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Showing 1-10 of 334 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 348 reviews
on July 6, 2012
I was using the Stamina SpaceMate stepper regularly for six years before it became just about unusable (cracked metal, clunking sound, pieces falling off). I immediately went online to order another one and saw this Sunny Climber Stepper for around the same price (costs a bit more). I did a search and every review I read was positive, so with some reservations (I don't like change), I ordered it. The stepper arrived quickly and took about 10 minutes for my husband to put together. It's pretty much one piece; you only have to attach the handlebars and one end of the pistons to the main unit (the other ends are already attached). I put the included batteries into the counter/timer and slid it onto the top pole. Tools, bolts and washers are all included. I agree with the other reviewer who said it looks better than the SpaceMate....it looks a lot sleeker. I used it for the first time this morning and here are my impressions. It's very quiet and smooth, a definite plus. Since it's a climber stepper, the step you take is deeper which took me about five minutes to get used to. At first, I wasn't stepping deep enough, so the counter kept turning off because it wasn't registering. Once I started taking deeper steps, the counter was fine. I put it on the easiest tension (there are 12!) which I found to be harder than the easiest tension on the SpaceMate. Because the step depth is deeper and the tension harder, I was moving slower and taking less steps per minute then with the SpaceMate, but the depth and tension made it more challenging. I thought I would run out of energy sooner, but I was able to do the full 30 minutes with no problems. It got my heart rate up which is my goal. I doubt that I'll move on to more difficult tensions because at this point in my life (age 60), my interest is to exercise my heart and keep my legs strong. A younger person has 11 more tensions to conquer which makes this stepper very challenging for any age. I found that I really liked the triangular shaped handlebars because it gave me some variety as to what to do with my hands (helps with boredom). I could place each hand on the either side of the handlebars, or I could rest them together on the top. Another difference was with the foot pedals and foot placement. This stepper has a raised ridge around the edges of the pedals which keeps your foot from sliding off (a good safety feature). The SpaceMate didn't have that and I guess I used to put my feet closer to each other with that machine, but because of the raised edges on the Sunny, I found I couldn't do that. So, I had to keep my feet where they were which, I found, made me use the muscles on the outside of my upper thigh...the hip area. I like that as it will help strengthen my hips. I had no issues with knee pain; I felt the effort in my upper thigh muscles. So, in this case I will say that change is very good! I'm quite happy with this climber stepper and I'm glad I switched. Highly recommended, especially for the price. Updated to add one slight negative: I've used the stepper a few times now and still love it, however there is an issue. When you put the stepper together you attach one end of the pistons to the main unit by sliding in a metal pin which makes it very easy to assemble (as opposed to screwing in a screw). However, while I'm exercising the metal pins (especially the left one) inches out due to the vibration I guess, even though the pins have "stoppers" on them (which is a raised bump). We originally tried to solve this issue by sliding rubber washers on the ends, positioning them before the stoppers. This worked on the right pin, but not with the left....the pin still started to come out. So, I turned that pin around and now it seems to be staying in place. If that doesn't work in the long run, we have other ideas, such as placing elastic bands around the pin. In any event, this does not diminish my high review of this stepper as I'm still loving it. Update: Still going strong with the stepper. I just wanted to add one comment regarding another review that I read. The reviewer stated that the tension settings were difficult to adjust, and that the left and right settings don't necessarily match as far as resistance. For the sake of full disclosure, I will say that I have never changed the resistance on my stepper. As I stated in my original review, the first level is difficult enough for my needs and I have no reason to make it harder. So, I cannot comment as to whether there is an issue with the tension adjustments. I can tell you that the stepper is still working for me on Level 1 after seven months of use. I'd also like to reiterate that this stepper is NOT like the stamina Spacemate. With the Spacemate you take faster, more shallow steps. The Sunny is a CLIMBER stepper, so the pace is slower and the step deeper than the Spacemate. So, keep that in mind when trying to decide which stepper you want to purchase.
UPDATE: Well, it's now 2016 and I just turned 65 and I'm on Medicare and I'm still using my Sunny Climbing Stepper. Still works well. The only change is, I now use it for 20 minutes at a time instead of 30 minutes. Despite doing resistance training my entire life, I don't have the strength I used to have so I'm finding that pressing down on the pedals is harder for me than it used to be, even on the easier setting (I never changed the setting), so I find that 20 minutes gives me a good workout. No squeaks (wish I could say the same for my joints). I just make sure that all the pins are securely in place every so often. This was a great purchase for me.
1111 comments| 259 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 16, 2012
I was toggling between buying a spinning bike or a stepper to strengthen my low body muscle. I was very happy to have purchased this climbing stepper by chance. It did not even appear in Sunny's website.

