If you are on the quest for the best rowing machine then you have just made it to the right place.
We have picked some of the top-notch rowing machines that come at varied prices so that you may choose the perfect thing according to your budget.
These machines would give promising results for the workoutaholics!
Here is quick navigation to the top 5:
Reviews of the Best Rowing Machines
|1. Concept2 Model D||Concept2||$1000|
|2. Concept2 Model E||Concept2||$1200|
|3. Stamina Body 1050||Generic||$150|
|4. Sunny Health SF-RW5515||Sunny H&F||$250|
|5. Stamina 35-1405||Stamina||$350|
#1. Concept2 Model D – Overall Best Selling Indoor Rower.
The concept 2 model D indoor rowing machine is the best rowing machine of all the rowers we tested and compared.
It is reliable, gives you a good workout, and shapes you up.
Reviewers and experts get crazy when it comes to this, as they just love this rower!
This comes from an elite brand and it has been a top-charter of the rowing machine reviews for quite some time. The durability, easy assembling, and relatively light-weight make it the best rower for a home gym.
Let’s just come to some of its outstanding qualities. It’s an air rower which is far better than the other types of rowers. The air rower gives more resistance to the body; it is a perfect alternate to the water rowers. It gives your body the same toughness that rowing in water would give you.
Update: Before you read the rest of the review, check out this unboxing video:
Well, the seat was great, it was 14 inches high. A 14 inch would be great for all types of user; it works great for the old aged or injured people who don’t have great joints to kneel down too much. The sliding of the seat was smooth and easy so you wouldn’t get stuck in the midst of your workout which by the way is really irritating.
This rower is engineered impeccably providing you the best workout with better tension control. The tension control makes it an ideal rowing machine for the beginners as they could start from initial level and go to advance stages gradually. The spiral dampers, that are there, regulate the airflow to the wheel. You could assess the stroke and adjust it to your ease.
Normally the air rowers are terribly loud but the Model D-air rower has been specially designed to reduce the noisy procession while exercising which is great for the ears.
The footrest comes in a comfortable strap to hold your foot and the handle is ergonomically designed minimizing fatigue. The handle can bend to 10˚ so you could adjust your wrist in the natural position as you sway back and forth.
The performance monitor 5 that is embedded in the machine was remarkable, for those who don’t know a performance monitor does the maths for all the calorie burning, heartbeat, time, and speed. This performance monitor doesn’t have any wiring, it lives on a battery. You could just adjust it to where you feel the level is ideal for you. The backlight of the monitor makes it visually clear. As for the accuracy, we must say PM5 is undoubtedly accurate and it has an appreciable precision.
Model D comes in two pieces all you do is put it together with eight bolts (the bolts comes with the box) and the machine is ready to kill your fats. Voilà!
The whole thing weighs around 70 lbs. making it very easy for you to unbox it and move it around. It just takes around 5-10 minutes to be assembled. Along with this, it is very easy to store it, the caster wheels fold in making the machine compact and perfect for storing.
The thing gives you a great cardio workout, initially, if you look at it you may think the thing is just a lad that isn’t gonna give some tough workout. However, as you use it you may realize that after like 10-15 minutes every part of your body would feel the warmth and roar, which is a sign of a good cardio workout.
#2. Concept2 Model E – Alternative Costlier Rower.
So if you liked model D we mentioned earlier but you think a similar thing with enhanced features would be better, then the model E by Concept 2 is what we would suggest you buy. This is a little expensive than model D it may cost around a $ 200 extra.
The rowing experience wasn’t much different in both the models. If you are blindfolded while using it, you would never be able to guess the difference between both the models.
Unboxing of the machine:
So the first difference was the height, model E comes in 20 inches that is like 6 inches taller than model D. The height makes it easier for you to sit on it; you won’t have to go way down to sit on your rower. Apart from the normal users, this is a highlighted benefit for those who have joints issues, bending too much really doesn’t go well for them, they won’t have to bend in this one.
The other difference was that the rowing straps were a little longer in model E, well honestly this doesn’t matter much. It just makes it a little more convenient for you while you row back in, so in model E you won’t have to go till the end. Yet another difference is that the chain house of model E was closed while in model D the chain house was open.
#3. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine – Best rower under $200.
You can check out the video review below if you don’t want to read the lengthy review below.
