Scooters are a great way to maintain mobility and independence when you are aging in place. While some heavy-duty models are great for all types of terrain and outdoor use, some seniors prefer a lightweight design that allows for easy storage and transport. So which is the best lightweight folding mobility scooter?
Lightweight scooters are excellent for seniors who travel frequently and intend to use the machine indoors. Read on to learn about some of the best lightweight mobility scooters and find out which may be best for you.
Scooters are a great way to maintain mobility and independence when you are aging in place. While some heavy-duty models are great for all types of terrain and outdoor use, some seniors prefer a lightweight design that allows for easy storage and transport.
Lightweight scooters are excellent for seniors who travel frequently and intend to use the machine indoors. Read on to learn about some of the best automatic folding mobility scooter and find out which may be best for you.
which is the best lightweight folding mobility scooter
Best Lightweight Mobility Scooters
This Drive Medical scooter is great all around, but seniors will especially appreciate all of the adjustable features that allow them to personalize their experience. With the right adjustments, you will be able to operate your machine best with little trouble.
Drive Medical Scout Compact Travel Power Scooter
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- Easy to disassemble and assemble for travel
- Very lightweight for transport
- Includes a plastic basket to carry personal items
- Great turning radius and maneuverability
- Durable construction for long-term use
- Turns can cause tipping if taken too fast
- Acceleration is jumpy
- Seat back does not adjust
The Drive Medical Scout Compact Travel Power Scooter is a lightweight yet highly functional 3-wheel mobility device. Perfect for seniors to use indoors every day, this scooter is easy to operate using a delta tiller style handle.
The padded armrests, swivel seat, and handles are all adjustable, allowing seniors to choose their settings to suit their height and reach. Setting the correct adjustments is a great way to improve comfort and mitigate the risk of falls.
The light weight of this scooter lets you take it and use it wherever, whenever. Easily pack it up in a car or take it for a ride around your neighborhood. The quick-connect battery pack is simple to operate and can be used by seniors or their caregivers.
As an added bonus, this scooter features changeable color panels to hide scratches and customize your ride.
A lot of heavy-duty scooters are great, but they are large and bulky and absolutely do not fold up. This foldable scooter compresses to a size so small that it will fit in the trunk of any car so you can take it where ever you need it.
EV Rider Transport Folding Travel Electric Mobility Scooter
- A true one, two, three-step folding/travel scooter + 1 Year Extended Warranty
- The Transport weighs a total of 70 pounds, however the seat and battery can be removed to make it only 46 pounds for easy lugging and…
- Powerful 270 Watt 4-pole motor, Articulated front end adds to greater stability
- 10 to 15 mile range per charge, Lighting Package: front and rear lights
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- Compact size and light weight make it great for travel and storage
- Light enough for caregivers to pick up
- Narrow design is easy to navigate
- Comes already assembled and ready to use
- Additional weather vinyl cover available to add to order to protect
- Battery charge does not stay in place on rough surfaces
- Uncomfortable for taller or larger individuals
- Does not do well on uphill inclines
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Whether you have medical appointments to keep, family to see, or activities to participate in, the EV Rider Transport scooter is the perfect option for the active senior. As your physical mobility decreases, it becomes harder to accomplish necessary or even just desired tasks. The EV Rider allows you to continue doing the existing things in your life through its foldable design.
This very lightweight scooter folds to a very compact size, allowing you to transport it wherever you go. That means you can put it in your car and take to other locations. Caregivers and even users will find it easy to move and lift.
Although this machine is very lightweight and easy to fold, it is still highly functional and easy to use. Many aspects of this scooter are customizable, such as an adjustable height for the controls and a removable seat for easier storage and carrying. At the same time, you can get fitted armrests and added features like a digital display upgrade and a better seat.
The above options allow seniors to pick the scooter that is best for them, rather than having to conform to a certain style.
Equipped with front and rear lights and a powerful motor, seniors will appreciate that this scooter is easy to ride, convenient, and safe. The foldable style makes it great for travel as well as storage.
