There are loads of home exercise machines out there and more gyms than you can shake your fist at, but before you shell out thousands of dollars on equipment or expensive gym memberships, you should strongly consider purchasing a vertical climber. Vertical climbers are some of the most effective exercise machines on the market when it comes to bang for your buck and calories burned per hour. That said, it can be overwhelming to select the best one for you with the seemingly endless number of options available. That’s why we’ve tested all the most popular brands and laid out the results for you in this easy to read buying guide. Keep reading to learn about all the pros and cons of the Maxi Climber as well as the top 5 competing vertical climbers on the market.
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Benefits of Using a Vertical Climber
In my opinion, vertical climbers are the best and most effective exercise machines out there. Vertical climbers engage all the major muscle groups and help get you those rock hard abs and perfectly toned legs. They also build your biceps and triceps, so it’s really a full body workout, using just one machine. They are proven to be more effective than your standard treadmill. In fact, 10 minutes of a vertical climber is equivalent to about half an hour on a treadmill because they burn more calories faster.
Vertical climbers are also able to offer an intense full body workout while minimizing the stress on your body’s joints. Treadmills, on the other hand, put a lot of stress on your knees and ankles and can actually to more damage than good. This is not the case with vertical climbers. They use your own body weight for resistance but since your feet never leave the device there is no hard impact on your knees and ankles, making them one of the most effective and safe pieces of workout equipment for long term use.
Anyone who has ever gone rock climbing knows that it is one of the most intense calorie burning exercises out there, but unfortunately, most people don’t live near mountains. Fortunately, vertical climbers do a great job of imitating the motions and muscle engagement of actual rock climbing. This gives you the ability to burn just as many calories in your own living room as you could climbing a mountain. And with a vertical climber, you don’t need to worry about bad weather, animal attacks, or any of the other inconveniences that come with a trip to the mountains.
Best of all, vertical climbers are great for everyone. Whether you’re building your own home gym or just want to get a great workout in at your local fitness center, vertical climbers are a fast and efficient way to get a great workout in. For those that are considering adding a vertical climber to their home gym, you will not be disappointed. At under $200, you’ll have a very hard time finding a better bang for your buck. The benefits of vertical climbers are virtually endless, but to experience them all you really have to just buy one.
Maxi Climber Key Features
Suitable For Almost Anyone: The Maxi Climber Vertical Climber is suitable for all body types, thanks to its ergonomic design. It has 5 adjustable height settings that allow you to adjust the steps and handles to suit your height, which is particularly useful for those who are taller than average. The machine uses your own body weight to push you to your limits while being simple and sturdy enough to ensure you’re safe during your workout. The only limitation here is that it has a 240lb weight limit, meaning it may not be suited for very large users.
Isometric Grips: The Maxi Climber uses super comfortable isometric hand grips, ensuring you never lose your grip while using the machine even if your palms are sweaty from a tough workout.
Personal Workout Timer: The central panel of the Maxi Climber features a personal workout timer, so it’s in plain view as you work out. This timer accurately records your workout, as it stops and starts when you do. There are no ways to cheat this little gadget, so you’ll get accurate records every time.
Easy Assembly: The Max Climber comes 90% pre-assembled from the box, requiring no additional parts. You simply remove it from the box, finish off the last bit of assembly in a matter of minutes, and it’s ready to use. Read further down the page for step by step instructions on how to assemble your Maxi Climber.
Easy Storage: The Maxi Climber is also incredibly easy to store, which is a definite advantage for people who don’t have a ton of extra space for workout equipment in their home. When it’s in a workout-ready state this vertical climber measures 23″ x 36″ x 79″, but it conveniently folds down to 23″ x 16″ x 73″, making it easy to fit under the bed or in any closet.
The Maxi Climber has a lot to offer, but here are the key advantages:
Burns a Ton of Calories: The Maxi Climber Vertical Climber offers a complete body workout that engages all the major muscle groups to burn a huge amount of calories as you work out. When compared to treadmills or stationary bikes, this vertical climber comes up way up top regarding calorie burning. One hour climbing the Maxi Climber will lead to an average of 500 calories burned, far more than the 330 of a stationary bike or 250 or a treadmill.
Easy On The Body: Despite the difficult full body workout, the Maxi Climber is easy on the body. The Maxi Climber uses your own body weight as resistance, so it gives a great workout without putting stress on your joints.
