Hydrow vs Peloton Row: Who Comes Out On Top?

Updated:
Hydrow Rower​
Hydrow Rower​
9.7

The Hydrow rowing machine aims to provide the ‘feel of the river’ whilst working out from the comfort of your home. The state-of-the-art rower offers a truly immersive rowing experience.

Hydrow Wave Rower
Hydrow Wave Rower
9.6

The Hydrow Wave is the second model in the Hydrow rowing machine stable. It’s more compact, and a thousand dollars cheaper yet retains the sturdiness and sleek performance of the original. 

Peloton Row
Peloton Row
9.6

The much-anticipated Peloton Row delivers big time with some unique hardware innovations, and the quietest rowing machine operation you will find anywhere. 

This is a comparison of the Hydrow and Peloton rowing machines. I’m also including the new Hydrow Wave so will be comparing and contrasting three models.

I’ve combined my 40 years of experience in the fitness industry with hours of research to decide which rower represents the best all-around purchase. In order to find any potential problems with the Hydrow and Peleton Rowers, I have also spent hours reading online reviews by verified purchasers of all three rowers. 

In the paragraphs to follow, I’ll put these three popular rowing machines head to head in terms of resistance type, monitor features, functionality, design, price, and warranty conditions offered by the manufacturers. 

Keep reading to get the definitive Hydrow vs Peloton comparison.

At a Glance

The Peloton Row combines the well-established Peloton streaming service with some unique features such as Form Assist and Form Rating and Insight. That makes it great for beginners who need guidance and form tracking. 

The screen and streaming services offered by Peloton and Hydrow are pretty much on par. However, the Hydrow workouts take place on the water, providing a more realistic rowing experience.

The Hydrow Wave is a more compact version of the Hydrow, that still offers premium hardware and the same streaming experience as on the Hydrow. At half the price of the Peloton Row it is my preferred rower.

Hydrow Overview

Hydrow Rower
Hydrow Rower
Hydrow Rower
Start Rowing Score

The Hydrow rowing machine aims to provide the ‘feel of the river’ whilst working out from the comfort of your home. The state of the art rower offers a truly immersive rowing experience. But is it really worth the money? Keep reading for everything you need to know about the Hydrow rowing machine.

Here at Start Rowing we include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission.

With a suggested retail price of $2245, the Hydrow rowing machine is a piece of electromagnetic resistance equipment that occupies the high end of the home market. A flywheel and two magnets on either side of it serve as the resistance. The magnets that are closest to the flywheel are moved closer or farther away depending on how much resistance you choose to apply to the handle.

The interactive aspects of the Hydrow Rower are a major selling point. It has a 22-inch touchscreen display with excellent definition, and if you sign up for their subscription service, you can access live courses taught by elite competition rowers. Along with your instructors, you’ll be training on some of the world’s most beautiful lakes.

Hydrow Rower

Your monthly Hydrow subscription will run you $38. You can still use the Hydrow without the membership, but the monitor will stay in “Just Row” mode, preventing you from using the interactive workouts.

You get full access to the Hydro app for the first 30 days after making your Hydrow Rower purchase, with no strings attached. This will enable you to decide whether it is worthwhile for you to subscribe to the app.

Hydrow Wave Overview

Hydrow Wave Rower
Hydrow Wave Rower
Hydrow Wave Rower
Start Rowing Score

The Hydrow Wave is the second model in the Hydrow rowing machine stable. It’s more compact, and a thousand dollars cheaper yet retains the sturdiness and sleek performance of the original. The Wave features a 16-inch touchscreen, a polycarbonate frame that doesn’t vibrate, and access to awesome workouts featuring on-the-water video coaches.

The Hydrow Wave is a compact rower that uses dynamic resistance that is computer-controlled to give you a rowing experience that is very similar to what you’d on the water. This, along with its electromagnetic braking mechanism, specially engineered spring assembly, and premium polyester webbing, results in a machine that performs nearly as well as the market-leading Concept RowErg.

The Hydrow Wave is 30% lighter than the original, yet neither performance nor comfort is compromised. It is also priced a thousand dollars cheaper. 

The Hydrow Wave rowing machine

The Wave is built of black polycarbonate, as opposed to the original Hydrow, which is made of steel. It nevertheless provides for a pretty tough rowing machine despite not being nearly as sturdy as steel. 

Additionally, the rower becomes much lighter. The Hydrow Wave is only 102 pounds in weight. That makes the machine 40 pounds lighter than the Hydrow.

Peloton Overview

Peloton Row
Peloton Row
Peloton Row
Start Rowing Score

The much-anticipated Peloton Row delivers big time with some unique hardware innovations, and the quietest rowing machine operation you will find anywhere. It also includes personal pace targets to adjust the difficulty level of every class, form assist real-time monitoring, and a 24-inch HD screen that tilts 25 degrees vertically and 45 degrees horizontally. On top of all of that, it gives you a smooth, seamless rowing experience that is on par with the Concept2.

Here at Start Rowing we include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission.

The Peloton Row is the first rowing machine made by Peloton Interactive, a manufacturer of internet-connected exercise equipment. It teams with the Peloton bike and treadmill, enabling monthly users to follow trainer-led workouts through streaming media. Monthly subscription fees are $44.

Both the hardware construction and the software used to operate it are distinctive aspects of the Peloton Row. This rower has premium-level specs, including minor details like the water bottle container integrated into the frame, the ease of upright storage, the incredibly silent operation, and the real-time form tracking sensors.

Peloton Row

The Peloton Row is one of the most expensive home rowers on the market, with a price tag of $3195.

Head-to-Head Comparison

Now let’s see how these rowers fair in a head-to-head. 

