The best outdoor walker with big wheels
that’s equally at home indoors?
Price: (Click here to check price on Amazon.)
Pros: Excellent upright walking posture. World-class engineering. Lightweight. All-terrain capabilities.
Cons: Large investment. Accessories must be purchased separately.
Best For: You want the best all-terrain walker, lightweight and nimble enough to use everyday around the house.
The Volaris All-Terrain SMART Rollator Walker is one of those rare products that is an absolute joy to use. The quality Swedish engineering is evident every place you look; from the flexible “comfort” frame that absorbs bumps and helps keeps all the wheels on the ground at all times, to the large cushioned rubber tires, internal brake cables, and adjustable seat height. It’s simply first-class from every angle.
While the large wheels might give the first impression this is an outdoor walker — and there’s no doubt it excels on the roughest terrain including wet grass, cobbled sidewalks, and compact sand — we found the Volaris equally at home indoors, thanks to it’s lightweight and impressive maneuverability.
However the best feature of the Volaris is the unique design that allows you to stand up completely straight when using the walker. This helps to reduce (and in many cases completely eliminate) back, neck, hand, and wrist pain sometimes associated with using a walker. Instead of pushing the walker out in front of you with a hunched over posture, you’re able to walk “inside” the walker with perfect posture.
We were thoroughly impressed by the SMART walker from Volaris and it’s well-deserving of our 4.8-star rating and highest recommendation.
The Volaris is available in Regular, Low, and Wide models.
We reviewed the Regular model with these features:
- Weight Capacity: 330lbs
- Product Weight: 16lbs
- Approximate User Height: 5’0″ – 6’2″
- Handle Height Adjustment: 30-40″
- Overall Width: 23″
- Folded Width: 9″
- Length: 29″
- Seat Height: 18-24″
- Seat Width: 16.5″
- Wheel Size: 8″
The Volaris range of products are imported directly from Sweden by Xlent Care, based out of Milton, Ontario. (US orders are shipped from Niagara Falls in New York so delivery is fast.) The SMART model is available in a number of different sizes including Regular, Low, Wide, and Low-Wide. There’s also a heavy duty PATROL model which won top honours in our best all-terrain walker comparison. Today we’re reviewing the most popular option which is the Regular.
Design & Style
Scandinavian design has become extremely popular in the US over the past few years. (Ever heard of IKEA?) Known for minimalist clean lines and a focus on functionality, the Volaris SMART rollator oozes this design appeal. And it’s extremely unique compared to the dozens and dozens of Chinese-made walkers that flood the market with low quality products.
The extruded aluminum frame is engineered to reduce the bulk usually found in most walkers, keeping it simple, sleek, and almost futuristic looking.
We got more questions, comments, and admiring glances while testing this walker than any other product — it’s a real conversation starter.
On The Road
All it takes is a couple of steps with the Volaris and you can feel the difference between it and a cheaper product. Perhaps the best way to describe it is like the first time you go for a drive in a luxury sedan — it feels extremely stable no matter what the conditions are like, rolls silently over bumps and cracks in the road, and turns heads everywhere you go.
With premium quality cushioned 8-inch rubber tires on all four corners the Volaris is no stranger to all-terrain duties. If you need a walker you can confidently use on wet grass or dirt, perhaps to watch the kids play football or just some quiet time in the garden, then the SMART walker will handle this with ease.
Indoors and around the house the Volaris performs superbly. At just 23-inches wide and weighing in at a svelte 16-pounds, it’s narrower and lighter than most rollators, and we had no trouble navigating narrow hallways, doorways, or around furniture.
But what we liked most of all about the Volaris SMART walker is the carefully thought out design that allows you to stand completely upright while walking.
While most walkers have you hunched over pushing the walker out in front of you, Volaris have engineered the design of this walker so the seat and cross-braces of the frame don’t get in your way like they do with most traditional walkers. This lets you to walk “inside” the frame and get close enough that your shoulders are inline with the handles, allowing you to walk tall and straight with great posture.
The difference is instantly noticeable and after using this walker for a couple of hours I don’t know how anyone could go back to a traditional style walker.
I have to admit when I first saw the Volaris, with it’s large wheels and obvious all-terrain looks, I wasn’t sure how manoeuvrable it was going to be. But the combination of a relatively narrow width, light weight, and the unique walking position actually make this one of the most enjoyable walkers to use.
Starting, stopping, and turning are effortless. In fact, it never really feels like you’re “pushing” the walker… you just walk, and it goes where you want to go. And because you’re walking inside the frame of the walker, and not pushing it out in front of you, your turning radius is extremely tight. We were able to make tight turns in narrow spaces that other walkers just can’t do.
Weight & Folded Size
Weighing just 16-pounds the Volaris SMART walker is one of the lightest rollators you’ll find in this category, only a hair above what we consider a truely “lightweight” walker. Given it’s excellent build quality and all-terrain capabilities this is quite impressive. And because the frame design is quite minimal there isn’t a lot of bulk to get in your way when lifting the walker in and out of a car, so it’s very easy to handle even if you’re traveling every day.
