The Best Vertical Climbers of 2022 for a Full Body Workout

The MaxiClimber Classic combines high-intensity, low-impact exercise.

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The 10 Best Vertical Climbers of 2022

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

If you’re looking for an efficient full-body workout that elevates your heart rate, torches calories, and strengthens your muscles, vertical climbing checks all the boxes. A vertical climber is a piece of gym equipment that simulates climbing. It's similar to rock climbing, but safer and often at a faster pace. Vertical climbers engage all your major muscle groups and gets your heart rate up, but is low-impact on your joints.

Reviewed & Approved

Thanks to its easy set-up and adjustable height, the MaxiClimber Classic vertical climber is our top overall pick. Upgrade to the MaxiClimber XL for a higher weight capacity and 12 levels of resistance. Both options include on-demand training programs using the free MaxiClimber app.

“Vertical climbers are a good option to change up the routine of an elliptical, a rower, or a treadmill,” Dr. Joe Knapp, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Advanced Physical Therapy in Wichita, Kansas, says. “They add the benefit of requiring both the upper and lower extremities, so it is more of a comprehensive workout,” he adds. Most vertical climbers are also compact and easy to move—making them ideal for small spaces.

The price range for at-home vertical climbers can vary widely from under $200 to over $3,000 based on the specs. When reviewing the best vertical climbers, our experts prioritized options that are easy to use, durable, and space-efficient.

Based on our research, including insights from industry experts, these are the best vertical climbers on the market.

Best Overall: Maxi Climber The Original Patented Vertical Climber

4.6
Maxi Climber The Original Patented Vertical Climber

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Adjustable height for users up to 6'2"

  • Free MaxiClimber app included

Cons
  • Not suitable for users over 240 lbs

  • Small foot pedals may be uncomfortable and cause discomfort

Who else recommends it? Women's Health, NBC News, and Healthline all picked the MaxiClimber Vertical Climber.

What do buyers say? 81% of 9,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

We selected the MaxiClimber Classic freestanding vertical climbing machine as our best overall option because it adjusts to your height for a perfect fit. The machine holds up to 240 pounds safely and is not suitable for heavier users. The MaxiClimber Classic is compact, comes almost fully assembled, and folds away easily to store when not in use.

This vertical climber includes the free MaxiClimber app which provides structured workouts and allows you to track your progress. The 21 Day Maxi-Challenge interval training program is a great way to incorporate the climber into your routine. It even includes a meal plan. The MaxiClimber Classic combines aerobic exercise with the resistance of your body weight to burn calories and tone muscle. You'll be well on your way to hitting your fitness goals with this machine and companion app from the comfort of home. 

Price at Time of Publication: $169

Maximum Weight Capacity: 240 lbs | Stats Offered: Calories, Steps | Dimensions: 28.3" W x 35.8" L x 105" H | Assembly: 90% Pre-Assembled, Self-Assembly

Best Budget: ZELUS Vertical Climber Machine

ZELUS Vertical Climber Machine
Pros
  • 5 adjustable height levels for users between 4'4" and 6'8"

  • Supports climbers up to 290 lbs

Cons
  • Movement lacks fluidity and may feel a bit stiff

  • Assembly instructions can be unclear

The footprint of this machine is smaller than others on this list and it gets even smaller when you fold it up for easy storage. Adjustable to five different heights, we like that this machine is great for short and tall climbers. It also offers different intensity levels so you can keep challenging yourself over time. Using the five adjustable height levels, you'll mimic climbing stairs on the lower settings, all the way up to rock climbing on the highest level.

Holding up to 290 pounds, it has durable, 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 track your time, calories burned, and the total number of steps you've climbed during your workout.

Price at Time of Publication: $160

Maximum Weight Capacity: 290 lbs | Stats Offered: Time, Calories, Steps | Dimensions: 29.1” W x 36.6” L x 81.5” H | Assembly: Self-Assembly

Best for Small Spaces: RELIFE Rebuild Your Life Vertical Climber

RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Vertical Climber

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 5-level adjustable handlebar

  • Wear resistant, low friction cable for durability

  • Compact, lightweight, and quiet

Cons
  • Needs to be lubricated regularly for smooth operation

  • Pedals are small with minimal grip

We recommend the RELIFE vertical climber for those with limited space. When fully set up, this vertical climber spans just 37.5 inches long, 28 inches wide, and up to 85 inches high. Folded up, it’s even smaller for easy portability and storage.

When using the machine, increasing the height also means you're increasing the difficulty of the exercise—so just make sure you don’t overstretch yourself. The 5-level adjustable handlebar simulates jogging, running, and rock climbing. Your body weight provides the resistance. 

This machine is also constructed with durability in mind. It has a several features designed to help it last such as a wear-resistant cable and a supply of lubricant to keep things moving smoothly.

