The tub

  • Seriously tough insulated plastic.
  • It fits up to six people.  The record is 13 children.
  • Readily lifted, rolled, or floated.
  • Can be faced with wood for the traditional hot tub look.

The tub is moulded from tough double-walled polyethylene plastic with nearly 100mm (4") of foam insulation between the walls. This is MUCH better at keeping the water hot than the 40mm of timber in traditional wooden hot tubs.  It is the same type of very tough plastic used for whitewater kayaks, and these will bounce off rocks in the middle of rapids.   

Like farm water tanks, it's stabilised to resist ultraviolet light for decades - plus we provide a full tub cover in sand-coloured acrylic canvas.  If you put the tub in a cupboard, the plastic would last for 400 years - so anything that protects it from direct sunlight adds to its longevity.

The plastic is also smooth and pleasant on your skin.

The Kiwitub uses a third less water and fuel than a traditional hot tub.  

The tub is 1.53m (5') in diameter x 0.75m (30") high.  Traditional wooden hot tubs are a third higher and sit you upright in a formal dining room chair position.  So they need a third more water to fill the higher tub, take a third longer to heat up and use a third more gas or firewood to do so - every time.  In the Kiwitub, you sit on the floor, the wall slopes in a bit as a back rest, all corners are moulded smooth and rounded, the water’s still up to your chin, you can stretch your legs out, you’re partly floating and it’s very comfortable.

It's a medium size tub.  If you go bigger, it takes more time and expense to fill and heat, and you can't move it around as easily.  It's luxurious for two people, fine for four; with six, you are using the others as furniture.  The record is 13 children.  That we know of.

The tub fills with 800L (180 gal.) of fresh water or sea water.  Its empty weight is 69kg (150 lb).  There are six moulded lifting handgrips around the base.  Six inset lid handles also form tie-down points.

The plastic skin forms one continuous surface. So as well as keeping water in for bathing, it'll keep it out.  This means it can be paddled, or towed behind a boat or canoe.  Plastic screw-in plugs are provided to seal off the two hose outlets.  It also forms its own waterproof storage container - the burner, flue, etc. will pack inside, plus up to 10 large tramping (hiking) packs.

The tub is seriously tough. 

We have rolled it along river boulders and rock shelves, surfed it in to the beach, dropped it half a metre onto concrete, and crash tested it off a moving vehicle onto the road - that wasn't intentional!  The tub just bounced, unharmed except for some external scratches.  You can put it on a light car trailer, ute or pick-up truck, boat or large river raft, or in a big SUV.

Cleaning is really easy. 

Grime doesn't stick well to polyethylene, so just wipe round the inside of the tub with a non-scouring cleaner like Handy Andy, or vinegar.  It doesn't need scrubbing like a bath - just use a soft brush or sponge.  Then sluice it clean with the garden hose or buckets of clean water.

We think it's the most child-safe lid around.

The lid is rigid and made of the same double-skinned insulated plastic as the tub - it's quite unlike the usual light spa pool lid.  Just slide the lid over the top of the tub - it will lock into place as the step moulded underneath the lid drops down into the rim of the tub.  At that point - instantly - a small child couldn't lift the lid off (too heavy on the initial lift), slide it off (held in position by the step), wriggle under it (it's rigid), or fall through it (we can stand five adults on it without it even bending).

For complete security there are two stainless steel locking plates on the lid and the rim of the tub.   Two good quality Lockwood keyed-alike marine grade padlocks are provided.  We feel padlocks are the only truly childproof locking devices - we don't trust the flimsy little plastic catches often used.  The lid weighs 16kg (35 lb) - we just roll it around like a cartwheel.

Optional macrocarpa wood surround for the tub.

This gives the tub the natural wood look but still with the advantages of our tub’s insulation, lightness, moulded rounded corners, ease of cleaning, etc.  Macrocarpa (it’s actually a variety of cypress) looks lovely, and also resists water really well - it’s known as “poor man’s kauri’ for that reason.  The wood staves just strap on around the tub; they're 22mm thick, half-rounded and sanded at the tops so you don't scratch getting in or out of the tub.  It takes about 10 minutes to fit them onto the tub, and they do look stunning. 

The price for the macrocarpa wood surround is $1,300 incl GST.  It’s $85 to courier them anywhere in NZ (or $nil if you can collect from me in Dunedin).  The top row in the Photo Gallery shows one with 25mm wide webbing on a cedar surround, but we’ve shifted to 38mm wide as it looks better. 

However if you're handy with wood, there are DIY instructions in the Kiwitub manual showing you how to make your own wood surround for the tub.  This isn't difficult - you don't need to chamfer the edges of the staves - they look better with a standard 90˚ butt cut.  We do have the made-up webbing straps and buckles which we use to hold our macrocarpa surround on, for $65.  That way you need only sort out the wood staves, if you’re doing your own DIY wood surround.