Brand Reviews

9.8 Total Score

The Top Brands
I have 4 brands I evaluate to be doing all the right things or close to it. Master, Artesian, PDC and Coast. These companies are spending the money on building good reliable tubs instead of cutting corners and relying on marketing. If you are looking to buy a Hot Tub I suggest doing some research on these four and finding one that meets what you want. If you have any questions come talk with me at Buyers Assistance

Master Spas – Brand Review
These are one of the best brands out there, especially for high end therapy tubs. Watch me take a look at my own Twilight Series 8.2 hot tub! High flow therapy jets, Hand rolled self supporting shells, Balboa flow control systems and more.

PDC Spas- Brand Review/Factory tour
I recently toured PDC’s factory and they have a great manufacturing process, well designed tubs with solid shells, OEM parts and very high quality control.  

Artesian Spas – Brand Review
Artesian builds to a high standard and doesn’t cut any corners. These tubs are long lasting and reliable.

Coast Spas – Review Coming soon
Coast has been working hard the last few years and I like what I’m seeing from them. I’ll be out to check out their factory and spas soon so I can get you guys the inside info on how they build their tubs and different lines.

All the Rest

Arctic Spa – Brand Review
I’m not a fan of this brand, they make a good shell and have nice marketing but use proprietary heating and control systems as well as thin perimeter insulation. Too much spent on marketing and not enough on building a good tub.

Beachcomber – Brand Review
This brand is a mixed bag. I find it really overpriced by a long shot, that being said they build to the right standard. Balboa control and heating system, waterways jets, hand-rolled self-supporting shells, and glued and clamped plumbing lines. This is all the stuff I like to see in a Top Tub! I’ll look at some of the other good and bad parts of this brand inside.

Bullfrog – Brand Review
Bullfrogs, like most bands, are a bit of good a bit of bad and a bit of ugly. Those goofy pods really limit the area where the jetting can go. and are so expensive to replace. Pretty good parts list compared to some brands and decent performance on their upper end but the shell construction is another thing to be worried about with these guys, too many failures with the ABS pedestal supported build.

Dynasty Spa – Brand Review
Video Review, I rank the electronic and flow control system, check out performance, price, insulation and plumping. Cradle supported which creates stress points! Great appearance but we take a look underneath and show you what is really going on.

Marquis – Brand Review
I was recommending them for a long time based on a quick look and a lot of promises from the factory, but I’ve stopped thanks to the reasons in this review. Got a brand new Vector 21 tub, one of their upper lines and wasn’t happy with what I saw.

Strong Spas (Costco) – Brand Review
Video Review, one of my first videos and biggest hits, this one made the Reddit Front Page when it was posted! Check it out for yourself to see what we are all about.

QCA Spas – Brand Review
Break down on all the major parts and construction.

Due to increased demand we are running 5-10 days for comment responses, it sucks but its only me… I’m working to find a suitable co-writer but I’m currently running 5-10 days for responses 🙁 and 12-24 hrs for paid responses. It’s not a cash grab I just can not keep up with the numbers despite spending my entire life here 🙂 I am determined to keep this honest and true to its tenants and therefore it takes time to ramp up to the massively increased traffic over the past 3 years.

879
Leave a Reply

  Subscribe  
Notify of
Michael

Hey Chris,

My reply to the comment below wasn’t working. Wondering if you know anything about West Coast Spas: https://westcoastspas.com/spas/. I’m looking at their DESCHUTES 3.0 model.

Vance

Hey John. Enjoyed your reviews, made since.

What is your thoughts of the coast-element bench model $8999 vs the dynasty- Teton $ 8995

Hi Vance, Well first thing I can actually find information on the Coast if I search it up, tried pulling up info on the Teton and that isn’t even listed on their site which is kind of odd even if it was an older model. Since I can’t get the information on the actual tub I will just have to go with what I have seen of the brands and for Dynasty I have never heard of a brand with more complaints, I had so many people send me horror stories after I made this video https://hottubuniversity.com/dynasty-spa/ Coast on the… Read more »

Michael

Hi, Wondering if you know anything about West Coast Spas? I’m considering their DESCHUTES 3.0 model.

