Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Permobil F3 Corpus

Old Faithful, my Permobil C300 wheelchair, was beginning to show signs of aging. The chair has been good to me, but it needed new tires, two new motors (and maybe the seat lift also), replace the batteries, new seat cushion, new cut-off switch, etc. When I priced the total repair bill, the decision was made to get a new chair instead.

Introducing the Permobil F3 Corpus, the replacement for the discontinued C300. I have had it for a week and I am impressed. The website describes the F3 in this way:

The F3 CORPUS offers the smallest footprint of this redesigned series of front-wheel drive power wheelchairs. Its size and agility let users move quickly in and out of tight spaces like busy city streets and crowded areas like malls...or even parties. The platform has a lower, repositioned center of gravity, which greatly improves stability while traversing inclines or declines. With its fully independent suspension, the F3 provides a comfortable ride and allows users to navigate the obstacles of life.
The CORPUS® SEATING SYSTEM. We retained all of the things that you have come to expect from the legendary Corpus seating system like the arc legrests, the open armrest design and the UniTrack System. Then, we took the Corpus seating system to the next level with advanced features such as: the 12” seat elevator and the A/P tilt function, which allows for optional 5º, 10°, 20° and 30° of anterior tilt, while maintaining 50° of posterior tilt. The A/P tilt helps our users with transfers, added reach, and allows them to get closer to a table or workspace.

I feel having a seat lift is mandatory for someone living with Kennedy's Disease (SBMA) and I am impressed with the 12” seat lift. “The new seat elevator utilizes 3 points of contact and shifts the seat rearward as it elevates to maintain an unimaginable level of stability even at full elevation. This allows individuals to get closer to tasks while providing faster and higher elevation.” 12” is nice – it really gets you up there while still feeling stable. The fact that the lift motor is three times faster than the C300 is even nicer. 

Many things are similar to the C300 as well as some nice new additions or enhancements. Stability seems much greater, even though the C300 wasn’t bad. The Corpus seating system (3rd generation) is even nicer. The footrests are lighter. I could go on, but I need to mention the other side of the coin.

And, as with most everything, there are a couple of things that I do not like as much. The armrests, for example, are ¾” wider making the chair 1½” wider at the arms. The first few days I was scraping doorframes right and left and couldn’t figure out why. The rear wheels need adjusting. They are not as smooth when backing up or turning as the C300 right now. 

Because of all the combinations of seat height, leg rest position, back and seat tilt, etc., I am checking into a memory option that will keep three positions for enhanced ease of use. As I use the chair more, I’ll keep you advised as to my thoughts on the chair.


  1. The new version sounds great! I just got into a new C300 about 10 months ago - took six months to get it via insurance. It had an upgrade to the R2 electronics but otherwise it was the same old C300 with slight seat improvements. The F3 sounds like a great leap forward - I'm envious! I highly recommend the Permobile line to SBMA folks - great choice!

  2. Bob, always good to hear from you. Fortunately, the entire process took about five weeks. The 300 is a good chair and it served me well for over five years of daily use. I will still keep it and plan on using it at times.


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