Both the three- and four-wheel versions of this scooter are exceptional in every way. The Pride Mobility Raptor 3-Wheel Scooter is a stylish, full-featured design.
Recommended For: Anyone weighing up to 400 pounds if you’re a fan of the aesthetic and are not looking for an all-terrain vehicle.
*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.
Do you suffer from a mobility issue that sees you spending at least part of each day in a wheelchair? Are you looking for a mobility aid that’s as stylish as it is functional? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you’ll love learning more about the mighty Raptor, one of many exceptional designs offered by Pride Mobility.
Pride is one of the biggest and best-known companies in the business, and while all of their products are a cut above, the Raptor is really something special.
Most wheelchairs and even a solid majority of the scooters on the market aren’t designed with aesthetics in mind. They’re designed much more for function rather than form.
That’s not a bad thing by any means. After all, if you have a mobility issue of any severity, the first and most important thing you need is a piece of equipment that allows you to get where you want to go. As long as it does that, it doesn’t really matter that the wheelchair or scooter is pretty. Except, of course, that sometimes it does.
Aesthetics might not be everything, but they’re not totally unimportant, either, and if you’re given a choice between a well-designed scooter that looks like the south end of a north-bound horse are a cool looking one, be honest, wouldn’t you rather have the prettier of the two?
Most people would answer that question with a resounding yes, and that’s no surprise, really. Of course, tastes and preferences vary from person to person, which is why it’s always a bit of a risk to design something that looks compelling. What looks compelling to the design team might be utterly off-putting to the vast majority of the market, and that could spell disaster for a company.
All of this explains why most companies play it safe and keep most of their designs conventionally based. Sometimes though, you find a happy exception to that rule, and the Raptor is one such exception. We’ll readily admit that the styling won’t be appealing to everyone, but we absolutely love it.
Even if you’re not a fan, we think you’ll be impressed. In the sections that follow here in our Pride Raptor review, we’ll walk you through everything this model has to offer. Even if you ultimately decide that this one is not for you, we think you’ll agree that this model has a lot to offer. If you’re interested and curious to know more, read on, and we’ll take a closer look!
An Overview of the Pride Raptor Scooter
Where many models are concerned, the styling really isn’t that big of a factor in most people’s purchasing decisions. Here, it still may not be the most important factor, but it’s certainly high on the list.
Simply put, if you don’t like the aesthetic this model brings to the table, you can probably find a different scooter with comparable capabilities and would likely be happier with that model, whatever it might be.
First and foremost, then, take a good, long, hard look at the Raptor. If you love it, read on and prepare to be impressed. If you don’t, then you can probably give this one a pass without a second thought. Before we say more than that in this section of our Pride Raptor review, let’s take a look at the numbers behind the design.
Here’s a quick overview:
Most of these numbers are good, if not excellent, but a couple of areas may prove problematic.
First of all, this isn’t a huge scooter. It’s not compact, but it’s not enormous either. That said, it is definitely a heavyweight.
With the batteries included (and let’s face it, an electric scooter sans batteries isn’t terribly useful), the Pride Raptor scooter weighs in at more than 300 pounds, which on the face of it, doesn’t make the model all that portable or travel friendly. We’ll have more to say on that topic later. For now, just be aware that it’s a hefty piece of equipment.
Stylistically, the 3-wheeled version looks like a 3-wheeled motorcycle, but it’s got a relatively poor turn radius. It’s not nimble in the way you’d expect a motorcycle to be, and its other problem is the fact that it sits relatively low to the ground, with a dismal 1.3” ground clearance.
While that fact is not automatically a deal-breaker, it does mean that this model is chiefly designed for use on surface streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and inside shopping centers.
It’s not a “dirt bike” scooter, or at least, if you plan on using it on open ground, you’ll need to make sure it’s relatively flat, level open ground, which does somewhat limit its versatility.
The maximum supported weight, though, is quite impressive, and it’s a fairly zippy little thing, with a top speed of 14 miles an hour. Even better, it’s got a decent range that maxes out at 31 miles. This, however, is dependent on exactly how much you weigh and how fast you run the scooter.
That number can fall off markedly if you’re near the top end of the scooter’s weight limit and you run it wide open. Even so, 31 miles on a charge is pretty impressive.
Adjustability and Comfort
Unlike many of the models Pride offers, the overall styling of the Raptor mobility scooter prevents the seat height from swiveling or being height adjusted. It sits 19.14” off the ground and cannot be adjusted. You’ll want to bear that and the 20” x 18” seat dimensions in mind, taking a quick measurement of your own body before committing to purchase here.
Fortunately, the padded armrests can be height, width and angle adjusted. The steering tiller can also be set closer or farther away from you with the touch of a button, depending on the length of your arms and whatever proves to be the most comfortable driving position for you.
The seat is well padded with conventional block foam and should be fine for periods of use extending to about four hours.
It should be noted, however, that the Raptor’s seat is upholstered in black vinyl.
There’s nothing wrong with vinyl, but as an upholstery option, it does have two important limitations to keep in mind. First of all, it’s not breathable, which means that if you spend extended periods of time in the seat, you’re going to start getting hot and increasingly uncomfortable.
Second, vinyl does not stand up well to the rigors of heavy daily use. If you use your Raptor on a daily basis or nearly so, you can expect that the upholstery will start giving way, showing its age by peeling and cracking after about eighteen months of use.
Fortunately, there’s not a huge amount of vinyl to contend with, so when the day comes that you have to have the seat re-upholstered, it won’t be an enormous expense, and you can have it re-clad in something more durable.
