The cat’s outta the bag; rowing has been declared the most effective cardio workout, leaving other popular modalities like running and cycling in the dust. I mean, how can you compete with an exercise that uses up to 85% of your body’s muscles at once? You can’t, at least when it comes to cardio-based exercise.
With this discovery and the newfound popularity of home rowing machines, we’ve seen several new smart rowing machines hit the market. For some people, this is exciting, and for others, this can cause some anxiety and analysis paralysis.
However, that’s what I’m here for! In this article, I’m lining up three interactive rowing machines; Aviron vs Hydrow vs Ergatta. I’ll break down each rower, give you some insight into what you can expect investment-wise, and then help you determine which one is going to be the best fit for you and your needs. Deal?
I’ll even answer the BIG question that we all have when it comes to pricey smart fitness equipment, “is it worth it?!?” Plus, I’ll also give you my opinion on which rowing machine deserves the title “Best Interactive Rower” for 2021.
Fit Healthy Momma's Rating on These 3 Smart Rowing Machines
The Best Smart Rowers Compared: Aviron vs Hydrow vs Ergatta
Let’s kick this comparison off with a table that’ll give you all the need-to-know information about each rower. This section is made to give you a highlight, but don’t worry, we’ll dive into each competitor deeper in the coming sections.
5-year structural frame, 3-year parts, 1-year tablet
Fan & Flywheel
22” HD touchscreen
22” HD touchscreen
17.5” HD touchscreen
Racing / Games:
Is Aviron Worth It?
Let’s kick this killer match up off with the Aviron interactive rowing machine, shall we? Perhaps this brand is as new to you as it was for me, however, the brand has actually been around for a few years now. This Ontario, Canada-based company has been making and selling rowers in the commercial space for a couple of years, but recently launched their home rower, the Aviron Impact Series Rower.
This rowing machine feels to me like the perfect mix of high-intensity interval training and fun. In fact, Aviron’s motto is “end boring workouts.” Um, yes please! Rowing with Aviron brings you fierce races, exciting, interactive games, strength training programs, and more. It’s a full-body experience that will have you in, out, and on with life in less time than you thought possible. The bonus is that it’s incredibly effective, too. The programming on this machine is next level, definitely a cut above the rest. It’s very apparent that the Aviron team has put a lot of thought and effort into making the workouts fun and effective, which makes this interactive rowing machine incredibly worth it.
Onto the rower itself, again, a lot of time and thought went into the design of this machine. It’s longer than its competitors, but it remains sleek and compact, and can even fold up when it’s not in use. The additional length also makes this machine user-friendly for folks up to 7 ft tall. Included on the Impact Series Rower is a 22” HD touchscreen, which is the standard size for most smart home gym equipment on the market. Located behind the screen, you’ll find the resistance which is powered by a fan and flywheel, allowing for a smooth, quiet row.
The other benefit of Aviron’s resistance is that it allows up to 100 lbs of resistance, which is about three times the resistance capability of any other machine. This level of resistance is crucial for the type of training Aviron offers, a HIIT-style workout incorporates cardio and strength training to give users a massive punch in less time. More bang for your buck sounds like a pretty worthy investment to me.
How Much Does Aviron Cost?
Ok, this sounds amazing, but what will it cost me? Aviron comes in at $2,149 for their Impact Rower which comes complete with the 22” HD screen, free shipping, 30-day trial, and a 2-year limited warranty. An Aviron membership will cost you $299 per year or $29 per month and, with that, you’ll get access to as many user profiles as you want. The brand is also partnered with Affirm to offer their customers convenient payment plans. If qualified, you can get your Aviron for as little as $60 per month.
Is Hydrow Worth It?
For those who want to get out of the controlled studio environment, Hydrow is worth taking a look at. Hydrow is serious about the sport of rowing, but they make using their rower so accessible that even if you’ve never rowed before, you’ll have the hang of it in no time flat. Utilizing world-class athletes for their instructors, Hydrow has a unique way of pushing you further than you thought you could go. The majority of the workouts are done “on the water” which means that you’ll get to explore some pretty unique and exotic waterways while you get your heart pumping and your muscles burning.
Not only does Hydrow put you out on the water with their programming, but they also bring that experience to life through their patented drag mechanism that’s electromagnetic and computer-controlled. When compared with Aviron and Ergatta, Hydrow’s resistance is more intuitive and realistic as far as real, conventional rowing goes. Nervous that this type of resistance will be loud? Don’t be! The industrial-grade webbed strap ensures that each stroke is smooth and nearly silent.
Structurally, Hydrow is similar to Aviron, however, Hydrow folds up vertically for storage, just like Ergatta. Otherwise, you’ll see a similar 22” HD touchscreen located at the helm of the Hydrow for your viewing pleasure. One thing that Hydrow does really well is incorporate cross-training workouts into their machine. What they offer is more than just a rower, because we all know that the key to a well-balanced workout is variety. Hydrow has a full library of off-rower workouts that include yoga, pilates, strength training, and more. Hydrow’s workouts remind me of Peloton. In fact, I wrote a complete review on the matchup between Peloton and Hydrow.
How Much Does Hydrow Cost?
Hydrow has three pricing packages; the rower, the Starter, and the Pro package. If you want to go with the bare-bones essentials, you can get the Rower package which includes just the Hydrow and the HD screen. However, if you want to add in some accessories, you can spring for the Starter or the Pro packages which include additional things like a machine mat, heart rate monitor, headphones, workout mat, resistance bands, and more. If you already have this equipment, I recommend just sticking with the original package as the extra cost isn’t worth it, in my opinion.
Aside from the cost of the rower, you will also be required to pay for the monthly subscription fee which is $38 per month, so about $10 per month higher than Aviron and Ergatta, but remember that this includes additional workouts that can be done off the rower of through the Hydrow app.
