Fitness Tips

Hydrow vs Ergatta:: Which Rower Is Better?

A decade or two ago, it was unimaginable to think of rowers or rowing machines in living rooms and home gyms.

No sir, that precious little space was reserved for the treadmill or the bicycle or perhaps an elliptical machine.

Yet in recent years, rowers (or rowing machines) have enjoyed a surge in popularity. Part of the credit goes to CrossFit and to some extent Orange Theory, which have given these full body workout machines their due credit for overall fitness.

But this has also created a conundrum where there's a flurry of rowing machines each boasting of features that may or may not suit your needs. At the forefront are Hydrow and Ergatta, two prosumer grade machines with an array of features and ergonomics.

Anyone who's considered getting home a rower has at some point researched about these two machines. To help you make a more informed decision in your hunt for a rowing machine, here's a comparison of both these rowers. By the end of this article, you'll be armed with enough information to take the guesswork out of your purchase.


Overview of Each Rower

Here is a closer look at both the hydrow and the ergatta rowers

For those who are researching about these rowers for the first time, here's an overview of each machine.


Hydrow

The hydrow is a sleek and cutting-edge tech rower with some cool specs

Hydrow is a sleek, modern-looking home rowing machine with an aluminum and steel frame and an anthracite polymer body. A monorail and a 10-roller mechanism make for extremely smooth rowing motion.

The unit is equipped with a patented electromagnetic resistance system that mimics the feel of rowing to the T.

Here's a look at the specifications.

Specs

  • DIMENSIONS - 86″L x 25″W x 47″H
  • WEIGHT - 145lbs; 197lbs boxed
  • WEIGHT LIMIT - Holds up to 375lbs (170 kg)
  • SCREEN - 22” Full HD
  • BLUETOOTH - Bluetooth 5.0-enabled for heart-rate monitors and audio
  • ERGONOMICS - Easy adjustable footplate and ergonomic handle for low-stress grip

What is great about this rower

There are several reasons why the Hydrow is as popular as it is. For starters, it is a sleek and ergonomic machine that will fit into most homes, apartments and living rooms even.

It does not fold for storage, but that's not a deal-breaker. You can always get the vertical storage kit. The 22-inch full HD screen creates an immersive experience, while the automatic magnetic resistance creates a mirror replica of the drag you feel when rowing.

The ergonomics of the machine is also top of its class. Heavily cushioned seat, rails are at a comfortable height off the ground and you can adjust the footplate and handle to suit your comfort.

One of the biggest reasons why the Hydrow tops the chart amongst home rowing machines is the massive library of on-demand and live rowing classes with experienced trainers on their roster.

We will touch more on this.


Ergatta

Ergatta sports a rather old-school feel and look, and is made of cherry wood

One look at the Ergatta and you'll know that this is a completely different machine. It's crafted from head to toe from Cherry wood, which gives it an old-school feel and look.

Makes it more aesthetic than the sleek Hydrow for some people. Its monorail mechanism is made from stainless steel, and it weighs just 76 lbs. without the weight of the water.

Here's a look at the specs

  • DIMENSIONS - 86“ x 23” x 40“
  • WEIGHT - 76.5 lbs
  • WEIGHT LIMIT - Holds up to 500lbs
  • SCREEN - 17.5” Full HD
  • BLUETOOTH - Bluetooth 5.0-enabled for heart-rate monitors and audio
  • ERGONOMICS - Easy adjustable footplate and ergonomic handle for low-stress grip

What is great about this rower

While offering very similar drag resistance, despite using very different mechanisms, the Ergatta is more fun compared to the Hydrow. It looks like a beautiful piece of furniture that you wouldn't want to put away.

The Cherry wood used for the body is a nice change from the usual metals and plastics that rowing machines are made of. But the biggest difference is the water tank. The Ergatta uses a real water tank to make this rowing machine as close as possible to the real deal with drag and resistance.

