Marcy NS6050 RowerEditor's Choice Under
- Foldable Frame
- Durable Built
- Dynamic and Adjustable Resistance
Good Large MonitorEditor's Choice Under
- Good Large Monitor
- Dynamic and Adjustable Resistance
- Foldable Frame
Indoor rowing machines are incredible exercise equipment. Few other machines can work over 80% of your body and require hardly any maintenance or alterations to accomplish it. There are three basic types of resistance used for indoor rowing machines; air, water, and magnetic. While magnetic resistance rowing machines are usually the quietest of the three, air resistance rowing machines offer a workout that is closer to the natural and smooth feeling that many people prefer for rowing exercises and while water resistance rowing machines are certainly the closest to feeling like on-the-water rowing, they’re often larger in size and aren’t as compact as an air resistance rower. They also extra maintenance (water change) and usually don’t have frames that can easily be folded for convenient storage. Because of these benefits, many people choose to find best air rowers under $500 for their workouts.
Air resistance rowing machines have been around since 1980, and they’re still likely the most commonly used type of resistance in use. They require very little maintenance outside of dusting and lubricating, and chain models are almost completely outdated with the use of belt drives taking their place, making lubrications a necessity of the past. Because of this popularity, there are many options to choose from and if you don’t know what things to look for, it can be hard to know which one to choose.
In order to help with this decision making, we’ve compiled a list of our top best air rowers under $500. Because a fan rowing machine under 500 is one of the more common types, there is a lot of variety. Our list of air rowing machine reviews for home use under 500 can help you make the decision on which air resistance indoor rowing machine is the best for your needs. Without further ado, let’s compare the best air rowers under $500 and then see a more detailed reviews down below.
|1||Marcy NS-6050RE||Air||Yes||No||300 LBs||High-Rise|
|2||SereneLife Rower||Air and Magnetic||Yes||No||250 LBs||High-Rise|
|3||Fitness Reality Indoor Rower||Air||Yes||Yes||250 LBs||Low-Rise|
|4||XTERRA ERG500||Air||Yes||No||300 LBs||Low-Rise|
|5||Stamina ATS 1403||Air||Yes||No||250 LBs||Low-Rise|
|6||MaxKare Dual Belt Dynamic Rower||Air||Yes||No||264 LBs||High-Rise|
|7||MaxKare Indoor Rowing Machine||Air||Yes||No||220 LBs||High-Rise|
|8||EFITMENT Aero RW036||Air||Yes||No||245 LBs||Low-Rise|
We found the Marcy NS-6050RE Indoor Rowing Machine to be among the best air rowers under $500. Its motion was smooth and sturdy, with the steel frame keeping the machine from moving through those more intense workouts. The foot straps are easily adjustable and we found them to be comfortable, as well as the seat. This is a plus because often a cheap air rowing machine will have costs cut by using poorly made pedals, handles, or seats.
One common problem with air rowing machines is that they often don’t have enough resistance for those who are more experienced with rowing exercises. We found it to be true with the Marcy NS-6050RE Indoor Rowing Machine as well. While fan or air indoor rowing machines are usually the loudest of the three types, this one seemed a bit too loud for our preference, making it difficult to listen to music or watch entertainment without headphones. The monitor is a decent size and will display a variety of your workout information, such as time, speed, distance, rotations per minute, and the number of calories burned.
The frame is foldable to be able to be easily stored away, taking only 44.5 inches long, 20.5 inches wide, and 59 inches tall. When set up for use, the Marcy NS-6050RD indoor rowing machine takes up 85 inches long and 36.25 tall. While using air resistance, this rowing machine can also use magnetic for those who want a little extra. There are 8 levels of resistance for different stages of your workout. The Marcy NS-6050RD indoor rowing machine can support users up to 300 pounds in weight to accommodate a variety of people.
Our second favorite among the best air rowers under $500 are the SereneLife Indoor Rowing Machine. These have adjustable handlebars to change the angle of the monitor and create a more comfortable stroke. We also found the seat to be very comfortable as well.
The monitor is large and easy to read, making it great for those who don’t see very well or use their machine for other exercises than the classic stroke. We did have trouble with the distance readout. It doesn’t seem to be fully accurate, so if that’s important to your workout, you may need to consider this. We also found the assembly to be time-consuming, though it wasn’t necessarily difficult. The foldable, steel alloy frame can support users up to 250 pounds.
We found the air and magnetic resistance combination to be fairly quiet comparatively, and the SereneLife Indoor Rowing Machine has 10 different levels to choose from. That nice sized monitor will show stroke count, total calories burned, distance, and time. The SereneLife Indoor Rowing Machine also has a 1-year limited warranty in case of problems. While ready to use, the SereneLife Indoor Rowing Machine takes up 83.5 inches long, 19.3 inches wide, and 34.8 inches tall.
