The 6 Best folding treadmills for the home in 2016

by Jack on January 19, 2016

Best Folding Treadmill Choices in 2016

There are a few advantages to buying and owning a folding treadmill for your home or apartment. But are there also a couple disadvantages as well. We will give a few examples of each through-out this page.

The first and most common reason to buy this type pertains to space, or lack of it.

The average treadmill is around 6 feet long and 3 feet wide. Many are even larger. For example, our top recommendation in 2016 is the Sole F85. Compared to the dimensions of many commercial treadmills found at gyms is similar in size and quality compared to the dimensions of many commercial treadmills found at gyms. 

The dimensions of the Sole F85 are huge (35 by 58 by 80 inches). Unfolded this model is 80 inches in length, over 6.5 feet. But since it’s a folding model this allows people who are living in tight spaces to bring a near gym-quality treadmill into their home.

Sole F85 top folding treadmill 2016

Sole’s best folding treadmill 2016

When rating models we look at five different areas as being the most important: Motor, frame, tread belt, cushion system and warranty. The Sole F85 is a little pricey, the most expensive on our list here but preforms well in all these areas.

It has a 4.0 CHP motor and a 22 x 60 inch track. If you are a runner, short on space who is looking for a high quality machine but also need something that can fold-up, if you can afford the price tag, in our opinion this is the best option in 2016. If you can’t afford to pay this much we have some more affordable recommendations down the page.

Note: We can not emphasize this enough. Whatever model you end up buying we want to warn you to pay very close attention to the warranty offered. If you are spending around 1000 dollars or more, you really should be buying a model that provides a lifetime warranty on both the motor and frame. The Sole F85 does provide this lifetime warranty. If there is a model that you are interested in that doesn’t provide this type of warranty then you really need to question the quality of that model. 

Stability: An important consideration

Which provides more stability? A folding treadmill or the traditional non-folding counterpart? The answer might not be so obvious to some but the correct answer is the traditional non-folding counterpart.

The ability to fold-up requires a hinge in the frame. This creates two separate pieces, you can imagine, a frame that consists of two separate pieces being held together will be less stable than a frame which is comprised of a single piece.

Our next recommendation is the Sole F80. This model is a bit less expensive compared to the price of the Sole F85 model mentioned above.

Top Sole folding treadmills 2016

Sole F80 folding treadmill

Should you worry about “stability” when thinking about buying a folding treadmill? This depends on a few different factors.  Twenty years ago these types of models were very suspect in their stability but now in 2016 there have been enormous improvements.

The higher quality options (more expensive) such as the Sole F85 and F80 models mentioned above, these are well engineered and very stable. Yes, we would recommend these models to runners.

What if you are interested in a cheaper model? Realistically, price and quality are connected, the cheaper you go, the greater, stability (instability) will become a factor. With folding treadmills, our opinion is once go below around $1000 the decrease in stability becomes a factor, especially for runners who are wanting to buy a quality machine for their home.

If you are a runner and around $1000 is your budget, there are two folding models we can recommend: The LifeSpan TR 1200i and the Xterra fitness TR 6.6.

However, if your main use will be for waling or jogging, these exercises do not put as much strain on a machine compared to the pounding of running, stability concerns are not such a significant factor. If you only plan to exercise by walking and jogging, there are less expensive models further down the page.

Rounding out the top 3 choices in 2016

If you have been paying attention up to this point, should have noticed a common theme in our our top two   recommendations thus far and that is they are both made by Sole.

Rounding out our third pick for best folding treadmill in 2016 the trend continues with the Sole F65 model.

Sole Fitness F65 Folding Treadmill review

Compared to the previous two models (F85 and F80), the F65 (pictured above) is the least expensive of these three.

What does it lack that makes it less expensive? For the most part the build of each of these treadmills are almost identical. You can easily see this by comparing the pictures above. They look so much alike but notice the decal at the very end of the deck, in red with a white background, which designates which model is in the picture.

The warranties provided by each are identical, lifetime on motor and frame. All three are folding treadmills with incline. All three come with the same standard work-out programs and the ability to set two custom programs.

