Best Rowing Machine 2019 – Reviews And Buyer’s Guide

The best rowing machine is one of the most viral parts of a fitness trainee’s arsenal. Many people nowadays simply don’t have the time to dedicate to going to a gym and blasting a full-blown workout. This is exactly why the idea of creating a home-gym has been becoming more and more popular.

Indoor rowing machines, as we already mentioned, have been becoming increasingly popular, as they have many functions.

This type of equipment will not only provide you with a good motion pattern, but it will also give you the following:

  • Perfect cardio.
  • Strength endurance.
  • Pulling strength.
  • Stamina.

Get yourself a rowing machine, a pair of dumbbells, some discs, rely on gravity with bodyweight exercises and boom – You have yourself a nice toning workout going on.

In this article, we’ll give you the top 10 rowing machines and compare their features thoroughly, to ultimately help you make the best choice possible.

Let’s check them out.

Best Rowing Machine 2019

Here are the best rowing machines ranked, in order:

1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

This one is without a doubt on the first place in our Top 3, as it is a perfect combination of price and quality.

Yes, it is a bit expensive for the general public, but if you are looking for maximum benefit and best features, this should be your choice.

Among gym owners, it is one of the most popular rowing machines out there.

Features

  • Comfortable design
  • Can be used even by very obese people up to 500 lbs
  • Monitor that shows performance
  • Quiet
  • Can be separated into 2 pieces when storing is needed
  • Did we mention – Full on, 5 year warranty!

This rowing machine didn’t just land on the first place in this list.

It is REALLY popular and competitive rowers rely on this specific model for their indoor workouts.

The design of this machine is really tough – It has hundreds and thousands, if not millions of miles rowing, before something starts squeaking.

If you want to go hard on your workouts and see just how hard you went, this machine will show you.

Its integrated monitor tracks all workload parameters:

  • Distance
  • Pace
  • Watts produced
  • Calories burnt
  • Speed

Oh and did we mention you can collect all this monitoring data to your phone and even connect to the machine with Bluetooth?

Pros
  • Well-built, tough design.
  • An array of features on the monitor.
  • Available in two colors (Light gray & black).
  • Can be disassembled for easy storage.
Cons
  • Bit expensive.

2. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

This second item on our list offers a very simplistic design and is perfect if you don’t have much room for equipment.

One of the best things about it is also the fact that though it is hefty and solid, it also comes at an affordable price.

Features

  • Adjustable resistance.
  • Two padded handles.
  • Ergonomic & space saving.
  • Comfy seat.
  • Monitor.
  • Steel frame (Solid and tough, designed for all-out workouts).

We know most of you are looking for a budget rowing machine that won’t spare quality too.

The ratio of quality & money here is on point, as this is pretty much the most affordable item on the list, when the task at hand is buying something that will last for little money.

As mentioned, this machine has a solid, steel construction, however, part of its design also includes aluminum, which puts it at a decent weight that is light enough to move around.

Just like the previous one on the list, this one can be folded and stored easily.

At first glance, this machine may look a bit small, compared to the other machines in this price range.

However, rest assured- It will still give you a PERFECT workout.

One of the best features we personally like the most is the hydraulic resistance, which can be adjusted manually, to increase or decrease the resistance if needed.

Though this is at a lower price, it still has one of the most sought features – The fitness monitor!

Pros
  • Perfect monitoring of variables.
  • Best choice for tight spaces.
  • Unbeatable price.
  • 12 months frame warranty.
Cons
  • Warranty on all other parts is only 90 days.

However, those 90 days will be more than enough to put this machine to the test and see if something actually breaks, which we doubt will happen.

In our personal experience, for this price range, there really is no better choice.

The Amazon reviews also further confirm this, making the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 the best bang for the buck.

3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Machine Rower

If you’re looking for a baseline rowing machine with no excessive goodies, to just get the job done, this one is your top pick.

The Sunny Health & Fitness brand offers a variety of fitness equipment and their magnetic rower is, without a doubt, magnetic.

It’s a game of words here but rest assured – Many people are attracted to this machine because it offers great quality at a great price.

Features

  • Magnetic resistance (Adjustable, 8 levels).
  • Ergonomic seat.
  • Non-slip grips.
  • LCD Console.
  • Quiet.
  • Large pedals.

The LCD console has a couple of variables to show.

Those are namely the stroke, time spent rowing and calories burnt.

This specific machine doesn’t really take all that much space, as it is compact, easy to move and has transportation wheels, making it easy to store and move away from the assigned space.

