Stamina 1205 Rower Review
The Stamina 1205 rower is yet another bargain offering from a brand that consistently delivers reasonable quality bang-for-buck rowers of all shapes and sizes. This particular example uses a pair of hydraulic dampers with variable resistance settings, and is incredibly compact and lightweight, meaning you can tuck it away under a bed or in the closet when not in use. At this price range you’re making a good number of concessions compared to buying an air rower or a rower with magnetic resistance, but for those on low budgets and living in cramped quarters, these types of machines can be worth considering. For a closer look, read on through our review below.
Stamina’s green and white 1205 Rower is one of the smallest and cheapest rowing machines on our review website. It measures just 48” long and was originally selling for an MSRP of $399. These days you can pick one of these little rowers up for less than $200. For people with smaller frames, it provides a low-cost way to get full body workouts at home.
The Stamina 1205 Rower is an even lighter version of the Stamina 1333. Like that rowing machine, it has pivoting footplates to support natural motion. It also has an aluminum beam, though smaller, and shows workout data on a large LCD monitor. The differences are the Stamina 1205’s smaller dimensions, lower weight and simpler seat (no lumbar support).
Resistance on this machine is variable and uses hydraulic shocks rather than water, air or a flywheel. Shocks are the most inexpensive type of resistance system for fitness equipment, and also the least durable. Because of this resistance system, the Stamina 1205 Rower is best considered a starter machine or a backup fitness machine for rainy days.
Here are some pros and cons to take into account.
- Data Monitor: Stamina’s 1205 computer monitor gives a good amount of feedback: strokes, strokes per minute, total strokes, time, time per 500 meters, calories and tempo. The LCD has large and easy-to-read numbers. However, riders report that it can be unreliable. Sometimes it just doesn’t work.
- Quiet Resistance: The 1205 rowing machine uses hydraulic resistance, which is quiet enough to not disturb others.
- Padded Seat: This rower has a thickly padded seat to support low-impact exercise. It is contoured for comfort and fits smaller riders best.
- Strong Beam: The rower’s beam is made from aluminum.
- Compact Size: This rower measures 48” L x 32.5” W x 17.75” H and weighs just 47 pounds. It can be stored on its side.
- Price: The low sticker price makes this a pretty good buy for certain shoppers, even considering the negatives in the list below.
Here are possible drawbacks about choosing the Stamina 1205 Rower.
- Weight Limit: The advertised weight limit is 250 pounds. That seems optimistic for a machine this size, yet the similar 1333 is known to hold up well.
- Hydraulic Resistance: Hydraulic resistance is the cheapest type used on rowing machines. (Other types are air, magnetic and water.) The hydraulic fluid is sensitive to temperature, so hydraulic rowing machines feel stiff if stored/used in colder settings. More importantly, the hydraulic fluid is prone to overheating. Customers report needing to replace the pistons. Stamina replaces these for free within the first 90 days.
- Some Cheaper Parts: Besides using hydraulic resistance, this machine has a cheaper frame (not steel) and some plastic parts. The sturdiest part is the aluminum beam.
- Small Size: While the machine’s small size has advantages, it also means that the Stamina 1205 Rower is uncomfortable for taller riders.
- Warranty: Stamina puts short warranties on all their fitness machines, even their best rowing machines. The Stamina 1205 gets an especially short warranty though: one year on the frame and 90 days on parts.
The Stamina 1205 Rower is meant for light workouts and occasional use. It could be a good choice if you have very limited storage space and are a smaller person. It’s not a great choice for vigorous workouts, and the pistons will probably need to be replaced within a few months if you use the machine daily.
If you have the room, we recommend choosing a larger product. We’ve given higher rowing machine ratings to other Stamina options that cost the same or less.
Frequently Asked Questions
48" L x 32.5" W x 27.75" H
Maximum User Weight Capacity