Vertical mountain climbers are, however, starting to make their way over here, which is excellent news as they offer all kinds of benefits and take up very little space.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about vertical climber machines so you can make an informed decision on whether they’re right for you and, if so, what you need to think about before you buy one.
This will ensure you only buy a vertical mountain climber if it’s really right for you and that you get the best vertical climbing machine for your needs if you choose to buy one.
We’ll explain all the ins and outs of vertical mountain climbers and also give you a rundown of five great vertical climber machines which we know are actually available in the UK right now.
Best Vertical Climbing Machines - Top 5 List (WORKOUT GUIDE)
Understanding vertical mountain climbers
If you are or have been a public gym-goer, then we’d be willing to bet that you’ll have seen, and perhaps tried, the step machines. Vertical climbers are essentially the same sort of idea, but they allow users to push themselves a bit further - if they wish. They’re compact, light and quiet, meaning they can be used in all kinds of places at any time. They’re also very affordable.
Vertical climbers - the all-round solution
Vertical climber machines offer much the same range of health benefits as rowing machines They are essentially cardio workout machines, but they also help to tone muscle all over the body. Unlike rowing machines, however, they use vertical space rather than horizontal space, making them much easier to fit into today’s smaller homes. They also tend to be lighter than rowing machines and most of them are very easy to fold away out of use.
NB: Vertical climbers generally need a regular touch of lubricant (assuming you’re buying a decent one, which has a metal frame), it is therefore a very good idea to put your climber machine on a surface which is easy to clean as it’s very likely that some of this lubricant will end up on your floor. If you want to use it in a room with a good carpet, then put an easy-clean mat with good grip down first.
Whether or not a vertical climber is the right solution for you basically depends on what you want. Obviously, if you’re really super-serious about fitness and want the ultimate work-out for each part of your body, then you’re probably going to need to look at investing in a range of equipment, with all that implies in terms of cost and space, or pay up for gym membership. If, however, you just want to keep fit effectively, conveniently and affordably, then a vertical climbing machine could be a perfect choice.
For the sake of completeness, we’d like to highlight that, in our opinion, vertical mountain climbers are significantly more intense than the likes of treadmills and exercise bikes, therefore you should really heed the standard advice of going gently to start with and building up your work-out routines as your fitness develops. In other words, vertical climbing machines pack a lot of exercise power into a very small space, so be prepared for that!
Vertical climbing machines and your joints
The basic idea behind vertical climbing machines is that they simulate real mountain climbing in a safe and controlled environment. You have a substantial degree of control over the level of exertion required for your workout, but, at the end of the day, you need to be able to use your knees and elbows to get the most out of a vertical climber. Therefore, if you have joint problems, you may be better to look at a mini-exercise bike.
Points To Look For In A Vertical Climber
Size, weight and foldability
To be honest, there isn’t a huge degree of variation here, unless you are looking for something like a mountain climber machine plus exercise bike combo. For the record, we have seen these on the UK market but we haven’t seen any which impressed us enough to include in our list of recommendations. If, however, you need to fit a vertical climber into a really tight space, then every millimetre may count.
User size and weight supported
As concerns weight, you should look for a climber which can support a user of at least 100 Kg, even if you don’t weigh anything like that much since this indicates decent build quality (at least it does if backed by a credible warranty), as the supported weight goes up, so too does the build quality (ditto).
Resistance and general features
Resistance basically means the extent to which you can adjust your machine to make your work-out harder or easier. General features is just that, climbers are low-tech devices but some of them come with the likes of calorie counters and heart-rate monitors.
Finding The Best Vertical Climbing Machine For You
So with all that said, here is our round-up of the best vertical climbing machines currently available in the UK.
Maxi Climber Vertical Climbing Cardio Exercise Machine
Dimensions 144.8 x 25.4 x 15.2 cm ; 15 Kg
Supports user weight 110 Kg
The Maxi Climber is a best seller in the vertical climbing niche and it’s easy to see why. In addition to its excellent construction standards, it actually looks pretty reasonable when out in a room and folds away easily for storage. The higher price compared to our previous suggestions gets you a digital monitor which actually works accurately and can track time calories and steps.
