Best 5 Folding & Collapsible Rowing Machines In 2020 Reviews
Foldable rowing machines are very practical, so if you’re looking for one, this is the article for you!
Here I review 5 best foldable rowing machine models and go over their features and design. I also mention the technical specifications of the folding rowing machines. You will find all the information you need to know to compare the models, make an informed decision and find the best rower for you.
Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Fold Up Rower
Advantages Of The Fitness Folding Rowers
If you don’t have much space, investing in a foldable rower makes all the difference. A folding rower can be collapsed and transported easily. It saves a lot of space for storage and you can even pack it up and take it with you in your car. When not in use, the rower can be easily stored out of sight.
Price Range Of Collapsible Fitness Machines
I review rowers that are from affordable to expensive when it comes to their price. The most expensive models are Concept2 Model D and Lifecore R100 Commercial Rower. If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, there is the Sunny Health & Fitness RW5515 rowing machine.
Where To Buy These Fold Up Rowers?
Each of the rowing machines has its official brand website where they are for sale. The second option is Amazon, which I strongly recommend. Not only can you compare prices on Amazon, you can also find great discounts pretty frequently. You can also see what other user reviews are saying.
Types Of Foldable Rowing Machines
There are 4 types of rowers, but one of them usually isn’t foldable and those are water rowers. Hydraulic, magnetic and air rowers can all be collapsible so you can store them with no problem. While water rowers are efficient exercise machines, they are not very practical for storage.
Should You Buy A Collapsible Exercise Rower?
It all depends on what type of resistance are you looking for and how much space you have. Water rowers are big and unwieldy and take up a lot of space along with not being foldable. Magnetic and hydraulic rowers are usually compact and can also be folded. Air rowers take up plenty of space but can be folded too.
Best 5 Foldable Exercise Rowers
Best Commercial Foldable Rowing Machine
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
Air Resistance Rowing Machine
Concept2 works on the principle of displacing air in front of its fan flywheel and creating resistance. It’s quite similar to water rowers in that it gives you a strong and powerful rowing stroke but doesn’t have resistance levels. You can also adjust the feel of the stroke with the damper settings.
PM5 Performance Monitor For Data
Model D comes with a state-of-the-art fitness monitor that tracks basic workout metrics for you. The monitor connects wirelessly to apps and heart rate monitors and apps, but a chest strap for that is not included. You can even adjust the graphic displays for the bottom section and there are many more options.
Construction Build And Specifications
The maximum weight capacity of this rowing model is 500lbs because of its sturdy and durable build quality. The seat is contoured and padded and very comfortable for longer periods of exercise. The handle is ergonomically designed and the footpads allow you for a full range of rowing motion.
Foldable Design For Storage
This is one of the best foldable rowing machines, although you can store it vertically too if you have enough space. You will have to separate the flywheel part and the monorail part which has to stand upright. The rowing machine has convenient built-in rollers and its folded dimensions are 25’’ L x 33’’ W x 54’’ H.
Warranty Period For The Model D
The Concept2 folding machine has a great warranty because it’s a commercial-grade rowing machine made to last. Its structural frame has a 5-year warranty while all the other parts and components have 2 years. If you ever decide to sell the machine, you can even transfer the warranty.
Why Buy This Product:
- smooth and strong air resistance
- durable frame construction quality
- commercial-grade warranty period
- easily foldable for storage and transport
Best Cheap Foldable Rowing Machine
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rower RW5515
Eight Magnetic Resistance Levels
The Sunny Health magnetic rower has 8 adjustable resistance levels to fit your specific needs. No matter your fitness level and health, you can find a level that suits you. The rower has a magnet that goes farther away or closer to the metallic flywheel and thus, creates resistance.
LCD Performance Monitor For Tracking Data
The Sunny rowing machine has a large and easily readable digital monitor that tracks your metrics. The monitor is basic but it tracks elapsed time, the total count of rowing strokes, count of rowing strokes made during the current session and calories. The “scan” option loops through all your metrics for easy visibility.
Mainframe Quality And Ergonomic Design
The mainframe is made out of solid steel that gives durability and a maximum weight capacity of 250lbs. The seat is very comfortable because it’s padded and the handlebar is made out of non-slip material. The foot pedals are large and have an adjustable strap so they can accommodate any size.
Collapsible Rowing Machine For Storage
This foldable rowing machine can be easily folded when you grab the monorail and lift it so it stands upright next to the flywheel portion. It’s a very space-saving design and it even has built-in wheels for easy portability. The dimensions of the folded rower are 37’’ L x 19’’ W x 53’’ H.
Warranty Period Of The Sunny RW5515
This is a very budget-friendly collapsible rowing machine and has a warranty comparable to other similar rowers. The structural frame has a 1-year warranty while the rest of the components and parts have a 3-month warranty. It’s a bit short but it makes sense when you look at its price.
Why Buy This Product:
- 8 magnetic resistance levels
- foldable for storage and transportation
- basic but large and readable monitor
Best Foldable Rowing Machine
Xterra Fitness ERG400 Foldable Rower
Combination Of Air And Magnetic Resistance
This fold-up rower has the best of both worlds: magnetic resistance makes it quiet, air resistance makes it powerful. The magnetic resistance gives you up to 16 levels to choose from. The first few levels you can mostly feel air resistance which gets more demanding with the speed of your rowing.
