So you are considering buying a hard-sided portable hot tub, are you?
Don’t tell me…
Choosing the right hard-sided portable hot tub can depend on a great number of things as the choices are overwhelming, aren’t they?
- The first thing you need to know is what is meant by the term ‘hard-sided, portable hot tub‘ as different people have different thoughts on that one.
- A second consideration is where in the world you live as different countries require different specifications in their hot tubs, plus local manufacturers have different names for similar products shown elsewhere, just to confuse matters more.
Here on Lazeetimes, we have faced the same sort of problems, so what we aim to do is categorize them into countries and then show the brand names ranging from low priced to high with a short description of each Hard-Sided Portable Hot Tub to help you choose the right one for you.
Prices really do vary considerably, ranging from around $2,000 for basic loungers all the way up to $15,000 to $20,000 or more for specialist models and obviously, the more popular varieties produce more sales owing to their lower price, meaning you can check out those buyers’ reviews easily.
To explain, there are basically five types of hot tub available to the public
- The not so popular ‘camping’ type of hot tub which is very portable, although not so hard-sided
- Inflatable hot tubs with soft sides, but easily portable according to size
- Standalone Acrylic / Resin Hard-sided hot tubs are relatively hard-sided, with a pump and motor encased within the body, meaning the smaller ones are fine but the larger ones are not so easily portable
- Outdoor timber walled hot tubs using encased motors and heating, plus exterior heated hot tubs needing no power, timber again and also timber heated, but generally, these are very heavy, usually sectionalized so they are in fact portable, but even they can also use electric heating and be used indoors
- Stainless steel-walled hot tubs – extremely expensive and heavy – usually built-in
Obviously, the inflatables and camping types, being soft walled, have been excluded from your requirements as well as the timber and stainless varieties just to keep things simple for now.
That, in effect, leaves us with the above-ground, stand-alone, acrylic/resin varieties, but even they can have different hardness owing to the diverse manufacturing processes involved, which also relates to the prices asked.
From this, you will understand, to us, PORTABLE means having a hot tub that is hard-sided and being capable of either being moved around or simply taken with you when you move house, disregarding the size or weight.
For that reason, we have set out the following portable hard-sided hot tubs using our site visitors’ requests for information regarding availability in their country and then in price order to help visitors judge for themselves.
As we are US based, we’ll start with them and then show our neighbors, Canada, then the UK and parts of Europe with others as the demand arises.
Quick Links to suppliers and their varieties shown on this site…
U.S. Hard Sided Portable Hot Tubs
Birch Bay Hot Tubs 2 options shown
Essential Hard-Sided Portable Hot Tubs 8 in total shown
Home and Garden Spas
Hudson Bay Spas
LifeSmart Hard-Sided Portable Hot Tubs 7 in total shown
Canadian Hard-Sided Portable Hot Tubs
This 14 jet digitally controlled 3 to 4 people Newport lounger is the least expensive from the Essential range, rated at 200 gallon capacity inside its 61″ x 70″ body with the water being pumped around by a 1.5HP motor.
The foam-filled lightweight body is rotationally molded with a good quality granite effect resin, offering no maintenance requirements other than a quick wipe down periodically along with the provided cover.
This one is literally ‘plug and play’ with its 110V GFCI cord included, ready to plug into any 15A outlet.
Takes around 15 hours to get up to temperature using 110 volts, but can be switched to 220 for faster heating – depends on surrounding air temperature.
If that heating time is too long for you, check out our blog HOW TO HEAT A HOT TUB FAST.
A little larger, this one, with 250 gallons capacity and open seating for up to 6 people, the 80.5″ x 80.5″ body is made in much the same way as the Newport above using the same proven 1.5HP pump for circulation and also means the power supply is the same at 110V with the appropriate GFCI cord included.
Again, this Arbor Hot Tub is ‘plug and play’ but this one takes a little longer to get warmed up owing to the larger volume of water. You can reckon on around 20 hours average if you keep the supplied cover in place.
Can easily be maneuvered by rolling this hot tub into place because of its circular shape, although it is 480lbs dry weight, so will need some strong hands to set it down where it is needed.
Two different color options here, and stepping up in size again, this 74″ x 74″ acrylic 300 gallons hot tub with 5 seats and a full-body lounger is again ‘plug and play’ using the same power connection as the two above, coupled up to a 110 volt supply, but can again be upgraded to 220 volts if available.
This one shows 630lbs dry weight, so perhaps should not be considered as portable, unless, of course, you are Captain America…
Heating time can be reckoned on a full day from a cold start, but with 220 volts it can be reduced considerably.
As far as reviews go, this is a strong spa and has great customer service – what more can I say?
The Polara is stepping up a grade on the Essential Hot Tubs cat-walk, requiring the power supply upgrading to 240V specifically for this model by a qualified electrician as it has a single 4HP, 2-speed pump with bubbles as well.
