Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks in advance for your support!
Looking for an alternative to jogging or rowing that is easier on the body and a whole lot of fun? Or maybe you haven’t been able to go bouldering and want to maintain your finesse at rock climbing? Then you should have a look at something called a vertical climber. These exercise machines are the perfect solution to your workout boredom. Not only do they pack a powerful punch, but they take up way less room than a treadmill.
It’s time to rethink the at-home workout. Vertical climbers can help you get fit and prepare you for more outdoorsy activities in the future. If you are looking for the best vertical climbers to buy, then you’re in luck. We’ve reviewed the top indoor climbing machines to help you make the right selection.
That brings us to the question…
The Best Vertical Climbing Equipment Reviewed
What are Vertical Climbers Anyway?
A vertical climber is nothing like a stationary bike or treadmill. It is a workout machine that is built to help you mimic the movement of climbing a rock wall. The machine itself looks a little like an X with arms that move in opposite directions. At the center is the motor, which is encased in plastic and contains chains with a protective coating. Usually, the frame is made of metal, but cheaper models often contain more plastic than steel or aluminum.
The Best Vertical Climbers
So, what is the best vertical climber machine? Well, that depends on what you are looking for. Here are some awesome indoor climbing machines to get you prepared for your next excursion:
Best Overall Vertical Climber: MaxiClimber XL-2000 Hydraulic Resistance Vertical Climber
If you want the best, then the MaxiClimber XL-2000 Vertical Climber is going to win you over quickly. Unlike the classic MaxiClimber—which is also on this list—the XL-2000 by the same company utilizes all the latest technology to deliver an astounding workout. Though the machine is one of the heaviest on the list, it is also one of the most durable and easy to store when not in use. The vertical climber includes a mobile device holder, so you can watch TV shows or listen to music without needing your hands. A free fitness app is also available for download.
- Composed of aluminum and rollers for better storage and transportation.
- Has 12 resistance levels.
- Can be adjusted for users up to 6.6 feet tall and can hold up to 300 pounds. The handlebars are adjustable, too.
- Comes with a free app and mobile device holder.
- Features an anti-sliding mechanism that helps your workout on uneven surfaces without any trouble.
- Excellent grips.
- On the expensive side.
- Not as durable as you would expect for the price. Some of the fasteners and bands will break rapidly.
Best Ergonomic Vertical Climber: RELIFE Rebuild Your Life Vertical Climber
Many people have chosen the RELIFE Rebuild Your Life Vertical Climber—and for more than its inspiring name. The overall design of the machine has caught the eye of those who want an amazing workout for a decent price. Because the pedals on the vertical climber are slightly inclined, your center of gravity is dispersed closer to the frame, making it much smoother than cheaper models. It is much more ergonomic.
- All vulnerable parts come with a lifetime warranty; the metal frame comes with the one year warranty.
- 5 levels of resistance for an excellent workout.
- Also has 5 adjustable height levels and can hold up to 260 pounds.
- Great customer service for any problems with the machine.
- Has enhanced foot support with inclined pedals and rods.
- Some of the plastic parts of the frame crack easily.
- The display screen is battery operated and can be finicky.
Best Value Vertical Climber: MaxiClimber Classic Home Workout Machine
You may have seen this vertical climber machine featured on television. Not only does this indoor climber machine have everything you need for an intense, full-body workout, but it is also pre-assembled and easy to set up in your home. The MaxiClimber Classic is made of extremely durable materials and can withstand up to 240 pounds of weight. One of the best features offered by this machine, however, would be the fitness app that can be used on your smartphone or tablet.
- Adjustable height to accommodate all users.
- Comes with a fitness app to enhance your workout routine.
- Display is readable and also has a workout timer. You can also check steps taken and calories burned.
- The MaxiClimber can be folded up and easily stored.
- Features mobile handlebars.
- Users report that the seams along the frame wear badly.
- The time display is near the body of the machine, which can make it difficult to read while in motion.
