ergatta rower vs concept 2

Ergatta Rower Vs Concept 2 – Which Should You Buy?

It’s your favorite fitness guru Kathleen here with another interesting topic- which rowing machine is better, the Ergatta or the old standby Concept 2 Model D.

There is no doubt in my mind that rowing is one of the best workouts in the world. So it’s not so much a question of to row or not to row, but which machine is best for you.

If you’ve been thinking about replacing your old rowing machine or buying a new one, the number of choices can make this a fairly difficult decision. Especially if this is your first rowing machine.

A Quick Look at the Ergatta & Concept Machines:

If you’re in a hurry and need to know which rower is better between Ergatta or Concept 2, click on the links below for our answers:

1. Ergatta Rower

2. Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine

Should you choose a water rower? Air resistance? Magnetic resistance? Connected rowing machines or the plain everyday model? Smart rower? Water rower? What the heck do all these things mean?

I’m here to lend a hand! Today, I’m going to take an in-depth look at a smart rower and compare it to a brand that has become almost synonymous with rowing machines – let’s take a deep dive into Ergatta vs Concept 2 Model D.

Grab a cup of Joe and keep reading. I’m going to spill the beans and let it all hang out, friends!


Ergatta Rower Vs Concept 2- What Are the Differences?

No one wants to make a bad buying decision, and if you’ve only used whatever rowing machine is in those fitness studios, you’ll be surprised to discover how many types of rowing machines there are on the market today.

Sometimes, no matter how much we may want something, the details make it impossible, and that’s what the chart below will help you do – eliminate one possibility or the other.

Comparison Chart – Ergatta Vs Concept 2

  Ergatta Concept 2
Overall Dimensions
686“x 23” x 40“ 96” x 24” x 14”
Stored Dimensions 23” x 22.5” x 86” 25” x 33” x 54”
Maximum Weight Capacity
500 pounds 500 pounds
Calories burned per hour
(175- pound person)
560 rowing at moderate intensity 542 per hour at moderate intensity
Workout Videos/Apps
Full color video game workouts and racing, along with scenic views. A few workouts
Weight of the Machine 103 pounds with water 57 pounds
Warranty 5 years on the structural frame, 3 years on parts, 1 year on the tablet. 5 years on frame, 2 years on everything else
Type of Resistance Water Air
Financing Options 0 down and 0 interest over 12 months on approved credit 6-month zero financing charges only through Amazon Credit Card services
Monthly Subscription Prices $29 for unlimited profiles None

Now, if you don’t have at least 9 feet (108 inches) by 4 feet (48 inches) of space, then you won’t be able to use Concept 2. That is the minimum amount of space you need to use this rowing machine (read more on compact rowing machines here).

Both of these indoor rowing machines have a maximum user capacity of 500 pounds (read more on rowing machines for heavy people here), so that’s not an issue. However, the Ergatta has a monthly subscription price of $29 per month for an unlimited number of profiles.

I think another big difference is the material/aesthetics of the machine. Ergatta looks like a fancy piece of furniture that goes with your dining room set, right? This expertly crafted cherry wood will no doubt make a terrific conversation piece.

On the other hand, you won’t mistake the Concept 2 for any other thing – it’s every inch a tough fitness machine made of steel and aluminum.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance Monitor, Black

Purchase Direct at Concept

Compare on Amazon

The last thing to consider would be the noise issue. Concept 2 uses a fan inside a cage. The great thing about air resistance rowing machines is that they never run out of resistance. The more air you allow into the cage and the harder you work, the more resistance you get for your rowing workouts.

The problem with air rowers is that they are very, very noisy. If you live in an apartment or you have small children or roommates, you may want to think twice about the amount of noise that Concept 2 creates.

The Ergatta is a water rower, which means that it uses water inside a tank for resistance. The software in the Ergatta tablet also controls the amount of resistance depending on your current fitness level. That’s one reason it’s called a smart rower.

side view of Ergatta Rower

Purchase Direct at Ergatta

Compare on Amazon

Noise is not really a problem with Ergatta. All you will hear is the gentle swooshing of water in the tank, similar to the noise you hear when filling your bathtub, not one bit more.

