NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill Review – Pros & Cons (2020)

Last Updated: January 10, 2020

The 2950 is NordicTrack’s highest Commercial Treadmill. It is consistently one of the best High End Treadmills on the market and one of our Top High-End Folding Treadmills in 2020.

Check Best Price

Treadmill Awards: Honorable Mention, Best Treadmills for 2020

Honorable Mention Treadmill 2020

The NordicTrack 2950 is one of our favorite treadmills. It rivals some of the high-end incline trainers with its functionality and features, but it still folds up when not in use! The 2950 has modifiable cushioning in the deck, a gorgeous touchscreen, and powerful motor. For these reasons, we have awarded the NordicTrack 2950 our Honorable Mention for 2020.

Who It’s For: Users looking for high-end tech on a cushioned, foldable treadmill

In a crowded treadmill market, the 2950 sits at the top of the line. It offers several features that make it attractive:

  • 22” touchscreen showcases iFit motivational trainers and outdoor routes
  • Streamlined console with large OneTouch control buttons and three fans
  • Cushioned deck that can be turned on or off
  • -3% decline to +15% incline range
  • Compact footprint with EasyLift Assist to fold up
  • Hydraulic release system lowers the deck gently back to the floor
Pros
  • High-tech 22” touchscreen with crisp graphics
  • Streamlined console for easy navigation
  • iFit Coach included free for one year with over 16,000 workouts
  • Cushioned deck feature can be turned on or off
  • Good sized tread belt provides extra width and length
  • Sleek design keeps your foot from grazing the motor hood
  • +15% incline and -3% decline automatically adjust for you in iFit, keeping your hands free
  • Incline/Decline range provides abundant training variables and combinations
  • High-end machine with hearty motor and impressive tech that still folds up
Cons
  • Chest strap no longer included (EKG grips on handlebar)
  • On the higher-priced end for folding treadmills
  • No USB port

