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Which climbers are best?

Climbers are affordable and space-saving cardio machines that you can also use to build strength and endurance in the lower body. Some climbers also come with movable handlebars for upper body workouts. There is a trade-off between portability and the sturdiness of the frame. The best climbers offer the right balance between compact design and sturdiness. With its high-quality construction and ergonomic design, the Bowflex M3 Max Trainer is the best choice for a climber. 

What to know before you buy a climber


Here are the most common types of climbers

  • Vertical climbers come with handlebars or handrails for a full-body workout. These climbers take the least space, and several models come with a foldable design. One of the disadvantages of vertical climbers is their low maximum weight capacity. They are also less durable compared to other types of climbers. 
  • Step-only climbers do not have handlebars or handrails, which means no workout or the upper body. They do offer ultra-portability with their extremely compact design. Some users might find it challenging to stay balanced when using it at high intensity. You can use resistance bands to work out the upper body.
  •  Fully assembled climbers are the largest type, which makes them sturdier. Generally, they are also more expensive compared to other types. The stable base allows for a high-intensity workout, and the climbing movement is similar to climbing stairs or a ladder.  


Climbers made from fewer pieces or one solid piece offer the best durability, maximum weight capacity and sturdiness. They also need less maintenance, such as lubrication of the joints. If portability is important, you might settle with a climber with a jointed structure. 


Even if you are buying a compact climber, it should fit comfortably with enough room for you to move around the room. If you need to fold it up every time you use it, make sure you get a small and light model. 

What to look for in a quality climber


One of the features of a quality climber is that it has an adjustable height for a comfortable fit. The right fit allows you to maximize your workout and minimize the chances of injury. If the climber is not adjustable, you might overstretch a muscle trying to reach the handlebars or injure your back crouching to fit right. Adjustability becomes even more critical if the climber has multiple users. You should look for a climber that offers quick, easy and secure adjustability. 

Resistance levels

Most climbers offer adjustable resistance levels so you can alter the intensity of the workout. The mechanism used for resistance levels can vary. Some climbers use weight plates, while others might use bodyweight. 

Extra features 

A high-quality climber might feature a heart rate monitor, Bluetooth connectivity, workout history tracking and other advanced features. Although these features are unnecessary for a calorie-burning workout, they help make the experience more comfortable and encourage more intense workouts. 

How much you can expect to spend on a climber

The inexpensive models are priced around $180-$250, while high-end climbers are more than $1,000. 

Climber FAQ

Does a climber machine require assembly? 

A. Most climbers need some assembly. Generally, the manufacturer provides instructions on how to assemble the machine. Some lightweight and compact models can come pre-assembled but might still require some assembly. Most climbers can be assembled without needing special tools. 

Are climbers safe? 

A. There is some risk with any type of fitness equipment. As long as you warm up before exercising, use proper technique and are a good quality climber, it should be safe for use. The low impact movement of the climber is ideal for people with joint issues. The handlebars provide stability, minimizing the chances of falling. 

What muscle groups can be targeted using a climber? 

A. The lower body muscles such as the hamstrings, quads and calves get an intense workout using a climber. Some models have moving handlebars that help exercise the arms, shoulders and back. The core muscle groups, such as the abs or lower back, can also get a workout depending on the form and machine’s design. 

What are the best climbers to buy?

Top climber 

Bowflex M3 Max Trainer

Bowflex M3 Max Trainer 

What you need to know: For the ultimate durability and ergonomic design at a reasonable price, the Bowflex M3 is the top choice. 

What you’ll love: This climber offers a compact design with a sturdy frame. You can easily adjust the resistance and speed with the click of a dial. It offers eight resistance levels, two workout programs, a heart rate monitor, media connectivity and a water bottle holder. 

What you should consider: The workout tracker needs to be set up every time at the start of the workout. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top climber for the money

Relife Rebuild Your Life Folding Climber

Relife Rebuild Your Life Folding Climber 

What you need to know: This is a budget climber that offers a foldable design, adjustable resistance and a sturdy frame. 

What you’ll love: This climber is easy to assemble and has a space-saving design. It offers five resistance levels. The sliding cables are abrasion-resistant, maximizing the durability of the climber. 

What you should consider: For smooth operation and maximum longevity, this climber requires periodic lubrication of the shafts and foot pedals. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Maxi Vertical Climber

Maxi Vertical Climber 

What you need to know: This is an easy setup vertical climber for a full-body workout. 

What you’ll love: It comes 90% pre-assembled. It offers several features, including a step counter, mobile device holder, adjustable height, variable resistance levels and a free fitness app that offers workout tracking, meal plans and over 80 healthy recipes. 

What you should consider: The pedals are hard and can cause discomfort. It is best to use this machine with running shoes that are cushioned or padded. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Ali Azhar writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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