The 8 Best Vertical Climbers of 2021

Climb your way to better health and fitness

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Our Top Picks
"A pick that adjusts to your height, the foam handlebars offer a firm grip while the foot pedals keep you from slipping."
"Your own bodyweight serves as the resistance on this vertical climber, which supports up to 330 pounds."
"This hybrid gives you two cardio workouts with one machine—stand up to tackle the climbing or sit down to cycle a few miles."
"This durable option includes features like a nylon liner and metal guide rails, both of which help to keep the climber quiet."
"Safety-conscious exercisers won't have to worry, due to the climber's large foot pedals and non-slip grips."
"Beginners taking on fitness goals will appreciate the metrics that reveal your time, speed, distance, and calories burned."
"Take your workout to new heights with this pick, complete with 16 pre-set training programs to tackle as you build strength."
"Pick from 12 different resistance levels for an intense challenge to your muscles while building strength as you climb."

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 heavy, torching calories, and gets your muscles burning—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

This free-standing vertical climbing machine adjusts to your height so you’re in a comfortable, upright position when you break a sweat. It holds up to 240 pounds, comes almost fully assembled, and easily folds up so you can store it out of the way. The foam handlebars also offer a firm, easy grip while the foot pedals have lugs to keep you from slipping as you climb fast.  

The vertical climber also comes with an app, complete with workouts to do on the machine and challenges to help you hit your fitness goals and track your progress. 

Best Budget: SHZOND Vertical Climber

Your own bodyweight serves as the resistance on this vertical climber, which allows you to test your speed and endurance by working faster and for longer. At an affordable price, you get a strong steel frame as well as a folding design that lets you conveniently store it out of the way after exercise.

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

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

Hifashion 2-in-1 Total Body Vertical Climber

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 the distance, calories burned, and time you’re climbing so you can easily track your progress. The steel frame holds up to 350 pounds.

Best for Small Spaces: RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Vertical Climber

RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Vertical Climber

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

Best Folding: Soozier Folding Adjustable Vertical Climber

The footprint on this machine is smaller than others on the list, spanning just under 27 inches wide, about 36 inches deep, and up to 71 inches high. Fold it up, and it stores even smaller. The machine also has four height levels to fit your body and skill level.

Holding up to 220 pounds, it has large 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 duration of your workout. 

Best for Beginners: Aceshin Vertical Climber Machine

This lightweight and sturdy vertical climber 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.

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 it down) and try to beat those numbers as you progress through your workout plan.

Like other machines, you can also fold this one up and put it away when you’re not using it. 

Best Advanced: VersaClimber Machine

VersaClimber

If you’re looking to take your workout to the next level, a high-quality machine like this VersaClimber is probably your best bet—you'll just have to shell out a little more money than for other climbers on the list. 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-set training programs that will take 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. Stand on the floor and you can focus solely on the upper body instead, building strength in the shoulders, arms, chest, and back. 

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

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 maintains the sturdiness of the machine, but makes it more lightweight, while the roller design also makes this advanced climber run smoother and quieter than the regular MaxiClimber. The flexible pedals allow for more ankle mobility as you climb. 

You'll still get the typical features that come with other vertical climbers—like adjustable height, support for up to 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 that'll keep the machine in place as you start climbing.

Final Verdict

For an affordable cardio option, you can’t go wrong with the Maxiclimber Original Patented Vertical Climber. If you want more versatility in your cardio workout, the Hifashion 2-in-1 Total Body Vertical Climber might be your best choice. To take your workout up a notch and make each step a little more difficult, go for the MaxiClimber XL-2000 Hydraulic Resistance Vertical Climber—just get ready to spend a little more money. 

What to Look For in a Vertical Climber

Ease of Use

For 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, but make sure you check out reviews and explanations of set-up so you can find the one that best fits your space. 

Sturdiness and Durability

You’ll be standing on these vertical climbers, so check that the machine you choose will hold your weight and won’t move as you do. Plus, for a machine you can keep for years, you want to make sure they’ll last. Look for those with durable features and strong steel frames.  

Added Features

If you want more of a challenge, a smaller footprint, or another way to use the machine, consider the added features you crave in addition to those found in a basic vertical climber. A monitor might also be important for you if you’re looking to check your stats as you climb, and not all machines have them.

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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