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Does the Motivo Tour upright walker
live up to the hype?
Price: (Check price and availability on Amazon.)
Pros: Upright walking position. Good manoeuvrability. Lots of color options.
Cons: Expensive. Imposing design. Not good on bumpy surfaces.
Best For: You want maximum manoeuvrability indoors with an upright walking position.
Related: Best Upright Walkers of 2019.
The 2020 Motivo Tour is the latest addition in the increasingly popular “upright walker” category of rollators. These unique designs allow you to stand inside the walker so you’re able to walk in a more upright position. This in turn helps improve your posture while reducing pressure and pain in your back and neck. We gave the Motivo Tour an above average 3-star review.
On the positive side, the ergonomics of your walking position when using the Motivo are excellent. Without a seat or any cross braces to get in the way of your legs, you’re able to stand within the walker and walk comfortably in a truely upright position. If you’ve experienced back or neck pain from hunching over when using a regular walker you can imagine how much of a relief this could be.
Unfortunately there are a number of small issues we found with the Motivo that, when combined, take a couple of stars off what would otherwise be an excellent product; the price, transportability, and outdoor performance are all areas that could be improved.
- Build Quality
Good walking ergonomics and a unique design are not enough to overcome the expensive price tag and poor outdoor performance.
- Weight Capacity: 300lbs
- Approximate User Height: 4’3″ – 6’4″
- Handle Height Adjustment: 31″ – 38″
- Opened Dimensions: 24″ W x 35″ H x 27″ D
- Folded Dimensions: 24″ W x 35″ H x 13″ D
- Storage Dimensions: 19.73″ W x 7.40″ D x 9.36″ H
- Seat Height: 19.75″ fixed
- Seat Dimensions: 20″ W x 7.5″ D
- Wheel Size: 7.5″
- Product Weight: 19.8 lbs
Motivo have scored a ton of press and media attention for the Motivo Tour upright walker, aided at least in part by how visually different it is to a regular 4 wheel rollator. But is all the attention deserved, or are they just slick marketers with a great PR agency? And more importantly… is it really worth paying so much money for a walker? Let’s find out…
Design & Style
The very first thing you notice about the Motivo is the design, it looks nothing like any other rollator on the market. And while it might be some people’s cup of tea, it’s certainly not ours. From the front it reminds me of the Optimus Prime character from the Transformers cartoon, and I can’t get the image out of my head.
Constructed from large (though lightweight) pieces of carbon composite material, the Tour has an imposing presence and looks much larger than it actually is. Combined with the bright shiny colors let’s just say no one is going to lose you in the supermarket.
On the plus side the Motivo is available in 9 different colors so if the overall style is to your liking then you’ll be sure to find a color that suits you.
On The Road
Walking inside on smooth hard surfaces, such as kitchen tiles or floorboards, the Motivo rolls along effortlessly and quietly. You really notice the couple of inches difference in your walking posture compared to a regular rollator; the Motivo allows you to stand completely upright as you move and there is no tendency to hunch over like you sometimes have to with a traditional walker. Likewise, we had no trouble walking outside on smooth concrete and paved roads.
However, when the terrain gets soft, bumpy, or loose, the Motivo can start to struggle. For example, walking inside on thick carpet the thin wheels of the Tour had a tendency to get bogged down. And if you have somewhat pronounced transitions between your carpet and hard surfaces, the walker can get stuck and want to tip over if you push it too hard in an attempt to get over the threshold. This is the double edged sword of your walking position in the Motivo Tour — by being so far forward in the walker you often standing almost directly over the front axels. We had similar troubles outside on grass and bumpy cobbled streets; the walker would work fine for a time and then at some point get caught up and want to fall forward if pushed too hard.
While the Motivo looks rather large thanks to the flat panels used in it’s design, it’s actually about the same size as most regular rollators. So navigating around your average home with regular size doorways is no problem. And because of your walking position inside the walker, you’re able to make quite tight turns as you and the walker can turn as one unit. As mentioned earlier, it works best on smooth hard surfaces and manoeuvrability is impaired the more the floor surface strays from this ideal.
At 19.8 pounds the Motivo Tour is just slightly heavier than average compared to our list of the best upright walkers for seniors. If you are fit and healthy then the weight itself shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to lift into your car. However if due to your age or medical conditions you are a little smaller or weaker than average, then the weight might be a little too much to handle. In this case if transporting the walker is a high priority for you then you best consider a lightweight walker instead.
