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XTERRA Fitness ERG600W Water Rower

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The ERG600W is one of the newest rowing machines released by XTERRA Fitness in 2018. It can be compared in terms of price and features to the First Degree Fitness Daytona Challenge AR. It’s a rowing machine equipped with a fluid resistance system, however, it doesn’t have a mechanical adjustment system of the Daytona model. So, in order to adjust the overall resistance, you have to add or remove water from the tank. It’s not a commercial fitness machin, but does have a pretty sturdy construction.

Technical Details & Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 80.7L x 22W x 33H inches (205L x 56W x 84H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 82.7 lbs (37.5 kg)
  • Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Frame: Steel & aluminum
  • Footrests: Adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Fitness computer: Time, distance, strokes per minute, total strokes, calories, time/500m, pulse
  • Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 2 years / Labor 90 days

Frame & parts

The XTERRA ERG600W combines aluminum and steel parts in its frame construction. The part of the frame that sustains the water tank, the unit’s base stabilizers, and the core of the seat rail are made of steel. The side sections of the rail, on which the seat rollers glide are made of aluminum, in order to provide the smoothest motion for the seat. All the steel parts are coated with a rust-resistant paint finish; the color used is black, with the exception of the aluminum beams which have their own natural color.

The trainer is fairly large. With the frame fully assembled, it’s approx. 80.7″ (205 cm) long, and 22″ (56 cm) wide. It’s recommended, though, to leave at least two feet of clearance on each side and at the rear of the machine, for safe and unhindered operation.

The rower’s frame does not fold, but it can be stored vertically, resting on the small stabilizer on the top of the tank guard, and its wheels. The water can remain in the tank when the unit is stored vertically.

The fully assembled unit isn’t too heavy. It weighs approx. 82 lbs (37.5 kg). However, its relocation is facilitated by its front wheels. All this weight provides an excellent stability, plus, the rear base is equipped with adjustable levelers.

The XTERRA Fitness ERG600W rowing machine is equipped with a large seat (approx 14″ wide) with a contoured surface and a top made of high-density foam. It’s designed to deliver optimal comfort and excellent adherence, preventing the user to slide off of it during rowing.

The seat and the machine’s rail are rated for a maximum user weight capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg). The base of the seat is made of steel parts and integrates six high-grade rollers. These rollers provide an extremely smooth and quiet motion along the aluminum rail. Their sides are concealed by the seat metallic frame which results in a better safety.

The rower’s footrests are adjustable. They’re equipped with velcro straps and have heel guards to keep your feet secure during rowing. Their angle is not adjustable, though. They are attached to a metallic plate which is set at an angle of approx. 45°-50°.

Last but not least, the machine is equipped with a slightly curved pulling handle. Even though this soft curvature may seem like a minor detail, it can make a huge difference as it reduces the lateral stress on your wrists during rowing. It’s also covered by a layer of rubber-foam material for a more comfortable grip. It’s attached to a heavy-duty nylon strap which is highly resistant to abrasion.

Water tank & resistance system

The XTERRA Fitness ERG600W features a water resistance system. It’s equipped with a polycarbonate tank, blue in color. Its exact maximum capacity isn’t specified, but considering its size, it should be approx. 3 gallons (11 liters). The tank integrates a multi-blade impeller. As you pull the rower’s handle, the impeller spins inside the water tank generating the necessary resistance.

As we’ve mentioned above, the unit’s water tank does not have a mechanical water level adjustment system like the First Degree Fitness rowers. However, there are 6 water levels marked on it, just as for the Obsidian Surge 500 from Sunny Health & Fitness. In fact, the tanks of these two machines are very similar. The tank should not be filled over the 6th level. And in order to increase or decrease the overall resistance, you have to add or remove water from the tank by using the included pump.

Just like other water resistance rowers, the ERG600W delivers a dynamic response during rowing. In other words, the faster you pull, the more resistance you will get. But as a general idea, this is a mid-range rower made for home use, so it may not generate the amount of resistance needed by a professional athlete, even if filled to its top 6th level.

