Best Folding Rowing Machines That Take Less Space
This past year saw a massive market shift back to working out from home as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact gyms and fitness centers. People have turned to classic home exercise machines like indoor bikes, ellipticals, and rowing machines to keep their fitness levels up and health in check. Rowing machines give users a total body workout which includes strength building, burning calories, and improving your cardiovascular system.
But what is the main issue with home fitness equipment? Space! Who has the room (normally up to 7-feet long) to place a rowing machine in the middle of their living room? It gets even more difficult for people living in apartments or basement suites. Enter the foldable rowing machine, which provides users with innovative and space-saving designs so that you can store your equipment away once you have finished working out. In this article, we will cover some of the most popular foldable rowing machines on the market, and help you decide which model is the best foldable rower for your needs. Also, I went the extra mile to make it easier for you to pick the right one by comparing every folding exercise rowing machine in the comparison table below. If it’s helpful in any way or if you have any suggestions, please leave your comment below.
Quick Overview of Top Collapsible Rowers:
Best Foldable Rowing Machines Compared
|Concept2 Model D Air Rowing Machine||Best Value at $1100||96”L x 40”H x 24”W||36”L x 60”H x 24”W||Doesn't fold away but it separate into two parts.||57 lbs||Dynamic Adjustable Air & Manually Adjustable Air||Bluetooth|
|Nordictrack RW900 Folding Rowing Machine||Overpriced at $2500||86”L x 40”H x 22”W||40”L x 50”H x 22”W||It folds away without separating/tools||131 lbs||Manually Adjustable Air & Manually Adjustable Magnetic||Bluetooth + WiFi||250 lbs||Yes|
|Xterra Fitness ERG700 Foldable Rower||Best Value at $800||97”L x 38”H x 18”W||52”L x 62”H x 18”W||It folds away without separating/tools||80 lbs||Dynamically Adjustable Air & Manually Adjustable Magnetic||Non-Coded HRM Straps||350 lbs||Yes|
|Sunny Health Fitness Phantom Hydro Water||Best Value at $600||81”L x 39”H x 21”W||43”L x 51”H x 21”W||It folds away without separating/tools||88 lbs||Dynamically Adjustable Water (not manually adjustable)||None||300 lbs||No|
|Women’s Health Men’s Health Folding Rower||Best Value at $350||80”L x 28”H x 23”W||41”L x 57”H x 23”W||It folds away without separating/tools||64 lbs||Manually Adjustable Magnetic (not dynamically adjustable)||Bluetooth||250 lbs||No|
|Koreyosh Foldable Water Rowing Machine||Best Value at $550||84”L x 20”H x 22”W||40”L x 45”H x 22”W||It folds away without separating/tools||75 lbs||Dynamically Adjustable Water (not manually adjustable)||None||330 lbs||No|
|Marcy Foldable Turbine Rowing Machine||Best Value at $350||85"L x 36"H x 20"W||46"L x 59"H x 20"W||It folds away without separating/tools||77 lbs||Dynamic Adjustable Air & Manually Adjustable Air||None||300 lbs||No|
|Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine||Best Value at $220||78”L x 23”H x 19”W||38”L x 40”H x 19”W||It folds away without separating/tools||60 lbs||Manually Adjustable Magnetic (not dynamically adjustable)||None||250 lbs||No|
|Stamina ATS Fold Away Air Resistance Rower||Overpriced at $350||77”L x 22”H x 18”W||28”L x 48”H x 18”W||It folds away without separating/tools||55 lbs||Dynamically Adjustable Air (not manually adjustable)||None||250 lbs||No|
|Merax Foldable Exercise Rowing Machine||Overpriced at 300||73”L x 21”H x 16”W||26”L x 49”H x 16”W||It folds away without separating/tools||74 lbs||Manually Adjustable Magnetic (not dynamically adjustable)||None||265 lbs||No|
Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine
One of the bigger name brands in the home rowing machine industry, the Concept2 Model D air folding rowing machine offers users a unique experience with its air resistance system. The Concept2 Model D is constructed with commercial grade aluminum with a stylish powder coat finish, that is sturdy enough to allow a maximum manufacturers’ suggested weight capacity of 500 lbs. The nickel-plated steel chain is tough and requires minimal maintenance aside from re-oiling every 40 hours of use.
