These Vertical Climbers Will Deliver Total-Body Workouts Every Time

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When many of us decide to buy fitness machines, we go straight for the classics—snagging treadmills, exercise bikes, and ellipticals. But these tried-and-true favorites aren’t the only options on offer. If your goal is to challenge your body from head to toe, you may be better off with a more underrated fitness machine—like a vertical climber.

“Vertical climbers are capable of delivering [intense] full-body workouts,” Joe Vega, physical therapist and founder of The Vega Method, says. Vega notes that vertical climbers tend to challenge large muscle groups in your upper body, lower body, and core. And you can use them for HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts, as well as for endurance training.

Convinced you need a vertical climber in your home gym? We don’t blame you. Ahead, our picks for the best vertical climbers on the market.

Our Top Picks
Compact and portable in design, this climber boasts 12 hydraulic, bi-directional resistance levels.
This compact, budget-friendly climber is height-adjustable and features an LCD monitor to track your progress.
Designed with elliptical-like elements, this luxe pick is much smoother and more comfortable than the average climber.
Easy to set up and easy to use, this compact option promises a full-body workout and is great for beginners.
This advanced design includes several adjustable features for a customizable (and comfortable) workout.
This compact, foldable climber won’t take up much space, plus it doubles as an exercise bike.
Not only is this climber incredibly compact, it also folds completely flat for easy storage.
This multitasking climber doubles as an elliptical and boasts eight magnetic resistance levels.
Best With Adjustable Resistance:
Cascade Climber at Amazon
Designed with a whopping 16 resistance settings, this pick is the ultimate way to level up your climbing workouts.
Equipped with a large touchscreen and a surround sound system, this makes any at-home workout feel like an in-person studio class.

Best Overall: MaxiClimber XL-2000 Hydraulic Resistance Vertical Climber

MaxiClimber XL-2000 Vertical Climber
What We Like
  • 12 hydraulic resistance settings

  • Bi-directional resistance

  • Foldable

  • Compatible with the Maxi Climber app

  • 300-pound weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Extremely tall

  • May not be very durable

If you’re looking for a great vertical climber, MaxiClimber’s XL-2000 Vertical Climber is pretty tough to beat. The compact climber has 12 hydraulic resistance levels, making it one of the most versatile options around. (Most vertical climbers offer up to eight resistance settings—and some budget-friendly climbers offer none at all.) Even better? That resistance is designed to be bi-directional. So you can expect to feel the heat every time the pedals on your machine move up or down.

Naturally, the climber’s strengths don’t stop there. Because convenience also matters, the climber is designed to be low-profile and portable. And since you can fold it up between uses, it should be pretty easy to store, too.

Features: 12 hydraulic resistance levels, bi-directional resistance, foldable, app-compatible | Dimensions: 78 x 41 x 26 inches | Weight: 52 pounds

Best Budget: Doufit Vertical Climber Exercise Machine

Doufit Vertical Climber Exercise Machine
What We Like
  • Compact

  • Folds in half

  • Adjustable height (5’4”–6’3”)

  • 220-pound weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • No adjustable resistance

  • May not be very durable

  • May feel wobbly when extended to its maximum height

Looking for a vertical climber that doesn’t cost a fortune? Doufit has you covered. The brand’s Vertical Climber Exercise Machine is available at a ridiculously reasonable price point. And it promises to deliver a solid workout every single time. The compact climber has a built-in LCD monitor, which you can use to track your workouts. And since the machine is height-adjustable, it should be versatile enough to suit climbers between 5’4” and 6’3” tall. What’s also nice? At 31 inches long and 20 inches wide, the climber won’t demand much floor space. And since the climber folds up between uses, you should be able to easily store it in a nearby closet—or maybe even under your couch. 

Features: Foldable, adjustable height | Dimensions: 54–63 x 31 x 20 inches | Weight: 34 pounds

Best Splurge: Sole CC81 Cardio Climber

What We Like
  • Smooth, comfortable slide

  • Adjustable resistance settings

  • Adjustable handlebars

  • 400-pound weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky

  • Heavy

  • Expensive

When there are so many budget-friendly climbers out there, it can be tough to justify a splurge. But since Sole’s CC81 Cardio Climber features a unique design—one that makes it more comfortable than the average climber—it promises to be worth the investment. From the outside, the climber looks pretty classic. But Sole designed it with elliptical-like elements that make its stride extra gentle and smooth. To make matters even better, the machine comes with adjustable handlebars. And it has a built-in resistance dial you can use to up the intensity of your workouts.

Features: Elliptical-like elements, adjustable handlebars, resistance | Dimensions: 58 x 40 x 22 inches | Weight: 265 pounds

Best for Beginners: MaxiClimber Vertical Climber

MaxiClimber Vertical Climber
What We Like
  • Compact

  • Easy to use

  • Two sets of handlebars

  • Compatible with the Maxi Climber app

  • 240-pound weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • No adjustable resistance

  • May not be very durable


The Maxi Climber Vertical Climber is a fan favorite—and it’s not hard to see why. The compact climber promises a solid full-body workout. And since it’s both easy to set up and easy to use, it’s a particularly great pick for beginners. To use the machine, simply grip the plush handlebars and step onto the wide pedals. Then press one pedal down after the other to start climbing. If the thought of moving your hands and your feet at the same time sounds a little intimidating, rest assured knowing you can always keep things simple. The machine comes equipped with a set of stable handlebars you can grip any time you want to focus on lower-body exercise—and just lower-body exercise.

