The folding frame of the 5VX makes it a breeze to transport, the smooth folding action and optional folding back allowing it to fold up to a compact size that will fit in the back of your car - or take up minimal space when storing in your house. Traditionally, folding active wheelchairs haven't offered the same performance as rigid framed ones, being both heavier and having more movement in them. The Catalyst's unique dual interlocking frame locks together to minimise unwanted movement or front-to-back racking, while the "between the rails" design transfers loads from the cross-brace onto the vertical side frames, which are capable of supporting far greater loads - this keeps the cross-brace light, and ensures that no matter how much you use your Catalyst, the frame will remain as solid as the day you got it. Finally, the patented Power X-Hinge eliminates the need for the sling to solidify the frame - which on other wheelchairs leads to the chair feeling loose as the sling stretches over time.
7000 series aluminium is used for the frame - this alloy is stronger and lighter, while dampening vibration. All of this results in the Catalyst 5VX having high levels of rigidity and thus a far more responsive ride than traditional folding chairs. The strength and solidity of the Catalyst 5VX is further demonstrated by its impressive 136 kg weight capacity, while a HD version with a 158.7 kg capacity is available too.
The newer you are to wheelchair use, the more adjustability your chair should have - as it takes a while to find your ideal seating set-up, and while initially it is better to favour stability, as your skills grow you will want a more active set-up. The Catalyst offers a wide range of adjustments, making it ideal for beginners - including 5 cm of centre of gravity adjustment, 10 cm of rear seat height, and up to 4° of camber. Many other parts of the chair can be adjusted too, including the backrest height and angle, footrest length, and armrest position - this allows the chair to provide a constant perfect fit for your requirements. Even for those experienced with wheelchair use, the ability to fine-tune the chair is helpful to optimise your fit, and ease your ride.
Seating and Options
A wide range of seat sizes, combined with the adjustability described above, allow the Catalyst to fit those of all shapes and sizes. Ki Mobility's new Axiom range of cushions and backrests have been precision engineered to provide high levels of comfort, pressure relief and postural support. Third party seating, such as the Jay and Matrx range of cushions and backrests can also be fitted if you already have a preferred seating system. The front frame is available in a choice of angles with either swing-away legrests for ease of transfer, or a fixed-front frame to save weight and maximise rigidity. Ki Mobility offer a lifetime warranty on their legrest hangers - unmatched on the market, and a relief for those who know that legrests tend to be one of the most common parts of a wheelchair to go wrong. They are the most intuitive hanger available, allowing you to attach or detach them from any angle by simply pushing them up or down, while the tapered engagement keeps them snug and rattle free.
Other options include the popular swing-in anti-tips - easy to activate, they are there when you need them and gone when you don't, without sacrificing the compact frame design. Fender sideguards protect your clothing from the road while adding a sleek look to your chair, and are available in either padded aluminium or ultra-light carbon fibre. If you require armrests, the height adjustable version features a no rattle design, with a rock solid feel, and are functional, easy to use and lightweight. A full selection of industry standard wheels, tyres and handrims are available to choose from - after all, the wheels are a crucial part of your wheelchair. In particular, the Maxx Performance spoke wheels are really impressive for a "standard" option on a chair - light, durable and stylish.
Personalising your Catalyst begins with you - pick your greatest shade then highlight your look with the new anodising package, options and accessories. There are thousands of colour combinations to choose from, allowing you to be bold with your design. With compact front frame options, 20 frame colours (plus hydrographic options), and 9 highlight colours, and stylish wheels and rims to choose from, the Catalyst's sporty appearance defies expectations for adjustable folding chairs.
The Catalyst 5VX is a reliable and well-built wheelchair, with a sturdy yet light frame. It is pitched directly against the Quickie Neon2, and is the same price - we suggest trying both out to see which suits you better. Kuschall's Compact 2.0 and TiLite's Aero X are not too distant in price, if you are looking for a higher end chair. While there are lighter folding chairs on the market, such as the "standard" Catalyst 5 and Quickie's Xenon2, these are more expensive and tend to be for more experienced users who don't need the same range of adjustments. The Catalyst doesn't perhaps have the same level of looks as the Quickie range, however with the addition of the new anodising package (which isn't pictured) it does have a striking appearance that more than holds its own.
We would recommend the Catalyst 5VX to those after a good value light folding chair - particularly those who are relatively new to active chairs and thus want a high level of adjustability, but also to more experienced wheelchair users who want a reliable, affordable chair.