Heading off to college? If you want a stress-free and stylish way of getting between your dorm room and the campus, an electric scooter is a must. Never again will you turn up late to class, bedraggled and sweaty because you missed your morning alarm and had to sprint the distance.
There are plenty of scooters out there that are perfect for this job, but I’ve narrowed it down to four.
Each of these options is affordable, lightweight, and comes with the ideal combination of speed and range that’s perfect for riding to, from, or across campus without taking public transport – which is particularly important at a time when the subway or a crowded bus isn’t the most appealing option with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I know that every penny counts, so I’ve split the scooters by price to make sure there's a model for all budgets.
GoTrax GXL V2
The GXL V2 is an ideal college scooter thanks to its lightweight portability and a campus-ready top speed of 15.5 mph. With a range of 12 miles, this scooter can handle daily riding between classes whilst still being small and compact enough to store under your desk when you reach your destination. Considering all it has to offer, this affordable scooter is extremely good value for money.
Turboant X7 Pro
This is the best value for money electric scooter. If you like the sound of a long-range (30 miles) and a top speed of 20 mph, then look no further. The Turboant X7 Pro ticks the portability box (although it is a little heavier than the GoTrax GXL V2), and can easily be folded and stored out of sight. At $499.98, it is the perfect companion for a college student.
Unagi Model One (Single Motor)
This is one for the more style-conscious students out there. Its beautiful, easy design sets the E250 apart from other scooters on the market, whilst its lightweight portability and low-maintenance profile will appeal to students looking for a stylish travel option to get them to and from college. It is on the pricier end, especially considering it isn’t the speediest of scooters, but its high-quality and durable build means it’ll be a worthy long-term investment
One of the most popular and well-rounded scooters, the Apollo City is ideal for students who want to make a more long-term investment. It has an increased speed of 25 mph and a generous range of 28 miles for those with more ground to cover. It comes with many features seen on more premium scooters, making it excellent value for money without compromising on quality.
Take a closer look at the best scooters by price:
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Light, affordable, and perfect for short to medium commutes? The GoTrax GXL V2 fits the bill perfectly, allowing students to get to class with minimal effort. Even better, it features a long list of desirable features that are remarkable to see on a scooter that only costs $269.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the GXL V2, let’s talk about something that comes at a premium for most students: space. Whether you’re still living at home or have moved into a college dorm, you probably don’t have much storage space so picking a light and compact scooter is a top priority. Weighing just 26.4 lbs, the GXL V2 doesn’t disappoint. It features a simple folding system and although it doesn’t have folding handlebars, its folded dimension of 43.3 x 17.1 x14.6 inches still means it’s small and light enough to stash in the back of a closet or hide under a classroom desk.
This isn’t the only advantage. If you’re like me, you’ve probably found yourself rushing to make that 9 am bell at one time or another, but this will be a thing of the past with the GXL V2 in your back pocket. With a top speed of 15.5 mph, you’ll be able to get to your lectures with plenty of time to spare.
This kind of speed is perfect for inner-city riding and is well-served to navigate congested paths and bike lanes. The V2’s rate of acceleration is fairly moderate and the power of its compact 250W motor allows you to traverse hills of around 14% (8-degrees). This might not seem like much, and there are scooters out there that can manage far more challenging inclines, but for the majority of cityscapes and college campuses, this should be more than you need.
The GXL V2 isn’t known for its breakneck speed, but a good set of brakes are still a must, especially if you’re going to be riding around a busy campus where you might need to stop abruptly for other scooterists, cyclists, or pedestrians. The V2’s rear disc brake and the front regenerative brake will do the job. Together, they produce some strong braking power that you can rely on.
This is a great scooter for students who don’t have far to go. Its maximum range of 12 miles means that destinations in the local area will become no more than a stone’s throw away — perfect when you’re in a rush. It’s also ideal for when you need to get to the opposite side of campus between classes. Plus, with a relatively short recharge time of 4 hours, you’ll be able to make sure you’re never caught out with no power.
If 12 miles doesn’t seem like enough to you, I’d recommend checking out the GoTrax Apex. This scooter boasts similar stats to the GXL V2, however, at $299, it’s a bit pricier because it has a slight range upgrade and can travel up to 15 miles on a single charge. Although, the larger battery does mean it’s slightly heavier, weighing 32 lbs. It also features a taillight which, sadly, the GXL V2 doesn't.
Although the GXL V2 isn’t meant to be ridden over long distances, it still has everything you need for a smooth and comfortable ride. It might not have any suspension, but it does feature 8.5-inch pneumatic tires which provide a decent amount of shock absorption on smooth city paths. It’s pretty rare to see a scooter at this price with air-filled tires and demonstrates the care and attention that’s gone into the design of it — a sure sign of a top-quality scooter.
