Do you want an air resistance rowing machine but don’t want to pay $1,000?
Then look no further than the Stamina Air Rower 1399!
You won’t break the bank with this rowing machine and the quality won’t suffer either.
The Stamina Air Rower 1399 has a solid steel frame, comfortable padded seat, multi-function monitor, and is half the price of high-end air rowers you see in the gym.
Is it really possible that this rowing machine can deliver the same kind of full-body workout you get from rowers at your local fitness club that cost a whole lot more?
After countless hours of sorting through different websites, forums and calling the manufacturer directly, I finally have an answer to the question. “Yes”…….and “No”, it’s kind of hard to explain.
The Stamina Air Rower 1399 is an air-resistance rower.
Here’s a brief description of how an air-rower works:
When the handle of the rower is pulled it causes a flywheel with fan blades to spin and create wind. The harder or faster you row the more wind you generate. The more wind you generate the greater the resistance becomes and the harder it is to row.
There is no knob to turn or button to press to change resistance levels. The resistance level is determined by how hard you row. That is why this type of rower is categorized as ‘adjustable’ resistance.
If one day you feel like taking it easy, don’t row too hard and the resistance will be minimal. Conversely, if you feel like having a more intense workout, row harder and I guarantee it will be much harder to row (because the resistance will be greater).
I wanted to emphasize this point because a few users claimed this rower isn’t adjustable and that statement is false based on what I mentioned. It’s probable that the few users who made the false statement were unaware of how an air-rower works.
They may have only rowed at the same intensity level and didn’t see any “buttons to press” to increase the resistance so they incorrectly deemed the resistance to be non-adjustable.
The same resistance style that I just described is the preferred type by Olympic rowers. So obviously it works!
One thing I want to point out, unlike the higher-end air rowers that I have reviewed such as the Concept2 Model D and Model E, the Stamina rower does not have the option to adjust the damper settings. Damper settings are like gears on a bike. The settings change the way the rowing experience feels.
Overall users enjoyed the resistance provided by the Stamina Air Rower. The only thing to mention would be that air rowers make the most noise out of all the resistance types. The noise is a ‘wooshing’ sounds created when the flywheel spins.
Most users listen to music with headphones or it just doesn’t bother them.
#1 Resistance Complaint
Rowing machines are popular because they give a full-body workout with minimal impact to your joints. The 1399 Air Rower will workout your whole body but the question is will the workload be evenly distributed to your lower and upper-body or will one section work harder than the other?
I seldom discuss this in my reviews because it’s a non-issue most of the time. However, a handful of users gave mixed comments on this topic so I decided to address the issue in this review.
About 3% of users said their lower-body works more than the upper-body when using the 1399. While 7% said the opposite, that the upper-body works more than the lower-body.
The angle on the seat rail is more exaggerated on this rower compared to most rowers. This naturally makes the initial push-off (the “drive”) with your legs more difficult. Mainly because you have to push the seat and your body weight up a “steep” upwards rail angle.
Conversely, the finishing motion (the “recovery”) doesn’t require as much leg work, making it easier. Mainly because the seat slides back to the starting position due to the “steep” downwards rail angle.
All you have to do is control your recovery. Meaning, your recovery stroke should be 2x as long as your drive. If it takes 1 second to push off, it should take 2 seconds to recover. Most rowers will count while performing a stroke like this – one….one..two…one….one..two.
I hope I didn’t lose you there.
Here’s my explanation of why users had differing opinions about lower-body vs. upper-body resistance:
- The most likely case is users were rowing with incorrect form. Users that complained of an uneven workout were probably just using it incorrectly. Rowing should be about 60% legs, 20% core, and 20% arms. Adding more or less percent to any of these categories would cause an imbalance between the upper and lower body.
- Users mentioning this rower worked out their legs more than their upper-body may have relatively weak legs. This would cause them to receive a more powerful leg workout and not feel much on the upper-body. Basically their legs tire out faster than their upper body.
- Users mentioning their upper-body is worked more than their legs probably have relatively strong legs. Stronger legs would mean they row faster, creating more resistance, and fatigue their arms first. Especially since arms will fatigue the fastest!
You’re probably asking yourself, “what does all this mean to me”?
First it means you must row with proper form on any rower to get the best workout.
Second, based on my research, this is probably not the best rower for someone using it for off-season rowing training or high level athletes.
However, the resistance has proven to be strong enough for beginner, intermediate, and some advanced users.
Almost everyone looking for a full-body workout should be happy with the Stamina Air Rower 1399.
Check out my article, What Does a Rowing Machine Do For Your Body? to see what muscles you will be working!
If you’re concerned about resistance inequity (upper vs. lower-body) you shouldn’t be. Over 90% of users didn’t complain and for the few that did, most mentioned their body adjusted after only a few workouts.
The Stamina Air Rower 1399 has a single-button multi-function monitor that displays speed, distance, calories burned, and time.
The speed remains fixed on the monitor while the rest of the data is displayed one-at-a-time and can be changed manually by pressing the ‘mode’ button. You can also have the monitor in ‘scan’ mode where the monitor cycles through the workout data displaying each for 6 seconds.
