The best vertical climber machine is a no impact and joint friendly exercise machine that will support most weight classes, offers smooth operation and easy functionality, provides additional resistance levels to keep workouts challenging, is portable and easily stored, and has a solid structure with quality parts, and yet still affordable.
Did I mention that the mountain climber can also burn twice as many calories as your typical treadmill machine?
Does this sound like a cardio machine you may be interested in? If so, then you have come to the right place.
What You Will Find in this Review
In this comprehensive guide and review, we will list our top 6 best vertical climbing machines that you can use in the comfort of your own home or apartment. More than likely you are here because you are interested in learning more about these machines and possibly purchasing one for your home gym.
We know how difficult and time consuming it can be to find a good quality climber. Therefore, we have made it our goal to help make this process easier by providing you with a list of what we believe to be the best machines.
Unlike most exercise machines, you get a full body workout – making this the ultimate fat burning machine!
Additionally, you will find all the product information we could find for each cardio climber, a comparison list with top features, and some personal guidance and tips to help along the way. Plus, we provided you with an Editor’s Choice and Runner-Up Award to possibly help your decision-making process easier.
- What You Will Find in this Review
- Advantages of using a Vertical Climber Machine
- Pros & Cons of a Vertical Climbing Machine
- What is a Vertical Climber?
- 6 Best Vertical Climber Machines Reviewed
- Editor’s #1 Pick for Best Mountain Climber Machine and Why
- My #1 Best Vertical Climber Machine is…
- My #2 Best Vertical Climbing Machine is…
- Your Quick Guide to Vertical Climbing Machines – What You Should Know Before Buying
- How to Find the Best Vertical Climber Machine
- Is the Vertical Climber Machine Right for You?
- Vertical Climber vs Treadmill – Which is Better?
- Maxi Climber vs Maxi Climber XL-1000
- Final Thoughts
Advantages of using a Vertical Climber Machine
The vertical climber is a great way to lose weight while also toning your body, strengthening muscles, and getting your heart rate up for cardiovascular health. Unlike a treadmill that only stresses your lower body, these machines will provide for a full body workout.
Furthermore, these climbers have a very small footprint and take up far less space than treadmills, indoor exercise bikes, or most any other exercise machine, making this the perfect exercise machine to add to your home gym!
Pros & Cons of a Vertical Climbing Machine
- full body workout cardio machine
- exercise upper & lower body simultaneously
- easy on joints, no impact
- burns calories faster than a treadmill
- exceptionally quiet operation
- extra resistance is available on select models
- lightweight, portable and easy to store
- foldable on select models
- small footprint, use little floor space
- very little assembly required
- may take getting used to using
- maximum weight capacity may limit use (usually 250 to 300 lbs)
- not for building muscles (this is a cardio machine for weight loss & toning)
What is a Vertical Climber?
The cardio climbing machine is a highly functional machine made to utilize the same movements as rock climbing. With this machine, you get a full body workout, which includes both arms and legs, and your abdominal muscles. The movements on this machine are very natural and low impact making it easy on joints.
These machines burn fat faster and more effectively than most other cardio machines on the market today. It can burn more calories than a bike and twice as many as a treadmill. This machine will absolutely get your heart rate up! Thus making it the ideal high-intensity interval trainer for serious fat burning results.
A study conducted at the Department of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies, Washington State University shows just how much more effective the cardio climber is than both the treadmill and rowing machine.
These machines are no joke when it comes to burning fat!
The climber burns fat faster and more effectively than most any other cardio machine on the market today.
Weighing only about 40 pounds, and a footprint on average of only 4 by 4 feet, these cardio machines can be conveniently moved and placed virtually anywhere in your home.
If Lebron James uses a climber as his favorite cardio exercise machine, you can’t go wrong!
6 Best Vertical Climber Machines Reviewed
So lets finally get started and list our top 5 best vertical climbing machines that deliver in quality and are very affordably priced.
The Weslo Stepfit climber is guaranteed to work out all parts of your upper and lower body. The Weslo comes with a large LCD display to monitor your progress and has adjustable handlebars to fit most any body size.
Resistance is a huge factor when it comes to getting a good workout. With the easily adjustable resistance knobs, you control the intensity of your workout.
It is important to note on this climber that your arms and legs move independently and that there is separate resistance for both your arms and legs. There is one knob to adjust the arm resistance, and two separate controls to adjust the leg resistance independently. A feature no other machine has to offer.
This climber is 7″ in height, has a maximum 250-pound weight capacity, and a shelf to conveniently store your smartphone or media device while exercising.
I highly recommend this climber as it has a very sturdy build, and is the only climbing machine to offer independent resistance for arms and legs.
