Having a cardio routine is important if you want to condition your body and burn unwanted fat. Other than HIIT exercises and a treadmill or stationary bike, your best bet would be to get a vertical climber machine.
A quick look at vertical climber machine reviews reveals that they’re very effective fat burners. The whole body workout you get burns calories faster than other machines and movements in the same league. A cardio climber is a good logical choice if you’re pressed for time and want quick results. However, you will still need to pick the right vertical climber for your needs.
We’ve come up with a list of the best vertical climbers you can buy today. Each one has its own strengths so you can make an informed decision.
What is a Vertical Climber?
A vertical climber is an exercise machine designed to make the user feel like he or she is climbing.
The mechanism in vertical climbing equipment allows for various resistance levels and steepness or slope. The highest could be like you’re scaling a cliff, while the lowest could be like you’re climbing a boulder.
Vertical climbers work the whole body and have a relatively smaller footprint compared to other gym machines. Most will have a built-in display to show heart rate, distance and calories burned, among others.
Best Verticle Climbers: Quick List
- Best Vertical Climber Overall – VersaClimber SM Sport Model
- Best Vertical Climber For the Money – Sole CC81 Cardio Climber
- Best With On-Demand Classes –CLMBR Connected
- Best Vertical Climber on Amazon – MaxiClimber XL-2000
- Best At Walmart –2 in 1 Total Body Vertical Climber
- Best Multipurpose Climber –HEKA Vertical Climber Machine
- Best Folding Vertical Climber: MaxiClimber
- Best Vertical Climber For Small Spaces – Aceshin Vertical Climber
- BestVertical Climber on a Tight Budget – RELIFE Vertical Climber
See below for details on each vertical climber…
The 9 Best Vertical Climbers on The Market
These are the 9 best vertical climbers out there today.
VersaClimber SM Sport Model
Make room for the SM Sport Model Vertical Climber by VersaClimber in your ‘best vertical climbers list’, because this versatile machine has it all. It’s the poster boy in stair climbing machines due to its features, build and price!
Right off the bat, you get to choose which model you want (variable or fixed resistance) depending on the workout you’re going to do. The SM Sport effectively houses two kinds of cardio equipment- an upper-body climber and a lower body stepper. When you do both, you get an excellent fat-burning workout in the least amount of time.
Vertical climbers may be a niche in the bodybuilding industry but it’s good for those who want to burn fat via cardio. All major muscle groups are engaged in just 20 minutes of use, compared to bikes, steppers, ellipticals and treadmills.
The SM Sport touts a unique 1-20 inch upper body arm movement with a 1-20 inch step height few others could match. It’s customizable in a way that you can add conveniences, such as adjustable seats, mount brackets and side plates. Adding a heart rate display and monitoring is optional as well. We love how the module display is in the perfect spot- not too high nor too low, and it connects to your phone via the VersaClimber phone app to check calories, distance, time and feet per minute metrics. All in all, a good buy and superb value for money!
- One of the most trusted and pioneer companies in the vertical climber business
- Has everything you need to start burning unwanted fat and toning muscles
- Customizable to fit your needs
Available at VersaClimber.com
Best for the Money
Sole CC81 Cardio Climber
If you’re looking for something that can last a lifetime and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, then you may want to check out the CC81 Cardio Climber.
What drew us to the machine was how it’s built with a high-quality steel frame that comes with lifetime warranty, and several features to make your workout more effective and comfortable at the same time. Multi-adjustable hand grips ensure you won’t develop blisters or have to conform with awkward angles, and the handlebars are adjustable as well so you can switch up your variance every now and then to keep your body on its toes.
Sole’s vertical climber comes with a free 30-day Studio trial so you can get started. On-demand classes and fitness partners are available should you want assistance or someone you could work out with. There’s also a turn dial resistance knob to make climbs easier or more difficult depending on what you want.
Last but not least, there are a few quality of life additions we’re sure you’ll like, including water bottle holders, an LCD display that shows progress in real-time and a tablet holder if you want to take phone calls or watch videos while exercising. It’s a feature-packed exercise machine that’s sure to be part of your daily gym routine.
- Features and durability justify the cost
- Has adjustable resistance and handles for variation and comfort
- Patented eddy current braking system won’t wear down anytime soon
- On the larger side
Available at SoleFitness.com
Best with On-Demand Classes
It’s a known fact that having a workout buddy brings some benefits, including higher motivation, greater effort and better results. In a sense, you can actually get more fat burning and training done when you have someone who can cheer you on or accompany you on your sessions.
For those who are building a home gym with access to stair climber trainers and classes, then the CLMBR Connected should be your top choice. The CLIMBR app is excellent, integrates well with the CLMBR machine and most importantly, gives you goals you can crush and allows you to get consistent results.
