Best Compact Ellipticals of 2016
Compact ellipticals are lightweight, portable and really useful for homeowners who do not have a lot of space. Compact ellipticals may sacrifice a few specs (to get that sleek design) so make sure you are getting the features you need to maximize performance. Compare the top 5 compact ellipticals in the table below.
|Elliptical||NordicTrack C 9.5||NordicTrack C 7.5||NordicTrack
A.C.T. Commercial 10
A.C.T. Commercial 7
|Horizon Evolve 5|
|Full Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
|Resistance||24 Levels||22 Levels||24 Levels||24 Levels||20 Levels|
|Stride Length||18" - 20"||18" - 20"||18-22 inches||18-22 inches||20"|
|Max. Weight||350 lbs||325 lbs||350 lbs||350 lbs||300 lbs|
|Programs||32||26||35 Programs||35 Programs||37|
Compact Ellipticals Buying Guide
If recent trends present any clues, consumer products are definitely becoming much more compact with the prime example being cell phones. Do you remember when cell phones first became available? They were ridiculously massive! Today, some cell phones fit comfortably inside the palm of your hand. As a result, the exercise world has begun to imitate what some companies are doing in the personal electronic market.
Compact ellipticals offer several distinct advantages. Compact ellipticals are lighter, smaller and may or may not fold. As a result, compact ellipticals are easy to transport, require less floor space and may fold to save even more room when not in use. Compact trainers obviously make a lot of sense for a consumer-driven society that is running out of space to put things.
Compact Ellipticals — Pros vs. Cons
- Lightweight, easy to transport if you move often
- Require less floor space in tightly condensed rooms
- Often fold to create extra room
- Regularly equipped with transport wheels for additional mobility
- Traditionally affordable
- Since the trainer is smaller, compact ellipticals may sacrifice specs
- Stability of the frame may not be as consistent
- Arguably not as well produced
In the end, it all depends on availability. If space is a premium in your household, you need a space efficient elliptical. However, if you have the extra storage compact ellipticals might not provide the most attractive option.
The stereotype inside the fitness world for years has been that compact ellipticals (like other compact home gyms) are inferior to other ellipticals that are not as concerned about saving space but performance. While true to an extent, compact ellipticals have actually traveled miles in terms of quality production.
For starters, manufactures have managed to find ways to transform high quality performance and durability from larger models into the compact designs. In addition to better design, more exercise companies have come into the picture thus creating stronger competition between manufactures and more options today than ever.
Compact Elliptical Features
Today, the three distinct features of compact ellipticals are:
- Size (Length x Width)
- Folding vs. Non-Folding
Simply put, if you want a compact elliptical in the 21st century your first benchmark for comparison is weight of the machine. Obviously, the lighter the elliptical the more compact the trainer. Secondly, the size of the elliptical will quickly give you an idea of just how compact the elliptical stands. Of course, features like transport wheels and 2 side flywheel design are other clear signs of compatibility.
Unfortunately, folding ellipticals have not quite caught on like folding treadmills. Therefore, not a ton of folding ellipticals exist and not all of them are that well produced. Hopefully in the next few years we will begin to see more folding ellipticals because the market is pointing toward the desire for more compact ellipticals.
More Compact Ellipticals
The following did not make the Top 5 Compact Ellipticals, but are still worth a look:
The Precor AMT 835 is a popular trainer among people of all ability levels. This center drive elliptical machine comes with 20 resistance levels, a large LED Display and an adaptive stride length up to 36 inches.
Read the full Precor AMT 835 Review
The Nordictrack A.C.T. Commercial Elliptical is a space saving elliptical machine that offers a healthy mix of features and workouts.
Read the full NordicTrack A.C.T. Commercial Review
The Horizon Evolve 3 is a well-built front drive elliptical machine that will most likely give you the workout you are looking for. This elliptical has a 20-inch stride length, a 5.5-inch Blue Backlit LCD and 32 work out programs.
Read the full Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 Review
The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i takes up the smallest footprint on the market when folded up for storage. The elliptical also features a web-enabled 7" display and 30 workout apps.
Read the full NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i Review
The Nordictrack SpaceSaver SE7i is an incredibly compact elliptical at a great price point and is so fast to setup, you'll be working out in no time.
Read the full NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i Review
The Horizon EX59 is an entry-level elliptical mainly meant for beginners. It is a front drive elliptical machine that has a 18-inch stride length, 10 work out programs and hear rate contact grips. It is a good starter machine that will give a decent workout.
Read the full Horizon Fitness EX-59 Review
The Yowza Largo is a quality "entry-level" elliptical with EMS Braking System, 16 levels of resistance, 18" stride length and polar heart rate monitoring. The trainer is also compatible with iPod/mp3 players (includes Hi-Fidelity built-in speakers) and has 12 pre-defined workout options.
Read the full Yowza Largo Review
The Yowza Bonita is a cost friendly elliptical that features an iPod dock, speakers and cooling fans. With 12 pre-defined workout programs and 9 user profiles, you are sure to always have a different workout. It also features an accessory tray for water bottles.
Read the full Yowza Bonita Review
The compact Smart Strider 735 Elliptical is a budget elliptical and offers a decent machine for a small space.
Read the full ProForm Smart Strider 735 Review
The compact Smart Strider 935 Elliptical is a decent elliptical for the price and offers a nice machine for a small space.
Read the full ProForm Smart Strider 935 Review
The Schwinn A40 elliptical is priced in the 'Under $500' price range, featuring a 17 inch stride length and Eddy Current Brake resistance. The cheap price tag has forced Schwinn to cut a few corners; however the trainer is a reasonable option for smaller users searching for their first piece of exercise equipment.
Read the full Schwinn A40 Review
The Stamina InMotion E1000 is an innovative new elliptical trainer designed to provide means to exercise even at work. Because the Stamina InMotion E1000 is so compact and lightweight, you can practically store it anywhere (yes, even under a work desk).
Read the full Stamina InMotion E1000 Review
The Weslo Momentum G 3.8 is one of the cheapest ellipticals on the market, a viable short-term option for consumers on a shoe string budget. The elliptical offers a 12 inch stride length and pulse grips for heart rate monitoring.
Read the full Weslo Momentum G 3.8 Review