FeaturesSpecifications
  • 22” Smart HD Touchscreen
    • The 22” touchscreen on the 2950 rivals the screen on the x22i at a lower price-point. It features crisp resolution and sharp graphics, is placed directly in the center of the console, and sits just behind the horizontal grip bar for easy reach.
    • As technology advances, more treadmills are including high-end screens with touchscreen capabilities. This simplifies the console by reducing the number of buttons on the array. It also enhances the functionality of the treadmill with more features and options available in the software.
  • Two 3” Digitally-amplified Speakers & Auxiliary Music Port
    • The speakers expand across the bottom of the console. Volume can be adjusted on the console or via the touchscreen.
    • The auxiliary music port allows you to plug your phone into the console and play music through the treadmill speakers.
  • OneTouch® Controls
    • I really love the OneTouch controls on the NordicTrack machines. OneTouch buttons are large and black with white digital numbers. They are clearly marked, easy to see, and set prominently on either side of the screen.
    • There is a separate button for each incline and speed.
    • OneTouch buttons for speed are on the right with incline on the left.
  • Dual AutoBreeze™ Workout Fans
    • There are three fans. Two in the console and one on the storage tray below the console. The two in the console are strong and produce good airflow. The one below is fine, it’s set a bit low so it hits your hips, but at least it offers a breeze.
    • There are four power settings. Low-Med-High and Auto — where the fan speed correlates to your speed and incline. All three fans run in all three settings.
  • -3% decline to +15% Incline
    • NordicTrack is one of the few companies that offers a -3% decline on a folding treadmill. This allows for downhill training, gentle conditioning, and active recovery. It also makes the iFit outdoor routes more realistic as the incline and decline match the natural terrain.
    • A +15% grade is the steepest offered before you move into the Incline Trainers, which are significantly more expensive. 15% incline offers multiple training variables and conditioning options. A steep grade engages glutes and hamstrings for balanced leg strengthening. It also burns more calories to work at an incline as opposed to a flat road.
    • At a flat 0% incline, the deck on the 2950 is 12” for step-on height.
    • At a 15% incline, the deck pivots to 18” off the floor.
  • Includes 1-Year NordicTrack iFit® membership**
    • iFit features over 16,000 workouts both on and off the treadmill. Users can access studio-based classes or follow along on an outdoor route guided by a personal trainer.
    • Running, walking, and combo options are available along with various classes that feature strength training, HIIT workouts, and even stretching and yoga.
    • iFit has an Auto-Adjust feature so treadmill speed and incline will automatically adjust to match the iFit route or class. This keeps your hands free. Manual controls on the console will override the automated feature at any time, so you can always adjust when needed.
  • 40 On-board Workouts
    • For those days when you just want to jump on the treadmill and run, there are 40 simple onboard programs that don’t require an iFit subscription to run. You can select Hills, Intervals, Speed or just set it in Manual Mode. Stat tracking continues at the top of the screen for all onboard programs.
    • There are preloaded outdoor routes you can follow while running. GoogleMaps images upload every 5-10 seconds depending on how fast you are running. You can select a satellite view, map view or shuffle. These are a nice option, as they are better than just staring at a white screen.
  • Runners Flex™ Cushioning
    • RunnersFlex cushioning that can be turned on or off via a lever on the side of the deck. When cushioning is turned “On,” a bar underneath the deck releases, allowing for more travel in the deck to reduce impact. When turned “Off” the bar locks up underneath the deck to limit flexibility.
    • Running on a cushioned surface reduces joint impact, prolongs workout time, and creates a more comfortable experience. The benefit of turning the cushioning off is it mimics outdoor running surfaces – for those who may be training for a marathon and want to simulate road running. In general, however, the benefits from Runners Flex cushioning are significant; I would recommend keeping the cushioning turned “On” as the default.
  • SpaceSaver® Design with EasyLift™ Assist
    • The 2950 offers all the best features of a folding treadmill. SpaceSaver design keeps the footprint small so even when open, the 2950 doesn’t take up too much space. EasyLift Assist makes folding it easy. Simply grab the bar at the base of the deck and lift. There is no release lever to lift. To unlatch the deck, press your foot against the foot release bar and pull down on the bar. The deck will gently drop down to the floor via a hydraulic system. Folding and unfolding the 2950 can be easily managed by one person, often with just one hand.
    • The 2950 is also secure when folded. It should not come unlatched and fall on children or pets. There are wheels at the front so you can roll it carefully into a corner or closet.
  • 4.25 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor
    • This is the same power motor found on the NordicTrack Incline Trainers as well. The 4.25 motor is surprisingly quiet and manages both speed and incline adjustments without any lag between settings. You can easily keep running comfortably while the deck adjusts below you.
    • The Commercial motor is also self-cooling, so it won’t overheat, even with heavy use. The 2950 is designed for heavy training or multiple users, so NordicTrack loaded it with a powerful motor.
  • 300 Lb. User Weight Capacity
    • This is a moderate weight capacity for a high-end machine. The 2950 will support 300 pounds on a machine that inclines to 15% and also folds up, which is pretty impressive.

Construction

  • 4.25 CHP DurX™ Commercial Plus Motor
  • 2.5” Precision-machined and Balanced Non-flex Rollers
  • 22” x 60” Non-Stretch 2-Ply Commercial Belt
  • 79.5” L x 39.2” W x 66.6” H Footprint
  • 300 Lb. User Weight Capacity

Console

  • 22” Smart HD Touchscreen
  • Auxiliary Music Port
  • Two 3” Digitally-amplified Speakers
  • OneTouch® Controls
  • EKG Grip Pulse
  • Dual AutoBreeze™ Workout Fans

Functionality

  • 0 to +15% Incline
  • 0 to -3% Decline
  • 0.5 to 12 MPH Speed
  • Includes 1-Year NordicTrack iFit® membership**
  • 40 On-board Workouts
  • Runners Flex™ Cushioning
  • SpaceSaver® Design with EasyLift™ Assist
  • Integrated Accessory Tray

Warranty

  • 10-Year Frame Warranty
  • 2-Year Parts Warranty
  • 1-Year Labor Warranty

In-depth Review of the NordicTrack Commercial 2950


Construction

Steel Frame

Two steel side beams with one cross beam mid-deck and one more at the base of the deck support and stabilize the frame. All steel beams are powder-coated for protection. Like other folding treadmills, the 4.25 CHP motor is at the front of the deck, protected by a motor hood. Four steel springs and a pivoting brace under the deck create the RunnersFlex cushioning. Handrails are black molded plastic and extend 20” forward from the console for good support. Confident in the quality of this machine, NordicTrack backs up the construction of the 2950 with a 10-year frame warranty.

