Top 5 Best Rower Compared – Review and Buying Guide

Are you looking for equipment that will give you a full body workout? You are in luck because there is equipment in the market that can be suitable for your needs – a rower or rowing machine.

A rower engages all of the major muscle groups in your body and strengthens your lower and upper body as well. It does so much that it’s no wonder that many people want to get their hands on one.

There are different models of rowers that you could choose from, which make it more difficult for you to decide what the best rower for you is. In this review, we have listed and compared the top 5 best rowers that are available in the market.

At a Glance: Our Top Choices for the Best Rower

Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine PM5 – This equipment engages all muscle groups: it works your legs, core, and arms, and it is equipped with a smooth and high-calorie burning motion. It can track your progress through reliable real-time data called Performance Monitor 5.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine LCD Monitor SF-RW5515 – This rower has a magnetic tension system that has eight levels of adjustable resistance. It has a large LCD console that shows you time, calories, count, total count and scan.

Harvil Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower with 8-Level Tension Resistance System – This rower is a magnetic rower that can be used for an effective aerobic workout or you can incorporate this to your high-intensity interval training. It is made of a rust-proof aluminum beam and is equipped with a front stabilizer that enables easy storage and transport.

Water Rower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor – This product is a handcrafted rowing machine equipped with a water flywheel that enables the user to experience the feeling of actual rowing. It has a Series 4 performance monitor that tracks your heart rate, stroke, workout intensity and more.

Stamina ATS Air Power – This equipment is a wind-resistance rowing machine that is equipped with a multi-function performance monitor. The monitor shows the calories burned, distance, time and speed.

Reviews of the Best Rower

To help you choose or scout for the best rower, here are some of the best rower on the market for us.

Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine PM5

The Concept2 enables you to work your legs, arms and core simultaneously which then results in burning calories and building muscles. It makes your workout routine mundane and straightforward but still allows you to achieve maximum benefits.

If you are suffering from joint or knee paints, or has a limited range of motion, then this equipment might be suitable for you as it is a low-impact workout regimen. You will be able to enjoy working out and sweating without worrying that it would cause wear and tear on your body.

This rower is equipped with a flywheel component that can offer you smooth resistance and can allow you to workout continuously without the halting or jerking motion as you pull. This equipment can be ideal for people who do long drills or exercises at odd hours because it is quiet.

It has the Performance Monitor 5 that has an easy to use interface and displays your stats including speed, distance, calories burned and pace. This feature can be beneficial as you will be able to monitor how hard you are working out and also allow you to have a fresh workout every time.

You can choose from a wide array of exercises, and it even has several programmed games in different languages that you might enjoy.

It is designed to cater to your comfort, and it has a 14-inch seat that is adjustable and comes with ergonomic handles. This equipment’s seat is cushioned, and it allows you to position comfortably without straining your back.

With this product’s adjustable footrest, you can peddle appropriately without overtaxing your muscles. Lastly, this rower’s handles are non-slip, easy-grip and prevent chaffing or irritation.

An Amazon customer who is a former marathon runner claims that this machine saved his life. He suffers from severe arthritic pain in both of his knees, so he is not able to do heavy workouts. Fortunately, this machine enabled him to work out and keep his body fit without triggering the pain in his knees.

Things we liked

  • It gives a full range of exercises in the comfort of your home.
  • It is portable and has wheels which make it easy to carry it around the house.
  • It is low-impact, so it can be used by people who have arthritis, heart condition, and other health conditions.

Things we didn’t like

  • It can be quite expensive.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine LCD Monitor SF-RW5515

This machine is a magnetic resistance rowing machine. The equipment has a magnet in the flywheel to produce resistance against the machine’s spinning metal drum.

It has eight varying resistance levels, and you can adjust each level through the central panel’s knob.

The good thing about this rower is it is quiet so you won’t need to worry about distracting other people or waking up your baby. You can even use it while watching movies or TV.

The Sunny Health & Fitness rower comes with a sizeable basic LCD monitor. It shows your time, count or strokes, calories, and total count or total strokes.

You can scan your data every few seconds, and the monitor is battery operated, so you do not need to plug it in an electrical outlet.

The main frame is made of heavy duty, and the rowing handle is made of reinforced nylon strap which allows smooth rowing strokes and avoids fraying.

The Sunny SF-RW5515 has a comfortable padded seat and grip that is non-slip for extra comfort. The foot pedals of this rower have an adequate measurement that would fit any shoe size and comes with an adjustable foot strap that ensures your foot will stay in place.

The rower is foldable so you can easily store it in just 30 seconds. There are also built-in wheels that make it easier for you to transport the machine around the house. You can store this equipment in your closet or the corners of your room.

This product accommodates a weight of up to 250 lbs and a height of up to 6 feet and 7 inches tall.

A user of this machine said that this rower is an excellent way to workout with minimal effort while still getting the same output as other exercises.

