Bowflex Treadmill vs TreadClimber – An In-depth Comparison

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Bowflex Treadmill vs. TreadClimber what’s the difference? Today I aim to answer that question and help you decide which machine is the best option for you. These two workout machines are similar in some ways but very different in others, so hang in there while we discuss the finer points of these units.

First off, some basics.

Bowflex TreadClimber Comparison

Bowflex Treadmill Comparison

What is a treadmill?

You are probably familiar with a treadmill; you find these in gyms everywhere.  You also see them used exclusively to hang clothes on in many homes across the country.  All kidding aside, a treadmill gives you a moving platform with a wide belt that allows you to walk or run in place for exercise. You can adjust the speed, and sometimes the incline to suit your needs.

What is a TreadClimber?

A TreadClimber, produced by Bowflex, is similar to a treadmill but is a 3 in 1 piece of workout equipment.  The TreadClimber has two independent platforms that you walk on.  The 3 in 1 concept is combining a treadmill which works like an elliptical and a stepper.

You can still get cardio training in with a TreadClimber, but you get the added element of climbing, like on a stepper, with the smooth gliding motion of an elliptical.  The TreadClimber is a unique piece of exercise equipment.

Bowflex Treadmill vs. TreadClimber

Treadmills have been around seemingly forever, and most people are familiar with a treadmill and how they work.  You basically walk or run in place, and you can adjust the speed and incline to your liking.

The TreadClimber from Bowflex takes a different approach. The TreadClimber is a machine designed for walking, but instead of having one large platform, with a belt that you walk on, there are two smaller “treadles” as Bowflex calls them, one for each foot.

As you step forward, you step up, and the treadles rise to meet your feet, which makes for a very low-impact experience. You get the added benefit of climbing and the gliding motion of an elliptical trainer, and that is what separates the TreadClimber.

Treadmill vs TreadClimber – Functionality

The TreadClimber is designed for walking, with a top speed of 4.5 mph on the TC200 and 4 mph on the TC100. That said, walking at 4+ mph with the climbing motion of a stepper is no joke.

Bowflex Treadmill vs TreadClimber - Calorie Burn

The TreadClimber burns 2.5 times the calories compared to the same speed on a treadmill.  So, going the same speed, you will burn more calories on a TreadClimber than you will on a treadmill, with no incline.

Treadmills often have an adjustable incline, so you can crank that up if you want to, and you also have a more extensive range of speeds available than with the TreadClimber.  You can also run on a treadmill, whereas a TreadClimber is intended for walking.

Both units offer variable speeds and many programs already built-in.  Depending on your needs, both units have some excellent features.

Treadmill vs TreadClimber – Size

Which one of these units is going to be a better fit in your home where you will be working out?  Treadmills are traditionally pretty beastly, in that they are large, heavy and take up a lot of space.  Once you have a treadmill situated, you don’t really want to move it.

The TreadClimber is smaller than a treadmill, weighs less and has transport wheels if you decide to move it.  If you are looking for a winner strictly from a size standpoint, TreadClimber has the advantage.

Treadmill vs TreadClimber – Price

Bowflex offers two models in each product line.  The entry-level TreadClimber costs as much as the high-end treadmill.  So, if budget is your driving factor, you may want to consider the treadmill.

Both lines have excellent features in terms of electronics, including the display, are user-friendly and easy to use.

Treadmill vs TreadClimber – Calorie burn

The TreadClimber is said to burn 2.5x the calories of the treadmill.  The increase in calorie burn is based on using the same speed on both units and no incline on the treadmill. The climbing motion of the TreadClimber helps to increase the burn.  At the same speed setting the TreadClimber is the clear winner.

Now, with a treadmill, you have more options in the way of speed and incline adjustments, which would also increase calorie burn.  Not everyone wants to go really fast on a treadmill, so something to consider is whether or not you need all of these settings.

Which machine gives you a better workout?

We just touched on this, but it really depends on each individual.  If you are a runner, you most likely want to go with a treadmill since you will have more speed and incline options than with the TreadClimber.  But, if you walk a lot, then the TreadClimber is a great option, given the 3 in 1 aspect and low impact.

All things being equal, the same speed setting, and no incline on a treadmill, the TreadClimber is the winner, but it will depend on your needs as to which option is best for you.

TreadClimber is good for

  • People with bad knees, hips, or other joint problems
  • People who want low impact exercise
  • Folks who do a lot of walking, but not running
  • Really great for walking as you can burn more calories in the same amount of time at the same speed as a treadmill
  • People who have space limitations
  • You live in a climate with terrible weather, and you still want to get your walks in

A treadmill is good if

  • You are a runner and want or need more settings
  • People need a more challenging incline
  • You need more speeds available
  • You are sick of running on hard pavement and need a surface with more cushion
  • You want to do speed intervals
  • You have the space for it.

Verdict: Bowflex Treadmill vs TreadClimber

While there is no clear cut winner here, you can see both machines have great features. The choice will ultimately depend on your needs.

The TreadClimber is excellent for folks who walk a lot and want the added benefits of a stepper and the smooth motion of an elliptical trainer.  The low-impact nature of the TreadClimber is great for people who have knee or hip problems and want to reduce wear and tear. The TreadClimber is also more expensive but has a unique treadle.

If you need more options, including speed and incline settings, then a treadmill is excellent. Treadmills take up a lot of space and are very heavy, so once you have it in place, it’s kind of set.  If you run or jog a lot, then a treadmill is better for you.

So, which is it for you, Treadmill or TreadClimber?

If you are interested in more information or would like to purchase either unit, you can click the links below, and you will be directed to

Bowflex TreadClimber Comparison

Bowflex Treadmill Comparison

Be sure to check out my complete TreadClimber Review.

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