Horizon T303 – highest spec in Horizons T series of treadmills. Has same Horizon qualities – sturdy – folding – 12% automatic incline – 12 mph speed suitable for running – 2 years parts warranty – built in speakers – cooling fan
The Horizon Fitness T303 treadmill is the top line of the 3 models in the T series made by Horizon. It improves upon the spec of the T101, & the T202, but is it worth the extra few hundred dollars?
Well it increases the length of the running area to an impressive 20 x 60 inch deck. This gives it 5 inches more than the entry level Horizon T101, and T202. The top speed is the same as the T202 with 12 mph achievable and the incline slope is also the same as the 202 topping out at 12%. You can walk with this treadmill, you can run with this treadmill, but why pay extra than it’s cheaper siblings?
Why Pay Extra
The motor is the same as you find on the cheaper T202. But the T303 has less programs. Yes less- it has what is called a “Muscle Toner” and a “Strength Builder” plus 2 custom programs. So it seems you are paying more for these new programs (although you get less overall) and the new weight capacity which has been increased by 50 lbs to 350 lbs. It seems the specs have been changed without adding much value and the price bracket has went up $200. Oh except the console has now a blue backlit display….
But wait there is a little more. You do get extra storage capacity right under the console for things you’d like to store whilst you’re working out like – er magazines, water bottles and whatever else it is you like to distract yourself with when you are running.
Economically the T202 is a better choice. Cheaper and much the same specs (unless you have a long running stride or are over 6ft 5 inches tall). At the time of writing this they are out of production, but they are due to start again at the end of April 2014. Be sure to read our other Horizon treadmill reviews covering the whole T series for a more complete picture of what each model has to offer.
What May Sway You To Buy The Horizon T303
The warranty on the Horizon T303 Treadmill is increased to 2 years on parts. Peace of mind is a good thing. The list price for this treadmill varies in the under $1000 category. What it does have over it’s 2 siblings is an extra 12 months warranty. A year goes in pretty fast. Some manufacturers only offer 3-6 months of parts at the budget under $500 end of the market. But you are paying under $1000 here, and with that getting a 24 months parts warranty is a welcomed thought.
Who’s Behind Horizon?
Horizon Fitness treadmills are made by a company called Johnson Health Tech. They are a global player in the Health & Fitness industry and have just moved into the Indian market in the last four years. They are doing very well there. Horizon is a strong brand in the U.S. and Johnson also manufacture the Merit brand of treadmills. They have a manufacturing branch in Wisconsin and target the entry level market.
Horizon remains a strong player in the entry level marketplace as their treadmills are made with better parts than most budget targeting manufacturers. You tend to get more advanced features and program varieties with a Horizon model. Consequently the warranties are longer as well. They make treadmills that cover the basics in a competent fashion. If it’s more hi-tec features you want in a treadmill you will have to look elsewhere and pay the premium at that.
But what they make, they make solid. For instance they put 2 ply belts in this treadmill. Most manufactures in the low to middle entry level price points use single ply belts which will wear out quicker. They also add a stability bar to stop their treadmills from shaking. This is a good feature as folding treadmills tend to wobble, due to the mechanism of course.
Like most budget to mid level treadmills all Horizon models have short arm rails. If you like the security of longer arm rails you need to look at another brand. You’ll will also need to up the budget a couple of thousand dollars. At least Horizons have a little bit of arm rail length protruding.
Here’s a list of the features:
- speed tops out at 12 mph – suitable for running
- has a 12% automatic incline slope
- motor is 2.5 CHP
- has 12 programs inc “Muscle Toner” & “Strength Builder” + 2 custom programs, a standard cardio burn and a nice Mountain Climb simulator
- Workout tracker – Goalcenter™
- Max user weight – 350 pounds
- Has a COOLfit™ fan
- Heart rate monitoring courtesy of grips
- Has 3 zone cushioning which protects your joints from impact
- 20 in w x 60 in ht running deck area
- Comes with built in speakers you can attach an iPod or Mp3 player to
- The blue backlit LED console displays your heart rate, calories consumed, time, speed and incline slope
- The stability bar at the front stabilizes the machine when you are running flat out
- Warranty upgraded to 2 years on parts, 1 year on labor and lifetime on frame and warranty
- Max User Weight 350 pounds
- Folds up after use
- It’s quite solid and sturdy
- Automatic Incline up to 12% and 12 mph top speed will able you to get a fast run
- Built in Speakers
- Has a cooling fan
- Has basic cushioning
- Has workout tracking courtesy of Goalcenter™
- Easy to assemble
- Massive 60 inch running deck length – treadmills costing thousands more like the Precor 9.35 model only have 56 inch treadbelt
Could Improve On
- Would have liked a more powerful motor- would aid quietness and coping ability at higher speeds
- Warranty – an improvement on most budget-mid entry treadmills with 2 years on parts – would have liked 3 (although you can purchase extra years for under $100)
- Hasn’t made much changes in terms of features/specs over the T202 – mainly cosmetic
- Fan needs more power
- Average Cushioning – but expect to pay a lot more for a smoother feel
- Not iFit® compatible
Shipping & Packaging Issues
Go through your product quickly if you are getting it shipped. There have been a lot of horror stories lately about customers receiving damaged treadmills as the packaging hasn’t been great from Horizon fitness of late with the T101-T303 range. Don’t let the delivery driver away in a hurry, or be afraid to send it back if anything is broken.
What We Think
This is still a sturdy treadmill and remains relatively quiet. The cushioning is average. It provides a few extra cosmetic spec changes than the Horizon T202 (strongest contender in our horizon fitness treadmill reviews). There is not much that separates these 2 machines except the T303 has a longer parts warranty which may be key for some of you. It has increased the running deck to 60 inches in length, so taller users will welcome the extra stride space.
The reason the cushioning has not been seriously revamped and the motor is not vastly superior is that you need to pay $500+ more to move into these luxuries. If you do not need the extra stride space the T202 is a better option. That and the warranty + the 50 pound increase in max user weight are the only extra unique selling points.