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When it comes to home exercise equipment, most people don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a machine that’s going to take up too much space. Even if you do have a dedicated garage gym full of space, you’ll probably want to choose something that’s small, and designed to be moved between uses, like one of the best home stair climbers.

For those who love the traditional StairMaster but want a smaller piece of home fitness equipment to get the job done, Echelon’s new stair climber is a portable, lightweight, budget-friendly option. At only $800 (as low as $600 when it’s on sale), it’s priced to fit nearly any budget… but how’s the quality and feel of the workout?

In this Echelon Stair Climber Sport Review, I’ll share everything you need to know based on our hands-on testing and experience with this machine. You’ll learn what we liked, what we didn’t like, and whether or not we recommend this stair climber.

Thoroughly Tested and Reviewed by an Equipment Expert

The GGR testers include all sorts of fitness experts, including certified personal trainers, gym owners, CrossFit enthusiasts, and even an Olympian. We’ve spent years testing all sorts of fitness equipment, and we’re never afraid to share both our positive and negative thoughts. 

For this review, our tester was Lindsay Scheele, a certified personal trainer whom you may recognize as the face of our Garage Gym Reviews Everything YouTube channel. Lindsay has tested countless treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, stationary bikes, and stair climbers, and is an expert on all things cardio equipment. 

For this review, Lindsay scored this stair climber using our equipment testing methodology, which looks at specific aspects of a product, like:

  • Footprint
  • Durability
  • Portability
  • Ergonomics
  • Assembly

Echelon Stair Climber Sport

Echelon Stair Climber Sport

GGR Score: 3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • $600 price
  • 73-pound total weight
  • 275-pound max user weight
  • 3 incline settings
  • Built-in phone and tablet holder
  • Resistance adjusts with the turn of a knob

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • $600 price tag
  • 275-pound weight capacity
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • Handlebars feel wobbly
  • Adjusting the settings takes a while
  • Highest incline setting feels unstable

Bottom Line

The Echelon Stair Climber Sport is a compact, portable machine with a low price tag and high weight capacity. It doesn't have the highest-quality build, and the handlebars feel a little wobbly, but it still provides a great workout, especially for the price.

A Quick Look at the Echelon Stair Climber Sport

The Echelon Stair Climber Sport is a lightweight, portable, budget-friendly option for those looking to spice up their home cardio workouts. With a low price tag of only $800 (which may be as low as $600 when it’s on sale), this stair climber has a 275-pound weight capacity, adjustable resistance, comfort grip handles, and is easy to move around on hard floors with the built-in transport wheels. 

Echelon specializes in cardio equipment, a portable treadmill, along with a variety of ellipticals, bikes, and other pieces of smart home gym equipment. Many of Echelon’s products are designed to work with its streaming FitPass service, which provides a large library of virtual classes that provide a great home workout with a variety of instructors. 

RELATED: Echelon Stride Review

While Echelon has been making high-quality ellipticals for a while, this is its first entry into the stair climber market. Overall, while we found a few flaws in our honest testing that have since been addressed, this is still a good machine for many users, especially for the price.

Before You Buy

  • This stair climber only costs $800 and includes free shipping.
  • There are 3 incline settings, but you’ll need to manually adjust the handlebars and screen each time you change the incline as well.
  • A lightweight, foldable design makes this easy to transport and store, but the adjustments aren’t very intuitive.

Echelon Stair Climber Sport Video Review

Is the Echelon Stair Climber Sport Worth It?

While this is certainly a great deal for a stair climber, there are a few features that you should know about before making a purchase. After all, no machine is the perfect fit for everyone, and this is no different.

Great for:

  • Smaller individuals who want a great cardio workout at home
  • Those working with a limited budget or space at home
  • Anyone who doesn’t mind a few manual adjustments with each use

Not recommended for:

  • People who prefer following instructor-led workouts
  • Those with balance issues
  • Anyone who wants quick and easy adjustments

Echelon Stair Climber Sport Specs

Footprint39” L x 22” W x 55” H 
Weight73 lbs
Weight capacity275 lbs
Display3” display  
Incline3 incline levels
Warranty1-year parts warranty; extended warranty available

Workout Experience With the Echelon Stair Climber Sport

Lindsay Scheele, a certified personal trainer, has extensive experience testing treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers, and just about every other type of fitness equipment you can think of. 

Feet on the steps of an Echelon Stair Climber Sport.

She used this to take the one stair climber class available in Echelon FitPass and spent time testing every adjustment setting and incline. Overall, she was impressed with how the movement felt, especially for the price, but had a few callouts about the quality and a strange grinding noise.

