The Xebex XT3 is a piece that caught my eye possibly more than any other equipment this year.
When I first saw this sled on pre-sale, I had high hopes immediately.
It directly addresses one of my top suggestions in my review of the Torque Tank M1 with the monitor. It also adds a lot more versatility with its unique handle design, includes more levels of magnetic resistance, and a heavier frame, among other things.
Don't get me wrong – the Torque M1 is a high-quality and capable sled…
But the XT3, at least on paper, looked like it could be better.
And in my experience, I think it is better in several ways.
However, this sled isn't without its shortcomings, which I'll address below.
In this review, we'll look at everything this sled has to offer. We'll look at its features, how to use it, what I like, and what I don't like.
By the end, you should be able to tell if it's right for you.
Let's dig in.
Xebex XT3 Sled Review
The XT3 sled is a wheeled push-pull sled with several features that stand out in this space. This sled isn't the first of its kind (XPO Trainer and Tank M1), but it has introduced some new concepts that have put the rest of the market on notice. I'll detail them all below.
The XT3 uses magnetic resistance and plate-loaded resistance (at times) while allowing for bi-directional movement. With a unique handle system on the back, you can train various pushes at different angles. You can also perform lower angle pushes with the front handle while essentially pushing the sled in reverse. In addition, there are two low attachment points to accommodate various pulls, including harness pulls, strap pulls, and more.
The sled weighs 102lbs, and it's quite economical in terms of the space it takes up. The sled measures 45″ long and 28″ wide on its wheels. However, it takes up a mere 28″ x 24″ footprint when stored vertically.
Let's have a look at the specs, and then we'll jump into the review:
Footprint: 45″ x 28″ x 48″
Resistance Type: Magnetic and plate-loaded
Max Weight: 225lbs on wheelbarrow, 385lbs on three wheels
Monitor Stats: Time, Distance, Calories, Speed, Watts, RPM, Heart Rate, Intervals, Resistance Level
Made In: Taiwan
Warranty: 10 years on frame, 1 year on parts/monitor
The XT3 is a very well-built sled. Constructed almost entirely out of steel, it weighs in at 102lbs, which is 35lbs heavier than the Torque M1. The only plastic components on the XT3 are the magnetic resistance adjustment lever, the monitor, and the plastic end caps for vertical storage. Unlike the Tank M1 for Torque, this sled has a metal encasing around the mechanical components. Because of that, it feels much more robust in comparison.
This sled uses a chain as the drivetrain, which is typical for these types of sleds. In air bikes, chain drives are notoriously louder than belt drives, and they generally require more maintenance over time. However, noise isn't as much of a concern for this type of equipment because it's not spinning nearly as fast. I'm very pleased with how quiet this chain drive is. With the all-terrain tires, the sled overall is extremely quiet, which means you can push this around your neighborhood at all times without fear of angering your neighbors.
In terms of maintenance, there's an inherent implication with chain drives that they will need a little more love than belt drives. This commonly includes lubricating the chain to ensure optimal operation. The underside of the XT3 consists of a steel enclosure that prevents damage to the mechanics. If you need to access the internals for inspection or maintenance, you can remove this panel by removing four screws. Furthermore, if you need to lubricate the chain, you can do so very easily since there's an opening that provides instant access.
In general, I'm impressed with the overall quality of the XT3 – it feels very heavy-duty and well made.
The XT3 sled uses two forms of resistance: magnetic resistance and weight resistance via a loading pin.
Magnetic resistance is created when a set of magnets surrounding a steel disc move closer or further from each other. This type of resistance is most commonly found on bikes – first popularized by Keiser, magnetic resistance has become a staple for indoor bikes like Peloton, Echelon, and more. In fact, the Xebex AirPlus Expert Bike 3.0 offers magnetic resistance (plus air resistance). The XT3 uses the same “gear shift” as the AirPlus Bike.
One of the biggest benefits of magnetic resistance is how quickly you can adjust it. By simply adjusting the lever, you can instantaneously change the resistance. While there's no respective “weight” equivalent on each resistance level, Xebex does provide eight options that range from neutral to hard. Compare this to the Tank M1, which only includes four options, and you can see where this unit provides greater control. I will say that the M1 seems to have higher difficulty in the highest setting compared to the XT3 highest setting. The XT3 setting seems to fall in between the middle and highest settings of the M1 (possibly even closer to the middle) based on a head-to-head comparison.