Things we liked

  • It has strong resistance.
  • It has a comfortable seat.
  • It has a large capacity.

Things we didn’t like

  • The monitor lacks advanced features.
  • It has a large footprint when not in storage mode.
  • It has a short warranty period.

Harvil Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower with 8-Level Tension Resistance System

This rower is a magnetic rower that can be used at your home for an effective aerobic workout or you can also incorporate it with your high-intensity interval training. It is durable and is made of a rust-proof aluminum beam and has a front stabilizer that is equipped with wheels for easy storage and transport.

The dimension of this rower is 28 inches by 20 inches by 63 inches. It has eight levels of magnetic tension resistance that makes it suitable for different age and body types.

Rowing can be helpful for you as it provides a full body workout that helps in burning fats, building muscles, and aiding in weight loss. You can also use it for endurance and cross training. This machine can even be used by older adults to improve their flexibility and exercise their joints.

The Harvil magnetic rower has an LCD fitness monitor that can show you calories, distance, and counts. You can select from two modes which are selected function and scan mode. It has a backlight that will enable you to see the data displayed clearly.

The rower has a U-shaped seat that is placed on a roller which enables it to glide smoothly with your every row. It has large and pivoting footplates with adjustable Velcro straps, rowing straps that are made of tear-resistant nylon, and handlebars with non-slip grip.

This rowing machine can accommodate a weight of up to 264 pounds.

An Amazon customer wrote that this rower is easy to assemble and provides smooth action in the flat pulleys unlike the rower at their local gym.

Things we liked

  • It is easy to assemble.
  • It has a powerful and quiet flywheel.
  • It has eight levels of tension resistance system.

Things we didn’t like

  • It slides on the flooring when there is no equipment mat.
  • The seats are quite small and not well-padded.
  • The foot straps may not work.

Water Rower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor

This rower is a water resistance rowing machine that uses a water flywheel or paddles that are suspended in a tank of water.

It offers smooth and robust rowing strokes which make the exercise realistic, and the machine is quiet as well. This rower requires more energy and power when you row faster.

You can adjust your workout’s intensity by adding or subtracting water from the machine’s water tank. If you add more water than average, your rowing will feel heavier like you are on a boat with other passengers, while if you subtract water, it will be lighter like you are on a boat by yourself.

During your workout, you can hear the sound of splashing water which other users consider meditative and soothing. Even though the sound might be heard in a neighboring home, it can be quieter than other air rowing machines.

It is equipped with an S4 multi-functional performance monitor that displays time, distance, intensity, strokes per minute, 500m split time, and watts. The data is separated into different windows that you can view at the same time.

The monitor has nine buttons and is powered by 4AA batteries. However, the monitor has no backlight so you will need an external light to see the display. You can even connect this machine to your computer so you can utilize training programs, upload fitness data and join an online race.

This rower has a commercial-grade quality which enables it to take abuse due to heavy usage in commercial gyms or other high traffic areas.

The machine is made of solid ash wood that is stained, and hand finished using Danish oil and urethane for added protection. Moreover, the dual rails’ black styling is designed to avoid scuffing.

The Water Rower rowing machine has ergonomic seats that have sufficient padding to provide you comfort while working out.

A user of this product considers this product as an excellent rowing machine that gives smooth and great workout with soothing sounds.

Things we liked

  • It is commercial-grade with solid built quality.
  • It has a smooth and realistic rowing motion.
  • It is made of ash wood with Danish oil and urethane finish.

Things we didn’t like

  • Performance monitor lacks data accuracy and some advanced features.
  • It has a higher price range.

Stamina ATS Air Power

The Stamina rower is an air resistance rowing machine which means the faster you row, the more wind you can generate. It has an inclined seat rail which adds some resistance to your workout while creating a smooth rowing stroke.

This rower has a single-button multifunction monitor that displays speed, distance, time and calories. The pace is consistently shown on the monitor while the others can be viewed one at a time by pressing the button. However, you can also set the monitor in scan mode which enables each data to be displayed in every 6 seconds.

You can turn off the monitor by pressing the button, or it can turn off automatically after 4 minutes of inactivity. The monitor is powered by 2AA batteries and has no backlight so you might have problems reading the data in low light.

The frame of this equipment is made of solid steel and is using a nylon strap to spin the fan blades. As a result, this rower can handle the abuse that it will receive as your muscles get stronger than the first time you used it.

It might produce noise that can be louder as you row harder than rowing at average speed, but this is entirely normal with this kind of rowers.

Moreover, this machine has padded and upholstered seats that glides smoothly up and down its seat rails. It even has an ergonomic design that can make you comfortable while working out.

According to an Amazon customer, this machine is easy to set up and very user-friendly.

Things we liked

  • It has a heavy duty steel frame.
  • It has a basic but good quality monitor.
  • It can be folded in a matter of seconds for easy storage.