Chris P

Hi I’m in the hamilton ontario area. Stopped by a hot tub dealer selling me a aqua master Palma or toba hot tub. Looks like the webpage is aqua master group. Good price under 10k for all the bells and whistles. Figures I cant find any reviews online about the brand. Figured I’d ask here if I should be running away? I’m also going to go look at arctic spa tubs over the weekend.

Hi Chris, grew up near Hamilton, Not familar with Aqua Master, looks like it might just be a private label of Trevi which I’m not a fan of. It’s a little further away but I would suggest checking out Premium Wholesale Home & Leisure, As for the Arctic, they have pretty good performance but my biggest issue with them is that most their jets and parts are cheaper Chinese made and the heating/control system are proprietary. You can read why I dislike that here The hot tub parts game and how it affects your long term satisfaction Premium Wholesale Home… Read more »

Chris P

Thanks for the reply. Reading more on your website and online after I posted my first message. I ended up on deciding in a twilight 8.25… sorta fell in love with it in the showroom. 😅😅 had to extend the budget abit to make it work!

Cecile

Dear Chris,
Well done for this very informative website.
i am very tempted to buy a Hyropool swim spa. what is your opinion on this brand from Canada?
Many thanks,

John

Hi! I’m curious about the Artesian Frog Ease in-line system and Diamond AOP. Are they worth the extra money? I’ve only ever used chlorine in my old spa. Should I consider one or the other? Both? Neither?

Hi John,
The Frog is a good system, the first option is the ion system, it’s good but not as good as the aftermarket stuff like spa marvel… I would buy the inline smart chlor system, dial it down to its lowest setting them use an enzyme system.

Kyle

Any feedback on Canadian spa company hot tubs? Looking at a small 3 or 4 person, the Kelowna model. Also looking at the marquis Nashville elite or the spirit. Any recos? I have a space 65ish inches by 90. Thx in advance!

Izzy

Hi Chris,
First time buyer looking for a mid level spa. It will most be for two of us but I would like room for 4-5. I prefer an open layout with room to move over dedicated seating. Curious what you think round vs square spa? In York PA 17404
Thanks

Todd

Hard to find any info about Vortex swim spas. Any thoughts?

Andy

Just a quick addition.
It’s a dual pump system. Seems good for $7000. Only it has Roxol insulation. Can I boost this myself?
Is everything else about the tub good?

Andy

Any thoughts on Sunrise Equinox spas?
Looking to buy from factory direct store this week. Model is 743L

Danny Jackson

Hi my husband and I are looking at a couple hot tubs in Peterborough ON we are looking at the Freestyle 202B and the Freestlye 202 lounge or the Nordic Escape MS the Freestyles are around 7300 and the Nordic is 6300. Which would you suggest

Rachel

any info on four winds spas?

Igor

Do you have any thoughts about Dr. Wellness hot tubs? I saw they were well reviewed on another site and we were looking to purchase the Dr. Wellness X-5 Spa for just under $4,000. Appreciate your thoughts!

Hi Igor, I’m going to warn you away on this one, there are a lot of red flags. for a brand that markets itself as being about health that model doesn’t even have a single high flow therapy jet, it’s all low to mid. They say 40 jets for that X-5 but I just counted and don’t see that, even with all those little tiny ones padding the count. They are mass market quality, and promote their warranties but last I heard they were so prorated that it barely even covered you, you can find more on that here look… Read more »

Angie

Coast Spas: in my research I have seen significant mechanical issues brought up in reviews that are quite dated. But very few reviews since that era (Minimal to no current mechanical reviews I can find actually$. What do you know about the rate of repair and durability of a coast spa?

