In a Nutshell:
The Shoprider Jimmie is a great power chair for the right user. Unfortunately, the right user, in this case, is incredibly narrowly defined. Recommended for if you like the power chair aesthetic, have a light or medium frame (250 pounds or less), and have really long legs, this could be a brilliant chair for you. For everyone else, we can’t recommend it.
- Good chair with well-implemented features
- Fantastic turning radius
- Struggles with identity and purpose
- Seat height range suggests suitability for big and tall individuals
Do you have a preference for power chair styling over the aesthetic offered by scooters or electric wheelchairs? Are you in the market for a new ride to replace your current aging mobility device?
If you answered yes to those questions, then you’re probably going to like what you read in this—our Shoprider Jimmie review.
Fair warning, however, that this is a very narrowly targeted chair that is only going to be a good fit for a very specific segment of the market.
If you happen to fall into that segment, then you’re going to love this chair. If you don’t, then no matter how impressed you may be by what you read here, it’s just not going to be a good fit for you.
Are you the user this chair was designed for? In the sections that follow, we’ll show you and tell you everything this chair has to offer. If your interest is piqued, read on, and let’s take a closer look.
An Overview of the Shoprider Jimmie Power Chair
We regard this as a strictly average component of our Shoprider Jimmie review, with some very good aspects and some extremely unimpressive ones (and one that’s a bit mystifying!).
If you like the aesthetic that power chairs offer, then you’re going to be quite taken with the Jimmi.
Offered in a bold burgundy, if you decide you want one, you can order yours with either a grey or black seat, and you’ll be impressed by the number of seating options the company has on offer. When you place your order, you can choose whichever of the following offers the best fit for you:
- 17.5” W x 17” D Pillow-Top without headrest
- 17.5” W x 15” D Captain’s chair (grey)
- 18” W x 17.5” D Captain’s chair without headrest (black)
- 18” W x 17.5” D Captain’s chair (grey or black)
- 19” W x 18” D Captain’s chair (grey or black)
- 20” W x 18” D Captain’s chair (black only)
- 21” W x 21” D Captain’s chair (grey or black)
- 16” W x 16” D Pan seat (grey only)
- 18” W x 18” D Pan seat (grey or black)
- 18” W x 20” D Pan seat (black only)
- 20” W x 20” D Pan seat (grey or black)
We love the number of options available here, and we think you will too. But it’s hard to evaluate the strength of the design when you’re just looking at seating options, so let’s add the other measurements that define this model so that a more complete picture emerges:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 22.5” W x 35” L x 36.5” H
- Total Weight: 106 pounds (breaks into three pieces for transport, heaviest weighing 35.8 pounds)
- User Weight Limit: 250 pounds
- Top Speed: 3.75 MPH
- Max. Slope: 6 degrees
- Casters: 6” solid
- Drive Wheels: 9” Solid
- Range: 10 miles
- Ground Clearance: 2”
- Turning Radius: 15.5”
- Seat Height Adjustment Range: 19.5” to 20”
There’s a lot to unpack in these numbers, some good and some not so good. Let’s just take it from the top and see if we can make sense of them.
The overall footprint of the Jimmie is quite good, marking it as a relatively travel-friendly chair.
This is reinforced by the weight. Although 106 pounds may not appear all that travel-friendly at first glance, it’s worth mentioning that the Jimmie breaks down into three separate pieces—with the heaviest piece being just 35.8 pounds.
That’s much better, but it does mean that if you want to take this chair on the road (or in the air), you’ll have to spend some time taking it apart and then putting it back together again when you get where you’re going.
If you prefer the convenience of a folding chair, this one won’t be a good fit for you, but if you don’t mind a little assembly, you’ll find this one to be easy to work with.
The informal average supported weight limit across the industry is 300 pounds, and the Jimmie falls well short of that at just 250. That won’t be a problem in the least if you weigh less than that, but if you happen to weigh more, the modest weight limit will be an outright dealbreaker.
The weight limit will come back to haunt this model in other ways, which we’ll get to as we work our way through these stats.
With a top speed of just under 4 miles per hour, the Jimmie power chair isn’t exactly a speed demon, but as long as you’re not in a big rush to get wherever you’re going, that might not be a huge issue for you.
The slope handling is about average at six degrees. It should be fine in most parts of the country, but if you live in an especially hilly area, you may want to look for chairs that offer 8-10 degrees of slope handling.
The range is somewhat disappointing at 10 miles. That’s perfectly fine if you stick to urban environments, but the modest range does pretty much limit you to that. You won’t have to keep the location of the nearest power outlet firmly in mind, but you also won’t be able to just spend the whole day tooling around in the Jimmie without stopping for a recharge.
At a modest 2”, the chair’s ground clearance underscores the point that this chair was designed primarily with urban environments in mind. While it’s true you can drive this chair over hard-packed earth or freshly cut grass if the yard is smooth and level, bear in mind that with the limited clearance, the least little obstruction is going to cause you to get hung up.
In our view, the turning radius is the absolute best number on this list. Fifteen and a half inches is crazy good, meaning that you’ll be able to navigate through incredibly tight quarters like RVs or tiny homes with ease.
We’re incredibly impressed with the turning radius.
The seat height adjustment, though, is another matter. This chair sits relatively high off the ground, and the chair is meant for taller folks with especially long legs.
What’s curious about that is the fact that most tall people tend to be heavier than average, but the weight limit comes into play at this point, and not in a good way. Remembering that this chair only supports up to 250 pounds, what you’re left with is a mobility aid designed with tall, lightly built people in mind.
