In a Nutshell:
Rugged, durable and versatile, with lots of high-value add-ons available, this is a true adventure vehicle. TerrainHopper Mobility Scooter is recommended for anyone who can afford it, and the lift, truck, or van to get it from one place to another (and the extra battery to extend its range).
Ease of Use
Is your mobility issue cramping your lifestyle? Do you miss weekends spent hiking, fishing, camping and more?
Are you looking for a mobility aid that can help you get back out there and start enjoying those things again? If so, then you’re going to love this review.
Make no mistake, the TerrainHopper Mobility Scooter is an expensive vehicle, and as such, it might be out of reach for some. Then again, can you really put a price tag on freedom and independence?
In the sections that follow, we’ll tell you all about the Terrain Hopper. There’s a lot it can do, and in fact, it’s got a few capabilities we’ve never seen on any other mobility aid, but it’s not a perfect machine, and its shortcomings extend beyond the matter of price.
Not to worry, we’ll give you all the details below so you can decide for yourself if this is the machine you’ve been searching for. If that sounds good to you, let’s jump right in!
An Overview of the TerrainHopper Mobility Scooter
The first thing we want to mention here is that there are actually two variants of the TerrainHopper Mobility Scooter on the company’s website: the Overlander 4ZS, and the Overlander Mini.
The differences between them are scant (there being only a thousand dollars apart when it comes to price), with the TerrainHopper Overlander Mini being the slightly less capable of the two. Our review is focused on the flagship model, the 4ZS.
When you see the Terrain Hopper for the first time, you may not even realize that it’s a mobility aid. It looks a lot like an ATV, and it’s got specs to match.
TerrainHopper Overlander 4ZS Specifications
Here are the basic stats of the machine:
Note the top speed, the high ground clearance, and the presence of the roll bars. This wheelchair was designed for action and adventure. If there was any doubt of that, add in the presence of the monster all-terrain tires and a four-point harness, and it becomes clear (Note: Monster tires not available on the Mini).
This isn’t your grandpa’s mobility aid. The TerrainHopper Overlander 4ZS is a beast that can take you places most other mobility aids just can’t handle. The 45-degree slope handling? That’s not a typo. And did we mention the fact that it’s four-wheel drive, too?
The Terrain Hopper is moderately adjustable. You can order the seat in either manual or electric configurations, and you can slide it back and forth like the seats in your car to make it a better overall fit for you.
The seat also rotates, which makes transfers into and out of the Terrain Hopper an easier proposition. To make things easier still, the roll bars on either side lift up and out of the way. Once you’re securely in place, you can pull them back down, buckle up and get ready to ride.
Comfort-wise, it’s adequate, but not exceptional. This isn’t a chair you’ll want to lounge in, or take a nap in, but honestly, if you’re getting one of these, that’s probably the last thing on your mind. The major point is, it’s certainly comfortable enough to spend several hours riding the trails in.
Storage, Customization Options, and Extras
While there are a fair number of high-value options available, including a lighting kit, sound kit, and even a winch and towing cable with a 1-ton capacity, the one area the Terrain Hopper comes up short on is onboard storage.
We were a bit disappointed in that, given that it’s designed as an adventure chair, but it’s easy enough to find aftermarket storage solutions, so it’s not the end of the world.
One thing that will blow you away is the color options available. There are thousands to choose from so you can get the exact aesthetic you’re looking for.
Not a Very Portable Machine
There are two reasons the Terrain Hopper didn’t place higher on our list of finalists in the roundup review. The first, as we have discussed is the range of the stock model. That, of course, can be gotten around by investing in extra batteries.
Unfortunately, there’s no getting around this unit’s lack of portability. It’s a hefty piece of equipment, weighing in at 350 pounds. Worse, it doesn’t come apart or break down into smaller, manageably sized pieces, so moving it from place to place is going to be a bit of a challenge. Your options are:
There’s just no way you’re going to be able to fit this in the trunk of any car, hatchback, or SUV, so you’ll need to factor one of the above into your cost picture if you’re considering buying this model.
Easy to Use and Fun to Drive
This looks and handles like an ATV. If you’ve driven one, you’ll take to the TerrainHopper Overlander 4Z like a duck to water. Even if you haven’t, although the steering is a bit different from your car, the principles are the same, and it won’t take you very long to master it because the controls are well placed and intuitive.
With multiple control options available, however, there is a learning curve here, and you’ll need to spend some time practicing until you’ve mastered switching from one means of steering to the other, and to get a feel for the Terrain Hopper’s handling in general.
It’s well worth taking the time though, and you’ll love every second of it.
Pros & Cons of the TerrainHopper
We like almost everything about the Terrain Hopper. It’s loads of fun to drive and is a supremely capable machine. That said, it’s not for everyone.
The major drawback is the price. You can put a down payment on a house (a really good home, in some parts of the country) for what the Terrain Hopper will cost you. No matter how cool it is, and how much you love it, that fact is going to put it out of reach for some.
The Terrain Hopper’s relative lack of portability is another potential deal breaker. In addition to buying the machine itself, if you don’t already have a truck or a van, you’ll have to invest in a lift to get it where you want to go. That expense needs to be factored into the equation as well.
The other minor issue we’d mention here in our TerrainHopper review is the underwhelming range of the chair’s stock configuration. You can’t do much adventuring with a twelve-mile range.
Fortunately, if you spend the money for the battery upgrade, you can boost that to seventeen, and if you buy a second battery, you can double that to a respectable 34. That’s much better, but batteries aren’t cheap, and this is already an expensive chair, so again we come back to the issue of price.
If you can afford it though, it’s a wonder.
Terrain Hopper Review Conclusion
Although it’s got its shortcomings, we have to admit; we’re in love with the TerrainHopper Mobility Scooter. Unless you’re a diehard adventurer, however, it’s going to be way more chair than you’ll need. We recommend it, but only for people who are looking to go on hair-raising, off-road adventures. For everyone else, there are other, much less expensive options that will serve you just as well.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES:
- TerrainHopper USA, Official Brand Website.
- TerrainHopper Tech Review, LivAbility Magazine, Edition 12.
- Tempe Company’s All-terrain Scooter Expands Mobility for Disabled People, Ktar News
- TerrainHopper USA: Bringing Adventure and Freedom to People with Disabilities, Wheel:Life.
- 6 Adventure Trips You Can Do in a Wheelchair, Outside Online.