This climber’s base measures only 2″ by 3″ making it easy to fit in a room corner or any other area in your home. The Weslo is by far our favorite climber.
- 2 x 3 feet footprint
- adjustable resistance for low to high intensity
- 250 lbs maximum weight capacity
- arms and legs move independently
- separate resistance for arms and legs
- stepper handles
The X-Factor boasts a strong and durable steel construction with high-quality durable plastic and has a maximum weight capacity of over 300 pounds.
It includes two removable resistance bands for adjusting the intensity of your workout routine and provides for comfortable and smooth operation.
The height is adjustable and is foldable for better storage options. It includes an LCD which monitors digital calories and has a step counter.
Recently Upgraded: I have recently discovered that X-Factor has upgraded this climber to 3 resistance levels and now includes a total of 6 resistance ropes rather than just the previous 2 ropes.
- Recent upgrade: 6 resistance bands, 3 intensity levels
- over 300 lbs maximum weight capacity
- durable, strong structure
- height adjustable
The all new and improved MaxiClimber XL-1000 is a truly impressive climber and a much-needed upgrade from the previous Classic model I had not originally included in my review…and for good reason.
The original MaxiClimber Classic had a cheap feel to it that was flimsy and wobbly with a not so sturdy structure. It also had very short foot pedals and offered no resistance options whatsoever.
I consider the XL-1000 to be one of the best climbers machines for challenging yourself with 12 levels of Bi-Directional Hydraulic resistance levels and high-quality construction.
Fast forward a year from writing this review, and MaxiClimber has come out with the MaxiClimber XL-1000. This new model has a very professional feel to it. Moreover, it is structurally very sound, offers full-size foot pedals, and very smooth and quiet operation.
Disclaimer: This video is for demo purposes only; offers are not supported by this site or by Amazon
But it doesn’t end there. This model now has a whopping 12 levels of Bi-Directional hydraulic resistance. More levels than any other vertical machine in this review. It is also very lightweight and you can fold it for easy portability and storage purposes.
This cardio climber has a maximum weight capacity of 300lbs and adjustable user height up to 6.6 feet.
The XL-1000 may be a bit pricey compared to the other models in this review, but if you are looking for a good quality climber with more features it is well worth the money.
- Bi-Directional Hydraulic Resistance
- 12 Resistance Levels
- Dependable, Professional & Sturdy Structure
- 300-pound weight capacity
This affordable cardio mountain climber is designed to simulate the physically demanding activity of a rock climber. It is the perfect way to tone your arms, legs, abs, and buttocks.
The Body Champ BCR890 offers a quality resistance system for smooth movement, a wider base for added stability, adjustable handle length to adjust to your body type or workout style, and anti-slip foam handles for more safety and comfort.
Its Smart-View monitor keeps track of your steps, calories and time spent on the machine.
Furthermore, its exclusive bungee suspension system provides for a low impact workout thus making it much easier on the joints.
It is also important to note that you can adjust the machine height to fit your size. This machine stands a 7″ at the maximum setting. The footprint is about 4″ by 4″ and weighs 55 pounds.
The maximum recommended weight capacity is 250 pounds.
This machine has one resistance setting, but users claim it is enough to get your heart racing after only a minute of activity. This machine also includes an assembly video, meal plan guide, and workout video access.
- Larger 4 x 4 feet footprint for better stability, yet uses more floor space
- one resistance setting
- 250 pounds maximum weight capacity
- bungee suspension for smooth operation
- transport wheels
This climber by Best Choice Products is both a climber and stationary bike. This 2-in-1 climbing machine is also foldable. Therefore, making it easy to transport and store away when not in use.
The stationary bike is built with an 8 level magnet resistance control adjustment and adjustable pedal straps.
The climber uses body weight as resistance and features adjustable climbing arms. The weight capacity is 330 pounds. It also includes a display that tracks speed, time, distance, and calories.
- no added resistance (body weight)
- 330-pound weight capacity
- 2in1 climber and bike combo
- the bike has resistance magnets and LCD
What makes Ancheer climbing machine stand out from the others is that it is a foldable unit and can be easily stored in a closet or other room.
Furthermore, this 2in1 climber can also be used as a stationary bike to burn some extra calories or just to warm up before you use the climber.
The Ancheer weighs approximately 50 pounds and supports a maximum weight capacity of 220 pounds. Whether you are short or tall, this cardio climber is height adjustable and can be set to meet your specific height.
The Ancheer climber and exercise bike combo is made of steel alloy. Thus, making it a durable and long-lasting exercise machine.
This machine does not offer adjustable resistance levels, but rather uses your own body weight to power the machine to the speed you desire.
