The Rio Grande is a fairly innovative take on a well-established market, brought to us by the Canadian Spa Company. With the likes of Lay-Z-Spa leading the way in terms of technology, it isn’t that often that we come across an inflatable hot tub that sports features that are a little bit different. The Rio Grande inflatable hot tub manages to tick that particular box, while retaining the class and style level we would expect from such a large purchase.
We decided it was high time we put the Rio Grande to the test, to find out how it stacks up to past models we have reviewed. Don’t forget that you can check out some of our other reviews, should you think the Rio isn’t right for you.
Let’s get started with the benefits… Why buy an inflatable hot tub for your house in the first place?
The Inflatable Hot Tub – A Wise Investment?
The inflatable hot tub has soared in popularity throughout recent years. The more time we spend at home, the greater the level of investment we put into it. Meaning if you need to go through a lockdown, you need to have ample at-home entertainment to keep you going.
While not all of us can afford the hundred thousand or so investment to buy a bigger, better, more idyllic home – some of us are in the position where minor home refurbs, redecorations, and improvements, have become par for the course. If this sounds like you – and you have been scouring the internet for affordable home improvements, then the inflatable hot tub is exactly what you have been looking for… and here’s why.
The Health Benefits
Bathing in home hot tubs has been noted to have the same therapeutic benefits to that of going for a massage… particularly if your hot tub has as many bubbles as the Rio Grande hot tub does. Clients and reviewers around the globe are using them to treat arthritis, to help with Fibromyalgia, to get more flexibility, heat, and life, into their joints. The hot tub is great for your circulation, for blood oxidation, and treats a myriad of other health based problems.
The Athletic Benefits
Hydrotherapy can soothe those aching muscles between sessions. If you are an athlete, an inflatable hot tub gives you that soothing energy for around a quarter of the price of a plumbed in home hot tub. Massaging bubble jets can loosen up stiffness and even promote better healing after injury.
The Portability Factor
An inflatable hot tub is seen as a cheap alternative to a plumbed-in model… but it shouldn’t be! An inflatable hot tub is portable, you can take it to your friend’s house with you, you can store it away if you need the space, you can even take it with you if you move.
Hot Tub Social
An inflatable hot tub adds an extra dimension to your home. That you can go outside of a pleasant summer evening and set up your hot tub on the ground sheet, in a chosen part of your garden, means you essentially have an added room to the home. It’s an attractive way to spend time with friends and family without breaking any curfews.
There are a dozen other reasons to get a home hot tub, but we are always focused on the negatives. Yes, they cost money to run – but so does your TV, your fridge, and your laptop. Yes, they do take up a lot of water – but you don’t need to refill them every time you use them. Yes, they do need cleaned once in a while, but so does everything in your life (including yourself). A little dirt never hurt.
So should you buy an inflatable hot tub as a delightful addition to your home? Absolutely. Now let’s talk about why the Canadian Spa Rio Grande inflatable hot tub might be the right model for you.
The Rio Grande At-A-Glance
For all of those among us that are in a hurry, here are the key takeaways that you can use to make your decision. To find the best inflatable hot tub for you, compare our key takeaways here with the Quick Overview sections of our other reviews.
Pros of the Rio Grande Inflatable Hot Tub:
- 88 air jets massaging you as you enjoy a temperature that heats up to 39 degrees
- Durable I-Beam construction to make for added longevity of the final product
- 820 litre capacity, suitable for four persons
- Extra deep design at 29 inches – perfect for those who are over 6 feet and struggle to submerge neck and shoulders
- High-efficiency heater that was designed for use in Canadian weather
- Thermal blanket that keeps extra heat inside
- Digital controls include timer, single speed controller, and technical safety lock to stop little fingers prying
- Thermal cover with four safety clips plus an inflatable lid, to keep out dirt, debris, and children/animals
Cons of the Rio Grande Inflatable Hot Tub:
- Extra deep design isn’t great for kids
- You can’t have bubbles and heat at the same time
The Quick Overview of the Canadian Spa Rio Grande Hot Tub
So if we were to give you the rundown on the Canadian Spa Rio Grande, what would we tell you? First of all, that it is a 4 person tub that some users report squeezing five people into. The thing that sets it apart most from other inflatable hot tubs is the 29 inches of depth. This lets even taller people soak their neck and shoulders. On the flip side of this, be wary about having children in the water.