On-demand classes in CLMBR are varied- you get a lot of content choices, and there’s even a music catalog to pump you up. It’s gamified in a way that you can play through challenges and track your progress. The ‘Connected’ in the machine title is actually there for a reason- you and other CLMBR users join online courses and classes and form a community.
Other noteworthy features include a large colored touchscreen, adjustable handles, extruded aluminum material and the ability to be folded and stowed away when not in use. The machine can accommodate up to 350 lbs. and heights of up to 7 feet.
- On-demand classes and app provide a unique connected experience
- Large screen colored display is built in and offer good immersion
- Aluminum material makes it lighter than most vertical climbers
- Can only accommodate a max of 350 lbs.
Available at clmbr.com
Related: The 15 Best Treadmills for Home Use
Best on Amazon
If buying on Amazon is a must then you should definitely check out the MaxiClimber XL-2000. Along with Amazon Prime perks such as faster shipping and discounts, there’s a lot to like about the machine, including a free app, 12 resistance levels and after-sales support.
The XL-2000 has a revamped design with a roller mechanism and bi-directional 12-level hydraulic system, which makes things smoother while providing maximum burn. You can achieve a full-body workout with the help of the MaxiClimber Fitness app that’s available on the App Store and Play Store. In-app are metric trackers, on-demand service and the 21-day Maxi-Challenge Interval Program. There’s even a bonus 21-day meal plan for those who want to complement their fitness goals with a proper eating program.
MaxiClimber, like other vertical stair machines, offers a higher number of calories burned in an equal amount of time. There’s also the ‘afterburn’ effect for sculpting and transforming your muscles. It’s certainly one of the better choices on the popular marketplace platform.
- Minimalist footprint; light and durable
- Roller mechanism and hydraulic resistance system provide a good feel and challenge
- Has an app and on-demand workout service
- Plastic rollers tend to wear out quickly
Available on Amazon
Best at Walmart
2 in 1 Total Body Vertical Climber Magnetic Exercise Bike Machine
Walmart is famous for having it all- electronics, automotive parts and yes, exercise machines. So, when you find yourself there and pressed for time, make sure to get the 2 in 1 Today Body Vertical Climber and Exercise Bike machine.
Technically speaking, you can achieve a number of cardio and fitness workouts as it has a bike machine and the vertical climber. Caloric burn rate is more or less the same as with other climbers, although you don’t get the bells and whistles inherent in the pricier models. It does, however, accommodate several sizes, thanks to the adjustable height and steel alloy construction. Keep in mind that the max weight is rated at 350 lbs but it’s really just around 220 lbs.
A built-in LCD fitness monitor provides a glimpse of your performance and metric data, including speed, calories burned, distance and time. Afterwards, you can just fold the equipment and store it easily in a corner of the room. Reviews on Walmart.com mostly have positive reviews saying how it helped condition their bodies, while others praise the relatively compact footprint.
- Combines exercise bike and stair climber in one effective cardio package
- Good value for money
- Can be bought in-store or delivered straight to your doorstep
- Not the highest quality
Available at Walmart
Best Multipurpose Climber
HEKA Vertical Climber Machine
Only have a limited amount of space? No problem. For those who are looking for a cardio machine that can serve many functions, we recommend the HEKA Vertical Climber Machine.
An exercise bike fitted to the back of a vertical climber makes total sense. HEKA’s offering is a space saver and multipurpose combo, and each one works well enough that you get what you pay for. With the vertical climber, you can customize your workout depending on how intense you want it, with 5 adjustable height levels that simulate outdoor conditions, e.g., stairs, mountain or cliff. Since it’s a full-body training session beginners will want to start slow and build up their conditioning over time.
The exercise bike is fairly basic and can serve as a warm-up or cooldown after doing the vertical climbs. There are only a few resistance settings but it’s relatively serviceable and stable. Durable steel alloy makes up most of the parts, broken up only by padding, gears and an LCD monitor up front.
Assembling the HEKA Vertical Climber is easy and you’ll only need half an hour to get everything up and running. After use, you can fold it up and store it away out of sight until your next workout session.
- Multi-purpose machine that’s sure to get some use
- Easy to assemble and foldable
- 5 adjustable height levels for workout variation
- Pink and orange color only
Available at Alpha XR
Best Folding Vertical Climber
The MaxiClimber won our hearts in the ‘best folding vertical climber’ department because of how it manages to transform into a compact item without sacrificing its stability and overall function. The best vertical climbers offer a full-body workout right in the comfort of your own home, and this equipment is no exception!
