The 10 Best Vertical Climbers, Recommended by Certified Personal Trainers

The Maxi Climber Vertical Climber is a good match for a full-body workout

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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. The low-impact workout mimics rock climbing (but often at a faster pace) and engages all your muscle groups. 

Reviewed & Approved

Thanks to its easy set-up and adjustable height, the Maxi Climber Original Patented Vertical Climber is our top overall pick. The Hifashion 2-in-1 Total Body Vertical Climber is a good choice if you want more than one cardio workout option.

“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.

When reviewing the best vertical climbers, our experts prioritized options that are easy to use, durable, space-efficient, and a good value for what you get.

Here are the best vertical climbers on the market, according to certified personal trainers.

Best Overall: Maxi Climber The Original Patented Vertical Climber

4.6
Maxi Climber The Original Patented Vertical Climber

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Adjustable height

  • Slip-free pedals and foam hand grips

  • Comes with app

Cons
  • Lower weight capacity than other options

We selected this freestanding vertical climbing machine as our best overall option because it adjusts to your height for a perfect fit and can hold up to 240 pounds safely. It 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 while climbing. We like that the vertical climber also comes with a bonus app, which provides structured workouts to do on the machine and challenges you to hit your fitness goals and track your progress. 

Maximum Weight Capacity: 240 pounds | Stats Offered: Calories and steps | Dimensions: 28.3 x 35.8 inches | Assembly: Comes 90 percent assembled

Best Budget: ZELUS Vertical Climber Machine

ZELUS Vertical Climber Machine
Pros
  • Great for small spaces

  • Adjustable height

  • 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. Adjustable to five different heights, we like that this machine is great for short and tall climbers. And it offers different intensity levels so you can keep challenging yourself over time.

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 check out your calories burned and the total number of steps you've climbed during your workout. 

Maximum Weight Capacity: 290 pounds | Stats Offered: Calories and steps | Dimensions: 37 x 29 inches | Assembly: Required, but simple

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

Hifashion 2-in-1 Total Body Vertical Climber

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Sturdy steel frame construction

  • Helpful stats displayed

  • Versatile

Cons
  • Lower weight capacity than other options

We love that you can 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 pounds | Stats Offered: Time, speed, distance, and calories burned | Dimensions: 47 x 24 inches | Assembly: Required, but simple

Best for Small Spaces: RELIFE Rebuild Your Life Vertical Climber

RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Vertical Climber

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Durable

  • Adjustable height

  • Quiet

Cons
  • Not as sturdy as other options

We particularly recommend this pick for those looking to get a good climbing workout in a small space. 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 just 69 inches.

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.

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 pounds | Stats Offered: Not listed | Dimensions: 37.5 x 28 inches | Assembly: Required, but simple

Best for Beginners: Aceshin Vertical Climber Machine

Aceshin Vertical Climber Machine

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Helpful stats displayed

  • Two handlebar options

  • Foldable

Cons
  • Louder than other options

As a newbie, our experts say it’s always helpful to see your stats so you can monitor your progress, and this machine has a screen that tells 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.

We like that this lightweight yet sturdy vertical climber also comes with two handlebars on each side with two different grip options, 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. 

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.

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

Best Advanced: VersaClimber Machine

VersaClimber Machine

Source: VersaClimber

Pros
  • 16 preset workout programs

  • High weight capacity

  • Great LCD display

Cons
  • Expensive

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—like an adjustable pedal height, adjustable handlebars, and a sturdy steel frame—the VersaClimber offers 16 pre-set 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 the machine 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 pounds | Stats Offered: Time, speed, distance, calories burned, workout mode, heart rate, and more | Dimensions: 44 x 36 inches | Assembly: Required, but simple

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

4.7
MaxiClimber XL-2000 Vertical Climber

Courtesy of MaxiClimber

Pros
  • Comes with app

  • 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. We like that you can choose from 12 different intensities for a challenge, no matter your fitness level. The aluminum frame gives you the sturdiness you need without making the machine feel bulky. Meanwhile, the roller design makes this advanced climber run smoother and quieter than the regular MaxiClimber.

