Xterra ERG220 Rower Review

XTERRA ERG220 Rower ReviewOn the hunt for a bargain-priced rowing machine? Looking at the Xterra ERG220 Rower?

Then you’ve come to the right place! I’ve done all the research to help you find the best possible budget-priced rower for your home gym.

The Xterra ERG220 Rower falls into the “low-cost” range of rowing machines. It’s not only one of the best-priced models Xterra Fitness offers, but one of the best-priced models hands down.

Of course, price isn’t everything. The real question is, “Is it worth my hard-earned money? Plus, am I going to get a good quality machine that is reliable and user-friendly?”

That’s exactly what I’m going to talk about in my Xterra ERG220 review. I’ll get into every aspect of the rower—resistance type, build quality, comfort, storage, assembly, even user reviews—and break down all the pros and cons of this model.

By the time you reach the end of this review, you’ll know exactly whether or not the Xterra Fitness ERG220 Rower is the machine for you!


Resistance Type

The Xterra ERG220 is a magnetic rower, which means it utilizes a combination of a magnet and metal flywheel to increase or decrease the resistance.

When you pull on the handle, the action spins a flywheel located at the front of your rowing machine. The magnet is placed close to the wheel, and adjusting the difficulty dial shifts the magnet closer or farther from the metal wheel.

As the magnet is moved closer to the wheel, greater magnetic force is exerted on the metal, and the difficulty of spinning the wheel increases. As the magnet is moved away from the wheel, the lower the magnetic force and, therefore, the lower the difficulty.

The dial—sometimes labeled as “resistance setting”—will allow you to adjust the difficulty of the machine, making it an “adjustable” resistance rowing machine.

Note: Magnetic “adjustable” resistance isn’t exactly the same as the “variable” resistance you get from air rowers. I’ve written this article to explain the differences between the two.

Or, watch this simple video that will show you how magnetic resistance works:

Resistance Benefits

The Xterra ERG220 comes with 8 levels of magnetic resistance, which allows you to raise or lower the difficulty of your workout literally at the turn of the resistance dial.

If you’re looking for a slow-paced, steady-state rowing workout, switch the resistance to 2 and row for an hour. Or, if you want to kick it up to maximum intensity, crack the dial to 8 and row with all you’ve got for 15-20 minutes in a HIIT training session.

The knob, located on the center console, makes it easy and convenient to adjust the dial—even in the middle of your rowing session.

XTERRA Fitness ERG220 Rower

Magnetic resistance is smooth and steady. There is no direct pressure on the wheel, merely the force exerted by the magnet on the metal wheel.

This also makes it quieter than average air or water rowers, perfect for if you want to watch TV while working out or are concerned about waking a child sleeping in the next room.

Resistance Downsides

Unfortunately, magnetic resistance does come with drawbacks. The main one, of course, is that you don’t get that natural feel that you get with water or air rowing machines.

With water rowers, the harder you pull and the faster you row, the greater the difficulty level because of water displacement within the tank. With magnetic rowers, however, the resistance remains consistent as long as you don’t adjust the magnet dial. The setting is the same no matter how fast or slow you row.

This isn’t a major issue—in fact, a lot of people actually like the consistency, and feel it gives them a better, more predictable workout, ideal for steady-state, low-intensity exercise performed over long periods (45+ minutes). It’s worth the trade-off because the magnetic resistance rowing machines are also quieter than water rowers.

One complaint specifically about the Xterra ERG220 Rower is that the resistance wasn’t quite strong enough for people who want to crank the workout intensity up to the max. With only 8 levels of resistance, you don’t get quite as much variety as you would with competing models.

For example, the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic SF-RW5508 has more difficulty levels, offering much greater variability in intensity. Magnetic rowers in general—particularly budget models—tend to have this same problem.

Beginner rowers and casual at-home users should have no problem with the resistance settings. However, professional athletes, very strong rowers, and advanced fitness enthusiasts may find it’s better to bump up to a higher price range in order to get a machine with stronger resistance.

Resistance Overall

The Xterra Fitness ERG220 Rower does deliver a smooth, quiet rowing action that makes for a great workout, unless you need maximum-intensity resistance. It’s a great rowing machine for beginners who want to start rowing at a budget price.

Though it doesn’t have the strongest resistance on the market, it’s a good choice for your first budget rowing machine—you can always upgrade later as your fitness level improves.

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Monitor/Control Panel

The Xterra ERG220 comes with a 3.5-inch LCD console that tracks the basic metrics:

  • Time
  • SPM (strokes per minute)
  • Count (strokes taken for the session)
  • Distance (miles)
  • Calories
  • Total Count (total strokes taken all-time)
  • Scan (scan through metrics every 30 sec)
  • Pulse (Heart Rate strap sold separately)

As you can see by the image below, it’s highly visible and easy to read the metrics of your workout session even in low-light environments.

