Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine Review

Last Updated on February 12, 2021 by Jeff

Rowing Machine Overview:

A compact and attractively designed rowing machine, the Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine features a steel frame for strength, folding arms to make it easier to store, and an LCD monitor to help keep track of your progress as you work out.

This is the lower priced option of the Harvil rowing machines in this style, but it has most, if not all, of the same features as the next-priced option. The more expensive version, the Magnetic Resistance model, has eight levels of resistance and the same type of LCD monitor. Both models were designed with apartment dwellers and small home owners in mind and feature a bold color (teal) instead of just the traditional black or silver rowing machine style.

Click here to see the price for the Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine on Amazon.

Technical Info:


  • Height: 20”
  • Width: 36.2”
  • Length: 50”
  • Rail length: 35.4”
  • Item weight: 34 lbs
  • Max user weight: 265

Top Features:

  • Vibrant color and fun design is a unique feature among rowers.
  • Folding arms provide full range of motion during use and fold away for convenient storage when not in use.
  • Steel frame is strong and durable—built to last for many years.
  • LCD monitor helps track progress and keeps the trainee motivated during workouts.
  • Small enough to fit in most apartments or houses without taking up too much space, but still capable of handling averaged-sized adults without any problem.
  • Easy to assemble with available video assistance if needed.

Monitor Features:

  • Large display window for easy viewing.
  • Tracks time, total stroke count and calories burned, including a scan feature which cycles through all metrics about every 4-6 seconds so that you can keep track of all of your information without focusing on just one.
  • Uses 1 AA battery (not included).


  • 180 day, limited warranty

Shipping and Assembly:

The cost of shipping will depend on where you purchase your Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine. In most cases, the shipping will be free to the continental United States.

Assembly is simple with instructions, diagrams and all necessary tools included. A video is available for anyone who needs further assistance with putting their rowing machine together. Recommendations for two people may not be necessary and the average person should be able to put this together in no more than an hour.

What We Love About the Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine With Adjustable Resistance:

Unique Color and Design

We get it. Rowing machines are relatively simple machines—even boring to some. But that doesn’t mean they all need to look identical. While some models are built to look expensive and mimic that which you would expect to see in a health club or a gym, the Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine takes a different approach. From the teal accents to the smaller size of the overall machine, the Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine stands out with an aesthetic that separates it from the traditional rowing machine. Who knows, that may just inspire you to use it more often, so maybe the unique design and color will pay off in the end.

Full Range of Motion

Most rowing machines use a back and forth rowing motion. That’s all that you do—back and forth, back and forth, working the exact same muscle groups in the exact same way repeatedly. With this rowing machine you are able to row back and forth as well as in a circular motion with your arms, much like a real oar in water, giving you a greater range of motion and working different muscles from different angles.

What Isn’t So Great:

Low-Weight Capability

Whereas most brands list their machine’s capabilities with weights like 250 lbs or 300 lbs, Harvil’s rowing machine tops out at 265. The 35.4” rail may also prevent people of above average height from using the machine with full extension.

Limited Warranty

The warranty is not only short term at 180 days, but fairly vague as well. There is no further information about which parts are covered and which are not and the industry standard of a 1-3 year warranty for the frame is just not here.

Vague and Missing Information

That brings us to another issue. Some of the technical information about this particular machine is either completely missing or is incredibly vague. For example, there is no information about the resistance levels for this machine. It is listed as hydraulic, adjustable with a knob, but that is all that’s provided. Trainees can assume they will be using trial and error for the resistance on this machine, which may mean that they have to make several adjustments while they are working out. This can be frustrating especially in the early days when you are just trying to get into the rhythm of rowing in the first place.

Foldable Arms Only

Although it is fairly small, especially for a rowing machine, there still may be times when you want to put it away. The arms fold on this machine but the machine itself does not, meaning it must be stored vertically to put it away. One trainee reports that she takes the monitor off to slide it under her bed, but this may not work for everyone and may eventually cause damage to the monitor and/or the wires and sensors.

How the Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine Compares to the Harvil Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine

Both machines have the same attractive teal color and smaller design. The magnetic resistance machine lists 8 levels of resistance which is adjustable by a knob. Both use the same LCD monitor with the same metrics. The magnetic resistance machine is slightly larger but still has the same weight restriction and is more expensive by around $80.

Final Word on the Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine:

Is it the absolute best rowing machine on the market? Of course not. However, it is a fairly good machine for the value, especially if you are an average sized trainee who has limited space for exercise equipment. The unique color and small design make it easy to keep out which means that you might be using it more than a plain machine that gets put in the closet and forgotten about.

Click here to see the price for the Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine on Amazon.

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