The very fact that you are looking for advice on which is the best rowing machine to buy is a great step in the right direction. People often ask me which rowing machine is best value for my budget. To answer that, I have made a list below of best machines under $200. Then the range $200-$700 and finally the top-end and professional machines.
Rowing is the most efficient form of exercise on the planet. That’s a fact! Nordic skiing comes pretty close but there are a number of reasons rowing pips it to the post. Have a look at this article for the reasons why.
The Stamina 1399 Air Rower is well established in the rowing machine market. It is really the only air baffled rower that is worth considering in this price bracket. All the others seem to get mechanical problems before too long.
This is a very low price for a pretty good machine. Magnetic resistance rowers feel different to air rowers, but if you don’t mind that, this is probably the best machine for your money. The only cheaper ones in this category are the hydraulic ones.
Stamina make good equipment, which is why my choice for the best hydraulic machine in the under $300 bracket goes to the Body Trac Glider 1060. If you’re OK using a hydraulic machine, then they are most definitely the cheapest and often most compact. The older version of the 1060 is now at an incredible $103 on Amazon!
Lifespan have been producing fitness equipment for a long time now and have a good reputation for quality. The RW1000 is no exception to this rule and at €499, it’s a very good price for an excellent magnetic resistance rower.
This rower from H20 Fitness is a reasonable attempt to copy the water rower. For older people who are looking for a more gentle workout with the peasant sloshing sound of water, it’s not a bad choice. However, if you are into serious training and are taller than 6’1″, you would do much better to find the extra $250 and get yourself a WaterRower GX Home at $1060.
There are really only two choices for the best rowing machine overall, and they are both from Concept2: the model D and model E. The only real difference is the height of the seat from the ground. Both are the choice of most boathouses. The computer is so accurate that you can upload your data via USB to the online logbook and compare your times to other rowers in your age / weight category.
The next best thing is the Waterrower made famous as Frank Underwood’s Rowing Machine in the House of Cards. They are great machines, being not only very quiet but also aesthetically pleasing. Storing them in your living room is a cinch as they simply stand on their end against a wall. I have made a comparison between the two here. They come in a variety of woods and formats and cost between $975 and $1900