SO… you know that you want a treadmill, particularly now that the nights are drawing in, and it’s maybe getting a bit too cold and wet to want to be running or walking outside in the elements…but… space is at a premium.
Let’s face it – treadmills are pretty epic affairs, and most of us live in apartments or houses, that would be described as ‘bijou’ by an estate agent. People go to gyms for a reason – they can’t fit most of that stuff into their own places!
But why go to the expense of a gym membership, if you have discovered that the only thing that you actually use is the treadmill?
What you really want is a treadmill that you can use in the comfort of your own home, one that can be folded away. In other words, you want a folding treadmill.
At a scrape under $900 (please check, prices correct at the time of writing) this is not the cheapest, but a decent pick if you want to spend less than $1000.
But what do you get for your money?
Well at 198 pounds, it might be fair to suggest that the workout starts with the assembly! It might be a good idea to have someone to help you with this. Especially if you have to carry it, like anywhere at all!
Although assembly seems easy enough, you will want a friend (preferably one who doubles up as some sort of weight lifter) to assist with this. By all accounts it is not difficult to assemble, just hefty.
In a minority of cases, it seems the alignment of the holes and nuts and bolts seem a little askew, but not to any significant extent.
Most reviewers report that this runs fairly quietly, although of course, the people we really want to ask about this are the downstairs neighbors.
Be considerate if you have roommates beneath you. Invest in a decent sound absorbing mat!
The general consensus is, that considering that this is nearly 200 pounds of heavy duty equipment – and that it is also able to accommodate humans weighing up to 300 pounds – it runs pretty quietly considering.
Actually, forget about the noise for a second, that’s nearly five hundred pounds of weight that this behemoth can comfortably deal with! Never mind the sound mat, make sure that your floorboards can cope with that weight, especially in running mode!
What else can we say about this machine? Its accessories seem to come in at a pretty average rating for this type of machine (speakers, USB ports, handles etc). But the best thing about it is that everyone says that this is a firm, resilient, solidly built bit of kit, that looks like it will stay the distance, and not disintegrate on the user any time soon.
This ultimately is the most important thing that we are looking for in any treadmill.
Thumbs up all round!
You can also watch this video review of the LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill.
The heaviest yet of our pick of treadmills, we will say that this model is really quite big, and will require some serious muscle to get into place.
Once again, you may wish to check your floorboards (no really!) especially if you are on the heavier side, and thinking of running on this machine.
The good news is that, of our three, it is the most accommodating for larger individuals, being able to take up to 350 pounds in weight. Its ability to take some serious amount of human on it and still perform very well, is the best feature of this model.
Comments like “gym quality” inspire our confidence, although with a price mark heading south of $1000, we certainly hope so!
In short, this is a high tech, decently constructed piece of kit that is definitely usable by the heavier amongst us, who are serious about getting fit. Just don’t expect to carry it upstairs by yourself!
You can also watch this video review of the Pro-Form Pro 2000 Folding Treadmill.
At the opposite end of the spectrum to the first two, in every capacity, is the Confidence Power treadmill.
This would seem to be a snip at well under $200 and is very light, when compared to other models.
One of the things to commend it straight away, is its ease of assembly and simple foldaway design. If your apartment or room is pretty small, it still may be possible to find a space to stash this little model. More than the other two, anyway. If you are purchasing this with the need to constantly move and fold it away after use, this would definitely be a forerunner (pardon the pun!) for treadmill of your choice.
What else might you want to know about the Confidence Power? Well, it is a tad basic compared to the other two – but we think that is fair enough, given its much reduced price tag.
It lacks all the advanced features of the more expensive models and also, users should be warned, that it automatically stops after thirty minutes. This may not be a problem at all, but if your workout is going on longer than half an hour, it is good to be aware of this!
Finally, this does not go as fast as other models, and it is definitely more for walking than running on.
As long as you know your limitations and those of the machine, we feel that you will be able to power walk with confidence with the Confidence Power… Just remember, to walk, not run!
You can also watch this video review of the Confidence Power Plus Motorized Fitness Treadmill.