I wanted to add a vertical climber to my home fitness collection for the high-calorie burn but small space requirements. These pieces of equipment are tall but don't take up much floor space because you use them standing up. Vertical climbers have handles and foot pads that you alternate moving up and down to mimic the motions of rock climbing. Every time you reach up, you must fight the weight of your body. Because the equipment uses both arms and legs, it's touted as a high-calorie burner. Some manufacturers say that you can burn up to 500 calories in a single hour. This is a similar calorie burn as running on a treadmill, but vertical climbing is easier on the knees (low impact).
Once I decided that I wanted to add a vertical climber to my home fitness equipment, I created some criteria for my “perfect” climber. As I keep adding equipment to my home gym, saving space has become more important. Treadmills and ellipticals hog up the majority of my exercise area. Being able to fold up and store a new piece of equipment under the bed or in a closet was important to me. Of course, I am not buff enough (yet) to haul a 50 lbs piece of equipment to a closet, so I wanted the vertical climber to be under 40 lbs. There were a few options for a space-saving, foldable vertical climber, but I decided to test out one of the most popular, the Maxi Climber Vertical Climber.
One of the features that attracted me to this vertical climber was the easy installation. Some of the other vertical climbers seemed to be a nightmare to install and sometimes cost an extra $100 for an "expert installation." I didn't want to deal with that, so I selected the option that came "90% pre-assembled." The Maxi Climber only takes 15 minutes to assemble. I had to add a couple of screws and lock some bars into place. It was much easier than other home gym equipment that I have assembled.
The Maxi Climber also folds away easily for storage. All I had to do was remove a safety pin from one area, move some bars around and push the safety pin into a new spot. I loved that it locked back together. I had dropped so many pieces of equipment on my feet before because they didn't lock together like this one. Once it's folded away, I can store the vertical climber in my hall closet or even under my guest bed. Other vertical climbers I looked at did not fold as flat and could only be stored in a closet.
If you haven't seen a vertical climber before, you should check out this video. It can be hard to imagine how the equipment works. The video shows how the Maxi Climber Vertical Climber works and gives an overview of the all the benefits of a vertical climbing workout.
The Maxi Climber has been a great fit for my space-saving and calorie burning needs. The flat-folding mechanism allows me to store it in my living room. I can even fit it under my big couch! When the kids are down for a nap, I can sneak in a workout. Unlike the loud treadmill or elliptical, the vertical climber makes a minimum amount of noise. The only sound is the swishing of the bars moving up and down. Even though I'm only moving my body weight, it's an intense workout. Ten minutes is currently enough of a workout for me to get sweaty and sore. After I'm done, I can slide the vertical climber back under the couch before the kids even wake up.
When this product came mostly assembled in the box, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was easy to put together. I didn't even need any help from my husband! Compared to other vertical climbers, which sometimes charge $100 for a professional installation, this design was far superior. The ease of assembly and folding convinced me to rate the design and size highly. I also couldn't believe that it would fit under my bed, but it did!
Once I started using the Maxi Climber Vertical Climber, I found that some features were lacking. The timer does not show the current amount of calories burned. It only summarizes the workout at the end. I like to track my progress along the way. I also entertained ideas of doing this workout barefoot, but the bumpy foot pads (for better grip) were not pleasant on my bare toes. Shoes are definitely required.
Although I would have enjoyed more features that I liked, the price and warranty were about what I expected from a vertical climber. It's an average price for an average vertical climber. I personally like to have more than a one-year warranty on my home exercise products. You never know how kids and workout equipment might interact. But the one year warranty seems average or even better than most vertical climbers.
Although I was intrigued by the low price of the Conquer Vertical Climber, it didn't have all the features that I wanted. The cheaper vertical climber does not come with any display to count calories or steps. Unlike the Maxi Climber, the Conquer also had a “professional installation” option that made me think it would be difficult to assemble myself.
At 46 lbs, it's almost half again as heavy as the Maxi Climber. Even though it does fold, I thought the Conquer would be harder to store because of the weight.
The Ancheer Vertical Climber has a unique feature that caught my attention. There is a small bike built into the vertical climber! It's intended for warm-ups. Unfortunately, this additional feature does make the Ancheer take up more floor space than I'd like. Storing the foldable Ancheer seemed awkward because it's a massive 56 lbs as opposed to the 34 lb Maxi Climber.
Although the Maxi Climber is a great option for home fitness equipment that stores easily, it's not the perfect climber for everyone. It is a middle of the price range model that has all the essential features that most people want, like a calorie counter and foam handles. What sets it apart from the others is the easy assembly. However, it's not the best choice for everyone. People who weigh more than 240 lbs should invest in a vertical climber rated for higher weight. Beginners should also take care to learn the correct posture and position the climber on a stable surface to avoid any mishaps. I personally love storing a piece of home fitness equipment under the coach, but I do miss more advanced features like active calorie tracking.
Hi, I'm Kara! I am a stay-at-home mom with a 5-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. I enjoy getting lost on Pinterest, going to Starbucks, and baking healthy cookies. I’ve decided to share my love of fitness by building this site. I hope you enjoy your stay!