Best Electric Scooters for UK Campsites
I’ve always watched futuristic films like ‘Star Wars’, ‘Wall-E’ and ‘Back to the Future’ wondering when the human race will finally get to the crucial evolutionary inflection point of discovering cool hoverboard technology. I mean, nearly every invention in the original Star Trek has come to pass in our lifetime – even teleportation – but it feels like the floating board is always tantalisingly out of reach.
Step forward electric scooters! From the moment I placed my foot on one, twisted the thumb throttle and set off to the campsite toilet block, I knew I was in the presence of greatness.
Battery technology has come a very long way from the days of the milk float delivering your gold tops to the front door. The latest lithium-ion battery cells can store a tremendous amount of energy in a small and (reasonably) lightweight package. Providing you are careful to buy from a reputable electric scooter brand who properly test and certify their products, then risk of battery fire is greatly exaggerated.
The best electric scooters are perfect campsite companions:
- They are much smaller (<15kg) and lighter than electric bikes and can easily be packed into a car or campervan boot. To transport a bike requires a cumbersome bike rack which takes time to attach before setting off at each end of your journey. Bikes are typically twice the weight too.
- Electric scooters are nippy and can easily climb hills and gradients – this is useful in the UK as many campsites are set on steep inclines.
- Although electric scooters are not yet legal to ride on the public highways, more and more people are using them on the wider foot and cycle paths around many campsites. They are perfect for this activity, but please check that it is allowed at your particular campsite before setting off.
Riley RS1 Electric Scooter - Our Best Buy
Riley are an upcoming British company releasing great-looking electric scooters which are perfectly tailored for UK conditions. The Riley RS1 is our pick of their product range – it’s made from aviation-grade aluminium, uses a safe and high-performing Panasonic battery pack, and (with an eye on the UK market) is IP54 waterproof. This means it can be used in the rain with no fear of the electronics short-circuiting.
Weighing in at a manageable 13kg and measuring just over 1m in length, the Riley RS1 is perfectly sized to drop into your car or campervan boot. The steering column can be folded down and attached onto the rear mudguard – this creates a convenient carry handle.
Detachable Battery Pack
What makes the Riley RS1 so great in our eyes is the fully-detachable Panasonic battery pack. This is still quite an uncommon feature on electric scooters, but we would like to see it adopted by more manufacturers. A small hatch at the top of the steering column opens up, a cover removed, and the battery can be lifted out and charged in your tent, caravan or campervan. Maximum flexibility! Charging is quick too at only 2 hours, whereas other scooters of similar battery size can be >5 hours.
Riley RS1 Photos
350 W Motor with Regenerative-Braking
In terms of performance, the RS1 has plenty of zip from its 350W motor. Under peak acceleration, the motor can supply 700W which can get you up to a limited max speed of 15.5mph.
The motor also features regenerative braking so that when you release the throttle and brake, the kinetic energy from your motion gets partially converted back into electricity and recharges the batteries. This helps extend the range to a decent 15 miles. In terms of hills, we found that the Riley coped well up to about 12% gradients – you’re unlikely to find many much steeper than that around UK campsites.
Braking and Ride Quality
Braking is extremely efficient too. On top of the regenerative braking from the motor, there is a rear hydraulic disk brake (operated from the handlebars) as well as a pedal brake under the rear mudguard which you can stamp on. The hydraulic disk brake is certainly worth having as most scooters use a mechanical system which is not as efficient. Stopping is never an issue on the RS1!
The tyres on the RS1 are air-filled and a decent size at 10 inches. They are also tubeless which means a massively reduced chance of punctures – something you don’t want to encounter on a scooter – it can take hours to change an inner tube! The ride quality is smooth and great fun, with a decent display in front of you on the handlebars showing your remaining battery and speed.
The Riley RS1 also has integrated rear and front LED lighting which is great for being seen at night. If you’re riding on a pitch black path at night then you might need an additional headtorch or similar in order to see where you’re going – still, the lights are a great feature to have included as standard kit. Nice work Riley!
Overall, we really enjoyed our time on the Riley RS1. It’s certainly one of the best electric scooters we’ve tested in this roundup and we highly recommend it for camping exploration. If you’re interested in more detailed information on the RS1, then check out our in-depth review.
An excellent electric scooter from new UK company Riley - the RS1 covers all bases extremely well and is ideal for most UK conditions. We have knocked off half a point because the handlebars are not quick-release and need an Allen key to remove. Get Scooting!
