In a Nutshell:
The Beach Cruzr 4 Two is a truly innovative product. Even if you don’t need one, you’ll like it. If you do need one, it’s solid gold. A niche product specifically designed for two people to ride together. If that’s what you need, this is the powered beach wheelchair you want.
Ease of Use
Do you or does your significant other have a mobility issue that’s keeping the two of you from enjoying the great outdoors as you once did? Are you looking for a chair you can ride around together?
The Beach Cruzr 4 2 was designed and built for a particular type of customer. If both of the questions above are true for you, then you’re going to love this review, and the chair itself. If you answered no to one or both of those questions, then you’ll probably find this model interesting, but it will almost certainly not be the one you’re looking for.
The Cruzr 4 2 is unlike any other wheelchair we’ve ever reviewed, powered or manual. Even better, it’s made by a tiny company you’ve probably never even heard of (Hotshot Products), which makes it fascinating on many levels.
It impressed us sufficiently that we gave it an honorable mention in our recent roundup review of the best all-terrain wheelchairs on the market today, in the beach wheelchair category.
If you’re curious to know more, keep reading. We’ll tell you all about what it can and can’t do in the sections that follow, so you’ll have all the information you need before making a purchase decision. If that sounds good to you, let’s jump right in and see what the beach wheelchair can do!
An Overview of the Beach Cruzr 4 2
The first thing you’ll notice about the Beach Cruzr 4 2 is that it looks a lot like a loveseat on wheels. It’s the only powered wheelchair we’ve ever run across that was explicitly designed and built for two.
The second thing you’ll notice is that the model has a relatively simplistic, homespun design. That’s because it is. Hotshot Products is a tiny company, based in California, that hand builds every chair they make.
You’re not getting a factory-machined product, but something built one piece at a time by a small group of dedicated employees who genuinely love what they do. As such, each product they make is slightly different from every other, and in fact, the company encourages you to contact them with special requests if you want something “extra” added to your Cruzr (which we’ll talk about in more detail later on).
Some people may balk at this, preferring the high production values of mass-produced goods. We have a different view. In an age where just about everything is mass produced and designed to look good but break down with serious use, we love the fact that these guys are doing it old school.
Granted, it’s not for everyone, but if you like handcrafted equipment, you’re going to love this company because that’s all they do.
Beach Cruzr 4 Two Specifications
Let’s take a closer look at the chair itself to see what makes it tick. Here are its basic stats:
In More Detail
A couple of things to make a note of here. First, we were a bit underwhelmed by the maximum supported weight offered by the Beach Cruzr 4 Two. Granted, that’s an average of 225 pounds per person, which isn’t bad, but we’ve seen modestly priced bariatric wheelchairs that could support much higher weights for individual occupants.
We strongly suspect that the aircraft grade aluminum that the device is made from could stand up to the challenges of extra weight but won’t go against the company’s recommendation on that front.
The other thing we were a bit disappointed with was the range, which tops out at a modest ten miles, and could wind up being significantly less than that, depending on how much weight the chair is transporting.
Even so, given the dimensions of the chair and the fact that it’s designed for use in the sun and sand, an enterprising DIYer could probably figure out a way to rig some solar panels to it for recharging on the go. In fact, the company itself would probably be willing to work with you if you wanted something like that.
Adjustability & Comfort
The Cruzr 4 2 gets high marks here not just because it’s got a number of adjustable features. If you want adjustability above and beyond what you see here, again, the company encourages you to contact them with any custom requests you may have.
Even without doing that though, you’ll find:
In addition to that, you can order your chair with a “Quick Change” tire kit, so if you want to swap out the big beach tires for something better suited to another type of terrain, you can do that!
Note: Hotshot Products uses standard Wheeleez Beach Tires for their chairs, so if and when you need to replace them, finding tires that fit is a simple matter.
The fact that we gave this model relatively low marks for versatility might surprise some readers, given everything we’ve talked about so far. After all, a motorized wheelchair with a zero turning radius and quick-change wheels sounds pretty versatile, right?