If that’s you—fantastic! This chair will probably fit you like a glove. Unfortunately, that’s a relatively small segment of the market.
The Jimmie Power Wheelchair is Surprisingly Comfortable and Adjustable
Although the seat of the Jimmie (regardless of which seating option you select) is upholstered in PU, it is delightfully well-padded, especially if you order one of the pillow-top options.
That fact is a bit of a curiosity, given its relatively short range. But if you decide to order one of the pillow top seats, you’ll be happy to know that you can remain seated in your Jimmie, even when you get to wherever you’re going.
Granted, over time, the upholstery is going to start making you hot and sweaty, but the seat offered here is certainly suitable for short to medium-duration lounging.
If that’s not enough, additional padding is easy to add via the aftermarket, and you can enhance your Jimmie to whatever comfort level you desire.
In terms of adjustability, there’s a lot to like here. While we’re surprised and a little disappointed to learn that the seat doesn’t swivel in any configuration, it is height adjustable, and the seatback can be reclined to taste.
In addition to that, the padded armrests flip up if you don’t want or need them—a fact which makes transferring into and out of the chair a simple proposition. It gets better because the footplate is adjustable too!
In our view, the reclining seat, paired with the “pillow top” padding option, makes this a great chair for lounging once you arrive at whatever destination you have in mind.
Shoprider Jimmie Accessories
We consider this to be one of the strongest components of our Shoprider Jimmie review.
If you decide you want one of these, in addition to selecting from an impressive number of seating options, you can customize your footplate to taste or, if you prefer, simply run without one. If you decide you want one, you can choose from the following options:
- Seat-Mounted Foot Platform (11.5” – 18.5” adjustable)
- Swing Away Foot Rests (17” – 19.5” adjustable)
- Swing Away Elevating Leg Rests (18” – 21” adjustable)
- Residual Limb support (specify left or right side when ordering)
In addition to that, the order form for the Jimmie allows you to add the following accessories at your preference:
- Metal Oxygen Tank Holder
- Walker Holder
- Mesh Oxygen Tank Holder
- Transit Tie-down kit (unoccupied)
- Cup Holder
With the exception of the cup holder, these are high-value extras, and the cup holder is super convenient, or it can be, depending on how you plan on using the chair.
The Jimmie is Easy to Drive and Surprisingly Portable, But…
The Jimmie didn’t win high marks here, despite having a turning radius that’s off-the-charts good and a joystick-based control system that can be mastered in mere minutes.
Part of usability in our minds comes down to the size of the market that can potentially use it, and here, the Jimmie is a bit unimpressive for all the reasons we talked about earlier in this review.
On the portability front, this is essentially a self-selecting chair. If you prefer folding models, then you’re not going to like the fact that you have to take the time to disassemble and reassemble the Jimmie any time you travel with it.
If that’s not a big deal to you, then you’ll find that it can be disassembled with minimal fuss, and the heaviest piece can be lifted into the trunk of a mid-sized sedan even by people with limited upper body strength.
Note too that the Jimmie is airline-friendly, but please keep in mind that each airline gets to set its own standards, so just because the batteries say “airline-approved,” you’ll still want to call whatever carrier you’re flying with to be sure.
It’s always better to get that sorted in advance rather than risking a nasty surprise when you get to the airport.
Pros & Cons of Shoprider Jimmie Power Wheelchair
From an engineering perspective, this is a good chair. It doesn’t have any poorly implemented features, and some of them (looking at you, turning radius) are absolutely fantastic.
From a design perspective, though, the Jimmie struggles. It almost feels like it’s not quite sure what it wants to be. The seat height range cries out for big and tall folks, and the modest weight limit just…doesn’t. That makes it a bit of an odd design that (unintentionally, we think) caters to a very specific segment of the market.
Shoprider Jimmie Review Conclusion
We’d say here in our Shoprider Jimmie review that the Jimmie is an almost completely self-selecting chair. Its ideal owner will be someone who:
- Prefers the power chair aesthetic over other mobility options
- Is tall
- Has long legs
- Isn’t looking for a fast chair
- And also has a light to medium build so as not to exceed the chair’s modest weight limit.
The more of those boxes you check, the happier you’ll be with the purchase of a Jimmie. If you exceed the weight limit, then the rest of those points don’t matter, and this chair will simply be a non-starter for you.
In our view, that makes the Jimmie decidedly a niche product. On that basis, we can only give it a provisional recommendation.
Comparable Products to Consider
If you’ve reached this point of our review and have pretty much decided that the Jimmie isn’t the right model for you, here are a couple of other options to consider:
Offered by the same company that makes the Jimmie, this handy little scooter is styled differently and folds rather than disassembles for travel.
If you prefer the aesthetic of a folding mobility aid, this one is a good option to consider, though it does suffer from the same shortcomings and limitations that the model we just reviewed does, so keep that very much in mind!
We love the Navigator XL! It’s a big, burly, rugged machine that can take you places that the Jimmie simply can’t.
It also looks a bit like a Tonka Truck, which we love, but we readily admit that others may not share our enthusiasm. If you’re looking for a chair that can take you over rougher terrain, give this one a look, though understand that it does trade travel friendliness for being more robust and capable.
References and Resources:
- Shoprider, Official Brand Website.
- Shoprider Jimmie Power Wheelchair User Manual.
- Using Power Wheelchairs Abroad, Mobility International USA.
- Technologies that Enable Mobility, Science Direct.
- Exploring Powered Wheelchair Users and Their Caregivers’ Perspectives on Potential Intelligent Power Wheelchair Use: A Qualitative Study, National Center for Biotechnology Information.