best rowing machine for short peopleIf you are looking for a rowing machine, you know that there are several different models to choose from which can easily overwhelm you in your search for the perfect indoor rowing machine.  At the end of the day, we all want to know which rower is the best rowing machine but that’s not a simple question to answer.  I started Rowing Machine King to help people find the perfect rower based on what’s perfect for their needs by providing detailed and unbiased reviews and informative articles.

If you have read my rowing machine reviews, you know that each review has the same template that covers all the fine details of each rower.  This also makes it simple to compare different machines.  However, I understand there are some of you out there that just don’t have the time to read through the reviews so if you want to cut to the chase and know which rower is the best rowing machine for 2015, this article is just for you!

When determining which rower is the best rowing machine for 2015, every aspect of the unit has to be taken into account and the various criteria are listed below:

  • Resistance Type 
    • There are four different resistance types and they each have their pros and cons
      • The best rowing machine should have a resistance type with the least downside
    • Adjustable resistance is preferable to allow the rower to switch up their workouts
      • In addition, this allows different users with different strength/ fitness levels to use the rower

Concept2 Model D PM5

  • Monitor/ Control Panel
    • Performance monitors are expected to accurately record [at least] basic fitness data such as number of strokes, time of workout, and total distance
    • In addition to its functionality, it must be durable and easy to read while exercising
  • Build Quality
    • It should be sturdy and built to take “abuse” because the unit is expected to last for several years without any major issues besides traditional care and maintenance
    • It should not shake when in use; even while rowing vigorously
    • It should not make any unexpected annoying/ creaking noises
      • NOTE: Lower-quality rowers are known to make creaking/ other miscellaneous noises after a certain amount of time
  • Comfortability 
    • The seat, handles, and footrests should be comfortable to use
      • Otherwise, the rower would be unpleasant to use and will shortly be on Craigslist
    • It should feel natural to row on the unit, you shouldn’t have to force yourself to be comfortable during the workout
  •  Best rowing machineStorage/ Portability Options
    • Rowing machines generally take up a fair amount of floorspace so the ideal machine should have an option to reduce its footprint when not in use
    • Wheels are a bonus
  • Assembly
    • Some units take minutes to put together, others can take a few hours
    • The ideal unit should be simple enough for someone with little-to-no assembly experience to put the rower together within a fair amount of time
  • Warranty
    • A longer warranty not only provides additional assurance for the customer, it also shows how confident the manufacturer is about its product
  • Total Value
    • Taking into account all the above criteria, is the rowing machine priced fairly?

Seems like a lengthy list but there are a lot of different things to consider when choosing the best rowing machine for 2015.  Rather than just show you the best rowing machine, I will highlight the top 5 so you can see which rowers were considered.

Top 5 Rowing Machines

Click the picture for reviews and link for pricing.

RankRowing Machine ModelAverage RatingBest PriceOverview
1Concept2 Model D
Concept2 Model D
4.9/ 5.0Check Lowest PricingMost trusted and well-known rowing machine on the planet. Constructed for commercial use but also ideal for the home. Provides a smooth rowing motion for all fitness levels. Has one of the highest resale values of all rowing machines.
Velocity Fitness Magnetic Rower
4.7/ 5.0Check Lowest PricingUltra-durable, smooth rowing motion, and very quiet. 8 resistance levels makes it ideal for everyone. Has materials most often found on machines that cost much more. Includes a free wireless chest strap for heart use with the built-in heart rate receiver.
3Concept2 Model E
Concept2 Model E
4.5/ 5.0Check Lowest PricingJust like the Concept2 Model D, but with a higher seat, more powerful fitness monitor, and much more. You can race other Concept2's wirelessly with the included PM4 performance monitor.
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine
4.5/ 5.0Check Lowest PricingProvides one of the most realistic rowing motions you will ever experience, it not only feels like you're rowing on water, it sounds like you're rowing on water, too. Solid build with a maximum weight capacity of 1,000 pounds.
5Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine
Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine
4.3/ 5.0Check Lowest PricingCombined air and magnetic resistance provides an ultra-smooth rowing motion. Commercial grade and built like a tank, 16 resistance levels for users of all fitness levels. Backlit performance monitor with included wireless chest strap for pulse monitoring. Comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame.

The Best Rowing Machine For 2015

Concept2 Model DWhen the smoke cleared and the dust settled, the Concept2 Model D was the last rowing machine standing.  I looked long and hard at every single rower out there and the Model D scored high on every single item on my checklist:

  • It’s air-resistance so the resistance is smooth and variable depending on the rower’s rowing intensity
  • It’s commercial-grade so it’s built to take regular abuse
  • It has one of the most savvy and user-friendly performance monitors in the industry

The list goes on and on!

It faced some tough competition from the other top 5 shown on the table above, but what pushed this rower to the top were the intangibles:

  • Huge community of supporters
    • Concept2 has one of the largest followings in the industry by loyal owners
    • They also offer contests and prizes for owners that hit certain fitness milestones
  • High resale value
    • Check out Craigslist and eBay; you won’t find one at a significant discount, I promise you!

Read my full review if you want the full scoop on the Concept2 Model D.

It’s not a coincidence this rower is the best rowing machine on the market today; it’s the preferred machine by professional rowers and rowing clubs, you will find one in almost every gym and health club you visit, and it received over 500 five star reviews from Amazon alone!  The Concept2 Model D is the best rowing machine for 2015.  Period.


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