A paddle with a flywheel is nested in a water tank which automatically adjusts the level of resistance, just paddling on the water. This provides a more realistic experience than what you'll get on any other rowing machine. Also, the workouts on Ergatta are game-based, rather than trainer-guided.

It's more interactive and like I said at the onset, more fun.


Hydrow vs Ergatta: Which Rower Is Better?

Hydrow vs Ergatta, which of both rowers should you choose over the other

To be fair, its a toss-up between these two. I have compared other rowers before, including the RW900 and the Concept 2 Models D & E, the RW200 and the Concept 2 Model D, and pitched the NordicTrack RW500 against the RW900. And trust me, picking one and not the other is never easy, especially when both machines are virtually as good as one another.

In this case, both machines offer a vigorous workout with ample variety in the comfort of your home. They also offer similar resistance and workout intensity, but they do it in very different ways.

So according to me, it boils down to some differentiators and personal preferences.


Which One Offers More Features?

Which of these rowers offers more features than the other

That depends on what you mean by features. There are generally no features per se in rowing machines. Here's a checklist that I use to separate one from another.

  1. Type of resistance - The Hydrow has a patented magnetic resistance mechanism, which provides a smooth and quiet workout. The Ergatta uses a real water tank for resistance, which some people feel creates a more realistic drag. Both rowers have automated resistance which means that you can just set it and forget. That said, Hydrow's computer-guided magnetic resistance is not just easy to use but also more convenient. Another thing I came across concerning both rowers is an observation by one poster on reddit  that the hydro got his heart pumping more than the Ergatta did, as can be seen on this reddit thread. So yeah, if you want some more intensity, I'd say the hydrow could be the machine for you.
  2. Console Display - The Hydrow has a nice 22-inch HD display, which amplifies the immersive experience, especially when you are accessing their content shot in scenic locations around the world. The Ergatta has a 17-inch HD display, but it's more interactive and game-based.
  3. Ergonomics - Once again, with a broader seat, a 10-roller system and adjustable handles, the Hydrow offers better ergonomics. Even if you have wider hips and large buttocks, you will never feel cramped during large rowing sessions. The Ergatta is ideal for people with narrower hips. It does offer a higher weight limit though.

Workout Programs

 Hydrow vs Ergatta, which rower has more workout programs

The Hydrow is like the Peloton of the rowing world. A large part of its USP is the huge catalog of recorded on-demand classes which are shot in real-world locations on water. Not in a mundane studio.

These classes are led by skilled instructors. In other words, professional rowers. Barring the remote resistance adjustment, you get the entire interactive and immersive experience that makes Peloton so popular.

You can select workouts based on duration, location, workout type or instructor. There are three categories of workouts called Breathe, Sweat & Drive. Breathe consists of foundational exercises, comparable to Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) on a treadmill. Sweat is for intermediate athletes, with moderate intensity exercises. Drive is all about power and strength. Think of it as the Crossfit of the rowing world that will make you sweat buckets.

The Ergatta offers game-based workouts, which are more interactive and fun. There's an adrenaline rush, like you are competing against your buddy in a video game. This does push you harder.

You might like them more or less than the pre-programmed classes on the Hydrow. But I would give an edge to Hydrow in this category because of the sheer number and diversity of its workout programs.


Which one is built better?

Hydrow or Ergatta, which rower is built better

Again, this is highly subjective. I personally love the sleek look and feel of the Hydrow. But the Ergatta is very solidly built and can withstand a lot more wear and tear. It also has a higher weight capacity - to cut the chase, if a heavy-duty rowing machine is what you're after, then Ergatta will make you smile.

There are buddies who park their Ergatta in their living room like it's the focal piece of furniture and row away for hours without any issues. So, in this category, I would call it a tie.


Which rower is better for seniors and beginners?

