Hydrow Rowing Machine Review

Man getting great workout on Hydrow

At A Glance

Our Take

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While a bit pricey at $2,245, the Hydrow is a phenomenal cornerstone to a home gym that provides tremendous value to those who have the space and budget to make this investment in their health. Stacks up well with the Peloton and any other home workout equipment. To make Hydrow more affordable financing is available for $63/ month and there is a 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee. 

The popularity of home gyms and interactive home workout machines continues to skyrocket with a healthy shot in the arm from COVID mandated social distancing requirements. While brands like Peloton and NordicTrack have been leading the charge for years, those who are looking to build an outstanding home gym have been rewarded by advances in the space that have delivered increasingly effective and accessible workout systems.

 If you are looking to turn part of your man cave into a fitness center, or would like to build a dedicated space for your physical improvement, there are a lot of options on the market to choose from – good and bad. Most of the major options out there have a glaring drawback – treadmills are incredibly high impact for older users and those with past athletic injuries. While the Peloton has revolutionized the fitness world relationship with the stationary bike through highly interactive videos and classes, it completely neglects the upper body.

For those looking for a truly full body workout system, it may be time to consider the Hydrow Rowing Machine, at in-home rower poised to become the Peloton of rowing. Let’s explore if it is right for you. 

Why Buy a Rower?

Unlike cycling or some other workout systems, rowing provides a truly full body workout that engages 86% of your muscles. What that means is in a single unit, you can participate in line or on demand rowing classes led by world class athletes, all in the comfort of your home. As the weather begins to change, this becomes an increasingly attractive benefit, as it allows you to continue building your body, no matter what the weather or your local gym decides to do. 

Things to Consider

When thinking about how you want to outfit a home gym, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • How much space do you have available?
  • What are your goals? (Do you want to put on muscle? Lose weight? Focus on full body workouts vs. targeted workouts?)
  • Do youhave any injuries that you need to plan around? (Rowers provide a lower impact workout for older users or those of us with knee and ankle injuries)

While those who are unwilling to invest in costly workout equipment can always result to the Herschel Walker Method of thousands of pushups and sit-ups a day, for many investing in workout equipment is the right solution to their fitness needs.


The Hydrow Rower

The Hydrow is the best in class modern rower. The 86-inch-long by 25-inch-wide rowing machine packs in an easily accessible 22-inche HD touchscreen mounted on the front that allows your row along with workouts led by professional athletes and trainers. Not only does the monitor deliver a beautiful picture, but it is also sweatproof and delivers great sound through Hi-fi speakers. It also sports a built-in microphone, USB 2.0 connection, a two-megapixel camera, and both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities. The Hydrow utilizes an electromagnetic resistance drag mechanism with 300 levels of possible resistance for each rowing session. While the default mode mimics the feel of a two-person boat, you can change the setting to mimic either a one person or 8-person boat.

The Workout

The Hydrow offers several levels of intensity to choose from, allowing it to cater to any physical condition or set of physical goals. This allows you to tinker with to figure out which level and workout length is ideal for your exercise needs. In addition to the interactive classes, you have the opportunity leverage outstanding pre-recorded classes. The live, interactive classes also offer a real-time leaderboard that shows up on the right side of the screen during a Live Rowing session.

The Technology

One of the most impressive aspects of the Hydrow is the video streaming quality. Although any streaming service comes with the risk of video freezes, the Hydrow system rarely suffers from this issue. When freezing does occur, you can just press the help icon on the screen and instantly send feedback to Hydrow, who tend to be amazingly responsive.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Hydrow is the video streaming quality. Although any streaming service comes with the risk of video freezes, the Hydrow system rarely suffers from this issue. When freezing does occur, you can just press the help icon on the screen and instantly send feedback to Hydrow, who tend to be amazingly responsive.

The Hydrow is also excellently designed, which makes the machine incredibly quiet, which is important when using it in a smaller room. One thing that is incredibly important is to ensure that the room that you have selected to house your Hydrow is large enough. Although the 15 square foot device can be stored vertically to free up space, you are probably better offer putting it in a dedicated workout area. The Hydrow does come with a set of front wheels, that make it easy enough to move and stand up the 145-pound machine as needed.

The question is — where do you find an affordable home theater projector that can do all that?


The price of the Hydrow might give some people a bit of sticker shock, but there are a few things to consider before deciding that it is too much. The $2,245 price of the Hydrow is comparable to the $1,895 cost of the Peloton bike. As the Hydrow provides a full body workout vs. the Peloton’s lower body specific workout, it could be argued that the Hydrow provides vastly more value.


In addition to the base price, there is also the $38 monthly membership that is required to unlock the full value of the Hydrow by providing full access to library. For some, this ongoing subscription is an ongoing financial motivator to get as much value out of their investment as possible.

Reviews from the Web

Testimonials from around the web look great for the Hydrow rower. Here are a few of them to consider.

“Wonderful full body workout. Videos are engaging and fun and keep me going. Fun to work in splits and really get heart rate up, as well as take days were distance or form is key. Perfect no impact workout.”

“Addicting work out! I never rowed before in my life, but I was looking for something new and that would give me a good overall workout. My son and daughter in law just bought a Hydrow and convinced me I would love it!”

“I was on a crew team in college, so the format always appealed to me. Now that I am in my 50’s this is like being on the water without having to wake up at 5am and be outside. Love all the videos and all the tech to make this an enjoyable workout”

The Competition

There is a variety of at-home workout equipment like stationary bikes, treadmills, and weight racks that can be used in assistance of home fitness goals. Interactive at-home rowers are a relatively new category (most of their predecessor were the traditional, analog water rowers). The closest alternative would be the Ergatta Rower. Like the Hydrow, the Ergatta features an onboard screen that displays workouts, pre-recorded classes, and the ability to compare your progress to others.

Ergatta Rower

Like the Hydrow, the Ergatta represents a significant investment at $1,999 purchase price and a $29 a month class membership. For this slightly lower price point, the Ergatta includes a gamer focused 17.3-inch touch screen. The Ergatta also has a water resistance system that naturally adjust to your effort. The harder you pull the more resistance you feel. 

NordicTrack RW900

Slightly cheaper than the Hydrow, the NordicTrack RW900 checks in at a $1,699 price point. It also comes with a free one-year premium iFit class membership which reverts to $15 or $33 a month options once the free trial period is up. The RW900 also runs on a different mechanism than the Hydrow – combining magnetic and air resistance to offer 26 digital and 10 manual air resistance levels. It also offers the ability to adjust your resistance level to match wind and water conditions for outdoor workouts.

Is the Hydrow Right for You?

Overall, the Hydrow is an excellent addition to any home gym. Clocking in at $2,245, it is by no means cheap, but it provides outstanding value for anyone willing and able to invest in their long-term health and fitness. At a comparable price to the Peloton, the Hydrow provides more value by providing a full body workout. Hydrow also has demonstrated their commitment to excellence through an array of software updates, an app and constant improvements to their library and machines. If you want to seriously invest in your look and health with a fun and effective full body exercise, I strongly recommend giving the Hydrow Rowing Machine a try. For the kind of investment that you are making, the Hydrow is the best made and provides the smoothest, must comfortably ride of its competitors.