Getting to the gym can be tough. What with work, family commitments and life's wonderful tendencies to throw task after task in your direction it can be more convenient to work out from the comfort of your own home. Exercise experts claim that treadmills are the best investment for at-home workouts which explains why more and more fold up treadmills are becoming available to running fanatics, those just starting out and everyone in between. For the average person looking to purchase their first piece of equipment, the amount of choice can make the decision-making process more complex. Important features to consider are an easy-to-read screen alongside easy to operate buttons and console. It's also important that the belt has an advanced shock absorption system as a belt that is too soft or hard can not only be uncomfortable but can also damage your knees. Whether it's walking, jogging, running or sprinting techniques you're looking to perfect we can help you find the best folding treadmill on the market guaranteed to make your home-exercise experience more than just a phase and help you shed those calories in time for summer.
The Best Overall Experience: LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
The LifeSpan TR1200i has been rated highly by sporting experts from the minute it entered the market and we were excited to see what all the fuss was about. Fortunately, the treadmill lived up to our expectations and reviewers claimed to enjoy a professional workout experience. Not only does the maximum speed reach 11mph as opposed the average of 10mph for most home machines, there are 17 preset programs and 2 heart rate control programs to choose from. This means that not only does the treadmill aid you in working on different areas, you can also keep track of your heart rate. Another stand out feature is that your progress can be saved to a USB allowing you to go online to obtain reports and customized plans from the LifeSpan membership. The belt is durable and quiet and at the end of the workout, the treadmill folds away just taking up 39"L and 33"W of space. To top this all off, the machine is equipped with speakers for MP3 files providing the (low fat) icing on the (gluten free) cake to a professional workout from the comfort of your own home. At $799.99 not only is the price great value for money, but the warrantee is very competitive too. The frame and motor come with a lifetime warrantee and the parts come with a 3-year warrantee.
The Most Impressive Features: NordicTrack NTL17915 T 6.5 S Treadmill
When reviewing the NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill 8 we wanted to start with the positives. The shock-absorption system on this machine means that cushioning can be turned on and off. The deck can be made softer or harder depending on individual preference which is something all reviewers benefitted from. What we also found impressive was the integration with Google Maps. This allows users to input a route into the machine and virtually experience the route combined with topography and incline. In addition, like other brands in the market, Nordic has developed their treadmill to be compatible with an iFit monitor (sold separately usually at $99) allowing you to explore new workout programs on demand. If you decide against this extra expense, there are still 20 preloaded workouts available to explore. Nordic also provide consumers with MP3/ iPod compatible music port and speakers allowing you to work out to music of your choice. Nordic are renowned for creating quality exercise equipment and although there were some aspects that we enjoyed, the NordiTrack T6.5 S Treadmill 8 isn’t one of their best products. The maximum speed is 10 mph, the motor can be loud and there is no fan which may also cause frequent breaks in your cardio. We found that the machine is only really suited for light- moderate cardio workouts and less suited for anything more intense which limits how far you can push your body. The warrantee is standard offering 25 years on the motor, 1 year on the parts and 1 year on the labor.
The Easiest to Fold: IUBU Fitness Folding Treadmill K5
Out of all the machines that we tested, the IUBU Fitness Folding Treadmill was the easiest to assemble and fold away with reviewers claiming that it was assembled and disassembled in a matter of seconds. The size is pretty standard and measures at 59.3 x 29.1 x51 inches and 15.5 x29.1 x 59.2 when folded. The running belt is 45.7 x16.9 inches meaning that it is suitable to both taller and heavier users as well as those with a longer stride. Reviewers enjoyed both Bluetooth (that works with both iOS and android) and an LED color touch display. The Bluetooth acts like an online personal trainer, allowing you to receive a breakdown of your workout as well as a health report. The LED touch display is larger than other folding treadmills in the market that clearly displays speed, calories, time and pulse rate making the product extremely user friendly. The treadmill also boasts impressive auto incline functions such as flat road, climbing and mountaineering. Unfortunately, not all reviewers would purchase this product. Instead of a holder to keep your water and phone, there is a tray which rattles and makes the machine seem less sturdy. In terms of value for money, there is no warrantee (although it can be returned free of charge within 30 days) and other treadmills in this price bracket go faster and provide the consumer with an overall more thorough and professional workout. On the whole, the IUBU Fitness Folding treadmill is a good option but if you are looking in this price range, there are better options available.
The Best on a Budget: Goplus 800W Folding Treadmill
At less than $250 we weren’t sure what to expect from the Goplus 800W Folding Treadmill. The machine isn’t bulky or obtrusive measuring at 56 x 24 x 45.5 and 37.4 x 57.9 x 26.8 when folded meaning that it really does fold away nicely and can be stored almost anywhere. We were pleasantly surprised with the LCD screen which is clear, easy to use and functions exactly as it should, displaying speed, distance, time, scan, calories and heart rate. There are also two cup holders on either side which means you can stay hydrated whilst also leaving room for your mobile phone or mp3 device. In terms of maximum speed, there is an option to push the machine up to 12 mph however we wouldn’t recommend this. Reviewers came to a unanimous conclusion that the machine is best suited for walking or jogging as opposed to long distance running or short sprints. The machine doesn’t feel safe or sturdy enough for a higher intensity workout due to the narrow tread belt. Moreover, the handlebars are small and don’t really serve much of a purpose. With both these factors considered, testers found themselves thinking more about their safety as opposed to their workout. Yes, the price is significantly low however we wouldn’t claim it to be a bargain or a steal, just a solid machine for someone that is looking to up their exercise by working up a light sweat at home.
We weren’t surprised that the LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill came out on top. Reviewers were extremely pleased with the product and almost all of them would consider making the machine a permanent feature in their homes. Although this is the most expensive machine, we really did find that spending more in this case is worth it. The machine feels safe, has an ideal amount of settings and the interface was extremely easy to navigate, in turn providing a highly positive user experience. The beauty of owning a foldup treadmill is that there really are no excuses not to exercise. Whether you don’t make it to the gym due to bad weather, traffic, the cost of monthly membership or the embarrassment of working out in such a public environment, the fact that you have a machine stored under your bed automatically mutes the voice in your head telling you to 'start tomorrow'. So, now that you have a better understanding of how to exercise in the comfort of your own home all that’s left is to pop on your favorite TV show and get sweating.