Pros
  • Bang for the buck.
  • Compact.
  • Fast assembling/disassembling.
  • Quiet.
Cons
  • LCD Doesn’t display rowing distance.

The machine is not good for obese people as the recommended weight limit is 250 lbs

If your rowing workouts don’t revolve around certain distances but rather time stamps, then this machine is perfect for you.

Overall, the Sunny Health & Fitness rower comes at a great price with a variety of features that ensure good quality.

This is the exact reason why it is in our top 3 picks.

4. Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399

On number 4 of our list, is the Stamina ATS Air Rower, which is an air-resistance rowing machine.

For that price tag, we’re pretty sure you won’t find anything better on the list.

Features

  • Air resistance.
  • Functional monitor.
  • Ergonomic design.
  • Wheels for easy transportation.
  • 3 year frame warranty.
  • 3 months warranty for the parts.

The amazing monitor on this machine rower shows a variety of variables, including:

  • Speed.
  • Distance.
  • Time.
  • Calories burnt.

When ready for use, the rowing machine measures at a length of 77 inches, a width of 18 inches and a height of 22 inches.

These measurements allow it to be easily folded and thanks to the wheels, it can also be moved and stored easily.

One of our favorite features here is the way in which resistance is created – Air resistance.

This allows the manufacturer to completely exclude adjustable resistance knobs, as the way in which resistance is increased is by simply increasing the pace of the rowing stroke.

Pros
  • Affordable.
  • Small and compact, easy to store.
  • Air resistance that adjusts according to your rowing pace
  • LCD Monitor with all key parameters
  • 3-year frame warranty
Cons
  • 90-day warranty of the rest of the parts.

Though this machine is not comparable to high-end, high budget rowing machines, it still performs well.

The Stamina ATS Air Rower is the best choice for you if you’re looking for a tough workout and don’t really care about additional gimmicks.

Overall, this is one of your best picks in this price range and you won’t be mistaken if you decide to pull the trigger on it.

5. Stamina X Air Rower

This brand offers a variety of fitness equipment and even has a couple of options when it comes to selecting the best indoor rowing machine.

This specific one is way better on the eye at first glance, compared to number 4 on the list and is still budget-friendly, for those of you that don’t have much to spend on fitness equipment.

Features

  • Tough & comfortable construction
  • Air resistance
  • Easy disassembly
  • Foldable
  • Has transportation wheels
  • Steel frame
  • Adjustable seat
  • Good quality

As you can tell, this is not a rowing machine for babies.

It is made to endure high-intensity workouts, making it a tough, durable training weapon.

The rowing chain and steel frame will last for hundreds and thousands of miles of rowing, so rest assured – This one is TOUGH!

One of our personal favorite features is the adjustable, angled seat rail and the air resistance.

Another favorite is that this stamina product is pretty easy to store, as it folds easily and has transportation wheels too!

Last but not least, we have a monitor that displays key parameters, such as distance, calories, speed, time, total number of strokes and of course, strokes per minute.

Pros
  • Strong and durable design.
  • Compact & easy to store.
  • Ergonomic seat.
  • Comfy handles.
  • Pivoting foot plates.
  • Double rowing chain.
Cons
  • Requires some assembly.
  • A bit louder than other models.
  • A tad bit more expensive.

Though a bit more expensive, when compared to other models, this specific rower is a bang for the buck as it offers durability and functionality.

If you’re on a budget but are willing to pay a tad bit more for better quality, do choose this product.

6. Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Obsidian SF-RW5713

Sunny Health & Fitness is one of the brands that refines their products and comes up with better machines over time.

This is exactly why another one of their products is on our list!

Features

  • Water resistance.
  • Light weight design.
  • 3 hydro blades.
  • Ergonomic seat.
  • Variable monitoring.
  • Transportation wheels.
  • Non-slip grip.
  • 3-year warranty.

We’re excited to give you this product, as it is vastly different, due to the fact it offers water resistance.

The experience with this machine is very similar to that which you’d get while rowing on water.

With this machine, you will get the perfect workout if you are preparing for an actual, water-rowing competition.

Another amazing feature is the monitor that tracks and monitors all key parameters of your workout:

  • Total rowing time.
  • Strokes per minute.
  • Calories.
  • Distance.

Needless to say, this water-resistance rowing machine is easy to store and also has transportation wheels.

Oh and did we mention it is light, only weighing at about 80 lbs?

Pros
  • Water resistance.
  • Durable, lightweight design.
  • Easily transportable.
  • Monitors key variables.
  • Smooth rowing.
Cons
  • It’s a fairly new product and doesn’t have all that many reviews.