Features: Two sets of handlebars, app-compatible | Dimensions: 57 x 35 x 28 inches | Weight: 33 pounds

Best Advanced: VersaClimber Machine

VersaClimber
What We Like
  • Compact

  • Adjustable handlebars, pedals, and foot straps

  • Full range of motion (20-inch step)

  • 16 preset workout programs

  • 350-pound weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • No adjustable resistance

  • Extremely tall

  • Expensive

The VersaClimber is the perfect pick for anyone ready to kick their workouts up a notch. The climber has a durable steel frame and several adjustable features, so you can customize the height of your handlebars and your pedals to keep your workouts ultra-comfortable. (You can also customize how tight the pedal’s foot straps hug your feet.)

At 7’6”, the climber is one of the tallest options around. And that extra height will give you a fuller range of motion to explore as you climb. Also nice? The climber comes equipped with 16 preset workout programs you can turn to any time you need a little exercise inspo.

Features: 20-inch step, 16 preset workout programs | Dimensions: 90 x 44 x 36 inches | Weight: 86 pounds

Best for Small Spaces: HEKA Vertical Climbing Machine

What We Like
  • Compact

  • 2-in-1 design (works as a climber and an exercise bike)

  • Folds in half

  • Adjustable height

  • 350-pound weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • No adjustable resistance

  • May not be very durable

  • May not be very smooth

HEKA’s Vertical Climbing Machine is designed to make working out in a small space much easier. At 59 by 11 by 12 inches, the compact climber won’t demand much space. And since you can fold it in half between uses, it should be particularly easy to store. As if that weren’t enough, the vertical climber is also designed to double as an exercise bike. One side comes equipped with climbing pedals and handles, and the other comes equipped with cycling pedals and a sleek seat. Swap sides any time you want to switch up your workouts. And enjoy the fact that you just scored two workout machines—without sparing a ton of space or money.

Features: 2-in-1 design (climbing and cycling), adjustable height, foldable | Dimensions: 59 x 11 x 12 inches | Weight: 56 pounds

Best Folding: RELIFE Rebuild Your Life Vertical Climber

RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Vertical Climber
What We Like
  • Compact

  • Folds in half

  • 5 workout intensity levels

  • 260-pound weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • May not be very durable

  • Pedals may be too small for some

RELIFE’s Rebuild Your Life Vertical Climber takes space efficiency to a whole new level. At 72 by 28 by 26 inches, the climber has a decidedly compact footprint. And since you can fold it completely flat, it should be incredibly easy to store between workouts. Despite its low-profile design, the climber promises to be sturdy and supportive. And it includes five adjustable workout intensity modes. RELIFE describes the first two levels as “jogging,” the next two levels as “running,” and the final level as “rock climbing.” While these levels don’t correlate to resistance exactly, they do offer a useful benchmark for how intense you can expect your workout to feel.

Features: 5 workout intensity levels, foldable | Dimensions: 72 x 28 x 36 inches | Weight: 43 pounds

Best 2-in-1: Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Cardio Climber

What We Like
  • 2-in-1 design (works as a climber and an elliptical)

  • Built-in transport wheels

  • 220-pound weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky

  • May not be very durable

  • May be noisy

Sunny Health & Fitness’s Elliptical Cardio Climber may be bulkier than the average climber, but since you can use it as a climber or an elliptical, it’s actually bound to save you space in the long run. The vertical climber looks a lot like an elliptical, but once you step onto its textured pedals, you get to choose your stride. Pedal up and down to climb, or slide your feet forward and backward to use the machine like an elliptical. Either way, you’re in for a smooth and challenging workout. And since the machine has eight magnetic resistance levels, you can scale up the intensity of your workouts exactly as much (or as little!) as you want to.

Features: 2-in-1 design (climbing and elliptical), 8 magnetic resistance levels | Dimensions: 60.5 x 42 x 23 inches | Weight: 88 pounds

Best With Adjustable Resistance: Cascade Climber

What We Like
  • 16 magnetic resistance levels

  • Adjustable handlebars (3 positions)

  • Adjustable step height limiters (5 positions)

  • Built-in transport wheels

What We Don't Like
  • Extremely tall

  • No weight capacity provided

  • Expensive

Looking for a way to level up your climbing workouts? Cascade’s Climber will help you do it. The vertical climber features a whopping 16 resistance settings. For context, that’s about twice as many as you’ll get from most other climbers. So you can rest assured knowing the machine will keep you challenged and engaged long after you buy it. The investment-worthy machine also boasts three adjustable handlebar positions. And you can take advantage of its built-in height limiters to expand—or reduce—the size of your steps.

