January 28, 2021
My walking is challenged (and deteriorating) and with that comes compromised, very poor mobility. I can no longer easily and comfortably get around under my own steam using things like Canadian crutches. Frankly, my capacity to easily and independently move around outside my home is very limited. I had reached the point where I needed something to get me mobile again. And the Freedom Chair DE08L Premium Lite Sport has done just that.
The Freedom Chair is a well designed and considered piece of equipment. It is packed with a number of positive features (check out the description on Portable Mobility’s website) but for me there are a few stand-outs:
- Its portability.The Freedom Chair is light and it does fold up into a quite compact unit – a real space-saver. But its very best feature is its ability to be easily split into two, lightweight parts which can be loaded into a vehicle. The Freedom Chair has taken my independence to another level; now I can travel. I strongly recommend watching the 48 second instructional video on how to split the chair – invaluable.
- Its manoeuvrability through narrow passages (the aisle in a small shop for example) and excellent turning circle (almost on a dime). With a bit of practice you can get yourself out of some pretty tight spots.
- Its simplicity to control. The chair required little time initially to get a feel for its operability. And I have no experience with a joy stick.
- Its ability to negotiate fairly ‘lumpy’ ground; you are not confined to smooth paths – a bonus when you live in regional Australia. The front castor wheels are surprisingly ‘sure-footed’.
- Its power. The chair deals with the steep, the rough and the gravelly comfortably. Also, the ability to add additional battery power is reassuring. My Freedom Chair has allowed me to once again enjoy the everyday things like getting into the garden, joining my husband and friends on a walk, doing a grocery shop, popping down to the post office or hanging out the washing. Yes, they’re enjoyable because until now those things were either difficult or impossible. Now I can return to the local primary school and spend time with the kids helping them with their reading. And I’m not exhausted and aching at the end of the day.
But the best thing about my Freedom Chair is that now I can enjoy travelling again. The chair comes with us ‘camper-vaning’. We are able to break the chair down into its two parts and easily put it into the back of our vehicle – we didn’t have to remove the fridge! It takes only a couple of minutes and re-assembling the chair is just as easy. Unfortunately, I can’t lift the parts into or out of our vehicle but my husband can, comfortably. And it doesn’t put any strain on his back.
I am enjoying rediscovering my independence with the Freedom Chair – it is a credit to its designer and manufacturer. Portable Mobility are a joy to deal with. Steve patiently answered my seemingly end-less questions. My Freedom Chair arrived quickly and I was able to negotiate the delayed delivery of an additional battery without any fuss.
October 1, 2020
Thanks for the great chair. Freedom Chair DE08 Premium Lite.
The DE08 chair is proving a lifesaver. Most ‘ultra light’ folding chairs in the 20-25 kg range with batteries are still single pieces, and can only manage a maximum 100kg weight capacity. They often save weight by putting in low power motors.
I was unable to get up a normal sidewalk ramp in one I borrowed. Even a 15kg carbon fibre chair is 22kg with batteries fitted, and so many ads won’t tell you the true weight with batteries included. Anything over 20kg is either too heavy for my wife to lift, or too weak to carry me.
My older A08 chair from Portable Mobility is still excellent, but it is too heavy for my wife to lift, and it is starting to get a bit too heavy for me at times.
The DE08 solves all the weight and strength problems, as well as many other improvements such as the kick out stands so the chair is stable while on-end folded. The foot rest tucks right away better and it has another hinge.
The latest DE08 version where you don’t even need to undo a wire to separate the sections is amazing. Connecting and disconnecting with stiff fingers can be a problem, but this new design avoids any twisting of the wire connection.
Once you get the hang of guiding the pieces back together, it is self-aligning, and just clicks together.
I can put the power wheels in my back seat and the chair in my passenger seat and seatbelt them. Safe and much easier.
It can be left in one piece still, and while simply folded it can still fit in a small car boot with only 67cm deep.
The DE08 is powerful, strong and well-made like the A08, but a huge improvement in safety and convenience. The suspension is modest, but a nice effect and comfort.
It can also take new two- and old three-pin batteries with the right connectors, so the batteries from my old chair are still useful.
Portable Mobility have been responsive, reliable, good communicators, and the delivery took only days from across Australia.
Over the years they have been very helpful with parts and support.
Well worth the modest cost compared to other 160 kg rated 2x250W chairs of any weight
~Prof Ralph Sutherland
December 5, 2019
I have finally been out and about in my new Freedom Chair. It is just such a brilliant power chair. We have finally mastered splitting and joining the chair and have no problems fitting it into the boot of our little Yaris – with room to spare – that’s how compact it is when split. I love that it is so simple and quick to set up and be off and about.