This is reinforced by the solid construction. Don’t let the budget price tag fool you — there’s nothing lackluster about this scooter’s durability. It’s sturdy and reliable, so delivers a balanced ride for users up to 220 lbs. It even comes with a water resistance rating of IP54, so you can ride it in light rain without having to worry about damaging it.
Nighttime riding won’t be a problem either. The V2 features a fairly bright LED headlight that’s perfect for lighting up the darkness when you’re on the way home after an evening class. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a rear light, however, this can be fixed with the purchase of additional lighting to boost your visibility.
The GXL V2 also gives you full control over your riding stats thanks to the digital display which is seamlessly integrated into the handlebars. From here, you can keep an eye on your speed and battery life, as well as changing gear when you need to. It even has a cruise control function. You might not find yourself using this too much when you’re on campus, but it’ll come in handy if you decide to take your V2 out for a spin on the weekends.
This is one of the best-selling scooters and for good reason. It comes with several high-quality features such as pneumatic tires and dual brakes, whilst still maintaining an affordable price tag. It’s an excellent alternative if you’re looking to avoid public transport and its speed and lightweight portability make it an ideal choice for campus riding.
GoTrax GXL V2 Review
If your college is spread out, or your dorm is located right on the outskirts, you’re going to need a scooter with a little bit more to give than the GoTrax GXL V2. If this sounds like you, the Turboant X7 Pro could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Turboant X7 Pro Unboxing & Review
A complete unboxing and review of the Turboant X7 Pro. See what the best electric scooter under $600 has to offer. From close-ups of the frame to talking through the impressive stats, this video will show you exactly what you can expect from the Turboant X7 Pro.
The standout feature of this scooter is that it can keep going for up to 30 miles on a single charge. This is over double what the GXL V2 offers and is perfect if you’re a busy student who needs to make up a fair distance when traveling between your classes. Even better, this scooter’s battery is located on the stem, rather than in the deck, and is removable. This will come in handy if your dorm is on the top floor and you don’t want to lug your scooter up all those stairs. Simply remove the battery and take it with you, leaving the frame of your X7 Pro locked up somewhere secure.
Of course, there are a fair few advantages to this in addition to the flexibility it offers, but the biggest one is that a removable battery extends your range infinitely. By purchasing a second battery, you’ll always have a spare to switch in when your first one runs dry, doubling your mileage and reducing the chances of finding yourself without power on that one morning you’re running late. The added range also means the X7 Pro is a great option for the weekends too, getting you around the city without the use of public transport, which you’re probably eager to avoid in the current climate.
The Turboant’s stronger battery helps to power its 350W motor which allows you to reach a top speed of 20 mph. This is a bit faster than the GXL V2, however, it’s not too fast that you won’t be able to ride it safely across campus. This extra speed boost is particularly handy if your college has buildings located across the city. You’ll be able to comfortably venture outside of those leafy college pathways and take on the more hectic arteries of the city whilst monitoring your riding stats on the LED handlebar display.
A faster top speed results in a need for a strong set of brakes, which is why the X7 Pro is equipped with a triple braking system. It comes with a disc brake, electronic regen brake, and a foot brake which, when used together, deliver a stopping distance as short as 5 meters. This is very responsive and gives you control at all times thanks to the Pro’s ability to come smoothly to a halt.
Given that this scooter has a bigger motor and battery, it won’t come as a surprise that it’s a bit heavier than the GXL V2, weighing 33 lbs. However, in the world of scooters, this is still considered to be pretty light. Most riders will be able to carry it easily, although those with smaller hands might find gripping it a bit tricky due to the battery placement on the stem which makes it significantly thicker.
Despite this, it’s easy to store once you do reach your destination. Although it doesn’t feature folding handlebars, the 3-step folding mechanism reduces its dimensions down to 42.6 x 16.5 x 18.1 inches. This means that it’s compact enough to tuck away out of sight, either in your classroom or at home.
Considering how light and compact it is, the X7 Pro is still has a solid construction. The thick, sturdy stem reduces any chances of wobbling when riding at top speeds and the overall frame is robust enough to support riders up to 275 lbs. It also features a waterproof rating of IPX4, which means it can be ridden in light rain without suffering any damage.
It features extra-large 10-inch pneumatic tires which make up for the lack of suspension and deliver good shock absorption on city roads. Their bigger size means that you’ll be able to roll over the majority of obstacles without much problem. They also give the scooter good clearance, elevating the deck off the ground and allowing you to perform bunny hops or curb jumps if you’re that way inclined. However, keep an eye out for anything sharp — flats are a risk with air-filled tires but they can be avoided for the most part.
