Arctic Spas vs Bullfrog Spas: A Comparison Guide
The 1990’s was a big decade for the conception and creation of hot tub companies. Apparently, consumers were hungry for relaxation, and a few young entrepreneurs took their hunger and created a couple of successful spa businesses out of it. Let’s take a look into a comparison of Bullfrog Spas® vs Arctic Spas® so you can find the best hot tub for you.
According to their website, Arctic Spas® was founded in 1994 by “a unique group of guys” who grew up in rural communities of western Canada. Each Arctic Spa is conceived and created in the small town of Thorsby, Alberta, Canada. They claim to be a company based on small-town principles.
Bullfrog Spas® was officially founded in 1996 by David Ludlow, the son of a pool builder. In 1989, after taking way too many service calls for other spas, David imagined a hot tub with modular jetted seat backs that would contain the jets and the bulk of the spa’s plumbing. This design placed most of the hoses and fittings inside the spa’s main body of water. If they happened to eventually develop a small leak, it wouldn’t affect performance or require costly repairs. These seat-back jet arrays would become what’s known today as the JetPak®. Seven years later, Bullfrog International LC was born. Bullfrog Spas is headquartered near Salt Lake City, UT and all hot tubs and swim spas are assembled there.
Arctic Spas® take pride in being hand built and high tech. Water-jet robots work in their construction area while craftsmen hand-assemble cabinets made of western red cedar. These components then meet in a blending of technology and personal touch.
Bullfrog Spas’ patented JetPak Therapy System® originally focused on reliability, but another major advantage of JetPaks™ is personalized therapy. Customers can customize their hydromassage experience at the time of purchase with the specific JetPaks they like best. In addition, their experience can now be further personalized at any time by moving JetPaks from seat to seat to suit individual preferences.
Jets and Therapy Comparison
Arctic Spas® feature patented rotating, bearing-less that provide massages that range from light and refined to deep and invigorating. The pressure on some is adjustable and they do not use ball bearings for movement, which means less chance of jet failure. The upgraded jets come in stainless steel, rather than plastic, so that’s a nice touch.
Each Bullfrog Spas JetPak provides a unique hydromassage experience by targeting different areas of your back, neck, and shoulders and varies in power and intensity. Users can choose from 16 different JetPaks. Personalize your spa by selecting your favorites, so you’re able to find the perfect massage for you and anyone who is using your spa regularly. Each JetPak also has a therapy dial so you can change the intensity of the massage on any given day.
Relax in a premium lounger, enjoy a full-body massage in a deep seat, or hang out in a shallow seat to avoid getting your hair wet. With varying seat types and depths, your whole family can enjoy the spa together.
Quality and Reliability Comparison
In looking up the differences in this category, we found a number of different levels of quality available to Arctic Spas® customers. So, some Arctic Spas® models come with an ABS base that is fully insulated. (Remember, the base is just the bottom of the spa, not the entire frame.) Others come with a “sturdy, insulated platform wood floor.” And still other Arctic Spas® models come with a fiberglass base.
When it comes to the shell, here, too, are multiple options. One option is an ABS backed acrylic. This means the acrylic is heat-formed, but thin, and then backed by layers of ABS to give it strength. The second option is also acrylic, but it is molded together with many layers of acrylic, and then backed with fiberglass. They are so confident in this model of shell that they offer a lifetime warranty on this particular shell structure (which is only available in select models).
Now, let’s talk cabinets. Arctic Spas® builds the cabinets, or exteriors of their spas, using Western Red cedar. They claim it’s furniture grade, finished with a special protective treatment, and built to thrive in any environment, They also offer a series of cabinets that have the appearance of natural wood, but are made out of synthetic composite materials, and which come in three color options.
Arctic spas® offers covers in multiple sizes, thickness, and quality, but they are considered an upgrade, or an add-on to your spa package. You can also add a vacuum-type seal to a cover purchased through Arctic Spas.
Each Bullfrog Spa is built on our patented EnduraFrame™ support structure, a sturdy molded ABS spa frame made with no wood or metal so it will never rot or corrode. This is the basis for every model of hot tub sold by Bullfrog Spas.
The molded ABS EnduraBase™, EnduraBeam™ structural columns and other EnduraFrame™ components are precision aligned the exact same way every time with no human error. Extra supports are added in high-usage areas to strengthen overall spa integrity and support the thousands of pounds of water the spa will hold.
