What is the Best Rowing Machine Under 500?

Travis PulverRowing MachineLeave a Comment

Best Rowing Machine Under 500

We all want to get in better shape. We all want to live a longer, happier, and healthier life, and we all know that regular exercise will help us do just that. But we don’t want to pay a ton of money to get it. as luck would have it, we don’t have to. There are good exercise machines on the market that don’t cost a ton and are still quality machines. For instance, if you want to buy the best rowing machine under 500, you can.

My top recommendation when it comes to the best rowing machine under $500 is the Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine.

This is not to say that there are no other good options; this is just the one I’d buy if I had the money and the inclination to row. Want to know why? Read on and I’ll be happy to tell you.

Top Recommendation: Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine

Customer Reviews

At Walmart.com, seven users leave reviews for the Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine with an average rating of 3.7 stars (out of five).

Another site had 24 users leave reviews for the Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine with an average rating of 3.6 stars (out of five).

Pros

  • Quiet: One of the most popular aspects of magnetic resistance machines like the Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine is how quiet it runs. If you want to watch television while you workout or simply don’t like noisy machines, this is the machine for you.
  • Durable: The frame is made of steel and aluminum. So, while it will be strong and durable, the Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine will also not be heavy.
  • Weight capacity: It boggles my mind whenever I see exercise equipment rated for people that might not be in great shape but are far from being in bad shape. The Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine is one that can be used for people up to 300 lbs. (which, unless you’re a professional athlete is bad).

Cons

  • Warranty: The Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine only have a 90-day warranty. So, the company is either supremely confident in the quality of their product, or they’re fine with you needing to buy another one in six months.
  • Storage: Technically, it doesn’t fold up to make storing any easier. But there is a way to take the seat rail apart which essentially allows the Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine to be folded up. Maybe that’s no big deal to you; maybe it’s more steps than you care for after a workout.
  • Shipping issues: Several users complained about their Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine arriving with several pieces either missing or broken.

The Bottom Line

I love a piece of exercise equipment that is built for handling big people yet is still comfortable—and the Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine fits the bill. The short warranty is concerning. But if you expect something to break, then something will.

It seems the biggest issue with the Sunny Health and Fitness Ultra Tension Magnetic Rowing Machine is how it is shipped. But if that is the worst of it, this machine is still a great buy.

Option No. 1: Stamina ATS Air Rower

Customer Reviews

At Walmart.com, 154 users left reviews for the Stamina ATS Air Rower with an average rating of 4.4 stars (out of five).

At the Dick’s Sporting Goods site, 11 users left reviews for the Stamina ATS Air Rower with an average rating of 4.6 stars (out of five).

Pros

  • More natural workout: If you like the real thing and wish you could be on the water than the Stamina ATS Air Rower is for you.
  • Variable resistance: You don’t have to worry about whether you set the resistance to something you can handle for the duration of the workout. Resistance for the Stamina ATS Air Rower is determined by the intensity of the rower.
  • Storage: The Stamina ATS Air Rower folds up to make storing it easier. It also has wheels that will make moving in and out of storage easier.

Cons

  • Low weight capacity: The Stamina ATS Air Rower has a listed capacity of just 250 lbs. So, if you are really heavy then don’t even consider picking this machine up.
  • The seat: The product description talks about the Stamina ATS Air Rower having a large, comfortable seat. But according to several users, that is not the case at all.
  • Sturdiness: Several reviewers mentioned that the flywheel assembly broke after three months on their Stamina ATS Air Rower. A few mentioned getting it replaced and then the replacement flywheel breaking down in three months as well.

The Bottom Line

It sounds like the Stamina ATS Air Rower is a pretty good machine, overall. It doesn’t hurt that it is made by a company, Stamina, whose purpose is to design fitness equipment for those who are on a budget. So, it stands to reason that they must know a thing or two about how to do that.

Or at least you hope they did their research on the best budget-friendly materials to use.

Of course, if you’re heavy, this machine is not for you and that is a major drawback. But overall, most people interested in rowing will be happy they bought a Stamina ATS Air Rower.