Let’s see what else you should know about these indoor rowers to help you make a smart decision.

Are Water Rowers Easier than Concept 2 to Use?

The short answer here is No, they aren’t.

Let me clear something up. Simply because Concept 2 is an air rower and you can get all the air you want for free, this doesn’t mean that Concept 2 is somehow a more difficult workout or more difficult to use.

the difference between Concept2 and Ergatta Rowers

Concept 2 is very simple to use. There is a damper that allows you to adjust the amount of air that enters the fan chamber. That’s all there is to it. You can increase the drag by allowing more air into the chamber, making you exert more effort, but not necessarily harder than Ergatta.

Ergatta uses water inside a tank for resistance. In the same way that swimming pushes your body through the water, Ergatta uses a fan blade to push through the water. You can always add more water to the tank if you feel you aren’t working out hard enough, but most people simply rely on Ergatta’s software to control the resistance or they push themselves to move faster.

Water resistance and air resistance are just two ways companies create home gym equipment that will push you to exercise harder.

What You Should Know about the Ergatta Smart Rowing Machine

I’ve told you about some of the differences between these two rowing machines, and now I’d like to give you a more in-depth look at what each machine has to offer.

Ergatta offers a connected rowing experience that is like nothing else.

If you get bored with the typical instructor-led workouts, if you prefer to do things your way like playing games and even racing against others, then Ergatta was made for you.


You will still get a full-body workout, but rather than the same old pull-and-slide over and over, you can enjoy machine-to-machine racing, race against others in your own fitness group, and challenge yourself to go head-to-head with Olympic champions.

Most people know that there is a rowing community, but the Ergatta community takes things to a whole new level. You can speak with and message friends on Facebook, even challenge them to a race!

It’s the software that makes all the difference with Ergatta, and I love the 17.3-inch performance monitor that not only lets me use race workouts but also play games as I row.

That doesn’t mean that this home rowing machine doesn’t tell you about your workout and performance data. The monitor on this smart rower not only gives detailed workout data, but it also explains to you all those numbers and what they mean in terms of your health.

Can You Use Ergatta Without the Subscription?

Technically, yes, you can, but I gotta ask- why?

If you don’t want to pay the low $29 monthly subscription price, you can use any old rowing machine.

It’s the Ergatta software that makes Ergatta workouts so much different than the rest! Trust me, once you use a connected workout experience, you won’t settle for less!

This indoor rower offers interval workouts, tutorials for beginners, rowing workouts that are based on time, distance, or calories burned, and much, much more.

The Ergatta connected rower is a smart rower that you’ll actually look forward to using. With so many workout options, Ergatta is well worth the subscription price.

Check out our video and join us as we explore the Ergatta Water Rower: 


The Drawbacks of the Ergatta

As delightful and practical as this smart rower is, there are a few things that would improve the overall rowing experience, including:

  • There are no off-the-rower workouts, such as yoga.
  • The music selection is limited, but you can always use your Bluetooth headphones or speakers and play your own music.
  • There are no live workouts.
  • There are no instructor-led workouts.

Where Can Ergatta Improve on?

While I believe that most people love Ergatta because it DOESN’T have instructors, it would be a nice change if Ergatta offered fitness classes with instructors or some off-the-rower stretching exercises.

What You Should Know about Concept 2

Concept 2 was invented in 1976 and began selling as a piece of home gym equipment in 1980.

While it hasn’t changed too much over the years, there’s a good reason why this rowing machine remains one of the most popular: it works!

If you’re interested in a rowing machine that has no fancy electronics, that isn’t a smart rowing machine but one that gets you the full-body workout you want so you can get on with your day, then Concept 2 is the machine for you!

Concept 2 is the cheaper rowing option, which is why you will see it in many gyms and workout classes. Since it’s been made for so many years, parts are easy to find and there are tons of tutorials online for repairing and maintaining it.


You can also talk with the thousands of Concept 2 owners online.

One of the benefits of Concept 2 is that it comes apart in two pieces which makes for easy storage. This indoor rowing machine is also super quick to assemble. Most people say that that they put their Concept 2 together and started using it within 30 minutes!

