Concept2 Model D review

If you like or are familiar with indoor rowing, chances are you know the Concept2 Model D rower. This indoor rower is the preferred rowing machine used in fitness centers, homes and gyms worldwide. The Concept2 Model D sets the standard for other rowing machines and is the benchmark against which all other rowing machines are compared. The Model D is an air resistance rower with a damper to control the flow of air through the machine. The Model D has virtually no maximum resistance. The air flow responds to the rower’s pull, so the harder you pull, the more resistance you create. That’s why the Model D is the rower of choice for competitive fitness events and professional training facilities. It can match the strength of any athlete, making it the ideal training tool.


Although this rower is large (8 ft. x 2 ft. assembly) and heavy (57 lbs.), it is surprisingly easy to assemble. All you have to do is install the front legs using a total of eight screws (including the necessary tools). Our expert tester found the setup very simple: “After removing everything from the box, it took less than half an hour to assemble this machine,” he says. “There were only a few pieces that could be screwed together.” He added that once it was assembled, he immediately started using it: “You can sit down, strap your feet up and start rowing without touching the screen or doing any setup,” he explained. “You just grab the handlebars and go.”


First of all, the Concept2 is an air resistance rower, and I found it to be smooth and replicates water rowing very well. And the faster you row, the more resistance you have. In other words, no matter how hard you pull, it will match your strength – again, just like on a real boat.

Gyms prefer the Concept2 over many others because it’s built so sturdily that it can take years of punishment without too many complaints. As well as gyms, they are also the preferred choice of most rowing clubs and serious rowers – and that says it all! (I wouldn’t be surprised if you dropped it from the second floor, it would still work :0)

I found the rowing position to be great and the seat was comfortable even with long training sessions. If you’ve used a rower at the gym, it’s probably the Concept2. Many gym users buy a home rower and are disappointed – because it doesn’t feel as good as the Concept2.
The Concept2 is available in silver or black – so another decision needs to be made. In our opinion, it’s not a competition …… it has to be black – it looks cool.

One quick note. If your knees aren’t as reliable as they were in your 20s, you may want to consider the next machine in its range, the Model E – it’s about $200 more, but the seats are higher and it’s easier to get in and out of.

Display/ Monitor

The Model D rower is equipped with Concept2’s PM5 Adjustable Performance Monitor, which has many advanced features built in. This easy-to-use monitor will be ready to use as soon as you start rowing and measure distance, speed, stroke rate, pace, calories and watts for each workout you perform, and you can choose between five different display options.

Compatible with most heart rate monitors, the PM5 also features a Bluetooth and USB flash drive option drive, so you can record workout performance and download it for later analysis. The drive allows up to 5 users to store their data, which is great if there are multiple users who want to track their progress, although most users will likely not need this feature.

The PM5 monitor comes preloaded with a variety of workouts and games, and can also be connected to other PM5 monitors for face-to-face matches. This is great when you’re looking for that extra motivation to get those competitive juices flowing, or just to change up your routine.

You can continue to charge the battery while you continue to row, which will extend the life, which I think is a great option.

Bottom Line

The Concept2 D-Paddler is the best indoor air paddler on the market. It is consistently the top rower used by gyms, CrossFit studios and professional training facilities worldwide. The Concept2 rower is the gold standard for time trials, competitive events, rowing content and other disciplines. The Model D is the most commonly used model in the Concept2 line, although the Model E is roughly the same oarsman, only slightly larger. Model D rowers use infinite air resistance to deliver a rowing challenge that immediately responds to each rower’s stroke. Concept2 is equipped with comfortable seats, handles and pedals to make rowing fun. The PM5 console adds more features, including games, distance or time based rowing challenges, instructions and a USB port for saving or uploading workouts. You can compete against yourself or others and upload your workouts to the Concept2 system for competition. The Model D folds in half when not in use and is lightweight. It will support weights up to 500 pounds, making it one of the best training tools available. We highly recommend that users check out the Concept2 Model D to enhance their training on a sturdy rower that provides a full body workout.

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