Xiaomi Pro 2 E-Scooter - Extended Range
Xiaomi are a Chinese brand who seem to have taken the world of battery-powered gadgets by storm in recent years. From smart phones to security cameras, they are able to offer what I would call ‘reasonable-to-good’ quality items at rock bottom prices.
The Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 electric scooter is the latest version of what used to be called the M365 Pro. It’s the Daddy of the Xiaomi range and for campsite scooting with some off-piste manoeuvres thrown in, we feel it’s the one to get out of the product range.
Xiami Pro 2 Layout
The Pro 2 has a fairly standard layout. A black metal footplate houses a large battery pack capable of 28 miles maximum range. This is the big selling point of the Xiaomi – it boasts the largest range out of the electric scooters we’ve looked at.
The problem with range on a scooter is that you need a big battery to provide it – the Xiaomi houses a whopping 13Ah battery (436 Watt hours) which means the total weight of the scooter tips the scales at 14.2kg. Not the lightest to carry around, but just about manageable. the battery comes with a two year warranty as well which provides peace of mind against degradation.
Charge time suffers as a result of the big battery – around 8.5 hours from complete flatness to fully charged. It basically means you have to charge it overnight, but then you have plenty of range to enjoy through the daytime.
Xiaomi Pro 2 Photos
Give me some power!
The motor on the Xiaomi is 300W which is pokey enough, and you feel like you can tackle most hills on it. Around our local *ahem* private land it certainly was pretty effortless in whizzing me along, but I would have preferred to see slightly larger wheels/tyres on it. The 8.5 inch tyres are decent too – they’ve been upgraded from the previous version of the scooter and now have improved skid resistance. Even so, a bit more comfort from 10” tyres (like the Riley RS1) would have been welcome.
Rear brake is a mechanical disk system which provides reasonably good stopping power, in conjunction with regenerative E-ABS braking from the motor. No complaints there.
Let there be Light!
Where the Xiaomi does shine is the LED lighting system. It’s about the best we’ve seen on a scooter, having front, rear and multiple side lights for excellent visibility. This is an excellent development – you can never have enough lights on something that can do 15.5mph in the dark.
The display on the handlebars is equally as good and is rated at IP54 waterproofness. This is good enough to ride in drizzle/rain, but you wouldn’t want it pounding down in jets. You can actually buy a separate rubber case to go over the display to provide some extra protection against the elements.
Folding the Xiaomi is a simple affair. A clamp is quickly undone just above the front wheel, and the steering tube is then folded down. Finally the handlebars clip on to the rear mudguard, allowing the Pro 2 to be lifted up. This is ok for short distances, but the weight makes it tough for much more than a few minutes.
A Handy App
The Xiaomi has an associated smartphone app which can be downloaded and which connects to the Pro 2 via Bluetooth. This is pretty useful because it allows the motor to be remotely disengaged so that potential thieves got ride off on it 9although they can still carry it off). The app also lets you view all relevant trip data such as distance and speed etc. Pretty useful.
Overall, we rate the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 highly, but it is outclassed by a few of the other electric scooters in the roundup. If you’re desperate for a bigger range than normal then it’s worth the outlay, but other scooters can often have more to offer – e.g. hydraulic brakes, better waterproofing, detachable battery etc. Saying that, the Pro 2 is a better than average piece of gear and certainly worth trying out.
The Xiaomi Pro 2 possesses the best LED lighting system we have seen on an electric scooter, but has no other real WOW features that make it stand out from the crowd. Saying that, the range is excellent, but is riding for 28 miles on a scooter likely to be a regular occurrence in your life? Its nice to have the option for longer distances, but the added weight might not make it worth it. A solid buy for the price, but not earth-shattering from the original trail-blazers of budget electric scooters.
E365 Electric Scooter - Best Waterproof Performance
The E365 E-Scooter is very similar in looks and operation to the FlyRide Hawk, but without the gorgeous white colour available for that model. The E365 is a Chinese scooter and the name is obviously a “homage” to the Xiaomi M365.
Where the E365 shines is that it has one of the best waterproof ratings available for e-scooters – IP65. This means that it can literally ride through puddles or be hit with a jet-wash without seeing any deleterious impact. For UK conditions, this is an important consideration.
Please note however that the instruction booklet we received with this scooter did not mention the IP65 standard specifically and so we cannot vouch for whether it is true – suffice to say that we saw no problems during our testing. However we didn’t specifically blast the scooter with water to test this. We would recommend that you check with the Amazon supplier before buying if you are concerned about this.
