When asked if I would test drive the Zeen mobility aid, I jumped at the opportunity. Just looking at it, I knew there was something special about it. And after a visit to Disneyland and two months with the device, I gained a good understanding of who could benefit from it.
Is it you?
Let’s find out!
Although I was compensated for testing Zeen, all thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the company.
This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone. I am not a medical professional, and nothing stated in this article should be mistaken for medical advice…
What Is The Zeen Mobility Aid?
Is Zeen a rollator or transport wheelchair?
What if I said both, but more??!!
Its many uses are what take the Zeen mobility device to another level!
It is designed to support the user’s full body weight from beneath, allowing them to move at their natural pace while freeing up their hands. With it, users can walk, sit, roll, and coast! Click here to see me coasting through Cars Land At Disneyland.
Zeen’s Unique Features
Besides addressing various mobility needs, Zeen has some features that I have not seen in others. And while the price of the Zeen mobility aid is higher than the average walker and transport chair, it is far less than having a custom-built device.
The features that caught my eye were:
- Ability to sit and walk
- Option to sit comfortable at a table or to rise and remain seated at eye level with people who are standing.
- Option to be pushed if my body gave out.
I began testing the Zeen in early January. Our first outing was a big one, Disneyland!
My Favorite Features
The ability to walk and coast made it possible to move farther, without human or battery-operated assistance, than I had in over two years! I lasted four hours before my legs said no more. I know my legs would have given out sooner had I used a standard rollator. With the Zeen, I was walking but without all of my weight bearing down on my legs.
Hands-free use at cash registers and pick-up windows! With the Zeen securely attached with a belt around my waist, my hands were free to pay for food and merchandise without it rolling away. And if my legs and feet needed rest while waiting to pay, I leaned back in the seat to take any pressure off them.
The feature that I love most is Zeen’s ability to allow me to sit at a variety of levels. When dining, I set it at my lowest setting (each device can be calibrated for your height and weight), and I could sit as close as if I were sitting in a regular chair. But it was the ability to easily raise the seat to where I could speak at eye level with standing people that made me the happiest. I cannot do that with any of my own mobility aids. Even when I use my rollator-transport combo chair, I have to sit while having a conversation. Sitting and having that eye-to-eye contact made me part of the conversation instead of the person everyone talked over.
The design made shopping a breeze. I could push a grocery cart while walking with the way it is designed. My hands were also free to grab products, and because the seat was raised while walking, I could reach shelves that I could not with my wheelchair.
What Could Improve
Switching the casters from straight to a 360-degree rotation was difficult when in use. Locking the casters allows the user to coast without listing off to the side. While unlocking them made it possible to turn naturally without feeling like I had a giant tail. But, to switch the lock while seatbelted to the device, I had to lower the seat, reach behind to flip the switch, then return the seat to walking level before moving. Moving the switch to the handles would make it more of a seamless transition.
The placement of the footrest is too high. Placing my feet on them made me feel and, unfortunately, look like I was ready for a gynecological examination. The good news is that I wasn’t the only one who has expressed this, and there are plans to address the footrests in the future.
And lastly, the seat. The seat itself is firm memory foam. Sadly, it was too firm for my tailbone.
Before I go on, I want to explain that this is a personal problem, not a general complaint. I first broke my tailbone in 2009, then again in 2012. Both were caused by falling on my, well, you know what! Since the original break, my tailbone has been and apparently will always be extra sensitive.
Unfortunately, the pressure of sitting and leaning on the seat while walking was too much for it. It had been so long since I had aggravated my tailbone to the extent of requiring bed rest to heal it that it never crossed my mind that the seat would be an issue.
At no fault of anyone but my own, I spent the next six weeks catering to and caring for my tailbone. After my tailbone healed, I attempted to take the Zeen for a walk, but it immediately aggravated it. Not wanting to spend another six weeks healing, I called it quits.
Everyone who is part of this company is fantastic. When I told them what had happened, they informed me that the device I was testing was a demo and that the production device had a softer seat. They even brought a production model to my home for me to try when they came to pick up the demo device. Unfortunately, there was still a jolt of pain from the tip of my tailbone the moment I sat down. I shared that a seat designed with a tailbone cutout would be ideal for a mobility aid user like myself.
Who Would Benefit From A Zeen Mobility Aid?
The ideal person for this mobility aid is someone who still has leg and back strength but is struggling to keep up with the pace they did before their injury or chronic illness.
Personally, it would have been the perfect starter mobility aid because pushing a rollator created extra pain throughout my arms, back, shoulders, and wrists. Zeen would have allowed me to be mobile for much longer than I was.
It most likely could have prevented the falls that broke my tailbone. I have never felt as steady or balanced walking with a mobility aid as I did with the Zeen. Its broad base felt natural. I lost my balance and toppled over with my first rollator. It was narrow and too light to keep me upright. Even though my second one was wider, relying on only my hands to use it could not prevent a fall. With the bicycle-type seat and seatbelt, the device kept me upright when my body wanted to start leaning sideways.
This mobility device would be great for someone who needs to be hands-free to walk their dog and needs a place to rest while Fido sniffs every tree trunk.
Leg strength is required! Thanks to daily stretching exercises, my legs are strong enough to walk even though I have been bedridden for the better part of two years. With that said, I only did well on flat surfaces and struggled with the slightest incline.
If it weren’t for my tailbone, this would be the ideal mobility aid for walking around the neighborhood. It would have provided me with enough stability to feel safe joining my family for an evening walk. And the coasting feature would have made it possible to keep up with them!
Your Zeen Questions Answered
Is it easy to transport when traveling by air?
Yes! I spoke with a Zeen representative who recently flew to Los Angeles with one. Just like a wheelchair, he used until to the point of boarding the plane. The device was then stored with the cargo just as any other mobility aid and was waiting for him when he exited the plane.
Does the device hit your legs or feet while walking?
No. Everything is spaced perfectly.
Does it feel like you are pulling it?
No. The only time I was aware of the device behind me was while walking through the gift shops at Disneyland. To my surprise, I never felt like I was pulling a trailer or that it hindered my ability to walk.
Could I use it if I have hand, wrist, and shoulder pain?
Yes, and maybe.
Yes, as long as you do not use the coasting feature. I was able to walk without holding the handles, but to walk and coast, which was the most efficient way of using the device that day, I had to use my hands.
Maybe because the user needs to squeeze a lever on both sides to raise and lower the seat. This does require some strength, but not a lot.
How much does the Zeen mobility device weigh?
Zeen weighs 39lbs.
How do I try one?
Visit Zeen today to learn more about this innovative mobility aid. Still unsure if Zeen is a perfect fit for your needs? They offer a no-risk 14-day in-home trial.
Not sure whether you need a mobility aid? Let my Mobility Aid Worksheet help you decide.