Price at Time of Publication: $221

Maximum Weight Capacity: 260 lbs | Stats Offered: Scan, Count, Total Count, Time, Calories | Dimensions: 28’ W x 37.5” L x 85” H | Assembly: Self-Assembly

Best for Beginners: Aceshin Vertical Climber Machine

Aceshin Vertical Climber Machine

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Weight capacity of 350 lbs

  • Multiple handlebar positions, including stationary handlebars

  • Easy set-up and foldable for storage

Cons
  • Lubricate frequently to minimize noise and for smoother operation

As a newbie, our experts recommend tracking your progress. This machine displays your time, speed, distance, and calories burned. Make a note of your stats and try to improve those numbers as you progress through your workout plan.

We like that this lightweight, yet sturdy Aceshin vertical climber comes with two sets of handlebars on each side, plus a set of stationary handlebars at the base. So, you have the option to workout your full body or just the lower half. Like other machines, you can also fold this one up and store it away conveniently when you’re not using it. 

It's also worth noting that this machine has a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds, which is quite a bit more than most other vertical climbers can handle.

Price at Time of Publication: $170

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 lbs | Stats Offered: Time, Speed, Distance, Calories | Dimensions: 26.8” W x 39.4” L x 78.8” H | Assembly: Self-Assembly

Best Advanced: VersaClimber Machine

VersaClimber Machine

Source: VersaClimber

Pros
  • 4 training modes: standard, race, program, heart rate

  • Accommodates a wide range of users up to 350 lbs

  • Adjustable hand grips, foot pedals, and display

Cons
  • High price point

If you’re looking to take your workout to the next level, we recommend a high-quality machine like the VersaClimber. In addition to the traditional vertical climber features, it has adjustable foot pedals, adjustable hand grips, and a sturdy steel frame. Try the pre-set training programs to kick your workout up a notch. It even features a race mode to help you push your speed and test your cardio capacity

No more skipping leg day. Hold on to the side rails and use the machine as a 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.

The VersaClimber is a versatile cardio and strength-building machine. It's a great investment for your home gym.

Price at Time of Publication: $3,295

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 lbs | Stats Offered: Heart Rate, Time, Distance, Feet Per Minute, Total Feet Climbed, Calories, Step Height, Stroke Length | Dimensions: 36” W x 44" L x 90” H | Assembly: Self-Assembly

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

4.7
MaxiClimber XL-2000 Vertical Climber

Courtesy of MaxiClimber

Pros
  • Bi-directional hydraulic resistance system with 12 levels

  • Adjustable height for users up to 6'6" and weight capacity of 300lbs

  • Free on-demand training programs using the MaxiClimber app

Cons
  • May lack durability over time

  • Folding for storage is cumbersome

Most vertical climbers rely on your body weight for resistance. Now you can turn up the burn with 12 resistance levels to put your fitness to the test. The aluminum frame is lightweight, yet study enough to support up to 300 pounds. The redesigned roller mechanism makes the XL climber run smoother and more quietly than the MaxiClimber Classic.

Price at Time of Publication: $599

Maximum Weight Capacity: 300 lbs | Stats Offered: Calories, Steps | Dimensions: 25.78" W x 41.33" L x 92.88" H | Assembly: 90% Pre-Assembled, Self-Assembly

Best High-Tech: CLMBR Connected

CLMBR Connected

CLMBR

Pros
  • Weight capacity of up to 350 lbs

  • Adjustable resistance levels from 1 to 11

  • Touchscreen display and dashboard with Alexa compatibility

Cons
  • Machine weighs 180 lbs, but equipped with wheels for portability

  • Suitable for users 5'7" or taller

  • Subscription based premium membership to access all features

For a fully-immersive, studio-like experience, we recommend the CLMBR vertical climber. Equipped with a 21 inch, high-definition touchscreen display and a powerful, built-in Dolby sound system, it rivals machines found in upscale gyms. It also offers convenient access to over 400 on-demand fitness classes with a paid membership.

Well-constructed and durable, the machine has ergonomic handles that can be adjusted at 1-inch increments. With a max user weight of 350 pounds, the CLMBR also features oversized and textured foot pedals that keep you steady and secure as you're climbing. The 11 magnetic resistance settings allow you to customize your climb and stay on track during classes.

When you’re done, the heavy-duty caster wheels make it effortless to glide the machine out of the way. You can sync your CLMBR profile across all of your devices and access your stats—including badges, challenge progress, and achievements.

Price at Time of Publication: $2,795

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 lbs | Stats Offered: Time, Distance, Pace, Calories, Tempo, Reach, Power | Dimensions: 32" W x 35" L x 88" H | Assembly: Self-Assembly

Best for Cross Training: Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Cardio Climber Cross Trainer Machine

Elliptical Cardio Climber Cross Trainer Machine

Amazon

Pros
  • Full size, non-slip foot pedals

  • 8 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance for a smooth, quiet workout

  • Floor stabilizers to balance and level machine

Cons
  • Fixed 5 inch horizontal climb, 7 inch vertical climb, and 9 inch stride lengths

  • Not suitable for users over 220 lbs

While a vertical climber is great for strengthening cardio and toning muscles, some people may be intimidated by the standard design of a vertical climber. The Sunny Health & Fitness Performance Cardio Climber Elliptical Trainer may be more user-friendly, especially for beginners. This machine has a unique climbing stride and handles that move forward and backward versus up and down. The style combination gives you a cross-training experience that will challenge both beginners and intermediate users.

