The Merit Fitness 715T Plus Treadmill is an incredibly lightweight, basic, budget price treadmill with a real ‘no frills’ feature list. Key features include; 3 window LED display, 10 mph maximum speed, 5% maximum manual incline, a folding frame and 2.5 THP motor.
The treadmill only caters for users up to 250 pounds in weight (compared to 375 pounds minimum for more expensive models) and has a treadbelt of just 18 x 47 inches (compared to the industry average of around 20 x 60 inches). At under $400 dollars it sits comfortably within the same price range as other budget treadmills. Is it worth the money? Does it feel solid enough to workout on? Do all the features work?
Dimensions & Technical Specifications
- 29 x 52 x 61 inches (73.6 x 132.08 x 154.9 cm)
- 18 x 47 inch (45.7 x 119.3 cm) treadbelt
- 250 pounds (113.3 kg) maximum user capacity
- 108 pounds (48.9 kg) assembled weight
- 135 pounds (61.2 kg) shipping weight
- Home treadmill with top-quality 2.5 THP (1.5 CHP) drive motor
- Intuitive console controls with adjustable speed from 0 to 10 miles per hour
- 3-window LED display tracks your time, speed, distance, calories, and more
- Spacious 18-by-47-inch workout area with Aerosoft cushioning system
- Folding frame for easy storage; measures 29 x 52 x 61 inches (W x H x D)
- Workout area: 18 x 47 inches
- Built-in fan: No
- Roller dimension: 42mm
- Incline: 0 to 5 percent (manual)
- Horsepower: 2.25 THP (1.5 CHP)
- Frame: Steel
- Capacity: 250 pounds
- Folded dimensions: 29 by 56 by 26.25 inches (W x H x D)
- Expanded dimensions: 29 by 52 by 61 inches (W x H x D)
- Warranties: Lifetime on the frame, 1 year on the motor, 90 days on parts and labor
If you’re buying a treadmill for less than $400 dollars you probably won’t assume that it’s incredibly sturdy underfoot. Although the machine feels able to take all speed levels, you may notice that your feet pounding on the treadbelt shakes objects in the room a little because the shock absorbtion isn’t great.
The belt is adequate for walking but rather tight for a run, you most definitely wouldn’t be able to enjoy a full throttle run on this machine and if you do plan to run at all, make sure your running form is tight as it won’t take much foot stray width wise or lengthwise to come off the belt. The AeroSoft Cushioning system can’t really be felt although the belt is a little sturdier than others in its price range and does run quite smoothly.
Generally you’re really only set up with a basic ability to walk or lightly jog on this machine. However, if you are new to fitness or rehabilitating yourself after injury, you’re more than equipped on this machine to start slow and built up your fitness levels. The small walking space on the belt probably isn’t great for those who struggle with balance or who cannot move in a uniform way and you will find your movement capabilities quite restricted.
The pulse sensors are inaccurate; this is a common occurrence in budget treadmills, mid-range treadmills and treadmills over $2000 dollars.
The machine does have 4 preset programs (which are relatively demanding), a 5% incline and 10 mph maximum speed limit as well as basic feedback options, but you’re pretty limited as far as intensifying your workouts over time goes. The performance levels on this machine really cater for beginners only and wouldn’t meet the needs of a fitness enthusiast who needed variety and the ability to really pound the treadmill.
Ease Of Use & Convenience
As the equipment is so light, it is relatively easy to move around and also has a foldaway option to save space, useful if you live in a small house or apartment.
The programs are easy to use and the console is basic, but well designed and user friendly. The manual incline changes are surprisingly easy although you may find yourself wondering if it’s worth it for the three options up to just 5%.
Unfortunately setting up the equipment is not as easy as using it and you may find the badly labelled components combined with the less than helpful assembly instructions require you spend more time putting the machine together than you originally hoped for.
As a ‘no frills’ budget treadmill, you don’t get much in the way of entertainment and generally, any entertainment extras don’t tend to work very well at this price range anyway. As the machine is relatively quiet and compact, you can at least position it in an area where you have access to forms of entertainment like a stereo or TV. The workout options are very basic so, you may find you get a little bored over time working out on the machine.
- Frame- 1 year
- Parts- 90 days
- Labour- 90 days
The Final Verdict
The Merit Fitness 715T Plus Treadmill really is an extremely basic, budget machine with a very small amount of features. Everything works adequately and you can definitely use the machine for light to light-moderate exercise, but you’d be hard pushed to use it for anything more strenuous because of the lightweight frame and tight belt dimensions combined. It’s definitely a good, cheap machine for someone who just wants something to walk on during the winter months or an extra way to exercise within the home. Consider your needs in detail before purchasing as the warranty time limits are extremely tight and it will cost you to return the item. Overall, the Merit Fitness 715T Plus Treadmill is a beginners machine only.