RelxTime Inflatable Hot Tub review – A great tub, with a low price, but a strange spelling!

RelxTime Hot Tub 5

REVIEW – My wife loves hot tubs.  Whenever we travel, a hot tub is the first filter on the Airbnb listing that she checks – it’s a “must-have.”  I’ve always been opposed to getting one at home due to the initial cost both for the tub, and also to have a new 220V line run to our patio.  Additionally, once you get it, it’s there forever.  The RelxTime Inflatable hot tub solves all these problems. The initial cost is comparably quite low, it runs on regular 120V power, and if you want a break from it, just empty and deflate it and put it away!

What is it?

It’s a hot tub that inflates like a small pool, with an integrated heater, pump/filter, and bubbler.

RelxTime hot tub 1

What’s included?

  • Inflatable Hot Tub
  • Snap-on cover
  • Foam entry mat
  • 2 filters
  • 2 filter covers
  • Cup holder
  • Water quality test strips
  • Plastic wrench for assembly
  • Inflation hose
  • Keys to lock the cover clips
  • Storage bag
  • Patch kit
  • Manual
  • (web site says it was supposed to come with a pressure valve to ensure proper inflation, but mine did not)RelxTime hot tub 2

RelxTime Hot Tub 3

Tech specs

Click to expand
  • External Diameter:  86‘’/218 cm
  • Internal Diameter:  68”/172 cm
  • Material:  PVC
  • Heigh: 25.6”/65 cm
  • Filled Weight: 2259lb/1025 kg
  • Capacity: 4 – 6 Adults
  • Water Capacity: 1000 liters
  • Cable Length: 3.4m with ground-fault interrupter (GFI)
  • Voltage: AC 110-120 / 60Hz
  • Max. Heat Capability: 104°F(40°C)
  • Rated Power: web site says 2400w, manual says 1950w.

 

Design and features

The RelxTime Inflatable Hot Tub comes with just about everything you need to get started.  This tub seats 4-6 people, which basically means it seats four adults pretty comfortably, and you could get six people in there if the other two were pretty small.  There are four padded seats in the hot tub, so you can see what the designers had in mind.  The hot tub inflates using its own built-in air pump for the bubbles, which is nice and inflates to a level quite rigid.  You can sit on the edge comfortably without fear of the tub collapsing. There are no built-in seats like a traditional hot tub, which means you are either in or out, unless you want to put s stool or something else inside to sit on – just make sure you don’t puncture the bottom.  The tub does have a few nice handles on the outside that can be used to position the tub before you fill it (once filled, you’re not moving it).

RelxTime hot tub 8

One feature that I really like compared to other inflatable hot tubs is that all the electronics, controls, and pumps are internal to the tub. In models by other makers, all that exists in an external unit that takes up a lot of space. The controls are very easy to use and allow you to turn on the bubbles, heater, and filter and also change the temperature.

RelxTime hot tub 9

One thing to note about the bubbles which is very different from a traditional hard-sided hot tub.  In a traditional tub, the jets are shooting hot water from the tub itself out. In this tub, it’s just bubbling ambient air through the water.  If that ambient air is cool, this process can strip heat from the tub very quickly. But I’ve never been one for the bubbles anyway.

RelxTime Hot Tub 4

One confusing aspect of the Relxtime tub is the low temperature sensitivity.  The manual clearly says to not use it below 39oF, but the tub also includes a “freeze protection” feature designed to prevent the water from ever getting below 41oF.  I’m not sure why this would be needed if you never used the tub below 39oF.

If you were to use the tub in cooler weather, you’d want to invest in better insulation for the lid.  The included lid is nice, and fits well and is secured with clips that can be locked to keep kids out of the tub.

RelxTime Hot Tub 7

But it’s not insulated well.  There is a “space blanket” reflective material, but some insulation would go a long way toward saving money and heat in cooler weather.  You can make an insulated lid from some foam board, or RelxTime sells an inflatable lid that goes under the cover on their web site.

