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.

Hydropool – Brand Review
“The next bit of misleading craziness is that they say that it is 100% filtration! This is just using a buzzword to fool you… How all filter systems really work is the water goes through a filter which cleans all the debris out of the water, then that water gets dumped back into the tub so right away it gets mixed into the unfiltered water… over time more and more water is filtered and after a few hours, there is no debris left. The only way to really have 100% filtration is to pump the water through a filter into another container, then once it is all filtered you can put it back into the hot tub… This is simply dishonest and they should not be claiming it is 100% filtration, it is marketing Spin all of it… “

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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Brian

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?

SIMON HUGHES

Hi Chris. I am in the UK looking at either Elite Nashville https://www.myspashop.co.uk/hot-tub/marquis-spas/the-nashville-elite/ or Bewell 300 Elite https://castlehottubs.co.uk/bewell-300-series-elite-spa/ spa any advice would be appreciated.

Steve

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 insulated..lol. only one issue with circ pump bearing. Once that was fixed all good. Again thanks from ottawa.

Jim

Any thoughts on Bahama spas?

Bahama’s are built by Dyanasty, there are differences but this review generally holds true
https://hottubuniversity.com/dynasty-spa/

Jon

Hey Chris,

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

David

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 »

Vadim

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.

Jesse

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.

Thanks

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.

Marian

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

Marian

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 »

John

Chris,
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!!

Marian

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

Mike Bradley

Hi Chris, I have been warned by two Nordic dealers now that I should stay away from Masters Spa’s. And I was told by the Master’s dealer that the reason they quit handling Nordic 220v spas was because the 120v models were the only ones that were any good. Pretty pathetic huh? There are several Nordic dealers within 25 miles. The Masters dealer is 200 miles away. They say that they have a service man in my Daytona Beach area that services them. They also say that if he were not able to, they would drive up from the South… Read more »

Mike Bradley

Hi Chris,

I wet tested the Masters LSX 700 and loved it. They had it overfull and my wife is 5’4″, so that was a problem. Can I run the water level lower than intended to suit her? I got a price of under $11.000, which I think is good. My other choice would be to go with a high end Nordic LS model from a close dealer for simplicity and price. What’s your negatives on the Nordic? Would the LSX700 cost significantly more to maintain out of warranty?

Mary Jane

Hi Chris,
I was looking to buy a 4-6 person hot tub. I live in Brockville, near Kingston, Ottawa, Cornwall area of Ontario, so I need good insulation! I was looking at Hydro spa until I read your review.
what would you suggest? I’m short, so I want a tub with different levels of seats so I don’t drown, freeze my shoulders or float away from the jets!

Kathy

Hello, I am feeling totally overwhelmed with regard to purchasing a swim spa. I primarily want to use it for aerobic exercise and swimming to lose weight and gain flexibility. We would like to know if you could recommend one of these over the other… Looking at 12′ size of the following Tidal Fit, H2X and Hydropool. I live in Macomb Michigan and have not come across the Coast or Artesian brands. Also, I don’t want to spend over $22,000, so Michael Phelps is out of the question. Any tips would be appreciated.

Bob

Chris, WE have an older Master Legend and I really like the lounge area. Seems most dealers are now going with what THEY call ergonomic lounge seating that make me feel cramped. The new legend is out of my price range. The Clarity looks more like what I would like. From my internet searches Master Spa and ThermoSpa are the only to manufactures that make a “real” lounge seat. Anybody else that would be a good fit for a rather large guy? 6’2″ and 270lbs.

Raya

I see that you listed Coast Spas in your top 3. We are considering their Mirage Curve 82 model. Did you review them? How are they with respect to insulation, reliability and other specs?

Jeff

Any opinion yet on Coast Spas?

Archie

what do think of the healthy living hl8 master spa? and what is the hp rating for the pumps?
thanks.

Archie

Hi Chris, thanks for the quick response on my questions… one more question for you this seems to be a big issue online .what would be a normal amount of water that needs to be added through out the winter months, only 2 adults using the tub mostly once a day…? had a beachcomber we were adding approximately 80 litres every 2 weeks finally after a lot of complaining and ph. calls to customer care and almost 3 months of this back and forth they decided to build us a new tub otherwise we were returning it under there 90… Read more »

Archie

yes the cover is on when not in use , average size adults, my wife puts her hair up before going to soak, and being a beachcomber there are no access panels that can be removed . only one access panel for the pump area..being it’s a leep model. so the tub has to be turned upside down remove the abs floor panel . than maybe can see where the foam is wet.not a good design for servicing in this respect.

