Sunny Rowing Machine Review – Which One Should You Buy?

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Are you eager to boost the efficiency of your home workout time? Keen on rowing your way to better overall fitness and strength?

If that’s the case, you’ve probably already heard of Sunny Health & Fitness – a trusted name in high-quality home exercise equipment. But how exactly do these devices perform on a larger scale, and which one is actually right for you? Let’s take a look at our in-depth Sunny rowing machine review.

Someone training at the gym after reading a Sunny rowing machine review
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In A Hurry? Here’s Our Best Picks

Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine - SF-RW5713 , Black
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Sunny Health & Fitness Dual Function Magnetic Rowing Machine w/ Digital Monitor, Multi-Exercise Step Plates, 275 LB Max Weight and Foldable - SF-RW5622
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Sunny Health & Fitness Air Fan Rowing Machine Ergometer - SF-RW520050,Silver
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Product's nameOur Top Pick
Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing...
Most Affordable Rower
Sunny Health & Fitness Dual Function Magnetic Rowing Machine...
Best Air Resistance
Sunny Health & Fitness Air Fan Rowing Machine Ergometer -...
VerdictOffering a comprehensive water-based resistance system, the Obsidian Surge 500 has an aluminum flywheel that's submerged in a full tank of water to replicate the feeling you get when rowing in real life.The fully padded seat with large integrated footplates is designed for maximum comfort for the average user, with an ergonomic build that takes the pressure off your back and joints.Despite its somewhat basic features, the Sunny Health & Fitness air machine excels in replicating the rowing experience with its resilient flywheel housing that delivers sleek and uniform resistance.
Deck Size22"D x 80"W x 34"H21"D x 72"W x 18.5"H22.8"D x 78"W x 22.6"H
Resistance TypeWaterMagneticAir
Warranty3 months frame and parts3 months frame and parts3 months frame and parts
Price$$$
Learn moreSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at Amazon

Why You Should Trust Us

At the helm of the Boxlife ship is a team of experienced and well-informed exercise fanatics who have spent their time and energy testing various fitness products on the market. Operating on both gym and home fronts, we’ve had the chance to test out numerous rowing machines with both basic and flashy features.

We recognize the importance of catering to the fitness goals of a wide range of users, which is why we’ve gone out of our way to check out models of varying shapes and sizes. With the help of deep research, good old-fashioned trial and error, and first-hand experiences, we’ve put together a list of devices that will get you the results you want while not putting a huge dent in your wallet.

Who Is This Guide For?

If you want to find an exercise machine that delivers an effective and challenging workout, then you might want to stick around. Rowing devices have long been celebrated as one of the most effective ways to burn calories and stimulate major muscle growth, with a whole spectrum of workout programs to suit everyone’s individual needs.

Best Rower for Beginner
Sunny Water Rowing Machine
4.5

Based on our testing, this is the best rower for beginners. For less than 500$, this silent water rower will last you for years. It also comes with a 12-year warranty.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Amazing warranty
See latest price See all Rowers below 500$

Many of us are tired of the daily gym grind, so why not bring the ultimate exercise experience to the comfort of your home? Whether you’re an experienced athlete or a beginner looking for a reliable cardio machine, this exercise equipment manufacturer may have just the thing for you.

A man using a Sunny Health & Fitness rower after reading a sunny rowing machine review
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How We Picked the Best Products

In addition to our own testing, we also consulted with a number of buyers who have used these machines across mammoth online forums like Reddit and Quora. Each user’s feedback was carefully considered as part of our comprehensive research process to make sure that we’re taking a balanced look at each product.

Next, we delved into customer reviews on retail sites such as Amazon, Rogue Fitness, and Titan. Our team of experts took the time to read through a number of ratings from customers who’ve taken the plunge with these rowing machines and witnessed the results firsthand.

How We Compared Each Product

Once the main contenders had been narrowed down, we got to work on comparing and contrasting the features of each device. When taking an objective assessment, we looked at the following factors:

Type and Levels of Resistance

The kind of resistance you get from a specific device is a major factor in determining its overall capability. We compared the different mechanisms available, with each model having a separate resistance dial to control the intensity of the workout.

Frame Design

Aside from the visual appeal, the way a specific frame is designed plays a huge role in the user experience. We paid special attention to ergonomic features, overall build quality, and the impact of the frame on user comfort.

Price Range

When setting up a home gym, many of us are limited by financial constraints. To make sure that everyone can find a suitable device, we gathered data on the price tag of each model and considered whether it offered good value for money.

The Products

When all was said and done, the following Sunny Health & Fitness rowing machines emerged as the main contenders. Each one has been extensively researched and tested to ensure a well-rounded analysis of the device.

Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 – Our Top Pick

The black and shiny finish of this device certainly lives up to its name, with a classic seat rail design that delivers optimal comfort and ease of use. Its sleek configuration is a total breeze to set up and operate, with clear-cut assembly instructions and a simple-to-understand console.

Pros

  • Heart rate monitor compatibility
  • Foldable design for vertical storage
  • Smooth rowing stroke with natural water resistance
  • Solid display monitor with decent viewing angles and detailed feedback

Cons

  • Foot plates could be more comfortable
  • Slightly noisier than other models

Key Specs

Machine Size22″D x 80″W x 34″H
Type of ResistanceWater
Frame MaterialAlloy Steel
Maximum User Weight Capacity300 lbs

Why It’s Great

Offering a comprehensive water-based resistance system, the Obsidian Surge 500 has an aluminum flywheel that’s submerged in a full tank of water to replicate the feeling you get when rowing in real life. This mechanism has 16 fan blades that move against the water for an ultra-smooth and natural feeling.

