Brand Rating: 4.8/5
With all of their models offering lifetime warranty coverage on their frames and motors, Horizon Fitness is one of the most trusted treadmill brands in the industry.
At incredibly competitive price points, both Horizon’s Go Series and Studio Series offer solid options for exercise beginners, veterans and everyone in between.
As you’ll discover in this review, while Horizon’s models don’t offer the high-tech functionality some other treadmill brands do, the build quality and long-lasting nature of their treadmills, coupled with incredible warranties and solid pricing, make Horizon Fitness a truly standout option.
Horizon Treadmill Comparison Chart
Our Rating: 4.8/5
20" x 60" XL
Read 7.8 AT Review
Our Rating: 4.7/5
20" x 60" XL
Read 7.4 AT Review
Our Rating: 4.6/5
20" x 60"
Read 7.0 AT Review
Our Rating: 4.5/5
20" x 60"
Read T303 Review
Our Rating: 4.4/5
20" x 60"
Read T202 Review
Our Rating: 4.2/5
20" x 55"
Read T101 Review
Horizon Fitness History
In 1999, Johnson Health Tech was on a mission to partner with our natural movement in a convenient way that could fit within the daily lives of busy individuals—thus began the conception of Horizon Fitness. In order to leave no exercise stone left unturned, Horizon tackled the designing of treadmills that would marry value, comfort and performance.
Johnson Health Tech had been established in 1975, giving them the years of experience needed to take on such a task that could alter their users’ health and wellness through the provision of more easily attainable exercise. With the trial and error of an early establishment, they began spearheading the building of Horizon treadmills with a focus on precision and durability.
The philosophy of vertical integration lended itself to the creation of quality treadmills as each key component built for a Horizon treadmill was crafted in-house, in one of Johnson Health Tech’s commercially sized workshops. Composed of clean rooms that ward off contaminants, the Horizon Fitness partnered futuristic robotics and accomplished employees to build treadmills they have direct control over, leading to quality checks at each stage.
Giving great credence to what they began building was how quickly recognition came in the form of renowned awards of Best Buy, Top Tech Pick, Recommended Rating and Overall Excellence. Horizon even snagged an award for Best Cardio Brand, further solidifying their hard work and encouraging them to keep up with their fast-paced progression.
Never settling, Horizon calls upon the expertise of their international research and development team, a majority of which are in Madison, Wisconsin, who works diligently to keep a finger on the pulse of the treadmill heartbeat worldwide as they continually look to the future with new ideas of how to advance and optimize Horizon treadmills.
With their sights set directly on the users who depend on their treadmills to pursue daily motion, Horizon has built a lineup of treadmills to meet the needs of a variety of people. This thoughtful formation, alongside the attention to detail at every step of the building process, is what makes Horizon Fitness a brand that has easily become a trusted go-to for many looking for the best kind of treadmill.
Horizon Treadmill Overview
Inclusion is a forethought of Horizon, as they built their treadmills to ensure they would be attainable for those with budgets on the smaller end, which is why they started their treadmill fleet off with the T101 treadmill. One of the most affordable and dependable treadmills on the market, the T101 is a lower-powered treadmill perfect for walking or brief higher-paced workouts.
The 2.5 CHP, despite being a bit low if you’re looking to sweat up a storm, provides continuous-duty oomph that comes with a 0.5-10 mph speed range and 10% incline, making it the only Horizon option that peaks below 12 mph. Also making it a stand-out is the 55” x 60” running surface, which is the most compact of any Horizon treadmill.
When paired with the featherlight folding Horizon furnishes all of their treadmills with, the smaller size makes the T101 a smart consideration for those tight on space. Speaking directly to the care of their consumer, despite the T101 being their cheapest treadmill, Horizon still provides a lifetime home warranty on both the motor and frame, Bluetooth speakers, 3-zoned cushioning in the deck, five workout programs and heart rate contact grips.
It’s remarkable to reflect on Horizon’s intention of value, performance and comfort and seeing it conceptualized in even their lowest priced treadmill, letting us know that Horizon will always deliver on that marriage of those important standards.
Moving on, the T202 treadmill grant a speed range up to 12 mph, 12% incline, a 5” wider running surface, 0.25 more horsepower, a free integratable sport app, and a 325 pound weight capacity—25 pounds greater than that of the T101—all for just a couple hundred more dollars.
