9 Compact and Portable Rowing Machines for Small Spaces

Adding a rowing machine to your home gym will provide you with an awesome multifunction machine. It uniquely combines cardio and resistance training to maximize weight loss while building muscle. But it usually takes up a large footprint and many people just don’t have the space for it. In this article, we focus in on the 9 best compact and portable rower machines that will fit into even the tiniest of spaces.

A Quick Snapshot of the 9 Best Portable Rowing Machines

The most compact rowing machine that also has great portability that we found is the Stamina Air Rower, which provides an awesome air resistance row, a high level of comfort and impressive monitor functionality, all in one compact unit. We also love the Sunny Health and Fitness rower with full motion arms, with its 12 levels of hydraulic tension resistance, and contoured padded seat.

Our third favorite portable rowing machine is the Stamina 1215 Orbital rower. This machine features 12 levels of adjustable resistance, a great range of motion and a very fluid rowing motion.

We’ve rated the 9 most compact and portable row machines in terms of their price and durability. Then we’ve given them an overall rating it of 5 to make it easy for you compare them.

The 9 Best Portable Rowing Machines In-Depth

Stamina Air Rower

Stamina Air Rower Black Chrome

The Stamina Air Rower is a very smooth operating air resistance rower that features side foot plates with adjustable straps, an inclined seat rail which allows for easy gliding and a comfortable, thickly added seat. The Stamina has a very compact footprint and is able to be stored on its end. It also has built-in wheels for easy transportation. A solid steel frame and over-sized seat add stability and comfort.

The digital monitor which comes with this rowing machine is very easy to read and provides all the data that you need to monitor your workout, including the calories burned. The Stamina Air Rower comes in at a very good price point.

PROS

  • Inclined seat rail
  • Comfortable seat
  • Very compact footprint

CONS

  • The resistance on the band is absent for the first third of the pull

Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine with Full Motion Arms

Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine with Full Motion Arms

The Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine is a hydraulic tension rower the features extra long arms. It has 12 levels of adjustable resistance and a unique angled height which allows you to intensify your rowing angle. The seat is fully padded and contoured for comfort. The frame of this compact unit is made from solid steel, providing a high level of rigidity.

The foot pedals on the Sunny folding rowing machine are extra wide and have adjustable straps to allow you to secure your foot placement. The LCD display is prominently positioned and provides a clear readout of your vital training data. It has a maximum user weight of 220 pounds. This is a very lightweight, portable model, ideal for taking with you when you travel.

PROS

  • 12 levels of adjustable resistance
  • Adjustable height angle
  • Extra wide foot pedals

CONS

  • Limited resistance

Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower

Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower

The Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower is a very compact, portable hydraulic piston driven rowing machine. It offers 12 levels of adjustable resistance by way of centrally located dial. The rowing arms of the machine can be folded when not in use, making it even more compact. The range of motion of the 1215 is superb, allowing for a great calorie burning workout.

The Stamina 1215 provides a good level of comfort. It has a thickly padded seat that moves along a ball bearing track to give a fluid guide motion. The foot plates and handles are ergonomically positioned for ideal exercise movement. This foldable rowing machine provides surprisingly quality for the price and even comes with a 5 year manufacturer warranty.

PROS

  • 12 levels of adjustable resistance
  • Excellent range of motion
  • Thick, padded seat
  • 5 year manufacturer warranty

CONS

  • Not designed for short people

Soozier Magnetic Folding Rowing Machine

Soozier Magnetic Folding Rowing Machine

The Soozier Magnetic Fold Up Rowing Machine provides a compact, rigid design that offers a smooth, fluid rowing stroke. It has large foot plates with adjustable straps to provide a stable base to work from. 8 levels of shock resistance allow all family members to work at their own level. A central knob allows for quick and easy resistance adjustment. The angled seat rail provides for the ideal return.

The ABS monitor on the Soozier collapsible rowing machine provides a clear readout of all of your vital workout data. A scan function allows you to scroll through all readouts while exercising. When not being used, the Soozier can be stored on its end. It has a maximum user weight of 220 pounds.

PROS

  • Fluid rowing stroke
  • 8 levels of shock resistance
  • Large foot plates

CONS

  • Not overly sturdy

Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine

Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine

The Kettler Favorit rower is a compact rower that has two hydraulic pistons attached to the rowing arms. The ergonomically designed seat is very comfortable, placing your lower body in an ideal position for best performance. The seat features a ball bearing system that provides a smooth glide return. The large foot plates gave adjustable straps to give a secure foot placement.