If you are on a tight budget and are looking for a rower that is gonna cost you under 200 bucks then the body Trac glider is the best rower that fell in this range. It is well-structured, smooth, durable, and it does its job fairly.
The rowing arms come in a unique full rowing style so you could actually motion your hands in a circular motion all the way round, this gives you a better workout for the upper body.
The next thing that you would probably like in this rower is that it comes with a resistance control so you could actually set the level of resistance on the basis of your stamina and then workout accordingly. For a vigorous workout, it’s ideal that you set the level of resistance above 7.
The monitor was appreciable; we liked it for its visual clarity. It shows various statistics including the number of strokes, calories burnt, and time. The rower comes in a high-end steel frame which is appreciably durable.
The design was compact and this made it fitting for congested areas. It was foldable, the arms had removing options, and there were knobs that could easily be removed or installed when needed. So if you want to store your rower you would be easily able to do it with this rower.
The rower came with a few setbacks like the footpads weren’t that good it didn’t give much of a support to your foot. The other issue that we found was that the resistance was not much as this is a hydraulic rower which is actually the least resistant in nature against all the other types of rowers that are available. Yet another issue was that the seat glided smoothly while you rowed on it, giving less pressure to the lower body
#4. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine – Best magnetic rower machine.
So if you are willing to invest a little more than what the Stamina Body Trac glider would cost you then this one by Sunny Health is a considerable option. We liked it a little more because it was a magnetic rower which obviously gives a little more stress to the muscles and would give you some extra sweat and calorie burn.
The rowing experience was all over superb! It is gonna give you a tremendous cardio workout. This magnetic rower comes in a tension/resistance control option, there are 8 levels so you could adjust and set the level according to your workout routine and comfort zone.
The rower comes in a commendable seating option. The positioning and sliding of the seat are great. The seat comes in padding making it comfortable to sit on and the height is also reasonably fitting for all types of users. The footpad is graciously wide and the strapping is smooth so you wouldn’t have any problem there.
The rower isn’t much heavy making it easy to carry and the inbuilt wheels further reinforce the mobility. You could just move it around as you may, there would not be a ‘once put _always there’ situation. It comes in assembled, so you won’t have to set it up either.
This rower has a decent monitor with options including the number of strokes, calorie burn, and time. So you could get a total count of these things while working out. But it didn’t cover the distance so maybe you wouldn’t like that. The size wasn’t that big for you to have a clear look, this really becomes irritating because if you intend to monitor your workout while exercising you would have to pause to have a better look.
All over it was great though there was some noise that was created due to the seat sliding but that won’t be an issue as music could mask it up. The other deficiency which is there is that the user weight limit of 250 lbs. so if you are anything above that you may have to just reconsider buying this rower.
To sum it up we may say this machine would soak you up in 10-15 minutes it is fabulous for the body workout and would go great for your budget. You can’t get more than this out of such a low priced machine. But you would have to be less than 250 lbs. to get the thing work for you. For the monitor and noise, we must say it isn’t an issue too serious for you to give up on this cheap exercise machine.
Comfortable seating and footpads
8 levels resistance option
There is a Weight limit of 250 lbs.
#5. Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower – Best budget rowing machine.
Usually when it comes to low price rowers we see that there is some kind of quality compromise. However, this rower by stamina is the best budget rower which comes in comfortable design reinforcing the ergonomics and has a well-engineered structured to give you the best workout.
The air-rower comes in the flywheel that gives you more resistance so that you get a much better workout while rowing. There are 6 levels of tension control that allows you to choose the tension point that suits you. The beginners could start on the initial levels and the seasoned workoutholics can exercise on the advanced levels.
The seat sliding is superb due to the ball-bearing roller that sways smoothly on the wide rail, while the seat itself is well structured and foam padded making it comfortable for the hip bones. This allows the old-aged people to easily incorporate their weak bodies for a cardiovascular exercise.
The footpads were good, it came in nylon Velcro straps which did its work pretty well in holding back the foot. The budget rowers that you may find would usually come in a nylon or fiber pulling cords but this rower is accompanied with a rowing chain that is durable and effective in building up the tension for the arm muscles making it strong.
Stamina air rower is very easy to store and move, the rower has a folding joint so if want it stored all you do is bend it. There are wheels that make it easy to push so you could easily move it around. The base is all molded in plastic floor protectors making it safe to be placed on any floors; the plastic prevents the floor from skidding or scratches.