Hydrow vs Ergatta, which rower is best for beginners and seniors

There's never an ideal age to start rowing. There are seniors who started to reap the benefits of indoor rowing at the ripe age of 65 and converted it into their daily workout routine. And then there are juniors who take up the sport in their teens and dominate at the international level.

The Hydrow is a better option for seniors because of its adjustable handle height, broad seat and 10 roller system. The seat on the Hydrow is 16-inches off the ground. This makes it easier to get into and get off, even if you have balance issues. The Ergatta is only 13-inches off the ground, which can be a bit of a challenge for seniors. The Hydrow also offers more resistance levels, making it ideal for people starting out or with lower intensity needs.


Which one is a better fit for small spaces?

Which of both rowers is built for a small, cramped space

Both these machines have similar dimensions. Even when folded, that is. The Hydrowis 86″L x 25″W x 47″H, while the Ergatta stands 86“ x 23” x 40“. There's only a nominal difference.

The Hydrow takes up more space because of its seat and flywheel design. But it can be easily folded and stored away. The Ergatta is slim and easy to fit in tight spaces after folding. So, if you are short on storage space, both these machines will work. But I would give the slight edge to the Ergatta because of the lower height, which, by the way, also makes it a better choice if you're setting up a basement gym with low ceiling.


What Do The Customers Say About Each Rower?

What do customers think about both of these rowers

Both these prosumer grade rowers are highly rated by customers. The Hydrow has a 4.8-star rating on shopping portals, while the Ergatta has a 4.7-star rating.

Customers love the Hydrow for its smooth rowing motion, immersive workouts and quality construction. The Ergatta is loved for its interactive games, sturdy build and portability.

Customers also talk about the ergonomic design of the Hydrow, which is easier to use for seniors and beginners. The Ergatta is praised for its durability, real-world aesthetics and compact size.

One factor that stands out is the type of resistance and the difference it makes. Some customers prefer the feel of water resistance, while others love the automated magnetic resistance of the hydrow. According to us, there's little difference and you'd have to be a pro, Olympic rower to spot the tiny nuances.


Hydrow Customer Reviews

What do customers have to say about the hydrow rower

Hydrow's customer reviews are centered around how smooth the rowing experience is, the number of workout programs available and quality construction.

"The Hydrow is a workhorse! I'm really impressed with how smoothly it rows and all of the different workout programs."

"You can tell that a lot of thought went into designing this machine. It's extremely well built and very easy to use."

"The quality of the materials and construction is top notch. I expect this machine to last for years."


Ergatta Customer Reviews

What do customers think about the Ergatta rower

Customers love the interactive games and real-world aesthetics of the Ergatta. They also appreciate the sturdy build and compact size.

"This is a really well-made machine. The games are really fun and a great change of pace from the standard workout routine."

"I love that it's so portable. I can fold it up and park it in the living room. Also, that cherry wood finish!"

"It's nice to have a machine that looks like something you'd see in an office or home, instead of a gym."


What Is The Maximum User Weight Capacity on Each Rower?

What is the maximum user weight that each rower can withstand

When it comes to some of the best cardio machines for weight loss, rowers lead the pack along with incline treadmills, stationary bikes and ellipticals. But this means one thing, they have to be sturdy enough to take on quite a substantial amount of user weight. I once covered the topic of elliptical weight limits for popular models, but this goes for all cardio machines really.

The Hydrow has a weight capacity of 350 pounds, while the Ergatta has a weight capacity of 500 pounds.

This is an important spec to consider if you are overweight or have joint problems. The Ergatta has a higher weight capacity, making it a better choice for those who are larger or have joint issues.


How Do They Compare When It Comes to Price?

How about price, how does Hydrow rower stack up against the Ergatta
How about price, how does the Ergatta rower stack up against the hydrow

When the Hydrow was launched, it was the most expensive rowing machine in the market. It currently retails for $2199. The Ergatta matches it, not only in terms of features but also price.

Both these machines are currently priced a feather over $2100. You might find a lower price because of a rebate or a clearance sale. But this is the standard selling price for these machines.