ERG220 Monitor

The display is powered by 2 AA batteries (which are included in the box) so you won’t have to plug it in. The battery life is far superior than anything you’d get from most digital displays, so you’ll rarely have to change the batteries.

The display will also automatically shut off after a few seconds of inactivity to preserve battery life.

Monitor Downsides

The biggest downside to the monitor is its size. It’s located in an easily visible position on the rower itself, but it’s small enough that you may struggle to see the numbers, even though they’re extra-large for more visibility.

One user found that the digital monitor struggled with accuracy. Though it turned on fine, it didn’t synchronize with their rowing to track their workout accurately. However, this doesn’t seem to be a widespread issue.

The Xterra ERG220 Rowing Machine does come with heart rate-tracking capabilities, but you have to purchase the chest strap heart rate monitor separately.

Monitor Overall

Aside from a few quibbles (small size, quality control issues), the monitor on the Xterra ERG220 seems to be a fairly decent option.

It doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles you get from pricier models with larger screens and more complex menus/operating systems, but it delivers all the necessary metrics you need to track your workout. It’s also inline with the other monitors offered in this price range.

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Build Quality

Xterra Fitness has made its mark on the exercise equipment world, and it’s a brand known for its quality. If you read some of my reviews of other Xterra Rowing Machines, you’ll find that I’m pretty positive overall about the build quality of their rowers.

Let’s be clear: at this low price range, you’re purchasing budget rowers typically built in China. The quality control standards will vary drastically from model to model, and though the materials are typically the same, even a few minor changes to a design can lead to a noticeable drop in quality.

XTERRA Fitness ERG220 Rowing Machine

The Xterra ERG220 is built with a steel frame and an aluminum slide rail that offers a very smooth glide while rowing. That rail, however, seems to be the part most commonly damaged during shipping. One user reported finding a “huge gash” in their slide that made it difficult to row. Another reported squeaking and creaking.

The ERG220 does come with three stabilizers that keep the rowing machine stable and steady while you row. However, some users reported feeling like the seat itself wobbled slightly on the track, and the components felt “cheap and plastic-y”.

While customer support replaced the parts punctually, it’s a factor to be aware of if you’re considering the Xterra ERG220 Magnetic Rower.

In general though, the build quality does seem to be inline with other models in this price range. It’s just something to be aware of that when purchasing a lower priced model there may be some quality defects. Overall, the quality and reviews seem to be above average!

Check out a video below to see it in action:

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The Xterra ERG220 is a rowing machine built with user comfort in mind. Unlike most of the other models I’ve reviewed on this site, the ERG220 comes with pivoting foot pedals that can be adjusted to the right angle to ease tension on your knees, hips, and ankles. For users with reduced mobility or prone to joint pain, this is an absolute game-changer.

Many rowing machines use the standard pull strap, which annoyingly tends to loosen while you row. I’ve had workouts where I have to re-tighten the foot straps every 3-5 minutes, which is a pain in the rear if I’m rowing for 45-60 minutes.

That won’t ever be a problem with the Xterra ERG220, though. It uses large velcro for the feet straps. Once securely placed, you can row your heart out and never have to re-adjust the straps for the rest of your workout. This is an absolute “win” for me.

ERG220 Rower Comfort

The seat is ergonomically molded and contoured for a comfortable fit, with thick padding and raised to a height of 9.5 inches to make it easier to sit and stand.

The majority of users agree that it’s one of the most comfortable rowing machines they’ve ever tried. However, a couple complained that after a longer rowing session (30+ minutes), the seat can become a little uncomfortable.

The handlebar is padded and easy to grip, designed specifically to reduce blisters and prevent excess pressure on your wrists. For those worried about carpal tunnel syndrome or joint strain, the Xterra ERG220 is a good option to consider.

Overall, comfort on the Xterra Fitness ERG220 is better-than-average, making it a pretty great budget option to consider.

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Like all Xterra Fitness at-home rowing machines, the ERG220 is designed to fold up for easy storage. In fact, it’s one of the easiest models to fold. Just pull on the locking pin and lift the track until it locks in place in the upright position.

ERG220 Storage

What’s great about this folding design is that only the aluminum rail lifts, but the front of the machine (with the heavy flywheel and breakable LCD screen) remains securely grounded on the two front support feet. With other machines that you have to tip up, there’s the worry that you’ll accidentally knock them off or let them fall, which could damage the rower. With the Xterra ERG220, the folding process is simpler and much safer.