The motor on the E365 is 350W average power and the voltage is 42V as opposed to the typical 36V seen on most electric scooters in this range of operation. This gives it some decent pep but uplifts the weight to 13kg. This is a manageable weight but you can definitely feel it if you are lifting for more than a few minutes. Range is better than average for this price point at around 15-20 miles maximum depending on your weight.
The E65 has decent lights front and rear and can be folded in half quite simply as can be seen in the photographs here. The display control panel at the top of the steering column is informative and lights up well, showing speed and range clearly. There is also an excellent smartphone app for this scooter.
The E365 covers all bases really well, and the waterproof rating gives immense confidence in UK conditions. However the fact this is a Chinese import and the accompanying booklet does not confirm the IP65 means we dock a point. That being said, the power and range of this e-scooter is excellent and we do not think you would be disappointed. One of our faves.
Eco-Flying Hummingbird Electric Scooter
The Hummingbird Electric Scooter which is sold in the UK by London-based FlyRide is another great value product. Although it’s manufactured in China by a company called Eco-Flying, this shouldn’t put you off – FlyRide offer a 12 month warranty on all their gear, and the Hummingbird is CE certified.
FlyRide offer a cool scheme whereby you can also choose to pay for your item in three interest-free installments rather than outright using a payment app called Klarna. This helps spread the cost of the scooter – nice!
The Hummingbird is the one of the lower-priced electric scooters which we recommend in this round-up. At the time of writing it’s available at FlyRide for £299 which is superb value for what you get, although there are some areas in which you lose out compared with the more expensive options.
Out of the box, the Hummingbird impresses with a solid feel, although on close examination it hasn’t quite got the quality of finish and materials that something like the Riley RS1 shows. That being said, the handlebar dashboard area has a pleasant layout with a brake lever, bell, throttle thumb control and a nifty integrated display unit at the top of the stem. The display shows your remaining battery life, your power mode, current speed and distance travelled.
The steering tube on the Hummingbird is thin and slender due to it not containing any electronics – for instance the battery pack is found inside the footplate. The steering tube can be folded down and clamped to the rear mudguard and the scooter carried as is common on these rides.
The battery capacity is a good size at 7.5Ah which adds a bit to the overall weight of 13.5kg but gives a decent range of around 12 miles. The battery pack is not removeable and so that means you have to keep the scooter reasonably close to a mains power socket in order to to charge it – not always easy to achieve when you’re on a campsite. The charge time is also a not inconsiderable 5 hours which again is not class leading. However, you need to keep that low purchase price in the back of your mind!
Motor and Acceleration
The Hummingbird uses a 300W electric motor with regenerative braking and can reach the UK maximum-allowed speed of 15.5mph with ease. Point it towards a hill and it’s equally at home but the speed of climbing depends on the weight it has to carry. At 95kg (15 stone), it struggled on gradients more than about 10% but still got up most stuff.
There are three power modes which can be set on the display so if you’re new to riding electric scooters you can start at the lowest (6mph max) and work your way up. It can be quite unnerving at first to have so much power at your disposable derived from so little expended effort. You soon get used to it though!
Braking and Ride Quality
The brakes on the Hummingbird consist of a rear mechanical disk brake and the regenerative braking of the motor. There is no additional pedal brake on this scooter which is a bit of a shame, although you don’t really miss it. We found that even from 15mph that stopping can be quite rapid, although you have to allow a bit more room to stop in the wet.
Talking of the wet, the Hummingbird is rated waterproof using the IPX4 standard. This means that it can be ridden in the rain or through puddles, but you wouldn’t want to point a pressure washer at it. Still, definitely a useful feature for UK scooting around campsites and footpaths.
Tyres on the Hummingbird are 8.5 inches in diameter and they are solid rubber. While this means there is zero chance of punctures (there isn’t any air to escape!), it does mean that the ride is harsher than air-filled equivalents. We found that on smooth tarmac, the ride was fine, but as soon as we ventured over gravel and rougher woodland routes, it became a bit more jarring. Not a major issue for the occasional foray off-piste, but probably not the best scooter if that’s going to be your main pursuit.
Overall, we recommend the Eco-Flying Hummingbird Electric Scooter if you’re looking for all the key features you need at an excellent price point. The warranty and CE marking have got you covered, and in conjunction with the waterproofness and decent acceleration, this is the best value for money option for those on a budget. Recommended!