Full Body Toning: If you’re aiming for sexy, lean and sculpted legs, rock-hard abs and toned biceps and triceps, then the Maxi Climber is the machine for you. The Maxi Climber engages all the major muscle groups in your body to build muscle and burn calories. You’ll receive a total body workout that will help sculpt and tone your body into the one you’ve always dreamed of.
Cardiovascular Health: Not only does the Maxi Climber help you build muscle and burn fat, but it gives you a great cardio workout at the same time.
Compact: When shopping for home gym equipment space is a critical factor. Fortunately, the Maxi Climber has small dimensions and can fold up for easy storage.
Quiet: Anyone who has ever had a noisy neighbor knows just how frustrating it can be. Maxi Climber users will never need to worry about that as it one of the more silent full body exercise machines you can buy.
Easy Assembly: There’s nothing worse than receiving a piece of equipment in the mail and then realizing you’re going to have to burn your whole day putting it together. With the Maxi Climber it comes mostly assembled and can be fully completed in minutes. There is a 5 step assembly guide included in this article later on.
Cost Effective: Treadmills and rowing machines can cost thousands of dollars and take up tons of space in your home. The Maxi Climber costs under $200 and is more effective.
With the good must come the bad… but in this case, the downsides are quite limited.
Ease of Use: This machine is more difficult to use than your average treadmill. It replicates the movements of rock climbing or mountain climbing to deliver a total body workout that can be a real challenge. However, it’s also incredibly rewarding to push yourself to your limit and see noticeable results quicker than you would with most other home fitness equipment.
Adjustability: While the Maxi Climber does feature an adjustable height function, only the top handles are adjustable. The height of the foot pedals and stationary handles are not adjustable, which means people who are very tall may find it difficult to get a full stride on the machine. However, this should impact very few people, as most customers under 6’5″ report having no issues
Weight Limit: This being a relatively lightweight and compact machine, it can only support 240 pounds. If you’re above that weight you risk breaking the climber and injuring yourself.
Before and After Photos
The Maxi Climber is the most popular vertical climber on the market for good reason. In terms of price to performance, it is one of the best values you can get in terms of home fitness equipment. Not only is it cost effective at under $200, but it is far less bulky than a treadmill and burns calories a lot faster. In addition to being an incredibly sturdy and trusted piece of equipment, it comes with added features like a personal workout timer so that you can accurately record your results and continue to progress over time. If you’re on the market for the perfect piece of full body workout equipment for your home, you won’t be disappointed with Maxi Climber.
Maxi Climber Alternatives
Vertical climbers are an integral part of our gym, but Maxi isn’t the only name in town. We’ve tested all the top competitive brands and broken out our top 5 favorites below:
I’ve worked out on elliptical machines and treadmills throughout my adult life, so I’m pretty well aware of how they feel during the workout and how they perform. I wanted to try out the VersaClimber to get the full body workout that is their claim to fame, so I was very interested to see how that worked out.
When I first worked out on the VersaClimber H, it was pretty easy. So, I took things up a notch—that’s when I felt the burn. My legs are great, if I do say so myself. I run and use the elliptical at the gym. But the climbing motion of the VersaClimber is a whole new experience and I really felt the extra kick in the butt and the back, especially. Furthermore, I felt great movement and a lot of burn in my arms, back and chest, as well as my core. I can easily see this being my go-to for cardio, period.
- 3-year limited manufacturer warranty with 1 year parts and labor included
- Operates silently so family and roommates won’t be disturbed
- Non-impact—great for those with joint problems
- Targets all major upper and lower body muscle groups—even arms, chest and shoulders
- A full body vertical workout; most vertical workouts are limited to lower body only
- Doesn’t take up a lot of space—especially compared to other vertical workout machines
- Easy to read display
- Optional heart rate monitor
- Fast calorie burn thanks to full body training
The BadIt weighs 86lbs. While that’s not too bad for home exercise equipment, and some weight is necessary for stability’s sake, 86lbs might be difficult for those with joint pain and injuries to maneuver by themselves.
What’s IncludedThe VersaClimber H Consumer Model comes with a 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty on the frame and electronics as well as 1-year on parts and labor.
