This review for the Portawide KD by Portashopper will read the exact same as our review of the KD Smart Chair Heavy Duty, since they are the exact identical item, being sold by two different merchants, who have named it to their liking.
To start, we’d like to point out that this Portawide KD by Portashopper looks very very similar to the ‘standard’ KD brand chair (KD Smart Chair), in the overall aesthetics of the chair. For instance, the folding pumps of the back support are the same… the knee/leg guards are the same… the controller system comprising of the joystick and CPU is the same… the mesh bag under the seat is the same… the foot rest is the same and folds up the same… even as far as the rear wheels are the exact same (which we don’t understand why, as this is supposed to be a ‘heavy duty’ chair, but the rear wheels are the same as on their ‘standard’ model.)
The differences are hardly noticed by the untrained eye. Reading the specifications, the overall size of the chair is different – therefore, there is more material for all of these various parts — they had to be widened as necessary to fit the wider frame of the chair. The two other main differences on this chair are a) in the arm rests, as they are wider and curved for a more comfortable placement of the arms, and b) the slightly larger front wheels — 7″ in diameter by 2″ in width. Those wheels again make us wonder how they labeled this as a heavy duty chair, as these types of front wheels are available on some of the ‘standard’ and original designs of these chairs, such as in the Foldawheel PW-999UL and the EZ Lite Cruiser Standard Model.
The battery is upgraded in this model to 2 soft-pack lithium ion polymer batteries with 8 Ah each, for a total of 16 Ah charge capacity. With the added weight of the chair, and presumably the heavier user that is going to be driving it, we’re skeptical that it will obtain a 15 mile driving range — if you have a Portawide KD by Portashopper (or a KD Smart Chair Heavy Duty) please let us know what kind of ranges you are getting in driving it day to day.
Further with the battery, we’ve mentioned in other reviews that we’re not too keen on the long soft pack design of the battery — you’re committed to the manufacturer being the only one to supply you with these batteries that have proprietary connectors. What happens when they stop making them or you can no longer find them available for sale? We’ll tell you what — your $2700+ investment becomes another power chair collecting dust in your garage.
To close, we’ll also mention that the seat cushion has been modified on this version of the chair, where it seems that it is now removable, as it was not possible on the original KD Smart Chair.
If you reside in the United States, or in Canada, we recommend buying this version of the chair from the American seller — KD Smart Chair — as this way you will have access to their American customer service and support.