It’s powered by 2 AA batteries (not included) and the manufacturer suggests:
- Not mixing a new battery with an old battery
- Use the same type of battery (don’t mix alkaline with another type)
- Rechargeable batteries are not recommended
That’s pretty specific in regards to batteries, huh?
The monitor turns on by pressing the button or by moving the seat and turns off automatically after 4 minutes of inactivity.
It’s a basic fitness monitor that does what it’s supposed to do: keep track of important workout data.
Stamina is known for building really strong frames and nothing changes with the Stamina Rower 1399. The frame is built of solid-steel and feels sturdy to the touch.
The nylon strap that is pulled to spin the fan blades is durable and will be able to handle the abuse you’ll give it over time as you get stronger.
Air-resistance rowers are known to be the noisiest out of all the rowing machine resistance-types so it comes to no surprise that this rower isn’t quiet. The noise-level isn’t that bad, especially if you expect the machine will make some noise.
The harder you row, the louder the fan blades get so keep that in mind. Most users like that it gets louder the harder they row because it tells them that they’re working out hard.
A small percentage of users mentioned that this rower is louder than the Concept2 rowers, but didn’t say anything about the noise level bothering them.
Besides the typical noises you’d hear on an air-rower (fan blades, sliding seat), don’t expect to hear annoying creaking-noises more common with cheaper rowing machines.
The padded, upholstered seat glides smoothly up and down the seat rail.
The design makes it comfortable, especially for rowers that workout for long periods of time.
Most users found the seat to be comfortable, but 2 users thought the seat was too small. These users must’ve been extremely tall & big because the other users over 6.0’ tall didn’t mention anything about the seat being too small.
The handles have a textured grip and feel comfortable in your hands. This is important because you’re going to be gripping the handles a lot!
The footrests are large and can fit most shoe sizes. The nylon straps will keep your feet locked in place when you row. This is important because you need a solid foot base in order to row efficiently.
One user commented that she loves the footrests on this rower because she can easily row with or without shoes.
You can see a full selection of high-quality Stamina Air 1399 ‘comfort photos’ here.
The rowing motion on the air rower is what you’d expect from an air-resistance rowing machine.
The overall motion is fluid and resembles the feeling of rowing on the water. The seat glides up and down the rail very smoothly and the nylon strap that pulls the fan blades go in and out of the fan casing without any hiccups.
The Stamina Air Rower is perfect for people that don’t have much storage space in their house because it folds up and reduces its footprint by almost 50%.
To store, all you have to do is remove a bolt from the frame, fold it upwards, and put the bolt back in the frame.
The whole process can be done in a few seconds.
For portability, the machine has caster wheels that make moving the rower around a piece of cake.
All you have to do is lift up the end opposite of where the fan is and push.
Per the manufacturer the maximum user weight is 250 pounds.
Air-rowers usually have a longer seat rail and that benefits taller users/ users with longer legs because there’s more space to row on.
Users as tall as 6’2” have mentioned they used the rower with no issues.
I wanted to see if taller users could use the 1399 so I called Stamina directly. I spoke to a customer service agent and asked her if there were any height limitations on this machine. After putting me on hold to check for a few minutes, she told me that someone 6’4” uses the rower without any issues.
Her answer didn’t quite answer my question but at least it gave me something to work with. So any users 6’4″ and under should be ok.
As far as a minimum height requirement, I wasn’t able to find any negative comments from shorter users. Children seem to use the rower so being short shouldn’t be a problem
- Assembled size:
- 77″ x 18″ x 22″ (L x W x H)
- Folded size:
- 48″ x 18″ x 28″ (L x W x H)
- 55 pounds [25 kg]
Several users commented that the 1399 Air Rower was easy to put together. The included tools required for assembly are 2 allen wrenches and a regular wrench.
A few users were able to put the unit together in as little as 15 minutes but most users took ~45 minutes.
No previous experience putting items together is required. As long as you follow the instructions you will be fine.
Pros and Cons
- Low price-point for an air-resistance rower (higher-end models cost 3x more)
- Heavy-duty steel frame
- Great resistance
- Basic but good quality monitor
- Folds up in seconds for easy storage
- Wheels make it easy to move around when needed
- Comfortable upholstered seat
- No option to adjust damper (to adjust the feel of each row)
- Exaggerated seat rail may cause some people to experience upper/ lower body workout inequity at first
- A little noisier than higher-end air-rowing machines
Users liked the portability and the price-point for a usually expensive resistance-type. They especially liked the seat mentioning on several occasions that it is extremely comfortable.
A few users complained that the machine doesn’t offer adjustable resistance, but they were inaccurate with their statements since resistance is determined by rowing intensity. In addition, a few users weren’t fond of the noise-level (although a fair amount of noise is expected from an air rower).
Read more here: Stamina Air Rower 1399 Reviews
Average Rating: 4.5
- Frame: 3-years
- Parts: 90-days
Stamina Air Rower 1399 Price
The price of the Stamina Air Rower 1399 is one of the main selling points. There really just aren’t many quality air rowing machines at this price level.
The price for the 1399 Air Rower varies depending on where you buy it from but Amazon tends to have the lowest price.
I hope you enjoyed my Stamina Air Rower 1399 review! Drop any comments or questions in the box below.