In this Intex hot tub review we are taking a close look at the more budget end of the Intex PureSpa inflatable hot tub range.
These tubs have a “no frills” approach, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t provide an excellent hot tub experience.
In fact the 77 inch PureSpa Inflatable Bubble Massage Spa and its larger 85 inch sister tub both have the same built in features that the more expensive models in the range offer.
They’re built with same high, or higher bubble jet count, and the same pump and heater capacity. All they are really missing are the four high powered massage jets offered on some of the premium Intex hot tubs.
Lets take a closer look….
At a Glance
Product: PureSpa Bubble Massage
Brand: Intex Hot Tub
Seats: 4 – 6 people ?
Jet Count: 120 x Air jets
Capacity: 210 gallons
Dimensions: H – 28in. D – 77in.
Filled Weight: 1752 lbs
Price: $388.00 at the time of writing.
- 120 Bubble jets
- 3-ply puncture resistant carcass
- Digital Control Panel
- Hard water treatment
- Insulated top cover
- Insulated Floor
Intex PureSpa Bubble Massage Spa Review
Formally known as “The Wet Set” the Intex hot tub division is part of the larger the Intex Recreation Corp. They distribute airbeds, above ground pools, spas, inflatable toys and furniture from their headquarters in Long Beach CA.
Long established in the USA, they are recognised to be one of the top two manufacturers of inflatable hot tubs and spas in the world.
Which Hot Tub 77″or 85″. Same Specification. Well Almost!
Any range of products is going share many of the same characteristics. The Intex PureSpa Bubble Massage range is no exception. They are all constructed with the same robust proprietary three-ply Fiber-Tech construction. And all the models in the Intex hot tub
range are fitted with the same capacity heaters and pumps. That is regardless of the size or shape of the tub.
So the budget end tubs benefit from the same basic specification as the premium.
In our PureSpa review we are focusing on the 77” PureSpa Bubble Massage tub, but also looking at it’s big brother. The generously sized 85” tub has exactly the same on board equipment, except it offers 140 bubble jets compared the smaller models 120.
Of course running the same specification heater and pump on both tubs does have some implications, especially for the larger tub.
It will take longer to bring the larger tub up to operating temperature. It will also require a little more energy to maintain the temperature. See our article on saving energy >>
The bonus is a massive 30% more room. So it could be a price worth paying. The 85 inch tub in our opinion is the only true six person unit on the market.
Lets look at the specification of the two tubs….
|Hard Water Treatment|
Features of the Intex PureSpa Bubble Massage Hot Tub.
Forget the old idea of inflatable goods being a little sloppy. This has a comfortingly firm feel to it.
The carcass is reinforced with laminated PVC layers of fibre materials. It makes the spa much more durable. The manufacturer boasts it to be rigid enough to support the weight of an adult sitting. Depends on the size of the adult, we think!
But we do know from experience that it feels just like sitting on a well padded bench.
The easy to understand waterproof panel sits above the pump and heater units. It’s been set at a convenient height that allows easy access without having to exit the tub. The comprehensive set of controls allows the user to:
- Choose Celsius or Fahrenheit.
- Activate heater.
- Turn on water filter.
- Select desired temperature.
- Start bubble massage.
Once the desired temperature is reached the Intex hot tub will automatically keep it within a 2 degree window.
Hard Water Treatment System:
In common with many modern inflatable tubs the PureSpa Bubble Massage offers a built in system as standard. It works when the filter pump is running by using alternating magnetic fields. This creates an electric field around the incoming water pipe, and stops the minerals present in the water from sticking to the internal surfaces. This will significantly extend the life of the tub, particularly in high scale areas.
Because these are budget tubs they don’t not come with a built in salt water treatment system, so water purification must be done manually. This is not hard or difficult to do. Many owners that have premium tubs that include saltwater purification systems actually prefer to treat the tub manually anyway. Chemical treatment is a breeze these days, so it is not something to be apprehensive about. We have written a an easy to understand post on how to do keep a crystal clear tub. See our in depth article >>
The clip down, child proof inflatable cover is foil lined to minimise heat loss. A base thermal blanket is also provided to lay below the hot tub after inflation. We recommend paying close attention to the base and an extra form of insulation is a good idea if possible. Both cover and base blanket are handy cost saving things, but to really cut energy costs an investment in a solar blanket will pay back its cost many times over. They are easy enough to tailor exactly to the dimensions of the tub. See our in depth article >>
Pump and Heater:
OK now we are at the heart of the tub. Without a pump and a heater we’ve just got a cold PVC bath!! Yikes!