Final verdictThe VersaClimber H Consumer Model is a space-saving and efficient way to exercise at home. It beats out other vertical exercise equipment by giving you a total body workout. For this reason, I highly recommend it to all of my friends who are looking to take their cardio to the next level.
Durable: Ancheer designed this climber to be extra durable. It is made from high-quality alloy steel. It has an extremely long lifespan, I haven’t had any problems with mine and I can't imagine what could go wrong with it in the future. Ancheer individually tested each climber and put them through rigorous quality testing, so you can be sure that it will last you as long as you need it.
Exercise Bike: Not only is this a vertical climber, but it is also an exercise bike. This makes it the perfect total body workout. The vertical climber by itself can be pretty intense and isn't something you just want to hop on without warming up. The exercise bike allows you to get a good warm up so that you can use the climber even longer and get more out of it. If you don't want to use the bike before the climber, I'd recommend you at least stretch. You can always just use the bike by itself as well if you want an easier workout.
LCD Screen: The bike also has an easy to read, helpful, LCD screen. The LCD screen displays your time, distance, speed, and calories burned. I find this extremely useful because, like the climber from Best Choice Products, it helps me make sure I get a complete workout. This also makes it easy to make sure you burn off any extra calories that you splurge on.
AdvantagesOn top of its durable steel alloy material, it is also coated with a thick coat of anti-rust paint. This means you never have to worry about it getting rusty and wearing down. You also won't have to worry about having to oil it or anything. While other machines may get rusty after a couple years, this vertical climber from Ancheer will last you a lifetime.
DrawbacksThe only thing that could make this climber better is if the bike had resistance. Unfortunately, this exercise bike has no resistance, but it still makes a great warm up bike. If you're looking to build leg muscle, the climber can still do that for you. But if you want a bike with resistance, the climber from Best Choice Products is probably best for you.
- Versatile The best thing about this climber is there are so many ways to use it. It is both a vertical climber and a stationary exercise bike. It also has stationary hand grips and foot grips and climbing hand grips. You can choose whatever way you want to use it and can switch it up each day. This way you can just climb one day and just ride the bike another, by purchasing just one piece of equipment.
- High Tech The bike features a display screen that tracks speed, time, distance, and calories. This is super helpful for those who count calories or who want to bike for a given distance. I know when I work out a minute sometimes feel like an hour, so after just a few minutes I'll stop, thinking I got a full workout. With the display screen, you can make sure you really get a complete workout.
- Adjustable Standing at just 5 feet, a lot of exercise machines are too big for me to use easily. But this climber has fully adjustable climbing arms which make it great for people of all heights. It is also very easy to adjust, and unless a lot of people are using it, you'll only have to do it one time.
- Quiet Even with the bike, this vertical climber operates very quietly. This is great for people who live in apartments. Everyone hates that one noisy neighbor, but with this climber you can get fit and not worry about disturbing those around you. Odds are, they probably won't even know you're working out.
AdvantagesNot only does the bike feature a useful display screen, but it also features tension control. It has an 8-level resistance dial so you can choose how intense you want your workout. Obviously, the more tension, the more intense it will be. If you're pressed for time you might choose a higher setting so you can get a good workout in. If you're looking to build a lot of muscle you might also want to gradually increase the tension.
DrawbacksMy one complaint about this climber is that it is heavy/bulky. It isn't too bad though, weighing in under 100 pounds. You would expect it to weigh a little more than your average vertical climber since it has a stationary bike built into it and all in all, a few extra pounds is no big deal to me. It does make storage more difficult, however.
- Durability The Conquer vertical climber is completely made of steel, frame and all. This allows it to keep performing the way you need it to. It can also hold up to 220 pounds. The strong steel frame makes it so you can put it up and take it down without wearing out the joints and parts.
- Easy Storage The Conquer vertical climber is super easy to store and is a total space saver. When set up it is a staggering 81", which can take up a lot of precious space in your house. But when you're done using it, it easily folds up and can be stored practically anywhere. When you're ready to use it again all you have to do is unfold it and it's ready to go. This is great for those like me who do not have a whole bona fide home gym. I don’t have an extra room to set up gym equipment permanently, so I love that I can set up and take down this climber as I need.