In my opinion, the highest level provides decent resistance, but this sled isn't going to beat a prowler-style sled in terms of max load and resistance. I think it shines in longer distance/duration pushes and pulls more than max effort.
The second form of resistance is plate-loaded, but there's a caveat. As we know, the XT3 is a sled on wheels. When stacking plates on the 12″ vertical post, it does little to create extra resistance as it would on a sled without wheels. The primary purpose of the plate peg is to ensure consistent force to the ground for a smooth experience.
That said, the weight post does create physical resistance when using the sled for wheelbarrow pushes. The height of this post is 5.5″ taller than the M1, and can accommodate a max load of 385lbs when using all three wheels. In wheelbarrow mode, the max weight is lower at 225lbs because of the single-wheel support.
💡 Quick Tip
The resistance on the XT3 sled is created in the front wheel. When using the sled, keep traction to the ground via plates to ensure smooth movement and accurate resistance.
One of the best features of the XT3 sled from Xebex is the multi-purpose handles. These J-shaped handles can be oriented in two different directions, which allows for a lot of versatility.
When facing upright, the tall side stands closest to you, which gives you 25″ of room to place your hands. I really like this about the XT3 because you're not limited to dedicated hand grips. You can perform pushes from a low leverage position, a high leverage position, and everywhere in between.
The other side of the handles, the short side, was intentionally designed to allow for a unique movement with this sled: wheelbarrow pushes. I'll detail this movement in the performance section below, but it's one of my favorite things about this sled overall. The short side allows you to stand inside the handles without a second long side interfering with your arms.
Additionally, this handle design lets you press your shoulders into the tall side, grab the short side with your hands, and perform a driving push. Again, I'll outline this movement in more detail below, but it's made possible through this unique “tri-handle” Xebex created.
The one downside to these handles is that they have a pretty smooth finish that doesn't provide much texture. If you sweat a lot, I could see this being a possible issue when pushing the sled. It's much more magnified, however, on wheelbarrow pushes. While the handles take chalk reasonably well for a smooth finish, I prefer something more textured, like a heavy powder coat.
The handles themselves are color-coded, so you know where to place them. It's straightforward: red on red, white on white. When placed in the low position for wheelbarrows, there are two small detent pins to keep the handles from sliding out. In the upright position, however, it relies only on gravity. This was a suggestion I had on the Torque M1, and while the XT3 handles don't feel as easy to pull out, I would like to see a similar detent pin option for security. It would also make it easier to turn the sled around since you could pull directly up on the handles and pivot off the front tire. To be fair, though, pivoting off the back tires is easy enough.
Lastly, the handles can be placed into the inside horizontal tubes when you stand the XT3 vertically for compact storage. Overall, major kudos to Xebex on these handles – they're unique, multi-functional, and well designed.
Xebex very smartly added an optional monitor to the XT3 sled, which I felt was a missed opportunity on the Torque M1. This monitor is very similar to traditional erg monitors in terms of stats and functionality.
It reads out the following:
- Time (includes target program)
- Distance (includes target program)
- Calories (includes target program)
- Speed (mph or kph)
- Heart Rate (compatible with third-party heart monitors via Bluetooth or ANT+)
- Intervals (custom or pre-programmed)
- Resistance Level (1-8 magnetic resistance)
The monitor consists of a backlit LCD measuring 3.75″ x 4.85″ – it's nicely laid out and very legible in virtually all lighting scenarios. The button layout is straightforward, although the vertical alignment is pretty tight. This is nitpicky, but perhaps some more space between the two rows would look less cluttered and reduce the chance of hitting the wrong button.
Another nice feature of this monitor is its compatibility with third-party apps. It's possible to link this up with heart rate monitors like Polar, and you can also track performance history with external programs.
Lastly, the monitor can spin 180 degrees to face you whether you're pushing the sled from the front or the back. The display angle can also be adjusted – all of which can be tightened with an Allen key.
Again, kudos to Xebex for introducing a monitor on this sled – it's an excellent feature. It is, however, an optional feature that costs extra. That said, if you buy this sled, I think it's worth it for what you get in terms of stat tracking. Consider also that if you don't purchase the monitor, you will have exposed wires with nothing to do with them. I would like to see Xebex modify this wire access to hide the wire when a monitor isn't purchased.
