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Stamina DT 397 Air & Magnetic Resistance Rower

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weight
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weight
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Stamina DT 397

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L:66"
W:22"
H:34.5"
250 lbs50 lbsAir &
magnetic,
8 levels
Time,
Distance,
Count,
T-Count,
Calories,
Goals

The Stamina DT series includes several rowing machines; we’ve already reviewed here the DT Pro model, so in this post, we’re going to address one of the lighter versions, the DT 397.

Just as the DT Pro, the Stamina DT 397 is an air and magnetic resistance rower. However, its resistance system is not automatic and its performance monitor does not offer preset workout programs.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 66L x 22W x 34.5H inches (168L x 56W x 88H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 50 lbs (22.6 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs (113 kg)
  • Footrests: Pivoting
  • Resistance system: Air & magnetic
  • Performance monitor: Time, distance, count, total count, calories, goals
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 90 days

Frame construction

The Stamina DT 397 rower combines steel, aluminum, and ABS parts in its construction. The front part of the frame that holds the drive and resistance elements is made of steel, as well as the two base stabilizer elements. The casing of the drive and resistance elements is made of durable ABS plastic. The sliding rail of the machine is aluminum-made. All the metallic parts of the unit are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish; the color used is black, this being the only color available for this Stamina rower (at least for the moment).

The fully assembled unit is fairly small for an air resistance rower. It is only 66″ (168 cm) long, and 22″ (56 cm) wide, while other machines, such as the Body-Solid Endurance 300 is approx. 95″ (241 cm). This pretty much means that its main rail is not too long. Therefore, this rower isn’t recommended for users taller than 6’3″ (190 cm).

The machine’s frame does not fold. However, it can be stored vertically to save space. When stored vertically, its footprint becomes approx. 34″L x 22″W (88 x 56 cm).

This Stamina rower is not extremely heavy. With the frame fully set up, it weighs only 50 lbs (22.6 kg). Therefore, it can be carried and assembled by only one person. Plus, its front base integrates transport wheels which ease its relocation if needed. Although it’s not a heavy rower, the Stamina DT 397 offers excellent stability. Both its front and rear stabilizers are equipped with adjustable levelers.

Two other notable features that we must mention here are the accessory holder and the air damper integrated into the front casing of the drive system. The accessory holder consists of a large tray, right under the resistance control, that can accommodate any hydration bottle and various other accessories. The air damper is placed above the resistance control. This gives you the possibility to adjust the angle of the air current generated by the internal fan during rowing, in case you would like some cooling as you exercise on the rower.

Seat and other parts

The Stamina DT 397 rowing machine features a fairly large seat. It is approx. 12″ (30 cm) wide, offering plenty of contact surface. Its top is not cushioned, though; it’s made of either ABS or fiberglass. Its surface is contoured for extra comfort and adherence.

The base frame of the seat is steel-made. It integrates two sets for wheels equipped with ball bearings for a smooth motion. The wheels are rubberized in order to reduce the noise generated by the moving seat. They’re also concealed by the seat frame for improved safety.

The seat and the rail assembly are rated for a user weight capacity of 250 lbs (113 kg). It’s also important to mention that the top of the seat stands at approx. 15″ (38 cm) above floor level which promotes an easy entry and exit, quite a plus for users with certain disabilities.

The rower features two pivoting footrests. This type of design allows them to slightly tilt as you apply pressure on them during each rowing motion, adopting the most suitable angle. They cannot be locked, though. They do have stoppers at the rear which prevents them to tilt backward more than an angle of approx. 45°. The footrests are made of durable ABS material. They have heel guards, adjustable straps, and a textured surface for superior foot stability.

The DT 397 rower is equipped with a standard pulling handle. It consists of a short steel bar with rubberized grips. It does not integrate pulse sensors and the rower doesn’t have a pulse reading function. The handle is attached to a durable nylon strap connected to the internal drive system. Since the machine uses a strap and not a chain, it doesn’t require any lubrication.

