6 Best Portable Hot Tubs of 2020

Best Portable Hottub

If you would like to enjoy the benefits of a hot tub outdoors or on the go, say when camping, then you need to get a portable hot tub.

These portable units are cheaper, easy to set up and perform almost as good as their in-ground counterparts. However, with their increase in popularity, a large number of them have emerged and thus, selecting a good tub might be a little bit difficult if you don’t know what to look for.

For this reason, this article looks at some of the best portable hot tubs that you should consider buying.

You can also read other product reviews of inflatable hot tubhot tub coverhot tub chemical.

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Coleman 54131E

1. Coleman 54131E (Our Pick for the Best Inflatable Portable Hot Tub)

  • 6 person capacity and 254-gallon water capacity
  • Digital control panel and 120 air jets
  • TriTech 3-ply construction with I-beam reinforcement
  • Inflatable cover and chemical floater included
Intex 28403E

2. Intex 28403E (Best Budget Portable Hot Tub)

  • Affordable
  • 4 person capacity and 210-gallon water capacity
  • Electronic hard water treatment system
  • 120 air bubble jets
Coleman 13804

3. Coleman 13804 (Smallest Portable Hot Tub)

  • Compact size with a 4 person capacity
  • Digital control panel with soft-touch buttons
  • 60 air jets
  • Chemical floater and inflatable cover
Intex Pure 28409E

4. Intex Pure Spa 28409E (Best Massaging Portable Hot Tub)

  • 170 air bubble jets
  • 6 person capacity with 2 headrests
  • Hard water treatment system
  • 290-gallon water capacity
SaluSpa 54130E

5. SaluSpa 54130E (Easy-to-setup Portable Hot Tub)

  • Utilizes the spa’s pump for inflation
  • 120 air bubble jets
  • TriTech 3-ply construction with I-beam reinforcement
  • Cushioned air pad floor
Intex 28403E + 3 x 29001E

6. Intex 28403E + 3 x 29001E (Portable Hot Tub with 6 Filter Cartridges)

  • Includes 6 filter cartridges
  • 120 high powered air bubble jets
  • Electronic hard water treatment
  • TriTech 3-ply construction with 48 I-beams for reinforcement

PRODUCT

1. Coleman 54131E

(Our Pick for the Best Inflatable Portable Hot Tub)

Coleman 54131E
  • 6 person capacity and 254-gallon water capacity
  • Digital control panel and 120 air jets
  • TriTech 3-ply construction with I-beam reinforcement
  • Inflatable cover and chemical floater included

2. Intex 28403E

(Best Budget Portable Hot Tub)

Intex 28403E
  • Affordable
  • 4 person capacity and 210-gallon water capacity
  • Electronic hard water treatment system
  • 120 air bubble jets

3. Coleman 13804

(Smallest Portable Hot Tub)

Coleman 13804
  • Compact size with a 4 person capacity
  • Digital control panel with soft-touch buttons
  • 60 air jets
  • Chemical floater and inflatable cover

4. Intex Pure Spa 28409E

(Best Massaging Portable Hot Tub)

Intex Pure 28409E
  • 170 air bubble jets
  • 6 person capacity with 2 headrests
  • Hard water treatment system
  • 290-gallon water capacity

5. SaluSpa 54130E

(Easy-to-setup Portable Hot Tub)

SaluSpa 54130E
  • Utilizes the spa’s pump for inflation
  • 120 air bubble jets
  • TriTech 3-ply construction with I-beam reinforcement
  • Cushioned air pad floor

6. Intex 28403E + 3 x 29001E

(Portable Hot Tub with 6 Filter Cartridges)

Intex 28403E + 3 x 29001E
  • Includes 6 filter cartridges
  • 120 high powered air bubble jets
  • Electronic hard water treatment
  • TriTech 3-ply construction with 48 I-beams for reinforcement

1. Coleman 54131EOur Pick for the Best Inflatable Portable Hot Tub

Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Portable Hot Tub
  • People capacity: 6
  • Water capacity: 254 gallons
  • Temperature range: 68 - 104°F
  • Dimensions: 77 × 77 × 28 inches

Coleman’s SaluSpa is our choice for the best portable spa because it is relatively affordable, yet it has an impressive list of features.

For starters, the unit can accommodate up to 6 people in 254 gallons of water, making it ideal for small and large families. In addition to this, it has a total of 120 air bubble jets that are placed all around the interior, and these are enough to provide a lazy massage to all the occupants inside.

