The Best Folding Rowing Machine

Last updated: May 3, 2017 After spending 45 hours of testing and researching the best folding rowing machine for your home, tiny home, apartment, and more.  At the end of the day, our overall pick is the Stamina Body Trac Glider Rowing Machine due its large offering in a small, compact form.  The Trac Glider offers a clean, undeterred stroke at all its variable resistances and is quite stable.  When you’re stable on the rowing machine, you have the confidence to work out in 100% focus.  If you’re on the market for a new rowing machine, and your home offers little space to work with, the Trac Glider should be at the top of your list.

Our review and list has been organized by our top picks, luxury picks, and comparable picks for your consideration.  The focus was toward smaller apartment renters and tiny home owners in order to help them maximize their living spaces.  If you’re not in those two categories, you’ll still find excellent options for you even if you live in a palace.

Our Picks:

Stamina Body Trac Glider Rowing Machine

  • Dimensions (Inches): 58L x 43W x 18H
  • Folded Dimensions: 48L x 34W x 18H
  • Resistance Type: Hydraulic
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Rower: Dual Row Bars
  • Structural Warranty: 1 Year

It’s not a mystery why the Trac Glider Rowing Machine is our best overall pick.  The folded dimensions are fantastic and it holds up like a larger rower, which easily makes it the best folding rowing machine to us.  The arms are folded toward the frame which keeps the folded profile slim and easy to store.  But enough about the structure, the Trac Glider is a smooth-riding rower.  The hydraulic resistance isn’t too rough and is easily adjustable.  The digital display gets you readings for calories burned, stroke count, time and more.  If getting a full body workout is key for you in a space that doesn’t quite accommodate your healthy lifestyle, this is a great pick!

See what others think:

  • Margie W: “For the money I am very pleased. It takes a little coordination in the beginning but I am a pretty smart girl and love love love it. I researched for days and read hundreds of reviews on as ll kinds of equipment before I bought this one.”
  • SJ: “I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks and it’s wonderful. I haven’t had any problems with the pedal, although I can see why people do.”
  • Direhobbit: “A compact and sturdy piece of exercise equipment. I waited a few months to review this product so that I could speak to its longevity. I can honestly say my rowing machine runs as smoothly today as it did when I purchased it 3 months ago.”

Check out current prices of the Stamina Body Trac Glider Rowing Machine

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Marcy Turbine NS-6050RE Magnetic Rowing Machine

  • Dimensions (Inches): 90.5L x 24W x 19H
  • Folded Dimensions:  55L x 24W x 12H
  • Resistance Type: Air, Magnetic
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Rower: Single Bar
  • Structural Warranty: 10 Years

If you’ve got a little extra space in your tiny home, why not look into the Marcy Turbine Magnetic Rowing Machine which is our second overall pick.  Off the bat, you’ll see this has a 10 year warranty.  Not only this, but all Marcy products come with a 10 year warranty on the structural parts.  Speaking of structure, the NS-6050RE can hold up to 300 pounds and you can tell when you use it.  But, as we alluded to earlier, there is a size difference between this and the Trac Glider.  Therefore, it is a much stabler rowing machine.  When folded up, it’s around 4.5 feet tall but can be easily rolled into storage with the built in wheels on the frame.  If you have the space and want something to challenge you, the Marcy Turbine NS-6050RE is well worth the time.

See what others think:

  • Margaret B: “Small footprint and great design. Stores easily. Great workout too!”
  • Kristi G: “During use, even with us big folks, this rower is smooth and even. It’s a very straightfoward motion, and it glides very well. There’s nothing to stop a really rhythmic, smooth non-impact workout.”
  • Dan S: “Solid rower, easy setup, smooth motion, and pretty simple display. Quality feels good and I think it will last a while.”

Check out current prices of the Marcy Turbine NS-6050RE Magnetic Rowing Machine

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Luxury Picks:

LifeCORE R100 Commercial Rowing Machine

  • Dimensions (Inches): 92L x 19W x 36H
  • Folded Dimensions: 52L x 19W x 67H
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Frame Material: Steel, Aluminum
  • Rower: Single Bar
  • Structural Warranty: Lifetime – Frame, 5 Years – Parts

If you have a little extra to spend on your new folding rowing machine, then our next two options are well worth considering–starting with the LifeCORE R100 Rowing Machine.  This commercial-grade rowing will rival your gym’s rower and might be better, pending your gym’s rower.  The R100 has 15 preset programs, 4 heart rate control programs, 16 levels of resistance, and 4 user presets; putting it in rare company on this list.  It has excellent warranties, better than the rest as well unless you’re buying this for commercial use.  The R100 folds into a fairly manageable size, although, its resistance pod keeps it kind of bulky too.  But like our second overall pick, the LifeCORE R100 is aimed at folks with a bit more room to work with.  It’s also at the very top-end of the pricing scale of this list but the benefits are clearly present.  For a top-tier folding rowing machine, look no further.

