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When I was pregnant with my son (now 2 years old), the jet tub in our master bath was my life-saver — easing the pain and discomfort associated with harvesting a tiny human. Having a jet tub bath every night was a therapeutic ritual to get me through the last 4 months of my pregnancy.
To this day, I still love hydrotherapy to help with all the aches and pains associated with adulting/aging, combined with my previous broken back-related injuries that tend to flare up whenever the weather changes (…which is a regular thing here in Tennessee, as we are prone to some pretty wild temperature fluctuations).
Last spring, even though I wasn’t looking for hot tub, I was able to acquire a previously enjoyed Softub on Facebook Marketplace at a steal of a deal. It’s the Legend Softub 220 model. Their website lists this particular model for $4,695 brand new!
I had never heard of this type of hot tub before, so first I did a little research on the Softub hot tub. I was quite intrigued by its features — especially the fact that it’s so portable.
The seller disclosed that this particular hot tub had been sitting empty on their townhome balcony over the winter, but it was literally less than 2 years old. She also said that her neighbor complained about the noise it made — which didn’t make any sense to her because Softub is known for being one of the quieter hot tubs.
I discussed it with my husband, and together we decided that it was worth it to take a chance in purchasing this used Softub hot tub. It was one of those deals where you realize, “This is going to be a sweet score as long as it actually works once we get it home!”
It was a gamble that paid off — because our Softub has turned out to be a great outdoor hydrotherapy tub for our entire family to use. (Who doesn’t love the ability to jump in a tub that’s hot and ready to use — especially one that’s outside?!)
Things We Like About The Softub
There are many wonderful features about the Softub which make it perfect for our family today.
Speaking from experience as a full-time RVer and as a couple who has moved a lot in the last decade, I can also envision this hot tub easily fitting into the lives of a family that moves a lot or a snowbird who spends their winters in a warmer climate RV park.
Here are the reasons why:
#1 – True portability
The Softub hot tub is ultra-lightweight! Its manageability was definitely an important feature to us — because we really didn’t want the hindrance of moving a large, traditional hot tub.
Total empty weight of this Softub is just 127 lbs:
- The tub itself weighs 65 lbs.
- The insulated lid weighs 25 lbs.
- The motor is its own separate unit and weighs only 37 lbs.
Since the entire tub is so lightweight, it is extremely portable and can be easily moved/rolled by 1 or 2 people when empty. (I was actually able to pick this hot tub up and load it onto our 4×8 utility trailer, with help from the seller.)
NOTE: For outdoor use, you will definitely need to know the load capacity of your deck — because it weighs approximately 2,100 lbs when the tub is full of water.
The Softub can be used inside or outside — the only requirement is a level surface. My husband and father-in-law, built a small platform deck for our Softub outdoor hot tub.
We spent $300 for the materials to build it. We were happy that we didn’t have the added expense of pouring a concrete pad — which would have been the case had we gone with an acrylic hot tub.
Nor did we have to recruit a handful of friends to help us move this hot tub. One person can easily roll a Softub to a flat spot for setup or transport.
#2 – Easy to set up
The Softub plugs into a regular 3-prong, 15 amp outlet to power the jets and heat the water without a heater — so we didn’t have to hire an electrician to power the hot tub with a special outlet.
It comes with a cord-mounted ground fault indicator — which provides electrical safety by shutting off before any damage can be done to the motor.
The motor pack has controls for the jets, the color changing LED light, and the temperature.
The water temperature can be maintained between 80° to 106° Fahrenheit. We keep ours around 95° to 100° — because we use the hot tub as a family and don’t want it too hot for our toddler son.
One person easily can set up a Softub hot tub simply by filling it with water and plugging it in. (It takes about a day to heat up though.)
#3 – Comfortable to sit in
The Softub hot tub has a padded surface inside and out. The shell is made of a durable polybond foam, and it’s upholstered in a Leathertex marine-grade vinyl — so it is soft with no hard or slippery surfaces.
The Softub is an open tub with no barriers or pre-formed seats — so we are free to sit whichever way is most comfortable, and we are free to move too — which is helpful for me to be able to stretch and move for hydrotherapy when my back is bothering me.
We love that it is always hot and ready to use — with 5 jets located in 4 areas of the tub.
#4 – Inexpensive to operate
Our Softub outdoor hot tub is really inexpensive to operate. I would say that an estimated cost of $14/month to operate the Softub and maintain the chemicals is fairly accurate. I’m basing this on an average of the difference between last year’s electric bills before this hot tub, plus the additional chemical costs.
According to Coastal Softub:
In a climate with an average 65° temperature, the typical Softub requires just 4 kw hours of electricity per day to stay 102° and ready to use. At 8¢ per kw hour, that would be just 32¢ per day, or $9.60 per month. Source
The Softub also has an insulated lid to save heat and water. Plus, the water heats itself without a heater by cycling through tubes in the motor while exchanging the heat.
