Arctic Spas Review

Please note that this is a BRAND REVIEW and not model specific. There may be differences in the models and lines so this is an overview of the brand itself. For a drill down on a specific model why not try out our hot tub evaluator for the true picture on a given model

Overall Rating: C

Shell: A

Components: D

Construction: C

Efficiency: B

Arctic Spa hot tubs are one of those brands that put more emphasis on marketing than they do on building a great tub and that’s unfortunate because they do make a great shell, but that’s where it ends.

This is what happens when the marketing folks take over a hot tub company - they fill their brochures with revolutionary this and better that. The problem is all this just that - marketing. They make an absolutely beautiful hot tub but they don’t age well at all!

The Good:

- Solid, strong shell

- Great looking hot tub

The Bad:

- Proprietary parts

- Plumbing lines not clamped

- Perimiter insulation


Click Here for a detailed report on any Arctic Spa model hot tub you are considering

Shell: A

The shell of an Arctic Spa is most definitely its strong point. It scores high on our tub evaluation in the shell strength category and it is made right. Arctic Spas uses hand-rolled fibreglass and they use enough of it to make the shell strong and thick. There are so many manufacturers that do a lot right but build a poor shell but Arctic knows how to make a good, strong shell.

Components: D

The shell is where the positives end though because they take that great shell and then build a tub full of proprietary parts (read about why that's a no-no here). The sales folks will tell you that their parts are better than OEM parts and espouse the benefits of using their new technology but don’t buy into it! OEM parts are made by a few big and reputable players in the industry such as Balboa and Waterways. These guys know how to make proper control packs, pumps, etc. and they are at the cutting edge of technology. Buying a hot tub with proprietary parts benefits two people - the manufacturer and the dealer because they have you for life and replacement parts are many times more expensive than OEM and, with an older hot tub, may not be available at all.

Construction: C

Arctic Spa also uses a perimeter insulation system and does not clamp the plumbing joints on the manifold to jet lines. Think about this - if you have 40 jets, there are 80 potential leak points in the hot tub (one at each end of those lines) and the proper way to build a hot tub is to glue and clamp all of these joints but that costs money so no clamps means higher margins!

Efficiency: B

Arctic Spas use a perimeter insulation system. This is less effective than foam insulation for efficiency, especially in colder climates but it also has the secondary issue of trapping the heat of the spa inside the skirting as opposed to inside the shell of the hot tub. Because of this, the pumps of an Arctic Spa are left running in an extremely high heat environment which can shorten the life of the pumps.

Overall: C

The proprietary parts makes this brand no-go for me but add to that the lack of properly clamped plumbing lines and perimeter insulation should make it a hard no. It’s really too bad because Arctic makes a very good looking hot tub with a strong shell. Time to up your game Arctic!