The Avari line of Stamina's rowing machines hasn't impressed us much over the years, but the Magnetic Exercise Rower seems to be the one standout model, receiving very favorable reviews from most users.
It features an LCD backlit InTouch Fitness Monitor which shows you your distance, calories, pulse, strokes per minute, watts and count. It has an extruded aluminum rowing beam and a foldable steel frame.
Let's take a look at the specs on the Magnetic Rower....
The Avari Magnetic Exercise Rower has been very well received since its introduction a few years ago, and is the only model in the series that is not considered an entry level machine.
This one however breaks the mold, and at around $699 or so on sale is a very solid rower. It's not quite as good as some of the very high end rowers, but is far and away better than the lower end machines.
The Magnetic Exercise Rower is well built and well designed, with a molded seat, padded handle and smooth motion along the aluminum beam.
The highlight of most user reviews has been the nice amount of workouts that the machine offers. You get 12 in all: 6 cardio, 1 manual, 4 custom and 1 automatic heart rate program that syncs with the included chest monitor, also a nice touch that is not usually included.
The display is basic but functional, showing you all of your workout metrics. You can change your time and resistance with the arrow keys.
The Magnetic Exercise Rower also folds for easy storage, and you can use the transport wheels to move it from one place to another. Assembly is relatively easy, with just a few steps once you get it out of the box.
Stamina also provides very good customer service, which is always a plus and something you don't find often in the fitness industry.
Any negatives? Some customer reviews have mentioned the fact that the seat can get uncomfortable after a while, but that's the case with many rowing machines and you can always get a cushion or pillow to soften the impact.
Also, some have complained about the accuracy of the heart rate readings and other measurements. The computers on the mid range rowers aren't as good as those on some of the higher end machines, so if you're a stickler for precise metrics, you might want to consider a Concept2 or other high-end machine for a few hundred dollars more.
Other than that, users have been very happy with the Magnetic Exercise Rower on the whole. It provides an effective, smooth, quiet workout.
The Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower (wow, that's a mouthful!) is a great choice in the mid-range price category, with a large number of workouts, functional display and ergonomic design.
As we mentioned above, the other Avari models are not in the same league as these, but this one impressed us. It's not on the same level as the Concept2 and other top models, but is far beyond the cheap rowers in terms of functionality and construction.
If you're looking to spend around $700 for a rowing machine, the Avari Magnetic Rower is a good choice.
UPDATE: July Rowing Machine Sales are going strong!
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