Lindsay said, “It felt super similar to a combination of a stair stepper and an elliptical, more like a budget-friendly Bowflex Max trainer. It glides, but as it was gliding there was a noise that sounded almost like grinding the entire time. Also when you raised the resistance level it felt harder, but it also felt like the pedals would get stuck at the bottom.”

RELATED: Stair Climber vs. Elliptical

Footprint and Portability

For the footprint and portability, the Stair Climber Sport earns a 3-out-of-5 rating.

While the machine features a space-saving design meant for storage, Lindsay found that the folding process wasn’t very intuitive because there are multiple knobs you need to adjust. It worked well, but Lindsay said it took a while to adjust the knobs and made the adjustment system feel a little cheap.

There’s a small handle built into the bottom, along with wheels to roll the climber around, but the wheels are small, and Lindsay said that rolling them on turf or carpet can be tricky.

RELATED: Best Home Gym Flooring

Our tester moving the Echelon Stair Climber Sport.

This would have resulted in a lower final score, but Echelon reached out to us to clarify a few design changes in this stair climber. In particular, they’ve now introduced an improved lever design for the handlebar and incline adjustments, rather than the knobs.

We haven’t tested this new adjustment system yet, but it’s great that Echelon is listening to concerns and making improvements.

Durability and Construction

For durability and construction, Lindsey gave this stair climber a 2.5-out-of-5 star rating.

Overall, Lindsay said it was pretty stable, although when she thought more about the way the manual incline adjustment was built, she felt it wasn’t the most secure setup. She wouldn’t necessarily trust the safety for those closer to the 275-pound weight capacity.

Handle bars on the Echelon Stair Climber Sport.

The handlebars also felt a little wobbly, and Lindsay couldn’t rest her weight on them.

One of the biggest callouts Lindsay had is the noisy grind sound she heard the entire time she used it. She said, “I thought maybe it was our fault and that we assembled it wrong. However, it came assembled for the most part, so I’m not sure what’s going on with it.”

This is another point Echelon wanted to clarify, as this would likely deter many users from purchasing the stair climber. The representative we spoke with said that this is the sound of the magnetic flywheel hitting against the magnet, as the screws could become loose during shipping. The instruction manual provides troubleshooting tips on how to fix this; we’ll update this review to see if their guidelines work once we can fix this issue.

Level 2 on the Echelon Stair Climber Sport.

Echelon stated that this has been adjusted for all future orders and shouldn’t be an issue, and if it does happen, it’s easy to fix.

Lindsay also commented that she wasn’t sure how long the battery-powered display screen would last, but Echelon said that 2 AA batteries should last 6 to 12 months. However, the battery life will depend on how often you use the machine, and how long your workouts are. 

RELATED: The Best Cardio Machines for Weight Loss

The Ergonomics

For the overall ergonomics, Lindsay gave this a 2.5-out-of-5 score. 

While she said this worked very well for a low-impact cardio workout, especially for a budget-friendly climber, she noted that the adjustments weren’t perfect. If you want to change the incline, you’ll also need to change the handlebar angle, along with the screen, so there are a lot of knobs to loosen when you need to change something. There are two handle positions to choose from, and you can adjust the screen by unscrewing a knob and turning it to whatever angle you prefer.

Adjusting knob on the Echelon Stair Climber Sport.

Also, when turning the manual resistance knob, there are no markers or indicators to show which resistance level you’re at. If you want to use the same resistance during each workout, you’ll have to avoid touching the knob between workouts. 

Finally, at the highest incline, Lindsay felt getting off the stair climber was a little tricky. She warned users to be careful if they have balance issues, but her feet felt stable in the pedals the entire time she was using the machine.

Technology Benefits and Conveniences

As for the technology, this mini-stepper has a few things, but since it’s a budget machine, we wouldn’t expect all kinds of high-tech integrations. There’s a small, basic screen with Bluetooth connectivity you can use to see your workout stats, but no heart rate sensor or way to save your data between workouts.

It does have a device holder you can use to hold your phone or tablet to stream classes, videos, music, or anything else you want.

Screen on the Echelon Stair Climber Sport.

When you purchase the stair climber, you’ll also get a free 90-day membership to Echelon’s online streaming workout service, which normally costs $11.99 per month. During our testing, there was only a single class for the Stair Climber Sport in the fitness app. More may be added in the future, but we’re not sure.

For technology benefits and conveniences, the Stair Climber Sport earns a 2-out-of-5 rating.

RELATED: Benefits of Cardio

Echelon Stair Climber Sport vs Bowflex Max Trainer M6

Bowflex Max Trainer M6

Bowflex Max Trainer M6

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Gets harder as you get stronger
  • Stair-stepping design targets muscle development
  • Compatible with JRNY app
  • Ideal for HIIT workouts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Stair-stepping design targets muscle development
  • Compatible with JRNY
  • Ideal for HIIT workouts

Cons

  • No interactive touchscreen
  • Pretty basic display
  • Expensive

Bottom Line

The Bowflex M6 provides a heart-pumping, low-impact workout that resembles stair-stepping.