See what others think:

  • Amazon Customer: “I have rowed for many years now and have been able to try many different rowers. This is one of the most well built and smooth rowing rowers on the market today. It is a professional level piece of gym hardware that will last most home users a lifetime.”
  • Jeff L: “Overall an excellent unit that I feel is worth its steep price. I’ve owned a couple rowers and a skier for years and after 3 weeks this is now my cardio workout device of choice.”
  • Lisa M: “I have to say though that I am SOOOOO happy with this purchase. It came intact with all the parts and took less than one hour to put together by myself.”

Check out current prices of the LifeCORE R100 Commercial Rowing Machine

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Stamina 1445 Wave Water Rowing Machine

  • Dimensions (Inches): 85L x 20W x 34H
  • Folded Dimensions: 46L x 20W x 60H
  • Resistance Type: Water Resistance
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Rower: Single Bar
  • Structural Warranty: 3 Years

Our second luxury folding rowing machine is the Stamina 1445 Wave Water Rowing Machine.  If you couldn’t pick it up from the name, picture, or specs, this rowing machine uses water resistance!  It’s designed to help give you a real water feel for each stroke you make.  Next to that, you get unlimited resistance levels based on how much water you want fill the reservoir with.  The ball-bearing rollers give the comfortable, contoured seat an easy, smooth ride.  The digital monitor lets you keep track of strokes, strokes per minute, distance time, etc and is easy to use.  If you’re an avid rower with an above average budget, you should really consider the Stamina 1445.  It’s also one of the only folding water rowers on the market!

See what others think:

  • francisco t: “Great product, easy to assemble and wonderful to working out in the comfort of your room, good for rowing beginners.”
  • Ian R: “The rower is great. I’ve used it about 2 Km so far. Assembly was pretty easy and only took about 35 -45 min.”
  • Lynda S: “Great rower so far! Very pleased. Was easy to assemble, clear instructions. Very satisfied with this machine!”

Check out current prices of the Stamina 1445 Wave Water Rowing Machine

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Best Of The Rest:

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

  • Dimensions (Inches): 80L x 20W x 29H
  • Folded Dimensions: 45L x 20W x 54H
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Rower: Single Bar
  • Structural Warranty: 5 Years

In no particular order, the next rower on our list of the best folding rowing machines is the Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower.  While we wouldn’t include this in our “luxury picks” we do think it’s worth considering.  It has a very nice, comfortable seat and provides a great workout with minimal noise from the rower itself.  This magnetic rower from Velocity Exercise is insanely quiet in comparison to our other rowers so if you’re annoyed with the sound of a fan-resistance rower, this is a great option.  But again, the price tag will reflect feature like this.  The frame is solid and more lightweight than the others on our list thanks to it’s aluminum build.  And as you can see, it folds up nicely and can be rolled away on the frame rollers.  An excellent choice overall!

See what others think:

  • Robert L: “Did a lot of research, choose this one, very happy with my decision….I was 244 when I got it, now 3 and 1/2 months later…I am 204:) Diet and rowing 1/2 hour 6 days a week put me back at a weight I hadn’t seen in 20 years. I highly recommend this rowing machine!
  • Rosemary A: “I researched online to find a quiet rowing machine since it would be located in our family room. This one is definitely whisper quiet. Watching tv at low volume it no problem.”
  • Trey G: “Once I dismissed all the reviews that were clearly written by Concept2 employees or reviewers I was able to settle on the Velocity Magnetic Rower and I must say I am incredibly Happy with the product!”

Check out current prices of the Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

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Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA 4500

  • Dimensions (Inches): 81L x 20W x 25.2H
  • Folded Dimensions:  45L x 20W x 54H
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Frame Material: Steel, Aluminum
  • Rower: Single Bar
  • Structural Warranty: 3 Years

Another excellent folding rowing machine, much like the model above, is the ASUNA 4500 Rowing Machine By Sunny Health & Fitness.  All the good things you can get with the model above can also be found here.  Things like being ultra quiet, multiple built-in programs and resistances, an excellent digital display, and a smooth-riding seat.  The footsteps are solid, no slipping or anything like that while we were trying it.  The beauty of the ASUNA 4500 is that it typically lists at a price just under the average rower with these features.  This makes it both worthy of selection to our list of the best folding rowing machines but also worthy of your consideration.

See what others think:

  • Anonymous Customer: “After 3 weeks I can say this is a great rowing machine. Sturdy, well built, and easy to use. It folds up extremely easy and although it is a little heavy it can easily be moved and stored out of the way. The multiple workout programs has something to offer for all. I highly recommend this product.”
  • Myrna M: “I’ve been using the machine for a few weeks now and really love it. The resistance levels are great, and the [pre-programmed] workouts provide a nice variety of choices. The screen is well lit and easy to read. The machine itself is pretty user friendly.”
  • Malthus V: “Unexpectedly good! quiet, smooth, PERFECT!”

