MS, MS Driving, MSLiving, power wheelchairs

Golden Literider Envy

My first power wheelchair was the Golden Literider Envy. As I mentioned, I bought this power chair when I realized that I just lacked the stamina needed to use a rollator or cane for activities away from my home. I also had my daughter’s college orientation looming. Through online research I narrowed down my options to this power chair and a folding power scooter. I then arranged a visit to the store that sold and serviced my father’s raise to standing recliner. After giving a few power chairs and power scooters a spin around the showroom, I settled on an orange Literider Envy.

My goal was to have a device I could put into my vehicle. A rear platform would block my vehicle’s rear camera and back up obstruction detector. This immediately eliminated the scooters. It would take time to purchase, order, and install the right lift. Until then, the Literider Envy could be broken down into 4 main parts for vehicle transport: battery case; motor and drive wheels; front caster wheels and lower frame; and the seat and armrests. My 2019 chair weighs less than the 2021 version. The armrests can each slide off as well. My then 11 year olds were able to assemble and take apart the power chair.

I later added a lift to my 2019 Murano. The lift was attached to the car’s frame, used the car’s battery, and had a corded remote to move the lift arm and strap. I do not recommend this combination of power chair, vehicle, and lift as it was too tight a fit for any of us to manage well – even with the armrests off and the seatback flipped down. My boys worked out a method but it involved a lot of shoving to be able to close the hatch. My balance was not enough to deal with the dangling and somewhat spinning chair. Don’t even get me started on the minimal amount of cargo room left.

power chair with car lift
Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy power chair with Bruno lift in mid-size SUV.

I continue to use this power chair around my house. It is nimble enough to navigate my layout, has storage space, and the seat fits under my tables (with the control arm raised and resting on the table).

Key Specs:

(Specifications have changed some since I purchased my chair in 7/2019. These are from Golden’s website on 4/27/2021.)

  • 36 inches long
  • 22.5 inches wide – adjusting the arm rests wider will impact this measurement.
  • 28.5 inches turning radius
  • 15.5 miles battery charge distance (Passenger weight and riding surface will impact this.)
  • Max speed: 3.5 mph 
  • 123 pounds total weight of powerchair (front casters and frame: 37 lbs.; drive wheels and motor: 36 lbs.; seat and armrests: 23 lbs.; battery: 27/pack)
  • Ground clearance 2.5 inches
  • Controls can go on either armrest.
  • Stadium style seat
  • Rear wheel drive
  • Charging port is under the controller.

Pros:

  • On the low price end for powered wheelchairs.
  • Has an accessible, to the rider, storage basket. This is under the seat where I can easily reach from the front and blocked by the battery pack in the back. I consider it secure. Mine can hold the charger, my small purse, a water bottle, and face masks all at once.
  • Can go over some outdoor surfaces. I have even gone over grass and through wooded paths. Avoid mulch and pea gravel paths.

Cons:

  • My factory batteries started to fail (not hold a full charge) after about 6 months. I had to charge up in stores, a church, a restaurant, a park, a YMCA, and a veterinary office. Luckily you just need the charger and an outlet. I replaced both batteries at about a year.
  • It is considered portable and therefore cannot be used as a vehicle driver seat.
  • You need a fairly large cargo space – bigger than a 2019 Murano – to utilize an interior chair lift easily.
  • The switch between neutral (easily push to roll) and drive (locked so only the motor and controls can move the chair) is underneath the back. This is difficult for an able person to find and operate.
  • There is no suspension. You will feel every tiny bump. Sidewalk, section dividing cracks are jarring. Going over a very thin carpet edge will spill a drink at the slowest speed. While some rough surfaces can be navigated, they will not be comfortable and may slowly bounce you out of the chair.
  • The foot rest is either too stiff to flip up and down easily or will not stay up. No matter how it is adjusted, it does not stay in the ‘easy to flip and stay’ mode more than a couple of days. I use a bungee cord to hold it in the flipped up position.
Bungee cord holding footrest in flipped up position.
Bungee cord holding footrest in flipped up position.

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