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Echelon Smart Rower Review

Quick Take

Echelon’s first and currently only rowing machine—the Echelon Smart Rower—solidifies the brand’s reputation as an affordable but tech-savvy addition to the fitness space. The magnetic rower delivers a full-body workout alongside fitness content streamed via Echelon Fit. At just $999.99 (without an Echelon Fit subscription), it’s a steal. 32 levels of magnetic resistance, a belt drive, and a sturdy aluminum and steel frame make for a smooth and quiet rowing experience. The quick resistance controls on the handlebar are one of the other things that sets the Echelon rower apart from its competition. It’s a bring-your-own-tablet machine, which is handy for keeping costs down. You simply connect to Echelon Fit via your own device and enjoy the brand’s own live and on-demand workouts. It’s also easily foldable. Explore the Echelon Smart Rower in more detail below.

Pros

Price
Foldable
Interactive Workouts

Cons

Shipping/Subscription Costs
Warranty
No Preset Workouts

Our Review

Echelon has successfully positioned themselves as a brand who delivers tech-friendly workouts on a budget. You may be familiar with the brand for their indoor Connect bikes. The Echelon rower compliments the rest of the brand’s affordable series. It offers trainees a more affordable alternative to elite models such as the Hydrow, as it supports interactive training with your own tablet. We’re not saying that it lives up to the Hydrow in terms of quality or software. But it does offer those who want to train interactively on a well-balanced indoor rower an exciting option.

 

There are a few aspects that make it stand out from the crowd. First, the price. At just $999.99, this rower is a top-value buy considering its sturdy (but foldable) build and range of features. Another is the quick handlebar controls. You can cruise through the Echelon rower’s 32 levels of smooth and quiet magnetic resistance, ramping up the challenge mid-row with the push of a button on the handlebar. Then there’s the fact that you bring your own tablet to use as the console on the machine. We’re assuming that Echelon chose this option as opposed to including a built-in touchscreen after the success of their bring-your-own-tech Connect Bikes (aside from the EX5S which features a touchscreen). You simply connect your tablet or smartphone to the device holder on the rower, and get to work.

 

What we aren’t so happy about is the warranty. It only gives you 12 months of coverage for the parts and labor. Another thing to factor in are the extra costs. Ask yourself: do I want to pay $39.99 each month for the subscription to Echelon Fit, or opt for the yearly membership to save some cash in the long term? Having a subscription to this rower is a no-brainer. Just as it is with other rowers which support interactive training (such as the Hydrow and the NordicTrack rowers), committing to the Echelon Fit subscription for this rower is integral to the workout experience. Although some other rowers offer you a handful of preset workout programs regardless of whether you have a subscription (or if you decide to pause it), this isn’t the case with the Echelon Row. There are no preset workouts to speak of here. Interactive training is the name of the game. So you should factor in this cost to your initial purchase if you want to get the most out of this machine.

 

You should also consider shipping costs, which vary depending on the membership option you choose. If you opt for just the rower and pay for your Echelon Fit subscription monthly, this will cost $1,039.98. That’s including your first month’s membership, and will be $39.99 each month after this. Yet you also have to pay $199.99 for shipping and financing isn’t available. This brings the total to $1,239.97. If you opt for the rower plus a yearly membership, you’ll be paying $1,399.98, but shipping is $99.99. This brings the total to $1,499.97, and financing is available with this option. If you choose the two-year membership, you’ll pay $1,599.98, but shipping is free. Financing is also available with this option. Weighing up whether you would rather pay month by month, or save in the long term is up to you. Dig into the pros and cons of the Echelon Smart Rower below.

 

Positives

  • Price: It’s affordable for a rowing machine that supports interactive streaming.
  • Foldable: Although the rower has a relatively large footprint (83.5″ long by 20.5″ wide) it’s easily foldable. Folded, the Echelon Row is 39.5″ L x 20.5″ W x 60.25″ H (dimensions are +/- 0.25″).
  • Modern Design: Its sleek design will complement any workout space.
  • Resistance: The 32 levels of electronically-controlled magnetic resistance allow for a smooth and quiet row. They allow you to change resistance gradually, providing a wide enough selection for a variety of trainees.
  • Quiet: Unlike rowers which feature a chain, the Echelon rower features a belt. This allows for a smooth and quiet row, more closely mirroring the on-water experience.
  • Handlebar Controls: The controls on the handlebar allow you to change resistance on the fly, without disrupting the flow of your workout.
  • Interactive Workouts: The daily live and on-demand workouts from Echelon Fit are complimented by scenic rows on waterways around the globe. The quality and variety of workouts will continuously improve as the Echelon Fit community grows and more content is added. The brand has anticipated that there will be over a thousand classes on demand soon.
  • Sturdy Build: The aluminum and steel construction makes for a stable row. The Echelon rower can hold up to 300 pounds.
  • Bring Your Own Tech: The Echelon rower does not come with a tablet or screen, however, this keeps costs down and the rower does have a holder for a tablet. The holder swivels so you can enjoy off-machine Echelon Fit workouts like yoga or pilates.
  • Heart-Rate Monitoring: Most Bluetooth heart-rate straps work with this rower.
  • Comfort Features: The Echelon features adjustable footbeds and a comfortable seat to support endurance.

 

Negatives

  • Shipping/Subscription Costs: Although this is an affordable, great value rower, just remember there are different shipping costs depending on which Echelon Fit membership you choose (monthly, one year, or two year). Be sure to factor in these costs when budgeting.
  • Warranty: Considering the price, we would have liked to see longer coverage than the 12-month limited parts and labor warranty provides.
  • No Onboard Workouts: There are no preset workouts, so if you ever want to pause your Echelon Fit membership you won’t have much to work with.

Our Conclusion

Overall, the Echelon rower is a solid rowing machine choice for those who want to train interactively on an indoor rower but don’t want to break the bank. The easily foldable design will mean the rower will suit most home gyms spaces too. Unlike some other indoor rowers, the Echelon Row doesn’t sacrifice quality or sturdiness for its folding feature. Thoughtful design touches such as the handlebar controls and swiveling screen design make the Echelon rower stand out from the crowd. It has a stellar combination of components and connectivity for the price. Although the ongoing subscription costs are steep, they are on par with other fitness subscriptions on the market. Also, when you think of $39.99 in comparison to a monthly gym membership or a batch of classes, it’s a good deal, and an option that doesn’t require leaving home to row at the gym.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does the Echelon Smart Rower weigh?
A: The Echelon Smart Rower weighs 49 kgs (108 lbs).
Q: How large is the Echelon Row?
A: The Echelon rowing machine is 83.5" L x 20.5" W x 41.75" H. Dimensions are +/- 0.25”.
Q: What are the folded dimensions of the Echelon Row?
A: Folded, the Echelon rower is 39.5" L x 20.5" W x 60.25" H. Dimensions are +/- 0.25”.
Q: What is the maximum weight capacity of the Echelon Row?
A: The Echelon Smart Rower can hold up to 300 pounds.

Rating: 89%

Resistance Type

Magnets

Resistance Level

32

Dimensions (inches)

83.5" L x 20.5" W x 41.75" H

Folding

Yes

Maximum User Weight Capacity

300 lbs

View Full Specifications