Advanced Search

Kettler Favorite Rower Review

Quick Take

With a typical retail price of just $399, the Favorit rower is the lowest-priced rowing machine currently manufactured by Kettler. Its budget hydraulic resistance keeps the machine’s size small and the price low. You can adjust the resistance by re-positioning clamps on the pistons. Although there are technically 50 levels of resistance on the Kettler Favorit, it isn’t a machine for intense workouts or advanced trainees. That said, it’s a sturdy enough machine for casual workouts, and does feature a small LCD which displays your essential exercise data. You can also monitor your heart rate by using infrared with an ear clip (included) or wirelessly with your own chest strap (not included). At just 52″ x 32″ x 10″ and weighing 44 pounds, it’s a wonderfully compact rowing machine that’s easy to move around. But as mentioned, this lightweight rower can’t support high-intensity workout sessions. This is further demonstrated by its light 285-pound weight capacity.


Heart-Rate Monitoring


Maintenance Required

Our Review

Hydraulic resistance is the cheapest type of resistance used on rowing machines. It isn’t ideal for intense workouts. Looking through the customer reviews, it seems the resistance settings don’t always hold and the knobs sometimes come loose during workouts. Users have noted that the design has too many moving parts, and you must continually tighten the screws. Nonetheless, with a powder-coated steel frame , it’s a relatively sturdy machine if you only use it for moderate workouts and don’t mind re-positioning clamps on the pistons to change your resistance. There are 50 knurl marks on each oar which act as the resistance levels. Re-positioning the piston’s clamps to the knurls on each rower oar changes the challenge level.


It features a small LCD which displays your time, distance, energy consumed, strokes, pulse rate, and frequency. The battery-powered console also features a recovery feature. This provides a cardio wellness grading from 1 to 6 which you can use to track your progress. At this price, we like that it includes an infrared earlobe clip sensor to measures your heart rate electronically, although we would personally opt for using the rower with your own wireless chest strap. As for comfort, the Favorit rower features a padded seat and pivoting footplates which support the natural rowing motion. The Kettler Favorit rowing machine is one of the most compact rowing machines on our site. It measures just 52″ x 32″ x 10″. Although it only weighs 44 pounds, it also only has a 285-pound user weight capacity.


The Kettler Favorit Rower offers some impressive features for just $399. Here are some selling points.

  • Quiet Operation: The hydraulic resistance system is very quiet. You can easily hear the TV at the usual volume while using this rower, and you won’t disturb others in your home or office.
  • Compact Size: This rower is one of the smallest on the market. It’s just 52-inches long. A medium-sized rowing machine is about 80-inches long.
  • Cardio Wellness Feature: The Favorit can help you monitor your cardio wellness over time with a simple 1-6 scoring system. This is done with a 60-second recovery program after exercise. The Favorit can use infrared or wireless monitoring to measure the change in your heart rate.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Riders get two built-in options for pulse monitoring. The first is an ear clip that uses infrared to communicate with the computer monitor (included). The second is a wireless receiver that works with a chest strap (sold separately).
  • Comfortable Design: The seat is thickly padded and glides smoothly with sealed ball bearings. Also for comfort, the footplates on all Kettler rowing machines are specially designed to support healthy motion.
  • Convenient Resistance Controls: Resistance is altered on the handles for the oars. There are 50 knurl marks to choose from.
  • Steel Frame: The frame is made of powder-coated steel.
  • Battery Powered: The console uses two AA batteries, so the Kettler Favorit Rower doesn’t need a power cord.


What are some possible drawbacks of choosing this rower? The main problems relate to lower quality parts.

  • Hydraulic Resistance: The Favorit Rower uses hydraulic resistance, which is the cheapest type in the rowing machine industry. With the Kettler Favorit some customers have complained that their resistance settings don’t hold; the knobs come loose during workouts. Also, the hydraulic system is sensitive to temperature. It is too stiff to use in cold settings (such as a garage in autumn) and is prone to overheating with vigorous use.
  • Data Monitor: The Favorit Rower’s monitor isn’t known for accuracy, unlike the Siemen’s monitors on some other Kettler products. The data is with German labels; energy consumption is shown in kilojoules instead of calories.
  • Maintenance Required: A common complaint about the Kettler Favorit Rower is that the bolts need to be tightened after a few uses. Also, the machine might be squeaky if not treated with lubricant.
  • Doesn’t Fold: This rower is especially compact but cannot be folded or quickly taken apart for storage.
  • Weight Limit: Kettler rowing machines have relatively light weight capacities. The Favorit’s weight limit is 285 pounds.

Our Conclusion

The Kettler Favorit is one of the lowest-priced rowers on our review website. It combines a higher quality frame with lower quality resistance and electronics. The hydraulic system and computer monitor aren’t built for the long haul, but this isn’t a bad option for just $399. The Favorit is best for people who plan to use it only once or twice a week, and it isn’t meant for intense training.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Kettler Favorit rower frame made of?
A: The Kettler Favorit rowing machine frame is made of high carbon steel and is powder coated.
Q: How much does the Kettler Favorit rower weigh?
A: The Kettler Favorit weighs 44 lbs.
Q: What is the weight capacity of the Kettler Favorit rower?
A: The Kettler Favorit rower can hold up to 285 lbs.

Rating: 55%

Resistance Type


Resistance Level


Dimensions (inches)

52" L x 32" W x 10" H

Maximum User Weight Capacity

285 lbs

View Full Specifications