Best Smart Rowing Machine – Hydrow Vs Ergatta Vs Echelon Rower 2021

Smart Rowing Machine – Have you ever used a rowing machine for cardio? If not, Why?

Rowing machines are a fantastic low-impact cardio exercise that is easy on the joints and provides a great upper body and a lower body strength training workout. 

Something to keep in mind when using a rowing machine for a cardio workout is that rowing uses up to 85% of your body’s muscles when working out on a rowing machine.

If you think rowing machines are still made like the ones our parents used in the past that slid out of sight for years under a bed, then I have news for you, they don’t.

Have you seen the Peloton commercials lately, where they bring a virtual spin class studio right into your home? 

Well, with the latest improvements in at-home smart rowing equipment, you can also get real-time coaching and feedback to push your cardio to the next level.

Smart rowing machines like HydrowErgatta, and Echelon Rower, are being praised as the new Peloton of rowing machines.

But when it comes to any new technological advances in any product, how does any of us decide which one to get?

This is where this post comes into play. Our team has been looking at the latest smart rowing machines and through our research, we have figured that the HydrowErgatta, and Echelon Rower are the best in the fitness industry today.

But which one is the right smart rower for you? 

This article will break down an overview of each machine, followed by a run-through of the specs, and a look at the virtual classes available for each smart rower.

By the end, you will understand the distinctions between the three rowing machines, so you can make the right decision for your at-home fitness health.

Related Article: 7+ Best WODFitters Workout Accessories You Need For Your Home Gym



Hydrow is built for those fitness enthusiasts that want an immersive experience that makes you feel you are on the water but yet workout out in the comfort of your own home.

How does Hydrow do this? With a built-in 22-inch HD screen, you can virtually enjoy a beautiful view of any plane of water around the world.

Plus, the Hydrow rowing machine also is ergonomically designed and engineered to make you feel each rowing stroke like you would if you were out on the water.

Hydrow Specifications

Hydrow Vs Ergatta Vs Echelon Rower — What’s The Best Smart Rowing machine?

If you are worried about how much space the Hydrow will take in your workout area, here is a guide for you.

The Hydrow measures 86 inches long by 25 inches wide. 

But if you purchase the upright storage kit (sold separately) to store it when you are done working out, it becomes 86 inches high by 25 inches wide and 33 inches deep. 

It doesn’t fold flat, unfortunately, but with the storage kit, it takes up less horizontal space.

Something to also keep in mind is the Hydrow weighs close to 150 lbs, but with a built-in wheel system, you can easily move it around quite easily when not in use.

Curious about the weight limit of the Hydrow? 

The max weight for the smart rowing machine is 375 pounds and with an adjustable footbed, the workout machine can accommodate to have several people in the household.

The display screen for this smart rowing machine is 22 inches wide and is in a high definition resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Another feature that many of the reviewers loved was that the Hydrow is Bluetooth 5.0 enabled.

This means that a user can hook it up to a chest-worn heart rate monitorfitness tracker watches, and the ability to hook it up to your wireless Bluetooth headphones, so you can work out to the live tempo classes without disturbing anyone else.

Hydrow Classes

Hydrow Vs Ergatta Vs Echelon Rower — What’s The Best Smart Rowing machine?

When it comes to classes and workouts, the Hydro Smart Rowing Machine delivers. 

While working out on the indoor rowing machine, you can explore scenic waterways and take in some breathtaking destinations from all over the world. 

Hydrow offers a large library of workouts to choose from that either is designed to get your heart pumping or something a little more laid back with a meditative rowing session.

What reviewers also mentioned that was a key selling point to this smart rowing machine is that the workout classes are coached by skilled trainers and not actors.

This makes an enormous difference in your workout because you are benefiting from experienced instructors. 

Plus, these workouts are recorded, so if you like a particular workout you can access it as much as you like on-demand.

Want to go alone for a change while using the Hydrow? There is an option to the workouts that you can explore the various waterways at your own pace.

Another fantastic feature with the Hydrow is workouts within the library for exercise mat workouts. 

All you do is swivel the screen over, and you can do workouts like yoga, pilates, or strength training that doesn’t require weights.


With Ergatta, the purpose behind this rower is to be more game-based, and Ergatta believes that working out should feel like playing a sport, and not like taking a class. 