Easily Readable LCD Console
Xterra ERG400 comes with an easy-to-read performance monitor that shows you a variety of important metrics. It shows you time, stroke count, watts, strokes per minute, estimated caloric burn and distance rowed. The monitor itself is large and shows you all the functions at once.
Construction Quality And Design
The frame is very strong with steel supports while the monorail is made out of aluminum and can hold up to 250lbs. The large and padded seat is what makes longer workouts very comfortable. The handlebar is also padded so your arms and hands won’t strain and the pedals are large and textured.
Foldable And Portable Rowing Machine
There is a locking pin you have to remove when you want to collapse this fold away rowing machine. And then you just secure it into place once you’re done so that the rower takes up the least amount of space. It has transport wheels and the dimensions of the folded machine are 36’’ L x 20’’ W x 47’’ H.
Warranty Period Of The Xterra ERG400
The ERG400 rowing machine model has great warranty coverage for such a mid-range priced rower. The frame is backed by a 5-year warranty while the components have a full 1 year. So if there are any problems, Xterra will fix them for you during the limited warranty period.
Why Buy This Product:
- 16 hybrid resistance levels
- 5-year frame warranty
- easy-to-read performance monitor
- easily foldable with the locking pin
- ergonomic design for comfortable workouts
Best Home Collapsible Rowing Machine
Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine
Dual Air And Magnetic Resistance
The Air resistance makes for smooth but powerful rowing strokes, while the magnetic resistance makes this rower quiet. It has 16 levels of adjustable resistance and anyone can find the perfect level for them. The unique dual resistance type gives you a thorough full-body workout with cardio.
LCD Performance Monitor For Tracking
The fitness monitor is blue and green backlit so it’s easily readable and fairly large. It tracks all your important metrics such as pulse, total time, calories burned, watts and much more. It also has 15 preset workout programs to choose from and 4 heart rate control programs.
Commercial Grade Build Quality
This folding rowing machine is commercial grade and made out of the best materials. It can support weights of up to 600lbs and has an extruded aluminum rail. The seat and the handlebar are ergonomically designed for maximum comfort during your workouts.
Easy To Fold And To Transport
Lifecore R100 can be easily folded so it takes up the least amount of space and so you can store it with no problem. Dimensions of the folded exercise machine are 52’’ L x 19’’ W x 67’’ H and obviously compact. It also has built-in rollers that enable you to transport it easily.
Warranty Period Of The Lifecore R100
You can choose between 3 types of warranty, with the residential having a 5-year components warranty and 1 year of labor. The light commercial has 2 years for the parts while the labor has 1 year. And full commercial warranty encompasses a 1-year warranty for the parts and other components.
Why Buy This Product:
- 16 air and magnetic resistance levels
- 15 preset workout programs
- easily foldable and compact design
- commercial grade build quality
Best Compact Collapsible Rowing Machine
Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine
Hydraulic-Piston Resistance Type
The Stamina 1215 model has 2 hydraulic pistons, one on each arm, that create resistance while you row. You can adjust the resistance level easily and can choose between 5 of them. The rowing stroke is full motion and quiet, while also giving you enough difficulty level to strengthen your muscles.
Basic LCD Performance Monitor
While the monitor might be basic, it tracks every important workout metric you need. And so it monitors distance, stroke count, speed, elapsed time and an estimated caloric burn. You also have the option of turning on the “scan” that cycles through every function for 4 seconds each.
Construction Quality And Design
This foldable rowing machine is very sturdy because of the aluminum beam, but that also makes it lightweight. The maximum user capacity is 250lbs and the frame is durable. The seat is padded and comfortable and moves on a roller bearing system. For added comfort, the rower has pivoting foot pedals.
Compact But Also Foldable
The rowing machine alone is very compact to begin with, with dimensions of 48’’ L x 32’’ W x 27’’ H. What’s foldable here are the rowing arms that make the rower flat, compact and easy to move if you pick it up. It’s lightweight enough so you won’t have any problems with it.
Warranty Time For Stamina Orbital 1215
Stamina obviously has faith in the quality of their product because the structural frame has a 5-year warranty. But the warranty for parts and other components could be a lot better than the current 90-days. But all in all, you get a great, stable and durable exercise machine.
Why Buy This Product:
- 5 hydraulic resistance levels
- compact design and also foldable
- lightweight and durable frame
- 2 hydraulic pistons to create resistance
- ergonomic design for maximum comfort
Conclusion: Which Two Best Foldable Rower Models Should You Buy?
The two best foldable rowing machine models are in my opinion Concept2 Model D rower and Sunny RW5515 magnetic rower. The Concept2 rower is a commercial grade foldable rowing machine with strong and smooth air resistance. Sunny RW5515 is a collapsible rowing machine that has quiet magnetic resistance.
If you’re interested in finding out more about small rowers, we wrote an article about the best compact rowing machine models. For budget-friendly exercise rowers, we wrote about them in this best value rowing machine model article. We also wrote about the best home rowing machines.