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.

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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?


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.


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

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.


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 »



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 »


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 »


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.


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.


Hi! This site is fantastic. I’m looking at a MasterSpa Clarity (Balance or Precision model) and wonder if your praise of MasterSpa’s quality build applies to their lower-end line, Clarity? My runners-up are Bullfrog X series or Hot Spring Limelight – all in the same neighborhood on price, as far as I’ve been able to negotiate. Would love your insights and recommendations on this!

Art Hale

Clarity spas by Master Spas? Precision 7 model. You rate Master Spas very high, but does the Clarity line benefit from that? Also looking at HotSprings / Rhythm..being sold at a high profile storefront here in Ga. Your thoughts are very much appreciated.


Great insight for a novice!
I’m in western Quebec and looking to purchase a Sunrise Spa 670EZ model – 2 seater.
It’s a plug & play but I would have it hardwired.
I’d appreciate any feedback.


What are your thoughts for purchasing a artisan grand cayman spa they are sure proud of them are they worth the money?


Looking for a line that would be good for a hot tub rental business.
Located in British Columbia.
Have been looking at Roto Spa Tubs made in Canada or the Strong Spa brand for round, portable tubs that run on 110V.
Any experience with those brands or other recommendations you could make?
Any help would be much appreciated.
Love your website, great resource


Great web site!
I’m looking for a good quality 4 person hot tub in Ancaster ONTARIO. We have a number of dealers in the area but I’m wondering if you could steer me in the right direction? Thanks!


Great site Chris. Honestly one of the best and honest education/review sites of any industry I ran across. Back to hot tubs. I’m in Toronto ON. Looking for the best bet tub, looking for something mid grade. Good therapeutic jets for 4-6 adults and enough space for the two little kids to splash around. Need at least one seat with more serious jets to relieve some soarness. I looked at the Precision 8 Master, but not sure. What are some other options you would think make sense as I have access to everything around me?


Thanks for this great site!! I’m looking in the Oshawa area in Ontario, Canada
Trying to find a good tub in the 11k- 13k range

Struggling as the dealers in the area are the big retail and I’m afraid of them for the reasons you mention. There is a beachcomber and bullfrog dealer … is this what you would recommend ? I have young kids so using as little chemical as possible is a main concern

Thanks so much


Hey, thanks for your site. I live in MN, need a year round hot tub. Are there any good brands/ models for colder climates? Do you know of any good dealers in the Minneapolis/ St Paul area?


No question. Just want to say you rock. Thanks for making a nightmare decision much easier.

Lisa McKenner

Looked at dynasty swim spa (like it), marquis swim spa( didn’t like design, what do u think of cal spa swim spa?

Lisa McKenner

Looking for a quality swim/party spa 13 feet….what brands do u recommend…we are in western Chicagoland area….please help. So confused

I live in between Chatham and London in Ontario and need a year-round hot tub that can handle the sometimes -40c weather. Thanks so much, I really appreciate your help and all your help to everyone! Awesome man!

John M

Hey Chris. My wife and I are looking at the Artesian Island and Elite series Hot Tubs. We have about 10k out the door. Do you have any recommendations?


Hi Chris. I am in the UK looking at either Elite Nashville or Bewell 300 Elite spa any advice would be appreciated.


Chris gotta say thanks for all this wonderful info.. almost made a mistake and bought an atric spa.. got myself an artsian thing is great, almost to well only one issue with circ pump bearing. Once that was fixed all good. Again thanks from ottawa.


Any thoughts on Bahama spas?

Bahama’s are built by Dyanasty, there are differences but this review generally holds true


Hey Chris,

Debating between American Whirlpool 171 or Nordic Retreat MS. Same price point locally. Thoughts?


Need your help comparing two tubs at two different price points! Both are used but look to be well maintained and in good shape. One is a 2017 cal spa pacifica ec-735l for $2,500 I love all the features and the idea of the lounger with therapy jets. It’s cheaper too which I like but I am reading a lot of negative reviews about Cal Spas poor craftsmanship which has me worried. I watched a video tour of their facility and they clamp and use glue on all their pipes in the video but I’m seeing lots of leaking complaints… Read more »


So do you consider South Seas line by Artesian an “entry level’? How is it different from their Island and Elite lines?

david derrick

Chris, What is your opinion of the LPI Pinnacle brand swim-spas, like the AQX-16?

