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The UPWalker Is The Original Upright Walker, But Is It Still The Best?
Price: (Click here to check price on Amazon.)
Pros: Very well built. Sturdy. Sit-to-stand handles. Multiple sizes available.
Cons: The price. Fairly large and heavy.
Best For: You need maximum support and stability.
Related: Best Upright Walkers of 2020
Earning the title of “Most Sturdy” in our Best Upright Walkers article, the original UPWalker is still one of the best quality walkers on the market and earned a solid 4-star score here in our review. However it’s best suited to outdoor use and the weight, overall size, and price might put some people off.
- Build Quality
Excellent build quality and great design are let down by the UPWalkers weight and overall dimensions which make it difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces. However the original UPWalker is still the best upright walker if stability and safety are your primary concern. Just don’t let the price scare you off!
- Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
- Approximate User Height: 4’4″ – 6’4″
- Handle Height Adjustment: 31.5″ – 49.5″
- Overall Width: 21.5″ – 25.5″
- Overall Length: 30.5″ – 36″
- Storage Bag Dimensions: 13″W x 6″D x 10″H
- Seat Height: 20″ – 21″
- Seat Dimensions: 16″W x 10″D – 20″W x 13″D
- Wheel Size: 8″
- Product Weight: 21 – 25.5 lbs
- Folded Dimensions: 30.5″L x 35″H x 10.5″W – 36″L x 40″H x 10.5″W
* Please Note: Each size UPWalker has different dimensions, weight, and weight capacity so check the size guide on Amazon carefully to make sure you pick the right walker for your needs.
Lifewalker first introduced upright walkers to the mobility market back in 2017 with the release of the UPWalker. Infomercials and generous media coverage made it an instant smash hit. And thousands of happy customers were able to walk comfortably again, reporting less pain in their hands, wrists, backs, and joints.
But the UPWalker has also been met with complaints that it’s too heavy, too large, or simply too expensive to be practical for most seniors. And with half a dozen new upright walkers hitting the shelves in recent years the question now is how does the original stack up to the new breed?
We got our hands on an UPWalker and put it through it’s paces, and here’s what we found…
Design & Style
Arriving fully assembled and ready to use, first impressions of the UPWalker are very good. This is a nice looking piece of equipment and lots of people stopped us to ask question about it. The frame is made of high quality aluminum with sleek curves and thoughtful design features such as sit-to-stand handles and fully adjustable rotating hand grips which you will not find on cheaper models. Brake cables are safely (and stylishly) tucked away inside the frame so there is no chance of snagging them on anything. And every piece of the walker feels like it was designed with longevity in mind.
On The Road
The ability to stand up completely straight when using the UPWalker makes a noticeable difference in comfort and reduces the pressure on your back, wrists, and hands compared to a normal walker. At first I wasn’t sure how much of an impact this would have, but now that I’ve tested a number of different upright walkers I don’t think I could go back to a regular walker.
Outdoors the UPWalker really shines. The combination of large rubber wheels, oversize frame, and sturdy construction make walking on most surfaces rather effortless. Footpaths at the kids playground, wet grass at the soccer field, and the bumpy and cracked carpark were no match for the UPWalker.
Indoors however it can be a little bit tricky to get around. The large footprint of the walker can make navigating smaller doorways feel like you’re threading a needle. And you might have to rearrange some of the furniture in your house to ensure there is enough room to turn around. But if your house is relatively large, with wide hallways and doors, and open unobstructed rooms, then you shouldn’t have any problems.
These results should come as no surprise as LifeWalker lists the UPWalker’s primary use as “outdoor” and it’s secondary use as “indoor”. This is the opposite to the UPWalker Lite which was designed specifically for indoor use.
Measuring a full 25.5 inches wide and 36 inches long, the large size UPWalker is a hefty machine which can be difficult to manoeuvre indoors. While outdoors it turns beautifully and rolls smoothly, indoors it’s simply too large to use comfortably in most houses. The small size UPWalker is significantly smaller — measuring 21.5 inches wide and 30.5 inches long — and much more friendly indoors, however it’s only suitable for people up to 5’5″ which limits it’s versatility. Rounding out the lineup is the standard size UPWalker which is right in between the others, measuring 23.5 inches wide and 33.5 inches long, which puts it firmly in the “best used outdoors” category.