Which one has a better warranty?

Ergatta vs Hydrow, which rower comes with better warranty

Ergatta offers a 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects which can be extended to 3 years. The warranty is 5-years for the structural frame.

The Hydrow's warranty is exactly identical. 12-months for electronics, 12-months against manufacturing defects and 5-years for the structural frame.


The Rower that I use personally

Which rower do I use and is it worth the cost

After spending months researching rowers and comparing these two machines, I finally found a better option. It's the Concept 2. It's not only among the best budget rowing machines on the market right now, the value you get for the money is hands down awesome.

Initially, however, I was unsure whether the Concept 2 could match up to the Hydrow and the Ergatta. But after reading customer reviews and doing some additional research, I found that the Concept 2 is the best option for me.

Here's why.


An overview of the Concept 2

While Concept 2 is not as cutting edge as both Hydrow and ergatta, but still it's a great rower and worth the money

The Concept2 is an air rowing machine that has been around for a long time. It is not as cutting edge as the Hydrow or the Ergatta, but it does have a lot of features that customers love.

It is a durable machine with a solid frame, ample integrated features, multiple workouts and the ability to track your progress. The Concept 2 is also extremely easy to use and has a very intuitive display called the 'Performance Monitor 5'

One of the main drawbacks of the Concept 2 is that it doesn't have any games or interactive features. But customers don't seem to mind this too much because the machine is so durable and efficient. I read a comment (on a reddit post on concept 2 vs Hydrow) that one can pound the C2 daily and still the machine would retain a great deal of its resell value. Now that I've used it, I can attest that the guy was actually right. 

Specs:

DIMENSIONS - 96" L x 24" W x 54" H

WEIGHT - 57 lbs

WEIGHT LIMIT - Holds up to 500lbs

SCREEN - Backlit PM5 Monitor

BLUETOOTH - Bluetooth 5.0-enabled for up to 30 ftiness apps

ERGONOMICS - Fully adjustable and available in two heights. 14" and 20"

Why I liked and picked the Concept 2

There are several reasons why the Concept 2 is my personal favorite rower.

  • It's extremely durable and has a very solid aluminum frame rated for 500 lbs. This makes it perfect for people who are heavier.
  • It features 5-in built workout programs and 4 games. Not as many as the Hydrow or the Ergatta, but enough to keep you entertained.
  • It also has a Bluetooth enabled monitor that connects to 30 different fitness apps. This means that you can track your progress and compete with others on popular apps like Strava or MyFitnessPal.
  • Costs just $900. That's a no-brainer. I didnt have $2K and some change to spare for a Hydrow and I know that I am not the only one.
  • The Concept 2 also has an ergonomically adjustable seat and comes in two different heights, 14" and 20". This makes it perfect for people of all different sizes.
  • The only drawback of the Concept 2 is that it doesn't have any interactive games or features. But I can live with that.

Both the Hydrow and the Ergatta are great machines, and they both offer a great experience for those who love to do full body workouts every other day while still keeping things fun. They are highly rated by customers and have similar features. But if you're looking for a smooth rowing experience, without being hung up over interactivity and smart features, the Concept 2 is an equally good machine.


Hydrow vs Ergatta: My Recommendation

So, Hydro or Ergatta, which rower do I recommend - Hydrow
So, Hydro or Ergatta, which rower do I recommend - Ergatta

So, which of these two rowers are the best fit for you? It really depends on your needs and preferences. But I would give an edge to the Hydrow in terms of variety of workouts, construction quality and immersive experience.

The Ergatta is a very close second but falls short in a few areas. If you're looking for a durable machine with a lot of features, the Concept 2 is the best option and it's also much more affordable than the other two machines.

Related Readings:

Resources:

  1. https://hydrow.com/the-hydrow/
  2. https://ergatta.com/the-ergatta-rower/

Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now. My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future. I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics. My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics. Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward. You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page