If you’re ready to spend a little more money on something that has higher quality, consider the Bowflex Max Trainer M6. Lindsay noted that it has a similar design, as it’s almost like a hybrid between a stair climber and an elliptical.

RELATED: Best Ellipticals Under $1,000

The Bowflex Max Trainer is heavier and bigger, and not quite as portable. However, it’s more durable, has a brighter screen, and a slightly higher weight capacity. 

Overall, the Echelon is better for those who want the lightest machine or are on a strict budget. The Bowflex Max Trainer is better for those who don’t mind spending a little more for better quality. 

To learn more, check out our complete Bowflex Max Trainer M6 review.

Echelon Stair Climber SportBowflex Max Trainer M6
Footprint39” L x 22” W x 55” H 46”L x 26”W x 64.2”H
Weight73 lbs148 lbs
Weight capacity275 lbs300 lbs
Display3” display  Backlit LCD screen
Incline3 incline levelsFixed incline
Warranty1-year parts warranty (extended warranty available)2-year frame warranty

Customer Experience 

The customer experience earns a 3-out-of-5 rating. Echelon accepts returns within 30 days and provides a pre-paid shipping label to return your machine if you reach out to customer service. 

However, if your stair climber has been opened and used, Echelon may deduct a fee from your refund. You can reach customer service via email, phone, or chat support on the Echelon website.

Echelon provides a 1-year parts warranty, with extended warranties available. The warranty isn’t clearly disclosed on the product page, but if you go to the FAQs, you can access all of the product manuals and look up the warranty.

Ordering and Assembling the Echelon Stair Climber Sport

Ordering from Echelon is easy. The company offers free shipping, and qualified buyers can finance their orders with Echelon financing or Shop Pay. You can also order the stair climber from Amazon, and receive free Prime shipping.

The stair climber arrived mostly assembled, with only a few small things to attach. Lindsay said it should take one person less than 20 minutes to assemble. 

Customer Reviews

The Stair Climber Sport has an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon based on 26 reviews, and 4.9 out of 5 stars on the Echelon website based on 37 reviews. 

Most users love the quality, price, and challenging workouts, although one user also mentioned the same wobbly handle that Lindsay encountered.

Final Verdict of Our Echelon Stair Climber Sport Review

Overall, this is a decent budget-friendly option for those looking for a home stair climber to help them on their fitness journey. Lindsay said the main thing that stopped her from making a stronger recommendation is the metal grinding sound. As Echelon has stated, this is an easy fix, so we still think this could be a good fit for anyone on a budget. 

It may not be the most durable stair climber, but it’ll get the job done. For only $800 (or as low as $600 when it’s on sale), it’s significantly more affordable than many similar options.

If you’re considering adding this machine to your home gym, here are some highlights to keep in mind: 

  • Compact, portable stair climber
  • Priced to fit most budgets
  • Adjustments aren’t quick or easy but may be improved with the new lever design

Full Rating

Echelon Stair Climber Sport

The Echelon Stair Climber Sport is a compact, portable machine with a low price tag and high weight capacity. It doesn't have the highest-quality build, and the handlebars feel a little wobbly, but it still provides a great workout, especially for the price.

Product Brand: Echelon

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 799

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
3

Echelon Stair Climber Sport

Footprint and Portability – 3
Construction and Durability – 2.5
Adjustability – 2.5
Ergonomics and Comfort – 2.5
Tech Capabilities – 2
Value – 4
Customer Experience – 3
Customer Reviews – 4.5
Buy Now

Echelon Stair Climber Sport: FAQs

Is a stair climber better than an elliptical?

Both stair climbers and ellipticals can provide a great cardiovascular workout. Many stair climbers require users to move their own body weight and may be slightly higher-impact machines, but neither is better than the other.

Is the stair climber worth it?

If you’re looking for a challenging, low-impact cardio workout, a stair climber can be a great choice, especially if you find one that fits your budget, workout space, and workout goals. 

Is a stair climber good for belly fat?

Stair climbers provide a challenging, calorie-burning workout that can help you reach your fitness goals. When paired with a proper nutrition plan, regular exercise can support weight loss goals, but the stair climber alone may or may not reduce body fat.

What are the cons of stair climbers?

Stair climbers can be expensive and take up a lot of space. Depending on the design, they can also be more challenging to use and put strain on the knees and hips. Those with existing aches and pains may want to choose something else, like an exercise bike or rowing machine. 

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