Foldability is just one of the features we like, and workout-wise it manages to do the job with aplomb. Under the hood are rollers set within a hydraulic resistance system that really gives users the training they want. The 12-level bi-directional mechanic goes well with cardio and HIIT targets since you’re required to put in the effort on both ends.
You get a mobile device holder up front, which can be used to view the MaxiClimber Fitness app. It contains useful content, such as a meal plan, on-demand training services and an interval program for maximum fat burning.
We’ve got to give props to MaxiClimber for making vertical climbing machines that are compact yet stable and have excellent folding mechanisms. Surprisingly, the entire frame can accommodate a maximum weight of up to 300 lbs.
- Bi-directional and hydraulic resistance system provides more heft and challenge
- Can fit almost anywhere
- Assembly is a snap
- No built-in display
Available on Amazon
Best for Small Spaces
Aceshin Vertical Climber
The Aceshin Vertical Climber deserves special mention and a place in the ‘best for small spaces’ category as it’s one of the most compact machines in both storage mode and workout mode. You can put it in the corner of your room or apartment and stay out of sight until you’re ready to use it.
The machine utilizes a chain system that produces noise but it’s not that loud even when you’re churning out maximum effort. Steel alloy serves as the frame basis, painted by anti-rust coating and high-density mats on the handles. Comfort and grip are acceptable, but for the foot pedals, you’ll probably need to wear shoes.
It offers up to 6 exercise modes ranging from leisure to tension. Up front is a small display that shows your performance metrics such as calories burned, distance, speed and time so you’ll have something to work on. As far as ergonomics and training are concerned, vertical climbing is relatively easy on the knees and offers more calories burned per minute.
Then when you’re done you can just fold it up as if it’s a tripod and have it lean against a wall. You can also stash it in a closet or under your bed.
- Provides full-body cardio training with minimal footprint
- Foldable and can be stashed anywhere
- Has 6 different training modes ranging from leisure to intense
- Cushion and padding might be the first ones to wear out
- Pretty basic
Available on Amazon
Best on a Tight Budget
RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Vertical Climber
The list certainly wouldn’t be complete without a budget offering. For this, we think that RRYL’s vertical climbing machine fits the bill perfectly- it’s solid enough to provide a full-body cardio workout, and the price tag is such that you wouldn’t worry about your investment too much.
The vertical climber sports a triangular design for good stability even when you’re working a sweat. There are five guide rails, each with its own training effects so you can squeeze out an effective regimen every time you step up. Buttonhole mechanisms make setting up the equipment a breeze, and it can be disassembled just as quickly.
RRYL’s offering also has a foldable design, with reinforcements on strategic points like the support rod, footplate and handle. It can accommodate a max weight of up to 260 lbs.
The Vertical Climber has all the makings of a long-lasting machine and at an excellent price. Granted, it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of its more expensive counterparts but you’re sure to get your money’s worth.
- Best budget vertical climber available today
- Made from steel and has reinforcement materials
- 5 adjustable training levels
- Not always in stock
- Very basic
- Not the highest quality
Available on Amazon
How We Decided
Vertical climbers have to be well-built and take a beating- after all, you’ll be doing a vigorous full-body cardio workout every time you step into the plate.
Durability is largely based on what material the manufacturers use, how they constructed the moving parts and if there are any reinforcements or padding.
Good reviews are an indication that you’re buying a good product. In a vertical climber, you’ll have to see what people are saying before making the purchase.
If the feature mentioned in the review aligns with what we want, then the machine deserves a closer look.
A vertical climber has to be versatile and accommodate several training modes. Having only one setting can get old quickly, and you won’t get the calorie-burning effects associated with full-body cardio.
On-demand classes, performance monitors, variable resistance and the addition of a stationary bike are all options we considered when we made our ‘best vertical climbers’ list.
We have a dedicated vertical climber for those on a budget. Outside of that, price usually equals value for money- is it useful enough that the price is justified? To this end, we considered features and durability (how long we think a climber will last).
Bigger size usually means it can accommodate heavier weight, but then we also factored in portability and if it has a folding mechanism.
Machines that were too small or only could accommodate a max of 200 lbs. were cut out. The same goes for large climbers that only offer one or two functions.
We hope you’ve found the perfect fit for your home. And if not, we want to know about it!
Let us know in the comments below what our favorite brand is missing and maybe they’ll make one just like it next year!
Ryan is a former college wrestler and lifelong fitness fanatic. He has run half marathons, done mud runs, placed in body transformation contests, coached wrestling and now coaches girls soccer. Not to mention he has also tried literally hundreds of supplements over the years and has a vast and thorough supplement knowledge. He has written for Muscle & Strength, Testosterone Junkie, The Sport Review and other publications. He is also the editor in chief of this website. Feel free connect with him on his LinkedIn page below.