In terms of control, this spa has an easy-to-use digital control panel that adjusts all the internal mechanisms, from activating the air jets and filtration systems to controlling the heat settings.

This gives you an enjoyable time in the tub, especially considering that the panel is within reach and thus, you can make any changes you want while still in the water.

Structurally, although inflatable, the spa has an I-Beam construction, which gives the walls the strength to hold water and also to support a person sitting on the side without buckling.

For the outer skin, a tough TriTech 3-ply reinforced material is used, and it consists of a polyester mesh core that is sandwiched between 2 PVC layers. This gives it the strength and durability required to last for a long time.

Other features include a cushioned air pad floor, an inflatable cover, a ground cloth for installation and a chemical floater for water maintenance.

Pros:

  • 6-person capacity with 120 air jets in 254 gallons of water
  • Easy-to-use digital control panel
  • Strong I-Beam construction
  • Tough TriTech 3-ply reinforced material for the outer skin
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • No hard water treatment system

2. Intex 28403EBest Budget Portable Hot Tub

Intex PureSpa Inflatable Hot Tub
  • People capacity: 4
  • Water capacity: 210 gallons
  • Temperature range: 68 - 104°F
  • Dimensions: 77 × 77 × 28 inches

Intex’s PureSpa is the most affordable portable hot tub in this review, but this does not mean that it is substandard. In fact, it has a similar number of air bubble jets (120) for the lazy massage as Coleman’s SaluSpa above.

On top of this, the unit has an electronic hard water treatment system that agitates the salt and mineral crystals so as to suspend them in the water, after which they are easy to capture using the included filters.

Eventually, this process softens all the water in your spa and makes it gentler to your skin and also gentler to the pumping and heating systems because no salt layer forms on them to reduce their efficiency.

All you have to do is replace the tub’s 2 filters regularly so as to get rid of the minerals continuously.

Construction wise, this spa is made using a fiber tech technology, which includes I-Beams and a puncture resistant skin, consisting of a 3-ply laminated material. This ensures that you get the best in support, durability, and comfort. 

Other features include an easy-to-use control panel, grab handles and a carry bag for easy transportation, a thermal ground cloth, and a floating pool chlorine dispenser.

On the downside, this spa can only accommodate 4 people max, although there is a large 6-person capacity option, which comes at a higher price.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • 120 air bubble jets
  • Electronic hard water treatment system
  • Strong and durable fiber tech construction
  • Floating pool chlorine dispenser for water maintenance

Cons:

  • Accommodates a maximum of only 4 people

3. Coleman 13804Smallest Portable Hot Tub

Coleman 13804 Portable Hot Tub
  • People capacity: 4
  • Temperature range: 68 - 104°F
  • Dimensions: 71 × 71 × 26 inches

Coleman’s 13804 is the smallest portable hot tub, measuring in at 71 inches in diameter and 26 inches in height.

Although this means that the unit can hold only 4 people inside, it makes it easier to fit in tight spaces, easy to transport and also easy to set up, and for these reasons, the 13804 is the top-rated portable hot tub in this review.

Apart from that, the spa is also easy-to-use, featuring a digital control panel with soft-touch buttons for adjusting the temperature settings between 68 - 104°F, activating 60 surrounding air jets and activating the filtration system.

For strength and durability, the spa’s walls are made of a tough 3-ply material, which consists of 2 PVC layer over a polyester mesh core. Support is provided using an I-Beam construction, which forms the frame of the walls and makes it possible to sit on them without buckling.

Other features include a chemical floater for water treatment, an inflatable cover and 2 easy-to-replace filter cartridges.

On the downside, this portable hot tub is relatively expensive, especially considering that it can only accommodate a maximum of 4 people inside.

Pros:

  • Small and compact size
  • Digital control panel with soft-touch buttons for easy use
  • Strong and durable construction, with a tough 3-ply skin and an I-Beam frame
  • Chemical floater for water treatment
  • Easy-to-replace filter cartridges

Cons:

  • A small number of bubble jets
  • Relatively expensive

4. Intex Pure Spa 28409E – Best Massaging Portable Hot Tub

Intex Pure Spa 28409E
  • People capacity: 6
  • Water capacity: 290 gallons
  • Temperature range: 68 - 104°F
  • Dimensions: 85 x 85 x 28 inches

Intex’s Pure Spa 28409E is one of the best portable spas in the market because it offers the best soft, lazy massage.

This is because it has 170 air bubble jets, which ensure that you get submerged in a cloud of massaging air bubbles to soothe your muscles and leave you very relaxed.

