Concept 2 vs. WaterRower

The best equipment for a home workout would always be the rowing machine. If I would ever choose just one piece of gym equipment for my training sessions, it’d be a rowing machine.

I understand it’s a rowing machine, and the name suggests an outdoor use. But the thing is, rowing machines are quite convenient for home use, especially in countries where you cannot readily access ice or water parks where you could use a water rowing machine.

A lot of times, if you’re in such an environment, using your waterrower outdoors might be problematic even for competitive rowers from rowing clubs. You might face harsh weather conditions. Have you ever considered high tides at rivers?

The rowing machine is perfect for Crossfit training. That’s not all; if you’re looking to increase other training options like aerobic, anaerobic, and cardio endurance, this is the best machine for you. The rowing machine ensures that all muscle groups in your body are active, especially your arms and legs, so it’s a perfect addition to a home gym and home workout programs.

Strength building? Check.

Efficient cardio workout for your stamina? Check.

Since you’re already reading this, I’ll assume you’re looking into different options, and you want to know which one is ideal for you. Should you get a Concept 2 or a WaterRower? A model D or a model E? It can be overwhelming deciding which one to purchase, so I’ve made the ultimate comparison: Concept2 vs. WaterRower.

If you want to know who won this round in the Concept2 vs. WaterRower battle, keep on reading!

Concept 2 models

Before I get into the similarities and differences of Concept2 vs. WaterRower, let’s first see what each of them offers.

When prominent Olympians Dick and Pete Dreissigacker created Concept2 in 1976, little did they know that their masterpiece of exercise equipment would be groundbreaking. Concept2’s Model D, Model E, and the Dynamic Rower went on from being the first indoor rowing machine on the market to becoming the highest-grossing rowing machine ever.

Generally, concept2 rowers are famed for their extraordinary features, among which is the sense of belonging and providing extra support for athletes, even those without rowing experience, who desire to achieve more. It is the quintessence of modernity.

Each rowing machine has an interactive display console embedded in it. A considerable advantage is that different types of athletes can train together from the comfort of their homes, and the performance monitor displays extra information. Even more, this type of rowing machine is a way for these athletes to race against each other without being physically present.

The LCD screen conveniently displays data related to fitness on the s4 monitor. Some of them include the number of burned calories per hour, the length of distance covered, and the stroke rate. Model D also features a heart rate monitor, and the screen will display real-time heart rate statistics for you.

Also, concept2 models have tweaked air pressure, and the air-resistance flywheel responds to every stroke. A home user can easily change the level of speed he or she desires. If you’re in high motion and you want to take things slow, it’s easy for you to adjust the settings for the best rowing workout.

The Concept2 is one of those rowing machines that’s light enough to be used in physical rehabilitation centers and intensive enough to provide competitive rowers with enough exercise.

Model D is a fan rower. Since fan rowers produce a higher noise level than classic water rowing machines, you might want to keep it in a space where it won’t bother other people. The aesthetics never disappoint, so this rower is available in light grey and black.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance Monitor, Black
  • Your purchase includes One Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine, D Model. A Performance Monitor 5 computer, One Model D User Manual, One Performance Monitor Quick Start Guide, tools and illustrated assembly instructions
  • Rowing machine dimensions: Assembled: 8 ft x 2 ft (244 cm x 61 cm) With Clearance for Use: 9 ft x 4 ft (274 cm x 122 cm) For Storage: 25 in x 33 in x 54 in (63.5 cm x 83.8 cm x 137.2 cm).
  • Designed to fit most users: 14-inch seat height, 500lb user capacity, adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle. Users with an inseam of 38 inches (96.5 cm) or more may require an extra-long monorail.

Pros

  • Anti-scratch protection
  • It’s durable
  • 2-year warranty on some parts
  • 5-year warranty on the frame
  • Default 14-inch seat height
  • Comes with a performance monitor/data display console
  • The chain is nickel-plated, and it makes the chain durable
  • Connects with a wide range of fitness apps
  • Comes with an instructional manual
  • It’s easy to couple
  • Air resistance flywheel
  • An excellent choice for a home gym

Cons

  • Tends to be noisy when rowing
  • Needs regular maintenance for the best rowing experience

WaterRower machine

Unlike the Concept2 models, the WaterRower machine is relatively new. But that doesn’t mean it should be discarded, as it is one of the best rowing machines. The water rower uses an air rower, and it comes in highly recommended for those who prefer to stay away from the river and just do their workout in a home gym.

Its aesthetics is impressive as it sports a solid ash wood body design and an overall honey-oak stain. You can place the machine anywhere in your home, including the living room. It’s easy to disassemble it. Therefore, when not in use, you can put it in an upright position, and it won’t take up much space.

The machine is powered by water, and it features a hardwood frame. Therefore, the wood absorbs every trace of noise and vibration caused by the machine, making it much quieter than the Concept2.

The WaterRower displays a securely placed water flywheel. The water in the tank gives users a feel of rowing on an actual river or in a boat.

