Portable Swim Spa
Swim spas offer many benefits for aquatic exercise, hydrotherapy, family fun, and relaxation. Portable swim spas have the added benefit that you can take them with you when moving. But are they as good as in-ground pools and which models are worth considering?
In this review, we'll cover product specifications, features, and pricing of some of the best portable swim spas. We'll also lay out the pros and cons of choosing one over a traditional in-ground pool. Whatever your reason for considering a portable swim spa, we can help you make the right decision.
Our Top Choices For Portable Swim Spa
1. Master Spas H2X Trainer 12
- 5 massage stations
- 50 massage jets & 4 swim jets
- H2Xercise Fitness System, Bio-Magnetic Therapy System, Xtreme Therapy seats
- Best overall swim spa
2. Endless Pools R200
- 5 massage stations
- 27 massage jets & 3 swim jets
- Aquabike, resistance bands, LED lighting, Bluetooth entertainment system option
- Best design features & accessories
3. PDC Spas Vitality SL12s
- 3 massage stations
- 18 massage jets & 1 ElitePro Swim jet
- AquaForce pulley training system, stability bars, high-grip flooring, optional AquaCross tether
- Largest swimming space
Not sure which hot tub to get? Let us help you!
Price Guide: How Much Do Portable Swim Spas Cost?
First, exactly what is meant by "portable"? Swim spas are all relatively large, heavy items. When we talk about portable models, we are referring to those with small enough dimensions, or those that use specific construction methods which allow them to be relocated with relative ease. However, you will still need to ensure a deck or other level surface is available for installation, and a licensed electrician should always take charge of the wiring aspect.
Swim spa cost generally ranges from around $8000 for a basic model of exercise pool up to $30000+ for the biggest and best models with extra-powerful swim jets, energy-efficient features, added equipment, etc. The good news is the majority of relatively portable models are toward the cheaper end, being smaller than their "top-of-the-line" cousins and therefore not having quite the same heating and pump requirements.
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Most Popular Portable Swim Spa Models
Best Swim and Hydrotherapy - Master Spas H2X Trainer 12'
One of the top hot tub industry brands in the USA, Master Spas, offers two lines of swim spas.
One of these, endorsed by record-breaking Olympian Michael Phelps, mainly contains larger units that require a lot of backyard space.
However, the Master Spas H2X swim spa series includes the Trainer 12', a significantly more portable model at 12' x 94" x 51", and the budget Therapool range has even smaller options (although these are less versatile in terms of fitness).
The Master Spas Trainer 12' uses 4 air-injected swim jets to deliver a relatively challenging current. The spa also comes with the H2Xercise Fitness System which provides highly effective full-body muscular toning and strength-training workout options.
Hydrotherapy is where Master Spas really excel. The Trainer 12' features two of their outstanding Xtreme Therapy seats, which have a high number and variation of jets to massage the neck, shoulders, back, wrists, and thighs. In addition to other seated and cool-down positions, the Trainer 12' also has the innovative Master spas Cove system, a standing hydrotherapy station designed to deliver recovery or therapy massage to the back, hips, thighs, and calves. With 50 hydrotherapy jets altogether, the Trainer 12' gives a lot of premium hot tubs a run for their money.
If that wasn't enough, Master Spas also implement bio-magnetic therapy, a set of magnets carefully placed to help improve circulation and reduce inflammation.
Other benefits to Master Spas products include their extensive written limited warranty scheme, with 10 years cover on the spa structure and 5 years plus on most major components (except LED lighting, audio equipment, and the purification system).
Best Design Features and Accessories - Endless Pools R200
Endless Pools manufacture a range of swim spas and exercise pools, in addition to retrofitting traditional backyard swimming pools with water current jets and pumps.
The R200 from their RecSport range is Endless Pools' smallest and most portable self-contained swimming exercise and spa product at 12' x 7'5".
The company does also offer pools with water current pumps in smaller sizes but without spa jets/seats.
R200 swim spas come equipped with a powerful 5.2 BHP motor, driving 3 round swim jets to produce a brisk current.
While this won't challenge elite swimmers to the same extent as the Fitness series, it is ideal for anyone who enjoys swimming laps recreationally. The manufacturer also offers several different types of fitness accessories, ranging from Aquabikes to resistance bands, to help you get the most from your workouts.
In terms of relaxation, the Endless Pools R200 manages to fit five jetted hydrotherapy seats around the main swimming area, fed by 27 high-quality jets to soothe the body after exercise. Overall, the R200 represents a great deal for those who want to balance swimming, training, relaxing and fun with portability. The fun part is definitely helped out by the LED lighting and Bluetooth entertainment system options!
Largest Swimming Space - PDC Spas Vitality SL12s
PDC Spas swim spa models come in 4 series, of which the Vitality SL12s is the smallest spa pool. Compared to the other two swim spa units reviewed here, the SL12s prioritizes open and unobstructed swimming and exercise space over the hot tub-style massage and relaxation aspect. If you have a small backyard area but want a larger workout area, PDC could well be the manufacturer for you.
The swim current is delivered by one enormous ElitePro swim jet, providing resistance for a range of exercises using the AquaForce pulley training system and/or optional AquaCross tether, in addition to swimming itself.
Other add-ons include stability bars and a high-grip flooring suitable for aquatic jogging etc. The quality of aquatic exercise available is definitely right up there with the other contenders.
As already noted, this PDC Spas swim spa model does not have as much of a massage focus as other swim spas or dedicated hot tubs. There is only one seated massage station with back jets, although the two RX6 body massage columns provide a standing hydrotherapy experience very similar to the Master Spas Cove system.
The Sl12s remains a great place to relax all year round, thanks to the powerful (5.5Kw) heater allowing this portable swim spa to reach temperatures a couple of degrees higher than the other two. This is further aided by their TemperBase insulation system.
Speaking of getting the most use out of your swim spa, PDC offers one of the best written limited warranty offers in the industry. With a staggering 35 years of coverage on the structure, 15 years on the surface finish, and 5 Years on all electrical components, you're sure to be enjoying this spa for many years to come.
12' L x 94" W x 51" H
12' L x 89" W x 50” H
12’ L x 92” W x 56” H
2 Air-injected VIP System pumps
5.2 HP Dual-Speed
6 HP Pump
4 Swim Jets
50 Massage Jets
3 Swim Jets
27 Massage Jets
1 ElitePro Swim jet
18 Massage Jets
Pros & Cons Of A Portable Swim Spa
The Final Verdict
A portable swim spa makes a great compromise between the fitness benefits of a traditional in-ground swimming pool and the relaxation offered by hot tubs. They can be installed quickly and generally take less than a day to heat and run in the pumps once filled.
Although all three of the models I've reviewed have their strengths, the Master Spas H2X Trainer 12' is a clear step up in specifications, particularly from the hot tub perspective. However, if you want to use your new swim spa as a "party spa", the PDC Spas entry does have more exciting lighting and entertainment options.
Head over to our Best Swim Spa Reviews page to see additional brands!
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About The Author
Bobby Gifford // Staff Writer
Bobby Gifford has over 17 years of experience with hot tubs and swimming pools. He has owned one pool and several hot tub brands over the years and has a wide scope of knowledge including buying information, maintenance and industry trends.