The PM5 performance monitor may not be an HD touchscreen like Ergatta, but it does offer plenty of workout and personal data. You can even use a flash drive to store your workout and progress information.

There are a few preset workout routines and a few basic games, but nothing to match the full-color interactive video games that Ergatta offers.

While this rowing machine isn’t a smart rowing machine, does come with the benefit of not having to pay for a monthly subscription.

Does Concept 2 Offer Any Type of Workout App?

Not at this time, it does not.

However, that hasn’t stopped people from using the iFit app for workouts. While this app won’t be able to control the resistance automatically, you can still enjoy instructor-led workouts and scenic views to help prevent boredom.

The iFit app also offers lots of other workout options, including jogging, running, walking, weight lifting, biking, and more. If you like to use a variety of cardio machines, buying Concept 2 and paying for the iFit app might be the perfect solution for you.

Concept 2 vs Teeter Power10 – See Which Rower Won!

The Drawbacks of Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine

Since the Concept 2 has been around for so long you might think that they’ve worked out all the bugs, right? Wrong, it turns out they haven’t.

While this indoor rowing machine will still give you that full-body workout you want, there are a few areas where I think Concept 2 could improve, such as:

  • The seat padding is hard and is often one of the first pieces to wear out. While you can buy replacements, even third-party replacements, Concept 2 should consider using a better quality seat.
  • It’s really long! 96 inches (8 feet) long, and you still need an additional 12 inches of space around it for you to work out without interference.
  • The fan is pretty noisy, especially on more intense workouts.
  • The PM5 monitor is very limited.
  • The rubber on the handle feels rough to some folks, and for many people, they say that this is the second-fastest item to wear out.
  • This is not a connected rower.

Even with the above drawbacks, Concept 2 remains one of the most popular rowing machines ever made.

Why is the Concept 2 So Popular among Rowing Machines?

There are lots of good reasons, including:

  1. Inexpensive design with extensive replacement parts
  2. Name recognition
  3. Experience. If you’ve used Concept 2 at the gym or CrossFit, then chances are you’ll want to stick with a name that you know
  4. The performance monitor, while very basic, is easy to use and understand
  5. Because it has been around for decades, many third-party apps, such as fitness watches and heart rate monitors, link up with Concept 2’s PM5 with no problem.

Concept 2 is an inexpensive indoor rowing machine that nearly anyone can use with very little training. You can find parts if you should need them, and it comes with a decent warranty.

So Which Is the Best Indoor Rowing Machine -Ergatta or Concept 2?

Everyone has their own idea about what makes the “perfect” indoor rower for them.

For me, when talking about Ergatta Vs Concept 2, the choice is very clear: I’ll take the Ergatta smart rower.


First, I love high-quality rowers, and while Concept 2 may not be cheap, I believe that it costs a lot more than it should. I love the way Ergatta looks! Who can resist that cherry wood frame?!

Second, I get bored pretty easily, and while iFit is a great platform, it isn’t made for Concept 2. This leaves you putting on a YouTube video or living with the programs in the monitor, which are very limited.

I love the racing and games on Ergatta. I always end up working out much longer than I planned to because I want to try and win next time! And the time after that!

I also love the smooth resistance that water offers. Air rowers are noisy, and they get on my nerves after a while. Why listen to that racket when I can have the quiet resistance that water rowers offer? Water rowers, such as the Ergatta rowers, offer as close to a real rowing experience as you can get.

Now if you don’t care about motiving games and races, or if you don’t want any fancy HD touchscreen or a fun workout, then the Concept 2 sounds like it was made for you.

HOWEVER- for everyone else who wants a high-quality machine that offers fun and exciting workouts, water-resistance for real rowing, and an HD touchscreen that will knock your socks off, then the Ergatta connected rower is the perfect indoor rower for you and your family.

I love the Ergatta rowing community and the machine-to-machine racing. If you want a smooth workout that will take you to that next level, try Ergatta. It’s worth every damn dime.

Stay healthy and happy friends! Life is too short for anything else!