UPDATE: The Horizon Fitness Adventure series is no longer available. But, check out the T101 for a ready-made replacement.
The Horizon Fitness Adventure 5 treadmill features a 60″L x 20″W running track, Passport video workouts, and compatibility with Horizon’s ViaFit Connect web app. But as the top-of-the-line model in a collection that also features the Adventure 3, which is the best treadmill for helping you achieve your personal fitness goals?
In this treadmill review, we’ll compare the Adventure 5 to other Horizon Fitness treadmills (folding and non-folding), and take a closer look at the benefits of Passport video workouts.
Although the Adventure 5 was first released in 2015, we’ll also compare these features against more modern treadmills from companies such as NordicTrack, ProForm, and Vision Fitness.
Design and safety features
The Horizon Fitness Adventure 5 treadmill is an upgrade of the Adventure 3 model, featuring a larger running area measuring 60”L x 20”W (5-inches longer than the Adventure 3). This makes it a much better choice for anyone taller than 6ft 2ins, who may have felt restricted in their running stride with the entry-level version.
Most other physical features are the same across the two treadmills. They share a 12 mph maximum belt speed, 0-12% incline range, contact grips for heart rate monitoring, and a 2.5 CHP motor.
The motor itself runs at low RPMs and uses the Johnson Drive System to digitally recalibrate the power with every stride. This means you can enjoy a quieter workout, with a high enough level of durability that Horizon have covered the motor with a lifetime warranty.
Both treadmills in the Horizon Adventure series also have the same 3-Zone Variable Response Cushioning system built into the running deck. This features more flex and cushioning at the front of the belt for absorbing the impact of your stride. In the middle of the belt there’s a slightly firmer section for improved stability, and the back of the running area is firm to create a solid platform from which to push off from.
This is an advanced cushioning system that’s designed to reduce the stress placed on your ankles, knees, and feet. Unfortunately you can’t adjust the firmness level of the different sections, although this is a feature we usually only find on high-end commercial treadmills (ProForm Boston Marathon 4.0).
Although the design features are very similar (only difference being the extra 5-inches added to the belt length of the Adventure 5), the tech behind the consoles is more unique. This means there are some important differences between the style of workout feedback and workout programs, which we’ll look at in more detail later in our review.
For any amount of indoor running or home fitness, it’s important to think about safety. This is why the Horizon Adventure 5 treadmill features a built-in safety key, which is designed to cut the power to the motor if you fall.
This has actually become one of the standard features most treadmills are supplied with. Unfortunately there’s no sign of any password enabled console, safety screen timeout, or locking pin to the belt. These are typically only available on high-end commercial treadmills from Precor, or some of the Pro series treadmills from ProForm.
Horizon Fitness Adventure 5 – Features Summary
- FeatherLight folding frame
- 20″W x 60″L running area
- 3-zone Variable Response Cushioning
- 0-12% Incline range
- 2.5 CHP motor
- ViaFit connectivity
- Passport Ready
- 35 Workout programs
- Contact heart rate monitoring
- 7.5″ extra-wide blue LCD display screen
- 12 mph maximum belt speed
Display console design
Horizon’s Adventure 5 treadmill console features a button layout that’s almost identical to the Adventure 3. You have the same quick select keys for the incline, belt speed, and workout programs, as well as an audio jack for connecting your media player to the console.
But there’s a couple of differences in the display screen design, where the Adventure 5 has an extra wide 7.5” backlit blue LCD screen. Although this doesn’t have the height of the Adventure 3 console screen, the extra width actually creates a much more intuitive button layout.
The change in screen type also means you can take advantage of CardioCompass, which clearly displays the activity zone you’re in, based on your heart rate.
This can be one of 5 options:
- Warm Up: 0-60% of maximum heart rate
- Weight Loss: 60-70% of maximum heart rate
- Improve Fitness: 70-80% of maximum heart rate
- Improve Performance: 80-90% of maximum heart rate
- Maximum Performance: 90-100% of maximum heart rate
The workout feedback is exactly the same for both Adventure series treadmills. This includes time, distance, incline, speed, number of calories burned, heart rate, and number of laps completed. Laps relates to the number of times you completed a 400m (1/4 mile) simulated running track, which is displayed on the console screen alongside a profile of the current workout program.
Unfortunately the Adventure 5 treadmill isn’t integrated with Virtual Active, but it is classed as Passport Ready. This works in a similar way to iFit, creating an immersive running experience by displaying high-definition destination footage of real-world running routes around the world.
But as with iFit compatible treadmills, there’s a small additional expense where you have to buy the Passport Player separately to the main treadmill. The Passport Player then connects to your home entertainment system and displays the destinations on your television screen.
As well as being immersive, Passport is interactive and responsive, meaning the incline and belt speed automatically adjust to match a change in the terrain of the route you’re following. The alternative to a Passport Ready treadmill is a Virtual Active treadmill, which is where this technology is already built-in and you don’t need to purchase the player.
With the Adventure 5 treadmill, if you do decide to buy the Passport Player (usually $199), you can purchase additional packs with new routes different to the ones that come pre-loaded. These extra packs are preloaded on a USB stick, cost around $99, and include locations such as New Zealand trails, California’s Death Valley, and the glaciers of British Columbia.
