One chilly December afternoon, I strolled along the Kalverstraat with my rollator. I was on my way to meet a friend for some brunch, bargain hunting and a visit to the Amsterdam Museum. It was going to be a fun-packed day and I was excited.
As time passed, my leg was becoming more and more painful. With every step, it felt worse. I could barely make it to the nearest chair, let alone browse through shops and exhibitions. I’d opted for my rollator that day in order to practice walking. Yet now — unable to walk — I was in desperate need of my wheelchair. I had no choice but to cut my day short and get a taxi home.
Some of you reading this will recognise the catch-22 situation when choosing between mobility aids. On days where I made the ‘safe choice’ and used my wheelchair, I’d wish I could walk part of the way. On days where I chose my rollator, I’d often pay for that risk by abruptly halting my plans. It was a lose-lose situation full of regret.
Realising I couldn’t be the only person with this dilemma, I decided to search for a better mobility aid. Something adaptable, with a dynamic look that would appeal to me as a young adult. If I couldn’t find anything, I was prepared to ask a design student to create a prototype.
As it turned out, my dream product already existed, virtually on my doorstep. Rollz International, a Dutch mobility aid company, had developed the Rollz Motion. This wheelchair-and-rollator-in-1 was the answer to one of my biggest mobility concerns.
Meanwhile, by some coincidence, Rollz International had stumbled upon my Instagram account. Just as I was planning on contacting them, they contacted me, thinking I would be a good advocate for their products. We met and I became the lucky recipient of a Rollz Motion.
In exchange for their product, Rollz International asked me to use it and write an honest review. Below, you’ll find my genuine thoughts and opinions based on several months with this fabulous mobility aid.
The Rollz Motion: Two mobility aids in one
The Rollz Motion is an award-winning rollator that doubles as a transport chair. It comes in a range of colours: Pebble White, Dark Purple, Island Blue, and Matt Black. There are two sizes available, suited for people between 1.50 m (4 ft 9) and 1.90 m (6 ft 2).
I am 1.62 m (5 ft 4) and have chosen the purple option in a standard size. Thanks to the height-adjustable handlebars, I’d technically still be able to use my Rollz Motion in 28 cm stilettos.
1. It’s strong and well-designed.
The first and biggest advantage of the Rollz Motion is its high-quality design. The frame is strong and stable, both as a rollator and transport chair. Because my balance is negatively affected by my disability, it’s been crucial for me to lean on a strong rollator frame as I re-learn how to walk.
Other things I particularly like:
- The handlebars can be easily adjusted in height.
- The brakes are really strong. This makes me feel much safer when going up or down a slope.
- The brake wires are neatly tucked away.
- There’s a handy bag underneath the seat.
- Curb climbers can be pushed with your foot to go up a threshold.
- The large wheels mean I can use the Rollz Motion on even and uneven terrain. I’m not suggesting a trek up Mount Everest, but rolling over grass, gravel, or the odd tree trunk is no problem.
- You can attach and detach the wheelchair component as needed.
- The cushion, cushion cover and wheelchair storage bag can be zipped off and washed.
2. It’s a modern and attractive mobility aid.
The Rollz Motion is proof that a mobility aid can be both functional and aesthetic. The attractive design of my Rollz Motion has given me an unexpected self-esteem boost and helped me to become a proud #babewithamobilityaid.
3. It’s comfortable.
A soft foam-filled cushion can be attached to the main frame with velcro. It’s perfect for taking a little break mid-dog-walk and is also much-loved by my cat.
As a transport chair, the Rollz Motion is pleasant to sit in. The chair has a supportive backrest with adjustable straps. While I wouldn’t recommend sitting in it for more than an hour at a time, it’s perfect for short distances.
After using my Rollz Motion for weeks on end, I haven’t had a single blister on my palms. This is thanks to the sponge-like material around each handlebar, creating a soft surface with a lot of grip.
4. It’s easy to switch from rollator to wheelchair and vice versa.
Once you’ve practiced a few times, switching the Rollz Motion between a rollator and a transport chair is a breeze. At a normal pace, it took me 43 seconds to flip the handlebars around, lift up the seat, and attach the footrests.
5. It can be collapsed, stowed away, or transported in the car.
The Rollz Motion can be collapsed into a flat packed mobility aid by lifting a red lever. This feature has been particularly useful for me during road trips and when space is limited in restaurants.
6. There are a range of useful accessories available.
Rollz International sells various add-ons to pimp up your Rollz Motion. My favourites are the travel cover and crutch holder. Other snazzy items include cup holders, reflectors, a tray, a back rest, bag hooks and handbags. Click here to discover the full range.
1. It’s quite large and heavy.
At 10.6 kg (23.36 lbs) the Rollz Motion isn’t a lightweight mobility aid. With my lack of balance and an unpredictable leg, I find it especially challenging to lift the Rollz Motion by myself (for example, into the trunk of a car). Having said that, my friends and family members haven’t had a problem with it. Whoever will be doing most of the lifting will need adequate balance and upper body strength.
The frame of the Rollz Motion is also wider than many rollators. It’s quite a big mobility aid — however, this weight and size allows the Rollz Motion to double as a sturdy transport chair.
2. The transport chair cannot be used independently.
Unfortunately, I always need someone to push me. This isn’t a catastrophe, but it does take away my ability to be independent.
Since being gifted my Rollz Motion I have come to realise the life-changing impact of having the ‘right’ mobility aid.
My Rollz Motion has allowed me to practice walking far more than before. This has been instrumental in my recovery to rebuild muscle mass and function in my shattered leg.
With the 2-in-1 design, my Rollz Motion has taken away a huge amount of stress. I no longer need to worry about the big “wheelchair or rollator?” question. It’s a weight off my shoulders to know I can take much-needed breaks without abruptly halting my plans.
Finally, my Rollz Motion has granted me freedom to enjoy activities I otherwise couldn’t. A few weeks ago, for example, I joined my mum on a forest dog walk for the first time since my accident. I confidently walked along uneven paths, tree trunks, grassy patches and pebbles. It was a special milestone, all thanks to my Rollz Motion.