Sunny Health & Fitness Hydro+ Magnetic Rowing Machine SF-RW5809 Review

by Gary Patterson | Last Updated: May 16, 2021

About Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machines

Sunny Health & Fitness goes above and beyond in developing cutting-edge exercise equipment for the average workout enthusiast. Operating solely online, this sporting goods brand carries a wide variety of treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, rowers, steppers, and more. Offered as an indoor alternative to when training outside isn’t an option, users can stay on the grind with their extensive line of training machines.

With their headquarters based in Los Angeles, California, and Xiamen, China, Sunny made its first appearance over the ‘fitness horizon’ in 2002.  Led by CEO John Sun, this health and wellness brand offers competitive pricing for their premium exercise equipment. By shopping at their website, customers are able to get a solid bargain for their treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, and more. 


Powered by over 100+ employees around the world, Sunny Health & Fitness prides itself on leading a family-centric approach when it comes to business. They ensure that every worker is treated fairly while keeping a relatively good balance between fun and labor.

Sunny also has a side blog dedicated to exercise-related advice and tips. With a following of over 17.5k on Instagram, the brand is commonly featured in several magazines of PopSugar and Men’s Health. 

Hydro+ Dual Resistance Magnetic Water Rowing Machine SF-RW5809 Review

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower Review

While we’ve covered Sunny Health & Fitness products before in the past, we’ll be focusing on one of their all-time bestsellers: the Hydro+ Dual Resistance Magnetic Water Rowing Machine SF-RW5809. Built with a water tank, trainers can simulate real-time rowing at the comfort of their own home. Priced moderately compared to other models, this prototype is frequently included in several top ten lists, including the Best Reviews Guide. 

If those nature-esque lake waters are calling your name- don’t opt to play the gym membership game. Perhaps this sporting goods brand could serve as your better alternative. Keep reading, as this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review will provide readers with an extensive list of product specifics, customer ratings, and its overall value to help you make that final decision. 

Before we get into this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review, let’s go over some initial pros and cons: 



Technical Specifications

In a hurry? Don’t sweat it. This Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review will provide a quick point-form list of product specifics down below: 

Resistance Type

For those behind on their exercise equipment lingo, resistance works to push and pull your muscles in order to achieve a full-body workout. While some machines run on air or on a digital setting, The SF-RW5809 Rower operates as a dual component, which is hydro and magnetic

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower Review

Commonly known to run smoothly, this type of engine promises no bumps or friction. It also comes with 16 different resistance levels, which gives trainers complete control over increasing the intensity of their workout. They can do this by paddling faster or by changing the tension on their supplemental pressure knob. 

However, there are some caveats with hydro and magnetic resistance types. For instance, some trainers find these settings to be ‘too smooth.’ More specifically, it doesn’t simulate the uneven streams of real-time rowing. 

The SF-RW5809 also features a refillable tank, meaning that users must pour water into the machine for it to work. While the brand states that it provides a calm ‘rushing streams’ effect, this could serve as a dealbreaker for those who like to train noise-free.


So, how much are we talking here? The SF-RW5809 rower costs $500 in total. From what we’ve seen so far, that’s pretty middle of the road in terms of paddling machines. 

To give an accurate comparison, the most expensive models on the market are the NordicTrack RW900 and the Hydrow Connected prototype. This ranges to a hefty $2,200 to $2,400. When it comes to cheaper versions, alternatives such as the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 and the Joroto Magnetic Rower only cost $150 to $350

The Hydrow and Nordictrack models come with a built-in touch screen. As a complementary feature, users are automatically signed up for their exercise memberships- giving them access to a plethora of training programs affiliating with rowing. On the other hand, machines within the $300 range don’t come with SF-RW5809’s water tank. If you can go without the calming rush of water- perhaps its best to opt for other models that are lower than $500

Buyers can either purchase this rower on the brand’s website or by selecting on their partnered retailers. This includes Amazon, Walmart, and Target. If you prefer to pay over time, the company offers a monthly installment plan with Affirm. This Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review will outline their pricing options below:

Shipping & Assembly

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower Review

Fortunately, Sunny Health & Fitness offers complimentary shipping for the SF-RW5809 rower. They use FedEx, UPS, and USPS as their main couriers. It usually takes 2 to 3 days for orders to process, with an additional 6 to 7 days for packages to arrive. 