Features: 16 magnetic resistance levels, 3-position adjustable handlebars, 5-position adjustable step height limiters | Dimensions: 92 x 46 x 41 inches | Weight: Not listed

Best Immersive: CLMBR Connected

CLMBR Connected
What We Like
  • 11 magnetic resistance settings

  • Large touchscreen

  • Surround sound system

  • Adjustable 3-position handlebars

  • Compatible with the CLMBR app

  • 350-pound weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Extremely tall

  • Heavy

  • Expensive

Wishing your at-home workouts felt a little more like an in-person studio class? Consider your prayers answered. CLMBR’s Connected Vertical Climber comes equipped with a massive touchscreen and a high-definition surround sound system—two features sure to transform any workout into an immersive experience. Use the touchscreen to stream one of CLMBR’s on-demand climbing workouts, or simply use it to track your progress as you tackle a freestyle climb.

With 11 magnetic resistance levels to play with, the machine is sure to keep you challenged for a while. And since new classes are added to the CLMBR app every week, you should have all the inspiration you need to keep your workouts fresh and dynamic.

Features: 11 magnetic resistance levels, touchscreen, surround sound, adjustable 3-position handlebars, app-compatible | Dimensions: 88 x 35 x 21 inches | Weight: 149 pounds

Final Verdict

Sturdy, foldable, and packed with resistance settings, MaxiClimber’s XL-2000 Vertical Climber is easily one of the best options around. The vertical climber offers 12 hydraulic resistance levels. (That’s way more than you’ll get from other vertical climbers, which tend to offer 0–8.) The machine also boasts a compact footprint and folds up between uses. And since it can handle up to 300 pounds at a time, it promises to be a pretty sturdy option.

If you’re shopping on a budget, Doufit’s Vertical Climber Exercise Machine is another excellent pick. The height-adjustable climber shouldn’t demand too much space in your home. And since it’s foldable, it promises to be an incredibly convenient buy.

What to Look for in a Vertical Climber

Dimensions

Fitness machines can get big and bulky, so it’s always a good idea to check their dimensions before buying. This is particularly important if you’re low on space. And it’s also important if your ceilings aren’t very high. (Vertical climbers can reach heights of 8 feet tall—the same height as many standard ceilings.)

Weight

No one should be surprised to hear that fitness machines can get very heavy. But vertical climbers, in particular, can vary a lot in terms of weight. You’ll find some that weigh a mere 33 pounds and others that weigh a whopping 265 pounds. So it’s worth it to double-check a climber’s weight before buying—even if just to make sure your expectations are set appropriately.

Weight Capacity

Any time you’re climbing onto a machine, you want to make sure it’s sturdy enough to support you. So be sure to consider climbers’ weight capacities when comparison shopping. (And remember, that capacity applies to you—plus any weight you’ll be holding or wearing. So be sure to factor that in, as well.)

Resistance

If you want to make your vertical climbing workouts even more intense than they already are, increasing the resistance is a great way to do it. Of course, some vertical climbers have more resistance settings than others—and some don’t offer any adjustable resistance at all. So if you know you’ll want workouts that are extra challenging and intense, look for an option that comes with plenty of resistance options.

Special Features

Many vertical climbers come with special features—like adjustable height settings, built-in transport wheels, foldability, and more. Most of these special features are nice-to-haves rather than must-haves, but any time you’re buying something this big, nice-to-haves count for a lot.

FAQ
  • How do you work out on a vertical climber?

    There are a couple of different ways to work out on a vertical climber. For starters, you can use the machine to tackle a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout. “You can add short, all-out timed intervals with heavy resistance,” Vega says. But you can also use the machine to do a little endurance training, "or [you can] try to accumulate as many ‘steps’ as possible a specified amount of time with lighter resistance,” he adds.

  • What are the benefits of using a vertical climber?

    Vertical climbers challenge your body from head to toe, so they can be a great way to get an intense full-body workout. “Vertical climbers can also be used to stretch key muscle groups like calves, ankles, and lats,” Vega says. “[And they] allow [you] to [sprint] as fast as you can with no top end limitations.” Finally, since vertical climbers are low-impact machines, they promise a relatively low risk of injury, Vega adds.

  • How long should you work out on a vertical climber?

    Since vertical climbers provide such an intense full-body workout, Vega recommends using the machine only one to three times per week. “Beginners will benefit from less frequency and lower intensity,” he says, noting that you can scale up the frequency and intensity of your workouts as you build strength and gain confidence on the machine.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Lindsey Lanquist has years of experience in the health and fitness space, and she cares deeply about connecting you with products you’ll love. For this shopping guide, she prioritized vertical climbers that were genuinely well-reviewed by those who’d tried them. She also favored options with adjustable resistance settings, solid weight capacities, and other special features. And she made sure to include a range of different options since she knows personal preferences can vary a lot when it comes to fitness equipment.

Meet the Expert

Joe Vega is a physical therapist and the founder of The Vega Method, where he offers private and semi-private training in boxing, kickboxing, strength, HIIT, yoga, and meditation.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any vertical climbers from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

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