I tried Treadly—here's what to know about the extra-small treadmill
This treadmill that fits almost anywhere could help get you moving.
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We all know what a treadmill looks like—large, bulky, and generally an inconvenient space commitment. Such is the price of pounding out those miles in your own home. Treadly promises something different. It’s a treadmill that claims to be the antithesis of other treads, in that it’s small, sleek, and doesn’t take up very much space at all (just a few inches when it's folded, in fact). But is it worth it? I got a loaner from the brand to try it out. Here’s what you should know about Treadly.
What is Treadly?
Treadly is a very, very small treadmill. It weighs 73 pounds—a mere fraction of what our top-pick, full-size NordicTrack weighs. When it’s in its upright ready-to-use position, it stands 3.5 feet tall and when it’s folded for storage, it’s just 3.7 inches tall—the height of a typical coffee mug. Its belt measures 47 inches long by 18 inches wide, or about 10 inches shorter and four inches narrower than most full-size treadmills. Treadly also has two wheels on the end for upending it and moving it around in a room, and a slim handrail that folds up and down and allows you to use it both ways for balance.
The key thing to know is that, because of its diminutive size, it does not go very fast—its speed range is between a sloth-like 1 mile per hour (mph) and a slow jog pace of 5 mph or a 12-minute mile. It has a very small motor of 1 horsepower (versus 3.75 in that of the NordicTrack), and it does not incline at all. Treadly also claims to have an auto-align belt (which basically means it recenters based on your walking style so you don’t trip on it) and an internal temperature management system, which means you can use the Treadly for as long as you want without it sputtering out.
Treadly currently sells two models, the Treadly 2 Basic, which retails for $849 (currently listed at $749) and the Treadly 2 Pro for $949 (currently $849). I tried the Treadly Pro, but the two versions look identical and have the same specs and features, including an LCD screen at the base that shows your speed, steps, distance, and time on the machine and speakers for you to play your own tunes via Bluetooth. The only difference is that the Pro connects with a free app for Android and iOS that allows you to control the machine, while the Basic comes with its own remote control. Both also have a 30-day return policy, one-year warranty, and a 265-pound weight limit (lower than most treadmills we’ve tested, which typically support 300 pounds).
How does Treadly work?
Right from the start, Treadly is simple to use. It comes pre-assembled—all I had to do was get it out of the box, unfold the handrails, and plug it in. The whole thing took about five minutes. Once it’s set up, there are two ways to use it—with the handrails down or with the handrails up. When the handrails are up, you can get up to its max speed (5 mph) and when the handrails are down, the speed only goes to 3.7 mph (or a typical sustained walking pace).
Using it with the handrails up is self-explanatory. The buttons on the top do what they’re labeled to do—start, stop, and pause the device, as well as increase and decrease the speed.
When the handrails are down, you start the Treadly by taking three sturdy strides onto the machine, placing one foot in the back, stepping next to the middle, and landing your last football at the front. Once it registers those steps, it starts at its lowest speed, 1 mph, and allows you to ramp it up 3.7 mph, again by using your footfalls on the belt. It took a couple of tries for me to get the step formation right but once I figured out the right pattern, it was easy to do on autopilot.
You can also increase, decrease, or stop the speed with your steps—a few firm footfalls at the front part of the belt increases the speed, landing your steps at the back decreases it, and keeping your feet striding in the center maintains it—or by using the app with the Treadly Pro or remote control with the Treadly Basic. Controlling the speed with steps was a little harder to do perfectly every time. The belt isn’t very big, so it’s easy to wander off the middle portion and find your pace slowing or quickening, but because the speed only goes up to 3.7 mph, or about a 16-minute mile pace, it never made me feel out of control.
When I used Treadly, I found the app to be pretty basic. Its main functions are to control the tread’s speed and show your distance, time, and pace stats on the screen. You can also add friends if you know anyone else who has a Treadly and team up on workouts. I don’t know anyone with a Treadly, so I didn’t use the app much—I’d usually set a speed, turn on a podcast or some music, and check my stats on the LCD screen. But the app is getting upgraded to have more of a Peloton-esque community element, with the option to join live classes and groups that align with your interests, like “Vegans” or “Working Moms,” which could make the app more of a draw. The app will remain free, even with the updates.
What we like about Treadly
Many of the pros of Treadly have to do with its main selling point: that it’s more compact and therefore more portable and easy to store than a full-size treadmill would be.
Treadly fits pretty much anywhere
If you, like me, live in a small space that you share with other people, most treadmills are not just an inconvenience—they’re impossible to have at home. But Treadly is something that most people can actually fit into their lives (and, most crucially, tuck away when they aren’t using it). I tried it at Reviewed’s office, but it’s one of the few pieces of workout equipment I’ve tried that I could see keeping at home. It would easily fit under my bed, against the wall, or even in the back of my teeny-tiny closet.
