Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine

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Kettler Favorit
kettler favorit rower
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285 lbs44 lbsHydraulicFrame: lifetime
Parts: 3 years

Have you ever heard the expression “German quality?” This expression exists simply because Germans don’t mess around when it comes to quality in just about any of their products. Nonetheless, this expression stands for the fitness equipment manufactured and sold by Kettler. And when it comes to rowing machines, the Kettler Favorit is pretty much one of the best hydraulic models that you can find.

But this rowing machine isn’t just great for its quality. Its design make it ideal for home use, being a low profile machine, quiet and easy to store. On top of that, it’s simply an outstanding exercising machine for aerobic and strength workouts.

Technical Details

  • Assembled dimensions: 52L x 32W x 10H inches (132L x 81W x 25H cm)
  • Product weight: 44 lbs (20 kg)
  • Supported weight: 285 lbs (130 kg)
  • Frame: Carbon-steel
  • Footrests: Adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance type: Hydraulic
  • Progress tracking computer: Yes
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 3 years


The Kettler Favorit Rower features a very solid, one-piece frame, made from carbon-steel, kettler favorit rower seatextremely durable, and powder coated with anti-corrosive paint. It’s not a foldable frame, but compared with other types of rowers, such as the Concept2 air rowers or water-based rowers, this model has quite a small footprint. It’s only 52 inches (132 cm) long, and 32 inches (81 cm) wide, while air rowers for example can reach lengths of 90 inches (230 cm). Despite its rather short size in length, this rower can accommodate users of a wide spectrum, between 4’6″ (137 cm) and 6’5″ (196 cm). The maximum user inseam for this rower is 35″ (89 cm).

The arms of this rower can be lowered all the way forward, making it easier to store. In case you’re wondering, it can be stored under a bed, however the bed should have at least 12-13 inches of clearence from the floor. Nonetheless, it can also be stored vertically, up against a wall.

The bases of the machine are finished with levelers for enhanced stability on any type of flooring. It shouldn’t be damaging a wooden floor, however in this case, it might be a good idea to place it on a mat.

One of the best aspects regarding this hydraulic rower is that it’s equipped with gliding seat. Other rowers in this caregory have a fixed seat, thus minimizing the overall effect of your workout on the legs and thighs. The rail of the seat is slightly inclined, cca 7°, offering a quicker recovery motion, as the seat will fall down a bit easier under your weight. On the other hand, the drive kettler favorit footrestsmotion (the extension of the legs) requires a little bit more work than for rowers with a completely horizontal seat rail.

The seat features contoured, thick padding, with an ergonomic design for superior comfort. It is equipped with ball bearings, eliminating the need for lubrication, and resulting in a very smooth glide on the rail. The rail is pretty solid, and can support users up to 285 lbs (130 kg) weight.

The footrests of this Kettler rowing machine are pivoting, not completely fixed, to allow the user’s feet to adjust with every rowing motion. They’re equipped with straps to secure the feet in place, feature that might be of the essence for beginner rowers.

Resistance system

If I haven’t mentioned it enough so far, the Kettler Favorit is a hydraulic resistance rowing machine. This means the resistance is generated by hydraulic pistons. In this machine’s case, each arm is equipped with an industrial strength piston. Each arm has 50 knurl marks, and the resistance level can be adjusted by repositioning the piston’s clamps to one of the knurl marks on the arm. To put it differently, the machine actually has 50 levels of resistance. However, it’s not recommended for beginner users to start on resistance settings over 30. That’s because even on the 1-10 knurl settings this exercising machine can surely make you sweat.

One important aspect regarding the resistance system of this Kettler rowing machine is that the pistons will lose a bit of resistance as they warm up. Therefore, the first several minutes of rowing will be more difficult than the remaining time on your rowing session. But as a general idea, the resistance provided by this rower is constant, given by the current knurl setting on each arm. It’s not influenced at all by how hard or fast you pull. Also, during the recovery motion, the arms oppose a little bit of resistance, just as when rowing a pair of light oars. The grips on each arm can rotate as you row. This prevents the formation of blisters on your hands up to a certain extent, also giving you the possibility to “feather the oar”.

kettler favorit monitorConsole

The performance tracking unit that comes with the Kettler Favorit rower offers quite a several more features than a basic unit. First of all, it has quite a high resolution, being easy to read. It tracks time, energy consumption, speed, stroke frequency, distance, and pulse. You can set goals for some of these values to optimize your training. Also, the computer has a SCAN function which enables the values to rotate, in the larger digital readout on the display.

The console comes with an infrared clip, which must be attached to your earlobe and plugged into the unit, in order to monitor heart rate. However, the unit is also compatible with Polar T34 heart rate straps.

The console requires 2 AA batteries to be powered.

Assembly and Maintenance

Despite the fact that this indoor rower would seem a complicated mechanism, it really isn’t. Therefore, the assembly process shouldn’t be too difficult. The box includes the user’s manual, with very comprehensive assembly instructions and the tools required. The whole task shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes. Basically, all you have to do is add the bases and the seat to the main frame, the footrests, then the pistons and the arms, and finally the console. The pistons are already assembled, all you need it to connect them to the frame and to the arms of the machine.

Maintenance doesn’t require much. Just make sure the rail is free of debris that may cause nicks in it or the wheels, as the seat glides. Make sure that the accordion boots cover the pivoting joints at all time, as sometimes they might slide up the rowing arms. Also, if the joints begin to squeak, you might want to add some lubricant.

What’s Best About This Rowing Machine

  • Mobile seat, which provides a natural rowing motion. Other hydraulic rowers only have a fixed seat.
  • Adjustable resistance, with up to 50 levels.
  • Durable, one-piece frame, carbon-steel-made.
  • Mobile footrests, auto adjusting with each row.
  • Performance monitor which can track speed, distance, time, energy consumed, stroke frequency and pulse.
  • Comes with the infrared earlobe clip for tracking pulse.
  • Compatible with wireless Polar T34 heart rate straps.
  • Low profile and small footprint, great for apartment use.
  • Quiet machine, far from producing the noise level of an air rower.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Excellent machine for cardio and strength training.
  • Consistent warranty package.
  • Excellent price / quality ratio.


Energy consumption is displayed on the meter in Kilojoules (KJ) not calories. Therefore, if you would like to know how many calories you have burned during a workout, you will have to use a conversion calculator, KJ to calories. There should be several free applications for this online.

Also, the other downside pretty much fits to any hydraulic rower. The resistance is constant. It kettler favorit rowerdoesn’t vary depending on how hard you pull, similar to rowing a boat on water.

Final Conclusion

The Kettler Favorit is a top-quality hydraulic rower for users of all levels. It’s a great choice for home use, as it doesn’t take much space, and it’s also quiet. Even though it might not reproduce the natural rowing feel completely, it can still supply the setting for stamina and strength training, that a professional rower requires. In other words, this rowing machine can sure make you sweat, therefore it’s also great for losing weight. On top of that, it comes for an outstanding price/quality ratio.

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