We found useful information about inflatable and portable hot tubs at SpaSearch.org, Pool & Spa Living, PoolAndSpa.com and HotTubSpaRatings.com, which include buyer's guides, photos and comments from spa owners.
Inflatable and portable hot tubs are much more portable than standard above-ground acrylic hot tubs (*est. $3,000 to $10,000), but they're also considerably less durable, making them unsuitable as a long-term investment. These inexpensive hot tubs are manufactured from various combinations of vinyl, nylon and plastic, and can be set up nearly anywhere and packed away when not in use. Many use blower systems that circulate air in the water (rather than injecting hot jets of water); the water temperature of these air-blown hot tubs tends to drop quickly, making them best for short soaks of 15 to 30 minutes. If it's in your price range, you may also want to look at low-end wooden hot tubs (*est. $1,500 to $7,000), which are much more durable.
SpaSearch.org features dozens of articles related to hot-tub buying decisions, including sections on construction, features, maintenance, safety and installation. A photo gallery provides lots of inspiration and gives you an idea of the various types of hot tubs available.
Review: Buying a Hot Tub, Editors of SpaSearch.org
2. Pool & Spa Living magazine
Pool & Spa Living is a lifestyle magazine for hot-tub enthusiasts. There are no reviews here, but you'll find some good articles on choosing a spa, as well as tips on installation and maintenance. There are also lots of photographs of a wide variety of hot tubs, so you can get an idea of what's out there.
Review: Hot Tubs and Spas Articles Archive, Contributing editors to Pool & Spa Living
This retailer sells parts, chemicals and accessories for hot tubs, but not the tubs themselves. Most of the site is very commercial, but the article on buying considerations is helpful. The short guide covers material types, installation considerations and a shopping checklist.
Review: Planning to Buy a Hot Tub Spa?, Editors of PoolAndSpa.com
4. HotTub SpaRatings.com
The user reviews on this site cover a huge number of spas of all types. Very few owners post comments for the same spa, but there's a large enough selection here that you're likely to find something on the spa you're considering.
Review: Hot Tub and Spa Reviews, Contributors to HotTubSpaRatings.com