MORE ADVICE Discover more tips for comfortably aging in place
The SmartScoot was already off to a great portable start by having a weight of just 40 pounds. Add in the fact that it disassembles to three smaller pieces and you’ve got the best portable scooter out there. No tools are required, and its performance matches that of a one-piece scooter.
SmartScoot Lightweight Mobility Scooter
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- Already lightweight scooter can be made lighter by easy disassembly for transport
- Faster speed than other scooters that make efficient use of battery
- Good turning radius for smaller spaces
- Brakes are adjustable to match the weight of the rider for safe stopping
- Highly stable riding prevents tips and accidents
- Footrest is not adjustable and can’t comfortably support all heights
- Seat is not adjustable
- Height of scooter leaves users feeling too low
Many foldable scooters narrow their size down small enough to enable seniors and caregivers to pack them away in cars and transport them easily. However, the SmartScoot Lightweight Mobility Scooter is one of the lightest scooters on the market. Weighing just 40 pounds, it is operational, functional, and extremely portable.
Without the use of tools, caregivers and seniors can easily fold or even break apart their scooter into three sections for easy movement. The frame is made from stainless steel, so while it is lightweight, it is also durable and rustproof. These features ensure that your scooter will last you a long time and remain reliable and safe.
With a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 12 miles, you will be able to travel long and far without the worry of getting stuck on your own somewhere. A handy basket lets you keep your personal items with you for safety and convenience.
Best For Travel
The Go-Go ES2 is lightweight enough to lift into a vehicle for travel, but it also operates travel-wise on its own perfectly. This scooter is great for a day outside or a busy day indoors, operates in both environments with entry-level pricing and simplicity coupled with expert-level features.
Go-Go ES2 3-Wheel Scooter
Features & Specs
- Top speed: 4 miles per hour
- Drive range: 6.8 miles
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
- Two speeds
- Entry-level operation
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- Simple construction makes it easy to operate
- Lightweight, one-piece frame along with foldable seats and tiller is good for travel
- Canvas basket lets you keep personal items with you
- Competitive price for great features
- Easy to maneuver in small spaces
- Seat is hard and uncomfortable
- Tips over easily
- Charging port is hard for seniors to reach at the bottom
- Lacks swivel seat for easy standing and sitting or transfers
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The Go-Go ES2 3-Wheel Scooter is the best for travel because its features allow seniors to get out of the house, even when their body isn’t physically able to move for long periods of time. Perfect for both indoor and outdoor use, this lightweight, compact scooter has low and high-speed settings that let you use it in different environments.
With this machine, you don’t have to choose between an outdoor or an indoor scooter, and you’re no longer confined to your home or a wheelchair. The tiller folds along with the seat, giving you or your caregiver an even more compact frame to work with while traveling.
This scooter is considered an entry-level scooter, meaning that it is easy to operate, however, it still includes more advanced features like the two-speed settings. You’ll also love that it comes at a great price, and it even includes a convenient canvas basket to store your personal belongings like small medical equipment, purses, and wallets.
Electric Scooter Categories
Budget Electric Scooters (<$300)
Most scooters that fall into the budget e-scooter class are not recommended for anything but minimal or light recreational use. At this budget price point, expect under-powered motors, low capacity batteries, and weak brakes. However, there are some excellent and very functional electric scooters in this category. They are worth taking a look at if this fits your budget.
See Editor’s Choices for Best Electric Scooters Under $300
Commuter Electric Scooters ($300 to $1200)
The commuter class of electric scooters is the biggest one and therefore divided into three categories. At these price points, we generally find that scooters are fairly balanced in terms of features, quality, and performance.
Budget Commuter ($300 to $600)
These scooters are great for traveling shorter distances, have a reasonable range, and suitable build quality for daily commuting. Expect occasional repairs over the few years expected lifetime. Budget commuter scooters are best when your commute has relatively smooth surfaces and not a lot of steep hills. They are light enough that you can fold and carry them up stairs once in a while.