While this may not sound like much, it’s the little details which make the big difference, for example the ease with which the machine can be adjusted to suit users of different heights (again, there’s no official maximum height, but we think users up to at least 6 foot should be fine) and the fact that it arrives almost fully assembled. You’ll have to decide for yourself, how much these benefits matter to you.
- A great alternative to jogging, running or hiking, MaxiClimber works your entire body, for a maximum workout in minimum time
- Low-impact, MaxiClimber uses only your own bodyweight for resistance so there's no added stress on your joints
- Ergonomically designed to suit virtually any body type - MaxiClimber's durable steel construction can support up to 240 lbs (110 kg)
- Five different height setting to customise the machine to your size ; Two long L-shaped handlebars
- Lightweight, portable, and compact. Folds up for easy storage in the closet or under the bed
GYM MASTER Heavy Duty Vertical Climber Machine
Max Height: 225cm, Width: 66cm, Depth: 93cm. 25 Kg
Rather frustratingly, Gym Master have not given any indications of supported height and weight, however, we’d say that users up to 6’ and 17st/100 Kg should be fine. Above that we’d suggest trying out the machine in person before deciding whether or not to buy it.
This vertical climber machine, quite frankly, is an entry-level model, which means that it only offers basic functionality and, in all honesty, the digital monitor is generally best treated as decoration rather than as a reliable guide to what’s happening, but at this price level you could easily buy an accessory device and still have a very economical deal.
On the plus side, however, this vertical climber machine is solidly built and very robust, which is its main selling point. It’s also very easy to assemble and although it’s not exactly light, it’s far from the heaviest machine around so it’s not a major deal to take it with you if you have to move.
Basically, this vertical climber machine is pitched fair and square at people who just want a basic and affordable machine for improving/maintaining their fitness and it hits that spot very well indeed.
- This Heavy Duty Gym Master Climber Offers a Total Body Workout In The Comfort of Your Own Home. Upgraded Heavy Duty Framework - Metal Pedals & Parts -...
- This Low Impact Exercise Provide a Full Body Workout Or a Light Workout at Your Convenience. Adjustable Height Multi Grips Allow a Comfortable...
- The Clear Monitor Also Makes it Easy to Set Achievable Personal Goals and Keep You On Target to Making Big Improvements to Your Fitness
- With This Machine You Can Fit In A Full Workout In The Time it Would Take to Go to And From The Gym. It Also Takes Up Very Little Floor Space and...
- Please Note: This machine contains moving lubricated metal parts and might release some debris during a bedding in period. Only ever use this machine...
GYMAX Vertical Climbing Machine Foldable Climber Cardio Stepper
Size 210 x 92 x 73 cm(H x W x L) 20 Kg
Maximum load :120 Kg
The Gymax vertical climbing machine is the most affordable model in our list and essentially is about as budget-friendly as you can get without making too many compromises on performance. There is no official maximum user height, but again, we’d say users up to 6 foot should be fine and anyone taller should look to try before they buy.
As you would expect from our previous comments, there are no bells or whistles whatsoever on this vertical climber, even the digital display just acts as a timer and doesn’t even claim to offer anything more in the way of functionality. Having said that, there is no shortage of add-on devices you can use to monitor anything you consider important and you’re still going to have a very affordable offering.
The key point about this vertical climber is that the build quality is solid, so, again, it’s a great choice if you just want a simple but effective workout without the cost of gym membership.
- Excluded locations: Channel Islands(such as Jersey and Guernsey), Isle of Man(IM), Scilly Isles, Scottish Islands, PO BOX.
- Steel Construction - Made from premium steel with non-toxic anti-rust paint, which ensures its long lifespan and stability, also sturdy enough to...
- Folding Design - The climbing machine can be folded to store easily,just put it against the wall or place it in a storage room when not in...
- Real-time Monitoring - Training is a step-by step process,you can see your every progress with the digital calories and step counter, which makes you...
- Perfect For Burning Fat - It is designed for all body types,imitates the movement of climbing to promote your rapid burn fat and work your whole...