That’s true, but we also took into account its “two-seater” design. While one individual could undoubtedly make good use of the chair, its width, and the fact that it was meant specifically for couples, at least in our view, makes it somewhat less versatile unless you need it for that specific purpose.
On-Board Storage & Extras
There’s both good news and bad news here, which made this dimension of the product somewhat tricky for us to score.
On the one hand, Hotshot Products does not offer any “extras” at all. When you place your order, you don’t get to pick from fun options like beach umbrellas, storage compartments, swapping out one kind of seat belt for the other, and so on.
On the other hand, though, this is a tiny company with passionate, committed employees who love what they do. They’ll bend over backward to incorporate your wish list into the design, and they hand build all their chairs.
If you want something custom, just be sure to call before you order to talk about your wants and needs, and they’ll be able to tell you if they can accommodate you, and if so, what your request will add to the final price.
We’ve seen photos of all sorts of fun things, like a shaded canopy on just one side, a full-fledged luggage rack behind the seats, cup holders, attendant controls, and so forth, so don’t be afraid to inquire!
But where color and upholstery options are concerned, the sky’s the limit. Again, it’s a simple matter of calling ahead and telling them what you want on both fronts.
On the whole, we felt it appropriate to give the company high marks here, even in the absence of any “official” extras and add-ons.
Doesn’t Get High Marks for Portability
While we’re quick to give Hotshot Products high marks for their innovative designs and customization, here’s an area where the company’s not so good. None of their products are collapsible, and that makes them hard to transport unless you’ve got a full-sized van or pickup truck. That holds doubly true (literally) for this model.
Unless you have one of the vehicles mentioned above, you’re going to need some kind of lift on the back of whatever vehicle you do have to get the Cruzr 4 Two from your home to the surf and sand, which increases the total cost of ownership of it. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but it’s something to keep in the forefront of your mind.
A Slight Learning Curve
Although the controls are relatively intuitive and straightforward, expect to spend at least a few minutes getting the hang of steering, handling, and the independently adjusting chair features. The biggest challenge you’ll have is turning. Although it’s got a zero-point turning radius, it’s still a wide chair, and as such, it’ll take a bit of getting used to.
Fortunately, if you stick to the great outdoors, you won’t have any problem, as there’s plenty of wide open space.
Not an Indoor Chair
While you could get away with riding through a shopping mall corridor in this chariot, it’s utterly impractical for most other indoor use, despite its zero-turning radius. It’s just too wide for practical indoor use. It’s a great outdoor chair, and a superb couples beach chair, but it’s highly optimized for that purpose. Move away from that even nominally, and its utility falls off sharply.
Pros & Cons of the Beach Cruzr 4 Two
Small companies tend to work hard to innovate because it gives them an edge over their larger, more established competitors. Hotshot Products’ Cruzr 4 2 is a perfect example of this phenomenon in action. We haven’t run across anything quite like it.
That said, this model is targeting a very specific (and very tiny) segment of the market, so most people aren’t going to want or need it, even if they agree it’s an exciting design.
A Couple of Issues
It’s a cool product, no doubt, and there’s a lot to like about it. There are, however, two issues that might cause you to give it a pass.
As long as the weight limit isn’t an issue for you and your partner, and you’re okay with the small size and limited resources of the company, we think you’ll love the wheelchair.
Beach Cruzr 4 2 Conclusion
We’ve used two terms repeatedly throughout this Beach Cruzr 4 2 review: “Innovative,” and “niche.” Both are absolutely correct.
The simple truth is that not very many people are going to want or need a mobility device like this.
Unless you’re specifically looking for a motorized beach wheelchair you can ride around together in as a couple, we don’t recommend this model. You’ll probably agree that it’s a cool product, but it won’t hold your attention much beyond the time it takes you to read this review.
On the other hand, if you happen to fall into that category, you’re not going to find anything else like it on the market, and we absolutely recommend it.
References & Resources