In a Nutshell:
The Pride Go Chair is a surprisingly lightweight, full-featured, capable chair that’s particularly travel-friendly in a market filled with products that typically aren’t. Recommended for anyone weighing up to 300 pounds and is looking for a travel-friendly electric wheelchair.
- Loved Go-Chair, especially travel-friendly
- Awesome design
- Slow speed, considered a major weakness
- Low height may limit use on certain terrains
- Not suitable for hiking trails
Do you love to travel? Are you in the market for an electric wheelchair or scooter that’s robust enough to take you where you want to go and simultaneously light enough so that it’s not too much of a hassle to take it with you on the road?
If you answered yes to those questions, then you’re going to love this Pride Go Chair review. Pride has a long history of making well-designed, durable products and an outstanding reputation for standing behind them.
Even if you ultimately decide this model isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, we think you’ll be impressed.
Naturally, like any other product, this one isn’t without its flaws and limitations. Still, it’s a very solid design and an absolutely fantastic travel chair, which may make it perfect for you.
In the sections that follow, we’ll step you through everything this model has to offer, and we won’t pull any punches when it comes to telling you what the Go-Chair doesn’t do so well. That way, you’ll have all the details you need right at your fingertips, so you can decide whether your search ends here, with this model, or if it must go on.
If that sounds good to you, read on, and let’s take a closer look.
An Overview of the Go Chair Pride
We note here in our Pride Go Chair review that aesthetically speaking, the Go-Chair looks like a scaled-down version of the company’s impressive lineup of ‘Jazzy’ electric wheelchairs. They share many, if not most, traits in common, but the Go-Chair is, by design, smaller and lighter.
It’s a small point, but this model is also offered in a much larger selection of colors than most of Pride’s other models. If you decide you want one of these you can order yours in your choice of the following color options:
- Citrine Yellow
- Pearl White
- Ruby Red
- Sapphire Blue
- Rose Quartz
- Or Amber Orange
Of course, a good electric wheelchair is more than aesthetics and color options, so let’s take a closer look at this model by the numbers. Here’s a quick overview:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 22.5” (W) x 33” (D)
- Seat Dimensions: 18” (W) x 17” (D)
- Top Speed: 3.7 mph
- Maximum Range: 13.2 miles
- Wheel Size: 9” (rear) and 6” (front casters)
- Maximum Climbing Angle: 6 degrees
- Turning Radius: 25.5.”
- Ground Clearance: 1.7.”
- Chair Weight: 97 pounds without batteries, 128 pounds with batteries
- Maximum Supported Weight: 300 pounds
These numbers are a bit of a mixed bag, with some good points and some that are less than stellar.
Taking it from the top, you’ll note that this really is a smallish chair, which means you won’t have any difficulty at all driving it through a standard-width doorway. That’s good news indeed.
The seat dimensions are pretty standard for a chair that can support up to 300 pounds, and 18” x 17” is as close to a ‘universal’ seat size as you’re likely to see. It will provide a comfortable fit for the vast majority of people who’d be interested in this model.
The top speed is a real disappointment to us, however. We consider chairs that have a top speed of four miles per hour to be slow-movers, and this one can’t even rise above that bar. If you have a friend who uses a walker, it’s entirely possible that he or she could race you in this chair and win. That’s a pity because it would not have been difficult to give this chair a bit of a speed boost.
The maximum range of the Go Chair Pride is average but on the high end of average. Note, however, that this number varies quite considerably, depending on how fast you’re going and how much you weigh. Your mileage will literally vary on that front.
We were expecting the turning radius to be better than it is. Some of Pride’s models have a turning radius of 21” or so. It seems that such a radius would be a good fit for a travel-friendly chair. Even though the Go-Chair isn’t best in class, 25.5” certainly isn’t bad. If you live in a smaller home or apartment or are visiting people who do, you shouldn’t have any great difficulty navigating through those spaces.
The ground clearance is another area of disappointment for us. At less than two inches, this chair was made to travel on home flooring surfaces, sidewalks, parking lots, and inside stores and shopping centers. This is not the chair you want if your plan is to spend the day at the park or go down a hiking trail.
In a similar vein, if you have an RV and are looking for a lightweight chair to take with you to campgrounds, you’ll probably only have limited success with this model. It just sits too low to the ground to cope with the uneven terrain you’re likely to encounter.
The weight, however, is superb for a power wheelchair. It lives up to its name here, being one of the lightest power chairs on the market today.
We’ll have more to say about that later, but for now, just know that it definitely succeeds in its mission to be travel-friendly.
Adjustability and Comfort
This is not one of Pride’s more adjustable models. There is no headrest, so naturally, there’s nothing to adjust there. The seat does swivel, and there’s a locking mechanism under the seat if you don’t want it to swivel, so you’re not trying to transfer into or out of a moving target.
You can raise and lower the seat in a range that spans 17” to 20” but to do so, you’ve got to partially disassemble the Pride Go-Chair by removing the seat, the storage bins beneath, and then adjusting. It’s a major operation and not really recommended, once you have it set where you want it.
The padded armrests flip up for easy transfers and are width adjustable for optimal comfort, but that’s the extent of the adjustability on this model.
The seat is slightly smaller than the seats on most of Pride’s other electric wheelchairs or scooters, but it is still reasonably well padded with block foam for its size. For periods of 3-4 hours of sitting in it, you’ll find it to be fairly comfortable. However, more than that, you’ll almost certainly want to add some additional padding for the seat and the seatback.
Part of the problem is that the seat is upholstered in vinyl, and the more time you sit in it, the hotter and sweatier you’re bound to get.