Instead of waiting patiently outside your doorstep, customers can use the tracking number found in their confirmation email to help monitor their purchases. Sadly, Sunny Health & Fitness only accommodates those living within the contiguous United States

For larger orders, the freight company will try to contact you to arrange a drop-off time. Upon delivery, a signature is required. The SF-RW5809 Rower will come partially assembled to ensure that damage is minimized during transportation. There’s no need to study for an engineering degree, as this product comes with a handy instructional manual and a digital PDF on the item website.

From what this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review has read so far, buyers do not have to borrow a wrench or a screwdriver, as this machine already comes with a toolkit. If you need more assistance, the brand encourages you to give them a call. In terms of the level of difficulty, a few customers noted that assembly was fairly easy. According to one buyer, it only took them 30 minutes


After filling the water tank and inputting the display batteries, it’s time to set up the performance monitor. By using the up, down, and enter buttons, customers must input the date and time. You can also adjust the values for distance, calorie count, strokes, and pulse rate. 

From what this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review has seen so far, users don’t have to fill out their weight or height. As a side note, this machine requires no WI-FI connectivity or account login in order to operate. 

Design and Features

Moving forward, this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review will take a closer look at the product’s build quality, comfort, and overall capacity. Is it worth the $500 splurge? Let’s find that out together. 

Build Quality

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower weighs a hefty 73.6lbs. While it may seem light for those heavyweight champions, this machine is designed to stay put for even the most intense workout sessions. 

The brand doesn’t disclose what material this model is made out of, but most varieties use steel as their main frame. According to a few customers online, the rower felt well-constructed, ensuring no wobbles or vibrations. 

For easy storage, the SF-RW5809 rower comes with a set of transportation wheels at the bottom. If you’re tight on space, this model is designed to be folded vertically


Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower Review

For those who love to get into that hour-long grind, it’s important that the machine in question is comfortable. Built with a molded cushioned seat, users can stroke in peace without shifting or repositioning. The SF-RW5809 rower also comes with a non-slip padded handlebar to ensure freedom of mobility while ensuring no sweaty slippage. 

To keep your feet from flying off ‘the boat,’ this machine is equipped with 2 adjustable foot straps. After combing through a few customer testimonials online, this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review found that buyers were generally happy with the level of comfort of this machine. 


The SF-RW5809 rower can accommodate up to 275 pounds in weight. Based on our research, this is slightly above the common capacity in other branded models. For better comparison, the Stamina Body Trac Glider and the Echanfit Foldable Indoor Rower can only hold 250 to 265 lbs. In terms of height, the slide rail inseam of this machine is 41.3”, which is relatively half the size of a regular adult male. 

If you’re within their measurements, the SF-RW5809 rower can serve as a great way to lose a few pounds. Ideal for average-sized males and females, it can also act as a suitable option for overweight people. However, if you’re just above their given numbers, perhaps it’s best to start looking at other models that can provide more space. 

Now, let’s put the SF-RW5809 rower to the test. We’ve found a good amount of customers who stated that this machine felt durable, comfortable, and well-suited to their weight and height. 

Definitely a well constructed rowing machine. Each piece is pretty heavy duty. The rower is said to hold up to 275 pounds. I’m close to 270 and it is sturdy as heck. Highly recommend this rower,” one Google reviewer wrote. 


Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower Review

Calling old-school gym enthusiasts! This Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower comes with no frills attached. Designed to only provide users with the specifics, trainers can keep score of their calorie count, workout time, pulse rate, and distance gained. 

