In a Nutshell:

This Ripchair 3.0 half-ton monster is pure power and fun. Rugged and built to last, there’s almost nothing that the RipChair can’t handle. Not for the faint of heart. Unless you’re a diehard adventurer, this is going to be far more chair than you’ll ever need.

Customization options
Ease of Use
Comfort
Performance

Overall Rating

4.4/5

Benefits

  • Unique and powerful vehicle
  • Offers unparalleled mobility
  • Fun to ride
  • Amazing customization options

Drawbacks

  • Comes with a very high price tag
  • It’s not suitable for indoor use
  • Very niche market
  • Not portable

Are you tired of dealing with the limitations your mobility issue places on you? Are you ready to kick those limitations in the teeth? 

If so, you’ll love our RipChair 3.0 review because of all the all-terrain wheelchairs on the market today; the RipChair is the one to do it.

This chair is a monster. It’s probably the closest thing to an actual tank that most people will ever enjoy driving. Seriously. It’s a convertible tank!

If you’ve always wanted the pleasure of driving a tank, and you’re looking for a way to regain your freedom, beat your mobility issue to a pulp, and leave it behind once and for all, you’ll love this review.

We’ll say right up front that the RipChair is NOT for everyone. It’s big, brutish, and expensive, but for the right user, it’s the best wheelchair ever made. In our recent roundup review, it placed a respectable third in the tracked chair category.

Third place is not bad, but make no mistake—in terms of raw power and the ability to chew through any terrain you find yourself on, the RipChair is simply without peer. Are you curious to see what it can do and what all the fuss is about? Let’s jump right in and take a closer look!

Key Features of Howe and Howe Technologies’ RipChair 3.0

We’d be surprised if you’d ever heard of Howe and Howe Technologies. They’re a tiny company with only one product, so unless you have a mobility issue, you probably wouldn’t even look for them.

Front view of the Ripchair 3.0 Track Chair with trees in the background

Small or not, though, they do have the distinction of being known as the fathers of the tracked wheelchair. Since the development of the RipChair 1.0, many other companies have tried to imitate Howe & Howe wheelchairs, but to date, none have been able to match Howe and Howe Technologies’ offering where raw power is concerned. 

At first glance, this 1350-pound beast looks like a tank with the top removed. Unlike other powered wheelchairs (tracked or otherwise) that run on batteries, the RipChair 3.0 takes an entirely different and gas-powered approach. 

Each chair is custom-built by Howe and Howe craftsmen, so few features can’t be changed. Therefore, we can’t give you much in terms of stats. Here are a few:

Basic Specifications

  • Overall Dimensions: 75.5” x 60.5” x 75.1”
  • Ground clearance 10”
  • The stock model is powered by a Kawasaki FD791D – DFI 26 hp engine
  • 2” standard receiver hitch
  • The tank/chair weighs in at a massive 1350 pounds
  • It can support a thousand pounds of weight (user plus gear)
  • Top speed of 10 MPH
  • It has a five-gallon gas tank (about eight hours of driving)
  • Generously-sized storage rack will hold extra gas, plus gear
  • 0” turn radius
  • Can handle slopes of up to sixty degrees

Standard Equipment Included

You’ll find the following as standard equipment on the stock RipChair:

Ripchair 3.0 Track Chair Winter Road Flexiable - Chair Institute
  • A simple, intuitive joystick control module (you can specify which side you want it mounted on at the time you place your order)
  • A basic LED lighting package which includes:
    • One 72-watt front light bar
    • One 27-watt rear light bar
    • Note: The lighting package can be upgraded – see next section
  • A rear bumper
  • Easy load access ramp
  • A rear bumper
  • A bull bar front swing bumper
  • Brush guard
  • Easy access engine cover
  • Quick-release fire extinguisher
  • And lock down chair restraints (see below, where we talk about seating)

Available Color Options

Your stock color options are as follows:

  • Glossy Red
  • Glossy Blue
  • Glossy Yellow
  • Glossy Orange
  • Flat Black
  • Flat Army Green
  • Flat Army Desert Tan

As impressive as all that is, you also have almost unlimited customization options, which brings us to our next section…

Fully Customizable and Adjustable

Because each RipChair is hand-built and the company takes requests, you can customize it to your heart’s content. If you want some aspect of the machine to be adjustable, you can have it (most of the time). If you want a special feature added, the odds are that it can be done. 

Ripchair 3.0 Track Chair in a jungle terrain

While there are some limits, they are relatively few in number. Just let the team at Howe and Howe know what you’re looking for, and they’ll try to make it a reality.

