is the echelon or ergatta better

Echelon vs Ergatta: Tips for Picking the Right Rowing Experience for You is a reader supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission.

Rowing machines have gained in popularity as of late. Research has indicated that the activity of rowing activates nine core muscle groups and 85% of the entire body’s musculature [1]. This means a rowing machine is capable of providing a total body workout. While at-home rowing machines used to be relegated to boring and unsophisticated machinery, there has been a resurgence by brands like Echelon and Ergatta. Each of these brands has come out with sophisticated and connected rowing machines that completely change the experience for the better.

These machines are capable of removing the relatively boring act of rowing in your living room by giving you a much more immersive and interesting workout experience.

However, because they each offer such a good and unique experience, you may be having a difficult time choosing between the two. By the end of this comparison, you should be able to make a well-informed purchasing decision on which rower is right for you.

Echelon Smart Rower vs Ergatta Features Comparison

Echelon Smart Rower Features

an overview of the echelon smart rower

  • 1. Connected

For one, the Echelon is a smart rowing machine that is always connected. You will be able to leverage the connectivity to take both live and on-demand classes. For those who want a little more instruction with their workouts, this is a major benefit.

  • 2. 32 Levels of Magnetic Resistance

The Echelon Smart Rower comes with a very good 32 levels of magnetic resistance. Meaning, you should be able to get a range of different kinds of workouts from the machine. You can do fast rowing sessions for ultimate cardio workouts or look to build strength through increased resistance.

However, what makes Echelon’s machine standout from the rest of the pack is its ingenious innovation of placing the resistance directly from the handle without having to stop rowing. That way, you can dynamically change the resistance at different intervals throughout your workout for more efficiency and effectiveness.

  • 3. Foldable Design

While the rower itself is rather large, it features a very handy foldable design. The foldable design is another area where Echelon shows off its design chops. With the rower, you can leave the actual body in place while you pull up the track to stow it vertically. This makes setting up the rower much easier because you only need to pull down the track. This makes it far less likely you will use the difficult setup process as a reason to skip your next workout. When unfolded, the machine is (83.5” long x 20.5” wide x 41.75” tall). When folded, the machine is a relatively compact (39.5” long x 20.5 wide x 60.25 tall).

  • 4. Use Your Own Device

One of the ways Echelon makes its innovative and high-quality rowing machine so affordable is by making it a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) type of machine. A lot of the machines on the marketplace pack in a high-definition display to their connected home workout equipment which can dramatically increase the price to unsuitable levels. Echelon takes a different approach by allowing the consumer to use their own tablet to ensure they don’t have to sacrifice on the quality of their workouts for included expensive technology.

Ergatta Features

features overview of the ergatta rower
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  • 1. Gamified Experience

This rowing machine completely flips the workout experience upside down with its gamification approach. The key to this rower comes down to it being a unified gaming platform that effectively helps the user to personalize workouts to their own individual needs. It will continue to learn the user’s behaviors, workout capabilities, and more. Thus, it can drive the user to complete objectives, reach goals, and push for achievements. This alone can be an incredibly motivating experience for anyone whether you have a difficult time sticking with your exercise programs or not.

  • 2. Built-In Display

This machine features a built-in 17.3-inch HD display that is capable of providing enhanced immersion. The display is well-tailored to providing a very immersive experience as most people will not have a tablet as large as the 17.3-inch display on this connected rowing machine.

  • 3. Design

The design of the Ergatta is too good to ignore. You can tell the purpose of the design was to create the ultimate at-home rowing machine that is built for the living room. Because of the exquisite design, you shouldn’t have any issue with leaving your rowing machine for full display. It’s made up of incredibly classy cherry wood and it is designed to fold up and be showcased on your wall.

It’s built on a WaterRower, a company that has been in the business for three decades. During that time, they’ve built a repuatation for building amazingly beautiful rowers, that are high-quality and durable.

  • 4. Waterflywheel Technology

Instead of using magnetic resistance like a lot of the popular rowing machines, the Ergatta utilizes Waterflywheel technology which can provide much more silent operation with even smoother resistance.

Learn more at the Ergatta website.

Workout Overview: Live + On-Demand Workouts vs Game-Based Experience

Echelon’s Live and On-Demand Workouts

Do you prefer instructor-led workouts? Then Echelon may be the rower you’re looking for…

Echelon offers incredibly useful live and on-demand streaming workout classes that you can attend. This is a very good approach because the classes can give users the direction they need to make the most out of their workouts and to provide them the motivation they need to reach their individual fitness goals. Because you can choose on-demand fitness classes, you will be able to work out on your own time without excuses.

The app itself provides an immersive fitness experience that can make you feel as if you are in a studio with many other people with the same fitness aspirations. The app also allows you to track all of your progress and you can link your favorite fitness devices like Fitbit in order to showcase your competitive side.

See all Echelon workout options at their website.

Ergatta Game-Based Experience

Are you the type of person who dreads going to the gym, and doesn’t like the idea of workouts that are led by instructors? Then consider Ergatta’s unique and fun experience…

Ergatta takes a very different approach with its subscription-based workout platform. Instead of live and on-demand classes, you get your workouts essentially turned into a game in order to completely change the way you feel about fitness. You have many different ways you can play the game to provide incentives to get the most out of each and every workout.

RELATED: Review of the Ergatta Rower

For one, you can be pitted against other Ergatta users in simulated races. You can also opt for a complete freestyle mode which will track your progress. As you continue to use the machine more and more, it will learn your fitness levels, re-calibrate your goals accordingly, and it will continue to pit you up against the more evenly matched competition as you continue to progress. The entire experience is incentive-based and it rewards you for improving every step of the way.

Check Ergatta prices and workout options at their websites.

Winner: Tie (both take good approaches)

Pricing Overview: Which Rower is More Affordable?

  • Echelon Rower: $1039.98 / Subscription: $39.99 per month
  • Ergatta Rower: $2,199.00 / Subscription: $29 per month

Pricing Winner: Echelon is the Cheaper Rower

See curent Echelon Rower prices at their website.

Summary: Which Rower is Best for You?

There is a lot to like about both of these connected rowing machines. Each one takes a unique approach that is sure to satisfy a lot of different segments of the market. The Echelon offers live and on-demand classes which can make you feel as if you are in a live studio while working out in the middle of your living room.

The Ergatta turns your workouts into a game that can provide an incentive to keep going and going until you reach your fitness goals.

You should get the Echelon if…

  • You want an affordable and feature-packed connected rowing machinery
  • You don’t care about the included display
  • You want to have both live and on-demand classes with your machine
  • You plan on buying more connected workout equipment in the future

You should get the Ergatta if…

  • You want something that is going to look exceptional in your living room
  • You want WaterRower that is connected
  • You don’t like going to the gym, but want something to satisfy your competitive nature
  • You aren’t interested in instructor-led classes

Check current Ergatta prices


  2. Read more: our detailed review of the Echelon Smart Rower