A great value for money electric scooter which does everything well, but not quite to the standard of some of the more expensive options. The thing is, you don't really miss any features, and it's alot of fun. We recommend it wholeheartedly as long as you're not going off tarmac paths too often.
Kugoo Kirin S1 Electric Scooter - Best Bang for Your Buck
If your budget is limited but you still want a cool little scooter to zip around on then we urge you to take a look at the Kugoo Kirin S1 Electric Scooter. We were pretty blown away with the specifications of this little dude, and found that it did everything really well. The only real aspect that let’s the side down is the looks of it and the finish of some of the materials. Not the end of the world if you can overlook these shortcomings.
It’s worth having a little roll call of the features on this awesome little hustler.
- 350W motor
- 15 mile range
- 15.5mph top speed
- Front suspension system (not seen on much more expensive scooters!)
- Excellent lights front and back
- Smartphone App to monitor your journey stats
- Only 11.9kg weight
- Foldable design and ultra-compact.
We have often seen gadgets advertised which promise the world, only to then fail to deliver in the flesh. However, the Kirin S1 was surprising in that not only did it meet our expectations – it actually exceeded them!
The Kirin S1 Up Close....
So let’s get the negatives out of the way first…
Out of the box, the Kirin looks a little, well erm cheap. And that’s because it is. Available for around £229 at the time of writing, this is a veritable bargain, but there are a few signs of the budget constraints when you look closely compared with the more expensive scooters. For starters, the orange plastic wheels are both fairly small (8 inch) and plasticky (is that a word?). You don’t massively want your friends to see you on this unless you
The display panel on the handlebars is a bit like something from the 1980s, but in reality what does it really need to accomplish? Show the battery life and your speed – that’s about it. The Kirin does that well enough, but we did struggle to see it in bright sunlight. A single orange button allows you to switch on the scooter and then toggle through three power modes allowing different top speeds (6, 12 and 15.5 mph)
One other thing to mention is that the Kirin is not classed as waterproof. Now this may or may not be a dealbreaker for your intended use cases. After all, if you’re camping and need to whizz to the loos on your scooter (for a whizz!) then you need to be able to go whatever the weather. However, if you’re more likely to only use the scooter on dry day blasts then you can overlook this negative. Horses for courses as they say!
So far, so expected. But, but, but… we haven’t got onto the good stuff yet.
Battery and Motor
The battery is stored within the ‘deck’ or footplate. This means it’s not removeable, but keeps the scooter stable if you ever need to push it up a super-steep hill. Did we mention that the Kirin has a whopping 350W? This is more than even the Xiaomi Pro 2, and gives the Kirin plenty of pep. I found that it could tackle 12-15% gradients, even though the specs say ‘up to 20%’ – then again, I am a 15 stone beast! On the steepest hills it was crawling to almost a halt, but this is true of all the scooters we have tested and is to be expected in the 300-350W range.
The motor is in the rear wheel which is not the norm on electric scooters. This does bring a couple of advantages though – the rear wheel is obviously located adjacent to the battery back, and so there are no visible wires required between them. Also rear-wheel drive is better from a weight distribution point of view under load. No chance of wheel spin with your weight fully on it.
The battery pack in the Kirin is 6Ah capacity at 36V. Kugoo say the range is about 15 miles, but my guess is that will reduce a bit in real world conditions. Either way, for the money it is impressive.
Braking is provided electronically which was a first for me to try out, and slightly unnerving at first. It works on the principle that the motor is capable of regenerative braking. This takes your kinetic energy and effectively turns the motor into a generator, slowing down your scooter and charging up the battery a bit at the same time. I found that it worked well, but wouldn’t bring me to a complete stop on steep downhills. However it slowed me enough that I could jump off if required. A proper disk brake would have been nice, but it adds to the weight and is not strictly necessary if you’re pootling along canal tow paths or around the campsite.
Ride and weight
The Kugoo Kirin uses solid 8” tyres which would normally result in a bit of a harsh ride. On the Kirin this is avoided because the tyres incorporate a ‘honeycomb’ structure inside which gives them a degree of flex. It’s a really good system and has no chance of punctures. Secondly, the Kirin also has a basic front suspension spring system which provides some comfort over rougher terrain, although it did make a bit of a squeak on our test model. It’s fairly mind-blowing to see this on a sub-£250 electric scooter though. Well done Kugoo!
