Best 5 Compact Rowing Machines You Can Buy In 2020 Reviews

Are you looking for a compact rowing machine?

Then you should read my article!

I write about 5 best compact rowing machines that are currently available on the market. I mention their design, specifications, and features so you can compare models. I also write about anything else you need to know so you can decide which is the best rowing model for you.

compact-rowing-machine

Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Compact Home Rower

Why Buy A Compact Exercise Machine?

Maybe you don’t have enough space for big equipment in which case you need a small rowing machine. Or maybe you have enough room but you want to store the rower out of sight in a closet. In which case it’s good to look into machines that are easily foldable or can be turned upright so they save space.

What Is The Price Range Of The Rowers?

From the pretty affordable Stamina Body Trac Glider to Concept2 Model D which is more expensive, there is a rower for every budget here. First Degree Newport model is also on the high price range, while all the others are in the low mid-range and are quite affordable.

Where To Buy These Exercise Machines?

Each company has its own official website where you can buy the rower you want. There are also online retail sites, such as Amazon, that have a lot of benefits. You can compare prices directly on there and can even see what other user reviews are saying. Amazon also offers discounts pretty regularly.

Compact For Storage Or CompactFor Use

You should ask yourself if you need a compact rower because you have little room for one or because you want to store it. Some rowers are big but they can be flipped vertically and stored, like for example water rowers. Or some hydraulic rowers that take up little space, to begin with.

Which Type Of A Rowing Machine Do You Want?

There are 4 resistance type rowers and the hydraulic ones usually take up very little space while in use. Water rowers take up a lot of space but are very space-saving while you store them upright. Magnetic resistance ones are also very narrow and can be folded, just like the air rowing machines.

Best 5 Compact Rowing Machine

Best Commercial Compact Rowing Machine

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Air Resistance Fan Flywheel

This compact rower uses a fan flywheel that has to displace air in front of it which in turn causes resistance. Concept2 Model D doesn’t have resistance levels, but you create your own intensity of resistance by the speed with which you row. If you row faster, the resistance will increase and vice versa.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Performance Monitor PM5 For Tracking Data

Model D comes with a high-quality monitor that’s powerful, multi-functional and versatile. It tracks basic things like speed, distance and time, but it also has a number of preset workouts. You can even tailor your workout according to your preferences or watch a short animation that teaches you how to row properly.

Build Quality And Comfortable Rowing

This is a commercial-grade rowing machine built with quality and comfort in mind. It has aluminum front legs and steel rear legs with a weight capacity of 500lbs. The seat is contoured and padded along with the rowing handlebar. You won’t get any arm strain on this rower.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine review

Space-Saving Compact Mode For Storage

This so-called compact 2 rower is considered among the best compact rowing machine models on the market. It can be separated into two parts and stored in this new space-saving form. While it’s in use though, it takes up quite a lot of space but when you fold it, the dimensions are 25’’ L x 33’’ W x 54’’ H.

Warranty Period For The Model D

The structural frame has a 5-year limited warranty which is really good for a rower of this price range. Warranty on all the other parts and components is 2 years and Concept2 will repair everything necessary in that period. You can also transfer your warranty to a new owner if you ever decide to sell the rower.

Why Buy This Product:

  • smooth air resistance rowing motion
  • space-saving and compact while folded
  • PM5 performance monitor
  • strong and sturdy build quality

Best Home Compact Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rower RW5515

Eight Levels Of Adjustable Magnetic Resistance

This compact rower uses magnets that work against the metal flywheel to create resistance. The closer the magnets are to the flywheel, the more resistance you feel. You can turn the knob under the monitor and choose between 8 resistance levels. Some say the levels don’t really challenge some people but it’s good for beginners.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine SF-RW5515

LCD Digital Monitor For Tracking Data

The Sunny Magnetic Rower is equipped with a performance monitor that helps you track all your important stats. The display shows you elapsed time, count, rough estimate of burned calories and total count. There is also the “scan” option which interchangeably shows you all the functions on a loop while you exercise.

Build Quality And Ergonomic Design

The magnetic rower has a steel structural frame that’s sturdy for its price range. It can hold up to 250lbs of user weight so you can work out knowing you’re supported. The cushioned seat is very comfortable for long periods of rowing while the handlebar is made out of non-slip material.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine SF-RW5515 review

Compact Design For Easy Storage

This compact rowing machine is compact enough to begin with, like many magnetic rowers. And they can also be folded so they take up even less space and can be stored with no problem. The rollers on the bottom help you move it and its dimensions are 82’’ L x 19’’ W x 23’’ H.

Warranty Period For Sunny Magnetic Rower

The structural frame of the Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Rower has a 1-year warranty. During that time Sunny will make all the repairs needed on your rowing machine. The parts and components have a 90-day warranty which isn’t much, but it’s solid for this price range.

Why Buy This Product:

  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • quiet performance and smooth strokes
  • compact design that can be stored easily

Best Foldable Compact Rowing Machine

Marcy Magnetic Rowing Machine 40503RW

Eight Level Magnetic Resistance

Marcy Magnetic Rower works on the same principle as the Sunny rower, using a magnet and a metal flywheel. You can adjust the resistance level with a turn of the knob located underneath the monitor. The rowing strokes are silent and smooth and enable you to work out without disturbing anyone.

Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine with Transport Wheels

LCD Display For Tracking Statistics

The control panel of this compact rower tracks everything you need to be able to have effective workouts. It monitors elapsed time, row count, total row count and burned calories. There is also the “scan” option where the monitor cycles through every function so you can see it while exercising.

Solid Construction And Ergonomic Design

Marcy rowing machine has a solid build for the price range and can support a maximum weight of 300lbs. The seat and the handlebar are padded so you can comfortably row for longer periods of time. It also has pivoting pedals that enable you to perform a full rowing motion with your entire body.

Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine with Transport Wheels review

Foldable Design And Compact Dimensions

Magnetic rowers usually don’t take up much space and are pretty compact, like this Marcy rowing machine. Its dimensions while in use are 74’’ L x 20’’ W x 32’’ H, but it can be folded to 37’’ L x 19’’ W x 46’’ H. It also has transport wheels so you can easily move it.

Warranty Period Of The Marcy Compact Rower

This affordable rowing exercise machine is backed by a pretty solid warranty. The frame has a 2-year warranty and parts and other components have a 1-year warranty. You get a pretty solid and quiet rower for this price and warranty time that will enable you to get and stay strong and in shape.

Why Buy This Product:

  • silent 8-level magnetic resistance
  • budget-friendly and affordable
  • compact during use and after folding

Best Water Compact Rower

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower

Dual-Tank Water Resistance System

The First Degree Newport AR rower has a dual-chamber system that enables you to set resistance levels. You have 4 to choose from and the resistance also gets more intense the faster you row. The triple-bladed paddles have to displace water in front of them which creates the desired resistance.

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower Exercise Machine

LCD Fitness Computer For Statistics

The performance monitor shows you all the important metrics you have to track to have an effective workout. It shows you distance, time, strokes per minute, how many calories you burned, 500m split time and watts. You can also track your heart rate if you buy an additional heart rate strap.

Construction Quality And Design

The seat rail is made out of the anodized aluminum of the highest quality and is strong and durable, but also stable. The ergonomic design of the handlebar prevents arm and hand strain and the seat is padded and comfortable. The maximum weight capacity is 300lbs.

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower Exercise Machine review

Vertical And Compact Storage

Water rowers are usually not foldable and they take up quite a large amount of space. But if you have the space for rowing and want to store it after use, they can be flipped vertically and very space-saving. When you do that, the rower’s dimensions are 20’’ L x 21’’ W x 78’’ H.

Warranty Period Of The Newport AR

The metal frame has a 5-year warranty which is great news and the tank and seals have a 3-year warranty period. Mechanical components of non-wearing nature have 2 years while the components of a wearing nature have 1 year. This compact rowing machine is covered by a great warranty on all levels.

Why Buy This Product:

  • 4 level water-resistance system
  • high-quality performance monitor
  • compact storage while flipped vertically
  • triple-bladed steel paddles
  • resistant polycarbonate water tank

Best Hydraulic Compact Rowing Machine

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

Adjustable Hydraulic-Piston Resistance

This rower uses one hydraulic piston that moves hydraulic fluid from one chamber to the next through an opening. The Body Trac Glider offers 12 resistance levels by twisting the knob on the hydraulic cylinder under the rail. The rowing arms give you a full rowing range that mimics rowing on water.

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

LCD Fitness Monitor For Tracking

The Stamina rowing machine has an LCD workout monitor that tracks your workout statistics. It shows you your stroke count, elapsed time, how many total strokes you made and how many calories you burned. The performance monitor is basic but readable and easy to use.

Solid Steel Construction And Design

The frame is made out of solid steel that makes it very sturdy and durable. It can carry a maximum user weight of 250lbs and has an ergonomic design for comfortable workouts. The seat is molded for comfort, the handlebars are foam-padded and the footplates are textured.

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine review

Compact Build While In Use

This is the most compact home rowing machine by its sheer dimensions while in use that are 58’’ L x 42’’ W x 18’’ H. You can also fold the rowing arms inwards so it’s even more space-saving. The Body Trac Glider can be easily transported because it’s lightweight and can be easily carried.

Warranty Period Of The Glider

This is the most affordable rowing machine on this list and consequently has the shortest warranty period. The structural frame has only 1 year while all the other parts and components have a 90-day warranty. It’s a good choice if you want to try out this type of rower.

Why Buy This Product:

  • 12 level hydraulic-piston resistance
  • very compact rower with small dimensions
  • lightweight and easy to carry
  • ergonomic design for comfortable workouts

Conclusion: Which Two Best Compact Rowing Machines Should You Buy?

The Concept2 Model D and the Stamina Body Trac Glider are in my opinion the best compact rowing machine models. The Model D is a powerful and sturdy air rower that can be easily folded and very compact for storage. The Body Trac Glider is made out of steel and compact while in use too.

If you want to know more about foldable rowers, we wrote about them in the best foldable rowing machine article. If you’re looking for affordable rowers, we wrote the best value rowing machine article for you. There is also a post about best home rowers.