Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine-SF-RW5515 - Low Priced But Worthy?


The Sunny Health and Fitness magnetic rowing machine is a quality, reasonably priced rower for those looking to get back into shape. Rowing machines in general are made for cardio and toning  and not for building muscle.

It’s an excellent exercise that helps condition a large portion of the human body and a good way to get exercise without putting in a ton of effort.

With its foam grip handlebars and nonslip foot pedals, it's a comfortable machine to use and it feels stable underneath you at any speed. Foot straps ensure that your feet are settled in. It also comes equipped with an LCD console display to count the time spent on the rowing machine, calories burned, and so forth.

Tracking Your Fitness Growth The Easy Way

One especially interesting feature is the scan mode. With this setting, it displays your progress and helps you track your way towards your fitness goals. On a machine without a scanning mode, you would have to keep a personal notebook of your results.

That’s because every time to climbed on board, you’re be starting again with a whole slate of zeroes.

Simple and Easy

It's easy to move the Sunny rowing machine around a room, thanks to the built-in wheels. This added portability feature is particularly useful in smaller homes - like apartments and condominiums. You simply tilt the machine up and roll it into place.

This makes it exceptionally easy to tuck away for storage, or to bring out again so you can use it. You don't have to worry about lifting, or carrying it around - and possibly straining your joints or muscles.

Grow At Your Own Pace

You can increase or decrease the resistance with a simple twist of the wrist, so you can up your rowing game - or reduce it - as you continue to develop toward your fitness goals. With eight different levels of adjustment, there’s plenty of room to grow for all but the most hard-core of athletes. With the  sunny health rowing machine, you can count on a smooth and quiet experience - thanks in part to its magnetic tension system.

It’s never a good idea to overdo it as you build towards better overall fitness. Slow and steady is the best way to get into the shape you want - whatever kind of equipment you’re working out on.

Occupies Minimal Floor Space -Ideal For Small Spaces

Set up and ready to row, The Sunny Heath and Fitness rower measures 19 inches wide by 23 high by 82 inches long. Folded up it transforms into a size of  19 inches wide by 53 1/2 inches high by 37 inches long.

By simply twisting the tension handle, you can vary your workout as it increases or decreases resistance. This allows you to create different routines that stimulate various muscle groups, giving you better overall conditioning and more variety to your workout.

Reasonably Comfortable and Stable - Without Slipping

The Sunny is built with large sturdy petals with a textured  surface to help your feet remain in place. Additionally, there are safety straps that lock you in. When you sit down and actually use it, you get a solid and secure feeling. It’s clear to me that the build quality of the Sunny SF-RW5515 rowing machine is more than adequate and better than expected in this price range.

Rowing is an excellent exercise that helps condition the whole body. It's a good way to get exercise with a ton of effort. I've been on noisy rowers before and this one isn't like that at all. It's actually remarkably quiet. The noise you hear is merely the seat going backwards and forwards.

Reliable Rowing In A Little Less Space

While all rowing machines take up some floor space, this particular unit seems to take up a minimal amount. It definitely occupies a smaller footprint than the higher end rowing machines like the Water Rower and the Concept 2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine.

But if you’re tight on space where you live and you're concerned about the amount of floor space a rowing machine occupies, this is definitely one model you should take a closer look at. Not only is it more compact than others, but when it’s not in use, you can simply fold it up.

It takes less than a minute to do so, and it saves you approximately half of the floor area.

On the downside, folding it up isn’t exactly “push-button” easy. There are a few steps involved. You have to loosen the main tension screw and pull out the pin before you can fold the machine.

After folding, you re-insert the retention pin and tighten the screw again. It’s not that it’s difficult or time-consuming. But it is an extra step after a workout. Make it a habit - and it’s a no-brainer - you just do it automatically. But if you view it as a chore, you’ll probably fold this thing down less frequently.

Assembly is As Easy As 1-2-3

When it comes to putting the sunny rowing machine together you'll be surprised at just how easy it is. There's simply five steps in all - that’s it. And you're up and rowing in no time.

Additionally, each part and piece that you need for assembly has been individually labeled and bagged -  step one, step two, step three, etc. There's no reason why you can’t have the Sunny rowing machine up in as little as 20 to 30 minutes - from start to finish.

It sure beats assembling one of those large, multipurpose gyms in your home. Some of those things can take days to figure out and bolt together. But not this rower. You can use it the same day it arrives - even within the hour.

What About Size And Weight Capacity?

One’s height isn’t really a limitation. When checking out a rowing machine the essential measurement is the length of your inseam. Those with an inseam measurement up to about 34 inches (and maybe slightly more) should have no problem whatsoever here.

