Permobil, a company known for its world-leading standing chair the Permobil F5 VS, also boasts its own range of very high quality mid-wheel and front-wheel drive powerchairs. Denoted by the M for mid-wheel, and F for front-wheel the complete range includes the M1, M3, M5, F3, F5 and F5 VS. Typically you'll see the name of the powerbase alongside the seating system in use too - for example the M3 Corpus is a mid-wheel drive mid-range powerchair with Corpus seating. As you progress through the range expect the number of powered functions to increase, the size of the motors and batteries to improve and the seat raiser and forward reach to be higher/ further, among other features!
The Permobil M1 is the entry-level powerchair - great for those on a budget but who still want that premium feel, or for those who don't require the additional tech available on the more advanced chairs. As a mid-wheel drive chair it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments. A smooth driving experience can be expected with ultra quiet motors ideal for indoor office environments. The motors are one of the quietest we've tested although those fitted to the Quantum Stretto possibly take the pole position. Flexlink suspension ensures all six wheels remain planted on the ground regardless of terrain while the quality of suspension is maintained at any seating position even with lift and tilt activated.
The maximum speed is 5mph on the M1 and as standard comes with 65Ah hybrid batteries (a Gel/ AGM combination) which cannot be upgraded. Unlike the M3 and M5 the M1 is not available with the Snow Pack with the wider tyres built for Swedish winters, and a great option for those living in muddy rural areas.
Quality, reliability and good looks amount to little without an attached seating system capable of managing disabilities and clinical needs across a broad spectrum. Permobil are leaders in accommodating the more complex postures and seating requirements, especially given their access to the Roho seating systems which complement their Corpus range.
The M1 is capable of being fitted with moderately complex seating but lacks the powered functions required to achieve the best outcomes and functions as found on the M3 and M5. The M3 and M5, along with the F3 and F5 can be fitted with technology seen exclusively on Permobil chairs. This 'active reach' system enables clients to safely reach forward without compromising their seating position or stability in the chair. Also known as negative/ anterior tilt the active reach system is an additional cost but when coupled with regular tilt, 'to floor' footplates and lift the M3 and M5 excels in areas of function and postural management competitors simply cannot compete with.
What the M1 does do well however is compete very confidently at the same price point as competitor chairs with matched functionality. The M1 is arguably the best value powerchair as you can access the Permobil quality without paying the premium for a badge. Standard options include a fully modular seating system, corpus armrests on swing away mountings with offset heights possible, swing away legrests, R-Net control system and the Smooth Suspension system.
Powered tilt of 50 degrees is available, as is a powered centre mount legrest although both these options are additional cost and may be better suited as part of a base-upgrade to the M3.
We typically have an M3 powerchair available for demonstration so if you'd like to give it a go or know someone who may benefit from an assessment please get in touch.