Wish you had a hot tub but can’t swing the price? Consider an affordable inflatable hot tub instead! Part 1 shares how we chose a tub, and how easy it is to inflate in a short and sweet video! Visit Part 2 for how we built a simple deck, and part 3 for the full setup, with helpful tips on chemicals, accessories, rain protection and more!
2 years ago, my son and I decided we needed an inflatable hot tub to enjoy in our backyard. My reasoning was, in summer we could turn the heat down and use it as a heated dipping pool! Who likes to swim in cold water anyway?
Then when the cool weather approaches, we could turn the heat up and enjoy a hot dip to end the day.
Water in a backyard just flat out makes everyday life more enjoyable! We use to have an inflatable pool in the backyard so we know how much more inviting it makes staying home during the summer. It’s also an activity that makes you slow down and actually have a conversation with another without a screen distracting you.
However we ran into a few hurdles along our way which you’ll hear about soon! But we’re officially back on track with our affordable hot tub dreams! So today I’m finally sharing our inflatable hot tub adventures, starting with how to choose one that’s right for you, and how easy they are to inflate.
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How to Choose the right Inflatable Hot Tub for you – Part 1
Includes how to choose, the unboxing of ours and how easy they are to inflate!
Image courtesy of Mspa from Rona, Canada
Read the entire plug and play Hot Tubs series:
Inflatable hot tub: Choosing, unboxing and inflating – Part 1 – you are here!
Why an inflatable hot tub?
I’m not new to hot tubs. In my previous home, we had a full-sized hot tub with a deck built around it. It was amazing and we used it all the time! But back then, I didn’t take care of the chemicals or mechanical failures, so there’s that.
However our budget couldn’t handle that kind of hot tub this round, so I considered a much more affordable inflatable hot tub instead. The price was certainly right, ranging on the average from price points between $500 to $1300, depending what you choose.
But were inflatable hot tubs actually any good? I was about to find out.
Our first inflatable hot tub was THIS 4-person Mspa we really both enjoyed so much! Just know, a 4 person fits 1 comfortably and 2 very cozy… so we were a little shocked how small it was.
Regardless, our spa experience was so very worthwhile! We loved using it at a cooler temperature in the heat of the day, then a little warmer at night. Our experience with it proved to be the perfect spot to chit chat about anything under the sun or moon without the distraction of electronic screens. If you want your kids to talk, this setting is the BEST!
And while inflatable hot tubs don’t have hydrotherapy jets, they do offer bubbles that appear to have a bit of a jacuzzi massage effect. They are fun to turn on for short spells, but don’t really accomplish all that much. I’m in it for the soak myself which could prove beneficial for those with arthritis or other aches.
The only thing that lacked was the fact that we didn’t have a hot tub platform of any kind for it since it wasn’t in our budget. And we didn’t think our patio could sustain the weight. Plus, the dimensions would really eat up our lounging space. So we placed the hot tub on top of a heavy duty tarp on the lawn. I mean, it worked for the time being, but it wasn’t really an elegant experience if you know what I mean. Especially with no pretty landscaping around it!
And the bottoms don’t have seating options like louge seats, but rather, a foam bottom. It’s comfy enough though, plus the water makes you very buoyant.
We had it for a couple of months when I noticed it wasn’t holding air. So I monitored it closely, then ended up returning it for a refund while I still could.
However we missed having the a portable hot tub nearly immediately. So I reasoned, I’ve never heard of anyone else having this issue, so I wasn’t afraid of trying again. And if we ever got another one, I’d choose a 6-person size instead of the 4-person, hung onto all the chemicals, we’d build a deck next round, and held out hope we’d get another one at some point.
We ended up skipping a year, but two years later, we ordered the 6-person inflatable hot tub of our dreams and here we are finally writing a post about it!
And I’m here to say we love love LOVE it even more than before! With no issues thus far.
So let’s get into a few more details and hot tub models to see if an inflatable hot tub is something you may enjoy for yourself for your own in-home spa-like experience…
Where to purchase an inflatable hot tub
Inflatable hot tubs can be found most anywhere now. Many outlets sell them online only, so it pays to check their warranties by calling in before you purchase.
Our Costco in Canada offered one, but I had my heart set on this one so we went for it anyway, even though it was double the price!
And you’ll also want to watch for sales AFTER you get one. Ours was still in the box when we discovered them on sale and got $300 sent back to us! So it pays to check.
Hot tub we chose: Mspa 6-person from Rona, Canada
Other places to check:
Pros and cons of an inflatable hot tub
As with any purchase, there are always pros and cons to mull over. So after having two, this is the list I came up with.