To manage its settings, customers can use the up, down, enter, start, stop, reset, and recovery buttons found on their performance monitor. This rowing machine also comes with 15 different racing programs built for those competitive spirits. 

While this machine doesn’t come with a touch screen, users can affix their tablet, laptop, or phone on top of their device holder. If you need a bit of motivation to help carry out those last few minutes, pull up a YouTube video, training podcast, or a playlist of tunes to keep you remotely entertained. It also features a swivel design, meaning that users can affix their monitor at any angle. 


The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower doesn’t come with a membership plan. However, customers can find a plethora of workout videos and blogs related to sculling on their website. Free of charge, the brand offers a wide variety of tutorials on their main blog, including the ‘Full Body Dual Function Rower Workout’ and the ‘Cardio Row HIIT.’ It is worth noting that each exercise module is organized in levels of difficulty. 


Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower Review

One of the biggest excuses for not owning a treadmill or rower is that it occupies too much space. Designed to be ergonomic, the SF-RW5809 model is constructed to be foldable. After working out, customers can collapse their machine vertically while using its built-in transportation wheels to move it around their room. 

Based on its stored dimensions, we recommend placing it in a closet or tucked away in a corner. A good amount of reviewers online stated that it was easy to store. With that being said, some users noted that it felt quite heavy to lift. 


Everybody likes a bit of assurance when buying something as hefty as a rower. The SF-RW5809 comes with 3 different warranties: a 3-year structural frame guarantee and a 180-day parts and components policy. 

These contracts are not applicable for commercial use, meaning that this machine is not designed for health spas, gyms, or other public facilities. Each state may differ in terms of time limitations for warranties, so it’s recommended that you check within your designed location for specifics. 

In terms of their return policy, this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review found that they provide a 30-day window for customers to send back their products. Only items that are within its original packaging are deemed for a refund. 

Sunny will pay for return shipping costs if the order in question is part of the company’s own error. Any purchases delivered via LTL freight are subjected to a $200 fee. 

Final Thoughts

If you can’t afford to purchase an expensive machine, this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review recommends checking out this model. Neither too costly or cheap, this prototype is in a sweet spot when it comes to price and quality. While it doesn’t come with a touch screen or a virtual coaching program, customers can easily affix their mobile devices to play whatever they want. 

We also need to talk about the water tank feature. Suppose you miss those tranquil waters of campsite rowing. In that case, users are in for a treat- as this model delivers a mild, rushing-water sound effect for that semi-meditative workout experience.

The SF-RW5809 Rower is also accessible to a large number of people- as it can accommodate the regularly sized male to the overweight workout enthusiast. Smart in design, this machine can easily be stored away to save you that sweat of finding space. 

If we were to nitpick, this model doesn’t have many online reviews. Because of this, it is hard to gauge the overall customer experience. All in all, for those looking for an adequately priced rower that comes with all the necessary features, perhaps it’s time to stop your search and opt for the SF-RW5809. 


Where can I purchase the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower?

Customers can purchase the SF-RW5809 Rower by visiting You can also find them at select stores including:

Is there a Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower discount?

As of lately, this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review found no promotions or discounts for this particular model. However, we recommend following their social media platforms for any updates. 

Does the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower fold?

Yes. The SF-RW5809 Rower is built to fold vertically. It also comes with transportation wheels on the bottom to save you the task of lifting. 

Can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine?

Definitely! This Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review recommends heading over to their side blog to find some useful workout videos to help you lose weight. 

Is rowing better for you than running?

There are a majority of online health experts that agree on this fact. This is because rowing entails the use of your leg, arm, and muscle strength. As a result, you get a full-body workout. 

How to contact Sunny Health & Fitness?

For inquiries unrelated to this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5809 Rower review, you can contact the company through:

218 Turnbull Canyon Rd. 

City of Industry, CA 91745