The PM5 monitor that comes equipped on the Concept2 Model D air folding rowing machine is compact and can be pivoted to show in many different positions. The monitor tracks all of the key vital statistics including distance, time, and heart rate, and is even compatible with Bluetooth and ANT technology so you can integrate your mobile device across a large selection of fitness apps. There is even the ability to save your workout to a USB flash drive if you so desire. The free ErgData app records and stores your personalized workouts directly to your smartphone, and Concept2 even has a daily email list for its Workout of the Day emails.
The Concept2 Model D has an air resistance flywheel that can easily be controlled with the ten damper levels that come installed. Despite being an air resistance flywheel machine, the Concept2 Model D actually produces minimal noise compared to other collapsible indoor rowers on the market. The result is one of the quietest and smoothest air resistance rowing machines on the market from a brand name that you know you can trust.
The dimensions of the Concept2 Model D show exactly how compact this model can be when you store it away. When it is in use, the dimensions are 96”L x 24”H x 14”W, which shows that it has a substantial footprint at approximately eight feet long. When folded, the machine is a compact 25”L x 33”H x 54”W, and can be tucked away nicely into the corner of a room. The machine weighs in at 57.3 lbs, so it is easily transportable, and even has smooth, caster wheels to move the Model D around your house.
Concept2 provides a good warranty on the Model D, which is always a sign that the company truly believes in the quality of its products. The Model D comes with a 2-year all parts warranty and a 5-year frame warranty, so users know that their investment in the machine will be well protected.
A machine that is constructed with high-quality parts and a versatile and sturdy frame that supports up to 500 lbs of weight. The monitor allows users to connect directly to their smartphone or tablet to sync and store their workout details. At around $1000, the Concept2 Model D is a nice machine for serious rowers, especially for those who don’t mind using tools to fold away the machine after use.
- High-quality construction and good warranty on the parts, Quiet air resistance flywheel with ten damper levels, Folds into a nice compact size and shape
- Can be a little pricey for casual rowers, The monitor could be bigger, Requires tools/disassembly to fold away
Nordictrack RW900 Folding Rower
Featured in many collapsible rowing machine reviews, the NordicTrack RW900 magnetic folding rowing machine is cutting edge technology and entertainment meet professional grade fitness equipment. The first thing anyone notices when they see the RW900 is the stunning 22” HD interactive touchscreen monitor that it comes equipped with. The monitor allows users to follow along with virtual trainers and the machine even comes with a 1-year subscription to iFit, which gives you access to live, studio, and global workouts. For now, the monitor can seem limited though as it only functions as an interactive screen for iFit, and cannot be used for any other purpose.
The NordicTrack RW900 does come equipped with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity as can be expected with such a large monitor. NordicTrack really wants users to use the iFit app though as it does not offer much compatibility with other fitness apps on the market. The RW900 comes with two types of resistance that includes a quiet, magnetic flywheel, as well as a manual air resistance that allows you to have total control over your workout. The NordicTrack RW900 comes equipped with oversized, quick-adjust pedals that pivot to allow maximum safety and control during even the most intense workouts.
The frame of the NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine is sturdy and made with solid steel that allows up to 250 lbs manufacturers suggested weight capacity. The machine weighs a solid 131 lbs which makes it slightly heavier than usual for a home rowing machine, and some people may have difficulties folding it up and storing it away. The dimensions of the NordicTrack RW900 when in use are 50.4” H x 22” W x 86.5” L, and the exact measurements of the machine folded up are not provided.
NordicTrack backs the RW900 rowing machine with an incredible 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, and 1-year labor warranty. Assembly is relatively straightforward and NordicTrack does provide an easy-to-follow video. The company does recommend having two people for assembly, as well as for moving the machine around once it is assembled, NordicTrack does offer in-home delivery and assembly, but it is currently limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine is a stunning visual to see, with the 22” interactive touch screen monitor that is attached. The two types of resistance make rowing smooth and challenging, and the nice space saver design means you can pack it up and store it away whenever you are finished with your workout. The higher-end price tag does make this a machine for the serious rower, and may turn some casual users away. But all aside, it is one of the best exercise rowers that can be stored folding.
