The Best Water Rowers in 2022: Make a Splash with Your Fitness Equipment

man using a water rower


As you build out your home gym, you may wish to include a rowing machine. Rowing equipment has seen a major spike in popularity over the past few years, and it's not hard to understand why. Not only is rowing a great way to build upper-body strength, but it can make a great, low-impact alternative to jogging, allowing you to burn calories without stressing your knees and other joints.

The question is, what kind of rowing machine is right for you? There are many benefits to choosing a water rower, which replaces the mechanical feel of magnetic rowers with the smooth feel of water. There are a lot of great water rowing machines on the market today, but the ACTIVE Reviews Team has researched them and come up with a list of recommendations.

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The ACTIVE Reviews Team is made up of fitness experts that include athletes, coaches, and certified trainers who bring their years of knowledge and experience to each review. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

The 5 Best Water Rowers - Our Top Picks

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What to Consider When Buying a Water Rower?

As you seek the best water rower, there are a number of factors to keep in mind. Some of the primary shopping considerations include:

Dimensions

You'll want to measure your home gym space before you buy a water rower, making sure you don't select a product with too large a footprint.

Noise

Traditionally, rowing machines have been a little noisy, which can be problematic if you live in an apartment building or with other people. The good news is, compared with hydraulic rowers, water rowers tend to be pretty quiet.

Storage

Some rowing machines can be easily packed up and placed into storage. If you think you'll need to move your rower out of the way from time to time, storage capability may be a deciding factor.

Performance Monitoring

Are you looking to collect data about your home workouts? Make sure you look for a water rowing machine that offers you the right metrics.

Materials

High-quality materials will usually result in a longer-lasting, more durable rowing machine.

Price Point

You can get rowing machines for as little as $500, or spend more than $1,000. Know your budget before you start shopping around.

Best Overall Water Rower - Ergatta

ergatta water rower

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 86" x 23" x 40"
  • Weight: 103 lbs.
  • Max weight capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Display: 17.3" Android-powered touchscreen
  • Bluetooth capability: Heart rate monitor and WiFi audio
  • Warranty: 5 years

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Handmade in the USA from American cherry wood, the Ergatta water rower is truly a triumph of quality and design. Strong enough to support up to 500 pounds, and enhanced by a robust Android-powered touch display, this is truly a premium-level rowing machine.

That digital experience is crucial, as it provides a range of customizable workout programs as well as access to plenty of real-time fitness stats. Additionally, the rower boasts a compact frame and an easy-to-store design. Wheels on the back of the rower mean that it can be easily transported and stored by just a single person.

PROS

  • High-quality cherry wood
  • Touch display with metrics and workout programs
  • Very easy to move and store
  • Comfortable seating for anyone up to 6'8" tall
  • 5-year warranty
  • Beautiful aesthetics

CONS

  • Tech elements may be too complex for some
  • High price point

BUY: Ergatta

Best Water Rower Under $1,000 - TRUNK Water Rowing Machine

TRUNK Water Rowing Machine

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 82" x 22" x 20"
  • Weight: 64 lbs. (without water)
  • Max weight capacity: 330 lbs.
  • Display: LCD screen
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes
  • Warranty: Not specified

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Looking for a hearty water rowing machine that doesn’t break the bank? With the TRUNK water rowing machine, you can get an excellent piece of equipment for significantly under $1,000. This budget-friendly option doesn't scrimp on substance; not only is it made with durable wood, it even comes with accessories such as a dust cover and phone holder.

A foldable design and wheels make this rower easy to store and transport. The water tank is easy to fill, and creates the kind of smooth, quiet resistance you'd expect from a top-of-the-line water rower. Also note the LCD screen, which will help you keep tabs on a few core metrics including distance rowed.