XT3 Sled Performance
Performance-wise, the XT3 is a strong performer in this class, largely due to its features that no other sled currently on the market can match.
Like the XPO and M1 sleds, the XT3 provides progressive resistance, meaning the harder you push or pull, the harder/more resistant it becomes. The operation itself is smooth – even when suddenly changing the magnetic resistance level, there's no sudden or jerky motion. This type of progressive resistance (not just the XT3) is nice because it gives you more control over the difficulty/intensity. In other words, it's not just the level of magnetic or plate resistance – you also have to add a level of effort into the equation. Together, they create the overall intensity.
My two favorite movements on the XT3 have been the two that are unique to this sled: the wheelbarrow push and the “X-Drive.”
Starting with the wheelbarrow push, this was the one I was most excited to try. I love this movement – it's challenging, and it's fun. With the handles sitting low on the frame in this position, it encourages a proper hip hinge to start. Once fully extended, you feel the combination of the plate weight and magnetic resistance. The 2″ (51mm) diameter handle taxes your grip, your traps and lats get blown up, and your core must stay rigid to perform the carry. You may have heard the term “farm strength” or some version of it – if you want to be farm strong, load up the XT3 and wheel around the block a few times a week (cowboy hat is optional).
The “X-Drive,” as Xebex calls it, is another favorite that takes advantage of the unique handles on the XT3. By pressing your shoulders into the taller handles and using your hands on the shorter handles, you can drive yourself into the sled and push hard through the legs. I especially like this one with the magnetic resistance turned up higher and with some uphill terrain. I'll also add that I think this is one that could benefit the most from higher resistance.
In experimenting with pulling this sled from the front, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, you get more range of motion since you're starting lower, which can have a positive carryover to strength. On the other hand, a lower position means it's easier to pull up instead of out. Since the resistance is created in the front wheel, if the upward angle is steep and powerful enough, you'll lift the front wheel off the ground and lose resistance (at least temporarily). This is an area where I think the higher attachment point on the M1 is better.
When pushing the sled from the front using a low angle of attack, I've found that it feels similar to the M1 in terms of movement consistency but again, it doesn't have quite as much resistance.
Overall, I'm pleased with the performance of the XT3, especially with its unique movement options. While I really appreciate the added levels of resistance, I do wish the highest setting delivered a bigger punch.
Aesthetically, the XT3 is a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, it's just an impressive-looking machine. The design, the shape, the “gear shift,” etc… all positively strike the eye.
On the other hand, however, it has an abundance of stickers – 15 stickers, to be exact. Consider me a minimalist when it comes to stickers on gym equipment. I understand the need to brand the equipment, and I'm fully on board with it, but some of these stickers feel like they're unnecessarily filling dead space.
In addition to sticker overkill (my opinion, of course), I have to question how it will look over time, especially in high-touch areas like the handle identifiers. I feel like there's a better way to identify the appropriate handle-to-tube connections (e.g., painted ends). With the stickers, as soon as you misalign the handle and hit the post, you will start damaging the sticker. Eventually, I have to think it will start peeling away or generally looking pretty rough.
Am I crazy for being this anti-sticker?
Lastly, my unit did arrive with a few scuffs in the powder coat – nothing major, but it's something to note. Considering how well the box was packaged, I believe the damage existed before boxing. One other reviewer mentioned the same, so this may be a QC opportunity for Xebex.
XT3 Sled Delivery & Assembly
The XT3 ships via FedEx in a single box. My box arrived in excellent condition, and the packaging was nicely done overall. The assembly of the sled was straightforward – the instructions were very legible and, frankly, much better than many pieces of cardio equipment I've assembled in the past.
The most challenging part of the build is attaching the handle bracket. This piece uses eight bolts, but you can never freely spin the Allen key because of the handle posts. In other words, be prepared for a lot of quarter-to-half turns to tighten. Around halfway through, I ended up standing the sled vertically on the front tire and resting the bracket on my shoulder while finishing the final turns. This was easier, and it felt better on my back since I wasn't constantly bent over.
From there, the build was simple. It took me about 30 minutes to put it together by myself, which included the unboxing and a few quick breaks to watch golf.
Xebex XT3 Sled vs. Torque Tank M1
These two sleds are very similar in that they offer magnetic resistance and have the same overall shape, footprint, three-wheeled design, etc… I've owned the Tank M1 since it was released – it's a very nice sled – but it lacks several of the features that make the XT3 so compelling.
