Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

NordicTrack Review

Saturday, March 2nd

2024 Rowing Machine Reviews

NordicTrack Review 4 Star Rating


4 Star Rating
  • Rower Type: Magnetic, combination Air + Magnetic
  • Price Range: $899 to $1,999
  • Different Models: 3
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Warranty: 10 years frame, 2 years parts, 1 year labor
  • Shipping: Free

NordicTrack is a fitness equipment company that has been in business since 1975. If you've ever worked out in a commercial gym, chances are you've used a NordicTrack machine. They offer a range of fitness equipment, including treadmills, exercise bikes, ellipticals, and rowers, with built-in iFIT programs designed by expert trainers in the industry. These interactive programs cater to different fitness levels and goals and give users the opportunity to virtually experience various locations in HD.

3 models

NordicTrack's rower product line currently includes 3 options ranging from $1,999 on the high end to $899 on the low end. The middle model will run you $1,499. All three models are powered by silent magnetic resistance technology, feature iFIT workout programs, and are Bluetooth compatible. You'll also get the first 30 days of an iFIT trial for free, but it will cost $39 a month after that, so don't forget to cancel in time if you don't want to keep it.

iFIT will change the way you work out

What exactly is iFIT, though? With iFIT integration, users aren't just limited to static, repetitive workouts. Instead, they get a dynamic and interactive experience. This platform offers personalized workouts, virtual classes led by trainers, and even simulated real-world runs, rows, or bike rides where you virtually traverse scenic landscapes from around the world. The machine adjusts resistance, incline, or speed in real-time based on the terrain or the trainer's instructions, making for a more engaging and challenging session.

The difference is night and day

When you compare this to a machine without iFIT, the difference is night and day. Traditional machines might give you a solid physical workout, but they can't compete with the immersive, ever-changing, and tailored workouts of an iFIT-enabled machine. After all, half the battle of getting in shape is finding a way to move that you enjoy.

Best Rowing Machines

Rw600: combination air and magnetic resistance

For $899, the RW600 features a 10" HD touchscreen and has 26 resistance levels. This rower uses a combination of magnetic and air resistance systems, which means you get the best of both worlds. Magnetic systems provide consistent resistance, while air rowers provide resistance that depends on your rowing intensity. With the RW600's combo resistance, you establish your baseline resistance with the magnetic system, and then the air resistance kicks in if you row harder and faster. This feature makes for a smooth rowing experience with plenty of resistance for most users. The RW600 can be folded away when not in use. Shipping for this model seems to be free.

RW700: quiet but costly

It's a big jump from $899 to $1,499, so we'd expect to see some serious bells and whistles on the RW700. It has a 10" HD touchscreen like the RW600, but this one can be tilted and pivoted so you can turn the screen to face outward into your workout space and follow along with iFIT's cardio, yoga, and strength routines. This model also has a 30 Watt Premium Sound System. The RW700 is a magnetic rower: the spinning flywheel and magnet system creates consistent resistance no matter how hard you pull and, unlike the RW600, which does make noise due to its additional air resistance system, the RW700 is nearly silent. Because it doesn't use a fan, the frame is a lot sleeker. However, it doesn't fold, so you'll need enough space to keep it on full display even when you're not using it. All in all, we don't see much more value in this model than its cheaper sibling, unless you're really into the higher quality sound system. Delivery appears to be free.

RW900: a bigger screen, but not much else

NordicTrack's top-of-the-line RW900 Rower is a silent magnetic resistance rower with 26 resistance levels. It comes with a free iFIT brand heart rate monitor and floor mat valued together at $148, which is a nice perk for the $1,999 price tag. The rower has a tilt-and-pivot 22" screen with a 30 watt sound system, and, like the RW700, it doesn't just show you rowing workouts - you can turn the screen away from the rower and follow iFIT's bodyweight workout routines. However, keep in mind iFIT has a TV app, so if you have a TV in your home gym already, you don't need to splurge on a rower with a pivoting screen. Standard Delivery for this rower is free.

Best Rowing Machines

Automatic Trainer Control and stat tracking

The rowing workouts have real-time Automatic Trainer Control, which means that the rower's digital resistance is adjusted by the training program you're using - you'll hear a verbal cue from the trainer in the pre-recorded workout along the lines of, "I'm increasing your resistance." After you finish your workout, you'll get a detailed breakdown of your performance. This will help you see how effective your workout was and where you can improve.

SmartAdjust™ technology to keep you on your game

Not to be confused with Automatic Trainer Control, SmartAdjust™ is a technology that saves your workout adjustments and uses them to automatically adjust your NordicTrack machine for future workouts. It can store your preferred incline level and speed, allowing you to follow your iFIT trainer at your own pace. As you get stronger and faster, SmartAdjust™ updates automatically to keep up with you and ensure that your rowing workouts continue to be challenging.

Great warranty, "meh" return policy

All three rower models come with a Manufacturer Warranty of 10 years for the frame, 2 years for parts, and 1 year for labor. You have the option at checkout to pay extra to extend your warranty by 3 years. NordicTrack's return policy allows customers to request a return within 30 days of delivery if they are not satisfied with their rowing machine. However, you'll have to pay a return shipping charge of $250 and a 10% restocking fee.

Best Rowing Machines

Reputation is mixed

When it comes to reputation, things get a bit tricky. Both NordicTrack and another brand we looked at are part of ICON Health & Fitness. Even though this parent company has thousands of complaints, they've still got an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau. So, they must be following up on those customer complaints well enough.

