Last year we bought a weekend getaway property in the country. It is on a little river that is pretty to look at, catch fish in and enjoy a beverage on the dock, but it isn't great for swimming. We've been trying to come up with ways to add that 'swimming' element that every great vacation property should have.
Hot tubs are a great addition to most properties. Vacation properties command higher rental rates and position your property near the top of the market. We don't plan on renting our property out right now, but we want to add value.
Is there anything more relaxing than soaking in a hot tub under the stars?
Oh yeah and HOT TUBS ARE SUPER FUN! How did I almost miss that one?!
We had some very specific criteria for our hot tub search:
We obviously wanted to not pay too much money, so all the $10,000 super-spas were instantly out of the running.
2. Good reputation.
There seem to be more hot tub manufacturers out there now than ever and lots of discount models. We wanted a company/tub that had been around and had positive feedback.
When our vacation property is closed for the winter, we wanted a hot tub at home to enjoy. One that is too cumbersome and heavy to move wouldn't do that for us. And it would be cool if we didn't have to rent a trailer or a team of big dudes to move it for us.
We have a dog - and while he won't be using the Hot Tub, he may put his paws on it at some point. The idea of an inflatable hot tub (like many affordable/portable models out there) frightened us
a bit a lot.
5. Simple and Self Contained.
We're clever enough (or at least, we tell ourselves that), but the more straightforward assembly and maintenance could be, the better.
6. Energy Efficient.
It needs to be both affordable up front, but also on an ongoing basis. Electricity is the way most Hot Tubs run. Electricity rates probably aren't getting cheaper anytime soon, and it would be foolish to buy a cheap hot tub that ends up costing us in the long run on utility bills.
After hours of research, we narrowed it down to one. It looked like Canadian Spa Company's Swift Current Portable Spa could fit our needs perfectly. But would it?
Here's how the Swift Current Spa fits with our criteria:
- Great reviews - The Swift Current gets love everywhere, with many reviews saying things like, "great value for the price"
- It comes in a box that we picked up in our car - can't get much more portable than that. Check out the photo!
|The hard top is in there too - but the copilot and kids had to stay home as it was pretty full by this point.|
- The Swift Current has solid foam walls that install in sections, making it tougher than air. While similar in price to inflatables this suckers not going to pop - a blessing for dog owners. While we still won't let our dog in, we won't have to freak out if he jumps up on it. We've been testing the hot tub for nearly two weeks now - dozens of times he's pounced on it with his way-too-long nails - not even a mark, let alone a puncture.
- Simple to assemble. We put it together when it was still below zero and a bit of snow was in the air. Assembly still only took the promised 30 minutes. A good chunk of that time we spent warming our hands up. In the summer I think it could be done in 15 mins flat. The how-to video and simple instructions made it easy.
- Affordable. The Swift Current is fully half the price of the similarly sized/featured Softub model. And it costs thousands less than regular, hard-sided tubs. We spent a bit more upfront and added the hard top cover, this has better insulation and will trap in the heat. This should cut our operating costs substantially and make the whole thing more 'world-proof'.
The answer is: Very, very well.
Oh, you want specifics? Well, here goes.
- The size is excellent.
- Works great.
- Tough and well made.
- Dog claw proof.
- Well insulated - so easy on the electricity bill.
- Replaceable/Repairable if needed.
- Widely available.
- None really. The hard top Spa Cover was a great add to the package and we highly suggest it if you're buying the Swift Current. The combined package will still be under $2000 and you can then leave the heating unit off for longer stretches of time.
- The kids also said they would have liked a light inside, so I added this one for less than $30. Bang. Everyone's happy.
Update: Check out this post where we show how portable the Swift Current Spa actually is - plus how we made a deck for it for less than $250 and in less than 2 hours!
DISCLAIMER: After deciding that the Swift Current Spa would meet all our needs, we approached the company to see if they'd like to sponsor a review of the product. They agreed! (A nice bonus to being a blogger.) As always, all the opinions written are ours and we are totally honest and upfront. We respect you, our awesome readers, too much to do anything else.