If you watch my video of the M1, you'll see where I suggested it should include a monitor to track performance. The XT3 has made one available and, as mentioned above, it's quite good. That in and of itself is one reason to go with the XT3 over the M1.
I also mentioned that, while I like the handle design of the M1, the handles themselves are too easy to pull off the base. Great for storage, but not all that great when using the sled. The XT3's handles are also fairly easy to pull out from the top, but it's a much more versatile handle system overall. As shown above, you can do numerous things with the handles on the XT3, which is another win in this comparison.
As mentioned above, both sleds have front hooks to perform various pulls. The M1 has a higher attachment point than the XT3. While I like the bigger range of motion and time under tension that the XT3 provides, the lower attachment point can cause the front tire to lift off the ground easier than the M1 when performing more explosive pulls.
Lastly, the M1 has four magnetic resistance levels vs. eight on the XT3. I've found that the M1 has a higher level of resistance than the XT3 when comparing the highest settings, but it doesn't offer as much control.
Both sleds offer weight posts, although the XT3 is 5.5″ longer, which allows you to load up to 385lbs. To be fair, however, the weight posts don't make much difference unless you're performing wheelbarrow pushes, which the Tank M1 doesn't allow. Both sleds have high-quality all-terrain tires, and both utilize a chain drive.
In terms of price, the XT3 sled without the monitor is the same price as the M1. If you add the monitor to the XT3, it becomes more expensive by about $110. This doesn't include sales, which Get RX'd commonly offers. For instance, right now the standard XT3 is $60 less than the M1 and with the monitor, it's $30 more expensive.
Ultimately, the XT3 has more features, performance tracking, and a more rugged frame than the M1. The M1, on the other hand, offers higher top-end resistance, and it stays more grounded on front-pulling movements. If max resistance is what you're after and you want to perform more explosive pulls, the M1 will likely appeal more to you. Otherwise, I think the XT3 is the better choice.
Xebex XT3 Sled vs. Armored Fit XPO Trainer 2
Armored Fit is credited with originally creating the wheeled sled. Its XPO Sled has been on the market for years, and it's earned a solid reputation in that time.
While it offers progressive resistance like the Xebex XT3 and M1 from Torque, the XPO is a much more basic sled. It doesn't offer magnetic resistance, but it does get harder the harder you push.
The XPO Trainer includes two tall handles that provide plenty of space for your hands. They're also removable for storage purposes. This sled doesn't offer a front handle system, nor does it have hooks on the front for pulling movements.
The XPO is much more of a push sled than anything. It does include a weight post, but that's only to keep friction to the ground, similar to others.
Priced at $699, it's cheaper than both the XT3 and the M1, but it pales in comparison when looking at features. If you're looking for the most basic wheeled sled and want to save some money, the XPO Trainer 2 is a solid option. Otherwise, the other two contenders, especially the XT3, are better buys.
The XT3 sled is a newer product, so there aren't many user reviews yet. As of the time of this review, the sled has a 4-star rating. The most common complaint I've heard so far is the higher-end resistance level.
- Extremely versatile sled with a unique handle system
- The sled can be used for pushes, pulls, and wheelbarrow movements
- Eight levels of magnetic resistance provide more control over intensity
- Great monitor with swivel body and articulating screen
- 102lb frame made entirely of steel creates a durable and heavy-duty sled
- The tall weight post allows up to 385lbs
- All-terrain tires allow the sled to be used across many surfaces
- Very quiet operation
- The highest resistance level may not be enough for some users
- The chain drive, while not to the level of air bikes, may require maintenance over time
- Smooth handles don't provide as much texture as a heavy powder coat
- In my opinion, the sled has too many stickers
Overall, the Xebex XT3 is a very solid wheeled sled. In some ways, I think it's the best on the market. The monitor, the extra levels of resistance, and the more versatile handle design are all excellent features.
The high-end resistance, though, does feel a little underwhelming at times. I also think there's an opportunity to move the pulling hooks to a higher location to avoid lifting the front tire off the ground.
Factoring in price and frequent sales from Get RX'd, I think the XT3 represents a very good value overall.
If you have any questions about this sled or wheeled sleds in general, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own the Xebex XT3 and you want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!
As always, I appreciate any feedback.
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