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Rowing is a great low-impact workout that not only builds cardiovascular endurance, but also engages your legs, back, and arms. Finding the best rowing machine can be tough, but the GGR team is here to help the process go a little smoother.
I’m a big fan of how today’s technology has found its way into rowing to create a more interactive experience. I already love the innovative Hydrow rowing machine, so I was excited to get my hands on the Echelon Row-s to see how it compares.
In this Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine review, we’ll take a deep dive into the interactive programming, durability of the machine, and if I think this is worth adding to your home or garage gym.
Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine
The Echelon Row-S Connected Rowing Machine is a mid-tier option for someone looking for a cardio machine with interactive programming. Although I personally prefer the programming that Hydrow has put out, I still think there is some definite value in what they offer for $35 per month. Besides the obvious rowing classes, strength, cycling, running, and pilates are also offered. I really enjoy that the 22" HD touchscreen can swivel a full 180 degrees to accommodate programming off the bike.Read my full Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine review.
Why You Should Trust Us
At Garage Gym Reviews, it’s important to us to try the newest and best home gym equipment on the market. We rigorously test each piece of equipment to give readers our honest opinion on if it’s really worth the hard-earned cash. I’ve researched close to 80 rowing machines at this point, and have tried about 17 of them. I know what makes a great rowing machine versus just an average one. Things my team and I look for include price, overall value, interactive programming, durability, and ease of delivery plus assembly.
A Quick Look at the Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine
Echelon has a line of rowers, with the Row-s being the mid-level option. The regular Row, which is the base model, doesn’t include a touchscreen like the other two do. However, you can use your iPad or a smartphone because there is a device holder. The difference between the Row-s and the Row-7s is a bit more minor; the weight capacity increases from 300-350 pounds. It does say the Row-7s is made with “commercial grade engineering” but doesn’t elaborate on this. I have only used the Row-s of the three, and find it to be pretty durable.
- With the Echelon programming, you get up to five different profiles per account, which allows family members to also utilize the subscription without paying additional money.
- The screen is able to be flipped a full 180 degrees, so take advantage of this for off-rower programming.
My Favorite Things:
- 22” touchscreen that swivels
- Simple assembly
- Resistance can be changed via the handle
- Lots of different programs/training modalities
- Lots of plastic used to shroud the internals
- The handlebar has an aggressive angle that I personally don’t love
- Cannot be stored upright (although it can fold in half)
Is the Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine Worth It?
The Echelon Row-s is a solid cardio machine that will be a great addition to some people’s home gyms, but not for everyone:
- People who like a wide variety of general programming
- Those who enjoy magnetic resistance-based rowing machines
- Individuals who like a large touchscreen to keep them engaged
Not recommended for:
- Rowing enthusiasts that will pick up on the poor form of the instructors
- Those who don’t want programming
- Rowers that are fine without the motivation of classes
Echelon Row Connected Rowing Machine Series
The Row-s isn’t Echelon’s only rowing machine offered. The Row and the Row-7s are two others in the repertoire, each with slight differences. The Row has the same body as the Row-s, but without the addition of a touchscreen. The Row-7s has the same 22-inch screen as the Row-s, but with an upgraded body to the rowing machine.
|Echelon Row||Echelon Row-s||Echelon Row-7s|
|Footprint||84” L x 21” W X 45” H||84” L x 21” W X 47” H||93.5” L x 25” W X 50.5” H|
|Weight||106.5 lbs||114.5 lbs||130 lbs|
|User Weight Capacity||300 lbs||300 lbs||350 lbs|
|Screen||No built-in screen||22″ HD touchscreen||22″ HD touchscreen|
|Resistance||32 levels||32 levels||32 levels|
|Audio||Bluetooth capability||Built-in Bluetooth speakers||Built-in Bluetooth speakers|
|Adjustability||6 foot platform increments adjustments||6 foot platform increments adjustments||6 foot platform increments adjustments|
|Power||N/A||110V AC — power switch on front frame||110V AC — power switch on front frame|
|Folded Dimensions||40” L x 21” W X 60” H||41” L x 21” W X 60” H||45” L x 25” W X 69.5” H|
Using the Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine
The Echelon Row-s uses magnetic resistance to power the machine versus an air rower, which has increased resistance the harder you pull. Depending on the machine, I do sometimes prefer magnetic resistance because it can be quieter and you have the ability to adjust the resistance differently than with an air damper. The Row-s, in true magnetic resistance form, is pretty quiet and a good option for those in shared spaces.