Things we didn’t like

  • It has no option to adjust damper.
  • The monitor units are not in metric.
  • It is a bit noisier than other higher-end air rowers.

Comaprison Table

Preview
Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Black
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor by SF-RW5515
Harvil Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower with 8-Level Tension Resistance System, LCD Monitor and Transport Wheels
WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399
Folding Frame
Separates easily into two parts for transport and storage
Not specified
Resistance
Flywheel resistance
Magnetic Tension System
Magnetic Tension Resistance
Water Flywheel Technology
Wind Resistance
Display
PM5 Performance Monitor
Large LCD console
LCD fitness monitor
Series 4 Performance Monitor
Multi-function monitor
Heart Rate Monitor
-
-
-
Optional heart rate chest strap and receiver
Machine Weight
57 lbs
59 lbs
46 lbs
66.5 lbs dry/104 lbs with water
55 lbs
Extra Perks
-Owner’s manual -Chain oil -USB connection cable -Log card
-Fully padded seat -Non-slip grip handlebars - Adjustable foot straps - Large anti-slip foot pedals
-A U-shaped seat on rollers -Large, pivoting footplates with adjustable Velcro straps -Tear-resistant nylon rowing strap with non-slip grip handlebars
-A seat at standard chair height -Dual slide rails to absorb sound -Transport wheelsfold to store vertically
-Padded, upholstered seat -Oversized, angled seat rail -Folding frame, transport wheels
Warranty
5 years frame, 2 years moving parts and monitor
1-year frame, 90 days parts
180 days warranty
5 years frame, 3 years components
3 years frame, 90 days parts
Rating
Best Price
Preview
Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Black
Folding Frame
Separates easily into two parts for transport and storage
Resistance
Flywheel resistance
Display
PM5 Performance Monitor
Heart Rate Monitor
-
Machine Weight
57 lbs
Extra Perks
-Owner’s manual -Chain oil -USB connection cable -Log card
Warranty
5 years frame, 2 years moving parts and monitor
Rating
Preview
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor by SF-RW5515
Folding Frame
Resistance
Magnetic Tension System
Display
Large LCD console
Heart Rate Monitor
-
Machine Weight
59 lbs
Extra Perks
-Fully padded seat -Non-slip grip handlebars - Adjustable foot straps - Large anti-slip foot pedals
Warranty
1-year frame, 90 days parts
Rating
Preview
Harvil Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower with 8-Level Tension Resistance System, LCD Monitor and Transport Wheels
Folding Frame
Not specified
Resistance
Magnetic Tension Resistance
Display
LCD fitness monitor
Heart Rate Monitor
-
Machine Weight
46 lbs
Extra Perks
-A U-shaped seat on rollers -Large, pivoting footplates with adjustable Velcro straps -Tear-resistant nylon rowing strap with non-slip grip handlebars
Warranty
180 days warranty
Rating
Best Choice
Preview
WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
Folding Frame
Resistance
Water Flywheel Technology
Display
Series 4 Performance Monitor
Heart Rate Monitor
Optional heart rate chest strap and receiver
Machine Weight
66.5 lbs dry/104 lbs with water
Extra Perks
-A seat at standard chair height -Dual slide rails to absorb sound -Transport wheelsfold to store vertically
Warranty
5 years frame, 3 years components
Rating
Preview
Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399
Folding Frame
Resistance
Wind Resistance
Display
Multi-function monitor
Heart Rate Monitor
Machine Weight
55 lbs
Extra Perks
-Padded, upholstered seat -Oversized, angled seat rail -Folding frame, transport wheels
Warranty
3 years frame, 90 days parts
Rating

What should you consider buying the best rower?

User weight and height

The best rower is the rower that can accommodate your height and weight. You should ensure that you also consider the height and weight of your family members as you may be sharing the machine with them.

Noise level

Rowers make noises, but you have to select a rower that has a sound that you think won’t distract you. Air rowers usually make the most noise while water rowers make splashing noises that most users find soothing.

Comfort

The best rower is the one who has ergonomic and well-padded seats. Remember that if the seats make you uncomfortable, you would not be able to work out well or for an extended period.

You might also want to choose a rower that has non-slip pads under the machine so it would not slip while you are in the middle of your workout.

Conclusion

We have written down the features of each rower, as well as the pros and cons of each and now we have reached a verdict of what is the best rower that could be suitable for you. The best rower among the 5 is the Water Rower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor.

It has soothing splashing sounds, unlike the others that produce noises that can distract you or your neighbors. It also has a monitor that can be connected to your computer which allows you to enjoy more options, unlike the others that can only show you data.

It even has a more extended warranty period than the rest and can be folded for easy storage. It is more durable than the others as it has a commercial-grade quality that makes it endure long workouts. It may cost more than the others, but it can be a good investment which is also the reason why it is the best rower among those products.