5 Best Rowing Machine Under 500 Dollars 2017

By Chuck | Rowers

best rowing machine under 500 dolars

What is the best rowing machine under $500? The truth is top quality fitness equipment is expensive and indoor rowers are no different.

Typically, the higher the level of sophistication and functionality, the higher the price tag you should expect to pay.

However, this is not always the case. Sure, top-of-the range models such as the Concept 2 Indoor Rower is priced close to the $1000, with lots of others available at hundreds of dollars more.

What if your budget is fixed at 500 bucks? Should that deter you from looking in the first place?

Sadly, majority of the rowers within this budget range are pretenders that are designed with only basic functionality.

However, there are a few units that come with all the bells and whistles found in 1000-dollar models minus the huge price tags.

If you are looking for the best indoor rowers under $500, here are the top contenders you should consider at the moment.

​Best Indoor Rower Under $500: Quick Comparison

Model

Rating

Price

Amazon

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine
image showing the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine
4.4
$$
Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA 4500 Magnetic Rowing Machine
the Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA 4500 Magnetic Rowing Machine in full glory
4.0
$$$$

Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms
the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms is another top rowing machine under $500
4.0
$$

Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Favorit Rowing Machine
the Kettler Home Exercise-Fitness Equipment-Favorit Rowing Machine is one of the best rowing machines under $500
3.6
$$$
Soozier Magnetic Folding Rowing Machine
the Soozier in focus
4.1
$

Top 5 Rowing Machines Under $500

​Looking for the best indoor rower with a $500 budget? Here are the best options worth buying right now.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

image showing the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Looking for the latest standard in low-budget indoor rowing at home? The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 can’t be beat. It is specially crafted to give users amazing workouts of both the lower and upper body areas at a fraction of the cost.

Featuring a quality magnetic tension system with 8 levels of genuine resistance, why would anyone look elsewhere after coming across this unit?

The Large LCD display keeps you well informed about your exact rowing performance such as Total Count, Calories Burned, Total Time, and Scan.

The fully padded seat keeps you rowing for as long time will allow and complements the non-slip handlebars to keep you comfortable throughout every session. The handlebars are designed for easy grip even when your hands are sweaty and slippery.

Unlike other affordable rowing machines on the market, the foot pedals integrated into this model comes with exceptional anti-slip properties. The foot straps can be easily adjusted to fit exercise shoes of all sizes and designs.

Traveling with Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is easy thanks to the embedded transportation wheels. This feature especially comes in handy if you ever need to move apartments or change jobs in future.

It comes in a quality steel frame that is sturdy enough to support consistent use for many years with minimal wear and tear.

The attractive Gray finish can enhance the look and feel of your home gym and will motivate you to get some rowing done.

Buy the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Rower here.​

PROS

  • Cushioned seat offers the ultimate level of comfort during rowing sessions
  • 8 levels of genuine magnetic tension for all stamina levels
  • Transportation wheels offer real portability

CONS

  • Monitor is quite tiny and reading can be a struggle if you have less than stellar eye sight
  • You have to assemble with common sense as instructions aren’t the most straight forward

Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA 4500 Magnetic Rowing Machine

the Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA 4500 Magnetic Rowing Machine in full glory

The Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA 4500 is one of the best mid-range indoor rowers available on the market right now. Designed by a manufacturer renowned for quality fitness equipment at generous prices; this model delivers exceptional value for money.

Powered by world-class Drum Magnetic Control system (DMC), rowing sessions are guaranteed to be fluid and noise-free.

The integrated electronic control system allows you to go through various levels of resistance as the body gets stronger and fitter.

With all the defined benefits of knowing your heart rate during workout sessions, the ASUNA 4500 can help transform your body. It features an embedded wireless pulse receiver with chest strap to monitor your heart rate.

This therefore eliminates the need to purchase a quality heart rate monitor for your exercises.

The machine also features 12 built-in programs that can be followed to gain maximum benefits from each type of workout.

Performance data such as Pulse, Time, Calories, Count, Distance, Watt and Strokes per minute from each workout is displayed on the large LCD monitor. Knowing how well you are performing can be the necessary fuel you need to take your stamina to the next level.

The Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA 4500 can be easily folded to save space at home when not in use. It comes with transportation wheels which enable you to move it from one part of the home to another.

The user weight capacity of 300 pounds is quite generous, allowing more people to get fit and healthy with the aid of this indoor rower.

​Buy the Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA 4500 Rowing Machine here.

PROS

  • Built-in wireless pulse receiver with chest strap for heart rate monitoring
  • 12 built-in training programs for all-round fitness and variety
  • Features transportation wheels for portability

CONS

  • Requires electricity to work
  • Doesn’t fold in half

Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms

the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms is another top rowing machine under $500

The Stamina 1215 Orbital is a super compact rowing machine that gives you limitless range of motion to mimic natural rowing on water.

Featuring a deluxe ball bearing roller and multiple levels of hydraulic resistance, it eliminates the need to drive to the gym during harsh weather conditions just to work out.

With dimensions of 50x32.5x31 inches (LXWXH), this indoor rower is perfect for homes and even office areas with minimal space. The top-notch hydraulic resistance engineering ensures smooth rowing movements at whisper quiet levels.

You can therefore stay fit without worrying about making unbearable noises that will attract unwanted attention from co-workers and family members.

No matter how fit you may be, this rower can be a valuable addition to your exercise routine. This is due to the built in tension controls which can be effortlessly adjusted to meet your levels of fitness.

If you’re tired of your butt hurting like hell from low-quality fitness equipment designed with terrible seats, you’ll love the Stamina Orbital. It comes with thick padded seats common in 1000 dollar range rowing machine models.

The single button fitness monitor is another reason to find this rower impressive. Row count, Speed, Miles Rowed, Time, and Distance are some of the feedback data you can expect during your workout sessions.

The pivoting foot plates are perfect even if you have long legs with heavy bone structure. It is secure and ensures your feet stay in place even after years of pounding the machine.

The manufacturer gives a 90 day warranty for the parts and 5 years for the frame upon purchase.

​Buy the Stamina 1215 Orbital here.

PROS

  • Compact design makes it perfect for limited space homes and offices
  • Built-in tension controls help you adjust resistance levels
  • Super thick seats with lots of padding for long-term rowing

CONS

  • Doesn’t provide enough leg workouts for users with height 5’4 inches and shorter
  • Roller wheels on the seat slide are manufactured from plastic material

Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Favorit Rowing Machine

the Kettler Home Exercise-Fitness Equipment-Favorit Rowing Machine is one of the best rowing machines under $500

The Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine is a top choice model for anyone who wants to significantly improve his or her cardiovascular health.

If you are serious about toning core body muscles, losing weight, and staying fit, you are on the right path.

It comes with a huge LCD display that indicates 6 rowing performance metrics simultaneously. You get to track anything from Heart Rate to Distance as well as Strokes, Energy Consumed, Frequency, and Time.

The built-in Cardio Grading index is a great way to keep track of your progress with hard core stats from your workouts. It takes advantage of your rowing history to grade your cardio health from 1 to 6.

Can you think of a better way to find out how much progress you have made over a specific period of time?

The Kettler Favorit features 2 hydraulic pistons of industrial strength level. By moving the piston’s camps to the multiple knurl marks on each rower oar, users can adjust their levels of resistance as they get fitter and stronger.

The fact that there are 50 knurl marks means every user gets 50 levels of resistance to choose from upon purchasing this rowing machine. As such, you get a wide array of challenging workouts to choose even as your fitness levels continue to surge.

With footplates designed to achieve biomechanical accuracy, users benefit from the natural pivoting action derived from a full longitudinal rowing motion.

As long as you don’t weigh more than the 285 pound maximum capacity, you can purchase this model with confidence.

Buy the Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine here.​

PROS

  • Infrared ear lobe clip sensor takes accurate readings of your heart rate
  • 50 levels of genuine resistance available to users
  • Footplates are designed to ensure natural pivoting action

CONS

  • Assembly instructions are quite vague and require lots of common sense
  • The tension isn’t always held in place by the tension adjustment brackets

Soozier Magnetic Folding Rowing Machine

noted the Soozier's features?

