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How To Choose The Best Inflatable Hot Tubs

Updated on January 31, 2017

The Tub Of Choice

Inflatable hot tubs are manufacturing’s gift to humankind because they give you all the benefits of a spa without the hassle of bankruptcy. Built-in hot tubs can cost between $8,000 and $20,000 to set up, and that is without considering maintenance costs, power usage, and how much space they take up. The inflatable hot tub is the affordable alternative and manufacturers have given them some incredible features that you need to consider when choosing the right one for your home.

Why Inflatable Hot Tubs Are Popular

Inflatable hot tubs are an excellent choice because:

1. Inflatable hot tubs are cheap

2. These hot tubs are portable

3. Inflatable hot tubs consume less power than inbuilt hot tubs. Inbuilt hot tubs are not just expensive off the bat; they sometimes use between 20 and 30% of your electricity bill.

4. Inflatable hot tubs are easy to maintain.

5. Inflatable hot tubs occupy less space. Especially in the sense that you can take them out, use them, and then fold them up and store them for later use.

We are going to look at how to choose the right hot tub, but first, let us look at some of the best inflatable hot tubs in the market.

1. Intex 77in PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa Set

The Intex 77 is a 210-gallon hot tub with a capacity of up to four people. It has 120 high-powered bubble jets that give it the ability to massage. You can activate the bubble jets using its control panel – an easy-to-use device. You also use this panel to control the temperature of the water. It has a water temperature range of 68 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat adjustment system allows you to select your personal temperature preference. When fully inflated, the Intex 77 has a height of 28 inches, an inner diameter of 57 inches and an outer diameter of 77 inches.

  • What are some of its features?

Its body is a puncture-resistant 3-ply material. High strength but lightweight fibers make up the inside, where you rest your body. The base has a ground cloth for enhanced heat retention. Another feature for both safety and heat retention is an insulated cover. It locks, which takes away the drowning hazard.

  • What is unique about it?

This spa comes with a replaceable filter cartridge to aid in cleaning and ease of maintenance. It also has a floating chemical dispenser. The spa has a built-in hard water softening system, which is cool. Hard water can be damaging to a hot tub; it reduces the flow of water as well as the life of the hot tub. It is very damaging to any metallic parts, and so this feature is very useful. It works by generating an electromagnetic field that agitates the minerals in the hard water. This process results in suspended crystals as opposed to dissolved salts. These end up in the filter cartridge for ease of disposal.

  • What are its accessories?

It comes with a carry bag for transport and storage and a hose for inflation. It has handles on the side for easy transport. Intex, a very reputable manufacturer, manufactures it.

2. Coleman Lay Z Spa Inflatable Hot Tub

  • What are its size and capacity?

The Coleman Lay Z Hot Tub has a 4 to 6 person capacity. It is a 254-gallon hot tub with a rapid heating system. A digital control panel with an automatic start-stop timer is its operating system. You can use that to set the temperature of the water and to activate the jet system. It can heat the water up to a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). When fully inflated, this hot tub measures 77 inches by 28 inches.

  • What is unique about it?

The Coleman Lay Z Spa has two interesting aspects in its construction. The first is its I-beam walls. The I-beams are a powerfully built feature because they prevent the hot tub from buckling or bending when its occupants lean on its sides. The second is the construction material. TriTech 3-ply material reinforced with a polyester mesh encased in two layers of polyvinylchloride (PVC) make up its body. The two give it a sturdy build.

  • What are some of its features?

The spa’s base has a separate part that sits underneath it. It is an air pad cushioned floor. This part adds both insulation capabilities by minimizing heat loss through the bottom of the spa, as well as comfort for the feet and backside. It produces a quiet hum when the heater and circulator pumps are running. When the air pump is running, it is a little louder, but it is still possible to converse comfortably.

  • What are its accessories?

It comes with accessories like a type VI filtration system with filter cartridge, an inflation hose, a chemical floater, and an insulated cover for both safety and heat retention. The Coleman Lay Z Spa also comes with a repair patch in case of a puncture. It inflates using its spa pump, which makes it easy to operate. It also comes with a DVD instruction video for the setup. Coleman manufactures it.

