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Ergatta Lite Rower

Looking to add a connected rowing machine to your home gym but haven’t been able to get past the inflated price tag? Ergatta, maker of the eponymous sleek, great-looking wooden water rower, is offering you an excellent alternative. On Nov. 1, the company announced its new Ergatta Lite rower — a lightweight, compact rowing machine that also happens to be significantly more affordable than its bigger sibling, the Ergatta Rower. And we had a chance to try it out at Ergatta’s NYC offices.

Why is the $1,500 Ergatta Lite worth a second look? Here’s everything you need to know before you decide if this drool-worthy oak rower is worth a place in your house.

The Ergatta Lite is on presale now, and it's a full $1,000 less than its larger sibling, the Ergatta connected rower. A gorgeous piece of equipment, the Ergatta Lite is crafted from US manufactured oak and weighs only 40 pounds, so you can simply and easily store it away when you're not using it. We also love its super-competitive gamified rowing software.

How to preorder the Ergatta Lite

The Ergatta Lite is available for preorder now at ergatta.com for $1,500. And, like most connected rowers, you’ll still have to pay a monthly membership fee of $29, or a discounted $319 per year, for access to the full library of game-based rowing workouts, plus 40 new workouts each month.

You can also check out Ergatta Lite bundles, which offer a discount if you add things like a seat cushion and rower mat to protect hardwood floors.

Rick Perez/CNN Underscored
The Ergatta Lite is one gorgeous piece of equipment.

The Ergatta Lite is still a gorgeous piece of equipment

No matter if you live in a big house or a small apartment, ordering larger-scale fitness equipment is a design decision as well as a health boost — which is why we have always been a huge fan of the Ergatta Rower, which was also chosen as one of our best rowing machines in 2023. As we noted in our review, the design is unparalleled, and the original cherrywood rower looks more like stylish furniture than a fitness machine. And, as with all water rowers, you won’t have to mess with settings to get started — the harder you pull, the more intense your workout.

Rick Perez/CNN Underscored
When you're done rowing, just store the Ergatta Lite in a corner.

The Ergatta Lite, which is made in the US, is crafted from sustainably sourced oak from Appalachia, then coated in a clear gloss to make sure it’s safe from all that sweat you’ll be shedding. And because it weighs only 40 pounds (72 pounds with water), you can leave it in your living room, then safely and easily lift it to store vertically with no extra hardware — in about the same space as an average barstool.

Though it does have a smaller footprint than the original Ergatta rower, under 7 feet long and 2 feet wide, we did not feel like we were missing anything. The rowing was smooth, and the seat was comfortable. Of course, if you’re over 6 feet, 5 inches tall, it may not be for you.

Tobey Grumet/CNN Underscored
The Ergatta Lite is smaller than the eponymous original, but it still looks and feels great.

Game-based software is super motivating

Instead of the usual instructor-led classes, Ergatta uses gamified workouts to better motivate you to compete at a higher level. And, in doing so, it adds a layer of fun and rivalry to everyday exercise. Most workouts, from the single-player workouts to the community-based races, are structured as basic high-intensity interval training — and even if you can’t catch one of the live races, you can compete with other rowers on demand.

Not only does this philosophy play directly to our super-competitive spirit, it also holds us accountable for every single workout by using personalized info it gleaned from an initial rowing calibration at setup. So, yeah, if we aren’t working up to our potential, Ergatta lets us know.

Rick Perez/CNN Underscored
We appreciate the super-competitive, game-based software.

Final thoughts

Pulling the trigger on connected home gym equipment is no easy task — and even more so when it’s a big decision like a rowing machine. Not only are these machines large and pricey, but most of them are not going to look great in your living room if you don’t have a separate home gym.

The new Ergatta Lite is the perfect antidote to this quandary. Not only is it a huge $1,000 cheaper than the original Ergatta Rower and the Hydrow Rower, our pick for the best overall rowing machine, but it is also a beautifully crafted machine that can be easily stored anywhere in your house. Plus, it comes with a five-year warranty in case anything goes wrong. Simple, beautiful and protected? Not a bad way to get your row on, if you ask us.