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If you’re immersed in the health and fitness community, you’re likely no stranger to the buzz surrounding cold water therapy and its array of potential benefits—from accelerated recovery1 and enhanced immune function2 to mental health3 and improved sleep quality4

What was once used exclusively by elite athletes is now accessible to fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals alike. That said, the barrier to entry is often the considerable investment required to purchase one of the best cold plunge tubs. Recognizing this gap, Plunge has unveiled its lineup of new products.  

In this Plunge Evolve Series review, we’ll take a look at the range of options tailored to diverse needs and budgets: the compact and portable Plunge Pop-Up, the inflatable Plunge Air, and the premium Plunge Evolve XL. In addition, for the first time ever, Plunge is selling its innovative chiller and filtration system as a standalone product. 

Cold Tub Pros, At Your Service 

Drawing from my experience as a former collegiate athlete, now certified nutrition coach and personal trainer, I can attest to the powerful benefits of using a recovery protocol to help maximize your performance. 

At GGR, we’re fitness equipment experts, relying on our highly skilled team of CPTs, DPTs, and more to help you decide on the best purchase for you. We’ve thoroughly reviewed the original Plunge, and while we wait to receive the Evolve series, we’re going to give you our first impressions of it, evaluating the specs and overall quality and design.   

Plunge Evolve Pop-Up

Plunge Pop-Up

GGR Score: 3.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Entry-level, portable, and affordable cold plunge
  • Circular, stand-up tub design
  • Safe for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Purchase includes a tub cover, manual air pump, and manifold plugs
  • Compatible with Evolve Pro Chiller
  • 1-year warranty

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Compatible with chiller
  • Good for small spaces

Cons

  • Larger individuals won't be very comfortable in this
  • Stand-up design is limiting for some

Bottom Line

The Plunge Pop-Up is an inflatable, stand-up cold tub at a very affordable price, making it a great entry product into cold plunging for a beginner.

Plunge Evolve Air

Plunge Air

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Lightweight, portable cold plunge
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Horizontal, inflatable design
  • Purchase includes inflatable all-weather cover, matching ground cover, repair kit, manual air pump and custom backpack
  • Compatible with Evolve Pro Chiller
  • 1-year warranty

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Compatible with chiller
  • Great for small spaces

Cons

  • 1-year warranty
  • May be small for larger individuals

Bottom Line

The Plunge Air is part of Plunge's new Evolve series and it aims to make cold plunging more accessible. This plunge is inflatable and portable, and compatible with a chiller.

Plunge Evolve XL

Plunge Evolve XL

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Premium, stationary cold plunge
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Suitable for taller individuals
  • Purchase includes insulated spa cover, skimmer net, cell phone holder and hose filter
  • Compatible with Evolve Pro Chiller
  • 1-year warranty

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Suitable for taller individuals
  • Maintains water at 37 degrees
  • Chiller is app-operated

Cons

  • 1-year warranty
  • Heavy and hard to move

Bottom Line

The Evolve XL cold tub from Plunge is the latest in the company's offerings. It's longer than the original Plunge, allowing taller individuals a more comfortable experience.

A Quick Look at the Plunge Evolve Series

The Plunge Evolve Series includes a range of new cold plunge products, including two budget-friendly and portable tubs, a luxury model designed for taller individuals and an innovative, standalone chiller and filtration system. 

Plunge claims that the Evolve Series will help make ice bath benefits accessible to everyone. I think this is a great move from Plunge, and these products definitely complement Plunge’s range of wellness modalities including their sauna, 1st-gen Plunge and Plunge All-In. 