The Fitness Reality Indoor Rowing Machine comes in third on our list for its smooth stroke and its workout tracking features. It works with MyCloudFitness, so you can get even more out of your workout. While this is a great feature, it would be even better if it worked with other apps as well, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. There also seems to be a somewhat common connective issue when trying to connect through Bluetooth.
Another thing that did bother us is that during those more intense or faster paced workouts, the Fitness Reality Indoor Rowing Machine has some jumping. This can lead to floor damage and creates more wear on the machine. While the Bluetooth may have some connective issues sometimes, it’s still a great feature that is more difficult to find in best air rowers under $500. There’s also a ‘Smart Knob’ that more accurately reads distance, calories burned, and watts based on the resistance levels you’re using. Speaking of resistance levels, the Fitness Reality Indoor Rowing Machine has 14 levels to choose from, and uses both air and magnetic resistance for a complete and defined workout.
The Fitness Reality Indoor Rowing Machine can support up to 250 pounds, though we did find a different weight limit listed elsewhere, causing some confusion. There’s a 1-year limited warranty in case something happens. The frame is foldable and will only take up 39.5 inches long, 21.5 inches wide, and 53.5 inches tall while stored away. While ready for use, the Fitness Reality Indoor Rowing Machine takes up 88.5 inches long and 21.5 inches tall.
The XTERRA ERG500 Indoor Rowing Machines are great air resistance rowing machines for home under 500. The steel frame makes for a smooth stroke and a solid workout with no bouncing or moving during those intense workouts. There is a large, yellow handle to easily switch resistance levels quickly while causing as little interruption to your workout as possible.
The monitor has larger buttons, also making it easier to make adjustments during a workout with minimal interruption. It shows multiple workout stats at once, which is always a benefit for me as it reduces how much button pushing I need to do during training to see all my information, and instead of just a stroke count, the XTERRA ERG500 Indoor Rowing Machine monitor also shows a graph display for your strokes. Along with that graph, it shows time, calories burned, pulse, and distance. The monitor is also adjustable, so you can change the angle for your preference and comfort. There is a multiple layer warranty with 5 years for the frame, 2 years for parts, and 90 days for labor.
The XTERRA ERG500 Indoor Rowing Machine has 8 levels of resistance to choose from and the fan was relatively quiet. It can support users up to 300 pounds in weight to accommodate a wider range of people. The XTERRA ERG500 Indoor Rowing Machine takes up 72 inches long, 19 inches wide, and 33 inches tall. It can also be folded for storage and will only take 45 inches long and 57 inches tall.
One nice structural feature of the Stamina ATS 1403 Indoor Rowing Machine is the flywheel cage is towards the user, so as you workout you can get a nice cooling breeze from it. It also has a cushioned seat that made those longer training sessions more comfortable. Those two things combined make those intense or fast workouts more pleasant.
One thing we didn’t like was the simple and small display on their monitor. Not only was it too simplified for our taste, but we also question its accuracy. It didn’t seem to be entirely correct or consistent. The monitor can show a variety of information, just not at once. You can see your speed, distance, calories burned, and time. Another thing that might bother some is there are no levels for the resistance.
While many of the options on our list have a dial to adjust for more resistance pressure, the Stamina ATS 1403 Indoor Rowing Machine uses an automatically adjusted resistance. The faster you row, the more resistance you’ll get. This type of resistance leveling may be why the Stamina ATS 1403 Indoor Rowing Machine was louder than some of our other options on this list. The foldable frame can be stored away and will take 48 inches long, 18.75 inches wide, and 28 inches tall. While ready to use, it’ll take 77 inches long and 22 inches tall. The Stamina ATS 1403 Indoor Rowing Machine can support up to 250 pounds in weight and has a 3-year warranty for the frame and a 1-year warranty for parts.
The MaxKare Dual Belt Dynamic Indoor Rowing Machine has a strong steel frame for a long lasting machine and a smooth stroke. It also has a twin drive belt system to make the resistance strong and consistent. We weren’t pleased with the small monitor display, and there was a problem with some of the parts that came. Despite this, we found MaxKare customer service to be helpful and ready to make things right.
The monitor will display stroke counts, time, calories burned, and distance. It also has a scan option so you don’t have to stop your workout to cycle through your stats. The user weight capacity is 264 pounds and we found the MaxKare Dual Belt Dynamic Indoor Rowing Machine to be fairly quiet.
