Ergatta vs Concept2: Which Rower is Right for You?

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Ergatta vs Concept2

In this article, I will compare the leading gaming-connected rower, Ergatta, with the standard-setting Concept 2 RowErg.

I consider rowing machines to be the most effective, joint-friendly cardio option that exists. As a personal trainer, I encourage my in-home clients to invest in a rowing machine as part of their home gym setup. As a result, I spend a lot of time researching rowing machines.

For years, my go-to recommendation was the market-leading Concept 2 RowErg. In recent years, though, we’ve seen the advent of the smart rower, bringing a whole new dimension to the rowing experience. With many of my clients struggling with cardio boredom, connected rowers provide an immersive solution to keep them engaged. Since its release in March of 2020, the Ergatta rower has established itself as the premium gamified rower on the market. 

So how does the Ergatta compare to the world’s most popular rowing machine? 

Let’s investigate. 

At a Glance

The Concept2 RowErg, formerly known as the Concept2 Model D, has been around since 2003. It didn’t take long to become the world’s most popular rowing machine and it has stayed there for decades. It is an air resistance rowing machine that delivers an extremely smooth, quiet, jerk-free rowing experience. 

A big part of Concept2’s popularity is its very reasonable price point. It doesn’t provide you with all of the bells and whistles that you may get with other machines, allowing the price to sit at around the $1000 price point.

The Ergatta is a water rower. In fact, it is made by the WaterRower company and is based on their Oakbridge model. But the focus of the machine is its streaming services. Ergatta streaming content is uniquely gamified. That means that it provides you with a huge range of video games, challenges, and interactive gaming experiences that pull you in, immerse you in the content, and make you forget that you’re even working out. 

So we see that there are some clear differences between these two machines. In fact, comparing them is an example of the classic apples-to-oranges scenario. If you are not interested in a connected rower, you cannot do better than the Concept2 RowErg. But if you’re after a more immersive, entertaining, and engaging training experience, the Ergatta is the clear winner.


The Ergatta Rowing Machine is made by the Water Rower Company. The Ergatta company, with headquarters in New York, does not produce exercise equipment. Instead, it is a computer software business that created a rowing machine-based workout program and then contracted out the manufacturing of the machine to the Water Rower company.

So, when we discuss the Ergatta, we are actually talking about a Water Rower rowing machine that has a cutting-edge gaming console installed in it. The Ergatta is a water rower that employs dynamic changeable resistance. The blades within the rowing machine spin when you pull on the handle so that you are resisting the water churn with each stroke. 

The Ergatta is very similar to the Oxbridge model of the Water Rower. It has a chic cherrywood frame that supports a maximum user weight of 500 lbs and looks amazing while also being rock-solidly stable.

The $29 monthly subscription’s game-based training is a significant point of differentiation for this rower. The service places a major emphasis on community and offers many possibilities for interaction with other rowers from across the world as well as challenges.

The Ergatta rower’s lack of training or instructor-led instructional videos is its biggest shortcoming. But in terms of video gaming content, nothing compares. 


  • Max User Weight = 500 lbs
  • Fully gamified interactive experience
  • Smooth, quiet water resistance
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Cherrywood frame

Concept 2

The most widely used rowing machine in the world is the Concept2 RowErg. It also serves as the official rowing machine of the CrossFit Games. Without some exceptional qualities, no product can maintain its market-leading position for more than ten years, and the Concept2 RowErg unquestionably possesses these features.

With minimal jerkiness or lag, the Concept2 offers a remarkably smooth, effortless glide rowing experience. All sizes of people can use this machine with full range of motion, and the maximum user weight limit of 500 lbs says volumes about the machine’s structural longevity.

The Concept2’s PM5 monitor, which accurately analyzes your essential training diagnostics such as your calories burned, pulse rate, distance traveled, pace, and watts, is another strength of the device. 

The Concept2 is one of the quietest air rowers on the market, albeit all air resistance rowing machines are noisier than their electronic counterparts. Every time you pull the handle, you’ll still hear a whoosh sound, but it will be much quieter than the competition.

The Concept 2 RowErg’s adjustable footrests, ergonomic seat and handle design, and quick-release frame lock system that makes it easy to set up and stow the machine are some of its other features.


  • Very durable
  • Low profile
  • Air damper
  • PM5 technology enhanced monitor

Ergatta vs Concept 2: Appearance

The Concept2 Rower and the Ergatta are both well-designed rowing machines with unique aesthetics. The Concept2 Rower has a modern and functional look, with a sleek and compact design that is suitable for a wide range of users. 

