In a Nutshell:
The Extreme X8 4×4 Power All-Terrain Wheelchair is an amazing, rugged, all-terrain wheelchair that can take you anywhere you want to go in the great outdoors. Not for indoor use. Recommended for anyone who wants or needs a rugged outdoor-only mobility device and can afford it.
Ease of Use
Are you an outdoorsman at heart? Have you been temporarily or permanently sidetracked by a mobility issue? Are you looking for a way to change that?
If so, you’re going to love our in-depth review of the Magic Mobility Extreme X8 All Terrain Wheelchair.
This is the most unique chair we’ve reviewed on this site to date. It’s specifically and exclusively an outdoor chair. As you’ll see below, trying to use it inside would be a disaster. It’s just not made for that. On the other hand, this baby will take you just about anywhere in the great outdoors you’d care to go.
Because of its single-minded focus, we’ll be quick to point out that this chair is not for everyone. Not only is it quite expensive, but potential buyers will need enough money to get this one and another model that’s suitable for indoor use.
In the sections that follow, we’ll go over everything this beast can do, and give you the inside scoop on the things it’s not so good at (there aren’t many, but there are a few). That way, you’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips to make an informed purchasing decision.
Ready to take a closer look? Let’s do this!
An Overview of the Extreme X8 All Terrain 4×4 Power Chair
The first thing you’ll notice about the Extreme X8 is that it looks a bit like an ATV or a riding lawn mower. It’s not either of those, of course, but it certainly has a rough and ready look and feel.
It’s also a reasonably attractive chair, with its bold red base and black seat and wheels. Aesthetics aren’t the first thing most people look for in a mobility device, but having a decent looking ride is never a bad thing, and the Extreme X8 wheelchair delivers on that front.
Here are the basic specs on the chair:
There’s a lot to talk about here. As you can see based on the bullet points in the section above, at the point of sale, you can order your X8 Extreme All Terrain Power Chair with three different seat depths and five different seat widths. So if you take careful measurements before you place your order, you’ll be able to get a chair that’s a perfect fit for you. That, however, is just the beginning.
The following power adjustments are available (at the touch of a button):
In addition to that, there are four different manual adjustments you can make. These are:
If you order two-piece footrests, these will also swing away, enabling you to roll right up to an outdoor table and enjoy a meal with your family without having to transfer out of the X8 and into some other chair.
Taken together, this gives you the almost complete freedom to tweak the chair so that it’s a perfect fit for you.
Comfort-wise, it’s great for short- to medium-duration sitting. The padding of the Captain’s chair provides a comfortable ride over just about any terrain, but this isn’t a chair you’ll want to spend all day in. That’s actually a feature, not a bug.
Remember that the Extreme X8 is an outdoor only chair. As such, the designers simply felt no need to optimize the chair for all-day sitting, although since it reclines, it is possible to enjoy a short nap outdoors if the mood strikes.
On-Board Storage & Extras
We have mixed feelings about this section. The X8 Extreme 4×4 Power All Terrain Wheelchair doesn’t come with any extras to speak of beyond a safety belt. What you see is what you get.
While the safety belt is a good addition, especially given the X8’s all-terrain functionality, as we mentioned, it’s an incredibly expensive chair, and we wish the company had included a few more extras as standard features. A storage pouch on the back of the chair would have been a simple, low-cost addition, for example.
On the other hand, there are many great aftermarket products you can add to the chair, allowing you to customize it to your heart’s content so that you wind up with exactly the mobility aid you want.
The company also offers a wide range of products that can be ordered and added at the point of sale, including:
The company even takes special requests, and they’ve got their own fabricators on-site, so if you have a special need and you don’t see a piece of optional equipment that will meet that need, the company is willing to work with you and custom build the machine to your exact specifications. This, of course, will add even further to the X8’s total cost.
The Perfect Outdoor Chair, Not for Indoor Use
As we mentioned earlier, you won’t find many outdoor terrains that this monster can’t tackle with ease. It can even handle inclines up to fifteen-degrees with ease (most electric wheelchairs are lucky if they can handle a six percent slope), thanks to not one, but four powerful motors that put 68Nm of Torque, and a total of 2800 Watts of power at your fingertips.
