How to buy a swim spa, important options & features and how to compare brands.
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Members are encouraged to share first-hand personal experience, facts and expertise. They are not allowed to make broad critical assessments of any particular swim spa manufacturers. Also, they may not leave signatures, URLs or text including blatant sales messages, solicitations, advertisements or self-promotion of any form.

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I am looking for a swim spa for use at our vacation home a couple blocks from the beach in NJ. I have a small outdoor area to work with, 8 x 13. I am looking for a versatile spa for use as a spa that can hold at least 6, a small fun pool for kids, and for exercise. I am an avid runner and cyclist looking to add some swimming and aqua therapy.

We are trying to stay under or around $12,000 for the spa. I was looking at a couple brands, but do not know much about them (Catalina Islander, Swim Spa Manufacturers, Integrity, and LifeSpas).

Our home is built up 51" from the ground. We plan on putting a small deck and having it flush with the top of the spa. We are open to other configurations including partially in-ground.

We live in Philadelphia and are not sure where to start.

Any suggestions?

Thank you.
Swim Spa Manufacturers established in 1981. They manufacture the product themselves. They are based in Clearwater Florida and have an A+ rating with BBB.

Catalina Spas / Vortex Whirlpool Systems in Perris California started as a boat manufacturer. It was established in 1976 and has about 200 employees. They also manufacturer their own swim spas.

Life Spas, Inc. of Chino (aka LifeSprings Spas), CA has a A+ rating with BBB. Their CEO Tim Horwood started the business in 1995. They currently have around 15 employees. Life Spas contracts out their manufacturing.

Integrity Spas of Leawood Kansas is a marketer, not a manufacturer. They import their swim spas from China.

To decide which one is best, I would:

1. Focus on the dealer. There will be bumps along the way. How much will the dealer step up to help? How far away is the dealer? Does the dealer have a BBB rating?

2. Decide how much you care about the quality of the swim. This does vary quite a bit among manufacturers. Be sure take a swim test and swim for at least 5 minutes.

If swim quality is important to you and you are handy, you could consider buying a propeller-type used swim spa. You can find Master Spa and Endless Pool Swim Spas on eBay and Craigslist.

Good Luck
Thank you for your suggestions.
I dont know if you have made a decision but I was in your position about a month ago and since then I purchased a Twilight Fit (made by master spas). It is not really a true swim spa - a large adult will have trouble swimming full force in it, but I did swim in it in the showroom and it did for me exactly what I wanted - provided me with the ability to swim for say 15 - 20 mins (which is enough for me) and use the extra deep spa for working out (rowing, bands etc.) in between swim reps. Anyway, what makes this spa nice is that it is one of the few on the market that is 60 inches deep. It is only one zone (which is what my wife actually preferred) but once you are looking at two zone it will quickly exceed your price range. We got a very fair deal on a floor model. For the price you indicated, I would think you are going to need to try and find a floor model or special deal. I researched the market for about a year before making this decision. So, my spa came the other day and I had the electricity hooked up today and it is now heating up. So, we will see.

Good luck in your search. I am happy to share my research with you as well if you would like.
Thank you for your response. How did your spa work out for you?
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