The built-in plastic caster wheels on the front of the rower make it easy to push the ERG220 into a corner or off the side of the room, or to pull it back into place when it’s time for your workout.

When it’s folded up, the dimensions are 47.2″ L x 19.1″ W x 56.9″ H.

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If you’re a larger, heavier rower, you’ll love that the Xterra ERG220 Rower is built with you in mind. It has a weight capacity up to 300 pounds and a recommended user height up to 6’ 4”.

User reviews seem to agree that larger trainees have no problem working out with the Xterra ERG220. One mentioned that their 6’ husband ( at 240 lbs) found it incredibly comfortable, and another 6’ 1” reviewer said it “fits their body frame perfectly”.

XTERRA Fitness ERG220 Rower Capacity

Of course, remember that not everyone has the same inseam (the most accurate measurement of leg length). Taller users with shorter legs may find it easier to use the machine than shorter users with longer legs.

If you are tall and have very long legs, then you might have to look into an extra-large model (sized for users closer to 6’ 6” or even 7’ tall).

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  • Assembled Dimensions (L x W x H):
    • 80.3″ x 19.1″ x 29″
  • Storage Dimensions (L x W x H):
    • 47.2″ x 19.1″ x 56.9″
  • Assembled Weight:
    • 62 lbs.

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Most reviewers agreed that the Xterra ERG220 is an easy-to-assemble rowing machine. Even reviewers who mentioned some of the drawbacks we listed above had only positive things to say about its assembly.

One reviewer mentioned that a couple of screws were missing from the box, but they were easily-replaced screws (which they had on hand, but could be procured from customer service should that prove necessary).

Some users did mention that the assembly instructions weren’t very intuitive, which slowed down the process as they tried to figure out what went where. However, the overwhelming majority of the reviews were positive, so it’s possible these few people had a harder time understanding the instructions than most.

I took a look at the Xterra ERG220 instructions manual—which you can find here—and had no trouble understanding how the machine was assembled. The troubleshooting instructions for the screen are also clear and make it easy to figure out any issues with the digital console.

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Pros and Cons


  • Quiet, smooth, and stable
  • Good warranty
  • Comfortable design
  • Solid velcro foot straps will never come loose during workout
  • Consistent, reliable resistance easily adjusted with the dial
  • Very easy assembly
  • Well-sized, good weight capacity
  • Easily folded and stored


  • Quality control issues; product may arrive incomplete or damaged during shipping
  • Build may not be as solid as other Xterra models

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Consumer Reviews

Most of the people who reviewed the Xterra ERG220 agree that it’s a great budget model. It’s user-friendly, provides smooth resistance, is comfortable, and, of course, retails at a great price tag.

Sure, there are a few minor issues with the build quality and quality control, but that’s pretty standard for most budget models.

Budget rowers tend to perform well overall, and if you’re okay with a few flaws, you’ll find they deliver a solid workout at a much lower price than the top-of-the-line models or commercial rowers usually found in gyms.

My research has me convinced that the Xterra ERG220 is at the higher end of the budget model spectrum in terms of reliability and durability. The problems mentioned by consumers were typically easy to replace or repair, or just par for the course with lower-cost models.

Check out more Xterra ERG220 Rower Reviews here.

Average Rating: 4.6

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The Xterra ERG220 page claims to have “industry-leading warranty coverage”. I think a 1 year warranty is great on a product in this price range and beats out some of it’s competitors!

  • Frame: 1-Year
  • Parts: 1-Year
  • Labor: Unspecified
  • Model Number: ERG220

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Xterra ERG220 Rower Price

Xterra Fitness is one of the better-priced brands, offering models in the low, mid, and high price ranges that cater to all users. 

The Xterra ERG220 is at the higher end of the lowest price range, but for what you’re paying, it’s probably one of the best magnetic rowing machines you’ll find.

Xterra seems to sell most of their products on Amazon at great (usually the best) prices. Buying from Amazon also offers an added layer of consumer protection if you want to return an item and free shipping on qualified orders.

Overall Review

At the end of it all, I’ve concluded that the Xterra ERG220 is a pretty great option if you’re looking for a magnetic rower in the budget price range.

Yes, there are a few issues with the rower—as explained above—but overall, the overwhelmingly positive reviews and the information I’ve uncovered through my research leads me to believe that Xterra Fitness delivers a good, reliable product in the ERG220 Rower.

It delivers a smooth stroke, adjustable resistance perfect for most fitness levels, a solid build, user-friendly assembly, easy storage, and is comfortable enough for the majority of rowers. All of this at a very low price—I call that a “win-win”.

If you want to compare it to some of its closest competitors, check out the other options below:

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Xterra ERG220 Rower. If you have any questions, feedback, or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below!

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