Weight & Folded Size
Weighing between 21 and 25.5 pounds, the UPWalker is quite a heavy piece of mobility equipment which many seniors will find too heavy to comfortably lift in and out of a car. And while the walker folds down to just 10.5 inches wide, the length and height of the folded walker is still rather large, making it cumbersome to transport. On the plus side, the design of the UPWalker puts the majority of the weight down low which helps make the walker more stable and helps it from tipping over.
Weight of the UPWalker by size
- Small: 21 pounds
- Standard: 23.5 pounds
- Large: 25.5 pounds
Folded Dimensions of the UPWalker by size
- Small: 30.5″L x 35″H x 10.5″W
- Standard: 33.5″L x 37″H x 10.5″W
- Large: 36″L x 40″H x 10.5″W
The seat on the UPWalker is relatively comfortable and is made from a durable mesh material. The seat slides in and out so it doesn’t get in the way of your knees when walking which is a nice design touch. And the “sit to stand” handles are very useful to help you sit down and stand up even if you have weakness in your legs.
There was one issue we found with the seat made it less than ideal, it’s positioned a little too low on the walker. It really should be a couple of inches higher. This would make it easier to get in and out of and put your legs in a more comfortable position when seated.
Seat Dimensions of the UPWalker by size
- Small: 16″W x 10″D x 20″H
- Standard: 18″W x 11″D x 20″H
- Large: 20″W x 13″D x 21″H
Large 8 inch wheels are fitted on each corner of the UPWalker and they are wrapped in high quality rubber that give you a surefire grip on most surfaces. As you would expect on a walker of this calibre, they roll smoothly, silently, and don’t leave any marks on the floor. While not specifically designed for “off road” use, the wheels are wide enough that they handle most outdoor terrain with ease and don’t get caught in cracks like smaller cheaper wheels often do.
Braking the UPWalker is as simple as lightly pulling on the brake levers found on the ergonomic handgrips. Each brake works independently of the other, with the left hand grip applying the brake to the back left wheel, and the right hand grip applying the brake on the right side. The brakes on our test unit applied easily with a light touch and gripped tightly. As previously mentioned, the brake cables are hidden in the frame tubing to keep them out of harms way and prevent them catching on anything.
The UPWalker comes with a free personal items bag which measures 13″W x 6″D x 10″H. We found this is plenty of storage for your wallet, purse, phone, and other day-to-day items. The bag attaches to the front of the walker in between the arm wrests so everything is always within easy reach when you’re out and about. While some walkers have an additional large under seat storage compartment, the design of the UPWalker does not really allow for this, because you walk “inside” the frame right where the bag would be positioned.
Lifewalker have made a name for themselves largely off the back of the build quality of the UPWalker, which is second to none. Everything from the frame down to the smallest screw feels like it is made from top quality materials. We really couldn’t fault anything on the model we bought to test. Like all manufacturers, there are occasionally small issues with various components, so it’s nice to know the UPWalker comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame.
There are three different sizes of Upwalker available — Small, Standard, and Large — and the prices vary between them. Obviously a larger walker uses more raw materials than a smaller walker and so Lifewalker have factored this into the price.
What We Liked
- Extremely sturdy and stable when walking or sitting.
- Good for outdoor use on most terrain.
- Sit-to-stand handles are very handy.
- Great build quality.
- Variety of sizes make it suitable for almost anyone.
What Could Be Improved
- Quite large and heavy
- Too big to use in small houses or apartments
- The price!
If you’re looking for the most sturdy upright walker primarily for use outdoors then the UPWalker by Lifewalker is still the best option on the market. However if indoor use is important or budget is an issue then you might want to look at some of the other products we recommend in our Best Upright Walkers comparison.