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Life Fitness F3 Folding Review

Quick Summary

Sturdy and reliable, the Life Fitness F3 Folding Treadmill is a best-in-class fitness machine. It’s expertly engineered to avoid shortcomings that are common among other folding treadmills.

One highlight is its shock absorption system, which is far superior to the cushioning used by cheap competitors.

The F3’s electronics are higher quality too, and the mechanical parts are under warranty for five years.

Read on for a full review of the Life Fitness F3 with pros and cons to consider.

Specifications

FitRated
Model Life Fitness F3 Folding
Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the treadmill's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

91.2%
List Price

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$2,599
Best Price

Since prices change daily, this link goes to our preferred retailer for the current best price. Note: MSRP stands for Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.

$2,599
Speed

Treadmill Speed is measured in Miles Per Hour (mph). Average running speed is 5-9 mph.

.5 - 10 mph
Incline

Treadmill Incline measures the angle of the deck, and how steep it is relative to the floor (0% is flat, and 15% is like a steep hill).

0 - 12%
Motor

The Treadmill Motor is what turns the belt as you run. We recommend at least 2 HP (Horsepower) motors, 2.5+ HP for jogging, and 3.0+ HP for running.

3.0 HP DC motor
Deck

Treadmill Deck dimensions are measured in inches: Width x Length. The wider and longer the deck, the safer it is (55-60 inches long recommended for running).

22" x 55"
Belt

The Treadmill Belt is the surface you run on. The thicker the belt, the less impact on your joints. At least 2-ply (1 inch) recommended.

Flexdeck Shock Absorption System
Folding?

Some treadmills are designed to conserve space by folding up. This is a convenient option, but some features might be reduced.

Programs

Treadmill Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

12
Max. Weight

Treadmill Max User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that it can safely support, which can represent durability.

350 lbs
Heart Rate

Heart Rate programs allow you to track how many times your heart is beating per minute (bpm), and some control the workout for you.

Handle grips
Wireless Chest Strap
Dimensions

Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this treadmill will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

78.5" x 34.5" x 58.5"
Display

Treadmill Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. LED and LCD displays are similar to TV screens.

2 Console Options
Cooling Fans

Treadmill Cooling Fans are designed to help keep you cool during an intense workout.

Accessory Tray

Some treadmills include an accessory tray for holding items such as water bottles, wallets, keys, or MP3 players like iPods.

Speakers

Treadmills that include a sound system allow you to listen to your MP3 player/iPod through built-in speakers (no headphones).

Quick Controls

Quick Controls allow you to select speed, incline and even workout programs with the touch of a button (usually on the handles).

Warranty

The warranty is a very important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs by the manufacturer.

Frame and Deck: Lifetime
Motor: 10 Years
Parts: 5 Years
Labor: 1 Years

Rating: 91.2%

Our Rating

Rating: 91.2/100. The Life Fitness F3 Folding Treadmill is an unusual find. Unlike many other folding treadmills, it doesn’t compromise on quality. Key points are its 3.0 HP motor with 6.0 HP peak, an above-average cushioning system, a power incline with range of 0.5% to 12%, wireless heart rate monitoring and a choice of two consoles. Both consoles are preloaded with 13 workout programs. One of the consoles is iPod-compatible and can also connect with a mobile phone or tablet computer to deliver additional workouts and to track fitness data.

Given its 55″ track and top speed of 10 mph, the F3 is ideal for walking and jogging. If your gait isn’t long, then it’s suitable for running too.

The F3 Folding Treadmill has a 78.5″ x 34.5″ footprint when in use. When the treadmill is folded, the deck is positioned vertically to save floor space. Transport wheels are attached.

Pros:

  • Full-sized track for walking (20″ x 55″)
  • Top speed 10 mph
  • Automated incline (Maximum 12%)
  • FlexDeck cushioning
  • Smart motor (Output adjusts to user weight)
  • Choice of two consoles with preset workouts
  • iPod compatible (Depending on console choice)
  • Third party app integration (Depending on console choice)
  • Quick start mode uses your preferred incline and speed
  • Wireless heart rate receiver
  • Contact heart rate receiver
  • Reading rack/Tablet holder
  • Cup holder
  • Foldable

Cons:

  • Track isn’t long enough for taller runners
  • Treadmill is foldable but has a large footprint when in use

Introduction

The Life Fitness F3 is a high quality folding treadmill priced at $2,599. The F3 is far superior to typical folding treadmills, and it outperforms plenty of traditional home treadmills too. It has good motor power, comfortable cushioning and helpful workout programming. As described below, the two consoles available with the treadmill have good program variety, and one console can connect with third party apps to expand your workout library and track your fitness data wirelessly. Overall the F3 is a top option for shoppers seeking folding treadmills that don’t compromise on power, cushioning, programming or durability.

Workout Programs

Customers have a choice of two Life Fitness treadmill consoles: Go and Track+.

The Go console is the simpler option. It has 13 workout programs: three classic, two advanced, three goal-oriented and five HeartSync™. Two users can save their profiles. A Quick Start button can initiate a workout with a user’s preferred inclines and preferred speeds for walking, jogging and running.
The Track+ console integrates mobile technology for entertainment, fitness tracking and accessing personalized workout programs. It’s iPod compatible and can also connect to Android™ and Apple® devices for use with third party workout apps. Another option is using LFConnect, a Life Fitness app that provides personalized workouts and workout tracking.

Life Fitness F3 Features

FlexDeck cushioning is a top feature on the F3. Compared with outdoor running surfaces, the FlexDeck reduces the impact on a runner’s body by up to 30 percent.

For extra challenge and variety this treadmill has a track incline with maximum 12 percent tilt. The incline is divided into 0.5 degree increments.

Heart rate can be tracked wirelessly and with touch sensors.

A unique feature on Life Fitness treadmills is “smart energy.” The F3 adjusts its motor power to your body weight.

The F3 has a rack for a magazine or tablet computer.

To free up some space after treadmill workouts, you can fold the treadmill’s deck upward. You can also roll it away with help from attached wheels.

Warranty & Guarantee

The Life Fitness F3 Folding Treadmill warranty includes:

– Frame: Lifetime

– Deck: Lifetime

– Motor: 10 years

– Parts: 5 Years

– Labor: 1 year

Conclusion

The Life Fitness F3 Folding Treadmill is a top option for shoppers seeking a sturdy folding treadmill with the high quality of a non-folding cardio trainer. The cushioning is excellent and the Track+ console is especially impressive. If you’re tall though and want a treadmill for running, then a machine with a longer track could be a better option.