See ESG Editor’s Choices for Best Electric Scooters Under $600
Mid-ranged Commuter ($600 to $900)
A mid-ranged commuting electric scooter will have a slightly larger battery for more range and possibly more motor power than the budget commuter. You won’t see any dual-motor scooters at this price, but you will see the incorporation of suspension into some models.
See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooters Under $900
Premium Commuter ($600 to $1200)
Scooters in the premium commuter class typically add suspension, larger motors, bigger batteries, and better brakes to the budget and mid-range offerings. The ride will be more comfortable, safer, and have a better range due to these upgrades. However, there is a tradeoff with increased weight (around 40 lbs) that makes loading into a car or carrying upstairs more difficult.
See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooter Under $1200
Performance Electric Scooters ($1200 to $1600)
Performance electric scooters start to offer either serious speed or ultra-long range. Many of these scooters incorporate dual motors and sizable battery packs. The longest-ranged scooter in this category can deliver up to 50 miles of real-world range. At this price point, which ranges from $1200 to $1600, you will also start to see some premium features including large tubeless pneumatic tires, semi-hydraulic or hydraulic brakes, powerful lights, and turn signals.
See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooters Under $1600
Extreme Performance Electric Scooters ($2500+)
Extreme scooters like these are the highest performing in every category except portability. They have massive, dual motors (some reaching speeds above 40 mph), extended battery life for extreme range (>40 miles), top-notch suspension, and hydraulically-activated disc brakes for stopping at fast speeds. Although still suitable for daily commuting, their larger tires are the only ones built for off-roading. These extreme performance scooters are the heaviest as well (typically +70 lbs), so if you need to fold and carry these scooters, make sure you are comfortable with the weight.
See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooters Under $2500
Electric Scooter Features
What else should you know before buying an e-scooter? Now that we’ve gone over some important factors to think about, let’s dive into some other topics that will likely influence which scooter you choose to purchase, including price, range, weight, top speed, rider weight, and IP rating.
There are always going to be better and worse values in purchasing electric scooters, but basically quality and features improve with price. You won’t be buying an extreme off-road beast scooter for $200. Refer to the electric scooter categories for price brackets.
You can use the comparison database to set min and max limits for the price to a budget range that suits your needs. This will return all scooter options available in that range, and you can jump to our detailed reviews (written and video) for most.
Range refers to the distance a scooter can travel before it runs out of battery power. The range of your electric scooter will depend on various factors, including motor power, rider weight, scooter weight, weather, mode, and average speed. We perform a real-world range test on all scooters to determine a realistic assessment of range.
Our ESG certified range test is performed by the same rider on the same urban route with frequent stops, rough roads, and uphill climbs in the scooter’s highest performance mode. The 165 lb rider pushes the scooter to its limit, maxing out the throttle and riding until the battery dies completely.
A cautious rule of thumb is to take whatever the manufacturer advertises and divide by two. Results from the 2018 electric scooter survey show most manufacturers overestimate by 30% in their range claims.
Like all batteries, as time goes on your battery capacity (and scooter range) will diminish. Most batteries will maintain their integrity for at least 300 to 500 charging cycles, with the best batteries enduring up to 1000 charging cycles before beginning to degrade. Think about your commute and how far you travel in a typical day. Remember that when your scooter runs out of power, no matter the size, you can still kick to push it.
Pro Tip: You can also bring your charger with you or buy an extra charger to leave at your destination. Some high performance scooters have dual charging ports, cutting charge time in half when using two chargers.
Weight can be a big consideration if you need to fold and carry your scooter, especially on a regular basis.
Most scooters with a reasonable range (>15 miles) will weigh over 25 lbs. Scooters far exceeding 30 lbs will be fairly difficult to carry for long durations. Having a handle or shoulder strap will help bear the weight. Some scooters have extra wheels or a folded configuration that allow them to be rolled like the compact, commuter-friendly Glion Dolly. However, scooters will still have to be carried up stairs or lifted into a vehicle when transporting. Even the highly portable Dolly has folded dimensions of 37 in by 12 in by 8 in and weighs 28 lbs, which can be awkward for some to carry.