On the other hand, the Ergatta Rower has a more traditional and elegant look, with a solid cherrywood construction. The wooden construction and classic design of the Ergatta Rower make it a great choice for those looking for a high-quality rowing machine with an aesthetically pleasing finish.

Winner: Ergatta

Ergatta vs Concept 2: Construction And Design

The Ergatta WaterRower is constructed with solid wood, such as ash or cherry, providing a high-quality and aesthetically pleasing finish. The wood construction also helps to absorb sound, making the machine quiet to operate.

The Ergatta’s dimensions are 86” in length by 23” wide. It has a maximum user weight of 500 pounds, thanks to its solid, robust frame. The Ergatta is not a foldable machine but it can be stored upright. 

The Concept2  is constructed with a durable and lightweight aluminum frame, making it easy to move and store. It features an ergonomic design, with an adjustable footrest, adjustable handle, and seat height, allowing users to find a comfortable and effective rowing position.

The Concept2 Rowerg has a length of 96 inches (244 cm), a width of 24 inches (61 cm), and a height of 20 inches (51 cm). It weighs 57 pounds (26 kg). 

The RowErg is simple to transport for use in workouts and quickly folds into two halves (no tools needed) for compact storage.

Winner: Concept2 RowErg

Ergatta vs Concept 2: Comfort And Feel

Let’s break down the individual features that combine to provide comfort for these two rowers.


The seats on the Concept2 Rower and the Ergatta Water Rower are designed for comfort and durability, but there are some differences in the materials and design of the seats.

The Concept2 Rower seat is made of a molded plastic material and is designed to glide smoothly on the monorail. The seat is relatively flat, with a slight contour to provide support and stability while rowing.

The Ergatta Water Rower seat is made of a padded foam material and is designed to glide smoothly on the dual rails. The seat has a slightly contoured shape, with a slightly higher profile, providing additional comfort and support while rowing.

Both the Concept2 Rower and the Ergatta Water Rower offer comfortable seats that are designed to provide a smooth and stable rowing experience. However, the Ergatta Water Rower seat provides a slightly more contoured and padded design for additional comfort, while the Concept2 Rower seat is a more simple and functional design.


Being a dual rail rower, the Ergatt’s foot plates are positioned on the rails themselves. It has adjustable floating heel rests that are controlled by a central button. You can secure your feet in position by using Velcro straps.

The footplates on the Concept2 rowing machine are well-regarded by many users for their comfort and stability. They have a spacious design with adjustable straps to accommodate different foot sizes and provide a secure fit, allowing users to effectively transfer power from their legs to the machine. 


The Ergatta Water Rower handle is ergonomically designed to provide a comfortable grip and reduce stress on the hands and wrists during rowing. It is made from a soft-touch material and has a more contoured shape than the Concept2 handle.

The Concept2 Rower handle, on the other hand, is made of solid wood and has a simple, cylindrical shape that many users find comfortable and easy to grip. It is adjustable, allowing users to find the right position for their hands.


Concept2 rowers are known for their high-quality rails, which are made from aluminum and are designed to be durable and long-lasting. The rails are typically slightly wider than those on other types of rowing machines, which provides a stable base for the seat and helps to prevent wobbling during use.

The Ergatta rower features dual rail, compared to the monorail on the Concept2. A dual rail system has two rails, one on each side of the seat, which provide additional stability and support during use. This type of rail system is typically found on higher-end rowing machines and is designed to provide a smooth and stable motion for the seat.


The water resistance on the Ergatta rowing machine works by using a water flywheel to generate resistance. The flywheel is surrounded by water and connected to the handle, so as the user rows, the flywheel spins and creates a flow of water. This flow of water generates resistance against the movement of the flywheel, making it harder for the user to row.

The amount of resistance generated by the water resistance system can be adjusted by controlling the speed of the flywheel. The faster the flywheel spins, the more water is generated and the greater the resistance becomes. This means that the intensity of the workout can be adjusted simply by rowing harder or more quickly.

Water resistance rowing machines are known for their smooth and natural feel, as well as their ability to generate a significant amount of resistance for intense workouts. The water resistance system on the Ergatta rowing machine is also designed to be quiet and low maintenance, making it a popular choice for home gym setups.