The resistance of the WaterRower, which is controlled by the flywheel, is self-regulated. It means that the resistance you feel depends on your rowing capabilities. WaterRower isn’t as flexible as some other rowers so that it might result in more challenging workouts. Also, adjusting the foot straps can be an annoyance.

That’s not all; the interactive digital display of the WaterRower sport is impressive and user-friendly. Maybe not as impressive as the Concept2’s, though.

The rowing machine features a display console that tracks various data such as the intensity of the exercise, rate of stroke, duration of the workout, heart rate, and distance covered.

WaterRower A1 Home Rowing Machine
  • American Ash wood (from sustainable forests) / Black Powdercoated Aluminum Wave Monitor All WaterRower A1 series models are equipped with upgraded 17" handles. In Use: Length - 83.5” / 212 cm, Width - 22.25” / 57 cm, Height - 20” / 51 cm Stored: Depth - 20” / 51 cm, Width - 22.25” / 57 cm, Height - 83.5” / 212 cm Weight: 61 lbs / 28 kg (dry), 98 lb / 44.5 kg (17 l of water)

Pros

  • It’s compact
  • The wood finish makes it aesthetically beautiful
  • Its durability can be vouched for
  • It comes with an interactive performance monitor, including heart rate monitors
  • Requires limited maintenance
  • A default seat height that fits most users
  • Flywheel secured in a tank of water
  • The wood finish absorbs noise and vibrations
  • Doesn’t take up a lot of space
  • Guaranteed 3-year warranty for parts
  • Guaranteed 5-year warranty for the frame

Cons

  • Water has to be purified often
  • It is more expensive
  • Its resell value is less

Concept2 vs. WaterRower: Similarities

The clash of Concept2 vs. WaterRower shows there are some striking similarities between the two. The first and most obvious similarity is that both are rowing machines for home workouts. Therefore, you don’t have to look for a river before you have to row.

Also, I have to admit that both rowing machines are of the best quality, at least due to their country of origin. Both Concept2 and WaterRower are made in the United States, and the country is popularly known for producing high-quality rowers.

Furthermore, both rower makers have three high-quality models. Concept2 boasts of Concept2 Model D, Concept2 Model E, and Concept2 Dynamic Rower. Also, WaterRower churned out three top-notch models; WaterRower Natural Rowing, WaterRower GX Home Rowing, and WaterRower Club Rowing.

In terms of durability, both machines are praised by those who have used them. A look at their designs shows that both rowers use metal aluminum and steel rails. This reduces the possibilities of scratches and marks on the machines.

I might have to add that WaterRower is more durable than Concept2. Its hardwood design, in comparison to Concept2’s nickel-plated design, is built to last for a long period.

Concept2 vs. WaterRower: Differences

Concept2 WaterRower
Mechanism Concept2 uses air blown through a fan as its mechanism. When needed, it produces powerful strokes. WaterRower elects for water as its mechanism. It’s why the machine produces lesser sound. If one needs a rowing machine for a home workout, this is a perfect choice.
Comfort This isn’t the strength of Concept2 because you might have to purchase a seat cushion alongside the machine. The WaterRower was designed with home users in mind. It’s very comfortable to use, and the seat offers some warmth. You might want to purchase a seat cushion if you’ll use the machine for long.
Flexibility Concept2 is perfectly suited for any height. The drag and foot height mechanism added to it to make it seamless for anyone to use, without the risk of lower back pain appearing after a long workout.  It isn’t an easy task to adjust resistance in the water tank. Also, moving the foot straps can be herculean. If you opt for the WaterRower, make sure to use knee compression sleeves for preventative purposes.
Appearance Concept2 sports the appearance of a basic rowing machine. It doesn’t appear too attractive to purchase just for its looks. It is more concerned about performance. With the wooden design all over the machine, WaterRower is aesthetically pleasing to behold.
Capacity Concept2 has a user capacity of up to 500 pounds. WaterRower can handle about 770 pounds in weight.
Pricing Concept2 is more affordable. This machine is more expensive.

Water rower vs Concept 2 – Conclusion And Recommendation

In the battle of Concept2 vs. WaterRower, both rower machines are winners in different categories, and choosing the one to purchase really boils down to you. You’ll have to choose based on your personal and training needs and capabilities, and budget since there’s a noticeable price gap between the two options.

Both Concept2 and WaterRower are beasts and are fantastic additions to any home or other workout site. If you’re concerned about aesthetics, WaterRower is your top choice.

On the other hand, if performance and actual fitness are your top priority, Concept2 is undoubtedly the winner. Also, if you’re on a budget, then you should opt for Concept2.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think you can go wrong with either of the choices. Each of them has its perks, and each of them has flaws. Hopefully, I’ve done my job and made it easier for you to make a decision.

Personally, when it comes to Concept2 vs. WaterRower, Concept2 is the real deal for me.


Tyler Read Bio

Tyler Read is the owner of ptpioneer.com which is a website dedicated to helping people get started in the personal training industry. He helps people discover, study and pass their fitness exams.