Hydrow vs. Concept2: What’s the Better Rowing Experience?

Hydrow vs. Concept2: What’s the Better Rowing Experience?

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Rowing workouts have become a very popular trend among fitness enthusiasts. Many people are quickly recognizing the many benefits rowing machines have over other popular home workout equipment.

Rowing machines offer the user the ability to get a total body workout as opposed to stationary bikes and treadmills which have their own inherent limitations.

With these machines, you are typically limited to a lower-body workout. While certainly worthwhile, they don’t offer the same all-around workout that you can get with a rowing machine.

This has led to brands coming out with better and more feature-packed rowing machines for fitness enthusiasts. The two that are leading the pack are from Hydrow and Concept2.

In this comparison article, we will be comparing the two options to help you figure out the right rowing machine to buy.

Feature Comparison

Hydrow Rowing Machine

hydrow rowing workout

  1. 22-Inch High Definition Touchscreen Display (With Front-Facing Speakers)
  2. Electromagnetic Drag Mechanism
  3. Industrial-Grade Webbed Strap
  4. Aluminum and Steel Frame

Concept2 Rowing Machine

concept2 rowing machine

  1. Flywheel Design
  2. Low Profile
  3. Two-Piece Storage Capability
  4. Nickel-Plated Chain
  5. Adjustable Footrests

See full list of Concept2 features at the Rogue website.

Features: Which One Wins?

Each brand takes a different approach to its resistance mechanism. The Hydrow ultimately features a much more innovative resistance mechanism that closely mimics what you would experience on the water.

Because of this, it is the clear winner when it comes to giving you the experience you would get while rowing on water.

The flywheel design is certainly a good option but it will feel as though you are working out on a piece of workout equipment. Whereas, Hydrow put a lot of research and development into ensuring the user experiences greater immersion. This is especially true when you factor in the inclusion of the 22-inch high definition display.

The Hydrow has both a high definition display with front-facing speakers that can help simulate the feeling of being on the water. The Concept2 is unable to offer the same immersion with a less smooth rowing experience and a display that is not nearly as immersive.

Concept2 really focuses on providing the end-user with the data they need rather than an immersive experience above all else.

Winner: Hydrow – see their full list of features at their website

Workout Options: Is Hydrow or Concept2 better?


The Hydrow is a ‘smart rower’ through and through. They took the digital and connected approach to manufacture a rowing machine. Hydrow saw the potential and the demand for a smart rowing machine and they capitalized on it. They are currently the best manufacturer when it comes to giving the ultimate rowing experience.

They offer not only live workouts but also on-demand workouts that allow you to immerse yourself in rowing workouts taught by world-class instructors. With its crystal clear display and real-life sounds, you get an experience like no other.

You will gain access to Live Outdoor Reality (LOR) which elevates your workout and help motivate you to continue to push yourself.

You will get access to over 400 live and on-demand workouts. A lot of these workouts will place you in the water and provide you with an immersive experience. They are filmed in first-person so you actually feel as if you are on the water rather than in your home gym.

While it costs $38 per month to gain access to these professionally taught workouts, it is well worth the price of admission.

Learn more and see Hydrow’s features and options.


Concept2 is focused much more on providing a more grounded and gym-like experience. There is certainly nothing wrong with the experience it provides.

A lot of people that are used to having an offline and unconnected workout experience might even feel comfortable with it. It is an air rower and it is popular because it is a no-frills rowing machine that delivers great results.

You won’t get access to on-demand or live workout videos from world-class instructors. Instead, you will be left on your own to come up with your own workouts.

Winner: Hydrow

Price Comparison – Which Is Cheaper?

There is no doubt that the Concept2 beats the Hydrow on price alone. If you are looking for the most budget option, the Concept2 is a worthy competitor. However, if you are looking for the most complete workout machine for your money, there is no comparison.

The Hyrdow delivers the best and most premium rowing solution for anyone that is willing and able to spend the extra money. You are getting a state-of-the-art connected rowing machine that is delivering your professional-grade built quality and a workout/instruction experience.

RELATED READING: Is Hydrow Worth the Money?

When you factor in the amount of value you get with each machine, the price difference is quickly justified.

Winner: Concept2 is the more affordable machine, but if you want live and on demand rowing workouts, Hydrow gets the edge.

Summary: Which Rower is Better?

The Concept2 is the clear winner if you are limited in budget. A rowing machine is always a recommended option over another piece of fitness equipment. $900 for the Concept2 is a steal compared to paying a similar price or even more for a treadmill or an exercise bike.

If you absolutely cannot spend more than $900 for a rowing machine, the Concept2 is the best machine you can get for the money – learn more and check current prices.

However, for those that are willing and able to spend more, that is not the case. The Hydrow rowing machine is the most innovative rowing machine on the market. While you will need to pay a premium price to get the immersion it offers, the experience is well worth it.

The Hydrow rowing machine is singly handily changing the way rowing machines are being looked at. It offers a fully connected and highly immersive experience that makes it one of the (if not the best) piece of workout equipment on the marketplace.

You get a stunning display, immersive audio, an incredibly wide array of live and on-demand workout videos, and commercial-grade build quality all in one single package.

It is simply the best value on the marketplace if you desire a home workout machine that can provide you with a total body workout that can keep you highly motivated for a long time to come.

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