Ergatta vs. Hydrow – May the Best Rower Win

Who is ready for a total body workout right at home? We’re not talking about treadmills or ellipticals. We’re talking about rowing machines, growing in popularity due to CrossFit and Ocean Theory.

If you’ve seen our reviews of Hydrow and Avrion rowers, you understand the benefits surrounding water and magnetic rowers for a full-body workout. The question now is how different top-tier rowers compare to each other. We’ll dissect the Ergatta and Hydrow rowers and help you decide which is best for your home workout. Let the battle of the rowers begin!

Round 1: Dimensions

The Hydrow is a magnetic rowing machine, making it heavier than the Ergatta at 145 lbs when assembled. The Hydrow rowing machine measures 86” x 25” x 47” and features a higher monorail of 14” to enable users to get on the machine quickly. The monorail length is 54”, and the seat height of 16”. The weight capacity is 375 lbs.

Since the Hydrow is heavy, it’s not as easy to store. You must purchase a wall-mounting kit at an extra cost to hold it upright. When assembled, the storage kit measures 33” x 25” x 86”.

The Ergatta is a water rowing machine weighing less than the Hydrow rower at 76.5 lbs without water and 105 lbs with water added. It measures similar to the Hydrow when in use at 86” x 23” x 40” but is easily stored upright, measuring only 23” x 22.5 x 86”. Despite being lightweight and portable, its weight capacity exceeds the Hydrow’s at 500 lbs. 

Ergatta’s rowing machine has a shorter monorail length than the Hydrow at only 40”. It also has a lower seat height of only 12” compared to Hydrow’s 16”. 

We’ll call this round a draw since Hydrow has a more extended monorail and higher seat, but Ergatta has a lightweight, portable machine with a higher weight capacity.

Round 2: Materials

Let’s start with Ergatta this time. The Ergatta rowing machine is made from cherry wood, blending nicely with home decor. It features a dual-track system, but its seat is small. The smaller seat may pose issues for people with wider hips, making it uncomfortable.

The ergonomic handle measures 15.5” long and 5” in diameter. It has a single thin strap and narrowly placed pedals, which isn’t ideal for everyone. While it is portable and lightweight for upright storage, some design features are inferior.

The Hydrow rower features an aluminum and steel frame coated with anthracite polymer to prevent rusting. It has a ten-roller system, initiating a smooth ride similar to a regular rowing experience. The extra-large seat is excellent for comfort, especially for those with broader hips.

Hydrow’s handle is 18” long and 4” in diameter. It’s spongey and comfortable for use when rowing. Since the Hydrow rowing machine is heavier at 145 lbs, it requires a separate anchor unit to place it upright and secure when not used. 

While the Ergatta is more portable, this round goes to the Hydrow rower with its more comfortable design.

Round 3: Resistance Type

Hydrow rowers use magnets to initiate resistance while rowing. This type of resistance mimics rowing in water and is calibrated to show exact specifications during training. Magnetic resistance is quiet, smooth, and requires little to no maintenance. One drawback is the limited maximum level of resistance.

A water resistance rower like the Ergatta is quiet but has some noise from the water moving within the tank. Since the flywheel moves through the water, the maximum resistance levels are higher than that of magnetic resistance machines like the Hydrow. Some drawbacks with water resistance rowers are the level of maintenance required since it has a water tank and possible issues if leaks arise.

This round is another draw since water resistance provides a higher maximum resistance level, but the magnetic resistance is smoother, quieter, and shows exact specifications during training sessions.

Hydrow Rower Hydrow Rower
  • Easy adjustment for correct foot placement
  • Monitor adjusts 15 degrees and pivots 25 degrees left and right while also folding for easy storage
  • Ergonomically designed cushion with 10-roller system for extra smooth operation
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Round 4: Subscriptions

The Ergatta rowing machine features a screen to stream your favorite shows on selected apps. Along with streaming shows, there are workouts available on the Ergatta. Game-based exercises provide challenging workouts with an element of fun, while open rowing, interval training, and races offer streamlined activities to more serious rowing.

The Ergatta subscription costs $29 monthly or $319 for the first year and $349 annually afterward. This price includes access to game-based and regular workouts, a social community, and real-time performance tracking.

The Hydrow rowing machine only streams workouts, not apps for watching shows. There are on-demand and live workouts available. The four main workouts are Breathe, Sweat, Drive, and Journey. They allow you to monitor real-time metrics like speed, rhythm, and calories burned.

This Hydrow subscription is $38/month or $456/year. This price includes access to over 3,000 workouts, real-time metrics, and free access to the Hydrow app. 

We’ll have to give the edge to Ergatta here since the subscription is less expensive, and you can watch streaming shows while rowing.

The Ergatta Rower The Ergatta Rower
  • Supports up to 500 pounds and a 40” inseam (around 6’8” in height).
  • Sync to Strava or Apple Health to track and measure your progress, heart rate, and more.
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Round 5: Cost

The Hydrow rowing machine costs $2,295 with free shipping. The subscription costs $38/month, and the Hydrow rower has limited functionality without the subscription.

The Ergatta rower costs $2,199 plus $199 for shipping. There is an option for free shipping if you assemble the rower yourself. $29 per month gets you the subscription.

Another draw here as both rowers are equally priced.

Round 6: Reviews

Reviews are everything when purchasing a high-dollar item. The Ergatta reviews say the subscription provides challenging game-based workouts and has low-impact exercises. The subscription allows multiple family members to create profiles for tracking progress. The Facebook community is excellent for asking questions, and the customer service is top-notch.

With the good comes the bad. Some reviews complain about cheap pedals not staying in place. Other complaints say the glossy monitor is hard to see and has poor sound quality. The workouts crash occasionally, and no open scenery workouts are available. Finally, some reviews suggested there are issues with the heart rate monitor.

For the Hydrow rowing machine reviews, users like the high-quality training sessions with open scenery workouts available. The exercises aren’t dull, and the library is immense. Users state the rowing machine is well-built and easy to use.

Some users complain about the rowing machine’s expensive subscription necessary for the full use of the rower. Also, the subscription lacks membership tier levels. There are issues with the rope fraying by some users.

The bad reviews for the Ergatta indicate that the rowing machine isn’t made as well as the Hydrow. This round goes to the Hydrow rower.

The Battle is Done. The Winner is…

We like the Hydrow best for its sleek design and durability. It provides professional-grade workouts with open scenery options for a real-life rowing experience, making it excellent for beginners. The crisp graphics and videography put it in a class by itself.

While the Hydrow may have won the battle, we like the Ergatta for competitive users who enjoy game-based workouts. Its wood design makes it great for mixing with home decor. It’s better for intermediate users.

Undoubtedly, these rowing machines offer quality products, and you can’t go wrong with either option. Pick the option that suits you, and know you’ll get an excellent rower no matter which you choose. We’ll set another battle soon!

Website | + posts

Kristen holds a bachelors in English from Louisianna university. With a longstanding passion for fitness, she owns and operate her own gym and is a certified jazzercise instructor.

Robert James
Researcher and Fact Checker at The Fitness Tribe | + posts

Robert is a senior researcher and fact-checker at The Fitness Tribe. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BS), Food Science and Technology from the university of Santo Tomas. He's our expert in all things nutrition and fitness.

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