PROS

  • High-quality wood design
  • Easy to fold, move, and store
  • Modest price point
  • Dust cover and phone holder included

CONS

  • Isn't as high-tech as some models
  • No warranty mentioned

BUY: TRUNK Water Rowing Machine

Best Water Rower for Home - WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine

WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 82.25" x 22.25" x 20"
  • Weight: 114 lbs.
  • Max weight capacity: 1,000 lbs.
  • Display: LCD screen
  • Bluetooth capability: None
  • Warranty: 1-year manufacturers with option to upgrade

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Some water rowing machines feel like they could work equally well for home or commercial use. In the case of the WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine, we think it’s especially well-suited for home gyms. It’s relatively compact and easy to store and is made with kiln-dried hardwood for impressive durability. It also has a honey oak finish that’s aesthetically rich and pleasing and works well with other home furnishings and decor, making it seem more like a piece of furniture than a piece of workout equipment.

Of course, none of that would matter if the machine didn’t offer you a great home workout. Rest assured that the WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine will put you through the paces. Its patented water flywheel does an amazing job of simulating the natural dynamics of rowing, making it great for those who want to get in shape without burdening their joints.

PROS

  • Beautiful honey oak aesthetic
  • Water flywheel mimics the natural feel of rowing
  • Supports up to 1,000 lbs.
  • Comes with an upgradable 1-year warranty

CONS

  • LCD screen may feel bare-bones for the price
  • No Bluetooth options

BUY: WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine

Best Water Rower for Beginners - Mr. Captain Rowing Machine

Mr. Captain Rowing Machine

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 82" x 22" x 20"
  • Weight: 58.5 lbs.
  • Max weight capacity: 320 lbs.
  • Display: LCD screen
  • Bluetooth capability: Fitness monitor
  • Warranty: 1-year on the frame

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Whether you’re new to rowing or just to water rowing, the Mr. Captain Rowing Machine is a great option. Easy to use, easy to transport, and easy to store, everything about this machine is novice-friendly. It also happens to be very comfortable and extremely adjustable, with non-slip foot plates, an ergonomic seat, and a movable pulley system.

Additional features include a Bluetooth fitness monitor and a solid wood construction that’s as durable as it is handsome. Also take note of the relatively small footprint, making this a no-brainer for those with more limited home gym space.

PROS

  • Solid wood construction
  • Ergonomic seat
  • Adjustable foot plate
  • Bluetooth fitness monitor
  • Lightweight and easy to store
  • Modest price point

CONS

  • Only bears up to 320 lbs.
  • Display screen is very basic

BUY: Mr. Captain Rowing Machine

Best Budget Water Rower - HouseFit Water Rower

HouseFit Water Rower

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 43.3" x 21.3" x 18.3"
  • Weight: 77 lbs.
  • Max weight capacity: 330 lbs.
  • Display: LCD screen
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes, with app
  • Warranty: Not specified

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For an affordable addition to your home gym, consider the HouseFit Water Rower. Available for under $500, this water rowing machine is made with steel alloy. While it's not as handsome as wood-constructed rowers, it's nevertheless durable and effective. And, it's strong enough to support weight up to 330 pounds.

A large tablet holder makes it easy to position your tablet, phone, or even a large book. A Bluetooth fitness monitor enables you to track your stats via the FITSHOW app. And, the small footprint makes this a nice, compact option for more limited home gym areas.

PROS

  • Very compact
  • Lightweight
  • Modest price point
  • Large tablet holder

CONS

  • Not as attractive as other machines
  • Display screen is very basic

BUY: HouseFit Water Rower

FAQs About Water Rowers


Are water rowers better than other rowers?

While water rowers are not necessarily any better or any worse for achieving your fitness goals, many people prefer the more fluid and natural feel, which provides the dynamics of real rowing over the more mechanical feel of a hydraulic rowing machine. Additionally, water rowing machines tend to be a lot quieter, making them a better choice for people who live in an apartment or share a living space.

Do water rowers build muscle?

Water rowers can absolutely help you build muscle, including in your arms, legs, and core. Additionally, water rowers facilitate low-intensity calorie burning, making them a good running alternative for those who have joint pain or soreness.

Are water rowers worth the cost?

A good water rower can deliver a great overall workout experience and also allow you to be active without putting too much strain on your joints. For those who are serious about regular home workouts, a water rower can be an excellent addition to your personal gym equipment.

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