- Incredible 22” monitor that allows you to connect to the iFit app, Foldable design means you can save space by storing the machine away.
- High price tag may be out of some people’s range, A maximum capacity of only 250 lbs limits the size of potential users.
Xterra Fitness ERG700 Foldable Rower
1 used from $735.99
The XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower may not come with the latest technology like Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity, but it does provide users with an incredible, low-impact workout. The ERG700 uses both air and sixteen levels of magnetic resistance that can challenge even the most seasoned rower. This model comes with ten pre-programmed settings that allow users to have a wide variety of different workouts.
The industrial grade steel that the XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower is constructed from is strong and provides a stable base for users up to 350 lbs. The machine itself weighs only 80.9 lbs which makes it convenient and easy to fold up and store away when not in use. The dimensions of the XTERRA ERG700 Rower measure a very space-friendly 52.5” x 18” x 62” when folded up, and 97” x 18” x 38” when the machine is operational.
The console for the XTERRA ERG700 Rower is a basic one, in that it comes with a 5.5” blue backlit LCD display with clear, easy to push buttons that tracks vital statistics like your heart rate, calories burned, and distance. The padded row handle provides users with an excellent grip, and allows for up to 80.7” of travel length. The flexible pedals are fully adjustable and provide users with a stable and ergonomically sound sitting position.
XTERRA provides users with one of the strongest warranties in the industry as it offers a lifetime frame warranty, a 5-year parts warranty, and 1-year labor. Assembly instructions are included and some product reviews state that the user was able to assemble the machine on their own in about an hour, which is fairly standard for home exercise machines.
The XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower is a great machine and offers users with a lower budget a nice entry point to the home rowing machine market. At less than $1000, it is not surprising that the ERG700 does not come with all the bells and whistles, but you do get a solidly built machine that provides an excellent workout for a fraction of the price of other machines.
- Nice price point for casual rowing fans, Sturdy machine with a nice ergonomic design.
- Lacks Bluetooth (app) connectivity
Sunny Health Fitness Phantom Hydro Water
Listed in several folding rowing machine review, the Sunny Health and Fitness RW5910 Hydro Rowing Machine is a very affordable machine for casual rowers who just want to get a nice workout in at minimal cost. The hydro resistance rowing machine comes with a full water tank that offers sixteen hydro blades that provide users with a vast degree of resistance. This water tank is uniquely positioned at a 60 degree angle, which provides a more consistent resistance with the hydro blades.
The frame of the Sunny Health and Fitness RW5910 machine is made with a sturdy steel alloy that can hold a manufacturer’s suggested maximum weight of 300 lbs. The molded seat provides a comfortable workout to users and the non-slip handlebars are padded and provide extra safety for users.
The monitor for the Sunny Health and Fitness RW5910 rowing machine is straight to the point and does not come with some of the technology that higher-end models come with. There is no Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity, and no integrated fitness apps to sync with. The monitor is basic and allows users to keep track of their distance, strokes, calories burned, pulse, and clock, amongst other things.
As with most hydro-powered rowing machines, the sound of the water tank is louder than most machines, although many users prefer the hydro tank because it sounds like they are rowing in water. The dimensions of the machine are 81.5”L x 21.25” W x 39.5” H when in use, and 43”L x 21.25”W x 51”H when folded up. The relatively light weight of the Sunny Health and Fitness RW5910 machine makes it easy to transport and store away when folded. The warranty isn’t great from Sunny Health and Fitness, as it only offers a 3-year warranty for the frame, and 180 days for the other parts and components.
Not the fanciest machine, but a solid hydro resistance machine at an incredible price point. Sunny Health and Fitness is a reputable brand in the home fitness industry, and for less than $600, you can get a high quality workout without all the bells and whistles of the higher-end models.
- The excellent price point makes this an affordable machine, Tablet/phone rack, The unique hydro tank placement makes for a consistent resistance.
- No wireless technology and a very minimalistic monitor, The water tank can be louder than most people think.