Sunny lists 220 pounds as the maximum weight, although some previous buyers in the 240-250 pound weight range found this machine more than capable in accommodating them.  This one can easily handle people who are 63 to six for 200 4250 pounds with an inch inseam of 34 inches.

What Buyers Love Most About the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

Following are the most common points made by earlier buyers - things they found most advantageous about the Sunny rowing machine:

-  Super quiet overall - unlike a lot of rowing machines in this price range (All you hear is the seat as it sides back and forth on the rail, making the Sunny machine optimal for working out while young children are sleeping)

-  Compact storage size when folded ( ideal in smaller rooms or living spaces)

- Delivers an excellent workout for the money

- Strong and variable resistance levels that will challenge most users and provide a better workout

- Arrived well-packaged with double-boxing (step by step instructions were a big help too)

- Quick and easy assembly thanks to the numbered sequences and labeled parts and pieces

- Sound solution as a starter machine (and for those unsure about the rowing experience) - without breaking the bank

- Stable structure on a well-build frame with a strong rail and smooth sliding action

- Provides a fairly comfortable rowing experience

- Economical price considering the quality (this makes it easier for a lot of people to gain an introduction to rowing, or to step up to a better quality machine than they thought they could otherwise get)

- Great for those with joint pain caused by arthritis (rowing is low-impact cardio exercise and probably the best form of exercise for anyone experiencing problems with their joints)

- Good range of motion makes it suitable for those who are too tall for other brands of rowers

- Various resistance levels - makes it suitable and challenging both for beginners and most experienced rowers too

- Easy to use - just hop on and adjust the resistance to suit - then start rowing

- Feels like it’s a higher quality device - it’s smooth, produces no weird sounds and it doesn’t feel cheap like some of the other entry-level rowing machines

- Not complicated - simple to use for beginners with no extra bells and whistles (all that’s necessary for maximum benefit is to nail down the correct rowing stride and you can do that by watching online rowing videos and monitoring yourself in a mirror until you’ve got it right)

- Seat of comfortable and nicely-padded, allowing for longer rowing workouts

- Better tension control than some high-end rowing machines found at the gym

- Works well if you use it as it’s designed

- Delivers a cost effective, daily cardio workout at home (a big plus for those who don’t like to drive to the gym every day)

- Great way to exercise and listen to music or audio books, or simply watch TV (since it’s a quite rowing machine, you won’t have to turn up the volume very loud

What Some Buyers Didn’t Care For on the Sunny Rowing Machine:

- Lacks a measurement for distance (though it does track the number of strikes, time spent rowing and calories)

- Lacks a “strokes per minute” measurement (both time and stroke counts are recorded, so it should be an easy thing for the manufacturer to include) - so for now, you have to calculate this metric manually

- Monitor is small and therefore a little difficult for some (particularly older users) to see and read clearly (a larger monitor closer to the users eye level would be more helpful)

- Not built for heavy-duty use (parts like the spring that controls the drive of the cord can break prematurely if overloaded continuously through months of constant use)

- Calorie measurement seems way off (It appears to be a guess only - one that’s less accurate than it is on other brands of monitoring devices like the Fitbit)

- For those with larger feet, the metal buckles on the pedal straps can turn, adding pressure to the buckle and causing discomfort

- It’s a low-profile rowing machine (as most are) so it’s slightly more difficult to mount and dismount than a chair-height rowing machine like the Concept 2

- It can move around slightly on some floors ( though a rubber mat or carpet underneath usually helps correct or minimize this problem)

The Verdict on the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine-SF-RW5515

While it may not be for everyone, this one is certainly is priced within the reach of most people. So if you’re  interested in picking up a good quality rowing machine to use at home, you should at least take a closer look at this option.

While it could be considered an entry-level rowing machine - it’s a much better, more solidly-built and cleverly designed unit-  than most similar models available these days.

Could you buy something cheaper? Yes, you could. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find something of comparable quality to the Sunny Health rowing machine, without paying a whole lot more money.

Some of the cheaper models we looked at are complete junk. I doubt most of those cheap imitations wouldn’t last more than six months if used every day.

I don’t recommend going “cheap”. But I do recommend finding the best value you can. You can certainly find value at the higher end of the spectrum, although it means making a serious commitment. And in some cases - you can find value in a device  like thins that’s a reasonably-priced, mid-range model.

Sunny Health’s Magnetic Rowing Machine is a good option if you want a serious workout at a cost-effective price. While it's not a top-quality machine you're not paying much you're not paying a fortune for it either. So it’s fair to say that it's a good mid-range rowing machine.

About Eddie Eastwood