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Bowflex Review

Tuesday, June 28th

2022 Stair Climber Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Bowflex Review 5 Star Rating

Bowflex

5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $1,699 to $1,999
  • Affordably priced
  • Good warranty coverage
  • Built-in touchscreen or bring-your-own device
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 6-week return policy
  • 6-month JRNY membership included
  • Free shipping
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Bowflex isn't just for strength training. You may remember their commercials for all-in-one resistance-based home machines, but the company has grown to include much more over the last 30+ years. They offer two different Max Trainer stair climbers that will get your heart pumping and make you stronger.

Worth the money to upgrade

So, what's the difference between the M6 (priced at $1699) and the M9 (priced at $1999)? There are several that are worth noting. First, the M9 comes with a 10" touchscreen, while the M6 has a regular LCD display. You get a 6-month subscription to Bowflex's on-demand and live workout platform, JRNY, with both machines - but you'll have to use your own phone or tablet to follow along if you buy the M6. Your equipment can also be set up for multiple users: just two with the M6 but unlimited with the M9. Other features with the M9 include a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate armband, 4 extra resistance levels, Bluetooth speakers, and an extra year on the warranty coverage. Worth the extra $300? We think so!

Free shipping, 6-week return policy

Shipping is free no matter which model you buy. You'll also get a better satisfaction guarantee and return period than most stair climbers: 6 weeks to decide, and no restocking fees.

Best Stair Climbers

Equipment overview:

  • Price Range: $1,699 - $1,999
  • Different Models: 2
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance Levels: 16-20, depending on model
  • Maximum User Weight: 300 lbs.
  • Live/on-demand classes available: Yes
  • Return Policy: 6 weeks, no restocking fees
  • Warranty: 2-3 years, depending on model
  • Shipping: Free

Worth the money to upgrade

So, what's the difference between the M6 (priced at $1,699) and the M9 (priced at $1,999)? There are several that are worth noting. First, the M9 comes with a 10" touchscreen, while the M6 has a regular LCD display. You get a 6-month subscription to Bowflex's on-demand and live workout platform, JRNY, with both machines - but you'll have to use your own phone or tablet to follow along if you buy the M6. Your equipment can also be set up for multiple users: just two with the M6 but unlimited with the M9. Other features with the M9 include a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate armband, 4 extra resistance levels, Bluetooth speakers, and an extra year on the warranty coverage. Worth the extra $300? We think so!

Free shipping, 6-week return policy

Shipping is free no matter which model you buy. You'll also get a better satisfaction guarantee and return period than most stair climbers: 6 weeks to decide, and no restocking fees.

Company has good reputation

Bowflex's parent company, Nautilus, has a decent "A-" rating from the Better Business Bureau. There were more than 150 complaints filed with the BBB in the year leading up to this review, but they're spread out over the entire brand family. That includes not just Bowflex and Nautilus, but also Schwinn, Universal, and Direct Focus. Most commonly, the negative reviews refer to problems with delivery, which is often a third-party service not controlled by Nautilus.

Great feedback on Max Trainers

What's more important is the customer feedback specifically on the Max Trainers. Over 87 reviews on the M9, 100% would recommend the stair climber to a friend and 74 of them were a perfect 5-star rating. It's always reassuring to read comments from people who have used the machine for a month or more - and to see active responses from Bowflex reps. Users say that both Max Trainers are fairly easy to assemble, and they're quiet while in operation (unless you're cheering yourself on or cursing as you climb a really high incline). The most popular features are the live workouts and the adaptive nature of the machines, learning your stats as you progress and recommending routines suited to your current fitness level.

Fantastic value for the money

Bowflex's stair climbers are the best all-around value among the competition. There's no other option out there that gives you access to live coached workouts on reliable, fully-featured machines - for under $2,000. Bowflex's Max Trainers easily earn our first-place ranking.

Where Can You Buy the Best Stair Climbers?

This essential piece of cardio equipment has been around for almost 40 years. Sometimes referred to as a "stair stepper" , these machines are a refreshing alternative to treadmills and exercise bikes while still delivering an excellent workout. Depending on your current level of fitness, your age and weight, and the resistance level you choose, you could burn a whopping 500 calories in just 30 minutes!

