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    permobil chairs

    I'm going to begin the evaluation process for a new power chair. Assuming I stay with Permobil, Medicare as my insurance, it looks like the options will be the F3, F5 or the M300. Does anybody have any opinions on any of these models? The mid-wheel seems like it is a bit more compact and maneuverable. I don't think I'll get it but does Medicare pay for the standing version, the F5VS?

    I don't plan on using the Permobil back, the plan on using one of the three available aftermarket backs.

    Thank you.

    I have the m300. It's pretty cool. One of my friends as one where he can control his mouse via Bluetooth.. I got the elevated feature on mine that puts me around 5'3".. It's a whole lot different to look people in the eye when you're talking to them. It's been a long time since I've done that. I do have all the bells and whistles as far as seating features go. with a custom back. For me it's kind of bulky but I'm used to sitting in a little manual chair but I'm getting used to it.
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.


      I just got a F5VS. The standing feature is great. It is a front wheel chair so it takes some time to get used to maneuvering it. I was told that Medicare would not pay for it. My regular insurance did cover it however.


        what about the f series vs the m300? m300 is mid wheel, a bit more compact, better maneuvering in tight areas and has basically all of the features of the f3


          It goes back to where/how you drive it. The mid-wheel is often easier to maneuver indoors but not always as happy w/ curb cuts. I will say that it got through some wet grass/mud at times I didn't think it would.

          Also think about total dimensions in older elevators, legacy doorways or any other limited space. What are you in now? Body shape/weight are also worth considering if you will be on slopes or acreage fairly often, and depending on how frequently you are willing/able to change speed. Compatibility (height, hard turns) w/ whatever public transit or van you use is another factor.


            I think there is a major misunderstanding lead by manufacturers and simple misleading marketing that some how mid wheel handles better and will handle tighter areas.

            I have had mid wheel and it's just not true. Think about if your a manufacturer with out a front wheel drive guess what your going to push...mid wheel!

            The m300 is a great chair and coming from a life of CHEAP Pride built chairs Permobil is a great strong built brand.

            One big advantage is the m300 can handle smaller 34 battery's if your a light roller or much larger 24 batteries if your a big roller.

            10-13 miles on 34s
            17 plus miles for me on 24 battery's.

            remember to charge each night

            If you can wait till Jan Permobil has a new m300 with a much smoother ride.

            i know have been in a F 3 almost a year next month and this is by far the most comfortable and powerful chair ever!

            I can get anywhere a mid wheel can and with out the front casters to get in the way it works better ina house, tight areas, batroomstalls etc.

            sharp inclines cause the mid wheel to get stuck from time to time. Front wheel drive digs and pulls through the steepest inclines,mud,gravel grass etc.

            Medicare will fund a F series and if your DME pushes back take it to the next level manager or GM.

            DMEs sometimes push other brands and models because they pay out incentives or commissions

            I also have friends who have funded seat lifts 12" with Medicare also.


              No question, depth of the chair in total is key. The F's were not out when we considered the M300. Getting through the mud doesn't matter if you can't get there. And with the right justification around ADLs and safety, seat elevators can get funded. Ours did.

              We used an M300 on Seattle hills and it never got stuck. But traction does become an issue on wet pavement as well. When it rained, we slowed down. Keep tires inflated.


                Before I selected the M300 I tried both front and rear drive Permobils in my house, thanks to a great DME and Permobil rep. The M300 was the only one that would handle the turns into doorways off a narrow hallway without considerable maneuvering.
                You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

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                  With the exception of very short distances on my lawn I don't go off roading in difficult terrain. I don't work anymore so I am mostly a household, short distance pavement, doctors offices, and in/out minivan user. Medicare is my coverage.

                  As far as "tracking" goes, does the mid-wheel drive have any issues with difficulty in tracking a straight line?

                  I have a seat elevator on my current C300 and I believe that, most unfortunately, raises the seat the floor height. This does not provide for optimal vision out of the front windshield, makes it hard to fit under tables, etc.. While they tell you the seat to floor height the same as my old manual, what they don't tell you is that to achieve the same dump angle in order to sit with stability, your front seat to floor angle comes up about 2 inches (for me).

                  I have terrible discomfort sitting in the C300 due to the very poor back design, essentially sitting on a flat plastic board. Does anyone have any of the three aftermarket backs available on the new permobils? They are the J3, Invacare matrix elite, and the varilite icon?

                  Lastly, do you folks have the anterior tilt feature?

                  Thank you.


                    Was scrolling the posts at and found one on the permobil F versus M series chairs. Some interesting commentary.



                      Test drove the F3 and the M 300 today, albeit briefly, inside and out, in and out of my vehicle. Like any demo, it will not be what my chair will be, so it is very hard to decide which one may be better. My seating clinic/therapist and their associated DME dealer seem to only push those two models for someone like me, long-term quad who needs tilt/recline/elevating foot rests.

                      I just don't know whether there are any other brands out there which may be better, such as Invacare that will be covered by Medicare. The majority of "seating specialists" and their DME colleagues leave a lot to be desired in terms of knowledge and follow-up service. People I deal with do seem to have experience and their service isn't bad, though they do seem to have a bit of a passive aggressive attitude once you seem to get a little more "involved" in the selection process, or in my case, once the first chair they got you didn't work out and you want to be extra careful with the second chair, given the expense and time frame required to keep a chair, typically five years.

                      If I want the brand other than Permobil, I will have to go to some other source and burn my bridge with these folks, something I am hesitant to do unless I am absolutely sure of what I want, which I'm not.

                      So, does anyone have any opinion on chairs other than Permobil? Or any worth considering?


                        I have had 2 Invacare chairs. The first one was an Arrow Storm series with gearless-brushless (GB) motors (rear wheel drive). I used it for 10 years. I don't believe Invacare makes a chair with GB motors, now. My current one is an Invacare TDX-SP (mid wheel drive). I've had it for 7 years. Other than having to replace batteries at standard intervals, arm rest pads that wear out frequently, and a tiller that was replaced under a recall, I've had pretty good luck and been satisfied with them.

                        The Arrow Storm had some suspension and was a pretty comfortable ride. The TDX-SP ride is ROUGH, it has zero suspension. I find that the TDX-SP is easier to maneuver into my van and tie down.

                        All that said, I'm not hard on my chairs. I don't really challenge them to go long distances or on rough terrain.

                        All the best,


                          Who is your ins co? I'm on united healthcare Medicare advantage now but will switch to bc bs of Illinois primary w original Medicare as of Jan 1. Wondering how to strategize. I NEED it for spasticity, hip pain and bowel function, but have heard Medicare just says NO regardless.


                            Had the M300 for an entire day for a demo. Have a C300 front-wheel-drive for the past 5 1/2 years. Definitely was easier to drive on the open road at speed to keep in a straight line. Was also easier to turn in tight quarters as was to be expected, such as inside a vehicle.

                            Also of note was the better driving visibility due to the shorter wheelbase which got me closer to the windshield and those able to see the upper 20% or so which I cannot do now. Also easier on both arms being a bit closer even though I have steering column extensions.

                            The only downside which I don't anticipate being a problem is that I hit a rough soft spot on my lawn which bogged it down and which has never been a problem in the front wheel. If I did go with this I would simply rectify this area on my lawn with some paving stones. But I see how having the larger wheel up front to climb up and over obstacles can be a benefit.