If you have a standing desk (or are thinking of getting one), it’s also easy to slide the Treadly underneath, whether the handles are up or down. Its 73-pound weight and wheels also make it relatively easy to transport. I needed another person to bring it up and down the stairs but I was more than capable of rolling it around to get it where it needed to be.
Treadly feels sturdy for its size
When I got on the Treadly for the first time, I was surprised by how secure it felt. I wasn’t expecting it to feel cheap, considering its cost, but it felt well-made and stable beneath my feet. Its belt moved smoothly and without any hitches and, overall, felt like a high quality, well thought-out device. Its 265-pound weight limit isn’t ideal—most conventional treadmills have a 300-pound weight limit—but it’s not as wide of an accessibility gap as it could be, considering its smaller size.
Treadly is easy to use
The Treadly is unpretentious and uncomplicated. If you find that you often get intimidated by big, high-tech machines, you’ll find Treadly a welcome change. Every one of its features—from unboxing it to just having to step on to start it—make it easier to integrate some movement into your life, even when you’re doing other things, like catching up on emails or watching Netflix. If that’s your main goal, Treadly will work for you.
What we don’t like about Treadly
The cons are also size-related, in that you can’t get everything you might want in a treadmill in Treadly (making it arguably not all the bang you’d want for the buck).
Treadly’s small size means serious limitations
The Treadly has a hard limit on speed and incline. I didn’t take as much issue with the speed—its 5 mph max won’t satisfy serious runners, but it’s still enough for most people to get their heart rate up and achieve a light sweat—but the incline was a problem for me. Walking and running on a totally flat surface is better than nothing, but it’s not comparable to moving around outside, where, in most places, you’ll experience hills and dips in the terrain that challenge your muscles and cause your heart rate to fluctuate. If you want to build muscle or lose weight from using your treadmill, most trainers recommend using some incline.
If simply getting in more steps is your main goal, and you know you never, ever plan on getting a conventional treadmill, Treadly is fine. But if you end up wanting to run more, or add more incline to your workouts, you’ll have to buy a whole new machine that would likely render the Treadly useless. For those somewhere on the walking/running cusp, there are some other treadmills that, while not quite as compact as Treadly, are smaller than you might expect. The $1,339 Echelon Stride, which we tried in our test of treadmills, is one option—it’s not as small and light as the Treadly, but it comes nearly fully assembled, folds down to about 10 inches tall, and has a speed range of 0.5 to 12 mph and incline up to 10%. Like the Treadly, it doesn’t have a powerful motor, and is not suited for serious runners but it does offer a little more.
Treadly is pricey
The Treadly is expensive for what it is. The $949 cost for the Pro is just a little less costly than our Best Value treadmill, the $999 Sole F63, which offers much more in terms of speed and incline. (Though that treadmill is about as big and unwieldy as a treadmill gets, so it’s probably not a totally fair comparison.) You can also find a lot of treadmills on Amazon that claim to offer the same key components as the Treadly—that is, a walking treadmill that folds down and barely takes up any space—for about half the price or less. I haven’t tried any of these, so I can’t speak to their quality or efficacy, but none of them seem to offer the automatic walking with the handles down or an accompanying app, and may be less well-made. The importance of those factors is up to you.
What reviewers are saying
On Treadly’s site, most reviewers have good things to say. It has 779 total reviews and an average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5. For the most part, reviewers like the same things I do—its ease of unboxing and assembly, convenience of exercising, and easy-to-store size.
“I am 85 years old and have not been able to go to the gym since COVID19,” one reviewer, Edna, writes. “My Treadly now allows me to exercise daily at a time of my choosing. It is compact and fits perfectly in my family room. It is easy to move if I want to change locations or store it in another room. It is well-made and I feel very safe while exercising.”
Of the 10 1-star reviews, customers had issues with receiving their Treadly, citing month-long delivery times, and a few instances in which the Treadly stopped working shortly after they bought it.
Julia MacDougall, Reviewed’s senior scientist, bought a Treadly 2 Basic after seeing the Pro in the lab. Her verdict? It’s great. Her Treadly also took a while to get delivered (about three weeks) but she says customer service was responsive and provided her with shipping updates. She also likes that the noise of the Treadly is “quieter [than most treadmills] but still present” and that she’s able to use it when she works at her computer. “I really love it,” she says. “I like that it has a built-in Bluetooth speaker. I also like that it has a remote mode, so you can use it while the bar isn't up.” This saves space and allows for more range of motion when walking.
Is Treadly worth it?
I don’t think I would buy a Treadly for myself. I enjoy running in addition to walking, so would like a greater variation of speed as well as incline when I use a treadmill.
But this doesn't mean that it won't be worth it for you. Treadly does pretty much everything it claims—that is, deliver a space to walk in a super-small, sturdy package. So if you’re looking for something to serve as a way to get some more steps each day, or make your standing desk a standing and walking desk, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Treadly.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.