Hydrow vs Echelon: The Better Smart Rower is? 1

Hydrow vs Echelon: The Better Smart Rower is?

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A high-quality rowing machine has become essential for modern home gyms. Noted for being one of the most impactful cardiovascular machines in the fitness industry, more and more people are looking to find a good fit for their needs.

This is why it’s become imperative to look for a high-grade rowing machine that’s going to yield great results throughout the year. Keeping this in mind, it’s also important to know which rowing machine is best for your home gym.

This comparison is going to take a detailed look at two of the market leaders in this category – Hydrow and Echelon.

Connected Workout Experience: Is Hydrow or Echelon Better?

1. Hydrow Workouts

an example hydrow workout

  • Live Workouts
  • 22″ Built-In Screen
  • Community Feed
  • Progress Tab
  • Unguided Rows (Scenery)

See all Hydrow workout options at their website.

2. Echelon Workouts

an example echelon rower workout

  • Daily Live Classes
  • Requires a Tablet for Streaming
  • 1000+ On-Demand Videos

See all Echelon workout options at their website.

There are pros and cons to both. With the Hydrow, you get to use a world-class 22″ Full HD screen that’s a joy to behold every time you look at it. Plus, they offer a comprehensive water rowing experience that is second to none in terms of quality. However, the rowing machine comes with a hefty price tag, which is something a user has to keep in mind before buying.

On the other hand, the Echelon rowing machine doesn’t come with a built-in screen. However, it has a vast library of workouts that can be streamed using a tablet. Simply attach the tablet to the holder on your rower and use it without a problem.

In the end, it comes down to preference and your budget. Both rowing machines are connected to top-tier membership plans that include quality live and on-demand content.

Features: Which Rower Has More to Offer?

Hydrow Features

a woman does a live workout on the hydrow

Key Specs

  • Dimensions – 86″L x 25″W x 47″H
  • 22″ Built-In Screen
  • Partially Foldable
  • Weight – 145 lbs.

Dust-Resistance Screen

The 22″ Full HD screen is a major benefit for those going through a workout session. Along with this beautiful screen comes the dust-resistance surface. This means the screen looks clean and fresh regardless of how long it’s been sitting in the home gym.

For those wanting a low-maintenance machine that’s easy to set up, it’s time to look at this one.

The screen is aesthetically pleasing while remaining easy to clean throughout the year. Even if you are in a dusty basement, this is going to age well and continue to look the way it did when you first set it up.

Front-Facing Speakers

The speakers are tremendous and make the immersive experience exciting. If you start going through the water rowing workouts, you will feel as if you’re out there in the middle of a beautiful lake. It is quite an experience and the speakers make sure that is the case.

These front-facing speakers are loud, unique, and efficient.

Anyone that wants to get lost in the experience will want to take a look at what these speakers have to offer.

Compact Machine

The measurements come in at 86″L x 25″W x 47″H. This makes it one of the more compact machines on the market. While it is not as foldable as other rowing machines like the Echelon, it can partially fold, while allowing you to put it in the corner of your home gym.

In general, it is a quiet machine that packs a punch without taking up too much space.

10-roller Seat Roller System

One of the biggest plus points associated with the Hydrow Rower has to do with its 10-roller seat roller system. What does this mean? In general, the system allows you to adjust how you are rowing in the middle of a session.

It takes away any pressure that is put on your joints and/or spine during the workout.

This is key for those who are particular about how their session unfolds, especially if you have lingering pain in the back. This roller system makes the rowing motion as smooth as it needs to be.

2. Echelon Features

a woman does an on demand workout on the Echelon Smart Rower

Key Specs:

  • Dimensions – 86” x 21” x 48”
  • Rail Angle – 1.7 Degree
  • Foldable Design
  • Weight – 108 lbs.

Tablet Holder

Since the Echelon Smart Rower (see our review) doesn’t come with a built-in screen like the Hydrow, it offers a unique tablet holder. This allows you to stream content through the tablet while rowing.

It is a unique design and quite sturdy allowing users to enjoy their experience each session.


The foldable design is perfect when it is time to complete your workout and put away the machine. A lot of people don’t have enough space in their home gym to keep the rowing machine unfolded. This is why more and more people venture towards something like the Echelon Rower.

It is easy to fold and within seconds you can store it away and go about your day.

This simplicity is key for those who want to enjoy their workout machine without having to keep it sprawled out in the middle of the room.

Interactive Workouts

With 1000+ on-demand videos available through the membership plan, you are never going to get bored. There is so much to do and these workouts vary allowing people from all walks of life to enjoy what they are doing while using the machine.

These interactive workouts are unique, challenging, and will make sure you maximize the machine’s potential.

If the goal is to continue getting fitter than these interactive workouts are great. Simply set up the tablet and stream this content as you row away.

Heart-Rate Monitoring

Being able to track how you are doing throughout a rowing workout is essential. Most users want to have a read on whether or not their heart rate is rapidly increasing to uncomfortable levels. Keeping this in mind, the Echelon Rower does an incredible of monitoring your heart rate.

This keeps things simple for those who want to workout without having to worry about overexerting themselves.

The heart rate monitor is easy to use and provides real-time data that’s a must while working out.

See all Echelon Rower features at their website.

Price: Is Echelon or Hydrow More Affordable?

1. Hydrow Pricing

  • Hydrow + 30-Day Membershp Plan = $2,238

Check current Hydrow prices at their website.

2. Echelon Pricing

  • Echelon Smart Rower + 30-Day Membership Plan = $839.98
  • Echelon Smart Rower + 12-Month Membership Plan = $1,199.98
  • Echelon Smart Rower + 24-Month Membership Plan = $1,399.98

The More Affordable Smart Rower? Echelon…

There is a serious gap between these two rowing machines when it comes to pricing. If you are on a tight budget and still want a quality product, the Echelon Rower is going to look appealing. There are multiple membership plans on offer and you get a quality machine at the same time.

However, the Hydrow is all about quality and that is something you are going to notice as soon as you begin to use it.

If the only thing you’re looking at has to do with pricing then the Echelon is a winner. It is far cheaper and still offers quality results, and great platform for accessing live and on demand workouts.

Check current Echelon Prices at their website.

Summary: How to Decide if Echelon or Hydrow is Right for You

While both rowers are well-made, efficient, and easy to use, it’s important to figure out which one works best for your situation.

Pick Echelon if….

However, those wanting something budget-friendly, compact, and still offers respectable performance, you can’t go wrong with the Echelon. It is a competent rowing machine that has been engineered with attention to detail from top to bottom.

See current Echelon prices here.

Pick Hydrow if…

If the goal is to go with the best all-around rowing experience, the Hydrow is a stand-out winner. It offers everything a user could ever need when it comes to overall performance making it an exceptional addition to your home gym.