The multi-function monitor has a high-quality visual clarity and great precision. It gives you all the totals of your strokes, time, calories burned and distance. The screen display is large so you could easily view it while exercising.
Now what you may not like about it is that it was noisy, like “head-pounding noise” so if you don’t have headphones on with loud volume music you’ll be really tortured by the flywheels of the air rower. As long as you have the headphones and music around, the noise may not be a problem for you. The other setback was that the rower could take on itself a user with a maximum weight of 250lbs. Hello! What about the big tall ones who weight probably heavier than this.
So to sum it up for you we would say for a budget rowing machine this was the best thing as it was an air rower type which gives the highest resistance to the leg and arms of all the rower types available. It was efficiently designed and it appeared to be great, it didn’t have that low budget poorly designed rower look. This rower had an impressive result and great console, so our final verdict is that it’s the best budget rower we could recommend.
- Comfy seating due to the wide rail, ball-bearings, and padded seat
- Great mobility, comes with wheels and floor protection so dragging it is easy
- Great resistance due to the flywheels plus it comes with 6 level adjustments
- Monitor was appreciable with better visuals of statistics
- The built was sturdily made of steel and the cord came in long-lasting metal
- The fan-shaped flywheels made irritating sound
- The rower handles user of almost 250 lbs. nothing more than that
The competition: Other Best rowers to consider.
1. Stamina Air Rower (best under $300)
Yet another one from stamina made it to our list. The previous one that we talked about was the best in budget and quality, but for those who want to cut off on a further 50-60 bucks, which by the way we wouldn’t recommend because there would be a quality compromise, but still if you think you wouldn’t want to invest much then the next best choice is the air rower by stamina.
The rower all over had a fair performance it was an air rower giving more resistance to the hands and legs than the magnetic or hydraulic rowers. However, the resistance was not as much as in other expensive rowers. Well, you shouldn’t complain the thing is 1/3 the price of those rowers. It would do well if you work on it for around half an hour maybe, normally the good ones beat the sweat out of you in 15 minutes.
Well, initially when we looked at the price we thought, Man! This thing is gonna be a real pain, the cheap ones usually come in hard seating and poor sliding. But to our surprise this wasn’t the case here, it had soft padded upholstered seat and smooth sliding. So we really owe an apology on being judgemental and materialistic there.
This comes with the same mobility and storage options as model 1405 mentioned earlier, it has the floor protection molding on its toes and the inbuilt wheels for mobility, plus there was the folding joint option for easy storage.
Now for saving the bucks, what you have to sacrifice is the sound and the rowing cord. Let’s first come to the cord, well it’s the typical nylon one which is really not fitting for commercial use. It isn’t a multi-user type of machine. The thing may just break off, so it would be recommendable if there are 1-2 users. For the sound, well we would just say a few words to give you a better picture and the words are, “the noise is as horrible as of jet engine”.
All in all, for the price it was worth a kick for the low price it charged.
2. LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine (best compact rowing machine)
This rowing machine by lifespan solely made it to the list because of its compact shape. The price wasn’t much attractive several other rowing machines that we picked are much more reasonable than this one. Speaking of quality we must say it was decent enough for us to make it a reliable recommendation.
So first we’d like to mention its design because that is what we liked the most from its offerings. The design was compact it didn’t need much space to come in your room the flywheels seemed compact and packed up all masked in a plastic covering. So if you don’t have a separate gym room at home or if you are living in an apartment or hostel this thing wouldn’t take much of your space and wouldn’t disturb your décor. The machine could be folded in, making it compact and easy to store as well.
The machine could hold a max weight of up to 300lbs.on itself we liked it because mostly out there bluntly mention max weight 250 lbs. knock knock! What about the heavy weight people who actually need this stuff. So for graciously handling an extra 50 lbs. it is worth to be appreciated.
The monitor that came along with this rower was truly appreciable. We liked it because it came with three different screens, each for specified purpose so all the statistics aren’t jungled up on one screen making it difficult for the beginners to analyze it.
For its resistance and output let’s say it was okay, had it been around $200 cheaper than the price it is offering we would have said its great but after being a $200 expensive than our budget rowers we must say it should have had been a little edgier in resisting capability.