All Horizon Fitness treadmills have ViaFit connectivity, including the Adventure 5. This enables you to record workout data and share it with existing fitness apps you might already be using. Apps such as RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, and Moves.
As long as you have an active ViaFit account and a Wi-Fi connection, you can download the mobile app and have the treadmill data automatically sync to your device. Having your treadmill automatically keep your most used fitness apps up to date also makes it easier to share goal progress and milestones with friends and family on social media.
Heart rate monitoring
Horizon’s Adventure series treadmills have no built-in wireless receiver, so heart rate monitoring is limited to the contact grips built into the handles.
Contact grips can still be an effective way to monitor your heart rate, but we find it difficult to maintain a stable pulse reading for long periods of time without sacrificing running form.
If you need to monitor your heart rate for longer periods of time, or even the entire workout, we recommend taking a look at Horizon’s upgraded Elite series treadmills. The Elite T7 and Elite T9 both have built-in wireless receivers and supply you with a free chest strap for telemetry heart rate monitoring.
By wearing a chest strap your upper body has greater freedom of motion compared to holding contact grips, and the sensors are more likely to remain in contact with your body, producing more reliable heart rate feedback at the console.
Workout programs and user profiles
Boredom is one of the most common reasons people stop exercising, which is why it’s so important you find a treadmill with enough preloaded workouts.
Fortunately the Horizon Adventure 5 has 35 programs to choose from, which are split across 5 main categories. This includes the option to create your own custom workouts, which wasn’t a possibility on the Adventure 3 treadmill.
Workout program categories:
This is the default program that activates when you press the ‘Start’ button on the console. You are in complete control of the speed and incline settings, which follow no preset profile.
If you prefer workouts that have you work towards a goal, the Calories program might be your best option.
With the Adventure 5 you can choose from nine different targets; 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, and 900. This is an upgrade over the earlier Adventure 3 treadmill, where you could set a maximum calorie burn target of 600.
The console requires you to input your bodyweight before starting any of these programs, which helps improve the accuracy of the calculation for number of calories burned.
The distance programs work in much the same way as the calories programs, whereby you can choose a distance target from the 10 options available; 1 mile, 2 miles, 5k, 5 miles, 10k, 8 miles, 15k, 10 miles, 20k, and a half marathon.
As with the calories goal, these workouts follow no preset speed or incline profile. This is something that’s only built into the interval programs.
There have been various studies into the health benefits of walking 10,000 steps per day, but the recommendation tends to be lower for older adults and higher for young children. That’s why Horizon have included a variety of step count goals, where you can choose from a target of 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000, 9000, or 10,000 steps.
The ‘intervals’ workout category is probably more like the preset programs you’re used to, where each one follows a profile of speed and incline settings.
There are three categories to choose from, to suit a variety of fitness goals. These are; speed intervals, peak intervals, and endurance intervals. Each category has between 10 and 12 intensity levels, designed to cater for a range of personal fitness levels.
Up to four users can be saved under a ViaFit account, which connects to the treadmill console.
If you have your ViaFit account setup before starting your first workout, you can select your user ID and begin your run. Your workout results will then automatically sync back to your ViaFit user profile when the workout is complete.
Ease of assembly
If you’re buying the Adventure 5 treadmill direct from Horizon Fitness, their policy is to schedule delivery and bring the boxes inside the first ground-level door or into your garage.
The Johnson Fitness website has a complete collection of owner’s manuals, diagrams, and other guides for assisting you with the treadmill assembly. Contacting Horizon for after-sales service and support is also incredibly easy, with an email address, contact number, and contact form available through their official website.
But what if you’re looking for more than ground-level delivery? What if you want a trained service technician to assemble your new treadmill for you, so you don’t have to worry about heavy lifting and following diagrams?
Professional assembly services
Unfortunately we weren’t able to find any additional levels of home delivery from Horizon themselves. This would be where a technician visits your address and assembles the treadmill for you in your room of choice.
However, if this is a service you’re interested in, Amazon have recently started offering a number of home assembly services. This includes home gyms, elliptical machines, and treadmills. To check whether your zip code is covered, please use the form below.
The Amazon treadmill assembly service already has hundreds of 5 star rated reviews, with customer feedback for the various installers.
The service itself includes assembly of 1 treadmill per product instructions, with a typical assembly time of 4 hours. Amazon have also started offering an ASAP version of the service. If you submit an order before 10am on a business day, a service pro will come to your home that same day.
Horizon Fitness include a recommended maintenance routine with each of their treadmills. These are fairly standard steps to ensure the continued operation of any home treadmill, but still worth a mention.
- After each use: Check tension and alignment of tread belt. Wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth.
- Every week: Clean underneath the treadmill.
- Every month: Inspect all bolts for tightness. Clean the motor and wipe down the belt with a damp cloth.
- Every 6 months or 150 miles: Lubricate the air shocks in the running deck with Teflon based spray. Also lubricate the entire top surface of the running deck.
Full steps for lubricating the running deck and cleaning the motor and internal parts safely are included in the user manual.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Motor: Lifetime
- Parts: 3 years
- Labor: 1 year