Rest assured though, the guys over at Sunny Health and fitness went through rigorous testing and refinement of this product, which is exactly why we can assure you that getting it won’t be a mistake.

Again, this is not the cheapest product, but in terms of value for the money, it’s one of the top dogs in the lineup

7. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

This next product uses a magnetic drum control system but also has electronic tension control, which allows you to easily adjust the level of resistance, according to your own capabilities.

Features

  • Magnetic resistance.
  • Ergonomic, comfy seat.
  • Easily disassembled and folded.
  • Chest strap & heart rate monitoring.
  • Strong frame.
  • Available in both black and grey.
  • Electronic resistance control.

One of the main features that everyone looks for is the training variable monitoring.

This product includes a computer that displays all the information needed:

  • Rowing time.
  • Strokes per minute.
  • Calories burnt.
  • Heart rate.
  • Distance.

Besides these 5 key variables, the computer includes 12 programs that can be used for your own benefit.

With its perfect dimensions of 25.2’’ height X 20.1’’ width x 80.3’’ Length, this machine is easy to fold and store.

The assembly instructions provided in the manual are so simple, even a kid could do it.

We mainly recommend this product to gyms that require a quiet environment.

The drum magnetic control system allows you to do just that- Go through the workouts like a silent shadow.

One of the most satisfying features is the electronic controls, which are smooth and pleasant to use.

Pros
  • Smooth.
  • Quiet.
  • Easily foldable.
  • Easy assembly.
  • Two colors available.
  • Ergonomic design.
  • Functional display.
  • 5-year frame warranty.
Cons
  • 90-day warranty on the computer and 30 days on other parts

8. Stamina Conversion II Recumbent Exercise Rower/Bike

This specific product is not just a rower but also a bike, which brings extra value to the table.

Furthermore, the grip bar is placed in a way that allows us to use it for a variety of exercises, that can target the biceps and shoulders.

This is without a doubt the most functional piece on this list.

Features

  • Combines a rowing machine and a bike for full body workouts.
  • Handle is multifunctional.
  • Big LCD Display.
  • Strong, yet light construction.
  • 8-level resistance.
  • Transport wheels.
  • Two colors available.

This multifunctional rower is designed in a way that will make it both compact and durable.

It is stable during use, due to its lower center of gravity, which the design team took care of.

This specific machine measures at 75.5’’ length x 20’’ width x 27’’ height and weighs just over 100 lbs.

It is easy to assemble and disassemble, making it perfect if you don’t have a permanent space.

Of course, the box includes an assembly manual, which is relatively easy, due to the step-by-step guide it provides.

Pros
  • Multifunctional.
  • Two colors available.
  • Easily assembled, transported and stored.
  • Magnetic, adjustable resistance (8 levels).
Cons
  • Display lacks key features.
  • Seat is not the best out there.

At this price range, you’d expect a bit more from the display, which lacks some key variables.

However, if you’re not looking for gimmicks but just a strong, durable machine, this is your best choice.

One of the distinctive things about it is the 3 in 1, multifunctional design that allows for total body workouts.

9. Water Rower Natural Rowing Machine with S4 monitor

At number nine we have one of the better-looking machines, that also work perfectly.

Now, the list is not in a price-descending order, which is why this is also one of the more expensive options.

However, it offers an array of features, which make the price well worth it.

Features

  • Handcrafted.
  • Water wheel.
  • Ash and stained honey oak wood construction.
  • Display that tracks key workout variables.
  • Easy to store.
  • Compact.
  • Doesn’t require maintenance whatsoever.

While other rowing machines were designed for the sole purpose of getting a good workout in, this one is different.

The water rower natural rowing machine was made to get as close as possible to actual, natural water rowing.

With its flywheel inside of the water tank, this machine offers very smooth and quiet rowing experience.

Again, the water rower adjusts the resistance according to your rowing stroke.

If you want more intensity, simply up the speed.

One of the better features is the monitor, which includes six information and programming windows, as well as six QuickSelection buttons and three navigation buttons.

Furthermore, the variables at display are:

  • Duration
  • Distance
  • Intensity
  • Stroke rate
  • Heart rate
  • Zone bar

From a purely visual standpoint, we can say that nothing on the list beats this machine, aesthetically.

At a weight of 117 lbs and dimensions of 84 x 21 x 22 inches, it is the perfect, compact machine that can be used even in tight spaces.

One of the distinctive features is that this machine has no moving parts, meaning there won’t be wear & tear overtime.