Functionality And Design

The Hydrow Wave is the most compact of the three machines. It weighs 102 lbs, is 80 inches long, 19 inches wide, and 43 inches high. 

The footprint of the original Hydrow is 86 inches long, 25 inches wide, and 47 inches tall. It weighs 145 lbs. 

The Peloton Row is the heaviest rower at 156.6 lbs. It has a length of 94 inches and a width of 24 inches. 

All three of these rowers can be stored vertically. However, you’ll need a higher ceiling for the Peloton. Here’s how the vertical storage heights compare:

  • Hydrow Wave – 6’9”
  • Hydrow – 7’1”
  • Peloton Row – 8’0”

The Peloton Row comes with an upright wall anchor. You will have to pay extra for the upright storage kits for your Hydrow rowers. The storage kit for the Hydrow costs $80, while that for the Hydrow wave will set you back an extra $190. 

Both Peloton and Hydrow provide an ergonomically designed seat that is both comfortable and functional. Peloton provides you with a plush, cushy seat that is quite cozy to sink into. Thanks to high-quality steel ball bearings, the seat travels up and down the monorail with exceptional smoothness. It is also completely noiseless. 

The Hydrow features ten rollers that connect the seat to the beam to allow it to slide silently and easily. This makes sure there is no friction as you move up and down the beam. 

Winner: Peloton

Rowing Experience

The Hydrow is a magnetic rower that uses a computer-directed system in conjunction with the normal magnetic motor to provide a changing resistance where your intensity is dictated by the pace of your row. 

As opposed to a standard resistance level control, the Hydrow has a drag resistance control with 300 drag levels. In other words, the Hydrow combines the air rower’s changing resistance with the silent, smooth operation of a magnetic rowing machine.

The Peloton  Row is also a magnetic electronically controlled rower. When you first use the machine you are guided through a calibration process that measures your starting and ending position. Once calibrated, you will experience an amazingly smooth, whisper-quiet workout. 

Winner: Peloton

Price

The Hydrow Wave is the most cost-effective of the three models at $1495.

The Hydrow retails for $2495. 

Hydrow provides financing for both models. The monthly payment for the Hydrow Wave is $32, with $38 for the Hydrow.

The Peloton Row sells for $3195. There are no financing options available. 

All three machines come with a 12-month warranty and a 30-day home trial. 

Both Peloton and Hydrow require a monthly membership to gain full access to the streaming service. A Peloton membership costs $44 per month, compared with $38 for Hydrow. 

Hydrow also offers personal coaching. A package of three 30-minute workouts will cost you $199.

Winner: Hydrow Wave

Streaming Experience

Both Peloton and Hydrow offer similar types of rowing and offline workouts. These include yoga, pilates, strength, and mobility. Peloton also features running and cycling workouts, demonstrated on their equipment. 

The big difference between the two rowing experiences is that the Hydrow workouts take place on the water while Peloton workouts are performed in a studio on the Peloton Row. Hydrow uses its patented Live Outdoor Reality™ technology to give an awesome streaming experience. 

For their part, Peloton has a couple of very cool streaming features. The first is Form Assist, which uses sensors in the seat and handlebars to offer real-time form guidance. The other feature is Form Rating and Insight, by which you get a rating after the workout as to how close to ideal your stroke was. 

If you are a beginner who wants real-time form guidance, the Peloton is the best option. People who have experience with the Peloton bike or treadmill will also find it easy to transition to the rower. However, if you want an experience that is much closer to actually rowing on the water, Hydrow is a better fit. 

Winner: Hydrow

Touchscreen

The Peloton Row provides you with a huge 24-inch HD touchscreen with inbuilt forward-facing speakers. The screen produces great visuals and is quick and responsive. It can be tilted 25 degrees in every direction, making it great for off-the-rower workouts. 

The Hydrow touchscreen can also be tilted 25 degrees in all directions. However, it is not quite as large as the Peloton, being 22 inches diagonally. The Hydrow Wave touchscreen is smaller again, at 16 inches. 

Winner: Peloton

Warranty

Here’s the warranty cover that comes with the Peloton Row:

Frame = 5 years

Parts & Labor = 12 months

Screen and other electronics = 12 months

Hydrow provides the following warranty on both of their machines:

Frame = 6 years

Working Parts = 2 years

Screen and other electronics = 2 years

Labor = 18 months

Winner: Hydrow

Comparison Chart

HydrowHydrow WavePeloton Row
FrameSteelPolycarbonateAluminum
Screen size22 inches16 inches24 inches
Monitor SwivelYesNoYes
Dimensions86” x 25” x 47”80” x 19” x 43”94” x 24” x 46”
Weight145 lbs102 lbs156 lbs
Max user weight375 lbs375 lbs300 lbs
Price$2495$1495$3195
Membership$38$38$44

The Verdict

The Peloton Row is going to be out of the price range of many home users. For those beginners who can afford it, however, it will provide you with probably the best training guidance experience of any rowing machine on the market right now. That’s thanks to the Form Assist and Form Rating and Insight features.

The Peloton also offers a slightly better, customized rowing experience than either of the Hydrow rowers, thanks to the initial calibration training.

People who want a real on-the-water rowing experience featuring waterways from all over the world will find it in the Hydrow or the Hydrow Wave. Hydrow’s workout range is not quite as extensive, but it is cheaper by six dollars per month. 

In terms of value for money, the Hydrow Wave is the obvious choice. At half the price of the Peloton Row, it still provides you with a high-quality rowing experience, awesome streaming options, and comfortable, functional hardware. 

My final verdict between Peloton and Hydrow is that the Peloton provides some cool features that are unique and innovative. However, those extra features are not going to make enough of a difference to warrant paying double the price of the Hydrow Wave, which is my overall favorite. 

Steve Theunissen

AUTHOR

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.