Although expensive, this unit also comes with 2 headrests that add a touch of luxury by providing this comfort to 2 of the 6 occupants that it can accommodate inside. This means that you can rest very comfortably, especially if you are planning to be in there for a while.

For an even better spa experience, the 28409E features a hard water treatment system, which electronically agitates the salt and mineral particles so as to suspend them in the water, after which the filtration system captures them in the cartridges, leaving soft water in circulation.

Soft water is gentler on the skin and thus, you get a more relaxing treatment. Additionally, soft water is also gentler on the pumping and heating systems because it does not form mineral layers over them. Therefore, your spa’s internal mechanisms will function very efficiently.

On the downside, this hot tub is quite big in size, measuring in at 85 inches in diameter and 28 inches in height, which makes it harder to inflate in tight spaces. However, this means that you get a large volume of water (290 gallons) to play around with.

Pros:

  • 170 air bubble jets for a more relaxing massage experience
  • 2 headrests for comfort
  • Hard water treatment system
  • Can hold up to 6 people in 290 gallons of water

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Very large in size

5. SaluSpa 54130EEasy-to-setup Portable Hot Tub

SaluSpa Palm Springs AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub
  • People capacity: 6
  • Water capacity: 242 gallons
  • Temperature range: 68 - 104°F
  • Dimensions: 77 × 77 × 28 inches

SaluSpa’s Palm Springs is a fast and easy-to-setup portable hot tub because the inflation is done using the spa’s pumping system and thus, no tools are required during this process.

In addition to this, the unit also has an easy-to-operate digital control panel, which is accessible as you sit in the water.

This panel is used to activate the filtration and lazy massage systems, as well as adjust the temperature settings, including operating the automatic start/stop timer of this heating system.

For the lazy massage system, a total of 120 air bubble jets are installed around the tub’s interior, and these provide enough bubbles to cater for the maximum of 6 people that it can hold inside.

Construction wise, the Palm Springs is circular in shape and is built using a strong TriTech 3-ply reinforced material as the skin, consisting of 2 PVC layers over a polyester mesh core, so as to resist puncturing.

The entire structure is supported by an I-Beam construction, which strengthens the walls, while a cushioned air pad floor provides additional comfort under the feet and also prevents heat loss to the ground.

Other features include a chemical floater and a cover to help maintain the water temperature when you are heating it before use.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Easy-to-operate digital control panel
  • Can accommodate 6 people max in 242 gallons of water, with 120 air bubble jets
  • Strong and durable TriTech 3-ply skin and I-Beam frame construction
  • Comes with a chemical floater for water treatment

Cons:

  • No hard water treatment system

6. Intex 28403E + 3 x 29001EPortable Hot Tub with 6 Filter Cartridges

Intex Pure Spa 4-Person Portable Hot Tub with 6 Filter Cartridges
  • People capacity: 4
  • Water capacity: 210 gallons
  • Temperature range: 68 - 104°F
  • Dimensions: 77 × 77 × 28 inches

Lastly, Intex’s 28403E filtration system has 2 easy-to-replace filter cartridges for getting rid of these minerals and other debris, and the tub comes with 6 of them. This means you get 4 extra pieces to be used as spares when the others get worn out.

You also get 120 high-powered, air bubble jets for massage, which produces heated air bubbles that also help to heat the water more effectively. This improves the overall spa and massaging experience.

As is customary with all Intex portable spas, this one features a built-in, electronic hard water treatment system, which agitates minerals in the water and suspends them for easy removal using the filtration system.

Other features include an easy-to-use digital control panel, a cover for keeping the dirt out and the heat in when warming up the water before use and a durable fiber tech construction with a 3-ply reinforced material for the skin and 48 fiber tech beams for supporting the entire structure.

However, the tub can only accommodate 4 people maximum.

Pros:

  • Comes with 6 filter cartridges
  • Easy-to-replace filter cartridges
  • Heated 120 high-powered, air bubble jet massaging system
  • Electronic hard water treatment system
  • Durable fiber tech construction

Cons:

  • Accommodates a maximum of only 4 people

Portable vs. In-Ground Hot Tub

In considering the differences between portable and in-ground hot tubs, we will look at 3 factors. These are:

1. Hydrotherapy and comfort

Portable hot tubs usually have jets that are specifically placed to imitate a number of massage types. This enables them to offer specialized hydrotherapy sessions that are customized to work on a particular area of your body.