HOMCOM Vertical Climbing Machine Cardio Stepper
Overall Size: 66L x 102W x 221H（cm）
Foldable Size: 66L x 35W x 229H（cm）
Pedal Size: 8L x 11W（cm）
Net Weight: 20kg
Weight Capacity: 150kg
We were rather surprised to discover that HOMCOM produced a vertical climbing machine, because we’ve always associated the brand with furniture and furnishings. When we took a closer look however, we discovered that they actually have a dedicated sports section with some very decent products.
In our opinion (and we’re well aware this is totally subjective) this vertical climbing machine actually looks, if not exactly stylish, then still fairly living-room-friendly. Basically, if you’re in a really small space like a studio and you want a machine you can leave out all the time without it sticking out and spoiling the overall appearance of your room, then this would be our top pick.
Of course, a presentable appearance is only relevant if the vertical climber actually gets the job done and we’re happy to say that it does. Again, it’s towards the entry level side of the range so it’s a basic model, but HOMCOM have, in our opinion, used their budget where it matters.
Essentially, they have ditched everything they can reasonably ditch, such as a digital monitor and even adjustable resistance, but what they have done they have done well so, for example, as well as a solid, stable frame, you also get ergonomic handles and non-slip pedals.
- Manufactured from durable steel frame for extended use.
- Ideal solution to train, waist, buttocks, thighs, crus and more.
- Foldable, space saving design for easy storage.
- Find the grip to any body size with adjustable height grip.
- Overall Size: 66L x 102W x 221H cm; Foldable Size: 66L x 35W x 229H cm
Sportstech innovative 2-in-1 Stepper & Vertical Climber
Up to 120 kg max. user weight
To be perfectly honest, we’re not so sure where the “innovative” bit in the name comes from, there are plenty of other devices which have a fixed handlebar to go with the pulleys, thus enabling you to use the machine as a stepper as well as a climber, so we’re reviewing this machine on the same basis as the others.
There is no information on the actual size of this product and, frankly, we didn’t feel like doing the measurement ourselves, but it looked much the same size as the other machines and weighs about 20 Kg. There is five-stage height adjustment although there is no official information on maximum recommended user height, we’re comfortable sticking with our standard recommendation that anyone up to about six foot in height should be fine.
Sportstech is a German brand and this device certainly lives up to Germany’s reputation for build-quality and all-around efficiency. In addition to implementing all the basics to an excellent standard, this machine also has a digital monitor which displays steps, time or burned calories.
- 2-IN-1 MULTITALENT: Our unique VC300 Climbing Machine is a stepper and climber for the leg, buttocks, abdomen, and arm muscles. It combines the...
- MULTIFUNCTION DISPLAY: Whether as a chronometer, calorie- or step counter - with the clear display of our vertical climbing machine, you have your...
- INTELLIGENT FOLDING SYSTEM: This superb and first-class fitness equipment is quickly and practically stowed away. With just three hand movements, it...
- ANTI-SLIP DESIGN: The wide rubberised feet protect your floor from annoying scratches - and the foldable pedals ensure a stable support throughout the...
- 5-STAGE HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT: Our innovative Vertical Stepper can be quickly and effortlessly adjusted to your body size. Thus the most diverse fitness...
The Best Vertical Climbing Machine - Conclusion
As always, the best vertical mountain climber is the one which is right for you. If budget is your main consideration, then opt for the GYM MASTER Heavy Duty Vertical Climber Machine or the GYMAX Vertical Climbing Machine Foldable Climber Cardio Stepper. The HOMCOM Vertical Climbing Machine Cardio Stepper is also fairly budget-friendly and if we’re honest we really liked the fact that it could just be left out between uses without being an eyesore.
It is really hard for us to choose between the two premium models, the Maxi Climber Vertical Climbing Cardio Exercise Machine and the Sportstech innovative 2-in-1 Stepper & Vertical Climber. In all honesty, we felt the former looked a bit more attractive and would be the better choice if you didn’t fancy folding away your machine after each use. The latter, however, was super-easy to fold, so maybe slightly the better choice if you are tidy enough to put everything away after every work-out.