One of the common gripes about these spa’s is the fact that when you use the bubble massage system you can’t use the heater at the same time. The bubbles have a 30 minute auto shut off and in that time the temperature can drop a few degrees. The bubbles going through the water can make it feel a bit cooler too. To be fair this is an issue with most portable hot tubs with bubble jets. It’s easy to switch the heater back on as soon as the bubbles are finished but the temperature only rises a few degrees an hour.
Although a inflatable spa is a lot lighter than a standard one when full it is still a considerable weight when full; ranging from 1500 lbs for some 4-seater options to 4000 lbs for larger models and then you need to add the weight of the people so if you are considering placing your hot tub on decking it is essential to make sure it is strong enough to take the weight.
Also called ‘fixed,’ ‘traditional,’ and even built-in tubs, regular hot tubs miss the big feature of portability. Portable or movable tubs work for everyone irrespective of how much space you have in your home. You can easily set it up with ease, and in case of an inflatable hot tub, you can store it with utmost ease without wasting any precious real estate.
Consumers will also notice that the premium jets are not available in an inflatable hot tub, but are always available in portable hot tubs. Inflatable hot tubs can simulate the jets, but does not provide nearly the same massage quality as the real thing. The last thing to point out is the control panel, which will be a toss-up depending on who you go with. Most makers put the control panel in place so that you don’t have to leave the hot tub to use it. In an inflatable hot tub there are less functions to play with so it inspires the plug and play attitude. So if you’re looking for ease of use, then inflatable hot tubs wins in this department.
The main reason people are put off by owning their own hot tub is not only the cost of the hot tub but also the cost of installation. The benefit of a portable hot tub is that the cost is much lower so it makes it more affordable to people. This Hawaii hot tub comes in at a higher price than other inflatable hot tubs like the Coleman Lay Z Spa partly because of the water jets and partly because of the salt chlorinating system. If these are important features for you then you can still get it for under $900.
The Lay-Z-Spa Vegas is a superb way for adults to have fun, as well as having the option of use as a family spa. It is the ultimate in convenience, unlike having a permanent hot tub, which stays where it is wherever the sun goes. The walls of the inflatable are also extremely strong and puncture resistant, so you don't have to worry too much about where you put it.
Costs: for sure the first eye popping benefit of an inflatable set like this is how affordable they are. As we said in the beginning of our guide, an inflatable hot tub can cost 80% less than traditional hot tubs, firstly because the material are not as expensive and second, because you will not need to set up a building site inside your house to built-in the tub in a specific location. Traditional hot tubs also require permanent pipe connections and electrical wiring, so if something goes wrong you have to open up walls, leading to more expenses. For very few investment you can get a hot tub at your place and set a social gathering with your friends or family.
While an inflatable hot tub might offer reasonable thermal protection there is one other aspect common to most that will affect water temperature. The air used to power the bubble jets comes from outside. So if the ambient air temperature outside is 50 degrees F, then you are pumping in 50-degree air and passing it through the water. This will cool the hot tub water down relatively quickly. How quickly depends on the outside temperature but a rough guide would be 20 - 30 minutes of bubbles before the temperature drops to the point where it requires heating.
Chlorine tablets smell bad in the bucket and bad in the spa. Bromine is a little bit better, but I can still smell it on my skin and on my hair hours after soaking. Have you ever opened up your spa cover and detected the strong smell of chlorine? That’s the smell of combined molecules, either chloramines or bromamines. Salt systems are much less likely to produce these foul smelling mutations of chlorine, because after a chlorine molecule is used up, it reverts back to salt, a.k.a. sodium chloride!
The design of an inflatable hot tub is simple. It consists of an inflatable tub made of PVC or vinyl, as well as an external combination pump and heater unit that controls both water temperature and jets. Inflatable hot tubs can generally be set up in 15 or 20 minutes and filled from a garden hose. Most of them can heat water up to comfortably hot temperatures overnight. Even though the basics are the same across the models listed here, there are some key factors to consider in your buying decision.
As in the case of the combination pool table and ping-pong table, those who get both truly get neither. If you want to play both pool and ping-pong, the best solution is to get both tables. Whichever game you feel like playing at the moment, you’ll be able to play to the fullest. Likewise, when you have an in-ground pool and a portable hot tub, you’ll be able to use both to perfection. High-end portable hot tubs are an improvement over combination hot tubs in the following ways:
With an inflatable spa, all you need is order them online and wait for their delivery. Once delivered, you just need to open the box and get it set up in less than an hour. Even a single person can do it. The only preparation you need before inflating it is to make sure that the location leveled and is free of debris and that a standard outlet is nearby.
Things to know. The temp goes up to 104 degrees. The jets have a timer with 20 minutes on and then 10 minutes off before you can restart them again. As seen in other reviews, it does lose temp during the jet sessions, but to my experience, it loses about 2 degrees per twenty minute session. I usually keep mine at 102 degrees and after 2 sessions (plus the 10 minute wait in between), the temp decreases to about 98 degrees - which works fine for me. I have found that 104 is way too hot, so the 98-102 range is perfect. This unit ... full review
Shape: While most tubs in general, either traditional or inflatable, have a round shape, but you can find many other shapes in the market, from square to octagonal to rectangular. This kind of detail is important to consider when you have other people in mind to get into the hot tub with you. Squared tubs are better for tall people as there will be less legs battles in the middle of the tub and people will not get uncomfortable easier. Round, circle-shaped tubs are ideal for thinner people or even for a romantic scenario as it is easier to get cosy. The visual impact also poses a difference that will suit more one or another taste.
A water test kit makes testing your water easy. If your inflatable hot tub does not come with such a kit, you can easily find it at any store that carries pool and spa supplies. Once you have tested the water, adjust it using the necessary chemicals. A good pH range for a portable hot tub is between 7.4 and 7.6. A pH that is too low may damage your hot tub’s vinyl and thus damage the tub.
Once the set is fully inflated, you have to fill it in on your own, making use of a garden hose for example. When the tub is ready to use, you can adjust how much hot you want the water to be and for how long you want it to keep heating. The same goes for the jet heads functioning, all can be adjusted and timed by digital controlling. The main difference between the system of an inflatable and a traditional hot tub is the disposition of the motor/engine that filters, heats and blows water and air. On traditional tubs it will be placed built-in, while on the inflatable one it is a sided appliance.
Usually costing around $4,000 to $9,000 depending on type and size and location to be installed. But going the inflatable spa way will run you around $500, with no setup costs. And if you will only be using it part of the year, you simply deflate it and store it away. There are no costs of maintaining it to keep it from looking like something that the creature from the black lagoon would like to hide out in. Oh, and did we mention, to heat it up and keep it heated will run around $8-$12 a month depending on your electricity prices per kWh.