As awesome as it is at chewing through outdoor terrains, the X8 Extreme 4×4 Power All-Terrain Wheelchair is completely unusable indoors. With its 53” turning radius, navigating inside any home is just a lesson in futility. About the only indoor space you’ll have any hope of navigating easily would be if you took it to a shopping mall, and even then, you’d only be able to roam the corridors with it.
Trying to enter a store and move between clothing racks, or even turning corners to go from one aisle to the next is just about impossible unless you want to make a series of three- (or five-, or six-, or nine-,) point turns.
Significant Learning Curve, No Assembly Required
While the steering controls are simple and intuitive, given how many adjustments you can make on the chair, there is a learning curve here, and it will take you some time to get to the point where you can make deft, on the fly adjustments.
The biggest thing that will take getting used to though is the X8’s insane 53” turning radius. That’s especially true if you’ve used other electric wheelchairs in the past. You’ll be accustomed to chairs with half to two thirds the turning radius that the X8 has, and it will completely change the way you drive it.
Expect to have to do quite a lot of backing up and executing multi-point turns until you get the hang of it.
Then again, when the X8 gets delivered to your door, it’s ready to roll. True, you’ll want to spend some time fine-tuning various adjustment options, so it’s a perfect fit for you, but you’ll be able to mount the battery, plug it in, and ride.
Pros & Cons of the Extreme X8 All Terrain Wheelchair
By any measure, the Extreme X8 All Terrain 4×4 Power Chair is a world-class design. The quality and craftsmanship are unbelievable, and this chair redefines the word “durability.”
First, there’s the fact that the base model doesn’t come with any extras except for the safety belt. Given the staggering cost of the chair, we do view that as a bit of a negative, and we wish that more bells and whistles had been included as standard.
The flip side of this, however, is that there are a wide variety of extras you can order at the point of sale, and while they will add further to the X8’s price, you wind up with exactly the chair you want. Plus, you’re not paying for any extras you don’t need or won’t use. So again, whether you see this as a positive or a negative will depend on your point of view.
Second, there’s the fact that the Extreme X8 4×4 Wheelchair has the worst turning radius of any electric mobility device we’ve ever reviewed. The argument could be made that since it’s an outdoor use only chair, it doesn’t need an especially tight turning radius.
We like almost everything about it but want to draw your attention to three things. One of which may be seen as either a positive or a negative, depending on your point of view, and two others that are definite drawbacks.
And while there’s some truth in that, even in the great outdoors, you’re bound to come across terrain or situations where the 53” turning radius is going to make navigation more difficult than it otherwise would be. It’s like trying to navigate the Titanic around in a pond, and it will take some getting used to.
The chair’s poor turning radius, more than anything else, marks it as an exclusively outdoor-use product. Unless you live in a palace, you’re just not going to be able to navigate through indoor spaces.
Third, there’s the incredible cost of the machine. This alone is going to put it beyond the reach of many users, and when you combine its high price with the fact that you’re going to need to buy a second chair for indoor use, we have to conclude that as good as the X8 is, it’s a niche product.
There just aren’t going to be a huge number of people who will be able to afford to buy one of these beauties, deck it out, then turn around and buy a second chair to use inside.
Extreme X8 All Terrain Wheelchair Conclusion
While we absolutely love the Extreme X8 All Terrain wheelchair and readily admit that it’s one of the coolest chairs we’ve ever reviewed, we can only provisionally recommend it.
The reality is that the X8 isn’t going to be a viable choice for a large swath of the market. It’s just too expensive. That said, it’s also a self-selecting chair. If you can afford it, and you spend a lot of time outdoors, then there’s no question. This is hands down the chair you want.
If you’re on a budget (even a fairly generous budget), then you’re going to struggle to pay for this chair, outfit it with all the extras you want, and then buy another one for indoor use. If that describes you (and in our view, that describes the greater bulk of the market), then some other model is going to be a better fit. Drive Medical’s Titan, for instance, is a fraction of the cost, and while not nearly as full-featured, customizable or cool, it does have half the turning radius and is good both indoors and out.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Magic Mobility, Official Brand Website.
- Magic Mobility Extreme X8 User Manual.
- Power Wheelchair Checklist: Weekly Maintenance, Hoveround.
- Perceptions of Power Mobility Use and Safety Within Residential Facilities, NCBI.
- Power Struggles: Many Problems and Some Solutions Related to Power Wheelchairs in LTC, CALTCM.