Buying a spa is not an everyday occurrence, therefore we’re here to help you sift through all the information out there to make the best decision for you. The functionality and usability of portable hot tubs has steadily attracted many to move away from expensive roto-molded and acrylic spas. Portable spas are self contained, come with many features of traditional hot tubs, and are able to be moved from one place to another. Any hot tub, regardless of price, is an investment in your well-being and we want to help ease the buying process. This buyer’s guide is intended to be helpful for those who have already narrowed their choice to purchasing a portable hot tub.
First, its important to take into consideration a few key factors before narrowing down your choice of spa.
Space: Portable spas come in a variety of shapes and sizes, however it is often suggested that for most round or octagon shaped hot tubs that there be at least an 8x8 area to house your spa (indoor or out). If this is unattainable, it may be a good idea to look at portable spas that come in an oval shape. These spas are designed for those that have a conservative area in which to put their spa.
Site Prep: Although the beauty of purchasing a truly portable 110v hot tub is that there is no expensive “site prep” to go through (i.e. pricey electrical configuring, concrete slabs, etc), it is important to remember that all portable spas have three requirements. The first, a flat surface on which to set up your new spa. Second, a 110v electric outlet within 10 feet of your spa’s motor, and a water source nearby to fill your spa.
Seating capacity: Don’t think because you purchased a portable spa that it can’t be your “party spa.” Many portable spas will fit four to five average sized adults. If your main reason for purchasing a portable hot tub is pure relaxation for yourself and your partner, you may only want to consider a space saving oval designed spa.
Inflatable vs. Modular: Although we carry the only truly modular portable spa on the market, the Spa-N-A-Box, we also carry several lines of inflatable spas as well. Inflatable spas have gotten a bad reputation over the past few years as new manufacturer’s have come onto the scene with lower prices and even lower quality product. Only purchase from a company that can explain the quality and materials that their spas are constructed out of and have the warranty to back them up. A modular spa such as the Spa-N-A-Box is a great mid-level spa for those that want a look similar to an acrylic hot tub without the expense. Inflatable spas on the other hand are perfect for those that travel frequently (RVs, second homes, etc.) as they come in one box and inflate in minutes. Although both spas are extremely portable, if price is a determining factor an inflatable spa may be the best choice.
Once you decide that a portable spa is the right choice for you, how do you make the decision on which portable hot tub to buy? Sure, now a days there are a lot of new companies making portable hot tubs, but it’s important to check out a few key factors that will separate the best from the pack.
Warranty: These days many hot tub manufacturer’s come blazing on to the market with little more than a basic knowledge of portable spas. These companies often times specialize in making other products and the hot tubs are just a small division of their company, often times lacking correct over sight that would ensure they are turning out a quality product. Look for a company that has an American backed warranty and service center and that has a consistent, sound warranty. Beware when buying any high priced item with a 90-day warranty. A 1 year warranty is recommended when purchasing any hot tub, portable or otherwise.
Reviews: It is a common known fact in the portable hot tub world that many new spa manufacturer’s try to beat the ratings and reviews of their products. When reviewing a company, be aware when you see multiple spas that look very similar with different product names. This is a tactic to try and “escape” negative reviews. Stick with a brand that has been out the longest and is most well-known. There will always be negative reviews with every brand, however it is best to go with a company that stands by its product over the years.
Customer Service: We all know what its like to deal with a pushy sales person or even worse one that knows nothing about the product they are selling. The best customer to have is an educated customer, therefore ask as many questions as you feel you need to so that you can make an informed decision, and should you ever feel uncomfortable with a customer service representative, you may want to ask yourself if this is the right company to deal with after the sale as well.