The seat was good; it was a 14 inch and was nicely padded and comfortable. The footpads were good and wide and came in Velcro straps preventing your foot from skidding. The steel used in the machine was sturdy and long-lasting.
The rowing straps though were a bit of disappointment this wouldn’t be best for commercial use as the fabric straps aren’t as sturdy as the metal chains for rowing.
So the final judgment on this one would be that it was great due to the compact design and it came in sufficient resistance, had sturdy steel built, and a comfortable seat so if you want something for small place make this your choice it would go great for your congested space.
- Compact design for congested places and could be folded for easy storing
- Seat was comfortable
- Footpads were wide and came with Velcro straps
- Decent output (not the best, though)
- It manages up to 300lbs.on itself
- Flimsy rowing straps
3. WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor (best rower machine for commercial grade)
So here’s the thing, you are really serious about cutting off your fats and want to get a good cardio workout on regular basis plus you have much money to dispose of for the purpose, then the best thing for you to consider is a water rower. This is the best recommendation you would find in any rowing machine reviews. The water rower really gets you built the muscles as its water-filled wheels rowing technology would give a tough time to your muscles.
For those who don’t know what makes water rower superior should know that it offers a better resistance than the hydraulic and magnetic rowers. As far as an air rower is concerned, resistance may be the same in that case but water rower comes with a softer rowing sound making it better than air rower.
It gives much physical workout opportunity to the muscles, there is a capacity of 20 liters of water that this rower could hold, the more water you add to the tank the more resistance the rower would offer. So we could say it comes with a manual type of altering resistance level. The tank is made of polycarbonate plastic that has an impressive longevity it would actually never break unless you throw it off from a 60-story building.
The machine comes in a sturdy built it is handcrafted in solid ash; the wood that has been selected is terrifically strong, ash is a premium hardwood with extraordinary endurance. This makes it great for a commercial grade usage so we would also recommend this to the commercial gyms. The rower has a great capacity it could manage a weight of up to 1000 kg.
Wood is always better than the other materials as it is skid-free and it appears to be more absorbent towards vibrations during rowing making your rower stay in position. The seat that comes along with this rower is comfortable; the footpads were great it came with a buckle strap that holds your feet tight. There is a heel-rest preventing your feet from slipping off.
The rower was expensive but it was worth the money for its strong build and efficient output. What seemed to be an issue, not a major one though was that the monitor wasn’t an upgraded one. It didn’t give much clarity as there wasn’t any back light so using and analyzing it was a little difficult, you had to actually jump from options to options. There were 9 navigation buttons to support the monitor. The other advanced monitors are much better. As this is a water rower so it comes with this setback that you would have to clean the tank regularly to make the machine look good and you may need to change the water on regular basis.
All over it was great for the excellent output, the comfort, and the sturdiness. We must say it’s worth the investment and is highly recommendable.
4. WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor (it comes in a honey oak shade)
Well if you are interested in a water rower but would like to have a lighter color than the club machine mentioned earlier, then buy the Water Rower Natural Machine. The latter comes in honey oak color while the club rowing machine is of black stained wood and has a touch of rosewood; it is dark and is coated with stain making it favorable for commercial use. They both are the same in price, size, and quality just the color pattern is different.
- Great resistance due to the water tank flywheel
- The water rower comes with softer whooshing sound which is soothing for the ears
- The ash wood used is sturdy
- Comfortable seat + impressive footpads with clutch straps and heel-rest
- The tank is made of resilient quality polycarbonate
- This rower can manage weight of up to 1000kgs meaning people of all heights and weights are welcome
- Perfect for commercial use it can take upon itself maximum abuse of usage
- Tank has a limit of 20 liters max
- Monitor is not upgraded
- The rower is expensive
- Needs regular maintenance like changing water and cleaning the tank
5. WaterRower GX Home Rowing Machine (best rowing machine for home gym)
So this rowing machine is again by WaterRower, this time, the rower is more for a domestic purpose as it has a limit of 325 lbs. so it won’t be much sturdy for commercial use. The attractive design makes it look like another trendy furniture in your room. It’s highly recommended for a rowing machine that is above $1000.
The wood use in it is Ash wood which is a high-quality wood to be used in any rowing machine. WaterRower is one of the elite brands for rowing machines. WaterRower uses ash wood of replenishable forest thus respecting the environment. Along with this, the high-end wood that they use absorbs the waves and sound eliminating vibrations during exercise. The aluminum used in the rail is also fair enough for a better stabilization.