- Quiet For those of you who like to listen to music or watch TV while you work out, this climber is perfect for you. It is super quiet and makes almost no noise at all. Meaning you can work out and watch TV without having to turn the volume up a crazy amount. Or if you like working out in the middle of the night, now you can do it without waking anyone up. Ergonomic: The Conquer vertical climber features ergonomic hand grips. The grips are on both the stationary handles and the adjustable handles. This makes using the machine more comfortable and enjoyable to use. You don’t have to worry about getting blisters or getting slippery sweaty palms. You can use it as much as you want without worrying about it giving out.
AdvantagesThis vertical climber is super easy to use. It doesn’t require any power source, no cords or batteries required. It is completely powered by you and uses your own body weight as resistance. All you have to do is pump your arms and legs and you can go as slow or fast as you'd like.
DrawbacksThe main drawback of this climber is that you have to assemble it. The good news is that the assembly was quick and easy and you only have to do it once. It comes with a double-sided wrench, 13mm/17mm, and a 5mm Allen wrench, so you have everything you need. While we didn't have any problems with durability during our testing, it seems some other users have had problems with older versions of the product falling apart. If you're purchasing in 2017 chances are you won't have any problems.
- Folding Design The Merax's vertical climber features a folding design allows for space saving storage. It goes up and down easily and saves a ton of space by folding it up when it's not in use. This makes it so you can use the climber in pretty much any room of the house, since you can just take it down when you're done.
- Sleek This climber has a thin profile and sleek design. It has sleek jet black steel that gives it a beautiful and alluring finish. I don't know a single person who would rather work out on a dull or rusty piece of equipment. A sleek design makes it almost call out to you, drawing you in to work out on it. You can forget about lack of motivation now.
- Sturdy Not only is the steel sleek, but it is also incredibly sturdy and can hold up to an amazing 300 pounds. Just by looking at it and its thin profile you wouldn't expect it to be so sturdy, but it is. It won't snap or give out and you can use it for hours on end, if you have the stamina and endurance.
- Easy Assembly What's great about this climber is that it is super easy to assemble, I was able to do it in about 20 minutes. There's really just a few bolts that you have to put in and that's it. It also comes with instructions that are very clear, so you know where to put everything and how it all fits together. Overall, it had one of the easier assemblies out of all the vertical climbers I tried. But, you can always also choose to have it assembled when you order through Amazon.
AdvantagesOn top of everything else, this climber is also very lightweight. It weighs less than 45 pounds, making it the lightest on this list. This is especially useful for smaller, weaker people like myself. Actually, this is great for even the strongest of men because after a complete workout on this climber your whole body will be weak and the last thing you'll want to do is move a 100-pound climber. It is very easy to lift and move when it is folded up, which is half the reason I love this one so much.
DrawbacksThe only downside of this climber is that you only have 30 days to return it for a refund if there is something wrong with it. This isn’t a huge deal however, since you are still able to return it all and there will most likely be nothing wrong.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Vertical Climber
Whether you’re an experienced gym rat, or a newbie trying to make good on your New Year’s resolution, there are a few things you should consider before actually buying a vertical climber. The first thing to consider is where you will put it. Do you have a home gym already set up? Or just a free corner in the garage? Either way you can still get a climber, you’ll just have to make sure it isn’t too big. You’ll also need to consider how much money you are willing to spend. Vertical climbers aren’t typically too expensive, but some are definitely more expensive than others. If you are on a budget you can narrow down your options a little bit. If you find one over your budget that you really like, spending a few extra bucks on a vertical climber is definitely worth it, so have a budget, but be flexible.
The last thing you should consider is the bells and whistles you want to be included with your vertical climber. Is color important? Do you want one that needs batteries, or another power source? If it needs batteries, are you willing to buy them separately? Do you want one that can track your distance and calories that you’ve burned? Before you buy your vertical climber, it is pertinent to consider what is important to you. You want a climber that will satisfy all your needs and the only way to do that is to know exactly what you need before you make the big purchase.
Tips for Selecting the Best Vertical Climber
Even though I’ve chosen what I think to be the best vertical climber, once you read this buying guide and get ready to buy your own, you may disagree with me. If that’s the case, you should know how to choose the best vertical climber for you. The first tip I have is to carefully look at all your options. Determine the best features of each one and figure out if they are missing anything that is important to you. I would also recommend selecting one that doesn’t need to be assembled or one that you can get someone to assemble if you are not a very handy person. Another pointer for you to consider is to choose one that will fit in whatever space you have available. You don’t want to get a vertical climber that can’t be folded up or stored easily if you only have a limited amount of space for it. Likewise, foldability or the ability to move it easily, may not take priority if you already have a home gym set up and plenty of room for another piece of equipment.