Jason

Hi Chris,

We are looking to purchase our first hot tub at http://Equinoxspas.com model 630L for about 6k (discounted price). Have you heard anything about this manufacture? I can’t seem to find anything on the net. Our budget is 5-8k if you have any recommendations? We live in kitchener Ontario and would like to use this year round…..Thank you for all the video’s! very informative for newbies like me lol.

Steve

Hi,

What about Artesian? South seas line good enough or spend the extra money on the island series?

Maurizio Ciofani

Are viking spas any good…looking gor an entry level hot tub… was thinking viking p1 or softub…something simple

Maurizio Ciofani

Forgot to mention I want a plug and play…entry level but reliable

Scott

Good afternoon I am in Nova Scotia and looking at a Aquamaster spa. I don’t see it in your list of reviewed spas? Would you have any information on this spa brand.
Thanks

Scott

Hi Chris, I was wondering if you did the tour of Coast Spas and have an opinion of the company and its spas. I am trying to decide between one of the spas in their traditional line. I am also considering a Cal Spa Tropical EC-751B and a Master Spa HL 7.5. Each are about $8,000 installed and there are several strong dealers I believe in the NY City area. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

Matt

Hey Chris, looking to pull the trigger on artesian Island Nevis. I’m just outside of DC in Va and local dealer is quoting me ~10k with a few features such as tranquility fall, removal of old hot tub & delivery, diamond aop (even though I specifically stated I don’t care for ozone/uv), and dynabrite LED. Fair price? I feel like everything is more expensive around here than most places to where I’m expecting to pay 1k more than average. Should I go with ozone system, what should I expect to pay for replacement parts should it go bad? If part… Read more »

Matt

Hello, I may have missed it but we are in St Louis and a local hot tub manufacturer is Aspen Spas. Are your familiar with this company?

Steve

Any thoughts on the Coast Spa traditional series? Are they as well made as the other lines?

Great info on your site for a novice/1st time buyer who knows nothing about hot tubs in general. Prevented me from getting one online or at one of the large retail stores and, based off your site, the inevitable problems I’d run into down the line.  I live in Downingtown, PA, and while it’s not Canada, we do still get average temps in the mid to low 20’s in the colder months, so insulation is a big consideration, as electricity/heating bills can get crazy. Based off your reviews, it appears your one gripe with PDC is how they do insulation.… Read more »

Taryn

For what it’s worth, I’m in the Southern Tier of NY and just bought a Catalina. I’m thrilled with it. Great jets, comfortable seats, holds temperature well so far with this unpredictable weather we’ve been having. I talked to other PDC owners in the area before buying and they said their monthly electric costs were negligible, even in winter with daily use, so I’m optimistic. Chris has given me fantastic advice throughout the process.

Anna

Hi Taryn, did you get the Catalina straight from the company or from Aqua Living?

Tom

Hi Chris, the wife and I are looking to purchase our first hot tub for our backyard. We are looking at 3 person tubs. Budget around 7-8k. We live just north of Toronto. We have a local dealer that sells a brand called Be Well Spa Canada. We are looking at a 300 Series model. http://www.canada-spa.com/ORIGINAL.en.htm Have you ever heard of this brand before? We are worried about purchasing because we can’t find any reviews. The tub looks like it has everything we want and it’s in our price range. It’s one of those too good to be true scenarios.… Read more »

Jeff

We live in Yukon and the only local dealer option is an Arctic Spa. After reviewing this site it seems like Coast would be a better option and just have it shipped up. Do you have any updates on their construction? Read some very polarized reviews on-line which left me confused.

Vicki Zimpo

Hi Chris, we live in Delaware about a mile from the beach and we are looking at the PDC Monterey through a dealer here. We have been given a price of $7,990 which includes a cover lift, steps and.an upgraded premium color. Does that seem like a fair deal?

