Our Spirit Z8 treadmill review investigates the introductory model in the Z range – but how does it stack up against the more expensive models?
Essentially, the Z8 is the stripped back to basics option that suffers a little as a result of Spirit’s attempt to build a treadmill to retail under the $1,000 mark.
Whilst it’s streets ahead of similarly priced treadmills form rival manufacturers, would you be better investing a few hundred dollars more to buy one of the pricier and better equipped machines higher up the range?
Spirit Z8 Treadmill Review – Features…
At this price, whilst not as well-equipped as other models in the range you still get a suprisingly generous package for your money.In common with the rest of the Z range, the Z8 looks great – not that you would ever buy a treadmill on looks alone. Right?
To start with there’s the 2.0 HP continuous duty motor, which is well-suited to people looking for a machine on which to walk and occassionally jog.
It’s not suitable for runners as the 50″ x 18″ running surface would attest, which doesn’t really give taller exercisers the room to stretch out on.
The maximum speed of 10mph is sufficient for most moderate workouts, although the motor is far more comfortable performing at around 4-8mph.
The large 2.5″ rollers are a nice touch and provide a robust and responsive deck as well as helping to reduce wear and tear on the belt and prolong the belt’s life.
The 11% incline is a useful feature for upping the intensity of walks in particular and works smoothly without interrupting your workout.
The build quality overall is good and whilst nothing like commercial quality, the Z8 shares a frame with some of the higher priced Z series machines.
The treadmill also folds, which is a big plus for home exercisers with limited room to store their exercise equipment.
However, it’s the electronic features where the main economies have been made.
The LCD display console is adequate and functional and the eight workout programs adequate, but this is not the most inspiring user interface you’ll come across.
You get a pulse grip heart monitor but there’s no heart rate control function.
The warranties are pretty good, though, an area where Spirit and sister company Sole excel.
A lifetime on the frame, 20 years on the motor, two years on the electronics and a year on the labour are nothing to be sneezed at in a treadmill costing under $1,000.
The Z8 retails for $1,099, but don’t expect to pay over $1,000.
Spirit Z8 Treadmill Review – The Bottom Line…
OK, whilst our Spirit Z8 treadmill review would conclude that there are a few areas where the Z8 is left wanting, it’s still a pretty decent offering.
I guess the issue for me would be whether it would be worth paying a few hundred bucks extra and buying the Z88 or Z9.
Given their extra features, more powerful motors and larger decks then I’d probably go that route.
However, if your budget won’t stretch beyond the Z8 then you’ll still be getting a decent machine that should prove a reliable and durable performer for years to come.