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Author Topic: Bullfrog XL7 review  (Read 714 times)

HappyWanderer

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Bullfrog XL7 review
« on: December 28, 2021, 05:13:28 pm »

I bought a Vitaspa Prestige in August 2021, only to have to have it replaced with an XL7 a couple of months later because it was manufactured so badly. The chrome around the water feature jets rusted, the jets would not open, and those that did often popped off, which was very annoying. The LED lights were also faulty, with some only glowing red and no other color. While not a fault per se, the other thing I didnít like was the headrests, which are held on by a single button and frequently came off.

My dealer was very helpful and apologetic, and ordered a replacement Prestige, which the manufacturer promised would be delivered in a month. Three months came and went, and my dealer gave up with Vitaspa and offered to replace my tub with a Bullfrog XL7, even though this was $1,300 more than the Vitaspa.

I looked at the tub and accepted his offer and barely a week later my new tub arrived, all expenses paid by my dealer to crane it onto my deck and remove the old one.
So, a month later, how do I feel about the XL7? I think ďBlahĒ sums it up.

I think itís a better-quality tub than the Vitaspa, the jets are screw-in rather than bayonet, the headrests have two buttons, so donít pop off and the overall fit and finish of the tub seems better. My only complaint about the headrests is that they are as sculpted and as soft as a housebrick; they press on your neck, giving you a headache very quickly.

Where the XL7 falls down is the design. I get the sense it was designed by an apprentice on his first day using SolidWorks design software, not by someone that actually knows anything about hot tubs.

The control panel is absurdly located and at such a steep angle that it cannot be operated from inside the tub. What were they thinking? Did they think no-one turns the jets on while they are in the tub?

There are very few jets, so thatís a bummer. The Prestige had 52 well-placed jets, the XL7 has only 38 and these arenít well placed. Getting a foot massage requires the skills of a Tibetan yoga master.

The forearm and hand jets are actually very welcome and give a hard, deep massage, although again, not well placed, and, bizarrely, cannot be turned off, so about half the power of the jets is lost through these outlets, leaving the rest of the jets to provide a pretty tepid massage.
 
The neck jets are utterly useless and do nothing except make a loud and annoying slurping sound. They certainly donít give a neck massage.

The filter cabinet is made of two ill-fitting bits of plastic that rattle around loudly whenever a bather so much as wiggles a toe. I jammed a sponge in between them to stop this.

The tub is loud. Really loud. The Vistaspa was almost silent, but the XL7 is like a military fighter jet on reheat. Damn this thing is loud. Iím so glad itís 50ft from my window and I can hardly hear the noise or feel the vibration. I feel bad for my neighbors, but hey, their Air Conditioning unit is just as loud, so weíre even.

Itís nice to soak in the tub but when the heat cycle kicks in, the vibration makes you nauseous. And the heat cycle kicks in a LOT. The Vitaspa never seemed to be reheating, it was just always at temperature. The XL7 cycles very, very frequently. I havenít seen my electricity bill yet, but Iím expecting it to be high. Clearly insulation is not high on the XL7ís list of features.

Finally, the lights are installed far too high. Instead of imparting a nice glow to the water, they are installed at eye level and burn out your retinas when you settle into the water.

So, is it all bad?

No, the quality is better than the Vitaspa, the jets are better quality and I think this tub will last 10 years. Iím not so sure the Vitaspa will last that long.

Price is always a factor in buying a hot tub and this is a base model tub. If you buy a base model Ford you have to expect to do without wheels, and this analogy fits with the Bullfrog.

If youíre looking for a tub to just sit in hot water, the XL7 does the trick, but thatís about all it does. Iím no hot hub expert and it may be that any base model tub is the same.

Would I buy one again? Maybe. But I would look a lot harder at other offerings first.

My rating: 4/10

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Bullfrog XL7 review
« on: December 28, 2021, 05:13:28 pm »

 

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