Young blonde woman working on rowing machine in gym

Best Rowing Machine Under $300

Looking for the best rowing machine under $300? Let me tell you a story first.

There was a time when going to the gym for me meant spending time on the treadmills or slogging it out with the cycling machines. 

I’m a fitness freak, and being lean and muscular is something that I’ve always aspired to achieve. But somehow, no matter the effort I was putting in, I just couldn’t seem to get the results I wanted. I knew I should get a workout device of my own, but the costs just seemed excessive.

Then one day, my trainer told me about rowing machines. Since then, this device has become the primary device for my workout and why shouldn’t it be? Rowing machines allow you to burn from 420 to 622 calories (depending on your body weight) per hour, which makes them one of the most effective routes to a lean physique.

The best part is that buying a rowing machine won’t set you back by thousands of dollars! In fact, with a bit of research, you can get a decent rowing machine for under $300. Don’t believe me? Then today, all your doubts are going to be cleared.

Howdy! I’m Michael, and right now I’m going to let you know about the top rowing machines available under $300. Also, to help you decide which one is the best buy, I’ve included a handy buyer’s guide at the end.

Let’s get rowing, then!

Stamina ATS Air Rower

The first product that I have for you is the ATS Air Rower, a quality product from the house of Stamina. A well-known name in the fitness equipment industry, Stamina products are known for their durability and quality of service, and the ATS model doesn’t disappoint.

What I Like

If you are looking for effective cardio-workout that can help build full-body strength and burn calories at the same time, then this is the device for you. I was super impressed with the performance that this model could deliver. Notably, the dynamic air resistance feature caught my eye, which matches the resistance of the exercise with your pace of rowing. 

Another feature that stood out for me is the LCD workout monitor. I am an analyst by profession and hence swear by data. And this device gives me all the data I need regarding workouts, such as the time for which I’m working out, the track speed, and the total distance. It even lets me know the total calories I burn in a session, so that’s a bonus.

Apart from the above, the device is easy to assemble, smoothly adjustable, and also comes with a durable rowing strap, so there’s very little to complain about.

What I Don’t Like

In this otherwise excellent product, the one thing that stuck out for me is that it only comes with a 90-day parts warranty. I’d have felt a lot better with at least six months’ worth of warranty. But they do give a three years frame warranty…so can’t complain.

Pros:

  • LCD workout monitor.
  • Dynamic air-resistance technology.
  • Robust rowing strap.

Cons:

  • Only a 90-day parts warranty.

Verdict

Overall, if you can look past the warranty thing (and you should), this is one of the best products that provide value for money. A durable design, comfortable seats, and rowing resistance that adjusts to your response; all this under $300 is a steal deal, in my opinion.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rower

The next item on the list is the SF-RW5515 magnetic rower from Sunny Health and fitness. And this device is perfect for those looking for the correct blend of form as well as function. Sunny is one of the better-known manufacturers of fitness products, and this device bears all the hallmarks of the brand.

What I Like

As I mentioned before, I’m partial to data, and this is yet another device that provides the right info regarding my sessions. In addition to the large LCD workout monitor, this device has a scan mode that allows me to track my fitness progress diligently.

As a fitness freak, I prefer a challenging workout, and the 8-level magnetic resistance of this device allows me to remain effective in my regime. Also, the seats are pretty comfortable, and the foam handlebars help to maintain a sound grip and prevent calluses.

Finally, I must mention the long side-rail, which makes this device suitable for rowers of any height. Further, the non-slip pedals with foot straps keep the feet from slipping during the workout, and the nifty wheels allow the device to be taken anywhere.

What I Don’t Like

The only thing that annoyed me slightly regarding this device is the noise. As there are a lot of moving parts, this device generates a moderate amount of noise. While this shouldn’t be a problem for heavy sleepers, I’d suggest using it away from the bedroom, just in case.