Given that this scooter comes with an impressive range, nippy top speed, huge pneumatic tires, and triple brakes, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it would set you back a fair penny. However, at $499.98 this is the best value scooter and sits well within a student budget. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a model that is light and portable but has the capabilities to keep going if you have a longer than average commute to college.
Turboant X7 Pro Review
Investing in an electric scooter for college might be a practical decision, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a run-of-the-mill design. The Unagi Model One E250 certainly ticks the design box. Fondly nicknamed the iPhone of the scooter world, the E250 is all about getting you where you need to go in style.
Unagi Model One Scooter Unboxing
A complete unboxing and look at the Unagi Model One scooter. From close-ups of the frame to talking through the exotic materials used to mill such a gorgeous scooter, this video will show you exactly what you can expect from the Unagi.
This scooter boasts a beautiful design that is the product of many years of testing and countless prototypes. As a result, it’s not only extremely durable but super lightweight, weighing just 23 lbs. This is because all the materials included in its construction have been chosen deliberately so as not to add any extra bulk. This makes lifting and carrying the E250 easy, whilst the effortless one-step folding mechanism collapses it down into a very compact package measuring 32.8 x 16.5 x 149 inches, easily stored under a desk or in a locker.
Here's a closer look at the one-click folding mechanism:
As I’ve mentioned, the E250’s portability doesn’t harm its overall build quality. This is one of the toughest scooters. This is thanks to the exotic mix of materials used to construct it, including TORAY carbon fiber. If you’ve never heard of this stuff before, it’s the same material that Elon Musk uses to build his Space-X rockets. It can resist high-pressure environments with ease. You might not need this level of durability when cruising across campus, but it’s reassuring to know that the E250 can take a hit. Plus, it makes for a fascinating conversation starter.
Like the Turboant X7 Pro, the E250 has a maximum speed of 20 mph and is powered by a 250W motor in the front wheel. It’s best suited to riding on flat urban terrain, as it has a reduced hill-climbing capacity, meaning that anything steeper than 6-degrees will prove too challenging. If you need something with a bit more power behind it, the Unagi Model One E500 is very similar to the E250, but it features a second motor that gives it almost double the torque and hill-climbing power. It is slightly more expensive though, costing $990.
Although the acceleration on the E250 might not be as quick as on its dual-motor sibling, it does still come with three different gears — eco, standard, and pro — giving riders a choice between taking it slow or upping the ante. This is useful when trying to conserve battery, but will also come in handy when you’re trying to weave your way along student-filled campus paths between classes.
If you find yourself needing to stop suddenly, the E250 can handle it. It comes equipped with dual electronic anti-lock brakes that deliver smooth and reliable braking power whenever you need it. It also features a rear redundancy foot brake. This is because electronic brakes are tied to the scooter’s battery, so won’t work if you find yourself out of power and needing to ride the E250 as a manual scooter. My only issue with the braking system is that you have to use a thumb paddle to engage the brakes. I’ve put the Unagi through its paces, and the braking system is efficient, but it does take some getting used to. Comparing the thumb paddle to a traditional hand-operated brake that you pull (like on the Turboant X7 Pro), I prefer the latter – there’s something about being able to pull on the brake that gives a greater sense of control.
When it comes to range, the Model One hits that sweet spot that’s perfect for all medium commutes, delivering a maximum of 15.5 miles of battery life on a single charge. Like the rest of its construction, Unagi has chosen a battery with a proven pedigree from Sony, one of the most well-respected tech companies. As a result, it also comes with an intelligent battery management system to keep your battery healthy and will only take between 4 and 5 hours to recharge.
Unlike the Turboant X7 Pro and the GXL V2, the E250 doesn’t come with air-filled tires, instead featuring 7.5-inch rubber tires. Rubber tires have a reputation for being uncomfortable because they lack adequate shock absorption. However, Unagi has taken an innovative approach to this problem. Their tires aren’t solid rubber all the way through but instead feature air pockets throughout the circumference which gives them a softer edge. They’re still not as versatile as pneumatic tires, but they’ll provide a smooth and comfortable ride providing the campus paths are well maintained.
The E250 comes with a bunch of clever design features, but it’s also a very nice scooter to look at. It’s available in four different colors, but if you’re willing to pay a bit extra, you can choose between a variety of different skins that sport designs including flowers, skulls, spots, and tartan. If these don’t appeal to you, you can even go into the custom editor and design your look from scratch. Even better, the exterior has a much more functional purpose because the paint acts as an anti-abrasive and rust-proof protective layer with a waterproof rating of IP54. Impressive, right?