The Canadian Spa Rio Grande heats up via a high efficiency heating system and gets up to a maximum of 39 degrees Celsius. This is kind of industry standard, although Lay-z-spa are known for producing hot tubs with 40 degree maximums.
It is easy enough to assemble but does come with assembly instructions. Consumers pretty unanimously admit that the assembly instructions might as well be in Greek, however, so we suggest this YouTube video to help, instead. As to the quality, consumers report the Rio Grande is durable and hard-wearing, with a few saying Canadian Spa build quality is the best in the inflatable hot tub business. We found reviewers who still had this model five years after buying. With proper care, it should last a long, long time.
We recommend this inflatable hot tub to anyone who wants something spacious as a couple or as a grown family. The extra depth makes it on the unsuitable side for very young users. On the other hand, with proper supervision and a booster seat, anything is possible.
What do you get in the Box?
It’s always helpful to take a look at the contents of the box, so that you know exactly what you are buying… not to mention so that you know if anything is missing or not. We listed everything that should be contained in your Rio Grande inflatable hot tub for the home box, so you can spot if you have been stitched up or not.
An 88 Airjet Pump
This is the system that sends all those little massaging air jets all over your pool. It will make sure there are plenty of bubbles, all throughout the water. 88 airjets is an exceptional number, allowing for that complete massage sensation, every time.
The ground sheet isn’t just like the thing you get on the bottom of your tent… this one is padded, acting as something to separate the hot tub fabric from the ground itself. If there are any broken slabs, stones, sticks or debris under the hot tub, this layer will stop them from ripping the material.
Air Filter Cartridge
You actually receive two separate cartridges, which is enough to last a full summer season. You should rinse out the filter cartridges after every use to preserve their life.
The I-Beam Base
The base for the Rio Grande inflatable hot tub from Canadian Spa is an I-Beam type of construction. This adds to the durability and the stability of the model.
When it comes to making sure the heat stays inside the hot tub, Canadian Spa do extremely well. Normally, we would expect an inflatable lid and a cover, but they go the extra mile by adding in a thermal blanket, too. This keeps the heat in while you are waiting for the hot tub to warm properly, ultimately allowing for higher efficiency heating.
The Inflatable Hot Tub’s Inflatable Lid
A fully inflatable lid then sits on top of the thermal blanket, ensuring the best of maintained heat. The more of the temperature that your hot tub retains between sessions, or during a session, the less money you spend on electricity to heat it back up again. Canadian Spa knowns this and adds layers above and below their hot tub to compensate. This lid is six inches thick… if that doesn’t keep the heat in, we don’t know what will.
The Imitation Leather Cover
To add to the security and heat retention, they only went and added a third layer. The boffins at Canadian Spa added an imitation leather cover for two reasons: one to keep the heat in, two to keep the kiddies out.
The imitation leather cover that comes with the Rio Grande inflatable hot tub for the house is lockable. There are four clips on the sides of the outer liner, specifically so that this cover can snugly clip in. This added layer of heat works wonders – but more importantly, it stops animals, children, dirt, and debris, from falling into your hot tub when you aren’t using it.
The Hot Tub Liner
The Canadian Spa Rio Grande is a little different to what we are used to, in a lot of ways. One of the key disparities between it and other inflatable hot tub models we have reviewed, is that they have a single liner instead of an inner and an outer liner.
The liner comes with a light brown on the outside, which kind of resembles wooden boards from afar. On the inside it is an off-white colour that disguises any water discolouration or dirt… although that filter works hard to keep the water as clean as possible. The liner is of a reinforced vinyl that should be wear resistant.
The Heater and Pump
The air pump and heater in the Rio Grande hot tub for home is a dual device. This means that, unfortunately, you can’t have both the bubbles and the heat at the same time. However, you can heat up the hot tub, turn off the heater and turn the bubbles on, then vice versa if it starts to cool.
This self-contained unit also sports the digital control panel on top. From here, you can set the temperature and timers, switch functions, and even turn things off and on. The unit attaches to the side of the hot tub to make for ease of access.
Who are Canadian Spa?
Now that we know what you actually get with your order of the Canadian Spa Rio Grand inflatable hot tub for four people, let’s turn our attention to the company themselves. Although originating in Canada, the Canadian Spa Co. have risen to market success here in the UK. They produce hot tubs, spas, gazebos, and other garden enhancements fit to improve your quality of life.