RelxTime Hot Tub 6

RelxTime hot tub 14

One unfortunate note about the design has to do with what happens if the tub loses power. If that happens (power outage, accidentally unplugging it, etc.), the tub does not enter the same mode it was in when before it lost power.  So if the power goes out, the tub stops filtering and heating.  If you don’t realize this has happened, you could have a cold and dirty tub the next time you go to use it.  I wish there was a memory setting that returned the tub to the same state it was in before power loss.

RelxTime hot tub 10

Assembly, Installation, Setup

The assembly and setup of the tub really was incredibly easy. Just find a good spot for it that’s very flat with nothing sharp on the ground and spread the tub out.  Then it’s time to inflate, which uses the tub’s own blower (for the bubbles).  Just attach the included hose from the blower outlet to the inflation valve, and in less than 3 minutes, the tub is ready to fill. The tub was supposed to come with a “barometer” pressure gauge to indicate proper inflation pressure, but mine did not.  It wasn’t a big deal – the manual gives some guidance here.

RelxTime hot tub 12

The next step is to attach the included filters, and to fill it up.  The capacity is 1000L, and it took just under 2 hours to fill with my garden hose. Once filled, you add come chlorine or bromine (not included, but test strips are to help you get the levels right), and turn on the heater.  Depending on the temperature of the water coming from your tap, it could take a while to heat up.  It took 2 days to heat up to 104oF, with my tap water entering the pool in the mid-50s.

Here’s a video showing setup and us enjoying the tub!

Performance

Once it was fully heated, I’ve been very impressed with the tub.  It’s sturdy and holds air well – I’ve not had to add any additional air in the month that I’ve been testing it. Once inside, it’s quite comfortable. The bottom has some very minimal padding, but there are four padded seats built into the floor.  When I was setting it up, I was concerned that this padding would not do much and the tub would be uncomfortable, but I forgot that you’re in water so your weight is substantially reduced and you really don’t’ need much padding. It’s quite comfortable.

RelxTime hot tub 11

Since you sit on the floor and lean against the sides, you can’t really “lounge.”  But the tub is low enough that it’s easy to swing an arm over the side and get very comfortable.  It’s deep enough that when sitting upright, the water comes just below your shoulders, which is a satisfying depth. The bubbles (which are bubbles, and not jets like in a traditional hot tub) are not my favorite thing, but I don’t like traditional jets either.  It does create a nice effect, but can cool the tub quickly since it’s bubbling ambient temperature air through the water.

RelxTime hot tub 13

The controls are simple to use, and the tub is easy to maintain.  The filters just screw on and off and can be easily cleaned with a garden hose, although it’s easy to cross-thread them when replacing. One thing to note is that, like all hot tubs, this uses a lot of electricity.  For the month of testing, it’s about doubled our electricity usage for our house (which admittedly, is quite low already).  For the month of testing (June, so it was already pretty warm out), the tub consumed just under 200 KWh of power.  I would expect this to double in cooler weather, so be forewarned.  This is not a feature or a bug of this particular model, just the cost of keeping 1000L of water heated to a comfortable temperature for a month.

What I like about RelxTime Inflatable Hot Tub

  • Low cost compared to a traditional tub
  • Easy setup
  • Not permanent

What needs to be improved?

  • A memory feature on power loss would be great
  • Include an insulated lid to reduce heat (and $$) loss

Final thoughts

I never thought we’d own a hot tub despite everyone in my family really enjoying them.  But the RelxTime Inflatable tub has overcome all the issues I had concerns about – initial cost, power needs, and permanence. We’ve used it more than I thought we would, even in the warmer weather.  And because it’s not permanent, I think we’re going to put it away for a while (it takes up half our patio), and get it back out in the fall when it cools off a bit. Check out the RelxTime Inflatable Hot Tub – it might be just what you’re looking for!

Price: $485.00
Where to buy: RelxTime (Save 5% with code: thegadg05 expires 8/17/2024)
Source: The sample of this product was provided for free by RelxTime.  RelxTime did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

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