The profile of the Kettler Favorit is very compact, measuring just 49 x 31 x 10 inches. The onboard display monitor is centrally located and easily readable. It provides readouts of time, number of strokes, speed of strokes and distance covered. It even provides audio and visual signals when you reach your goals that you are able to set.

PROS

  • Smooth glide return
  • Very compact
  • Excellent display monitor

CONS

  • Noisy operation

The best rated rowing machines on the market are the Concept 2 series. Find out if they really deserve to be number one with our Concept 2 Rowing Machines Review 2016 - you may be surprised!

Stamina BodyTrac Glider

Stamina BodyTrac Glider

The Stamina Body Trac Glider is a basic model rower that provides a very reliable workout. It has built-in shock resistance. This amazingly compact machine will fit into almost any space. It is also an ideal rower to take with you when you travel. A key feature of the glider is that has separate rowing arms. This provides you with a more realistic rowing motion.

The seat on the Body Trac Glider is adjustable so you can lift or lower it to suit. The seat is well padded and glides smoothly on the central track. For a cheap rower, this machine is surprisingly sturdy and wobble resistant. A centrally located dial allows you to adjust the resistance.

PROS

  • Built-in shock resistance
  • Separate rowing arms
  • Adjustable seat

CONS

  • Display data not reliable

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Titan Fitness Magnetic Rower

Titan Fitness Magnetic Rower

The Titan Fitness magnetic rower provides a smooth pulling action and an easy glide seat action to provide a fluid rowing experience. It features 8 variable resistance settings, large, slip resistant pedals with adjustable foot straps and a heavy duty frame that can withstand some damage. The LCD display provides accurate readouts of your calories burnt, count time and rowing strokes.

The Titan magnetic is a very compact unit, with dimensions of 60 x 19 x 22.5 inches. It can be stored on end for an even smaller footprint. The maximum user weight on this machine is 250 pounds. The whole thing is incredibly light weight, making it the ideal exercise travel companion.

PROS

  • 8 variable resistance levels
  • Oversized, slip resistant pedals
  • Light weight

CONS

  • Somewhat noisy operation

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Stamina In Motion Rower

Stamina In Motion Rower

The Stamina In Motion Rower is a basic entry level small rowing machine that provides quality componentry for reliable performance. It provides 5 levels of adjustable resistance, giving a smooth rowing experience that is unusual for a rower under $100. It is simple to assemble, having the hydraulic tension arm at the from of the machine, rather than under it. This makes for a more natural feel during the rowing motion.

The foot plates on the In Motion rowing machine pivot to provide for a more natural leg action while exercising. At 56.5 x 19 x 23.5 inches this machine is amazingly compact, allowing you to get a decent workout in even the most confined of spaces. It can even be stored on end.

PROS

  • 5 levels of resistance
  • Hydraulic arm at front
  • Very compact

CONS

  • Questionable customer service

Discover the best rowing machines of 2016 in every category with our guide here - we’ve got the market covered!

Leopard Rowing Machine

Leopard Rowing Machine

The Leopard Rowing machine is a simple hydraulic tension resistance rower that provides 12 levels of adjustable resistance. It provides a consistently smooth striding motion, with the seat gliding on a ball bearing movement system. The height of the rowing machine can be adjusted to three angles to provide increased resistance. Pivot foot rests with adjustable straps provide a secure base to row from.

The frame of the Leopard rower is constructed from high grade steel. At 51 inches in length and just 12 inches wide, the Leopard can easily be moved from room to room. The flattened storage height reduces down to just 6.5 inches, allowing you to easily store it under a bed.

PROS

  • 12 levels of resistance
  • Very compact
  • Adjustable height

CONS

  • Seat is a little narrow

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Conclusion

The best rower in terms of portability and compactness that we found is the Stamina Air Rower. This air resistance machine offers a great mix of comfort, functionality and portability. Our second favorite is the Sunny Health and Fitness with full motions arms, which offers a great range of motion, a comfortable, padded seat and 12 resistance levels.

The third best compact and portable fold away rowing machine that we encountered is the Stamina 1215 orbital rower, with its 12 levels of variable resistance and surprisingly smooth rowing action.