On the other hand, in-ground tubs usually have one type of jet per seat, with its pressure or volume not being easily adjustable. This makes it difficult to customize the massage delivery and thus, the types of massages that are offered are not as varied as in portable spas.

For comfort, portable units feature ergonomic seating to accommodate few people with different heights, while some even have headrests for additional comfort. In-ground spas also accommodate few people, mostly with a bench type of seating, which is less ergonomic.

2. Versatility

Portable hot tubs are very versatile in terms of fitting. They can be placed on patios, lawns, dug into the ground or even positioned inside a deck. They are also available in different shapes and sizes for fitting into the space that you have.

On the other hand, in-ground hot tubs are also versatile, but in terms of shape and size. You can build them into any form so as to match your landscape and it can be as big as you want.

3. Maintenance

Portable tubs are easier to maintain because they come with inbuilt treatment systems such as filtration, hard water, and oxidizer systems, among many others. They also come with covers to help keep out the dirt while also maintaining the water temperature inside.

For in-ground units, you have to maintain the water quality in the same way as in portable tubs, but their tiled walls can be cumbersome to clean. You also have to buy the filtration and other treatment systems separately because they do not come with the tub.

How to Buy the Best Portable Hot Tub

How to Buy the Best Portable Hot Tub

1. Capacity

The first thing to consider when buying a portable hot tub is its capacity. This basically means that you check the number of people it can accommodate.

If you have a big family, then you need to look for a bigger tub, say for 6 people maximum. However, if you have a small family, or if you just want to enjoy the spa with your spouse, then a 2 – 4 capacity hot tub will do.

Buying Guide: Ultimately, a bigger portable hot tub is better even if it's for one person because you will have more water to play around in and a larger surface area for massaging your body. However, the bigger it is, the more expensive it is to buy and maintain.

If you can afford to buy a big spa, then go for Intex's 28409E. However, if you are on a budget, the small Intex 28403E will still do.

2. Jet

The number of jets ultimately determines the quality of massage and the overall spa experience that you will get.

Fewer jets do not have a very big impact on the massage therapy and thus, spas with a higher number of jets such as the Intex's 28409E are recommended.

Another thing to consider is whether the portable hot tub has air or hydro jets. Generally, hydro jets offer a smoother massaging experience and can be controlled in terms of direction and flow. 

Air jets are only controllable by turning on and off. However, they are not that badly off. They are also highly effective at providing a soothing massage.  

3. Build Quality

The ideal portable hot tub should be very strong and durable. For this reason, it is important to check for features such as a strong frame construction, typically consisting of I-Beams for wall reinforcement, and a tough skin for keeping it safe from accidental contact with sharp objects.

Check out the Intex 28403E, which has this build quality. 

4. Additional Features

Additional features are always a plus and some are actually very essential in improving your spa experience.

For instance, having a hard water treatment system like in Intex's 28403E can make the water soft, which is very gentle to the skin. Soft water is also gentler to the heating and pumping mechanisms, resulting in a longer lifespan for the tub.

Other features to look for include LED lighting, which creates an accent that sets the mood for the hydrotherapy session.

Some high-end models even have built-in sound systems, which provide you with entertainment as your body muscles undergo some relaxation.

FAQs

1. How do I set up my portable hot tub?

Not all portable hot tubs are inflatable. Therefore, setting up depends on the type of portable spa that you buy.

For Inflatable tubs:

  • Find a flat, even surface with no debris to place the tub on.
  • Unbox and inflate the tub.
  • Connect the pump to the tub through the labeled waterways.
  • Once inflated, fill with water.
  • Add some water treatment.
  • Power the pump and control panel.
  • Adjust the temperatures then enjoy your spa.

For regular tubs:

  • Find a flat, even surface with no debris to place the tub on.
  • Assemble the tub.
  • Fill with water and add some treatment.
  • Connect to a power supply.
  • Adjust the temperatures then enjoy your spa.

2. How often should I clean my portable hot tub?

The recommended time to clean the tub is once a month, but this depends on how often you use it. Sometimes just by looking at the tub’s walls will tell you its time to do some cleaning.

3. When is it best to change the hot tub’s water?

You should change the spa’s water every time you clean it. This is usually once a month.

4. Is the portable hot tub safe for children?

Portable hot tubs are safe for older children but under a parent’s supervision. For younger children, use the smaller baby bathtubs.

Conclusion 

As you can see, there is a lot of information about portable hot tubs that you need to know before going through the selection process.

That said, we recommend Coleman 54131E as the best portable hot tub because it is reasonably priced for features it has.  

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