Plunge Pop-Up

  • Entry-level, portable and affordable cold plunge
  • Circular, stand-up tub design that’s safe for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Purchase includes a tub cover, manual air pump and manifold plugs
  • Compatible with Evolve Pro Chiller
  • 1-year warranty

Plunge Air

  • Lightweight, portable cold plunge
  • Horizontal, inflatable tub design that’s safe for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Purchase includes inflatable all-weather cover, matching ground cover, repair kit, manual air pump and custom backpack
  • Compatible with Evolve Pro Chiller
  • 1-year warranty

Plunge Evolve XL

  • Premium, stationary cold plunge that’s safe for both indoor and outdoor home use
  • Horizontal tub designed to accommodate taller individuals
  • Purchase includes insulated spa cover, skimmer net, cell phone holder and hose filter
  • Compatible with Evolve Pro Chiller
  • 1-year warranty

Evolve Pro Chiller

  • One-horsepower cooling system that can cool water down to 37 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Includes filtration and ozone sanitation 
  • 30% quieter than the original plunge chiller
  • Safe for both indoor and outdoor use
  • 1-year warranty

Before You Buy 

Before diving into any of the offerings in the Evolve Series, it’s important to consider how to cold plunge efficiently, and evaluate how you intend on integrating a cold plunge into your regular routine.  

  • If you start with the Plunge Pop-Up and decide to upgrade to a larger tub, the cost of your Pop-Up will be credited towards your new purchase.
  • The Evolve Pro Chiller allows you to upgrade the Plunge Pop-Up or the Plunge Air at any point in time.
  • The Evolve XL is suitable for taller individuals. 

Is the Plunge Evolve Series Worth It?

The OG Plunge starts at $4,990—no small chunk of change. The Evolve series has two more affordable options, with the Plunge Pop-Up starting at $120 and the Plunge Air starting at $4,290. Additionally, the Pop-Up and Air are portable, which means that those who are limited on space now have a cold tub option from the brand. 

Additionally, while the Evolve XL is even more expensive than the original Plunge, starting at $6,690, it’s more suitable for bigger individuals and provides ultimate comfort for those wanting to recline fully while doing cold water therapy. 

Great for:

  • The Plunge Pop-Up and Air are ideal for athletes on the go who are seeking a durable, portable cold plunge to enhance recovery and performance
  • Bigger people in search of a comfortable cold plunge 

Not recommended for:

  • Individuals who don’t plan on using a cold plunge as part of their regular routine
  • Those who have difficulty tolerating cold temperatures
  • The Evolve Series is not the best option for high-traffic gyms, fitness or recovery facilities that will encounter frequent daily use by multiple members

Plunge Evolve Series Specs

Plunge Pop-UpPlunge AirPlunge Evolve XL
Footprint32” H x 30” D61” L x 32” W x 26” H-72.75” L x 32.75” W x 26.75” H 
Weight18 lbs empty, ~904 lbs full28 lbs empty, ~904 lbs full175 lbs empty, ~1,200 lbs full
Capacity~95 gal~105 gal~105 gal
MaterialUV-resistant nylon and PVC fabricUV-resistant nylon and PVC, drop-stitch fabricFiberglass-reinforced acrylic

Using the Plunge Evolve Series 

While we haven’t used the Evolve Series tubs just yet, we’ve taken the “plunge” with the original Plunge model multiple times and expect a very similar experience. The operation of the chiller system is a breeze—once you’ve set your desired temperature, you’re good to go unless you decide to tweak the temperature or perform routine maintenance like swapping out the filter (something Plunge recommends doing on a monthly basis). 

That said, the new Evolve PlungePure Pro Chiller system brings some exciting enhancements. With a 50% larger filter, you can enjoy extended intervals between filter changes, making maintenance even more convenient. In addition, it now has smartphone connectivity, allowing you to adjust the temperature setting remotely. Not stopping there, this new chiller packs even more power, cooling your water more quickly and even down to 37 degrees Fahrenheit, all while operating 30% quieter than the original chiller. 

An image of the Plunge Evolve series chiller
Plunge Evolve Pro Chiller

In terms of comfort, Plunge has one of the best designs on the market. The original model, which is very similar to the Evolve XL, has an appropriate height that’s extremely easy to step in and out of without the need for a step stool. Moreover, the slanted tub back ensures added comfort during your plunge and effortless shoulder submersion. 

