Best Air Rowing Machines 2021 For A Kick-Ass Workout

Whether you’re a complete beginner or already have tonnes of experience under your belt, rowing exercises are a great and versatile option if you’re on the hunt for an effective home workout. Rowing machines with air resistance are a popular and affordable choice, and today we’re going to take a look at 7 of the best air rowing machines on the market.

The benefits of using one of the best rowing machines are endless and well-documented. Vitally, the risk of injury is minimal thanks to the exercise’s low impact on joints. Resistance can be increased and decreased easily, making for a great workout regardless of fitness level and experience, and compact rowing machines are a great option to fit in the home. Home rowing machines also offer a highly effective full-body workout, meaning you needn’t fork out more cash to buy other equipment.

Indoor rowers with air resistance are a popular choice, and for good reason! Second only to water resistance rowing machines, they offer the most authentic rowing experience with a more affordable price tag. With air rowing machines, resistance often increases as you build up speed, similarly to real-life rowing. They are powered simply but effectively by a fan mechanism and are a great option to consider if you’re looking to add a true-to-life yet affordable rowing machine to your home, office or gym. Some air resistance rowing machines are combined with magnetic resistance for a best-of-both-worlds approach.

We have compiled this handy list of the top air resistance rowing machines to help you make the all-important decision of which model to go with. Take a look through our completely unbiased list and explore the pros and cons of each model, before making the correct and most informed choice for you. So without further ado, let’s dive right into our top picks of the best air rowing machines on the market today!

Top 7 Air Rowing Machines:

$1,046.00
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$379.00
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$329.99
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$549.00
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$324.99
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2 new from $324.99
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Amazon.com
$299.99
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2 new from $299.99
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Amazon.com
Last updated on September 24, 2021 9:09 am

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

First on our list is this top-of-the-range air resistance rowing machine by Concept2. The Concept2 Model D is in fact the world’s best-selling rowing machine – a title it has held for over 30 years – and one of the top air rowers under $1000. If you’re looking for a top air resistance rowing machine that is renowned for its dependability and effectiveness, the Concept2 Model D is well worth that extra initial cost! Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of our number one rated model.

Pros

Dependable Performance

Perhaps the most obvious benefits of the Concept2 Model D is its reputation as a reliable and best-selling air resistance rowing machine. In fact, anyone who has rowed in the past has likely tried out this model before. With overwhelmingly positive reviews and a sturdy and strong build, this is a great option if you want guaranteed quality without any fuss.

Reliable Workout Data

When it comes to tracking workouts, many rowing machines leave a lot to be desired and often simply calculate data based on movement of the seat. The Concept2 Model D prides itself on reliable data measured on each stroke, so you can be sure that your stats are a true reflection of your workout. Furthermore, games are included to keep you entertained, and the machine can connect with a variety of fitness apps and smartphones.

Easy to Assemble and Transport

With a simple 8-screw design, the Concept2 Model D is super easy to put together, so you can get straight to your rowing workout with minimal fuss! If you need to quickly manoeuvre your machine, it has smooth wheels and can easily be folded without tools using a convenient framelock mechanism.

Cons

10 Levels of Resistance

10 levels of resistance are pretty much industry standard and for many users (particularly beginners) will be more than enough, but if you’re after an intense challenge or resistance-based workout, there may not be quite enough variation for you. Having said that, many air resistance rowers do not have the option of adjustable resistance levels at all. Furthermore, a key air rowing machine benefit is that resistance also alters based on the speed of your pull, so this feature adds to the 10 standard resistance levels.

Small Display Screen

Considering the popularity of this air resistance rowing machine, the display screen is probably the most disappointing aspect. Compared to the rest of the machine it does seem fairly basic, only displaying a few key stats and standard games and workouts. Having said that, although the screen is much simpler than that of many magnetic rowers or water-based rowing machines, it far supersedes most air resistance options.

Tall Users May Require Extra Parts

Although the machine is suitable to hold up to 500lbs, the Concept2 D Model’s descriptions states that users with an inseam of 38 inches or more may require an extra-long monorail to provide a full range of motion.

Marcy Foldable Turbine Rowing Machine

Second on our list is the Marcy Foldable air rowing exercise machine. This sturdy and reliable option is perfect if you’re looking for something fuss-free, long-lasting and affordable since it’s one of the top air rowing machines under $500. Let’s take a closer look at all this foldable rowing machine has to offer!

