When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Lifespan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine Review

The Lifespan RW1000 is a popular home rowing machine, particularly with those who have heard the raving reviews of the Concept2 Model rowers but don’t want to spend $1000 to purchase it. For half the price of the Concept2 rowers, the Lifespan RW1000 will deliver a smooth, quiet and enjoyable workout.

It’s also foldable to save space, easy to use and assemble, and is perfect for beginner rowers or anyone who loves a casual workout. If this is you, you’ll want to read on.

Overall Rower Rating: 3.5/5


  • Suitable for beginners
  • Fast and easy assembly
  • Quiet and smooth
  • Small footprint as it’s foldable
  • Reliable


  • Users report console is susceptible to faults
  • Foot pedals/straps could have been designed better
  • Resistance reported by some as not being difficult enough

Key Features

  • Smooth 16.5-pound flywheel
  • 300-pound max-user weight
  • LCD console tracks distance, calories, time, strokes and strokes per minute
  • Quick fold for easy storage
  • 5 levels of resistance
The Lifespan RW1000 comes with console and tension knob to control resistance

Price: 3.5/5

It seems that many of the people who end up buying the Lifespan RW1000 originally wanted the Concept2 Model D Indoor rowing machine but couldn’t justify paying double the price for it. The Lifespan RW1000 is usually priced at around $500 online.

In this respect, the Lifespan RW1000 is a good alternative for people who simply cannot stretch their budget any further than $500. However, if you are able to stretch your budget, you should consider the Concept2 Model D rower as it is undoubtedly one of the best home rowers.

Reliability & Warranty: 3.5/5

There aren’t many complaints about the Lifespan RW1000’s reliability in terms of its rowing mechanism and long-term usability. However, where it fails big-time is in the computer monitor that records your workout data. Many owners on Amazon have reported that the console breaks down or exhibits wildly erratic behaviour.

The Lifespan RW1000 rowers tracking console

Whilst many users seem to be happy to continue using the Lifespan RW1000 without a working console, for the serious fitness folks this simply isn’t good enough and it’s pointless to have a machine that cannot track your fitness progress.

The one glimmer of hope for a potential buyer is that parts are covered for 2 years under Lifespan’s warranty, so hopefully, you can switch console until you get one that works for you.

The Lifespan RW1000 in addition to the 2-year parts coverage mentioned, it has its frame covered for 5 years and labour for 1 year representing a fairly sound warranty overall.

Stability and Quality: 4/5

If you’ve done any Lifespan RW1000 research before landing on this review, you may have come across a common complaint whereby a lot of users have complained that the machine lifts up at the front when users pull back on the machine.

This has led to a lot of negative reviews and frustrated users however these complaints are completely unjustified. In order to prevent this from happening you must keep the lock pin in, in the middle of the machine at all times.

The people who have experienced this most probably removed it when they moved the Lifespan RW1000 into its folded position and didn’t put the pin back.

If you make sure to keep the lock pin in, the Lifespan RW1000 is a sturdy machine. It can accommodate a user weight of up to 300lbs so heavier people should feel comfortable on the Lifespan RW1000. Although the max user weight doesn’t come close to the Concept2’s model D 500lb limit, it’s still fairly good.

Assembly: 4.5/5

Assembly is easy and you should have this machine up and ready to go in less than 30 minutes (many users have it assembled in less than 15 minutes).

The process is simple and at most, you’ll have to line up holes and screw in a few bolts here and there. We wouldn’t recommend purchasing any form of expert assembly with the Lifespan RW1000 unless lifting and assembling is a major problem for you.

Resistance: 3/5

The resistance on the Lifespan RW1000 is controllable through a tension knob that can be set to difficulty levels between 1 and 5. Whilst most users seem to be happy with the resistance of the Lifespan RW1000, people who have rowed before or already have a high level of fitness, have complained that they cannot get an intense enough workout even at the highest resistance setting.

With this in mind, if you do consider yourself fit, then you may need to test out the Lifespan RW1000 before you buy it to see if the resistance is suitable for your needs. Conversely, if you’ve never rowed before or want to work out on a more casual basis, then the resistance should be sufficient.

Smoothness & Noise: 4.5/5

The Lifespan RW1000 is a nice machine to row on and the experience is a smooth one. In addition, it is incredibly quiet. You should be able to row on the Lifespan RW1000 without having to turn up your TV or music, nor will there be enough noise from the rower to annoy other people in your home.

Features: 3/5

A big plus of the Lifespan RW1000 is that it is foldable. To fold it you have to remove the locking pin in the middle, then lift the backend of the rower up and lock it back in place. You can then move the rower around on transport wheels that are located underneath the footpads. Its foldability feature has an edge over the Concept2 Model 2 rower in that the unit remains in one piece in it’s folded position, unlike the Model D.

The Lifespan RW1000’s console measures distance, time, calories, strokes and strokes per minute, however, it does not measure heart rate which will be disappointing to some. Furthermore, the screen isn’t backlit, which is another feature it lacks. But the final nail in the coffin for the Lifespan RW1000 console is the unreliability of its tracking, as well as its frequent breaking down as we discussed before. It seems that the console is a real let down for the Lifespan RW1000.

Should I Buy the Lifespan RW1000?

The Lifespan RW1000 indoor rowing machine provides a smooth, quiet and enjoyable workout experience, however, the discussed console problems prevent this from being a rower that can compete with the Concept2 and the WaterRower series. That being said the Lifespan RW1000 is half the price of the aforementioned rowers, so it’s important to bear that in mind.

It’s also important to note that people with a high level of fitness may want to double check if the resistance of the Lifespan RW1000 is enough to meet their needs. You will want to make sure that the resistance isn’t too low for you, even when set on it’s hardest setting.

That being said the casual user will find that the Lifespan RW1000 will more than suit their needs, without having to pay as high a price as some of the more expensive rowers.

The Lifespan RW1000 is easy to store, smooth to ride and also quiet enough so you can row as you watch TV. If you’re this type of user, you should be more than happy with the Lifespan RW1000 indoor rowing machine.