Find the Best Rowing Machine – Reviews & Guides 2014

When it comes to choosing the absolute best rowing machine, it tends to be a bit stressful. There are various types, models, and brands that all have their own set of features and even drawbacks. Then there are the varying price ranges to consider; this is enough to make you want to pull your hair out, but don’t stress, this isn’t a reason to give up just yet because we are here to help you.

We have created this resource especially for people like you who want to find the amazing benefits of owning their own rowing machine. Use our guides and rowing machine reviews so that you can feel confident when you make your purchase that it will meet all your needs.

Top 10 Comparison Chart

Concept2 Model DAir500 poundsYes
Concept2 Model EAir500 poundsYes
ProRower H2O RX-750 Home SeriesWater350 poundsYes
Velocity Exercise Magnetic RowerMagnetic275 poundsYes
Kettler Kadett OutriggerHydraulic250 poundsYes
Kettler FavoritHydraulic250 poundsYes
LifeSpan Fitness RW1000Hydraulic300 poundsYes
Stamina 1205 Precision RowerHydraulic250 poundsNo
Stamina 1215 OrbitalHydraulic250 poundsYes
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050Hydraulic250 poundsYes

Factors to consider when purchasing a rowing machine

In order for you to make the best decision, you will need to consider the reasons for you to purchase a rowing machine. If you are just wanting an effective and fun way to lose weight and exercise, then you will most likely be happy with a lower cost model like the magnetic or hydraulic types. Although, if you are looking for a realistic experience and to practice on your skills, then you should look at the higher end models like the water and air resistance types. Remember, depending on your overall fitness goals, a cheaper model may fit your needs.

Machine Types

There are a variety of methods for creating the resistance needs to simulate rowing against the water that have strengths and drawbacks.

Hydraulic: These are the machines that use hydraulic cylinders that happen to be attached to the handles and benefit those who have limited space, as they tend to be smaller than other models out there. The one drawback is they are not as effective as simulating rowing as accurately as the other models. This is due to the fact that the handles are in a fixed position. This allows only fixed hand movements that happen to be unrealistic. The other reason is due to the fact that the seat is fixed as well and doesn’t allow for leg drive, and important part of water rowing.

The more expensive machines use water, magnetic and air resistance. They don’t have fixed handles which will allow for a realistic rowing experience.

Magnetic: These types of models use electromagnets to help control the resistance and are known for being very quiet. The only drawback for these types of models is that the resistance is constant. Although, it is more realistic than the hydraulic models, they are by no means perfect.

Air: If you are looking for a realistic rowing experience, the best choice is usually an air model. They tend to be very authentic when it comes to simulating the resistance of water rowing. You will also learn that many professional rowers use air resistance models.

Water: Many people see that water models are the most authentic due to the fact that they actually involve an actual paddle moving through a tank of water.

What to Consider

  • Do you need a model that has a fully featured performance monitor in order to view information like your rowing speed?
  • If you have a small space in your home, do you need a model that can fold away or just a smaller machine?
  • If you plan to train hard, do you need a machine that will provide a high level of resistance as you gain strength?
  • Will you need a long warranty in case something malfunctions?

Benefits of using indoor rowers

A rowing machine was created to simulate rowing in water, so it is indeed useful in training for this use. However, you do not need to be a rower in order to gain all the benefits of using these rowing machines. They are a great way to gain high fitness levels and have even been proven to one of the best ways to burn calories. They also put very little stress on your joints and knees, meaning that you are able to get fit without worrying about causing damage to your body and injuring yourself.

They are great for those who are looking to improve or maintain their fitness as well as those who want to drop weight. This can be a highly beneficial investment that you can use it in the following years, and it will give you that effective workout that you are looking for, no matter what your fitness level is.

The Top 10 Reviews

Model D by Concept2
Concept2-Model-DThe Model D is one of the best rowing machines that is sold around the globe and it is used by professional rowers as well as fitness enthusiasts. The manufacturer claims that it has been “engineered to last a lifetime” and it is proven with a 5 year warranty. This air resistance rower is packed with various features that includes an amazing performance monitor that you can use and even play games on. Although, compared to other machines it is fairly expensive, but if you have the cash then you will learn in time that it is seriously worth the money. Don’t just take our word on it, browse on Amazon and you will see that it has well over 300 different five star ratings

H2O RX-750 Home Series by ProRower
ProRower-H2O-RX-750-Home-SeriesThe H2O RX-750 happens to be one of the cheaper water resistance rowers that you will find when it comes to rowers. It is just under the $700 mark and you may actually be surprised at the great quality of this machine. Those who want to mimic actual rowing tend to search for water machines, and this one does great at the price that is available to many. It is just like real rowing, and if you want that super intense workout, you will have to row faster and the “natural adaptive resistance” of the water will give you the challenge you need. If you feel like having a steady work out or a relaxing paddle then just row a bit slower and enjoy the feeling of pushing against water.