RELATED: DIY Cold Plunge: Tuff Stuff Stock Tank Review

Transitioning to the Evolve XL model, it maintains the same stylish design as the original Plunge but offers slightly more space, making it suitable even for someone of my height at 6’1 to fully stretch out in the tub. Another notable aspect I appreciate about the Plunge is the non-slip nature of its acrylic exterior, even when wet. This allows you to fully support yourself using the sides of the tub when entering or exiting the tub, without any fear of your hands slipping. All in all, we’re extremely excited to test out the new models and will update further when we’ve had the chance. 

Footprint and Portability

The cold plunge tubs in the Evolve Series offer a spectrum of sizes and portability. The compact Plunge Pop-Up features a circular, stand-up design, requiring a mere four square feet of space.

The Pop-Up is definitely the smallest option in the lineup, however, it’s both portable and ideal for maximizing space in tight quarters. 

RELATED: Ice Barrel Review

Conversely, the Plunge Air and Plunge Evolve XL feature horizontal designs, spanning approximately five and six feet respectively. These tubs are better suited for larger spaces, with the benefit of the Plunge Air being its portability and the Evolve XL its quality and durability.

An image of the Plunge Evolve XL cold plunge in a garage
Plunge Evolve XL

Durability and Construction

All of the products in the Evolve Series are constructed using durable materials that are safe for both indoor and outdoor use. In addition, purchase of any of these products comes with a 12-month warranty in case anything goes awry. 

The Plunge Pop-Up features a durable three-layer design, in which the inner layer consists of leak-proof PVC, the middle layer is insulation, and the external layer consists of a weatherproof UV-resistant nylon fabric. While the Pop-Up may not be as sturdy as the Evolve XL, the fabric is high-quality and should be resilient and reliable for many uses.  

RELATED: Sun Home Cold Plunge Review

The Plunge Air is constructed using drop-stitch technology and ultra-durable UV-resistant nylon and PVC fabric. If you’re unfamiliar with what drop-stitch technology means, you’re not alone. According to the Plunge website, drop-stitching is a method that’s used in the construction of inflatable products such as paddleboards and inflatable cold plunges. 

It involves connecting the top and bottom layers of the inflatable using thousands of threads, which allow the inflatable to maintain its shape and rigidity when fully inflated. This technology enables inflatable products to achieve a high level of stability and durability, while still remaining lightweight and portable when deflated. 

Last but not least, the Plunge Evolve XL is crafted using fiberglass-reinforced acrylic. This material is resistant to scratching, fading and staining, ensuring the tub will maintain its integrity and appearance over time. A secondary benefit is that acrylic has excellent insulation properties, helping to retain cold temperatures for an extended period of time. 

An image of the inside of the Plunge Evolve XL cold tub
Plunge Evolve XL

Setup and Assembly 

The Plunge Evolve Series offers an intuitive and simple setup process for both the Plunge Pop-Up and Plunge Air. The Pop-Up can be fully assembled in minutes, using plastic poles to support the tub’s structure. The only thing you need to do is inflate the top ring, fill with water and ice, or connect to a chiller system and you’re good to go. The Plunge Air is just as simple and it can be inflated in minutes using the manual hand pump. Once it’s full of air, you can begin adding water and chill using ice or the Evolve Pro Chiller system.

The Plunge Evolve XL doesn’t require any setup and the purchase includes free in home delivery. The only thing you’ll need to do is connect the chiller system and plug it into a dedicated outlet (standard 120V 15 amp circuit).    

RELATED: Inergize Cold Plunge Tub Review

Opting for the Evolve Pro Chiller will require regular maintenance to keep your cold plunge clean and running smoothly. That said, this new chiller’s standout feature lies in its easy-access design, allowing you to change the filter in a matter of seconds. With a 50% larger filter compared to Plunge’s original chiller, this upgrade also allows for longer periods between filter changes and superior water quality. 