3. SaluSpa Miami Airjet Inflatable Hot Tub

  • What are its size and capacity?

This hot tub is a 2 to 4 person capacity, 177-gallon hot tub. It has a rapid water-heating system, a digital control panel, and an automatic timer. It comes with 120 bubble jets for massaging. It has a maximum water temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), and when fully inflated, it measures 71 by 26 inches. The digital control panel enables you to adjust the temperature, toggle between Celsius and Fahrenheit, activate the heater, activate or deactivate the water filtration system, and activate or deactivate the bubble jets. The control panel is easy to reach while inside tub meaning you do not need to leave it to change something.

  • What is unique about it?

This hot tub also has I-beams that prevent it from bending or buckling when people lean on its sides. Similar to the Coleman Lay Z Inflatable Hot Tub, it is has 3-ply material reinforced with two layers of laminated PVC wrapped around a polyester mesh core. This feature makes it very sturdy. Like most hot tubs, it’s best to place it on a flat surface regardless of whether you locate it on a raised surface or not, for example on a deck.

  • What are some of its features?

It comes with a separate inflatable cover that serves three purposes: It is a safety feature, it helps with insulation thus preventing heat loss, and it prevents debris from getting into the tub. The tub itself inflates using the same pump that creates the bubble jets. However, you can use a separate plug-in inflator.

  • What are its accessories?

It comes with a chemical floater to keep the water clean and fresh, a water filtration system with filter cartridges and a DVD manual for ease of installation and information about maintenance. It creates bubbles but not jets like most professional grade hot tubs, and because it is relatively small, even if it has a four adult capacity, they will be in contact with each other. Bestway manufactures it.

4. Comfort Line Products Spa-N-A-Box Portable Spa

  • What are its size and capacity?

The Spa-N-A-Box is a 6-foot long hot tub, which is relatively large. It has a capacity of 4 to 5 people. It has 100 micro air jets, and its heating system is a 1000 W thermostat. It keeps the temperature of the water in range with your chosen setting. This setting is a standard temperature control feature. Its maximum temperature is 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • What are some of its features?

It has a control panel attached to it for ease of use and access without leaving the tub. It enables you to control the water temperature, turn the micro air jets on and off, and control the filtration system. When this hot tub is on, it makes a soft humming sound. It also produces the occasional gentle slosh. Like most other hot tubs, it gets louder when you turn on the air jets. According to its reviews, this hot tub can hold up the temperature even in frigid weather.

  • What is unique about it?

It has a 24-hour efficient filtration system, which keeps the water clean around the clock. It has a heavy-duty 3-ply PVC vinyl lining, the same material used to make white water rafts. The floor of the hot tub is padded and is barrier free. It is also safer to get in and out of than it is in a tub with a hard fiberglass or acrylic floor, which is a great safety feature.

  • What are its accessories?

It comes with a manual, a water filtration system, a chemical floater, an insulated inflatable cover to reduce heat loss and to act as a safety feature. Its heater comes with freeze protection and a 1HP turbo-wave massage system.

It has mixed reviews, but most reviews say that it is easy to set up and works great in freezing winter weather. Comfort Line Products manufacture it.

5. Coleman SaluSpa 4-Person Portable Inflatable Outdoor Spa Hot Tub

  • What are its size and capacity?

Since Bestway also manufactures this hot tub, it has very similar features to the SaluSpa Miami Airjet. The Coleman Outdoor Hot Tub is a 4-person capacity hot tub. It has a rapid water-heating system and a soft touch control panel. It has an air jet system. It also has a maximum water temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), and when fully inflated, its dimensions are 71 by 26 inches.

  • What are its features?

This hot tub has I-beams that prevent it from bending or buckling when people lean on its sides. Made with 3-ply materials for superior durability and structural stability, it very sturdy. You have to place it on flat, level, yet firm surfaces, raised or not. It has a cushioned floor for comfort. Its outer walls are fabric-coated.