Model E by Concept2
Concept2-Model-EThe newest machine from Concept2 is supposed to be an improved version of the Model D, and include all of the amazing features like the PM4 performance monitor as part of the standard package as well as a huge variety of brand new features. That includes the low maintenance chain, upgraded computer, more comfortable and higher stance with the frame being 6 inches taller than the Concept2 Model D, as well as a longer monitor arm. Although these changes may not seem like a huge ground-breaking thing and you are most likely right on that, but it is a tall order to fill to improve on an already successful product. If money isn’t an issue for you, and you want the best then you will certainly be completely satisfied with the Model E. Even though it is a very successful machine, many would be happy to own the very popular and older Model D.

Kadett Outrigger Style Rower by Kettler
Kettler-Kadett-Outrigger-Style-RowerThe well-known name of Kettler produce the best mid-range rower models available and the Kadett Outrigger is one interesting machine. It has a one of a kind design of circular movement that tries to duplicate the actual rowing motion, and it does that very well. Since it is a hydraulic machine, the resistance level has to be set to a suitable setting for the user, similar to setting it for those who use treadmills. Overall, the Kadett is high quality model at a fairly decent price.

Favorit by Kettler
Kettler-FavoritThe Kadett Favorit seems to be fair priced machine that is just under the $400 mark. It is solid but basic, as you would expect out of a German manufacturer. It is a great choice for those people who have a smaller budget and are looking to keep fit without being overly serious about training for rowing. A great aspect of it is the quietness, which is perfect for those who enjoy a relaxing workout once in a blue moon. One potential downfall is that the resistance level can adjust while in motion.

RW1000 by LifeSpan Fitness
LifeSpan-Fitness-RW1000This rower has a similar price to the amazing Kettler Favorit, so you may have to decide out of these two selections. They are both highly rated and the great RW1000 won the 2008 Gear Awards Seal of Excellence. It’s proud boast of being smooth with a quiet resistance system is true as the fact that it folds up for easy storage purposes. Unfortunately, there have been a few complains about the resistance not being as strong and some tiny problems with the quality of build.

Trac Glider 1050 by Stamina Body
Stamina-Body-Trac-Glider-1050Just because the price of this rower is just over the $100 mark, does it mean that it is a poor quality model? First off, there are some great points – it is compact, folds away for easy storage for those who have limited space and has a basic but functional performance monitor. The best feature though, is how it is able to mimic the rowing motion that is similar to the Kettler Kadett Outrigger. Although there have been complaints of feet slipping out of foot straps on the machine and that the resistance was not high enough. The price is a great deal for those who are on a tight budget. You can always upgrade to a better and more expensive model at a later time.

1205 Precision Rower by Stamina
Stamina-1205-Precision-RowerThe 1205 is a big step up from the original 1050 when it comes to quality and price, but it remains an affordable machine. Just like it’s predecessor it is highly compact, but it doesn’t fold up for easy storage. The rowing motion is a bit different, it uses a traditional style of hydraulic cylinder design. It has a lot of positive reviews on Amazon although its major drawback is that the hydraulic shocks are tight at the beginning and it takes a while to loosen up.

1215 Orbital by Stamina
Stamina-1215-OrbitalThe 1215 Oribital is a highly rated but very affordable. It completely mimics water rowing and has smooth hydraulic cylinder resistance as well as a full range of motion. There are only a few small complaints about this rower from people having issues with the quality of build. For the price that it is set at, it is great and one of the best offers from Stamina.

Magnetic Rower by Velocity Exercise
Velocity-Fitness-CHR-2001This rower uses a magnetic resistance system that means it is super quiet when being used. It comes with a nice addition, the heart rate monitor, which is great for a serious trainer. The anodized aluminium body that you see is very beautiful and will easily look great in any home. It is certainly a solid built machine and offers an amazing workout. There are some out there that compare it to the model from Concept2, which means it is a high mark of quality. If you want something in the mid-price range then you could always do worse than purchasing this rower.

Time to Decide

Now that you have looked at the comparison chart and have read the rowing machine reviews, it is time to make that choice and decide what rowing machine would be best for you. If you are still unsure about which one is right and need a bit more help, then take a look at our in-depth guides and reviews.

If you have any other questions, suggestions, or feedback then don’t hesitate to contact us via our contact page. We certainly would love to hear from you.

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