If you stick a pin in a long list of rowing machines currently available, chances are you'll land on a model by Stamina. Their range starts right at the bottom of the budget end of the market and goes up to round about the middle. And to give praise where it's due, they do a pretty good job of providing a wide choice to meet most buyer's requirements in this price bracket.
So what can the 1402 ATS Air Rower offer? Well, if you're not looking for anything hi-tech or up-to-date features such as online racing, PC-compatible performance monitoring, or state of the art electronics, the 1402 will be a perfectly usable, budget rower up to the task of regular use. It won't win prizes for its appearance or for innovation, but you will get a basic, no-frills model that does what you need it to do - and that is to give your muscles a good workout.
The 1402 provides resistance with its Air Transfer System (ATS). It doesn't have a lever to adjust the resistance levels (such as the Concept2) but the faster you row, the greater the resistance. So you can effectively vary your workouts by changing your stroke rate. Plus the angled rail (beam) will add a little extra resistance to deliver a challenging workout for most.
But, as with most air resistance rowers, this is a noisy one. This may not be a problem for most, but if you want to listen to music you'll need to plug in your earphones, or if you live in an apartment or have a small room the noise may be an issue. We'd recommend a magnetic rower in these circumstances.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. How easy is this machine to assemble out of the box? The answer is that it's pretty straight forward. Most of the components are pre-assembled which reduces the work you need to do. If you have rudimentary DIY skills this will be a simple 20 to 30 minute job.
Next, the rowing position. A budget model is never going to compete with a commercial rower you may have tried in the gym. The 1402 has a low seat so if your knees give you trouble, you may struggle to get on and off this one. The seat is well-padded, large and therefore will be comfortable for all but those with a well-padded seat of their own :0)
The rail is long enough for anyone up to 6' 2" as you can fully extend your legs before the seat hits the stop at the end. If taller, you may have to consider another model to get a decent workout. One of our long-legged reviewers with size 12 feet had a few issues with the footrests and found he had to row in his socks to keep his feet secured in place.
And lastly, the handle has a good diameter, cushioned and comfortable to grip and should prevent the dreaded hand-blisters that can be the bane for the serious rower.
The Console/ Monitor
The 3 screen LCD monitor again is basic and won't set the world alight with its beauty. But it's reasonably accurate and provides enough data for you to plan your workout and monitor your progress. However, if you under 5' 4" you might struggle to read the lower screen while rowing.
If you're looking for a basic, no-nonsense rowing machine to get into shape and your pockets aren't too deep, the Stamina 1402 is pretty safe bet. It's sturdy, and can easily handle regular use. It doesn't have much to interest the serious rower, or those who like their fitness equipment to be cutting-edge, but those machines will cost you twice as much.