The handlebar display fits seamlessly into the overall aesthetic of the scooter and is similar to something you’d find on the Millenium Falcon. It allows you to monitor your speed and battery life, as well as giving you the option to change your gear mid-ride. Alongside this, you’ll also find a bell and the front-facing headlight for nighttime riding. The E250 has a rear red taillight too and this combined with the headlight increases your visibility when riding in the dark, although I’d still suggest purchasing additional lighting to be on the safe side.
There’s no doubt that this scooter is one of the more beautiful options on the market, and its many careful design features make it a covetable gadget for many style-savvy tech gurus making their way to college. It’s also very low maintenance which is ideal for busy students without much time to dedicate to scooter upkeep. At $840, it’s on the pricier end of the spectrum, however, its overall ease of use, luxurious finish, and sleek exterior make up for the higher price point.
Unagi Model One Review
If your budget can stretch, I’d recommend taking a look at the Apollo City. This scooter is one of the most well-rounded and full-featured scooters and carries the solid reputation of the Apollo brand behind it. Plus, it comes with excellent post-purchase support and a generous warranty.
This is one of the most popular scooters thanks to its ability to master the majority of urban terrain. It’s the only model on this list that features a suspension system, boasting dual spring shocks in the back to help absorb vibrations from the road. To help deliver a smooth ride, it features plush 8.5-inch pneumatic tires that’ll keep you balanced on roads, sidewalks, and grassy parks, meaning it’s thoroughly versatile.
It’s also the fastest scooter of the four, claiming a top speed of 25 mph as a result of its deceptively powerful 600W single motor. How powerful is that in real terms, you might ask? Well, it can easily scale hills with a 15% incline and reach 15 mph in 4.1 seconds, which is pretty darn quick for a scooter that costs less than $1,000. In many cases, you’ll find this scooter is faster and more powerful than you might need, but it has great scope to grow with you.
To counterbalance its increased speed, the City boasts an impressive triple braking system. This includes a rear drum brake, a front disc brake, and a regenerative electric brake. This means that when you need to slow down, the dual brakes will apply pressure to both wheels whilst the regen brake targets the motor, bringing you to a stop in just over 3 meters. It’s unusual to see a scooter at this price with dual-wheel brakes, but even rarer that they work so effectively together.
Like the Turboant X7 Pro, the Apollo City is ideal if you need to travel quite a distance from your dorm and, like many of us right now, you don’t want to risk public transport. It promises a maximum range of 28 miles, which will be more than enough for most commuting students. It is important to note that the maximum range is only achievable under best-case riding conditions. Realistically, if you ride aggressively, you’ll see around 18-20 miles. Its battery is powered by Dynavolt cells, which are pretty rare in the scooter world because they’re mostly known for powering motorcycles. However, they deliver the same quality and longevity as some of the best batteries on the market. The City comes with two recharging options — a fast and a standard charger. The latter will recharge your scooter in around 4 to 5 hours, but the former reduces that to a mere 2 to 3 hours.
Given the longer range, there’s a chance you might occasionally find yourself riding in the dark, especially in the winter after those late afternoon classes. Luckily, the City is prepared for this, featuring one of the best lighting setups I’ve ever seen on a scooter under $1,000. It’s equipped with a very bright front headlight, as well as a rear light too. The deck is fitted with ambient blue lighting that matches the Apollo branding and also increases your visibility. This is ideal for urban environments, although I would still recommend purchasing additional lights if you’re going to be riding in areas with poor lighting.
Here's a closer look at the under deck lights:
Despite its faster top speed and bigger battery, the City is still able to tick that all-important portability box. It weighs 39 lbs which is heavier than the other scooters on this list, but it’s still light enough that lifting and carrying it is easy. Best of all, it has foldable handlebars, so not only can you collapse it quickly, but the finished result is exceptionally compact, measuring just 41.3 x 7.7 x 13.9 inches.
The City comes with a built-in handlebar display that allows you to monitor your riding stats such as speed and battery as well as operating the ever-useful cruise control. However, unlike other scooters, it also allows a degree of configuration such as whether it functions as a kick-and-go scooter or has a zero start, with the option to also choose between imperial and metric measurement systems. This lets you make the Apollo City your own, tailoring it to your unique rider preferences.
At $999, it is the most expensive scooter out of the four, however, you get a lot for your money. Power and speed are complemented by a generous range, triple brakes, and added suspension, guaranteeing a comfortable and convenient ride. If you’re looking for an all-rounder with the potential to follow you after graduation, the Apollo City is a great choice.
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