Best Vertical Climbers – Our Top 5 Favorite Stair Climbing Simulators 

Best Vertical Climber

December 30, 2019

When it comes to getting fit fast while also sculpting your lower body it's hard to go past the vertical climber. This stair climbing simulator provides you with an excellent cardio workout while also being compact and lightweight. That makes it an ideal home fitness option. Vertical climbers have been around for a while now and there is plenty of choice on the market. In this article, we’ve pulled together the 5 best vertical climbers on the market right now to make it easier for you to choose the right machine for your home gym.

Our Top Picks

1. Sportsroyals Vertical Climber

Sportsroyals Vertical Climber, Folded Climbing Cardio Exercise Equipment Full Body Workout for Women Men, Stair Climber with 5 Height Adjustable and Digital Monitor

Best Overall Vertical Climber

The Sportsroyals vertical climber provides you with a complete body workout while churning through the calories in a compact, sturdy machine and a hard to beat the price point. This machine provides you with 5 adjustable levels of resistance so you can keep pushing your training intensity as you get fitter. You also get a very good LCD fitness tracking monitor that provides a constant readout of all of your key training data points. The machine even folds for more compact storage.


Product Dimension: 25.6 x 30.2 x 50.2-78.7 inch (W x L x H)

Folding Dimension: 17.9 x 25.6 x 53.5 inch (W x L x H)


12 months

Build quality

The solid stable construction of the Sportsroyal vertical climber is impressive. It will not rock or tilt even when you are working at the top resistance level. The 300-pound weight limit attests to the solid build of this machine.

Ease of assembly

This machine is very user-friendly to put together and comes with 90 percent pre-assembly. You will only have to give yourself just 15 minutes to get the job done.

What Others Are Saying

The majority of reviewers love this machine. The only negative comments are with regard to the fact that some plastic parts rub against the frame reducing the fluidity of movement.


RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Vertical Climber for Home Gym Folding Exercise Cardio Workout Machine Stair Stepper Newer Version

Best Runner-up Vertical Climber

The Relife Rebuild Your Life Vertical Climber is another well built, versatile and compact machine. It delivers 5 levels of adjustable resistance along with a slight incline to further ramp up the training intensity. It's not quite as robust as the Sportsroyal vertical climber, with a max capacity of just 260 pounds. It, too, is a folding model.


37.5 x 28 x 85 inches


One year warranty on the mainframe. Lifetime warranty on all other vulnerable parts.

Build quality

The Relife Rebuild Your Life Vertical Climber is well built with a solid steel frame and heavy-duty plastic parts. It features step metal thick plates and a smooth fluid rail action.

Ease of assembly

This machine is pretty easy to put together, though it doesn’t come as pre-assembled as our top-rated machine. It will take about 40 minutes to assemble this one.

What Others Are Saying

Most online reviewers speak about the great price point, the fluid motion and the incline that increases intensity. One reviewer mentioned that regular lubrication is required to keep everything running smoothly.

3. MaxiClimber(r) - The Original Patented Vertical Climber

MaxiClimber(r) - The Original Patented Vertical Climber, As Seen On TV - Full Body Workout with Bonus Fitness App for iOS and Android

Best App integrated Vertical Climber

The MaxiClimber is the original machine in this space. It has been updated over the years and now the best app integration of anything on the market. The MaxiClimber Fitness App provides you with a 21-day max challenge interval program, your own personal fitness coach on demand along with a complete nutritional plan with 80+ recipes.

However, the Maxitrainer does not have adjustable resistance. Also, the max weight allowance on the MaxiTrainer is just 240 pounds.


57 x 10 x 6 inches


12 months

Build quality

The MaxiTrainer is solid and reliable, providing you with a stable workout even at high intensity. However, the max user weight is a bit light at 240 pounds, indicating that it is not as robust as our top two models.

Ease of assembly

The MaxiClimber comes to you 90 percent pre-assembled. That makes it a piece of cake to put together out of the box.

What Others Are Saying

Verified online reviewers generally love the MaxiClimber, with many comments about the fitness app. They also like the ease of assembly and adjustability for different heights. However, some people mentioned the high price and lack of resistance adjustability.

4. Best Choice Products Total Body 2-in-1 Vertical Climber Magnetic Exercise Bike

Best Choice Products Total Body 2-in-1 Vertical Climber Magnetic Exercise Bike Fitness Machine

Best 2 in 1 Vertical Climber

The Best Choice Products Total 2-in-1 is an innovative combination of a vertical climber and an exercise bike that is incredibly compact and allows for an effective resistance and cardio workout all in one. The simple bike set up provides a low impact but will not allow for a very intense workout. It provides 8 levels of magnetic resistance. The LCD display provides readouts of your key training diagnostics.


46"(L) x 26"(W) x 65.75"-90"(H)


12 months

Build quality

Despite being very compact, this is a solidly built machine. In fact, it has the highest user weight of any of our reviewed machines at 330 pounds!

Ease of assembly

The Best Choice Products Total 2-in-1 comes partly pre-assembled. The whole thing can be put together in about 45 minutes.