The Soozier Magnetic Folding Rowing Machine allows you to save time while powering your body to fitness with complete privacy at home.

It is engineered with the latest shock resistance technologies to guarantee completely smooth workouts every single time.

This indoor rower comes with a strong metal frame that offers support and balance for everyone. When not in use, it can be easily stored upright to help save storage space especially for those in small apartments.

Thanks to 8 pre-designed levels of shock resistance, users of all fitness levels from absolute beginners to super fit athletes gain tremendous workouts from it.

Just find the most suitable level of resistance at the beginning and work your way up as you become fitter and fitter.

Calories, Time, Count, Scan, and Total Count are some of the metrics you get to keep track of during rowing sessions. Stop guessing how effective your workouts are and pay attention to the metrics displayed by the ABS monitor in order to stay on track.

The ABS Monitor can also be leveraged to setup your body on the right path to fitness with the help of the Mode, Set, and Reset keys.

If you want stress-free seat return, the angled seat rail integrated into this model gives you just that. It allows users to row for extended periods of time without any form of pain or discomfort to the butt area.

The Soozier Magnetic Rowing Machine also features over-sized footplates with adjustable foot straps to protect your feet from injuries.

These footplates accommodate footwear of all models with ease.

​Buy the Soozier Rowing Machine here.

PROS

  • Smooth rowing strokes from embedded shock resistance
  • Ships with the necessary tools required for effortless assembly
  • Oversized footplates with adjustable straps

CONS

  • 220-pound weight capacity is at the low-end of the market
  • The strap holding the handlebar could be sturdier

Factors to Consider When Looking for the Best Indoor Rower Under $500

There are several factors to consider with of a budget of 500 bucks if you have come to the conclusion that consistent rowing is what you need.

Let’s look at them in detail.

Budget

The most important point to note is that $500 is not a lot of money in the fitness equipment market.

That being said, finding something decent that meets your short to medium-term fitness goals shouldn’t be a problem as long as you know where to look.

In fact our rowing machine reviews available above feature the best models worth purchasing for your convenience.

If you are yet to settle on one, go through them again; note the details as well as some pros and cons and you should have a particular model nailed.

Comfort

While rowing machines within the $100-$200 price range typically lack the most comfortable seats, having a slightly larger budget gives you some stunning options.

With up to $500 available to spend, finding a unit with comfortable seats should be a walk in the park.

Resistance Types

Each indoor rower comes with some form of resistance to boost your stamina over time as long as you are ready to put in some effort.

While the more expensive models come with fancy technologies such as Air and Water resistance, low budget options limit you to two main types i.e. hydraulic/piston and magnetic resistance.

Whichever type of resistance you settle on comes with its own positives including a unique rowing feel so keep that in mind during your search.

Quiet or Not Quiet?

What kind of noise level do you prefer your indoor rower to give? While most users prefer those that allow you to row in whisper quiet levels, many others rely on the noise from their sessions as feedback to keep going.

Size

When fully assembled, most models will come with small to medium size footprints. This comes with the benefit of allowing you to set it up in a small living room or even at the office.

However, if you prefer a larger unit, you probably have to increase your budget.

Fitness Monitor

Rowing machine fitness monitors are notorious for being flimsy, especially in the low-end models. They tend to become more accurate with increasing price tag so you should have no issues finding one that works for you within the top half of your 500 dollar budget.

Assembly

Almost every model available for sale today requires some form of assembly. Finding a model with clear-cut instructions can help make the assembly as painless as possible.

Warranty

Majority of the models within this price range come with warranties of at least 1 year on the frame.

Typically, the more you have to pay, the higher the length of the warranty.

Just make sure you get some warranty on the parts (typically 90 days) as well, in case something malfunctions.

Conclusion

Having $500 to spend on a rowing machine is not a terrible amount by any stretch of imagination.

Though commercial-level models will be out of your price range, you should get some quality units that can provide challenging workouts for the next couple of years until you get super fit.

The best time to get fit is now so take the plunge and get on the path towards achieving your dream body.


About the Author

Chuck is a lazy fitness enthusiast committed to sharing the latest tips and comprehensive gear reviews to help you work out smart instead of hard.

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