Kimberly Norvell

I am in Lewes DE and looking at the PDC Fiji at $9800 but wonder how the therapy jets pressure compares to a Master Legend LSX 800 for $12,500? Would love to save the money but also want a real therapeutic tub

Jared

Hello, In Calgary, and a few days ago got sold on a American Whirlpool 471 model. Haven’t received it yet, but it uses a perimeter insulation system, which i was somewhat skeptical about, and after watching your videos, even more so now. I’m pretty sure they fall into your middle category of ‘okay’ spas with good marketing. Sigh. Assuming i dont really have a way to back out or reconsider, is there an open cell insulation product that can be applied after the fact to make up for the lack of filling insulation? and perhaps third part pipe clamps that… Read more »

Steven

Any thoughts, positive or negative, on the tubs sold by Stellar Spas? They use Gecko controls and seem like a pretty good deal – I am looking at the St. Lucia. My local dealer tried to steer me toward a QCA spa, but I saw that you did not like them, so that is why I am asking about the units offered by Stellar.

Ray

Thoughts on the tropic seas line of tubs?

Jim

Hi Chris just found your site. Nothing like too little too late…lol

We are expecting delivery of our first ever hot tub. We wet tested ALOT of different tubs but in the end we really liked the feel of the Caldera Tahitian Utopia with the salt water system. I was especially excited about the salt water system until I stumbled in here 🤦🏻‍♂️

I’m not sure if we can change out the salt system before it’s delivered, but I was hoping to hear what your thoughts are about our tub Specifically.

Thanks

Raymond

PDC-Confirming before pulling the trigger. I have pricing for a Summit model from PDC through a local dealer in Oakland, MD. Your info on this site is awesome and has helped narrow our search down from other brands like Hot Spring to PDC so a donation is definitely coming. Just want to confirm $6480 all in for a Summit model (price includes freight, tax, install, cover, cover lift, steps). Any thoughts on price, local dealers, and/or any other recommendations before we buy? More than happy to proceed with the buying service if you think it is worthwhile. Thanks

Jim

I’m looking int some ideas for our backyard and I’m looking into hot tubs and swim spas. Essentially looking for a place to relax with the family and friends. Looking at your reviews I know your a fan of Master Spas, Artesian Spas, PDC Spas, Coast Spas. I live in Manahawkin NJ 08050. In my area (Ocean County)per the various website I have dealers for Artesian Spas, PDC Spas, Bullfrog, Hot Spring Spas, Caldera Spas. Master dealer is for my area is East Coast Spas in PA but is about 1.5 hours from me. This leaves me concern with Post… Read more »

Stephanie White

Hello. In Kamloops BC Canada here. Was set to purchase an arctic spa, then came across your site. Now I’m at square 1 and not sure if there are any decent brands in our area. Kelowna isn’t too far and I found a dealer that sells Master Spas and Cal Spas. Is it worth the $350 delivery charge or can you recommend a dealer in my area?! I’m feeling overwhelmed and want to make the right purchase. We have a $10,000 CAD budget.

Yves Lafreniere

Good evening Chris, we have a well known place that sells Hydropool an Sunrise hot tubs? are they middle classe tubs?

Don

Hi Chris

We are looking to get either a Bullfrog A7, 2020 floor model (2 weeks on the floor), with a few extras (ozone, cover lift assist, extra circ pump) OR a marquis. One is $10,000 (BF) and one is $7,000 (M). Is the BF worth the extra $3,000?

Thanks!

Aiden Allen

HI Chris,
I have a local dealer that sells Vita Spas, are they worth looking at?

Bob Murphy

Hey Chris,

What about Cal Spa (Or American Spa branded through Home Depot but made by Cal Spa)

Where would they fall in your 3 groups?