NordicTrack beats its sister brand

So, given that both have similar histories and advanced features, why does NordicTrack edge out its sibling brand, ProForm? The answer is simple: we're sure customers would prefer a choice of 3 rowers over just 2, and they'd appreciate transparent pricing for the machine rather than a "free" rower with a mandatory 3-year iFIT subscription. Apart from these factors and the distinct characteristics of each brand's rowers, the two brands are more or less on par.

Join the fan club

NordicTrack users often rave about their experiences on these rowing machines, particularly when it comes to the trainer-guided sessions. While rowing might sometimes feel monotonous, having a coach urging you to push harder or persevere for a few more minutes can make a world of difference in your workout's intensity. NordicTrack might not have the cheapest rowers on the market, but they sure pack in value for what you pay. Their rowers, integrated with iFIT, are certainly something to think about when considering adding the next piece to your home gym.

Where Can You Find the Best Rowing Machines?

Rowing machines, or "rowers," have swiftly sailed into the mainstream fitness world, gaining traction as a one-stop solution for a comprehensive workout. They're not just about the sport of rowing anymore; they're about sculpting your body, boosting your cardio, and getting fit in a fun way. Rowing machines provide an all-in-one workout, working the legs, back, arms, and core.

So it should come as no surprise that rowing machines have become so popular. With rowing, you can elevate your heart rate and improve endurance without stepping outside. What's more, rowing is gentle on your knees and joints, thanks to the smooth motion and the seated position. The resistance can be adjusted to tailor the session - amp up the intensity for a challenge or keep it light and steady.

The Best Rowing Machines Compare Rowing Machines Compare Rowing Machine Reviews What are the best Rowing Machines Best Rowing Machine Reviews

Rowing Machine FAQ

There are four basic types, all classified by the type of resistance they provide. The rowers you may have seen at your local gym, CrossFit box or Orangetheory studio probably used flywheel or water resistance. Other rowing machines use magnetic or piston/cylinder resistance mechanisms.
Absolutely! Rowing machines use up to 85% of your body, from the effort it takes to push backwards to the core strength needed to go back and forth and, of course, all of the upper body in the pull. Like any new exercise routine, you may find there's a learning curve to developing proper form, but it's one of the best low-impact workouts you can get.
Yes! There are many workouts designed for all levels of fitness, including yours. You can also find communities that share rowing challenges -even worldwide! This is especially true if you use a Concept2 rower, which is considered as the "gold standard" when entering competitive times for races and recruiting.
Sometimes, depending on the model you select and how many features it offers. You'll see rowers ranging from under $300 to over $2500. You might be able to get low-interest financing from the retailer of the rowing machine you select.
Most styles will have a certain minimum floor space when in use: you're pushing yourself back and forth along a track, so think about how long your legs extend from a bent position to a fully-extended one. However, if space is an issue, there are rowing machines that can be folded up when not in use (usually by placing the track in a vertical position).
Most retailers of Rowing Machines offer a return period of at least 30 days. But, keep in mind that you're usually going to be on the hook for return shipping fees, which can get expensive.
Some rowers are delivered for free. Don't be surprised to see shipping costs upwards of $130, though: rowing machines are oversized and heavy.
Generally speaking, you'll be the one setting up your rower. A few retailers might be able to connect you with a local professional who can do it for you, but you might want to try it yourself first. These machines are typically straightforward to get up and rowing.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

What are the different styles of rowing machines? Rowers come equipped with a variety of resistance types, each offering a distinct rowing experience. Each type caters to different preferences in terms of workout dynamics, noise levels, and maintenance needs.

  • Air (flywheel) resistance uses a spinning fan, and the intensity grows as you row harder, although it can be a tad noisy.
  • Magnetic resistance, on the other hand, employs magnets, allowing for a quieter, smoother row where resistance is manually adjusted and stays consistent regardless of how fast you row.
  • Machines with pistons or hydraulic cylinders create resistance through air or fluid-filled components, making them more compact and often more affordable, but they might not mimic the traditional rowing feel as closely.
  • Finally, water resistance models, featuring paddles moving through a water tank, will give you an experience closest to actual rowing, including the calming sound of water, but they're typically heavier due to the water component.

Are you seeking the ideal rowing machine for your personal gym space? Here's what you should consider as you shop:

  • Budget. Rower prices span a broad spectrum. While the high-end models (exceeding $2,500) boast state-of-the-art features, you can snag a reliable machine for under $300. No need to splurge to ensure a solid workout session.
  • Features. Think about what you really want in a rower. Is space-saving important? Do you want the ability to join real-time classes, akin to Peloton? Or maybe the aesthetic matters, with the machine's look needing to mesh with your existing gym equipment?
  • Return policy and warranty. Be future-ready. If your chosen rower isn't the right fit for your space or if you end up wanting a different resistance type, can you send it back? Beware of potential hidden costs like restocking or return shipping charges. Moreover, get clarity on the warranty - what's covered, from the frame to electronics?
  • Company credibility. Dig into user feedback. What's the buzz about the brand? Will they step up if challenges arise during shipment, setup, or regular use? Given that a rowing machine isn't a trivial expense, you want to ensure you're placing your trust in the right hands.

If you're looking for a comprehensive breakdown of the top machines on the market, Top Consumer Reviews is the right place to be. We hope these ranked reviews will help steer you toward a rowing machine that aligns with your fitness aspirations!

The Best Reviews of Rowing Machines