There’s never been a better time to get into indoor rowing. Not only has rowing been shown to be one of the most effective cardiovascular and strength training workouts you can do, but a good rowing program has been proven to have profound effects on your body composition and overall physical fitness. And there are more options than ever before for home rowing machines.
If you’re looking for a high-performing rowing machine that’ll take your workout to the next level, then two options that should be at the top of your list are the Aviron and the Concept 2.
Concept 2 has long been recognized by rowers as the gold standard for indoor rowing, but newcomer Aviron is bringing some serious competition to the market.
So which performance-based rowing machine is the better: Aviron or Concept 2? Let’s take a deep dive in, reviewing each rower and comparing them to each other.
Fit Healthy Momma's Rating for Aviron Rower and Concept2
Two Exceptional Rowers Compared: Aviron vs. Concept 2
$900 (depends on stock)
Fan and flywheel
Fan and flywheel
22” HD touchscreen
None - device holder included
None required, can stream other training apps from the device
What’s Unique About Aviron?
Aviron is an Ontario, Canada-based brand that has been creating and selling rowers in the commercial arena for a few years now. More recently, they launched their Impact Series Rower for home use. Upon first glance, this rowing machine looks quite similar to Concept 2, with its flywheel and air resistance. However, there’s one very important difference between the two; Aviron has a 22” HD touchscreen attached whereas Concept 2 has no screen.
The inclusion of the screen and the accompanying programming makes the Aviron a smart rowing machine. And unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year and a half, then you know that smart gym equipment is the future of fitness. Smart fitness takes workouts from bland and arduous to immersive and fun, exactly the experience you’ll get with the Aviron.
The rower itself is sleek and minimalistic in design. It's evident that a lot of time and thought went into the design of this rower as it ticks all the boxes for comfort, functionality, and style. It’s a bit longer than some of its competitors, but this makes it suitable for users up to 7 ft tall. If you need to store it when it’s not in use, it folds up quickly and efficiently.
The resistance of choice is a combination of fan and flywheel, just like that of Concept 2. With this resistance type, you can expect a smooth, quiet row. Another trait that makes the Aviron rower unique is that it allows up to 100 lbs of resistance, which is 3 times more than traditional rowers. This level of resistance is a vital component of Aviron’s training style, which focuses on a combination of cardio and strength training for fast, fun HIIT workouts.
If the rower itself wasn’t impressive enough, the programming will blow you out of the water. A combination of personal progression and entertainment is what makes Aviron Interactive’s workouts so appealing and effective. With four main pillars, the brand delivers a far superior experience to anything else on the market. The four pillars are:
- Short, effective workouts (HIIT style)
- Family-Friendly (everyone can get in on the action!)
- Cardio and Strength Training Combined
- Gamified Workouts (think video games)
Inside these four pillars, you’ll find a huge selection of workouts to choose from, including; virtual destinations, programs, games, competition, performance, and pros vs joes. There is something there for everyone, so whether you’re an experienced rower/athlete, or you’re just beginning to get into rowing as an effective workout, you’ll find more than what you need.
How Much Does the Aviron Rowing Machine Cost?
The Impact Series Rower from Aviron costs $2,299 but is currently on sale for $2,149. With your purchase, you’ll enjoy free shipping, a 30-day risk-free trial, and a 2-year limited warranty. If you choose to purchase the Aviron membership to amplify your experience, you can either pay $29 per month or $299 per year to get unlimited access.
Aviron also offers financing options for those who qualify. You can pay as little as $60 per month for your rower if you qualify for one of their convenient payment plan options.
What’s Great About Concept 2?
The Concept 2 rowing machine has long been recognized as the best in the biz, the go-to rower for gyms and athletic training centers around the world. In fact, Concept 2 was the first company to create an indoor rowing machine.
Concept 2 Model D is a combination of extreme durability, a great workout, and deep-rooted trust within the rowing community. But you don’t need to be a professional rower to use this machine, athletes of all skill levels, beginners included, will benefit from the full-body workout that Concept 2 provides.
Key features of the Model D rower are an advanced PM5 Performance Monitor, ergonomically designed handles, adjustable footrests, and a flywheel that’s engineered to deliver a smooth ride with minimal noise. All of these features are packaged up and presented to you in a sleek, minimalist design, which fits into any home gym’s aesthetic. Plus, the Concept 2 rower breaks down quickly and efficiently for convenient storage when not in use.
One of the best features of Concept 2 is the fact that nothing about it is “cheap.” As a commercial-grade rowing machine, you can count on this equipment to be built to last. It’s made from high-quality materials that can stand up to the kind of use and abuse encountered at gyms across the country. Although it’s built tough, you can rest assured that the team didn’t compromise on comfort. Concept 2 manages to deliver both superior quality and comfort, which can’t be said about some of their competitors.
Concept 2 Model D uses air resistance, similar to Aviron. This type of resistance is preferred to many alternatives as it’s variable, meaning the harder you row, the harder the resistance becomes. This allows you to row at your own intensity and to feel the resistance adjust accordingly. This type of resistance is considered the closest to being out on the water, which is why this rower is trusted by Olympic athletes who need to take their training indoors.
Attached Performance Monitor
Unlike Aviron, Concept 2 does not include an interactive screen. However, it does have a PM5 Performance Monitor, which is one of the most widely used monitors in the rowing industry. With this, you’ll be able to track and view your stats such as distance, speed, time, strokes per minute, calories burned, watts, and more. While this monitor is certainly basic, it gives you all the data and information you need to track your workout and your progress. There’s also a smartphone cradle included which you can use to stream workouts or media while you row.
How Much Does The Concept 2 Rowing Machine Cost?
The Concept 2 retails for $900 plus shipping. Included with the cost are the PM5 monitor, smartphone cradle, user manual, performance monitor guide, and tools and assembly instructions. Additionally, you can have peace of mind about your purchase thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee and the 2-year limited warranty offered by Concept 2.
Which Rowing Machine is Better: Aviron or Concept 2?
There’s no question that both of these rowers provide extreme value and exceptional quality. However, the rowing machine that’s best for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs. But there’s a clear winner in this matchup.
Overall, in the battle between Aviron and Concept 2, Aviron comes out on top. Structurally, these two rowing machines are very similar, but, Aviron is a cut above Concept 2 thanks to the inclusion of an HD touchscreen and revolutionary programming.
One sentiment that we’ve all heard echoed throughout the fitness community is how boring working out can be, particularly when it comes to cardio-based workouts. This is the exact reason why brands like Peloton, MYX, and Hydrow have blown up over the past few years. And because Aviron takes their rowing machine to the next level, they’re sure to be listed in that same pack in a short time.
Smart, connected fitness is the future of the fitness industry, and Aviron has mastered it where Concept 2 has remained largely unchanged over its tenure. Don’t get me wrong, the Concept 2 is an incredible machine that will get you the results you’re looking for, albeit, in a little less fun of a fashion.