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First Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge Review

First Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge

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First Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge AR Adjustable Resistance Fluid Rower Review

First Degree Fitness are best known for manufacturing some of the highest quality rowers on the market, and therefore price their machines rarely below the $1,000 mark.

However, with the release of the First Degree Fitness WR-N Neptune Rower, and more recently the First Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge, this trend seems to be bucking.

Construction Quality

Despite being one of the company’s cheapest rowers, the Pacific Challenge rower appears to contain the same high quality components and parts found in their more expensive models. Therefore, you can be safe in the knowledge that the rower is very unlikely to break down (maximum user weight capacity of 300 lbs).

For example, the belt drive is not only smooth and quiet but also durable, and the tank shells have been manufactured from tough polycarbonate, complete with a triple-bladed stainless steel impeller.

ResistanceFirst Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge Resistance

The resistance is the worst aspect of the First Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge. While it doesn’t suffer from any of the problems found on other rowing machines, such as a jerky rowing motion – in fact, the rowing motion feels both very smooth and natural, which is down to its water based resistance system – the problem lies with the level of resistance.

While this is subjective and will depend on your level of fitness and muscle strength, if you’re in excellent shape then you might find the level of resistance, even with the tank full, to not be challenging enough for you. Perhaps, this explains why the Pacific Challenge is cheaper than First Degree Fitness other models, such as the First Degree Fitness Viking Fluid Rower.

ComfortFirst Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge Seat

Besides the Pacific Challenge construction quality, this is the area in which the rower really excels. The seat is very comfortable, which certainly isn’t something that is always the case with rowing machines, and smoothly glides along the precision bearings and rollers fond on the anodized aluminum seat rail.

The handle has been ergonomically designed so to prevent any strain felt in the hands, wrists and arms. Finally, the footplates securely fasten your feet into the straps, and thanks to being adjustable, they allow anyone to get into a comfortable position, regardless of their foot size.

Computer Console

The computer console on the First Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge is able to display distance, time, 500m split time, watts, strokes per minute, calories burned per hour, interval training, and your heart rate. Fortunately, all of these readings are accurate.

StorageFirst Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge Stored Upright

The machine features built-in transit wheels, making it easy to move from one location to another. However, best of all, it can be stored upright and hardly takes up any space in the process (See Dimensions).


The PACIFIC Challenge is backed by a 5-year frame, 3-year tank and seals, 2-year mechanical components, and 1-year all wearing parts warranty.


77.8 x 20.9 x 20.1 inches

21 x 20 inches (stored upright)

60 pounds (shipping weight)

First Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge User Reviews

As you can tell from its average rating, the Pacific Challenge rower has been very well received since its release. Users feel that the rower is very well constructed and designed, particularly due to its ability to be stored upright, appreciate its ease of assembly, but perhaps most importantly, the smooth rowing motion has impressed users the most.

However, as mentioned, the worst aspect of the Pacific Challenge rower is its level of resistance, with a couple of users having said that you should look elsewhere if you want a very challenging workout. One user also said that the handle gave him blisters, although he is the exception.

Click here to read more pros and cons >>> First Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge Reviews

Any Complaints?

While the Pacific Challenge has the ability to measure your heart rate, you have to purchase a heart rate receiver separately, as there is no built-in heart rate monitor.

Anything Else You Should Know?

There’s not much to add. All you need to know is that the First Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge is a durable, comfortable, and well-constructed rowing machine that has been designed and manufactured by one of the best companies in the industry. While it’s a bit of a shame that the resistance isn’t greater, there is no need for this to put you off, providing that you’re not already in excellent shape to begin with.


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First Degree Fitness PACIFIC Challenge AR Adjustable Resistance Fluid Rower Review

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