Dolphin Escape Pool Cleaner Review
The new Dolphin Escape Pool Cleaner is undeniably amongst the cheapest pool cleaners with the Dolphin brand name. The unit comes across as affordable, simple, and touts a slew of advanced features. Most of all, it is lightweight, making it easy to transport.
The built-in dual motors are especially designed to be as energy efficient ass possible. So, they use a lot less power compared to competing pool cleaners but does a better job as per our testing.
However, is it really worth buying, or is it just another gimmicky robot cleaner meant to fill a vacant spot in the brand’s budget category? Does it represent the present state of high-tech, and low-cost above the ground pool cleaners? Will, it, in fact, help keep your swimming pool clean while you sit outside taking selfies? We answer these and other questions to conclude if the Dolphin Escape is worth buying!
Does it Really Clean Your Above the Ground Swimming Pool?
As professionals who have reviewed everything, from innovative sounding pool vacuums to conventional pool cleaners and robots, we know that cleaning matters. After all, there is no point spending all that money if you’re the one knee deep scrubbing the pool.
Touted as one of the world’s best above-ground robotic pool cleaners, this Dolphin surely offers an ‘Escape’ from the mundane hassles of pool cleaning.
It features advanced technology and best-in-class features to ensure that it does a fantastic job of cleaning above-ground swimming pools. Dolphin/Maytronics has been in this game for almost 35 years now and they surely know how to build a swashbuckling bot.
The Escape gives you the freedom to enjoy sparklingly clean water without having to sweat too much.
We all know what a nightmarish experience an inept pool cleaner can be – it just wanders about aimlessly in the pool without any sort of plan on how to tackle the nasty bits in the corners.
It’s frustrating to watch the cleaner do absolutely nothing – after a while, you have to run around the pool with a long pole and fish out all the leaves, twigs and other debris. But hey, usually that’s not enough – if your pool cleaner isn’t any good, you’ll have to scrub the bottom and the walls using a brush. You might also have to dive under water (imagine diving in murky, unclean water full of dirt and algae!) and scrub the corners and walls yourself.
The Dolphin Escape pool cleaner comes with a generous 40-foot long cable, and it does not tangle. Regardless of how much we tried, this patented technology works and prevents tangling.
The first time you set the robot down into the pool, it will take some time to scan the surface using the SmartNav, scanning, and mapping feature.
That’s just a one-time thing. After the pool is mapped, cleaning is a lot faster, since the robot avoids areas it already sees as being clean. So, the cleaning is a lot more thorough than what the competition has to offer.
Dirt and debris is passed through the advanced filtration system, which catches everything from algae to twigs and hair.
The filtered debris is then deposited into the filter cartridge. Speaking of cartridges this one is larger than what we have seen, and so it can handle a lot more dirt and run for longer as a result.
So, yes, the Escape does, in fact, do a good job cleaning your above ground swimming pool.
But how does it accomplish that?
Well, for that, we dive into its most important features below.
Features that Make the Dolphin Escape Tick
Onboard DC Motors:
These make the heart of this ground-breaking cleaning robot. They require just 180 Watts of power, which amounts to a meagre 5 cents per hour.
In comparison, old-fashioned cleaning bots (or should we just call them cleaning contraptions), gobble up a crazy 1800 Watts per hour. That’s a massive ten times more!
The Escape has a suction rating of 4000 gallons per hour (GPH), which is right up there with the likes of the Dolphin Quantum.
Not bad for a bot that has a dry weight of only 14 pounds! The average cleaning cycle lasts just 90 minutes – the Escape will have your pool ready for a party in no time.
Faster cleaning equals to less energy consumption and more savings! The bot works equally well in gunite/plastic, fiberglass and vinyl pools of virtually all shapes.
That’s a fancy term for the use of rubber tracks. Most robots aren’t able to stick close enough to the pool’s surface, which is required to clean it thoroughly.
Since, water reduces traction, which causes most robots to slide. So, energy is wasted, consequently trying to overcome the reduced friction.
The rubber tracks work way better than regular wheels since they overcome the loss of traction even if there is a lot of water.
So, the robot moves steadily and can climb walls better than most others we’ve used. Plus having tracks means that the robot can move over obstacles like debris with ease.
The SmartNav 2.0 Feature:
The SmartNav mapping and scanning system creates a map of your pool’s surface, allowing it to navigate through intelligently.
So, it cleans more efficiently and does not miss a spot while saving on power consumption.
Plus it successfully navigates through obstacles like drains, ladders, rubber duckies, etc. so, the cleaner does not get stuck.
Top Loading and Large Cartridge Filter:
The Escape comes equipped with an unusually large filter cartridge which can handle more debris than most other competing products. Not to mention that removing and cleaning the filter is a cinch thanks to the top-access door.
The filter can easily be removed from the top of the robot.
If anything, we prefer top-loading filters that Dolphin has designed for its robotic cleaners compared to bags we come to hate on many competing brands in this price bracket.
Dual Powered Dual Brushing Brushes:
The technology takes thorough pool cleaning to a whole new level compared to conventional brushes. It makes quick work out of debris, algae, and dirt on the surface and walls of the pool.
The secret is that the brushes run twice as fast as regular brushes. That kind of vigorous movement can easily dislodge the stubbornest build up of anything from soda to moss.
Most bots provide only a superficial clean but then, the Escape is not ‘most bots’. It’s the best above ground pool cleaner in the world for a reason!
review & Final Verdict
The Dolphin Escape Pool Cleaner is amongst the best above the ground robotic cleaners we’ve reviewed and tested in this price range.
That’s saying a lot, especially since many other pool cleaners compromise on features to bring the cost down.
That’s not the case with the Escape which has most of the features you’ll find in the higher priced cleaners by the Dolphin brand.
So, our recommendation is to buy if you’re on a budget and want a pool cleaner that gets the job done, not to mention clean any pool in under 2 hours!
Pick yours up from Amazon, or just check out more customer reviews!
Our #1 Recommendation
Check out the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus, our #1 Recommended Robotic Pool Cleaner!