Rowing machines offer a low impact option for a full-body workout — working your arms, legs, back, shoulders, and core with a single machine (
What’s more, rowers suit the fitness needs of a wide range of people, from older adults with joint issues to competitive athletes looking to cross-train.
The Echelon Row is a high end rowing machine made by Echelon, a fitness equipment brand that’s best known for its Echelon Connect Bike.
Echelon currently offers three rowing machines: the Row, the Row-s, and the Row-7s.
This article discusses the pros, cons, and costs of Echelon’s Smart rowers to help you decide if they fit your exercise needs.
- 3 available models with varying features and price points
- 32 levels of resistance
- Adjustable device holder or built-in 22-inch (56-cm) touch-screen display
- Integrates with Echelon United for live and on-demand classes
- Limited functionality without paying for Echelon United membership
- Free shipping only with 1- or 2-year membership
Echelon currently offers three rowing machines, all of which are easy to use.
You use the rowers by placing your feet in the stationary pedals and adjusting the seat. Once you’re positioned, you simply pull the handle toward you while pushing your feet against the pedals to push yourself backward in a controlled motion.
The rowers also feature easy-glide seats and 32 levels of resistance, which you can quickly adjust using buttons located on the ergonomic handlebars.
What’s more, because the machines use magnetic resistance rather than water or air resistance, they offer a smooth, virtually silent workout.
Each model also features Bluetooth connectivity and either a touch-screen display or an integrated tablet holder, allowing you to stream classes using the Echelon United app — a fitness app that offers access to more than 1,000 live and on-demand workouts.
In addition to streaming classes such as rowing and strength training, the app monitors your performance and displays key metrics such as your time and current resistance level.
The tablet holder and touch screen can be rotated 180 degrees and then flipped, so you can take your workout from the machine to the floor.
Just keep in mind that one of the main drawbacks of the Echelon rowers is that they’re nearly unusable without an Echelon United membership.
This table summarizes the specs and features of Echelon’s three rowing machines:
|Weight||124 pounds (56 kg)||108 pounds (49 kg)||108 pounds (49 kg)|
|Dimensions (length × width)||83 × 20 inches (211 × 51 cm)||85 × 24 inches (216 × 61 cm)||85 × 24 inches (216 × 61 cm)|
|Display||none||22-inch (56-cm) touch-screen display||22-inch (56-cm) touch-screen display|
|App connectivity||Echelon United||Echelon United||Echelon United|
|Other features||adjustable device holder, foldable||adjustable touch screen, adjustable pedals with straps, Bluetooth speakers, foldable||adjustable touch screen, adjustable pedals with straps, Bluetooth speakers, dual antennas to improve Wi-Fi connectivity, dual audio jacks, foldable|
|Max user weight||300 pounds (136 kg)||350 pounds (159 kg)||350 pounds (159 kg)|
Overall, the models are similar in that they offer Bluetooth connectivity and 32 levels of resistance. They’re also foldable to help save space.
While the Row includes an integrated tablet holder, the Row-s and Row-7 are better for streaming, as they include a 22-inch (56-cm) touch screen and built-in Bluetooth speakers.
Echelon’s Smart rowers range in price from $999–$1,999.
Here’s how much each model costs:
- Echelon Row: $999
- Echelon Row-s: $1,599
- Echelon Row-7s: $1,999
To make the machines more affordable, Echelon also offers special financing for qualified customers.
Keep in mind that when you purchase an Echelon rower, you’re also required to subscribe to Echelon United.
The company currently offers three subscription options:
- Monthly: $39.99 per month
- Yearly: $399.99 per year
- 2 years: $699.99 every 2 years
Shipping costs an additional $99–$200, depending on your location. However, it’s free if you purchase a yearly or 2-year Echelon United membership.
Lastly, each purchase includes a 1-year parts and labor warranty.
There are several high end rowers on the market, which range in price and features.
