We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.

If you’ve considered buying the Ergatta Rower but talked yourself out of it due to the hefty price tag, you’re not alone. While it’s one of our top picks on our best rowing machine roundup, it’s a big investment. But your friends here at Garage Gym Reviews understand spending nearly $2,500 is not feasible for everyone. 

That’s why we’re excited to tell you about the newest rower from Ergatta. In this Ergatta Lite review, we’ll cover pros, cons, and lay out the differences between the original Ergatta and the Ergatta Lite. Let’s dive in. 

We’re Rowing Machine Experts 

Our team of expert product testers has used over 60 different rowers including machines with air, magnetic, and water resistance. We’re well-versed on the ins and outs of what makes a solid rowing machine and what it means when the specs fall short. 

RELATED: Water Rower vs Magnetic Rower 

For this Ergatta Lite review, Lindsay Scheele, GGR expert product tester and ISSA-certified personal trainer, used the rowing machine for a week straight before giving her full review. Lindsay is not only an expert on strength and cardio equipment, she’s our lead reviewer on the Garage Gym Reviews Everything YouTube channel. 

For all product reviews, Lindsay uses our in-depth fitness equipment testing methodology to score and rate different categories on a scale of 1 to 5. The Ergatta Lite was scored on a variety of categories including, but not limited to: 

  • Footprint and portability: How big is the rower and can it be easily moved by one person?
  • Delivery and setup: What can you expect from the delivery and assembly process?
  • Adjustability and ergonomics: Will the monorail support tall users? Are there adjustments on the foot straps?
  • Durability and construction: What is the machine made from? Does it shake or move during use?

Ergatta Lite

Ergatta Lite

GGR Score: 4.1 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Water resistance rowing machine
  • Oak frame
  • Shorter length than Ergatta Rower
  • Made in the USA
  • Touchscreen display

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Frees shipping
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Easy assembly
  • Ergatta membership not required, but recommended
  • Small footprint

Cons

  • Narrow foot placement
  • Low seat
  • Limited resistance adjustability

Bottom Line

The Ergatta Lite is made in the USA and handcrafted from oak. It features a 17.3-inch touchscreen display that is Bluetooth and Apple watch compatible. The Ergatta membership is optional, but with it you will have access to game-based workouts, scenic workouts, form check with AI coaching, live racing, and more.

A Quick Look at the Ergatta Lite Rowing Machine

Ergatta is a luxury rowing machine brand. Ergatta rowers feature water resistance, durable belt-drive systems, solid wood frames, and are handmade in the USA from its partner brand WaterRower. They are also not ugly, which is an attractive selling point. 

The Ergatta Lite, which we’ll cover in detail in this review, is super similar to the OG Ergatta rower but a little smaller, lighter, and made from a slightly less expensive wood. 

RELATED: Ergatta vs WaterRower

Before You Buy

  • Expect a gamified workout experience with the Ergatta membership. 
  • The rowing machine works without a membership, but you will miss out on most of the interactive features without one. The membership is an additional fee.
  • The Ergatta programming is specific to rowing; there are no off-machine workouts. 
  • Take advantage of scheduling a virtual demo with an Ergatta representative before you buy. 

The Ergatta Lite Rower Full Video Review

Is the Ergatta Lite Worth It?

The Ergatta Lite looks sleek, features solid construction, and has fun and interactive programming—what’s not to like? Plus, the price tag is comparable to some of our favorite rowing machines on the market including the NordicTrack RW900 and the Hydrow Wave. 

RELATED: Hydrow Wave Review

From our experience, we think the Ergatta Lite is worth it for folks who are looking for an intersection of durability, engaging workouts, and good looks. The fact that this machine isn’t an eyesore might be a major selling point if you’re someone who plans to keep this out in the open in your living room or bedroom.

While the Ergatta Lite price tag is about $700 less than the OG Ergatta, it’s still a big investment at $1,799. Plus, you have to consider the additional costs of the Ergatta membership, which grants you access to interactive programming, game-based workouts, AI coaching, and more. The Ergatta membership is $29 per month with the option to prepay for a 1-, 3-, or 5-year membership for a discounted rate. Unlike other popular workout apps, this covers everyone in your household with unlimited user profiles. 

Lindsay thinks it’s an excellent machine, especially if you’re weighing your options between the Ergatta Lite and Ergatta Rower. There are a ton of similarities between the two models, which we’ll cover in more detail a bit later. 