Pros:
easy assembly.
adjustable resistance.
smaller and cheaper than a spinning bike.
lower stepping frequency than spinning bikes mean lower joint abrasions.
longer stepping range than ordinary stepper means you burn more calories for the same movements.
need not lean your body forward like riding a spinning bike to hurt your back.
it burns more calories to keep you moving than spinning because you don't have the help of inertia on the flywheel.

Cons: you might need to adjust your posture to avoid your knees from hitting the the resistance cylinders occasionally.
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on September 9, 2016
My budget didn't allow me to continue my gym memberships for a while. Since my favorite cardio at the gym was the StepMill (best calorie/time burned ratio..period!), I was looking for a similar exercise that I could afford and have room for in my apartment. I choose this because it had the deepest step of all step machines I could find. And I thought the price was low enough for the gamble.

Gamble totally paid off!! This is a GREAT workout!! I put the resistance higher for a slower step (11 currently) and in 20min I am dripping in sweat... more than the StepMill at the gym!! For those who can't get it right, the higher the number, the higher the resistance. Lower numbers result in a very fast paced step that is almost impossible to continue for longer than 10min, but the higher numbers result in a slower stride, but still tough! It will start very slow until the tubes warm up...a good warm up for me too.... but soon the pace will get you sweating!

I keep this in the corner of my living room, out of the way. Perfect to watch the news and get some great cardio. Mix this with alternating circuit routines I can do at home and I am watching the weight come off! :) Since it is a deeper step, you will definitely feel work in your glutes, hammies, calves, etc. I recently read a review that encouraged turning around. Great Idea! Also, on knees and pushing with my hands, great arm workout (lower resistance).

Some tips: I bought a hall/carpet runner at Target ($20) to put under for extra slippage control (I have no carpet). And since I am at the top apartment, I don't go all the way down till the pedals touch the bar. Too noisy (Hi neighbor!)! Also, the farther back you stand on the pedals with your feet, the deeper the step. I also try not to hold on to the bars... holding decreases the calories burned.

The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is because of the computer. Other than the timer, the rest you can ignore. It is poor at counting the steps and so the calorie count is way off. I wear a smart watch that monitors my heart-rate/calories burned. In 20min I burned double the calorie count on the computer (about 180). Not bad!! Now to work up to 30min increments....
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on February 16, 2017
Excellent machine to use as a leg workout. I live in a flat area and wasn't getting the exercise I really needed but man does go after your thighs! It may seem like 10 minutes aren't a lot on a machine but after about 5 minutes I'm wanting to call it quits and relax my jelly legs.

Tip - do NOT sit when you are done with this machine. Walk around for a few minutes, stand, pace - you'll need to let your muscles cool down otherwise it'll be hard to get back up again.

All in all it's worth the price and a great addition to a workout routine a few times a week (or just hop on for a couple minutes to work off some nervous energy).
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on April 6, 2017
The computer display went to unreadable in one week, yet so far the stepper itself is excellent. As other reviewers like me who've used a Stairmaster and StepMill for years agree, this cheap machine is very close in smoothness and step height. As for the computer, if the company won't replace it, I'll just keep using the timer on my phone and maybe calculate the average number of steps over a minute here and there during a workout to estimate a total.

The fact that the piston resistance goes down as the pistons heat up is actually a good thing inasmuch as faster is much harder than higher resistance on any sort of stepper. The result is that if you set this machine's resistance to, say, level 6, it'll get more difficult in a natural progression as both you and the two pistons heat up. So far I've been directing a small fan I've got at the pistons to avoid overheating them over two 30 minute rides.