Option No. 2: LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine

Customer Reviews

At Walmart.com, four users left reviews for the LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine and gave it a rating of 4.5 stars (out of five).

Another site had 105 users leave a review for the LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine with an average rating of 3.7 stars (out of five).

Pros

  • Eddy fly-wheel drive system: This allows the LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine to simulate water tension better than many other tension systems. Oh—and it’s very quiet, too.
  • Warranty: The LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine comes with a five-year warranty (frame; two years parts; one year labor). When companies put longer warranties with something it typically means they have more confidence in the product. You may have it, but you probably will not need it.
  • Weight capacity: You have to love a machine that is big-guy friendly. With a rated capacity of 300 lbs., the LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine is definitely big-guy friendly.

Cons

  • Resistance: It only has five different settings. While they will be fine for most people, there were some users who found the toughest one too weak. Those people all said they still got a good workout. But they wish the LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine offered stronger resistance.
  • Inaccurate data: Having the data about your workout on the monitor is great and all. But not so much if it is likely going to be wrong. From what many users have said, that is the case with the LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine. It seems that the monitor is activated by the seat moving. So, according to the monitor, calories burned will not differ if you use a tougher setting.
  • Poorly written instructions: It doesn’t matter how great a product is if it is too difficult to put together or use properly. Many users complained of having issues with comprehending the instructions for the LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine.

The Bottom Line

I like the quiet system and the ability to feel like I’m rowing on water rather than in my living room. Being able to fold it up for storage is a nice perk as well. The monitor issues almost made me bypass this one. But if you are looking for a good workout, then the LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine is a great machine.

Would it be nice to see an accurate picture of your workout with reliable data? Of course— but you’ll also get that after a couple of months when your clothes starting fitting better.

Option No. 3: Sunny Health and Fitness Dual Function Rowing Machine

Customer Reviews

At Walmart.com, one user left a review for the Sunny Health and Fitness Dual Function Rowing Machine and gave it five stars (out of five).

At another site, 47 users left reviews for the Sunny Health and Fitness Dual Function Rowing Machine. They gave it an average rating of 4.0 stars (out of five).

Pros

  • Easy assembly: Most users mentioned needing just 20-30 minutes to put their Sunny Health and Fitness Dual Function Rowing Machine together. Having only four steps and the screws came bagged and labeled with what step they were to be used.
  • Easy storage: The wheels make it easy to move the Sunny Health and Fitness Dual Function Rowing Machine around. Take a couple of pins out of the seat rail and it will fold down. Put one back near the seat to keep the rail from sliding on you. With the rail folded, it doesn’t require a lot of space.
  • Dual function: Not only can you row, but you can target multiple muscle groups if you so choose with the Sunny Health and Fitness Dual Function Rowing Machine.

Cons

  • Short warranty: The warranty on the frame for the Sunny Health and Fitness Dual Function Rowing Machine is for three years. But on what matters most, the parts, it’s only 90 days. The company has it labeled as having a three-year manufacturer’s warranty. However, when you read closer you see that only counts for the frame.
  • Noise issues: Several users complained about noise issues with the Sunny Health and Fitness Dual Function Rowing Machine. They had them if they used the strongest resistance or after a month of moderate use. But with the type of resistance it uses, there shouldn’t be any unless something is broken. No one mentioned whether they called customer service about the noise.
  • Monitor: Several users complained that the monitor for their Sunny Health and Fitness Dual Function Rowing Machine did not work; some said at all while others said it wasn’t accurate.

The Bottom Line

Like other magnetic resistance rowers, the Sunny Health and Fitness Dual Function Rowing Machine is nice and quiet. It is also rated for people weighing upwards of 300 lbs. So, it can be good for Dad and his ‘spare tire’ as well as Mom.

Travis, a native Texan, has been writing for the last seven years. His passion is bringing the best and most interesting stories to light for the enjoyment of the public. He currently lives in Indiana (loves basketball, but hates going to the Indy 500) with his wife and two adorable kids. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.
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