If you’re on the market for a premium inflatable hot tub, then Intex should be a brand that must definitely be on your radar. Their PureSpa series of tubs are some of the top-tier models on the market and come packed full of features. As of recently, they launched a PureSpa Plus Hot tub in the face of the Intex PureSpa 28409E which completely blows most other models out of the water but comes with quite the high price tag. In this review we will talk more about that model and see if the price is really justified.
For more of my thoughts on some of the best inflatable hot tubs for this year, click here to go to my full buyer’s guide on the topic. Now, let’s jump into this!
Overview and Features
Just to make sure that we’re on the same page, we will be going over the PureSpa Plus variation of the 28409E model here, since it has a few extra features compared to the standard tubs from Intex. One of the most important things with the whole PureSpa series, though, is their build quality and material technology used in them. Let’s talk about that now…
Construction and Build Quality
The most important feature that we have to discuss is the build quality and materials here is the fiber-tech construction in the I-beams. This material consists of thousands of high-strength fibers that are engineered to provide durability without sacrificing much of the comfort. Thanks to that, the walls of this tub are soft without deforming too much under pressure. The sidewalls feature 48 I-beams which help keep the tub upright and steady. Everything is wrapped in 3-ply laminated puncture-resistant materials, even the bottom of the tub. The bottom also has an insulated ground cloth to further support it and make sure that it doesn’t get punctured and leak onto the ground.
Dimensions and Capacity
In terms of dimensions, this is one of the biggest inflatable hot tubs that I’ve reviewed and has an outer diameter of 85 inches. The inner diameter is around 65 inches which is generally enough to fit 6 people but will work best with 4 adults or 6 kids. The water volume of the whole hot tub is 290 gallons but you have to fill it up only to around 250 if you want to have 5 or 6 people inside of it. Still, that huge water volume will be hard to fill up and even harder to properly warm up. Let’s talk heat and bubbles now…
Water heating and jets
The maximum temperature you can reach here is 104 degrees, which is standard for the industry’s typical 1300W heater. It is done through the built-in heater but will, unfortunately, take more than a day if you fill more than 80% of the water volume of the tub. One more caveat is that you won’t be able to reach the maximum temperature unless the ambient temperature is more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. That combined with the slow heat-up process makes for a very poor thermal performance out of such an expensive model.
The jets here are definitely worth mentioning since they are quite a lot, even for a 6-person model. There are 170 of them and the air blower that powers them is a 1.1hp one which is quite potent compared to some sub-1-hp models.
Everything from the built-in inflation system to the 10W hard-water system and heater/blower is made so that you have to do as little as possible when first setting up the Intex PureSpa 28409E. Also, make sure that you have a water supply that can support the 460 gallons per hour flow rate of the pump. The inflation happens relatively fast thanks to the powerful pump and you can have everything set up in less than an hour. Filling up the tub with water and eventually heating it up, however, will take quite some time due to the large volume.
Additional Features & Accessories
The most important accessory that you’re getting with this tub is the two contoured headrests. This is, in fact, the only inflatable hot tub that comes with these and they really improve the overall comfort and relaxation the tub offers. Both of them are built to match the wall of the tub and they snap into place easily when both they and the sidewall are fully inflated.
The next feature that I want to mention here is the multi-colored LED lights on the inside of the tub. These are, again, a unique feature offered only in the most expensive portable spas. You can turn them on/off or change their colors from the control panel next to the tub. They can change between 5 colors – white, light and deep blue, purple, and green.
Even though I already mentioned the bubble jets, I just wanted to point out that the 170 jets here are 30 more than the 140 you get on the standard model. As a whole, it is always better to have more jets, especially in larger 6-person models.
Apart from their chlorine treatment system, Intex tubs also use an electronic hard water treatment system that uses electricity to prevent calcium buildup and keeps the water in the spa gentle to your skin. That also protects the heater and keeps it efficient over the years of usage. You also get test strips to measure the quality of the water and whether or not it is good enough for a dip.
If you want to keep your tub running for a few days after you’ve fully heated it up, you can use the insulated tub cover that will minimize heat losses and will allow you to have a fully ready tub every day of the week. You also get an insulated ground cloth that will not only keep the ground from reducing the tub’s temperature but is also helpful if you’ve decided to place it on a rough surface. Still, if you use it on a daily basis, I suggest emptying it out at least once per week for cleaning and maintenance.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Can fit 6 people
- Excellent material quality and durability
- Comfortable design
- Fast inflation
- Control panel is easy to use
- Has LED lights
- 170 bubble jets
- Has two comfortable headrests
- Extremely expensive compared to other inflatable hot tubs
- Heats up really slow, oftentimes taking more than a day depending on the conditions
- Any additional headrests are bought separately and aren’t cheap
If you’re wondering what are the different health benefits associated with hot tub usage, click here to head over to my detailed article that covers all of that plus some safety concerns and precautions you need to take before your dip.
Conclusion and Rating
The Intex PureSpa 28409E Round Hot Tub is definitely not by everyone’s pocket and can easily be considered one of the most premium inflatable hot tubs out there. It is absolutely packed with cool features, most of which are very useful and practical. Despite the steep price, you get a ton of value for your money with accessories like the insulated cover, ground cloth, 2 headrests, LED lights, and more. The controls are easy to understand and use, and most importantly – everything here is built to last and will resist nature’s elements and frequent abuse by children. As a whole, I rated this hot tub four and a half out of five stars mainly due to its high price and long times to heat and fill up.