22” x 65” Deck

  • Cushioning/Feel: RunnersFlex cushioning keeps the deck sturdy for a good toe-off while still allowing for a bit of downward travel to moderate impact. Advertised as NordicTrack’s “most cushioned deck,” the 2950 rivals higher-priced machines with a well-engineered tread deck that still folds up.
    • Foot impact from running can be up to double a runner’s weight. This constant jarring is hard on the joints and spine. It also causes more discomfort both during and after a run. The cushioning in the 2950 reduces foot impact by allowing the deck to absorb the shock rather than your body.
    • You can turn cushioning “on” or “off” via a lever on the side of the deck. For those training for an outdoor event, you can turn the cushioning off to simulate more of a “road” feel.

  • Length/Width: The 22” wide tread belt offers 2” more lateral space than other folding treadmills. 60” in length is also impressive and provides plenty of both forward and aft length for a long stride. The length of the belt allows the console to be set back a bit from the front of the tread deck — so you can stand right in front of the console and not hit the motor hood with your foot. Repeated contact with the hood is a frequent complaint in treadmill reviews.
  • Belt: The commercial belt is 2-ply with good texture on the surface. It does not flap against the deck while in use and I didn’t hear the characteristic sliding sound as my feet moved along the belt.
  • Rollers: Two 2.5” rollers move the belt along the deck. Placed at the top and rear of the running platform, these help create a smooth belt flow. Small rollers require more tension to keep the belt in place, so the 2.5” rollers on the 2950 extend the life of the belt and reduce overall wear and tear.

4.25 CHP Motor

The 4.25 CHP motor is self-cooling and commercial grade for durability and strength. It smoothly manages both speed and incline adjustments. I was impressed with the minimal noise output from the 2950 motor. It is noticeably quieter than the 1750 or even the 2450 motor. I tested the motor by running sprints at 6% incline, 3% incline and then 10% incline. The motor was able to maintain my 7mph pace evenly while the inclines adjusted. There was no hiccup or lag. I read a complaint online that the deck adjusts too slowly in between inclines. It does take a minute to move from 0% to 15% incline, but it is steady and gradual, so you don’t lose your balance or have to hold the handrails at any point.


Console/Controls

22” Touchscreen

The 22” HD Touchscreen is designed to showcase iFit and it does so nicely. High resolution and quality graphics really bring the outdoors to you. On one of my favorite routes, I enjoyed the Icelandic landscape as much as the run. The screen also pivots gently up and down so you can adjust it to your visual range. These days users are looking for more out of a treadmill than just a moving track to run on at home. The 2950’s screen size and quality graphics overcome the monotony and isolation of exercising at home. The touchscreen is easy to reach and responsive for the most part.

Console Layout

The console is simple and streamlined on the 2950. Extra buttons have been eliminated since most program features are controlled via touchscreen. The main area of the console includes the screen, OneTouch controls on either side, fans and speakers. It is a very sleek design. A ledge just below that features the fan and volume buttons, manual speed and incline controls, Start/Stop buttons and Emergency Key.

2 Fans in console/1 fan in storage tray

The two workout fans in the console are good height and provide a nice breeze. Multiple power settings allow you to find just the right amount of flow. The fans are not too loud. Another fan sits on the extra storage tray below the console. This fan is a nice addition, but it hits about hip height, so it isn’t as effective as the other two.

Two 3” Digital Speakers

Shaped more like a sound bar, the speakers wrap around the fans so the sound resonates evenly on both sides. Speakers have good volume. If anything, they get a bit loud when turned all the way up. But the quality is clear so it isn’t fuzzy even when on high.

No Tablet Holder

There is no longer a tablet holder on the 2950. Since the machine is designed to feature iFit, the screen size has increased significantly over the past few years. I presume NordicTrack expects most users will watch an iFit program rather than use a tablet. However, you can buy a tablet holder as an extra accessory.

Other Storage

An extra storage tray spans the uprights underneath the console. This features two large side pockets and an extra fan in the middle. Two large water bottle holders flank the console and there’s also a little lip on each side for a phone or keys.


Functionality

Performance

The 2950 performed well in our treadmill test. We tested for speed and incline adjustments, adjusted screen resolution, worked through iFit, evaluated some of the onboard workouts, and monitored the noise level at several settings. In all, the 2950 is a well-designed machine that offers a comfortable run.

+15% Incline to -3% Decline

As stated above, the respectable decline to incline range on the 2950 is one of its best features. This offers multiple training variables and provides a great way to stimulate calorie burn while staying low-impact. NordicTrack tested the caloric demand when working an incline and found that a 200lb person walking at 2mph for 20minutes burned 157 calories at a 10% incline and 63 calories at a -6% decline. Just hiking up the incline is sufficient to stimulate extra calorie-burn. Additionally, the decline feature makes the outdoor routes feel more realistic as the deck inclines and declines to match the natural terrain.