Lighting and App
The Kirin has both front and rear LED lights, and the front is surprisingly bright. It lit up the path I was testing it on at Kingsbury Water Park in the Midlands, but I was much more cautious than when using the scooter in pure daylight.
There is also a smartphone app for the Kirin which is also well designed and actually useful! It allows you to remotely deactivate the motor of the scooter, set cruise control (meaning you don’t need constant thumb pressure on the throttle), search for Google Map destinations and look at the usual ride stats. As apps go, it was one of the best – and not the cheapest scooter in the range!
So in conclusion, we were pretty blown away by the Kugoo Kirin S2. It’s lightweight and powerful, with great lights, a front shock absorber and a great app. Not to mention the fact that it’s also the cheapest in our range. If you can live with the materials and the plastic orange wheels then you will not be disappointed.
Incredible value for money with some of the best features we have seen on any electric scooter, irrespective of price. It loses half a point for the lack of a disk brake, but its a minor quibble. Great work Kugoo!
FlyRide Hawk E-Scooter - Fast Charging and Sleek Looks
Available in a sleek white or a smooth black finish, the FlyRide Hawk really looks great when you first unpack it. From the colour-coded orange brake cables to the orange charge point cover, this is certainly the most eye-catching of the electric scooters we’ve looked at.
The Hawk is UK company FlyRide’s best-selling scooter and it shows. It has a decent 7.8Ah battery-pack stored within the footplate (or ‘deck’ as it’s known by scooter afficionados) which gives a 25km (~15 mile) range and a limited top speed of 15.5mph.
The motor is rated at 250W average power, but in all honesty I would take that with a pinch of salt because it accelerated just as well as some of the 350W versions we’ve looked at. Manufacturers often exaggerate the power of their motors because there is no real way for anyone to check on their claims – added to this is the fact that the nominal power output of these motors is just the rating of ‘average power’. They can all provide much higher power outputs for short bursts. Put it this way, the Hawk doesn’t feel at all slow.
The charging is very rapid on the hawk. We went from flat to fully charged in about two hours, which is class-leading tech. In a way, having a fast charge-time is more efficient than carrying a much bigger battery around – it means you get a lighter, nippier scooter which you can do 15 miles before lunch, charge up and do another 15 miles after lunch if you so wish. It’s totally optional. With the big battery scooters like the Segway Ninebot Max, you’re lugging that weight around whether you need it or not.
The folding mechanism on the Hawk is simplicity personified and can be accomplished in a mere 3 seconds. Folded dimensions are 108 x 43 x 49 cm which is fairly typical for this type of scooter. Perfect for chucking into your campervan or car boot before your camping trip.
The tyres are 8.5” and air-filled which gives a supple ride. However, I’m personally not a fan of inner-tubed wheels on e-scooters because of the puncture risk. Basically if you get a puncture it is game over for using the scooter on the remainder of your trip, because the process of fixing it is so painful and time-consuming. With the Hawk, I recommend putting some innertube slime into the tyres as this will give protection against thorn and glass etc.
The Hawk has a great smartphone app which can be connected to the scooter. This allows you to track your riding habits as well as monitor all the usual key stats of speed, battery life, distance etc.
The handlebar ‘dashboard’ area is similarly clean and intuitive to use. The display unit at the top of the steering column shows your speed and battery life clearly. It also allows you to turn on the useful front and rear lights as well as to ring the bell!
In conclusion, the Hawk Electric Scooter is a great-looking purchase which won’t let you down. FlyRide are a reputable company and provide a 1-year warranty on all products. The 5 star reviews of the Hawk are well deserved in our opinion, but we feel that the air-tyres and lack of information on the waterproof rating just drop it down a tad. Such a sexy scooter though in the white!
The FlyRide Hawk is the best looking e-scooter we've tested in this roundup with a fantastic charge time of about 2 hours. The app is elegant, and the price very reasonable. We can see no reason why it couldn't be used in wet conditions, but the lack of information on a specific waterproof rating puts doubt in our mind and loses a point or so. Still an excellent offering from FlyRide and it's their best seller for good reason.
That concludes our roundup of the best electric scooters available in the UK currently for use at campsites. Yes you can get more powerful scooters with dual motors and full suspension, but they often weigh more than an e-bike and cannot be easily transported. We recommend sticking with the 300-350W range for campsite scooting.
If you’re interested in getting a scooter for each family member then also be sure to check out our roundup of the best kids electric scooters too.