This makes it a no-maintenance machine, distinctive from everything else on the list.

Pros
  • Easy assembly.
  • Aesthetically pleasing.
  • Quiet.
  • Water-resistance.
  • Smooth rowing experience.
Cons
  • Price.

If you don’t care about the price but are instead looking for the optimal rowing experience, this is by far the best pick on the list.

Now, there are other pricey options on the list, which are very comparable to this one, but ultimately, it would be a matter of which one you like better visually, as the performance threshold is reached for all of them!

We’d personally pick number nine, due to its extremely aesthetic, handcrafted design.

10. Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Favorit Rowing Machine

At number 10 we have a rowing machine that has a relatively simplistic design, made for regular workouts.

Features

  • LCD Screen.
  • 50 resistance levels.
  • Footplates (Well-fitted from a biomechanical standpoint).
  • Powder-Coated frame.
  • Six-functions display.
  • Thick, comfy seat.

Perhaps one of the better features of the kettler rowing machine is the LCD display which shows six essential workout variables:

  • TIme.
  • Distance.
  • Strokes.
  • Energy consumed.
  • Frequency.
  • Pulse rate.

This machine also provides two strong hydraulic pistons which provide unbeatable resistance and can be adjusted to individual capabilities.

Though last on the list, this machine is distinctively different from other on the list, due to its 50-level adjustable resistance.

This allows for way better individually-tailored workouts, suitable for trainees of all levels.

That specific reason makes this machine suited for beginners but also more advanced trainees.

For the money, you’re getting top quality and you can use it for years on end, without worrying about maintenance issues.

Pros
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • High-contrast LCD
  • Abundance of resistance levels
  • Solid construction
Cons
  • We can’t really find any, besides maybe the adjusting of the resistance.

The kettle favorit rowing machine is the perfect choice for trainees of all levels.

Things to Consider Before Buying…

Now, this is a high-functionality equipment and it has a variety of features we have to consider when we are purchasing one.

Some of those must be emphasized on, while others are, as we called them “Gimmicks” which don’t make substantial differences.

best rowing machine

Follow this buyers guide to ultimately make the best choice.

Factor #1 – Type of Resistance

Each and every resistance training machine utilizes the forces of resistance, however, they can be created in different manners.

With these specific machines, we have the following:

Air Resistance

As you can guess, the air-resistance rowing machine utilize the airflow going through the wheel.

These machines are also well-known as “ergometers” and are an accepted standard.

Something good to know is that air-resistance rowers are pretty noisy, which is why if you are looking for something a bit more quiet, this is not the best option.

Water Resistance

The water-resistance rowers appear to be a common choice amongst trainees who are looking for smooth and quiet rowing experience.

Furthermore, they allow you to get as close as possible to natural water rowing, which is why this is a preferred option for many competitive rowers.

Magnetic Resistance

If you are looking for something quieter than an air-resistance rower, but more affordable than a water-resistance one, then your go-to pick are the magnetic rowers.

Another amazing feature they offer is the compact size, making magnetic rowers perfect if you don’t have a permanent, big space and need to store the machine.

Hydraulic Resistance

Last but not least, the hydraulic rowers.

Those utilize hydraulic pistons, which ensure a quiet and smooth rowing experience.

When it comes to getting as close as possible to natural rowing, this is not the best option.

However, if you’re just looking to get a perfect workout in, this is without a doubt one of the better options on the list.

Factor #2 – Footprint & Storage

Odds are, you will be placing this in your home or garage gym.

For that specific reason, you need to consider the size and foldability of the machine you are choosing.

Ultimately, if you don’t have a permanent space or are just limited on such, do choose something smaller and easily storable.

Factor #3 – Computer

The more high-end rowing machines include a wide variety of pre-programmed workouts, but can also show you statistical data about your workouts.

Besides that, you get to see the key variables which you may want to track during a workout.

As a whole, most rowing machines do include a computer that will, at the very least, give you basic information about the workout.

If this is a make or break point for you, do consider purchasing a rowing machine that provides you with more in-depth data about your training.

Bottom Line

The variety and brands of rowing machines out there is pretty big, given the demand of the fitness community.

In this article, we collected our personally-tested machines, in a Top 10 list.

Whether you’re looking for something budget friendly or high-end, this list has it all.

Ultimately, pick something that will fit your requirements in terms of:

  • Noise
  • Resistance type
  • Functionality
  • Computer options
  • Comfortability

The best rowing machine is just a click away – Don’t forget to update your home gym!

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