Polaris Vac Sweep 380 Review

Thanks for stopping by for my Polaris Vac Sweep 380 Review! As you no-doubt know, swimming pool cleaning can sometimes feel like an uphill battle.

Being essentially nothing more than large vats of stagnant water, a combination of chemicals, filters, and manual effort is needed to keep them clean and germ-free. Thus, pool cleaning is a chore that can often take up the entire day and keep you from doing other more meaningful activities.

But in this age of technological innovation, several solutions have been presented to answer many pool owners’ demands of easier pool maintenance.

With all that being said, not all pool cleaning products are created equally:

  • Some of them are nothing more than cash grabs that end up costing you more than what you’re willing to pay. 
  • Other though are investments that pay you back in the long term. 
Polaris Vac Sweep 380

Why Should You Listen to me?

Great question! I've been swimming since before I could walk, and I've been a swimming pool owner my entire adult life.

During that time I've tested and gone through quite a few robotic pool cleaners, so I like to think I know my stuff!

I was able to get ahold of the Polaris Vac Sweep 380 for a full MONTH, so for this review, we’ll be looking at this pressure pool cleaner, the Polaris Vac Sweep 380, and see if it's a dud of a pool cleaner, or is there more to it than your average pool cleaner?

Polaris Vac Sweep 380 Features

Let's dig into what makes this tick!

Excellent Maneuverability

Wheels

This pressure-side pool cleaner climbs walls and maneuvers over stairs, picking up large debris such as leaves, acorns, and pebbles.

The great thing about its robust but minimalist design is that if you have a run-of-the-mill kind of pool with blue tiles, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 blends in nicely, being almost unnoticeable once in the water.

Its excellently crafted wheels also do not scratch or damage the pool’s surface, something a lot of other pool cleaners tend to do.

Maximizes Water Circulation and Filtration

One of the best things about pressure pool cleaners is that they ensure water is constantly moving in your pool.

When water remains stagnant, it tends to collect dirt and produce algae faster. Better water circulation also allows for proper heat distribution, making sure the pool is always at comfortable temperatures for some splashing fun.

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 has this down, distributing heated water to the deepest parts of the pool as it cleans.

Another great thing about the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380’s power to circulate water effectively is that it will completely clean your pool in a few hours, giving you and your family more time to enjoy it.

Large Capacity Zippered Filter Bag

Polaris Vac Sweep 380 Filter/Bag

If you’ve had a pool for some time, you’d know that it’s the little repetitive things associated with maintenance that grates on patience.

For example, many pool cleaners are powerful devices that, for some reason, have very, very small filter bags.

This means that you constantly have to check and see if it’s full every 30 minutes or so, especially if your pool is extra dirty. It’s a good thing the makers of this unit had better sense. 

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 collects and deposits debris before it reaches the pump basket or filter, reducing filter cleanings up to 80 percent, thus prolonging the life of the filtration system and reducing maintenance time.

The filter bag is also see-through, making it much easier to tell if it's full or not. 

Comes With Add-Ons

With a purchase of the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 Pressure-side pool cleaner, you also get a 31-foot hose kit; deck or wall mount; and operating instructions.

Though not particularly standout additions, they’re still great things to have that go a long way for ease and convenience. 

Our Observations

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 pressure cleaner works in all in-ground pools and requires a booster pump which is sadly sold separately.

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 requires a separately available booster pump, such as the PB4-60 booster pump. Polaris pressure pumps are specifically designed to operate your cleaner at optimum cleaning efficiency.

One thing that we absolutely LOVED about it is that it’s powered by triple jets.

This means the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 sweeps, scrubs, and vacuums the bottom, walls, and steps of any pool, no matter the size or shape, and it holds debris in its single chamber filter bag.

A few more things we noticed and liked:

  • We found that its unique filter bag removes debris before it reached our pump basket, which should help in prolonging the life of our filtration system!
  • When the 380 got stuck, the way so many pool cleaners tend to do, an in-line backup valve automatically frees the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380, and if it gets cornered it keeps up cleaning without interruption.
  • Also worth noting is that the pool cleaner comes with a warranty but you should take note that the manufacturers’ warranties may not apply in all cases. It does depend on factors such as the use of the product, where the product was purchased, or who you purchased the product from. That being said, please review the warranty carefully, and contact the manufacturer if you have any questions.

Pros & cOnS

Pros
  • Made By A Trust-Worthy Brand - Polaris cleaners are the number one most recognized brand of pool cleaners worldwide and have enjoyed 40 years as the top-selling pressure pool cleaner. The new robotics from Polaris display the same high-quality engineering, rugged construction, and reliability that pool owners have come to expect from the brand. Polaris Pool is part of the Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. family of products for the pool and spa.
  • Provides Effective Cleaning -  There’s no denying that the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 is an effective pool cleaner. Not only does it pick up large and small debris with ease, but it also ensures good water circulation which reduces the buildup of dirt even more.  For a pressure vac cleaner, it's ALMOST as good as Robotic Pool Cleaners. 
  • Great Price Point - When compared to the price of robotic pool vacuum cleaners, or even to other pressure pool cleaners of its kind, the price of the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 is quite competitive. This makes it an ideal purchase for someone looking for a quality pool cleaner on a budget.
  • Low Energy Consumption -  Unlike other pool cleaning types, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 consumes very minimal amounts of energy to function. Being this efficient is both great for the environment and easy on your monthly electric bill.
  • Great For Small To Medium-Sized Swimming Pools - If you have a small to a medium-sized swimming pool, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a pool cleaner as effective as this one in the market. At this price point and innovative features, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 might even be considered a steal.
Cons
  • Not Ideal For Large Pools - Probably one of the biggest drawbacks of the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 is that it can’t seem to handle really large pools. Though it depends on the pool's needs, some might find that the cleaning job of the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 is less than stellar in a larger pool setup.
  • Not As Effective As Robot Pool Cleaners - Robotic pool cleaners are built with the latest tech and designed to clean dirt, silt, and algae down to the smallest micron. Though the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 is effective in cleaning, you can’t expect it to compete with actual moving pool robots!
  • Requires a Separate Purchase of Booster Pump -  Another thing that might deter buyers is the need for a separate purchase of a booster pump. Though the booster pump is by no means expensive and ensures the unit is the best cleaner it can be, some shoppers understandably want all-in-one purchases instead of having to buy parts separately.

Review & final VERDICT (4.4/5)

We like the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380, it’s something that you should check out if you’re looking for effective pool cleaners.

The large debris bag, triple jets, and belt-drive mechanisms all make this an ideal cleaning companion for a responsible pool owner.

The reasons why it did not score higher are listed in the cons section. Had they thought to include a booster pump with a purchase of this unit, then maybe we could have simply forgiven its other flaws.

Personally though, having to buy a booster pump separately isn’t a deal-breaker.  I like to think of it as an investment in itself since most pressure pool cleaners need good booster pumps to operate.

And as for it not being as effective as robotic pool cleaners, that’s something that you have to decide on yourself. The clean provided by the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 is sufficient enough that many owners believe a robotic pool cleaner isn’t even necessary. Some though find it lacking. 

Whatever your opinion is though, it’s still a great purchase when considering the features you’re getting at such a low price point. The Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 is definitely recommended for purchase.

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus


Our #1 Recommendation

Check out the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus, our #1 Recommended Robotic Pool Cleaner!

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