Women’s Health Men’s Health Folding Rower
1 used from $379.81
The Women’s Health Men’s Health Bluetooth Rower is all about connectivity as you can tell from the name of the machine itself. This model stresses the connection with your mobile device, and even offers a mobile device holder where you can sync your workout with the MyCloudFitness app. This app offers a freemium subscription service, where users have access to a free version of it, as well as a paid premium version, which includes trainer-led videos, world tour ride, and personalized workout programs.
This foldable indoor rower is distinctly a magnetic resistance model that offers zero lag time resistance, and 14 levels of calibrated resistance so users can experience a wide range of difficulties. The 3.5” LCD screen helps you to keep track of your time, calories burned, strokes/minute, and distance.
The Women’s Health Men’s Health Bluetooth Rower is incredibly designed with innovative, space-saving technology that makes this a great machine for any home size. When in use, the machine has dimensions of 80” L x 23” W x 28. 5” H and when folded it measures 41.5” L x 23” W x 57.5” H. The machine itself weighs only 64.3 lbs and the solid steel frame can allow users up to 250 lbs to operate it safely.
The warranty that Women’s Health offers is about average for the industry as it provides users with a 5-year warranty for the frame, a 3-year warranty for the parts, and even a 2-year warranty for the wearable parts. This model comes with large anti-slip pedals to ensure user safety, especially during intense workouts.
A nice rowing machine with a quiet magnetic flywheel and some great technology and connectivity options. Its price tag of around $849, makes this a very affordable option for users who want the technology integration.
- Nice price tag for a high-quality machine, Full Bluetooth integration with the MyCloudFitness mobile app.
- The maximum suggested weight capacity is on the light side at 250 lbs, The monitor is very basic, There is no tablet or phone holder.
Koreyosh Foldable Water Rowing Machine
The unique look of the Koreyosh foldable indoor water rowing machine is shocking at first, as the all-wood look is meant to mimic the look and feel of a real boat. The frame is made of solid oak and can allow up to a maximum weight capacity of 330 lbs. The exact dimensions show that this is a relatively large machine with a footprint of 84” L x 22” W x 20” H and total weight of around 75 lbs.
The resistance for the Koreyosh water folding rowing machine is, you guessed it: water. Because of the thick water tank the sound of water is apparent everytime you go to row, and is a little louder than the magnetic flywheels on other machines. Luckily, the water can remain inside the tank when the machine is in a folded, upright position.
The Koreyosh Foldable Water Rowing Machine comes equipped with a very basic LCD monitor that does not offer any connectivity options. The screen does provide readouts for the user of their time, calories burned, distance, and scan, but do not expect to use any mobile connected apps with this model.
The ergonomically positioned cushion seat allows for maximum comfort while engaging in intense workouts. The warranty isn’t great with only a 1-year warranty on parts, and the assembly is confusing according to some users. Delivery of this compact folding rowing machine comes in two packages as well, so you may have to wait a little while until you can even assemble the machine.
A great price tag for a solid machine with a look and feel that are extremely unique in this industry. The water tank allows for great resistance albeit with some noise, but the machine operates smoothly on a sturdy, solid oak frame.
- Cheap price tag for a quality product, Solid oak frame is unique and sturdy.
- No connectivity, and a fairly large footprint, No tablet holder, No warranty.
Marcy Foldable Turbine Rowing Machine
The Marcy Turbine Rowing Machine NS-6050RE is another entry level air resistance model that provides users with the ease of storing it away in a folded position. The air turbine allows for eight different resistance levels to give users a fully customizable workout experience. It is constructed from a solid steel alloy that is sturdy and strong, providing a maximum user weight of 300 lbs.
The Marcy Turbine Rowing Machine actually has a decently large footprint so users will more likely than not have to fold the machine away after use. The dimensions are 85″ x 20.5″ x 36.25″ while in use and a very reasonable size of 46″ x 20″ x 59″ when folded up. At 77 lbs, it is a solid machine that is still light enough to carry around your house with relative ease.
The air turbine machine is always going to be louder than a magnetic resistance machine and the Marcy Foldable Turbine Rower is no different. It comes equipped with a comfortable, moulded seat as well as adjustable foot platforms to ensure user safety. The upkeep for air rowing machines is quite simple compared to hydro and all users really need to do is to keep dust from accumulating in the turbine.