Pros

Well-Constructed with High Quality Materials

This strong and reliable home rowing machine prides itself on its high-quality construction and durability. Its frame is crafted from heavy duty solid steel, so this machine should stand up to the test of time excellently.

Foldable for Convenience

Folding to a compact 46” x 20” x 59”, this foldable rowing machine with wheels is a great portable option if you’re after something suitable for small storage space, or to move around from office to home at your convenience!

Adjustable Resistance

With some air resistance rowing machines offering only one set level of resistance that adjusts only with the strength of your pull, the Marcy’s adjustable resistance is an obvious benefit. Although 8 levels of resistance are pretty standard for a rower, it’s great to have the option of manual adjustment that many air rowers do not have.

Cons

Poorer Display than Marcy Water Rowers

This model only shows time, speed, distance, calories, count and RPM on the display screen. Although these statistics cover all the essentials, Marcy’s water rowers offer a richer display complete with calendar, temperature and clock.

Unsuitable for Tall or Heavier Users

According to the manufacturer, this air rowing machine is designed to accommodate those between 5ft and 6ft and below 300lbs, meaning this machine may not be suitable for taller or heavier individuals.

A Noisier Option

A few of this product’s reviews do state that this air rower’s noise level is pretty substantial. This isn’t necessarily a problem and is totally down to personal preference, but if you enjoy watching TV or listening to music, or just prefer a smoother, silent row, this machine might not be the choice for you!

SereneLife Smart Rowing Machine

With a one-year warranty and access to a handy app, the SereneLife rower is one of the all-round best air resistance rowing machines out there. Its quality is impressive for the slightly lower price-point, making this a solid option for beginners. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this great air resistance rowing machine.

Pros

Quiet and Smooth

The SereneLife indoor rowing machine with air resistance has been praised for its super quiet performance, ideal for if you want to watch TV or listen to music whilst getting your air rower workout in!

Access to Fitshow App

This machine comes with access to an app which allows you to connect your rowing machine with your smartphone to record and review workout data at your convenience, making this one of the best air rowing machines to choose if you’re interested in the stats.

One-Year Warranty

SereneLife offers a great one-year warranty on their machine, so you can rest assured that you will have protection and get your money’s worth, even if your machine breaks down or has any teething issues.

Cons

Difficult to Assemble

Reviews for this air rower state that the initial assembly of the machine can be time-consuming and difficult, although instructions are generally described as being clear. Most users do eventually get there with the construction aspect, so providing you set aside plenty of time, this shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience!

Basic Display Screen

The machine’s display screen is very small compared to other models but does show all the workout data essentials including calories, strokes and time. Though the display screen leaves a bit to be desired, data can be exported to a smartphone app as we mentioned previously!

Very Large Foot Paddles

A few reviews of this air rower stated that the foot paddles are extremely large and may even be unusable for people with smaller feet.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5983 Rower

Sitting right in the middle of our top air resistance rowers review is this great machine by Sunny Health and Fitness. With its best-of-both-worlds magnetic and air resistance approach and unique wireless pulse receiver, this machine is a great option for rowers of all abilities!

Pros

Dual Resistance System

This home rowing machine features resistance generated by a well-matched combination of air and magnets, to provide an enhanced and authentic experience for the user.

Wireless Pulse Receiver

This is perhaps the Sunny Health and Fitness rower’s stand-out feature. Many of even the best home rowing machines are criticized for their lack of statistical accuracy, but this air resistance rowing machine solves this problem seamlessly! By using a wireless pulse receiver, this indoor rower can accurately measure your heart rate, so you can keep a useful eye of your progress in real-time.

Wide Range of Pre-set Programs

This indoor rower with air resistance boasts a wide selection of 22 pre-set programs to motivate and guide you through your rowing exercise. Each program targets a specific area bespoke to your preferences, including body fat, WATTs and heart rate (to name just a few!)

Cons

Un-foldable Design

Although at just 74.6lbs, this home air rowing machine is fairly lightweight, its design is un-foldable, meaning it may be difficult to store in extra small spaces or manoeuvre around easily. Perhaps not ideal if you’re looking for something to tuck in the office or fit under the stairs when out of action!