There is a 30-day limited warranty, and the frame footprint is 71 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 14 inches tall. The frame can be folded for storage and to reduce that footprint to only 40.5 inches long and 42 inches tall. The MaxKare Dual Belt Dynamic Indoor Rowing Machine is another indoor rowing machine that bases the resistance on stroke speed instead of having a dial to adjust it.
This is the second MaxKare Indoor Rowing Machine on our list of the best air rowers under $500. Just like the previous MaxKare rowing machine, this one also has a strong and sturdy steel frame, though we did notice some movement when the workouts became faster paced and more intense. This one’s monitor had the same issue as the first MaxKare indoor rowing machine and we found it to be less accurate or reliable.
Both MaxKare indoor rowing machine designs have large and open flywheel cage designs. This can be both beneficial and problematic. The increased airflow can help with resistance, but it does allow more dust and debris buildup. The air resistance is again based on your stroke speed. The faster you go, the more resistance you’ll feel. The frame is able to be folded for convenient storage and we found this one to be rather quiet, making it great for those who need to keep the noise down.
The monitor will show time, speed, stroke count information, and calories burned. The maximum user weight is only 220 pounds, which does limit the number of people who can use this cheap air rowing machine. While ready for use, this MaxKare Indoor Rowing Machine takes up 75.5 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 14.5 inches tall. The frame is foldable for easy storage and while folded it takes up 42.5 inches long and 54.7 inches tall.
The steel frame of the EFITMENT Aero RW036 Indoor Rowing Machine makes for a sturdy workout and a smooth stroke. It’s a simple machine that doesn’t have a lot of extra features, which will be perfect for some users.
We found the monitor to be too small for our liking, which is a common trait with many best air rowers under $500. In order to retain the performance, they cut the costs elsewhere. There was also an issue with the belt going limp after some use that seemed to affect more than one user. The EFITMENT Aero RW036 Indoor Rowing Machine footprint is 75 inches long, 19 inches wide, and 23 inches tall. The monitor will show time calories burned, revolutions per minute, and stroke count so you can see where you are with your fitness goals.
This is another indoor rowing machine where the air resistance is determined by your stroke speed. The fan gets fairly loud when you go faster for that increased resistance. The EFITMENT Aero RW036 Indoor Rowing Machine can support up to 245 pounds of user weight, and there’s a 3-year limited manufacturer warranty. The frame can be folded for convenient storage.
One of the biggest consistent drawbacks of a fan resistance rower is the noise. There’s no way around it when a fan is the functioning part. However, this can be reduced by getting one with a combination of resistance types or a more enclosed flywheel design. You can also sometimes reduce the noise by getting the kind with a dial adjustable resistance.
Dial Adjustable Resistance
As we’ve seen, some air resistance indoor rowing machines will have dial adjustable resistance while others rely on your stroke speed. There are benefits to both. Having a dial allows users to have a more visual and controlled resistance, while the stroke speed based will match your own intensity and allow you to stay completely hands-free while rowing
One of the ways that manufacturers reduce cost is with the added on parts. In order to keep the basic functionality working well and the frame itself in good condition, they will often use cheaper pedals, monitors, handles, or seats. Each of these falls heavily under user preference on what you’re willing to lose quality on. For some, they can’t stand to have pedals that don’t fit their feet right. For others, having a poor display will make a difference. For example, someone who needs glasses to see their display may find the need to wear glasses during a hot and sweaty workout an annoyance.
Speaking of the display, you will also see a variety of options out there. Some will show all your stats at once, some you have to cycle through, and some will be more advanced. Knowing how you want to keep track of your workout information and history is vital to know what you need. It may be that you only want to time yourself or keep track of your heart rate, in which case you can easily use other devices than the built-in monitors. If you’re training and you’re more interested in distance and stroke counts, you may want to pay a little more attention to the monitor that comes with the indoor rowing machine you decided to buy.
We chose the Marcy NS-6050RE Indoor Rowing Machine as the best home rowing machine with air resistance under 500 because its overall performance and features fell between great and adequate, making it the best choice for the price. It worked wonderfully for our fitness routine and seems to us to be the best fit for most situations. While it was our top pick, the SereneLife Indoor Rowing Machine was a close second for its comfortable workout and reliable design, and the Fitness Reality Indoor Rowing Machine came very close after for its ability to work with the commonly used MyCloudFitness app.
Every person has different needs, and while these were our top three picks we’ve compiled enough variety of features that anyone can find what they will need for their fitness routine. Our reviews list the good and the bad so that you can make an informed and easy decision when choosing which air resistance indoor rowing machine is right for you.