The 8 Best Vertical Climbers of 2021

Climb your way to better health

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Best Vertical Climbers

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Our Top Picks
Foldable for easy storage, it adjusts to your height for easy customizing while its foot pedal lugs prevent slipping as you climb.
Your own bodyweight serves as the resistance on this budget-friendly, vertical climber, which can safely support up to 330 pounds.
This hybrid machine gives you two cardio workouts—stand up to tackle the climbing or sit down to cycle a few miles.
Ideal if you don't have a lot of space to spare, it easily fits in the corner or under your bed and as an added bonus—it's quiet.
Foldable so you can tote it to the workout spot of your choice, it features five heights so you can intensify your workouts.
Beginners taking on new fitness goals will appreciate the built-in metrics that reveal time, speed, distance, and calories burned.
Take your workout to new heights with this pick, complete with 16 preset training programs to tackle as you build strength.
Choose from 12 different resistance levels and follow along to Maxi Climber's fitness app for an intense muscular challenge.
In This Article

If you’re looking for a full-body workout that revs your heart rate and strengthens your muscles, vertical climbing checks all the boxes. The workout mimics rock climbing (but often at a faster pace) and requires you to use your upper body as well as your lower half to move the steps and handlebars at a decent speed.

In just a few seconds, it gets you breathing heavily, torching calories, and toning muscles—all while going easy on the joints.

Here are the best vertical climbers on the market.

Best Overall: Maxi Climber The Original Patented Vertical Climber

Pros
  • Height adjustable

  • Slip-free pedals and foam hand grips

  • Accompanying app for workout help

Cons
  • Lower weight capacity than other options

This freestanding vertical climbing machine adjusts to your height so you’re in a comfortable, upright position as you break a sweat. It can hold up to 240 pounds safely, comes almost fully assembled, and easily folds up so you can store it out of the way when you're not using it.

The foam handlebars offer a firm, easy grip while the foot pedals have lugs to keep you from slipping as you climb quickly. The vertical climber also comes with an app, which gives you workouts to do on the machine and challenges you to hit your fitness goals and track your progress. 

Maximum Weight Capacity: 240 lbs | Stats Offered: Calories and steps | Dimensions: 28.3 x 35.82 in | Assembly: 90% pre-assembled

Best Budget: SHZOND Vertical Climber

Pros
  • Safe for a wide range of exercisers

  • Anti-slip step design

  • Resistance based on user weight and movement

Cons
  • Limited stats display

Your own body weight serves as the resistance on this vertical climber, which allows you to test both your speed and endurance by working faster and for longer periods of time. At an affordable price, you get a strong steel frame and a folding design that lets you conveniently store the climber out of the way once you're done exercising.

The climber comes with foam grips and anti-slip steps, and it can safely support a maximum weight of 330 pounds. It does not come fully assembled, though, so be sure to read the directions carefully when setting it up.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 330 lbs | Stats Offered: Calories and steps | Dimensions: 37.4 x 28.3 in | Assembly: Required but simple

Best 2-in-1: Hifashion 2-in-1 Total Body Vertical Climber

Hifashion 2-in-1 Total Body Vertical Climber
Pros
  • Sturdy steel frame construction

  • Two pieces equipment at one affordable price

  • Helpful stats readout

Cons
  • Lower weight capacity than other options

Get two cardio workouts in one with this vertical climber and exercise bike hybrid machine. Stand up on the front of the machine to tackle the climbing, or sit down on the seat in the back to pedal through some miles just as you would on other stationary bikes.

The screen on the front of the machine will tell you your overall distance covered, calories burned, and the total time you spent climbing so you can easily track your progress. The steel frame holds up to 220 pounds.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 220 lbs | Stats Offered: Time, speed, distance, and calories burned | Dimensions: 47 x 24 in | Assembly: Required but simple

Best for Small Spaces: RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Vertical Climber

RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Vertical Climber
Pros
  • Design prevents wear and tear

  • Height adjustable

  • Quiet while in use

Cons
  • Not as sturdy as other options

When fully set up, this vertical climber spans 37.5 inches deep, 28 inches wide, and up to 85 inches high. Folded up, it’s even smaller and can come down in height to reach 69 inches. When using the machine, increasing the height means you up the difficulty of the exercise—just make sure you don’t overstretch yourself.

This machine also has a few features that help prevent wear and tear over time, such as a nylon liner and metal guide rails, both of which help to keep the climber quiet as you move. It also has rubber features that won’t wear out as you move the handles and pedals up and down. 

Maximum Weight Capacity: 260 lbs | Stats Offered: Not listed | Dimensions: 37.5 x 28 in | Assembly: Required but simple

Best Folding: ZELUS Vertical Climber Machine

ZELUS Vertical Climber Machine
Pros
  • Great for apartment dwellers

  • Height adjustable

  • Sturdy, non-slip design

Cons
  • Movement can feel jerky at times

The footprint of this machine is smaller than others on this list, and it gets even smaller when you fold it up for safe and easy storage. The machine also has five heights, giving you a variety of difficulty levels to fit your body and current level of physical fitness.

Holding up to 290 pounds, it has sturdy, textured foot pedals and non-slip grips underneath the machine so you don’t have to worry about it moving around or your feet slipping off the steps as you climb. With the small monitor, you can check out your calories burned and the total number of steps you've climbed during your workout. 