Pre-programmed workouts

The simplest programs are basic fat burn, interval training, hill training, or speed workouts. Just select and go. You also have the option of choosing a number of outdoor routes with actual pictures of the landscape. Using GoogleMap images, the screen updates the image every 10 seconds or so as you run along. You can also upload any GoogleMap location if you have a specific route you want to train.

Subscription Options: iFit

iFit is NordicTrack’s proprietary database of routes and classes. It is extensive with multiple classes and training options available. Be advised, you need WiFi to run iFit programs. When you first set up your treadmill, the screen will prompt you to log in and connect to your personal network. It will then automatically reconnect whenever you turn on the machine. Without WiFi you will not be able to run iFit.

  • Lots of training options: In order to fully appreciate iFit, I created an account and logged in to peruse all the classes and options. Workouts are categorized by: Most Popular, Beginner Incline Series, Quick Sweat Series, London Walking Series (yes please!) and many more. You can also hit “Browse” to toggle through all the options, which are ranked by user rating.
  • Classes: Personal trainer-led classes filmed in a studio are one of the more popular options. Both male and female trainers are featured with a wide variety of teaching styles and motivational techniques. While the camera features the trainer prominently, shots that pan around the room show other participants and you can tell the class was filmed live with people actively working alongside you.
  • Outdoor Routes: The live film routes allow you to wander through the French countryside; navigate the red mountains of Sedonia, Arizona; traverse the Tetons, and even scale a rather precipitous single-track trail in Alaska — all while following a trainer who somehow manages to run, talk, and breathe at the same time. I assume these are filmed via drone because the video is smooth, there’s no jumping or jarring from a running cameraman. The trainer will point out geologic or architectural features (depending on your route) as you go along. They also notify you before incline and decline adjustments so you know what to expect. All routes list the total distance, anticipated calories burned (this will vary if you go faster/slower or adjust your incline), and total time.
  • There are lots of walking options. The classes are not just for runners! One of my favorite routes so far was a walking tour I did of downtown London. I love all things London, and guided by the delightfully British Duncan Duff, we held a quick 3mph pace as we briskly navigated the cobblestone streets. Filmed live, there are cars, hackneys, and Londoners crossing back and forth as you walk along, which really brings the feel of London (and it’s millions of tourists) right to the screen (but, thankfully, not into your house for tea!)
  • Cross-Training, Strength Training, Yoga: Some of the more challenging workouts incorporate exercises both on and off the treadmill. You can choose a class that combines a little bit of interval running with weight training off the treadmill — or select a stretching option that has you work and then stretch certain muscles. These programs bring that added level of variability so you get a well rounded workout without having the added cost of a gym membership.

Noise Level

I was impressed by the lack of noise from the 2950. The motor is quiet as it adjusts speed and incline — so quiet in fact that I had to step on the side rails briefly to make sure it was actually moving. Tread noise is not too bad – there is a bit of thumping when running hard or fast but this was noticeably less than what you hear on the cheaper models. In general, I found noise output to be well regulated on the 2950.

Storage / Folding

The 2950 folds up easily. Using a bar at the base of the deck, you just lift and the running platform will rise to connect with the console and lock in place. Once locked, the deck is stable and shouldn’t accidentally come unlatched. The 2950 also has wheels under the front stabilizers so you can pivot the machine forward and gently roll it out of the way.


Items of Note

The 2950 is a quality machine. My only recommendation is the same as with other incline treadmills: measure for ceiling clearance beforehand. At the full 15% incline, the deck pivots to 18” off the ground, so you’ll need extra head room when working an incline. It does feature some high-end tech, so make sure you know what you are getting with the 2950. If you want a simple machine that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, there may be other better options. iFit requires a network connection so check your internet first if you plan to put it in a garage or basement. Also, remember to factor in the ongoing iFit subscription cost after the first year. It is $15/month for one user or $33/month for up to four profiles.


Bottom Line:

The 2950 is NordicTrack’s premier folding Commercial Treadmill. It is sleek, comfortable, and well-designed with impressive tech. This is why it is one of the best high end treadmills on the market and one of our Top High-End Folding Treadmills in 2020. The 2950 is a good value with all the bells and whistles.