Stamina X Rower Review
The eye-catching red and black Stamina X Rowing Machine is among Stamina’s best deals, and one of our favorites in the price range. We rate it an 8 overall, but in terms of value alone it’s easily a 10. The Stamina X is sized to fit almost anyone up to 250 pounds and its resistance adjusts to match the rider’s force. It produces smooth resistance with a fan flywheel and competes well with more expensive machines of its ilk.
The Stamina X is a basic model, so you won’t get speakers, workout programs, or heart rate monitoring. However, the core of this machine is better than any other budget-conscious rower with more bells and whistles. It has a strong metal chain, a steel frame, and the seat glides on metal bearings instead of plastic wheels. The footplates also pivot to follow your natural motion (an underrated feature that is rare in this price range).
Unlike so many other segments in fitness equipment (as you’ve likely seen across the many pages of Fitrated), the Rowing machine segment is still one with a significant focus on well built ‘no frills’ workout equipment. In recent years we’ve seen some evolution in that respect—the NordicTrack RW900 rower is a prime example—where brands are adding big touch screens and interactive training to the equation, but by and large, basic machines aren’t a bad thing. The psychology here is simple. On an exercise bike or treadmill, the mechanics of exercise are very much second nature, and there’s little in the way of technique that really needs to occupy your mind as you’re working out. With a rower, proper form is a necessity. Until you’ve spent a significant amount of hours training on a rower, you’re going to have to focus much of your mental energy on ensuring your movements are precise and well timed. This means that having a big screen in your face and an online instructor telling you to pick up the pace might not be immediately beneficial.
When we look at the Stamina X rowing machine itself, it’s safe to say that this is a basic machine, but it’s also a good jumping off point to get more familiar with this kind of workout without breaking the bank. Its compact LCD display provides the necessary basic metrics for you to keep eyes on your performance; it tracks distance, calories burned, speed, workout time, total strokes and strokes per minute. Offered without any Bluetooth or Wifi compatibility, you won’t get heart rate data, but again as a starter rower you don’t need to be too concerned about that information. It also doesn’t have built in speakers, so you’ll have to rely on either an in-home stereo system, or perhaps some Bluetooth headphones in order to enjoy your favorite workout playlist. Given how a rower moves, we strongly advise against using wired headphones on a rowing machine unless you can safely tuck the cable under your workout wear.
The Stamina X rowing machine is sized to fit most users, having a weight limit of 250 pounds, and a frame that can accommodate rowers of up to 6’ 5” tall. Its frame is technically a folding one, though not in the way that many other rowers fold. The slide/rail of the rower is one fixed unit, ensuring that the rower feels stable and secure. Instead its air resistance drive unit folds over, shortening the machine’s overall length. Once folded, the machine can be stored upright, making it very compact overall to the point that you could likely tuck it into a coat closet if needed.
From a comfort standpoint, its footplates have a bit of a pivoting action to them, which is a nice touch that improves the overall comfort of the rowing experience. Its seat is a molded plastic, and proved to be ok in terms of comfort, but nothing groundbreaking. Given its affordable entry price, this isn’t all that surprising, and given that you aren’t typically rowing for hours on end, we’d call it acceptable for the category and budget in question.
The online price for this model is just $399—a lower price and even better value than when we first covered the Stamina X rower. It’s also one that will occasionally come on sale via Amazon.
Is it the best rowing machine for you? Here are some factors to consider.
- Looks good: Substance matters most, but this rower does stand out in a home gym thanks to a sleek black and red design.
- Assembly: Most buyers find this rower easy to set up.
- Durable: The Stamina X boasts high quality components that are typically reserved for more expensive rowing machines like a steel frame, a metal chain, and metal rollers. While the warranty is fairly short, users rarely complaints about breakdowns.
- Higher grofile: The Stamina X is raised 18” off of the ground. This makes the machines easier to use for those with limited mobility.
- Padded seat: The seat is molded and padded for a reasonably comfortable rowing glide.
- Larger pivoting footplates: The footplates on this unit are larger than those on Stamina rowers. They are long enough for most shoe sizes.
- Data: A data monitor displays strokes per minute, count, distance, speed, time, and calories. It has an adjustable height and can be tilted for easy reading.
- Saves space: The seat and beam for the Stamina X can be stored in an upright position. Wheels are attached for easy transport and the machine weighs a manageable 63 pounds.
The Stamina X has some impressive selling points, but it isn’t for everyone. Here are some possible disadvantages.
- Warranty: Stamina’s warranties are among the shortest in the industry. The Stamina X Rowing Machine is sold with three years of protection for the steel frame and only 90 days for parts.
- No Heart Rate Monitor: This machine doesn’t include a heart rate monitor, which will be a deal breaker for some trainees.
- No Preset Programs: The computer does not have preset exercise programs.
- Small Handle: The handle has a narrow diameter. If it were larger, it would be more comfortable to hold for an extended workout.
The Stamina X Rowing Machine might be simple, but it’s also one of the finest air resistance rowers in this price range. It has pivoting footplates, satisfying resistance, and a helpful data monitor. The Stamina X is likely to run smoothly for many years and is a good buy for someone looking to get into rowing at home. An impressive and dependable option for anyone shopping for a rower on a limited budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
78.5" L x 18" W x 29" H
Maximum User Weight Capacity