What this means that the workouts are set up for the user to set his/her own goals and targets rather than follow some leader.

Another great feature of the Ergatta is that it uses real water in a water flywheel with the machine to create a smooth resistance that increases naturally with your effort, while still going easy on the back.

Ergatta Specifications

Hydrow Vs Ergatta Vs Echelon Rower — What’s The Best Smart Rowing machine?

Just like the Hydrow, the Ergatta is laid out for working out, the Ergatta measures 86 inches long by 23 inches wide.

But the one big pro to the Ergatta compared to the Hydrow is when you want to store it upright, without a separate accessory, the dimensions measures 23 inches by 22.5 inches.

The Ergatta touchscreen monitor is only 17 inches wide compared to the Hydrow’s 22 inches, which might not be a big deal for some.

If you don’t want to fold it up after use, but want the rower to look more minimalistic to create a bit more space, the screen arm is collapsible, to protect the machine’s screen.

In terms of the maximum weight limit of the Ergatta, the machine supports users up to 700 pounds with a 40-inch maximum inseam. That is impressive compared to the Hydrow.

The Ergatta is also Bluetooth enabled to hook it up to any chest-worn heart rate monitorfitness tracker watches, and the ability to hook it up to your wireless Bluetooth headphones, so you can work out to the live tempo classes without disturbing anyone else.

Ergatta Classes

Ergatta Specifications smart rowing machine smart rowing machine

The Ergatta workout challenges are all calibrated to your special fitness profile. Which means any goal set should be within your reach. 

Like I mentioned above, the workouts are not really classes, but fitness games with real-time feedback. 

Plus, you don’t have to play these fitness games without yourself; you can also join competitions, group challenges, and head-to-head races across the world.

With the Ergatta, the workouts are broken into 4 different types of workouts. There are Push programs, which are goal-based training plans that include a series of different workouts all aimed at meeting one end goal.

Then there are Interval and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts which involve many sharp bursts of intense exercise with breaks scattered between. 

High-Intensity Interval Training is perfect for those who want to achieve greater weight loss compared to common long-period cardio exercise classes. 

And just like the Hydrow, get real-time feedback and work towards personalized targets.

With race workouts, you get to race head to head with any member of the Ergatta online community.

And last, you can also choose a more relaxed, self-led row, where the goal may be to reach a particular length of time or distance, rather than a particular speed.

Echelon Smart Rower Machine


The Echelon Smart Rower Machine isn’t advertised as much as the other two smart rowing machines, because of the popularity of Echelon’s EX-5 Smart Studio Cycle and Reflect Smart Mirror.

That doesn’t mean that the Echelon Smart Rower is an inferior product compared to the Hydrow and Ergratta, on the contrary; the Echelon Smart Rower is a fantastic machine that many can afford.

The remarkable thing about Echelon products is that Echelon is more transparent and upfront about the costs of its machines. So there is no funny business when you want to purchase any of Echelon’s amazing smart fitness products.

Echelon Smart Rower Specifications

Echelon Smart Rower Specifications

The Echelon Smart Rower Machine when placed on the floor fully expanded for a workout measures 86 inches in length and 21 inches in width. 

It’s the same length as the other two smart rowing machines mentioned above, just that it’s a little narrower.

Just like the Hydrow and Ergatta, the Echelon Smart Rower Machine can be folded away upright when not in use, to give you space in your room after a workout.

The Echelon is Bluetooth enabled. But instead of a monitor included in the purchase, it has an integrated tablet holder instead, so you can access the fitness classes on offer via a tablet like an Amazon Fire Tablet or Apple Ipad

Without a built-in screen, this makes the Echelon Smart Rower much more affordable than the other two machines. 

As for the maximum recommended weight for the Echelon rowerit’s 300 pounds, so it can accommodate most people.

Echelon Smart Rower Classes

Echelon Smart Rower Specifications

Echelon also offers live workouts led by world-class instructors, plus live classes available to take part in every single day.

If you don’t want to join in a live class, you can access Echelon’s library of over a thousand individual on-demand classes.

Just like the Hydrow, Echelon offers classes that include exercise classes you can do off the rower and on an exercise mat. 

Just rotate the screen to where your mat is, tap the class you want, and start exercising. 

What I love about Echelon rower classes is the music. 

Echelon has the best-licensed music library in the fitness industry.