Unfortunately the Intex hot tub heater is one of the most misunderstood parts of the tub. Many users become disappointed at the speed that the water initially heats up. Their expectations are often simply unrealistic.
This is a large quantity of water we are talking about. Two to three hundred gallons!! But given a normal summer ambient temperature the Intex PureSpa will heat the smaller 77 inch tub at 2 – 3º/hr. The larger 85 inch tub has a slower temperature build at 1 – 2º/hr.
When it’s up to temperature it is easy and cheap to maintain temperature using the solar blanket technique we have detailed elsewhere on the site.
The heater fitted to the Intex hot tub PureSpa range is actually pretty efficient when compared to other hot tubs on the market. The manufacturer states 2 – 3º/hr temperature rise and we have found that to be reasonably accurate.
The filter pump is capable of filtering over two complete tub volumes per hour, which is also good. Water is directed through the filter when the heater is activated, or it can be run independently.
Setting up the Intex Hot Tub
The Intex hot tub arrives in a fairly hefty sized box.The PureSpa weighs in at just a shade under 110 lbs.
But if your eyes roll backwards at the thought of reading a manual, then there is the set up CD that comes in the box. No CD player? There are plenty of videos on-line showing how it’s done. Included in the box:
Set up actually shouldn’t take more than an hour or so. It’s helpful to have two people during the tub set up, one doing the build, and the other one supplying the cold drinks. The only thing that might slow the build down is the type of cold drinks being consumed!!!
But if your eyes roll backwards at the thought of reading a manual, then there is the set up CD that comes in the box. No CD player? There are plenty of videos on-line showing how it’s done.
Included in the box:
No special tools are required, everything needed to complete the build is in the box. No specialist knowledge is needed either.
So if you can read a manual, or watch a video and know how to put a plug into a power socket then you have all the qualifications you need to get inflatable hot tubbing. Of course running some water inside the tub is another required skill set!!
It really is that simple…
The Intex PureSpa Bubble Massage Hot Tub at a Glance.
This “at a glance” guide should help to highlight what we consider the good and not so good points of the two Intex hot tubs.
We have listed them as “Pros and Cons”, but really they are just an aid for things to be considered when contemplating a purchase.
Spacious. The 85 inch tub is the biggest on the market. If you are looking for a roomy tub, then this could be the one.
Hard Water Treatment. Automatically runs when the pump is on. Extends life of the internal components.
Simultaneous Functions. Both the heater and the bubble function can be run at the same time. Water temperature still cools a when bubbles are running though, but just a little slower!
Good Jet Count. The 77 inch carries 120 and the 85 inch 140 jets. That is sufficient to give a good all round invigorating bubble spa experience.
Easy set up. No technical knowledge required.
Price. Competitive price point on 77 inch model. The 85 inch has no real competitors.
Timer. These models have no built in timer. Not a show stopper but an inconvenience.
Customer Service. The Index customer service can be patchy.
Intex PureSpa Bubble Massage Range Wrap up
Both the 77 and the 85 inch PureSpa hot tubs offer a brilliant bubble massage experience. They are identical apart from the size, and the necessary extra jets the larger tub tub carries.
The larger sized model is slightly slower in the time it takes to heat and reheat the water, but the power and coverage of the bubble jets has not really been affected.
One of the real plus points of the entire Index hot tub range is that they can run both the bubbles and heater simultaneously. Other inflatable manufacturers have not been able to offer this feature.
Like all hot tubs, the water will still cool when the bubbles are running, but at a reduced rate.
A slightly disappointing omission in the list of features offered is the lack of a built in timer to heat the tub water at pre determined times of the day. It can mean waiting for the tub, instead of the tub waiting for you. Owners of the PureSpa range don’t seem to have found it a noteworthy issue though.
If a timer is a priority then all models in the Bestway range do have the feature built in.
We do like that Intex have produced a whole range of accessories to personalise their tubs. Multi-coloured lighting systems, interior seating, head rests and lots more fun stuff are all available to pimp your tub to your own individual taste.
Of course every buyer has their own criteria, and boxes that need to be ticked before deciding to purchase. But what ever the criteria, we think the Intex PureSpa Bubble Massage range offers the buyer a solid, robust and well featured product.
The Intex hot tub should give many seasons of fun and enjoyment at a price that won’t make your eyes water.
To find the current price and availability.