Depending on your fitness goals, you can easily move between eight resistance levels with the turn of a knob. The built-in monitor features a handy clock and calendar, as well as tracks your time, speed, distance and more to help you stay motivated. When you're not using the machine, simply tilt and roll it away.

Price at Time of Publication: $289

Maximum Weight Capacity: 220 lbs | Stats Offered: Calories, Distance, Odometer, Speed, Time, Scan | Dimensions: 23" W x 42" L x 60.5" H | Assembly: Self-Assembly

How We Selected the Best Vertical Climbers

To find the best vertical climbers, we researched dozens of machines and carefully reviewed product details and customer feedback. We considered each machine’s performance, weight capacity, size, mobility, construction materials, and versatility. We looked closely at features like programmed or on-demand classes, adjustable components, and stat tracking. The price point of vertical climbers can vary widely, so we selected options to fit most budgets and only included machines that are a good value for the money.

What to Look for in a Vertical Climber

Size and Space

“The footprint of the vertical climber is not nearly as wide or long as a treadmill but it's far taller. Make sure to have the proper ceiling height,” Michelle Leachman, MS, ACE-CPT, certified personal trainer, says. “You should also have a hard, flat surface or invest in a heavy mat to protect the carpet," she adds.

Use the product dimensions to ensure that the vertical climber you choose fits into your space. Most have a small footprint and fold or roll for portability and storage. However, it is important to remember that many require more than a 7 foot vertical clearance which may not be suitable for basements or rooms with low ceilings.

Durability

Durability is highly dependent on the materials used to make the vertical climber. “Cheaper ones will typically be made with cheaper materials, while more expensive ones will be sturdier, more durable, and should last you longer,” says Erica Ziel, Founder of Knocked Up Fitness and Deep Core Fitness Specialist. 

Make sure that the machine you choose can safely hold your weight and won’t move around when you're working out. If you're hoping your machine will last for years, look at options with a strong steel frame and other wear-resistant components. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines to keep your machine lubricated for optimal function and longevity.

Added Features

If you prefer to stay connected digitally, many climbers offer a companion app or built-in tech features. Basic stats such as time, distance, speed, and calories burned come standard with most machines. However, for on-demand workouts and guided training programs, you'll likely have to invest more in the machine, pay for a subscription based service, or both. Some models will sync with your existing technology such as Bluetooth, Alexa, and your phone or tablet.

Price

“Keep in mind that you’re going to get what you pay for, so if you plan on using your vertical climber several times a week, you should consider investing a bit more for durability,” says Ziel.

There are budget-friendly options, but they may only offer basic features and may not last as long with prolonged use. Even with more expensive, tech savvy machines, consider that there may be an additional cost to track your stats, for on-demand content, and optional accessories.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are vertical climbers bad for knees?

    Vertical climbers offer a low-impact workout, so it should be relatively easy on your joints. “If a patient with a history of knee issues has the range of motion available to complete the full movement, it is most likely safe for the patient to use a vertical climber," says Knapp. “However, if knee pain flares while using a vertical climber, then, of course, they should stop,” he adds.


    A good first step for patients with a history of knee issues is to consult with a physical therapist to determine the best cardio machine for them.

  • Are vertical climbers just as effective as the Stairmaster?

    Both vertical climbers and Stairmasters provide a low-impact, aerobic workout that tones muscles and burns calories efficiently. However, you’ll get even more benefits using a vertical climber since it utilizes your arms in addition to your legs.

     

    “The vertical climber allows for more muscle group activation, as the Stairmaster only recruits the core and upper body for stability, not for overall movement pattern and strengthening,” says Leachman. “The vertical climber utilizes all major muscle groups to help strengthen and define the glutes, quads, calves, hamstrings, core, back, chest, and shoulders," she adds.

  • Do vertical climbers make you a better climber?

    Since the movement on a vertical climber mimics rock climbing and engages many of the same muscle groups, regular workouts could help you improve your climbing skills and performance. Working out on a vertical climber also helps to improve coordination, which is an essential skill in climbing. “Hands, arms, and legs move simultaneously to lengthen and enhance the functions of the body during this workout,” says Leachman.

  • Does a vertical climbers help you lose weight?

    As part of a healthy lifestyle, using a vertical climber regularly may result in weight loss.


    According to the Cleveland Clinic, "the vertical climber is a high calorie output machine. It also heightens your VO2 max, which is a fancy way of tracking how fast your body consumes oxygen and how that translates into calories burned and energy used. It’s estimated to burn between 300 and 800 calories in one 30-minute session."

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Writer and personal trainer Mallory Creveling, ACE-CPT, 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.

Additional reporting to this story by Christine Luff

Certified personal trainer, running coach, and fitness writer Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, has spent years researching, testing, and recommending fitness and athletic products and knows that the right gear and equipment can tremendously improve performance and comfort.

4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. The 7 Best Vertical Climbers You Can Buy in 2022. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vertical-climber

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