I’d say the biggest con is requiring a cover of some sort, otherwise the rain water pools in the middle of the cover. But I have a mini fix for that I’ll share next round.
- Price efficient
- Mobile, so you can change up the location
- You can deflate to take it down for winter
- Super easy to install
- Easy upkeep
- Fills up so quickly!
- Heats overnight
- Plug and play requires just a standard electric outlet
- The material feels like quality materials
- My hot tub has a nice zip cover with a foil underside to hold heat
- Can puncture or deflate
- Require some kind of sun and rain protection
- Needs on a solid base to sit on
- Life expectancy is less than a regular hot tub
How to choose an inflatable hot tub
Choosing an inflatable hot tub if you’ve never had one before can be a little daunting. I vote to read up on reviews and descriptions from each manufacturer and power usage if that’s a big deal to you. You’ll soon learn about what features appeal to you most. I chose ours because of the pump hidden inside the tub sides, making it more streamlined looking and quieter than those with exterior motors. I also paid more for those perks, but it is what it is!
- Consider how many people will use the hot tub. I personally think a round 4-person inflatable hot tub is best for 1 person, and a round 6-person inflatable hot tub is perfect for 2!
- Square or round? I’ve heard a square inflatable hot tub offers more room than a round.
- Price-compare everywhere for your chosen tub.
- Before purchasing, check the warranty and how to return one if needed.
- Watch for discounts AFTER you get one. They may offer you a price reduction, which is what happened for us.
- Do your homework. What features are important to you? For ours, I liked the hidden pump for a more streamlined look, it is said to be quieter and I was attracted to the dark grey tone.
Our first experience was ordering through Rona in Chilliwack, BC. We purchased THIS 4-person Mspa online. This model was a sleek black, which housed the pump inside the sides, claiming to offer a quieter experience. I loved the look, so we went for it, although the price was more expensive than most.
Even though our first attempt failed, Rona took back the tub without issue so I was confident if it happened again, they wouldn’t leave me stranded. Since, their hot tub return policy has changed, (I can’t return this one but I can exchange it) so it pays to ask prior to purchasing and make sure you’re comfortable with it.
Unboxing the inflatable hot tub
Ordering our hot tub online included delivery. Fine by us, nothing to lug around that way! It took approximately 2 weeks to arrive.
Inflatable hot tubs come boxed, making them compact and easy to deliver and set up!
This inflatable hot tub came inside a hot tub storage bag, perfect for off-season. I have set a tub up like this before on my own, by laying the bag on its side, then sliding the contents out.
However being a little on the heavy side, I was grateful for my son’s help this round.
The tub is fairly compact when rolled up! Hopefully I can do this again during the off-season… wish me luck.
Regardless, I suggest to take pictures while you unwrap it so you can refer back to them later when you wish to collapse it again.
Next is unrolling it. See how the pump is tucked into the sides? So cool!
When you position the tub, you’ll want the written info and control panels within easy reach. Plus the drain hose is there too somewhere.
Then finally lifting it upright, then gently pulling it to open it up.
Let’s fill the hot tub up with air next!
How to inflate an inflatable hot tub
If you were anything like me, you may have thought you inflate an inflatable hot tub spa with an air compressor. But boy was I wrong! This tub inflates on its own in about 30 seconds! Literally.
The directions that come with the tub are excellent! And the inflating info is even written on the outside of the tub, so you can’t do this wrong. Goodness… the innovation on inflatable outdoor hot tubs nowadays is out of this world.
- Plug in the tub to a nearby compliant outlet.
- Crank the white knob on the outside to ON.
- Push the BUBBLES button on the keypad.
- Hold the button while the tub inflates.
- Release the button once a small button on the lower left protrudes the tub’s side, showing a green ring. The tub stops filling with air immediately.
- Turn the big white knob to OFF, tighten up the shaft around the air level button, and you are ready to fill the tub with water!
video – inflating the hot tub with air
View short video above on how easily it inflated nearly on its own!
Right after the tub was inflated, I wanted to ensure it would hold air before purchasing lumber to build a deck. So we tarped it up good and moved it into a shady spot in the yard since a heat wave hit right about that time. Oh it was so hard to wait! But we really wanted it on a deck ASAP.
We could have built the deck prior, however I really preferred the visual of the tub first so I could assess how large I desired the deck to be.
After the tub passed inspection, it was deck building time! So off we went to pick up lumber (and pretend we brave souls knew what we were about to embark on) so we could fill the hot tub up with water and start enjoying it! Here’s a sneak peek…
So stay tuned… I’ll also be talking about the chemicals, deck and final outcome and more next!
Do you have an inflatable hot tub or have been curious about getting one? Tell me your hot tub stories!
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