#5 – Quiet
The sound is definitely quieter than some other hot tubs I’ve been in.
We will sometimes hear a very low humming when the jets cycle through themselves and we’re in the house — it’s very subtle and reverberates through the house.
This must have been what the seller’s neighbor was complaining about (because of the close proximities of their townhomes). I don’t even notice it most times, as you need to really be listening for it.
#6 – Well-designed lid
The lid has 4 convenient combination locking straps — which is an added safety feature. This was important for us to consider with our 2-year-old running around the backyard, along with the occasional neighborhood kiddos.
#7 – Easy maintenance
We’ve never owned a hot tub before, so we don’t have a point of reference when it comes to maintenance of the water.
My husband is in charge of the Softub maintenance and he finds it quite manageable. He drains and re-fills the water every 3 to 4 months (which is recommended by Softub).
Since it is such a small body of water, it’s easy to become saturated with an accumulation of chemical residuals, body oils, lotions, perspiration, soap residue from bathing suits, etc.
He also tests the hot tub water every 2 to 3 days and adjusts the chlorine, pH, etc. as necessary. I’m so grateful that he is willing to monitor the pH level and keep the water safe for our use.
#8 – Separate motor unit
We like that the motor and the tub are completely separate — so if there is ever an issue with the motor, we can literally disconnect the motor from the tub and send away the motor for service.
Likewise, if we ever have a problem with the tub, it can easily be drained (and transported if necessary).
#9 – LED lights which change colors
The colorful lights are always lots fun at night — especially with our toddler.
Things We Don’t Like About The Softub
It’s hard for me to complain about this particular Softub because we got such a great deal on it by purchasing it used.
A few things do come to mind:
One minor thing that both my husband and I wish the Softub company would improve on is the interior filter. The Softub filter sits on the inner perimeter of the tub (inside the tub with you) and takes up a small amount of valuable space inside the tub.
It would be better if they could locate the filter in a tube in or near the outer perimeter — filtering the water to the motor.
Beyond that, there are 2 major complaints about Softubs in general that I will address separately:
- High retail price
- Lack of servicing dealers
If I was to imagine myself as a customer paying full retail for a Softub hot tub, I’m not sure if I would be completely satisfied after weighing the features versus the hefty price tag. (My husband and I both agree that we would have never paid full retail for a Softub.) Sure, it’s an American-made product that is hand built right here in the USA — but I am 100% certain that we simply would not have a outdoor hot tub if we were to do it all over again and pay full retail price for a Softub. For one, I would definitely want — and need — a lot more jets for that kind of money!
The other issue I would have as a full retail customer is the lack of local service options for the Softub unit itself. There are just not that many servicing dealers. Using the Softub dealer locator, I can see that the closest one for us is 2.5 hours away. (We live near a major city in East Tennessee.)
In fairness, Softub does give customers some peace of mind by offering a 5-year limited warranty from the time of purchase to protect their investment — however, the warranty is non-transferrable, so we don’t have a warranty with our Softub.
Since our Softub hot tub was a “steal of a deal” investment, it will be a much easier pill to swallow when and if our Softub ever needs repair work.
The Bottom Line…
This is what my husband has to say about the Softub:
If you’re a person (or family) who moves often and wants a hot tub, this is best option. I like how easy it was to move and set up. It’s easy to get in and out, and comfortable to sit in. I don’t like the interior filter. Also… don’t think that you can get 4 adults in there without being real friendly!
Currently, our Softub is working great and running strong without any glitches. It has already paid for itself from the enjoyment we have as a family using it for almost 1 year now. It has been a therapeutic way to relax and unwind together.
We love to sit in our Softub hot tub — especially at night to watch the night sky. We enjoy soaking in the magnitude of our universe and how we are all on a giant spaceship traveling through space. All of our problems or stresses of the day tend to float away when we realize how insignificant they are compared to the grand scale of things happening before our eyes which we can hardly comprehend.
Overall, I think the Softub is a fun outdoor hot tub that is therapeutic, convenient, economical, and best of all… portable.
If ours were to quit tomorrow and become irreparable for whatever reason, I would definitely miss it — but couldn’t afford to replace it with a new one. (Luckily, this mama still has a master bath jet tub to revert back to if that ever happens!)
I hope this review helps shed some light on Softub hot tubs for anyone who is considering getting one.
I’m a first-time mom. I work from home and I write. Tackling random DIY projects while my husband is at work and my toddler is asleep is how I spend my free time these days. I also enjoy discovering new products and gadgets that will make life easier with a dog, a cat, an active little boy, a Harley-loving husband, and all of our extended family!