Matt Smith tests out this high end workout mirror in our NordicTrack Vault review. Find out if it met his high standards below…
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Written by: Matt Smith and Jason M
Fact Checked by: Editorial Team
Editorial Process: Our team of health and fitness professionals test each product in house. This review process is independent of the company and we always look to provide an unbiased assessment of the product in question – read our full editorial process here.
NordicTrack are well known for their high end, interactive products in the cardio space – but with the release of the NordicTrack Vault, they have made an attempt to capture some of the strength training market.
But have they succeeded or is the Vault to lightweight to really capture the home strength workout market? We find out as Matt Smith tests it in his full NordicTrack Vault review.
NordicTrack Vault – First Impressions
The NordicTrack Vault is what is now dubbed as a ‘workout mirror’. Given the success of Tonal in the United States, NordicTrack have looked to capture some of that growing market – the benefit for us in the UK though is that unlike Tonal, NordicTrack do sell on our shores.
There are some distinctions to be made between Vault and Tonal though (which I will get in to later) so it’s probably best to focus on what Vault is, rather than what it isn’t.
Vault is essentially three things:
First and foremost, it is a beautifully designed all in one storage mirror. It has a relatively slim design considering how much equipment it houses. There’s no denying it is simply beautifully engineered and really will look the part in any home gym.
Secondly, it is an interactive display – in as much as the 61.5 inch mirror contains a 32 inch touchscreen display (with speakers) that utilises iFIT to deliver a wide range of interactive workouts.
Thirdly, it is intended to provide you with all the free weights (think dumbbells and kettlebells), resistance bands and accessories needed for your full body workouts – all of which are stored neatly inside the mirror.
Everything about Vault looks exceptional – from the exterior unit to the individual weights contained inside the mirror – everything is well made from high quality materials and feels commercial grade.
However, there are also some limitations – as I found in my testing – so let’s not get too carried away just yet.
NordicTrack Vault – Specs and Features
The NordicTrack Vault is available in two different iterations – Vault: Complete and Vault: Standalone. The latter is usually around half the price of the Complete version, but at the time of writing there is just a £100 difference in the two – so it makes sense to go for the Complete version.
The Standalone version essentially contains no equipment – which in all honestly makes no sense – as you are pretty much just buying a mirror with a built in screen and a space to store your own equipment which will likely not fit ideally.
So for the purpose of this Vault review I will be talking about the NordicTrack Vault Complete version. The actual main unit is the same for both though.
The 109kg storage mirror sits on a heavy base which allows it to be freestanding. You can attach a safety latch and strap to the wall if you wish, but if you are using it in a dedicated gym space (with no children or pets wandering around) then you are more than likely going to use it truly freestanding.
The mirror measures up at 61.5 inches – with the whole unit standing at 185cm (just over 6 feet) and so for most people you get a true full length mirror. The interactive touch screen does not cover the whole of the mirror, and rather covers around half, measuring up at 32 inches. This is on the top half of the mirror though so is easy to view and interact with.
The frame is made from carbon steel and both looks and feels extremely high quality. Considering I used the unit freestanding, it felt extremely sturdy and I feel it would really take an almighty shove to make it topple. Admittedly, I didn’t try that hard for fear of ending up with an expensive bill.
Connectivity is good – with bluetooth to connect to your own audio devices, although the built in 3 inch dual speakers are pretty decent quality – think similar to a flat screen TV sound quality.
When you buy either version of Vault you also get access to 1 year’s worth of iFIT membership to access all the interactive and pre-loaded workouts.
The gear contained within the Vault is also extremely well made and it looks so neat when stored away in the mirror. Anyone looking for a way to minimise their workout storage or who uses the Vault in a dual purpose space will love the way it stores the weights and accessories.
Included in the Complete package you get:
- 6 dumbbells – 5lbs to 30lbs
- 2 kettlebells – 20lbs and 30lbs
- 3 resistance bands (looped) – 20lbs, 30lbs, 50lbs
- 3 heavy resistance bands – 20lbs and 30lbs
- 2 yoga blocks
- Exercise mat
- Cleaning towel
As a an overall set of equipment it’s pretty comprehensive but the first thing you notice if you are seasoned strength training veteran is that the maximum weight of both the dumbbells and kettlebells is 30lbs – which is about 13.5kg.
Now for anyone starting out this will be fine. For anyone using the Vault weights for HIIT, this again will be fine. But for anyone wanting a serious strength based workout then they will find these weights very limiting.
The other thing to note is that you are limited to single weights, whereas a barbell or even a set of adjustable dumbbells might have offered more versatility.
This being said, Vault does give you a good overall range of equipment and at the current prices (sale prices at time of writing) it represents extremely good value, but if paying the full price it looks expensive.