Folding the walker is as easy as pulling up on the seat handle. The walker folds using our preferred “side-to-side” action, compressing down to an impressively small 9-inches, which makes it small enough to fit in the trunk or backseat of most small cars.
Best of all, the walker stays standing when folded, so you’re never stuck trying to find somewhere to store it. (We always feel bad when we’re out in public and our walker is in the way. And it can be such a hassle trying to find somewhere you can safely leave it.) With the Volaris, you can simply tuck it neatly next to your chair out of the way, and it will stand there waiting and ready for you.
The Volaris has another excellent feature missing from most cheaper products: adjustable seat height.
We’ve always been surprised this isn’t a standard feature on most walkers. Because almost every walker has adjustable handles there will be a wide range of people of different heights buying them. And yet, unless you’re smack bang in the average height range, then the seat on a fixed-height walker is either going to be too high or too low to sit comfortably.
Smartly, with the Volaris you customize the exact height of the seat from 18 – 24 inches, getting a perfect fit no matter how tall or short you are.
Unlike most rollators that come with a soft fabric seat, the Volaris features a solid plastic seat that is similar to sitting on a park bench. In pictures online the seat looks quite small, and we were initially concerned it might not be very comfortable. However in person the seat works really well and is more than adequate sitting for short periods. An adjustable backrest is also available an an optional extra if you need some extra support.
One of the best features of the SMART rollator is the fantastic 8-inch wheels. Not only do you get full size 8-inch wheels on all four corners, but they are fitted with some of the best rubber tires we’ve seen on a walker. On top of that, the wheels are also equipped with high quality ball bearings that give you a smooth effortless ride.
This combination makes the Volaris a truely “go anywhere” walker; deep shag carpet, rocky dirt paths, wet grass, and bumpy transitions between surfaces are all easily rolled over without a second thought. The tires grip well on all surfaces, roll silently, and never leave any marks on your floors.
Part of the sleek look of the Volaris SMART rollator is thanks to the hidden brake cables, which are enclosed within the walker’s frame. This is not only a nice design element, but an important safety feature, because now you don’t have to worry about your cables getting caught on things which can potentially lead to a fall.
The brakes are ergonomically positioned within easy reach are simplyto apply with only light pressure needed. They work well to slow the walker down even on fairly steep inclines, and lock in position for safety when you’re seated or just don’t want the walker to roll away from you.
One small downside is the Volaris SMART walker does not come standard with storage, however the upside of this is there are a number of storage options available so you can choose the one that is right for you. Our favorite is the Volaris Mesh Basket. It’s the perfect size to hold all your day-to-day needs such as a purse, wallet, keys, water bottle, and other small items. And it folds up with the walker so you don’t have to remove it when folding the walker.
Designed and built in Sweden, the Volaris SMART walker not only looks fantastic, it’s made from nothing but high quality materials. Unlike many rollators which are made in China from cheaper grades of aluminum, low quality plastics, and painted metal, the Volaris features beautiful extruded aluminum and high grade plastics and is designed to last for years looking like new, without the need for service or replacements. Although if you ever need replacement parts they are readily available on Amazon.
Another unique feature of the Volaris we’ve not seen on any other walker is the flexible frame. They call it a “comfort frame” because it is designed to flex slightly when you travel over bumps or rough patches in the road. This reduces the vibrations, shocks, and jarring you feel in your hands with regular walkers that tend “bounces and rebound” off the ground whenever you hit a bump.
The Volaris also comes completely assembled which is a lifesaver. We simply rolled it out of the box and we were up and walking. (Until you’ve experienced the frustration of spending an hour trying to put together a walker with complicated instructions and missing pieces you have no idea how much of a relief this is!) Any additional accessories you purchase have to be assembled, but we had no trouble installing the mesh basket just by following along with the handy instruction video.
What We Liked
- Unique design allows you to stand inside the frame so you walk up straight! (No hunching over pushing it in front of you.)
- Flexible “comfort” frame keeps all four wheels on the ground and reduces vibration in your hands.
- Cushioned rubber 8 inch tires (front and rear) will go over heavy grass, dirt trails, and tree roots.
- Lightweight 16 lbs frame folds quickly and fits in most cars.
- Internal brake cables for safety and sleek style.
- Space age design oozes quality and feels very youthful.
- Seat height is adjustable from 18-24 inches to suit most people between 5 and 6 feet tall. (If you’re taller check out the PATROL.)
- World-class engineering made in Sweden not China like many other brands!
What Could Be Improved
- Backrest, storage basket, and bottle holder are all optional extras.
- It’s rather expensive… but we believe you get what you pay for. And this walker will last a lifetime.
If you’re looking for the best all-terrain walker that will also get you comfortably around the house, then the Volaris All-Terrain SMART Rollator gets our highest recommendation. Having been designed and engineered in Sweden, it’s extremely well-built, has stunning “youthful” looks, and uses only the best materials that will stay looking beautiful and functioning perfectly year after year.