The warranty for the Marcy Foldable Turbine Rower is quite limited as the company only offers a 2-year warranty on the frame. The monitor is simplistic and does not come with any sort of connectivity via Bluetooth or WiFi, so all you can do is track stats like speed, distance, time, and RPM.
This is a very basic, entry-level model that provides users with a good workout for a low price tag. The higher levels of difficulty are actually not that strong so experienced rowers may want to look elsewhere for a challenge.
- Nice price tag for a reputable home fitness rower, Variable air resistance.
- Not the most challenging difficulty on this foldable rowing machine for home, No technology integration is available.
Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine
4 used from $201.50
The second magnetic folding rowing machine from Sunny Health and Fitness on this list, the Magnetic Rower with LCD Monitor is a fairly self-explanatory name. The LCD Monitor that is attached is actually quite basic and provides tracking of standard vitals like time, count, calories burned, and distance. There is no extra connectivity like Bluetooth or WiFi and there are no mobile apps that can be integrated into the machine.
The Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Rower is constructed from a sturdy steel alloy that is heavy duty, yet only allows a maximum user weight of 250 lbs. The machine itself weighs in at only 60.9 lbs, making it one of the lighter home rowing machines on the market. The dimensions measure in at 78” x 19.1” x 23.2”, although the exact measurements of the folded machine are not provided.
The magnetic resistance always offers the smoothest and quietest resistance, with eight levels of customizable resistance available. The magnetic resistance is always easy to maintain, just keep the tracks clean and do not let any dust or grime build up. The eight levels of magnetic resistance can easily be changed with the convenient tension knob. The warranty is the same as the other Sunny models with a 3-year warranty on the frame and 180-days for parts and components.
The cushioned seat and non-slip pedals are ideal for users who are engaging in intense workouts and want to ensure that they are safe while operating the machine. The extra long 48 inch slide rail means that users are getting a full range of workout when using the Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Rower.
One of the cheapest home rowing machines on the market, this model understandably does not come with any bells and whistles. The LCD monitor is actually quite small and insignificant, and does not come with any sort of integrated connectivity with other devices. It is difficult to argue with the quality of product you get for the price, but for those seeking technology in their rowing machine will want to look elsewhere.
- Bargain price range from a reputable brand, Quiet magnetic resistance makes this ideal for small apartments.
- Despite the name, the LCD monitor is inconsequential.
Stamina ATS Fold Away Air Rower
The Stamina ATS Air Rower provides users with another nice entry-level machine that can help save money while still giving a great workout experience. Like its name suggests, the Stamina ATS Air Rower is an air resistance machine which provides users with complete control over the difficulty of their workout. While the air turbine is dynamic and easy to maintain, air resistance machines do have a knack for being louder than water and magnetic resistance machines, so keep that in mind when checking out the Stamina ATS Air Rower.
You won’t find any bells or whistles on the Stamina ATS Air Rower, as it comes equipped with a small, basic LCD monitor. This monitor allows users to track the basic vitals like speed, distance, time, and calories burned, but does not allow connectivity to other devices. The padded seat, adjustable foot pedals, and built in wheels, are very nice features on such an economical model.
The dimensions of the Stamina ATS Air Rower are surprisingly reasonable for a rowing machine as it measures 77” long x 18.75” wide x 22” tall when in use and 48” long x 18.75” wide x 28” tall when folded away. The sturdy aluminum rail and solid frame helps support up to a maximum suggested weight of 250 lbs, and the machine itself only weighs a surprising 55 lbs, so moving it around your house for storage is no issue at all. Note that the Stamina ATS Air Rower does have some plastic parts to it so you should not expect the same solid construction as higher end models.
Stamina offers a surprisingly good warranty too for an entry-level as it provides users with a 3-year warranty for the frame and a 1-year warranty for the parts. Assembly is simple and straightforward, so you can get started on your rowing workout shortly after you bring the Stamina ATS Air Rower home!
It has some nice features for an entry-level model but in the end you do get what you pay for. An unspectacular LCD monitor and some plastic components show why this price is as low as it is, but if you are shopping for home rowers that fold away in this range, you are not in the market for a high end, connected machine.