The big thing to note in our RipChair 3.0 Track Chair review is that the chair’s stock configuration doesn’t have a seat. That might raise a curious eyebrow, but there’s a simple explanation. 

To get into the chair, you open the loading ramp at the back, roll your “regular” wheelchair into the tank, bolt yourself into position, and get ready to ride. Your regular wheelchair is your seat.

Of course, if you’d rather have a dedicated seat in the RipChair, you can certainly get that, but we heartily recommend using your wheelchair as the seat. Otherwise, transferring into and out of the chair could be a real challenge.

Ripchair 3.0 track chair in a snowy outdoor

Extras

Concerning extras, the company doesn’t offer many, but the ones they’ve got available are high value and well worth considering. These include:

  • A more powerful engine (a 31hp Kawasaki FD861D – DFI) – This upgrade will increase the RipChair’s top speed to 17 miles per hour
  • Cargo Trays
  • 4 D-Rings (front and rear tow points)
  • A 4000-pound winch
  • An auxiliary outlet
  • A diamond plate package
  • A sun canopy
  • Heated handlebars
  • Rigid Industries LED light kit
  • A rifle rest
  • A rear hitch cargo rack
  • A custom paint job

Not everyone will want or need all of these, of course. Ultimately, it depends on exactly how you plan to use the chair. At a minimum, though, we recommend the bigger engine, the cargo trays, auxiliary outlet, canopy, heated, and the upgraded light kit. If you’re going to go, you might as well go big, right?

Where the custom paint job is concerned, the sky’s the limit. Just tell them what you want, and they can make it happen.

In addition, the RipChair is a do-it-yourselfer’s dream machine. After your purchase, if you realize you left something off or conclude that your tank would be even more impressive with a particular feature, you can easily use your creativity to modify it to suit your evolving needs.

The Least Portable Wheelchair We’ve Ever Seen

Given that the RipChair weighs more than half a ton, it probably comes as no surprise that it doesn’t win high marks for portability in Track Chair Ripchair 3.0 reviews. In most cases, given that you can bring extra gas, you’re better off driving it where you want to go.

Sometimes, of course, that’s impossible, and when it’s not, you’ll need to invest in some infrastructure to move it. At a minimum, you’ll need a big, powerful, full-sized pickup truck and an equally robust pull-behind trailer. Sorry, in this case, a wheelchair lift just isn’t going to cut it.

On the other hand, if your car or truck gets stuck, this beast could probably pull it out!

Left side view of the Ripchair 3.0 track chair in a jungle terrain

Easy (and Fun) to Drive

The RipChair’s controls are intuitive and straightforward. That’s not the problem. Mastering the basics will only take a few minutes, but this is such a huge chair that it will take time and practice to learn to maneuver it well.

We recommend taking it to a big empty field to get some practice before you start tackling more challenging terrain. Don’t practice at home, lest you risk plowing through your garage or house, knocking down trees, and the like.

One thing’s for sure, though: you’ll enjoy every second of your quest to master driving this machine, and once you’ve got some experience under your belt, you’ll be able to tackle even the most challenging terrain (rocky ground, steep slopes, snow, sand, etc.) with ease.

Pros & Cons of the Ripchair 3.0

Even though the RipChair doesn’t have the highest overall rating, it’s our emotive favorite. It’s just such a beast! There is nothing else like it on the market today. Driving one is like driving a force of nature. Nothing can stop it, which means nothing can stop you when you’re in it.

We believe only two weaknesses will keep most people from ever purchasing one.

The first is the price. Although not as expensive as the Ziesel Ground Squirrel, it goes without saying that you’ll pay a premium for this much power and the ability to customize to your heart’s content. 

Given that and the fact that this chair can never be used indoors, it’s simply out of reach for the vast majority of potential buyers.

Similarly, 99% (or more) of people with mobility issues would never use even a fraction of the RipChair’s capability. If you have no plans to use it to something close to its fullest potential, there’s no point in paying extra for all that capability. It’s just heads and shoulders, more chairs than most people want or need.

That means that the market for the RipChair is quite small, but if you fall into that rare group, it’ll be love at first sight.

RipChair 3.0 Track Chair Review Conclusion

We love the RipChair 3.0. It’s the most unique mobility aid we’ve ever encountered and, far and away, the most powerful and fun to drive. Nothing else even comes close.

As mentioned above, it will only appeal to and be a realistic option for a tiny market subset. If you’re in that subset (i.e., money is no object for you, and you’re a true outdoorsman and adventurer), then this is, without a doubt, the chair you want. Highly recommended.

Recommended Reading

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