Maximum User Weight Lower Than Some

With a maximum user weight of 265lbs (just over 18st), this rowing machine may not be ideal for those with a higher bodyweight. Some machines, including our top-rated air resistance rowing machine can hold up to 500lbs, suggesting that this machine is not incredibly sturdy compared to other models.

Small Digital Monitor

As seems to be a bit of a trend with indoor rowing machines with air resistance, the digital monitor is very small and only really large enough to view basic workout stats. However, this machine does feature a device holder, so you can easily keep yourself entertained by watching your tablet or mobile phone whilst completing your rowing machine workout.

MaxKare Indoor Air Rowing Machine

Built specifically with strength in mind, this pure air resistance rowing machine is the ideal choice for those who prefer strength-based workouts over cardio. With an LCD display screen and great, ergonomic design, this machine is a perfect option all-round if you’re looking for a challenge and are looking for the best rowing machines under $500!

Pros

Intense Resistance for Great Strength-Based Workouts

This air resistance rower’s Amazon description is honestly more of a warning – but for good reason! This machine’s base resistance is described as being near to a level 6 on adjustable machines, with the resistance increasing the harder you pull. With many indoor rowers being criticised for too-low resistance levels, this is a great option if you are super fit and looking for a challenge, or if you’re after a more strength-based workout.

Generous 50-inch Inseam

With an inseam much longer than your average home rowing machine, the MaxKare machine is ideal for tall individuals who struggle to get a full range of motion from other models.

Ergonomic Design and Easy Storage

This air resistance rowing machine is ergonomically designed with a durable padded handle, comfortable seat and large, non-skid footplates with adjustable straps to cater to a range of foot sizes. To make your workout safer and more comfortable, definitely invest in a good pair of rowing exercise shoes and good quality rowing gloves.

Cons

Non-adjustable Resistance Levels

The most obvious pitfall of this air resistance rowing machine is its un-adjustable resistance levels. The machine has just one setting, which increases in intensity as you pull harder. Great if you’re looking for an authentic experience, but if you prefer a home rowing machine with manually adjustable settings, this may not be the one for you.

May be Unsuitable for Beginners

It just so happens that one of this machine’s most prominent benefits may also be its downfall! With its intensely challenging and un-adjustable resistance, this machine may not be the right choice if you’re trying out rowing for the first time, or if you prefer cardio rowing workouts.

Could be more Durable

Although the MaxKare air resistance rower has plenty of great reviews, many mention that it does not last very long or that parts tend to break, with mixed responses from the customer service department. The machine could certainly be more durable, and this may be something to consider if you’re thinking of purchasing it.

Stamina ATS Exercise Home Air Rower

The Stamina ATS Rower is a real no-frills yet functional air rowing machine, ideal for beginners and those on a tighter budget. Considering its lower price point, it is surprisingly attractive and covers all the basics for tracking your workouts efficiently. Which makes it one of the best budget rowing machines.

Pros

Sleek, Ergonomic Design

With its simplistically attractive design, this dark metallic grey air rowing machine will sit in style in your home, office or gym! Home rowing machines with a lower price point are often “clunky” looking, but the Stamina ATS is a great option if you want to work out in style, even on a tighter budget!

Easy Assembly

Although some users have found assembly of this rower a little tricky, many state the process was quick and fairly easy – perfect if you don’t get on well with home assembly!

Great, Affordable Option

If you’re after a no-frills air rowing machine that’s attractive and effectively covers all the basics, this is probably the perfect home rowing machine for you! With dynamic air resistance, basic workout tracking and easy assembly, this is a perfect piece for beginners.

Cons

Not as Reliable as the Alternatives

As is (to an extent) expected when going for a cheaper option, this machine isn’t guaranteed to be the most long-lasting or reliable. This air rowing machine is a great choice to bridge a gap or if you simply want to try out rowing before committing to something more upmarket, but probably isn’t ideal as a long-term investment.

Basic LCD Screen

As is the case with many air resistance rowing machines, this home rower’s display screen is very basic and provides limited details. If you’re after something with detailed stats, games or app connection, this machine may be one to miss.

No Adjustable Resistance

We’ve already mentioned that this is a fairly standard feature for air rowing machines, but some users do prefer manually adjustable resistance. If this is important to you, something like the Marcy foldable air rowing machine may be a more fitting option.

EFITMENT Aero Air Fan Rowing Machine

Last on our list of the best air rowing machines on the market, we have the EFITMENT Aero Air Fan Rowing Machine. With its sturdy build and lightweight, easy storage options, this is another great option for beginners or those who are after something a little more portable. Here are the pros and cons of the final product on our top air resistance rowers review!