Plunge Evolve Series vs Plunge Standard 

The Plunge

The Cold Plunge

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Indoor or outdoor ice bath
  • Chiller system for regulated temperatures
  • Filtration and sanitation systems
  • No plumbing required

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Eliminates the hassle of traditional ice baths 
  • No cleanup or setup to do after initial assembly 
  • Allows you to fine-tune temperature 
  • Provides full-body immersion for most body sizes and heights
  • Less time-consuming than traditional ice bath
  • Decently aesthetic; would look nice in a backyard or dedicated gym space
  • Indoor or outdoor use
  • Free shipping and in-home delivery for lower 48
  • 0% APR financing available through Affirm and Klarna
  • Insulated cover, cell phone holder, hose filter, and skimmer net included
  • 30 days to return for full refund 

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Requires electricity
  • No heating capabilities on base model 
  • Only a 1-year warranty
  • Extended warranty/product protection costs extra
  • Shipping is costly for Hawaii and Alaska, and in-home delivery isn’t available 
  • Currently has an 8-week lead time
  • Consumer must pay shipping fees if returning the tub

Bottom Line

The Cold Plunge is a user-friendly cold-immersion therapy tool that’s easy to clean and maintain. The $5,000 price tag may just be too much for many people.

The Cold Plunge is Plunge’s original model, sporting its iconic all-white acrylic exterior and first generation chiller unit. In terms of similarities, the original Plunge is most similar to the Evolve XL, as they both have a horizontal and fixed design. 

cold plunge stepping in

Aside from some small differences in terms of the tub size, the primary distinctions lie in the upgraded chiller technology. The Evolve Pro Chiller has enhanced cooling capabilities, allowing users to drop the water temperature an additional two degrees down to 37 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the updated chiller uses a variable speed fan and pump that reduces noise by up to 30% compared to its predecessor. 

Moreover, the Evolve Series shines in its diverse product offerings, catering to different needs with options like the portable Plunge Pop-Up and Plunge Air, ideal for those who wish to take their cold plunge tub with them when on-the-go. 

Read more about the original Plunge in our Cold Plunge Review

Customer Reviews

Because the Evolve Series just launched at the beginning of April, there are no customer reviews available yet. We’ll update this review once people have gotten their hands on these products. 

Final Verdict of Our Plunge Evolve Series Review

I think the Evolve Series is a fantastic move by Plunge, providing consumers with three, high-quality cold plunge tubs that cater to a range of different budgets and personal preferences. 

In my opinion, Plunge has earned a reputation as a trusted brand in the industry, renowned for their premium products and exceptional customer service. The introduction of the Evolve Pro Chiller system is also a notable addition, giving consumers the flexibility to upgrade from using ice to a more efficient cooling system as their budget allows. 

Plunge Evolve Series FAQs

Is the Plunge worth the money?

The benefit of the Evolve Series is that it offers consumers a range of options across various price ranges, catering to different budgets. From my perspective, the Plunge Air stands out as offering excellent value. It has remarkable durability and stability, making it a top contender in its price range, as well as being portable.  

What happened to Plunge after Shark Tank?

The owners of Plunge appeared on season 13 of Shark Tank and left with a deal from Robert Herjavec. While the business already boasted impressive sales prior to their appearance on Shark Tank, the show definitely helped to propel the business forward. In addition to their original cold plunge tub, Plunge’s lineup of offerings has increased substantially since 2021. The company now offers contrast therapy solutions with the addition of their sauna and now a few budget-friendly options with the launch of their Evolve Series lineup. 

How long does it take to see the health benefits of a cold plunge?

The benefits of cold plunging are noticeable immediately, basically as soon as your body reacts to the icy water. The freezing temperature causes the body to release a cascade of endorphins and adrenaline that can help with mood, stress relief, sleep, and your overall well-being. With consistent use, you may experience some longer-term benefits, such as improvements in muscle recovery, reduced inflammation, an enhanced immune system, and increased tolerance to cold temperatures. 

References

  1. Bresnahan, R., Cold water immersion and anti-inflammatory response: a systematic review. Exercise and Sports Nutrition Reviews. 2019
  2. Janský, L., et al. Immune system of cold-exposed and cold-adapted humans. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology. 1996;72(5-6):445-50. PMID: 8925815.
  3. Shevchuk, N., Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression. Med Hypotheses. 2008;70(5):995-1001. PMID: 17993252.
  4. Szymusiak, R., Body temperature and sleep. Handbook of Clinical Neurology. 2018;156:341-351. PMID: 30454599.

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