- no resistance (uses body weight only)
- 220-pound maximum weight capacity
- 2in1 climber and bike combo
We have given our best effort to compare each and every product specification. This includes reading through all reviews and examining the pros and cons of each machine. Based on my research and 30 years of experience in the fitness field, I have come to a conclusion and final pick.
My #1 Best Vertical Climber Machine is…
The Weslo Stepfit Climber
Before I explain why I made this decision let me reiterate that I have over 30 years of experience and continue to actively workout with weights and machines. I have used many machines including home gyms and commercial grade machines used in gyms and fitness Studios. My decision is not a “win all” decision for everyone.
Everyone’s needs, level of experience, and goals are different. I am only here to help guide you in the right direction and make a more informed decision.
With that said, let me explain why I believe the Weslo Stepfit to be the best climbing machine and why I made it my #1 pick.
Why we Picked the Weslo Stepfit Climber Machine
The first thing I look for in any machine, besides structural integrity and quality, is performance. Basically, what I’m looking for is whether or not this machine will give me the best results possible?
In our case, we are looking for the best climber that will deliver the most intensity for the best results. By results we mean what it offers for cardio health, calories burned, and muscle toning.
Climber Intensity will deliver on all three: cardio health, calories burned, muscle toning!
Some of these machines have added resistance controls to add intensity while other machines do not. What made the Weslo standout was that the arm and leg movements are independent. Furthermore, there is separate resistance for your arms and legs.
What’s more, the structural Integrity appears good and the weight capacity of 250 pounds seems sufficient. All in all great qualities I like to see in a climber.
Therefore, if I had to pick a second mountain climbing machine, I would have chosen the Best Choice 2-in1. Unfortunately, it was missing the added resistance for the climber but did have 8 levels of magnetic resistance for the bike.
Unfortunately, this was not added to the climber side of the machine and thus did not pass the test. If however, you are more into the bike side of this machine and the climber being your secondary exercise, this machine might be an option for you.
My #2 Best Vertical Climbing Machine is…
X-Factor Vertical Climber
LATEST UPDATED MODEL: Now with 6 resistance ropes and 3 resistance levels!
The X-Factor has most of the same benefits as the Weslo climber such as the LCD monitor, height adjustability, and option of adding extra resistance.
But it also has the option to fold the machine for better space management and easy storage. And it has a user maximum weight capacity of 300lbs.
Your Quick Guide to Vertical Climbing Machines – What You Should Know Before Buying
How to Find the Best Vertical Climber Machine
Shopping for a cardio climber online will be much more convenient and less time consuming, but can also be very overwhelming.
With literally hundreds of online sites and so many different mountain climbing machines to choose from, how does one decide which cardio climber is the best choice for you?
It is our mission to help you find the best cardio climber for your home!
You could spend hours of searching the net and reading through lengthy product descriptions and still not know if you’re making the right buying decision.
This is where we come to the rescue!
We will not only help you find the best vertical climber to use in your home, but we will also cover some basic questions you should be asking yourself before you make your decision.
Is the Vertical Climber Machine Right for You?
Before you go spending your hard earned money, you should be certain that you or your significant other will actually use the machine.
I have been actively involved in health and fitness for over 30 years and have experienced and seen a lot. And I can tell you I have seen many workout machines, especially treadmills, wasting away, collecting dust in corners or back rooms.
I have seen them in neighborhood garages surrounded by boxes or even used as clotheslines. Many end up in storage buildings or even in backyards, wasting away in the elements.
You don’t want to be one of those people.
With that said, if there is any advice I can give you to make you feel better about buying a climber, it is this. These climbers will outperform a treadmill any day. Let me explain why.
Vertical Climber vs Treadmill – Which is Better?
There are many reasons why you would benefit more from the climber than from a treadmill. So let’s take a closer look at our top 3 reasons below.
1. Is the Climbing Machine more Effective than the Treadmill?
Which is more effective…the climber or the treadmill? Treadmills are mostly used for walking. Walking is a slow-paced aerobic exercise that burns calories over a longer period of time, with little muscle engagement or intensity. No upper body action here. Sure one could argue that setting an incline (if it has one) or adjusting the speed level will increase the calories burned in a shorter time period.
But let’s be honest! We all would agree that walking on a treadmill is quite boring, to say the least. That is why you see people at the gym watching TV, or reading on their phones while walking. I wouldn’t exactly call that working out. To me, that is more like taking a break.
More Muscles are used with the Climber Machine
The climbing machine is far more engaging and requires far more muscle activation. The climber is made to simulate movements and muscle utilization to that of a rock climber. Your arms, shoulders, back, abs, and legs are all being used together simultaneously. Thus making the climbers far more effective at burning calories than the treadmill.
The climber works out upper, lower, and core body muscles simultaneously, making it the ideal full-body cardio workout machine.