- A cheap price tag for a decently solid machine, Very light and easy to move around.
- The size limit of 250 lbs means larger people cannot use it, Some components are plastic and can easily break.
Merax Foldable Exercise Rowing Machine
The Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine is another line of affordable home rowing machines. As can be deduced, the Merax is a magnetic resistance rower with several levels that can easily be switched with the tension knob. As with most magnetic resistance machines, the Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine is quiet and smooth, and provides users with a 43.3” slide rail.
Again, for this price point you cannot expect the latest technology to be included. The merax Magnetic Rowing Machine does come with a large LCD display console with an easy to read screen and large, visible buttons. This display clearly marks where users can track their calories burned, time, and distance. The Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine does not come with Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity though, so you will not be able to use this home foldable rower with any fitness apps.
The Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine is an excellent space saver as far as rowing machines go as it measures at 73”L x 16”W x 21”H when in use and an impressive 26”L x 16”W x 49”H when it is folded up for easy storage. The weight of the machine is 74 lbs which shows the solid construction of the alloy steel frame. The suggested maximum weight for users is 264 lbs, so it is made for users of all shapes and sizes.
The warranty for the Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine is fine but not spectacular. Merax offers a full 3-year warranty on the frame but only a 180-day warranty on the parts. Assembly is straightforward and should take users anywhere from 30 mins to an hour, especially since all of the tools and parts are included in the package.
A nice but unspectacular rowing machine from Merax that checks off most boxes for users looking for an entry-level price point. The LCD display is basic and does not offer any sort of connectivity with a smart device. The most impressive thing about the Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine is how compact it gets when you fold it up for storage.
- Cheap price tag for entry-level rowing enthusiasts, It folds up to a nice compact size.
- Basic monitor and lack of technology or options, 264 lbs weight limit means a lot of bigger users cannot use this foldable exercise rowing machine.
Foldable Rowing Machine Buyer’s Guide
Some of the verbiage when reading about foldable rowing machines can be confusing, especially if you are new to the market. To really choose which is the best foldable rowing machine for you we have compiled some of the features you should look at to help make your decision a little easier.
Magnetic Resistance: When searching for the best folding rowing machines, you should know that magnetic rowing machines use a magnetic flywheel as opposed to air or water. Magnetic resistance is generally the quietest amongst the three and usually requires a tension knob to switch between resistance levels.
Water Resistance: Rowing machine purists love water resistance because the sound of the blades against the water reminds them of rowing on a lake. Water resistance rowing machines are great for beginners and experts, but when buying the best home folding rowers, keep in mind the water tank is generally heavier and does require slightly more maintenance than other resistance types.
Air Resistance: The loudest of the three types, air resistance uses a wind turbine to create tension when rowing. Generally, air resistance machines can be cheaper but keep in mind the noise factor and you do need to keep the turbine dust-free. Also, keep in mind that collapsible rowing machines require less maintenance than other types of indoor rowers.
Folding Rowing Machines: All of the machines we reviewed in this article are foldable, but how easy is it to fold your machine up? Do you need to have tools each time you do? How small is the size of the machine when you fold it up for storage? Do you have to empty the water tank if it is a folding water rowing machine? All things you need to consider when looking at home rowing machines that fold away.
Rower Price: This one may be obvious but know what you are getting with the price point of folding rowing machines. Higher-end models come with more technology like Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity, but do you really need that? If you only need a machine for a basic workout, then you can save yourself thousands of dollars in the end.
The Final Verdict
Taking into account all of the above factors in our Folding Rowing Machine Buyer’s Guide, we have selected the Concept2 Model D Rower as the best overall option. The Model D comes equipped with all of the technology you need as well as the highest weight capacity of all of the machines we reviewed. The footprint of the Model D is slightly bigger than the average machine, but it is extremely light when it is folded up which makes storage of this model extremely easy. The price point is right on point as it does not feel like you are breaking the bank, but it is enough that you know you are getting a solid machine. The only issue with this foldable rower is that it does require tool to fold away. If that’s an issue, I suggest you opt for another model we have reviewed in this best foldable rowing machines buying guide and comparison.