If you’re familiar with Segway then you’re aware they make some great electric personal transporters. Their products are all tested to make sure they deliver a riding experience that is as smooth as it is safe. There’s only one thing that’s been holding them back: their Segways aren’t meant for all ages.
Nearly every Segway product, including their flagship model the miniPRO, is designed for ages 16 to 60. If you planned on buying one for a child as a gift, then normally, they would be out of luck. That is until you introduce them to the Segway miniLITE—a child-sized option that can safely fit kids under 16.
The Segway miniLITE is an ideal choice for kids that need to be able to get around easily and safely. More importantly, it is a lot of fun!
But if there’s any age group that has the time to kill to just play outside, it would be kids. Now, Segway finally has an answer to this overlooked age group.
The Segway miniLITE is very similar in design to their other models like the miniPRO or the miniPLUS. They each have two large wheels around 10 inches wide, and they all have a balancing rod in the center that is placed between your knees and is used for steering. The problem has always been that Segway’s lineup has been too big for younger ages. This doesn’t just lead to an uncomfortable fit but can pose unforeseen safety issues.
Designed for ages six and up, the miniLITE gives children their very own electric segway that fits their wants and needs. Is Segway’s kid-sized unit worth a purchase for the little ones in your life? Let’s dig a little deeper and find out what this model is made of.
When purchasing an electric vehicle for yourself it is wise to be informed on the product’s various capabilities and choose what best fits you. In this case, we need to look at what will best fit ages from around 6 to 15. What may be comfortable for a six foot tall 30-year-old will not be a good fit for a four foot tall eight-year-old.
With all this out of the way let’s get into the details of how the Segway miniLITE holds up in various categories.
As you may have expected, the Segway miniLITE is shorter and lighter than their adult-oriented models like the miniPRO. The miniLITE’s height is just under two feet tall. This makes it a better fit for kids so that the balancing rod can be properly placed between their knees. Steering with a bar of this size is ideal for younger ages, but keep in mind that it might be too small for you to use depending on your height and size.
The miniLITE isn’t much lighter than other Segway products, however. It weighs 27 pounds which is only slightly lighter than the adult versions. It might be a little heavy for kids to lug around when they’re not riding it or trying to take it out of the house. Parents may want to be cautious of this weight when their children are taking the Segway out for a ride.
The battery used in the miniLITE is half the power of that in Segway’s main lineup. This results in a faster charge time that reduces waiting by about one hour. In spite of this, the miniLITE is still capable of reaching very similar speeds. The max speed is about 10 miles per hour. Don’t worry that the miniLITE can go as fast as the miniPRO, as 10mph isn’t that fast in the first place.
The max distance the miniLITE can get off a single charge is also only 11 miles. That means that going at max speed you can only get one hour of use out of this device. That can be seen as a good thing if you don’t want the little ones going too far, but it can also be seen as bad if your kids will be using it a lot.
The maximum weight capacity for the miniLITE is around 175 pounds. This model only comes in one color, eggshell white. This is a minor drawback on Segway’s part as everyone knows kids love to have bicycles and scooters with the color of their choice. Hopefully, the glowing LED lights will make up for that.
Segway works extraordinarily hard to make sure all their products meet their very high safety standards. The miniLITE meets most of these standards but unfortunately, it falls a bit short in a couple of departments.
The self-balancing functionality is one of the highlight characteristics of the Segway brand. Their electric balancing boards allow you to balance yourself much easier than on a skateboard or a hoverboard. This is especially true considering the weight ratio between the rider and the Segway when it comes to the miniLITE.
For adults, their miniPRO may have been one-eighth of their weight but for kids, their miniLITE will usually be one-fifth of their weight. Kids using the miniLITE will be riding the heavier vehicle relative to their size. This helps make their riding more stable and secure.
As already mentioned, the miniLITE has a shorter balancing rod than the other Segway rides. The knee pad rests just below or right in between the knees and either way it provides a comfortable feeling. As a matter of fact, Segway equipped the miniLITE with their newer knee pads seen on the Segway miniPLUS. They’re softer and more ergonomic and are especially perfect for younger ages.
One of the most subtle modifications made in the miniLITE is the altered max incline. The largest angle this Segway can move at is only 10 degrees, compared to the usual 15 degrees. This restriction makes the miniLITE safer in the event that kids come across steeper angles. It’s a very wise decision that places boundaries on what kinds of terrain this personal mobility device can access.
Unfortunately, not all changes to the miniLITE are totally positive. The very convenient Bluetooth functionality has been shaved down considerably. One might think this is not a big deal as not all kids have cell phones. But the problem is that this means there is no more anti-theft alarm system. The ability to set the max speed is also no longer present, which for something designed for kids as young as six years old is a bit of a blunder on Segway’s part.
Perhaps a 14-year old riding at 10mph will have no issues, but if you buy this for a six, seven, or eight-year-old, for example, it would have been great to be able to limit the max speed. Especially while they’re learning how to ride it, that feature would have been appreciated.
You can still perform vehicle diagnostics, customize the LEDs and use the in-app tutorial, but that’s about all that remains in terms of extra features.
Arguably the most noticeable omission from the entire package is the lack of a front headlight. Bright lights are a great tool to have at nighttime. They dramatically improve safety. This is true for both being able to see where you’re going and to let others in the neighborhood easily see that you are there. We’re guessing that the weaker battery didn’t allow for this feature but it is still a shame and it ultimately means that kids using the miniLITE in the dark need to be extra cautious. Thus, only daytime riding is recommended for younger riders.
Speaking of terrain, let’s discuss the wheels and how they actually feel while moving on the ground. Despite just about every other aspect of the miniLITE being smaller than the miniPRO, the wheels are virtually unchanged. This is a very good thing. Segway’s wheels have always been big, thick and tough. Even though the build quality is sturdy the tires still provide great traction and a smooth ride.
Like any other Segway wheels, they perform excellently on conventional terrain but lose some of their grip on other surfaces. Sidewalks, cement floors and roads are perfect. The miniLITE is at home on these kinds of flat grounds. Luckily the wheels are also quite good at handling bumps and sudden inclines. Combined with the self-balancing feature it would be very hard to get knocked off while riding.
The wheels are made from Segway’s typical water resistant materials. Not only will the internal battery be protected but the vehicle will still remain steady on wet surfaces. Traction suffers when riding on ice, however. While taking your Segway to the beach sounds like a great idea, in reality, it is only an okay one. Traction is average and you will probably have to deal with cleaning your kid’s tires of sand (because you know that they probably won’t want to do it).
Because the wheels are so thick and strong they are quite resistant to tears or punctures. The entire device has impressive build quality but as usual, the tires are the true champs when it comes to longevity. You can use this machine for years and it will still run as well as it did out of the box.
All in all, the Segway miniLITE is currently one of the best motorized self-balancing boards that a child or teenager can have. Our biggest disappointments with the device are some of the excluded functions, most notably the front headlight. However, many of these omissions make sense when you remember the reduced motor power and the reduced price of the unit. Considering that miniLITEs can be purchased for only $300 it is absolutely a high value.
Segway is known for creating updated models to their transporters so hopefully, we can see another device aimed for younger audiences that has a little more bonus features. Nevertheless, the miniLITE is still extremely comfortable and very durable. Most importantly, it is a lot of fun for kids and teenagers, and whoever you buy it for if you do decide to pick one up will definitely love riding it.
Last update on 2019-01-17 at 12:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API