The Air Climber is a simple, lightweight device consisting of two oversized pedals set atop two air-filled bellows. The air in the bellows provides resistance as you pump up and down on the pedals while holding a strap in each hand to maintain your balance. The company website promises that the Air Climber facilitates "cardio, weight loss, and tighter abs and core" without the need for expensive workout equipment.
We had a particularly hard time finding reliable reviews of the Air Climber. Not only is the Internet littered with suspiciously positive "reviews" at suspiciously named websites such as AirClimberZone.com and AirClimberReviews.net, but there's no way of knowing how many of the people who praise this product on user-review sites have actually used it over long periods. To be fair, the majority of the nearly 200 posted reviews we found say positive things about the Air Climber; many owners claim they've lost weight and felt true muscle burn from their workouts.
Buried among the rave reviews, however, are owners who say the Air Climber could be more durable, and that it began to fall apart after weeks of use. In particular, we found numerous complaints about deflated bellows, sticking pedals and overall questionable construction. Other issues with the product include that it's difficult to balance on, it's loud, there's limited range of user motion, and customer service from the manufacturer was limited.
More than 100 owners post to HSN's website about the Air Climber, giving the product an average rating of 3.7 stars out of 5. Most are pleased with the product and their workout results, but more than a few say it's shoddily constructed. We found numerous complaints about the bellows breaking or deflating after only a few weeks of use. A few reviews say the device sometimes slips, it's hard to balance on and it's very loud.
Review: Brenda DyGraf's Air Climber With BodyCord and Workout DVDs, Contributors to HSN.com
In this short video posted on YouTube, Exercise.com contributors Clark and Anita Bartram test the Air Climber to see whether it really provides cardio, toning and abs all in one workout. After using it for a few minutes, Anita says it's an exercise machine that anyone can use, but that workouts could get dull and repetitive, especially if using it without the instructional DVD workouts. She likes that you can adjust the intensity of the workout by changing the resistance and adding the bands into the mix. Anita says the Air Climber is best for a person at the beginner or intermediate fitness level.
Review: The Real Deal: "Air Climber" Review, Clark and Anita Bartram
Of the more than 40 owners posting about the Air Climber to Amazon.com, most give this product good ratings. However, the most helpful review on this site, which also goes into the most depth, is extremely critical. The writer says the Air Climber is "lightweight, gives you a good workout and is easy on the joints," but he points out serious durability issues, including leaking bellows and unmovable pedals. Essentially, "this product was designed for folks who are lightweight and will use it occasionally." There were also a few complaints about customer service from reviewers who said they had a hard time returning the product and received little assistance when they called for support.
Review: Tristar Air Climber, Contributors to Amazon.com
Most of the 10 or so owners posting here have good things to say about the Air Climber, noting that they use the product regularly and it provides a good workout. The minor negatives include noise factors and improper packaging.
Review: Tristar Air Climber, Contributors to Target.com