The most important fact that we want you to know about the Bestway SaluSpa is that it is actually the same exact product as the Coleman Lay-Z-Spa. Bestway is a huge manufacturing company, much larger than Coleman, that mass-produces merchandise for big name brands such as Disney, Mattel, Fisher-Price, and among many other brands, Coleman. Bestway’s primary revenue stream comes from manufacturing products for other brands, and not necessarily selling them on their own. They are who you would go to, to buy 10,000 products, not 1. But, they do sell individual SaluSpas and you can often get them at near-wholesale prices.
Bestway isn’t well known because they don’t spend any money on advertising. They leave the advertising to the brands that they manufacturer for. But, that shouldn’t scare you because the Bestway SaluSpa Miami is the exact same tub as the Coleman Lay-Z-Spa. Coleman uses Bestway to manufacture their Lay-Z-Spa, and then they handle distribution and Customer Service. This last statement is important to consider, because it is the big reason that everybody doesn’t buy a Bestway SaluSpa Miami instead of a Coleman Lay-Z-Spa. The first reason that people don’t buy the cheaper SaluSpa over the more expensive identical Lay-Z-Spa is because most people don’t know they are they same exact same tub. For the people that do know that they are the same tub, some people still choose to purchase the Coleman version because it is associated with a name they trust.
Testing has validated to us that there is no difference between the Coleman Lay-Z-Spa and the Bestway SaluSpa so we think that the SaluSpa is a steal. The only thing that we feel we need to warn our readers is that by buying the Coleman version, you are buying into the first class customer service experience that comes with purchasing a product with a reputable brand. If something goes wrong, you will be able to talk to a real person and sort out the problem. Since Bestway is a large scale manufacturing company, they do not have dedicated resources for customer service relating to a single product. The experience will be more difficult than dealing with a Coleman representative. That being said, if you are comfortable with the risk of having to handle product defects on your own, then you can save quite a bit of money by purchasing the SaluSpa. We think the customer service issue is moot because the tub is made with high quality and we don’t expect it to fail.
Just like the Lay-Z-Spa, the Bestway SaluSpa Miami tub basin is constructed out of a 3-ply material which they outsource from a company called TriTech. The term 3-ply describes the three separate materials that are stacked to form the tub walls. TriTech constructs their material with a polyester core which is a woven fabric and is strong and resistant to tearing. The polyester is encased in a layer of PVC on each side. PVC is a plastic material that is completely waterproof so it complements the polyester by ensuring that the fabric is completely waterproof and extra durable. Outsourcing construction of the 3-ply material is actually a common practice in the inflatable hot tub industry and we are fans of it because we like when companies stick to what they are best at. TriTech is a company that has years of experience specializing in the constructing durable waterproof materials so Bestway hires them for their expertise so they can deliver the highest quality synthetic tub materials.
The benefit of getting the material from the experts is noticeable. You can sit on the edge of the inflated wall of the SaluSpa Miami and hardly notice any give. The reason that the tub is so solid when you sit on it is because it is constructed with vertical and horizontal I-Beam technologies, which means that the inner walls are connected to the outer walls with vertical interior layers of strong fiber as well as horizontal layers of strong fiber. This prevents the walls from ballooning outwards when you sit on the edge of the wall, and evenly distributes the increased air pressure across the whole tub.
The Bestway SaluSpa Miami is 77 inches wide when fully inflated, but it actually has a larger tub basin than some of the other 77-inch inflatable hot tubs. Its 254-gallon tub reservoir is about 20% more volume than similar sized competitors. The extra volume is nice because it reduces body contact. When it is filled with water, the tub weighs in at around 2700 pounds.
The Bestway SaluSpa uses a 320 gal/hr heat pump that generates roughly 1320 watts of power. This is strong and is referred to as a “rapid heating system” because it is able to increase water temperature by 3° F/hr. Many of the less powerful pumps are only rated at 1° F/hr. The rapid heating system makes the SaluSpa a good candidate for camping trips because you can set up in the morning and it will be hot by the evening so you can enjoy a soak. The 3° F/hr rating is actually very conservative. Testing has shown us that the pump is capable of a much higher rate in warmer air temperatures. The SaluSpa is rated for use in air temperatures over 40° F. This means that if you filled the tub with cold water in 40° air temperatures, the pump would be able to raise the water temperature to 104° F. The tub is very capable of maintaining water that is already hot at max temperature in ambient air temperatures below freezing.
The SaluSpa has air jets instead of the traditional hydrojets that you commonly see in fixed hot tubs. Air jets work by pumping tiny bubbles into the water that rise to the surface and give the sensation that you are sitting on a cloud. Hydrojets pump water back into the tub instead of air, and require extra hardware. The additional water pump and duct work that is needed to add hydrojets to an inflatable hot tub often costs an extra $300 or more. We think that air jets are a nice affordable alternative to hydrojets that still produces a lavish soaking experience. Another nice feature of the air jets is that the tiny bubbles reduce the transparency of the water which increases privacy.
When you purchase a SaluSpa, the only additional item that you will need to buy is chlorine. Everything else that you will need to enjoy your first soak is include. Setup is pretty simple. You start by spreading out the ground mat and laying out the tub basin onto the mat. Next you inflate the tub basin using the air pump inside the pump unit. It takes 5-10 minutes to inflate the tub. Next you connect the heat pump unit to the tub and fill with water. Finally turn on the pump and wait for your water to warm up. The whole process, up until the point where you fill the tub with water takes less than 35 min.
The Bestway SaluSpa Miami is a bargain if you are comfortable purchasing from a brand that isn’t as well known. It is the exact same product as the Coleman Lay-Z-Spa, which we think is one of the strongest and most reliable inflatable spas on the market. Despite being the same exact product, the SaluSpa Miami is less expensive. The only reason that we don’t completely endorse the Bestway over the Coleman is because Coleman provides better customer service, which has value that is hard to quantify. If you do decide to purchase a Bestway, you should know that you are getting a high quality product and we think you will be happy with it for many years. The heat pump is strong and has proven to us that it can maintain max water temperatures in near freezing air temperatures. The TriTech material is durable and helps facilitate sturdy tub walls. Even though you’ve probably never heard of Bestway, the SaluSpa is one of the best inflatable hot tubs on the market.