My experience with the NXT Optima Carbon Back Support: Chris Collin

To get the most out of your wheelchair, you need the best seating and positioning. That's why Motion Composites proudly presents NXT Wheelchair Back Supports and Cushions.

The NXT Wheelchair Cushions and Back Supports are not only sleek and stylish but also highly practical. The NXT Seating Series offers a variety of wheelchair back support options and wheelchair cushions. The NXT Back supports come in different shapes to support your lower or upper back, with various support angles. They have special cut-out designs to provide great support and comfort while enhancing your natural range of motion.

  • Smartx3D fabric: Often referred to as “spacer fabric,” this technology is employed in various industries where breathability, moisture wicking, and durability are essential. Smartx3D provides enhanced immersion for optimized pressure redistribution and is highly durable as well as pill-resistant.
  • A cushion that fits all: With a total of 67 BioFit cushion sizes and widths that vary from 10” to 26” and depths from 10” to 22”, you will find the cushion that specifically suits your needs.
  • Waterproof zippers: The waterproof zippers on our cushions offer double protection, virtually eliminating the possibility of debris getting in the zipper.
  • Ballistic weave fabric: This fabric prevents sagging on the cushions and backrests. It helps maintain the covers' overall structure and consistent fit over time, standing up to daily transfers and the rigors of everyday usage.

When we talk about the NXT Back Supports, we must talk about the unique NXT Optima Carbon Back Support. This back support incorporates all NXT technologies that have been carefully developed to provide the kind of support and comfort that will fit your specific needs. It was specifically designed for active users wishing to keep the total weight of their chair down without sacrificing material strength or performance. It is manufactured with T700 high-modulus carbon fiber, the lightest and most rigid carbon fiber available.

In this article, we discuss with our friend and US Territory Sales Manager for Northern New England, Chris Collin, about the NXT Optima Back Support and his experiences as an active wheelchair user.

Motion Composites: Hello, Chris! Thank you for joining us to discuss your experiences with the NXT Optima Carbon Back Support. We want to know what led you to choose this back support and if there were specific features or considerations that influenced your decision?

Chris Collin: Because of the nature of my injury (T5 Spinal Cord Injury), what I needed for my wheelchair was going to have to be something that had a low setting but created enough support for my lateral stability. This back support was perfect for that.

Another big thing that I found very useful is the foam in the middle, where the spine is, and that wraps up and over the top of the back support. Since I have fusion below where the backrest is and then all the way above to where the backrest is, this foam acts like a seesaw on my back when I lean up against it. This is a key thing that I must look for in a back support to avoid skin breakdown.


MC: How long have you been using this backrest, and what has been your overall experience with it?

CC: I have been using it for 3 years. My experience with it has been really positive! The stability that it provides me is fantastic. It has just enough support so I can do my daily activities, but also keeps me from losing balance.


MC: Have you tried any other wheelchair backrests in the past? If so, what were your impressions of them in comparison to your NXT Optima Carbon Backrest?

CC: I thought that I had good lateral stability with my old back support that I had from another supplier, and I still have it in my basement. When I transferred to it after using this back support, I almost fell over because I did not have the support that I now have with the NXT Optima Carbon.


MC: How important is the ease of maintenance and cleaning for your wheelchair back support? And how easy the NXT Optima Carbon Back Support to clean?

CC: For me, in particular, it is super important to keep my wheelchair and back support clean. I don’t think that many wheelchair users are as thorough as me. I have a detailer at home that basically can spray air and water mist onto the Optima Carbon and then shoot just air to take it all out. Sometimes I just clean it with a rag, and it's spotless! The 3-way stretch fabric (smartx3D) is also easy to clean, and there isn’t any pilling or sagging. Plus, since it is all one fabric, there are no places where dirt can settle.


MC: Have you experienced any issues with the durability or wear and tear of your NXT Optima Carbon Backrest?

CC: Not at all! I have seen a HUGE difference between the new and the old design of the NXT Optima Carbon.

The new design is excellent! The product was already good, but with the revamp that Motion Composites did a few years ago it has been a game changer. The sides are stronger (thanks to the webbing fabric), and the smartx3D fabric’s 3-way stretch is super soft to lean against.


MC: Are there any specific design features or improvements you would like to see in future wheelchair backrests?

CC: There's always room for improvement. But because it's like stepping stones, right?

My feedback and from therapists and people in the industry are in alignment. We want to be able to perform adjustments to the back support while the user is sitting in the chair.


MC: Can you describe any specific medical or ergonomic considerations that influenced your choice of wheelchair back support?

CC: The pelvic cut-out is one of the big things. It allows me to have more support for height, not in the middle of the back, but on the sides of it. It wraps around my body, and it gives me the support I need.

Let me give you an example of what kind of stability it gives me. I have no trunk support.  I don't have abdomen muscles that work, so holding myself up with my hands off of my lap is hard. I can put my hands above my head with this back support. So that says a lot about the support that it gives me!


MC: How has your NXT Optima Carbon Backrest impacted your daily life, comfort, and mobility?

CC: It gives me the ability to do everyday tasks on my own. And having something that is lightweight for transferring into my vehicle is a big thing for me. Plus, it saves my shoulders and my forearms.


MC: Do you have any recommendations or advice for individuals who are looking for a wheelchair back support that suits their needs? To whom would you recommend the NXT Optima Carbon Backrest?

CC: Obviously, this kind of back support would be perfect for an active user, but also for somebody who has a larger back support that is in different material other than carbon fiber. All that material adds so much weight!  So, having a large carbon fiber back support reduces weight probably more dramatically than it would for a smaller back made of heavier material.


We want to thank our friend and colleague Chris for taking the time in his busy schedule to meet with us and discuss his experience with the NXT Optima Carbon back support.

Do you think this is the right back support for you? Make sure to learn more about it by clicking here. Don’t forget to check on the rest of our NXT Seating and Positioning line by consulting our new brochure.

About Miriam Aguilar Garza

Digital Marketing Specialist at Motion Composites

Miriam holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Business from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Mexico). She is passionate about writing, reading, traveling, and giving a voice to people in the wheelchair community.