I took it to a local botanical gardens to put it through its paces and gain confidence in using it. These gardens have a range of different surfaces and grades and so was perfect for me to gain confidence and skill in navigating it. The chair feels so stable and secure when traversing all different kinds of surfaces from cobbles, to paving, asphalt, cement, wooden bridges, gravel, dirt and rough grassy areas. It effortlessly surmounted road speed bumps and I found that I simply needed to just trust the chair. The chair has the capacity to move at speeds up to 7km/hr – I only had it up to 3km/hr and felt like I was flying – so amazing capacity in a chair that feels so secure.
I stopped on a downhill slope and the brakes are amazing. The chair comes to an instant stop the second my hand is removed from the joystick control and you can actually feel the electromagnetic braking system hold the chair in place – it feels very much like engaging the hand brake when driving, but with the Freedom Chair, it just does it automatically.
Climbing back up a lengthy slope of around 8 to 11 degrees and 100plus metres, was just so effortless for this chair. It has an incredible amount of grunt and there was not an instant of strain or difficulty for this chair to literally zoom effortlessly up this slope. It is recommended that the maximum grade for use with the chair is 12 degrees even though it has been tested and found safe at 15 degrees. I surmounted a very short but steep slope up onto a bridge that measured 14 degrees and the chair didn’t falter or have any difficulties at all. The anti-tip wheels are so easy and fast to slide on for added safety, but not once on any surface or any slope did I feel that the chair might tip – I really felt safe in this chair and quickly learned to trust its many and amazing capabilities.
The joystick control is amazingly intuitive and instantly responsive to minimal pressure. This is ideal for anyone with limited finger and hand mobility or difficulties with fine motor control as you can literally navigate the chair with just a fingertip.
However, I would recommend practising using the joystick before attempting to go through tight spaces just to get used to the minimal amount of pressure needed for the chair to respond, as it is easy to over exert the pressure until you get used to using it. It is fabulous that there is the choice of mounting on either left or right with the turn of a screw. The displays on the joystick like speed and battery charge remaining are bright and super easy to read.
The large footplate is brilliant. It is so much better and more comfortable than the twin pedal style footrests found on traditional wheelchairs. I found that the large footplate enables you to assume better posture for a more comfortable journey than the traditional twin rests. The double jointed design is also incredibly functional for moving out of the way and folding more compactly.
I love that the armrests can so easily be unlocked with the turn of a handle and lifted out of the way for ease of getting on and off and also to fit right up to tables. The usb hub in the armrest is an added safety feature to ensure your phone can stay charged when out and about and I think this is a great feature.
Both the pouch at the back of the chair and the zipped carry bag under the seat are really large and useful. I also found that I could clip a drink bottle to the push bar at the back which was very handy.
It is really easy to flick the red levers to change the chair from power driven to push along. This is great for me so that I can walk as much as I am able, then flick the levers and be back in control seated in the freedom chair.
The batteries are super easy to remove and replace back into the chair. Charging the chair is also incredibly simple and the batteries have a really huge capacity of up to 15km with the ability to just add 1 or 2 more batteries. This is a feature many other power chairs do not have. It makes me feel a whole lot safer too have a back up battery on board. I used the chair for around 2 hours and the battery charge indicator was still reading fully charged – amazing capacity.
Already – on my first day out in it – I have been able to access areas of the community that have been inaccessible to me for over 15 years. I am just so utterly thrilled that this chair is giving me the freedom to get out and about and enjoy participating in areas of the community that I have been unable to enjoy for such a long time.
The overall design of the chair is very contemporary and sleek – not at all like traditional wheelchairs – the silver and black colouring give it a really modern, sporty appearance that invite you to get out and about in it. The mud guards on the back wheels are great and very functional.This is a really brilliant, value for money power chair that more than lives up to its name – Freedom Chair!
Thank you so much for all your help and support.
~Dr Michelle Morgan, PhD
Associate Editor of The International Journal of Disability,
Development and Education School of Education
The University of Queensland St Lucia Q 4072 Orcid ID: 0000-0002-0443-7635
February 26, 2018
“Great chair to travel the world, especially the ability to split in two to carry into our standard balcony cabin on the 107 day 2019 World Cruise with Princess, Sydney to Sydney. The chair coped with everything we put it through, steep gangplanks, cobblestone streets, hills, grass, trains, buses, taxis and we never got anywhere near running out of battery power. My wife finds it very comfortable to sit in and easy to control.”
We would like to thank Portable Mobility, for all their help and kindness, helping us select the right chair for Robert. It has made such a great difference to his lifestyle, having something to get him out and about again. Robert has no difficulty in getting the chair in and out of our car and assembling it.
We have been shopping and were amazed that the chair could go up the moving walkway with Robert in it.
Once again thank you for all your assistance.