Great for:

  • Gamified rowing workouts 
  • Low-impact full-body workouts
  • Beginners and experienced exercisers 

Not recommended for:

Ergatta Lite Rower Specs

Price$1,799
Footprint82” L x 23” W 38” H
Resistance typeWater
Resistance levelUnlimited 
Product weight72 lbs (filled) 40 lbs (dry)
User weight capacity320 lbs
User height capacity 6’4” 
Materials Oak wood
Display17.3” HD touchscreen 
Programming Ergatta membership; $29 per month
Warranty5-year frame, 3-year components, 1-year tablet

Working out on the Ergatta Lite

GGR tester Lindsay Scheele tested the Ergatta Lite everyday for a week to test out different classes and games. Lindsay is happy to report how much she enjoys the Ergatta Lite and the interactive programming that comes with an Ergatta membership subscription. 

Lindsay has a few callouts we think you should be aware of before you purchase the machine, but overall she really enjoyed the workout experience on the Ergatta Lite. “I like it so much I’m now considering the Ergatta Lite for my own home gym. I think my kids would like it, especially with the game-based workouts,” she says.  

Footprint and Portability

The Ergatta Lite earns a 4.5-out-of-5-star rating in the footprint and portability category. It’s almost 7 feet long, just under 2 feet wide, and about 3 feet tall. If you decide to stow it away, the monitor arm can fold down making the height 21 inches tall when collapsed. 

Once the monitor arm is folded down, you can use the transport wheels on the front end of the machine to roll into storage or place upright against a wall. Lindsay also appreciates it’s fairly lightweight. When filled with water it weighs 72 pounds, and empty it’s 40 pounds. 

Lindsay thinks it’s worth noting that this lightweight machine does have some side-to-side play when in the upright storage position. She says to keep this in mind if you have kids or pets running around your house or home gym. 

Durability and Construction

The solid oak wood frame is not only aesthetically pleasing, it also makes for a durable frame. “The machine might be lightweight, but it’s super sturdy,” says Lindsay. “I didn’t experience any shaking, wobbling, or weird noises white working out.”

For further testing, Lindsay had additional GGR expert testers use the Ergatta Lite, including someone over 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. Our experts agree that the Ergatta Lite is sturdy and provides an ultra-smooth rowing experience. 

The seamless pull can be attributed to the belt drive system, which is often considered much smoother and in our experience requires less maintenance than a chain drive system. “The retraction is practically perfect,” says Lindsay. “I prefer the retraction and feel of the pull on the Ergatta Lite versus other rowers I’ve tested recently (like Vulcan Scull rower or the MERACH Water Rower).”

Customizations, Adjustability, and Ergonomics

The main factor to our customization category on a rowing machine is adjustable resistance.  Since the Ergatta Lite rower is a water rower, you won’t be adjusting the resistance manually or on the touchscreen, instead the resistance is driven by your effort and performance—much like an air resistance rower. Due to this, the Ergatta Lite earns a middle of the road 3-star rating for customizations. 

RELATED: Air vs Magnetic Rowing Machine 

“The resistance changes based on how hard and how fast you row,” Lindsay explains. “The faster you pull, you create more drag against the flywheel inside the water basin.”

When it comes to ergonomics and adjustability, the Ergatta Lite earns a 4-out-of-5-star rating. Lindsay deducted a point because while the setup works for her, she has a few things to note for other people. 

First, she says the rower seat is rather low and could be a limiting factor for folks with mobility issues. Second, the foot pedals are very narrow and not adjustable. Lindsay didn’t notice the foot placement at first but when other testers used the Ergatta Lite, it was apparent it won’t work for everyone. 

However, the foot pedals are spacious and have adjustable nylon and cotton straps. “While working out my feet stayed in place and felt really secure,” says Lindsay. “Plus, I didn’t have any issues with adjusting the foot straps or the heel cups.”

You may also like knowing Lindsay thinks this is one of the best and most comfortable rowing machine seats. She even says it’s more comfortable than the NordicTrack RW900 and Concept2 rower. 

RELATED: Concept2 RowErg Review

Technology and Conveniences

Before we dive into the technology features, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t need an Ergatta  membership to use the machine, but you’ll miss out on games, trainer-led classes, and live races if you don’t have one. If you opt out of the membership, the connected rower still grants you access to the Just Row feature, data tracking, and Bluetooth integration. 

The Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect devices like an Apple Watch, WHOOP strap, heart rate monitor, or wireless headphones. Lindsay appreciates this feature but says she had trouble connecting to the Bluetooth. It finally worked after several attempts and then turning everything off and back on (go figure). 

Regardless of the Bluetooth blunder, Lindsay enjoyed the technology capabilities—namely the dynamic programming. She even goes as far as saying the Ergatta programming might be one of the best rowing apps she’s tested. Not only is the user interface clear and engaging, Lindsay says it’s easy to use and intuitive. She rates the technology features at 4 out of 5 stars. 

“There are so many ways to workout with the Ergatta app. There are intervals, competitions, and open rows. There are also ways to browse and filter to find what you’re looking for,” says Lindsay. 

Here is an overview of what you can expect: 

  • Races: Multiplayer races against 8 other members 
  • Meteor: Single-player games focused on intervals and HIIT-style training
  • Push programs: Goal-oriented programs with more than one session 
  • Vortex: Multiplayer games using calibration for all skill levels to participate 
  • Live competition: Scheduled races against thousands of other members
  • Scenic row: Filmed in scenic destinations on open water 
  • Echo: Cadence-based workouts
  • Pulse: Single-player interval games with speed or power targets

Lindsay also noticed the app tracks progress and showed improvements to her 5K row time and pace. Plus, when she set up her account she had the option to learn proper rowing technique and use AI coaching for form feedback. This option is coordinated with your smartphone to record you rowing from the side. 

One downside to the Ergatta programming is the fact it’s tailored to the rowing machine. There are only rowing workouts; you won’t find a single off-machine workout on the app. This is quite a bit different from some of the best workout apps we’ve tested including iFIT and Peloton, which both feature on-machine workouts (for multiple cardio machines) in addition to yoga, strength training, and meditation. 

Ergatta Lite vs Ergatta

Ergatta Rower

Ergatta Rower

GGR Score: 3.9 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Water resistance rower
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Crafted from cherry wood
  • Unique programming
  • Can be stored vertically

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Smooth rowing experience
  • Lots of useful data
  • Aesthetic style
  • Gamified programming

Cons

  • Water has to be replaced every so often
  • Resistance cannot be changed
  • Although the gamification is fantastic, I know many people would love the option of trainer-led workouts.

Bottom Line

This machine is aesthetically-pleasing (which is an often overlooked attribute for equipment that lives in peoples homes) and the programming is interesting and engaging. If you’re looking for a water-powered rowing machine and want programming that’s different from what’s typically offered, you'll be a fan of the Ergatta.

The original Ergatta and Ergatta Lite have many similarities including the same 17-inch touchscreen, integrations with third-party apps like Apple Health or Strava, and the option to purchase the Ergatta membership (for on-demand workouts, instructor-led classes, and games). 

Sam using the Ergatta Rower.

Both rowing machines function without the monthly membership, but the rowing experience is greatly enhanced with game-based workouts, classes, races, and data tracking. 

The differences really come down to the price tag. The Ergatta Lite is less expensive because it’s slightly smaller and constructed from oak wood, which is less expensive than the cherrywood used on the original Ergatta. The smaller footprint leads to a lower user weight and height capacity.

If you’re interested in the original rower, check out our in-depth Ergatta Rower review

Ergatta LiteErgatta Rower
Price$1,799$2,499
Footprint82” L x 23” W 38” H86” L x 23” W x 40” H
Product weight72 lbs (filled) 105 lbs (filled)
User weight capacity320 lbs500 lbs
User height capacity 6’4” 6’8” 
Materials Oak woodCherrywood

Customer Experience 

Ergatta earns a 4.5-out-of-5-star rating when it comes to customer experience. The company provides multiple methods to contact customer service including email, live chat, and phone. 

Customer service hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. You can even schedule a customer service call by clicking the “schedule a call” button on the contact page. You can also schedule a video call to get a virtual demo of the rower and ask questions with a product representative before you buy. 

We also appreciate the fact Ergatta has a risk-free 30-day trial period. If you opted for in-home delivery and professional assembly (an additional cost of $269), the product will be picked up from your house. If you assembled it yourself, you’ll be responsible for the return in the original packaging (but you won’t have to pay for return shopping). 

Additionally, you’ll get a standard 5-year warranty on the frame, 3-year warranty on component parts (like the handle, straps, and cables) and a 1-year policy on the touchscreen. 

Ordering and Assembling the Ergatta Lite

The ordering process is as easy as clicking “add to cart.” You’ll see a pop-up window asking if you want a protection plan on your rower (which we typically ignore, but you do you). Then you’ll be directed to the shopping cart where you can do a traditional checkout or use Shop Pay, PayPal, or Google Pay for express checkout options. 

If you’d prefer to finance your purchase, continue to the traditional checkout and you’ll eventually have the option to input your credit card information or sign up for Klarna for payments as low as $56 per month for qualified buyers.  

Lindsay reports shipping and assembly are straightforward. GGR assembly expert Adaline put the machine together and had the flywheel filled with water in under an hour. She reported the instructions were not only clear, but the machine itself is intuitive to put together because of the simple design. 

Customer Reviews

There are over 1,200 customer reviews on the Ergatta website. It’s worth noting that the reviews are compiled together for both the original Ergatta and the Ergatta Lite. Together, the machines have an impressively high rating with only 30 reviews rated under 5 stars. Most of the negative comments surround the programming and software updates. 

Final Verdict of Our Ergatta Lite Review

The Ergatta Lite is a solid rowing machine for your home gym or living room. It’s handsome enough to leave out and portable enough to stow away. We think the Ergatta Lite is an ideal choice for anyone who: 

  • Needs low-impact cardio workouts
  • Likes game-based workouts and exercise 
  • Is a beginner to rowing and would benefit from form feedback
  • Is under 6’4” and 320 pounds

Ergatta Lite Rating

Ergatta Lite

In our Ergatta Lite review we’ll go over our hands-on testing experience with this sleek wooden rower and what to expect with the interactive programming.

Product Brand: Ergatta

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 1799

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.1
Footprint and portability – 4
Delivery and setup – 4.5
Durability and construction – 5
Customizations – 2
Adjustability and ergonomics – 4
Tech capabilities – 4
Dynamic programming – 4.5
Price and value – 4
Financing, warranty, and returns – 4.5
Customer service – 4.5
Check Price

Ergatta Lite: FAQs

What is the difference between Ergatta Lite and original?

The main difference is the fact the Ergatta Lite is smaller, lighter, and made from less expensive oak wood. Because it’s smaller, that also means it offers a lower user weight and height capacity. The Ergatta Lite is also about $700 less expensive than the original Ergatta. 

Can you watch Netflix on Ergatta?

The touchscreen tablet on the Ergatta does not allow users to access the Google Play store to download additional apps like Netflix or Hulu. 

Does Ergatta work without subscription?

Without the Ergatta membership, you’ll be able to do the following: 
-Use the Just Row feature
-Connect to iOS and Android devices
-Access Strava integration
-Use Bluetooth headphones and heart rate monitor integration
-Store workout data
-Access music stations

How many profiles can you have on Ergatta?

Ergatta membership comes standard with unlimited household profiles. 

Further reading

Want to Lift Heavier? 6 Steps to Moving More Weight Cover Image
Want to Lift Heavier? 6 Steps to Moving More Weight

In our six-step guide to lifting heavier, we offer training tips, program guides and ways to stay safe on your way to bigger weights and getting stronger. Read more

We Picked The 6 Best Budget Recumbent Bikes (2024): Stop Spinning Your Wheels Cover Image
We Picked The 6 Best Budget Recumbent Bikes (2024): Stop Spinning Your Wheels

We picked the six best budget recumbent bikes so you can start your cycle journey today. Read more

Barbell Shrugged Diesel Dad Training Program Review Cover Image
Barbell Shrugged Diesel Dad Training Program Review

Diesel Dadis a training program created by Barbell Shrugged designed for busy dads that want to make the most of their time in the garage gym. I’ve been testing the program over the past month as a busy father myself. The focused-approach that gets you in and out of the gym while still getting results is a great combo and a program we would recommend for those short on time. Read more

Best Running Hats for Hot Weather, Sun Protection, and Wicking Moisture (2024) Cover Image
Best Running Hats for Hot Weather, Sun Protection, and Wicking Moisture (2024)

If you’ve considered buying the Ergatta Rower but talked yourself out of it due to the hefty price tag, you’re not alone. While it’s one of our top picks on our best rowing machine roundup, it’s a big investment. But your friends here at Garage Gym Reviews understand spending nearly $2,500 is not feasible for everyone. That’s why we’re excited to tell you about the newest rower from Ergatta. In this Ergatta Lite review,  » Read more about: Ergatta Lite Review (2024): A Luxury Rowing Machine For Less   » Read more