Intex has been a leading brand in the inflatable hot tub world for the last two decades. They’ve pioneered the premium hot tub market and have made some of the most versatile and luxurious spa sets out there. In this review, we will go over the various features, advantages, and disadvantages of the Intex PureSpa 28403E Spa Set and see how it compares to the rest of its competition from brands like Bestway and Coleman…
If you want to look at other top models and see which hare the best inflatable hot tubs in 2020, head over to my Buyer’s Guide…
Overview and Features
Without a doubt, the first thing that you will consider when it comes to this inflatable hot tub is that it is quite expensive compared to other regular 4-person models. The 6-person version is even more disproportionately expensive. But is the price justified or does it just fall on the brand’s name? Let’s find out!
Construction & Build Quality
From the moment you open the package, you will notice that all the materials feel premium and durable. Everything here is thicker than usual and the I-beam structure of the sidewall makes for a durable yet soft experience when you lay on it. According to user reports, the materials are quite long-lasting as well, being resistant to both prolonged sun exposure and hard water stains. The whole body is wrapped in Intex’s patented fiber-tech puncture-resistant material which is laminated (3-ply).
There are grab handles on both sides that are solid and allow you to move the tub around even when it isn’t fully empty without risking to break them off.
With your tub, you also get a carry bag which is good for both transporting and storing the Intex PureSpa 28403E. In its folded form, it doesn’t take a lot of space and can easily fit in the trunk of most cars.
Dimensions & Capacity
While it is a 4-person hot tub, the overall footprint of this model is quite large. It measures 75 inches in its outer diameter and 58 in its inner one. It is 28 inches high and has an official capacity of 4 people. While that is relatively okay on paper, in reality, it struggles to comfortably fit 4 large adults. If you’re getting this for your 4-person family, then it is perfectly fine but if you plan on having guests over, I suggest going for the 6-person model. It will cost you a little extra and will take longer to heat up but will be able to easily accommodate 4 adults and 2 kids or 6 average-sized adults.
In terms of water capacity, it can fit 210 gallons of water to be 80% full. If you plan on using it with more people, fill it up to around 70% of its capacity which is around 150 gallons. That water will still take some time to heat up, though. Let’s talk about that now…
Heater & Jets
The heater here isn’t as strong as you’d expect coming from a high-quality brand like Intex. Still, most hot tub heaters out there take quite a lot of time to fully heat up the tubs to the desired temperature (around 110 degrees Fahrenheit). The heater has an effective water temperature range of 68-104 degrees which is standard for the industry.
The 1300W heater takes around 20-30 hours to fully heat up a hot tub full of water with an initial water temperature of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If the hot tub has its full 210 gallons, the heater will heat them up at a rate of around 1-2 degrees per hour.
Now, let’s talk bubbles. After all, why are you getting an inflatable hot tub if you can’t enjoy your bubbles, right? Well, this model has a relatively high number of water jets that generate their bubbles through the air pump attached to the hot tub. There are 120 of them which is higher than most models out there. When you turn them on, the motor will create the noise it does when it inflates the tub which is quite high, but you will quickly get used to it when you’re bombarded with the water bubbles. The air blower itself is 1.1hp one which fully inflates the tub relatively quick (in around 10-15 minutes).
The installation and setup process here is fairly simple. There aren’t many things you need to put together before fully inflating the hot tub apart from the air pump and the tub connector. The water system is a bit trickier to install since it has more parts to it – spa filter, hard-water treatment system, etc. The flow rate of the hot tub is 460 gallons per hour which is slightly higher than the industry’s average.
If you are out on the market for something bigger that can easily fit up to 7 people and is also great looking, I suggest the Bestway Helsinki AirJet Hot Tub. It is quite expensive but is well worth its money as it shares many of the features of this Intex model and has a few unique ones of its own.
There are a few extra features that we have to talk about here, as they are all a great addition to your set. The first thing is the built-in hard water treatment system. It allows you to use the tub even in regions with hard water without the risk to your skin or to the materials on the tub. Typically, this type of water leaves hard water stains and can irritate your skin if you use it a lot. Hard water also builds up inside your spa and air vents, making it harder for it to function and will severely shorten its life span. The whole system works by generating an electromagnetic field which agitates the calcium and other hard minerals dissolved in your water. Once it does that, those minerals become suspended in the water in a crystal-like form. Then, the filter cartridge picks them up leaving only soft water flowing into the spa.
The thermal ground cover is another accessory that you’re getting with your Intex hot tub. It does a great job of insulating the tub from the colder ground maximizing thermal efficiency when you’re heating up the water and when the water has reached its maximum temperature. It also allows you to put the inflatable hot tub on various rough surfaces without worrying about damaging it.
Another thing that is standard for all Intex models is that you get the floating chlorine dispenser as part of your whole package.
Now let’s sum up which are the strongest and weakest points of this model…
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Premium build quality
- Easily fits 4 people
- Soft and durable sidewall
- 120 bubble jets
- Detailed control panel
- Has an integrated water softener
- Comes with a carry bag
- If you want to host more people you will have to pay quite a lot extra for the bigger 6-person model
- Takes its time to fully heat up
- Very expensive compared to the average price of competitors
If you want to read more on some of the most important hot tub health benefits, head over to my full article on the topic!
Conclusion and Rating
As a whole, the Intex PureSpa 28403E spa set easily raises above its competitors in terms of build quality but struggles to beat them in other areas like thermal performance. While the price is higher, you get a few extra accessories and features that aren’t present or as prevalent in other cheaper models. The control panel and integrated water softener here really help with usability. The extra carry bag and hot tub cover and the thermal ground cover are also a good touch. If your budget isn’t an issue, this is a solid model to go with that will last you quite a while and won’t require constant maintenance and repairs even if you use it on a weekly basis.