If you want to preserve the upholstery for longer than 18 months or so, and especially if you live in a hot climate where the black vinyl may start getting uncomfortable much sooner than 4 hours, then additional padding for the seat and seatback will accomplish both goals at once. Extra padding will give you an added layer of comfort and take your body off the vinyl direct, which should help extend its life.
Note that for shorter periods of use, the extra padding really isn’t necessary, but if you plan to be a power user, then you may find the added comfort with the modest additional expense.
Extras and Options
There are two main things to talk about here. First, the Pride Raptor 3 wheel scooter comes with a full light kit. It’s outfitted with a headlamp, turn signals, taillights, and even a handy rearview mirror.
Plenty of scooters on the market today don’t have any of those things. The fact that this one does really expands where, when, and how you can use it, making it relatively more versatile and doing a lot to offset the loss in versatility caused by the low clearance of the machine.
The second thing is that this model is sold with the wireframe steel basket, which is a piece of optional equipment for most of Pride’s other scooter models.
Unfortunately, it’s offered here because most of Pride’s other models come with a front-mounted plastic basket for storage. Also, the company clearly didn’t want this model to be the only one of their product line that didn’t offer storage of some kind.
It’s a good addition that allows you to store and haul a surprising amount of supplies, but if you find that you need more storage (entirely likely), then you’ll want to check out the company’s other accessories.
Speaking of accessories, this is something Pride does a categorically great job with. While their base models don’t come loaded with extras, the company offers a wide range of optional equipment that gives you all sorts of options when it comes to customizing and personalizing your scooter.
We like almost all of these (the safety flag is the one exception for us). However, we do wish that the safety belt was offered as a piece of standard equipment rather than making customers buy it separately, but we understand why the others are optional.
Simply put, not everyone will want or need them, and there’s no point in paying extra for something you won’t use.
In any case, the company offers a good selection, and if you’re willing to consider products offered by third-party vendors, then a whole world of customization options awaits!
Portability & Ease of Use
We have to talk about the Pride Raptor 3-wheel’s weight problem. This model does not win high marks on portability, and while many of the company’s other models are easy to break down into manageably-sized parts, this one is somewhat less friendly in that regard.
The good news is that there are a couple of easy ways around the problem. If you drive a truck or van, investing in a ramp will allow you to simply drive the scooter into the van or onto the bed of your truck and then drive it back down again when you get where you’re going.
If that won’t work for you, you can also invest in a lift, allowing you to carry your Raptor behind whatever vehicle you drive.
Of course, the problem is that both options require you to spend yet more money, on top of the Raptor’s fairly hefty purchase price, and in addition to any customization accessories you might want. That’s going to increase your total cost of ownership, which may put it out of reach for some people, but it’s the price of admission if you want to travel conveniently with this model.
Before we move on to the next section here in our Pride Raptor scooter review, we should say at least a few words about air travel. In summary: No.
It weighs more than 300 pounds. Airlines charge by the pound. A good travel wheelchair weighs about 40 pounds, and many of them weigh less than that.
Don’t go broke trying to fly with this, even if you can convince an airline to let you, which itself would probably be an uphill battle. Just no.
It’s not worth the headaches or the expense.
The Raptor is much better and friendlier on the ease of use front. The controls are a lesson in simplicity. Given its speed and range, after you spend a few minutes mastering the controls, you’ll be off and running, flying through your neighborhood or around your yard as the wind whips through your hair.
Pros & Cons of Pride Mobility Raptor 3-Wheel Scooter
Overall, the aesthetic of the Pride Mobility Raptor scooter is kind of a two-edged sword. If you love the way it looks, you’ll probably love this model for everything else it has to offer.
If you don’t like the way it looks, then it won’t matter how much you like the raw numbers that define the model. That probably won’t be enough to make you pick this one over something else. So as much as we love the look of it, we’d count it as a possible negative.
The ground clearance is a definite negative. Despite its racy exterior that gives the impression it could go just about anywhere, it simply can’t. You can get away with using it around your property if you have a fairly level yard, but honestly, it’s designed for sidewalks, and other flat, level (paved) surfaces. That’s where it does best.
It’s also pricey and even more expensive if you want to take it on the road with you.
We don’t regard any of the above as outright deal-breakers, but we realize that opinions will vary, and one or more of them might be a deal-breaker for you. Besides those things, however, we absolutely love this scooter, and we think you’ll be impressed!
Pride Raptor Review Conclusion
Of the Raptor’s negatives, the relative difficulty in traveling with it stands out as the worst of the bunch, and that may or may not be a big deal to you. We’re definitely not saying here in our Pride Raptor review that the model doesn’t have its weaknesses and limitations, only that they’re easy to overlook, given everything this machine has to offer and especially if you like the styling.
The styling makes it a self-selecting model, and given that, we can only give this one a provisional recommendation. We will say, though, that if you like how it looks, you’ll probably love the machine and everything it can do!
References & Resources:
- Pride Mobility, Official Brand Website.
- Pride Raptor Scooter User Manual.
- Five of the Most Useful Mobility Scooter Features, Auto Chair.
- Mobility Scooters in the Wild: Users’ Resilience and Innovation, Griffith.
- Motorized Mobility Scooters: The Use of Training/Intervention and Technology for Improving Driving Skills in Aging Adults – A Mini-Review, Karger.
Recommended For: Anyone weighing up to 400 pounds, if you’re a fan of the aesthetic and you’re not looking for an all-terrain vehicle.