WaterRower vs Concept 2: 2 Rowing Machines Compared

You have probably heard about rowing machines before. The rowing machines have been popularized in many TV shows such as House of Cards.

The machine has many benefits to address. It is used as a cardio tool to improve cardiovascular health, improves our heart and lungs. Also, the rowing machines incorporate your whole body which is good burn calories.

There are a lot of rowing machines on the market. But today, we are going to discuss the WaterRower vs Concept 2.

Why these 2 rowing machines?

The Concept 2 and Waterrower are among the best and the most popular rowing machines available. They are known for their quality, reliability, and convenience. But because these two rowing machines are good, they challenge each other a lot.

We are going to address each one of them, and compare their features, mechanisms, and performances.

WaterRower overview

Waterrower Rowing machine Ash

The WaterRower is a great rowing machine that suits nearly everybody. It is made from a solid ash wood that is finished with a honey oak stain.

Meaning that it looks perfect especially when your living room has similar colors to it. The machine can fit perfectly in your room, living room, or salon.

As its name says, it has a resistance of a tank full of water. Because of that, it has nearly no noise at all, only the sound of the moving water which is meditative and relaxing.

The WaterRower can fold easily and is great for every apartment. It has a lot of features that we will talk about in-depth in the comparison.

Concept 2 overview

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance Monitor

The Concept 2 rowing machine is considered from the best rowing machines on the market. It is very durable and highly reliable. It is mainly used in rowing clubs and competitive rowers because of how durable it is. You will be able to use it frequently and with high intensities without it wearing out or breaking.

The Concept 2 rowing machine uses fan resistance, meaning that it can be less ideal for home users especially when you have some people around. This rowing machine has very advanced features that can be useful and entertaining at the same time. Definitely, it is worth every penny.


Performance Monitor

Concept 2

The performance monitor is a very important feature that must exist in every rowing machine. The performance monitor of the Concept 2 is one of a kind. It is named PM5. It tracks your pace, calories, distance, speed, and heart rate.

Also, it has wireless connectivity which can be connected to Concept2’s ErgData app to save and export your training statistics.

The PM5 tracker also has games to entertain yourself while working out and has the ability to save your workouts to a USB flash drive. Also, it has an online ranking to allow you to stay motivated and compete against other rowers around the world.


The WaterRower, on the other hand, has the S4 monitor, a highly respected monitor in the rowing machines world.

The S4 monitor tracks time, speed, distance, and heart rate just like the Concept 2 monitor. On top of that, it offers different workout programs that are stored in S4 monitor.

The S4 monitor also allows for wireless connectivity to other workout programs such as We-Row and Row-Yo which you can save your workouts to.


Concept 2

The mechanism of Concept 2 rowing machine is a fan mechanism. Meaning that it has a fan that creates resistance when you row. It has a smooth feeling that is similar to real boat rowing. Also, the resistance is variable and when increased, the smoothness stays the same.

The fan mechanism is very beneficial to you if you want high stroke rates, because it is durable and of light-weight.


The WaterRower uses the water mechanism which is quite meditative. Rowing through water gives you the sound of a moving boat, which is meditative and relaxing. It suits best for home use.

The resistance of the water mechanism is variable. In other words, the harder you row, the faster it moves. Whether you want to pull harder or you want an easy workout, you can do both, just pull slower.


Concept 2

The Concept 2 is made from a sturdy steel frame that looks modern and unique. It comes in two different colors, grey or black. The design of the Concept 2 rowing machine makes it easy to store, as it is made of two different pieces.

If you disassembled them, it will be easy for you to store the rowing machine in your house or anywhere.

The design of concept 2 allows for variation in foot and drag height so it can be suitable for different people at different lengths.


The WaterRower is made from natural ash wood, which is quite impressive and classy-looking. It also comes in two other colors which are light brown and black.

The great design of the WaterRower rowing machine allows it to be stored vertically so that it takes minimal space. Because it is made for the home-user, if you plan to get the rowing machine to your home, it will suit you best.


Concept 2

Concept 2 has many features that offer great comfort and flexibility to the user. It has handles that can bend 10-degrees offering variation for different people and decrease the risk lower back pain.

Moreover, it has a padded seat that is comfortable and glides with smoothness in mind.


The WaterRower is a great rowing machine if you are looking for comfortable and long workouts. Because it is made for home use, it a handle covered with rubber, foot places that are large, and with foot straps to keep you stabilized and balanced.

Also, the seat glides smoothly, which is good for home use especially if there are people around you and you want no noise at all.

Fitness Levels and features:

Concept 2

The Concept 2 has different resistance levels that can suit everybody from beginners to advanced rowers. Also, it has the feature of easy-storing. It can be divided into two parts meaning that you can put the two parts in separate places.

Allowing us to save much space and more flexibility in moving. If you travel a lot or you have other gym pieces of equipment that you want to make space for, the Concept 2 rowing machine is for you.

The Concept 2 can withstand up to 500 pounds, allowing for anyone to workout with this piece of equipment.


What is so special about the WaterRower rowing machine that it has a self-regulated resistance. Meaning that you are the one that controls how hard or how easy the machine is. When you pull harder, the machine rows faster, and so on.

If you want it to move slowly, pull lightly, and vice versa.

The WaterRower machine has moving wheels that allow you to move the machine in the house freely and without a problem. In other words, if you want to take to the living room to watch TV while working out, fine.

If you want it to be in your room so you can workout first thing in the morning, it can do that too.

Also, it can be stored in a vertical position, which is not the best thing. However, it can take so small space when stored so it will not be a problem. Also, the WaterRower can take up to 770 pounds which assures you that it is made from the best qualities ever.

Value to Benefit ratio

Concept 2

The Concept 2 rowing machine comes at an affordable price for quality construction. It has very good features and is very durable. The company has set a reasonable price that is good for nearly everyone.


The WaterRower costs a little bit more than the concept 2. But that’s for a reason. Both products are of high-quality and at reasonable prices. However, the WaterRower rowing machine comes at a more expensive price because of the natural-looking ash wood.


We have covered everything regarding the Concept 2 and the WaterRower pieces of equipment. These various aspects determine which one is better for you.

Overall, the debate of Concept 2 vs WaterRower a hot one, and we can’t decide which one really ones. The simple answer is “it depends”. The individual preferences are what decide which one you should choose.

Read carefully, consider your budget, your circumstances, and whether you need it for competition use, home use, or for your commercial gym for example.

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