Stamina Avari Free Motion Rowing Machine Review

Stamina is a name to reckon with in the budget rower segment, and we have seen the excellence it can produce in products like the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050. Another free motion piston type rowing machine from the house of Stamina is the Stamina Avari Free Motion Rowing Machine, but it is placed at a slightly higher price point and therefore, needs to prove itself against higher standards. To be sure, Stamina does not disappoint, providing the product with such features as a very sturdy frame, a good monitor and most importantly, a gas piston resistance system that is easily adjustable. However, it would be wrong to purchase a product with a bare knowledge of the features in mind, and therefore, it is important to check the rowing machine in detail.

Technical Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 18.1 x 32 x 58.5 inches
  • Product Weight: 37 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
  • Storage: Foldable
  • Warranty: 1 year on frame, 3 months on parts

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Ease of Assembly

Being a free motion rowing machine, the Stamina Avari Free Motion Rowing Machine comes with most parts separate. However, assembly is as simple as connecting the joints with the arms and attaching the seat to the top of the shaft. Unlike many budget rowing machines, the user guide provided by Stamina is simple and lucid, and this helps assemble the product in less than half an hour.

Structure

Though costlier than the Stamina product mentioned above, the Stamina Avari Free Motion Rowing Machine is still a budget rower, and therefore provides a steel frame. However, this frame is extremely sturdy, allowing it to handle the complex motions that the free motion rower allows the user to try out. Further, it can handle user weight of up to 250 pounds, which is truly admirable in this price bracket. Though extremely light – it weighs just 37 pounds,the machine is well supported by the balancing bar at the front and the stand below the seat at the rear. These together ensure that the machine does not shift or creak when under heavy pressure.

Like the weight, the dimensions of the product are also deceptively small with 18.1 x 32 x 58.5 inches, but thanks to the unique design that Stamina has come up with, this will rarely be a source of complaint from all but the tallest of users. This design is composed of a simple shaft with seat above and piston below. The piston is connected to the arms of the product via rotating joints. The ensemble is completed by two footrests which sit on either side of small vertical shaft which positions the display at a convenient angle for a wide range of users.

Finally, Stamina has provided this product with a 1 year warranty on frame and 3 months on parts, which are not the best available but decent when the price range is factored into the equation.

Ease of Use

Being ergonomically designed, the parts coordinate well to produce a smooth rowing motion, while the seat glides well on the shaft. Due to the low price point, the seat is not heavily cushioned, and one may need to use some padding to have a comfortable workout. However, the seat itself is oversized, which means that regardless of one’s physical structure, the machine will always be able to accommodate the user.

Due to the fact that the piston sits under the seat, the seat is naturally raised to a decent height. This helps avoid the low seat issue that some users face on some other budget models.

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Operation

One of the major benefits of a free motion rowing machine is that on one hand you can simulate the original boat rowing experience, and on the other you can vary the exercise routine through modifications to the extent and speed of the rowing. In case of the Stamina Avari Free Motion Rowing Machine, either of these can be done by simply seating oneself comfortably in the seat, placing one’s legs in the footrests and initiating the rowing motion by holding the well spaced arms of the rowing machine. Due to the working of the piston, a slight noise will be produced, but this will be nowhere near what is produced by an air or water resistance rowing machine.

However, you may need to change the straps securing the footrests, because these have been known to cause problems for those with large feet. Thankfully, replacements can be had without difficulty and changing them is not a problem.

Parts

The major parts of the Stamina Avari Free Motion Rowing Machine are the piston assembly, the seat, the shaft, the arms and the footrests. Of these, the piston assembly is almost blameless given the price range. As you may have guessed, Stamina has disposed of the two piston system seen in some of the other hydraulic rowing machines. Therefore, if you would like to avoid the hassle of modifying the resistance of each arm separately, this product should be a good option to consider when buying rowing machines.

At the same time however, you should be aware of the fact that like any gas piston system, the Stamina Avari Free Motion Rowing Machine can suffer from irregularities in resistance as the gas heats up and reduces resistance. However, this feature is a shortfall that almost every budget rowing machine will have (since the majority of them use hydraulic systems), so if you would like to remain in the budget segment, you may have to factor this point in when comparing various rowing machines.

The seat and the shaft are connected using good quality ball bearings, which ensure that there is never any danger of imbalance leading to injury. The arms are made of high quality steel with rubber grips for easy control.They allow your hands to extend to their full length, thus ensuring adequate exercise to the various muscle groups in your arm.

Finally, the footrests are of equally high quality, and are designed so as to allow the feet to rest in a natural angle during workouts.

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Display

As expected of a budget rowing machine, the display is a basic one without backlighting. However, it is well positioned and shows major statistics such as calories burned, workout time and total stroke count. Using the scan feature one can cycle through the various details so you don’t have to manually change them again and again.

Storage

The lengthy arms fold in upon themselves to form an X-shape while the seat can be shifted from the top of the shaft to the side, thereby reducing the footprint further. In this position, the Stamina Avari Free Motion Rowing Machine can be raised into an upright position and placed against a wall till further use.

Advantages

  • Reasonable price
  • Two well spaced arms for free motion workout
  • Single Gas resistance piston with easy resistance modification
  • Oversized seat for ease of use
  • Simple and intuitive multi function monitor
  • Well designed footrests for natural posturing of feet
  • Easy to assemble and store away

Cons

  • Piston may lose resistance during intense workouts
  • Straps of footrest may need to be changed

Conclusion

Each price range has its own distinctive features, and when it comes to the budget range, the Stamina Avari Free Motion Rowing Machine is hard to beat. With a good build quality and a comfortable ergonomic design, the product is capable of satisfying the vast majority of amateur and professional fitness enthusiasts. Further, the nice design, the good piston mechanism and the excellent quality of the arms and footrests ensure that it is not lacking in quality features. All combined, we can say that the product justifies its budget pricing, and is one of the best rowing machines to be had in the piston resistance segment.

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