Thanks

Nadim Geloo

Hi, Chris. We are family of 6 and first time buyers. The spa will be going in to a new construction pool patio. After reading all the wonderful information on your blog, we are interested in the Tropic Seas brand (the Kona or the Rio model) versus the Clarity Precision model 7 or 8. What are your thoughts on these spas? Also, do you know of reputable dealers for both brands in our area of Fairfax, VA? Thanks in advance for your kind assistance.

Dustin

Hello wife and i are looking at getting a hot tub and considering a hydropool 570 and wondering your thoughts on the brand.

Austin Lyman

Hey,
I’m looking for a 5’x7′ hot tub (we have a tight space to work with) and I’m considering the Home and Garden 3-Person 38-jet Rectangular Hot Tub. I wanted to see if you had any opinion on that hot tub or any recommendations for a 5×7 tub. Thanks

Ross L. owen

Just starting the search after spending a week in So-Cal and having access to a hot tub.

I have had a knee replaced and my wife has had her lower two vertebrae fused. The tub was so wonderful.

We sought out our neighbors who have spas to get started. Two have Wellis which is sold by the spa Bros right here in Lehi, Ut. The other has a Master but bought it at an expo.

I have not been able to find any of your top choices here in Utah.

Any help is much appreciated.

Marcia

Hi Chris, looking at the Nordic retreat SE or the clarity precision 67 or the beachcomber hybrid 530 …. thoughts?

I think your ideas on insulation are way out of date. I am a master spa design engineer and we make spas in Holland. Our spas use an engineered insulation method that has proven to be far better than any other insulation method ever produced. It was originally designed by a team of thermodynamic engineers, and I have developed it to the highest level using the most modern materials and design concepts. My original spas in the USA are still running after 24 years, so long that the jet replacements are no longer available, but the spas are still running… Read more »

Nick

Chris,

I live in the metro Detroit area and am currently looking at a sunrise 880. They gave me a price of $6,000, what are yours thoughts? Do you recommend a dealer in this area? Thanks.

Tami Summer

So there is only the option of bullfrog in my area (or sundance, hot springs) so of the bullfrog what’s a good option? My husband is 6′ 6 or so will he fit the seats? They to have a huge floor model available a A9L – its huge any draw backs of going large for the tall guy to fit or would a A7L or A8L be sufficient he’s long in the body short in the legs, he doesn’t fit in many cars well due to such a long torso, I read that you say sitting in them dry or… Read more »

Marco

Hi, This site is fantastic! I am based in Holland (Europe) and a first time buyer. I am considering buying a Artesian 748L DX (rp $9950) . Now i am struggling to decide on what water treatment is best. I have a skin condition called psoriasis and therefore chlorine or any chemicals drying out the skin are not an option. The dealer has a filter system with a photosynthesis cell turning salt into NaCL called ReluxSmartSpa. The cell itself is placed in the tub btw. The system is sold at appr. $700. He is honest about the wear the salt… Read more »

JefLarsenf

I’m concerned you don’t speak of Jacuzzi much. I’m real close to getting a J-245 2020 model for $9800. I’m like everyone wanting the best deal. I’ve never had a hot tub before. It seems like a good deal but thought I would check with you first. Thank you for all your knowledge, you are a wealth of knowledge.

Todd Blevins

Hello, I know most of these spas reviewed are higher end spas, but exactly how good is a Viking Spa. A local supplier has a year end deal for a Viking Tradition 2 for $4,700 and it seems like a good deal. My question is, am getting what I paid for or can this be a good value spa for the money.

Jason

Thanks for putting up a great site and info here.
Whats your opinion on Canadian Spas company?
I am looking at a spa here in New Zealand by Alpine spas, they source their shells from Canadian Spas.
the spa here is the Whistler, looking online it is identical shell to the Canadian Spas Winnipeg.
Alpine have made some changes to the components, bigger pump 3hp up from 2hp, and bigger heater 3kw vs 1.5kw.
They have also added a UV system and thrown in a cover lifter.
Sale priced at $7,000 NZD (approx $4,500 USD) it seems like an unbeatable deal.