What kind of stair climber or stepper is right for you? There are several equipment styles to choose from. The one you see most often at fitness centers is called a "stairmill" : picture a rotating staircase that you climb almost like an escalator at the mall. The intensity of your workout is determined by the speed you set. These machines tend to be very large and can take up a lot of space in your home, but they offer the advantage of being extremely sturdy and often have a higher user weight capacity than other types of stair climbers.

The Best Stair Climbers Compare Stair Climbers Compare Stair Climber Reviews What are the best Stair Climbers Best Stair Climber Reviews

Stair Climber FAQ

A stair climber is a type of exercise equipment that uses either a rotating series of steps or pedals pushed up and down - imitating the motion you'd make when going up a staircase. The "stairmill" option is most commonly found in gyms and health clubs, while the pedal variety can be seen both in fitness centers and in home use.
Stair climbers are low-impact, delivering an intense workout that is gentler on the joints than running on a treadmill. It also doesn't have to be either-or: if you like to mix up your workouts and target different muscle groups, alternating between using a treadmill and a stair climber is a great option.
That will depend on the stair climber you choose. Most models have clearly-listed dimensions for both floor space and ceiling height requirements, so be sure to look at them carefully and map out the space in your home before making your purchase.
You can get a good-quality stair climber for just under $1,000. If you want a high-end model exactly like what you've seen at your local gym, expect a price tag upwards of $10,000.
The more resistance levels your stair climber has, the greater variety you'll be able to get in your workouts. If you have people of multiple heights who will use the machine - for example, maybe you're 4'11" and your roommate is 6'5" - you might want to choose a model with adjustable stride lengths. From there, you should consider how much tech you want it to have, like Bluetooth connectivity with fitness apps or heart rate monitoring through hand grips and/or a chest strap.
Most stair climber manufacturers aren't quite there yet. However, at least one company offers a separate membership to an online platform where you can get live workouts, exercise in real time with a friend, or stream videos to make your workout routine more interesting.
That depends on the manufacturer's policy. Some offer no returns at all, while others may give you 4-6 weeks to try it out. You may also have to pay restocking fees if you return your stair climber.
Yes. Most stair climbers have warranty coverage on the frame and welds, parts, and labor. The timeframes vary: you might get a lifetime warranty on the frame with one manufacturer, while another only covers the frame for three years. Read the warranty coverage and terms carefully before you buy a stair climber.
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Continued from above...

The stair steppers you'll find most commonly in home use have pedals that you push up and down. As you increase the resistance in the pedals, your workout gets more challenging. There's a lot of variety within this type of stair machine too: you'll see full-body options that make it feel more like mountain climbing or using an elliptical machine, as well as super-compact designs that can be stored under a desk or bed.

Because stair climbers use a different motion pattern than walking or biking, there can be an adjustment period as you get comfortable with your new equipment. You can hang onto the handrails at first, to get your balance and become familiar with the machine, but eventually try to climb without them. You'll get a better workout! Also, remember to push with your whole foot and not just the ball of the foot, unless you want a calf-focused session. Finally, make sure that your shoes are firmly tied: you don't want your laces to get wrapped around the pedals or caught in the stairmill!

Which stair climber is right for you? There are so many options that it might be easy to feel overwhelmed. Keep these criteria in mind as you shop, and you'll soon find the one that's the best fit:

  • Price. What's your budget? How much will you pay for your stair stepper and any accessories you might want (like a floor mat to go underneath the machine)? Is delivery included?
  • Available Space. Where do you plan on using your stair climber? Do you have enough floor space and ceiling clearance for the machine you're considering?
  • Fitness Goals. The more features your stair stepper has, the greater variety you can incorporate into your workout routines. A simple machine is fine if you just need a basic cardio workout, but you should consider equipment with more resistance levels if you're trying to improve your endurance and strength over time.
  • Return Policy. If you don't love your stair climber once you get it set up, can you send it back? How long do you have to decide? Is there a restocking fee and/or return shipping costs to consider?
  • Reputation. What do people say about the stair climber? Is it durable? Did customers have a good experience with the customer service aspect of their purchase? Has the BBB given the retailer a good rating?

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the top stair climbers on the market today. We're confident that this information will help you narrow down the options until you find the perfect addition to your home gym!

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