The Quickie Krypton is what Sunrise admit to being late to the party. With several different carbon fibre wheelchairs on the market today, we look a look at the wheelchair Sunrise hope will challenge the existing wheelchairs available.
Quickie Krypton Specifications
Pretty much everything we saw on the first look test run is within the standard specification, including carbon side guards, carbon foot rest, carbon back rest, lightweight fabric, seat sling, ultralight wheels… And the options are limited for good reason. Frame colours are limited to the Natural carbon, clear coat gloss, clear coat matte, black gloss or a matte black. The wheel and upholstery flash colours are available in red, blue or orange. You can also specify a frame in-set at the front, narrowing the lower leg width. It’s available as a 20mm longer variant, too.
There are some special superlight options, including seat sling with thinner straps and composite buckles. Although it limits the max user weight to 85kg it reduces the weight by 100g. The superlight also includes a lighter backrest fabric, which has no wings or ears over the backrest struts. Again, the weight saving is around 100g. The axle tube is also glued to the frame.
The Quickie Krypton can also be specified with handles if required. A Jay Backrest can be added with the aluminium back struts. Both of these will add weight to the wheelchair.
Most importantly, the Quickie Krypton has been rigorously quality tested and crash tested. It comes with a 5 year frame warranty.
You can find the full Quickie Krypton specifications here.
What’s the difference to any other carbon fibre wheelchair?
Carbon fibre wheelchairs are usually built in layers and glued with a resin, the carbon being built into a frame and strengthened with the adhesive resin, making a strong tube. The glue and layers are not always level though and this can mean inconsistencies in the process. In this case though, the carbon strands are braided at several angles, rather than woven, giving a stronger knit and bonded around to build the tube. This results in a stronger frame, less susceptible to frame weakness and flex.
The result of this strength is the equivalent being able to hold 19 cars on the frame tube. It also won’t corrode, being Carbon Fibre.
Using the Quickie Krypton R vs Quickie Krypton F
The Krypton R is clearly the lighter chair when using them. The ultra light weight frame combined with the standard lightweight wheels means that as you move, the wheelchair takes minimal effort to use. The Quickie Krypton F has a very small amount of additional weight – which is only noticeable if you are able to spot the difference when pushing. This means that as an ultra light weight wheelchair, the folding option is extremely attractive if you travel in very small vehicles a lot.
When moving uphill, the Quickie Krypton is manoeuvrable, enabling you to move around corners on a hill and maintain pace. Likewise downhill, the wheelchair responses well to your push.
The adjustable backrest also means that regardless of the amount of effort you are putting into the push, your support is maintained throughout.
Active brakes are included as standard, as is an under-seat pocket which seals under the seat rather than on the top (meaning it is easier to open). There is also a 3 degree camber option, something that we’d consider for stability, although it makes the wheelchair require slightly more energy to push.
Transporting the Quickie Krypton R and Krypton F
The Krypton R comes in to its own for those who opt to lift their wheelchair into the front seat. The backrest locks down when folded flat and the clothing defenders move with the backrest to fold neatly down to allow the user to lift the chair across their chest. The 3.65kg weight without the wheels allows someone with muscle weakness to contemplate a rigid frame wheelchair, as you can easily lift the wheelchair into the car.
The Krypton F, with the carbon fibre version of the folding brace that made the Xenon very popular, fits neatly into a car boot of most sizes. We placed it into the boot of a Seat Alhambra with all 7 seats up without any problems. It’ll most likely fit in any small car boot. We’re looking forward to testing this though with our favourite small car, the Seat Mii.
Buying a Quickie Krypton R and Quickie Krypton F
Sunrise have been very clear about this – previously when buying a wheelchair, it could be very much a bewildering list of options, rightly tailoring your mobility down to the smallest detail. This time, Quickie have removed a lot of the many options (such as which wheels to go for or seat fabrics) and simplified. At the same time, they have designed a core offer that maintains the core selling point of the wheelchair – the low weight.
Emphasising that the hand-picked 7 dealers are focusing on a new experience of buying a wheelchair, the options list is down to wheel colours, frame protection and seat back fabric. Jay Backs can still be specified as an alternative.
The UK product specialist described this as taking the experience much more up-market, realigning this part of the Quickie brand to a premium market experience, whilst maintaining the great value that existing Quickie customers appreciate. They look beyond the wheelchair itself at the sort of life the user has, including the car, house, work, public transport and leisure. Its this sort of detail that will enable the experience to be a lot more focused on the user, not just the wheelchair. The dealers are also pushed to target the quality of service and customer experience, rather than a sales target. This means the dealer doesn’t have pressure to sell a wheelchair and instead can focus on the customer.
First Look – Conclusion
Without a doubt, Sunrise are looking to transform the market with the Quickie Krypton F and Quickie Krypton R, both with the wheelchair and the buying experience. By emphasising the premium placement of the Quickie Krypton range, there is no doubt that it’s more than just being about a carbon braid wheelchair
The Carbon Braid is incredibly strong and should withstand the rigours of life that get thrown at it – quite literally. We’d take the clear lacquer option to add protection to the frame, as this should maintain the carbon look. The pocket under the seat is well placed and the rear seat pocket is a good size too, meaning that you’ll be able to hold your keys, phone, wallet etc somewhere safely and access them easily.
The weight is superb. The rigid frame is easy to lift and sits neatly on the front seat, as well as when you are disconnecting or reconnecting the wheels. The folding frame is also easy to lift, with a considerable difference to its nearest rivals, the Champion SK and the Quickie Xenon2. Whilst it doesn’t fold as small as the Champion SK, the actual folding size is going to enable it to fit into the smallest of car boots without any problems.
We’re impressed. We can’t wait to put it through a rigorous test later in the year.
The Quickie Krypton is available from £4,750.