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Peloton Row vs. Hydrow: which at-home rower is right for you?

September 23, 2022, 10:00 AM UTC
Strong mature athletic man in sportswear exercising on rowing machine at gym.
Rowing is an effective full-body workout using 86% of your muscles.
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Row, row, row your … Peloton? The popular at-home workout that has become synonymous with cycling is now venturing into new territory with Peloton Row, its latest offering that’s available for preorder now.

While it may appear as though rowing solely targets your arms, it actually uses 86% of your muscles, including your legs, abs, arms, and back. Whereas cycling and running are primarily cardio exercises, rowing combines the best of low-impact cardio and strength to deliver an efficient full-body workout.

Harvard Health found that a 185-pound person can burn 294 calories in a moderate 30-minute rowing workout. But even if you’re short on time, a 15-minute rowing workout can reap multiple rewards as low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises can improve “cardiorespiratory fitness, glucose control, blood pressure, and cardiac function,” according to a recent study.

But which rower is right for you? Here’s a look at how the Peloton Row compares to the leading at-home row brand, Hydrow, which includes the original Hydrow Rower and Hydrow Wave.

Price

It’s safe to say either option is going to require an investment on your part, but how much exactly depends on the brand. For the most economical rower, consider the Hydrow Wave, which starts at $1,495. It’s a smaller and lighter rower compared to Hydrow’s original rower, and it’s $1,000 cheaper, too. 

The new Peloton Row, on the other hand, is the most expensive machine starting at $3,195 and there are no financing options available at the moment. Hydrow, however, offers payments starting at $32 per month for the Hydrow Wave and $38 per month for the original Hydrow through Klarna. 

Each machine comes with a 12-month warranty and 30-day home trial wherein the rower can be returned for a full refund and free pickup.

Shipping

The Peloton Row is estimated to ship in early December, while the Hydrow ships within two to three weeks. The Hydrow Wave is available within two to three days. 

Size

At 102 pounds, 80 inches long, 19 inches wide and 43 inches high, the Hydrow Wave is the lightest option with the smallest footprint. The Peloton Row is the heaviest and the longest, coming in at 156.6 pounds and measures 94 inches long and 24 inches wide.

Vertical Storage

All of the machines are able to be stored upright. For the Peloton Row, you’ll need about 8 feet of ceiling height; 7 feet and 1 inch for the Hydrow; and 6 feet and 9 inches for the Hydrow Row.

The Peloton Row requires an Upright Wall Anchor for vertical stowing and, while the cost is included in the price of the machine, setup and installation is not; though professional installation is recommended. Meanwhile, the Hydrow Upright Storage Kit is available for $80 and the Hydrow Wave Vertical Anchor is $190. 

Membership

Both brands require an additional All-Access Membership on top of the cost of the machine. Peloton’s is $44 a month and includes cycling, running, yoga, meditation, barre, Pilates, walking classes along with the rowing workouts. Hydrow’s membership is $38 per month and includes Pilates, yoga, strength and mobility workouts in addition to the rowing workouts.

Class Experience

The most notable difference between the two brands is that Peloton’s rowing classes take place in a studio while Hydrow’s are filmed on the water, thanks to their patented Live Outdoor Reality™ technology, providing a more authentic rowing experience.

Peloton offers two notable features: Form Assist, which uses sensors in the seat and handlebars offer real-time guidance for correcting your form and getting the most out of your workout; and Form Rating and Insight, which gives you a rating after each class that shows how close you came to having a perfect stroke.

For extra support on Hydrow, personal coaching is available for 30-minute increments ($79 for a single session and $199 for a three-session pack).

So which one is right for you? It depends on your priorities. If you’re looking for a rowing-first experience that best replicates the water-based workout, then Hydrow is the frontrunner. However, if you’re already part of the Peloton community, you’ll find the seamless transition between products and the variety of classes worthwhile. If space and costs are of concern, then the Hydrow Wave Rower is your best option. Either way, you’re bound to get a top-rated, low-impact heart-healthy workout in 15 minutes.