Is Ergatta Worth It?
Ergatta was the first rowing brand to take a look at the fitness market and the way that it’s structured and then do it differently. Instead of sticking users inside a studio and having them follow instructor-led workouts, Ergatta designed a gaming-inspired rower that's meant to give you a fun, exciting, competitive challenge. Ergatta recognized that not every person feels motivated by high-energy fitness instructors and the studio atmosphere, so they motivate differently, allowing users to compete against themselves and each other. This is exactly the reason why I wrote a comparison on Ergatta vs. Peloton.
Ergatta offers several different workout options, including push programs, interval workouts, race workouts, and open rows. The brand is constantly adding new content to their library and always listening to their community to ensure that everyone’s needs are being met. Based on the fact that they just raised an additional $30 million in funding last month, it’s safe to say that we can only expect more amazing content and programming to come from Ergatta in the near future. So just going off this information, Ergatta is worth it.
Plus, Ergatta is definitely one of the most elegantly designed rowers that you’ll come across. The rower itself is a Water Rower, made right here in the United States. It features sleek cherry wood and a water resistance tank that looks and feels as cool as it sounds when you’re rowing. The beauty of Ergatta, in contrast to their competitors, is that you can put your machine anywhere in your home and it’ll not only blend in, but it will add to the ambiance and aesthetic. I keep mine positioned front and center in my home and I’ve received so many compliments and inquiries from visitors about it - it has a way of drawing people in!
How Much Does Ergatta Cost?
You can get an Ergatta rower for yourself for just $2,199. This brand doesn’t run sales or promos very often, so the price is the price, which is very comparable to Hydrow and Aviron. As far as the membership goes, you’ll need to pay $29 per month to get access to the programming on the screen. It’s important to note that, with your Ergatta purchase, you’re getting a stellar warranty which includes a 5-year structural frame, 3-year parts, 1-year tablet coverage. This warranty is better than almost any other smart fitness equipment on the market.
Which Smart Rower is Better: Aviron vs Hydrow?
When considering Hydrow alternatives, Aviron is bound to come up in the conversion. Why? Because both rowers provide an immersive, interactive experience that’s like no other. The biggest differences between Hydrow and Aviron lie in the resistance type used and the training style. Hydrow uses their patented electromagnetic drag mechanism to provide a life-like row and then stick you out on the water for the majority of their workouts. If you row in real life, then you’re going to love the way Hydrow brings that experience to life right from your living room. Aviron, on the other hand, uses a combination of fan and flywheel for their resistance which allows for heavier pulls and more muscle work and strengthening. Additionally, Aviron’s programming is more of a gamified experience than the instructor-led style that Hydrow uses. If you want to compete against yourself and others and dislike traditional guided workouts, then Aviron will be right up your alley.
Which Gamified Rower is Best: Aviron vs Ergatta?
Here’s where we compare the two gaming rowers, Ergatta vs Aviron. Ergatta released their rowing machine to the public with its revolutionary training style first, even though Aviron has been around for a bit longer (they mostly did commercial rowing for the first couple of years). Ergatta wanted to provide those who don’t feel motivated by fitness classes and bubbly instructors with a different way to work out. Aviron, similar to Ergatta, takes the same approach. By implementing games and challenges that remind you of your favorite video games, you can crush your way through levels while also getting a great workout in. The biggest difference between Aviron and Ergatta is the style of the rower itself. Ergatta is made to be an elegant piece of furniture when not in use so that you can easily blend it into any room in your home, and Aviron, while still sleek, has more of the traditional gym equipment feel. Also, Ergatta is a water rower, so it uses water resistance which makes a lovely swishing sound when engaged and Aviron uses a fan and flywheel which has a quiet hum when in motion.
Which Smart Rower is the Best Choice: Aviron vs Hydrow vs Ergatta?
If you’re looking for an interactive rower to add to your fitness routine from home, you have three solid options between Aviron, Hydrow, and Ergatta. So which one is the best choice overall? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for and your specific workout preferences. I’m a big believer in fitness being FUN, so I will always encourage you to choose the one that speaks to you, but if you need some additional prodding in one direction or another, here are my thoughts (take them or leave them).
Aviron introduced their Impact series rower to the consumer market recently and they are poised to really shake things up and make people think twice about which rower they’ll be purchasing. Although they’re still fairly new to the fitness industry and there aren’t a ton of Aviron reviews out there yet, I’m going to go ahead and call it - the Aviron rower is a hit. From the variety of workouts to the comfort and strength features of the machine, this rower has a lot to offer, including the fact that you can use it without a paid subscription.
That said, I’m also a huge fan of the Hydrow and Ergatta rowers. These are both phenomenal options that bring users tremendous value. Ergatta is by far the most elegant and aesthetically pleasing option, but don’t let its sleek looks fool you, it’s backed by some of the best programming I’ve seen. So if you’re team anti-fitness class and you want a piece of equipment to blend in seamlessly with your home, go for the Ergatta.
Now, if you’re a serious rower or you’d like to feel like you’re actually out rowing on the water, Hydrow is going to give you the most realistic experience. Plus, you’ll be coached through every workout by expert trainers and the classes are always full of fun surprises and unpredictable challenges, similar to the way it would look if you were really outside. For realistic, trainer-led classes, go for the Hydrow.
Think One Of These Three Smart Rowers Is A Good Fit For You?
Below, you can visit the website of the rower you think fits you most. Then, head on over to our Facebook group, (Fit Healthy Community) to join more like-minded fitness enthusiasts where we talk home gym equipment, wellness brands, and fitness tips to help you live a Fit, Healthy Life!