Maximum Weight Capacity: 290 lbs | Stats Offered: Calories and steps | Dimensions: 37 x 29 in | Assembly: Required but simple

Best for Beginners: Aceshin Vertical Climber Machine

Pros
  • Helpful stats display

  • Two handlebar options

  • Foldable

Cons
  • Makes some noise while in use

As a newbie, it’s always helpful to see your stats so you can monitor your progress, and this machine has a screen that reveals your time, speed, distance, and calories burned. Make a mental note (or even write down your stats) and try to beat those numbers as you progress through your workout plan.

This lightweight yet sturdy vertical climber also comes with two handlebars on each side, so you can test which grip is most comfortable for your body, especially as you get used to the movement. Like other machines, you can also fold this one up and store it away conveniently when you’re not using it. 

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 lbs | Stats Offered: Time, speed, distance, and calories burned | Dimensions: Not listed | Assembly: Required but simple

Best Advanced: VersaClimber Machine

VersaClimber
Pros
  • 16 preset workout programs

  • Better versatility than other options

  • Best LCD display

Cons
  • Expensive

If you’re looking to take your workout to the next level, a high-quality machine like this VersaClimber is probably your best bet. In addition to the traditional vertical climber features—like an adjustable pedal height, adjustable handlebars, and a sturdy steel frame—the VersaClimber has 16 pre-et training programs that will kick your workout up a notch. It even features a race mode to help you push your speed and test your cardio capacity

If you want to focus only on your legs one day, you can also hold onto the steady side handlebars and use it as a regular stair stepper—a great way to target the lower half and build powerful, strong glutes, quads, and hamstrings. You can also stand on the floor and focus solely on your upper body, building strength in the shoulders, arms, chest, and back. 

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 lbs | Stats Offered: Time, speed, distance, calories burned, workout mode, heart rate, and more | Dimensions: 44 x 36 in | Assembly: Required but simple

Best for Adjustable Resistance: Maxi Climber XL-2000 Hydraulic Resistance Vertical Climber

Pros
  • Plenty of resistance levels

  • Pedal flexibility

  • Lightweight yet sturdy design

Cons
  • Too small for users taller than 6'2"

Turn up the burn on your vertical climbing workout with this machine, which features various resistance levels. Choose from 12 different intensities for a challenge no matter your fitness level. The aluminum frame gives you the sturdiness you need but keeps it more lightweight. Meanwhile, the roller design makes this advanced climber run smoother and quieter than the regular MaxiClimber. The flexible pedals also allow for more ankle mobility as you climb. 

You still get the typical features that come with other vertical climbers as well—like adjustable height, a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, and a folding design for simple storage. This one also has wheels so you can easily bring it in and out of storage, plus an anti-sliding mechanism keeps the machine in place once you start climbing.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 300 lbs | Stats Offered: Calories and steps | Dimensions: 41 x 26 in | Assembly: 90% pre-assembled

Final Verdict

If you're looking for an affordable and effective cardio workout, you can’t go wrong with the Maxiclimber Original Patented Vertical Climber. But if you want more versatility in your chosen piece of home gym equipment, the Hifashion 2-in-1 Total Body Vertical Climber might be your best choice. Lastly, to kick your workout up a notch and make each step a little more challenging, go for the MaxiClimber XL-2000 Hydraulic Resistance Vertical Climber. (Just be ready to spend a little more on this upgrade.) 

What to Look for in a Vertical Climber

Ease of Use

When it comes to vertical climbers, you want the machine to be simple to set up and easy to hop on and start moving. That’s what you’ll get from the machines on this list. With that said, be sure to check out reviews and setup explanations so you can find the one that best fits your space. 

Durability

Considering that you’ll be standing on your vertical climber, make sure that the machine you choose can hold your weight safely and won’t move around as you do. And if you want your machine to last for years, look at options with strong steel frames and other durable details.  

Added Features

If you want more of a challenge, a smaller footprint, or another way to use your piece of equipment, consider the features you crave beyond those that come standard in a basic vertical climber. For instance, a monitor might be important for you if you want to check your stats as you climb, and not all machines have them.

FAQs

What muscles do vertical climbers work?

Vertical climbers provide a total body workout. The climbing motion targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, and when you add the arm motion to the mix, you challenge your arms, back, core, and chest. The angle of your climbing position and hand placement on the grips can also adjust which muscles need to work harder as you exercise.

Are vertical climbers good for weight loss?

When you climb on a vertical climber at a steady pace, it is considered a high calorie-burning machine. The cardiovascular component of the workout can also improve your body's oxygen consumption over time, which helps you burn calories and use energy more effectively. So if weight loss is one of your goals, exercising on a vertical climber in conjunction with eating a nutritious diet, logging quality sleep, and reducing your overall stress level can help you achieve that goal.

Are vertical climbers bad for your knees?

The vertical climber is considered a low-impact piece of workout equipment, as it moves fluidly and doesn't jolt any joint in the body. Most users find that vertical climbers have minimal impact on their knees and instead target muscles like the quadriceps quite intensely. With that said, if you have pre-existing knee conditions, you might experience some discomfort depending on your specific issues. As with any new fitness routine, we recommend consulting with your doctor to determine whether a vertical climber is a safe choice for you.

Why trust Verywell Fit?

Writer Mallory Creveling has been covering the wellness industry, including fitness gear, for more than a decade. As a certified personal trainer, she also knows what works for those looking to improve their fitness and how to choose the right equipment to achieve specific health goals. 

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