Bullfrog Spas shells are heat molded using thick layers of acrylic. Acrylic is a hard durable plastic that is resistant to chemical and UV damage. Acrylic is also known for its durability and longevity. In addition, all Bullfrog Spas models are fully insulated using a 100% closed-cell, full foam design. This insulates the spa completely to prevent heat escape, even in the coldest climates.
Every spa made by Bullfrog Spas features a proprietary EternaWood™ Cabinet, which is made from ABS similar to the material used to create the EnduraBase and EnduraFrame.
Bullfrog Spas’ Patio Peformance™ cover design keeps cool air out and prevents heat from escaping. These well-insulated covers are designed specifically for your Bullfrog Spa to maximize its energy efficiency. These premium-level covers come standard on every Bullfrog Spa.
Now, because Bullfrog Spas are built with the patented JetPak Therapy System™, they have up to 90% less plumbing than conventional spas. This vastly simplified pipework means fewer holes, fittings, and hoses, and most importantly, fewer opportunities for potential leaks. With the elimination of as many failure points as possible in your spa, you can have peace of mind that your Bullfrog Spa will work reliably for years to come.
Energy Efficiency Comparison
According to their website, Arctic Spas® has chosen their motors and pumps according to water flow and efficiency. “Higher flow rates during filtration do a much better job of pulling contaminants into the filter.” In order to accomplish this while consuming the least amount of power, they sourced out high-efficiency pumps that “have a low-speed amp draw that rivals a circulation pump but still move approximately 50 gal/min through the filters during filtration. And on high-speed, they accomplish the same thing; better flow with lower power consumption.”
When compared to any other brand, Bullfrog Spas cost less to own and operate. Data shows that most Bullfrog Spas models potentially use up to 28% less energy while meeting or exceeding the stringent energy guidelines of the California Energy Commission (CEC).
Because Bullfrog Spas are built with the patented JetPak Therapy System™, they utilize less plumbing than conventional hot tubs. Less plumbing equals less friction and less energy used to get water to the jets. In addition, most of the water delivery system in a Bullfrog Spa is inside of the proprietary H2Air Manifold on the JetPak® and is submerged in the hot water. Any heat from water in the JetPak manifold transfers directly to the spa water rather than being lost to the cold outside environment. Add these factors to the fully insulated construction and the high-quality cover, and Bullfrog Spa models save energy costs long-term.
Style and Design Comparison
In addition to the many options we discussed in the construction portion of this article, Arctic Spas® offers five shell colors to choose from. For their spa cabinets, they offer the western red cedar and 3 color options of synthetic wood.
The Bullfrog Spas website offers in-depth descriptions about the style of each of our spa series.’ For instance, “M Series™ spas combine intuitive functionality, gorgeous aesthetics, and the most versatile layouts ever seen in portable spas, together with Bullfrog Spas®’ legendary JetPak Therapy System™, to create the most elite spa experience available today.”
About the award-winning STIL models, it says, “STIL™ spas set the standard in modern hot tub design and functionality. Elegantly modern, STIL represents a new concept in holistic wellness.”
Water Care Comparison
Arctic Spas® feature Active Skim Filtration, which maintains some type of surface skimming, where contaminants at the surface are drawn into the filter, where larger particles are trapped in an integrated basket. They also offer a particle trapping system that is supposed to eliminate the need for de-foaming, clarifiers, filter cleaners, and coagulating chemicals.
All Arctic Spas® come standard with an adjustable filter cycle system.
Bullfrog Spas offers the “FROG® @ease® water care system, which creates fresh clean mineral water, while self-regulating SmartChlor® technology maintains low chlorine levels. With FROG® @ease® in your spa, you’ll use up to 75% less chlorine, reducing the need for shock treatments to once a month, while protecting swimwear and skin.” “EOS™ O3 is a revolutionary automatic water purification system that eliminates impurities using the powerful oxidation properties of O3 gas. This unique three-part system works by generating ample amounts of O3 gas, combining it with spa water in an isolated high-contact mixing chamber, and then filtering out over 99% of excess ozone to prevent negative off-gassing effects.”
“The dedicated Wellspring™ filtration pump is a quiet, vibration-free circulation pump that is more than eight times as effective as standard filtration pumps.”
When it comes to making large purchases, it’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting into before you make a purchase and schedule for delivery. A great way to do this is to read customer hot tub reviews. What other consumers have to say about each brand can be educational and often brings up thoughts, ideas, or points of view you wouldn’t otherwise have considered. In addition, it helps to look at multiple reviews that cover a multitude of topics, so you get a bigger picture of the ins and outs that other hot tub purchasers have experienced.
Good luck with buying your hot tub!
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