concept2 model d

Concept2 Rower Review

Durable. Engaging. Affordable.

The Concept2: Model D is one of the best-selling indoor rower machines in its category. Why? It's suitable for all athletes, no matter how advanced their training levels are.

Some of the features include a backlit performance monitor full of excellent programs and games. There’s also a system for tracking calories, distance, and pace. And that information can be transferred via USD to another device. There are also awesome wireless capabilities to monitor heart rate and even race a friend on a separate machine.

There are so many fitness benefits. I don’t know about you, but when I read about gamified fitness machines, I get excited. Maybe it’s my competitive streak. I am an Aries, after all.

Concept2 Model D

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5







  • Easy Assembly
  • Easy Store
  • High Capacity
  • Good Warranty
  • Minimal Noise


  • Relatively Large Footprint
  • Requires Maintenance

Product Specifications

Key Features

  • Performance Monitor: The Concept2 backlit screen includes workouts, games, and session results. You can transfer the data wirelessly to other devices.
  • Ergonomic Handles: The rower handles are poised at 10-degrees to support a comfortable rowing position.
  • Air Resistance: The airflow changes in response to the effort you exert. The more forcefully you row, the more difficult it becomes.
  • Ergonomic Handles: The rower handles are poised at 10-degrees to support a comfortable rowing position.
  • Adjustable Footrests: No matter your shoe size, you should be able to fit into the footrests.
  • Optional Slide: If you still long for the sensation of going out on water, you can attach slides to the machine with bungee cables. These slides can be used to connect more than one rower for team training.
  • Transport Wheels: You can move this rowing machine wherever you need to.


One of the main differences between the Concept2 Indoor Rower and other machines is the advanced PM5 monitor. The backlit screen provides visibility, while the adjustable arm allows you to position it wherever you like.  To keep costs low, the adjustable arm on the Concept2 is plastic.

The Concept2 comes equipped with a flywheel and damper to allow you to control your resistance. The spiral damper allows you to control airflow to your preference. The design also minimizes noise during workouts. I know my husband would be thankful for that!

While the indoor rower has a pretty big footprint, it’s not terribly tall. The machine is only 14” above the ground, so you may even be able to keep it concealed behind the sofa when guests come over.

In the middle of the machine, there is a quick-release frame lock mechanism to separate the two parts. You can then use the wheels underneath to roll it into your closet. You might not have to do any heavy lifting to put it away.

The machine has a nickel-plated chain that requires oil to move smoothly. So, take special care with this.

Altogether, this rower machine does not require especially tedious assembly. It’s even simpler than Ikea instructions. You just have to install the front legs with a total of eight screws. I have a feeling you can handle that, right?

Lastly, when you buy this rowing machine, you have an option of a Concept2 slide. This can add the floating water sensation some buyers are looking for, as well as allowing you to connect multiple machines for team training.


Design: 4/5

Has a sturdy frame, this rower easy to assemble. The seat is at the height of only 14-inches. The frame lock makes it easy to take the machine apart. The wheels make it easy to move and store.

Size: 3/5

Has a larger footprint than other Concept2 models.

Price: 5/5

This machine is one of the more affordable rowers on the market. No wonder it is one of the best-selling in the world.

Features: 5/5

Could you even ask for cooler features than the ones this machines already has? The PM5 monitor makes this a smart buy.

Warranty: 3/5

No lifetime warranty on this machine.

The Concept 2 Model E

concept2 model E

Another very popular indoor rower from Concept2 is the Model E. Here, I would like to break down what makes this an attractive option, then explain how it’s different than the Model D. 

The Model E is 6 inches higher off the ground than many other rowers in this category. It comes with a performance monitor 5, that self-calibrates and connects wirelessly to apps and heart rate straps.

This rower is suitable for your home or the gym, as it is commercial grade. It provides a 20-inch frame height with a double powder coat and a glossy finish. With a higher frame, it is easier to mount and get started. Similar to the Model D, this model also comes with a nickel-plated chain, which requires less-frequent oiling.

Coming either in black or light gray, this indoor rower has rugged aesthetics. The provided low-impact workouts engage your legs, arms, and core, in a high-calorie burning motion. 

How does the Model E compare to the Model D?

One difference is that the Model D is cheaper. The display arm on the Model E is fixed, so you can’t modify that. The Model E should be more attractive to people that want a higher seat position, or have mobility problems and can’t sit on the floor.

In this video, Caitlin Steel from CrossFit Hershey provides an excellent product overview of the Concept2 Model D Rower. Now you can see it in action!