The air resistance on the Concept2 rowing machine works by using a flywheel and fan system to generate resistance. The flywheel is connected to the handle and moves back and forth as the user rows, generating a flow of air. This flow of air creates resistance against the movement of the flywheel, making it harder for the user to row.

The amount of resistance generated by the air resistance system can be adjusted by controlling the speed of the flywheel. The faster the flywheel spins, the more air is generated and the greater the resistance becomes. This means that the intensity of the workout can be adjusted simply by rowing harder or more quickly.

The Concept2 rowing machine is known for its smooth and natural feel, as well as its ability to generate a significant amount of resistance for intense workouts. The air resistance system is also very quiet, making it a popular choice for home gym setups.

The air damper on the Concept2 rowing machine works by controlling the amount of air that is allowed into the flywheel housing. The air damper is essentially a sliding mechanism that can be adjusted to control the airflow into the flywheel housing, which affects the feel of the rowing stroke.

When the air damper is open, more air is allowed into the flywheel housing, making the rowing stroke feel lighter and easier. When the air damper is closed, less air is allowed into the flywheel housing, making the rowing stroke feel heavier and more challenging.

By adjusting the air damper, users can fine-tune the resistance on their Concept2 rowing machine to match their desired level of intensity. This allows them to customize their workout and achieve their fitness goals more effectively.

Rowing Performance

The rowing performance on an Ergatta water rowing machine depends on several factors such as the user’s strength, endurance, technique, and overall fitness level. The machine mimics the experience of rowing on water and provides resistance through the use of a flywheel and damper system. This resistance can be adjusted to suit the user’s needs and preferences, allowing for a challenging workout.

The Concept2 rowing machine is known for its outstanding rowing performance. It is widely regarded as one of the best indoor rowing machines on the market, offering a smooth, natural feel and a wide range of resistance options for users.

The air resistance system, which is capable of generating a significant amount of resistance for intense workouts. The machine’s flywheel and fan system work together to create resistance as the user rows, allowing users to adjust the intensity of their workout simply by rowing harder or more quickly.

The Concept2 rowing machine is also highly adjustable, with multiple footrest and seat positions to accommodate users of different sizes and abilities. This allows users to find a comfortable rowing position that is optimized for their individual needs, helping to minimize the risk of injury and enhance their overall performance.

Winner: Concept2

Ergatta vs Concept 2: Noise Levels

The noise level of an Ergatta water rower and a Concept2 rower can vary depending on various factors such as the level of resistance and the environment in which they are used. However, both types of machines are known to be relatively quiet during use.

Concept2 rowers are known for their quiet and smooth operation, with the sound of the flywheel spinning being the main source of noise. The noise level is relatively low, even at high resistance levels, and should not be a significant distraction to users or others in the same room.

Ergatta water rowers use a water resistance system, which is typically quieter than the fan-based resistance used by Concept2 rowers. The sound of the water moving in the tank can add some ambiance to the rowing experience, but it is also typically low in volume.

Winner: Tie

Ergatta vs Concept 2: Screen/Monitor

The screen on the Ergatta Water Rower is a high-resolution, full-color touchscreen display that provides a clear and intuitive interface for users. It displays real-time metrics such as stroke rate, time, distance, calories burned, and more, allowing users to track their progress and adjust their workout accordingly.

Many users have found the screen to be very good, as it is responsive, easy to navigate, and provides useful information. The ability to customize the display and connect to the internet for online competitions and leaderboards is also a popular feature among users.

The Concept2 RowErg does not have a large display monitor like the Ergatta rower. Instead it has the PM5 performance monitor. The PM5 Performance Monitor on the Concept2 Rower is widely considered to be one of the best monitors in the industry. It is a highly advanced and user-friendly monitor that provides a wide range of data and features for rowing performance tracking.

Some of the key features of the PM5 include:

  • Real-time metrics: The PM5 displays metrics such as time, distance, pace, calories burned, and more, allowing users to track their progress and set goals.
  • Customizable displays: Users can customize the display to show the metrics they want to see, and can switch between different display options with a single button press.
  • Wireless connectivity: The PM5 is equipped with Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless connectivity, allowing users to connect to heart rate monitors, smartphones, and other devices.
  • Online performance tracking: The PM5 can be linked to the Concept2 Online Logbook, allowing users to track their progress and compare their performance to others.

