Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5623 Air Rowing Machine Overview:
The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5623 Air Rowing Machine is at the middle price range in this series of rowers from the company. Unique in that it has a belt plus an air driving fan for additional resistance, this model offers some interesting features that the others do not. One of the most important of these features is the fan itself. In addition to eight levels of resistance with the belt, the SF-RW5623 also creates more dynamic resistance with air that flows through the fan. That air also serves to cool the trainee as an added bonus.
The SF-RW5623 rower is rated for a larger trainee while the other models at both the higher and lower price points are not. It has wheels for easy transportation from room to room, and it folds with a simple release of a pin. Tension is manually adjustable using a turn knob and can be adjusted to eight different levels. Increased resistance is obtained by strength and speed of each stroke with the integrated fan. A digital monitor keeps track of time, stroke count, calories burned, heart rate and total count. It also has a scan feature that allows the trainee to scroll through all of the monitored numbers.
- Height: 26”
- Width: 30.3”
- Length: 79”
- Item weight: 59.5 lbs
- Max user weight: 300 lbs
- 8 levels of resistance with additional resistance created with the air through the fan.
- Large, anti-slip foot pads.
- Easy to assemble.
- Transport wheels.
- Folds for storage.
- Aluminum side rails for smooth ride.
- Fully padded seat and non-slip handles.
- Air fan provides cooling during workout.
- Digital monitor operates on 2 AA batteries.
- Heart rate monitor as listed.
- Time, calories, total count and scan features.
- Frame: 3 years
- Parts and components: 90 days
Shipping and Assembly:
The cost of shipping may depend on where you purchase from. Free shipping is available with some exceptions. Expedited shipping may require a fee if you cannot wait for your rower to arrive through other means.
With the exception of higher-end rowers with lots of complicated gadgets and additional parts, rowing machines are usually pretty simple to assemble. The SF-RW5623 arrives with the necessary tools as well as all parts labeled and bagged and a total of eight bolts. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. The manual suggests allowing for “four hours” for assembly, but it is rare that you would need anywhere near that length of time.
What We Love About the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5623 Air Rowing Machine:
In addition to the eight levels of resistance that are available with this rowing machine, trainees also create an additional amount of resistance as they row. The added bonus here is that no matter how strong the person gets, that amount of resistance will only increase even beyond the amount of set resistance of the machine itself. That air resistance, which is also referred to as “drag,” can be increased by rowing faster or using shorter, stronger strokes.
Machine for Larger Trainees
The common weight cut-off for most rowing machines seems to be around 250 lbs with a cut-off for height around 6’1” or so. This is true of the lower cost machines as well as the more expensive models across many brands. The SF-RW5623 has a higher weight capacity at 300 lbs without needing a larger machine, and still remains stable and secure. Trainees as tall as 6’4” also managed to use this model without any problem.
Comfortable Seat, Handles and Foot Pedals
Face it, if a machine is uncomfortable, no one is going to use it for any length of time. The SF-RW5623 has a large, padded seat, comfortable handles, and large, anti-slip foot pads so that you can get your full workout without having to worry about pain or pinched nerves while you train.
What Isn’t So Great:
The “Heart Rate” Monitor
While the other functions of the monitor work well, the SF-RW5623 monitor is not useful to monitor heart rate by any stretch of the imagination. There is not a clear definition of what Sunny Health and Fitness means by the term, and nothing to indicate where you would monitor heart rate on the machine at all.
A Lack of Versatility
While this is a good rowing machine, at the end of the day that is all that it does or will ever do. While it is capable of increasing and decreasing the level of resistance, there is very little variation in a rowing workout, which can become tedious and eventually will cease to be very effective, especially if this is your only form of exercise.
How the SF-RW5623 Compares to the SF-RW5606
The SF-RW5623 is the only one in the line that has an air fan. The SF-RW5606 is the smallest of the line and the least expensive. It uses an elastic cord for resistance which is only adjustable to 4 levels. In addition to being a much smaller machine, it can only handle a maximum weight of 220 lbs. The SF-RW5623 is the better value despite being slightly more expensive.
Final Word on the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5623 Air Rowing Machine:
While it certainly isn’t the least expensive rowing machine in this series, it is solidly built and has more advantages than the cheaper machine. It is also the only one of the SF-RW machines that has the air fan for added, naturally-created resistance, which is similar to the type of resistance that you would create while rowing in water. With a heavier weight capacity as well as the ability to accommodate taller trainees, this is the machine for a wider range of people. Easy assembly and easy storage also make it more appealing, as do the comfort features including a large, padded seat, and comfortable hand grips and foot pads.