That being said, if you desire to pick up the pace, the 3.0 CHP of the T303 is a solid buy for faster-paced individuals needing to stay beneath the $1,000 mark. The T303 idyllically rounds out the T series as the highest-end choice due to its custom interval keys, boosted 3-years parts warranty, enhanced Bluetooth, as well as nine workout programs.
Additionally, the T303 has tablet holders that can be molded into preferred positions, a feature the T101 and T202 lack with their stationary holder. We love how Horizon keeps with the theme of value provided by the Go Series as a cheaper long-lasting investment that will keep you moving from the comfort of your home without expensive bells and whistles that hike up treadmill pricing.
Next up to the proverbial plate is the Horizon Studio Series, created with the intent of tapping into the online fitness sphere where you can use your personal smart device, such as a tablet or phone, to either stream exercise class apps like Studio.live, Peloton, or Zwift. Horizon achieves this ability with the more technologically advanced Studio Series through enhanced Bluetooth connectivity that assures a seamless connection.
Ideal for those interested in high intensity interval training, each of the treadmills in this series have QuickDial controls on the handlebars. These dials make the alteration of speed and incline quicker than it’s ever been, so you can feel the burn without breaking your stride.
An asset absent on the Go Series but that can be found on the Studio Series the Rapid Sync Drive System. The Johnson Digital Drive System holds Rapid Sync technology, which rids the treadmill of motor lagging when shifting incline or speed.
Without further ado, let the Studio Series breakdown commence! Laying the foundation for this fitness friendly treadmill lineup is the 7.0 AT, the only Studio Series model under $1,000. Similar to the T303, the 7.0 AT provides 3.0 HP, a 20” x 60” running surface, a 325 pound weight limit, featherlight folding, 3-zone cushioning, and a 0.5 – 12 mph speed range. Unfortunately, this model offers one less workout program than the T303 and the tablet rack isn’t positional.
However, the display on the 7.0 AT treadmill is more up to date and also upping the ante is the 3% increase in incline that maxes out at 15%. That being said, the T303 treadmill has a shorter step up height than that of the 7.0 AT, so if you’re needing something with a more minimal profile, the T303 may be a better option. Otherwise, if you’re looking for more tech and stronger motor build, (not horsepower, as that’s the same) the 7.0 AT could be your better Horizon bet to stay under that thousand dollar mark.
Moving on up, the 7.4 AT treadmill will really get you going with a 3.5 CHP RapidSync Drive System, a horsepower strength recommended for runners. Offering an 8.25” LCD display, the 7.4 AT treadmill has a 1.25” larger screen than the 7.0 AT, making it more appealing visually.
The 7.4 AT is the first, and cheapest, Horizon treadmill that holds an extra long deck size of 22” x 60” and includes a Bluetooth chest strap. Furthermore, it is also the lowest priced option that gets you the best warranty Horizon provides: lifetime coverage on the motor and deck, 5 years on parts and 2 years on labor. Akin to the T303, the 7.4 AT also has an adjustable tablet holder.
While a 3.5 CHP motor is the recommended floor to start at for those looking to run, if you’re a serious runner, or have a multi-person household that could fire up your treadmill numerous times a day, sizing up to a 4.0 CHP motor is your best bet. With the most powerful Rapid Sync Drive system Horizon yields, the star of the Studio Series is the magnificent 7.8 AT treadmill.
While the 7.8 AT is their most expensive model, it’s price point is competitive; as an example, it costs the same as the comparable Sole F85, and is drastically cheaper than the Life Fitness Club Series+, which is the least expensive 4.0 HP residential treadmill Life Fitness offers.
he 7.8 AT differs from the 7.4 AT in not simply its motor strength, but also its dazzling display. Being the only Horizon treadmill that houses a High Color TFT screen, the 7.8 AT will excite you with 9.3” of energizing vibrance. You’ll also receive Quick media controls, as well as aluminum side rails, an audio in/out jack, custom interval keys and the highest Horizon weight capacity of 375 pounds, none of which can be found on the 7.4 AT treadmill.
When it comes to differentiating treadmills enough to make each one a stand out option, Horizon does a great job of not picking favorites, but celebrating differences.
Horizon Fitness Pros
Horizon seems to have a natural and genuine care for ensuring their customers have a smooth experience with their treadmills. A shining example of this are the phenomenal home warranties provided on even their lowest priced treadmill.
While other brands, such as ProForm, NordicTrack and Bowflex, all fail to offer lifetime warranty options on even their most expensive options, Horizon instantly gifts you a lifetime of peace when it comes to the motor and frame of your treadmill being protected. This widespread coverage speaks volumes to the way they craft their treadmills, as it’s evident they’re truly making them to last.