Its 85″ x 85″ wood-effect size accommodates 5 or 6 people in comfort easily and it has ozone incorporated, means less chemicals needed to keep the water clean.
Its 50 stainless jets are well-positioned to give virtually full-body massages as the occupants luxuriate in the caressing water flow.
Mmmmm. This one hits the spot for me, just dreaming about it!
Now we’re getting into the pinnacle of hot tubs.
The Syracuse by Essential is head and shoulders above the rest with its 67 jets – 51 two-tone and 16 stainless steel, its Bluetooth sound system, sub-woofer and dual speakers and an led lit waterfall, what more could you ask for?
Capacity is 400 gallons sat in a heavy-duty acrylic shell of 85″ x 85″ and it has two motors, both of 4HP to provide the jets.
One runs the 2-speed water jets from the two-tones, while the other is a single-speed, concentrating on the bubbles from the stainless jets and flow.
Because of the power needed, the Syracuse needs 240 volts at a 50A rating.
The standard of Essentials’ Syracuse matches most retail seller offerings at virtually half the price, so this is an absolute bargain you can’t afford to miss.
With features like an LED-lit waterfall, LED controls and surrounding hot tub lighting, you can set the mood to anything you require with a press of a button on the digital backlit display control unit.
All 6 bathing chairs receive great jets from the 50 stainless two-tone jets powered by 2 high-performance pumps.
This hot tub also has the longest lounger available in Essential’s lineup and is well suited for tall hot tub owners.
The outer appearance of the faux wood exterior gives you a maintenance-free hot tub that pleases the eye and lasts for years.
This energy-efficient 240V spa uses a 4Kw Balboa all-season stainless steel heater that will continue to deliver maximum heating even during cold winter nights, so is ideal for virtually anywhere in the US, apart from perhaps our desert areas in mid-summer. Canada comes more to mind regarding the cool temperatures.
No matter when you wish to use your Solara spa, this Limited Edition Black Winter Solstice will allow you to change and customize everything you need.
Complementing your spa is a heavy-duty, insulated tapered cover, being a full one inch thicker than industry standards, with locking clips to securely close your spa when not being used and is complete with ozone creation as standard.
Now, this little baby is the best of the lot from The Essential Empire.
‘Little’ is perhaps not the right word as 6 people can use this hot tub at the same time.
Size-wise – at 480 gallons held in an acrylic body of 91″ x 91″, the Regent is the biggest of the lot, and slightly deeper than all the others at 40″ compared to 36″ for the remainder.
Included with this 700lb model comes Ozone to reduce chemical requirements, a set of steps, Bluetooth capability and a cover just to complete the perfect hot tub set-up.
Being a little larger, it has a 3 pump unit, 2 at 4hp for the water and 1 at 1.5hp for the air pump all running on 240 volts with a 50A rating and it is insulated to the extreme, although easy to set up and drain through the access door at the front.
60 of the stainless jets are two-tone directional and variable, while the other 20 are stainless and in fixed positions, so offering all occupants the best hot-tub experience of their lives.
This hot tub is just begging to be jumped into with its emphasis on comfort, so keep the dog handy to fend off unwelcome visitors.
MORE COMING SOON…
Alternative Hot Tubs
There are other types available, being smaller stand-alone hot tubs you can take down to the beach or on camping trips, but these require a bit more effort on your part as they need to be filled in situ, heated by either wood, charcoal or gas, meaning they are a bit vague on temperature control, but the beauty is you just empty them out and move on to a new site, repeating the process all over again.
These have external stainless steel coil heaters that generally are heated by wood or gas and need no electric supply but rather use the thermo-siphon effect, meaning they can be used with salt water (straight out of the sea?) meaning no chemicals are needed to control the water purification.
In the same way, they can be used on camping trips, making use of stream water, meaning no chemical balancing is needed for up to a week as the water can be replaced easily.
In fact, there’s also a new one come out in the last few years, the hydro hammock – otherwise known as the hot tub hammock. This one is basically a double-layered hammock complete with heating and a pump with hoses.
Just strap it up on your veranda or between two posts or trees, couple it up to the bottled gas supply, add water, light your fire and switch the battery-operated pump on.
As it does not hold a great amount of water owing to the closeness of the hammock layers, it takes very little time to heat up to temperature and the best of it is you are lovely and warm and completely surrounded by nature as the temperature drops.
Heck, you could even have it filled with cold water to help you chill on those hot days or nights.
On top of these, there are wood-fired, hard-sided hot tubs of different sizes available for discerning purchasers where perhaps a lack of electricity supply is a big problem and these have either an external stand-alone fire or some even have a fire inside the hot tub base with a smokestack sticking out of the side, that way carrying the smoke and fumes away from the bathers.
Temperature control is easy – it’s just a matter of restricting the air flow, but obviously, these will not give the option of bubbles or jets as there is no power to them.