What every best has:
The Air Climber Xpress 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. The original version of the Air Climber (before it was the Xpress) included a "body cord," which was a resistance band you could hold to help maintain your balance or use for a greater upper body workout. The Xpress does not include that band, although the older versions of the kit that do include the band are still widely available at various retail sites; the older version is no longer for sale on the official Air Climber website.
In general, owners seem pretty pleased with the Air Climber Xpress, although we didn't find any comments that it was any more "fun" than any other exercise, even though that's the infomercial's main pitch. However, users do say that it gives you a good, full body workout, and that you will lose weight and tone up if you stick with the program. The included DVDs and owner's manual walk you through the workouts, which include stepping, squatting, twisting and other moves to work both lower and upper body. You can hold hand weights as well, to increase the burn (hand weights are not included). However, a meal plan is included; both a "Jump Start" plan and a longer term, lifestyle plan. We found very little feedback on the meal plans, other than that they seem like a good deal as a bundle.
A lot of users buy the Air Climber Xpress because of its compact size. It's particularly popular for those who want to do something besides just sitting while watching TV, or for those who want something small for their office to squeeze in some activity at lunch or break times. While some say that even its three levels of resistance aren't enough to give them a good workout, others say they work up plenty of sweat. It seems to be a better choice for beginners or more casual exercisers than for fit, dedicated athletes.
The big issue we found with the Air Climber Xpress is that it seems flimsy and unstable and isn't very durable. Many owners say it deflated permanently after just a few months (or even weeks) of use. In particular, we found numerous complaints about deflated bellows, sticking pedals and overall questionable construction. Stability issues with the product include that it's difficult to balance on, slips around while you're using it, and there's too much movement from side to side. Some also note that it's loud, although others say they got used to the sound of air "whooshing." As with virtually all ASoTV products, good luck with customer service if you buy it from the official website and want to return it.
What you'll pay for the Air Climber Xpress depends upon where you buy it. At the official website, it's $59.85 or three payments of $19.95. Processing and handling will run you an additional $14.99. At Amazon.com the Xpress is sold only through third party sellers, and the lowest price we saw there was $75 with free shipping. At Walmart.com it's $68 with free shipping, but that appears to be the previous version of the Xpress, with the resistance band.
To sum it up, the Air Climber Xpress is a better deal and makes many fewer outlandish claims than the vast majority of ASoTV products we cover, so there's no real reason not to try it if you think it will work for you. However, if durability or stability are a concern, you may want to check out our reports on elliptical trainers or stair steppers; we cover a couple of small, portable models (basically pedals on a base) that are sturdier and cheaper than the Air Climber Xpress. Pair those with one of our Best Reviewed weight loss programs, and you really will be on your way to a fitter, leaner body.
The Air Climber and Air Climber Xpress are only available from third party sellers here, at varying price points. However, it's a fairly well regarded product, earning an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 in more than 100 reviews. Users say the included extras (DVD, meal plans) make it a good value and that it really does give you a good workout. There are durability and stability complaints, however.
More than 91 owners review the Air Climber (this appears to be the original model), giving it an overall rating of 4.1 stars out of 5; 82 percent would recommend it to a friend. Most say it works great and they've lost weight and inches in just a few weeks while following the plan. Again, we see complaints of flimsiness and durability issues.
At this product link, the Air Climber earns a dismal overall rating of just 2.6 stars out of 5 in more than 90 reviews, with numerous durability complaints. Elsewhere this site, the virtually identical product earns 4.3 stars out of 5 in more than 25 reviews. Positive reviews indicate that the stepper works well for weight loss and fitness if you use it regularly.