The last thing I would recommend before selecting a vertical climber is probably the most important. And that, is selecting one that YOU find appealing. If you just have this big clunky machine that you can’t stand to look at, you’re definitely not going to want to get on it and work out. If you have an attractive, sleek, sturdy piece of equipment you’ll be far more likely to actually use it. And of course, the more you use it, the more results you’ll see. I know it seems pretty superficial and insignificant, but in the end, it can actually make a big impact on your workout regimen and results.
How To Assemble the Maxi Climber
1) Clear Some Space
The first step in assembling your Maxi Climber is to ensure that you have enough space for the machine to rest adequately. You may want to consider two separate spaces for your Maxi Climber – one for working out and one for storage.
When the machine is fully assembled, it takes up approximately 6 sq feet of space. That may sound like a lot but its actually quite small compared to most other fitness equipment. The dimensions of the finished product are 24” x 36” x 84”. Also, be sure to have enough height clearance for your upper body and the full height of the machine so you can work out properly.
When it comes to storage, the Maxi Climber folds up easily so it can be stored under a bed or in a closet. It is relatively light in weight so moving it from one space to another should be easy for most people.
Before you start you should also check to make sure that all of the materials listed in the instructions are included in your box. If they are not, you can call Maxi Climber and replacement pieces will promptly be sent to your home.
2) Remove The Nuts And Bolts
Stand the machine up so that the words “Maxi Climber” are upside down when you read them. The first step is to assemble the base of your machine so that it can stand unassisted while you finish the assembly.
Fold the longer arm down as far as it will go. At the top of the machine, you will see two nuts and bolts. Carefully unscrew and remove the two nuts and bolts at the top of the machine, being careful not to drop anything. Once these are removed, the larger of the two “U-bars” should fit easily within the small cradle. Line up the holes on the U-bar with the holes on the cradle at the top of the machine.
Replace the bolts, running them through the U-bar and the cradle simultaneously. Tighten them using the tightening wrench included in the box.
The arm you folded down in the previous step should now come back to the top of the machine. Notice that this is simply a smaller version of the same piece we examined in the previous step. It also has two nuts and bolts in identical locations.
You will do the exact same thing on this section of the machine. Carefully remove the nuts and bolts and set them aside. Let the smaller U-bar nestle into this cradle and align the holes with those already on the arm of the machine. Gently replace the bolts, running them through both the cradle and the U-bar and tightening them with the tightening wrench.
These two sections together form the base of your machine. Now, flip the machine over so that these two “U-bars” rest on the ground slightly apart. You may need to adjust the distance from each other in the next step as we continue to complete the stabilizing bar.
3) Remove And Replace The Safety Pin
At the base of the machine, you will find the safety pin holding the stabilizing bar in place. Grip this bar firmly as you remove the safety pin. Removing the safety pin will allow the bar to drop down and rest in the small triangular protrusion on the other side of the base of the machine.
The holes in the bar should align with the holes in this triangle, and the safety pin is reinserted into this available space. It is very important to ensure the safety pin is properly locked in as this is what will stabilize your machine during a workout and keep the base from extending too far.
4) Attach Pulleys
Towards the front of the machine near the base, you will find a set of screws. There is a left side and right side, both with a similar setup. Remove the nut on the top middle bolt on each side.
Once it is removed, grab the pulley strings and locate the circular attachment at the bottom. Secure the pulley strings by placing the circular attachment at the end of the pulley around the bolt. Then, put the nut back on and tighten. This will allow your pedals to move up and down opposite of one another.
5) Add The Handlebars
You should see 2 different sets of handlebars in your box. Two of them are long and L-shaped, marked as Right and Left. These are for the feet. The other 2 will be smaller, straight pieces with handgrips.
First, take the left and right foot bars and insert them into the corresponding slots. These should be inserted so that the grips are parallel with the ground. To lock them in you need to press the metal pin and slide them into place simultaneously. Do the same on both sides.
The stationary handlebars attach to the hollow cylinder on the back of the machine. Simply push the metal pin in and continue to slide until it snaps into place.
And that’s all there is to it. You’re ready to climb!