This is a fairly corporate international firm. They have offices and manufacturing plants everywhere, from Asia to America. They take inflatable hot tubs very seriously indeed. Canadian Spa have won numerous awards, including a handful of 2019 best-in-show awards. They have been operating for around thirty years now, so they really do know what the consumer is looking for.
The Canadian Spa Company have a well-established customer aftercare team that will take care of the longevity of your product. They have been market leading in terms of technology for years now. They build spas, hot tubs, and swimming areas, that are made to last. On top of all of this, they are one of the most respected names in the industry amongst other competitors. In many ways, they helped to pave the way for other firms to come in their footsteps.
You will regularly find the Canadian Spa Company networking at events, running expos, and showcasing their wares with one hundred percent certainty that they are showing the best products possible. That corporate aspect means that these are the hot tubs you find at high end events, rented out for parties or to display the benefits of hot tub bathing. After three decades, they remain one of the first names in inflatable hot tubs, worldwide.
The Rio Grande is one in a long line of affordably luxurious inflatable hot tubs for your home, that have been built to the highest quality specifications. When you buy from the Canadian Spa Company, you can be assured of a good quality hot tub, with a good quality firm behind it. What’s not to love?
How do I Set up my Rio Grande Home Hot Tub?
When your hot tub box is in the place you want to setup, remove all the parts from the packaging. The ground sheet (that’s the padded one) will go first. Unroll it and lay the liner on top. Next, hook the liner up to the air and heat pump, as this part will inflate the hot tub liner without you having to blow it up.
Once it is fully inflated (this should take about 15 minutes according to the Canadian Spa Company, FYI consumers say it is more like a half an hour) you can start to fill it with water. We suggest you do this by using a hose and filling it until it is full. Only when the water is in the pool should you start to set the temperature.
It should take about 12 hours for your hot tub to fully heat. The high efficiency heating system means that you will be able to use it before then, but it won’t have reached full temperature yet.
Features of the Rio Grande
The model has a few features that make it a good hot tub – and a few others that make it a great hot tub. We will get into the standout features in a moment. First, let’s talk about the features that come as standard.
The Rio Grande is ideal for four people, although if you want to lounge, we recommend if for couples. It comes in at an affordable price given what you get from it, and supports an economic take on a hot tub, since it comes with all the thermal protection and heat retention hardware.
The hot tub is a lovely wooden colour, which ties in with any outdoor or indoor space. It looks chic, comes with plenty of bubbles, and heats up to 39 degrees.
Standout Features Include:
- 39 degrees is enough heat to be uncomfortably warm for some people. It isn’t hot enough for others.
- That thermal blanket, safety locking cover, and inflatable lid, all combine for a high security hot tub.
- It has that extra-deep feel, letting even the tallest soak their shoulders.
- It comes with the durable I-beam construction style for increased durability and stability.
- There is a control unit that has a safety locking system, so little fingers can’t turn it on without an adult.
- It holds around 820 litres and can be used in the home or in the garden.
- The Vinyl construction is extra durable for a long lived product.
The Rio Grande Inflatable Hot Tub Buyer’s Guide
Now that we have covered the basics, this next section will focus on getting down to the nitty-gritty. We want to point out what’s hot, and what’s not, when it comes to buying your new home hot tub… whether you choose the Rio Grande or not.
The Rio Grande home hot tub is 74 cm tall. This is a good 10-20 cm taller than other tubs, so be prepared if you are short. The hot tub is then 180 cm x 180 cm in length and width, but you should set aside a little more space than this if you are putting it indoors. This lets the air flow around it and stops machinery from overheating.
The parcel weighs 34 kgs before it is set up but be warned that the weight will increase considerably when filled with water. Since it holds about 820 litres, expect it to weigh about the same in kilograms. If you floor isn’t reinforced, you may want to put the Rio Grande home inflatable hot tub in the garden!!
Unfortunately, no model of inflatable hot tub comes with a choice in colours. this model is a nice light brown, wood-effect colour, on the outside. On the inside of the reinforced vinyl liner it is a lighter off-white colour that will help disguise any grime.
Indoor or Outdoor use?
The Rio Grande inflatable hot tub for your home is fully ideal for indoor or for outdoor use. If you want to keep it indoors, make sure the room is well ventilated and that the floor can take the strain.
This is a hot tub meant for 4 people. While other users report squeezing five in, we recommend two adults for lounging reasons.