The sound is soft and calm for you when you exercise on this thing. The seat is comfortable and generously padded and the footpads were also appreciable for its heel rest and clutch straps. The water tank came in a high-quality sturdy polycarbonate that is probably the best quality for any tank.
It claims to engage 84 % of the muscle; well we must say the claim is accurate when you exercise on it you feel that the whole body gets exhausted. After10 minutes of use every part of your body feels ticklish due to the blood circulation so we totally agree with them on this one.
All over it was great sturdy and comfortable we highly recommend this machine, the monitor is something that you may just not like but really it doesn’t matter. It may just not be that advanced and you would have to set things up but that wouldn’t matter once you see your body getting shaped up after using this machine. The maintenance though is an issue with every water rower; it requires cleaning and water change regularly.
So for the domestic purpose, this one by WaterRower is better in price than the others, it is more favorable for domestic use. It comes with an assisting DVD so you could learn how to use the thing. It is highly recommendable.
Sturdy enough, it comes in strongly structured wood, aluminum, and plastic
Soft natural water swashing sound
Gives excellent resistance to the body
Comes with guidance DVD
Occupies almost 84% of the muscle
Tank fills up to 20-liter water max
Is able to load on itself a weight of up to 325 lbs.
Maintenance is required
The GX monitor is out-dated and technical to use
6. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
The rowing machine by velocity was also worth a kick, it has some worth mentioning qualities. Well for those who don’t have much idea about the brand should know that this is affiliated with an internationally well-reputed brand Cap Barbell known for its weights equipment. The brand has been out there for decades and has made some substantial fitness equipment.
So the mechanism is the magnetic type which is known for being soundless while rowing, of all the options this is the one that makes the least sound. The resistance is quite sufficient, it does its work pretty well; it would make you soak in sweat within 20 minutes.
There is an electronic resistance control option so you could easily change the resistance level while doing a workout, this makes it competitive against the manual knob control method because for the manual one you need to stop during your exercise and get the thing leveled.
The seat is sufficiently padded and the foot pads come with Velcro straps which are decent enough for a good foot hold. We like the structure all over, it came in high-grade polished aluminum which is decently sturdy.
What we liked the most in this was the monitor, of all the monitors that we checked this gave the best output. It had a great visual clarity and gave some useful statistics including the heart-rate figures which tell the level of cardio workout you have done. Remember the more the heart beats, the more the blood pumps, the more warm the body gets, and the quicker you burn calories.
It has a foldable option so you could store it easily; it is light weight so moving it around isn’t much difficult.
The whole thing was great, it would have had been even better if the rowing straps wouldn’t have been in a nylon fabric because nylons are flimsier than the metal ones that are used in rowing arms.
All in all, it is moderately good, it is a safe bet you would love it for its electronic control and efficient monitoring.
- Efficient monitoring comes with heart rate checking that is great to check your cardio workout
- Easy storage
- Comfortable design
- Sturdy aluminium
- A moderate resistance is offered
- Makes less noise as it is a magnetic rower
- Electronic resistance control option makes it easy to change the resistance
- Not as good as water or air rower
- Flimsy rowing strap
All the gym rats should now consider buying the best rowing machine for themselves so they could satisfy their craving for exercise whenever they want to. Rowing is a natural form of cardio workout that is good for the whole body.
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- 1 Reviews of the Best Rowing Machines
- 2 #1. Concept2 Model D – Overall Best Selling Indoor Rower.
- 3 #2. Concept2 Model E – Alternative Costlier Rower.
- 4 #3. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine – Best rower under $200.
- 5 #4. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine – Best magnetic rower machine.
- 6 #5. Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower – Best budget rowing machine.
- 7 The competition: Other Best rowers to consider.
- 7.1 1. Stamina Air Rower (best under $300)
- 7.2 2. LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine (best compact rowing machine)
- 7.3 3. WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor (best rower machine for commercial grade)
- 7.4 4. WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor (it comes in a honey oak shade)
- 7.5 5. WaterRower GX Home Rowing Machine (best rowing machine for home gym)
- 7.6 6. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
- 8 The features to consider in rowing machine
- 9 What are the benefits of rowing?
- 10 The right way of rowing
- 11 Conclusion