The digital control panel enables you to adjust the temperature, activate the heater and the water filtration system, toggle between Celsius and Fahrenheit, and trigger the air jets. The control panel is conveniently accessible from inside the hot tub.

  • What are its accessories?

It comes with a separate inflatable cover for safety. It also provides insulation, preventing heat loss, and stops debris from getting into the tub. It has two handles on its sides to ease transportation. It comes with a chemical floater to keep it clean and fresh, a water filtration system with a twin pack of filter cartridges and a DVD manual with detailed setup instructions.

BUYING GUIDE

It is understandable that you may be agonizing about which brand and model to buy. Perhaps it is because even though they are significantly cheaper than inbuilt hot tubs, inflatable hot tubs are still pricey. One has to do some research to figure out which inflatable hot tub suits their needs. Even then, there are still many brands and models to choose from, and you may feel spoilt for choice. Perhaps you are so uncertain, you are wondering who needs a hot tub anyway?

Let us answer that. Here’s who:

- People with chronic pain issues,

- Athletes,

- Individuals who need to relax their muscles

- And doesn’t everyone need one?

Therefore, I will make things easier for you by empowering you with some important things to look for when searching for the best inflatable hot tubs.

Tips On How To Use Your Inflatable Hot Tub

1. Always set on a sturdy flat surface

The empty and deflated hot tub weighs about 80 pounds. Couple that with the weight of the water and the humans who will sit inside it, it gets hefty. Here are the three things to remember:

- Setting the tub on a flat surface ensures that there are fewer objects or edges likely to puncture it.

- Placing the tub on a level surface ensures that the weight of both the water and the humans is well distributed, reducing the risk of puncture.

- Putting the hot tub on a weak platform, for example, a poorly constructed deck can cause it to buckle under its weight. This collapse is likely to cause all sorts of injuries and may destroy the inflatable hot tub.

2. Read or Watch the Installation and Maintenance Instructions in the Manual.

Every manufacturer has their way of doing things. Since competing manufacturers make these tubs, they always come up with new features, or they remove some old ones to give themselves a competitive edge and to improve the customer experience. Therefore, even if you have set up a dozen inflatable hot tubs, you should read the instruction manual that comes with it to make sure you set it up correctly.

Failure to do so could lead to the damage of the inflatable hot tub among other hazards. However, even without them, if you do not use the manual to set it up, you might spend years using only half of the cool features of the tub without even knowing it.

3. Consider the outside temperature

Most tubs use the same power for heating as they do for making bubbles, so once you turn on the air jets; you are likely to start losing heat. Not to mention that since they use air from the atmosphere, if the temperature outside is icy it will reduce the temperature of the water quickly.

You want the tub to stay within the temperature range you select. For example, you may find that the temperature is 104 degrees with its lid on, drops to 102 after it comes off and then keeps on reducing while you are in it. That can be very uncomfortable. Unfortunately, this does happen even with the best inflatable hot tubs.

4. Patching

As previously mentioned, your inflatable hot tub may spring a leak, but that does not mean its life is over. In fact, leaks do occur even under normal circumstances. There is a very simple systematic process for patching leaks in your hot tub. First, it is important to understand why the hot tub is leaking to stop it from recurring and thus increase the life of your tub.

Your inflatable hot tub can leak because of any of the following reasons:

-poor management

-frequent usage

-age

-sharp objects

Leaks often occur on two parts of the hot tub: the heating assembly - specifically the union fittings and valves - and the pump sealing. These leaks are often due to age. Fortunately, you can tighten the union fittings and only with your hands. Using a wrench could damage the heater.

You do not need expensive equipment to fix a leak. You only need a spray bottle and soapy water to find the source of the leak and a patch kit to fix it.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SEARCHING FOR THE BEST INFLATABLE HOT TUBS

1. Ease of Installation and Maintenance (Set Up)

Sometimes once the warranty expires, you cannot replace parts of the hot tub, you have to replace the whole thing, which, overall, can very expensive. Especially if its low cost is the very reason, you bought it in the first place.