The machine isn’t extremely noisy, but the impeller does generate a bit of sound when it spins inside the tank. The sound can be compared to the rowing of a real boat through the water.


This XTERRA Fitness rower includes mid-range console featuring a 5.5″ LCD display and a tilt mount with a long arm which gives you the possibility to get the perfect viewing angle. Its display is divided into several sub-sections, showing most of the workout metrics simultaneously, so you don’t have to use a scan function to alternate them as for most basic units.

The unit tracks all the important workout metrics, including time, time/500, distance, strokes per minute (SPM), total strokes, calories, and pulse. It also has a calendar function, a clock function with alarm, and a temperature reading function, being able to detect and display the current room temperature.

The distance is shown in meters only, and cannot be set for English units. For pulse reading, the machine does not integrate any pulse sensors. It can communicate, though, with a 5.3 kHz chest strap HR monitor (which is not included).

The unit offers two main workout modes, Manual and Race. In Manual mode, you can select goal values for time, distance, strokes, calories, and pulse. If a goal is selected for any time, distance, and calories, the console will show the amount remaining until you reach the selected goal. If you select a target for pulse, the unit will beep in case you exceed or fall below the selected HR interval.

The Race mode has 15 separate levels. You can select a distance between 500m and 10,000m, while the timers are preset between 8:00 (L1) and 1:00 (L15). When the race begins, you will basically compete against the computer for the selected distance and timer.

The console also has a Recovery function, which required an HR sensor. This function measures the amount of time your heart takes to return to normal after the workout, and based on its assessment, it will give you a recovery or fitness status between F1 (excellent), and F6 (poor).

For the integrated clock function of the unit, you can select an alarm, which will only beep if the console is in sleep mode. This way, you can set up your machine to notify you when its time to exercise.

Finally, the console requires two AA batteries which are included. It starts up if you press any of the buttons, or when you begin rowing. It will also enter its sleep mode after 4 minutes of inactivity, in order to save battery life.

Assembly & Maintenance

The machine’s water tank and resistance system come already assembled, and attached to the front part of the frame. Therefore, you only need to attach the front stabilizers, the rail with the seat, the rear stabilizer, the console, and then add water in the tank. This shouldn’t take more than an hour. The manual provides all the necessary assembly instructions. Also, a basic toolkit required for the assembly is included.

For maintenance, the water in the tank needs periodic chlorine treatment. A pack of chlorine pills is included with the machine, and you should drop one pill in the tank every 6 months. The rail should be kept clean, to prevent any damage to the seat wheels. And finally, it’s recommended to periodically inspect the unit for loose parts or broken parts, in order to re-tighten or replace them if needed.

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame – can support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Great aesthetics;
  • Can be stored vertically, and the water doesn’t require to be removed for storage;
  • Transport wheels for easy relocation;
  • Rear base adjustable stabilizers;
  • Contoured and padded seat;
  • Adjustable footrests;
  • Water resistance system which provides a dynamic response during rowing and natural feel;
  • Mid-range fitness meter which indicates time, time/500m, SPM, watts, strokes, distance, calories, and pulse;
  • Two workout modes – Manual and Race;
  • Clock, calendar and room temperature reading function on the meter;
  • Alarm function for the clock, so it can notify you when you need to start your training; 
  • Recovery function;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Chlorine tablets for water purification are included;
  • Batteries for the console are included;
  • Tools for assembly are included;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to assemble.

The Cons

  • The console does not have backlight;
  • An HR transmitter is not included.


The XTERRA Fitness ERG600W is a water resistance rower featuring a durable construction, and a mid-range console with two workout modes (Manual and Race), and multiple other functions. Like any other rower with a fluid resistance system, it provides a dynamic response which simulates the rowing of a boat through water. It’s a great machine for a full-body cardio workout, muscle toning, stamina gain, and weight loss. In all, it’s a great trainer, offering an outstanding price/quality ratio.

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