The only drawback to the initial setup, compared to the other two rowers above is the Echelon classes don’t come through via the rower’s own screen, so will have to download the Echelon rower app for your tablet, and this is available for both iOS systems and Android.

Quality Comparison - Hydrow Vs Ergatta Vs Echelon

When it comes to the quality of the smart rowing machines above, they are extremely well made, and built to last for years. 

Side Note: If you decide to invest in any of these rowing machines, make sure you purchase directly from the manufacturer (click on the links in the post) to ensure you get the best warranty for your fitness machine.

Also, don’t worry about folding these rowing machines over time will cause a potential breakdown, as these machines don’t compromise on quality for this design feature.

Fitness Experience Comparison

From the breakdowns above on the various classes each of these smart rowers offers, you will understand how each very.

But, here is a breakdown of what some of the reviewers of these smart rowing machines have noticed from each rowing machine.

If you are a goal and target-oriented person when it comes to getting into shape to achieve the fitness goals you want, then the Ergatta is the perfect fit. 

The reason for this is Ergatta’s workouts are more like games that challenge you to beat your previous high score or someone else’s score and which may push you a little harder in your workout.

Plus, with Ergatta’s four different types of workouts that include strength training and high-intensity training, you can focus on fat loss as well as strength training during the same workout. 

Plus, Ergatta classes are specifically calibrated to your user profile, for a tailor-made workout experience.

Keep in mind that the Hydrow and Echelon smart rowers are always evolving, and you never know if they do a workout upgrade to include this type of training that Ergatta currently offers.

One of the main points that reviewers have mentioned about the Hydrow machine is that it gives the user the true feel of rowing on waterways from across the globe. 

Plus, it’s more suited to workouts where you’re specifically concentrating on toning, endurance, and strength training rather than weight loss.

Affordability Comparison

When it comes to adding fitness equipment to your at-home gym, the more bells and whistles it comes with, the more expensive it can be.

So when it comes to the smart rowers mentioned, they are expensive machines with a price tag that goes into the thousands of dollars.

But when it comes to the pricing of the HydrowErgatta, and Echelon Rower, they all vary in costs. 

Currently, Hydrow is the pricier model of these three rowing machines, with the Ergatta coming in a close second. The Echelon Rower is more affordable than the other two.

Plus, with the Echelon Rowerif you decide to invest in this great smart rowing machine from the website, you have the option to pay for the machine in monthly installments, which helps if you are on a budget and want a great smart rowing machine today.

Now that the cost of the machines is out of the way, there is one more thing that you will need to add to your smart rowing machine, and that is a fitness subscription to access the classes.

Keep in mind that the Hydrow and Ergatta, can work perfectly without adding a membership package to the fitness machine, but to get the most out of them, you need the membership.

But if you are worried about the extra costs of adding a monthly membership to these rowing machines, the costs are still cheaper than paying for a typical monthly gym membership that you have to drive to.

In terms of the Echelon Rower, you purchase the machine and you sign up for the membership at the same time. That may sound expensive, but it’s quite affordable if you decide to do the monthly payment option on the machine.

Best Bang For Your Buck Comparison

If you are looking for a cost-effective smart rowing machine then the Echelon Rower is probably the best option for you. But you have to think to yourself what you are looking for in a rowing machine. 

The Hydrow and the Ergatta have different styles of classes available on their subscription that might be more appealing to you than the Echelon classes.


If you are in the market for an exciting new type of cardio machine, then these three great smart rowing machines will do the trick for your workouts out at home. 

While there are more and more new smart rowers entering the market today to attract your attention, but these three are the best of the best in the market today.

These smart rowing machines have a lot in common with each other, but there’s are differences that separate each of them. 

The Hydrow offers virtual gorgeous scenic views during your experience, while the Ergatta tests your workout with games and challenges and Echelon Rower with its amazing affordability.

In terms of classes, the Ergatta is great for those who want to work on speed, cardio, and weight loss. 

While the Hydrow targets users who enjoy leisurely rows where the goal is not so much cardio or weight loss, but rather for working on stamina and for a little meditative ride.

Rowing machines offer incredible health benefits like strength and cardio training right without ever having to go to the gym again. 

It’s tough to say which of these smart machines is the best, but at least if you invest in one of these rowers after reading this article, you can at least know that you were informed enough to make a confident decision.

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