OVERVIEW The Independence is the smaller model in the Advance Mobility pushchair range, it is designed for the active, outdoor or sporting family. It will take you anywhere you want to go, e.g. woodlands, beaches and moorlands, a local fun run or marathon. the only limitation is your ability to get a secure foothold and be safe. The Advance Mobility Independence covers an age range from say 5 years to 10 years, although suitability is more about size rather than age. The child's weight plus their lower leg measurement is a good guide to suitability and growth room and we will usually ask for these if you call us to discuss the pushchair. An Extended Footwell can be fitted for a child over 10 years who is slim and lightweight (see the Independence MAX model) or there is the larger Freedom model. The Independence has large 16" wheels which are ideal both for rougher surfaces - off road, rutted tracks, across fields etc. or made up surfaces at speed. The large wheels offer a shallow angle of attack against any hollow or bump making it free rolling; on a rutted surface they smooth out the bumps for the occupant, or when used at speed minimise jolts and shocks. The fixed front wheel means that you simply push the Independence in the direction you want to go it is not deflected by rough terrain or veer downhill when traversing a slope (like a pushchair with a swivel front wheel). On the other hand the relatively large 'footprint' of the Independence makes it unsuitable for use around town, inside shops or other places indoors, e.g. School. Most owners of an all terrain special needs pushchairs will also have a more upright pushchair with a small footprint and swivel wheels for use around town, for example a Maclaren Major Elite, Trotter or Ergo Lightweight Pushchair Robustly made with an aluminium frame the Independence is sturdy but still reasonably lightweight (13kg). It is tested for a child up to 45kg BUT do not rely on this 'potential' capacity as a child might outgrow it dimensionally (especially in the shoulder width) before reaching that weight. The Independence folds in seconds, it uses the same quick fold mechanism as the Baby Jogger range of pushchairs; in the seat is a strap handle marked 'fold' simply lift and follow through and the Independence folds as you lift it off the ground (see images below). Most people remove the two rear wheels before folding, they are quick release it takes less than 10 seconds to unclip them (see images below). Removing the rear wheels fundamentally changes the shape and size of the pushchair making it easier to store or transport, it also reduces the weight by 3kg. The Independence is easy to steer (even though it has a fixed, non swivelling front wheel) because the weight distribution is mainly over the rear wheels. As an occupant approaches the maximum capacity for the pushchair more of their weight goes through the front wheel and it becomes heavier to steer. This tends to become noticeable at around 35kg, and we usually find that this is the weight when some customers will buy the larger Freedom model. Although it will also be influenced by the child's age/growth rate and lifestyle requirements. We are always happy to spend time talking through in detail your requirements, we are keen to get the choice right even if it means referring you to a product which we do not sell.
Most pushchairs for small children have a swivel front wheel, this isn't possible on a larger pushchair because it would be unstable if the front wheel were pointing left to right, it could flip over sideways. We are sometimes asked by customers how one steers a pushchair with a fixed front wheel. It isn't complicated:
to veer to the left push harder with your right hand
to veer right push harder with your left hand
to turn at a sharp right angle pushdown on the handlebar to lift the front wheel off the ground allow you to swivel the pushchair around
This is fine when in large open areas where you tend to go broadly in a straight line, veering occassionally left and right with few sharp turns, but in an town situation with lots of sharp turns this could be a nuisance. Remember also that to push down on the handlebar you need to be taller than it and we tend to find that someone of say 1.58m (5'2") height may struggle to operate it. The alternative Freedom has a lower handle height and the option of a row of swivel wheels. The Independence has rear wheel parking brakes, activated by a foot operated lever, plus a 'running' brake for control - a standard bike caliper brake operated by handlebar mounted lever (see images below). There is also a Safety Wrist Strap: like a 'dog' lead' you put your hand through the loop before holding the handle, it is attached to the pushchair frame lower down so should you slip or accidentally let go of the handlebar the pushchair cannot run away from you. If you've not been used a pushchair with large wheels before you may be surprised by how fast it can pick up speed and outpace you even on a mild slope showing quite how 'free rolling' these are. The Independence Seat is more than just a basic hammock style (a fabric slung between the frame which wraps itself around the occupant) it is tailored with padded base and central back section including a flexible support board and lightweight aluminium frame. This built-in support is ideal for most occupants but also forms the foundation for more structured support management. This isn't something we get involved in but we are aware that parents customise the seat with specialist products from other manufacturers, e.g. a Stabilo or BodyMap Vacuum Support Cushion System. The seat is at a naturally tilted angle and it can also has a small recline (see images below) ,and the Lambskin Comfort Liner adds that touch of luxury. The five point harness is substantial with lots of adjustment in all directions, the shoulder straps can be adjusted at six height levels. The Advance Mobility Independence has a Lifetime Frame Warranty but do be aware that this only covers defects of manufacture not 'wear and tear'. Fabrics and other parts have a one year warranty. There is no warranty against punctures but the wheels contain seriously thick heavy duty thorn resistant inner tubes (much thicker than on a bike). It is designed for a child who is happy to be in the pushchair - both the warranty and the safe working load may be significantly reduced if the child is not a co-operative occupant. The Independence is CE marked. The Independence pushchair is not 'Crash Tested' it cannot be used for transporting a child in a vehicle. Whilst the Independence may be used for someone with special needs the seat may be unsuitable if they have a physical disability which requires postural support management. If in doubt please seek the advice of your physiotherapist. KEY FEATURES Frame
maximum weight limit 100lbs, 7 stone, 45kg (but check dimensions)