Honor Hughes

Great website, very informative for a newbie shopping for a hot tub. Many friends here in Ontario have mentioned Sunrise Spas that offer tubs made in Canada and they have a factory in Grimsby, Ontario, just wondered if you had heard about them and what your opinion was? Thanks.


Thanks for the write ups and videos. I received a price on a Master Spa Healthy living 8 for around 8K. That’s tub and cover lift.


Tim O'Leary

My wife and I are looking at the Antigua model – Artestian spa. This particular model can run salt water which we think would be good for my Skin as I have psoriasis – would you have any comments on our selection and will the salt water system give a similar result to bathing in the sea – thanks.


Hi Chris, we finally found someone selling artesian tub and we looking to buy it on the weekend . What do u think about the 965L and the price is $9400. Is that a good price
Thank you so much for your help


It’s including tax, delivery, cover, lifter and steps

Rod Struebing

Hi Chris, Thanks for your advice on hot tubs, very insightful and this buying process is even harder than buying a car. I am reconfiquiring my backyard and adding a hot tub. I live in the western suburbs of Chicago and I have looked to find Master Spas and artesian dealers and there appears to be none. I did find a dealer that sells Coast Spas I saw one on the floor ( Curved Apex B Curved Elote ) and the shell was a very thick and very impressive hand rolled structure with great insulation and the parts you recommend… Read more »

Chris Hicks

Hi Chris, My wife and I were turned on to your informational videos by a salesman from Masterspas. We went to a display advertised on TV, in Puyallup Wa. It was advertised as “multiple brands competing”. As it turned out, it was just a Master spa sale. Admittedly, I was put off by the misinformation. We have been researching a replacement tub for the old, worn out Hot Springs Grande model that is currently in my deck. We live in the Seattle area, and live about 1.5 miles from the Clearwater/Thermal Hydra Plastics manufacturing location in Woodinville, Wa. Have you… Read more »

Al Booth

What about Saratoga Spas any good?

Kathleen Breeden

I am interested in the Artesian line of spas thanks to your site! However, the nearest dealer is 92mi away in Alabama. I live in the Fort Walton Beach area and the only dealer of Spas here their “High End” one’s is Jacuzzi brand, one other and then the Bahama Spa they are trying to sell us as their Mid Level. Since reading your site and watching videos I just don’t think $7k for a 3 person mid-level spa is for us. However…we only plan to keep it for 5 years (Military and we will move). So… in a pickle… Read more »


Live in the Toronto GTA Ontario Canada. Looking at Canadian Spa Toronto SE 2 5hp pump model. Have you comments?

Lee Heynen

How about American Spas or Cyanna Valley, both of which are popular sellers on Wayfair.

Andrew Katz

What are your thoughts on American Whirlpool? A dealer 1 mile from my house has masterspa and american whirlpool.

Joanne plamondon

I have a Galbocca plug and play hotspa that Sears used to sell. I need jets for it took them out to get new o rings and they got lost

Michael Castellano

First off , this site and you and all the information that is you and your experience have saved me from making a big regrettable mistake . THANK YOU . I personally are weighing between your top 3 manufactures but need to see what you have to say about COAST SPAS so without sounding rude and believe me it is not meant that way at all PLEASE review them asap . I have dealers to your top 3 manufactures within delivering distance of me . waiting with baited breath

Rory Green

This website is amazing. Your write-ups are extremely helpful but I’m now overwhelmed with knowledge. In short, the wife gave me 7k for a 4-6 person hot tub. I live in MN and looking for something to have outside to enjoy in the summer evenings and in January! Any specific suggestions would be greatly appreciated and thanks again for everything!!


Hi Chris, I like all your videos and I learned a lot about hot tubs
We were about to buy the Costco one
We are looking for 6 to 7 person hot tub
What’s the best one to buy?

Nichole Holling

Hi Chris,

Your website has been so helpful! Thank you 🙂

What’s your opinion on the Hot Springs Limelight brand? Specifically the Beam or Flair model?

We’re located in southwestern Ontario!

Thanks so much for your insight