Folded Size & Transport
When fully expanded the Motivo is 24-inches wide, 35-inches tall, and 27-inches deep. Unfortunately when collapsed for transport the only dimension that gets smaller is the depth, which shrinks down to 13-inches. (Compare this to the UPWalker Lite which folds down to just 8.5 inches!) This means it’s still rather large and cumbersome when folded down and might limit where you can comfortably store it for travel. While it might technically fit in most average size car trunks, actually lifting it and fitting it in there is another story. On the plus side, the smooth surface of the Tour allows you to lean the walker on the side of the car and slide it up and into the trunk. But none the less you’ll want to carefully double check the dimensions of your trunk and the strength and coordination of the person who needs to lift it.
Fitted standard with a stow-away padded seat that tucks neatly out of the way when you don’t need it, the Motivo won’t win any awards for seated comfort, but it does the job and is adequate for short periods when you need to rest.
We consider quality wheels to be one of the most important features to look for in a walker or rollater, and unfortunately this is one of the weaker elements of the Motivo. At just 7.5-inches they are slightly smaller than the 8-inch wheels standard on most competitors products. However the bigger issue we faced was the narrow width of the wheels. Because they are quite thin they have a tendency to want to get stuck in ruts or cracks in the sidewalk. And as we have already highlighted, they don’t perform particularly well on rough or uneven terrain.
The other problem we noticed that is caused by the relatively thin wheels is the decreased surface area which means you have less rubber on the road when it comes to braking. Even when the brakes work well and lock the wheels, the walker itself can often be easily pushed forward because the wheels can simply slide along the floor. This was especially evident on shiny hardwood floors and vinyl.
The Motivo Tour is fitted with the same “loop” style brakes you’ll find on most other walkers. You pull up on the brake handles to apply the brakes, and push down to lock the park brake. The brakes worked fine in our testing, but as noted above the wheels can become the weak link in the chain and even with the brakes applied the walker can sometimes be pushed around without too much effort.
Storage is certainly not lacking on the Motivo, with a generous personal items storage compartment located within easy reach on the front inside panel of the walker. This is large enough to fit a good sized handbag or small grocery shop bag. And unlike some walkers, you don’t have to remove your items (or the storage compartment) when you fold the walker. You also get a fold out “half size” tray with 2 cup holders which is handy at dinner time.
The overall build quality of the Tour is quite good, it feels solid and stable when walking and we didn’t notice anything loose or rattling around that would give us any concern as to the longevity of the unit. Motivo give you a limited lifetime warranty on the main unit and a 1-year warranty on parts such as the hand grips, brakes, and wheels. With most of their sales being direct it’s hard to get a gauge on overall market statistics on faults and returns like you can with products primarily sold via Amazon, but we have no reason to believe the Motivo is any better or worse than any other walker.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a Motivo walker?
There are three different color options available with the recommended retailer price as follows:
- Classic Collection – $699
- Designer Collection – $729
- Premier Collection – $749
Payment plans are also available however it’s worth nothing these add rather substantially to the overall price you will pay.
What is the difference between the collections?
The only difference is the color choices and finish.
Is the Motivo Tour covered by Medicare?
What We Liked
- Made in the USA.
- Upright walking position.
- Comes standard with seat, storage compartment, and flip out tray with two drink holders.
- Lots of color options to choose from.
What Could Be Improved
- Expensive when bought outright, even more expensive if you choose a payment plan.
- Relatively small and thin wheels do not handle well on uneven or rough surfaces.
- The Motivo does not compact down enough when folded and might be a tight fit in many small cars.
- The design is a love it or hate it thing… we think it makes you look like a transformer.
While there are many things to like about the Motivo Tour, including the fact they are built in the good old US of A, it’s hard to give it a solid recommendation when the price, all-terrain handling, and transportability all have it lacking behind our top upright walker picks. While we are not big fans of the design, this is one area where if you do like it, this might be the deciding factor in your decision to get one. And if you’re mostly using it indoors on smooth flat surfaces and don’t need to travel anywhere then it might be perfectly suitable. We give it an overall 3-star rating and hope to see it push into 4-star territory in future updates.