The Best Rowing Machine For 2015

Best Rowing MachineThey say the journey to find the best rowing machine is one that rivals Odysseus!

Ok, maybe it didn’t take ten years but it’s still very challenging!

With literally hundred of models to choose from, one can easily become overwhelmed in the search for the perfect indoor rowing machine.

At the end of the day, we all want to know which model is the best rowing machine but that’s not a simple question to answer.

Obviously this post is a bit dated! I have a more detailed, up-to-date version here: Best Home Rowing Machine

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 model. 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 model is the best rowing machine for 2015, this article is just for you!

Best Rowing Machine Criteria

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 downsides and the most upside.
  • I wrote an article about the four resistance types. Check out the pros and cons of each.

Some type of resistance adjustments is preferable to allow the user to switch up their workouts. In addition, this allows different users with different strength/ fitness levels to use the rower

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.

Data should be accurate and consistent. In addition to its functionality, it must be durable and easy to read while exercising

Build Quality

The model should be sturdy and built to take “abuse” because the unit is expected to last for several years without any major issues (besides standard 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


The seat, handles, and footrests should be comfortable to use. Otherwise, the rowing stroke will be unpleasant to use and the rower will end up on Craigslist!

It should feel natural to row on the unit. Meaning, you shouldn’t have to force yourself to be comfortable during the workout.

Storage/ 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.

Having wheels to move the rower around is a big bonus!


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.


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!

The Best Rowing Machine For 2015

When the smoke cleared and the dust settled, the Concept2 Model D was the last rowing machine standing!

Concept2 Model D

It shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the Concept2 Model D is one of the most popular models in gyms and has become the fitness industry standard. It is even the rower that must be used to set any world record!

Check out my full Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine review here.

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 users 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!

It’s not a coincidence this rower is the best rowing machine on the market today. It’s the preferred rowing machine by professional rowers and rowing clubs. You will find one in almost every gym and health club you visit.

It has received a ton of positive 5-star reviews from Amazon over the years! The Concept2 Model D is the best rowing machine for 2015 – period.

Real Athletes Row

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