Pros:

  • Large LCD display.
  • Variable magnetic resistance.
  • Comfortable seats and pedals.

Cons:

  • Slightly noisy.

Verdict

After spending considerable time with this product, I can tell you one thing: this is one to look out for. With great features, durable build, and pleasing aesthetics, this is a piece of gym equipment that can light up your home with its aesthetic build. So if you want fitness with finesse, go for this one.

Sunny Health And Fitness SF-RW1205 Rower

Comfortable, compact, and offering multiple levels of resistance, this is another product from Sunny that I tried out, and the results were spectacular! I guess two products in a row from the same manufacturer speaks to the quality of devices that they provide. And why am I raving about this one? Read on to find out.

What I Like

The first thing that caught my attention with this roller was the compact design, which allows you to take it from one location to the other easily. The ergonomic, adjustable frame comes with pivoting foot pedals, and the cushion seats and foam handlebars add to the comfort quotient of this model.

This product is different from the previously mentioned ones in that it employs a 12-level hydraulic resistance system, which makes for smooth and noiseless operation. And if you’re a data enthusiast (like me), then the digital monitor will allow you to keep track of multiple workout parameters.

After a few sessions on this, you are sure to get a newfound appreciation for rowing machines. If you are genuinely looking for a workout that can take care of all your fitness needs in one neat package, then this is the one to go with.

What I Don’t LIke

In such a well-rounded device from a reputed brand, it’s hard to find anything amiss. But if I’m being sincere, I’d have to say that compared to the previous two items on our list, the footrests on this product are a bit too bendable. But then again, maybe they are supposed to have some give, so I can’t complain.

Pros:

  • 12-levels of hydraulic resistance.
  • Compact, ergonomic design.
  • Digital fitness monitor.

Cons:

  • Footrests seem a bit flimsy.

Verdict

For me, at least, apart from the doubt regarding the footrest, this is an excellent product. And if you are looking for multiple resistance levels at a low price, then this is the perfect device. With a durable frame, fitness trackers, and comfortable construction, this is one device you won’t regret getting.

Sunny Health And Fitness Incline Full Motion Rowing Machine

Third time Sunny! With over a decade and a half of experience under its belt, this is one brand that needs no introduction. So let’s cut the small talk and skip over to the device itself, and see what features it packs.

What I Like

The one thing that differentiates this product from traditional rowers is that it comes with an incline-enabled frame that moves with your body. This provides a truly authentic rowing experience, all the while giving a full leg and ab workout. I also really like the non-slip grip handlebars that offer me a full range of rowing motions.

When using this rower, I was also impressed by the multiple levels of inclines that it offers. With five separate incline angles that can bear a weight of up to 350 pounds, this device gives the user an incredible quad and arm workout.

Safety and comfort of the user are some of the things that Sunny values intensely, and it shows in their products as well. This particular model comes with large anti-slip pedals that helped to keep my feet in place, and the adjustable incline conforms with the rowing motions. And this model also comes with wheels attached, so moving it is not a problem.

What I Don’t Like

The only fly in my ointment about this particular model is that it does not have the option of rowing with no incline on the lowest setting. While this might not be a problem for most, some might find getting onto a device a bit tricky. But that’s about the only thing that can be said on the flip side of things.

Pros:

  • Multiple incline levels.
  • Digital fitness console.
  • Full-motion handlebars.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t operate without an incline.

Verdict

Frankly speaking, this is one of the better products in the market, and I was glad I could try it out. With multiple incline-levels, you can just choose to overlook the tiny problem of non-inclined operation. Overall, in terms of usability, safety as well as comfort, this is one of the best choices you can make.

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower

The final item on our list is from Fitness Reality, and this one packs a punch. However, this  rower comes in slightly over $300. I included this rower in this top 5 because this is perhaps the only rower in the market that comes with a smartphone app that allows you to keep track of your fitness goals. Plus, the device is Bluetooth enabled and connects wirelessly to your cell phone. All this, however, is just the tip of the iceberg.

