means you won’t have to spend a lot of time practicing backing up or executing three-point turns to start using it.
Again, kudos to Porto Mobility for a job very well done.
Pros & Cons of Ranger Discovery D09
As we said at the beginning, the Porto Mobility Ranger D09 is a terrific, versatile, rugged design.
We can’t really find fault with it.
In a perfect world, we’d love to see at least a couple of adjustable features. For instance, a seat height adjustment option would be a nice addition, as would height-adjustable armrests.
That said, the company has limited the need for such things by offering a couple of different variants of their machine. While this isn’t a perfect workaround, we can’t really fault them for the lack of adjustable features either. Given that, we don’t have any serious complaints and can’t point to any deal-breaking negatives where this chair is concerned.
It’s worth pointing out, however, that although the Ranger has decent ground clearance, this isn’t a true adventure chair. You could use it in your yard, as long as you keep a watchful eye out for potential obstructions, and it’s got enough range that you could even take it down a hiking trail that was rated as easy.
That, however, is about the limit where this chair is concerned. If you try to move much beyond that, you run the risk of getting yourself hung up somewhere and in need of a rescue.
That’s not really a knock against the chair, though. We are just pointing out that although it’s pretty versatile at home, in paved areas, and around your property, it can’t take you absolutely anywhere.
Porto Mobility Ranger D09 XL Review Conclusion
We will close our Porto Mobility Ranger D09 XL review by saying that the model is a hidden gem in a crowded market. Since Porto Mobility isn’t a big, well-known brand, it’s all too easy to overlook this one, and that’s a pity because it really is a superb design.
We recommend it.
Comparable Products to Consider
If you like the Ranger Discovery D09, but it’s just not a good fit for you for one reason or another, here are a couple of alternatives you may want to consider:
It’s like owning your own, life-sized Tonka Truck, and it’s fantastic!
Keeps the same basic functionality but in a slightly different aesthetic, and is offered by a legendary company in the industry.
References & Resources:
- Porto Mobility, Official Brand Website
- Maintaining Mobility Scooter Batteries, Disabled World
- Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter Ramp Buying Guide, essentialaids.com
- Quantifying Mobility Scooter Performance in Winter Environments, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Motorised Mobility Devices, VicRoads