If you are in the market for recreational joyriding or beast mode off-roading and not focused on its portability, the weight is not as important a factor as build quality and top speed. If you are looking for a commuter electric scooter to solve the last mile problem on your everyday route, its weight is important to consider.
Think about your commute:
- Will you need to walk up stairs?
- Does your destination have an elevator?
- Do you have permission and space to store your scooter inside (primarily in workplaces)?
- Do you have alternate transportation when poor visibility and/or inclement weather occur?
- Are you able to lift the scooter into a trunk?
Some conditions, like rainy weather, may call for you to take public transportation or a rideshare home. Most drivers will allow you to put your scooter in the trunk, but you still need to be able to maneuver it into the vehicle yourself.
Pro Tip: For comparison, the average weight of a household standup vacuum cleaner is 12 lbs to 18 lbs and many have similar dimensions to large folded scooters. Alternatively, visit a sporting goods store and pick up a few dumbbells or kettlebells to test what weight you can comfortably manage.
Top speed is not a huge factor for most commuters as long as the scooter can reach 15 mph. In fact, some municipalities have laws against going over 15 mph on electric scooters and most restrict scooters from driving on pedestrian sidewalks.
Riding in a car or even on a bicycle at 15 mph feels different than riding an electric scooter at that speed because of the tires and acceleration. In reality, when traveling on roads or in bike lanes, 15 mph to 18 mph is fast enough. If riding in urban traffic regularly, scooters with good acceleration and top speeds in this range can help you avoid accidents. If you are interested in extreme performance scooters, those can go up to 50 mph (like the Kaabo Wolf Warrior 11) and we recommend wearing serious safety gear when traveling at those speeds.
Pro Tip: Always wear a helmet when riding your scooter at any speed.
The max load or max rider weight is the weight limit that the electric scooter can support. For most scooters, this limit ranges from 220 lbs to 270 lbs. If you weigh more than this, you’ll want to make sure you’re looking at scooters that can support your weight. For safety reasons, you shouldn’t exceed the weight limit specified by the manufacturer.
Keep in mind that even if the scooter is rated for your weight and you’re at the top of the limit, it will be slower and have less range compared to a lighter rider. Also consider if you’ll be carrying a backpack or anything else that will add to the overall weight the scooter will bear. For riders near or above 220 lbs, you should focus on electric scooters with at least a 500-watt motor.
Pro Tip: You can filter the comparison database based on rider weight.
Adult electric scooters have hub motors, which are brushless direct current (BLDC) electric motors that are built into the hub of the wheels. All electric kick scooters have at least one motor while more powerful ones will have dual motors.
Electric motors are rated based on their power consumption, which is expressed in units of watts (e.g., 600 watts). More powerful motors will have greater wattage. Motor power generally starts at 200 watts and goes all the way up to 6270 watts on the Dualtron X.
An average budget commuter scooter, like the Xiaomi Mi M365 has a 250-watt motor; a mid-range commuter scooter like the Fluid FreeRide Horizon has a 500-watt motor; and an extreme performance scooter, like the Kaabo Wolf Warrior 11, has dual 1200-watt motors (or 2400-watt motor power).
For adults, we do not recommend anything under 250 watts for daily commuting. This will be adequate for flat surfaces and very small hills. If you live in an area with steeper hills, think about going to 350 or 500 watts. Even with 500 watts, your scooter will slow down on medium-sized hills. Larger motors will not only help with powering up hills, but they will also get you up to top speed more quickly.
Suspension, similar to that in a car, smooths out bumps and indentations in the road and improves ride quality. Without it, and especially if you have solid (airless) tires, you will feel every bump that you travel over. If your commute is longer or has rough terrain to cross, strongly consider purchasing a scooter with suspension.
There are three main types of suspension systems that are typically found on electric scooters: spring, hydraulic or air piston, and rubber suspension. Scooters with the best suspension will have some combination of spring and piston — a combination called coil-over-hydraulic or coil-over-air.