What Others Are Saying

There are a large number of reviews online for the Best Choice Products Total 2-in-1 vertical climber/exercise bike. Some reviewers mentioned that they were surprised at how effective a workout they got on both machines. Others were pleased with the compactness of the unit and its robust build. However, a few people did mention that the exercise movement on both the bike and the climber is not very fluid or natural.

5. Soozier Folding Adjustable Step Machine Vertical Climber

Soozier Folding Adjustable Step Machine Vertical Climber Exercise Fitness Equipment for Home Gym Cardio Climbing System

Best Cheap Vertical Climber

The Soozier Folding Adjustable Step Machine Vertical Climber represents excellent value and was the best-priced quality vertical climber that we have yet to come across. The ergonomic design of the Soozier climber mimics the natural movement of rock climbing. It is adjustable to four different intensity levels.


35.8"L x 26.8"W x 70.9"


12 months

Build quality

The Soozier vertical climber is made from solid steel and features a triangular base construction. The anti-slip footing at the base adds to the stability of the machine. However, the max user weight is just 220 pounds, the lightest of all of our reviewed products.

Ease of assembly

The Soozier Folding Adjustable Step Machine Vertical Climber is relatively easy to put together. It comes partly pre-assembled and it should take about 40 minutes to put it together.

What Others Are Saying

Nearly every online reviewer of the Soozier vertical climber mentioned the great price that this machine sells for. Most of them were pleased with the quality of the workout that they got on the machine, though few were disappointed at the low max user weight of just 220 pounds. At the highest intensity level, a couple of people mentioned that the machine creaked slightly as well.


What is so great about a vertical climber?

The Vertical Climber is a piece of cardio exercise equipment that looks like a mini revolving elevator or a step ladder. That’s because it is designed to simulate the action of climbing a flight of stairs.

What’s so great about that?

The stair climbing action directly activates every single muscle that women traditionally have problems toning and shaping. They directly work the glutes (butt muscles), hips, hamstrings and the intercostals at the sides of the waist. They also give you a very effective calf workout.

Compare this to the stair stepper

With the stair climber, the action involves vertical movement - your legs are going up and down. But with the stepper, you are moving your legs vertically - backward and forwards. This will work the thighs but won’t give you a lot of activation in the glutes and hamstrings.

The Vertical Climber also provides you with an excellent cardiovascular workout. You’ll find that the climbing action takes a lot more work than the stair-stepping motion does. You’ll increase your heart rate and oxygen uptake.

A lot of motorized vertical climbers allow you to vary the resistance of the stairs. This provides you with the ability to increase the intensity of your workout over time.

More than a stair stepper, a vertical climber allows you to get a good mix of cardio and resistance training. Some climbers have a dependent pedal mechanism by which you have to push down on one pedal to lift the other. This is not as effective as a machine with independent pedal action, which effectively makes each leg do its own work.

So, just how effective is working out on a vertical climber exercise machine?

In a Canadian study, which was published in the February 15, 2009, issue of the New York Times, 17 subjects were tested over a variety of exercises. The results showed that vertical climbing was twice as effective as brisk walking and 50% more intensive than either walking up a steep incline or weight lifting.

A vertical climber is a great choice for a home gym because it is relatively inexpensive and is amazingly compact, taking up a small footprint. This makes them especially beneficial for apartment dwellers and others with very limited exercise space. They offer a full-body workout that targets all of your major muscle groups. At the same time, a vertical climber workout burns a ton of calories. This will help you to lose body fat, so long as you are following a sensible calorie-restricted diet and maintaining an active lifestyle.

A final benefit of investing in a vertical climber for your home gym is that they are relatively inexpensive, allowing even those on a tight budget to be able to afford one.

How can you get the best performance from a vertical climber?

The first thing to keep in kind is that your body should be in an upright position when you are exercising on the vertical climber. You should keep your hips over your knees as you climb. Push down into the heel with each step that you take. Doing this will give you far greater activation of the glutes and hamstrings, rather than making your calves do all the work. Do not, however, take the step either all the way down on the descent or all the way up on the ascent. Doing so will cause too much sway in your pelvic region - that’s not good.

What should I look for when buying a vertical climber?

Be sure to purchase a vertical climber that has comfortable ergonomic grips. They should also be sweat resistant and slip-proof. The chain that drives the machine should be an actual chain as opposed to a plastic-coated wire. The vertical climber should also feature an LCD screen that provides you with a readout of your pulse, speed, training time, vertical distance climbed and calories burned. Ideally, the max user weight of the machine should be at least 50 pounds more than your bodyweight.

Final Thoughts:

Vertical Climbing gives your body a unique training experience. A climber exercise machine will target your trouble spots to tone, shape and strengthen. At the same time, it will give you a cardiovascular fitness boost and burn a ton of calories. Our best-rated vertical climber is the Sportsroyals Vertical Climber, with its 5 levels of adjustable resistance, solid frame, and folding design. Our favorite 2-in-1 vertical climber is the Best Choice Products Total Body 2-in-1 Vertical Climber Magnetic Exercise Bike while the best budget vertical climber on the market right now is the Soozier Folding Adjustable Step Machine Vertical Climber.

About the author 

Kevin Lee

Health and fitness have always been a passion for me; whether its being in the weight room, going for a run before work or even participating in a half iron man triathlon. ShapeJunkie was created to share to knowledge and love of fitness with others.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}