Check out current prices of the Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA 4500

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Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms

  • Dimensions (Inches): 48L x 32W x 28H
  • Folded Dimensions: 48L x 32W x 10H
  • Resistance Type: Hydraulic
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Rower: Dual Row Arms
  • Structural Warranty: 5 Years

The slimmest, most compact folding rowing machine on our list is the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine.  The arms fold up into the frame, just under the seat.  This gives you less than 12 inches of clearance needed to store the Stamina 1215.  It can easily slide under the bed of your tiny home or studio apartment and it easily consumes the least amount of space while in use.  But outside of its profile, the hydraulic resistance is nice and the digital display gets the job done.  The other slim part of the Stamina 1215 is the slim price tag.  It comes in well-below the majority of models on our list of the best folding rowing machines.  And with a 5-year warranty, it’s a safe bet you’ll be pleased with the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine for years!

See what others think:

  • Big Dawg: “This rowing machine is great, I was debating between this and the lower model 1050 which was under $200, decided to go with the 1215 because of the independent shocks for resistance. This have worked well, it’s quiet while in use, great workout, even though there’s no active leg resistance I still get a nice leg workout.”
  • Oak Vineland: “Storage is great. Depending on your beds ground clearance it could easily fit under it or if you have a space on the wall it can lean against it with ease.”
  • Jmbsol: “Well I’ve only had this a couple weeks, but so far so good. Barring any defects that would have it breaking after a bit of normal use, I can give this five stars.”

Check out current prices of the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine

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Marcy NS-40503RW Rowing Machine

  • Dimensions (Inches): 74L x 20W x 32H
  • Folded Dimensions: 39L x 20W x 50H
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Rower: Single Bar
  • Structural Warranty: 2 Years

Rounding out the last of the magnetic-resistance folding rowing machines is the NS-40503RW Rowing Machine from Marcy.  If you’re aiming for the best lower-priced magnetic folding rower, then you’ve found it here.  One reason for that is in the resistance knob; which while changing the resistance is done this way opposite of electronically, it’s easy to change.   The LCD panel is easy to read and navigate.  Folded up, the Marcy NS-40503RW rolls away easily and tucks away nicely.  The best part, to us, was actually the row handles which are very comfortable.  For under $300, this full-size folding rowing machine is an interesting choice for your home gym or apartment!

See what others think:

  • Amazon Customer: “Excellent machine. Smooth operation and great variable adjustments.”
  • May: “Great product, use it every day!”
  • Charlesp4: “I like the amount of continuous resistance, the cushion is very comfortable, and fits perfectly in the corner when not in use. Also I’m 5’11 and fits me perfectly.”

Check out current prices of the Marcy NS-40503RW Rowing Machine

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Budget Picks:

Stamina InMotion Rower

  • Dimensions (Inches): 57L x 19W x 24H
  • Folded Dimensions: 57L x 19W x 24H
  • Resistance Type: Hydraulic
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Rower: Single Bar
  • Structural Warranty: 1 Year

For our budget picks we decided to go with slim, compact, no-frills rowing machines.  Sure, they aren’t folding rowing machines like the rest but they certainly have a small footprint compared to traditional rowers.  Our first budget pick is the Stamina InMotion Rower and is typically for under $100. It comes with 5 levels of resistance and the seat is pretty comfortable.  The digital monitor is nice and covers the basics for what you need (strokes/min, stroke count, time, etc).  The beauty of the this and our next pick is that it is incredibly light with the InMotion coming in an 27 pounds!  It’s easy to manage, easy to carry, and easy to get a workout when space is limited.

See what others think:

  • Rose D: “I use this twice a day. I LOVE IT! I can’t believe that I was able to put it all together myself! It is easy to use and in twenty minutes I burn 150 calories!”
  • Magda D: “I wasn’t sure about the Stamina InMotion Rower but decided to give it a try. I’m SO Happy I did!!”
  • CJK Lee: “Small footprint; can be stored upright on its handlebars and takes up about 2 x 2 ft at the base in room;”

Check out current prices of the Stamina InMotion Rower

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Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine

  • Dimensions (Inches): 53L x 20W x 22H
  • Folded Dimensions: 53L x 20W x 22H
  • Resistance Type: Hydraulic
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Rower: Single Bar
  • Structural Warranty: 3 Years

The final rower on our quest to find the best folding rowing machine, which doesn’t fold, is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine.  We actually like this model a bit more between this and the InMotion because the seat is more comfortable and the price is a little more friendly.  As with any budget pick, you’ll miss out on higher weight limits, fancy monitors, and workout programs but the SF-RW1205 does have 12 adjustable resistance levels, fantastic foot pedals, and only weights 20 pounds!

See what others think:

  • Nancy: “This little rower is a high quality, very effective piece of equipment with a minimalist footprint, and you can’t say that about too many machines in the under $100 price range.”
  • Timothy S: “Surprisingly solid and effective piece of dirt-cheap gear. For the cost of a pair of sneakers ($71 shipped when I bought it in Jan 2014) you get a light, yet durable (I’m 220lb – yes, all muscle…) machine that is well-made and easy to put together.”
  • Jonathan K: “Very cheap little unit, but quite effective at what it does. My family refers to it as ‘the TV chair’. Not a gym quality system by a long shot but after 8 months it keeps on working and it definitely lets me watch TV without being a couch potato.”

Check out current prices of the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine