The rowing machine will work practically every muscle in your body. Even better is the fact that these machines are actually quite compact; allowing you to get your own rowing machine and stay in shape from the comfort of your own home. But, to do this you’ll want the best rowing machine under $300.
I’ve researched rowing machines in detail and tested over a dozen different machines to find the best rowing machine under $300. I am happy to announce that this is the Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399.
If you spend too little you’re likely to get a machine that creaks and groans; as well as not having the capability of growing with you and continuing to challenge you. Of course, you can spend much more than $300 but this is a good level to get started with and help you to keep working out.
I first tried the rowing machine at a friend’s house and was instantly hooked; especially when I realized I had aching muscles the next day. That was despite already having what I thought was a good workout routine; including a great upright exercise bike.
The best rowing machine under $300 has helped me to improve in all my other routines.
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Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399 – Best For Realism
The Stamina ATS Air Rower is the best rowing machine under $300 simply because it is well built and features air resistance technology. This allows it to adapt to your workout intensity giving you a great overall workout regardless of the time you have available.
Stamina produces an array of rowing machines and has been instrumental in innovating new designs and types of exercise equipment to the market. They focus on providing the best possible exercise equipment at affordable prices; the Stamina ATS air rower 1399 reflects this and demonstrates why it is the best rowing machine under $300.
- Air Resistance
- Angled Seat Rail
- Supports 250 pounds
- Dimensions 77” x 18” x 22”
- Weighs 54 pounds
Air resistance has two great benefits for the indoor rower. The first is that it offers the closest possible experience to actually rowing on water; without having to leave your home.
The second is the fact that the resistance level increases as you workout harder; making your workout progressively more difficult and rewarding.
The Stamina ATS 1399 uses air resistance technology to ensure you are making the most of every workout. This will give you a full-body workout at the level that suits your current fitness. Because the air resistance gets stronger the harder you workout it is difficult to reach the limits of the machine.
Just above the air fan is a fairly small screen. You’ll be able to read the speed you’re rowing at, the calories you’ve burned, distance traveled and even the tile you’ve been working out for.
These are fairly basic functions but valuable ones to help ensure you always do better than you did the time before. Unfortunately, there is no way to record this data and review it again later.
The display unit uses LCD to help ensure you can read it on most light levels while you workout.
Quality & Durability
The Stamina ATS 1399 copes with a 3 year warranty on the frame and 90 days on the parts. This is a testimony to the quality of this inexpensive rowing machine.
In addition, you’ll note that the seat is oversized and well padded, the seat rail angled to encourage you to work your legs more and the footplates are large; helping to ensure your feet stay in place.
Easy To Assemble
When you get the Stamina ATS 1399 you’ll find there is some assembly work to do. Fortunately, the instructions are clear and the assembly is very easy; you should be completed and ready to row within 30 minutes.
Air resistance rowing machines have a fan that spins as you row; the harder you row the faster the fan spins, the more resistance is created, and the harder you’ll find it. But, whether you are rowing slowly or fast the fan will spin.
This makes the Stamina ATS 1399 a much noisier option than the best magnetic rowing machine. In fact all air resistance rowers will be noisier; you may struggle to watch the television at the same time.
I haven’t noticed any issues with comfort but some users have reported that the seat padding is not sufficient when spending an extended amount of time on the machine.
This is simply something to be aware of and look out for.
Walter Marcyan was a heavyweight lifting champion in the 1930s. This led to him opening strength training gymnasiums in Los Angeles in the mid 1940s. By the early 1950’s he was creating his own gym equipment and by the end of the 50’s, he was designing and selling these machine for home use.
The fitness market has come a long way since but the quality of Marcy products has remained the same; that’s why they offer one of the best rowing machines under $300.
The Marcy NS-40503RW offers a good workout without the frills that some machines have. Although there is a lot of competition for the best rowing machine under $300 this machine does ensure that everyone can be comfortable; no matter how tall.
- 8 Resistance Levels
- Ergonomic Design
- Transportation Wheels
- Multi-angle monitor
- Dimensions 74.4” x 19.7” x 31.9”
- Weighs 60 pounds
- Supports 300 pounds
One of the defining factors in the Marcy NS-40503RW is the fact that the seat is well padded and extremely comfortable. Whether you’re 6 ft or even 5ft tall you’ll be able to get comfortable and really work those legs as you stretch each movement to the full.
You’ll also notice that the NS-40503RW has oversized footrests with Velcro straps; ensuring your feet stay where they are supposed to be and allowing you to focus on maximizing your effort.
Even the handle is ergonomically designed and padded; to ensure your comfort as you row.
Ease of Use
Assembling this machine is very easy, but working out on it is even easier. Simply jump on, get comfortable, and start rowing. The LCD screen will leap into life and give you all the feedback you need.
Another great feature is that when you’ve finished you can simply lift one end and wheel it to the side until you need it again. Or, you can pull the lever and fold the machine in half; making it even easier to store.
The Marcy NS-40503RW has a magnetic resistance; the closer the magnet gets to the flywheel the more resistance you’ll feel; regardless of the speed, you’re traveling at. The knob to control this is set just below the handle; a simple twist is all it takes and it is even possible to do this while rowing.
The screen will display the usual basic functions, time, distance, speed, stroke number, and estimated calories burned. It won’t save the data but then this is a machine under $300.
Not The Best Looking
You have to be honest when looking at this machine; it’s not the best-looking rowing machine on the market. Of course, this is only an issue if you plan to have it pride of place in your living room. If it’s in a dedicated workout space or out of the way of visitors then the look of the Marcy NS-40503RW is not really that important.
Several users have complained regarding quality issues. These are usually related to parts wearing out earlier than expected. Thankfully Marcy appears to have a good customer service team looking after you.
It is necessary to do some assembly yourself when you receive the Marcy NS-40503RW. While this should be straight forward this is not always the case. The instructions are simply not up to the task making it take much longer than it should.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515
Sunny Health & Fitness is becoming one of the best places to find any workout gear for your home. They have been in business for over 15 years and specialize in importing and distributing high-quality machines. Their approach is working as they frequently appear on best-of lists, including this best rowing machine under $300 list.
- 8 Resistance Levels
- Transportation Wheels
- Magnetic Tension
- Supports 250 pounds
- Dimensions 37” x 19” x 53”
- Weight 59 pounds
Ease Of Use
Jump on the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 and start rowing; it’s that easy. The large foot pedals have straps to secure your feet in position while the resistance can be set via a knob at the bottom of the flywheel; you can easily reach it while on the machine although you may have to pause your rowing motion.
The seat itself is cushioned to ensure you stay comfortable even when rowing for an extended period. You’ll also be pleased to note that the machine is very sturdy when being used; helping you to focus on completing your workout.
Because it uses magnetic resistance you’ll find it is very quiet even at the top resistance level. In fact, the most noise you’re likely to hear will be your breathing.
The Sunny Health& Fitness can be easily folded in half. It will then glide to where you need it to go on the inbuilt transportation wheels. It is ideal for small spaces.
While you’re working out you’ll be able to see your stroke rate, time spent exercising, calories burned and distance traveled. This will help you to reach any fitness goal.
Difficulty Reading Display
The display is useful in order for you to track how well you are doing in comparison to your goal and previous workouts. However, it can be very difficult to read the display as you row because it is not well-positioned.
It doesn’t record the information for you to review later so you need to see it as you exercise!
The seat is padded but there have been a number of users that have complained the padding is not sufficient. It could use a little more to ensure it remains comfortable as you keep rowing. An uncomfortable seat will make it difficult to complete any workout.
Get Started With The Best Rowing Machine Under $300 Today!
I’ve tried all the machines above and several others and am confident that the best rowing machine under $300 is the Stamina ATS 1399. It is well built, very easy to use, and actually puts a smile on my face as I’m exercising.
That makes it easy to keep going even when you don’t feel like exercising.