It isn't easy cleaning the pool yourself or cheap hiring a pool man to clean your pool. It's much more cost effective and time efficient to just get a pool cleaner. However, not every pool cleaner was made equal and that is evident in the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360.
Head and shoulders above the rest of the competition, it is easy to see why it is one of the best rated and most popular pool cleaning products. Combine that with an inexpensive price and we truly have a winner on our hands.
Polaris has knocked this product out of the park so you can stop looking because the Vac-Sweep 360 is perfection and is truly the best pressure pool cleaner out there - read our other pressure pool reviews here. It makes for a great in ground pool cleaner.
Read on to see why you'll love this product, and what to expect if you get one.
Things We Liked
- Perfect clean
- Adapts to all types of pools
- Cleans walls even up to waterline
- Doesn't get stuck/tangled so it requires no assistance
Things We Didn't Like
- Mediocre debris bag
- Doesn't clean pool stairs
In Depth Review
Initial Set Up
One of the great things about the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is that unlike many other pressure pool cleaners it doesn't require a booster pump. Any in ground pool with a dedicated pressure line will be able to use this pool machine because of how efficient it is.
When you take it out of the box you'll notice there are a decent amount of parts compared to suction and robotic pool cleaners. However, it is fairly straight forward and easy to set up even without reading the manual.
Even though it's just a general installation video, I found it very easy to just watch the following video:
The only thing about this video is when they casually cut off various parts of the hose. Unless you are very experienced take your time with this part by getting a black marker or sharpie to mark where you want to cut it off and then measure it.
If you mess up and cut off too much there is no way to reverse the decision and you'll have to purchase more hose length at a local pool supply store.
All in all, it was pretty simple to set up. Make sure you have a dedicated pressure line and the installation will be a piece of cake.
Make sure to watch the above video for a better idea on how to do it, and consult the manual when you need extra assistance (I didn't find it necessary - the video was enough for me).
With a straight forward set up and this awesome video to follow it deserves a 4.5/5 stars on set up & installation.
Cleaning Ability: Types of Debris
While the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is easily able to handle all of the types of debris, it specializes in medium and large debris - they just can't escape it!
This pressure side pool cleaner is able to easily generate enough power to medium and larger debris including annoying sticks, rocks, and larger leaves. The debris bag is a little small so it'll have to be emptied more often than I would like, but it still gets the job done. If you want a pressure cleaner with a better debris bag check out the Polaris 3900.
The extra pressure (compared to other types) gives it a more powerful cleaning ability. If you are looking for a heavy duty capability where larger debris then you can worry no longer!
It may not specialize in small debris, but it is really effective at getting most of the sand and dirt. It's not perfect, but it's triple jet advanced cleaning technology helps to get rid of the tiny debris and there may be a bit left over.
However, it'll easily get rid of most of it and it never got to the point where I felt like I had to clean it myself. In fact, it'll never end up looking like this:
When it comes to algae you do not need to worry about it with the polaris Vac-Sweep. Not only does it have enough power and precision to clean off algae, but it can also inject pool chemicals into the pool making chemical in-balance less likely and decreasing the amount of manual work you need to do.
It may not be able to get every grain of sand or spec of dirt, but the Polaris vac-sweep 360 does a job that is as close to perfect as you can get. What else could you expect from the most popular pressure pool cleaner?
With utter perfection when it comes to medium and large debris, and still being extremely effective at small debris because of its powerful suction it's easy to give it a 4.5/5 on cleaning ability.
Cleaning Ability: Pool Shapes, Sizes, Materials
Perfect for all types of in ground pool cleaners, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 just needs pressure line available. If you don't have one then you won't be able to take advantage of the power of pressure pool cleaners.
First, it is easy to handle all types of pool materials - whether it is fiberglass, concrete, or vinyl. Out of these types it may have a little trouble with fiberglass pools because of the finish.
However, it is still able to even clean fiberglass pools but the lack of traction can make it a little tougher to clean than the concrete and vinyl pools.
Out of the box it is best for small and medium pools simply because of the 31 foot hose. If you have a larger pool you'll want to upgrade to a longer hose, but if you get one it'll be able to clean large pools just like any other pool.
Even for deep pools it's powerful enough to easily navigate back to the shallow end. Because the cleaner uses intelligent cleaning paths it won't get its chord tangled so it'll be able to consistently clean.
Surprisingly, I found it able to clean the pool steps occasionally. Although any one would hope that it could clean the stairs all the time, most cleaners aren't able to at all. This comes as a surprise that the 4 wheel design of the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is able to reach them at all (typically 4 wheelers have trouble with this).
The Vac-Sweep 360 is also able to deal well with awkward diagonal walls and odd pool structure similar to the below picture:
Sometimes it doesn't even try to clean the steps but when it did it did a pretty good job with its triple jet technology paired with the tail sweeper so it's not just limited to the floor.
Fortunately, it cleans the walls better than the steps. It doesn't clean the pool walls as well as the floors, but it is still more than enough to clean your walls. It may occasionally miss some spots, but unless you have some severe algae you definitely won't even be able to notice.
When it comes to the different types of pool shapes this pressure pool vacuum is one of the best. Like most, it's not particularly great at getting around sharp corners, but it sometimes is able to navigate them.
Additionally, it was consistently able to go around the curves and clean throughout the pool no matter what the pool shape is.
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is perfect where it counts - being able to clean the pool floor. It's total coverage is pretty good since it is able to clean the steps better than almost all other cleaners and the wells quite effectively as well. With this in mind we give it 4.8/5 for pool diversity rating.
It doesn't get much better than that.
Pool Diversity Rating:
This pool vacuum typically lasts around 3-5 years and it depends on how much attention you give it. If you keep the chemical balance good and don't store it in sunlight then it will be able to last closer to 4 or 5 so make sure to use proper storing techniques.
The debris bag isn't as high quality as I would have hoped - I had to replace it 3 times over 6 years. Once every 2 years isn't that bad, and at least it is cheap, but it was a little annoying.
It's not the longest lasting cleaner, but with very few parts to maintain there isn't a lot to worry about it other than the infrequent replacement.
Our rating? 4.3/5
Product Life Rating:
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 comes with your standard 1 year warranty. It is nothing spectacular, but no worse than any other warranties. It covers the core parts which is more than enough.
You probably won't even end using the warranty, but it's nice to know it at least comes with some kind of warranty.
Warranty rating: 4/5
Full List of Pros and Cons
Pros: doesn't require booster pump, cleans all pools, can clean steps, suck and sweep cleaning, awesome transition from deep to shallow, specialize in medium/large debris, hassle free - doesn't get tangled or stuck
Cons: low quality debris bag, small debris bag, leaves some fine debris
If you're looking to purchase a pressure pool vacuum then look no further. In this review we have talked about the pros and cons of the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 and it is easy to see why it's one of the most popular cleaners ever. However, a great alternative is the Pentair Kreepy Krauly Racer.
Like any other cleaner it has some flaws. It'll occasionally miss some spots on the walls and not always be able to clean the steps, but it is dependable enough to trust it to clean your pool without extra assistance from you or your pool man.
It's as close to perfect as you'll get from a pool cleaner that will save you hours of cleaning and hundreds of dollars from a pool man.
If you're looking for a product that will truly be hands off and automatic then you can't go wrong here. Affordable, low maintenance, and effective it is everything you want in a pool cleaner.
If you have any questions or comments leave them below. I always respond within a couple of days and love helping people!
Further read: Polaris pool cleaner troubleshooting guide.