Archie

you can’t even do the fish with a cloth on the end because the area where the pumps are in is totally closed off from the rest of the tub .they have a Abs moulded panel that closes it off from the tub area and then there’s just a few holes drilled through for water lines to go thru . wish I could send you picture of it very poor set up for servicing ….but there tech at the dealer says beachcomber tubs dont leak period….

Archie

as far as I understand no beacause its foam filled right to the bottom of the abs floor pan

Charles Morriss

Hey, been looking at picking up a Master Spa (Twilight 8.25) but not been hearing great things about the local dealer here in Austin. Also going in for a wet test on a dimension one spa (nautilus). Don’t need Wi-Fi speakers or Bluetooth stuff. Dimension one spa dealer has said I can change out jet nozzles if I like. Both products are about the same price. Your thoughts?

BRUCE

I’m considering in replacing my Vita Spa and went to the dealer that services mine and they showed me a Viking Spa Legacy 1 for $6900. I can’t find much information about this brand and was wondering if this is a low end or mid grade level spa. I question the shell construction, insulation and its reliability of this spa at this pricing range.

Hi Bruce,
sorry it took a few days to get back to you, things have been busy. My main issues with Viking are the plastic shells and lack of clamps on the plumbing, even if you just want a low or mid grade spa I would look for something more durable and reliable. If you tell me where you are on our buyers assistance or local deals I can take a look at your area for you.

Jean

Chris your top rated Swim Spas companies that are well made with the least amount of issues. Would love to see you do a video on the swim spa industry.

Needing advice

Hey… Wondering about the American Whirlpool, formerly Maax I believe. The 982 model. Msrp is $23,000, but blow out price will be $15,750.
What do you think of this tub? We were told we can do salt water with it… What are your thoughts? It also has an energy star certification label…
Thanks!

Brandon McQueen

I have a coast dealer much closer than master. I see the review for coast isn’t up yet. What are your thoughts. Price wise, are they cheaper or more expensive then master. Also what are your thought on the curve model with the water fall. Thanks

Mike L

In the Akron/Cleveland area and looking at high end spas. Not sure of any Master Spa dealers in the area, but did look closely at a Coastal Spa Apex Curve for $14000. Any opinion on the Coastal Spa line? Thanks, really enjoyed your videos.

Great website! You’ve got lots of great info that cuts through some of the promotional B.S. that we can see in this industry,

Thanks and keep it up!

kelley

Hi I’m looking at purchasing a marquis vector 21:V77L or a n american whirlpool 461 . we want to put it in the garage and use it purely for therapy my husband is ex NFL and has back and neck pain , i was leaning towards the american whirlpool because it has the neck jets higher up on the seat . What are your thoughts we don’t want a big tub but one that seats 3 and had a lounge .

Hi Kelly, I would avoid the Vector 21 https://hottubuniversity.com/marquis-brand-review/ There are better Marquis tubs out there, the propriety parts on American Whirlpool make it hard for me to suggest them either. If you head over to our buyers assistance or Local Deals I can take a look at where you are and see if I can find something for you.

spencer steffens

In the market for a ~ 17′ swim spa. 2 models (aesthetically) we like are the Maax (american whirlpool) MX6 or a Coast Spa 1700VE. would you be able top make a quality comment on those options?

Jay Haa

Looked at Passion spas at the Cleveland home and garden show last weekend. More specific the Renew model. The price is really good for all options that are included. But I can’t find any reviews on any of their spas. Can you provide me with any information.

Kcorbs

We are looking at an American whirlpool 271 with ultra clean zone for $8000. 83in by 83in and 36 deep.

John

Hello, we were ready to buy a Master spa but now we have seen a American Whirlpool, previously called Maax. What are your thoughts on this?

Newbies to the HotTub World

Hello Chris, I’m in Norfolk, VA and am new to Hot tub buying. We are looking at buying a Mira MR 800 NL series from East Coast Leisure. The price is under 9k and we were wondering if this is a good investment. It has been difficult to find any reviews on this brand. Any input would be welcome!!

HotTub Rookies

Started looking locally for hot tubs. One we are considering is Garden Leisure Tulip. Any feedback would be great!