Resistance system

The Stamina DT 397 combines air and magnetic resistance elements. First of all, the main resistance generator is its internal fan. As you pull the handle, the fan spins inside its casing and the air current generated adds difficulty to the rowing motion. The fan also produces a dynamic response which is a characteristic of any air resistance fitness machine. This means that the harder you pull the handle, the more resistance you will get.

The rower also has an internal magnetic brake as a secondary resistance-generating element. The magnetic brake offers 8 distinct levels of resistance. The 1st level basically lets you use just the resistance provided by the air fan. Conversely, the 8th setting adds considerably more resistance, promoting a more consistent workout.

As opposed to the DT Pro model, the magnetic brake of the DT 397 rower is manual. It is attached to the tension knob on the front unit. This means you don’t have to connect the rower to an external power source. But on the other hand, its exercise meter does not have preset programs and cannot adjust the resistance automatically.

Since it’s an air resistance rower, the DT 397 does generate a bit of noise during usage. However, the noise level is fairly low. As a general idea, it shouldn’t cover the moderate volume level of a TV set.

Exercise meter

The Stamina DT 397 air and magnetic rower includes a performance monitor. It features an LCD display (without LED backlight) that tracks time, distance, count, total count, and calories burned. It does not have a pulse reading function. It also does not have preset programs or online connectivity.

The meter unit is pretty easy to use. It has three buttons. These are Mode, Set, and Reset. The Mode button allows you to scroll through the workout metrics and select the one that you want to be shown on the display. However, there is also a Scan Mode which you can select via the Mode button; when the Scan Mode is selected, the meter rotates all the values showing each one for a few seconds.

The Set button gives you the possibility to select workout goals for time, count, and calories burned. If a workout goal is selected, the meter will show the remaining value until you complete that goal. And finally, the Reset button clears all the values on the meter unit to zero.

The unit is battery-powered. It requires two AAA batteries which are not included. It starts up when you begin rowing or when you press one of the buttons. It also has a sleep function which is initiated if there is no activity on the machine for several minutes.

Assembly and Maintenance

Just as for other rowers, the drive and resistance unit of the machine comes pre-assembled and attached to the front part of the frame. You only have to attach the seat to the rail, connect the rail to the front piece, add the two base stabilizers, the footrests, and the exercise meter. This shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes. The manual provides fairly clear assembly instructions and a set of basic tools for the task is also included.

Once the machine is fully assembled, you don’t have to worry too much about maintenance. It is recommended, though, to keep the rail clean to prevent any damage to the seat or its rollers. It’s also recommended to periodically check for loose bolts and parts.

The Pros

  • Fairly sturdy frame – can hold users up to 250 lbs;
  • Light construction, easy to handle;
  • Can be stored in an upright position to save space;
  • Wide aluminum beam for extra seat stability;
  • Contoured seat for optimal comfort;
  • Transport wheels integrated into the front base;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear and front bases;
  • Pivoting footrests for a perfect foot position with each stroke;
  • Air resistance for a dynamic response during rowing;
  • Magnetic resistance for extra micro-adjustability;
  • 8 levels of resistance, for light to medium workouts;
  • Exercise meter included – it can track time, distance, count, total count, and calories burned;
  • Goal settings for time, count, and calories;
  • Air damper for diverting the generated current at you in case you want some cooling during the workout;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • No pulse reading function;
  • The exercise meter unit does not have backlight;
  • Batteries for the meter unit are not included.

Summary

The Stamina DT 397 is a rowing machine designed for home use. It is equipped with an air and magnetic resistance system offering 8 difficulty levels. It has a light construction with a thick sliding beam for extra stability, it can support users up to 250 lbs, and can be stored vertically. It also has an exercise meter that tracks the most important workout metrics. In all, it’s a fairly decent machine for a full-body cardio workout, stamina development, and weight loss.

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