Trust me when I say you will build up a sweat far quicker with these climbers than with the treadmill. Not only will you burn calories faster, but the added intensity will activate more growth hormones and increase your metabolism, thus creating a more efficient fat burning environment.
After all, this is our main objective. Burn more fat in less time.
The following numbers are calculated based on stats taken from a well known vertical climber manufacturer here in the U.S. It shows just how much more effective the cardio climber is at burning calories than other cardio exercises and machines.
Calories Burned Comparison Table – Climber vs Others
|EXERCISE||SPEED||CALORIES BURNED IN 1HR|
|* Numbers may vary based on age, gender, and metabolism.|
|Bicycling/Stationary Bike||9.4 mph||384|
|Vertical Climber||1.3 mph||840|
Vertical Climbing Machine Workout Routine for Maximum Results
Here is an example workout routine you could use that takes only about 20 minutes but will give you better results than a 45-minute session on the treadmill. If you are a beginner, maybe try a 5-minute session to start out with and over time work your way up to 20 minutes. Your goal over time should be to work your way up to at least a 30-minute workout.
A new study shows that a 30-minute workout may benefit just as well as a 1-hour workout session for helping overweight adults lose weight.
To begin with, I recommend a 5-minute warmup session with some light aerobic exercises and some stretching. Once you’re warmed up, use your vertical climbing machine at a light pace for about 1 minute. Next, push yourself through a high-intensity 20-second workout on these climbers.
After that, take a 30-second breather, and continue with some light jumping jacks for about minutes. Take a quick breather if necessary and immediately perform another 20 seconds of high-intensity vertical climbs. Repeat this sequence for a 5 to 10 or even 20 minutes workout. I guarantee you will see results.
2. The Vertical Climber uses Less Space and is More Portable
I like to compare the vertical climbing machine to the rowing machine when it comes to intensity. But much like the treadmill, the rowing machine uses a lot of floor space. Both are very bulky and heavy, making it very difficult to move around or find a suitable location. The cardio climber, on the other hand, has a much smaller footprint in most cases much lighter and easier to maneuver around the house.
The climbing machine has one of the smallest Footprints of most workout machines, making it easy to fit in any size room.
Furthermore, these climbers can be easily placed in just about any room. Its small footprint makes it ideal for corners, and if need be, a large closet would even do the trick.
3. Cardio climbers are More Affordable
Compared to any decent treadmill on the market, these machines are far less expensive. We all know when shopping for pretty much any product, that price is usually our first concern after quality. And let’s not forget at some point a treadmill will either break down or need maintenance. And parts and labor do not come cheap.
Maxi Climber vs Maxi Climber XL-1000
Some may be wondering how I could have omitted the so popular and well advertised Maxi Climber (not the all-new Maxi Climber XL-1000) from our best vertical climber machine review. And I have a simple answer for that. How many of you have ever bought a product after seeing it advertised? Especially on an infomercial only to be disappointed after your purchase?
Many of these products are overly hyped up by professional actors. And even in some cases, celebrities are used to make them even more convincing. But don’t be fooled. These are all just sales tactics. And I might say very effective sales tactics to make you, the consumers, buy their product.
Maxi Climber – Out with the Old in with the New
In short, what I am saying is don’t be fooled by the hype. Just because the Maxi Climber is the most sold climber on Amazon, does not necessarily mean it is the best deal. Don’t get me wrong. I am by no means saying this is a bad product. I am only saying that there are better quality products available to choose from.
Here is a great example of a verified user and purchaser on Amazon who replaced their Maxi Climber with a Weslo Climber and couldn’t be happier. The user indicates the quality of the Weslo Climber to be way better than the Maxi Climber. They are happy with how sturdy and how well constructed the Weslo machine is. It not only has the added bonus of having extra resistance but that the resistance is also independently driven for both arms and legs.
Even though these two machines are very similar in price, this user finds the Weslo Machine to outperform the Maxi Climber (old version) on all levels.
Note: I would once again like to reiterate that I would absolutely recommend the all-new Maxi-Climber XL-1000. I would probably consider it as being the best quality climber, however at a higher price.
There were many other vertical climber machines we evaluated that unfortunately did not have what it took to make our list. That said, the 6 machines on this list are all quality products that I highly recommend to anyone ready to invest in a good climbing machine.
In the end, it is up to you to make the decision you feel is the best vertical climber for your needs. But hopefully, this review has helped you in making that decision easier.
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With over 30 years of experience in strength training and fitness, Mark LaRue is the founder of Fitness Mastered, a blog to help educate fitness enthusiasts of all fitness levels, age, and gender. We write topics that range from weight training and exercise routines to weight loss strategies, motivational videos, and home workout machine reviews, to name a few.