Best 2-in-1 Vertical Climber and Exercise Bike: Best Choice Products 2-in-1 Total Body Vertical Climber and Magnetic Exercise Bike Machine
The best of both worlds: strength and cardio conditioning! With the 2-in-1 Total Body Vertical Climber and Magnetic Exercise Bike Machine, you can hit every muscle in the body effortlessly. The vertical climber portion has non-slip foot glides and adjustable arms. With 8 levels of magnetic resistance, you can count on conditioning workouts that mimic the intense conditions of climbing a real rock wall. Moveover, you can get continuous feedback from the display screen that tracks the distance you climbed, speed, and even calories burned during the workout. Although the price tag is a bit hefty, you are getting a complete package.
- Incredibly strong frame that can withstand 330 pounds of weight.
- Vertical climber plus a stationary exercise bike.
- 8 levels of resistance.
- Rubber handlebars with great grips that don’t stick.
- Informative LCD display.
- Adjustable height to accommodate everyone in need of a fantastic workout.
- No wheels for easy movement or transportation.
- Machine can be a bit clunky and requires some maintenance.
- Heavy (66 pounds).
Best Foldable Vertical Climber: Citybirds Vertical Climber
Looking for a reasonably priced vertical climber that is also built to last? The Citybirds Vertical Climber has received many favorable reviews from past buyers, so you know you are making a good choice. The best part of the Citybirds Vertical Climber is the design. When you fold it, it reduces down to 80 percent of its original size, so you can tuck it away when you aren’t using it. The frame is constructed from extremely durable frosted steel, and the triangular base is cushioned with suction cups that help keep the machine stable during even the most intense workouts.
- The company listened to customer feedback and made a 2020 upgrade that is definitely better than previous models.
- The LCD display is top-notch. You can clearly see what is being displayed.
- 5 adjustable height levels make this indoor climbing machine suitable for people of all heights and weights.
- Comes with a 2-year limited warranty.
- Easy to assemble.
- There are instances of the item arriving damaged or in a beat up box with missing pieces. Citybirds has been good with responding and correcting mistakes, however.
- You cannot adjust the resistance.
Buying Guide: What to Look for When Buying an Indoor Climbing Machine
There are plenty of features to consider while shopping around for a vertical climbing machine. Like most fitness machines, the models are usually very similar in shape and size, but depending on what you pay, there will be a difference in material quality, as well as more nifty components, like touchscreens and displays.
Here are several features to keep in mind as you shop for the best vertical climber for you:
The handlebars on a vertical climber machine are kind of like the handlebars on a bicycle. They are essential and provide stability. There are two kinds of handlebars that you can select: static or mobile.
Static handlebars are ideal for those who want to support their upper body and focus solely on their legs. If you are a beginner, then look for a machine with stable handlebars. Mobile handlebars are also necessary for those seeking an upper body workout.
Either way, you are going to want a vertical climber with handles that are soft, easy to grip, and conveniently positioned.
There are two ways climbers provide resistance during your workout. Your weight is one way to get resistance. The other is to set a level on the display that tightens the chains connected to the pedals. Make sure you are using some resistance while using a vertical climber, since that makes it safer to operate.
The pedals are where you place your feet, so you wouldn’t want them to be slippery or wobbly or leave your feeling insecure. The best pedals are going to be coated with an anti-slip material. Pedals should be firm and large enough to support most of your foot.
If you don’t want your vertical climber decorating your living room when guests come over, then you should consider purchasing a foldable one. Foldable indoor climbing machines are easy to move around and are usually light enough for transport. This is great if you plan on moving the equipment around.
Digital Panel Display
Most modern vertical climbers are pretty high-tech. You will find that there are easy to read displays on the machine that provide you with a readout of your speed, among other things.
While it is not recommended to purchase the cheapest vertical climber you can find, it’s understandable that you might want a wway to save money while trying out the machine. Still, you should know that the cheaper the price tag, the cheaper the materials—and that means a reduced weight capacity.