Vinyl has another issue, too – it’s not a very durable type of upholstery. This chair has a five-year warranty, but you can expect the vinyl upholstery to start peeling and cracking after 18 months to two years. You’ll almost certainly have to have the seat re-covered before you trade this chair in for its replacement.
We can’t really fault the Go-Chair itself for that, though, since every chair Pride sells utilizes the same vinyl upholstery. We understand the attraction. Vinyl is inexpensive, it looks good, and it’s low maintenance, but it’s far from perfect.
If there’s a silver lining, it lies in the fact that the seat isn’t all that big, and having it re-covered with something more durable won’t be that much of an expense.
Extras and Options
There are two extras to talk about where the Pride Go power chair is concerned; one fun and one safety feature.
The fun one is the fact that there are a pair of swing-away storage bins located under the seat.
They’re not huge, but they’re big enough to be genuinely useful. We regard storage as an essential component of any chair used for travel, and we were thrilled to see its inclusion here.
Second, this model comes with a lap belt as a standard feature. We wish all wheelchairs, electric or otherwise, came with safety belts standard, just like all cars do. It’s too important a safety feature to leave off, but most models do leave it off, so we were excited to see it offered here. Kudos to Pride!
That, however, is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Pride offers a wide range of accessories you can buy once you get a feel for how you’re using the chair and better understand what would make it even more useful to you. These accessories include:
- A cane/crutch holder
- A cellphone holder
- A cup holder
- A rear basket
- Saddlebags to drape over the armrests
- A weather cover
- A walker holder
- A safety flag
- An oxygen holder
- An XLR USB charger
- And a swing-away joystick
Most of these are excellent, high-value additions to the chair. We especially like the fact that you can invest in two different additional storage options and if you invest in all of them, you’ll find that you can tote just about anything you want around with you.
In addition to that, of course, if you’re willing to consider accessories made by third-party vendors, you’ll find dozens of different options available so you can customize your Go-Chair to your heart’s content if you like. And given the fact that it’s relatively inexpensive as power wheelchairs go, you’re likely to have enough money left over to do some of that!
Portability & Ease of Use
Pride Mobility has had decades to refine its control system, and the simple joystick controller is about as intuitive as it gets. It will only take you a few minutes to master the basic controls. Owing to a pretty good turn radius; you’re unlikely to find yourself in a situation where you get hung up badly.
Of course, the caveat is that this is not a chair you can use on open ground. You might be able to get away with running around your yard if it’s free of obstructions and relatively flat, and the grass is freshly cut, but it just doesn’t sit up high enough to be able to cope with much else.
On paved surfaces, though, or inside homes, on sidewalks, and in shopping centers, it’s a great little machine that handles superbly.
Portability, though, is where the Go-Chair really shines. The Pride Go Chair batteries weigh a little over 14 pounds each, and the machine was designed to be very easy to disassemble. Once it is disassembled, most of the pieces weigh less than 30 pounds, with the heaviest of the lot weighing 34.
Broken down like that, it’s easy to carry and easy to load and unload into trunk space or the backseat of your car. You should have no trouble fitting the Go-Chair into the trunk of a full-sized sedan. If you have a truck, SUV, van, or hatchback, you’ll have an even easier time.
Here’s the problem: Having to take the chair apart and put it back together again when you get where you’re going cuts into the fun. It takes time.
If you’re okay with that, then there’s no need to do anything. Just carry on taking it apart and putting it together.
If you want to reclaim that time, there are a couple of options to consider. The first of these is a ramp. This is an effective alternative if you drive a truck or a van.
Instead of taking the chair apart, just deploy the ramp and drive the Go-Chair onto the truck bed or into the van.
Secure it and hit the road. Then, when you get where you’re going, deploy the ramp again, drive it down, and you’re ready for a fun day, with no reassembly required.
If that’s unworkable, the other option is a lift, which allows you to simply carry the chair behind whatever you’re driving. The only issue is that lifts tend to be relatively expensive, and not everyone will be able to afford one.
Ultimately, it’s going to cost you either time or money to travel with this chair, but of all the power chairs on the market, this is one of the most travel-friendly we’ve ever seen.
It’s even light enough that you could almost make a case for flying with it. Even so, it’s important to remember that airlines charge by weight, and you can find a good manual travel wheelchair that weighs 30-40 pounds, which will be a lot less expensive to fly with.
Then there’s the issue that some airlines simply won’t allow you to bring the Go-Chair on the plane at all because the batteries are considered a fire hazard.
If it’s something you want to try, though, be sure you call the airline you plan on flying with in advance.
Each airline sets its own policies where that kind of thing is concerned, and you don’t want any surprises when you show up with your ticket in hand!
Pros & Cons of Go Chair Pride Mobility
We love the Go-Chair! It’s an awesome little chair that’s especially travel-friendly. Having said that, it does have two things we regard as major weaknesses that you’ll want to bear in mind. First, it’s slow. As in, grandma with her walker could probably move faster than you can in this chair.
Second, it’s low. If you’re planning to use it on mostly paved surfaces, that won’t be an issue. If you’re looking for a chair to take down a hiking trail, however, it’s going to make this one a non-starter.
Pride Go Chair Review Conclusion
While it’s not for everyone, the Go-Chair is a superb travel chair optimized for urban spaces. We claim here in our Pride Go Chair review that this chair is a good fit for how the bulk of the market would plan to use it. It’s lightweight for an electric model, and, aside from having a few design limitations, it is very well engineered overall. We recommend it.
References & Resources:
- Pride Mobility, Official Brand Website.
- Pride Mobility Go Chair User Manual.
- Power Wheelchair Maintenance, Physiopedia.
- 4 Tips to Resolve Common Mobility Scooter and Power Wheelchair Issues, The Mobility Resource.
- Study on Characteristics of the Wheelchair-User Combination, Scientific Research.