SwimLife vs Hydropool Swim Spas: Which makes the best?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Published Apr 29, 2024

You’re shopping for a swim spa and you come across Hydropool. That’s not a surprise, as swim spas are what we are best known for. But SwimLife swim spas? What’s that one?  

While Hydropool has been around for 40 years, SwimLife Swim Spas is a relative newcomer to the market. But we still get asked about it on a regular basis at our retail outlets. It is worth it? How is it different? Which is better?  

We wanted to write the most impartial article we could, explaining how the two companies' products are different, so you could make up your own mind on what the swim spas offer.  

We’re also here to let you know that both swim spas are manufactured in the same place in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. So we know for certain the differences between the two (and the build quality)!  

Let’s have a run through the models and find the best points of comparison between these two Canadian brands.  

 

 

SwimLife vs Hydropool: How do the models line up?  

If you’re comparing brands, the first thing you’ll want to do is compare model to model. Here’s our best matchup:  

  • Hydropool AquaPlay vs SwimLife SwimFun 
  • Hydropool AquaSport vs SwimLife SwimFit 
  • Hydropool AquaTrainer vs SwimLife SwimExpert 
  • SwimLife does not have anything equivalent to Hydropool’s Executive Trainer, so there’s nothing we see that's aimed at an elite swimmer in its lineup.   

Which looks best: SwimLife or Hydropool?  

For cabinet design, this one is a coinflip, because both companies adopt a classic approach with the lines of swim spas. Look for synthetic woodgrain in similar neutral colors for the cabinets and light-colored acrylics for the tub’s shell. 

There are a couple of key design differences worth pointing out across the two brands: 

  • The steps and seating into each swim spa are different. SwimLife has more steps on the inside of the swim spa, at each end. This gives you multiple entry points around your swim spa. Hydropool has one set of steps inside the swim spa, meaning you’re better off surrounding it with a deck.  
  • The tradeoff here is that Hydropool usually has more seats instead of steps. SwimLife ends up with a larger swim tank, for a greater space to work out in. Hydropool has more massage options due to its seat selection.   
  • What does it all mean? It depends on what you’re looking for more: More of a workout? More space for kids to splash in? Then you might want to start with SwimLife. Something that can do a little bit of everything, with space for the family to sit in? The Hydropool is your better bet to start with.  

Which has the better swim: SwimLife or Hydropool?  

  •  SwimFun and AquaPlay: Both the SwimLife SwimFun and Hydropool AquaPlay have similar swim capabilities in that neither is built with swimming as a primary purpose. They have swim jet technology so you can swim in them, but these are best used as small pools or large hot tubs.  
  •  SwimFit vs AquaSport: When it comes one level up, to the SwimLife SwimFit and the Hydropool AquaSport, they each have two swim jets with their swim systems. Hydropool shreds the water’s vortex with a diffuser, which is another way of saying that it helps spread the current out for a wider, smoother swim swim. Both have oval jets, which helps achieve the same thing. Currents require suction, to continually feed the swim current with water. Hydropool places them at the top of the swim spa, close to where the water is being pushed, for easier recovery, while SwimLife has them lower and out of the way.  

  •  SwimExpert vs AquaTrainer: When it comes to Hydropool’s AquaTrainer, it has two patented V-Twin jets, which first bring in the water and then spread it in a V-shaped pattern, which again increase the smoothness of the current for a more turbulence free swim. The comparable SwimLife SwimExpert has two traditional swim spa jets in the same place. The suctions again are in a different spot. Another key difference is the controller: Hydropool has programmability for hill and interval programs for you to find your perfect swim, while the SwimLife has 1-10 rankings to set your swim to your own personal swim level. Both include FORM goggles, which can be linked to your phone to track your progress as you swim, and both companies offer dual-temp versions, which is a fancy way of saying you can have a hot tub and swim spa in one unit.  
  • Executive Trainer vs … : SwimLife has no comparable to the Executive Trainer, which is Hydropool’s elite swim. It features just two seats, so it has a larger swim tank size like SwimLife, along with new technology such as a current collection. Doing away with the hips of the Aquatic series, the Executive has a grate at the end which swallows the entire current as it crashes into the back wall, before sending it around the spa like a conveyor belt made of water.  

 

Which is easier to maintain: Hydropool or SwimLife?  

SwimLife has dual-skimmers, dual strainer racks and dual filters. So on each side of the swim spa there is a filtration system. So both sides of the swim spa are continually cleaned. Hydropool has its skimmers and filters on one side of the spa only.  

Hydropool counters with self-cleaning, which is a system that only it sells. It’s based on the requirements for public pools, which include a side skimmer and a bottom vacuum, plus suction-side filtration, which pulls all of your water through the filters. That ensures that 100 per cent of your water is filtered about every 40 minutes in your swim spa.  

SwimLife uses a mineral-based system, which features copper, zinc and silver to help keep it clean. This system comes standard in most of its swim spas. Each of those minerals help purify water. It also has an optional oxidizer for further cleaning. Hydropool has a full AOP system, which has features an oxidizer plus UV light.  

Which is better on price: Hydropool or SwimLife?  

Across the board, the prices are very similar category to category. So the choice is really yours on what you are looking for. There may be small differences, such as SwimLife includes a fitness kit, which is optional with Hydropool. Or the individual dealer may have a specific sale element for you (both are sold at a network of retailers around the world, with Hydropool having more of a global presence). 

You’re able to see the pricing for each of these brands online – which is rare in this industry. If you go look at any specific model, you’ll see the price for each.   

Which is the right swim spa for you: Hydropool or SwimLife?  

We know more about SwimLife compared to many of our competitors, because they are made in the same location as Hydropool’s swim spas. 

It’s a similar company with a similar approach to Hydropool and both make quality swim spas. The main key differences are: 

  • the size of the tank and steps vs more seats 
  • the quality of the swim 
  • how the regular maintenance works in each

Which is best for you? We hope this article answered most of your questions or at least directed you where to start. If it hasn’t, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our local retailers.  

Disclaimer: In this article, we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Hydropool or Jacuzzi Brands LLC, the parent company of Hydropool. All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing and may change without notice.

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