If you follow the manual, you will not miss small but critical steps in the set up like putting the ground pad under the tub before filling it with water. It will notify you about the proper quantities to add to avoid damaging it, for example, the water capacity of the hot tub. The manual will also help you gauge the correct amount of pressure you need for optimum inflation. When well inflated, the sides are firm, which is what you want.

2. Capacity

The best inflatable hot tubs have a capacity of between two and six adults. You may buy a hot tub and find that adding the nth person is a tight squeeze, so you should read reviews to figure out if it is suited to your needs. If you plan to use it alone, this is not a big concern, but if you have a big family or want to invite your friends over to enjoy your tub, this is a crucial consideration.

3. Proximity to Controls

The best inflatable hot tubs come with an easy to use control panel. It can be digital with LED display or a soft touch panel. It should be easy to access while inside the tub for logistical reasons. No one wants to leave his or her hot tub to change a setting or turn off a feature because it is cold and uncomfortable. Fortunately, most manufacturers know this, so they put the panel close enough to the tub for easy access and adjustment.

4. Ease of patching

Whereas leaks should not be very common in a high-quality hot tub, they do happen occasionally.

Whenever your inflatable hot tub springs a leak, you will need to patch it up. The most common leaks are usually air leaks, and they are relatively easy to repair. Ignoring the leak will only make it worse and harder to fix.

Even though it is relatively easy to fix a leak (we will talk about it in more detail), the rate at which it turns from a small to a large one depends on the quality of the hot tub. Another factor is whether the patches come with the purchase. You can also use store bought patches, but the manufacturer needs to provide instructions on how to fix a leak.

5. Noise

When in operation, the heater and pump should only produce about 50dB of sound. That is a soft hum, like a refrigerator hum. When the air jets or bubbles are on, it will be louder. Most hot tubs, even the inbuilt ones get louder once the bubbles come on, so this should not be a problem unless it is too noisy. If it is too loud, the chances are that there is something wrong with the tub.

6. Power consumption

Even the best inflatable hot tubs usually take many hours and even days to heat up once you fill them with water. They heat up at a rate of 1 to 2 degrees per hour because they have 120V systems that restrict the number of watts. You will be thankful for this when the power bill comes.

Inflatable hot tubs will consume quite an amount of power. They are usually efficient so they do not use that much electricity, but they will certainly increase your bill. You need to be wary of other things connected in the circuit so as not to overload it. Your inflatable hot tub may also use the entire 15A current in the circuit. Ensure you monitor its power consumption.

According to some customer reviews, keeping the tub running 24/7 at 104 degrees will consume a lot of electricity, however, letting it stay at about 100 degrees when not in use will as much as a quarter the power consumption. It only takes about an hour to get it from 100 to 104 degrees, so it is a small price to pay.

7. Chemicals

Chemical use in hot tubs is one of the most important things to know. First, not using chemicals will make the water unsanitary after only a few days. Untreated water is home to all sorts of bad algae and bacteria. Therefore, not using chemicals at all is dangerous. Secondly putting random amounts or random chemicals may result in chemical burns and sickness. Therefore, once again, using too many chemicals or using chemicals without following set instructions is dangerous. You have to be careful here.

Coming across good instructions about chemical use may be difficult. The hot tub manual may not have instructions about the chemicals, and several manufacturers usually refer you to a spa store. You may also not be able to get all the accurate information you need from the internet but here is the gist of it:

. You can usually choose between two chemicals: bromine and chlorine. Bromine has some advantages including less odor and simple restoration with a shock.

. You will need test strips so that you can find out the alkalinity and bromine/chlorine levels. Once you add Sodium Bromide granules, you use the shock to convert the bromine into free bromine. Once you test the pH, you can adjust it up or down by using pH up and pH down purchased from a spa store. It serves no one to have the best inflatable hot tubs with greenish, murky, algae-ridden water.