What I Like

While using this rower, I found it to provide not only rowing capabilities but also a range of additional exercises. Using these, I was able to complete full-body workouts that targeted all essential regions, and the 14 levels of magnetic resistance make for challenging workout sessions.

This particular model doesn’t compromise on the comfort quotient either. The contoured cushion seats and foam handlebars make sure you have an enjoyable rowing experience. Portability is also not an issue as the device can be easily folded and stored away. And last but not least, I must mention that this, too, comes with an LCD monitor that shows important user metrics.

What I Don’t Like

Really, nothing. There’s very little to find amiss with this device, though for me, the price is a little steeper than the other items on this list. But with such a packed range of features, that is only to be expected.

Pros:

  • Bluetooth enabled device.
  • Multi-level magnetic resistance.
  • Additional exercises.

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive product.

Verdict

If cost isn’t a concern, then you should consider going for this device. It’s advanced, attractive and provides a full-body workout. And the dedicated app makes sure that you stay on track of any fitness goals. So if you want a complete exercising machine with all the bells and whistles, this is the one to go with.

Choosing The Best Affordable Rowing Machine: The Ultimate Guide You Need To Succeed

So now that you know all about my top picks for the best rowing machines, you must be excited to go out and get one. But wait a moment, we’re not done yet! The following is an extensive guide that’ll tell you everything there is to know about purchasing rowing machines. I’ve decided to take the prime features of the device, and break each down for your convenience.

Let’s begin.

Resistance

This is the first and most important thing you need to consider when settling on a rowing machine. Unless your rower has adequate strength, you are practically going to be huffing and puffing without any benefit. And while you can’t really expect budget rowing machines to give the same performance as high-end ones, for beginners, this category can be attractive.

Under budget rowing machines, the air-resistance variety (as in the Stamina ATS Air Rower) provides the most significant benefit, followed by magnetic resistance, hydraulic resistance, and incline resistance.

However, the air-resistance varieties are usually noisier, and so you might just choose to go with magnetic resistance types (The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus is my pick). From the hydraulic resistance category, I have for you the SF-RW1205 from Sunny, and the prize for incline resistance goes to the Incline Full Motion Model, again from the house of Sunny.

Foot Pedal

A rowing machine is not meant to exercise your upper body alone, it should have an equal effect on your legs. But unless the rower has the right kind of foot pedal, you are not going to get the full benefits. So before buying a rower, make sure the foot pedals are durable and provide adequate support.

Space Considerations

One of the most critical factors that you should consider when buying a rower is where you are going to use it. Unless you have a dedicated gymming area in your house, it’s best to go for foldable rowers, which are usually lightweight and can be tucked away after use. The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus and Stamina ATS Air Rower have this feature.

Frame Material

The frame material determines the longevity of the product, so you should take special care regarding this particular aspect. In the sub-$300 range, the frame is most likely to be made from steel and the slide rail from either the same material or aluminum. The frame material also determines the weight of the product. For home use, you should opt for the lighter ones that can be easily moved.

Conclusion: Picking The Best Budget Rowing Machine

Whew! We’re finally at the end of our journey, and I hope you had as good an experience reading this as I had of creating it. Before I leave, I’d like to share a few of my thoughts on the subject.

As a long time fitness enthusiast, I’ve had the chance to try out various gym equipment. And in terms of value for money, nothing comes close to rowing machines. These are handy yet affordable devices that offer a full-body workout in the comfort of home. So if you are one of those people who can’t find the time to go to the gym, then a budget rowing machine is the best device for ensuring fitness.

What do you think? Are rowing machines worth all the talk, or are they just a passing fad? And do you have any other best rowing machine under $300 to add to our list? If so, please remember to share your opinions in the comments section below. I am eager to hear from you.

With that, I’ll take my leave. Goodbye, and happy rowing!

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