- Lightweight & mobile
- Relatively quiet
- Reasonably priced
- Eight levels of resistance, with an easy to use resistance knob
- Large padded seat
- Digital monitor is quite basic & provides limited data
- No inbuilt exercise programmes which some other machines include
- Pedals appear to be a little on the cheap side
Table Of Contents
Things To Consider Before Buying The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515
The SF-RW5515 is most likely not going to satisfy you if you are already in peak physical condition, and you are looking for a very high-intensity workout that is going to challenge you and push you to your limits.
If you fall into this category, I recommend looking at rowing machines in a much higher price range, such as the Sunny Health & Fitness Windmill Air Magnetic Rower, or the renowned Concept2 Model D. At around 4 times the price of the SF-RW5515, these are the types of rowing machines that you often find in gyms and are used by many professional athletes.
Some of the things you should consider before purchasing the SF-RW5515 are:
- What level of fitness are you currently at?
- How much money do you want to spend?
- What are your ultimate fitness goals?
- Where are you planning to use the rower?
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is a magnetic resistance type rowing machine that aims to provide the user with a convenient yet challenging complete home workout.
Features & Benefits
Even if you have never assembled a piece of exercise equipment before, I would expect that you would be able to put the SF-RW5515 together without too much difficulty. The only tools required are two allen keys and a spanner, all of which are provided in the box.
The entire assembly process should take most people somewhere between 30 – 45 minutes.
Sunny Health & Fitness have actually provided a very useful and easy to follow three-minute instructional video outlining the assembly of the rower, which you can watch below.
The SF-RW5515 is a magnetic resistance type rowing machine. Magnets are placed around the flywheel of the machine, adding more resistance to the flywheel as you increase the tension on the resistance knob.
Magnetic resistance rowers are known for their relatively quiet & smooth operation compared to the other types, so if you are looking for a machine that does not make excessive noise, this may be a good choice for you.
One downside of magnetic resistance rowers, is that you can somewhat ‘push through’ the resistance barrier – if you are capable of really powering through your initial burst in the rowing action, it can essentially negate the effect of the magnetic resistance.
This is one of the reasons that I would not recommend this machine for someone who is of a high level of fitness or strength, but it is more suited to someone in the beginner to intermediate range.
- Weighs just 59lb
- Has a 250lb maximum weight capacity
- Dimensions 82″L X 19″W X 23″H
- Foldable. Wheels on frame for portability
- Dimensions when folded 37″L X 19″W X 53.5″H
- 8 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance
- Digital monitor
- Wide, cushioned seat 11″L x 14″W x 2″H
- Foam grip handlebar
- Non-slip pedals
- Warranty – 3-year structural frame, 180 days other parts and components
Digital display shows workout time, row count & calorie count. These are very basic features, and it would be great if it could display your heart rate, and have some built-in programmes included. If you’re interested in a heart rate monitor the I’d recommend the Polar H10.
Build Quality & Features
This rower is very sturdy, and despite being relatively light at 59lb, it has a 250lb weight capacity. It has floor stabilisers and a well-constructed steel slide rail, so you should be able to exercise quite vigorously without experiencing any wobble or instability.
The seat is considerably larger and better cushioned than a lot of other rowing machines in the same price range, so you should remain pretty comfortable even during a long session of rowing. Not only that, but this wider seat adds a bit more stability to your workout.
As previously noted, the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5155 is quite a light piece of equipment at just 59lb, and is foldable with two sturdy wheels on the end of the frame. This allows the entire unit to be moved to different areas of your home with relative ease.
The warranty is 3 years on the frame, and 180 days on the parts and components. I find this to be somewhat unsatisfactory regarding the parts and components, and it would give me a lot more confidence and peace-of-mind in purchasing this rower if it was just a straight 3-year warranty on the entire machine, so this may be a factor for you to consider.
Alternatives To The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515
For the purpose of this review, I have only considered magnetic resistance type alternatives, as these are the main competitors to the SF-RW5515 and the most common type of home rowing machine due to their relative quietness, mobility, and ease of use.
The alternatives considered are all in a similar price bracket to the SF-RW5515.
The JLL R200 is the first machine I would suggest as an alternative to the SF-RW5515. It offers 10 levels of resistance, but can only handle a maximum load of 220lb, considerably less than the 250lb capability of the SF-RW5515.
The LCD monitor offers exactly the same functions (similarly, no pre-programmed workouts & no heart rate reading), and the unit can also be folded & moved with ease thanks to the wheels on its base. It is extremely light at just 51lb, but not as robust as the SF-RW5515.
At its maximum length adjustment, the slide rail is 45.5″ long, meaning that at 48″ the SF-RW5515 can accommodate a taller user. This is a major selling point for the Sunny Fitness model – tall people should have no difficulty using the machine.
The warranty for the JLL R200 is a 12-month coverage for the whole unit. I would suggest that this a slightly better warranty, as it is unlikely that you are going to have a problem with the frame, but you are far more likely to have a problem with a part or component, and the Sunny Fitness warranty only covers parts/components for 6 months.
The main difference between the Sunny SF-RW5623 and the SF-RW5515, is that this one features both magnetic & fan resistance. This obviously means that it is going to provide an added level of workout (the resistance dial still ranges from 1 – 8), however, if you are a beginner or you are not looking for a really intense workout, this may be an unnecessary addition for you.
This machine can handle a heavier maximum load of 300lb, and the dimensions are 68″L x 25″W x 30.5″H. It is, therefore, a wider machine capable of accommodating a greater load, but has a significantly shorter frame, meaning that if you are a tall person, this may not have a long enough sliding action for you to get the most out of your workout.
Much the same as the other models, the ProForm 440R is aimed at beginner to intermediate level users and is a reasonably lightweight, foldable & portable machine that does not require much storage space.
It has a maximum load limit of 250lb, the same as the SF-RW5515. Assembly is said to take around 45 minutes, which is the approximate assembly time for all of the rowers we have mentioned in this review, and the necessary tools are included with the unit.
It also has 8 levels of resistance available, with dimensions of 76.6″L x 20.5″W x 38.3″H, making it somewhat shorter, yet considerably taller than the SF-RW5515. The LCD screen displays all the same information as the other models, but certainly has the largest screen of the machines that we have compared here.
In terms of warranty, the ProForm comes with a hefty 5-year coverage on the frame, but only 90 days on parts and labour. I would suggest that the warranty offered by Sunny Fitness is of more benefit than this one, as again, you are far more likely to experience problems with the parts or components rather than the frame.
Final Thoughts On The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is a sturdy and reliable entry-level rowing machine that would be well-suited to anyone at the beginner to intermediate level of fitness.
If you are looking for a rowing machine that is going to provide you with a hardcore exercise regime, or you are an accomplished rower looking for a machine to practice on, then this rower probably is not for you.
There are plenty of alternative rowing machines on the market in a higher price bracket that are better designed to provide a high-intensity workout, and offer a far more extensive range of functions.
The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5515 is, however, a good value, robust, comparatively quiet home rowing machine that is likely to make the average person very satisfied with their purchase and help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a moderate level of cardio fitness.