If you want to switch the level of resistance, you can easily change it via the Bluetooth controller on the handle. However, if you aren’t paying for the Echelon subscription with the classes, you oddly won’t be able to view your resistance on the screen, which is something to keep in mind.
In terms of the touchscreen, I liked how large it is (22 inches) plus the ability to turn a complete 180 degrees to view other non-rowing programming off the machine. The touch screen loads faster than I’ve seen with NordicTrack’s iFit, but slower than with Peloton.
If you have a heart rate monitor, you can connect it via Bluetooth to the Row-s, which I think is a nice touch.
If you’ve ever sat on an exercise bike or rowing machine for too long, your butt probably started to hurt. Something I appreciate about the Row-s is the seat. It’s surprisingly more comfortable than I was expecting.
I like the thicker strapping they added to the feet, but the footstays do move up and down when in use.
I don’t like the angle of the handle bars. It’s much more aggressive than, say, the Concept 2 Model D Rower has, and after a long row, they can start to feel heavy and annoying to pull.
Echelon Fit Membership Plan
If you purchase the Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine, chances are you are going to want to get an Echelon Fit membership plan. If you want to pay monthly, the price is $34.99 or pay a year’s subscription, which amounts to $29.17 per month. Both options give you the same thing: five total profiles under one account with a variety of on-demand classes.
Let me start out by saying I love that you have the ability to add multiple profiles without paying for separate memberships. For example, iFit for NordicTrack does require a family plan (more expensive) if you want multiple profiles.
In terms of the classes offered, you aren’t just paying for rowing classes for the Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine. Other fitness classes offered include strength training, pilates, cardio, cycling, and running, which you can play on the rowing machine’s 22-inch touch screen. You’re also able to download the Fit app, if you want to take any of the classes with you on the go. New live classes are available everyday, which I enjoy.
I’ll be blatantly honest: The rowing classes themselves are very high energy, and the instructors seem pumped to be there. However, most of the instructors on classes I’ve followed have poor rowing form. This is concerning to me because not every user is going to realize this and may end up hurting themselves as a result of following the instructor’s rowing form. I do like the studio they shoot videos in, but it can’t compare to the on-water rowing experience that something like the Ergatta Rower or the CITYROW GO Max rowers provide.
A big bonus of getting an Echelon membership? Being able to play Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ on-screen while rowing! Provided you have a subscription already, you’ll be able to watch your favorite shows and movies while you row to your heart’s content.
A Foldable, Durable Machine
With a footprint of 84 inches long, 21 inches wide and 47 inches high, the Echelon Row-s has a similar footprint to other rowing machines. It does have wheels on the front (and is pretty front heavy as well), which makes it easier to maneuver around. I like that it can be folded in half and stored away. This makes it an ideal option for someone who cannot leave their rower out all the time when it isn’t in use. I do wish it was able to be stored upright, but I’ll take the fact that it can fold at all.
The Row-s has a sturdy aluminum rail and rollers that spin freely. I’m not the biggest fan of all the plastic used to shroud the internals, because plastic doesn’t always last well over time in a home gym. However, it does feel pretty durable overall, with a weight capacity of 300 pounds. I think time will tell for this machine in particular.