Pros

Long Slide Rail for Taller Users

With its impressive 51-inch slide rail, this machine should provide a full range of motion even for users taller than 6ft. This really is this machine’s stand-out quality, as finding a suitable home rowing machine as a taller customer can prove extremely difficult!

Relatively Quiet

Though air resistance rowers will always have some level of noise due to the action of the fan, this rower has been praised for its relative quietness, though this does increase as resistance does!

Easy Movement and Storage

This portable rowing machine is super easy to store and transport using its convenient folding mechanism and handy wheels for ease of movement.

Cons

Could be Sturdier

Similarly to the previous budget option, this rower is not guaranteed to last forever, and is probably a better option for beginners wishing to give air rower workouts a go, rather than committed rowers in need of a durable and high-quality option.

Not the Most Attractive Rower

This rower certainly isn’t ‘ugly’, but it doesn’t have the same sleek design as many other options; the black and red color scheme doesn’t make for the most modern or stylish aesthetic. If you’re after something pretty, the EFITMENT doesn’t boast the most exciting of designs.

Extremely Small Display Screen

To continue a common theme of this article, our final option also has a very underwhelming display screen. In fact, this is probably the smallest one we’ve seen yet. If a great display screen is a dealbreaker for you, this will likely leave you disappointed.


Air Resistance Rowers Buying Guide

So there we have it, our final ranking of the best air rowing machines on the market is in! We love all of these options for their range of unique features, but choosing the right indoor rower with air resistance for you is a very individual task based on your personal needs. Here are a few important points to consider when making your decision.

  • Is it dual resistance or solely fan-based? As we’ve explored briefly throughout this review, some air resistance rowers are operated fully by a fan-based system, whereas others are combined with magnetic resistance. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with an air resistance only rowing machine, one with incorporated magnetic power may have a slightly different feel alongside varied noise and resistance levels. Having said this, there are other features that are probably going to make more of a difference to your overall rowing exercise experience, so don’t stress too much over this!
  • Air rower noise level. When picking out a home rowing machine, noise level is one of the most important factors for many prospective buyers. Consider how you like to work out; do you enjoy listening to music or watching TV whilst completing your daily rowing machine workout? If so, you may wish to invest in a quieter model to avoid your entertainment being drowned out.
  • Adjustable or dynamic resistance? Some of the best air resistance rowing machines feature a combination of manually adjustable and dynamic resistance, but you may prefer one or the other. Do you enjoy the more authentic experience of resistance that adjusts depending on your pull? Or would you rather have manual control of your home rowing machine’s resistance level at all times? If so, how many resistance levels would your ideal machine have?
  • Storage and transportability. As with any rowing machine, storage and moveability are definitely important to consider, particularly if you move around regularly or wish to store your rower in a small space. Luckily, the majority of air rowing machines are fairly compact with wheels for easy movement and a convenient folding mechanism. This is definitely something to think about that could save a whole lot of hassle in the future! To avoid ruining your floor or carpet, shop for a good mat for under rowing machines.
  • Display screen size and details. As we’ve mentioned a lot throughout this best air rowing machines ranking, the display screens of air resistance rowers is often not great compared to magnetic and water resistance options. Having said that, some are better than others and it’s certainly possible to find an air resistance rowing machine that has a great, functional display screen that meets your needs.

Final Verdict

We hope this top air resistance rowers review leaves you with some food for thought and feeling more educated on what to look for when choosing the best home rowing machine for you!

We love all of the models included in today’s post, but there are certainly a few standout options depending on your personal preferences.

If you’re looking for the best rowing machine with air resistance with reputation (and a decent display screen), the Concept2 Model D is well worth the investment. If you’re after manual adjustment of resistance levels, why not opt for the Marcy’s Foldable Rowing Machine? If you’re on the taller side, the affordable EFITMENT Aero Air Fan machine may be the perfect fit for you. Finally, the Stamina ATS Air Rower is a great, sturdy all-rounder, and the MaxKare is ideal for resistance-based workouts!

If you have experience with any of the air resistance rowing machines we have discussed in today’s post, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Equally, if there are any other models that you think deserve pride of place on this list of air rowing machine reviews, please do let us know – we love to hear your experiences and ideas!

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