There are some minor differences which are not worth going into a lengthy discussion about here. The main differences a person wanting to buy one of these should be aware of:

  • Motor or Horsepower
  • Tread belt dimensions
  • Weight Capacity

Going from the largest and most expensive to least expensive (Sole F85 > F80 > F65) the motor size (horsepower), tread belt dimensions and user weight capacity decrease. The Sole F65 treadmill model has the smallest motor, smallest tread belt (or running surface) and the lowest weight capacity.

All receive high customer ratings and reviews

We are not saying the Sole F65 is a bad choice. Definitely not. It’s just a smaller version in the areas mentioned (bullet points) above, compared to the F85 and F80 models, hence the reason for its lower price.

If you are interested in this model, the Sole F65 has a 3.25 continuous horsepower motor (CHP) which is capable of running at 12 MPH (5 minute mile pace), the tread belt is 20 x 60 inches, plenty big enough for runners and the user weight capacity is 350 pounds. This is a very capable model for runners.

Why so high on Sole folding treadmills

Sole isn’t the only company making quality folding treadmills. We have a few other recommendations from different companies below. However, Sole, specializes in this technology.

In our opinion their overall product line in the area of folding treadmills is superior compared to what other companies are offering in 2016.

With that said, while our opinion is high on them, the models produced by Sole also happen to be more expensive. If you have already looked at their prices and need a more affordable machine then see our other choices below.

More folding treadmills for small spaces

Our first recommendation for people looking for a lower priced but still a quality model is the LifeSpan TR 1200i this model has received a ton of great customer reviews. We have also used this treadmill, while we will not tell you this is the best you can buy, we can say for the money spent it provides quality.

lifespan tr 1200i

 

Can you run on the LifeSpan TR 1200i? The model provides a 2.5 horsepower motor which can run at 11 MPH. The tread belt or running platform is 20 x 56. The model can support users up to 300 pounds.

These qualities are less than the Sole models mentioned at the top of the page but are still viable for a person looking to buy a folding model for running.  

Another positive about this LifeSpan model is the lifetime warranty provided on both the motor and frame.

Xterra TR 6.6 vs. LifeSpan TR 1200i

The Xterra TR 6.6 machine is also a good choice for people who are wanting to spend less. We have never personally use this model ourselves. But when looking at the specifications and reading reviews from current owners this model might be a better choice over the LifeSpan TR 1200i.

These models are priced almost identical (as we write this) but the Xterra TR 6.6 provides a slightly larger motor and tread belt.  We have never personally used this model!

folding treadmill - 2016

Xterra Fitness TR 6.6

Read our comparison review of the LifeSpan TR 1200i vs. the Xterra Fitness TR 6.6.

Other folding recommendations for 2016

The Yowza Fitness Osprey Transformer Treadmill is the next recommendation we want to make. Although we have never used this model ourselves there are four reasons why we thought to included this Yowza Fitness model on our list.

First, the model has received a great number of positive reviews from owners. Second, reviewing the specifications of this model makes us feel confident in recommending it. The model provides a 2.75 horsepower motor and a 20 x 52 running platform.

Yowza Fitness Osprey Treadmill

Yowza Fitness Osprey Treadmill

Third, looking at the warranty we see the company provides a lifetime guarantee on both the motor and frame. This is very important and it also shows the company feels very confident in the quality of their model.

The forth and final reason we gave this model a spot on our list is the price. We can not predict price changes but when compiling this list of choices in 2016 the Yowza Fitness model was the least expensive compared to the previously mentioned models on this page.

Any cheaper recommendations

There are a ton of different folding treadmills on the market. We aren’t going to say only the models listed on this page are worth buying. However, when you are buying you need to realize treadmills are not meant to be produced cheaply. These machines need to be built durable enough to be able to withstanding a pounding.

In other words, it’s probably not the best idea to buy a model just because it has the lowest price. You need to look at the quality of the motor, frame, cushion system, tread belt and be sure to read over the warranty. For the warranty it is best to see a lifetime guarantee on both the motor and frame. Some will probably 10 tens, which is so-so. You should really question the quality of a model that provides anything less than 10 years.

There are a ton of different folding models on the market other than those listed above on this page. If you are looking for a lower priced option you can look down our list of the best treadmills for under 1000 dollars.

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