Echelon Row-s vs. Hydrow Rowing Machine
At almost $1,000 more than the Echelon Row-s, the Hydrow Rowing Machine has a pretty steep price tag. However, it is an exceptional machine. If you want a top-of-the-line rower, go with the Hydrow. Otherwise, the Echelon offers a lot of the same benefits for less money.
|Footprint||84” L x 21” W X 47” H||86″ L x 25″ W x 47″ H|
|Interactive Programming||Yes; $34.99 monthly||Yes; $38 monthly|
|Touchscreen||Yes; 22″ touchscreen||Yes; 22″ touchscreen|
|Resistance Type||Magnetic resistance||Magnetic resistance|
|Weight Limit||300 lbs||375 lbs|
|Weight of Rower||114.5 lbs||145 lbs|
I think the warranty on this machine is sub-par. You only get 12 months. That doesn’t account for any issues over time whatsoever. Although I have yet to have any problems with my Echelon Row-s, the short warranty is slightly concerning. For reference, Hydrow has a 5 year warranty on the frame, and storage kit (plus a comparable 12 months on components, screen, labor, and other electronics.)
RELATED: Hydrow Review
However, I do like the return policy they have in place. Although the 30-day time period you get to decide if you want to return your rowing machine is pretty standard, the prepaid shipping label they’ll give you if you decide to return is not. Rowing machines aren’t exactly light pieces of fitness equipment, so the customer not having to pay for return shipping is awesome.
The customer service seems pretty standard. There is a number to call in the top left hand corner of the screen on the main Echelon website. Live chat is also available in the bottom right hand corner if you have any immediate questions or concerns.
Ordering and Assembling the Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine
In terms of cardio equipment I’ve put together, the Echelon Row-s was one of the more simple ones. Yes, you should probably have another person on hand to help you, but I managed just fine. The instructions were well-done and straightforward, so it didn’t feel like cracking the Da Vinci Code to figure out what they were trying to tell me to do.
This rowing machine is $1,600, which isn’t exactly nothing monetarily to most people. Luckily, Echelon offers some pretty great financing options with 0% APR. You can finance this rowing machine over 12, 24, 39, or 48 months, depending on your budget.
On Amazon, the Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine receives a 4.5 out of 5 stars with just over 100 reviews. Customers seem to love how quiet the machine is, ease of assembly, and overall solid construction. (ADD SCREENSHOT TO CMS)
In terms of things people weren’t wild about, there were complaints about the subpar music selection within the classes, short warranty, below average customer service, and the expense of a monthly subscription.
Final Verdict of Our Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine Review
All in all, is this my absolute favorite rowing machine on the market today? No, but I think the Row-s provides a great value with a seemingly durable machine and full repertoire of general programming. Here are my key takeaways:
- The Echelon Row-s has a solid touchscreen that swivels 180 degrees.
- The programming for rowing machine workouts isn’t the best, but there are a variety of other modalities available to stream included with the subscription.
- Machine feels overall durable, and it’s useful that it is foldable.
Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine Rating
Echelon Row-S Connected Rowing Machine
Is this, overall, my favorite rowing machine on the market today? No, but I believe the Row-s offers excellent value, with an apparently long-lasting machine and a wide range of basic programming options.
Product Brand: Echelon
Product Currency: $
Product Price: 1599.99
Product In-Stock: InStock
Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine FAQs
Can I use my Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine without subscription?
You can use this machine without a subscription. However, you won’t be able to see what resistance level you’re on or take any on-demand workouts.
Does the Echelon rower have Bluetooth?
Yes, the Echelon Row-s does have Bluetooth functionality.
Can you watch Netflix on the Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine?
Yes, you can watch Netflix on the echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine, provided you have a subscription (and wi-fi).
Will you get a full body workout with the Echelon Row-s Connected Rowing Machine?
Not only will you get a full body workout, but it’ll also be low impact, which is generally better on the joints over time. This allows you to still smash your fitness goals and (hopefully) not hurt yourself in the process.
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