This device also has a dedicated LCD screen that shows all the relevant data to keep you on track, such as time and distance information, stroke count and calories burned. If you feel like you could use a bit of motivation, the compatible heart rate monitor is a handy feature for setting achievable goals.

Sunny Health & Fitness Dual Function Magnetic Rowing Machine – Most Affordable Rower

This machine is the perfect blend of a traditional rowing frame and a contemporary design. It has a magnetic resistance system that provides effortless control over the intensity of your workout and a comfortable seat rail that has optimal back support.

Pros

  • 8 levels of resistance for a tailored workout
  • Space-saving design with two built-in transport wheels
  • Adjustable foot straps for a secure and stable fit
  • Consistent and low-noise operation

Cons

  • Somewhat squeaky seat rail
  • Quite a basic LCD monitor that lacks some of the more advanced features

Key Specs

Machine Size21″D x 72″W x 18.5″H
Type of ResistanceMagnetic
Frame MaterialAlloy Steel
Maximum User Weight Capacity275 lbs

Why It’s Great

The fully padded seat with large integrated footplates is designed for maximum comfort for the average user, with an ergonomic build that takes the pressure off your back and joints. The machine has a relatively sturdy and stable frame with two heavy-duty wheels for an easy transition between storage and working positions.

As far as magnetic rowers go, the Dual Function offers an impressively quiet operation, with eight adjustable levels of intensity that can be easily altered via a dial on the side. The convenient LCD monitor serves its purpose by displaying basic metrics such as time and stroke count, but lacks some of the advanced features and has no heart rate monitor compatibility or calorie counter.

Sunny Health & Fitness Air Fan Rowing Machine – Best Air Resistance

Moving on to the air rowers, the Sunny Health & Fitness Air Fan Rowing Machine brings a unique combination of functionality and intensity to your workout. This device is equipped with advanced fan options to provide slicker momentum and better overall results.

Pros

  • Dynamic air resistance system that produces formidable resistance
  • Adjustable fan blades for enhanced control over the level of intensity
  • Easy-to-read LCD monitor with relevant workout data
  • Built-in transportation wheels for portability

Cons

  • The position of the foot pedals could be better
  • Limited array of programming options

Key Specs

Machine Size22.8″D x 78″W x 22.6″H
Type of ResistanceAir
Frame MaterialAlloy Steel
Maximum User Weight Capacity350 lbs

Why It’s Great

Despite its somewhat basic features, the Sunny Health & Fitness air machine excels in replicating the rowing experience with its resilient flywheel housing that delivers sleek and uniform resistance. Its fan blades are adjustable to accommodate differing levels of intensity, ranging from a light workout to rigorous training.

The approximate assembly time is around 40 minutes, with minor adjustments and calibrations that can be made during your session with the help of the intuitive yet simply designed digital monitor. The more experienced user will also appreciate the extra features such as stroke count, calorie tracker, and time tracking.

The Buying Guide

Even with all the major features and specs, purchasing a rowing machine is not as straightforward as it seems. Any Sunny rowing machine review will tell you that the subtleties of the device don’t stand out in the product description, which is why you need to be extra careful on certain points.

Warranty Period

As much as we all would like to believe that any machine will last forever, the truth of the matter is that it won’t. It doesn’t matter how well you take care of it, eventually, parts will break down and need replacing or repair.

Even for the most high-quality and well-crafted machines, having a suitable warranty in place is not only reassuring but also necessary. Most brands offer a standard 1-3 year warranty, although some might provide longer periods depending on the model.

Best Rower for Beginner
Sunny Water Rowing Machine
4.5

Based on our testing, this is the best rower for beginners. For less than 500$, this silent water rower will last you for years. It also comes with a 12-year warranty.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Amazing warranty
See latest price See all Rowers below 500$

Noise Level

If you plan to use your rower at home, then it is only natural that you don’t want to disturb your neighbors or family members. Therefore, you should take note of the noise levels produced by each model and make sure that it is within your allowed threshold.

Some models are equipped with noise-reducing features that minimize vibrations and dampen loud noises. Others are made with superior materials such as steel or aluminum that absorb sound much better than plastic.

A man at the gym using a Sunny Health & Fitness rower after reading a sunny rowing machine review
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FAQ

Is Sunny Health & Fitness a good brand?

Yes, Sunny Health & Fitness is a well-respected and reliable brand known for providing high-quality fitness products at affordable prices. Their lineup of rowers is designed to provide users with the ultimate workout experience, while also ensuring safety and durability.

Can you get ripped with just a rowing machine?

Rowing machines can certainly help you get ripped if used regularly and in combination with other exercises. Since it is a full-body workout, it aids in developing muscle tone and strength while burning fat.

Is 20 minutes of rowing enough?

Depending on the intensity of your session, 20 minutes can provide a good overall workout. This is especially true if you are on a tight schedule and want to fit in an effective yet brief exercise. When done regularly, this amount of time can provide you with visible results.

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About

Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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