Winner: Ergatta

Ergatta vs Concept 2: Membership And Content / Workout Options

The Ergatta rowing machine app offers a range of game-based workouts designed to keep users engaged and motivated during their rowing sessions. Some of the types of game-based workouts available on the app include …

  • Competitive races: Users can compete against each other in real-time races, providing a fun and social aspect to the workout experience.
  • Virtual rowing expeditions: Users can embark on virtual rowing expeditions, exploring scenic routes and competing against others for the best time.
  • Challenges and leaderboards: The app offers a variety of challenges and leaderboards, allowing users to compete against themselves or others and track their progress over time.
  • Interactive adventures: The app offers interactive adventures, where users can row through different environments and complete challenges to progress through the game.

These game-based workouts are designed to be fun, and engaging, and provide an enjoyable way to get a challenging workout.

There are no streaming content options with the Concept2 Rowerg.

Winner: Ergatta

Ergatta vs Concept 2: Usability Without Membership

The Ergatta Water Rower can still be used for basic rowing without a membership.

Users can still track their metrics, such as time, distance, calories burned, and more, using the high-resolution touchscreen display on the machine. The machine can also still be used to set and achieve personal goals, perform basic rowing workouts, and get a good workout in.

There are no streaming content options with the Concept2 Rowerg. It is designed to be used without a membership. The PM5 performance monitor has a range of pre-programmed workouts, including:

  • Just Row: Allows users to row for a specified time or distance at their own pace.
  • Intervals: Allows users to perform intervals of work and rest, with the work and rest periods specified in either time or distance.
  • Watts Priority: Allows users to row at a specified wattage, providing a challenging workout that focuses on power output.
  • Distance Challenge: Allows users to row a specified distance as quickly as possible, providing a challenge to the user’s speed and endurance.

In addition to these pre-programmed workouts, the PM5 also allows users to create and save their own custom workouts. This allows users to tailor their workouts to their specific goals and preferences and provides a high level of flexibility for the user.

Winner: Concept2 RowErg

Ergatta vs Concept 2: Price

The Ergatta Rowing machine retails for $2499. 

The monthly Ergatta subscription is $29.

The Concept2 RowErg sells for $999 on the official website. 

Winner: Concept2 RowErg

Ergatta vs Concept 2: Warranty

The warranty conditions on the Ergatta are:

  • Structural Frame & Upright Storage Kit: Five Years
  • Components, Screen, & Other Electronics: Three Years
  • Labor: Twelve Months

The Concept2 comes with the following warranty:

  • Frame: Five Years
  • Parts: 2 Years
  • Performance monitor: 1 year

Winner: Ergatta

Comparison Table

Console17.3” HD5”
Max User Weight500 lbs700 lbs
Warranty5 yrs Frame3 yrs Parts1 yr Labor5 yrs Frame2 yrs Parts1 yr Monitor
Subscription Monthly Cost    $29  n/a

Ergatta vs Concept2: The Winner

Even though the Ergatta and Concept2 RowErg are very different machines with different resistance types and connectivity, it is still possible to come out of this comparison breakdown with an overall winner. 

In my subjective opinion, the Ergatta provides a better overall experience. The hardware features between the two machines are not too dissimilar, so most people will get an effective workout on both. However, the interactive gaming features that you get on the Ergatta rower take your experience to a whole new level. 

Key Takeaways

The choice between the Ergatta Water Rower and the Concept2 Rower depends on the individual needs and preferences of the consumer.

For those who are looking for a more immersive and interactive rowing experience, the Ergatta Water Rower, with its high-resolution touchscreen display and accompanying app and streaming service is the outright winner. The app provides a range of features, such as game-based workouts, personalized training plans, and community features, which can help keep users engaged and motivated.

For those who are looking for a more straightforward non-connected rowing experience, the Concept2 Rower is a better choice. The Concept2 Rower is well-known for its reliability, durability, and performance, and is widely used by competitive rowers and fitness enthusiasts alike. The Concept2 Rower also has a range of performance tracking features, including the PM5 Performance Monitor, which provides detailed metrics and workout data.

The Concept2 RowErg is also a far less costly purchase. You can buy the world’s top-selling rower for less than half the price of the Ergatta rower – and there is no monthly membership fee. 

Steve Theunissen


Steve Theunissen is a freelance writer living in Tauranga, New Zealand. He is a former gym owner, personal trainer, and school teacher and is the author of six hardcopy books and more than a hundred ebooks on the topics of bodybuilding, fitness, and fat loss. Steve also writes history books with a focus on the history of warfare. He is married and has two daughters.