Vertical climbers are fast becoming the most sought after piece of home fitness equipment on the marketplace. Unlike traditional cardio machines such as the bike, treadmill or stair climber, vertical climbers bring the much neglected upper body into play. As a result, you get to enjoy a full body workout. Additionally, these climbers are designed to go easy on the joints so you can get fit in the comfort of your home without worrying about long-term injuries.

Below, we compare and contrast two of the most popular vertical climber brands; the budget MaxiClimber and the high-end VersaClimber to see which one you should be spending your hard earned money on.

Design

MaxiClimber

It consists of a fairly basic design with 5 adjustable height settings, isometric grips and a solid steel frame. One issue is that the foot pedals are studded so you can’t use the machine barefooted.

It works by engaging all your major muscle groups and offers a total body workout which incorporates your legs, arms, core and buttocks. It combines weight resistance, aerobic exercise and muscle toning in one package. Although the frame may not appear sturdy, it can safely accommodate users weighing up to 240 pounds.

VersaClimber

Even though the VersaClimber H models are supposed to be top of the range, at first glance there doesn’t seem to be much difference between it and MaxiClimber in terms of basic design. Like its rival, it has hand rails to hold onto and pedals for the feet and the machines function more or less in the same fashion. However, this machine comes with swivel foot paddles at the base, knobs, three adjustable pedal settings for stability, better grip and natural movement and Velcro foot straps.

There is a difference in material quality too as the VersaClimber H is made from aircraft quality aluminium which allows it to accommodate users weighing up to 350 pounds. It also offers a variable step height of 1 inch to 20 inches; a feature not available in MaxiClimber.

Winner: VersaClimber

Display Unit & Programs

MaxiClimberM

This machine looks very much like a budget model when it comes to the display unit as it only provides a step count and calorie counter. As a result, it’s difficult to gauge your progress and there are no program options whatsoever. Additionally, the display unit is very difficult to see during a session and most users complained that they could only see their step count by pausing their workout.

VersaClimber

In contrast, the VersaClimber H models offer 3 modes of operation on its display module: Standard, Program and Racemodes. HP models also have a Heart Rate mode. You can view the workout time, distance, calorie burn rate and a lot more besides. There are a total of 16 programs and the module can be adjusted according to your height and is easy to read.

Winner: VersaClimber

Workout Quality

MaxiClimber

The entire purpose of a vertical climber is to give you a natural feeling workout without placing strain on the joints and MaxiClimber manages just that. It is designed for beginner to intermediate; this is clear because there are no added resistance programs. You determine how fast or slow you travel and cannot make adjustments to increase difficulty. As the display only shows calories burned and step count, your workout options are fairly limited.

While this is ideal for those with low fitness levels, there’s a danger that you may quickly exceed the limit of the machine’s capabilities. Even though the frame is solid and the MaxiClimber can be trusted to stand firm on the floor, you feel it is not designed for extra vigorous sessions.

Yet for all these flaws, MaxiClimber gives you a pretty good workout all told. Beginners will likely struggle to last more than 10 minutes on this machine as you must move your arms and legs in unison. It is akin to wall climbing which is known to be a tough form of exercise. If you have weaknesses in you physique, MaxiClimber will quickly uncover them.

MaxiClimber Calories Burnt

VersaClimber

One of the big disappointments is the lack of variable resistance on VersaClimber’s consumer models. You would have thought it wouldn’t be too much to ask given the hefty pricetag. Nonetheless, it does offer varied step height and a host of programs so you shouldn’t run out of training ideas for the foreseeable future. Additionally, its tough frame makes it suitable for even the hardest trainee.

You are likely to achieve all your cardiovascular fitness goals on a VersaClimber H machine because of the aforementioned programs. The sophisticated display unit enables you to track your sessions carefully so you can steadily get better over time.

Winner: VersaClimber

Storage

MaxiClimber

Its product dimensions are 57 x 10 x 6 inches and it weighs 33 pounds without packaging. As it is pre-assembled you don’t need to worry about additional parts. You will need a ceiling of around 8 feet in height to use the machine.

One of MaxiClimber’s best features is the fact you can fold it up quickly and easily when you’re not using it. When folded, it can slide under a bed or fit into a small closet. You can then put it back together in seconds when you need to use it again.

VersaClimber H

This machine also needs a ceiling 8 feet in height when in operation but it only takes up 36 inches x 44 inches of floor space. It is a much heavier machine; according to its official website, the VersaClimber H models weigh 86 pounds with packaging. Like the MaxiClimber, you can fold the VersaClimber H so it is easily stored.

Winner: Tie

Value for Money

MaxiClimber

The MaxiClimber is one of the cheapest vertical climbers in the niche. For this price you get a solid entry-level workout machine which can help you get fitter and healthier. It is ideal for beginners. It also includes extras such as the diet and exercise plan with over 80 delicious recipes and a wall chart to monitor your workouts. You receive a 1 year warranty.

VersaClimber

It’s no surprise to learn that the VersaClimber H consumer range is extremely expensive given its wide range of features. Whilst it is a more sophisticated piece of machinery, it’s really only for serious fitness enthusiasts and doesn’t offer value for money for anyone else. On the plus side, you do get a 3 year limited warranty but only 1 year for parts & labour.

Winner: MaxiClimber

Customer Viewpoint

MaxiClimber

In terms of customer reviews for vertical climbers, MaxiClimber has one of the best ratings on Amazon.com. With over 850 reviews, this machine has gained an average rating of 4.2 stars and an impressive 61% of customers gave it 5 stars.

Although it is a fairly basic vertical climber, purchasers know exactly what they are getting with this machine. No one expects to receive state of the art fitness equipment and customers are satisfied that MaxiClimber delivers everything it promises. Customers say it is affordable, reliable and provides an excellent workout.

VersaClimber H

There is surprisingly little information regarding this particular VersaClimber model. While the brand itself typically receives positive reviews, the general consensus is that its consumer model is simply too expensive. This is especially the case when there are a number of alternatives at 10% of the price.

Winner: MaxiClimber

Overall

While VersaClimber appears to do better in a head-to-head contest, you must remember the vast disparity in price. If VersaClimber H was inferior in terms of quality and gadgets something would very much be amiss. Although VersaClimber is the ‘better’ machine, MaxiClimber is a much bigger seller because it costs a fraction of the price and delivers a workout comparable to that of its more expensive counterpart.

Winner: MaxiClimber

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One Response

  1. Gaius Gracchus

    Nice review. But one parameter that matters is durability over the long term. If you had to replace the cheaper machine several times it is still cheaper, but the difference in price is less than it first appears. Consumer reviews indicated some issues with longevity.

    That said, the Versaclimber is overpriced, in my opinion. Nice as it is, it seems excessive given what it *should* cost to produce it.

    Reply

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