While lubrication of the treadmill belt is recommended for upkeep every three months, Horizon arranges an option to purchase it on their website so it can be a one-stop shop, speaking to how they hope to make things easier for their customers. The fact that all of their treadmills come with featherlight folding and transport wheels also make life more simple for those tight on space.
Furthermore, WiFi is not a requirement for treadmill operation. We appreciate how Horizon doesn’t attempt to sell you on any additional membership fees such as NordicTrack and ProForm do with their iFit programming. Rather, they give you the tools needed should you opt to livestream a workout on your own personal device without the pressure of making more money off of you.
Should you be drawn to new and exciting workouts, the Zwift app you have the option of using, depending on which Horizon treadmill you purchase, is a free training workout similar to a video game and allows you to actively connect with numerous other users for a workout, ideal for those training for a race such as a marathon or 5k for a community and competitive feel.
Horizon treadmills are stand-alone products, meaning they don’t find it necessary to add expensive bells and whistles that could cost you more in the long-run. While assembly of their treadmills is best with a helping hand, putting them together is similar to building furniture and the instructions Horizon provides are clear.
Furthermore, if you’re uncertain of assembly yourself, they offer assistance should you prefer someone do the dirty work on your behalf. It’s this kind of thoughtfulness that makes our hearts jump as it’s hard to find companies who have the forethought to wonder about your ordeals beyond the initial sell of the treadmill you select.
The QuickDial controls on the handlebars of the Studio series are incredibly unique within the treadmill industry, making the 7.0 AT, 7.4 AT, and the 7.8 AT all standout treadmills for HIIT training or those who get frustrated having to slow their momentum in reach of buttons on a nearly out of reach display screen.
Overall, Horizon treadmills are fierce, sturdy and highly rated by those who have taken the leap to purchase them. Should customers opt to power up over time as they gain in strength, many have been loyal repeat customers, which speaks to the satisfaction Horizon owners experience.
Horizon Fitness Cons
As a famed mermaid once relayed, we’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty, we’ve got whose-its and whats-its galore, and she wasn’t wrong. In this day of fast-paced technology, it seems as if new and futuristic tech makes it hard for consumers to keep up to date.
It’s only natural that this tech savvy era has spilled over into the home fitness realm, revealing itself in fancy looking treadmills, such as the NordicTrack Commercial X32i or the Life Fitness Platinum Club Series treadmill.
Once you take a gander at those options, you can see where Horizon falls short in keeping up to date with touchscreen technology. However, while Life Fitness backs their builds up by way of warranty coverage, tech-friendly brands such as ProForm and NordicTrack will leave you hanging when it comes to treadmill coverage. This lack of warranty protection makes traditional treadmills, such as the ones Horizon creates, more appealing when it comes to long term upkeep.
As a side note, components such as larger treadmill rollers to diminish motor strain and builds that accommodate higher weight capacities aren’t cheap or easy to come by in the treadmill world. This is precisely why Horizon is competitively-priced regardless of the treadmills they are going against from other brands.
While we gave you the most high-tech dazzlers to exemplify the types of technology available, there are other brands, such as LifeSpan, that is more of a bridge between traditional treadmill builds, such as Horizon, and futuristic offerings from brands like NordicTrack. This meet in the middle approach has LifeSpan granting 24 built-in workout programs on their best selling treadmill, the TR5500i, making the comparable Horizon 7.8 AT look a bit bleak with the 10 exercise programs it offers.
While Horizon may not be there in the terms of jaw-dropping technology, it’s nice that they offer an alternative solution to this high-tech issue. If you desire a high-tech workout experience but also value great warranty coverage, you can buy Horizon treadmill with lifetime warranty coverage and then use your smart TV, tablet or phone to stream workouts.
Unfortunately, not a single Horizon treadmill offers a decline ability; decline creates a variable-friendly routine that best emulates the ups and downs of outdoor running.
It’s important to paint a well-rounded picture of the treadmill you’re considering, as when you can clearly see its pros and cons, you gain better clarity as to what features are most important to you overall.
While not offering fancy technology, Horizon does a great job at making really solid treadmills meant to stand up to the common bully we all face: time. In the constant wandering eye of consumerism, doing the research to understand what treadmill brands legitimize working out from home makes a difference over the long-term.
Horizon’s attention to detail, widespread warranties, thoughtful customer service and trusted treadmill builds make for a quality choice worth making.