When looking for the best rowing machine for a small apartment, people often have the same few criteria. The machine must be comfortable, fairly practical in its dimensions, well-priced, and above all – quiet. The noise that rowing machines produce is often overlooked but people living in smaller spaces really know how difficult it is to keep your neighbors happy. In this review, I will introduce you to the Echanfit Foldable Indoor Rower with all of its features, ups, and downs. Later on, we will also compare it to other rowers in this mid-price bracket and see how it holds its ground. Now, let’s start with a quick overview of the model…
Overview & Features
Design and Build Quality
While the design of this magnetic rower is fairly typical to most other home rowers, it doesn’t have quite the spectacular built quality. Everything is well-thought-out, the seat and handle are comfortable, the footrests are at a good location but the actual assembly and build quality just doesn’t hold up too well, especially when you push the rower to its limits. That is perhaps one of its biggest downsides and it isn’t even that serious if you are planning on using it moderately. Even if you decide to go all-in on a workout and damage any of the components, everything here is covered by a warranty for the first year. The issue I have with all that is that typically rowers start becoming slightly better-built at this price and continue progressing towards that premium quality as the price goes higher and higher. One good example of that is the Concept2 Model D indoor rowing machine which is quite expensive but is superbly well-put-together.
In terms of its dimensions, this rower is rather practical and compact. When fully assembled, it measures 75 inches in length, 19 inches in width, and 33 inches tall at its tallest point. The sliding rail is 46 inches long which is enough to accommodate most heights. The seat is at around 9 inches of height which makes the rower comfortable for people with longer legs. The folding process is really easy and consists of adjusting one knob only. Once folded, the rower is around 46 inches tall and no longer than 30 inches, making it quite practical for small spaces or closets in your apartment.
There are 16 levels of tension here and they are all controlled by the knob right below your handle. The knob is quite tactile and easy to use even when your hands are sweaty and slippery. As with all other magnetic rowers, the tensions change rather smoothly from one level to another and have good progression to them if you want to gradually increase the efforts in your workout.
The weight capacity of the Echanfit rower is another of its weaknesses and it actually is a testament of its build quality. Typically, well-built rowers have weight capacities of over 350lbs, while this model has a capacity of only 265 lbs. While this will be enough for most people, it really doesn’t help the rower look sturdy or anything. This is why I wouldn’t really recommend this magnetic rowing machine for anyone around or over 250 lbs.
The computer of this rower is fairly decent with a large enough LCD display that you can see from distance. It has all the basic functions plus a scan feature that some other on-board computers don’t have at this price. You have time settings (stopwatch, timer, etc), live RPMs, distance traveled, calories burned, and a few other useful features that you can toggle between with the buttons below the screen. These buttons aren’t very tactile, though, and become harder to hit and press as the rower ages. The electronic display’s angle can be adjusted to your liking depending on your workout preferences.
Comfort and Noise
The overall comfort levels here are decent and are greatly complemented by the molded ergonomic seat. It is very well-cushioned and is quite comfortable to use over extended periods of time. This makes the rower rather practical for long, aerobic workouts. The seat measures around 15.3 inches in length, 12 inches in width, and is around 2 inches thick. Cushioned seats are really important even if some high-end premium models ignore that particular aspect of the rower. Even if real rowing boats aren’t built around the comfort of the rower, it is always nice to have something that will support your back and improve your blood circulation when you’re working out.
One of the most spectacular features of this rower, and another thing that makes it just perfect for a small apartment, is how quiet it is. Everything here from the seat to the handle is extremely quiet. The magnetic resistance inside the body of the rower is also extremely quiet. Honestly, for this price, this is perhaps the quietest model you can buy and it only gets slightly loud once you really push it to its limits.
Additional features and accessories
Some of the things that are worth mentioning are that the pedals have an anti-skid coating that keeps your feet in place when you are working out. Additionally, below the tension adjustment knob, there is a water bottle holder that is also large enough to hold your phone. This is quite handy, especially for longer workouts in which you’d want to stay hydrated. Other than those two things, nothing else really stands out from the other rowers in this class and there aren’t any additional accessories, DVDs, or anything else that you’re getting on top of the rower when you buy it.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Very well-priced
- Excellent for beginners
- Ideal for small apartments
- A very quiet magnetic mechanism
- Easy to assemble and fold for storing
- A wide variety of resistance settings
- Well-padded seat and handle
- Multi-function training display
- Doesn’t have a high weight capacity signifying average structural integrity
- Can feel a little flimsy when you push it too hard
- Doesn’t have the most spectacular build quality out there
Click here if you want to learn how to make the most out of your rowing machine. Now, let’s see how the Echanfit rower stacks up against another similarly priced magnetic rower from another popular brand…
Echanfit Indoor Rower Vs Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515
When people browse for a quiet and practical magnetic rower, these two models are typically on top of their cross-shopping list. The SF-RW5515 by Sunny Health & Fitness is quite famous for its simplicity and long-term durability. It has a comfortable seat, padded handle, and non-slip pedals just like the Echanfit rower. In terms of its resistance adjustments, it only has 8 settings, as opposed to the 16 settings on the other model. Dimensions-wise, the Echanfit is bigger but has the option to easily fold and be stored in small spaces. Both models have digital monitors with an LCD display that are fairly practical and share the same features. The build quality is also quite similar between both models but that is normal for models in this price bracket.
Despite the Echanfit rower having a relatively low weight capacity at 265 lbs, it actually can hold more weight than the SF-RW5515 which is rated at 250 lbs max capacity. Both of these rowers aren’t exactly meant for heavy usage or people over 250 lbs but all these numbers should tell you that the structural quality of both rowers isn’t stellar and unless you are quite lightweight, you shouldn’t be pushing them too hard too often.
As a whole, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 offers slightly better adjustability and comfort for taller people but doesn’t have a good weight capacity. It is a little more basic than the Echanfit rower but both share similar build quality characteristics and are more or less equally quiet. One major aspect in which the Echanfit edges the victory is the practicality thanks to its foldable structure that can be stored in smaller spaces. The SF-RW5515 is also foldable and has transportation wheels, however, that adds a bit to its practicality, even though it still remains a fairly bulky rower even when folded.
Conclusion & Rating
The Echanfit Foldable Indoor Rower is an affordable magnetic rower that is practical, compact, and is good enough for most people’s home-workout needs. It is dead quiet, which is one of its biggest advantages over other rowers at this price but it doesn’t handle frequent high-intensity workouts very well. The sliding rail is long, the seat height is good, and the pedals have good positioning resulting in a comfortable fit for people of most heights. For people around 250 lbs, though, this rower might feel a little insecure and flimsy when pushed too hard, which is an unfortunate downside of its average build quality. Still, for the money, the rower is actually a decent bang for the buck and is ideal for people dealing with limited interior space and noise regulations. Overall, I rated it with four and a half out of five stars.