Be sure to find one that can carry your weight and then some. Higher end vertical climbers are also fabricated from industrial strength metal, which usually has a maximum weight capacity of 450 pounds.
Why is this important? Obviously, if you’re a bigger individual, you want to feel safe. Though, as you start to shed pounds and get stronger, you may want to make your climb more challenging by wearing a weighted vest or backpack.
Workout Benefits of Using Vertical Climbers
Looking for a reason to pick up new exercise equipment but still don’t know if a vertical climber is right for you? Let’s look at the benefits. That should help you decide.
Vertical climbers have several main workout benefits:
- Time efficient workouts – get an incredible workout in just 20-45 minutes.
- High caloric burn – every workout on a vertical climber is considered “high intensity,” meaning your body consumes a lot of oxygen in a short amount of time—and that burns a whole lot of calories.
- Total body fitness – the upper and lower body have to work in sync to get your through your exhilarating climb, toning more than a rowing machine or an elliptical.
- Customize your workout – if you aren’t up for a total body workout, you can change up how you climb by using more arms or more legs or setting up intervals. This keeps your workouts fresh and challenging.
- Less chance of injury – since vertical climbers are low impact on the joints, you are far less likely to hurt yourself than if you were attempting to lift heavy with a barbell, for instance.
So, you will be doing more than just leisurely climbing. You are literally melting away fat and building strength in the arms and legs.
Fitness Climbing Machine FAQ
Indoor climbing machines are wonderful for people who want to workout in a whole new way, but because they are still not as common as other workout machines, it makes sense that you might have a question.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to consider:
1. Do vertical climbers really work?
Yes, they do. While it may seem like a simple concept, a vertical climber provides exceptional resistance and mimics climbing up a rock wall or scaling a rocky trail. You can easily train your upper and lower body as well as enhance your cardio with a climbing exercise machine.
2. Are climbing exercise machines good for weight loss? How many calories can you burn on a vertical climber?
Yes, vertical climbers are exceptional for weight loss. In fact, studies have proven that you burn nearly twice as many calories on an indoor climbing machine than you do with a treadmill or elliptical. You burn around 20-25 calories a minute, which amounts to 600-800 calories in 30 minutes. The reason is that your heart rate accelerates and stays elevated the entire workout.
Also, because you are consuming so much oxygen and energy during the workout, you also burn way more calories after your workout than you would just going on a run or lifting weights.
3. I have bad knees. Can I use a vertical climber?
Of course, you can. Although it is always recommended to check with a trusted physician prior to beginning a new exercise program, vertical climbers are low impact (not to be confused with low intensity). In other words, you are putting less stress on the joints. It is not like running, which is high impact.
If you have back problems or joint pain, you will find vertical climbers to be more comfortable to use than a treadmill. There are fewer jarring motions. Everything is smooth and natural.
4. What muscle groups do vertical climbers target?
There are dozens of workout machines claiming to provide you with a full body workout, but few compare to a vertical climber machine. You work a bunch of muscles at a higher intensity all at once, which makes exercise with an indoor climbing machine much more challenging than using an elliptical or treadmill.
In a single session on the vertical climber, you work the upper body (back, chest, shoulders, and traps), your arms (biceps and triceps), and your lower body, including hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. Also, since you need to stabilize yourself, your core works, too.
The best part is that you can customize your workout. If you only want to work your legs, using the lower rungs while keeping your arms still. The same idea works for the upper body, as well.
If you have any other questions about vertical climbers, get in touch with us! We’re happy to help.
Having a vertical climber in your home is going to be one of the best investments you could ever make for your health. An indoor climbing machine has a slew of benefits, including torching calories (say goodbye to the Quarantine 15) and building muscle for an extremely affordable price. And if you are concerned about your vertical climber taking up a lot of space, you shouldn’t be. There are plenty of foldable vertical climbers out there that can fit into tight spaces.
So, if you are searching for a cardio machine that is affordable and highly effective, a vertical climber is exactly what you need.