Whether you’re a serious rower looking for the right rowing machine to handle off-water workouts or you’re a fitness enthusiast in search of a new workout machine, a rower can be just what you need. As with most other types of exercise equipment there is a large range of rowing machines on the market. Price, overall build quality, and long-term durability are important factors. Those who are serious about the sport will find a smoother ride and more resistance among higher-priced machines. However, you can still get a well-rounded rower for less. If you live in an apartment or smaller space it’s worth considering models that are easy to fold and transport. Here’s a look at the top best rowing machines on the market right now.
1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
This rowing machine comes with an innovative flywheel design that keeps noise to a minimum while ensuring a smooth and even feel during your workout. Another highlight is the Performance Monitor 5, which provides accurate data for each row. An adjustable monitor arm promotes a comfortable setup for users of various sizes. The machine is equipped with a 14-inch high seat and a nickel-plated chain. There are also adjustable footrests to accommodate feet of all sizes. An ergonomic handle promotes easier rowing even during more demanding workouts. Storage is a breeze as the rowing machine breaks down into two separate pieces and is outfitted with caster wheels for enhanced mobility.
- Flywheel minimizes noise
- Performance monitor
- Easy to store
- Seat is hard
- Cumbersome foot straps
- Software could be better
2. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
If you want a budget-friendly rowing machine that won’t break the bank, this Stamina rowing machine is a practical choice. An adjustable gas-shock resistance provides an appropriate level of intensity for all abilities. You’ll experience a full-body workout with this rowing machine, including your legs, back, arms, and abs. As an added bonus, it’s also simple to change your workout level at any point by adjusting the shock resistance. Other highlights include a multi-function monitor along with a durable steel frame construction. This rowing machine folds up easily for more convenient storage.
Price: $118.44 (49 percent off MSRP)
- Includes a multi-function monitor
- Adjustable gas-shock resistance
- Feet can slip out of pedals
- Uncomfortable hand grips
- Questionable long-term reliability
3. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
This programmable magnetic rower stands out for its comfortable saddle and multiple functions. As you’re rowing you can keep track of information such as calories burned, time, count, distance, watt, pulse, and stroke/minutes. If you’re not sure where to begin or could use a change in your workout routine you can select from 12 programs. Half of the programs are pre-set while the other half are manual. This rowing machine stands out for its Drum Magnetic Control System (DMC) and electronic tension control for a smoother and more meaningful workout. You can also easily fold it for storage when necessary.
Price: $474.00 (41 percent off MSRP)
- Comfortable saddle
- Tracks information such as distance, watt, and calories burned
- Electronic tension control
- Lacks an on/off switch
- Inaccurate heart rate monitor
- Some users wish it had a higher resistance level
4. Sole SR500 Rower
Sole has made a name for itself as one of the top most affordable treadmill manufacturers. However, the brand also makes high-quality rowing machines and other exercise equipment. This rower features a super smooth air and magnetic resistance motion. The result is a very realistic sensation of actually rowing on the water. The machine is equipped with a long and sturdy aluminum rail for superior support and durability. It can also accommodate a number of users of different heights.The rowing machine stands out for its high sitting position and adjustable pedals that fit various heel angles.
Price: $119.95 (60 percent off MSRP)
- Smooth air and magnetic resistance motion
- Provides sensation of rowing on water
- Innovative resistance adjustments
- Tough to fold up
- A bit loud
5. WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
You’ll pay a bit more up front for the WaterRower machine but the higher initial cost is well worth the investment according to most satisfied consumers. The natural rower is hand crafted from solid Ash and stained Honey Oak. The result is a rowing machine with enhanced stability and longevity. As an added bonus the wood also helps to absorb sound, promising a smooth and quiet operation. A unique water flywheel closely replicates the actual feel of rowing. Resistance is self-regulated. The performance monitor keeps track of heart rate, stroke rate, workout intensity, and more.
- Hand crafted
- Water flywheel for smooth, quiet operation
- Self-regulated resistance
- Cheap foot holders
- A bit loud
- Computer/monitor quality could be better
Find more WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor information and reviews here.
6. Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
The Concept2 Model D is a well-rounded choice for a dependable indoor rower. However, if you’re looking for a step up you should consider the Concept2 Model E. This higher-end model features a durable 20-inch frame height along with a smooth-riding nickel-plated chain and a double powder coat with a glossy finish. Those with mobility issues or bad knees will appreciate the higher frame. Another bonus is that the nickel-plated chain, also found on the Model D, doesn’t need as much oiling as other types of chains. Other highlights include adjustable footrests and an ergonomic handle. You can easily separate the Concept2 Model E into two distinct pieces for effortless storage.
- 20-inch frame
- Adjustable footrests
- Nickel-plated chain
- Seat is a bit uncomfortable
- Bulky when stored upright
- Monitor arm isn’t adjustable
7. Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower
This budget-friendly rower is an appealing choice for an entry-level rowing machine. One of the hallmark features is its comfort level, as this rower is outfitted with a molded and supportive seat along with an angled oversize chrome seat rail for optimal rowing action. The comfortable seat also slides effortlessly along the ball bearing rollers. You can keep tabs on your workout with the multi-function electronic performance monitor that displays the time, distance, speed, and calories burned. Need to move the rower out of the way? You’ll appreciate how easily it folds for storage along with its wheels for enhanced portability.
Price: $313.02 (43 percent off MSRP)
- Comfortable seat
- Multi-function performance monitor
- Chain is prone to jams
- A bit loud
- Pedals don’t always remain in place
8. BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower
You’ll spend a bit more upfront for this BodyCraft rower but satisfied consumers agree it’s worth the higher price tag. This rowing machine is equipped with air and magnetic resistance for a superior workout. It also has a wireless handlebar resistance control and super smooth industrial grade bearings inside friction-free rollers. The ergonomically designed seat offers ample support even during longer and more difficult workouts. The monitor is easy to read and features an LED backlit display and keys. Deluxe adjustable heel rests with quick adjust foot straps ensure that your feet will stay comfortable and in place as you work out. Other features include a handy fold and roll system for easy storage, a power off auto shutdown, and 12 different program profiles.
Price: $1,599.00 (16 percent off MSRP)
- Air and magnetic resistance
- Easy-to-read monitor
- Industrial grade bearings
- Difficult to assemble
- A bit heavy
9. First Degree Fitness Newport Adjustable Resistance Water Rower
This rowing machine is ideal for anyone seeking a fun and rewarding alternative to on-water rowing. The tank features an adjustable fluid resistance that delivers a broad range of resistance levels for all abilities. Another highlight is the improved pulley system, which enhances performance while ensuring that there are no dead spots. A multilevel computer monitor displays everything from time to distance to strokes per minute along with watts, calories burned per hour, heart rate, and interval training. The comfortable seat runs easily along the precision bearings for a smooth and safe operation. Height adjustable footplates cater to feet of various sizes.
Price: $849.95 (35 percent off MSRP)
- Adjustable fluid resistance
- Improved pulley system
- Height adjustable footplates
- Assembly can be tricky
- Some consumers wish there was more resistance
- Paint prone to chipping over time
Find more First Degree Fitness Newport Adjustable Resistance Water Rower information and reviews here.
10. Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower
This Stamina rowing machine offers a generous selection of workout programs along with several custom user programs. You can choose from one of the 12 workout programs, including four custom user programs and six cardio profiles. A fitness monitor helps you keep track of your workout goals by tracking everything from strokes per minute to calories, distance, count, pulse, and watt. The LCD backlit monitor is also highly visible. Use the included chest strap monitor at any time during your workout. A molded seat promotes comfort while the extruded aluminum bean promises a smooth and even movement.
Price: $699.00 (30 percent off MSRP)
- 12 workout programs
- LCD backlit fitness monitor
- Included chest strap
- Thin Velcro foot straps
- Uncomfortable seat
- Could have higher resistance levels
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