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 pounds | Stats Offered: Calories and steps | Dimensions: 41 x 26 inches | Assembly: 90 percent pre-assembled

Best High-Tech: CLMBR Connected

CLMBR Connected

CLMBR

Pros
  • HD touchscreen display

  • Quiet

  • Adjustable resistance

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Needs 8-foot vertical clearance

For a fully-immersive, studio-like experience, we recommend the CLMBR vertical climber. Equipped with a large, high-definition touchscreen display and a powerful, built-in sound system, it rivals machines found in high-end gyms. It also offers convenient access to on-demand, instructor-led 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 built-in, 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 all your stats—including speed, distance, and strength—to track your progress.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Stats Offered: Calories, distance, speed, power, and strength | Dimensions: 88 x 32 x 35 inches | Assembly: Required, but simple

Best Folding: ANCHEER Vertical Climber

ANCHEER Vertical Climber

Amazon

Pros
  • Easy assembly

  • High weight capacity

  • Soft foam handles

Cons
  • Pedals may be too small for larger feet

If you're more comfortable working out at home than going to a gym, setting up your own fitness space may be preferable. That's why we like the foldable and compact design of the ANCHEER Vertical Climber, which can easily be incorporated into your home gym—even if you don't have much space to work with.

No matter your height or body shape, you can adjust the climber to one of five height levels to ensure a comfortable workout. And to increase your level of comfort, it also features padded foam handles to minimize the chance of calluses or blisters on your hands. Another feature that stands out to us is the large grippy feet of the climber—an essential safety measure that keeps it in one place through your most intense workouts.

The ANCHEER Vertical Climber has a 350-pound weight capacity, which is on the higher end of products in this list. And while some people say that the foot pedals are a bit too small, other characteristics—like the easy-to-read display that tracks distance, speed, and calories burned—make this a good choice for anyone looking for a compact climber to add to their routine.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Stats Offered: Calories, distance, and speed | Dimensions: 39.4 x 26.8 x 78.8 inches | Assembly: Comes 90 percent assembled

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

Elliptical Cardio Climber Cross Trainer Machine

Amazon

Pros
  • Helpful stats displayed

  • Adjustable resistance

  • Textured foot pedals for grip

Cons
  • Wheel may need replacement over time

  • Louder than other options

While a vertical climber can help you build your upper body, lower body, and core strength, some people don't like the traditional design of a climber. If you're one of those people, we recommend Sunny Health & Fitness' climber. This option combines the style of an elliptical and a vertical climber to give you a cross-training experience that will challenge both beginners and advanced users.

Featuring handles that move forward and backward versus up and down (as you'd see in most vertical climbers), this option looks more like an elliptical at first glance. But the pedals move in more of an up-and-down motion instead of a rotating motion like classic ellipticals.

Depending on your fitness goals, you can easily move between eight resistance levels with the turn of a knob. And to ensure you're meeting those goals, a performance monitor tracks your time on the machine, RPM, speed, distance, calories burned, pulse, and temperature. It also shows you a calendar and a clock.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 220 pounds | Stats Offered: Time, RPM, speed, distance, calories burned, pulse, and temperature | Dimensions: 39.4 x 42 x 23 x 60.5 inches | Assembly: Assembly required

Final Verdict

If you're looking for an affordable and effective cardio workout, we recommend the Maxiclimber Original Patented Vertical Climber (view at Amazon). With an adjustable height and non-slip pedals and grips, this proves to be a comfortable option. We also love that it comes almost fully assembled and pairs with an app for user-friendly use.

If you want a little more versatility, the Hifashion 2-in-1 Total Body Vertical Climber (view at Walmart) might be your best choice. A stationary bike and vertical climber in one, it allows you to cross-train while saving space.

How We Rated the Vertical Climbers

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best vertical climbers we reviewed. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These vertical climbers are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great vertical climbers, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These vertical climbers are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend vertical climbers with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

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, materials, and versatility. We looked closely at features like programmed or on-demand classes, adjustable arms, and stat tracking. Costs of vertical climbers can vary quite a bit, so we selected from a wide range of prices 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 as a treadmill but is far longer in length, so 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.

If you want more of a challenge, a smaller footprint, or another way to use your piece of equipment, look for those added features that may not come in a basic vertical climber. If you don't have much space for equipment, or this is not the only piece of equipment you're looking for, you may want to opt for a folding climber for a smaller footprint.

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 hold your weight safely and won’t move around when you're working out. 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’re willing to make more of an investment, some higher-end climbers also come equipped with a screen and built-in workout programs that you can follow. Others have monitors that keep track of stats—time, speed, calories burned, heart rate, and more—and are designed to help you reach set fitness goals.

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 in one,” says Ziel. While you can find climbers that are more budget-friendly, know that they may only offer basic features and may not last as long if you're planning to use your climber daily.

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 offers more comprehensive muscle strengthening. 

    “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.

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.

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