Heat/Temperature of the Rio Grande
The Rio Grande can go up as high as 39 degrees Celsius. Often, people use the heat setting to take it down to around the 36 degree mark. If you are a heat freak, this might not be enough for you.
There is a digital control panel on top of the air pump. This is said to be portable but does connect via wire. The removal of the pump from the side of the hot tub means that you have distance between your water and your electronics. This helps keep everything safe, even though the electronics are sealed and waterproof.
While we are used to seeing the safety clips on the covers on top of inflatable hot tubs, we aren’t used to seeing a safety lock on the electronic control panel. This stops the unit from being accidentally switched on while not in use, therefore saving you electricity and protecting your family.
As an extra added bonus special feature, this hot tub can be used all year around. It MUST be kept on in winter if you are not going to stow it away. This means running it all winter long at a low temperature to ensure it doesn’t freeze over. If it freezes over there is a chance of damaging the electronics.
This inflatable hot tub was designed for use in Canada, so it ought to work all year around. That being said, if you are going to be out in winter, empty it and stow it until spring.
Canadian Spa Rio Grande Inflatable FAQs
There are certain questions that we are often asked about hot tubs for your home. Some of these can be answered without having to contact the manufacturer repeatedly. To this end, we added those questions that we hear most often, below.
Q) Can I run the bubbles and the heat at the same time in my new inflatable hot tub?
A) There aren’t many models which allow you to put out both heat and air at the same time. If you need one of them specifically, then you may have to pay more for the privilege. The Rio Grande inflatable hot tub for four people is not one of those. You need to turn the heat off to put the bubbles on, and vice-versa.
Q) How long does it take to setup an inflatable hot tub?
A) Modern versions of the inflatable hot tub are fairly speedy in the setup department. The Canadian Spa Company have made the Rio Grande so that you can inflate it fully inside of fifteen minutes. You can then fill it with water and heat it. It will take 10-14 hours to heat to the full temperature.
What Customers Loved about the Rio Grande Inflatable Hot Tub?
There are a few features that consumers adore about the Rio Grande. Some of the things we aw again and again in purchaser reviews included the following points.
Consumers found that 39 degrees was plenty hot enough.
Those 88 air jets do some of the best work out there. They massage at the same time as they soothe, meaning you get the full spa effect from an inflatable hot tub.
The Year-Round Use
Most home hot tubs need turned off and stowed away in winter… not the Rio Grande. Keep it at a low temperature all winter long for a blissful bathing experience.
The Air Pump
The fact that it inflates itself means you don’t need a separate hand or foot pump.
Some of the reviews mentioned having this hot tub for anything up to five years. If properly maintained and looked after, there is no reason you will have to buy another hot tub anytime soon.
The extra inches really mean something in this case. Even those over 6 feet tall will be able to fit their neck and shoulders into the water.
What Customers Disliked about the Rio Grande Inflatable Hot Tub?
Equally as important are the parts that consumers didn’t enjoy so much. Here are some of their least favourite features.
While a winning feature to some, that depth means this isn’t really a suitable hot tub for those with small children. Be sure to keep it covered and clipped in when not in use.
Nobody likes cleaning a hot tub, but if you pop in some chlorine tablets once in a while, your Rio Grande home hot tub should be sparkly. Don’t forget you need to rinse the filter clean every few days and replace it every six weeks at most.
Our Verdict on the Rio Grande Inflatable Hot Tub?
Given all of this information, what do we think about the Rio Grande from the Canadian Spa Company? This is a four person hot tub for home use that won’t take up too much space. It can run all winter, will perform as long as you keep it on, and comes with extra depth that really lets you submerge and relax.
On top of all of these lovely features, it has a heat retaining thermal blanket, an extra padded ground sheet, and a clip-on cover for maximum security. There really isn’t any aspect that this hot tub doesn’t cover – except that it is a little deep for children. It doesn’t use much electricity for the luxury that it provides and, if you are looking for a home improvement, the Rio Grande inflatable hot tub has it all.
We say spend the money, enjoy the luxury, and remember that you are only live once. If this isn’t the model for you, keep in mind that you can find other hot tub reviews via our website. The Rio Grande might not be the best hot tub for you, but it definitely is the best inflatable hot tub for some of us. For everything else, all you need is to do a little research.
Good luck out there. Your best hot tub is waiting, ready to be discovered!