Advanced Search

LifeSpan RW1000 Folding Rower Review

Quick Take

The budget-friendly LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rower supports low-impact, full-body cardiovascular exercise. Designed for shared living spaces, it operates quietly and can be easily folded up when your workout is through. Resistance on this rower is magnetic, divided into five levels adjustable by a knob. It operates in manual mode only; there are no preset workout programs. For comfort, there are padded handlebar grips and swiveling foot pads. It’s not a particularly high-quality rower, and we do have some concerns about its durability. But for just $499, you will get a rower that’s easy to assemble, use and store after light to moderate training sessions.


Easy Assembly
Quick Fold
Long Length


Light Resistance
No Programs
Plastic Parts

Our Review

The LifeSpan RW1000 rowing machine features a magnetic resistance system with 5 levels of resistance. The resistance comes from a 16.5-pound flywheel. Although we like that the resistance on this machine is quiet, the 5 levels simply won’t provide enough challenge for many users, especially advanced trainees or those with good upper-body strength. But it does have a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds and will be comfortable for people with inseams up to 38” (the monorail is 53″). It will be a good fit for most trainees. The pedals are not very roomy though. According to customer reviews, people with larger shoe sizes have had to stop and re-strap the pedals in the middle of sessions. Comfort features include padded hand grips and an ergonomically designed foam seat (adjustable from 11″ to 14.5″ in height).


The RW1000 features a user-friendly console which displays distance, time, calories, stroke count, and strokes-per-minute. As the console runs on batteries, it’s cordless, so you don’t need to worry about where you place your machine. It’s also easily foldable via a locking pin, folding to just 34″ long by 19″ wide by 64″ tall for compact storage. You can also roll it into another room after workouts with the help of the transport wheels located underneath the footpads. At its debut, this rower cost $699, but LifeSpan now sells it online for just $499. Despite the low price it carries a decent residential warranty; the frame is protected for five years, the parts for two years, and labor is free for a year.



  • Easy Assembly: Most owners report that assembly takes just 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Low Seat Height: The seat height is low, adjustable from 11″ to 14.5″.
  • Easy-to-Use Console: The console is easy to use and includes readouts for distance, time, calories, stroke count and strokes per minute. It uses a single battery, and the whole machine operates without a power cord.
  • Quick Fold: This rower is 90” long but becomes compact for easy storage. No tools are required; just pull a pin, fold the rower, and repin to lock it. You can then roll the machine into position using wheels that pop out from the footpads. The folded dimensions are 34″ long by 19″ wide by 64″ high.
  • Long Length: This rower is comfortable for people with inseams up to 38”.
  • Warranty: Even at this low price, the LifeSpan RW1000 rower carries a five year frame warranty, a two year parts warranty, and one year of labor coverage. That’s above average for a $499 rowing machine.


  • Light Resistance: The resistance is relatively light, maxing out at 16.5 pounds (7 kg). It could be appropriate for physical therapy or light toning and calorie burn, but not for people with very good upper-body strength.
  • No Programs: It’s handy to have a data monitor. However, it does not provide workout guidance, only feedback. More expensive rowing machines include dozens of workouts.
  • Plastic Parts: This unit contains some plastic parts, as you can see in the product images. There are also some hidden plastic parts, such as the wheels that you glide on. These will wear down more quickly, of course, than metal parts. The point is that the RW1000 isn’t built for heavy use.
  • Small Footholds: Customers with bigger feet have complained that their feet come loose from the pedals, even with the Velcro straps.
  • Machine Moves: Some taller customers have complained that due to their height, the rowing machine moves across the floor.

Our Conclusion

Customers generally report that the LifeSpan RW1000 indoor rower is satisfactory for the price. It also has a very good warranty for such a low-priced rowing machine. It’s effective enough as a cardio trainer, but it doesn’t reproduce the sensation of outdoor rowing; you can’t build momentum. Every stroke is the same. It’s best for people who are new to rowing. If you have good upper body strength already, or intend to row almost daily, then we recommend choosing a more expensive rowing machine. You’ll get more durability and, in most cases, helpful workout guidance to make the most of each session.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the LifeSpan RW1000 Rower fold?
A: The RW1000 folds and has transport wheels for easy storage.
Q: What are the folded dimensions of the LifeSpan RW1000 Rower?
A: The RW1000 is 34" L x 19" W x 64" H when folded.
Q: How many levels of resistance does the LifeSpan RW1000 rowing machine have?
A: The RW1000 has 5 levels of magnetic resistance.
Q: What is the flywheel weight on the LifeSpan RW1000 rowing machine?
A: The RW1000 has a 16.5 lbs. flywheel with magnetic resistance.

Rating: 50%

Resistance Type


Resistance Level


Dimensions (inches)

90" L x 18.5" W x 23" H



Maximum User Weight Capacity

300 lbs

View Full Specifications