8. Portability

Inflatable hot tubs are portable, but some factors make some easier to move from one place to another than others. You want to buy a hot tub with features that allow you to move it around with ease. The best inflatable hot tubs are easy to use and equally easy to stow away when not in use. You should even be able to transport your hot tub between homes when you move and even take it on vacations. Therefore, to ease these processes here are some of the features you should look for:

- Handles on the side

- A carry bag for both storage and transport

- Has packaging instructions on the manual

- Comes in a foldable mode

How to patch your inflatable hot tub

Inflate the hot tub. Then spray the parts you suspect are leaking. You can also look for any small black marks, though those are rarely ever leaks. If soap bubbles form on the surface, you have found the leak. Once you locate the leak, the next step is patching it.

There are four general instructions for applying a patch:

- apply adhesive to the patch and stick it to the leak

- leave it on for 2 to 3 hours

- replace hot tub with water

- spray with soapy water to ensure the leak it completely fixed.

How To Use Your Inflatable Hot Tub

. Read the Manual

Reading the manual is a crucial step, and you have to iterate. Even if you have set up a hot tub before, you need to read the manual because manufacturers often add or remove elements in different models. It will also ensure you do not skip any important steps in the installation process.

. Select an excellent location

We have already established that the surface has to be flat, level, and firm to avoid punctures, accidents, and collapse.

Some good locations in your home include:

1. Your back yard

2. Your deck

3. Lawn

4. Patio

. Set up all the equipment

Lay out all the pieces of the hot tub and confirm that you have all the necessary accessories. Ensure that you have a power source that meets the power requirements, usually 110V or 120V.

. Inflate the Hot Tub

Follow the inflate instructions carefully and fill it to the right PSI. If the tub has too little air, it will not be sturdy enough, but if it has too much, it might puncture.

. Fill with Water

You can use a garden hose to fill the hot tub with cold or even hot water. Some people prefer to fill the tub with hot water to speed up the heating and to put less strain on the heater.

. Start it up

Power it up to see whether it works. Check the control panel and adjust the settings accordingly. Turn on the heater and leave it to heat up. It usually takes several hours and even days to heat up the water to 104 degrees.

. Fill it with chemicals

Treat the water with the right chemical quantities - too little will murk up the water, and too much may harm your skin. If you maintain a proper chemical balance, the water in your tub will stay clean, bright and fresh smelling.

. Maintenance

All that is left is using the pool and maintaining it by cleaning out the filters, covering it when not in use, replacing the water every month or so and enjoying the incredible benefits of using one of the best inflatable hot tubs.

Draining The Inflatable Hot Tub

Draining an inflatable hot tub is simple. First, you disconnect the tub from its power connection. Then you detach the pump and attach a hose to its outlet. You have to ensure that you drain the water in a proper draining area to prevent flooding. You can increase the speed of drainage by placing the hose in a lower position or pointing it down a slope.

Once all the water drains out, deflate it using the manufacturer’s instructions. You can then repack it and store it for later use.

The Final Verdict

We have looked at all the ways in which inflatable hot tubs are the most cost-effective, simple, and logical way to bring the spa experience to your home. We have also looked at how to use your inflatable hot tub so that you can get the best out of it.

Looking at the best inflatable hot tubs, we reviewed earlier; you can see that they fit every criterion. Though different regarding controls, capacity, and material, the check out the crucial aspects we have discussed in the buying guide. For example, they have portable features; they come with all the accessories needed for chemical treatment, heat retention, and dirt removal. They have unique features, for example, the I-beams to make them sturdy and water softening capabilities.

What is the verdict? Once you settle on the capacity of your inflatable hot tub, pick any one of them. They each get our stamp of approval.

Comments

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    • VationSays profile imageAUTHOR

      VationSays 

      20 months ago

      Glad you liked it! Grab a tub and enjoy :-)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      20 months ago from USA

      This is one thing that never crossed my mind but in the right environment it would be a neat thing to have on your deck! Very nice presentation!

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