Suspension can be attached to the front, rear, or both wheels. Scooters in the premium commuter class should have either front or rear suspension.
Many scooters forgo suspension in favor of large pneumatic tires that provide damping effects. These can offer a better form of suspension than cheap spring suspensions.
Scooters, like bicycles, can have a white front light and a red rear light. If you ride after dark, it is necessary to have both a front and rear light. Due to the design of electric scooters, they typically do not have very visible rear lights. If you are going to ride at night, strongly consider adding some flashing red rear lights to your helmet or backpack.
Read our guide to electric scooter lighting.
A quality braking system is essential for staying safe and in control while riding an electric scooter. Like those on a car or bicycle, brakes are what slow the electric scooter down. Electric scooter brakes can be broken into two categories: mechanical and electronic.
Mechanical brake systems are those that rely on a physical mechanism to slow the scooter down and include foot, drum, and disc brakes. The typical 15 mph stopping distance for mechanical systems is 20 feet, with the absolute best being under 10 feet.
- Foot brakes, which are activated by pushing your foot down on the rear fender, cause it to rub against the rear tire, slowing it down. This type of brake has stopping power but is not as effective as drum or disc brakes.
- Drum brakes are enclosed inside the wheel hub, are generally lower maintenance than other braking types, and have consistent performance in wet conditions.
- Disc brakes have the most stopping power and are lighter than drum brakes. They are typically found on higher-end premium commuter and high-performance scooters, but may appear on better quality budget commuter scooters as well.
- In our real-world road tests, we found disc and drum brakes to be the most effective.
Electronic braking systems rely on using the motor itself for braking and include strictly electric and regenerative braking systems. Electric and regenerative brakes are the weakest. If you are traveling at 15+mph and need to stop quickly, these alone will not do the job. The typical 15 mph stopping distance using an electronic brake alone is 30 to 40 feet.
Mechanical braking systems will offer much stronger braking than electronic systems. However, electronic systems benefit from not requiring any periodic adjustments or maintenance. Many scooters will have a combination of both electronic and mechanical braking systems. For safety reasons, we recommend scooters that have at least two braking systems in case one fails.
Learn more in our technical guide to electric scooter brakes.
- Solid tires There are a few varieties of airless tires and these include honeycomb, polymer-filled, and solid. Solid tires are inferior to pneumatic in every way except they have virtually no maintenance required. When riding on solid tires, you’re more likely to feel every bump and even stumble over lines of paint on the road.
Pneumatic tires We always recommend pneumatic tires because they give better ride quality (with or without suspension) and their supple rubber performs much better in adverse road conditions. Some air-filled tires have inner tubes that can be replaced if damaged; other air-filled tires are tubeless. Pneumatic tires have the advantage of shock absorption and better handling (especially in bad weather).
The downside to pneumatic tires is there is more maintenance required than the airless variety. Pneumatic tires are prone to punctures and need to be filled with air when they have low pressure. Pneumatic tires, with tubes and tubeless, are common in all price classes except the budget range, where tires are almost exclusively solid.
Pneumatic tires are common in all price ranges, except the Budget range, where tires are almost exclusively airless (solid).
Pro Tip: Do not underestimate the improved ride quality you will get with pneumatic tires. These will make a huge improvement when rolling over even minimally bumpy terrain, where road vibration can be very uncomfortable on your feet and legs. Additionally, you can prevent flat tires by following a few simple tips.
The ingress protection or IP rating tells you how resistant an electric scooter is to dust and water. The IP rating consists of two numbers, but we focus on the second because it tells you how water-resistant the scooter is. The greater the number is — the more resistant it is to water and moisture.
Not all scooters have an IP rating. If you are planning on riding your scooter in all weather conditions, you will want to invest in one with at least IPx4 water-resistance.
|IPx1 to IPx3||Very limited water resistance|
|IPx4 to IPx6||Suitable for riding in the rain|
|IPx7+||Can be fully submerged in water|
Pro Tip: You can sort our electric scooter comparison database, based on IP rating (the column is titled “Water”).