For those new to steppers, there's a reason the Stairmasters and StepMills are always free at a gym. It takes some time to get used to them and a lot of commitment to work up to 30-60 minutes straight, so most people new to them don't get past a few 5-min attempts. For newcomers to steppers, don't give up, go at it gradually, and you'll be getting a better cardio workout than on any other piece of gym equipment out there.
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on January 28, 2014
I have been using this stepper for over a week now almost every night. I put it in front of the TV and and before you know it,15 minutes has gone by. Gravity takes a toll on your bottom area and I wanted a "lift"! This stepper is doing the job as I already notice my butt looks lifted. The key is you have to use it! It's very quiet and the pistons are adjustable, I keep mine on 8 or 9. It's not about going fast it's about going slow and working those hind muscles with some resistance. It started making a clicking noise and I was getting irritated because I like quiet but then I realized that the pin circle was hitting the metal and I turned it and now it's noiseless again so if anyone is having that problem just check out the metal pins and make sure they are not hitting against the metal bar. I've had no problem with the pins coming out or any of the problems some people were complaining about. I have been keeping an eye on the pins and they are fine. I did put them in from the reverse side as one person suggested. I highly recommend this stepper It's well made and sturdy. I have to say that I'm not a big woman, 5'5" 128lbs. So size may make a difference.
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on October 4, 2013
Im a in shape guy 6'1 200lbs I get more in 15 minutes with this thing then I do any elliptical at the gym in 45 minutes. I got it on level 9 and go at it for 15 minutes, at the end of 15 minutes I cant breath. I love this thing the only reason i went to the gym was to do cardio. My gym is a 44 minute round trip drive, not any more. Cancelled my membership and I do everything right in my front room of my house and watch tv at the same time. Free weights in the basement. Just hope this thing last, If I can get a full year out of it I will be happy.
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on December 24, 2016
I like this machine. It's easy to assemble, quiet, and has a small footprint. But I'm fairly light (117) and have to put it on a moderately easy setting -- otherwise i can't get the pedals to go down all the way, esp. if I want to keep up a good pace. I will probably try wearing a backpack full of books to get a better cardio workout and more leg resistance. Nice solid mechanism, no complaints, would recommend (especially if you're a bit heavier).
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on March 3, 2017
I got this for the days I am too lazy to get up and do my HIIT or if the weather doesn't allow outdoor cardio. My husband and I both use it in the morning before our regular routine. Honestly after 30 minutes you have a pretty good sweat going. I keep the resistance low (2) because of my weight (5' 5" 125) it allows me to actually move quickly on this thing. My husband is 6'2" and 187... he keeps it at a 4. I could see how this would cause pain for people with certain knee issues. I also find that if I up the resistance I can barely get a decent workout in... if at all. That is probably how it is supposed to be hahaha. I can't wait to throw a pack on and start training for hikes. This is great for snowy days when you cannot get outside. Easy to put together.
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on February 23, 2014
I got a great deal on this climber just after the New Year. It arrived quickly and was easy to assemble. It looks really nice and I love how easy it is to carry from room to room. The climber itself is well-made, although I think the pins could be a little more heavy-duty. I haven't had any problems with pins breaking like another reviewer did, but I notice that one of the pins inches out gradually and I have to push it back in every so often. Not a big deal. Also, the rubber stoppers underneath the pedals came off, causing the pedals to tap loudly against the metal, but I've been able to use a towel to take care of that.

The actual climbing aspect takes some adjustment, especially if you're used to a stairclimber. Slow, deep steps is the way to go with this, no matter which resistance level you use. It's like climbing stairs 2 a time instead of 1. You aren't supposed to climb quickly. This WILL get your heart rate up and have you sweating! And I love the way it's sculpting my butt and thighs! Particularly, the area where the butt meets the thigh is being nicely tightened, and I'm seeing more definition in my outer thighs and above my knees.

I use it 4-6 times a week for only 20-30 mins a day and I started seeing results just a few weeks after I got it. If you really want time to fly, turn on Netflix or a movie and climb away.

I definitely recommend this climbing machine. It will really boost your home gym without breaking your wallet.
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