The Intex Pure Spa Portable Bubble Massage Spa is the number one selling inflatable hot tub in the country for a reason. It is durable, easy to maintain, affordable, and delivers top-tier performance. Intex is a company that specializes in inflatable and pool products, so they have the experience and the resources to build a high quality inflatable spa. The 4-person Intex Spa was their first inflatable hot tub and remains the template that their other tubs are constructed off of because of the consistent high level performance and durability that it has demonstrated.
The Intex PureSpa Bubble Massage Portable Hot Tub was the first inflatable hot tub that I ever owned. Intex introduced this product in 2014, which was the year that I purchased it. In 2014 I didn’t have any plans to put together a team to review these products. Back then, I purchased an Intex hot tub for the same reasons you are probably interested in purchasing one right now. I was looking for an affordable alternative to a regular hot tub. I didn’t really know what to expect from my new Intex inflatable hot tub in terms of performance, so I spent much of the first year experimenting, trying to figure out its strengths and limitations. During the summer and fall, the tub performed superbly. It was everything that I hoped for. The water stayed hot and clear, the walls stayed sturdy, the jets maintained their strength. I didn’t have any complaints. I packed it away after the first summer because I had plans to travel during the winter. I remember that tearing it down was simple. I drained it, wiped it down, disassembled it, and packed it into its carry bag in less than an hour.
I got it back out again in the spring of 2015, and used it almost every evening that year. In 2015 I noticed that I was sleeping better and that my mind was clearer at work. I didn’t know it at the time, but my doctor later confirmed that this was the result of soaking in my tub before bed. In addition to transitioning into a better sleeping cycle, my skin health improved, and I felt less stressed. This was the year that really opened my eyes to the health benefits of hydrotherapy and got me excited about inflatable hot tubs in general.
The real eye opener came in the winter of 2015, though. I had packed my Intex jacuzzi away the previous winter because I was travelling, but I liked how my body felt and knew I’d be able to get use out of it, so I decided to leave it set up for as long as it would remain hot. Temperatures dipped below freezing and snow fell, but my Intex inflatable spa never dropped water temperature. The winter rolled into spring of 2016. I had left the tub inflated for an entire year, through a winter, and performance was unaffected. I was amazed.
2015 was a life-changing year because I became a believer in the portable hot tub. My Intex portable hot tub improved my sleep, mental health, and lowered my stress levels. It also proved to me that a blow up hot tub was completely capable of producing the same soaking experience as fixed walled tubs that cost 10 times as much. I told all of my friends and family about my positive experiences with my tub, and many of the people that I shared my story with wound up purchasing one of their own. Before they purchased their tub, they asked my advice which I was eager to share. This is how Tub Headquarters all began!
Now, as I am writing this review, I have owned my Intex Pure Spa and used it almost non-stop for 4 years. Other than a hole I had to patch because I pushed my grill into it, I haven’t had a single problem. Actually the hole-patching experience wound up being valuable to me because I am now able to vouch that the patch kit that is included with this product works. Needless to say, 4 years later, I am an even stronger believer in the Intex inflatable hot tub and in inflatable hot tubs in general. I am doing my best to share my story with the world so that people who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a regular hot tub can still bring the wonderful soaking experience back to their own home.
The Intex hot tub uses a thick, durable 3-ply material. The term 3-ply means that the material is constructed out of three layers of stacked synthetic material. The 3-ply material that the Intex inflatable hot tub uses has a polyester core, and a layer of vinyl on each side. Polyester is woven so this provides the flexibility and strength for the fabric. Vinyl is essentially another form of plastic, so this provides the tear-resistance and waterproof barrier on each side of the polyester. Intex outsources construction of their material to a company called Fiber-Tech. We like when companies stick with what they are best at, so we are supporters of this. Fiber-Tech specializes in making high quality, durable, waterproof material. This means that when you purchase the Intex portable hot tub, you will receive a product built by a company that specializes in inflatables and pools, constructed out of fabric built by a company that specializes in fabrics. This seems like a good recipe to us.
When the Intex inflatable spa is set up, it feels very sturdy. You can sit on the edge of it and it barely sags. You almost forget that it is inflated. The reason that it is so sturdy is because the inner and outer walls are connected to each other with high strength fibers. This means that when you sit on the edge of the tub, the walls want to expand outward allowing the top to sag, but the fibers inside are preventing this expansion. The increased air pressure is spread evenly across the entire tub, which means that at any specific point the increase in air pressure is actually very small. The fabric will remain strong year after year. The first Inflatable Hot Tub that I ever owned was an Intex jacuzzi. I’ve used it every year for the past 7 years, and it still inflates to the same solid state today that it did when I first bought it.
The Intex PureSpa 77-inch Portable Bubble Massage Spa is advertised as a 4-person spa. It is round with a 57-inch inner diameter. 4 people can comfortably fit into the spa, although you will brush legs. We actually fit 6 people into the tub, but it was cramped.
The heater and pump are one of the best on the market. The tub ideally holds 210 gallons of water, and the heater is able to increase the temperature of the water 2-3° F/hr. Some of the larger spas use the same pump, which processes 460 gal/hr, so the pump is plenty sufficient given the tub’s size. The Intex portable spa is a good candidate for camping or short-term use because it has the fastest heat rate of any of the hot tubs on the market. The heater is advertised to be effective in air temperatures over 39°. We performed a series of tests and validated that this tub can maintain a 104° temperature (which is the max temp of any hot tub) in 39° weather. Once the lid comes off, water temperature will begin to drop, though. One of the unique features of the Intex spa is its hard water treatment system, which removes hard substances from the water, making the water gentler and promoting a more soothing experience. Intex is the only brand that has this feature.
The Intex portable hot tub does not have traditional jets that propel water from the sides of the tub, but what it does have is massage bubble jets. The air pump blows water through a tube around the bottom edge of the floor and the air escapes through pinholes and rises to the surface. This creates a massage sensation and moves and clouds the water significantly. Keep in mind that traditional wall jets cost an extra $300. We think that the bubble jets are soothing and a nice inexpensive alternative to traditional wall jets.
The Intex inflatable spa can be set up easily by a single person. Everything that you need to set it up is included with the product. The only thing you will need to buy is granular chlorine, which you will just sprinkle into the tub water every few days. The air pump that is included in the heater/pump hub has a hose that attaches to the tub to inflate it. To set the Intex jacuzzi up all you need to do is set the deflated tub on the ground pad and use the pump to inflate it. Next connect the pump hub and fill the tub with water. Finally turn on the pump and let it start heating the water. Setting up the tub takes around 35 minutes for one person, not including the time it takes to fill the tub with water.
We love the Intex PureSpa 4-Person Inflatable Hot Tub. It is durable, affordable, and easy to set up and tear down. The material that it is constructed out of is some of the strongest we have seen, and can be expected to last many years. The heat pump is strong which means that it can maintain 104° in cold air temperatures and increase the spa water faster than most of its competitors. The sturdy tub walls, powerful pump, and overall attention to detail that Intex paid in construction of this tub put it into the argument for best inflatable hot tub on the market.