Here’s how the Echelon Row stacks up against similar products:
|Echelon Row, Row-s, Row-7s||Hydrow Rower||ProForm 750R Rower||Concept2 RowErg|
|Resistance levels||32 levels||drag mechanism||24 levels||none|
Row-s: 22-inch (56-cm) touch screen
Row-7s: 22-inch (56-cm) touch screen
|22-inch (56-cm) touch screen||5-inch (13-cm) display||small performance monitor (sizing not disclosed)|
|App required||yes, Echelon United||yes, Hydrow||no||no|
|App pricing||$39.99 per month||$38 per month||optional iFit membership ($39.99 per month)||none|
|Max user weight||Row: 300 pounds (136 kg) |
Row-s: 350 pounds (159 kg)
Row-7s: 350 pounds (159 kg)
|375 pounds (170 kg)||250 pounds (113 kg)||500 pounds (227 kg)|
|Other features||Row: |
tablet holder, Bluetooth
adjustable touch screen, adjustable pedals with straps, Bluetooth speakers
adjustable touch screen, adjustable pedals with straps, Bluetooth speakers, dual audio jacks
|adjustable monitor, adjustable pedals, Bluetooth heart rate monitor, Bluetooth speakers||tablet holder, pedals with straps, foldable||adjustable footrests, Bluetooth compatibility|
Compared with similar products, the Echelon rowers are moderately priced.
The ProForm 750R Rower and Concept2 RowErg are less expensive and don’t require an app subscription. However, the Echelon Row-s and Row-s7 offer more features, including integrated touch screens and Bluetooth speakers.
The Hydrow is Echelon’s main rival, as both models include options for an integrated touch screen.
While it’s more expensive, the Hydrow Rower offers rowing classes that are actually filmed on the water, which may be a selling point for some users.
The Hydrow Rower also uses a drag mechanism, rather than resistance levels, to more closely mimic rowing on water.
Still, keep in mind that if streaming isn’t a priority, there are several budget-friendly rowing machines on the market to consider, such as those from Sunny Health and Fitness or Stamina Body.
Reviews for the Echelon Row, Row-s, and Row-7s are mostly positive, with customers noting how easy the machines are to assemble and use.
Specifically, reviewers appreciate having 32 levels of resistance and the ability to stream classes using either a tablet or a touch screen.
Still, despite the mostly glowing reviews, there are a few common complaints to be aware of.
For example, a handful of users mention that the resistance buttons didn’t work initially or stopped functioning after just a few uses. Several positive reviewers also note that the resistance buttons aren’t as responsive as they should be.
Some negative reviewers express disappointment in slow customer service response times, especially when replacement parts are needed to fix a nonfunctioning or broken rower.
Finally, many customers complain that — despite the rower itself being well-made, durable, and easy to use — the Echelon United app is a bit too clunky and buggy given its high price tag.
The Echelon rowers offer a smooth and effective workout with the ability to stream live and on-demand classes.
However, the rowers are expensive, and you’ll also need to be prepared to shell out money on an ongoing basis for the Echelon United subscription to get the most out of your machine.
Among the three rower options Echelon offers, the Echelon Row-s offers the most bang for your buck thanks to its 22-inch (56-cm) touch-screen display and some slightly upgraded specs, including Bluetooth speakers.
However, if you already own a tablet, the Row offers many of the same features at a lower price point.
Also keep in mind that if you want a quality rower without having to pay an ongoing subscription fee, there are alternatives, such as ProForm and Concept2.
Several budget models are also available if you’d like to keep your rower purchase at $250 or less.
Rowing machines offer a great way to get a low impact full-body workout, and Echelon’s line of rowers are some of the most highly regarded.
In particular, we recommend the Echelon Row-s, as it offers a good mix of value and high end features, including the 22-inch (56-cm) touch-screen display.
Just keep in mind that regardless of which rower you choose, you’ll need to factor in the cost of a monthly or yearly Echelon United subscription.
If Echelon’s high tech features aren’t enticing, it’s worth shopping around for a rowing machine that better fits your needs and budget.
Can’t afford or don’t have room for a rower?
There are plenty of bodyweight exercises you can do to replicate a rowing motion with little to no equipment. One exercise that works many of the same muscle groups is pullups, and all you need is a sturdy bar (and a sturdy chair, for assisted pullups).
Find the perfect pullup bar for your needs in our roundup of the 11 Best Pullup Bars.
Also be sure to check out our guide to assisted pullups for more info on proper form.