Using The NordicTrack Vault
Using the NordicTrack Vault is easy enough. In fact, like most of their iFIT integrated machines, the touch screen navigation is intuitive and easy to operate with a good degree of functionality built in.
Both the hardware and software work well in synergy to create a flowing workout experience that can push you to your limits. But then the Vault has limits of its own too.
For me, the Vault is a HIIT or cardio based workout that offers some functional strength gains. It is not going to suit those looking for hypertrophy or strength focused training. The reason for this is that the amount of weight and even the types of workouts on offer are not really designed for this.
In addition, although you do get feedback on your workout – such as time spent working out, estimated calories burned, time remaining etc – this is all guesswork on the part of the machine – as there is no really way in which the Vault tracks your actual progress.
You are not feeding data back in to the machine, nor is it tracking you. It does have a built in camera, although this is not used currently – so perhaps there is room for this to be developed in future software upgrades – but it’s not quite there yet.
Where I enjoyed using the Vault was for all body HIIT workouts that had a focus on strength. Some of the workouts are properly brutal and following along to the live sessions feel particularly motivating.
If you have a specific goal or focus in mind then you can also choose from the back library that contains thousands of workouts – the possibilities are pretty endless and the using the display and mirror at the same time works really well to find the right form and monitor your performance.
The dumbbells and kettlebells in particular are of exceptional quality. In fact, I would go so far as to say I have rarely used free weights of the same quality – both inside and outside of a commercial gym. The resistance bands are pretty standard but do the job well and having all the equipment you need stored in one place is highly convenient.
Being able to hide it all away after your workout is even better.
The display is crystal clear and is bright – working well even in sunlit areas. It rotates, and so it can be used however makes most sense for the type of workout you are doing. It also opens sideways, so you don’t need a huge amount of space to use it. You can place it in the middle of a space, or against a wall (my preference).
I used the Nordic Track Vault for just under a month, and in that time I worked out with it 4 times per week following the advanced HIIT training workouts (there are lots of options to choose from with the ‘next-level strength training’ also appealing) and working out at home.
The workouts were fun and engaging, I didn’t follow along live and rather opted for working out on my own timescale – but I didn’t find it any less engaging for doing so.
Having your session data recorded is motivating and keeps you pushing next time. It would be even better if my actual workout data was being fed back in, but this is a small gripe.
Overall, I really enjoyed working out with the Vault and for HIIT workouts it is ideal. I love how little space it takes up and how great it looks both in and out of use.
Is It Worth It?
Cost is always a difficult one to cover and with the NordicTrack Vault it is even more complex – mainly because they seem to offer huge savings at certain times and then none at others.
At the time of writing the Vault is available at £1699 for the complete version – which is discounted down from a whopping £3499!
Now, if you were to ask me whether it’s worth £3500 I would say a flat no. But at £1700 it becomes not quite a steal – but pretty attractively priced.
The weights and equipment contained within the Vault is probably worth around £1000 all in. Yes, you could get them cheaper but for the same quality, that’s around the price you’d be looking. A 12 month iFIT subscription would then cost you around £360. This means the main unit is coming in at around £300 – an absolute bargain.
Like I say, it depends what you want to use the Vault for. If you have no weights, no interactive display and you will use both of those things and attribute value to them then it’s worth the price (at anything less than £2000). However, if you already have some weights, a mirror and something to display your workouts on then you could just buy yourself an iFIT membership.
I would also say that if you are limited on space or are going to use it in a multi-purpose room then there is extra value there – as there is little out there to compete with the Vault in terms of looks.
NordicTrack Vault Alternatives
Fitness or Workout Mirror options are not as plentiful in the UK as they are across the pond. Tonal is probably the best all in one workout station to compare the Vault to, but that also has some limitations – and it’s not available in the UK. It also retails at around £3500 (and is rarely discounted).
A true alternative would be the ProForm Vue which retails at £1999 (but is currently on offer for £799). It is essentially the same as the Vault but without the storage and without the equipment. ProForm is also a sister company of NordicTrack so you can bet much of the hardware and software is the same. Our ProForm Vue review is here if you want to compare our notes on it.
So unless you want to opt for the Vue (and buy your own equipment) or find a way to ship Tonal over to the UK, then you are going to be left with few alternatives to the Vault.
NordicTrack are on to something with the Vault and it will appeal to a mass market of HIIT and CrossFit enthusiasts who don’t want to be constrained to using static machines such as exercise bikes and rowers.
It does have its strength based limitations but it also covers a lot of bases and is one the sleekest looking workout storage stations you will find.
If you can bag it at the sale price mentioned in this review then it’s well worth it – if not, it may be worth waiting for a time when NordicTrack are running a sale on the Vault Complete system.